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Annals of Garelochside
Chapter II - Topography of Parish; Sir William Wallace; "The Heart of Midlothian," and Sir Walter Scott


THE beautiful peninsula of Rosneath has long been a favourite place of resort for those who are in search of romantic and salubrious summer quarters. There is a wondrous charm about the sinuous shores and winding bays of the Firth of Clyde, overlooked as they are by many a heathery mountain slope, across whose breezy heights flit the ever-changing shadows of a summer day. Last century the scenery of the valley and estuary of the Clyde presented an aspect very different from their now luxuriant clothing of well-tilled lands and spreading plantations. Any one then sailing along the Clyde saw the heather and bracken-clad slopes of the hills, interspersed with glens, in which the indigenous birch and alder trees grew in profusion, but none of the great plantations of larch, spruce and silver firs, which are now such a feature in the landscape.

The name of the peninsula has been fruitful of controversy, being claimed by English and Gaelic writers as derived from divergent sources. Undoubtedly the true orthography of the name is Rossnkath, a Gaelic term, not the modernised and more euphonious Roseneath. No doubt the latter mode of spelling is the accepted version by compilers of guide-books and railway time-tables, but it is repudiated by natives of the "island," as the name is written in old title-deeds, as an unworthy concession to ignorant outsiders. One Gaelic derivation of the word is Rhosnoeth, the "bare or unwooded promontory," another Ros-na-choich, the "virgin's promontory,"—these being the two generally accepted terms which have gradually been corrupted into Rosneath. The latter is more generaIIy adopted, but still another reading gives it as Rossnereth, the " promontory of the sanctuary." Now, from time immemorial there has been both a place of worship and of burial in the peninsula, in the immediate vicinity of the present church at the Clachan village. Thus the "promontory of the sanctuary " would be an appropriate name for the now populous and frequented parish of Rosneath.

It is believed that Rosneath church was dedicated to St. Modan, who Iived in the sixth century, and who set out from Iona on a mission of Christianity, dwelling for a time on Loch Etive, then at the Kyles of Bute, and ending his days at Rosneath. The following quotation from the beautiful poem entitled the "Bell of S. Modan's ChapeI," by Lady EIisabeth CIough Taylor, of the Argyll family, may be given here :—

In good St. Modan's ruined shrine
Once hung a golden bell,
And still Loch Etive's fishers gray
Its strange, sweet story tell—
How in the days of other years
Its healing powers were blest,
And many thronged from distant isles
In simple, trustful quest;
And none unanswered turn'd away,
But all found health and rest.

Fair is the spot St. Modan chose
Wherein to work and pray
The slumbrous gloom of purple hills
O'ershadow creek and bay,
And far and wide, from yon green glen
Upon the wanderer's right,
Rises the mountain range of Mull
In ever-changing light;
While fierce and free, by Brander's Pass,
In eddying rapids wild,
The foaming Awe leaps headlong forth
From waters many isl'd.

"And at his feet the ancient weII-
Awaking tender thought
Of all the weary, suffering souls
Its healing charm that sought—
Still feeds from never-failing depths
The murmuring mountain burn,
That low-voic'd woos to fleeting kiss
The drooping sprays of fern.
But greener woods, more smiling shores,
Wash'd by a gentler tide,
Where Cruachash and his brethren guard
The fertile vale of Clyde,
Welcom'd the aged Saint's worn feet
To haven of repose.

"And there, in memory of his name
And long life's peaceful close,
His followers rais'd the cloister'd aisles
That Fancy's feet alone
May tread again, with rapt delight,
In day dreams all her own.
Her eyes alone see 'neath sad years,
With measur'd footsteps walk,
Rossneveth's cowled monks of yore
In grave and earnest talk."

Little more than fifty years ago, along the strand of the peninsula, there was an almost unbroken verge of grass, or undergrowth of brushwood, the natural woods spreading close upon the shore about Rahane, Mambeg and Gareloch-head. At Clynder there were one or two villas and some thatched houses, the shore green and grassy, where now there is a continuous row of modern mansions, trim gardens, shops, a bowling green, a pier, and other indications of a teeming summer population. At that time there were no piers on the Gareloch for disembarking passengers, and when the steamers sailed up the loch,- those on board had to be landed at their destinations by means of the various ferry-boats at Row, Rosneath, Shandon and Gareloch-head.

At this period, on landing from the old Duchess of Argyle, at Rosneath Ferry, the visitor would find himself on a point of land opposite Row, where the tide forms a rapid race at certain periods of its rise and fall. Often, when there is a south-west wind meeting the full force of the ebb-tide, the channel is very rough, and full of breakers. This narrow strip of water constantly changes its aspect, and according to the atmospheric phases and irridescence of the sky, the colouring of the waves is strangely varied. At the calm hour of midnight, sometimes, the rushing and gurgling of the great body of water as it races and swirls on its passage through the "Narrows," can be heard a long way off, like the sound of a cataract, even though the loch is in perfect repose. On disembarking from the steamer, fifty years ago, the only house visible was the little Rosneath Inn, which has stood in its present situation for about one hundred years. Most of the stones of which the inn is built were brought from the remains of the old mansion belonging to the Campbells of Carrick, which stood close to the celebrated "Big Trees," within the Campsail woods. The former hostelry, a humble, thatched, single storeyed cottage, stood a little further up, facing the bay, and the ancient road to the ferry followed the bend of the shore from Strouel bay, bordered by a row of venerable ash trees.

A short distance up the road is the Clachan of Rosneath, which, even now, is a picturesque-looking row of houses, and has interesting features fast passing away. Before the erection of the new schoolhouse and grocer's shop adjoining, the row of cottages were - whitewashed, old structures, with thatched or red-tiled roofs, mellow with age, and overgrown with moss and lichens. The end cottage was long known as M'Wattie's public-house, one of the six which were in the parish in the days of the Rev. Robert Story. The old house, with its gable to the road, and facing the churchyard, was long used as the village school, and the schoolmaster occupied the upper storey. It was for many years tenanted by the worthy schoolmaster, the late Mr. John Dodds, who, for fifty years, taught the youth of the parish, and died in 1870. In addition to the ordinary branches of knowledge imparted in Scottish parish schools, Mr. Dodds taught the higher departments of mathematics, land surveying and navigation, and many of his pupils (one of whom was the late distinguished Archibald Smith, of Jordanhill) achieved eminence in various walks in life. His successor, the present schoolmaster, Mr. William Stewart, has fully maintained the high character of the school. He has fulfilled his onerous and responsible duties to the entire satisfaction of the heritors, the School Board, and community of Rosneath. Mr. Stewart is of a modest and retiring disposition, but his conscientious character has gained him the respect of all, and the great success which his scholars have achieved in the Bursary competitions of the county is a sure proof that the high eulogiums officially pronounced over the Clachan school are thoroughly deserved.

One of the admired features of Rosneath is the fine avenue of yew trees, which extends, from the little wooden bridge over the CIachan burn, up to the old mansion at the other end, long used as a dower-house of the Argyll family. It is not easy to ascertain the exact age of these stately yews, but it certainly must be well on to two hundred years. In the very hottest day in summer there is ever a grateful shade under their mantling boughs, which are, at many points, interlaced together, and form an appropriate avenue to the ancient resting-place of the dead. Sometimes the light breezes play amidst their sombre sprays, with a subdued murmuring sound, like the hollow voice of the ocean. Many generations of CIachan children have gambolled under the branches of these venerable trees, their merry voices resounding through the bosky glade. This is a favourite subject for artists, and in summer they may often be observed depicting this rich sylvan scene. When the moon is full, and shining right down on the hoary yews, the soft shadows lie sleeping on the sward below, the vista is one full of impressive beauty. Beyond the yews are two rows of spreading Iime trees, which give shelter to the avenue, and whose boughs in summer resound with the hum of many bees, as they gather their fragrant harvest, and "flee hams wi' lades o' treasure." [The yew avenue was a favourite walk with the late Dean Stanley when he visited at the Manse. The fine sycamore tree at the end, near the burn, is 120 feet in height, and girths 14 feet 4 inches at three feet from the ground. One of the old yews has twenty-eight flutings in the stem, is 11 feet 3 inches in girth, and has a spread of branches 57 feet in width. There is an outer row of fine limes and Spanish chestnuts.]

Conjecture has been busy as to the meaning of this yew avenue and the moss-grown mansion house. It would seem that two massive stone pillars once formed the entrance, at the spot where the wooden bridge over the Clachan now stands. Their foundations were seen, not long ago, by the village joiner when making some repairs. There was a tradition that a monastery had once existed where the Clachan House is placed, and when the tenant of the farm was making a drain, he came upon a quantity of massive stones, all solidly located, and forming a firm foundation for a large building. The existing house has been erected at different dates, the oldest portion being next the avenue, and it was once of much greater extent—a large wing having been pulled down about forty years ago. A little distance from the old house, along the road, you come to the Strouel Well, a running stream of water that has only been known to fail on very rare occasions of extreme drought. The old road to the ferry used to run along the shore, between the beach and the row of venerable ash trees which now overhang the strand, and are, one by one, succumbing to the fury of the wintry blasts. Early in this century the road had diminished to a mere track, and has long been wholly obliterated. No doubt this was the ancient road from Glasgow to the West Highlands, by which pilgrims journeyed to Iona. It went along the loch side until Hattonburn, near Barremman, was reached when it ran up the hillside and along the ridge of the moor for some distance, then striking down the shores of Loch Long to Coulport, from whence there has long been a royal ferry to Ardentinny.

We are now at the commencement of the various feus which have been taken off the Barremman estate, which marches with the Argyll property at the small burn beyond the Strouel well. Feuing commenced in the year 1825, previously to which date the shore from this point to Gareloch-head presented an unbroken slope of green fields and bracken-clad braes, with the exception of some thatched cottages at rare intervals. The first feu taken, in the year 1825, from Barremman estate, and subsequently entirely bought up, was the villa, now know as Achnashie, "Field of Peace," where the Rev. Dr. Macleod Campbell lived and died. It is an unpretending solid stone structure, with heavy overhanging eaves, and beautifully arranged pleasure grounds, adorned with a great variety of fine shrubs and trees. Nearly opposite is the small rocky island, entirely submerged at high water, known as Carrick-na-raon, or "Rock of the Seal," showing that, before the advent of the steamers, seals used to frequent the Gareloch. Passing along the shore we arrive at Clynder, where are a_few shops and a small hotel, where there used to be some rough stone houses with thatched roofs, their gables to the loch. Also at Crossowen, near where Barremman pier is placed, there was a small, old thatched farm house and buildings, and another similar cottage at Hattonburn. Barremman House, a plain mansion of moderate size, facing the loch, is now passed; the estate for more than a century and a half was in possession of the Cumming family, and is now owned by Mr. R. Thom of Canna.

A little to the north of the present house, the old mansion stands where the Cummings resided in former days, a very simple, rough cast house of two storeys. Part of the house is of ancient build, the lower portion constructed with unhewn stones taken from the shore, interspersed with clay, and it had a thatched roof. An extra storey of more substantial architecture was added and a slated roof substituted. Over the door the names, "Patrick Cuming 1730, Mary M'Farlane," are cut in the stone, and the whole has a venerable aspect, corresponding with the old ash and plane trees overhanging the wimpling burn which rushes down to the loch in small sparkling cascades. From the windows of the new mansion there is a fine prospect of the entire Gareloch, and, towards the south-east, the long peculiar stretch of the Row point sometimes bare grey shingle, at other times merely indicated by a curved crest of broken water, while the head lands of Cairndhu, and the dark promontory of Ardmore close in the view. Towards the northern end of the loch, there is the lofty outline of the Loch Long range of mountains, the "Argyll Bowling Green," and those on the Row and Shandon shores, with the ridges of Glenfruin just seen peering over the Iesser heights.

On the left, up on the hillside, are seen the two farms of Little Rahane, and Meikle Rahane, with their dwelling houses and steadings some way above the loch. It needs all the patience and energy which the farmers possess to enable them to overcome the unremunerative nature of their working in such exposed positions. But it is interesting to note what has been done to develop the natural capabilities of the bare hillside, and good stock has been reared on these Gareloch farms. The old farm-house of Little IZabane, only a small part of which is now standing, used to be a favourite subject for artists, on account of its picturesque aspect, the walls of very rough stones plastered with clay. On the shore will be noticed the small village of Rahane, consisting of a few humble cottages, and some villas, the first of which, Aikenshaw, was built in 1851. It is a primitive looking spot, access from the steamers being gained by the ferry-boat, but its secluded situation gives it a charm in the eyes of many. The ferry house, built half a century ago, occupies the site of two older thatched structures, which faced the wood, and three contiguous cottages were pulled down a few years ago. These were originally malt houses for the distillery which, many years ago, stood about a hundred yards back, and of which only the faintest trace can be observed. The malt mill was a little nearer the shore, on the border of the burn into which the water wheel projected, and used to delight the village boys with its gyrations. From this to Gareloch-head the road is well shaded by the trees which grow to the very water's edge, and shed their leaves in autumn into the sea, many of them fine specimens of oaks and ashes. In spring, these woods, and all the fields which slope down to the road, are thickly covered with a luxuriant, beautiful growth of primroses, while the pale yellow flower also decks the mossy banks of the burns which bound down to the loch past many a shady nook. A plantation of young birch, rowan, hazel, beech, fir, and other varieties of trees, clothes the hill-side near Mambeg, and at intervals of a few years, it is thinned for the bark. A mile beyond this, the houses of Garelochhead open to view, and the end of the parish is reached, at the burn which flows down the hill from the heights above Whistlefield.

Returning to the Clachan of Rosneath, and proceeding in the direction of the Castle, the visitor will notice the fine old trees, chiefly of the plane and ash species, which adorn the landscape. The Mill, or, as it is also called, Campsail Bay, is now seen gleaming through the trees, one of the most beautiful inlets of water in all the Frith of Clyde, and a favourite place of anchorage for yachts of various sizes, when laid up for the winter. Near the middle of the bay, an old-looking avenue gate points the way to where Campsail House once stood, formerly possessed by the Campbells of Carrick. The gate posts are covered with delicate grey lichens, and one of them has an ornamented top in the form of an acorn, but its fellow has long since disappeared. The wood beyond is a sylvan nook of rare beauty, many of the trees being old, and casting a sombre shade from their mantling branches. Oaks, beeches, walnuts, Spanish chestnuts, planes, and straight, lofty silver firs, all combine to impress the spectator with a feeling of peace and solitude, as in some lonely forest far from the haunts of men. The bracken and ferns which clothe the ground, mingled with periwinkle, wild sorrel, honeysuckle, and other creepers, harmonise with the verdant retreat, and the shining leaves of holly, hawthorn, sloe, and ivy, thickly clustering round the rugged trunks, gleam amid the slanting sun-rays. A short walk from the old avenue gate brings the visitor in front of the two peerless silver firs, which are the special glory of Rosneath, whose fame has endured for many generations. These are two grand specimens of the fir tribe, their huge trunks, gnarled and massive, bearing all the solidity and seeming indestructibility of the granite rock, and their great roots are deeply fixed in the mossy soil. Probably not in Europe are there to be seen two such magnificent and venerable silver firs, as these celebrated "big trees" of Rosneath. Multitudes of visitors have been attracted to the peninsula, many from A-merica and the Colonies, to behold these two monarchs of the forest, which, for centuries, have flourished in the secluded woods of Campsail. Nearly twenty-five feet in circumference, and one hundred and thirty in height, with immense branches, themselves respectable trees, springing from the great, grey, seamed stem, hoar with age, and clad with lichen as the rock,—these twin giants Iift their verdant crests above their companions of the grove.

[The following notice of these firs appeared in Gardening Illustrated, in February 1891. "On the Duke of Argyll's property at Rosneath are many fine old trees of the silver fir species, from 100 to 130 feet in height, with clean stems, and girth 20 feet, a yard from the ground. Especially there are two fine old silvers, called Adam and Eve, the first named has few equals in this or any other country. They were planted over 200 years ago, and are now respectively 130 and 124 feet high, and Eve girths at 3 and 5 feet, 22 feet 8 inches and 21 feet 8 inches respectively. At 1 foot from the ground Adam girths 28 feet 10 inches size of stem, and is 130 feet high." These trees were measured in 1817 by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder and Lord John Campbell. The uppermost one, "Eve," at five feet from the ground, girthed 15 feet 9 inches, and at one foot from the ground 19 feet 8 inches. In 1833, when the tree was again measured, the proportions were 17 feet 7 inches, and 22 feet at the same distances from ground. The other tree, "Adam," in 1833, was found by Sir T. D. Lauder and Lord John to be, at the root, 24 feet 9 inches, and five feet up, 18 feet 2 inches.]

In winter, when the whole sylvan scene is dazzling white with snow, only patches of bracken or thorns peering over the fleecy mass, while long streaks of snow lie on the stems of trees, or cluster in thick wreaths on their pendent boughs, the twin giants stand out with grand effect in the wintry landscape. The yews, and the other dark firs beyond, seem to bring out the great trees, whose strange grouping of mighty, grey, twisted boughs, bulge and twine round one another, as though in deadly conflict they seek to rise above their fellows, and dark hollows and caverns are formed by their fantastic formation, when they leave the parent stem. All is still and quiet, the roar of the storm is hushed, the boughs are bent with the accumulated masses of snowflakes, and, glancing below the drooping branches, the eye sees the swelling uplands in their silvery shroud, crowned with distant woods, arrayed in frosty garb, and overhead, the misty, faintly crimsoned sky, suffused with the light of a brief winter's day. And a little way off may be seen the cold, leaden-hued, calm waters of the bay, on the oozy sand of which are gathered some sea-gulls, whose screaming, querulous cries break upon the silence of the grove, and the sudden screech of the heron, in his measured flight far above, adds harsh music to the scene.

Close beside the great silver firs may be observed the foundations of the old mansion of Campsail, which once belonged to the Campbells of Carrick, and where their representative, the sister of John Duke of Argyll, known as Lady Carrick by the Rosneath people, long lived, and was beloved for her good deeds. A sweet spot it must have been, with fine mossy sward around the ancient pile, which, in the spring, is thickly carpeted with wild hyacinths and primroses, with a lovely peep through the opening branches of the bay, and Helensburgh in the distance. Even now, the terraced formation of the sward indicates where the pleasure grounds had been, the old well still offers a cool draught of limpid water, and the worn flagstones of the courtyard speak of "auld lang syne." In the earlier part of the century, the stones of the ruinous dwelling were partly removed to build the inn at Ardencaple, near Row, and to add to the Ferry inn at Rosneath.

Emerging from the wood by a wicket gate, between two very lofty and straight old silver firs, the road by the shore is regained, and the visitor sees before him the entrance, over a low bridge, to the grounds round the Castle. Lifting their dark bushy heads above the surrounding trees, are several picturesque great Scotch firs, with red, rugged bark, which glows warmly in the rays of the setting sun, and harmonises well with the prevailing colour around. Beautiful peeps of the loch and distant hills are gained as the visitor skirts the winding reaches of the rocky strand, and some specially venerable beech trees are seen, near the old sea wall of conglomerate rock, at the spot known as "Wallace's Leap." It was here that the hero leaped down with his gallant steed from the summit of the rock, and though the horse was killed, Wallace succeeded in swimming across the loch to Cairndhu point. This was somewhere about the year 1297, when Wallace was contending against King Edward of England.

There is every reason to believe that the renowned warrior of Scotland did once visit Rosneath in the course of his remarkable adventures. William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, in 1721, wrote a poetic account of the hero's achievements, which was dedicated to James, Duke of Hamilton, Wallace had been engaged in one of his numerous struggles with the English, in the neighbourhood of Cathcart, and was on his way to visit his friend and supporter, Malcolm, Earl of Lennox. He seems to have sacked the town of Dunbarton, and burnt the castle of Rosneath, which was occupied by the English, after which exploits he made his way into the strongholds of Lennox. Apparently he had been guided by one well affected to his cause who,

Directed Wallace where the Southron lay
Who set their lodgings all in a fair low,
About their ears and burnt them stub and stow.
Then to Dunbarton cave, with merry speed,
March'd long ere day, a quick exploit indeed.
Toward Rosneath next night they past along,
Where Englishmen possest that castle strong,
Who that same day unto a wedding go,
Fourscore in number, at the least, or moe.
In their return, the Scots upon them set,
Where forty (lid their death wounds fairly get;
The rest scour'd off, and to the castle fled
But Wallace, who in war was nicely bred,
He did the entry to the castle win,
And slew the South'ron all were found therein.
After the fliers did pursue with speed,
None did escape him, all were cut down dead.
On their purveyance seven days lodged there,
At their own ease, and merrily did fare.
Some South'ron came to visit their good kin,
But none went out, be sure, that once came in,
After he had set fire unto the place,
Diarch'd straight to Falkland in a little space."

Such is the account of the taking of Rosneath Castle given by Hamilton of GilbertfieId. On another of his raids against Dunbar-ton, Wallace was very nearly being made prisoner by his relentless foes, the English. Being in a hostelry in the town, an officer and twenty-four men were sent to apprehend him, but he leapt out of the window and proceeded to assault the soldiers outside. With one or two sweeps of his terrible two-handed sword, our hero cut down the commander of the party and a dozen of his men, while the rest fled precipitately to the castle for refuge. Wallace's favourite weapon was a ponderous, long, two-handed sword, which, from his great strength, he wielded with ease, and until the last few years, a rusty weapon, known as "Wallace's Sword" was preserved in the armoury at Dunbarton Castle, and considerable indignation was aroused at its removal to the Wallace Monument at Stirling, where it now rests.

[Respecting the armour and sword of Wallace, Dr. Jamieson in his notes on "Blind Harry " has the following remarks. "In the Castle of Dunbarton they pretend to show the mail and, if I mistake not, also the sword of Wallace. If he was confined in that fortress by Menteith before being sent into England, as some have supposed, it is not improbable that his armour might be left there. The popular belief on this head, however, is very strong." Carrick, the author of a Life of Sir William Wallace, has the following note on the subject of the hero's armour. "Certain it is, if such armour was in Dunbarton Castle at the time, it is unknown to those connected with the garrison, at present (1830); and we cannot conceive that a relic, so valuable in the estimation of the public, would have totally disappeared, without its being known what had become of it. All that they pretend to show in the Castle of Dunbarton, as having belonged to Wallace, is a sword of very antique fashion, intended to be used with both hands, but by no means of a weight that would prevent men of ordinary strength of the present day from wielding it. There is no proof, however, that it belonged to the Deliverer of Scotland ; and if we may credit the account given by old people, of its having been dragged up from the bottom of the Clyde by the anchor of a vessel, about sixty years ago, its identity becomes more than doubtful. Such, however, is the prevalence of the report in its favour, that it was some time since sent to London, for the inspection of certain official characters connected with the Board of Ordnance. At the time it was sent off, it wanted several inches of its length which, it seems, had been broken off by some accident."

The sword measures from point to point four feet eleven and a half inches, the handle is one foot two inches long, and the blade three feet nine inches in length. It varies in breadth from two and a quarter inches at the guard, to three quarters of an inch at the point, is six pounds in weight, and has been welded at two different places. The following item occurs in the books of the Lord Treasurer under date 8th December, 1505, when King James IV. visited Dunbarton. "For bynding of ane riding sword rappyer, and binding of l6'allas sword with cordis of silk, and new hilt and plomet, new skabbard, and new belt to the said sword, xxvjsh."]

Blind Harry gives his account also of the taking and sacking of Rosneath Castle by Wallace.

A short distance from Wallace's leap there stands the present castle, or rather palace of Rosneatb, a noble building of massive construction, the work of an Italian architect, Bonomi of London, which was begun in 1803. The site is a fine one, at a greater distance from the shore than the old castle, and is said to have been selected by the famous landscape painter, Alexander Nasmyth. The former residence of the Argyll family long rested upon the point of land opposite Ardencaple. It does not seem to have been a building of any special importance, or architectural merit, but, about the year 1630, it was enlarged and embellished by the famous Marquis of Argyll. This mansion remained until about the beginning of the present century, when it was nearly all burnt to the ground. Upon this occasion, the old Duke of Argyll, a pious man, calmly viewed the conflagration from his castle of Ardencaple, opposite, and expressed his gratitude by saying, "I thank my God, I have another house to go to." An old stone, with the date 1634, carved with the cypher of the famous Marquis, and his wife Margaret Douglas, is now at Inveraray castle, one of the few remains of the ancient structure. The architecture of the new castle is a mixture of Italian and Greek, massive and imposing, the splendid Ionic portico, with its lofty stone pillars, is almost unequalled in Scotland. The castle is 184 feet long, and 121 in breadth, with two very handsome fronts, each adorned with fine Ionic columns, the stone of the finest freestone from the famous Garscube quarry, near Glasgow, and is hewn into ponderous blocks. From the high circular tower in the centre of the building there is a grand panorama of wood, water, lawn and moor, affording endless pleasure to the spectator. Each door and window is of stately dimensions, though a large portion, both of the interior and exterior, is quite unfinished, many of the pillars with their noble capitals, and finely moulded balustrade above, never having been placed in position. Inside, the rooms are lofty and finely proportioned, one of them, the circular library under the tower, being exceedingly elegant, with decorated friezes, and classic ceiling ornaments. Several family portraits, one of the most recently added, the Marquis of Lorne, in full Highland costume, and an engraving of the beautiful Miss Gunning, afterwards Duchess of Argyll, adorn the public rooms.

There is an interesting old plan of the Rosneath estate dated 1731 in the castle, which shows the houses, roads, and woods as they existed at that date. In this plan the castle stands back from the shore, in front of it being the "Little Green," and to the side the "Meikle Green," and garden at the back, all bounded by what is called the " new avenue." Various crofts are marked at "Little Ross," "Middle Ross," and "Meikle Ross," and at Portkill several small cottages are situated. Near Old Kilcreggan, on the opposite side of the road, "Ruins of an old cell " is marked, which locally is known as the " Broken castle," though no trace of the ruins can be seen. Near Campsail Mill there are entered an "Upper" and "Nether" pond, no doubt for water supply. The old house of Campsail is noted with the avenue leading straight up from the bay. Three small cottages are marked on Campsail hill, and they remained till a few years ago, when the new Clachan farm house was built. At the Clachan, the cruciform Kirk is put down, and the road from the castle and Campsail bay is noted as coming to an end at the Clachan village. A brick yard is situated near the present schoolmaster's house, and there are two cottages at the ferry which is called "Clachan point." Going along the shore the "Strall " spring is noted, with a cottage beside it, and at "The Clynders," there are three cottages. No houses are marked as existing on the Kilcreggan or Cove shores, but there is a pier not far from the present one. The farms of Aiden, Ailey, Knockderry, and others, are indicated, and a good many cottages near them, but hardly any plantations, except on the Gallowhill, and near the castle and Campsail bay.

One delightful feature is the pleasant, old-fashioned garden at the back of the castle, with its long stretches of mossy turf, and quaint arrangement of laurel and heath plants, groups of flowering shrubs, and graceful, drooping bushes, trimly kept walks with heavy box borders, all vastly superior to the formal parterres now so much in vogue. The soft, mossy walks seem to allure you to stroll along, and to enjoy the scent of wallflowers, sweet peas, and mignonette. There are quiet, retired nooks, in which you may repose, quite secluded from observation, and listen to the cooing of the wood pigeons, the lively strains of the chaffinch, or whitethroat, and the rich warbling of the mavis and blackbird, from the surrounding groves,—while the songs of infancy steal over the senses, or the day dreams of youth enrapture the mind with the languor of thrilling remembrance. The shrill cry of the welcome and friendly peesweep, as he lightly skims over the adjoining fields, falls upon the ear, and, as you advance, his graceful evolutions, as he turns on the wing, bringing his white breast into view, are pleasing to witness. And the long drawn, peculiar wail of the curlew, which frequents all the shores near the "Green Isle," is heard amidst the sharper notes of the various descriptions of sea fowl which abound. Going along past Culwatty bay, on the left, the dark thick wood is approached, in which is situated the heronry of Rosneath, chiefly in the midst of a number of lofty Scotch and silver firs, surrounded by a thick belt of plantation. This is a scene of sylvan repose, forming a still retreat, which the visitor would scarcely expect to meet. The screen of spruce, larch, and silver firs, with rowans and beeches at intervals, is crossed by grassy glades of turf, decked in spring with rich profusion of wild hyacinths. Only a little distance beyond is the busy, seething world of toil and commerce, with the manifold wheels of industry, in ceaseless hum, while here is all the loneliness of the grove. In the spring, however, the woods resound with the harsh clamour of the herons, who are engaged in the important work of rearing their young. The nests are great unshapely masses of dried twigs, with a few tufts of coarse grass inside, and there are generally four eggs in each, of a pale green colour. Sometimes the bird will courageously defend itself, if surprised by an intruder, while sitting on its eggs, and a blow from the long sharp, horny bill is sufficiently severe. There were last year over eighty nests, and as you walk below the lofty trees, when the breeding season is in full swing, there is much stir and commotion overhead. The herons fly to and fro, crashing amidst the boughs with their long bodies, and spreading wings, many of them carrying fish in their bills to satisfy the cravings of their nestlings.

Proceeding across the fields at the back of the castle, the visitor sees the extensive pile of buildings, known locally as "The Steeple," facing the range of steadings of the Home Farm. There is here an old threshing mill, worked by a water-wheel supplied by water brought chiefly through an underground channel all the way from Lindowan reservoir, on the moor above Kilcreggan. The buildings are about 280 feet in length, of massive construction, and semi-Gothic architecture, and once were ornamented by a tower, 90 feet in height, designed by Nasmyth of Edinburgh, but which, after the great fire, nearly fifty years ago, was curtailed of its lofty proportions. Originally this whole structure was intended to have been the castle stables, but, for some reason or other, this was found impracticable. In front of the Home Farm rises the Gallowhill, 414 feet above the sea, once completely covered with a fine plantation of fir trees, but these, forty years ago, were cut down by the proprietor. The view from the summit of the hill is extensive, and gives a striking idea of the diversified scenery of the Frith of Clyde. Looking towards the north the whole of the upper part of the peninsula is seen, an undulation of purple heather and bushy bracken, while the dark mass of mountains above Loch Long, and their distant peaks, are faintly shrouded in blue haze. Many burns seam the sides of the hills round the Gareloch, whose waters reflect the fringe of trees along its shore, amid which nestle numerous villas, and the green fields above join on to the moorland ridge. The russet brown of autumn spreads its mantle over the uplands, and the plantations on both sides are glowing with yellow and roseate tints. In the full blaze of mellow sunshine which, on an autumn day, bathes the whole loch and surrounding mountains, beautiful effects are gained by the delicate blending of the warm tints of moor, glen, and sloping braes. While the edge of the nearer rugged mountain outline is sharply defined against the sides of receding peaks, which reflect the sun with brilliant lustre—a lovely soft haze envelopes the horizon, although the immediate foreground is strongly coloured with the purple water and the dark green of the pine forest. A white line of strand marks the upper reaches of the loch, and the tawny coloured streaks of spreading brushwood give variety of tints to the picture. Some of the old beech trees are seen in the castle woods, their foliage flaming with yellow and crimson, with their shining, grey trunks intervening between the red Scotch firs and lordly oaks—all presenting a sylvan picture of rare beauty. Your solitude is undisturbed, for there is a considerable extent of moor round the summit of the Gallowhill, and it is difficult to realise, at certain points of the landscape, that you are so near the great bustling world of commercial enterprise of which Glasgow is the centre. [In the month of May, in taking a walk along the shore, the following wild flowers may be gathered :—Daisy, buttercup, cowslip, whin, broom, hyacinth, lesser celandine, goat weed, stillaria religinoso, primrose, star of Bethlehem, pink tampion, dog's mercury, blue borage, violet, speedwell, cuckoo flower, wood sorrel, forget•me•not, and a few more.]

Descending the hill, and rejoining the road leading over to Kilereggan, the small hamlet of Mill of Campsail is reached. The old meal mill is a picturesque building of rubble work, "harled" over, but has long since lost its pristine whiteness, and is, in many places, thickly covered over with a soft mossy growth like green velvet. A rich mantle of lichens covers the roof, and thick layers of downy moss overspread the stone work and eaves, while ferns have obtained a lodgment in many parts, and hang their graceful fronds over the old walls. There is a date, 1752, on the lintel stone of the door, low down, and another date, 1177, is cut on the stone projection at the gable, probably indicating when it was enlarged. The old wheel, with its water trough, and the wooden shoot down which there trickles a tiny rivulet of water, is a favourite subject for artists. Peter M'Neilage, the present miller, is a member of a family who have tenanted the mill and croft adjoining for many generations, and be finds it very different from what it used to be in his father's lifetime, when the farmers in the district all used to bring in their grain to be ground. His father made the first cart with wheels which came to the mill, for, before that time, the grain was brought on horses' backs in bags. The road past the mill was made about a century ago, and the miller's cottage was built in 1827; a few years before, the old cottages, which used to stand in the field opposite the mill across the burn, were all pulled down. In these primitive days the farmers used to dry their oats with peat fires before coming to the mill, for coals were unknown in the district. At that time there were no fanners for separating the chaff from the grain, and this operation was done on the summit of the mound at the side of the miller's house, known as the "Shelling hill," where, on a breezy day, the grain and chaff were thrown into the air from bags and basket till the required result was got. His father and Donald Turner, the smith at the Clachan, were both baptised one Sabbath afternoon about 1792, in the open air, on the "Shelling-hill," by the Burgher minister, Mr. Henderson of Kilmalcolm.

Just beyond the Mill is the Free Church, a plain building, erected over the quarry from whence the stones used were extracted, but some notable men have preached within its walls, including many of those worthies who guided the fortunes of that Church after the Disruption. On the hillside, beside the plantation surrounding the church, sixty years ago, there was a sweetly secluded hamlet, called the Millbrae, access to which was gained by a path across the whin clad, rocky brae, where the sheep wandered at will. Several pretty cottages were there, with gardens, fruit trees, and many wild roses, some of which still remain, with broken stems and torn branches, to tell of the happy, ruddy-faced children, whose joyous voices resounded in this now silent spot. A romantic and suggestive scene, from which the spectator could survey the opening of the Gareloch, with the villas of Row beyond, looking almost like a picture on the Italian lakes, richly bowered amid trees, and the verdant crest of hills overhanging the sorrowful Glenfruin bounding the view.

Returning to the road, the traveller opens up the broad estuary of the Clyde, with its rippling waters ploughed by many a passing vessel, and turning back, the calm land-locked Mill bay lies embosomed in trees. This bay has a charm of its own, and, on a summer day, presents effects of colour, light and shade, subtle and full of beauty. The water near the shore may be dark sapphire, out in the open loch a shimmering opal, the green turf touching the strand, and the perfume breathing beeches and oaks reflected in the waves, the sloping hills round the Gareloch closing in one side of the picture, with gleaming patches of sunshine bringing into contrast the lowering and frowning mountains beyond Loch Long. Suddenly, a change comes, the colours on the mobile surface of the loch are reversed, smooth bright folds seem to agitate the waters near the shore, while, further out, the depths look unnaturally calm and dark, ominous of a coming storm. Yet here and there tender streaks of sunshine lovingly linger between the silvery boughs of the lofty silver firs, towering above the grove. Looking round upon the broad frith, the various sea-side resorts, so popular in summer, are seen on the right, dominated by the fine range of the Cowal mountains, and the rugged peaks of Arran looming grandly in the far off haze. A little way down the road on the left is the row of old cottages known as Old Kilcreggan, the primitive hamlet remaining much as it was fifty years ago. In former years the tiled and thatched cottages had a picturesque appearance, as they faced the rustling burn, which falls into the sea near the original pier, a massive structure, whose great stones still give shelter to the humble sailing craft. Before the present farm of Portkill, so long occupied by the Duke's chamberlain, Mr. Lorne Campbell, was built, there was an old farm house at Old Kilcreggan that, for many generations, had been tenanted by a family, Chalmers by name, the last of whom died a number of years ago at Gourock. There was a small farm house at Portkill, a thatched building, which stood near where the present factor's house is built. Two other cottages were at the top of the brae, near Port-kill House, but, in the various changes brought about by time, they have passed away.

At the foot of the steep brae leading to Kilcreggan pier, there stands the pretty, white cottage, embowered in flowers, where the M'Farlanes, who for nearly a century worked the ferry over to Gourock, long resided, and where the venerable widow of the last ferryman still lives in a serene old age. Her father and grandfather were in the Duke's service, and from the old pier, her husband's commodious wherry daily set forth for. Greenock and Gourock, laden with passengers, and all sorts of farm produce, besides cattle, and sheep, and brought back a miscellaneous cargo. Often great risk was run, from the violent gales which would suddenly arise, and the compass had to be used when thick banks of fog enveloped the channel. It is difficult to realise that, where there is now a continuous row of handsome villas all along the shore for four miles, sixty years ago there was nothing but a silent strand, laved by the clear waters of the Clyde, and the rough cart track at the foot of the heath clad braes, all over-grown with whips, brambles, and wild briar roses. One small cottage there was, situated in a beautiful alcove of rocks and rowan trees, to which the builder, whose name was Coll Turner, member of a family long resident at the farm of Duchlage, gave the appropriate designation of Craigrownie. This expressive name has since been localised by being adopted in the nomenclature of the district and quoad sacra parish. [Craigrownie.—The author has been favoured with a letter from Mr. Archibald M'Neilage, Clerk to Rosneath School Board, a native of the parish, from which the following is given:--"The only house between Mrs. M'Farlane's anti the head of Cove pier, sixty years ago, was Craigrownie cottage, a slated house, built by the late Coll Turner, who afterwards went to reside in Greenock. Mr. Turner built this cottage about 65 years ago; it still stands among the trees immediately below Baron Cliff villa. To it the name of Craigrownie was originally given. Air. John M'Lean, postmaster, Rosneath, says he was a little boy running about when it was building, and interesting himself in the various parts of the work as they proceeded."]

One old cottage was then standing below the rocky face of the cliff above Cove pier, a humble, thatched building, long occupied as a public house by the father of the late Mr. John M'Lean, Clachan of Rosneath, who also acted as ferryman to the opposite village of Blairmore. Going past this, and crossing the Dhualt burn, which falls into the small bay of the same name, there was no dwelling on the shore road, until Peatoun mansion house, and one or two cottages beyond, were reached; an unbroken stretch extending from Letter farm, until you came to Coulport ferry. On the high road there were the various farms of Meikle and Little Aiden, near Kilcreggan, North and South Ailey, Knockderry, and Barbour, besides some others now no longer existing. About this time the Duke of Argyll caused a carriage drive to be made along the shore, taking the place of the old cart track, rudely constructed, and dangerous from large portions of the rock protruding above the ground. Here he would drive in his stately old barouche with its mighty C. springs, and panels emblazoned with the Argyll coat of arms, which, for many years had done duty, both in this country and on the Continent.

Proceeding along the shore road past Cove pier, a fine prospect is opened up of Loch Long, with the dark swelling forms of the mountains rising from its deep waters, prominent amongst them being Cruachash, above the retired village of Ardentinny. Presently more of the purple waters of Loch Long come into view, with the Holy Loch, and mountains beyond. Fields and plantations stretch down to the shore, and ascending to the moor above with its slopes of fragrant heather, the harsh cry of the grouse or black cock may be heard from the moss hag, or he may be seen skimming away in his rapid flight.

As you approach Barbour farm, the new cemetery, made for those families resident in the peninsula who have no right of burial at Rosneath churchyard, is seen occupying a fine site, and already there are a good many graves. It is a sequestered and peaceful spot, where nature has put forth her gentle hand to soothe the sorrows of those who mourn departed friends, whose place on earth now knows them no more. Looking back, the bold headland of Knockderry stands out above the sea, an interesting spot, from its being the site of an ancient Danish or Norwegian fort, hardly any trace of which now remains. As Barbour is neared, the view grows wilder, while Loch Long assumes the appearance of an inland lake, seemingly surrounded with hills; those in the foreground bearing signs of cultivation, while the mountains on the opposite shores of the loch rise steep and rugged, clothed with bracken and Birchwood near the water's edge. Ascending the hill, after crossing the Camloch burn, there is a broad expanse of moor, the distant swelling outlines of the ridges beyond Loch Goil now coming into view, and the serrated peaks of the Argyll Bowling Green forming an appropriate background.

The highest point in the peninsula is easily climbed from either Peatoun or Mambeg on the Gareloch side. Its Gaelic name is Knoch-na-Airidhe, which, in English, may be rendered "Hill of Shieling," and is now corrupted into Tomnahara. From this moderate elevation of 117 feet, it is surprising what a varied expanse of mountain, moor, craggy fell, and glittering sea can be gained, and, on a clear day, the noble crest of Ben Cruachan may be seen. Rising above Garelochhead are the swelling outlines of the grassy mountains at the head of Glenfruin, from whence the eye ranges on to Helens-burgh, and to the distant braes above Kilpatrick. Opposite are the uplands of Renfrewshire, the busy ports of Greenock, Gourock, and Port-Glasgow, the Cloch Lighthouse, and the craggy reaches of the Ayrshire coast, and following on, you gain fine views of the Cum-braes, Bute, Arran, and the nearer mountains of Argyllshire. To any one fond of studying the varied atmospheric effects visible from such a spot, according to the changes of weather, the scene from any of the higher points on the moor is full of interest. On a warm summer afternoon in June, when the sky is of a faint blue colour, and light fleecy clouds move slowly over its face, delicate changes in the aspect of the landscape will be seen. Towards the summit of the moor, the ridge of fir trees in the middle distance stands clear against the filmy sky, the gathering mist growing more dense over Loch Long and its mountains. While the outline of the peninsula behind Garelochhead is clear against the background, a thick blue haze nearly conceals the intervening glens and hollows. The fine rugged mountains about the middle of the Argyll Bowling Green, loom out in solid grandeur, but those beyond Loch Goil seem very faint, until they blend with the misty haze. Cruachash, above Arden-tinny, looms out by itself in rounded proportions, like a well defined blue cloud emerging from the horizon, and about to overspread the sky. The distant Ben Im, and the Cobbler above Arrochar, can faintly be traced in the nebulous haze, while a tinge of yellow suffuses the lesser heights over Glenfruin, shading away into purple all the subtle gradations of tint so impossible to depict, even by the most cunning brush. As the fleecy clouds steal over the hidden ravines, the most delicate phases of colour are observed, the fields on the loch side being of a lighter green than the pasture lands above, and the woods darker in hue where the fir trees predominate. The heather is of a brown hue, with stretches of green moss and bracken intervening, streaked with the yellow blossom of the whins. The sun's rays strike upon the beech or oak trees, scattered here and there, casting their shadows upon the turf, which is decked with wild flowers. Grey walls and rocks gleam in the sunlight, and the villages and houses on the loch are seen clearly amidst their verdant surroundings, the white line of strand fringing the water. In the still depths of the purple loch the peaceful landscape is reflected, a light zeyphr ever and anon causing a faint streak of ripple to appear, with a white-winged gull skimming over the tide.

When the russet hues of Autumn cast their mantle over the scene, fresh beauties appear. The mellow sunshine bathes the moor with a deep golden tint, which seems to glow amid the silvery sheen of the fir trees, and sparkles on the glistening faces of rock beside the mountain streamlets. The heather is in full bloom, and the green, mossy sward is seen in patches between the masses of abounding bracken, which has began to assume its rich brown colour. Many are the richly variegated tints of the woods which clothe the slopes of the hills, and the corn fields gleam yellow where the grain has yet to he gathered. A vapoury haze seems partially to envelope the higher mountains, and the lesser heights assume soft and rounded outlines against the blue depths of the intervening valleys. As the shades of evening steal over the still landscape, all is hushed in repose, unless the harsh, whirring cry of the grouse falls upon the ear, or long drawn, quavering, piping of the curlew is echoed on the sides of the ravine, and when night darkens the scene,

"The crisping rays, that on the waters lie,
Depict a paler moon, a fainter sky;
While through the inverted alder boughs below,
The twinkling stars with greener lustre glow."

At all seasons, and at all times of the day, there is to be seen much that will repay the closest inspection. So constantly changing is the sky, and so correspondingly varied is the colour of the Gareloch, that a series of beautiful panoramic effects reward the patient student of nature. Whether it be in summer, when not a cloud rests on the blue ether of the sky, or is embosomed in the calm loch, with all nature quivering in the hot, impalpable haze,—or in winter, with a soft shroud of snow enveloping mountain, field, and garden alike,—the picture is radiant with loveliness. Spring has its own peculiar elements of beauty, the first suffusion of the glow of mingling colour, which afterwards pervades the spot. Autumn's rich mosaic flames over wood and brake, and the deep crimson of the setting sun flushes over sky and strand. At times, the sun's horizontal rays, just before the luminary is sinking behind the Loch Long hills, catch upon the upper ranges of fir trees, investing them with an exquisite pearly grey hue. And, in winter, while all the ground is robed in snow, there is a solemn stillness that awes the feelings of the solitary wayfarer. The loch is chill and leaden in aspect, the fields and moors have all landmarks obliterated beneath the snowy mantle, the trees are powdered with the hoarfrost, their black branches are set off by silvery rime. If it is morning, as the early sun begins to suffuse the sky, then the graceful forms of the trees are traced out in fleecy indistinctness. As the sun rays grow warmer, a yellow tinge spreads on the woods above, but, lower down, all is coldly grey. Nearer to the beholder the pale frosted boughs are traced against the horizon in a delicate fret work, and showers of snow, like ocean spray, fall from the evergreens, as the startled wood pigeon rushes from his perch. By the moonlight, the scene is only deepened and intensified, the snow is more ethereal, the trees more ghostly, and the hills more unreal in their dusky outlines. Each far off peak gleams faintly against the wan firmament in the cold glitter of the stars.

Atmosphere and cloud effects of singular and varied beauty are to be observed at various seasons, some of the finest of them in the early hours of a summer morn, or about midnight when the days are longest. It would need all the word painting of a Ruskin to do justice to such a scene. Sometimes great masses of billowy clouds are heaped above the Loch Long mountains, and, as the early sun rays play upon the shifting surface, subtle gradations of colour can be marked. A bright patch of clear sky is opened up from time to time, and it is difficult to distinguish the rugged outlines of the hills, from the clearly developed lines of clouds traced against the horizon. There is, in summer, sometimes a lovely effect of deep purple in the colours of the cloud banks resting on the mountain ridges, and innumerable islands seem to float in a golden sea. This cloud bank becomes all the denser and darker as the clear border of sky is more and more reflected in the still waters of the loch. Great mountain precipices and vast crags seem toppling over in the moving cloudland overhanging the waters. The pale green of the young bracken is in strong contrast with the purple clouds, and light streamers of mist curl themselves round the fir plantations.

At the height of summer, when there is hardly any night, and the faint flush of a new day is fast tinging the sky, a still and impressive scene of beauty is presented to the eye. A dark mass of clouds rests on the highest ridges, while away at either end of the horizon Iight is reflected in the placid loch. The foreground is of an indefinite hue, the trees and moorlands ghostly and ill defined, the murky atmosphere lending faint colour to the picture. The great and dominant feature is the (lark shroud overhanging the distant hills, intensely gloomy, and seemingly charged with presaging woe. An oppressive languor pervades the atmosphere, even at that hour of early dawn, and all nature is bushed in preternatural repose.

Moonlight on the Gareloch has always a beautiful effect, owing to the rugged outlines of the mountains against the canopy of heaven, and the smooth unbroken surface of the water, which reflects the stars in their lustrous sheen. To view the scene, in all its weird and ghostly loveliness, a visit to the summit of the Gallowhill, the high ground at the end of the Iiosneath peninsula, will well repay the walk. It is a lonely spot, but it commands the view far down the Clyde, as well as the Gareloch, and the hills near Helensburgh and Cardross. Immediately above the Loch Long mountains on such an evening the horizon is of pale green, against which the purple peaks are sharply outlined, and the trees on the crest of the nearer slopes are softly pencilled against the luminous sky, as if they were but shadows. The Arran mountains seem like dark clouds, but the contour of the hills on the Argyllshire coast is more clearly defined. The broad Frith glows in the moon's lustre, and the lights of the various towns twinkle along the dark line of strand. Ardmore Point, in deep shadow, reaches far into the sea, and faintly visible in the distance is the great mass of Dunbarton rock. In the near foreground are the woods round Rosneath Castle, and the lamps of Row are reflected in the calm waters of the bay. Hushed is the night breeze on the solitary moor, but the cry of an owl arises from the old fir trees, and sounds strangely in keeping with the solemn stillness around. Overhead, the blue, glittering stars scintillate with gem like effulgence in the opaque, purple firmament. An hour and a spot calling for reverent contemplation, as the musing spectator views the pale picture, so delicately lambent in the wan rays of the moon.

Standing on the hill on such a peaceful evening, watching the gleaming silver ripple on the broad estuary, and the long avenues of lights shining in stillness on the opposite strand,—a belt of fire beside the dimly purple water,—the mind of the lonely stranger must respond to the impressive associations of the spot. Yon steep rising town, with many a -tall chimney pointing to the star spangled sky, is the place where the great but modest man of genius, who first guaged the gigantic power of steam, saw the light of day. He solved the problem of how to blend the two opposing forces of water and fire, and summoned into being the terrific energy of steam. The genius of Watt so regulated the mighty throbbings of the imprisoned giant within that iron cylinder, that the transmitted energy sufficed to drive the ponderous vessel through the mountainous billows of the Atlantic. At the summons of the magician's wand, the spirits which lay dormant in those antagonistic elements, brought together in auspicious union, have evolved a power far transcending the fabled Cyclops of the Grecian poet. Seated at his workshop, just across the gently heaving water, the brain of the unknown mechani- cian, solved the problem which was to add a new born motor to nature, and created novel possibilities in the scientific world whose might would be felt throughout the succeeding ages. Contrasting the puny results of the dynamics of the past century with the marvellous achievements of the modern steam engine, it seems almost as though one looked upon the feeble rushlight in some lonely midnight cell, and next morning beheld all the rising effulgence of the rolling sun in its glory, lighting up the firmament with approaching meridian splendour.

Turning round in the moon's rays, the lights of Helensburgh shine out against the opposite side of the estuary, and here comes up in imagination the humble wheelwright, whose prophetic insight into the future of steam navigation enabled him to conjure up a vision of great transatlantic steamers ploughing their way through the green and billowy ocean. Henry Bell lived for many years in Helensburgh, a man of fine inventive skill, and destined to adorn a niche in the temple of science. He patiently matured his schemes for using the infant force of the steam engine, and impelling his vessel against the solid impact of the ocean waves. Nor did he seek to enlist the favouring gale in guiding his ship over the waste of waters, the opposing blast had to yield to the overmastering strength of steam, and the mariner could face even the raging tempest with the assured hope of success. The crested Atlantic rollers would no longer daunt the aspiring traveller searching for the far-off parts of the world, and the anxious merchant could send away his argosies, freighted with the rarest products of the loom, to swell the stream of commerce on the banks of the swift rolling Ganges, or amidst the palm girt islands of the Malay Archipelago.

Where the heavy timbered, painted, galleys, with the rude warriors from the 'North Sea, slowly and cumbrously made their way up the waters of the Clyde, their carved prows and long bending oars toiling through the waves, now may be seen the mighty iron-clads, bearing aloft those guns whose discharge shakes the adamantine rocks, with self-impelled, resistless way, moving majestically to their appointed place. Their shadows fall athwart the watery channel, and they lie each one at anchor, destined, perchance, to destroy the fell usurper's power, or bear the "meteor flag " of Britain to victory in a far-off conflict, whose echoes shall one day reverberate amidst the "cloud cap'd towers" and sun-girt palaces of some hostile fortress. All these now sleeping shores, when dawn begins to steal over the mountain brow, will awake to the busy hum of toiling masses, and the whirring wheels of commerce, and how vast is the debt of gratitude which they owe to that illustrious man, whose discovery was fraught with incalculable blessings to the human race.

Down these waters had sailed, from yonder nearly isolated lofty rocky fortress, whose rounded outline is faintly indicated amidst the misty exhalations from the Vale of Leven, some of Scotland's monarchs on their voyages in quest of glory and success in love and war. Amongst them yon hapless queen, around whom gathers an environment of crime and woe, while warriors and statesmen, famed in the annals of their country, swelled the ranks of her attendants. Here, too, was wont to sail in his galleys of pleasure, reclined amidst the companions he Ioved, and who stood by him on many a field of gore, the warrior king of Scotland, who sought retirement in his declining years by the verdant banks of the smoothly flowing Leven. And up the winding Frith, in their humble sailing craft, there came from the shore of Ireland and the Western Isles, those pious and holy men bringing as their blessed evangel, "Peace on earth and goodwill towards men." A rich blending of ancient story, woven into one long drawn chain of mellowing reminiscences, over which the mind and fancy might well linger in pensive reverie.

'Tis a picture in memory distinctly defined
With the strong and imperishing colours of mind."

The never-dying interest which attaches to all that proceeded from the magic pen of Sir Walter Scott renders the latter portion of the Heart of Midlothian of special import to those who seek to connect the romantic incidents of each stirring narrative with the actual surroundings and history of the scene in which they were laid. In almost all the tales of the "Wizard of the North," his descriptions of scenery, and peculiarities of the people and territory of which he is treating, prove that he himself had gone over the ground with the view of giving graphic touches worthy of the master. But there is good ground for believing that in the pathetic tale of the hapless Effie Deans, and her noble sister Jeanie, Sir Walter trusted to memory, or to information derived at second hand. To begin with, in the story, Rosneath is throughout spoken of as an island, and many of his readers rise from the perusal of the fortunes of the Deans family, fired with the wish to inspect the beautiful isle, where so much that is of thrilling interest is concentrated. Not that Sir Walter is singular in the idea he had conceived of the insular form of iRosneath, for in old title deeds of the local families it is sometimes mentioned as the "isle," and, in former days, colloquially it was spoken of as "the island."

Most readers are familiar with the beautiful story of the Heart of Midlothian., which largely turns upon the powerful influence with the King and Queen wielded by the great chief of the Clan Campbell, the Duke of Argyll. Following the fortunes of the simple and guileless Jeanie Deans who had, after surmounting many difficulties reached London on foot, she is found in the library of his Grace, who arranges that she should have a private interview with Queen Caroline, in order that she may plead for a pardon for her sister Effie. Sir Walter thus describes the character of John Duke of Argyll and Greenwich:—"Soaring above the petty distinctions of faction, his voice was raised, whether in office or opposition, for those measures which were at once just and lenient. IIis high military talents enabled him, during the memorable year 1715, to render such services to the House of Hanover as, perhaps, were too great to be either acknowledged or repaid. He had employed, too, his utmost influence in softening the consequences of that insurrection to the unfortunate gentlemen whom a mistaken sense of loyalty had engaged in the affair, and was rewarded by the esteem and affection of his country in an uncommon degree." This powerful nobleman's influence with the Queen secured Effie's pardon, and the thread of the story is soon after transferred to Scotland, and more particularly to Rosneath. Having elicited from Jeanie in her open artless way the information as to her own life and her own simple love passages, in which the good Reuben Butler bore a part, the Duke sought to do his best to bring to fruition the hopes which the lovers had ventured to entertain in their own unsophisticated way. He also wished to discharge the debt of gratitude under which his ancestor lay to the grandfather of Reuben, who had been the means of saving his life on one occasion in the Civil 'War, and he resolved to present Jeanie's lover with the living of the Parish of Knocktarlitie, which was in his Grace's gift. Jeanie's father, "Douce Davie Deans," bad, unknown to the former, been placed by the Duke, in charge of a new farm in the Rosneath district of his ample possessions. It was therefore arranged that she should travel to Scotland, under the charge of a discreet attendant of the Argyll family, along with a somewhat timorous and extremely voluble English dairy woman, by name Mrs. Dolly Dutton. Readers of the novel know well bow the party proceeded on their journey and finally reached their destination at the Duke's residence in Dunbartonshire.

The following is the description which Sir Walter gives of the district in which the lot of the Deans family was now cast. "The islands in the Firth of Clyde," he writes, "are of exquisite, yet varied beauty. Rosneath, a smaller isle, lies much higher up the firth, and towards its western shore, near the opening of the lake called the Care-Loch, and not far from Loch Long and Loch Scant, or the Holy Loch, which wind from the mountains of the Western Highlands to join the estuary of the Clyde. In these isles the severe frost winds which tyrannise over the vegetable creation during a Scottish spring, are comparatively little felt. Accordingly the weeping-willow, the weeping-birch, and other trees of early and pendulous shoots, flourish in these favoured recesses in a degree unknown in our eastern districts. The picturesque beauty of the island of Rosneath, in particular, had such recommendations, that the Earls and Dukes of Argyll, from an early period made it their occasional residence, and had their temporary accommodation in a fishing or hunting lodge, which succeeding improvements have since transformed into a palace."

The surprise of Jeanie was great when upon reaching the landing place—which is described as "shrouded by some old low, but widespreading, oak trees, intermixed with hazel bushes"--she was clasped in the arms of her father. Another personage of far greater importance, in his own estimation, was the worshipful gentleman, the Laird of Knocktarlitie, Captain of Knockdunder, Bailie of the Lordship to the Duke of Argyll. This wrathful and imperious Celt, who reigned supreme in those regions, had made all the necessary arrangements for the induction of good Reuben Butler to the vacant charge of Knocktarlitie. "The whole party being embarked, therefore, in a large boat which the Captain called his coach and six, and attended by a smaller one termed his gig, the gallant Duncan steered straight upon the little tower of the old-fashioned church of Knocktarlitie, and the exertions of six stout rowers sped them rapidly on their voyage. As they neared the land the hills appeared to recede from them, and a little valley, formed by the descent of a small river from the mountains, evolved itself, as it were, upon their approach. The style of the country on each side was simply pastoral, and resembled in appearance and character the description of a forgotten Scottish poet. They landed in this Highland Arcadia, at the mouth of the small stream which watered the delightful and peaceable valley. Inhabitants of several descriptions came to pay their respects to the Captain of Knockdunder, a homage which he was very peremptory in exacting. Besides these there were a wilder set of parishioners, mountaineers from the upper glen and adjacent hill, who spoke Gaelic, went about armed, and wore the Highland dress. They first visited the Manse, as the parsonage is termed in Scotland. It was old, but in good repair, and stood snugly embosomed in a grove of sycamore, with a well stocked garden in front, bounded by the small river, which- was partly visible from the windows, partly concealed by the bushes, trees, and boundary hedge."

When we try to trace the resemblance between this ideal glen in which the church and manse of Knocktarlitie stood, and the same structures as they are at the Clachan of Rosneath, it is evident that the great novelist had never visited the latter scene. Rosneath Church and manse cannot be said to be in a pastoral country, there are only two small fields between them and the sea shore, and the pretty, wimpling Clachan burn, which issues from the wooded glen running tip from the cluster of old cottages until it reaches the loch on the moor from whence it takes its rise, can scarcely be dignified by the appellation of a "small river from the mountains." Tomnahara, the extreme summit of the Rosneath peninsula, is but 714 feet above the loch, and the whole ridge of high lands can scarcely be said to rise above an ordinary hill in height. The Manse is prettily situated, partially sheltered at the back by the rising ground and a strip of wood, now sadly bared of its once luxuriant growth of trees. While there are one or two beautiful glens in the peninsula, rich in ferns, full of lovely shady nooks, resounding in the long summer days with the notes of the blackbird, mavis, and cushat dove, there is no "upper glen " in which "mountaineers" of stern aspect and warlike dress once resided. The whole peninsula consists mainly of one continuous ridge, and with the exception of the level grounds in the vicinity of Rosneath Castle and policies, and the fields of the Clachan Farm, the cultivated portions are the slopes on either side rising from the Gareloch and Loch Long.

Going on to describe the farm of Auchengower, which was henceforth to be occupied by the staunch Cameronian, Deans, in lieu of his former holding at St. Leonard's Crags, Sir Walter writes as follows: "The situation was considerably higher than that of the Manse, and fronted to the west. The windows commanded an enchanting view of the little vale over which the mansion seemed to preside, the windings of the stream and the firth, with its associated lakes and romantic islands. The hills of Dunbartonshire, once possessed by the fierce clan of Macfarlanes, formed a crescent behind the valley, and far to the right were seen the dusky and more gigantic mountains of Argyllshire, with a sea-ward view of the shattered and thundersplitten peaks of Arran." There is no site on the Gareloch side of Rosneath Peninsula from which such a view could have been obtained, and if it were supposed to apply to the Kilcreggan side, then the spectator is facing the west, and has the Argyllshire mountains opposite him, while the rugged peaks of Dunbartonshire are at his back, concealed from observation by the uplands of Rosneath.

We then come to the strange secret interview which Jeanie had with her unfortunate and wayward sister, Effie—now the lawful wife of the reckless and abandoned Sir George Staunton, formerly known as Robertson, who had so long set the authorities of the law at defiance. It was a lovely night, the pale moon shedding soft radiance, and "flinging a trembling reflection on the broad and glittering waves. The fine scene of headlands, and capes, and bays, around them, with the broad blue chain of mountains, were dimly visible in the moonlight; while every dash of the oars made the waters glance and sparkle with the brilliant phenomenon called the sea-fire." Jeanie springs lightly ashore at the "usual landing place, at a quarter of a mile's distance from the Lodge, and although the tide did not admit of the large boat coming quite close to the jetty of loose stones which served as a pier." The sisters have an affectionate but very hurried interview, interrupted by the sudden apparition of Effie's wild husband, now handsomely dressed, and with the assured mien of a person of rank. Ere long Effie "tore herself from her sister's arms, rejoined her husband—they plunged into the copsewood, and she saw them no more." Presently she heard the distant sound of oars, "and a skiff was seen on the Firth, pulling swiftly towards the small smuggling sloop which lay in the offing."

Years roll on after the happy union of Jeanie and Reuben Butler, which was graced by the puissant presence of the Captain of Knockdunder, who was full of wrath that David Deans had rigidly stood out against the "iniquities of pipes, fiddles, and promiscuous dancing." The captain had many disputations with old David, whose notions of politics and church government were stigmatised by the Duke's irascible and bibulous henchman as "nonsense, whilk it is not worth while of a shentleman to knock out of an auld silly head, either by force of reason or otherwise." The patron and friend of the Butlers, John, Duke of Argyll and Greenwich, died in the year 1743, universally lamented, and admitted to be a true friend of his country, and one who would never stoop to any act of undue subserviency to court royal favour. In time the stern, worthy, David Deans also was gathered to his fathers, expiring in the arms of his affectionate daughter, after earnest prayers for the welfare of the noble house of Argyll, and Duncan of Knockdunder, when his own immediate family circle had been remembered at the Throne of Grace.

Then came the last eventful visit of poor Effie, now Lady Staunton, who came to see her sister, and for a short time partook of the hospitalities of the manse. During this sojourn the remarkable interview took place, in a wild glen a few miles from Reuben Butler's home, between Effie and her unhappy boy, who, after various strange adventures, had been sold to a lawless ruffian, by name Donacha Dhu, a sort of ferocious freebooter, well known to the Captain of Knockdunder. The boy was little removed from a mere savage, and the place where he dwelt was known as "The Whistler's Glen," a terrible and wild scene of tangled desolation. The place where this young savage found his lair is thus described:—"A single shoot carried a considerable stream over the face of a black rock, which contrasted strongly in colour with the white foam of the cascade, and at the depth of about twenty feet another rock interrupted the view of the bottom of the fall. The water, wheeling out far beneath, swept round the crag, which thus bounded their view, and tumbled down the rocky glen in a torrent of foam." At length Lady Staunton and Jeanie's two boys "came full in front of the fall, which here had a most tremendous aspect, boiling, roaring, and thundering with unceasing din into a black cauldron, a hundred feet at least below them, which resembled the crater of a volcano."

There is no fall of water or defile in Rosneath district to which this description would be at all applicable, but on the Row side of the Gareloch, not far from the old mansion of Ardenconnel, there is what is known as the "Whistler's Glen." In this glen there are one or two considerable falls of water, and in some parts its tangled gorge might be said to resemble the aspect of the defile where Effie encountered her boy. Then there comes the last eventful scene in the tale, when Effie's husband and Reuben Butler are being rowed to Rosneath in an open boat, and are in danger of being caught by a gathering storm. "They approached the little cove, which, concealed behind crags, and defended on every point by shallows and sunken rocks, could scarce be discovered or approached except by those intimate with the navigation." Soon after the Captain of Knockdunder and his followers, who had been scouring the close, entangled wood and little glen near Caird's Cove in their search for Donacha and the smugglers, heard a shot in the vicinity of the spot where Staunton and Reuben Butler effected their landing. In the skirmish which ensued, poor Effie's dissolute husband received his death-wound, and the novel is brought to a close with the account of Effie's return for a season to the vortex of London society, in which she had shone for a brief period, and her eventual retirement to the seclusion of a convent on the Continent, where she died.

Some of the natives of Rosneath who are proud of the great "Wizard of the North" selecting their territory for the closing scenes of his fine romance, are inclined to place "Caird's Cove" below some steep rocks not far from the pier at Cove on Loch Long. The commanding rock known as Knockderry, further along the loch side, has been named by others as the site of the dwelling occupied by the redoubtable Captain of Knockdunder. Another site has been assigned to it on the grassy plateau opposite the range of buildings near Rosneath Castle, known as the Parkhead, and an old house which was pulled down over forty years ago, may have once sheltered the distinguished representative of the might and privileges of Mac Chaillan Mor.


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