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Scotland as it was and as it is
Chapter VII - Before the Dawn


VERY nearly a century and a half-144 years— had now elapsed since the Union of the Crowns, and the condition of Scotland, as compared with its condition at that time, presented at least one curious parallel, and one not less striking contrast. In 1603 the Cateran of the Highland Glens was the fellow and the counterpart of the Moss Trooper of the Border Dales. Both were the children of the Clan system—the product of its degeneration and decay. The men who swarmed from the Hills falling into the sources of the Leven, the Earn, the Tay, the Dee, the Spey, and the Beauly Firth, led substantially the same life as those who mustered in the wider valleys or on the gentler slopes which shed their waters into the Solway and the Tweed. The Scoto-Saxon and the Celtic Clans were then in the same stage of progress. The habits of both races had been equally uncivilised and destructive. But now the armed horseman of the Border had not only disappeared, but had been long almost forgotten. When one only of these facts absorbed attention, and when the other had fallen out of mind—when the Cateran was still a terror, and the Moss Trooper had become a mere tradition—it was only natural that the causes which had been common to both should be popularly confounded and confused. Only the calmer spirits, trained in the knowledge of History and of Law, appreciated those causes, and perceived the remedies which could alone prevail over them, in the one case, as they had already prevailed over them, in the other. But in the midst of the anger which swelled around the last Jacobite Rebellion, there were some writers of the time who saw clearly that as regarded the dangers of Clanship the new Statutes of 1747 could only have an indirect effect. One of these writers pointed out that in all the Border Counties Clanship had once been as powerful and as destructive to industry as it still appeared to be in any part of the Celtic Highlands. He urged that after the Union of the Crowns, without any meddling with the Heritable Jurisdictions of the great Landowners of the Lowlands, and without any modification of the Feudal "casualties," those evils of Clanship had been eradicated in the Southern Highlands so completely "that civility, good order, and industry supervened among them, and Clanship wore off by degrees, and at last totally ceased, so that no such thing has been known in those parts within the memory of man."

Although this phrase, "the memory of man," has not a meaning which is precise, yet it has a meaning which is of measurable scope. It must indicate a period of more than a century, seeing that every generation has inherited the memory of its fathers for at least that period of time. This, then, would take us back to 1647, since which it was asserted as a matter of notoriety that no memory remained of the Border Clans—a date only forty-four years after the Union of the Crowns. Within that short period, then, representing little more than a single generation, the whole system must have been broken up, extinguished, and almost forgotten. How had this great change been so speedily effected? Of the universal prevalence of Clanship in the Southern Counties of Scotland up to the Union, and of all the worst habits of life inseparable from it, there can be no doubt whatever. We have the detailed evidence of the Parliament of Scotland in 1587, only sixteen years before, and of many a Tale and Ballad which illustrates that evidence in forms more picturesque and equally authentic. Sir Walter Scott, the latest and most illustrious Minstrel of the Borders, who himself belonged to one of the most powerful of the Southern Clans, has said of his native districts that "for a long series of centuries the hands of rapine were never folded in inactivity, nor the sword of violence returned to its scabbard." The truth is, that his account represents a condition of society more permanently bad than had prevailed in any portion of the Highlands. All down the Eastern Coasts of Scotland, indeed, there had always been a broad belt of low country which was the seat of industry and of peace. But the whole area embraced by the Middle and the Western Marches had been nothing but the strongholds of fighting and marauding Clans. Scott tells us that until after the Union, land in those regions had hardly ever been sufficiently cultivated to afford any rent at all. In one respect only had an advance been made beyond the northern portions of the Kingdom. The great Landowners of the Southern Counties had long ago discovered that sheep could graze upon their mountains as well as cattle upon the lower grounds; and it is recorded of James V. that he had a flock of 10,000 of these animals in the Forest of Ettrick alone. But the bulk of the people raised no crops sufficient to feed themselves, far less to afford a surplus for the purposes of exchange. Yet, as there was a large population, it lived, and could only live on the plunder of its neighbours.

This is the only explanation—and even this is hardly sufficient—of the formidable levies which the Border Chiefs seem always to have been able to command in frays, forays, and sometimes in audacious enterprises against the Crown. Not seldom these levies were made so suddenly and so secretly, that the power of collecting them indicates an abundance of population far greater than the produce of their own country could habitually sustain. James vi. himself, with all his Parliament, had suddenly found himself, when a boy, in the hands of the "Bold Buccleuch," who in the year 1571 made a dash at Stirling with 300 infantry and 200 horsemen.' But this was a mere squadron of the great force which could be called forth when occasion required a real "Summoning of the Array." We are told that "at the blaze of their beacon-fires the Borderers could assemble 10,000 horsemen in the course of a single day."' How came such long ancestral habits to be so suddenly exchanged for others? How came this great military population to be disposed of in favour of the ploughman and the farmer? It had to be done,—for the old life could be led no longer. He whom the Borderers had called in contempt the King of Fife and of the Lothians, had become King of Great Britain and Ireland. The "Marches" and the "Borders" had disappeared, and now there was only one United Kingdom, with a strong Government surrounding on all sides the Southern Clans.

There were but two ways of meeting such a complete revolution in the facts of life. One remedy was sudden and temporary, but was a necessary preliminary to another remedy which would be gradual and permanent. That portion of the population which could not adapt itself to the new life—and this was a large portion—must go elsewhere. The other remedy—that which must be more slow and more gradual—would spring up of itself, out of the new motives which were inseparable from the new conditions. All other "measures" must be weak or futile. Such measures, however, were tried; for men are slow to recognise or understand what the real influences are which the human Will steadily obeys. Legislative measures similar to those which were tried against the Highlanders in 1747, prohibiting their dress, and the carrying of their arms, had been tried against the Borderers— with this difference only, that as their accoutrements and equipments were different, the things aimed at were not the same. For the most part, the Border Clans were horsemen, and not foot soldiers. With wonderful ingenuity they had trained their horses to go upon morasses by throwing themselves down on their bellies and their houghs, and thus gaining an artificial breadth of support, to cross, by short floundering leaps, ground in which ordinary horses were instantly bogged. Accordingly, one of the measures aimed against the Borderers was a prohibition against the possession of horses above the size of ponies. But the real remedies were begun when the native Chiefs and Landowners recruited a Legion of men who, having known no other life than fighting, were incapable of industry, and were glad to offer the service of their lances to countries which were as glad to have them. This Legion repaired to Holland, and was absorbed in the wars of the Low Country.' One whole Clan of Grmes, specially intractable, were deported to Ireland, where they did, and where their descendants are now doubtless doing, well.

But the great remedy—the permanent remedy —was the immediate opening up of the ordinary channels of peaceful industry. This was the final and irresistible response to the old appeal from the power of Chiefs to the power of Ownership. The effect was immediate,—such as might be produced by the sudden rising of a new atmosphere, and of a new climate upon the vegetation of the world. The proper seeds were all there—for these are everywhere stored in the nature of Man, and in the nature of his more civilised desires. From the moment peace and security were established, Land-owners began to value their estates as they had never valued them before. They now valued them not for the precipitous ravines,—the impenetrable thickets,—the treacherous morasses,—on the edges of which they could build castles, or in which they could hide cattle, or behind which they could retreat from a pursuing enemy. They valued them for the corn they could produce, and for the share of it which was due to those to whom the cultivator owed his tenure,—this being his only right of exclusive occupation. So immediate was this effect that within three or four years of the Union proprietors began to look closely over their own private "marches," and to claim from each other portions of territory which, before, it had been rather a burden to defend.' This was all that was required. No special legislation was needed. Old motives had been killed. New motives had taken possession of. Society. There must have been a great exodus from the Dales of the old fighting classes. And more important still, after this exodus had been accomplished, there was a free current of migration to and from the surrounding districts of the oldest Scottish civilisation. There was no barrier of race. There was no barrier of language. The population came and went as agriculture gradually developed, and as the mutual interests of men led them to bargain with each other for what each could give towards the profitable occupation and cultivation of the soil. Within less than half a century, as we have seen, the Moss Trooper cavalry had been forgotten, and the grazier and the farmer reigned in their stead.

And now let us turn from the parallel to the contrast. The Union of the Crowns was a great epoch in the Celtic Highlands, as well as in the Marches of the Border. It closed almost completely the ages of internal war. One of the last ferocious battles of the Clans, the famous and bloody fight between the Macgregors and Colquhouns in Glen Fruin, was fought in 1603. Thenceforward bloodshed had nearly ceased. But there was no exodus from the Highlands of the fighting classes as there was from the Borders, neither was there any, continuous outflow and inflow between the Celtic and the Scottish populations, to and from their respective districts, like to that which had arisen on the Borders. More impassable than the mountain barriers, there still remained between the Highlanders and the Lowlanders the antipathies of race, and the differences of language. From all this the fact arose that the Highland Caterans lived on and multiplied in their glens, leading to a very large extent, as they could only lead, a life of plunder. Instead of becoming a thing of the past within little more than a single generation, as the Clans of the Border had become, they continued, on the contrary, to be a living and a very, terrible reality for more than a century and a half. Although, during this time, there was little or no advance in agriculture, there was a cessation of deaths in battle, and it is certain that population within the Highland line was pressing more and more closely upon the limits of subsistence. It could not be otherwise. Many parts of Scotland which are now among the richest, were then miserably poor. Thirty years after the Union, in Charles the First's Parliament of 1633, a Bill was brought in providing "that all impositions for restraining the inbringing of victual may be discharged," and this was desired upon the ground that the "whole Sheriffdoms of Dumbarton, Renfrew, Argyll, Ayr, Wigtown, Nithsdale, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, and Annandale are not able to entertain themselves in the most plentiful years that ever fell out without supply from foreign parts." If this was true at that time of comparatively fertile districts of the Lowland country, it must have been still more true of all the wilder portions of the Highlands. The land was a land capable of yielding adequate means of support, even to a limited number, only as a return to capital, industry, and skill. The life was a life in which industry was impossible, and in which both capital and agricultural skill were unattainable and known. Accordingly one eminent authority has said of the old inhabitants of the Highlands that "they were always on the verge of famine, and every few years suffering the horrors of actual starvation."

It is curious how completely this fact is now forgotten or ignored. In part this forgetfulness arises out of one of the most blessed laws of nature —that the memory of pain is transient, whilst the memories of pleasure are enduring. Especially would this be true of a highly imaginative people, feeding on Legend, and having no literature of its own except the literature of Song. There is no poetic or inspiring element in the fight with Famine. Yet the moment we examine in detail the historical documents of greatest value, which are Family Papers and the records of Parliament, we find abundant evidence of the extreme poverty of Scotland and of her people. From century to century the same complaint is repeated, and generally in tones which imply not so much any sudden scarcity from adverse seasons, as a standing deficiency of food for the adequate support of the population. In the reign of James iii., in 1476, this complaint is so worded as to declare expressly that Scotland was then dependent on the Foreigner for its living. "Because," says this Statute, "Victuals are right scant within the country, and the most supportation that the Realm has is by strangers of diverse nations that bring victuals." Five years later, in 1483, the continued pressure of this condition of things opened the eyes of the Legislature to a truth as affecting the Foreign Importer, to which they continued curiously blind as affecting equally the Home Producer,—the truth, namely, that any attempt to regulate the price of imported victuals by law could only do harm, by driving away the Foreigner on whom so much depended. An Act of that year therefore provided that in order to induce Foreigners to come for the benefit of the King's lieges, they should enjoy the benefit of free bargains, and that "no price be set upon their goods, except by buying and selling with their own consent." The span of a single human life had not yet elapsed, when Parliament returned to the subject in a yet more serious mood. It had in the meantime been doing its best to discourage production by arbitrary limitations on price. But now it did more in the same direction by putting arbitrary limits on consumption. Industry is sometimes recouped for a small price, by extensive custom. But this, too, was to be checked. The nation had recourse to a Sumptuary Law. It treated itself as if it were a ship at sea, with only a limited store of food which could not be increased, but which might be made to serve longer by everybody on board being put on rations. The idea was embodied in a law with grotesque inconsistencies. It denounced excess in eating as "voluptuosity." But it did not put all men on equal fare. It established a scale corresponding to men's rank in life. The consequence was, the highest Ministers of the Christian Church were put highest on the scale of eating, and therefore lowest on the scale of self-denial. Archbishops, Bishops, and the highest ranks of the Peerage were allowed a maximum of eight dishes, whilst the scale descended, through the various degrees of station and wealth, to a maximum of three. To avoid evasion it was specified that each "dish" must contain "one kind of meat" only.' Illogical and childish as this Statute must appear to us now, I am not sure that it is more childish than many theories prevalent in our own time upon the subject of "luxury." There is no rational, or indeed intelligible definition of this word which does not include within its meaning all that exceeds the bare necessities of life. The food of a convict—the apparel of a convict— the lodging of a convict—is the standard with which we must begin. All the comforts and conveniences of life—all that refines and elevates the course and the enjoyment of it—belongs to the class of luxuries, and the Industries which are employed in the production of them are the profitable employments of the people. These Industries cannot be separated from the consumption of their products. "Voluptuosity" must be marked off by a higher and more spiritual touch than the coarse one of Parliamentary enactments, or even of intellectual definitions. The characteristics of it can only be recognised by those moral faculties which establish contact between the Individual, with all his specialities of circumstance, and the duty he owes to the Giver of every good and every perfect gift. We enter here, however, upon other fields of discussion, from which we must retire again.

The interest of this Statute for our present purpose lies in its remarkable preamble: " Having respect to the great and exorbitant dearth risen in this Realm of victuals and other stuff for the sustentation of mankind, and daily increasing." It is a common but erroneous notion that the Highlanders, like the inhabitants of other wild countries, had at least always an abundant supply of game. But neither was this source extensively available. The country swarmed with Foxes, Eagles, Hawks, and, at an earlier period, as we have seen, with Wolves. These animals effectually prevented any abundance of game. Even the Deer being often wholly unprotected, killed out of season, driven about and allowed no rest, were reduced extremely in number, and in the Seventeenth Century were found only in the highest and least accessible mountains of the country.' When we remember that this language was used by men living in the richest portions of the country, in or near which there was free access to the Foreign Merchant, we can form some idea of the much greater dearth which must have prevailed elsewhere. These repeated Statutes during several centuries indicate beyond all doubt the great poverty of the nation, and the deep distress which must have been frequent, if not habitual, among the poorer classes, in districts where no imports could ever penetrate.

This state of things is not astonishing. The only matter of astonishment is how any considerable population could have lived at all. Let us remember, in the first place, that the food which now for several generations has been the principal food of all poor agricultural populations, was not then available. There were no potatoes. Let us remember, in the second place, that the climate is a wet one, and that artificial drainage was absolutely unknown. Let us remember, in the third place, that although potatoes will grow on damp and even wet soils, barley and oats will not grow except on land which is comparatively dry. Let us remember, in the fourth place, that in a mountainous country, with a wet climate and no artificial drainage, the best land in the bottoms of the valleys must have been very wet, and that even the sides of the hills were often covered with a boggy and spongy soil. It follows from all these considerations that corn could only be raised on those spots and portions of land which were dry by natural drainage. Sometimes these may have been in the bottoms of the valleys where the soil happened to be light and shingly, but more often they were on the steepest sides of the hills, on the banks of streams, and among the naturally dry and even stony knolls. Accordingly nothing is more corn- 'non in the Highlands than to see old marks of cultivation upon land so high and so steep, that no farmer in his senses would now consider it as arable at all. When these marks catch the eye of the stranger, full of sentiment, but deficient in knowledge, he looks upon them, and quotes them as the melancholy proofs of ancient and abandoned industry, of the decay of agriculture, in short of a stagnant or declining state. Whereas, in truth, these are the most sure and certain indications of the low and rude condition of agriculture in former times. They prove that the better lands which are now drained and cleared and ploughed, must have been then under swamp and tangled wood. When again we remember that such dry spots and patches of land as were then capable of bearing corn, were used for that purpose year after year; when we remember that there was no such a thing known as a rotation of crops, since all the green varieties were wanting; when we consider further, that even the rudiments of a system of manuring land were also unknown, it is impossible to be surprised that the population of the Highlands was exposed to frequent and severe famines, and we may well even wonder how any considerable population was maintained at all.

Sir Walter Scott, in one of the most powerful of his immortal Tales, the novel of Rob Roy, has put into the mouth of Bailie Jarvie an accurate description of the over-population of the Highlands, as compared with the actual resources of the country in the time of that noted Cateran, who is the hero of the story: "The military array of this Hieland country, were a' the men-folk between aughteen and fifty-six brought out that could bear arms, couldna come weel short of fifty-seven thousand and five hundred men. Now, sir, it's a sad and awfu' truth, that there is neither wark, nor the very fashion nor appearance of wark, for the tae half of thae puir creatures; that is to say, that the agriculture, the pasturage, the fisheries, and every species of honest industry about the country, can- not employ the one moiety of the population, let them work as lazily as they like, and they do work as if a plough or a spade burned their fingers. Aweel, sir, this moiety of unemployed bodies amounting to one hundred and fifteen thousand souls, whereof there may be twenty-eight thousand seven hundred able-bodied gillies fit to bear arms, and that do bear arms, and will touch or look at nae honest means of livelihood even if they could get it —which, lack-a-day! they cannot. . . . And mair especially mony hundreds o' them come down to the borders of the low country, where there's gear to grip, and live by stealing, reiving, lifting cows, and the like depredations—a thing deplorable in ony Christian country, the mair especially that they take a pride in it,' etc. In this passage Scott did not speak at random. In an article contributed to the Quarterly Review in January 1816,2 we have his picture of the historical facts embodied in Rob Roy. In that paper he pointed out that the most remarkable fact connected with the Highlands about a hundred years before he wrote, was the rapid increase of the population, which, pent up within narrow and unfertile valleys, could neither extend itself towards the mountains, on account of hostile Clans, nor towards the Lowlands, because the civilised country, though unable to prevent occasional depredations, was always too powerful to admit of any permanent settlement being gained upon the plains by the mountaineers. But limited to its own valley, each Clan increased in numbers in a degree far beyond proportion to the means of supporting them. Each little farm was, by the tenant who cultivated it, divided and sub-divided among his children and grandchildren, until the number of human beings to be maintained far exceeded that for whom, by any mode of culture, the space of ground could supply even the poorest nourishment. In illustration of this general description, Sir Walter particularises the rugged district, now so well known to tourists, between Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond, in the neighbourhood of Inversnaid, where 150 families were living upon ground which did not pay 90 a year of rent, or in other words, where each family on an average rented land at twelve shillings a year as their sole source of livelihood.

It is well to have this prosaic testimony to a memorable economic fact, not from any cold-blooded Statistician, but from the greatest Poet of History that has ever adorned the literature of any country. The only error that can be detected in this picture drawn by Sir Walter Scott is, that in some ways it is probably an under-statement rather than any over-statement of the case. The terrible and then increasing disproportion between the old Celtic population and their legitimate means of subsistence, is as powerfully as it is accurately expressed. But the contrast between these two quantities becomes all the more indicative of the extreme unproductiveness of the country, arising out of the ignorant agriculture and idleness of the people, when we discover that the actual amount of the population which was so poor, and which was driven to such expedients for support, was in all probability a much smaller amount than the figures indicated by Sir Walter. The fighting power exhibited in the short but dashing Rebellions of 1715 and of 1745 has led very generally to an estimate of the number of fighting men turned out by the Highlanders, which is almost certainly exaggerated. It will surprise many to be told that the greatest number of men in arms against the Government in the Rebellion of 1745, from the beginning to the end of it, did not exceed 11,000 men. In 1715 the Earl of Mar had entered Stirling with only 5000, and the doubling of his force at the Battle of Sheriffmuir was due to Irish reinforcements. Of course it is to be remembered that some of the most powerful Clans were loyal to the Government, so that the Rebel forces never represented the full power of the Highland population. Some of them remained neutral. Robert Macgregor, the famous "Rob Roy," hung upon the outskirts of this battle at Sheriffinuir with a contingent, which took no part in the engagement—its astute leader being a waiter on Providence and a watcher of the tide. This broad fact, however, remains undoubted, that although many great Nobles and Proprietors in the Lowlands joined in the Rebellion of 1745, the whole military force which supported the Pretender was entirely raised by the Highland Proprietors, although at least one-half the value of the whole Estates afterwards forfeited belonged to the Lowland Rebels. The explanation, of this is obvious. It was in the Highlands alone that a large surplus population survived over and above those whose time was occupied with any industrial pursuits, and over and above the number which could be supported by them. In the Lowlands the old military population had disappeared,—having been dispersed from their original seats, and absorbed into the ranks of peaceful industry,—some of them in the country, some of them in connection with the rising commerce of the Towns.

At last one outlet was opened for the Highlanders which had been opened for the Border Clans more than a hundred years before—the outlet, namely, of lawful military service. It is constantly repeated that the idea of enlisting Highland Regiments was due to the genius of the elder Pitt, the Earl of Chatham, when he came into power in December 1756, and undertook the conduct of the war with France in America and in Europe This, however, is a mistake. That great man has enough of glory without ascribing to him the merit of a suggestion which unquestionably came from two native Scotchmen, who were also native Highlanders. There is conclusive evidence that the policy of enlisting Highlanders, as such, in the regular military service of the Crown, was due to the common counsels of these two intimate and hereditary friends, Archibald, third Duke of Argyll, better known as Earl of Islay, and Duncan Forbes of Culloden. Indeed, a beginning had been made at a still earlier date. No less than twenty-seven years before the famous ministry of Pitt, this policy had been inaugurated, so far as regarded the purposes of a local Militia for keeping the peace of the Highlands, by the formation in 1730 of the six Independent Compnies which, from the contrast of their dark clothing with the red uniform of the Army, came to be known as the Black Watch. These six separate Companies, numbering -in all 510 men, were constituted as closely as possible on the same system as that which had long been the system of the Clans. The officers were taken from the loyal Clans, the Campbells, Grants, Munros, etc., but the men were recruited from all Highlanders who would enlist. The "Broken Men" of the Highlands were as willing to join these Companies as they had always been to join any powerful Chief. These bodies of men were in the strictest sense of the word new Clans, formed precisely as any other Clan might have been begun, in the palmy days of Celtic Feudalism.' We know the actual constitution of at least one of the Jacobite Clans engaged in the Rebellion of 1745, and we see that essentially it was a mere military body with only the flavour of family or blood connection arising out of relationship between the officers. It was the contingent which represented the Stewarts of Appin. In this gallant corps, numbering upwards of 300 men, there were only six families who were genuine inheritors of the name and blood of Stewart. Of the killed and wounded in all the battles of the campaign, only 47 belonged to them, whilst 109 belonged to "Macs" of almost every sort and kind existing in the Highlands. Yet nothing could exceed the courage and fidelity of the men to their leaders. They contributed much to the defeat of Sir John Cope at Prestonpans, and to the rout of General Hawley at Falkirk. At Culloden they broke the Royal regiment opposed to them, until it was rallied behind supports.

The Statesmen who in 1730 first enrolled the original Companies of the Black Watch upon exactly the same principle, must have been native Scotch- men, knowing intimately the habits of the people whom these companies were formed at once to watch, to employ, and to keep in order. Between 1730 and 1738 they seem to have exercised an excellent effect upon the Highlands, and it was perhaps due to them that the Rebellion of 1745 was not far more formidable even than it actually proved to be. In the last of these years-1738—the same year in which Culloden gave such wise advice for the agricultural settlement of the population on his friend's Hebridean estates,—he drew up a paper recommending an extension of the policy of enlisting Highlanders in the regular Army.' Through Lord Islay it was laid before Sir Robert Walpole, who approved and sanctioned the idea. Although this scheme was not immediately carried into effect on any great scale, yet a beginning was at once made, for it must have been in consequence of the advice of Islay and Culloden that in the following year, 1739, the Independent Companies of the Black Watch were formed into a Regiment —the famous "Forty-Second." The Letters of Service for the formation of this Regiment, dated October 25, 1739, directed that the corps should be "raised in the Highlands," the men to be natives of that country, and none other to be taken.

The steps by which this famous body of men passed from mere Companies, representing the Clan organisation, into regular Regiments of the British Army are curious, and some of them are painful. The original Companies were raised strictly for local service among the mountains. They were scattered over the Highlands, but principally stationed along the line of the Great Glen from which, on either side, they could keep. their watch and maintain the law. When they were "regimented" the men did not clearly understand the change from local to general service, although the "Letters of Service" distinctly stated that the Regiment was to take its place in the Royal Army, "according to the establishment thereof." When it was marched to London in 1743, and Jacobite agents told them they might be sent to America, there was—not a mutiny—but a wholesale desertion. Following the frequent example of their ancestors, they retreated in a body from London, about May 16 in that year, and tried to regain the Highlands by marching through the centre of England. Surrounded and obliged to surrender their arms, when they had got as far as Oundle in Northamptonshire, they were soon re- stored to order, and transferred to Flanders to serve in the never-ending wars waged upon that great battlefield of Europe. There, during the two years 1743 and 1744, they won golden opinions by their. civility, trustworthiness, and conduct; and there, in 1745, at the bloody and disastrous fight of Fontenoy, the Highlanders established their renown, first by their dash during the battle, and then by their discipline and courage at the most difficult and dangerous post of honour, that of covering the rear of an army in retreat.

Not indeed even then for the first time had the soldiers of Scotland and of the Highlands become known to the Continental States. For many hundred years they had been honoured in France, and during the Seventeenth Century they had borne a distinguished part in the wars of the Low Country. In the great Civil War at home between Charles i. and the Parliamentary Forces, the Highlanders had been called on for a contingent, and the M'Leods of Skye, whose chiefs were zealous Royalists, had lost in the war, and especially at Worcester, so many men that, by the general consent of the Northern Clans, it was agreed that they should have a respite from military service till their numbers should increase.' Nevertheless the conduct of the Black Watch, as one of the regular Regiments of the British Army at Fontenoy, attracted the universal notice of the world. And this was still twelve years before the measure commonly ascribed to Pitt. So far, indeed, was he from having any merit in this matter, that so late as 1744 he was denouncing on principle any additions to a standing army, and declaring that "the man who solely depends upon arms for bread can never be a good subject, especially in a free country." 1 It is clear, therefore, that the honour of this measure is an honour to be ascribed to the Statesmen who were then at the head of affairs in Scotland. Moreover, in the legislation of 1747, the Act which forbade the use of the Highland dress, specially excepted that use as a regimental uniform. This clearly indicated not a temporary or accidental expedient, but a permanent policy. Accordingly the Forty-Second was employed on all kinds of service, both at home, in Ireland, and abroad, during the eleven years between the battle of Fontenoy and its embarkation for Canada in 1756. Not even the first idea of using Highlanders for the reinforcement of the Army in America can be justly ascribed to the initiative of Pitt. The Forty-Second had been under orders for Canada, and had actually embarked in 1748, when they were accidentally driven back by storms. But the Forty-Second formed part of the Force sent out under General Abercromby in 1756, and which landed at New York in June of that year.' The Ministry of Pitt was not formed till the following month of December, so that the policy of employing Highland Regiments in the struggle with France for supremacy in the New World, cannot possibly be ascribed to him.

The scheme of adding largely to the Highland element in the regular army by the addition of two new Regiments of 1200 men each, and of sending them out to America, seems to have been renewed by Archibald, Duke of Argyll, on the same principle of Clan enlistment which had been found so successful in the case of the Black Watch. The only merit due to Pitt in this matter, was that when he came into power in December 1756, at a time marked by great national depression and disaster, having himself previously denounced the use of Hanoverian troops, he rose above all his former prejudices about "Standing Armies," and directed the immediate execution of the scheme. The truth is, that the defeat of Fontenoy and the Jacobite Rebellion happening in the same year, had put an end to the nonsense of political tradition on this subject. Pitt had now entered upon a great war, and he was almost driven by necessity, in January 1757, to resort still more largely to that recruiting ground of a fighting race in the Highlands, the value of which had been tested on the most famous fields of Europe, and had then a1rady come to be universally recognised. During the rest of the century, and during the next century down to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, this recruiting ground was more and more largely drawn upon—so that between 1740 and 1815 no less than fifty Battalions had been raised mainly from the Highlands, irrespective of smaller corps, and many "Fencible" or Militia Regiments' besides.

The effects of this great opening of military service upon the population of the Highlands were very great, both directly and indirectly. The indirect effects cannot be measured by the mere diminution of numbers from the casualties of war. These were never excessive; indeed they may be said to have been trifling compared with those accompanying the murderous conflicts of our own day, in which arms of precision, and of enormous range, mow down men as the ears of corn fall before the reaping-knives. Fontenoy was reckoned a bloody battle at the time, and the severest fighting fell to the lot of the Black Watch; yet they lost in killed only 30 men, with 86 wounded. Fontenoy was described by an officer concerned in both actions as "nothing" to the disastrous fight against the French and Indians at Ticonderoga in 1758, when the Highlanders encountered the brave Montcalm,' and when their killed numbered 297, and the wounded 306. This was more than one-half the whole Regiment. During the remaining service of this splendid corps, from its embodiment in 1740 to the Peace of 1815—a period of seventy-five years—in all the wars in which it was engaged, in Flanders, Canada, America, the Peninsula, and Waterloo—its total losses in killed only came to 778 men (rank and file), and 2291 wounded. The proportion of officers killed and 'wounded was immensely greater. At this rate of loss, taking even the whole of the Regiments which came to be recruited, chiefly but no longer exclusively, from the Highlands, the drain upon the population was not very heavy, and probably much less than would have arisen from such intertribal wars and devastations as those which marked the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries.

But the indirect effect of the Highland Regiments was enormous. Alen from every part of the Highlands became acquainted with other regions of the world—with higher standards and modes of living,—with other pursuits than breeding a few half-starved cattle, and raising a few bolls of poor Oats and Bear. They resumed that foremost rank in the military annals of their country which they had not held since the days of Bannockburn and Byland. In particular, they became familiar, during the war in Canada and in the American Colonies, with those "Plantations "which sounded so dreadful in the ears of the Forty-Second when they first heard of them, that the men rushed off in a panic to regain their hills. They had now the opportunity of seeing the glorious lands which are drained by the St. Lawrence and the Hudson. Allotments in the Province of New York to the amount of 2000 acres each were given by the Government to such officers as had occasion to leave the Service. Thus so early as 1765 the American Plantations had become a home both to Highland gentlemen and to Highland soldiers. Not a few of them retired from the Army and settled there, and those who came home recounted round the peat fires of Mall, Skye, the Lewis, and of all the glens of the mainland, the adventures they had met with in the Forests of the Mohawk, of Lakes George and Champlain, and beside the broad waters of Ontario. The love of adventure and the love of fighting all over the world, were incitements thus brought into competition with the rival love of idleness at home. And as the possibility of fighting had come to an end there, whilst the necessity of industry grew more imperative, even old habits, so powerful with all primitive races, became less and less competent to counteract the attractions of the New World.

Powerful as the external influences were which thus came into operation, their action was rendered still more powerful by some new internal causes which about the same time began to crowd the people inconveniently at home. These new causes did not arise from political events of any kind. They arose especially from the concurrence of some discoveries, very different in kind, but all belonging to that class of agencies which often tell on the progress of the world and on the destiny of nations, far more deeply than the valour of soldiers, or the policy of statesmen. The fields of Nature are very wide fields, and of boundless fertility to those who walk on them with an eye to see, and a mind to question. Every now and then, from one or more of her vast domains, there is a rush of new Products, or of new Inventions. Then, suddenly, within perhaps the space of a few years, the Human Family finds itself "endowed with new mercies," and the whole conditions of life are changed over large areas of the world. Such a time, undoubtedly, was the latter half of the Eighteenth Century. Among many others there were in particular Three discoveries, during those fifty years, two of which told upon the whole of Europe, and one of which told especially upon the poorest population of the Highlands. Let as stop for a moment to look at these discoveries, for a whole volume of philosophy belongs to each.

In the dim and far-distant East,—in centuries as remote from ours as the country or the race,—more than a thousand years before the Christian era,—one of those terrible diseases had arisen which belong to the class of Plagues. So sweeping, so fatal, and at the same time so loathsome was it that we might almost suppose King David must have alluded to it when he sang of deliverance from the noisome pestilence." Yet there is reason to believe that the mysterious isolation of that curious people the Chinese, amongst whom it originated, kept the great nations of Western Asia uncontaminated for hundreds of years later than the latest days of the Jewish Monarchy. The Jews did indeed profit from the commerce of the East. The imagery of their literature is full of allusion to its products, and to the love they had for the employment of them. But neither the "Ivory Palaces" which "made them glad," nor the "Apes and Peacocks" which ministered to their amusement, or to their sense of gorgeous colour, indicate any access to countries farther east than Hindostan. It was not, apparently, until the last quarter of the Sixth Century of the Christian era that Persian merchants brought the Smallpox from the far East into Arabian ports. But this was in 572—the very year of the birth of Mahomet. And so it happened that this great scourge was planted in the Arabian Peninsula at the very time when, in the course of a few years, it could not fail to spread into all the regions which were soon to be penetrated by the great Conqueror who had just been born. The basin of the Mediterranean Sea, girdled as it was by all that remained of the oldest civilisations of the world, could not be a barrier, but became rather a channel and a road. The Moors took this new Pest with them when they crossed into Europe, and established their short but brilliant culture in the Palaces of Seville, Cordova, and Granada. Again, when they passed the Pyrenees, and, invading France, were defeated by Charles Martel, Christian Europe was indeed delivered from an Infidel conquest; but even victorious battles could only spread the contagion of disease. And so, from that date onwards, the Eastern Pestilence was established in the Western World, and at frequent intervals it mowed down its thousands among all the races which had settled there. It penetrated everywhere, and was indiscriminate in its attacks upon Celt and Saxon. No place was too secluded, no shore was too remote. From time to time it decimated even the lonely Hebrides. It is strange how entirely this is forgotten now. But we have the abundant evidence of a generation which remembered it only too well. Of the parish of Kilmuir in Skye the Minister writes in 1792 that up to a time beyond the middle of the century Smallpox prevailed to a very great extent, and almost depopulated the country.' Of the parish of Snizort the Minister records that when this disease did visit the Island it sometimes swept whole families away, or left only one, or two, or three survivors. The same tale is repeated from such secluded parishes as Durness in Sutherland, and Glassary in Argyll, where it is mentioned as having been specially fatal among the children. The effect of such a disease in checking population must have been very great.

Such was the state of things when, in 1716, an Englishwoman of high education and lively wit, going as the wife of the British Ambassador to Constantinople, and spending her holiday among the villages around that city, heard of the strange idea which had long been established among Turkish mothers, that by "grafting" this terrible disease upon their own healthy children they could be made to take the infection in a mild form, and could be practically ensured against its more dangerous attacks in after life. Singularly free from prejudice herself, and having that best gift of genius, the willingness to accept a new idea, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu did not content herself with curiosity and wonder, but carefully examined the evidence, and became convinced of the result.' Yielding to this conviction she gave proof of her courage and of her intelligence by "grafting" this terrible disease upon her own child in April 1718. Returning to England in 1719 she spared no exertion in trying to convince others of the safety of this method of escape from a great scourge, and in 1720 was able to tell a friend that the practice had been generally adopted by the highest classes in London.' Through some vicissitudes of fortune it made on the whole steady progress, and in 1754 gained the sanction of a most conservative profession in the verdict of the Royal College of Physicians. It is a signal proof of the terror with which the pestilence of Smallpox must have inspired the people who had suffered from it, that a race so hostile to all novelties as the Highlanders was nevertheless quickly moved to try a remedy not only so new, but in itself so repulsive to feelings the most natural and the most deeply seated. It appears to have been introduced into the Highlands and Islands about 1760, and was almost universally practised by the people "with surprising success" even in the remote island of North liJist,1 long before the close of the Eighteenth Century. The plague was stayed. This is the universal testimony of all authorities. And it is remarkable that, in a few districts where adverse prejudices could not be overcome, the disease continued to be destructive down to a much later date. In 1777-8 no less than 77 children perished in one Ross-shire parish, and the minister declares that the disease had been wont to revisit the district every seven years, or even oftener. Here we have a striking measure of the great effect on population produced by the general cessation of a check so long established, and so tremendous in its operation.
Thus the First of the Three great discoveries to which I have referred was one which promoted the increase of population by greatly lowering the death- rate. The Second was a discovery which still more powerfully promoted population by raising the supply of food. Our knowledge of the circumstances attending this great change is all the more interesting from its contrast with our profound ignorance as to the origin and development of the older staples of human subsistence. We know absolutely nothing of the first cultivation of the Cereals, although it is certain that this must have had a definite beginning and long stages of development.

The rapidly expanding commerce of the Eighteenth Century added immensely, and, in some cases, very suddenly, to the variety of human food. But in most cases these additions came in the form of products which could only be grown in distant climates, and the use of which had long been established among other nations. Tea was among the first and most remarkable of these, and it is curious to observe that the use of this beverage made such rapid progress in Scotland in the first half of the century, that even a man so enlightened as Culloden regarded it with positive alarm, and actually recommended that the Legislature should take measures to restrain the poorer classes in their addiction to it. From 1730 onwards it was already wholly displacing the native beverage of beer, and this so widely in the Towns of Scotland and in the Low Country as seriously to affect the revenue. To a large extent, however, the other new and varied articles of import were rather condiments and luxuries, than staple articles of food. It is all the more curious, therefore, that until long past the middle of the century we hear little or nothing of one new product of the vegetable world which was destined in a few years to bring about the most prodigious effects upon population that have ever arisen from a like cause. Nor, indeed, is there any wonder that little attention, and no expectation, should have been drawn to the Potato as at all likely to play any important part in adding to the resources of human sustenance. Although coming from the New World, it belonged to a family of plants which was well known in the Old, and which was most familiarly represented in Europe by the beautiful flowers and the tempting berries of the Deadly Nightshade. So well known had been the noxious properties belonging to the Solanum, that when the fruit of another member of the group was first introduced into Europe for edible purposes from the African Coast, the story of a miracle arose to account for its innocence or its wholesomeness. To this day when the Peasant of Provence includes the Tomato in his vegetable diet, he tells his children that originally it had been introduced by the Infidel Saracens as a means of poisoning the Christians, but that the "Bon Dieu" had interfered, and had converted it into a delicious fruit. Although the American Solanum had been brought home from Virginia in connection with one of the immortal names of English History, Sir Walter Raleigh, it had remained for 150 years in comparative neglect, cultivated only by a few botanists or gardeners as an object rather of curiosity than of use. Nobody could well have guessed its extraordinary properties, as, indeed, none of us can ever fully fathom or anticipate the wonderful alchemies of Nature. That a root belonging to a well-known and poisonous order of plants should turn out not only to be nutritious, but to be richer in life-sustaining power than any known substance of like composition, and that it should turn out to be easily cultivated in our own climate and in the least fertile of our own soils, —were results not to be foreseen by any science. But when this discovery was at last made, it was naturally seized upon by the population, which wanted above all things a crop which should be at once abundant, and, at the same time, capable of cultivation with a minimum of labour. The Celts of Ireland very soon began not only to use it as an adjunct to other food, but to live upon it as their main subsistence. From them it passed over to the Celts of the Hebrides, having been introduced into the Island of South Ijist so early as 1743 by Macdonald of Clanranald. Suspicious of all novelties, the Highlanders resisted the use of the Potato for some years, and it did not reach the neighbouring Island of Bernera till 1752. Yet within ten years of that date the Potato crop had come to support the whole inhabitants for at least one quarter of the year. Very soon it was found that it would grow luxuriantly almost everywhere—on land little better than sand and shingle, and in bogs, where it only required to be planted in those patches of ditched-off land which all over the Highlands came to be appropriately known as "lazy beds."

To the two great discoveries just described— one of them eradicating a destructive disease, and the other supplying a new and prolific source of sustenance—there now came to be added yet an- other—the Third—discovery, one which afforded all along the Western Coasts a new manufacturing industry which was at once lucrative and desultory— an industry which yielded a large return, and yet did not need any steady or continuous labour. This discovery was so curious and so almost unique in its history and results, that we must dwell on it for a little.

The men whom the world calls Thinkers are often curiously thoughtless,— else the attempt would never have been made to distinguish between the additions of value which are "earned" by Owners or Producers, because of some meritorious action of their own, and certain different additions which come to them from the exertions of other men, or from the general conditions of Society. For the distinction breaks down the moment we look into it, and the moment we grasp the fact that all kinds and degrees of value come largely, and sometimes exclusively, from causes with which the Owners or Producers of valuable things have nothing to do. And most especially is this the case with those who live by the labour of their hands. The value of that which alone they have to sell, depends entirely on the desires, or on the knowledge, or on the powers of other men; and it constantly happens that sudden and great additions accrue to them upon that value, which they have not only done nothing to secure, but which it has been entirely out of their power either to expect or to foresee. There is no phrase so rich in fallacies as the common phrase that Labour is the only source of Wealth. It has no truth in it whatever—except when Labour is understood as including every form and variety of human influence and exertion, and especially the forms which are purely intellectual. Moreover, all these forms and kinds and degrees of influence must be included, not only as operating in our own time, but as they have been exerted continuously in all preceding generations. These generations have been the stages of our own growth, and each of them has contributed something to the store on which we are living now. In the sense in which Labour is commonly understood, which is physical labour, nothing can be more erroneous than the idea that it is the only, or the ultimate source of Wealth. Mind comes before Matter; Brain comes before Muscle; Head comes before Hands. This is the law of Nature, and this is the order of precedence in her eternal Hierarchy. We have seen how, during the Military Ages, this complete subordination and dependence of the lower upon the higher kinds of human energy was evidenced in the enlisting of whole tribes of men under Chiefs of known capacity and power. In the Industrial Ages on which we have now entered the same great law of Nature was illustrated continually in the unlooked-for benefits which were daily and hourly accruing to the owners of Muscle from the owners of Brain, and from the new desires and demands started by their work in the community at large.

Never, perhaps, was this order of precedence more signally shown than in the great increase in the value of their labour which came to the poorer classes of the Western Coasts of Scotland from the. new industry to which I have referred. We have seen that the Founders of new nations in the reign of Elizabeth,—Botanists, and Gardeners, and Proprietors ever since,—had all been concerned in giving them a new product from the Land. Chemists and Manufacturers were now at work to give them a new product from the Sea. And in this case, too, nothing could have been more unexpected, or less connected with any kind of exertion of their own. The Ocean is fertile beyond all conception in animal life—immensely more fertile than the dry land. But, on the other hand, it holds within its vast domains nothing of the vegetable world, except the lowest of its forms. Moreover its vegetation, such as it is, is almost entirely confined to two narrow areas of shallow depth—one which finds its limit between high and low water mark, called the Littoral Zone, and the other an area close to shores which is known to naturalists as the Laminarian Zone. But in these two Zones between high water mark and a maximum depth of about fifteenfathoms,1 wherever there are rocks or stones for attachment, sea-weeds grow in beds and masses which are often luxuriant and dense. Some of the smaller species, especially those belonging to the Green and Red series, are among the most beautiful Forms in nature. But the Olive-coloured series are not attractive in appearance, although they are the richest in useful products. Torn, slimy, and unsightly, when out of the water, and fetid in their decay, their multitudinous cells of organic structure are, nevertheless, so many batteries for eliminating and fixing in their own walls many of the inorganic elements of our world, which are held in solution by the Sea. In particular, the salts of Sodium and Potassium are richly concentrated in the stems and fronds of some of them, besides such rarer substances as Iodine and Bromine. Chemists in the service of the rising Industries of the Low Country soon found that from those sea- weeds which grew between the tides, a plentiful supply could be extracted of the Carbonate of Soda. In the manufacture of Soap and of Glass established at Whitby and at Newcastle, this product was valuable. There are many maritime countries to which this discovery would have brought no great source of wealth, because the Sea Coast is very often but a single border line, and much of it occupied by sandy shores, destitute of sea-weeds. But of all countries, probably, in the world, the Western Coasts of Scotland present the rare physical characteristics which could give to this discovery a maximum value. These coasts are wonderfully indented —the Ocean sending out innumerable arms which extend far among the hills—so far, and into such sheltered reaches, that the hazel-nut and the acorn drop ripe into waters continuous with the poles. The shore lines of the County of Argyll alone, with its Islands, extend to 2289 miles'—lines which, if unrolled, would almost reach the shores of the New World. Along the whole extent of the outer Hebrides, sea and land are intermixed through a thousand channels, so that within the space of a few miles they often constitute a labyrinth of creeks, rocks, and islets—generally exposed to a great rise and fall of tide. From this last cause the Littoral Zone was unusually ample for the growth of Fuci. Such was the country of which its barren shores were suddenly converted into a fruitful field, and its natural growths could be turned into money, by a kind of work the most simple, and not very laborious. The weed had only to be cut, gathered, and spread to dry upon the rocks or turf. Then a few stones, arranged somewhat in the manner of a prehistoric grave, forming a low and a loose enclosure, was all that was dignified by the name of a kiln. Within this little enclosure a lighted peat or bit of wood was used to set on fire a few fronds of the half-dried weed, and when it burst into a crackling flame, fresh weed had to be added so as to keep it down. In this way the weed was rather melted than burnt into a hot and pasty mass, which finally cooled and consolidated into a glassy and brittle substance not unlike the resin of commerce which is derived from pine-trees. For this substance so easily prepared, from a natural supply of raw material needing no labour in its cultivation, there arose an active demand during the latter part of the Eighteenth Century. It was first established on the shores of the Firth of Forth, so early as 1720, whence it passed to the Orkneys in 1723. In the Hebrides, it was introduced into the Island of Tyree only in 1746. But the price was then trifling. In 1768 the industry had become general and important,—the produce of the Western Coast being estimated at about 5000 tons. The price was then about 6, lOs. at the Glass manufactory of New- castle. The price varied much during the rest of the Eighteenth Century. But every rise in price was met by increased production. For a short time during the French war the price is said to have reached the high figure of 20 per ton. Among my family estate accounts I find no record of any such price, and down to 1822 the average was probably less than half that amount. Of this valuable material the Hebrides alone produced, when the trade was at its height, about 6000 tons annually—representing in good years a value which was a great deal more than double the whole of the agricultural rental of some of the estates on which it was produced.

Coming, as this new manufacture did, in addition to the two other causes tending to increase population, the trade in Kelp had a prodigious effect. It employed at various seasons an immense quantity of labour, the calculation being that every 300 tons of Kelp gave employment to 200 men during several months in the year. This is intelligible enough when we understand that for every ton of Kelp not less than 20 tons of wet weed had to be cut, dried, and melted,—so that the total produce of the Hebrides represented the preparation of 120,000 tons of the raw material. It brought in wages which had never been heard of before in the districts where it prevailed. In many places it encouraged families to settle and to multiply where the resources of agriculture were of the poorest; whilst it made both Proprietors and people blind to the dangers of unlimited subdivision. The price paid to the workers for the Kelp they made amounted very often to a great deal more than the whole rent they paid for their holdings—so that as regarded these they sat practically rent free. Under such conditions, the temptations and inducements to early marriage, and a stationary and dreamy existence, were insuperable—and the characteristics of Highland life which we have seen so graphically described by Sir Walter Scott, as applicable to the disposition and distribution of the people at the close of the Military Ages, were repeated and even exaggerated all along the Western Coasts long after the Industrial Ages had begun.

It would have been astonishing indeed, if under such a combination of causes, all coming more or less together, and all stimulating population in different manners and degrees, the Highlanders, and especially the Islanders, had not rapidly multiplied in number. Never, perhaps, in the history of nations, had such unexpected and bounteous fountains of supply been opened to any people—unless, indeed, to Tribes who by conquest had come into possession of some wealthy land. But in this case the new resources had arisen without any exertion of their own. An arrest laid upon the hand of disease and death—a new and abundant supply of food— and, along all the lines of coast, a new manufacture, bringing money where money was almost unknown before:—such were the additions to the value of life and to the fruits of the simplest manual labour, which were brought to the Highlands from outside themselves—from the genius of some, and the invention of others—and the advancing knowledge of the human family. All these were brought to bear upon a people which had already, been increasing rapidly beyond the limits of their subsistence, and the previously known resources of the land they lived in. The result was that they multiplied at a tenfold rate, and any temporary abundance was soon turned to want.

The effect of such gifts as these upon any society of men, must always depend upon its preparation to receive them. Here, again, we come upon the contrast between the Highlands and the country of the Border Clans. In no part of the Lowlands of Scotland did the use of the Potato lead to any undue increase of the population. Here and there, for a little while, it may have prolonged old conditions. But population had already in the Lowlands become almost everywhere redistributed by the great current of industrial interests which first set in after the union of the Crowns in 1603, and which had gathered head and power after the union of the Parliaments in 1707. The military classes had been, or were being, rapidly absorbed into the ranks of commerce, of manufacture, and of an agriculture which was at least beginning to be scientific. The Potato came too late to stop the migrations which were determined by these new conditions. It was a pure gain with no drawbacks or temptations to abuse. The Potato was used as an adjunct and a supplement to higher kinds of food, and not as a staple article of subsistence. Its place in agriculture was a corresponding place. It took rank among the new Root Crops which afforded the means of a profitable rotation with the Cereals. It became an important article of commerce, and sometimes brought higher prices than any other produce of the soil. In all these circumstances the effect of the Potato in the Lowlands was in contrast with its effect in the Highlands. There the old military classes, the "broken men," were still occupying the ground in the manner, to the extent, and with all the effects described by Sir Walter Scott in Rob Roy. The raising of the Highland Regiments had indeed opened a door for the entering of new motives. But the mere number of men temporarily removed was but a fraction of the numbers which were steadily tending to swell in every glen, and to swarm on every shore. Among them the Potato was seized upon as a new support for a life of inaction. It gradually grew to be the main food of the people during a great portion of the year. It was but little sold or exported. It induced no rise in the standard of living. It brought no increase of accumulated wealth. It was simply eaten. And not only did it feed the people, but it unquestionably made them more prolific. When to this was added a manufacture such as that of Kelp, of which the raw material lay around their own doors, and in the possession of which they had a practical monopoly as compared with all the Southern and all the inland portions of the Kingdom, the Highlanders or Hebrideans were naturally encouraged to feel that they could live in increasing numbers in the enjoyment of a rude and a low abundance, derived from a few productions of the soil and of the sea. They were thus caught, so to speak, by powerful causes tending to stereotype and aggravate the poverty of old conditions, before they had time to be brought within the stream of the nation's industrial life, as it had been developed in the Low country, and among the Border Highlands. It was not possible for them to think of or to foresee that the one new industry on which they so much depended was an industry depending absolutely on the continuance of foreign wars, or upon the continued maintenance of special taxes limiting or prohibiting the import of raw materials far richer than seaweed in the products it afforded.

The result was one which has been almost forgotten, and which at first sight may well seem extraordinary. The poorest portion of the Kingdom became by far the most populous in proportion to its resources, and speedily exhibited a rate of increase far greater than that which could be seen in the richest and most advancing rural districts of the country. The latter half of the Eighteenth Century witnessed in the Highlands, more especially in the Islands—districts purely rural—a swelling of population which seems almost incredible, and yet the evidence of it is abundant and detailed.

There are two large Islands and two small Islands lying south of the long promontory of Kintyre, and all closely connected with the Firth of Clyde. These are Arran, Bute, and the two Cumbraes. We do not now think of any of these Islands as belonging to the Hebrides or to the Highlands—although there is no wilder mountain scenery in Scotland than Glen Rosa and Glen Sannox in Arran. But the stream of commerce, and of the industrial life of the Kingdom, has now so long circled round them, and has so penetrated through them, that all the conditions are the settled conditions of the Lowlands. But we must remember that in the last century this was not so. At that time they contained Gaelic- speaking populations whose habits of life were the same as those of the other Western Isles. Counting this southern group, then, among the Hebrides, there were in all ninety-five inhabited Islands and Islets, including the lonely St. Kilda, on the Western Coasts of Scotland. There is good reason to believe that in the year 1755 the total population of these Islands was about 52,200. During the sixteen years between 1755 and 1771 the increase amounted to 10,538. During the next twenty-four years, from 1771 to 1795, the further increase amounted to 12,728—so that taking the forty years between 1755 and 1795 the total increase was 23,266, or not far short of one-half of the original number of inhabitants.' Considering that the whole of this Insular area may be said to have been almost purely rural,—since two or three so-called Towns were then nothing but insignificant villages,—this is a rate of increase which was probably unknown in any part of Europe, seeing that it arose from breeding only, and included no element of immigration. Moreover, it is all the more remarkable when we compare it with the rate of increase in the kindred population of the mainland during the same period. In 1755 the Gaelic-speaking Parishes on the mainland had a total population of 237,598, yet on this much larger number the increase in 1795 was little more than one-half of the increase on the smaller population of the Islands. Although several causes contributed to keep down the rate of increase on the mainland as compared with the Islands, yet we cannot mistake the one cause which operated most powerfully as an artificial stimulus to population in the Hebrides. Beyond all question, it was the Kelp manufacture. It is true that many Parishes on the mainland were extensively bounded by the sea-shores. But the purity and strength of the water in the open Ocean, and the tumult of its uncontaminated waves, are required to stimulate the growth of the richest seaweeds. Apart, therefore, from their immensely, more extended lines of coast there were chemical causes at work to concentrate the Kelp trade in the hands of the Hebrideans; and it was on the strength mainly of this tempting, but dangerous, because precarious, industry that these people multiplied so fast. This conclusion is confirmed when we look into the details. The Insular Parishes in which the population increased fastest between 1755 and 1795 are almost always the Parishes which had the most productive shores for seaweed. Thus the Parish of the Small Isles (Rum, Canna, Eigg, etc.) rose from 858 to 1339; Stornoway, in the Lewis, from 1836 to 239; Kumuir (Skye) from 1581 to 2500; Tyree from 1602 to 2416. These are but individual examples of a general fact. On the mainland the largest increase was in the Parishes which had the longest boundary of open sea, whilst in some of the inland. Parishes there was no increase at all, and even, in some cases, an actual decline in numbers. Thus the inland Parish of Farr, in Sutherland, diminished by 200, whilst its coast neighbour, Tongue, with a long line of shore, increased by more than 400.

It was impossible that there could he such a rapid and extraordinary increase of population without results specially dangerous among men who were the poorest in the Kingdom, and who were the least qualified to provide against it by the resources of a various and an advancing industry. Under such conditions there could not fail to be a tremendous and frequent pressure upon the limits of a bare subsistence. Accordingly the evidence is abundant which proves the extreme poverty of the country, and the frequency with which its people were exposed to the severest scarcity, and sometimes to the dangers of actual famine. There are ample sources of information which fill up all the time between the date spoken of in Sir Walter Scott's tale of Rob Roy and the close of the Eighteenth Century. We have the famous Letters of Captain Burt written about 1730 by an Officer who was stationed at Inverness, and travelled often through the Central Highlands on his way to and from the Capital of the North. We have the Tour of Mr. Pennant, who, in 1769 and 1772 visited not only the mainland, but the Hebrides, and saw everything with the eye that belongs to the Naturalist and the Scientific Observer. We have the systematic and admirable work of Professor Walker, the result of successive journeys through every part of the country undertaken at various intervals between the years 1760 and 1790. We have the Statistical Account of Scotland, organised by Sir John Sinclair in the last decade of the Century-1792-5—in which we have all the information which occurred to the best educated men in the country,—the Minister of each Parish giving as complete an account as he could of its history and of its actual condition. Lastly, we have the Professional Reports drawn under the direction of the Board of Agriculture about the same time. The great advantage of all these books is, that they were written before many modern controversies had arisen, and when the view taken of facts was unbiassed by the social theories and the political passions of a later day. The burden of their song is uniformly the same, and the earliest of these writers, Captain Burt, illustrates his picture of the condition of the people by details and incidents which are often more instructive than any general statements, however accurate.

There is, for example, no indication of the condition of industry, and of the standard of living, in any country, more significant and more accessible to observation, than the scene presented by its Marketplaces. If its natives have any produce at all to sell, it must be brought to these places, and the range of variety, of quantity, and of price to be met with there, is an infallible index of plenty or of want. Inverness, though a mere village in 1730, was still not only the most important place in the Highlands, but the only Town existing in the country. Yet Captain Burt's account of its Market-days is an account of almost incredible poverty. One man might bring under his arm a small roll of linen, another a piece of coarse plaiding. Such men were quite considerable Dealers. Others would bring two or three cheeses of about 3 or 4 lb. weight. A kid sold for sixpence, or eightpence at the best. Small quantities of butter, tied up in bladders, were set down in the dirt of the street. Here were a few goat-skins-----there a piece of wood for a cart-wheel. The price of such articles when sold was spent by the natives in purchasing a horn, or a few wooden spoons, or a wooden platter, or some such rude plenishing for their huts. One Highlander might be seen near eating a large onion without salt or bread —another gnawing a carrot—or other such vegetable rarities, none of which were then produced in the country.' Nor can we encourage the sentimental comfort that although little was sold, yet plenty was produced, everything being consumed at home. Poverty in marketable surplus is an infallible indication of a corresponding poverty in home consumption, and in home production. Where there is habitually little or no surplus, not even a bare sufficiency can ever be secure. There may be years of plenty; but there are quite sure to be many years of scarcity, and some of famine. Accordingly, Captain Burt tells an anecdote " of the time of one great scarcity here,"—as if the full record of-such times would include a number. And the anecdote he does tell of that one time, brings pathetically before us the tremendous difference between that kind of destitution which affects individuals alone from the want of money, and that other kind of destitution which affects a whole people from the want of food. A woman came to the wife of the Officer in command at Fort-William, imploring her to get for her a single peck of oatmeal from the Military Stores, to save her children from starvation. But even the Military Stores were at a low ebb, from the impossibility of buying meal in the country, and the detention of some expected vessels. The poor woman was therefore offered a shilling as a mark of sympathy. After looking at it for a moment, she burst into tears— laid the useless coin down—and exclaimed, "Madam, what am I to do with this? my children cannot eat it." The peck of meal was given to her, and Captain Burt says he never saw such joy. But what must have been the condition of the people who were not near any Military Stores, and had no importing vessels to look to when storms had passed?

Some forty years had elapsed from that date to the date of Pennant's Tour. There was no change for the better. The use of Potatoes had extended, and the manufacture of Kelp had become universally established wherever the materials existed. But population had pressed hard on the heels of every new resource. During even a portion of that interval—during even one quarter of it—the number of mouths to be fed had in many Parishes increased not by dozens, or by scores, but by hundreds. The consequences were what might have been expected where there had been absolutely no corresponding advance in the knowledge or practice of a higher agriculture. Pennant saw poverty everywhere, with scarcity at the very doors. In the great and fertile Island of Islay he saw "a people worn down with poverty "—raising wretched crops of Bear, and "drinking more of it in the form of whiskey than eating of it in the form of bannocks." In their smoky cabins "pot-hooks hung from the middle of the roofs, with pots pendent over a grateless fire, filled with fare that might rather be called a permission to exist than a support of vigorous life "—the inmates lean, withered, dusky, and smoke-dried. Notwithstanding the excellency of the land, above 1000 worth of meal was annually imported. A famine was threatened at the time of his visit, but was prevented by the seasonable arrival of a meal-ship. Of the Island of Rum he wrote that the people were a well-made, well-looking race, but carried famine in their aspect." Of Skye he said that the produce of the crops was very rarely "in any degree" proportioned to the wants of the inhabitants. Golden seasons had happened, when they had superfluity. But "the years of famine were as ten to one." It is nearly the same story everywhere. In Sutherland he found the people almost torpid with idleness and most wretched, the whole tract seeming the very "residence of sloth." Until famine pinched, they would not bestir themselves; but crowds were passing when he was there, emaciated with hunger, to the eastern coast, on the report of a ship being there loaded with meal.

In all descriptions written by an English stranger some allowance is to be made on account of the much higher standard of living to which he was accustomed among the agricultural population of the South. As regards certain particulars, this allowance may be large; as, for example, when such strangers speak with horror and disgust of the Highland huts and hovels with no chimneys, the fire made in the middle of the floor; or when, in respect to food, the people are described as repairing to the shores to live on shell-fish. Such houses were not very much poorer than those which the Chiefs themselves had inhabited only a few years before; whilst the habitual use of shell-fish as one article of diet was no evil at all, and had certainly descended by unbroken usage from prehistoric times. Shell-fish are now among the luxuries most enjoyed by the most comfortable artisans in our largest Towns. To be driven to live upon shell-fish almost exclusively is, however, a very different condition of things. On the other hand, we must remember that this low standard of dwellings and of food, as compared with the same classes in the South, is part of the case which illustrates and establishes the dangerous position of the Highland people up to the close of the Eighteenth Century, when, in the face of such poverty, they were nevertheless increasing at the rate which has been shown. Moreover, we have such evidence as that of Pennant more than confirmed by men from whose language no deduction whatever can be made on account of their being strangers, or on the ground of unfamiliarity with traditional and poor conditions of habitation, or of food. The truth is, that the language of Pennant, spoken of the years preceding 1772, falls far short of the descriptions—although less eloquent and sensational in form—which are given of some following years by the native Ministers, whose invaluable Reports constitute the First Statistical Account. Only ten years after Pennant's Tour, in 1782-3, there was a great failure of the Oat and Bear crop all over Scotland, and the scarcity told, of course, with double severity in the Highlands. Thus, even in Easter Ross, a district comparatively fertile, the Minister reports that the resources of the sea in fish, and especially in shell-fish, were the main support of the people in his own Parish of Fearn, and in all the neighbouring Parishes; "so that hundreds of men and women, with their horses, were seen daily coming home with great burdens and loads of the best cockles." But bad as this was, it was better than forty years before, when (in 1740), many people were starved to death. The same Minister, writing in 1791, declares that the terrible year of 1781 was only the beginning of a series of bad seasons, which had then continued ever since, so that nothing like a good crop had been raised among them during the ten intervening years. Another Minister in the same County says that the scarcity of 1782 had impaired the constitution of some of the poor for the rest of their life.' From Orkney we hear that in some "late bad years" the people lived very miserably, mostly upon milk and cabbage, although none had actually died. But within the memory of then living men, in 1739-41, the years had been so bad that many had died of want. In Mull the memory had survived of a terrible famine about a hundred years before, in the reign of William iii., which had almost depopulated the whole Parish. On one extensive line of shore only two families had survived.

The great interest of these facts lies in this, that they reveal a principle and a law. A people which has little or nothing to sell is quite sure to be a people liable at times to have little or nothing to eat. It is a common sentiment to admire the olden times, and the primitive conditions in which small communities lived for themselves only, consumed all that they produced, and produced only what they could consume. But though this is a common, it is nevertheless an ignorant sentiment. Where there is no surplus, there can be no storage, no saving, no accumulation. And where there is none of these there can be no security against the vicissitudes of the seasons. The production must be without knowledge, and the consumption without foresight. It would be presumptuous, indeed, to say that great civilised communities, in the possession of skill and capital, can never be liable to famines. It is easy to imagine, and even to specify, contingencies under which the richest populations might be overwhelmed. If, for example, any disease comparable in destructiveness with that which in 1846 attacked the Potato, were to attack the Wheat plant, or still more the Cereals in general, nothing could avert a desolating famine. It is well that we should remember such possibilities, and that we should recognise the dependence which they imply. But as a matter of historical fact the prevalence of scarcities and famines has steadily diminished over the world in proportion to the establishment of civilised conditions. And the very first of these conditions is the working of all Producers beyond the mere getting Of a subsistence for themselves. In the making of some surplus, and in the storing of it, or of its value, lies the origin of Capital. Both are the direct result of Mind—of Mind in the form of knowledge, or of invention, or of skill in working; and of Mind in the form of intention and foresight in the use to which gains are put. A people that is consuming almost all that it produces, can be contributing nothing to the progress of the world, and is quite sure to be pressing very hard and very dangerously on the limits of its own subsistence. There may be cases in which this is at least comparatively unavoidable, because of the barrenness of the land they live in, and the poverty of its resources. But in the vast majority of cases it arises simply from ignorance, and from mental lethargy.

The Human Species presents in this matter a great enigma. It is the high prerogative of Man to subdue Nature—by knowledge to find out her fruits, and by skill to cultivate and to improve them. But whole generations, and even centuries, may pass over particular portions of the Human Family during which this prerogative seems to fall with them into complete abeyance. In matters purely physical it becomes literally true that seeing, they see, and do not perceive—that hearing, they hear, and do not understand. No suggestion, however obvious, seems ever to occur to them. They tread upon with their feet, and fumble in their hands, many of the most bounteous gifts of the organic world, each one of them with immense possibilities of development—and yet not a single hint is taken—not a single seed is sown —not a single germ is tended. Even the slender inheritances of former ages are hardly preserved, or are actually suffered to fall into ruinous decay. It is the frequency of this phenomenon that gives force to the argument of Archbishop Whately that no race of Man has ever risen from the lowest stages, except by contact with some Intelligence other than, and higher than, their own. Nor is this a question of race. All races have exhibited this condition during long periods of stagnant life, and some of them, too, in combination with high qualities of imaginative and lively wit. Such was the condition of the Highlanders in respect to their knowledge of the agricultural resources of their own country, not only during all the Military Ages, but down close to the times in which we are now living. The detailed accounts of it which we have from the most authentic sources, and that which some of us could give from our own observation, seem really to be hardly credible. And yet it is always to be remembered that the same thing was true of the Lowlands at an earlier date. The Highlanders were from one to two centuries behind in almost everything. Many causes contributed to this—distance, language, the habits and the usages of Celtic Feudalism.

It is, however, a great mistake to count among these causes any natural barrenness of soil. The Highland country is not a poor one as regards some great natural productions. Its climate, though unfavourable for certain fruits of the earth, is preeminently fitted for others, and these of a highly valuable kind. The truth is that it yields some such products in a rich abundance with which few other countries can compare. The native crop of the country is its natural Grasses, which are luxuriant beyond description—covering with verdure the steepest mountains, and the loftiest tablelands, insinuating themselves among the barest rocks, and carpeting the sandy levels along the margins of the sea. Some parts of the country, which have been reputed to be the poorest, and in which the inhabitants have been most, and longest poverty-stricken, are now well known to be naturally the richest in the quality of their Grasses. The Hebridean pastures are of the very finest quality. From the earliest times all over the Highlands the people had been possessed of a native breed of Cattle, and of a native breed of Sheep—domestic animals through which these Grasses could be converted into the most coveted forms of human food, the very best of meat, and the very best of cheese and butter. Yet they did not know the methods of breeding or of feeding, which to us now seem the most obvious and elementary. For example, it never occurred to the people that the over-abundant herbage of summer could be cut and dried, so as to furnish provender for the winter. The consequence was that their Cattle died by thousands in every season which was at all severe. All the surplus grass, which might have been made into hay, was allowed to rot in absolute waste. Those which survived the winter were miserably small,—not because the breed was a bad one, or because it was incapable of improvement, for even now it is a favourite in the market,—but simply because the animals were neither bred nor fed with the slightest knowledge of the simplest methods.

But more than this :—strange to say, whilst no natural hints or suggestions in the direction of improvement seem ever to have been taken, even the most accidental causes in the direction of decline, were not only yielded to without resistance, but were accepted and cherished under ridiculous arguments and superstitions. Thus, the pressure of famine had driven the people occasionally to resort to the barbarous and destructive expedient of bleeding their Cattle for the purpose of mixing blood with the produce of their scanty grain, and so making cakes more sustaining than oatmeal and water. They had forgotten the origin of this custom, and they did not know that it must tend to aggravate the feebleness and exhaustion which affected their animals from poverty of winter food. The idea arose that the Cattle were the better for being bled, and the practice was continued when the original necessity had ceased. I have myself spoken with men still alive, and not of extreme age, who recollect having eaten those cakes when they were children, and who seemed to regret the loss of them among other Celtic blessings which a remorseless civilisation has swept away. The miserable size and condition of the Highland Cattle, even when they survived the winter at all, is described by many writers. Captain Burt likened them in size to "Northampton Calves." And yet these Cattle were theon1y produce of the country which was ever sent to southern markets. They were the staple of the whole area of the Highlands, the only produce on which the people could depend for any surplus, or any means of purchasing the fruits of other lands.

The same story, but with some circumstances of special aggravation, has to be told of the treatment in the Highlands of that other domestic animal which constitutes one of the very chiefest resources of Mankind. The native breed of Sheep, like the native breed of Cattle, was small and degenerate. It is now wholly extinct. But there seems good reason to believe that it might have been improved by the same methods which in later years made the Black Cattle of the Highlands so excellent and so profitable. Sheep were never an article of sale. The people had never discovered that any breed of Sheep could live at large upon the mountains. They were treated as delicate and tender animals—folded and housed at night. In this way, of course, they were kept in small flocks only, and wholly for domestic use. Hence, in the Highland code of honour, they were not generally "lifted," or stolen, like Cattle, which were considered always as lawful prey. The wool of the Sheep was worked up into homespun clothing, and the deficiency of milk from the half- starved Cows was eked out, as it still is in Italy, by the milk of Ewes. Yet, with all the care which such valuable uses did ensure, the care was so little allied with knowledge, that the treatment of the Sheep was even more ruinous and destructive than the treatment of the Cattle. Their pasture was the poorest, and often at a great distance. They were folded in summer and harvest, and housed in winter and spring. No attention was paid to the choice of Rams, and they were left to nature as regarded the breeding season. Consequently the Lambs came before the grass,—all being stinted, and many starved. From the middle of May they were deprived of half their mothers' milk, by separation during the night, so that the Ewes might be milked for human use in the morning. About the end of June the Lambs were weaned—sometimes in a most barbarous manner, by tying a small stick across their mouths, which not only prevented them from sucking, but even from pasturing with any tolerable ease. No wonder that the breed decayed, that they were considered, perhaps erroneously, as incapable of recovery, and were soon everywhere supplanted by another breed, which, for some cen- turies, had been more skilfully treated in the Low Country.

These miserable conditions of pastoral economy, in a country by nature pre-eminently pastoral, explain and justify an observation made by those who first came to examine and report upon the Highlands. Generally, they said, the natives of most countries, even the least advanced, have something to teach others,—some local product in which their own land abounds, and in the cultivation of which they show a skill from which strangers can learn something. But in the agriculture of the Highlands nothing of the kind was to be found among the people. They did not know how to utilise, with even tolerable economy, the natural and spontaneous resources of their Hills and Glens. They treated with similar simplicity even that most ancient and immemorial gift—the cultivation of the Cereals. The grey Oat, and the Bear, and the Rye, which they grew, were all of inferior sorts, and bore every mark of having degenerated in their hands. So little did they know that most elementary of all principles in the improvement of the fruits of the earth,—the selection of the best seed for propagation,—that they were actually known to select the worst, on the idea that the best should be used as food, and that the worst was good enough for casting into the ground. There are a few places iii the Hebrides where a light sandy soil so drinks in the rays of the sun, and so retains the heat, that they used sometimes to yield a large and an extraordinary early harvest, even from twenty to twenty-five fold. But the general return of arable land in the Grey Oat of the country did not average more than from three and a half to four fold, although neither the soil nor the climate could be blamed for this. Nowhere in Europe was equal labour bestowed on such an inconsiderable crop.' And to the scantiness of their harvests in respect to quantity was added the loss constantly arising from the difficulty of securing them. This was almost entirely due to the inveterate habit of sowing so late in the spring that the grain rarely ripened before the early autumnal gales. Furthermore, the people, before the introduction of the Potato, had not a single garden vegetable, or any vegetable product whatever, except their grain.

Yet it was in the face of all this poverty of knowledge, and consequent scantiness of production, that the population was, nevertheless, increasing at the tremendous rate which has been shown. On almost every farm there were double, sometimes treble, or quadruple the number of hands which were required for the labour to be expended. And this too, in spite of implements and methods of handling them, which were as primitive and as wasteful as their customs in respect to the breeding and feeding of Cattle and of Sheep. Their Plough was a rude machine, to which four horses, or sometimes in the Eastern Counties, eight oxen, were yoked abreast, and which were tended by at least three men. One of these had the strange function of walking backwards in front of the animals, and striking them in the face, to make them proceed forwards." But this was not all. The Plough was often preceded by another archaic machine, called a Reestle, for cutting the fibrous roots which the Plough was incompetent to deal with. One or two more horses were required for this, and two additional men. Thus, from four to six horses, and from three to five men were performing, and performing very ill, the work which could have been better done by two horses and one man.' There was thus all over the country a great superfluity of hands, which it was impossible fully to employ, and of mouths which it was quite as difficult adequately to feed. There were few farms in the Highlands which could not be equally well cultivated with one-third, and some with one-half fewer men-servants and horses than were actually used. Two Parishes are mentioned which afforded more than 500 men to the Regiments in the American War of 1755-63, and yet all their cultivation went on as before. In one district of these two Parishes, of which the rent was 700, there were 700 women, all of necessity half idle.

The perfect similarity between many Highland and many Lowland Parishes, as regarded soil, climate, and character of surface, made the contrast all the more striking between their rural economy in these respects. In the South, there was no such waste of labour, no such extravagant superfluity of horses and of hands. There the population had become adjusted to the industry and the known resources of the country.' Hence the contrast, too, between the two portions of Scotland, in respect to the activity of the people. The language which Sir Walter Scott puts into the mouth of the Glasgow Bailie respecting the habitual idleness of the Highland people, is language which was perfectly correct as the description of an hereditary habit, but would be wholly incorrect as a description of any peculiarity of race. Thousands of the people who were so industrious in the Lowlands were quite as much of Highland blood as any of those who remained among the mountains. The people in the Highlands were idle simply because they had little or nothing to do, and thus idleness had become with them, as it will become with all men under like conditions, habitual and hereditary. They had long been multiplying beyond the opportunities and the calls for labour which could be afforded by the knowledge and by the habits of the society to which they belonged.

Such was the state of things when some acquaintance with more civilised conditions began to stir the minds, and elevate the desires of the Highlanders. Men returning from the more plenteous lands in which they had fought and bled with unsurpassed courage, discipline, and devotion, could not but feel the nakedness of their own country, and the poverty of their own hereditary modes of life. The same influence arose in numberless districts from men who went to service in the Low Country. Restlessness, and a sense of discomfort arose among them. They did not see any means of improvement in their own country, because its poverty was inseparable from those very habits and institutions to which they themselves had always been most devotedly attached. On the other hand, they had seen the New World. The men of the Forty-Second had been quartered for many months in Albany, the Capital of the Province of New York. There they had been the admired of all admirers, petted and caressed by the old Dutch families who had founded the Colony, as well as by the English settlers; and there, among the still uncleared forests of the Hudson, they had taken part in happy excursions of camp life, which must have recalled the summer Shealings of the Highlands! Along with several other Highland Regiments they had revenged the defeat of Ticonderoga on the Heights of Abraham. New scenes, and with them, new visions, had opened up before them.

The consequences were natural and inevitable. Within a few years of the close of that war in 1763,. a steady stream of emigration to the Colonies poured out from many parts of Scotland, but especially from the Highlands. It began, as all important movements must begin, with the most intelligent and educated classes—those who had occupied the position of Tacksmen, and had been, as it were, the officers and non- commissioned officers of the Military Clans. It extended rapidly among all the subordinate classes of the tenantry— embracing, in some places, a large number of those who, by selling their stock, could realise a sum sufficient to cover the expense and to start the family with some little capital in America. This movement began about 1762, and became general and extensive about 1770.' Indeed, forty years before, as early as 1722, no difficulty had been found in recruiting a considerable number of Highlanders at Inverness to emigrate to Georgia. These dates are important. Even the latest of them is before the new system had time to operate, by which the wasted and neglected mountains of the country were for the first time turned to account by the grazing of Sheep. The earliest of these dates is long before that immense work of reclamation had been even thought of. The movement was purely spontaneous and instinctive, and it spread steadily among all the most congested populations of the Western Coasts and Islands. From Duirinish, in Skye, between 1771 to 1790, no less than eight large Transport Ships had sailed with Emigrants for American settlements. They carried off at least 2400 souls; yet so tremendous was the multiplying power that, in 1792, the total population of the Parish was as great as in 1772. From Glensheil, on the opposite mainland, the movement had been led, in 1769 and 1773, by men who were substantial farmers.' In the latter year it reached the remote parish of Reay in Sutherland,' and the far Island of South Uist, from which "vast numbers" are said to have followed during the next twenty years. Jura and Colonsay lent their contingent at the same time." The Small Isles followed a little later —the Minister in this case specially reporting that these little fragments of a broken land were "overstocked with people" from the fruit of early marriages, and. an area of soil which was "able to supply them but scantily with the necessaries of life."' The parents often divided with a newly married son their holdings, already of necessity very small, which "reduced both to poverty and misery." From Appin, one of the oldest seats of the Military Clans, and a Parish with a very small area of arable land as comparedwith the vast and steep mountain surfaces which were then almost useless, the emigration began in 1775, and, in spite of it, the Minister reports, in 1790, that the inhabitants were then so crowded that "some relief of this sort seemed absolutely necessary."

This was a rush indeed. Some of the Ministers who refer to it call it a "rage." It was purely spontaneous, and in some of its circumstances was marked by the special characteristics of popular waywardness and impulse. The selection made of particular Plantations for the new home, seems curiously capricious, but it was in reality determined by accidents connected with the clannish instincts of the race. Wherever some friends or Clansmen from the same glens or Islands had happened to precede them, there the rest followed, when they moved at all. Thus almost each separate district of the Highlands had its own preference. The people of Inverness had formed an early connection in Georgia. From Perthshire, Badenoch, and Strathspey the Highland Regiments had been largely recruited for Chatham's war against the French, and the people of those districts of the Central Highlands naturally resorted to the great Province of New York, and formed Settlements on the Delaware, the Mohawk, and the rivers of Connecticut. Argyllshire with its Islands, Skye and the Outer Hebrides, as also Sutherland and Ross, all sent their earlier emigrants to North Carolina, where they formed a Settlement noted in the subsequent American war for its loyalty and misfortunes. The outbreak of that war checked the tide of emigration during the seven years (1776-1783) of its duration, and diverted what remained of it, to Canada, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward's Island. But there a home was found for those who moved from Lochaber, Glengarry, Moydart and some other parts of the County of Inverness.

The thoroughly popular nature of the movement is curiously illustrated, moreover, by the methods which were taken. When in any part of the country any considerable number of people had determined to emigrate, some leading man circulated a subscription paper, and a regular contract was entered into between the subscribers, and some one of their own number who acted as agent and contractor for the rest. The emigrants did not generally go to any of the Lowland ports. They did not wish to attract attention. They knew that the movement was not favoured by those above them. Perhaps they themselves had even a strangely surviving feeling of military desertion. Vessels were engaged, which came round to the solitary bays and arms of the sea, which everywhere sent their waters close up to the doors of the overcrowded homes. In these the Transports spread their sails quietly and unobserved, and were soon hull down on the neighbouring and friendly Ocean. On the other side of it, as quietly and as unobserved, they landed their invaluable freight—spreading broadcast the seed of a noble race over immense and fruitful lands.

It is indeed a most curious fact that when this movement of the Highlanders first came to be widely known it excited not only general regret, but even general irritation and alarm. The knowledge of it was spread by the Parochial Reports in the Statistical Account organised by Sir John Sinclair in 1790. These began to be published in 1791, and continued to appear in successive volumes during the five following years. The Ministers who drew up those Reports were, of course, men of very various abilities. Some of them regarded the emigration with a passive but grudging resignation; most of them with regret; some of them with angry denunciation,—a few only with a clear and enlightened estimate of its causes and its probable results. Yet the evidence of these men was in reality uniform and unanimous as to the social conditions of which the emigration was the natural and inevitable result. They all testified to the scanty and decreasing returns of the soil, to the lean and half-starved Cattle, to the frequent returns of scarcity and famine, and in the face of all this, to the steady, general, and, in some cases, enormous increase of the population between 1755 and 1791. On the other hand, in a limited number of Highland Parishes, the new Tables showed a diminution. The panic and the outcry which arose on this discovery is one of the strangest phenomena of our national history. It is all the more remarkable when we observe that the very first volumes of the Statistical Account showed in many Lowland Parishes a diminution quite as great, and in some cases very much greater. Moreover, some of the most conspicuous of these cases of "depopulation" were in Parishes close to Edinburgh, such as Yester, Cramond, and Dalmeny,—cases in which the decrease amounted to 18 and 25 per cent.' Nay, more—the slightest examination would have shown that great diminution was taking place, as a rule, in all Parishes which were purely rural and agricultural. Hardly anywhere was the population increasing, except in Parishes with villages, towns, manufactories, or mines. Everywhere the first step in agricultural reform was the division of labour, and the consequent migration of supernumerary hands. An excellent account of this was given by the Minister of Dalmeny, whose Parish had been largely benefited. Subdivided farms with bad husbandry, puny crops, and both men and beasts almost starving, had given place to thriving tenancies and well-fed labourers. Not the slightest outcry or alarm was raised by this contemporaneous depletion of Parishes in the Low Country, nor was the least attempt made to combat the reasoning by which it was so satisfactorily explained.

This difference of feeling would hardly have been rational even if it had been true that the diminution had been the result of mere Migration in one case, as compared with Emigration in the other. It was not very wise or intelligent to think or feel that men moving off to our own Colonies were less happy, or less useful to the world than men moving off to our own Towns. But, as a matter of fact, even this distinction was by no means an universal characteristic of the movement as between the Highlands and the Lowlands. The Lowland Counties during the same years sent many Emigrants to the Colonies, whilst the Highland Counties sent many thousand Migrants to the great centres of industry in the south. The Highlanders were undoubtedly more attracted than others by the possession of land, and they were notoriously less accustomed than others to continuous labour. Nevertheless, Highlanders as well as other Scotchmen had long been induced by the high wages of the Low Country to settle in great numbers there.The excitement and agitation, therefore, which arose when men discovered that some Highland Parishes were less crowded than they had once been, and the complete indifference with which the same result in Lowland Parishes was regarded, are an indication of one of the most rapid changes of sentiment that has ever perhaps been exhibited by any people. Forty years earlier the Highlanders were universally regarded in the Lowlands with mingled feelings of hatred and of fear. Now they seemed to be as universally valued as the main defence and the principal ornament of the nation. Beyond all doubt this great change of feeling had a just and an honourable cause. It arose out of the memories of Fontenoy, Ticonderoga, and Quebec. It had been confirmed by the known opinion of General Washington, who having served first with the Highlanders and then against them, carefully acted on the principle that the Highland Regiments must be confronted with special caution as the strongest point of the British line.

But amidst all that was natural and praiseworthy in the outcry against Highland Emigration there was also an element of selfishness. It was not right to think of the Highlands as nothing but a recruiting-ground for soldiers, or to think of its people as fit for no other function than that of fighting. It was not rational to expect that the Highland population would be long contented to live without any share in the growing wealth and comfort of their countrymen in the Lowlands. If the public had looked carefully into the reports of the Parish Ministers, they would have seen that, even as regarded the love of military service, a great change had already set in. During the war with France in Canada and America, the Highland Regiments had been true Clans—military bodies exclusively Highland, alike in men and officers. Many of the rank and file were gentlemen by birth and by position, and all the officers had personal and local connection with the men whom they commanded. But no such Corps had ever been, or ever could be formed again. Even so soon as in the subsequent war of American Independence, the character of the Highland Regiments had begun to change. They were no longer exclusively recruited in the Highlands; and in some Parishes the Ministers now reported, in 1791, that few recruits for foreign service could be got. This was a change which went on increasing. Just as in the Military Ages, now departing, it had been "broken men" out of whom many of the old Clans had been formed, so hence- forth it was chiefly among those Highlanders who had already left their own country, that enlistment continued to be successful. Notwithstanding the frequency of great wars, the Military Ages were coming to a close. The new institution of Standing Armies was completely changing the nature of Military service. It was no longer a pastime. It had become a profession. Highlanders could no longer rush off to short campaigns with old friends and old companions; and then rush back again to live as before on the milk of Ewes, on the blood of Cattle, and on cakes of oatmeal. If they were to move away from home permanently, or for long and indefinite periods of time, they might as well try for something better than the pay of a soldier, and the monotony of a barrack. They had seen and heard enough of higher conditions of life to make them desirous of sharing in them.

The American War of Independence had arrested Emigration. But the last year of that war, and the first of peace-1783—was coincident, as we have seen, with a terrible time of scarcity and almost of famine. What had been called the "rage" for Emigration naturally revived, and in 1801-2-3 a whole fleet of Transports had been carrying off loads of Highlanders from the Western Coasts. The ignorant jealousy and alarm with which the movement was regarded, swelled apace. It affected, almost as much as any other class, the Proprietors of land in the Highlands. It is a vulgar error very commonly entertained that these early Emigrations were incited, or even encouraged by Landowners. They had just formed a Society, of which my grandfather, John, fifth Duke of Argyll, was the first President, full of Celtic enthusiasms; one of whose aims it was to watch over every interest connected with the Highlands. In 1801 this Society appointed a Committee to consider the wonderful phenomenon of the emigration of a half-starving people. They spoke of it not only with sorrow, but with positive bitterness, and suggested every kind of theoretical scheme, by which it might be discouraged and prevented. So keen was the sentimental and benevolent spirit displayed, that Landowners were unjustly accused of a desire to keep up their supply of cheap labour for the manufacture of Kelp, or of indulging their old pride in a multitude of idle retainers. False, and indeed absurd, as such an accusation was, it is at least worth remembering as an antidote to the opposite accusation, that they were driving off the people from their Estates. It is an unquestionable fact, that at this early period the Landowners of the Highlands and Islands disliked the Emigrations, and did not fully comprehend the meaning or the causes of them. That meaning lay deeper than anything of which they were conscious. Sheep-farming had indeed begun, but it had not reached many of the Highland Parishes from which the Emigration was most copious and persistent. Neither had it reached, nor did it ever reach, many of the Lowland Parishes which Migration had depopulated with even greater sweep.

And yet, however unconsciously, the Proprietors of land had long been contributing gradually and steadily to the great change which led irresistibly to these movements of the people. They had made this contribution in every step they had taken towards a higher civilisation—when they began to think of increasing the produce of the soil—when they ceased to give farms to men who knew nothing of farming—when they sent forth their own Sons and kinsmen to officer the Army and the Navy, or to serve the Crown as Governors and Founders of the Colonies—when they abolished or commuted Services at home—when they granted Improvement Leases—when they persuaded their Tenants no longer to cast lots every year, each man for patches of arable ground no bigger than a tablecloth—when they built enclosures—when they showed their people how to make hay, and how to improve their Cattle, and how to manure their land, and how to alternate their crops. There is such a deep-seated and searching Unity in Nature, which includes the Mind of Man and the habits of Society—that not one single new idea, or one single new desire, can be introduced or followed without carrying with it a host of consequences. Every one of these steps in the path of new duties and of new inclinations, tended to break up an old world, and to usher in another which was different in everything. One Highland Minister pathetically epitomised it all. He complained that the people in his Parish, round their peat fires, instead of discussing, as of old, feuds and deeds of war, were now tamely discussing how they could better tend their Sheep, and improve their wool. But as yet the Proprietors did not see the inevitableness of the results which were typified by the lessening sails of Transport Ships, as their topmasts disappeared behind the waves into the splendours of the West. And so their Committee talked of the "malignant" spirit of Emigration as if it were hardly less wicked than Military Desertion. They even succeeded in persuading the Government of the day to pass an Act which, under the guise of sanitary regulations as to food and ventilation in ships, was strongly, though perhaps unjustly, suspected of an intention, to prevent it. Lord Selkirk, who favoured emigration, speaks in his Work upon the subject, of the "jealous antipathy" against it which he found "in the minds of the more considerable Proprietor of the Highlands." It was in this spirit that the Committee of the Highland Society drew up their Reports in 1802 and 1803. And yet in that very document they showed their complete knowledge of the fundamental fact on which everything depended. The first cause to which they attribute the Emigration is "such an increase of population as the country in its present situation, and with a total want of openings for the exertion of industry, cannot support."' Every other cause was a mere consequence of this one cause—which was in itself all-embracing and all- sufficient. It was not peculiar to the Highlands, but was operating quite as powerfully in every Lowland Parish under like conditions. Only, in the Islands and Western Highlands the stream had been pent up longer, and was overflowing with a rush. One simple explanation—one great natural analogy—would have spared the Committee all their sorrow. A great Hive was swarming. Chiefs and Landowners, Field Marshals, Poets, and Philosophers were standing round the "Skep," gaping, staring, wondering, and scolding, at the naughty instinct of the Bees.


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