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Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Route IV: Branch D. Bonar Bridge to Tongue, Duirness, and Cape Wrath


General Character of Sutherlandshire, 1.—Muir of Tulloch; Kyle of Sutherland Cattle Trysts, 2.—Strath Shin; Achany; Linn of Shin; Strathfleet; Mail Phaetons to Loch Slim, 3.—Ben Clibrick; the Crank; Line of policy observed in Sutherland-shire; Expenditure on improvements; Suthrrlandshire Inns; Social state of the Peasantry; Projected modifications of system; Progress of Agriculture, 4.—Natural features of the county, 5.—Aultnaharra to Erriboll; Strathmore; Ben Hope, 6.—Rob Donn, the Poet; Duncan Ban Maclntyre; Gaelic Poetry, 7.—Dun Dornadilla, 8.—Strathnaver; Depopulation, 9.—Ben Loyal; Loch Loyal; Lochs Craggy and Slam; Kyle and House of Tongue; Kirkiboll Village, 10.—The Main; Roads, 11.—Ferries; Chain Boats, 12.—Ben and Loch Hope; Camusinduin Bay; Loch Erriboll; Rispond, 13.—Cave of Smoo, or Uaigh Mhore; Cascade; Superstitions, 14.—Farout Head; Balna Kiel-house; Rob Bonn's Grave; Tombstone of Donald Mac Morchie-ic-coin-mhair; Shipwreck; Cave of Poul-a-Ghloup, 15.—Cape Wrath; Lighthouse; View from Cape Wrath, 16.


1. SUTHERLAND possesses several peculiar features, and is a county comparatively little known. Its fastnesses have been but recently rendered accessible by connected lines of road. Practised visitors of the highlands have found their way of late in considerable numbers to Sutherlandshire; but to the mass of tourists it is yet a terra incognita. As it presents all the freshness of novelty, though remote, its wild scenery, however, will doubtless soon attract the attention of the travelling public in general. A great expanse of heathy, mossy, and treeless wastes occupies the bulk of the country, and the habitations of men are but very sparingly indeed scattered over its surface. Lonely wildness is thus a decided characteristic; but verdant straths, and splendid lakes cheer the traveller in his progress, and the lofty and noble forms of the mountains command his admiration, while the coasts, and the numerous salt-water lochs which break in and lose themselves among the precipitous mountains, present every variety of maritime landscape.

2. Proceeding westward along the Kyle of Dornoch from Bonar Bridge, the tourist passes the Muir of Tulloch, within half-a-mile of Bonar, where was fought a "cruel battell" between a party of Danes and the men of Sutherland, in the eleventh century; and many tumuli and cairns still mark where lie the remains of the fallen combatants. The heights, till we reach Portinlick, where there is a ferry across the Kyle, are, like the hill sides for several miles below Bonar Bridge, on the north side—with the exception of the small estate of Creich, the property of Mr. Gilchrist of Ospisdale—covered with thriving plantations of fir and larch. On the hill above are held the Kyle of Sutherland Cattle Trysts ;" and there are few scenes more enlivening than that which on these occasions is presented, in the numerous herds of cattle, horses, sheep, and all sorts of four-footed animals; the almost equally numerous bipeds of all degrees, in the persons of drovers, gentlemen farmers, cottars, and herdsmen, and the hundred and one party-coloured tents for refreshments, formed, some of old field-tents, much the worse for the wear, others of the gaily chequered home made blanket, and many of a nondescript patchwork, composed of a mixture of all sorts of stuffs, which, though not exactly fit to bear part in a field-day exhibition, still, when viewed from a little distance, add to the general effect of the scene, and lend to it not a little the resemblance of a martial display. Both the farmer and the drover may be detected at a glance by their calculating faces; having, however, this material difference generally—that the subject of the poor farmer's calculation is the amount of loss he sustains, and according to the result is his countenance proportionally elongated; whilst the drover, whose whole trade is gambling, uniformly calculates his prospects of gain. The lowing of cattle, the neighing of horses, the bleating of sheep, and, above all, the peculiar shout of the herdsmen, who have enough to do to check the excursive propensities of their four-footed charge, help to render the scene altogether one of the most exhilarating description.

3. About two miles beyond Portinlick is the Bridge of Shin, across the river of that name, and five miles from Bonar. The road here divides, one branch leading directly west, to Assynt, the other northwards, to Lairg. This latter road proceeds along the west bank of the river of Shin, [Another road also conducts to Lairg, on the east side of the river, but the first is preferable, in so far as it proceeds through the woods and by the mansion of Achany, and close by the river, while the other commands views from above of these and of Strathoikel, and on the former the river has to be crossed at a ford.] through a narrow strath of heathy slopes rising immediately from the water, and to some height. On the west side lies the well-wooded and now highly improved and beautiful estate of Achany (James Matheson, Esq. M.P.), having a commodious mansion-house. Adjoining to it, on Loch Shin side, is the pretty property of Gruids, now also acquired by him, and also between and the Oikel, the fine estate of Rosehall, forming together a very nice Highland estate. At a distance of six miles, the western road crosses the river at a ford near the village of Lairg, which stands on the east bank, and where there is also a coble and piers on the river. On leaving the river the traveller passes the Linn of Shin, where, as the name implies, there is a waterfall, more remarkable, however, as a salmon-leap than as a cascade. The salmon proceeding up the river may here be seen making many unsuccessful attempts to surmount the ledge of rock that forms the fall, which is about eight or nine feet in height, and many, by dint of great perseverance and strength, do succeed.

From the Ferry of Lairg a road leads westerly, which, at a distance of eight miles, over very dreary elevated moorland ground, joins, at Rosehall, the Assynt road from the Bridge of Shin. The few miserable huts passed at the commencement, with their scanty shapeless patches of cultivated ground partially encircled by caricature dykes of multiformed stones, and most precarious-looking formation, are very unpromising indications of the discomforts and poverty of the people. Another road, crossing the hill behind Lairg, proceeds eastward through Strathfleet, by the valuable farm of Morvich, to the Mound, fourteen miles distant, where it joins the great north road. In the lower part of Strathflcet there is a considerable collection of smaller tenants, the improvements made by whom are very pleasing, and a substantial earnest of what may, and we doubt not will, soon be done, much more extensively than hitherto in that direction. Mail phaetons, as has been already mentioned, traverse the county from Golspie to Tongue, and to Loch Inver and Scourie, and will, it is to be hoped, be speedily placed on the road from the latter place to Duirness and Tongue, and the communication round the coast be thus completed. At Lairg there is an excellent new inn, which commands a sweet view of the lower section of Loch Shin, about which there is a good deal of cultivated land. This lake is about eighteen or twenty miles in length, stretching to the north-west, and from one to two miles broad, surrounded by very low hills, rising in lengthened very slightly-inclined slopes. The inn-keeper at Lairg used to have the privilege of permitting strangers to fish till the 12th of August; but now the fishings are let, and the high, as 10s.6d. a-day.

The great opening intersecting the county from Loch Fleet to Laxford, is occupied by one continued series of lakes and streams—Lochs Shin, Grism, Merkland, More, and Stack—and a road is in course of formation from Lairg to Laxford, the line of which is almost perfectly level, and the route will be altogether one of the finest in Sutherlandshire, as it passes alongst the margin of the celebrated Reay and Foinnebhein deer-forests, and near the base of some of the highest mountains, as Ben Hee, Ben Liod, Ben Diraid, Meal Rynies, Saval More, and Foinnebhein, while various portions along the line are wooded with dwarfish birch. The lochs and streams are among the best for white fishing and salmon in Sutherlandshire. Strangers are generally free to fish for salmon and trout on the Iochs, and for trout in the streams; and in those of the latter not let, the innkeepers have also the privilege, for a portion of the year, of permitting persons living at the inns to fish for salmon also. We are glad to find that this roadway is a couple of feet wider than the roads round the south boundary, and the west and north coasts, which, for most part, are only eight feet wide, with an edging of one foot of sward on each side. The distance to Lax-ford will be shortened to thirty-two miles, being little more than one-half the present circuit. The road keeps the north side of Loch Shin and the south side of the other lochs, the forest stretching along the north.

Having enjoyed the scenery which the waters of Loch Shin, the neat cottages, the new tasteful church, and the peaceful manse—all pleasantly situated on a sloping bank of the lake, with the Free Church and manse on the opposite side of the river—combine to present to the eye, we proceed along the margin of the loch for a distance of about two miles, when the road begins to recede from it, till at last it hides itself from view behind the mountains. Here the tourist may look upon himself as entering the desert—such it may well be called; for in the whole tract of country lying between Lairg and Tongue, an extent of forty miles, and a succession of elevated moorlands lying between Loch Shin, Loch Naver, Loch Loyal, Loch hope, and the Kyle of Tongue—along the whole course of which the eye roams over miles of country, in all directions, of smooth moorland and pasture, either in great plains, or gentle and extensive inclinations—all is barrenness and waste; and human habitations are so "few and far between," that only some three or four exist in all the distance, to cheer the pilgrim with the assurance that he is not alone in the world.

"Yet e'en this nakedness has power,
And aids the feeling of the hour"

that feeling so beautifully described by Byron, where he says

There There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar."

4. There is certainly nothing within the circuit of the British dominions to equal the intensity and magnitude of the desolation of this vast region ; yet is it but a more expanded sample of what is to be found in most parts of the county. We speak of those portions belonging to the Sutherland family, who own at least four-fifths, or more, of the whole. Every consideration has been rigidly made to bend to one vast scheme of sheep-farming, and to depopulation as a supposed necessary concomitant. This was no doubt the most summary, and seemingly most feasible mode of dealing with the million acres of Sutherlandshire. The task devolving on the proprietor was, perhaps, too much for an individual. To conceive of Sutherland-shire, before its vast fastnesses were made accessible by roads, to realize the consequent backwardness of the people, and to suppose to one's self the opening up of lines of communication, ameliorating the social condition of the people, and to find the means of turning the possession of this great tract of country to profitable account, is obviously to propose a problem perfectly anomalous in this country and in this age. The duty was herculean, and we may imagine the temptation in grappling with it, to adopt the most ready mode that might be presented to bring it within more manageable compass. This it may have been which recommended the policy which has directed the course of events in Sutherlandshire. We would make no invidious reflections. The position of the noble proprietors and their advisers must have been sufficiently onerous—the responsibility in itself weighty enough. But the passing traveller cannot but ponder these things, and ask himself, Can it he so that thus it ought to be—that sheep should dispossess man, and that while large fertile tracts are evidently eminently adapted for agricultural purposes? It seems so entire a reversal of the course of civilization, and would lead to so complete a reductio ad absurdum; for no doubt, at one time or other, the same reasoning might have suggested the leaving of the whole of Britain in like manner waste. We believe Sutherlandshire has proved anything but a profitable possession. The greater part of the income has, it is understood, for years, been expended in the course of the great public improvements, roads and bridges, buildings, &c., which have been carried on. Had not the country fallen into the hands of so opulent a family as that of Stafford, could such sacrifices have been made, and public benefits wrought out? In twenty years, from 1811 to 1831, there were 420 miles of road, and 134 bridges of ten feet span, and upwards, formed in Sutherlandshire, by the instrumentality of the Marquis of Stafford, and of Mr. James Loch, his commissioner, seconded by Mr. Horsburgh, and other local factors, and mainly at the Marquis's expense, though the other heritors bore their share of greater part, according to their rentals! Considerable additional length of branch roads has been since formed. Yet this is but one item. There have been the erection of inns, harbours, and others, which may be called public works, in addition to all the details of erection of farm-steadings, plantations, taking in of land, enclosures, and the public burdens incidental to landed property. Whatever construction there may be given to the counsels which advised the schemes of improvement, the greed of pecuniary gain cannot be attributed to the Sutherland family.

It is but justice to give the full meed of praise, where there is so much to invite censorious remark. The roads are most extensive, the inns are really, as a whole, unequalled in the Highlands, and may well surprise the reasonable Southron. Every thing is clean, even in the humblest inn, and comparatively comfortable, while in the best class—and such are to be found from point to point, in all parts of the county, as Dornoch, Golspie, Helmsdale, Lairg, Aultnaharra, Tongue, Duirness, Scourie, Loch Inver, Innisindamff, Melvich, and Auchintoul—the conveniences and style are perfectly surprising. They may well serve as models to the Highland inns. [These inns, however, cannot be expected to have extensive accommodation. Two sitting-rooms, and from three to six bed-rooms, is about the extent of accommodation. A few have shooting-lodges attached, in which, probably, on a pinch, a bed for a night might be given to a party not able to rough it otherwise; but in the season there is at times a very considerable concourse of tourists in Sutherlandshire, and this cannot fail to increase yearly, and, no doubt, enlarged accommodations will be the result. meantime, to come early is the best guarantee for room enough—we would say from the 10th June to the noddle of July, before the great mass of health and pleasure-seeking Southrons have been able to liberate themselves. This period also will be found the most likely for a course of steady and general weather. Here, too, we would correct a mistake we were led into, page 401. At all the inns there is a conveyance of some sort to be had on hire, dog-cart or drosky, and even at the smaller inns, as Kyle Skou and Rhiconich, if nothing better, there will be at least a good spring-cart forthcoming. We would further remark, that in our notice of the inn of Stittenbam, between illness and Bonar Bridge, our notice was inadequate. It was also built by the Marquis of Stafford, when proprietor of Ardross, though since added to by Mr. Matheson, the present proprietor. It is like the best Sutherland-shire inns, a really excellent one, and forms a favourable contrast with, we regret to say, several of the Ross-shire inns.] The people are universally most civil. They speak better English, and more generally than in other parts of the Highlands ; and everything bears testimony to the great and successful efforts for the amelioration of the population, whatever room there may be for diversity of opinion as to the line of policy, and however more gravely the means at times adopted may present themselves in the light of religious responsibility. The people of Sutherland decidedly rank with the best class of Highland peasantry. They are universally civil, courteous, and obliging, generally cleanly in their habits, inured to labour and industry; and the aspect of a country congregation, in point of neat and respectable attire, is very gratifying. We also happen to know, that the present noble proprietor not only purposes subdividing his sheep-farms on the expiry of the current leases, but also has projected plans of improvement, by bringing land into cultivation, and generally by the calling into action the energies of a greater number of experienced tenants, and by the introduction, at the same time, of agricultural teachers to stimulate and foster intelligent industrial effort. Much has been done on the larger farms, in keeping progress with the advancement of agricultural skill and knowledge, and some of the larger tenants, as we have already indicated, have gone ahead. Still, we believe we are not mistaken in saying that, generally, pace has hardly been kept on the Sutherland estates, in drainage and other improvements, with adjoining counties and estates; but Sutherlandshire is so unique, so gigantic a possession, that circumspection is required in drawing comparisons. The demands on the Duke are necessarily so excessive, that few other men in his situation but himself could contrive to face them at all. For instance, in the first year of the recent potato failure, he actually expended 27,000 in the providing means of subsistence, by employment and provision of food, for the starving population of Assynt, Edderachillis, and Duirness alone.

Credit is now unreservedly given to the good intentions by which the late Duchess-Countess and her noble husband were actuated, and the liberal spirit of the present Duke, in dealing with these his northern possessions in all the specialties of their position, is universally acknowledged. Let us hope that what has been done may prove to have been like the cutting down to the roots of a plant or tree, overgrown and unproductive, despoiling it for a season of its leafy honours, but only that, after a time, it may spring up anew, luxuriant with blossom and fruit, Let us believe that in the hand of providence the excision was permitted, and brought about for good and wise purposes.

But enough of such digression which we have been led into, because this vast compass of country, so peculiar in its aspects as Sutherlandshire is, cannot fail to excite the tourist's speculation as he wends along, and subject the noble owners to critical comment.

5. The unparalleled moorland expanse of country intermediate between Lairg and Tongue, treeless and all but houseless, presents many stretches of delightful verdure, and generally in Sutherlandshire, except in the deer forests, the heath is kept very short, being burnt every seven years, so that the livery of the country is generally pleasing.

Advancing northwards from Loch Shin, the conical height of the mighty Ben Clibrick, on the south-east side of Loch Naver, right a-head, fills the eye. To the west and northward the expanded circuit is occupied by Ben More of Assynt, Ben Liod, Ben Hee (one of the highest mountains in Sutherlandshire) Ben Hope, and Ben Loyal, while behind us the Ross-shire hills make a continuous mountain outline. A striking peculiarity distinguishes the mountain scenery of Sutherlandshire. The great mass of the country is considerably raised, forming in most quarters an elevated table land of smooth moorland or rocky eminences. On this universal base, diversified by river courses and straths, and inequalities of all sorts, are piled a great array of generally detached mountains—huge superstructures towering, each in isolated grandeur, from 3000 to 3500 feet above the level of the sea. In consequence there is less of continuous mountainous screen than in most other parts, while each giant-like mass stands out in its own full proportions, always, too, in some of its corries and sides, sheer and abrupt from base to summit, most variously modelled, and shaping itself differently, according to the point of view; when the outlines of different mountains comingle, assuming strongly-defined appearances; and the terminal aspects of the different masses repeatedly presenting themselves in cones, peaks, and pyramids, comprising the full elevation of the hulk, and thus of a magnitude seldom met with elsewhere, and nowhere in the Highlands in such array.

What may be called glen and valley scenery is of rare occurrence. The river and stream courses are open, their channels generally shallow, and it is among the lakes and inlets of the sea, the jutting headlands, and the upper recesses of the mountains, and in panoramic amplitude and pervading solitude and silence, that we are to look for the characteristic features of the country.

As we advance to Aultnaharra, Ben Clibrick rules sole monarch of the waste to the eastward, in which direction the country is destitute of marked elevations, excepting one hill on the east side of Loch Loyal; but in the distance, the two well-known pyramidal hills, called the Paps of Caithness, are descried. Ben Clibrick, as marked upon the map, is situated as exactly in the centre of the county as if a pair of compasses had been applied with geometrical precision in fixing its position; and from its great height, upwards of 3000 feet, and centrical situation, the view from its summit is as extensive as it is grand and various, embracing the German Ocean, the great North Sea, portions of many of the surrounding counties, and even, with the advantage of a clear day, the Orkney Islands.

After a ride of twenty-one miles over the dreary Crask (a pass), we reach the solitary inn of Aultnaharra, or Aultnaherve, near the head of Loch Naver, now as admirable as it is remote. At a little half-way house a feed of corn, or meal and water, can be had.

6. At Aultnaharra, a branch from the Tongue road diverges on either hand, one on the left leading to Loch Erriboll, the other, through Strathnaver, to Farr. Of the former, the ascent for the first four miles is constant and considerable; but on pausing and looking behind, the extensive rich green Lonn (meadow strath) of Moudale, the commanding and grand view of Ben Clibrick, and a peep of Strathnaver, prove quite refreshing. Soon the prospect opens on the other hand, and a great stretch of wild scenery is presented to view. About nine miles from Aultnaharra we enter Strathmore. Above this strath, which forms a continuation of the line of Loch Hope (a fresh-water lake running parallel with Loch Erriboll), there is enjoyed an interesting and varied view of the rugged Ben Hope, at the south end of the east side of the loch. This mountain, which on this side exhibits a perpendicular precipice almost along its whole height, is said to be distinguished by the property of emitting, previous to tempestuous weather, a hollow sound indicative of the approaching storm, such as sung by the Mantuan bard

"Altis
Montibus audiri fragor."
[The same phenomenon is said to be characteristic of the Cairngorm mountains in Inverness-shire.]

7. Aultnacaillich, in Strathmore, is the birthplace of Rob Donn, the Gaelic poet. Robert Calder Mackay, or, as he is generally called, Bob Donn, is regarded as the Burns of the North, as Duncan Ban Jfaclntyre is of the South Highlands; and, indeed, their poems form the only two miscellaneous collections of note of Gaelic poetry. The former was born at Aultnacaillich in Strathmore, in 1714; the latter in 1724, at Drumlairhaig in Glen Ogle, Perthshire. Both were uneducated men, but their productions bear the stamp of vigorous genius. An able memoir of the former, by one of the first Gaelic scholars of the age, has been published, along with his songs and poems. He would seem to have been a man of no common grasp of intellect; a shrewd observer, possessing powers of caustic satire, which, however, he employed always, and that with great independence of spirit, on the side of truth and morality. his compositions are all extemporary, struck off on the spur of the occasion; and his facility in building the lofty rhyme was not a little remarkable. There is much playful vivacity and keen sense of the ludicrous in his humorous pieces; and, in the more serious efforts of his muse, he displays justness of thought, propriety of sentiment, tenderness and warmth of feeling, and correctness of taste. His social powers made him a great favourite with all classes; but though he would appear latterly to have in some degree given way under the baneful influence of frequent convivial excitement, his character generally was unmarked by the aberrations which too frequently stain the career of genius ; and, indeed, his moral deportment was such, that he was nominated an elder of his native parish at a time when the qualifications for that office were rigorously investigated. His life was successively spent as a drover, gamekeeper, superior cowherd or bowman, and as a small farmer; and, for a time, he joined the first regiment of Sutherland Highlanders, but more in the capacity of a privileged favourite, than of a private soldier. Rob Donn's biographer ranks his compositions as inferior, in point of rhythmical beauty, to those of some other bards, especially of Duncan NlacIntyre ; but he accounts for this from the peculiarities of the dialect in -which he wrote.

"The highest efforts of our bard's rhythmical powers is undoubtedly to be found in `Piobaireachd Iseabail NicAoidh,' a song composed in praise of a young lady, to the well-known air of the pipe tune, `The Prince's Salute.' To those who have attended to the variations of that air, as played properly upon the great Highland bagpipe, it cannot appear but as a very respectable effort, that the bard has met all its variations, quick and slow, with words and with sentiments admirably suited both to the air and to his subject. Duncan 1facIntyre's 'Beinn D'oblorain,' is an effort of the same kind, which we grant is superior, indeed almost marvellous. But of the two, and we believe of some others of the same kind, we may claim priority for Rob Donn."—" If Rob Donn's poetry be sometimes found deficient in harmony, and its phraseology be sometimes pronounced by Gaelic critics in a measure uncouth, it will not be generally denied that he possesses the redeeming qualities, under these disadvantages, of nerve, and strength of mind and sentiment, a manly vigour of intellect, a soundness and perspicuity of good sense, that place him as a bard beside the most popular names of his country's minstrels. In the properties of true poetic fertility, of wit and humour when he is playful, elevation of sentiment when he is solemn, soundness of principle and moral feeling when he is serious, if we dare not say that he stands the first of Gaelic bards, we may say with his contemporary, Mr. John Mackay of Strathmelness-

Leis gach breithcamh d'an eoldan,
Bidh cuimhne gu brath air Rob Donn.'

'With every judge of poet's fame,
Rob Donn's will live a deathless name."'

We subjoin the following sensible observations from the same author, on the elegiac poetry of the Highlands. "This solemn compositions may be said to present the bard's character in its strength. By these, we mean principally his elegies. It is generally known, that over the Highlands of Scotland, until days yet not long gone by, every district had its bard or bards of higher or lower name ; and when any individual of provincial or public celebrity died, it was customary for their death to be followed by an elegy, or some poetic praises to perpetuate the remembrance of their virtues. That such praises should always be justly bestowed, and not partake, even when merited, of poetic exaggeration, could not be expected. Feelings of personal regard, of partiality to the dead, and hopes of benefit from the living, would frequently, no doubt, enlist poetic talent to say the best that could well be said. We have good authority for maintaining it as beyond controversy, that our author on such occasions never once was hired; never was enlisted by any prospect of interest or advantage, to eulogise where he could not conscientiously commend. And his commendations bestowed in elegy will evince, we conceive, even to readers entirely strangers to the history of the individuals to whose memory they are devoted, an honesty of intention, a sincerity of mind, a purity of sentiment, that cannot fail to place the author himself in a conspicuous view, as an upholder of truth, while he describes the virtues of those whose fame he commemorates. Even the admirers of Gaelic song will allow that, in elegy especially, our Highland bards introduced almost universally much of what we cannot more correctly denominate than rant and bathos. Imams eery excellencies and virtues, factitious distinctions and pretensions, are dwelt upon with all the solemnity which the elegiac muse ought to devote alone to solid and substantial virtues. We have no desire to detract from the reputation of his brethren, by upholding the character of our author; many of his brethren's compositions of this kind are excellent, and several of them, abstractedly considered as poetical effusions, we would rank fully as high as Rob Donn's; but we cannot but feel hurt at the bombast, and sentences absolutely without meaning, with which they too frequently abound, and by which they lower, in the reader's esteem, the character they designed to commend, and give an air of littleness to their author's character of mind. All this may seem to those unacquainted with Gaelic song to be somewhat like falling into the error we would reprove; commending what merits not either censure or praise, from its very insignificance. What can be the pretensions to excellence of the 'unlettered muse' of the highlander? It is from an impartial conviction, we trust, of her numerous and striking excellencies, that we regret the blemishes which have attached to her achievements. We are well aware, and can never cease to lament it, that the entrance of the native muse of Scotland upon the literary stage was singularly unfortunate ; that it excited prejudices in the public mind which ages may not remove. The Gael and their friends have stormed and raved about their darling Ossian. The Saxons have knit their brows, and vented their spleen at pretensions too arrogantly made, and assuredly not supported by any paramount testimony. Were we called upon to write an epitaph for the Ossianic controversy, it would be a short one: `Est in medio veritas.' We wish it had never been raised. The eliciting of truth, not to speak of the stubborn maintaining of error, besides the establishment of the one, or the just downfall of the other, by legitimate argumentation, can seldom be achieved without certain other effects following the excitement of party feeling, that may prove much more injurious in the end, than if the actual subject-matter of controversy had been left to sleep its own sleep. And it does by no means astonish us that, from the character of the controversy regarding the authenticity of Ossian, multitudes of our Saxon friends should both experience and testify a prejudice against all claims to excellence put forth for the native poetry of our northern land. But while we wonder not at it, we cannot but lament its existence.

"But to return to our author: we conceive that we arrogate for him no undue place, in saying that in elegiac poetry he is, upon the whole, peerless among his fellows. From the local circumstances of other districts, and of clans in the generations gone by, there is not only in their other poetry, but also in their elegies, a martial strain observable ; a spirit bordering on chivalry pervades them. But our author lived in a region of peacefulness ; he was not brought up in the habit, or scarcely in the remembrance, of feud, and field, and battle fray. His elegies, consequently, will be found of a different complexion from those of most other bards." Rob Donn is buried in the church-yard of Duirness.

8. At Aultnacaillich there is a fine waterfall on the right, and on the left the well-known round burgh or tower of Dornadilla, about twenty feet of a segment of which in height still remains. It is just about the size of the Glenelg Towers, being twenty-seven feet inside diameter, and fifty yards external circumference. Cordiner, who gives a view of this burgh, showing it to have been pretty entire in his day, supposes it to have been erected by a Scottish prince, DornadilIa. At Cashel Dhu (the Black Ford) thirteen miles from Aultnaharra, and five from Erriboll, where the winding river is crossed by a little flat-bottomed boat or Coble, and where many have been drowned for want of such a shallop, is a small inn; commanding, in front of it, a view of the mountain Ben Hope, nowhere in Scotland surpassed for grandeur and sublimity. From Erriboll, the pedestrian traveller bound for the westward may either proceed round Loch Erriboll, or go on to Huelim ferry (three miles and a half distant) by a road which is six or seven miles shorter.

9. The distance from Aultnaharra, through Strathnaver to the inn of Bettyhill of Farr, is about twenty-four miles. This road has not been completed, being carried only for nine miles down the strath, beyond which there is as yet merely a "bridle road." Loch Naver is about eight miles long, and is succeeded by a river, one of the best in the north for salmon, bordered by extensive tracts of luxuriant meadow, and improvable land, lined, as is the loch side, except by the base of Ben Clibrick, with the most softly inclined slopes, garnished with occasional copsewood of dwarf birch. Of old there were towers in sight of each other all along the strath. Latterly, in every township one or more comfortable tacksmen's houses were to be seen in close succession, and upwards of 1200 people resided in this strath. Now, for twenty miles, not a house is to be seen except shepherds' dwellings at measured distances. One cannot but regret the absence of living beings in such a scene, and of the want of those little hamlets usually seen in most Highland glens, and by the sides of clear mountain rivulets. Where are these? Wormwood, and a little raised turf, alone mark the places where they stood; the down of the thistle comes blowing from the sod over the roof-tree, the fires are quenched, and the owners are far from the land of their fathers.

10. A few miles beyond the inn of Aultnaharra on the north side of the road, commences the boundary of the Reay country, now the property of the Duke of Sutherland. Ben Loyal's lofty summit here begins to rear itself conspicuously, presenting to the fancy at one point of view the form of a lion couchant, and at another a close resemblance to the royal arms, "the lion and the unicorn fighting for the crown." Beneath, on the east, lie the still waters of Loch Loyal, with its verdant islands, on the margin of which the road winds around the foot of the mountain, forming, along its whole extent (of about six miles), a truly beautiful and picturesque ride; but as the road keeps the west side immediately along the base of Ben Loyal, its fantastic outline is almost lost. On the banks of Loch Loyal, previous to the sheep-farming depopulation system, dwelt some of the most comfortable tenants in the county of Sutherland.

This loch is succeeded by two others, Craggy and Slam, all abounding in trout, char, salmon, and large pike.

At a short distance from Loch Loyal, the Kyle of Tongue, a long arm of the sea, with its low rabbit islands and the large rocky isle of Rona at its mouth, greets the sight, and in a few minutes the woods and plantations around the old baronial residence of Tongue present themselves in full view. Tongue house is beautifully situated at the foot of a lofty craggy mountain, on the neck of a long point or tongue of land projecting into, and about the middle of, the east side of the Kyle, the waves of which wash the very walls of the garden; whilst the "tall ancestral trees" that surround it form at once an ornament and a shelter, and pretty extensive plantations are flourishing around, a peculiarity to be noticed where trees are few and far between. The mansion itself is an old structure, no ways distinguished in its architecture, but interesting as a specimen of the honest simplicity of taste of our forefathers, and although every comfort is to be found within its exterior, the work of successive generations. This fine domain, the ancient seat of Lord Reay, chief `of the clan Mackay, has now become the property of the Duke of Sutherland; and although it is natural to feel regret in the necessity which has denuded the former owner of the hie of his forefathers, still it is matter of rejoicing to all the numerous tenantry of the estate, that his successor is their next neighbour, the Duke of Sutherland, than whom they could scarcely wish a more liberal landlord.

On an eminence near the sea, projecting from the .foot of Ben Loyal stands Caistil Varrich, the ruins of an old watchtower. The scenery about Tongue is altogether very grand, an extensive semicircle of mountains stretching around ; in the centre Ben Loyal, 2508 feet in height, spreading widely at its base, and cleft above into four splintered summits, each strongly defined, and receding a little, one behind the other, and the southern extremity of the western limb of the mountain ranges, otherwise somewhat mountainous, though of no considerable elevation, suddenly shooting up in the huge mass of Ben Hope to a height of 3061 feet. On the opposite side of the Kyle, the receding slopes are partially occupied with cultivated fields.

So much is the surface of Sutherlandshire interspersed with sheets of water, that from one eminence in the parish of Tongue, no less than 100 lochs are visible at once—a peculiarity still more strikingly exemplified in the western section of the county.

The village of Kirkiboll, which is pleasantly situated upon the slope of a hill, is within rather more than a mile of Tongue House, and contains only, besides the manse and a commodious inn, a few scattered cottages. Kirkibol] is about four miles north of Loch Loyal, and eighteen from Aultnaharra.

11. Until recently there was no regularly made road westward from Tongue towards Erriboll. The traveller required a guide to pilot his dubious way across the rugged mountains, and over the trackless waste of the Moin, a highly elevated boggy moorland, stretching from the base of Ben Hope and Ben Loyal to the sea, and between Loch Hope and the Kyle of Tongue, a width of eight miles; but now, thanks to the late noble duke, (by whom, on his acquisition of the Reay country in 1829, eighty miles of road were formed at his own expense,) there is an excellent road in this direction, by which the traveller may proceed, without fear of broken bones, or the perils of bogs and pitfalls, as formerly, along the whole west coast to Assynt. Crossing, therefore, the Tongue Ferry, about a mile wide, the passage of the :Min, which formerly was the laborious achievement of an entire day, may now be accomplished in an hour's time with ease and comfort. The expense attending the construction of this piece of road must have been very great, from the mossy nature of the ground: the foundation was formed with bundles of coppice wood, laid in courses across one another, a layer of turf was next placed over these, and the whole being covered with gravel forms a road of the best description. Great ditches and numerous smaller drains are excavated in different parts on either side to contain the moss water.

12. The north coast of Sutherland is deeply indented by three arms of the sea, the Kyle of Tongue, Loch Erriboll, and the Kyle of Duirness, or Grudie, occasioning as many ferries to be crossed between Tongue and Cape Wrath. The river Hope to the west, and the Naver and Hallowdale to the east, of Tongue, are likewise as yet unsupplied with bridges. But these rivers are crossed by a large flat boat, which is moved from one side of the river to the other by means of a windlass and chain, attached underneath to the boat, and connected also with the banks. These boats admit a carriage, without the horses being unharnessed, and the largest is capable of conveying nearly two hundred passengers, and of carrying seven or eight tons' weight at a time. About the best views of Ben Loyal and Ben Hope are obtained in crossing the Moin, the castellated summit of the former coming laterally under the eye, while the great shelving precipice in which the rounded highest mass of Ben Hope terminates on the northwest, and to which the mountain rises in long successive stages, is displayed in its whole extent. More to the west, Foinnebhein and Benspionnadh, south of the head of Loch Duirness, uproar their extensive and varied heads and precipitous corries above the lower ranges which immediately encircle Loch Erriboll.

13. From the banks of the river Hope, which is crossed at its outlet from the lake, and in the descent to it, and again ascending the eminence forming the west bank of the river Hope, one of Nature's grandest scenes, lies displayed before us. The huge Ben hope, which raises its shaggy head about 3000 feet above the level of the sea, stands full in view at the eastern head of the lake ; in the intermediate space lies the wide unruffled expanse of lone Loch Hope, embossed amid long ascending slopes, and brightened perhaps by the "yellow radiance" of the setting stn to the appearance of one unbroken sheet of burnished gold.

"Nor fen nor sedge
Palute the pure lake's crystal edge.
Abrupt and shear, the mountains sink
At once upon the level brink;
And just a trace of silver sand
Marks where the water meets the land;
For in the mirror, bright and blue,
Each hill's huge outline you may view.

There's nothing left to fancy's guess,
You see that all is loveliness;
And silence adds, though these steep hills
Send to the lake a thousand rills,
In summer tide so soft they weep,
The sound but lulls the ear to sleep;
Your horse's hoof-tread sounds too rude,
So stilly is the solitude."

Leaving this scene, at a distance of about two miles, we reach the small rather out of the way inn of Heulim, on the banks of Loch Erriboll, in descending to which, and again ascending to Erriboll, the view is exceedingly fine.

Immediately below, encircled by mountains, lies the beautiful bay of Camusinduin, a sheltered indentation of Loch Erriboll (itself an arm of the North Sea, running about ten or twelve miles up the country), further protected by a rocky eminence connected with the shore by a gravelly peninsula, and celebrated among mariners as one of the finest and safest harbours in the kingdom, deserving, as much as its rival of Cromarty on the opposite coast, the appellation with which the ancients honoured the latter of "Portus Salute." Seldom, during the prevalence of a northerly wind, does this haven want the embellishment of numerous vessels riding safely at anchor, and with their different yawls gliding swiftly along in every direction, and many parties of sailors enjoying their rough sports on the beach, giving animation to a scene otherwise as sequestered as may be.

From Heulim, the road towards Rispond passes Erriboll, three miles and a half distant, and then proceeds along the shore of Loch Erriboll. On approaching the head of this inlet of the sea, the scenery becomes wild and imposing. Here stands the stupendous rock of Craignefielin, whose frowning front overhangs the road. A little farther on, the battlement-looking heights of the rocks of Strathbeg come into view in a southerly direction; whilst to the S. W. and W. are the hills of Foinnebhein, Cranstackie, Benspionnadh; and to N.W. and N. the range of hills called Beauntichinbeg, which terminates above Rispond, in the hill of Benaheainnabein, forming altogether a mighty mountainous amphitheatre. This road affords many beautiful views, both of the loch and of the surrounding scenery; and brings us, at a distance of fifteen or sixteen miles from Ifeulim, to Rispond, at the western corner of the opening of Loch Erriboll, an extraordinary-looking place, worth turning aside for a few minutes to inspect. It is situated on a small creek, on all sides encompassed by one continued series of naked rocks, and is altogether an out-of-the-world sort of spot. Rispond is, however, well adapted for a fishing-station, being situated at the mouth of Loch Erriboll; and of its advantages in this respect, the intelligent gentleman who resides there for a time successfully availed himself. Now, unfortunately, it has been discontinued, and as there is no curing establishment on this part of the north coast, and as that at Loch Inver has also been abandoned, it is no object for vessels to come the way, and there being no demand, the energies of the fishing population are paralysed, and the treasures of the deep are to them comparatively as if they were not. The view from the summit of the highest rock, towards the sea, is very fine : in the distance the eye roams, without finding a resting-place, over the mighty waters of the great Northern Ocean, which, as they recede from the sight, seem to mingle with the horizon. Nearer at hand, several small islands, one of which (Island Hoan) is inhabited, with the numerous vessels that here spread their white wings to the swelling breeze, give variety to the prospect ; whilst the high perpendicular cliff of Whiten Head, to the east, forms a prominent object among the many wonders of this "iron-bound coast."

Instead of making the circuit of the loch, the pedestrian tourist may cross at the ferry at Ardneachdie to Port Chamil. It is nearly two miles in width ; but the boat and crew are good. The road to Rispond (half a mile) turns off to the right three miles and a half from the ferry, at Calleagag bridge.

14. Two and a half miles beyond Rispond, and one mile from the inn of Durin, is situated the creek and Cave of Smoo, or the Uaigh Mhore, a very remarkable natural excavation, of gigantic dimensions, formed in the face of the solid rock, which is composed of limestone. Its entrance and interior are of nearly uniform width, thus affording the broad light of day to its farthest extremity, which is aided by a circular opening at the top, after the fashion of a cupola, and called by the Gael "Nafalish," or the sun. It lies at the inner extremity of a long narrow inlet of the sea and a little way up the course of a burn, which, instead of falling over the face of the cliff, finds its way through another vertical opening, forming a remarkably fine waterfall, into an inner spacious compartment, which communicates with the outer cave. This last is perfectly dry. Behind the eastern side of the entrance is a massive spreading pillar, that supports the ponderous projection, and forms a small arch of five or six yards wide between itself and the interior wall. The vaulted roof of the cavern reverberates, with loud and repeated echo, the minutest sounds, and gives to the voice a fulness of intonation that increases its power many fold. Viewed from the inner extremity, the spacious archway, of a span wide for its height, and of the great vaulted roof, is exceedingly imposing. The height of the entrance is fifty-three feet, above which there is a space of twenty-seven feet of precipitous rock, making the total height of the rock in the centre eighty feet, but it rises higher as it advances. The depth of the cavern is 200 feet, and its width 110 feet. The roof projects about fifty feet beyond the pillar, and of this portion the centre has given way. On the west side is an opening of about twenty feet in height and eight feet in breadth, that leads to an interior cavern. The access to it is over a low ledge of rock which blocks up the lower part of the entrance, and before which there is a deep pool, formed by the water oozing from underneath the ledge. A partial and obscure view of the interior can be obtained by clambering up the rock, as the roof of this chamber is also perforated. But though the ledge can be reached with a little scrambling, the visitor ought not to content himself without a closer inspection, though the assistants make rather an unconscionable demand for their services, for which they ask fifteen shillings but take less—a rate of charge which the intelligent postmaster, who lives hard by, should see to have rectified. The further examination is achieved by having a boat placed in the outer pool, from which to step on the barrier. It is then lifted across with some little trouble—as the only boats at hand, and there are several generally on the beach of the little inlet, are larger than need be for the purpose of this exploration—and launched on the inner pool, which entirely fills this chamber. The boatmen supply candles to make the darkness risible. Embarked on this subterranean lake, we find ourselves beneath a vaulted roof, which rises high overhead. The opening mentioned from above is in the roof of a branch at the further end of the excavation, and gives admission to a cataract of water, formed by the burn alluded to, which comes foaming down from a height of rather more than eighty feet, on the face of the limestone rock. This is really a fine waterfall, apart from the peculiar circumstances of its position, and forms one of the most remarkable features of the whole. From midway of the wall of the gap through which it pours, another opening slants up to the surface, giving a further supply of light, and affording means of viewing from above the central portion of the cascade, which, by the way, is not discernible from the entrance to this second cavern. The length of this interior apartment is seventy feet, its breadth thirty `here narrowest, the pool seemingly of considerable depth.

There is yet a third cavern extending farther into the bowels of the earth, to which an entrance on the west side of the cataract we have just mentioned conducts. This entrance is formed by an opening nine or ten feet high, but bridged over by an arch of stone, which contracts the opening under which the boat has to be pushed, to a height barely sufficient to admit the passage of a small-sized boat. To effect this transit, it is necessary for the party in the boat to dispose themselves, as best they can, in a recumbent posture, else they run the risk of acquiring bumps upon their craniums not recognised in the nomenclature of phrenology. This inner apartment is a region of utter darkness: with the aid of candles or torches, however, we discover ourselves in a narrow cavern, which is for one-third of its length occupied with water. This cave gradually decreases from a height of forty to twelve feet, is about eight feet in breadth, and extends in length about 120 feet. Not far from the extremity of the cave is a deep pool, which stretches under the rock, and no doubt communicates underneath with the waters of the second cavern. Here terminates the exploratory adventure, and the visitors must retrace their way as they entered. In doing so, the outlook through the orifices to the increasing brightness is picturesque.

Having again emerged into the light of day, and ascending the rock, we discover the brook which forms the cascade in the second cavern; it dashes headlong down a rocky chasm, meeting as it descends several projecting shelves, which form minor falls ere it precipitates itself finally, with "the voice of many  waters," into the gulf beneath. When this brook is flooded after heavy rains, the water nearly fills the aperture of the chasm, and if there happen to be a strong northerly wind, the spray is driven upwards, forming a fine natural jet d'eau.

The cave is immediately below the public road, the burn making its descent on the left hand, while the pathway down branches off on the right.

Reviewing the effect which the appearance of this magnificent cavern has upon the mind, we cease to wonder that the strange tales that hang by it find implicit believers among so many of the country people. Its solitude, its dark recesses, and deep gulfs, are well calculated to aid the suggestions of superstition, for which there is naturally an aptitude, if not a good foundation, in the mind of man: this cavern has been accordingly peopled with spirits embodied in all the forms, and endowed with all the attributes, that distinguish the multifarious genii of Highland mythology, the "dainty spirits" that knew "to swim, to dive into the earth, to ride on the curled clouds." But those spirits are now departed spirits: they have evanished before the meridian of our intellectual day, and have scarce left a "local habitation or a name" by which to be known, should they again revisit "the glimpses of the moon."

15. Leaving Smoo, the road lies through what, compared with the ground over which we have already passed, may be called a corn country, being more open and level, and having numerous fine fields; the district between the opening of Loch Erriboll and the lower portion of the Kyle of Duirness being a table-land of fine limestone.

Seven miles from the ferry of Heulim, we reach the excellent inn of Durin. Farout Head, the most northerly promontory on this part of the coast, stretches out for about three miles, forming a fine bay on either side. On the shores of the western bight—the bay of Duirness—stands the old house of Balnakiel, the chosen summer residence, in times of yore, of the Bishops of Sutherland and Caithness, and latterly of the Lords of Reay; and the small parish church of Duirness, an old structure, formerly a cell of the Augustine monastery at Dornoch, which was an offset of that at Beauly. The interior of this edifice is at present in a state of untidiness, quite discreditable for a place of worship to be. On the further side of a broad peninsula, which landlocks the upper part of the Kyle, Kooldale farmhouse is pleasantly situated. All around Balnakiel and Keoldale are fine arable fields and the richest pasture land, and the promontory of Farout Head is, to a large extent, covered with luxuriant pasture to the summit of the lofty cliffs at the point. These, with Balnakiel, and the church and churchyard, are worthy of a four miles' walk from the inn. From the highest point of the headland, the lighthouse and terminal outlines of Cape Wrath meet the eye; in one direction Whitten Head, the lofty and precipitous termination of the east side of Loch Erriboll, forming a prominent object in the long line of coast in sight, as far as Strathy point to the east; while the hill of Fashbein, near the cape, with Foinnebhein and Ben Spionnadhlofty mountains south-west of the Kyle—with Ben Hope and Ben Loyal in the distance, to the south-east, form a fine mountain screen on one hand—the boundless ocean expanding all to the north of the coast on the other, with the Orkneys looming in the north-eastern horizon. The cliffs of Farout Head attain an elevation of 300 to 400 feet. In the churchyard of Duirness lie the remains of that highly gifted son of song, already spoken of, Robert Calder, better known as Robert Donn, or Mackay, which latter surname, however, some maintain to be erroneous: a monument of neat design, and with appropriate inscriptions in Gaelic, English, Latin, and Greek, has lately been erected here to his memory by the admirers of his genius. This cemetery also contains some quaint inscriptions: One on a sculptured tombstone within the church, over the remains of a person distinguished in the local history of the district, as a noted freebooter, and by the appellative of Donald Mac-Mhorchie-icevin-mhoir, abbreviated Donald Mac-Corachie, and said to have been inscribed by himself, runs thus :-

"DONALD MACK, heir lyis lo;
vas ill to his frend and gar to his fo, true to his maister
in veird and vo. 1623."

In August 1847, a vessel was wrecked on a Sunday morning on the high isolated rocks on the east side of Farout Head, when all hands perished.

About three quarters of a mile west of the church, near the sea, is the cave, as it is called, of Poul-a-ghloup, which is, properly speaking, only an immense gap or cavity in the earth, of great depth, and communicating by a long, subterraneous passage with the sea, whose waves, as they roll, first into a long narrow seaward fissure in the limestone cliffs, which are here much and sharply indented, and then along the passage to its inmost extremity, resound with a terror-striking growl.

16. Cape Wrath—the Parph of ancient geography—distant eleven miles from Duirness Ferry, which is two and a-half miles from the inn, is a remarkably bold headland, forming the marked and angular north-west extremity of Great Britain; it is, consequently, one of the extreme points of our island, and on that account—like John-o'-Groat's or the Land's End—strangers desire to visit it. Cape Wrath, with its stupendous granitic front, its extensive and splendid ocean scenery, and the peculiarly wild character of the country by which it is approached, is invested with an interest which few promontories on the British coast can equal.

The greater part of the shore is here so very precipitous and steep, and many of the cliffs so overhanging, that it cannot with safety be viewed to advantage from the land, without great trouble and difficulty; so that, with favourable weather, the survey of this magnificent headland is generally attempted by sea; but the strong currents and high-swollen waves that at all times roll at the Cape, joined to the risk of one of those sudden storms or squalls that characterize this coast, frequently deter persons unaccustomed to boating from making the attempt. There is no boat to be had nearer than Duirness, and the demand for one is 30s. The outermost point of the rock consists of a granitic gneiss, waved in structure, and greatly contorted by the intrusion of granite veins.

Proceeding by land, we cross the Duirness Ferry. This road, from one of the ascents of which the views of Foinnebhein and Spionnadh are particularly fine, does not keep by the coast, but winds through a high moorland country, the lofty mountain of Fashbein being on the left hand, and Skrisbein on the right, for about four or five miles, when a valley leading down to Kerwick affords a view of the sea and of the very singular pinnacle of Stacko-Chlo. This is a high pillar, rising probably to the height of 200 feet out of the sea, but so far below the height of the neighbouring cliffs, as to he remarkable only from its detached position, and the regularity of the old red sandstone strata of which it is composed. From this valley the road takes several wide curves, and, when within two miles of the lighthouse, branches off to a small boat harbour in the deep and rocky bay of Clash Carnoch; then, winding up a steep hill, we suddenly, but not until within a few hundred yards of the buildings, come in sight of the lighthouse, which, with its regular outer walls and turreted buildings, resembles a small fortification. On a near approach, the perfect order and cleanliness that pervade the whole establishment are experienced as quite delightful and refreshing; the stones used are all of the durable and beautiful granite, dug with much trouble out of Clash Carnoch; but so difficult of access and remote was the situation, that the expense of procuring the other materials was very great, and it is understood that the whole original expense was nearly 14,000 sterling. The view obtained from the top of the tower more than repays the trouble of the journey from Duirness. To the south-west, the distant Butt of Lewis is seen in clear weather, while the wide expanse of ocean that rolls in the same direction against the rocky shores at the mouth of Loch Inchard, or on the sandy bay of Sandwood, is, from this elevation, accompanied with an idea of magnitude and vastness unknown at other points of the coast. To the east, again, the tall Hoyhead of Orkney, and, in fine weather, even the island of North Rona, at a distance of fifty miles, is distinctly visible, and also a long range of bluff, iron-bound coast, on the mainland, as far as Strathy Head. Several small rocky islands start up at different points, of which Balque,

"An island salt and bare,
The haunt of seals and auks, and sea-views' clang,"

is the largest. It lies at some distance from the shore, and appears a lumpish mass on the breast of Ocean. Nearer the shore is the pinnacle of Buachil (or the Herd), of considerable altitude, and which, having a wide base and sharp point, might at this distance be mistaken for a large ship under full sail. Immediately out from the cape are several sunken rocks, over which the sea foams and rages in the mildest weather with appalling fury. A reef of perforated rocks, which juts out into the sea, is very striking. The highest precipice is not less than 600 feet, and, in one place, a steep declivity of red granite, remarkably imposing, terminates in a precipice of great height. But the wonders and magnificent front of the cliffs in this quarter can only be seen in their true character from the sea. From that direction, abrupt and threatening precipices, vast and huge fissures, caverns, and subterranean openings, alternately appear in the utmost confusion, while the deep-sounding rush of the mighty waters, agitated by the tides among their resounding openings, the screams and never-ceasing flight of innumerable sea-fowl, and often the spoutings of a stray whale in his unwieldy gambols in the ocean, form altogether a scene which none who has witnessed it can ever forget.


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