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Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Perth to Inverness, across the Grampians, by the Highland road, through Athole, Bedenoch, Strathspay, and Strathdearn


Perth and its environs, 1.—Scone Palace; Glen Almond; Episcopal College; Luncarty; Anchtergaven; Birnamhill, 2.—Dunkeld—Town, Cathedral, and Bishoprick, 3.- Woods and Walks, 4.—The King's Pass, and Upper Valley of the Tay, 5.—Moulinearn; Pitlochrv; Fascally; Pass and Battle of Killiecrankie, 6.—Blair Athole, and Athole House, 7.—Falls of the Bruar and Fender; Glen Tilt, and hunting scenes, 8.--Strowan; passage through the Grampians by Drumonchter; Dalnacardoch, 9. Cairns, encampments, and conflicts, 10.—Military and modern roads, 11.—Dalwhinnie, 12.—Description of Loch Errocht, foot note; Glen Truim and Glenfernisdale, 13.--Craig Dhu, 14.—Battle of Invernahavon, 15.—Inn and village of Kingussie, and history of the ancient Lordship of Badenoch, 16.—Embankments on the Spey, 17.—Ruthven Barracks and Castle, 18.—Belleville; Castle of Raits, incident at, 19.—Views of the Grampians; Tor Alvie, 20.—Loch Alvie and Kinrara, 21.—Craigelachie; Strathspey; Aviemore Inn, 22.—Dulnan pine forest; Carr Bridge, 23.—Slochmuichk; Mackintosh of Borlum; Banditti, 24.—Strathdearn; River Findhorn; Freeborn Inn, 25.—Loch Moy; Moy Hall, 26.—Stratlinairn Daviot; views, and approach to Inverness, 27.

1. AFTER reaching Perth, or St. Johnston's, by rail, on his way north, the tourist will doubtless rest a short while ere he proceeds to view the magnificent panorama around the reaches of the Tay, as it emerges from the wooded highlands towards the north-west, and is lost in the Carse of Gowrie on the east, and to take a turn round the celebrated walks and streets of the " Fair City." If historical remembrances render Perth interesting to the antiquary as the scene of the Gowrie Conspiracy and of the first exertions of the reformer Knox, its modern embellishments and agreeable situation will not fail to please the general tourist. The city lies in a low plain on the west bank of the Tay, where its course bends to the east, and in a rather compact mass,—the public greens, or North and South Inches, as they are called, and which are not only of great importance to the commercial interests of the place, but afford most agreeable and healthy walks to the inhabitants, occupying either side of the town, along the margin of the river. Its streets are rather narrow, the houses of a greyish-red or dull freestone, and in the central streets generally high and of irregular elevations, with numerous and handsome shops. The population exceeds 20,000. Cotton weaving, chiefly of umbrella cloths, as also linen weaving and bleaching, are their principal occupations, there being about 1600 weavers in the town. The first bleachfield established in Scotland is that of Tulloch, in the vicinity. Perth was at one time celebrated for its glove trade. A fine bridge of 900 feet span, with ten arches, built in 1722, bestrides the river at the lower end of the North Inch ; and at its further extremity a long street, called Bridgend, runs along the river. The railway station common to the various railways centering in Perth is on the west side of the town, and the Perth and Dundee line is carried across the river below the bridge just mentioned.

The Tay is navigable to Perth, and steamers and vessels of large burthen come close to the town. The principal edifices are, the County Buildings, a porticoed structure fronting the river, between the bridge and South Inch, on the site of Gowrie House, handed down to fame by the Gowrie conspiracy, with the New Jail behind; an ornamental round structure, containing the Water Works; Marshall's building, another round two-storeyed edifice, erected to the memory of Provost Marshall, and which contains the Antiquarian Society museum, and a public library; St. John's Church, where John Knox preached his first sermon against popery and church buildings, now arranged for the accommodation of the congregations of three of the four parishes into which the town is divided—a very ancient building, surmounted by a square tower, and the representative of still older fabrics,—a place of worship, frequently renewed, having occupied this site from a very remote antiquity, it is alleged so far back as the fifth century, and thus the oldest stone church in the kingdom ; the Barracks, which can contain one thousand infantry; a large structure, the Lunatic Asylum, on the face of the hill above Bridgend ; an Infirmary; the Public Schools in Rose Terrace, fronting the North Inch; and an extensive pile of regular building on the south of the South Inch, erected, in 1812, at a cost of £130,000, and used as a depot for French prisoners, of whom it could accommodate 7000, and which is now remodelled into a central prison for the northern counties. This last Inch, which is surrounded and intersected by a double row of trees, and lined on two sides by a handsome row of houses and villas, was, in days of yore, the field where games and feats of strength, especially of archery, were practised; and around it were various religious edifices, all razed to the ground in 159; and near it the Parliament House. The North Inch now forms the Perth race-course, and is peculiary adapted for the purpose.

Perth was the capital of the kingdom till the reigns of James the Second and Third. It had a regular Parliament House, and has been the scene of many historical events. James I. was murdered in the monastery of the Blackfriars; and his body and that of his queen, and of Margaret, queen of James IV., were interred in the Carthusian monastery. The Earl of Cornwall was murdered by his brother, Edward III., before the high altar of St. John's. The city was at one time strongly fortified, and is supposed to have been so originally by Agricola, and the fortifications were repaired by Edward I. and III.; and Low's Mark, about four miles up the Almond, a very curious old weir or dyke, still extant, served to divert a large portion of the stream into an aqueduct encompassing the walls. The city has sustained various sieges.

Perth possessed, prior to the Reformation, no less than four monasteries, two nunneries, and a number of other religious houses.

The North Inch was also the scene of a remarkable contest in the reign of Robert III., between a select band of the Macintoshes and clan Kay, thirty of each, arranged, by royal authority, in order to terminate a deadly feud between these clans. One of the Macintoshes having lost heart, disappeared before the affray commenced; but his place was supplied by a gallant sadler of Perth, of the name of Wynde, who volunteered his services for a half French gold dollar. Twenty-nine of the Mackays4ell, and the survivor swam across the river and escaped; ten of 'the Macintoshes and Wynde remaining masters f the field.—(See Sir Walter Scott's "Fair Maid of Perth.")

Cromwell built a strong citadel on the South Inch, demolishing a number of houses for its erection.

The tourist should ascend Moncrieff Hill, at least as far as the railway tunnel, where he will enjoy one of the richest and most beautiful views in Scotland, and contemplating which, he will be able to appreciate the force of that burst of admiration with which the ancient Romans, on their passage over the same ground, hailed the plain and scenery beneath them - "Ecce Tiber! Ecce Campus Martius!" The opposite height of Kinnoul Hill commands an equally fine and rather more extensive view, especially towards the interior of the country, backed by a long line of the Grampian Mountains. Beneath its bold acclivities is Kinfauns Castle and beautifully wooded slopes falling gradually into the Carse of Gowrie, through which the railway trains may now be seen dashing to and from Dundee. Visits to Scone Palace, to Dupplin Castle, the residence of the Earl Qf KinnouI, five miles west of Perth, and to Lynedoch Castle, will afford delightful excursions to the tourist ere he quits this neighbourhood. The old village of Abernethy, near the northern extremity of Glenfarg, once the capital of the Scoto Picts, and the site of an extensive Culdee establishment, and characterized by a remarkable round tower similar to that of Brechin, and the work certainly of a very remote antiquity, claims the notice of the antiquary. And the village of Bridge of Earn, with Pitkeathly Mineral Wells adjoining, also lie in the vicinity. In an opposite direction the celebrated Carse of Gowrie invites, by its great expanse of perhaps the most fertile land in Scotland, embellished too with numerous country seats. And the tourist will be well repaid by a transit by rail as far as "Bonnie Dundee."

2. Proceeding now towards the Highlands on the DunkeId road, the tourist passes several large printfields; and at the distance of two and a half miles he descries, on the farther side of the Tay, the sombre walls of Scone, a large structure forming a hollow oblong square, formerly a palace of the kings of Scotland (now the seat of the Earl of Mansfield, representative of the Stormont family), whence Edward I. removed the celebrated inauguration stone, previously taken from Berigonium, or Dunstaffnage, and now in Westminster Abbey, where it still forms part of the coronation chair of the British Monarchs. Part of the walls of the old palace form the sides of the gallery, an apartment 130 feet in length. The house is chiefly remarkable otherwise for the large assortment of cabinets and some fine specimens of Beavois tapestry, several good paintings, and a bed of flowered crimson velvet, wrought by Queen Mary in Lochleven Castle.

The river Almond here crosses the road, which immediately thereafter passes under the Scottish Midland Railway; leaving Glenalmond on the left, where are the graves of " Bessy Bell and Mary Gray," and the modem Castle of Lynedoch, and Trinity College, opened within the last few years for the education of the clergy and youth of the Scottish Episcopal communion. As yet only two sides of the large quadrangle (190 feet square) have been built, comprehending the wardens and professors' houses, and accommodation for about 130 boys, including rooms for thirteen divinity students. Funds are still wanting for the erection of the hall, large school-room, cloisters, and completion of the chapel, notwithstanding the munificent donations of the Reverend Charles Wordsworth, the warden, which alone amounts to £10,000! About two miles in advance, a road leads from the left to Redgorton and Monedie, and another upon the right conducts to Luncarty, now the site of a fine bleachfield close to the Tay, and which was the scene of a desperate and decisive battle between the Scots and the Danes in the reign of Kenneth III. The Scots, when nearly overcome, were rallied by a peasant of the name of Hay, who, with his two sons, were ploughing hard by, and whose only weapons, it is said, were plough yokes. Hence the Hays' crest for many centuries has been a peasant carrying a yoke over his shoulder; and local tradition adds, that the Scottish king having promised the peasant, Hay, as his reward, all the land his falcon would fly over before alighting,—won thereby the whole country to the rocks of Kinnoul Hill, where it had been nestled.

Passing now the fine trouting streams of Ordie and Shochie, and the beautiful terrace banks overhanging the Tay, the road, nine miles from Perth, enters the straggling village of Auchtergaven, and then ascending a long moorish ridge, regains the valley of the Tayfrom amidst the copse woods and policies of Dlurthly Castle (Sir William Drummond Stewart), a splendid but unfinished edifice, in the Elizabethan style, with an old castle near it. The grand entrance to the Highlands by the skirts of Birnam Hill (1580 feet above the sea) ; and the rough eminences (all composed of roofing state), which form the outer flanks of the Grampians, and gorgeously tangled over with the golden blossomed furze, at the same moment burst into view. Birnam Wood, so fatal to Macbeth, has been long despoiled of its ancient forests, but young plantations of larch clambering up its slopes will soon conceal them, and the slate quarries that now scar them to a great depth. The hills on the north bank of the Tay also exhibit deep cuts in the clay or roofing slate of which they are composed, and which both to the south and north trends off in a thin band or zone seldom exceeding a mile in breadth.

3. Nestled among overhanging rocks and woods, and built on one of the numerous terraced flats which skirt both sides of the noble Tay, Dunkeld, the true entrance to the Highland scenery, has long been regarded as one of our most elegant and picturesque towns, and is a resort of many strangers, on account of the purity and softness of the air, and the great variety and beauty of the walks and drives around it. Before crossing the spacious five-arched bridge which leads to it, a road will be seen inclining to the left, which, after passing the village of Inver, (where Neil Gow, the famous performer of Scotch reels, was born,) proceeds along the west bank of the Tay to Kenmore, and the western districts of Perthshire. [A coach usually goes, in summer, from Dunkeld, by Kenmore and Killin, to Loch Lomond—and one is talked of, to branch off to Callander. It leaves Dunkeld at 7 o'clock e. m., and returns at 8 P. M. ; fares, 30s. and £1 This is a route every way worthy of, and suitable for, a public conveyance, and we trust will hereafter never want one. A mail gig, carrying three passengers, also rung daily (except on Tuesdays) from Dunkeld, as far as Kenmore, leaving Dunkeld about noon, (fare, 6s.) There is also a gig on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from Pitlochrie, at the foot of Killiecrankie Pass, to Rannoch. We may also add, that a daily coach leaves Dunkeld every morning at 7, for Cupar-Angus, by Blairgowrie, in connexion, with the railway to Dundee, and to await the Dundee steamers—the distance to Dundee being thirty guiles—and returns in the evening.] The guardian mountain screens of the town are very conspicuous as it is entered from the Perth side, the most northerly being Cragiebarns, and farther to the west Cragievenean, the bold and lofty sides of both which, covered with dense pine wood, form a protecting background, and hide from the view the upper valley of the Tay.

Dunkeld consists of two streets, one leading from the bridge, and the other at right angles to it, with back lanes proceeding from both. At the west end of the latter street, running parallel with the river, and above the bridge, stands the ancient and venerable cathedral of the diocese of Dunkeld. This building measures about eighty paces in length: the nave is now roofless, but the choir was rebuilt by the late Duke of Athole on the original model, at an expense of £5000, and is used as a place of worship. At the west end rises a buttressed tower, ninety feet in height, and twenty-four feet square, and adjoining it a small octagonal watch-tower. Buttresses project between the windows, surmounted above the church by traceried spiracles. The great aisle measures one hundred and twenty by sixty feet: the walls are forty feet high, and the side aisles twelve feet wide. On each side are seven spacious Gothic arches, with fluted soffits, resting on six plain Norman-like pillars, having shafts ten feet high, and four and a-half in diameter, and two half-columns. Over the arches there are two tiers of windows, the lower semicircular, the higher acute. The windows of the side-aisles are all of different designs, and chiefly of the decorated or middle-pointed Gothic; and it is interesting, and historically curious to mark, as observed by Mr. Billings, (Bar. and Eccl. Antiq. Scot.,) " even in this distant mountainous see, traces of the Flamboyant character of the French-Gothic artists." He considers it probable that there was no part of the building erected before 1230. There is the tomb and statue of a bishop in his robes, under a crocketed canopy, believed to be those of Bishop Robert Cardeny, who founded the nave, where he lies, in 1406. The new church is handsomely fitted up. In the spacious vestry, at the east end, is the gigantic stone effigy, arrayed in panoply of mail, which formerly, in the old church of this place, surmounted the grave of the notorious Earl of Buchan, "Wolf of Badenoch," the natural son of Robert II., who burnt the Cathedral of Elgin.

The Bishoprick of Dunkeld was established by David I., A.D. 1127, on the foundation of an older Culdee monastery. Gregory was the name of its first bishop. Robert Creighton, the last and thirty-ninth bishop, died in 1550. Bishop Sinclair built the choir in 1330. The great aisle was completed, in 1450, by Bishop Lauder, who also added the chapter-house in 1469; and the tower was finished in 1501. Immediately behind the cathedral stands the ancient palace of the Dukes of Athole. It is an old-fashioned square building; but a magnificent new mansion was commenced by a late Duke, the progress of which has, however, been suspended since his death. It stands behind an eminence bordering the river, which it was intended should have been removed. A considerable portion of the walls has been erected in the Gothic style, with a variety in the fashion of the windows, and the whole will form, if ever completed, an uncommonly large and splendid edifice; while the town, cathedra1, and palace, will constitute, with the fine bridge, a remarkable assemblage of architectural objects lining the stream, and embosomed in luxuriant foliage.

4. At the end of the cathedral, the stranger is shown the first two larches introduced into this country: they were originally treated as green-house plants, but are now ninety feet high, and one of them measures fifteen feet in circumference two feet above the ground. Hence the visitor is conducted along the east bank of the Tay, by a terraced walk overshadowed by enormous larches, beech, ash, oak, horse-chesnut, spruce, pine, and birch trees. Noble oaks line the opposite side of the river. The woods rise high on the right, larch and pine predominating. A great portion of the pine and spruce tribe are from 100 to 150 years old, and the oaks are of great growth. The Tay itself is peculiarly beautiful in its long unruffled expanse, and its gentle flow and clear waters. This river is the largest in Scotland, and its tributaries are supplied from a space of 2750 square miles The population of Dunkeld is about 1500; the two principal hotels (and they are both excellent) are the Duke's Arms and Royal.

From the base of Craigievenean a long oak-clad eminence projects, across which the guide leads the way to a hermitage on the wooded banks of the small river Braan. A fine 'view of Strath-Tay is presented on the way to the hermitage, and another favourable point of view is from the hill-face on the cast of the town.

Visitors seldom prolong an examination of the pleasuregrounds beyond a few miles; but the walks through the policies of Dunkeld are upwards of fifty, independent of a carriage-drive of thirty miles. The larch woods cover an extent of 11,000 square acres ; the number of trees planted by his Grace John, late Duke of Athole, being about twenty-seven millions, besides several millions of other sorts of trees. From the hermitage the traveller ought to extend his ramble, up Strath-Braan to the Rumbling Bridge (distant about two miles and a-half from the town) which is thrown across a narrow chasm eighty feet above the water-way. Immediately beyond the bridge, the Braan pours from a height into this gulf with great violence, a tortuous cataract producing a decided tremor in the bridge. At the bottom huge masses of rock have fallen across the stream, which, escaping beneath them, issues below through a; fissure not above a yard wide at the bottom, whence it flows into a fearfully still and dark pool.

5. A cleft or gorge through Craigiebarns, called the King's Pass, from its being a favourite spot where William the Lion is said to have often rendezvoused for the chase, now enables the public road, by a short cut, to attain the higher valley of Strath-Tay without following the windings of the river. It presents most magnificent views on either hand; and the traveller cannot fail to be struck with the first burst of the strath above, as it comes into view, reposing in all the beauty of a broad plain of arable and meadow-land, intersected by a large, deep, and winding river, which is skirted by numerous parallel terraces, rising one above the other, and by circular detached mounds—the islets in a former great inland lake. Above this lovely champagne landscape, the hill-sides present either craggy fronts, or long smooth slopes bedecked with houses and cottages, and dense woods of pine, larch, and birch trees; while the more distant ranges of the Grampian mountains, and of the West Highlands, present themselves in grim frowning majesty, and in chains and clusters of every imaginable form.

6. After refreshing himself with a glass of Athole Brose (a celebrated local compound of whisky and honey) at Moulinearn, shortly above the junction of the Tay and Tummel, the tourist, if he stops not for a day's angling, will pass on along the birchen bowers of Tulliemet and Down ally, to the neat and cleanly village of Pitlochrie, where he will find a most excellent inn; and leaving the mansion-house of Faskally (the beautiful residence of Archibald Butters, Esq.) on the left, and the bridge over the Garry—whence the districts of Rannoch and Tummel can be reached—he soon enters the romantic and classic Pass of Killiecrankie.

The Blair, or plain of Athole, on which we next enter, is watered by the river Garry. This stream, between four and five miles below Athole House, is joined, from the westward, by the river Tummel. The valley, through which their conjoined waters roll is connected with the Blair of Athole by the pass of Killiecrankie, which stretches, for the space of a mile or more, along the termination of the river Garry, forming an obtuse or nearly right angle with either valley. Isere the hills rise from the bed of the river with a very steep ascent, lining it on the western side with a perpendicular wall of rock. Both banks are enveloped, to the height of several hundred feet, with waving birches; the western slope being surmounted with a line of bare precipices, while the opposite barrier, formed by the lofty Ben Vracky, continues ascending above its wooded portion into abrupt and unadorned nakedness. The terraced sides of the valley, as we emerge from the pass, are adorned by several beautiful villas, as Urrard House, Killiecrankie, and Strathgarry cottages.

Killiecrankie is well known as the scene of the last exploit of Dundee, or, as he was called, "the bloody Clavers," in July 1689. General Mackay, the covenanters' leader, anxious to preoccupy the district of Athole, which was well affected towards King James, and by his presence to overawe the inhabitants, who were likely to declare for that party and reinforce Dundee with 1000 or 1500 men, pressed forward with his army from the south towards Athole House; while his opponent advanced to the same point in an opposite direction. Dundee deemed it inexpedient to dispute Mackay's progress through the pass, choosing rather a pitched encounter, in order to give full scope to the furious onset of his Highland followers, which he felt confident would accomplish the overthrow of the opposing force, and whose destruction would then be insured by the intricacies of the defile through which their retreat must lie. Mackay's army of 4500 men accordingly were suffered to debouch unmolested upon the haugh, or open ground, which immediately succeeds to the pass; while Dundee with his band, consisting of 2000 Highlanders and 500 Irish, instead of advancing directly down the valley of Athole, ascended the Water of Tilt, and, fetching a compass round the hill of Lude, made his appearance on the hill-side, about the position of the House of Urrard. The main body of Mackay's forces were hastily moved forward to a terrace midway between their opponents and the bottom of the glen, where the baggage was left. The regulars were chiefly raw levies, brimful of exaggerated notions of the ferocity and warlike character of their Highland foes. The Highlanders, on the other hand, were possessed with a sovereign contempt for the red-coats, and entertained the most sanguine confidence of victory. The assault commenced towards the close of evening. From their vantage ground, Dundee's rugged followers, bending the body low, and covering themselves with their targets, rushed down with resistless impetuosity. The opposition offered was heartless or unavailing. With the exception of a part of the right wing, Mackay's army was completely swept away. In riding towards a party of his men, to bring them to the attack of this body, Dundee received his death-wound. His rival, meanwhile, having manfully stood his ground, and stemmed the hostile tide, had found himself alone as it rushed passed him, and observing the remnant of his right wing standing firm, he put himself at their head, and counselling his men to be cool, and keep together, he led them down the hill and crossed the river. Avoiding the pass, this small division ascended the strath for six or seven miles, and by a rugged mountain tract, reached Menzies Castle, a few miles to the east of Taymouth, whence they pursued their way to Drummond Castle and Stirling. An upright stone will be observed in a field shortly after emerging from the pass, which is said to mark the spot where Dundee fell in the hour of victory.

7. To the westward of Blair, the vale of Athole is wide, flat, and open, and the hills are low, and seldom precipitous. Where the valley bends from an easterly to a southerly direction, in a sloping lawn surrounded by broad belts of trees, stands Athole House, the ancient residence of the dukes of that name. The house is a long, narrow building, of three storeys, with a lower row of apartments at one end. It was formerly much higher, and a place of considerable strength; and frequently a scene of hostility during the troublesome periods of the last and preceding centuries. The Athole estates are celebrated for the fine quality of the timber with which they abound. The greater part was planted by the late Duke John; and the trees, particularly the larches, are remarkable for their great size and straightness of stem.

8. Blair is noted for the number and variety of interesting waterfalls in its immediate neighbourhood. Three miles to the westward are those of the Bruar, the approach to which is now enclosed within a wall, and the entrance guarded by an old woman, who, however, will civilly show all the falls for a small consideration. The streamlet winds through a confined, perpendicular channel of rock, above which the sloping banks are covered with a fir plantation for which they are indebted to Burns' well-known "Petition." Commencing the ascent of the stream, we find it pouring down in a series of low, contracted falls, from one dark basin or linn to another. A more considerable cascade succeeds them: it is about twelve feet high, the water issuing from below through a natural arch of rock. Above this fall a bridge has been thrown across the chasm; two other falls are seen above the bridge, the remotest being about twelve feet, the nearest above thirty feet high. Beyond these the depth of the dell increases. heather, in rich wreaths, hangs from the cliffs and jutting corners of the rocks ; tall, graceful larches shoot up their straight stems, and the rowan and aspen add variety to the foliage. Above, we reach a second group of five falls, the lowermost about thirty-five feet high; the others, taken together, about forty feet. here there is a second bridge ; and still farther up a third series of falls exist, to all of which a good pathway on each side of the dell conducts, with a carriage-road, leading as far as the second set of falls.

The beauties of Lude, of Glen Tilt, and the Falls of Fender, rival those of Bruar, and are well worthy of being explored ; and indeed few neighbourhoods can more reward the tourist for a few days' stay than this, the more especially, as at the mouth of the Tilt he can be luxuriantly accommodated at either of the spacious inns—the Athole Arms, or the Bridge of Tilt Inn; and we trust that the impolitic attempt lately made by the advisers of his Grace, the Duke, to exclude the public from the policies and ancient district road through Glen Tilt, will be abandoned, as quite beneath the dignity and the hospitable courtesies of. an ancient Highland family. Glen Tilt has been long cleared of its population, but the inhabitants of the adjoining districts have too long used the road through it to be now prevented for the sake of a few deer. And, besides, the locality is too classic, in a scientific point of view, through the writings of Playfair, Hutton, and Macculloch, to be so shut up. To see all the falls which occur on a burn, a tributary of the Tilt, it should be ascended for three miles at least. The Water of Tilt, which passes close by Athole House, runs for about two miles above the old bridge of Tilt, between high banks rising from the water's edge. In general the sides are very steep, but covered with birch and ash, and a perfect jungle of hazel. The rising sides of the glen, immediately over the edge of the banks, are clothed with fir and larch, to which corn-fields succeed. A burn falling into the water of Tilt, where. this latter stream flows between two perpendicular walls of limestone, gives rise to the Falls of Fender. Birch, ash, and other trees crown the tops of the ridge, and springing from the stages of the rocks with a profusion of hazel, Guelder rose, and other shrubs, completely overshadow the water as it falls into the Tilt. The Fender is seen through a narrow recess, making a leap of about thirty feet ; it then trickles in parted streamlets over four successive ledges of rock, projecting from the side of the bank of the Tilt. A detached portion of the burn escapes into the latter a few hundred yards below these falls, and constitutes what is called the York cascade. About a mile up the Fender is a third beautiful fall, well worthy of being seen.

Our space prevents us from quoting the well-known descriptions of the Royal hunting feats which of yore were held in Athole, and which, on a small scale, have been repeated even in modern times. Suffice it to say, that the forests here abound in all kinds of game common to this country, and that the Red Deer are greatly increasing, and may be seen marshalled in herds of many hundreds at a time. The deer on the Athole estates are computed to number about 15,000. The repose and utter stillness said to be requisite for these animals are inimical to agriculture, and even to sheep farming, and hence large tracts of the property are kept utterly waste and desolate. Even the botanist is now occasionally prevented from wandering so freely as he used to do over Ben-y-gloe, and the other high mountains of the district!

9. The road northward quits the vale of Athole, at a bend about three miles past Blair, opposite the mansion-house and hamlet of Strowan, the ancient holding of the chief of the CIan Robertson—a name next to that of Stewart in this quarter, and an offshoot from which family migrated several hundred years ago to Inverness, and after rising to opulence as traffickers there, became the proprietors of the fine estate of Inshes near that town. Our way now keeps along the east bank of the river Garry, and gradually ascending, soon leaves the region of trees and cultivation behind, and enters upon the bleak and moorish wilds of Drumouchter, where nought but stunted grass and heather, dark swamp, impetuous torrents, grey rock, and frowning heights and precipices are to be seen. The mountains also are heavy, and seem broken into great detached mounds, rather than united in picturesque chains.

Even the comforts of the "Hospitium" of Dalnacardoch, as the inn has written over its door, can scarcely enliven the scene, and the traveller will always, as of yore, hasten on to get over this pass through the grampians—the Druim-albin or great back bone of Scotland—thankful if he be not stopped by a snow storm, of which the high posts painted black at top, and ranged at intervals along the road side, are rather too significant memorials.

Half way between Dalnacardoch and the next inn, Dalwhinnie (thirteen miles), the mountain streams part at the Badenoch Boar and the Athole &w, as the two opposite mountains are named, some running eastward to join the Truim and the Spey, while others, by a longer circuit, fall into the Tay. This spot is the proper boundary between the counties of Inverness and Perth, and of the great districts of Athole and Badenoch, and the traveller will hereabouts see extensive sections of the gneiss rock, traversed by veins of large white-grained granite, of which the country for very many miles around is composed.

10. On the bleak surface of the moors there are numerous pillars and cairns, memorials of those who have perished in the snow, or fallen fighting for their homes and kindred. The marks of an encampment of a party of Cromwell's troops still exist at Dalnaspidal, a short way within the Perthshire boundary, where they received a check from the Athole men and some of the Camerons of Lochiel. Here, too, General Cope drew up his army, in expectation of being attacked by the highlanders, in 1745, whilst they awaited him on the northern side of Corryarrick; and by his ill-advised manoeuvre in quitting his post, and marching onwards, left the road open to the insurgents. And here, early in the year 1746, Lord George Murray planned and executed a series of attacks on various posts held by the royalists. A battalion of the Athole brigade, and a body of T 1acphersons commanded by their chief, Cluny, —that is to say common peasants, and a few country gentlemen without military experience,—under Lord George's directions, successfully surprised and carried twenty detached strong and defensible posts, all within two hours of the night ; and the different parties punctually met at the appointed place of rendezvous, though their operations lay in a rugged, mountainous country. Of this exploit, General Stewart of Garth, in his "Sketches," says, "I know not if the whole of the Peninsular campaigns exhibited a more perfect execution of a complicated piece of military service." Lord George had himself marched to the Bridge of Bruar, with twenty-five men and a few elderly gentlemen, when he was informed that Sir Andrew Agnew, who held the castle of Blair, was advancing with a strong force to reconnoitre. In the words of Home, "It was daylight ; but the sun was not up. Lord George, looking earnestly about him, observed a fold-dike (that is, a wall of turf) which had been begun as a fence for cattle, but left unfinished. He ordered his men to follow him, and draw up behind the dike, at such a distance one from another that they might make a great show, having the colours of both regiments flying in the front. He then gave orders to the pipers (for he had with him the pipers both of the Athole men and the Macphersons) to keep their eyes fixed on the road from Blair; and the moment they saw the soldiers appear, to strike up with all their bagpipes at once. It happened that the regiments came in sight just as the sun rose, and that instant the pipers began to play one of the most noisy pibrochs. Lord George and his I3ighlanders, both officers and men, drawing their swords, brandished them about their heads. Sir Andrew, after gazing awhile at this spectacle, ordered his men to the right-about, and marched them back to the Castle of BIair. Lord George kept his post till several of his parties came in; and as soon as he had collected 300 or 400 men, secure of victory, and certain that his numbers would very soon be greater, he marched to Blair, and invested the castle."

11. Two or three miles below the shooting lodge of Dalnaspidal, at the east end of Loch Garry, and the opening along which affords an interesting view of Schihallion and the mountains towards Loch Rannoch and Loch Tay, a large stone stands on the right-hand side of the road, with the year 1729 carved upon it. It was here that the troops, who formed the lines of road from the opposite points of Inverness and Dunkeld, met one another ; and thus marked the spot and date when and where they finished their labours.

The new road formed by the Parliamentary Commissioners for Highland roads and bridges, follows nearly the same line as the old military one observed ; and, from its position, and the undulating nature of the ground, it is occasionally liable to be blocked up in winter with snow. No greater quantities accumulate, however, than are frequently encountered on the coast roads; and it is unquestionable that, if the pass of Drumouchter were a little better inhabited than it is at present, there would be no difficulty in keeping open the passage at all times of the year; and, even at present, this route is not nearly so often obstructed by snow as the coast road from Aberdeen to Inverness. (See section 1, page 50, as to the railway projected to pass in this direction.)

12. A few miles more, and we descry the Inn of Dalwhinnie, partly surrounded, like the wells of the desert, with the verdure of a larch plantation, the only green and pleasing sight on which the eye can rest for many miles around. "But who shall praise Dalwhinnie?" as Dr. Macculloch says: "no one but the commissioners who built it, and who desire you to be thankful that you have a place to put your head in." If the rain or snow do not urge the traveller to get forward on his journey, the coldness of the climate, and the appearance of the red grouse and of the alpine plants here growing close by the roadside, should do so. From the inn, however, which is comfortably kept by Mr. Grant, who has also a due supply of post-horses, chaises, gigs, and dog-carts, a glimpse should be taken of the mountain Benalder, situated on the north side of Loch Errocht, a small part of which is here visible. An extraordinary cave, or cage, as it is called by Home, exists in this mountain, in which Prince Charles Stuart found refuge for a short time, during his wanderings.

[The tourist, if he has time, will be gratified by an excursion to Loch Errocht, which is twenty miles long by about one mile broad. It is the highest of the great chain of Perthshire lakes, the combined waters of which supply the Tay; but being very little depressed below Dalwhinnie Inn, it could almost he drained into the 24uim, and would thence flow into the Spey. Thus it occupies the summit level of the country (about 1500 feet above the sea), and the numerous parallel terraces and gravel 'auks seen here in all directions, shew that even the highest of the Gram ian ridges and valleys were once submerged beneath the ocean. The north side of lake, for about six miles down, is flanked by a high grassy hill sloping gently down to the water's edge, after which succeed the rouryh precipices of Ben Alder. On the south side there is a greater intermixture of ro& and wood, and the lower end of the lake conducts to the desolate and dreary swamps of the "Moor of Rannoch. The Marquis of Ahercorn rents all the northern hills from Cluny Macpperson as a deer forest, and at the base of Ben Alder his Lordship has a shooting lodge, communicating by a country road with his residence at Ardverackie, on Loch Laggan, where her Majesty and Prince Albert passed the autumn of 1848.

Formerly, before the dismemberment of the Duke of Gordon's Highland estates, the southern side of Loch Erroclit was used by his Grace's tenants of llalwhinnie and Breachachy as the summer shealin,q of their cattle; and the north side by Cluny's tenants for the same purpose. At that time, about seventy years ago, from £10 to £15 of rent were paid yearly for what now yields at least ten times as much. The sites of the herds' huts or bothies are still visible, and the piles of stones heaped near them, are the imperishable memorials of their presence, and of the attempts which they made to improve the pastures. Black cattle and horses were then the sole stocks of these highland tenants. Sheep were few, and kept only in small flocks near the houses, for their wool and mutton for domestic use; and in summer the ewes were milked daily, a practice which prompted some of our most beautiful and tender pastoral songs.]

13. Taking leave of Dalwhinnie, whence the traveller, if bound for the west coast, assumes the road which branches off on the left, about half a mile on, for Catlodge (eight miles), and then proceeds by Loch Laggan, glad that he has got over a little more than half distance from Perth to Inverness, soon enters Glen Truim—a rough inclined plain, which descends rapidly towards Strathspey. At Ettridge Bridge (five miles from the last stage), the old military way left Glen Truim and proceeded in a direct line eastwards through Glenfernisdale to the barracks of Ruthven opposite Kingussie—keeping all the way along a fine gravel terrace, and considerably shorter than the present line of road, which makes a detour to secure a foundation of rock for a bridge across the Spey. The old road (which every pedestrian at least should follow) is overhung with beautiful birch woods ; and indications of the country's having been at one time thickly peopled are everywhere visible in the numerous sites of cottages, the ploughed ridges, and the vast quantities of stones piled up (now grass-covered mounds), which were gathered off the fields! Hundreds of families have thus made way for the sheep of a few large tenants ; and if the inquisitive stranger should enquire who those tenants are here and elsewhere in Badenoch, he will find that chiefly they are majors and captains, who, at the instigation of the late celebrated Jane, Duchess of Gordon, served in the Peninsular war, or received honourable scars at Waterloo, and who, on the return of peace, took, at high rents, extensive tracts of their native soil, where, in general, they have not made rich by farming.

14. Descending now rapidly by the post road along the birch-clad banks of the Truim, Glen Truim House (Macpherson) is seen on a high ridge on the left, and immediately to the east of it rises the lofty serrated mountain of Craigdhu (the Black Rock), the ancient natural beacon of the district, overlooking the countries of Laggan, Badenoch, and Strathspey, with an enormous circuit of the Grampian and Monaliagh mountains, and which is the rendezvous or gathering hill of the clan Macpherson. At the farther extremity of this hill the rivers Truim and Spey unite, the public road crossing a little way below their junction by an old military bridge of three arches, and then dividing into two, the main branch continues northwards past the poor hamlet or village of Newtonmore, and the other fork turns westward on its course by Cluny and Loch Laggan for Fort-William and the west coast. (See Route 1. D.)

15. At Invernahavon, near the junction of the rivers just named, a celebrated clan battle was fought, in the reign of James I., between the Mackintoshes and Camerons. The lands of Mackintosh, in Lochaber, were possessed by a set of Camerons, who always refused to pay their rents, which were accordingly levied by force, and consisted principally of cattle. Acknowledging no right but that of occupancy, and provoked by the seizure of their herds, the Camerons at length resolved on making reprisals; and they, therefore, poured down upon Badenoch above 400 strong, headed by a Charles llacgilony. The Laird of Mackintosh, thus obliged to call out his followers, soon appeared with a force sufficient for the emergency. The David-sons of Invernahavon and the Macphersons of Cluny contended for the right hand in the line of battle; and Mackintosh, as umpire, having decided in favour of the former, the whole clan Macpherson withdrew from the field in discontent. From the equality of numbers thus created, the conflict was sharp and bloody; many of the Mackintoshes, and almost all the Davidsons, were killed. The Macphersons, provoked at seeing their brave kinsmen nearly overpowered, rushed in, and totally defeated the Camerons, whose leader they pursued to Glen Benchar, and overtook and slew him on a hill still called by his name, Corharlich, or Charles' hill.

16. Three miles on we reach the good inn and village of Kingussie, the latter having no trade or manufactures, and yet possessing a large pauperized population, chiefly thrown in upon it by the successive clearings of the adjoining districts. It was commenced, on the precincts of an ancient monastery, about the end of the last century, by the Duke of Gordon, with the view of introducing the spinning of wool and the manufacture of woollen cloths, which have not succeeded, and the inhabitants are now entirely dependent for employment on the neighbouring corn and sheep farmers. The Court House, Churches, Bank (a branch of the British Linen Company), and many of the private dwellings, as well as the Inn, are, however, substantially built of the beautiful grey and white granite, in which the district abounds. Among the privations of the poor people the scarcity of fuel is often severely felt in winter, as some of the most accessible peat mosses are nearly exhausted, and the cost of carting coals so far inland is beyond their means; yet, we regret to say, that the consumpt of whisky here, and in all the Highland villages, is most inordinate and disgraceful. James Evan Baillie, Esq., of Culduthel and Glenelg, formerly of Bristol, is also the proprietor of the Kingussie estate, which he bought on the demise of the late Duke of Gordon. His possessions extend now over a principal part of the great lordship of Badenoch. More anciently this was also the land of the Cumings, a family which ruled here with a rod of iron during the reigns of the early Scottish sovereigns, especially the Alexanders. Their fortresses, as at Lochan Eilan and Lochindhorb, were numerous, extensive, and strong; and the style of building employed in them can even yet be distinguished from that of the common baronial peels of the country.

The part which this family took in the wars between Bruce and Baliol, and the extent to which they even attempted to push their own pretensions to the crown, are well known. Their subsequent misfortunes paved the way for the friends of Robert I., who were installed into their possessions by this prince and his immediate successors. Extensive tracts of country were conferred on Randolph, Earl of Moray, and the Lord Seneschal, brother of the king, and on the famous Wolf of Badenoch, natural son of Robert II., on whom also were bestowed those most extraordinary powers of barony and regality by which the influence of the crown in the Highlands was almost annihilated. But various donations were also granted to certain individuals known as "kindly tenants" of the king, who held them during his pleasure, and likewise to churchmen, through whose subinfeudations several independent though inferior families became established in the country. A constant struggle was hence maintained between these and their powerful neighbours, as was strongly illustrated in the history of the clan Gregor. The Shaws of Rothiemurchus were also particularly conspicuous in this respect. They were independent of all the great lords ; and held their duchies, or estate, of the bishops of Moray, for the supply only of a certain quantity of tapers, and of wood for the occasional repair of Elgin cathedral.

In later times, the Dukes of Gordon ruled over Badenoch. The Mackintoshes and Grants have also territories in this district; and to the westward the parish of Laggan belongs principally to that important division of the clan Chattan, the Macphersons, of whom Macpherson of Cluny is the chief.

17. Extensive and costly embankments along the Spey commence near Kingussie, and extend down several miles till the river loses itself in Loch Insh, on its way to which it winds through a succession of most beautiful meadow haughs, where the natural grass is carefully cut and preserved as hay, and along which there are numerous pools, abounding in water-fowl, and covered over by tall reeds and water lilies. A wooden bridge has recently been erected south of the west end of the village, communicating with the south bank of the Spey, and with an excellent district road to Rothiemurchus, which the tourist will find to abound in magnificent views; and if the approaches to this bridge could be well protected from the over-floorings of the river, the public road should cross here by a stone bridge and proceed southwards by the direct line through Glenfernisdale, already alluded to. Before the erection of this bridge, the right bank of the Spey could only be reached by a ferry below the village, whence a broad piece of marshy meadow had to be passed ere the solid ground adjoining the Mount of Ruthven was attained.

18. This mount has the ruins of an old barrack on it, which have an imposing appearance, but which were much inferior in strength and size to the more ancient castle which they displaced, and which belonged to the wild Cumings, Earls of Badenoch. Queen Mary frequently visited this castle, that she might enjoy the pleasures of the chase in the adjoining forests. The barrack, built of its stones in 1718, was defended against a whole Highland host, by twelve men, under the command of a Serjeant Mulloy, in February 1746, when the rebels set it on fire ; and it was at this place that the chiefs reassembled their forces, to the number of 8000, two days subsequent to the battle of Culloden, in the hopes of Prince Charles again taking the field.

Ruthven was also celebrated of old for a good inn and an excellent school ; and the tourist who has time should by no means pass it without a visit, as the mount commands a most magnificent view, especially of the course of the Spey, and of the many curious gravel terrace banks which line it on both sides, and which are here elevated about 1000 feet above the sea.

19. Continuing now along the left bank of the river, the road passes in front of the mansion-house and lawn of Belleville (Miss Macpherson), where, on a little knoll by the wayside, may be seen a small obelisk, erected in memory of the former proprietor, Macpherson, the first translator of Ossian's Poems, and whose fame as an original poet, or as a mere compiler, has been the subject of much discussion. His residence occupies the site of the ancient Castle of Raits, another, and the principal stronghold of the great family of the Cumings. An incident which occurred at this castle is worth recounting. Cuming, one of the old proprietors, jealous of a neighbouring chieftain (the Laird of Mackintosh), invited him and his kindred to a great banquet, disguising, under the mask of hospitality, the atrocious purpose of slaughtering his guests unawares. The company were to be so arranged at table as that the Mackintoshes should be separated from one another, and the appearance of a boar's head was to be the signal for each Cuming to stab the stranger who sat beside him. Mackintosh discovered the plot; nevertheless, he accepted the invitation, having previously informed his clansmen of the signal, and bade them anticipate their treacherous entertainers. Accordingly, when the feast waxed high, the boar's head was introduced. The Mackintoshes seized the moment; and with the barbarity and decision common in those dark and bloody days, inflicted the most ample and speedy revenge on their foes.

20. Our route now continues through birch-clad knolls and small farms, formerly the abodes of a numerous and warlike peasantry, followers of the Gordon, " The Cock of the North," with a few gentlemen's residences (as Kincraig and Invereshie), scattered at wide intervals. Cairngorm, Ben )Iacdhui, and the central group of the Grampians, lift their huge sides and summits on the right, and we see long stretches of the vast solitudes which surround them, terminating in the deer corries and precipices which lie concealed in the deep shadows of the mountains. To the stranger will be pointed out the high passes of Gaick and \Iinikaig, which abound in red deer and game of all kinds, and where many a life has been lost in the snow, on their journeys, of smugglers, drovers, and of the peasantry, by these short cuts to the Lowlands. (See Branch c. to this Route.) In front the high rocky crag which rises before us is Tor Alvie; and the woods and fields which sweep round it are parts of the pleasure-grounds of Kinrara, the favourite seat of the late Duchess, and of her son George, the last of the Dukes of Gordon. On the eastern brow of the Tor is a rustic hermitage, commanding a most extensive view of the valley of the Spey; and at the other extremity of the ridge, an enormous cairn of stones records the fame of the heroes of Waterloo; and above has been superadded a monument to the Duke of Gordon's memory.

21. Loch Alvie next presents itself on the left of the landscape, with its neat manse and church standing on a peninsula near the west end. Clumps of trees and corn-fields grace its margin ; and on quitting them, the house and grounds of Rothiemurchus come into view on the opposite side of the Spey. It has been remarked, that Loch Alvie is one of the thousand lakes one meets with in the Highlands, with no very conspicuous features, yet possessing beauties such as language can rarely describe. "It is the pellucid water murmuring on the pebbly shore, the dark rock reflected on the grassy surface, or dancing on the undulating wave, the wild water-plants, the broken bank, the bending ash, the fern, the bright flowers, and all the poetry of the margent green, which give to these scenes a feeling that even painting cannot reach; a beauty that belongs to nature alone, because it is the beauty of life; a beauty that flies with the vital principle that was its soul and its all." The scenery hereabouts has been described by none more beautifully or correctly than by the author from whom we have just quoted (Dr. Macculloch.) "A succession of continuous birch forest, covering Kinrara's rocky hill and its lower grounds, intermixed with open glades, irregular clumps, and scattered trees, produces a scene at once alpine and dressed ; combining the discordant characters of wild mountain landscape and of ornamental park scenery, while the variety is at the same time such as is only found in the most extended domains." In an old burying-ground at a short distance from the house of Kinrara, which is dedicated to Saint Eda, stands a handsome granite monument, erected to the memory of Jane, late Duchess of Gordon, who herself chose this picturesque spot as her last resting-place.

22. The beautiful and bold projecting frontlet of Craigelachie now comes prominently into view on the left. It separates Badenoch from Strathspey; was the hill of rendezvous for the people of the latter, and the boundary and ancient ward-hill of the district. "Stand fast, Craigelachie!" is the war or gathering cry of the clan Grant, the occupants of this great strath. From its swelling base and rifted precipices, the birch trees wave in graceful clusters; their bright and lively green forming a strong contrast in the foreground to the sombre melancholy hue of the pine forests, which in the distance, on the south, stretch up the sides of Glenmore and the Cairngorms. [In the small lake behind the Inn of Aviemore, at the base of Craigelachie, the botanist will find quantities of Nuphar minima, the smallest and rarest of British water lilies. On the neighbouring hill he will likewise discover several alpine plants, as Alchemilla alpina, Rumex dyginus, Saxifraga aixoides and S. hypnoides, &c.] In the eastern front of the hill stands the high old steep-roofed, but comfortable Inn of Aviemore, where the tourist should stop, if he means to explore the district or to visit Cairngorm and the other scenes described in Branches c. and D. of this Route. In clear calm weather the majesty of our Highland scenery is nowhere felt more impressively. The Grampians are here magnificent in their bulk, and elegant as well as varied in their outlines, while in the elevated summit of Ben Macdhui, they rival Ben Nevis itself.

Strathspey's proud river also, the broad rolling waters of which every way befit the majestic scenery through which they flow, occupies the middle of the spacious valley before us. Now, it slowly moves through dark and deep linns; now, rushing over a wide gravelly bed, it shows, by the rents in the soil, and the sudden bends in its course, the strength and fury of its wintry floods. Its banks are occasionally fringed with rows of birch and alder; but anon, the silvery line of its waters will be seen shooting into some thick and dark grove of pine trees, again to emerge far away by the side of cultivated fields and humble hamlets. The appearance, in short, of the strath, which is now visible for twelve miles of its course, transports the imagination to the days of Roman warfare, or to the woody solitudes of America. Till within a few years, Strathspey might have been described as a plain covered with pristine forests, laid open occasionally by the sweeps of a large river, and by the deep indentations of its alpine tributaries; for its surface has been but recently touched by the hand of man.

23. Between Aviemore and the next stage, Carr Bridge (eight miles), the road cuts across a portion of Morayshire, and again re-enters Inverness-shire. In this space it passes along a series of undulating knolls, containing between them many small lakes or tarns, abounding in water fowl, and on one of which are the ruins of an old castle. The road afterwards goes through a small portion of the ancient pine forest of Dulnan, where the size and fantastic forms of the native tree may still be seen in perfection, and where occasionally the traveller may suddenly come upon numerous black cock and the small fairy red squirrel. Half way he passes on the right a district road striking off to Grantown and the lower portions of Strathspey, and on crossing the rapid river Dulnan to the comfortable little Inn of Carr Bridge, he meets another branch of the same road coming northward from Strathspey.—(See Branch n. Route it.)

24. Turning now to the left, the road passes over the remains of part of the ancient Caledonian forest, which was burnt down by general Wade to insure an easy access to Inverness ; and which, if again enclosed by the proprietor, the Earl of Seafield, would soon send up a plentiful stock of fir trees to cover the nakedness of these most dreary wastes ; and so we hasten on towards Strathdearn, or the country watered by the river Findhorn. But the deep and anciently dangerous pass of Slochmuichk (the wild boar's den or hollow) is on before us (about three miles), now to be dreaded only as the last spot where snow is likely to be to any great depth on one's journey northwards during winter. It was at one time a favourite haunt of banditti, some of whom, even for years after the suppression of the rebellion of 1745, continued to infest the passage by the Grampians to the low country.

This pass was also particularly noted as having been the occasional resort (about the middle of last century) of Mackintosh of Borlum, a property near Inverness, who was a man of education and respectable family, of insinuating manners, but of a character not unlike that of his contemporary, Simon, Lord Lovat. He had a good deal of the old mercenary soldier about him, with an air of French politeness which was common to the Highland gentlemen of the period; and though secretly leagued with a gang of desperadoes, he continued for a long time to deceive the public, and lull the suspicions of his friends. His history is well known, and is depicted in Sir Thomas Dick Lauder's interesting novel of Lochandhu. His last exploit, which compelled him to flee from the country, was an attempt to rob Sir Hector Monro of Novar, on his journey northwards, after his return from India, in the year 1770. Three of his accomplices, one of them his own natural brother, were seized and hanged at Inverness. Mackintosh is said to have gone to America, and served under General Washington ; and a report prevails that he revisited his native country some years ago. Another celebrated freebooter was John Gunn ; a personage in whom were combined the rude manners of the bandit, with the more generous sentiments of chivalry. His ordinary abode was among the wild recesses of Strathspey, in the neighbourhood of Cairngorm and Aviemore. At the same period, the vicini'ly of Shian, of Invergarry, and the confines of Lochaber, were tenanted by a savage tribe of Kennedys, who levied tribute over an extended range of country. David Scrymgeour of Birkhill, and Alexander Campbell of Delnies, successively sheriffs-depute of Inverness-shire, after the suppression of the insurrection in 1746, failed, though repeated were their endeavours, to extirpate these mauraders; and when Simon Fraser, Esq. of Farraline, was appointed successor to Mr. Campbell, in May 1781, he found the state of police totally inefficient, and property incapable of protection on any other ground than by the voluntary payment to the heads of the robber troops of either money or cattle; black mail, as in the remotest ages, being, in fact, thus demanded and agreed, to. Mr. Fraser, who had quitted a military life to embrace that of the gown, at the desire of his chief, General Fraser of Lovat, with whom he had served in the American war, set himself earnestly to work to effect the total suppression of such an alarming evil. With the assistance of a stout and courageous Highlander, Mr. John Mackay, sheriff-officer at Fort-Augustus, as his aide-dc-camp, and by unremitted perseverance, he finally effected his purpose; traversing with his faithful adherent the most inaccessible districts, repeatedly incurring personal danger in many shapes, and having been more than once fired upon in his hazardous journeys. So imminent was the risk he ran, that he rarely moved from home without a brace of pistols on his person. Acting on the old adage, "Set a thief to catch a thief," he nominated Donald Mhor Oig Cameron, in Blairroy of Lochaber, himself a notorious cateran, as one of the constables of the county, and engaged his good offices on the side of order. By his aid, the whole tribe of the Kennedys was hunted down and dispersed, one being hanged at Inverness, and others being banished beyond seas. Two were secured near Callander by a masterly manoeuvre of Mr. .Mackay, who had tracked them thus far. They were drinking in a change-house, when he suddenly entered and called on them to submit, as escape was impossible. They credited his tale, and quietly allowed themselves to be handcuffed, when he led them off prisoners : but no words can paint their rage and mortification, on finding they had fallen victims to stratagem, and that their captor was unattended. Another important ally to Mr. Fraser, in discovering the haunts of the Kennedys, was Donald Dhu Piddick (as his sobriquet went), in the Braes of Lochaber, a man somewhat above the vulgar, and intimately acquainted with the habits of the people.

25. Emerging from Slochmuichk, we now enter the district of Strathdearn, and after crossing the river Findhorn two miles on, we reach the inn of Freeburn, where we again come in sight of the Findhorn, sweeping with rapid pace through a series of alluvial banks and terraces, which occupy the whole of the plain between the observer and the base of the opposite inountains. To the east the river is lost sight of, as it plunges into a dark ravine called the Streens, from the sides of which rise precipitous mountains of granite. (See Branch F. Route II.) About a mile south of Freeburn, a country road branches off to the interior of Strathdearn, and the upper reaches of the Find-horn, which all belong to gentlemen of the clan Mackintosh. (See Route II. Branches E. and F.)

26. The road now descends rapidly towards Inverness, and three miles on, after passing a hard gravelly ridge, covered with a dense fir wood, we come suddenly on Loch Moy, about 450 feet above the sea, with Moy Hall, the residence of Mackintosh of Mackintosh, chief of the clan, fronting us at the farther extremity. This lake, with its trees and island, are, as has been observed by Dr. Macculloch, " as a gleam of sunshine in a cloudy day; yet one that renders the adjoining waste darker and more dreary." Of its island, and its castle, the seat of the chief of the ancient and powerful clan Chattan, there is no lack of legendary story; and in recounting the old clan fights, as detailed by Sir Robert Gordon—" the Curse of Moy," as preserved in song—and the heroism of its lady and its blacksmith, who saved Prince Charles in 1746—the stranger will have enough to muse on as he hastens by its low and woody shores. Besides the main island, fortress, and parterre, " where many a garden flower still grows wild," there is a small islet of loose stones (said to be artificial) near the southern end of the lake, which formed the chieftain's prison-house. A handsome granite obelisk, seventy feet high, on a base of about twenty feet square, has been erected on the largest island, to the memory of the late Sir Æneas Mackintosh, Bart., chief of the clan. On the west side of Loch Moy are the church and manse of the parish; and at the north end, Moy Hall, the principal residence of the chief of Mackintosh, who has erected, hard by, a small but convenient inn for the use of the public.

27. Hence we descend rapidly from Strathdearn to Strathnairn, the valley watered by the river Nairn, and passing the inn of Craggy (six miles from Inverness), and the road which leads westwards to the district of Stratherrick (see Route ii. Branch F.), we cross the river at a sharp angle, and then breast the hill of Daviot, crowned at top by the site of an old ward or beacon fort, and having below the ungainly church and manse of the parish. A little eastwards is the house of Daviot (Æneas Mackintosh, Esq.) on the site of a very ancient castle of that name, past which a distant view is obtained of the lower parts of Strathnairn, of the policies of Kilravock and of the Thane (now Earl) of Cawdor, and of the plains of Nairn and Moray. Immediately thereafter the waters of the " bright, bright sea" of the German ocean are descried with delight, and upon the verge of the horizon the Ord of Caithness and the dim outlines of the finely peaked chain of mountains which separate that county from Sutherlandshire. To the right band, on the same level with the spectator, and at a distance of about a couple of miles, lies the moor of Culloden, famous in story. Directly below, the Moray and Beauly Firths display their winding shores, and the fertile tracts of corn and woodland skirting them, over which the Ross-shire, the Strathconan and Strathalass mountains, with the huge Ben Wyvis in the centre, and beautifully peaked summits to the west and south-west of it, are spread out in glorious majesty. The Great Glen of Scotland also opens up on the left hand, terminated in the west, so far as the eye can penetrate "into the bowels of the land," by the beautiful dome-shaped mountain of Mealfourvounie; and in front, just beneath the rough and wooded escarpments of the vitrified fortress of Craig Phadrick, we descry the smoke of Inverness—the low-lying Highland capital, with its castle, spires, and shipping. This is altogether a magnificent scene. (For a full description of Inverness see Section IV.)


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