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lands. Besides this division, Scotland is divided, by nature, by its friths, lakes, and rivers, into three parts, viz. the northern, the middle and the southern. The middle is separated from the northern by a loch and a chain of lakes, extending from the Moray Frith to the Isle of Mull; and from the southern art by the Frith of Clyde, Loch Lomond, the river Forth, and the Frith of Forth. The northern is chiefly an
. assembly of vast dreary mountains ;-mountainous chains traverse the middle, in different directions, and excepting its eastern coast, arable land is in disproportion :-the scenery is very romantic. The southern part resembles England in its general aspect and state of cultivation.
" I hope, Edward, you are already convinced we need not quit the British Isles to search for beautiful or sublime prospects. Even among the gardens of Italy, we may talk of Loch Lomond, and amidst
the inferior mountains of Switzer. land, we may mention Ben Lomond, and Ben Nevis, the late ter of which we shall see as we pass the borders of Argyleshire. It is 4,250 feet above the level of the sea, but even this mountain, by the side of the stupendous Mont Blanc, would hide its diminished head, and appear but a hillock. The height of Mont Blanc is 15,550 feet. In speaking of the height of mountains, you must understand that it is always calculated from the level of the sea. The Barometer has been applied with great success in measuring mountains ; for every 103 feet which you ascend with the barometer, the mercury in its tube falls is of an inch, 103 feet of air being equal to its of an inch of
f mercury on the surface of the earth. The barometer on the top of Snowdon, in Wales, sinks 3,67 inches; therefore that mountain is 3,780 feet in perpendicular height. Do you understand that, Edward.”
EDWARD.—“ Perfectly, Sir."
DR. WALKER.-" Have you sufficiently contemplated the beauties of this charming lake? If so, we will resume our journey, and get a peep at Ben Nevis
, in Argyleshire. Kelvin Bridge is but eight miles from hence, but we will see that in our southern tour.”
After traversing the mountainous region, and experiencing the well-known hospitality of the Highlanders, our travellers approached the object of their curiosity; they had for a length of time seen its lofty head towering above the sum. mits of the neighbouring mountains. On the north east side it rises perpendicularly nearly 1,500 feet, presenting the
view of a frightful precipice. The upper half of the mountain is destitute of all vegetation. After much labour and fatigue our travellers reached the summit where the extensive view surpassed even their expectations. The tops of Jura and hills of Cullan, in the isle of Skey, formed the boundary of sight on the west, while on the east it extended to Ben Lawres, in Pertshire, and the river Ness.
“What a superb view!” exclaimed Edward, as his eye wandered over the extensive scene. 6 How much I am indebted to you, Sir, for proposing to make the tour of the British Islands previous to our visiting the Continent. I would not but have seen the beauties of our own country for the world."
JOURNEY IN THE HIGHLANDS.
The Highlander, who had accompanied them as a guide, warned them of an approaching storm, and the travellers began hastily to descend, but they did not reach the level ground,
before the heavy clouds, which now enveloped the top of Ben Nevis, had begun to discharge their watery stores. The thunder reverberating from mountain to mountain, produced an awful sensation, while the livid flashes of lightning, which penetrated and illumined the deep recesses of the rocks, added considerably to the grandeur of the
Dr. Walker and his pupil were not a little delighted at finding themselves once more safely seated by the side of the bright cottage fire of their friendly guide, who had accompanied them in their mountain excursion, and having intimated, that it was their intention to take a view of the Hebrides, and even the Orkneys, he entreated he miglit be allowed to accompany them. As their English servant had more than once expressed a wish to return home, they accepted his offer, and Colin was immediately invested in his new office. Colin was a shrewd clever fellow, and our travellers found him a very useful companion, particularly so in their immediate travels in Scotland. He feared neither cold or hunger. Whether he climbed the mountain's brow, or wandered along the peaceful valley, Colin was equally happy; he possessed, in a large degree, that temper of accommodation to their circumstances which is so conducive to happiness, and which is so generally met with among the Highlanders. He could sing all the favourite national airs of his country, and although not bred to arms, fire flashed from his eye at the well known sound of “Up and war them a' Willie ;', and Colin lacked but the opportunity, not the spirit, to prove himself the brave defender of his country's cause. The day after the storm, he entreated the Doctor would allow him to attend the wedding of one of his cousins; the good man not only consented, but begged that himself and Edward might be admitted as guests upon the happy occasion. Proud of so flattering an offer, Colin hastened to give notice of their approach, and Dr. Walker and his pupil were received at the door of the Highland cottage by the venerable father and mother of the bride. Every thing at this numerous meeting was conducted with the greatest decorum, and the presents made to the new married couple were so considerable, as to enable them to furnish a cottage with some degree of comfort. A good dinner, and a dance in the evening, closed the festivities of the day; in the latter Colin figured away with great eclat, and both the Doctor and his pupil were not a little astonished at the agility displayed by the company, and the length of time which they continued the reel without the least appearance of fatigue. The party' separated in perfect good humour; they were merry, not riotous ; their characteristic sobriety having outweighed the temptation even of their favourite whiskey ; not one of the party exhibited the least symptoms of intoxication.
" What is whiskey made of, Sir?”.
“ Why of malt, and it is distilled by a very common chemical process. The malt is dried, mashed, boiled, and from the liquor thus made, the alkohol, or pure spirit, is distilled. Proof spirit consists of half water and half pure spirit ; that is, such as when poured on gunpowder, and set on fire, will burn all away; and permit the powder to take fire and fash, as in open air. But if the spirit be not so highly rectified, there will remain some water, which will make the powder wet, and unfit to take fire. Proof spirit of
kind weighs seven pounds twelve ounces per gallon.”
EDWARD.--" And pray, Sir, how is the strength of spirits known ?" Dr. WALKER.-" By the improved hydrometer, which
“ is calculated to ascertain the specific gravity of fluids to the
greatest precision possible. This instrument, which you saw the exciseman use in Arran, consists of a large hollow ball, with a smaller bolt, screwed on to its bottom, partly filled with mercury, or small shot, in order to render it but little specifically lighter than water. The larger ball has also a short neck, into which is screwed the graduated brass wire, which, by a small weight, causes the body of the instrument to descend in the fluid with part of the stem.
“ The common method of shaking the spirits in a phial, and raising a head of bubbles, to judge, by their manner of rising or breaking, whether the spirit be proof or near it, is very fallacious.
“ There is no way so certain, and at the same time so easy and expeditious, as this by the hydrometer ; which will infallibly demonstrate the difference of bulks, and consequently the specific gravities in equal weights of spirits, to the thirty, forty, or fifty thousandth part of the whole ; which is a degree of accuracy few people wish to exceed.”
MULL, ST. COLUMBO-AND FINGAL'S CAVE,
The county of Argyle presents no object worthy of record; the capital town, Inverary, is a neat and pleasant place, and in its environs the marine cataract of Loch Etif, and the beautiful lake of Awe present the chief objects of curiosity in this county, for the traveller may, in some parts, traverse miles without seeing a single hamlet.
Dr. Walker engaged a fisherman to take them to the Isle of Mull, the largest of the Hebrides, where having inspected every thing that'was interesting, they at passed on to the small island of lona, or Icolm kill, the ancient burial place of the kings of Scotland. It contains also the ruins of a cathedral, and a monastery. Our travellers passed one night in the solitary village it contains, and the next day they proceeded to view the church of St. Mary's.
" I cannot enter into the origin or history of the religious erections upon this Island,” said Dr. Walker, as they approached St. Mary's, “ it is sufficient to say that it seems to have served as a sanctuary for St. Columbo, and other holy men of learning, while England, Ireland, and Scotland were desolated by barbarism. It appears that the northern pagans often landed here, and paid no regard to the sanctity of the place. The church of St. Mary, which is built in the form of a cathedral, is a beautiful fabric. It contains the bodies of some Scotch, Irish, and Norwegian kings, on whose tombs there are Gaelic inscriptions, but the tomb of Columbo, who lies buried here, is uninscribed. The steeple is large, the cupola 21 feet square, the doors and windows are curiously carved, and the altar is of the finest marble. There are innumerable inscriptions of ancient customs and ceremonies in this Island, which are a sufficient proof that in former times when the continent of Europe was enveloped in ignorance, the Islands, if not Scotland itself, were the asylum of learning and learned men.”
From Iona they embarked for Staffa, in a small boat, and the day being remarkably fine they had a most delightful sail, and reached the entrance of the cave without the least inconvenience. This was particularly fortunate, for the Island being open to the swell from the Atlantic, the sea which surrounds it is often extremely rough.
The mind can hardly form an idea more magnificent than such a space as that occupied by the cave of Fingal, supported on each side by ranges of columns, and roofed by the bottoms of those which have been broken off in order to form it; between the angles of which a yellow stalagmitic matter has exuded, which serves to define the angles precisely, and at the same time to vary the colour with a great deal of elegance. The whole of this cavern is lighted from without, so that the farthest extremity is visible from the mouth of the cave. The air within being agitated by the flux and reflux of the tides, it is perfectly dry and wholesome, being free from the damp vapours with which natural caverns generally abound.
“ Why is it called Fingal's cave, Sir?” enquired Edward.
Dr. WALKER.-" When Sir Joseph Banks first visited this cave, and indeed brought it into notice, he asked his guide what was the name of it? The cave of Fihn Coul, was his reply, whom the translator of Ossian has called Fingal. Sir Joseph was delighted at meeting in this cave the remembrance of a hero, whose existence has been almost doubted in England. As to the name of the island itself, it