Imagens das páginas

A solitary house is shewn, where Abyssinian Bruce wrote his travels; and he could not have chosen a better place to have been safe from interruption. Opposite to this house, on the other side of the lake, are two huge promontories of frittering rocks, of no great beauty; they are part of the base of Ben-Ledi, (God's Hill,) 3000 feet high, on the top of which there are some druidical remains. The sun set this evening with unusual splendour behind this mountain, which is seen to much advantage from Callender. Near this village we saw a very singular piece of antiquity, called here the Roman camp; -a semicircular rampart of earth, with the river in front. It is about fifteen feet high, and consisting of a line somewhat irregular and waving, forming, here and there, something like bastions. This is not at all the usual shape of a Roman camp.

We also walked to a singular waterfall in the neighbourhood, the rocks breaking in huge square masses. The prices of every thing in this remote spot, are astonishing. Labour 2s. a-day, and provisions found, or 3s. not found. Twenty years ago it was 6d. and found. At that time the rent of land was 15s. an acre, (11 acre English,) and was bought at fifteen or twenty years purchase; now L. 3, and bought at thirty-five and forty years purchase. Beef

and mutton 9d. the weight half more than in England.

Sept. 7.-We are just returned from Loch Katrine. The distance from Callender to the Guide's house, is about eight miles of rough roads. We went in two hours and a half, and returned in two hours, and have spent eight hours on a spot celebrated for its natural beauties, and still more now as the scene of the most picturesque poem that ever was written.

You approach this consecrated spot with your imagination considerably exalted, and prepared for something very wonderful. In this unfavourable state of mind, the first sight of Loch Venachoir and Loch Achray did not satisfy us. The latter lake receives the waters of Loch Katrine, by an outlet through the Trosachs, a confused jumble of rocks and tops of mountains, which seem to have slid down from higher mountains, Benvenue on the left, and Ben-Ledi on the right, to bar the passage,

Crags, knolls, and mounds, confusedly hurled,
The fragments of an earlier world.

One of these odd pieces of rocks (Binean) pointed like a steeple, is said to be 1800 feet high, half of which is perpendicular. The general ef

fect of this anti-chamber of Loch Katrine is, upon the whole, more grotesque than great or beautiful. We entered it by a narrow defile, between two ramparts of rocks, finely rent and broken, and overgrown with old trees, their mossy trunks and fantastic branches hanging over on each side. Turning the last corner, Lake Katrine burst upon us,-not in its full beauty at first, but twenty yards farther the sight was indeed glorious. The following rough sketch may render the description more intelligible. Advancing by the road cut into the rocky base of Ben-Ledi, you see, on the other side of the lake, the mountain of Benvenue rising in bluish grandeur, behind the rocks and wood of the shore, which are deeply indented with bays and promontories. The retrospect of the Trosachs you have left, presents still the same aspect of grotesque wildness which serves to set off the simple and rich composition of Benvenue. We had provided a guide, who took us in his boat to the island of the Lady of the Lake; which the imagination of the poet has, if not embellished, at least much enlarged. We knew at first sight "The aged oak, That slanted from the islet rock," and did not fail to gather a few leaves and acorns, which will render us an object of envy among the numerous readers of Mr Scott in Ame

rica. The Naiad of the Strand was unfortunately

not there,

With head upraised, and look intent,
And eye and ear attentive bent,
And locks flung back, and lips apart,

Like monument of Grecian art.

We next rowed across the lake to the foot of Benvenue, about one mile and a half. The view of the shore we had left, and of Ben-Ledi above it, appeared thence rather bare and rude. The goblin cave was of course not forgotten, but it is, I must say, a mere dog-hole. The episode of the women taking shelter on the island, the attempt of one of the soldiers to get at the boat by

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swimming, and his being killed by one of the women, is founded on the tradition of an event of that sort in Cromwell's time.

The day was very fine, an uncommon circumstance, and the sun setting in full splendour, spread over the wonderful landscape of Loch Katrine its richest tints, "one burnished sheet of living gold."

Returning through the Trosachs, they appeared to more advantage; and we remarked a narrow and wild pass on the left, along the base of Ben-Ledi, which we pronounced to be the very spot of the ambuscade of Roderick Dhu ;-the whole scene between him and Fitz-James was before us. I wish it were possible to convey, in the French language, something of the beauty of this description, unparalleled for vigour and truth of painting,for simple, energetic, and just expression,-for generosity and heroism of sentiments, and even for strength of reasoning. But, in translating into French verse, you must sub. mit to lose the poetry-if into prose, the harmony of the original; and although there can be no hesitation in the choice, yet it is a great deal to lose. The mechanical harmony of verse, is, to the sense, exactly what harmony in music is to melody. True poets in France write in prose. First among them I should certainly name Jean Jaques Rousseau, who wrote nothing

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