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I . : . . 

MASTER : '--iO.: 


(Eirmit JUitixtnn 1837. 

Airthrie Sir Thomas Lander, . 
Pleas of guilty, .... 

Pronouncing sentences, 
By Moncreiff, 


. 6 

. 7 

Cbout Winter 1838. 

Case of Cotton - spinners of 
Thomas Riddle, 

Alison, Archibald, his ora- 
. tions, ..... 

Ottnmit Spring 1838. 

Scotch Spring scenery Kinross 


From Dunkeld to Aviemore, 
Bridge of Carr S 

Brougham's Arti 

burgh Review, 
Case of M'Lean for murder, 

Old Kilpatrick Luss, 
Inscription on tomb, . 
Tarbet and Scotch Inns, 
Inveraray, . . . 
From Inveraray to Strachur, 
Loch Fyne scenery, 


I Elgin, 



Aberdeenshire, .... 




Circuit processions Jails, state 





Aberdeen Montrose Arbroath, 



The Option, .... 



13 Perth Court-house, . 


(Eirmit Jtuimnn 1838. 


Glencroe Loch Lomond, . 



Serjeant Talfourd, . 



Meadowbank, Lord, . 



Professor Lushiugton, 




Pronouncing sentences, 





Jtorth Circuit (Spring 1839. 

Blairadam and Snaigow, . . 36 
Tayside in Spring, . , .37 
Fascally and Burn, . . .38 
Blair to Aviemore Aviemore, . 39 

Inverness, 41 

Graham Speirs Nairn Forres, 42 

Elgin Gordon Castle, 


Aberdeenshire Provost Milne, 44 
Marischal College, . . .45 
Perth Rutherfurd, Lord Advo- 
cate Depute-Advocate, . 46 
Lord Moncreiff- John A. Mur- 

ray, Knight, 

<S0th Circuit JUttumn 1839. 

Gala Water, .... 48 
Borthwickbrae, . . . .51 
Branxholm Alemoor Loch 

Jedburgh, .... 52 
Craig, Lord Selkirk, . . 54 
St. Mary's Loch, . . . 55 
Loch o' the Lowes Beattock, . 56 
Moffat Dumfries Dumfries 

Lunatic Asylum, . . .57 
Dumfries Martyrs' tomb Drura- 

lanrig, 58 

Nith, 59 

Penpont Thornhill Inn New 


Southwick Gelston Tongue- 
land Dundrennan Abbey, 


Cumpston to Thornhill Ken - 

Minnyhive, .... 

Goodman's History Grattan's 
Life Fair Maid of Perth, . 

West Cirruit <pring 1840. 

Airthrie The Option, . . 69 
Case of Templeton for murder, . 71 
Case of a Chimney Sweep, . . 72 




Circuit dinners, .... 
Hermand, Lord Romilly's Me- 
moirs, . 73 

West Cirmit JUxtwtmt 1840. 

Epitaph in churchyard of 

Strathearn, .... 75 
Dalmally, . . . .76 

Loch Awe River Awe, . . 77 
Muckairn Oban, ... 78 

lona, 79 

Staffa, 81 

Mull, Sound of, . . . .82 
English Residenters, ... 83 
English Students Dunstaffnage 

Oban to Minard, 

Melfort Loch Kilmartin church- 
yard tombs Mossman, John, 

Minard Lachlan Castle, . 

Loch Eck, 


The Pathfinder, .... 



Medwyn, Lord, .... 
Convictions in capital cases 

(Eiroiit Winter 1841. 

inadequately pun- 




(Smtth (Ejraxtt (Spring 1841. 

Melrose Abbey, . 


Langholm, . 

Longtown Ecclefechan, 


Dumfries, . 

Torthorwald James Crauturd, 99 
Dalveen Thornhill, . . . 100 
Durisdeer Thornhill to Edin- 
burgh, 101 

Brougham's Political Philosophy 
and Humphrey's Clock, . .102 

Jtorth Circuit Jtttttttim 1841. 

Tyndrum, . . . .104 

Glencoe Ballachulish, . . 105 
Cleaner faces Anderson's 
Guide to Highlands Angus 
Cameron, .... 107 
Linnhe Loch Loch Ness 

Glengarry, late, . . .109 
Invermoriston Glenmoriston, . Ill 
Shiel House Loch Duich, . 113 
KyleRhea, . . . .114 
Broadford, .... 115 
Mackinnon of Cony, . . .116 
Loch Slapin Spar Cave 
Scavaig Coruisk Cuillin 
Hills, .... 118-127 

Kyle Akin Skye, . . .128 
Strome Ferry Jean Town, . 129 
Maree, .... 130-135 

Garve, 131 

Southern Ross Diugwall, . 136 
Epitaph in Dingwall churchyard 

Beauly Priory, . . .137 
Crombie, dine with, at Aberdeen 

Aberdeen Aberdeen Cross, 140 
Braemar, ..... 141 
Banchory Ballater Castleton 

Aboyne Kindrogan, . .144 

Craighall, 145 

Perth Population, . . .146 
Conibe, and his Notes on America, 147 

Jtorth Circuit gyring 1842. 

Cupar-Angus, .... 149 
Epitaph Glamis Strathmore, 150 
Aberdeen Prisoner lifted into 

Court, 151 

Case of threatening letter Aber- 
deen party Aberdeen Cross, 152 
Road to the pier Aberdeenshire, 153 
Fochabers, . . . .154 
Sabbath desecration, . . 154 

Morayshire 155 

Elgin John Shanks' epitaph- 
James Hoy's, . . . 155, 156 
Forres, 156 

Inverness The Highland Road 

Bridge of Tilt, . . .157 
Blair, exclusion of people from 

Blair to Dunkeld, . . 159 
Blair, Pitlochry Lhanbryde, . 160 
Dunkeld Grounds A Perth Sun- 
day 161 

North Inch, ... 162 
Perth's exemption from trade, . 163 
Perth Bridge Perth Cases- 
Penitentiary, . . . .164 
MoncreifF s closing address 
Rarnaby Rudye, . . .165 


West Ciratit Jitxtttmn 1842. 


. 166 Arran Brodick Glenrosie, 

Its wells Porch at Cowan's Hos- 
pital, 167 

Ardrossan Fairlie Fall of 
Southannan, .... 168 

Goatfell, .... 
Scotch Hills Glen Sannox, 
Lamlash, .... 
Mr. Neaves Lord Mackenzie, 

. 169 
. 171 
. 172 
. 174 
. 177 

Olirmit Spring 1843. 

John Hope, a bore, . . . 179 
Kilpatrick Leven Stone at 
Rest and be Thankful Prim- 
roses, 180 

An Inveraray jury, . . .181 
Inveraray sermons Epitaph 

Inveraray, . . . .182 
Loch Awe Kilchurn, . . 183 

Swallows, Loch Lomond upper 

end, 185 

The Bull Stone pulpit Guthrie, 187 

Garscube, 188 

Case of Mackay, murderer, . 189 
Case of a poisoner Prisoner's 
description of Judges Lord 
Meadowbank Ziy of Wilkie. 190 

Witst (irntit JUttumn 1843. 

Rothesay, 192 

Barone Rothesay Castle Kin- 
garth 194 

Bute, 195 

Kyles -Rothesay bathing, . 196 
East Tarbert Loch Tarbert, 197, 198 
Ardpatrick and Kilberry, . . 198 
Tarbert to Inveraray Ardrtshaig 
Barmore-Strachur, . 201, 202 

Loch Eck, 202 

George Houston Death of 
George Joseph Bell, . . 203 

Glasgow cases Defence of in- 
sanity Irish lad, . . .204 

Reform ability of thieves Mr. 
Mark Napier, . . . .205 

Public coach in Glencoe, . . 206 

Circuit Winter 1844. 

Cases Long imprisonments, . 207 
Mary Boyle Poetical and sketch- 
ing prisoners, . . . 208 

A marrying justice, . . . 208 
David Mure Glasgow Court- 
house, 209 


(taut Spring 1844. 


Duukeld, 211 

Its Cathedral Bruar Falls, . 212 
Blair to Kingussie Pitmain Old 
Inn Kingussie Hotel, . . 213 

Cairngorms 214 

Moray Firth and Bay of Naples, 215 
GlenTruim, . . . .215 
Druidical temple at Inverness, . 215 
Dalcross Cawdor Castle, . . 216 
Cawdor church Kilravock, . 217 
Forres Pluscarden, . . .219 
Elgin and John Shanks, . 220, 221 
Epitaph Theological discus- 
sion, 221 


Aberdeen cases, . . .222 

Aberdeen Its Cross Statues, . 223 
Free Churches Orphan Hospital 

Poor School, . . .224 
Market Balls Dunnottar, . 225 
Arbroath Railways, . . .226 
St. Andrews, . . . .227 
Sir D. Brewster Abernethy 

Tower Swallows, . . .234 
Perth cases Mr. Arkley and 

Mark Napier, . . . .235 
Perth bells Railways Washer- 
women, 236 

Weather Macaulay, . . 237 

(Eirmit Jtuttmtn 1844. 

Dumfries, 238 

Its, and other, greens A bad 

dinner Terregles, . . . 239 
Lincluden Burns's house Allan- 
tonMrs. Thomson, . . 240 
Gatehouse to Newton-Stewart 

Creetown, . . . .241 
Loch Cree Newton-Stewart, 

by Rowan Tree, to Blairwhan, 242 
Blairwhan, . . . .243 
Shewalton Ayr business, . 244 
Special jurors Ayr, formerly 

and now, .... 245 
Lady Bell, 247 

From Ayr to Cumpston by Dal- 

mellington, .... 248 
Cumpston Dundrennan Abbey, 

as reformed, .... 249 
Cally Martyrs' Monument in 

Glenkens, .... 250 
Little Ross lighthouse, . . 251 
Dirk Hatteraick's cave, . . 253 
Kirkcudbright, . . . .254 
Senwick and Christkirk church- 
yards, 255 

Kenmure, Lord and tower 
Burke's Letters, . . .256 

Jfcrrth Cimitt 


Cantray Burn of Cawdor, . 259 
Celtic garb The Happy Valley 

Inverness banquet, . . 261 

Knockomie, .... 262 

Findhorn and Relugas, . . 263 

John Shanks' monument, . . 264 

Broth erton, . 265 

Den Fiuella Perth Advocate- 
Depute's ball, . . .266 

Dupplin Invermay Kinfauiis 
Seggieden, . . . .267 

Railway Lunacy " Gregory the 
Seventh " and Foreman, . 268 

Punning Texts, . . . 269 


(EtrjCttit Autumn 1845. 



Stirling Sir A. Christie, . 
Dunblane Jedburgh Abbey, 
Melrose, Admission money 

Strathearn to King's House, . 273 

Glencoe, 274 

Ballachulish, . . , .275 
Loch Leven, .... 276 
St. Mungo Island, . . .277 
Ardshiels case Ballachulish 

Episcopal Chapel River Leven 278 
Appin Mr. John Stewart 

Ballachulish to Fasnacloich, . 280 
Fasnacloich Appin, . . .281 


Loch Etive, . . . 283-287 
Fasnacloich to Oban Oban, . 287 
Oban to Dalmally, . . .288 
Kilchurn Dalmally Church, . 289 
Sails on Loch Fyne in Sir 

Thomas Lander's cutter, . 290 
Argyle Jury Loch Lomond, . 291 
Kilmun Loch Eck, . . .292 
Glenfinart, . . . .293 
Glen Messan, . . . .294 
Blind witness, . . . .295 
Buying a tongue Glasgow uew 

Courthouse, . . . .296 

onth Cirnut 


Medical Evidence, 

Jlorth Cirotit .Sspt^mtat 1846. 

Loch Katrine, . . . .299 
Loch Lubnaig, . . . .299 
Comrie House Killin, . . 301 

LochTay, 302 

Taymouth Castle Grandtully 
Strath Tay, . . . .303 

Dunkeld to Arbroath, . . 304 
Deeside, .... 305-308 
Castleton to Blair by the Spittal 
and Kindrogan, . . . 308 

Glen Tilt, 310 

Tulliebole, . . .315 

CiiTttit TOinter 1846. 

Page 317. 

Cirnitt (Spring 1847. 

Pages 318, 319. 

Recollections of old Circuits, 320-331 
Dalmellington, . . . .332 

(Eirotit Jltttumn 1847. 

Case at Jedburgh, 


Jtortlt Circuit goring 1848. 

By rail to Stonehaven Dun- 


Aberdeen Aberdeen Prayer 


Elliot's case, . . . .338 

Knockomie .... 335 
Inverness Increase of "Col- 

David Haggart's Mrs. Mackin- 

non's, 339 

Perth, 341 

Edward Maitland Francis Rus- 
sell, 342 

Aviemore, 337 

Circuit JUtumn 1848. 

Sheau ferry, . . . . 345 | Other places and dates, . 346-348 

Jtorth Circuit JVutttmn 1849. 

Dunkeld and its Duke, . . 351 
Northern routes, particularly one 

to Sutherland, . . 351-353 
Highland road coach accident, 353 
Case about a Highland clearing, 354 
Inverness injured by loss of its 
Bridge Sand Hills of Forres, 
and Dalvey Garden, . . 356 

Pluscarden, .... 356 

Altyre, 357 

Aberdeen murder, . . . 358 
Drum Strath Dee, with 

Royalty, 360 

Castleton and Glenshee Royal 
rapidity Lyell's Second Visit 
to America, . . .361 

Circuit January 1850. 

Pages 362, 363. 

Circuit Jtpril 1850. 

Railway to Loch Lomond, . . 364 J Tarbet, ..... 365 

Circuit < 1850. 

Unwell ............. 367 

Circuit Jtpril 1851. 

Moncreitf's death, . . . 368 | Smollett's Monument, . . 369 


o\ith Circuit September 185 1. 


Valuable accident, 372 

Jixrrth Circuit ^pril 1852. 

Broughty, 373 

Westhall, 374 

Bennachie Castle Forbes - 

Monymusk, .... 375 
Garioch Knockomie, . . 376 

Death of Lord Pannmre, . 378, 380 
Hyacinths, . . . 380, 381 
Murders this Circuit, . . .381 
A. S. Logan, . . . .382 
Dundee Blackguardism 

Case of the Frasers at Inverness Weather David Mure Books, 383 

Miss Macpherson, Forres, . 377 i Adam Grahame of Mossgray and 
Death of Gordon of Craig, . 378 j the Edinburgh Review, . . 384 

Circuit daber 1852. 

Stirling, startled horses, . . 385 | Glasgow- Edward Gordon, . 386 

(ilasjjrrto Circuit Winter 1853. 

Pages 387, 388. 

South Circuit Spring 1853. 

Jedburgh and Melrose, . . 389 I Underwood and Robert Kennedy, 391 
Hard labour ..... 390 ! Andrew Clark, .-... 394 

Jfarth Circuit September 1853. 

Dubton, 395 

Penal servitude Aberdeen ships 

Wreck Deeside, . . 396 
The Leg of Mutton, . . .397 
Glenshee, ... . 397 

Lord Anderson's death Rossie 
Ochil, 398 

LordDeas, 399 

A handsome thief Justice- 
Clerk's judicial lectures, . 400 

Scotch proverb, . . 401 

onth Circuit Spring 1854. 

Case of Alexander Cunninghame, 403 | Bay of Ayr on a calm mild day, 404 
INDEX, . . 407 


BONALY, 28th March 1838. I have got this volume 
(prepared under the personal directions of Thomas Mait- 
land, the first of gentlemen binders) in order to record 
anything remarkable that may occur in my Circuits. It 
will be my fate to perform these journeys, being a Criminal 
Judge, as long as I am fit for anything, and it gives scenes, 
which repetition generally makes dull, an interest to have 
one's attention called, by the excitement of a diary, to 
occurrences which, however insignificant to strangers, are 
important to the individual engaged, and who always 
regrets to find that the impression of them is gone. 

I wish that the Court of Justiciary had always had a 
Judge who left such a journal. The very uniformity of 
its subjects, implying a description from age to age of the 
same sort of occurrences and of the same parts of the 
country, and, of course, of their gradual changes, would 
have given it a value which detached records, though indi- 
vidually more curious, could not have possessed. If even 
Fountainhall, though not nearly far enough back, had im- 
parted his observing and recording spirit to one of each 
series of his successors, what a curious picture would their 


continued memoranda have by this time given us of 
singular local men, of the changes of districts, of the 
progress of the law, of important trials, of strange manners, 
and of striking provincial events. 

I did not think of keeping any note of my Circuit 
memorabilia till lately ; so I must mention my two first 
expeditions from memory. 


AUTUMN 1837. 

30th March 1838. My first Circuit was the West, 
which began at Stirling on Saturday the 16th of Sep- 
tember 1837. 

I went on the 14th, with my friend Sir Thomas 
Lauder, to Airthrie, to visit my cousin (by affinity), Lord 
Abercromby, and passed two delightful days at his hospi- 
table house and most beautiful place. The whole of the 
forenoon of the 15th was passed with Sir Thomas and 
John Kirkpatrick, Esq., late Chief- Justice of the Ionian 
Islands, on Demyat Hill. The day was delightful ; I can 
scarcely conceive nobler prospects than there are from 
that mountain. It is one of the many places which make 
us not at all afraid to boast of Scotland, even in comparison 
with Switzerland. Our solitude and elevation derived an 
additional charm from the distant view of the people 
sweltering below at the Stirling races. Nevertheless, having 
an excellent telescope, we could not resist the temptation 
of looking at a race, which we saw better and more 
minutely than many who were on the course. 

Lord Moncreiff was my colleague. We finished the 
business on Saturday the 1 6th. On Sunday we went in 
procession to church, guarded by part of a regiment 
of the line, but without music, an omission which would 
have been deemed Jacobinical a few years ago, but which 
the modern notions of Sunday require. The pious have, 


within these six or eight years, taken his music even from 
his Majesty's Commissioner to the General Assembly. 

We had a very pleasant party (for a Circuit) at dinner 
that day, including Mrs. Cockburn, my daughters Graham 
and Elizabeth, and my niece, Eliza Maitland, and sundry 
redcoats. The Provost was so charmed with my talk 
(I suppose) that he rose and proposed my health with 
all the honours. Moncreiff checked this compliment. But 
the chance of such an occurrence is one of the many 
things which show the inexpediency of these Circuit 

On Monday the 1 8th Moncreiff and I parted. He went 
to Inveraray, I to Renfrewshire. I got to my brother-in- 
law's at Barr, by Lochwinnoch, to dinner. Stayed there 
till Tuesday night, when I went to Glasgow, and tried 
civil causes from Wednesday morning till Saturday evening, 
when I returned to Barr and remained there till Monday 
the 25th, when I went to Fossil, near Glasgow, the resi- 
dence of Archibald Alison, the Sheriff of Lanarkshire, 
where I met Moncreiff, and where we continued all 

Next morning, Tuesday, 26th September 1837, we made 
a grand procession into the Court, the grandest I ever 
saw at a Scotch Circuit ; there were four carriages and 
four, besides four or five with two horses, plenty Lancers, 
in all their bravery of men and steeds, rows of well- 
drilled police, music, gazers, etc. It took us till the 
evening of the next Tuesday to dispose of the criminal cases. 

I am happy to say that there were unusually few pleas 
of guilty. These pleas are odious. They sometimes happen 
from genuine contrition, sometimes from despair, and 
sometimes from a desire to hide the atrocious features of 
the offence by preventing their disclosure in evidence. But 
confessions from these causes are very rare ; the common 


cause is an idea that saving trouble will conciliate the 
Court. And accordingly it sometimes has this effect far 
too much, and a very few years ago it had to a shameful 
degree. It mitigated the sentence not merely truly, but 
avowedly. It was quite common to hear it stated from the 
Bench as one of the reasons why peculiar leniency was 
shown, that the prisoner " had pleaded guilty, and thereby 
saved the Court all trouble" This was the phrase ; and the 
judicial feeling occasionally assumed the still worse form 
of its being stated to the prisoner as an aggravation of his 
guilt, that, instead of acknowledging what he must have 
known to be true, he had gone to trial. There was a case 
within these last eight years, in which a prisoner's counsel 
advised and forwarded a petition for mercy to Govern- 
ment, founded on this sentiment having been uttered from 
the Bench at passing sentence. It is the principle of a 
great majority of the Court to let pleas of guilty have no 
effect whatever on the punishment. And indeed it is rare 
to find a case in which a sane man can dream of pleading 
guilty, unless it be to please the Court, and thereby to 
soften the sentence. By going to trial he has always the 
chance of escaping, and he can only be convicted at the 
worst. So what the better except with a view to the 
result is he of confessing? Even a wish to conceal the 
aggravations of his guilt, which is the most rational motive 
for this course, is only a good one on the supposition that 
the Court in awarding the punishment goes beyond the 
facts asserted in the indictment, or lets itself be more 
inflamed by the witnesses' descriptions of the occurrences 
than by the prosecutor's. Pleas of guilty, therefore, are a 
bad sign of the Court. 

There were two convictions for murder one against a 
woman for drowning her child, and one against a man, a 
tobacco-spinner, who first married a woman who he knew 


had several illegitimate children, and then, from jealousy, 
killed her by repeated stabs. They were both sentenced 
to be executed at Paisley on the same day. The woman's 
sentence was commuted into the strange substitute of 
imprisonment for four years, but the man's was carried 
into effect. 

I tried his case, and consequently had to pronounce the 
sentence the first capital one I ever pronounced, and I 
hope the last. It is a very painful duty. 

There is a great art in pronouncing sentences. The old 
judges used generally to abuse the prisoner. The feelings 
of a later age would not tolerate this. But they have 
introduced a sermonising system which it requires some 
courage in any judge to avoid. Even in the slightest case 
not extending beyond imprisonment the prisoner 
must always be reminded of his latter end and of his im- 
mortal soul, and two of us very rarely ever fail to point 
out the way to salvation by actually naming Kedemption 
and the Eedeemer. There are others (inter quos ego) who 
think that more direct and practical expositions of the 
personal and immediate consequences of crime are more 
likely to operate on worldly audiences and worldly villains. 
The misfortune of the religious plan is, that as adherence 
to it is thought a duty, it is apt to lose its effect by 
being applied indiscriminately to every case. A proper 
mixture of the two would be the best thing. 

Moncreiff, the most excellent of men, and one of the 
most admirable of judges, but whose piety and simplicity 
sometimes give him odd views, has signalised himself 
twice, in passing sentence, by principles which have 
greatly diverted his friends, and produced much specula- 
tion among English lawyers, as I heard his friend 
Brougham, when Chancellor, tell him. 

Once was in dooming a man to die for murdering a 


female who lived with him. It was altogether a shocking 
case, but his Lordship found out, and debated upon this 
peculiar atrocity, that the woman he had killed was not 
his wife, but only his mistress, because, as he explained, if 
she had been your wife, there might possibly have been 
some apology for you, on account of the difficulty of 
getting quit of a wife in any other way. But this un- 
fortunate woman being only your associate, you might 
have freed yourself from her whenever you chose. How 
Brougham revelled over this discovery, that it was a less 
crime to murder a wife than to murder a mistress ! 

His other view I had heard of before, but I actually 
heard it personally at this Circuit. Both were cases of 
bigamy; and his Lordship after explaining, as anybody 
else might have done, the usual atrocities of the offence, 
such as the perfidy and cruelty to both women, the con- 
fusion and destitution of families, etc., added, nearly in 
these words : " All this is bad ; but your true iniquity 
consists in this, that you degraded that holy ceremony 
which our blessed Saviour condescended to select as the 
type of the connection between him and his redeemed 
church." He put a strong emphasis upon the word con- 
descended; why, I know not. I must do the public the 
justice to say that it did not seem to sympathise with the 
statement that this was the chief guilt of bigamy. 

If I were a culprit, I would rather be sentenced by 
Moncreiff than by any judge I have ever known. He is, 
in general, very sensible, and always very kind, and never 
dreams of making it an occasion for display, but addresses 
the prisoner almost as if he were an unfortunate friend, 
for whose temporal and eternal welfare he had a deep 
anxiety, to whom he pointed out penitence and the forma- 
tion of better habits as the only means of reaching future 
happiness, and of whose reformation he rarely despaired. 


WINTER 1838. 

31st March 1838. The Glasgow Winter Circuit began 
on Tuesday, 9th January 1838, and closed on the evening 
of Friday the 12th. I was engaged with the famous case 
of the cotton-spinners at Edinburgh, 1 and only got to Glas- 
gow on the evening of the 9th. Lord Medwyn took the 
first day at Glasgow alone. 

Nothing particular took place at this Circuit, except that 
everybody was under the deepest anxiety about the result 
of the cotton-spinners' case which I had left unfinished; and 
so all our thoughts were of Trades Unions and the guilt 
that is apt to adhere to combinations. There was indeed 
a trial of a man called Thomas Kiddie for the offence of 
compelling a workman by violence to give over working. 
This case fell to me. He pleaded guilty, but got no re- 
ward, for he was transported for seven years, being the 
full measure that would have been dealt to him after the 
toughest resistance. I had no warning, and consequently 
no premeditation, but on the spot gave him an address 
which has had its full crop of undeserved praise. It 
was not only circulated extensively both here and in 
England, but was applauded in the House of Commons 
(about a month ago) when the case of the cotton-spinners 
was under discussion. And all this solely because while 

1 The Glasgow cotton-spinners' (Hunter, etc.) trial at Edinburgh, begun 
Jan. 3, and ended Jan. 11, 1838. 


it pointed out the criminality of violence, it judicially 
acknowledged the innocence of mere combination, and thus 
removed the imputation that Courts did not do justice to 
workmen. 1 

Medwyn, in addressing the sheriffs and magistrates 
gave a lecture, and a good one, on the same subject, to 
which the Sheriff of Lanarkshire, Alison, took occasion to 
add a long discourse, giving a view of the morals and 
statistics of strikes and unions. 

These three addresses may be found in Swinton's 
report of the trial of the cotton-spinners. Alison's has 
been expanded into an article in the forthcoming number 
of the Edinburgh Review, written by himself. 

This is the second time that my friend Alison has made 
a long speech after the judge, a very dangerous and un- 
usual practice, which he probably won't be allowed to 
repeat. The first time he tried it, a bailie attempted to 
compel the Court to let him answer, as he said that the 
Sheriff had attacked the Town Council, which shows the 
inexpediency of tolerating such harangues. 

i See Swinton's .Report of Hunter, etc., cotton-spinners, Appendix, 
p. 28. " Proceedings against Thomas Riddle, Glasgow, llth Jan. 1838." 
see Journals, vol. i. p. 60. 


SPRING 1838. 

AVIEMORE, Thursday, 1 2th April 1838. I am here 
upon the North Circuit, which begins at Inverness on 
Saturday the 14th. 

I left Edinburgh on Monday last, the 9th, with my 
daughters Jane and Graham. Jane not being strong, we 
resolved to take it leisurely. So we slept the first night 
at Perth. I walked nearly two hours along the water side 
on the North Inch, and watched the fishers toiling very 
fruitlessly for salmon. The watcher at the bridge told me 
next morning that in the last twenty-four hours they had 
only killed one fish. 

Next day we went to Dunkeld, to Pitlochrie to 
Kindrogan, the residence of my old friend Patrick 
Small Keir, where we stayed till this morning. 

The whole of this country, from Edinburgh to Kin- 
drogan, except that constantly wet, cold, and dull region 
of Kinross, is beautiful. But this is not the season to see 
it in. I used to think that Scotch scenery depended so 
much on rock, hill, water, and fir, that the foliage of 
deciduous wood was of less importance to it than to most 
other scenery. There are some parts of the Highlands 
where this is true, where leaves do little for the dark 
mountain, the perpetual pine, the gleaming cataract, and 
the blue loch. But in general it is not true. I could 
scarcely have conceived that a tract of country which has 


so many noble fixed features could suffer so much in its 
appearance from the foliage being still dead. It has a 
great deal of good moderate forest trees, and is everywhere 
richly sprinkled with birch. I have often seen it at this 
season, but I had forgotten the bareness and coldness of 
the leafless stems ; the want of colour over the wooded 
surface ; the exposure of everything ; the disproportioned 
bringing out of the evergreen firs, and the general dead- 
ness. Even Dunkeld seemed chill and unsettled, with its 
picturesque slate quarries brought too near, its long wintry 
reaches of cold, steelly water, and its cathedral, apparently 
rising and staring over the country. It is grievous to see 
how the last savage winter has desolated the ornamental 
evergreens. There are few sorts that have not suffered, 
but the Arbutus and Laurustinus seem, in general, to be 

Kindrogan, which I never saw before, is a very nice 
little Highland place. A sensible house, picturesque 
rocks, good hills, and an excellent stream. We were most 
kindly treated, and very happy. 

Killiecrankie looked worse, from its nakedness, than even 
Dunkeld. It is common to abuse the country from the 
Pass to this. I have always thought it magnificent. Even 
the solitude and desolation of Dalwhinnie is sublime. 
The approach to Aviemore becomes interesting soon after 
the waters begin to flow Spey-ward, till at last the full 
prospect of these glorious Cairngorms, with their forests 
and peaks and valleys, exhibits one of the finest pieces of 
mountain scenery in Britain. To-day they were covered 
with snow, which had to be cut several feet deep in four 
places on the road. 

The first time I was in this inn was in 1797 or 1798, 
when, with two other boys, I made a tour in a gig to Inver- 
ness, and home by Fort Augustus, and over Corryarrick. 


My studies in the chaise have hitherto been the new 
number of the Edinburgh Review, and the last volume of 
Lockhart's Life of Scott. The review is not just yet 
published (No. 135). The striking article is the first, on 
the abuses of the press, ly Brougham. It is a curious per- 
formance, and will produce much discussion. The portraits 
of his contemporaries are worthy of Clarendon. They are 
all too favourably drawn. Lockhart mentions Scott as 
having gone to see my old client, Mrs. Smith, who was 
guilty, but acquitted, of murder by poison (vol. vii., chap. 
1, p. 25). The case made a great noise. Scott's descrip- 
tion of the woman is very correct. She was like a 
vindictive masculine witch. I remember him sitting 
within the bar, looking at her. Lockhart should have 
been told that as we were moving out, Sir Walter's re- 
mark upon the acquittal was : " Well, sirs ! all I can say 
is, that if that woman was my wife, I should take good 
care to be my own cook." 

INVERNESS, Friday Night, 1 3th April 1838. We left 
Aviemore to-day at eleven, and got here about three. A 
beautiful day. There are three interesting things in this 
part of the road, the wood of Scotch firs (I forget its 
name) near the Bridge of Carr, the branches being more 
gnarled and tossed about like those of forest trees, than 
any fir branches I ever saw, the long, deep, pastoral 
descents and rises of the road ; and the glorious bursts of 
the Moray Firth, and the Ross-shire and other hills 
when the height, about five miles from Inverness, is 
gained. Yet some monsters are improving the country (as 
they no doubt call it) by planting out these magnificent 
prospects, by lining the road with abominable stripes of 
wretched larch trees. Our only hope is in the boys and 
the cattle. 


My heart will ever warm at the mention of the Bridge 
of Carr. The first time I was ever at Relugas, the 
Paradise formerly possessed by my friend Sir Thomas Dick 
Lauder, now above twenty years ago, he joined the late 
excellent Dr. Gordon, Mr. Macbean, and me, who had 
come from Edinburgh there ; and what a day ! and how 
many happy days ! succeeded that meeting ! After an 
alarming breakfast alarming both from its magnitude 
and its mirth, we rolled along in two gigs, on a splendid 
autumnal day, till we annihilated the twenty-two miles 
between us and Eden ; where began the first of a course 
of almost annual visits, hallowed in my memory by scenery 
and friendship, by the society and progress of a happy 
family, and, above all, by the recollection of Gordon. 
The Bridge of Carr brings them all to my eye, and to my 

HUNTLY, Tuesday, 17 'th April 1838, Night. On Saturday 
the 14th, I was in Court till midnight. 

The only curious case was that of Malcolm M'Lean, a 
fisherman from Lewis, who is doomed to die upon the 
llth of May, for the murder of his wife. He admitted 
that he killed her, and intentionally, but the defence by 
his counsel was that he was mad at the time. There was 
not the slightest foundation for this, for though he was 
often under the influence of an odd mixture of wild 
religious speculation, and of terrified superstition, he had 
no illusion, and in all the affairs of life, including all his 
own feelings and concerns, was always dealt with as a 
sound practical man. One part of his pretended craziness 
was said to consist in his making machinery to attain the 
perpetual motion, and his believing that he had succeeded. 
This shows that this famous problem is not in such vogue 
as it once was. But the thing that seemed to me to be 


the oddest in the matter, was the perfect familiarity with 
which the common Celts of Lewis talked and thought of 
the thing called the perpetual motion, whatever they 
fancied it. Their word for it, according to the common 
process of borrowing terms with ideas, was, "Perpetual 
Motion" pronounced and treated by them as a Gaelic ex- 
pression. The words " Perpetual motion," were used in 
the middle of Gaelic sentences without stop or surprise, 
exactly as we use any Anglified French term. 

This man's declaration, which told the whole truth with 
anxious candour, contained a curious and fearful descrip- 
tion of the feelings of a man about to commit a deliberate 
murder. He had taken it into his head that his wife was 
unkind, and perhaps faithless to him, and even meant to 
kill him, and therefore he thought it better, upon the 
whole, to prevent this by killing her, which accordingly, 
on a particular day, he was determined to do. He went 
to work on a piece of ground in the morning, thinking, 
all the time he was working, of going into the house and 
doing the deed, but was unwilling and infirm. However, 
he at last resolved, went in, sat down, she at the opposite 
side of the fire, the children in and out, but still he could 
not, and went to work again. After reasoning and dream- 
ing of the great deed of the day, he went to the house 
again, but still could not, and came out ; and this alternate 
resolving and wavering, this impulse of passion, and this 
recoiling of nature recurred most part of the day, till at 
last, sitting opposite to her again, he made a sudden 
plunge at her throat, and scientifically Burked her by 
compressing the mouth and nose, after which a sore fit of 
sated fury succeeded, which gave way, when people began 
to come in, to an access of terror and cunning, which made 
him do everything possible for his own safety, till tired of 
wandering about, and haunted by some of his religious 


notions, he went towards Stornoway to redeliver himself 
(for he had been previously taken, but escaped), when he 
was discovered. He is now low and resigned, and says 
he has not been so comfortable for years, because he has 
got the better of the Devil at last, and is sure of defying 
him on the 1 1th of May. 

I never left home for ten days without finding an 
acquaintance gone before I returned. One letter, received 
yesterday, informs me of the death of Sir James Fergusson 
of Kilkerran, of my old schoolfellow M'Donald of Staffa, 
and of William Murray, a boy, the son of the Lord 
Advocate. This last is the saddest possible death. He 
was a nice clever boy ; the only child of his parents ; and 
the only hope of the House of Henderland. I fear it will 
extinguish his mother, his father, and his uncle, the head 
of the family. 

I went officially to church on Sunday, and was again in 
Court yesterday till twelve at night. To-day we came 
here, amidst a strong bitter wind, loaded with driving 
snow, which has been our fare since Tuesday morning, 
this being the end of our last vernal month. 

[I refreshed myself again with a walk over the ruins of 
Elgin Cathedral, along with my daughter Graham. What 
a pile ! And what fragments ! It is now in very toler- 
able order ; certainly by far the best kept old ruin, public 
or private, in Scotland ; a country which disgraces itself 
by its disregard of its ancient buildings, and the base uses 
to which it lets them be turned. The merit of putting 
Elgin in order belongs partly to the Crown, but still more 
to an old man who for above forty years has had the 
charge of showing the Cathedral and has spent his life in 
clearing away rubbish, disclosing parts of the building, 
and preserving fragments, all literally with his own 
hands. The name of this combatant of time is John 


Shanks. The rubbish, he says, " has made an auld man 
o' me," which, with the help of seventy years, it no doubt 
has. He used to have a strong taste for whisky, but 
always a stronger one for the antiquities and relics of the 
cathedral. He is now a worthy garrulous body, who can 
only speak however about the tombs and ruins, and 
recites all the inscriptions as if he could not help it, and 
is more at home with the statues of the old bishops and 
soldiers than with his own living family.] l 

PERTH, Monday, 23d April 1838. We reached Aber- 
deen on the 18th, through clouds of snow and bitter 
blasts. There were three wreaths between Huntly and 
Pitmachie, which really alarmed me. 

[I know no part of Scotland so much, and so visibly, 
improved within thirty years as Aberdeenshire. At the 
beginning of that time, the country between Keith and 
Stonehaven was little else than a hopeless region of stones 
and moss. There were places of many miles where lite- 
rally there was nothing but large white stones of from 
half a ton to ten tons weight, to be seen. A stranger to 
the character of the people would have supposed that 
despair would have held back their hands from even at- 
tempting to remove them. However, they began, and year 
after year have been going on making dikes and drains, 
and filling up holes with these materials, till at last they 
have created a country which, when the rain happens to 
cease, and the sun to shine, is really very endurable. 

Moricreiff joined me at Aberdeen, and we were three 
days in Court there, from morning till past midnight. 
There was nothing curious in any of the cases. The 
weather was so bad that we had no public procession, but 
went to Court privately and respectably. The dignity of 
justice would be increased if it always rained. Yet there 

1 Journals, vol. i. p. 71. 


are some of us who like the procession, though it can never 
be anything but mean and ludicrous, and who fancy that 
a line of soldiers, or the more civic array of paltry police- 
officers, or of doited special constables, protecting a couple 
of judges who flounder in awkward gowns and wigs, 
through the ill-paved streets, followed by a few sneering 
advocates, and preceded by two or three sheriffs, or their 
substitutes, with white swords, which trip them, and a 
provost and some bailie-bodies trying to look grand, the 
whole defended by a poor iron mace, and advancing each 
with a different step, to the sound of two cracked trumpets, 
ill-blown by a couple of drunken royal trumpeters, the 
spectators all laughing, who fancy that all this ludicrous 
pretence of greatness and reality of littleness, contributes 
to the dignity of justice. Judges should never expose 
themselves unnecessarily their dignity is on the bench. 

We have had some good specimens of the condition of 
jails. One man was tried at Inverness for jail-breaking, 
and his defence was that he was ill-fed, and that the 
prison was so weak thc.t he had sent a message to the 
jailor that if he did not get more meat he would not stay in 
another hour, and he was as good as his word. The Sheriff 
of Elgin was proceeding to hold a court to try some people, 
when he was saved the trouble by being told that they 
had all walked out. Some of them being caught, a second 
court was held, since I was at Inverness, to dispose of 
them ; when the proceedings were again stopped from the 
very opposite cause. The jailor had gone to the country 
taking the key of the prison with him, and the prisoners 
not being willing to come forth voluntarily, could not be 
got out. Lord Moncreiff (who joined me at Aberdeen) 
tells me that when he was Sheriff of Kinross-shire, there 
was an Alloa culprit who was thought to be too powerful 
for the jail of that place. So they hired a chaise and sent 



officers with him to the jail of Kinross, where he was 
lodged. But before the horses were fed for their return, 
he broke out, and wishing to be with his friends a little 
before finally decamping, he waited till the officers set 
off, and then returned to Alloa, without their knowing it, 
on the back of the chaise that had brought him to Kinross, 
with them in it.] J 

Aberdeen is improving in its buildings and harbour. 
The old town is striking and interesting, with its venerable 
college, its detached position, its extensive links, and 
glorious beach. But the new and larger city is cold, 
hard, and treeless. The grey granite does well for public 
works where durability is obviously the principal object, 
but for common dwelling-houses it is not, to my taste, 
nearly so attractive as the purity of the white freestone, 
or the richness of the cream-coloured. Polishing and fine 
jointing improve it much, but this is dear, and hence the 
ugly lines of mortar between the seams of the stones. 

We came here by the coast, by far the best way. 
Except Glamis there is nothing on the inland road. 
Montrose is one of the most English-looking towns in 
Scotland, Kelso excepted. I scarcely know a more 
picturesque street than its main one, with its windings, 
its gables turned outwards, its painted outsides and 
general appearance of neatness and comfort. They have 
built a spire since I was last there, or at least I had for- 
gotten it. 

I once more visited the ruins of Arbroath Cathedral. 
It has been immensely improved by the recent removal of 
several feet of rubbish, which had been allowed to accumu- 
late within the walls. The removal, besides giving the 
place an air of protection and decency, has disclosed the 
bases of many pillars, figures, coffins, and other relics. But 
1 Journals, vol. i. 172-4. 


the building was made of too soft a stone, and is moulder- 
ing rapidly. 

I also went this morning and saw the rocks where Scott 
makes the couple be overtaken by the sea, and saved by 
Edie Ochiltree. They are noble rocks, and were well 
chafed by noble waves. 

The whole features of this place suit the descriptions of 
the novel, and now, indeed, they derive their chief interest 
from their doing so. Arbroath is well painted in the de- 
scription of Fairport, and as we look at the little harbour, 
the fishing-boats on the beach, the ruined abbey, and the 
steep wave-worn rocks on the shore, the whole story, with 
all its incidents, characters, and names, recur to the memory. 

That glorious drive through the Carse of Gowrie was 
obscured by thick rain. 

EDINBURGH, 30th April 1838. We had tough work at 
Perth, which it took four and a half days to get through. 
We were only free yesterday about three, and got home in 
the evening, and a clear, beautiful, though cold evening it was. 

Two things deserving of notice occurred in the course of 
the business. 

One was, that we had a bigamist before us. I again 
threw the case into Moncreiff' s hands, in the expectation 
of hearing the curious sentiment I have already mentioned. 
But the train failed. He left it out, for the first time 
I believe in sentencing such a culprit, and made a good 
rational address. 

The other was, that we had an example of that horrid 
piece of nonsense, invented within these twenty years by 
the Court of Justiciary, and called by the inventors " The 
option." The absurdity cannot possibly last long, and for the 
edification of posterity it may be as well to tell what it was. 

Some people think it cruel, and conducive to perjury, 


to compel parents or children to give evidence against 
each other ; others of whom I am one admit it to be 
painful, but think that everything must yield to the 
necessities of justice, and that nothing is so cruel as that 
an innocent man should be convicted because a son is 
indulged in protecting his father by silence, which may 
happen in many ways. What is thought the humane side 
prevails at present in our criminal law. But it occurred 
to some of the judges, about twenty years ago, that, as the 
indulgence was granted solely from delicacy to these 
relations, it was competent to them to reject it if they 
chose. They therefore introduced The option, by which 
parents and children might hang each other or not, just 
as they pleased, unless they happened to be under pupil- 
larity, in which case, being held incapable of discretion, 
they are always rejected. 

The practical operation of this folly is this : A mother 
is on trial for her life. Her daughter is called as a witness 
against her. The Court tells her she has the option. She 
is a person of right feelings, and declines to testify. The 
possession of such feelings is a proof that she is worthy of 
being credited, even in the case of a parent. Nevertheless, 
truth is defied, and the claims of justice disregarded, for 
her comfort. But if she had been a monster, to whom 
hanging her mother was a luxury, that is, if she had been 
a person who exercised this option by preferring to give 
evidence, then she proves herself to be utterly incredible. 
Yet, just on this account, she is admitted to be sworn. 
And if the whole family be true to each other, as is 
commonly (but not always) the case, then all the light de- 
pending on parents and children is utterly excluded. A 
father may cut his wife's throat with complete safety, pro- 
vided he takes care to perform the operation before no- 
body but her ten grown-up sons and daughters. 


In the case at Perth, a man called Murray was charged 
with having forged his son's name. But the son, 
who alone could prove the forgery, took advantage of 
this notable option, and refused to answer, on which 
the witness and the accused walked out of the Court 
arm in arm. 

The thing is particularly absurd in the case of forgery. 
Because, where the person whose signature is forged is 
alive and accessible, his testimony, being the best 
evidence, is indispensable. If the person forged upon 
were the person injured, the option would not be allowed. 
But the Court has decided that the person injured is he 
who has been defrauded by the uttering. So that all 
forgeries are safe that are committed by parents or 
children on each other, and whose respective affection for 
each other is stronger than their regard for public justice. 

This tissue of necessary nonsense is no part of the law 
of Scotland. The fear of perjury, a foolish principle, but 
one that was not unnatural to superstitious barbarians, 
played on by cunning churchmen, made our old law 
reject such testimony altogether and without distinction. 
But the option, by which its reception is made to depend 
on the pleasure or profligacy of each witness, is the pro- 
duction of a few judges, not at all qualified to legislate on 
such a subject, within these few years. 

The true principle is, to disregard relationship, except 
that of husband and wife, as an objection to the com- 
petency of any witness. 

Perth is the only place I have ever seen where, in the 
arrangement of the spectators in a public court, there is 
an entire separation made between the ladies and the 
gentlemen. The gallery is divided into a male and a 
female compartment. It looks very odd, but it seems to 
conduce to silence. The eyes flirt more silently than the 


tongue. I don't understand, however, that this was the 

When I was at Elgin, I was told that the people there 
were disturbed by rumours of an intention on the part of 
the trustees of the late Duke of Gordon to sell the 
Bishop's House, a large, square, venerable, red freestone 
building, almost in contact with the cathedral, and erected 
at the same time. I instantly wrote to the agent of the 
Duke of Kichmond, who has succeeded the Duke of 
Gordon, and without whose consent no such proceeding 
would take place. But on coming home, I find that the 
disgraceful transaction has been completed, and that since 
I was there, the Bishop's House, or rather, the Gordon 
property there, including this house, has actually been 
sold for about 656. I wish these noble persons, or their 
representatives, had only let it be known that the saving 
of such a piece of antiquity depended on their getting 
656, for it could easily have been raised in farthings. 
It is said that the house, which seems to be still entire, is 
to be taken down, to make way for a villa. them. 

I have long been accustomed to watch for my first 
swallow towards the end of the Spring Circuit, and almost 
always to find it. This year I looked for it in vain ; no 
swallow has been so foolish as to appear yet. 


AUTUMN 1838. 

TARBET, Tuesday, llth September 1838, 11 P.M. I left 
home last Saturday, the 8th, with Mrs. Cockburn, my 
daughter Jane, and my son Henry, at eight A.M., and got 
to Barr by Lochwinnoch about five. We remained there 
till this morning, two pleasant, lounging, jolly days. 

We came away this morning at nine, crossed the 
Clyde at Renfrew Ferry, and proceeded along the right 
bank of the water to Dumbarton. The opening of the 
Clyde there is beautiful and grand. But the tide was out, 
which greatly impairs it. I have always thought Kil- 
patrick rather a respectable village, and was glad to see 
that it still deserved that character. 

I have not been on Loch Lomond since (I think) 1824. 
I am more and more struck with its magnificence and 
loveliness. I was never so much impressed as to-day with 
the cultivated comfort and elegance of the lower end of 
the lake, where every acre of land exhibits the appearance 
of culture that is old, and of comfort that is improving. 
Old trees, old hollies, good roads, good houses, good 
lodges, all well kept, as if by owners who were proud of 
their places, and knew how much they were looked at by 
strangers, all, whether they be on the low ground or on 
the high, kept in connection with their splendid sheet of 
water. The Church of Luss is, from its charming posi- 
tion, beautiful as ever ; but the dirt and squalid wretched- 


ness of the houses and people of that village is a disgrace 
to the landlords. Such abomination, in such a scene, is 
one of the unanswerable scandals of Scotland. But the 
lairds who permit it are the chief brutes. It is perfectly 
inconceivable, no public infamy is too great for it. And 
how little it would take, and this little consisting chiefly 
of kindness, advice, and some authority, to charm the 
poor people into a higher state of existence, and to make 
their promontory a paradise. At present, God has planted 
a garden there, and man a hog-stye. 

Mrs. Cockburn searched the churchyard for some lines 
which many years ago she had found, and deciphered, on 
a very old, hoary, tombstone. She succeeded, but the 
stone had been renewed, possibly in honour of the lines, 
which are striking, and to me new 

'Twas when the primrose hailed the infant year, 
And all was eye, and all was listening ear, 
My sweet rosebud reclined his weary head, 
And here he lies among the silent dead. 
Uncertain life ! How transient is thy show ! 
How high thy prospects, and thy end how low ! 
This day in health, a country's pride and boast ! 
Perhaps to-morrow mingled with the dust ! 

We were here by three o'clock, and are to remain all 
night. The day has been good, but not bright, and very 
calm and balmy. Since I was here the new road up by 
Glenfalloch, and indeed along the whole loch, has been 
finished, and it is really a luxury to bowl along upon it. 
The traveller had the pleasure formerly of mounting over 
the high point of Firkin, and indeed over all the high 
points, whereby he no doubt got sundry glorious pro- 
spects, but his toil and impatience were not well fitted to 


make him enjoy them, and it was murderous work for 
the poor horses. Higher up the loch than this, there 
was nothing that could be called road at all. The whole 
edge of the water is now lined by a way so level and so 
smooth, that no dreamer has any pretence for saying that 
he is jolted out of his contemplations ; and I am not sure 
but the loss of the heights is more than compensated, 
even in point of scenery, by the increased variety of 
aspects which are opened up at every turn round the bays 
and promontories. The daily steamer was grunting and 
belching, with its long tail of polluting smoke. Never- 
theless this too is good ; the disturbance is very short, the 
convenience, even to the solitary pilgrim, immense, and it is 
impossible not to sympathise with the crowds within 
whose reach it puts the enjoyment of these recesses. 

The evening closed over the loch arid the hills in calm, 
deep darkness, leaving nothing whatever visible, and only 
one distant little waterfall audible. 

This inn is, for a Scotch one, very good, but far too small 
for the resort in summer, and far too large for the want of 
resort in winter. I am always ashamed of our country for 
its inhospitality, in this respect of inns, to the many 
strangers who now visit it. The inn near the Trossachs 
could, perhaps, put up a dozen, or at the very most, two 
dozen of people ; but last autumn I saw about one hundred 
apply for admittance, and after horrid altercations, en- 
treaties, and efforts, about fifty or sixty were compelled to 
huddle together all night. They were all of the upper 
rank, travelling mostly in private carriages, and by far the 
greater number strangers. But the pigs were as comfort- 
ably accommodated. I saw three or four English gentlemen 
spreading their own straw on the earthen floor of an out- 
house, with a sparred door, and no fire-place or furniture. 
And such things occur every day there, though the ground 


belongs partly to a duke, and partly to an earl, Montrose 
and Willoughby. These are the countrymen of Sir Walter 
Scott. His genius immortalises the region. This attracts 
strangers, and this is their encouragement. Is there any 
part of the Continent where this could happen ? 

INVERARAY, Wednesday, 12th September 1838, 10 P.M. 
A tedious, dull, hot, rainy day, without a breath of wind 
to move a leaf or a cloud, or a moment's hope that the 
heavy uniformity was to break up or change. Accordingly 
it has been true to its promise, and the warm, misty plash 
has not ceased one moment from seven in the morning till 
now. Of course we have seen nothing, nothing at least 
except the half forms of things, just enough to suggest 
what would be seen if it were clear, and to revive through 
the gloom the remembrance of many past expeditions. I 
trust that Loch Fyne and Loch Long will have brighter 
faces when I return, and Glencroe a purer verdure, clearer 
summits, and more sparkling burns. 

TARBET, Monday, 17 th September 1838, 9 P.M. Thursday 
the 13th continued as humid as its immediate elder 
brother. But as I was in Court till twelve at night, 
it was all one in so far as I was concerned. Nothing 
particular in Court except the account which a worthy 
sempstress of Campbeltown, a witness, gave of her habits. 
For above twenty-five years she has scarcely ever been in 
bed after five. The first thing she does after dressing is, 
to go to a rock about a mile off, and to take a large 
draught of sea water. She then proceeds about another 
mile, in a different direction, where she washes the taste 
of this out by a large draught of fresh water, after which 
she proceeds home, and about half-past six puts on the 
tea-kettle and breakfasts. This is a healthy and romantic 


seeming morning. And therefore I regret to add that it 
was proved that three or four times a week the rest of the 
day is given to whisky, a result of early rising which will 
delight Jeffrey, to whom morning, except before going to 
bed, is horrid. 

Friday the Iktli was a beautiful day. The business was 
done by two. John Murray, the Lord Advocate, who is 
living at Strachur Park, came over to us in the cutter 
maintained by the Herring Board, a very nice vessel, with 
a master and fifteen men. He and Mrs. Murray, and Mrs. 
Cockburn, and Cosmo Innes, the Advocate-Depute, and 
others, went up to a pool in the River Ary, about two 
miles above the castle, where the annual ploy was held of 
drawing the water the day before the close of the salmon 
fishing. It seems to have been a gay and picturesque 
sight. Mr. Lloyd, who married Mrs. Murray's sister, told 
me that he had never seen, and never expected to see 
anything like it. To be sure, he is not only an English- 
man, but lives near Manchester. But the true Scotchmen 
all concur in describing the scenery, the people, and the 
activity of the fishers, as very striking. I was not there, 
because I determined not to cross to Strachur in the 
cutter, which was the business of one hour, but to drive 
round with Jane, twenty-one miles, by Cairndow, which 
was the business of three. 

I can regret nothing that gave me that drive. I can 
never see a more beautiful evening. All below Cairndow 
was new to me. The hills were fresh after the rain, the 
air balmy, and perfectly serene ; the sky not flaring with 
unbroken brightness, but softened by many clouds; the 
water streaked by long smooth rays, and large spots of it 
dazzling with trembling brilliancy. Upon the whole, it 
was a lovely, pensive scene. No day could die away more 


sweetly. It was near seven when we reached Strachur, 
and it was not easy to say farewell to the lingering light, 
and to take one's last look of the still visible outlines of 
the distant hills. 

Our party consisted of the Advocate, and Mrs. Murray, 
her sister Mrs. Lloyd, and her husband, the Advocate's 
brother William, Robert Graham of Lyndoch, Captain 
Pringle of the Engineers, and ourselves. About eleven at 
night, Graham and Pringle went on board the cutter, lay 
down till four, rose and went out in the boat and saw the 
herring-fishing, came back and lay down again about six 
till eight, when Pringle went off to Oban to take charge 
of Babbage the Mathematician, and Graham went to 
Glasgow to secure a good place for a cow at the approach- 
ing cattle show. 

Saturday the 15th was still a better day than the one 
before brighter, and warmer, and calmer. We passed 
the whole day, from twelve to half-past six, in the 
cutter. What a day ! What scenery ! Our bark lay 
sleeping on the mirror, so that its motion, whenever we 
were attracted by a green bit of lawn, a dark grove, or an 
enviably-placed house, was scarcely perceptible, and it was 
all that all the airs of Loch Fyne could do to breathe us 
down towards that most picturesque place, Minard, the 
hills behind which, seen from a distance up the loch, are 
not unworthy of being compared, in their outline, even 
with the peaks of Arran. I was much struck with little 
Pennymore, nestled behind its rock, amidst its soft green 
copse. It became so perfectly calm in the evening that 
we were obliged to take to the boats, and to row ashore 
the last two miles. 

About eleven o'clock this night intimation came that 
Mr. Lloyd's sister, her son, and her grandson, had been 


drowned, a few days before, on their passage to Dundee 
in the Forfarshire steamer which had gone down after 
striking on one of the Fern Islands near the mouth of 
the Firth of Forth. This saddened us all. But there 
were circumstances in the sister's situation which deadened 
the blow. 

Sunday the 16th was, if possible, still more beautiful. 
Being a Scotch Sunday we had no boating, and indeed 
whatever day it had been, sympathy with the Lloyds 
would have kept us all quiet. So we just sauntered by 
the shore, and talked, and gathered shells, and skiffed 
flat stones on the surface of the sea, and sat on rocks and 
lay on the turf, and played with the clear water, and 
gazed, unceasingly gazed, on the hills, and watched the 
shadows of the clouds, and observed how the prospects 
varied with our positions, and with the progress of the 
sun, and in short had a long luxurious day of repose and 
enjoyment. There was no church, because the minister had 
gone to the horse fair at Bollock. The day was so calm, 
that as I was standing on the beach before breakfast, I 
distinctly heard the barking of a dog on the opposite side 
of the water. 

TARBET, 9 P.M. We left Strachur this morning (Mon- 
day, 17th September 1838) at ten o'clock, and came here 
by Cairndow. The weather has continued most delightful. 
I again came through the grounds of Ardkinglas. It is an 
excellent place, which however would not be the worse of 
a little draining, or of a thorough revision of the trees. 
There is some noble wood, particularly some magnificent 
(but dying) silver firs. 

I turned aside from Loch Fyne with great regret. I 
had never seen so much of it before, and like everything 


new that I see, it has greatly raised even my admiration 
of Scotland. The whole of these Argyleshire sea lochs 
are glorious. The boldness and beauty of their scenery, 
their strange, savage history, their wild language, and 
(till lately) their delightful inaccessibility, all give them a 
character of picturesque romance which nothing else in this 
country resembles. But independently of past associations, 
what an interest is there in the mere present and external 
features of Loch Fyne ! The picturesque hills, the bright 
water, the occasional masses and constant fringing of 
wood, the jutting and overlapping of the headlands, the 
apparent closing in of the loch, and its streaming away 
again into scenes of distant beauty ; the fishing hamlets, 
with their boats slumbering in quiet bays and little rude 
harbours ; the long poles loaded with brown nets resting 
horizontally on the branches of two trees springing from 
the very beach ; then sailing under tanned canvas, on a 
calm peaceful evening to set these nets, the boats some- 
times lighted at night by hundreds, and sparkling like a 
moving city, and all moored again by the morning ; the 
intercourse between families and villages by boats, which 
the narrowness of the loch seems to invite; the bright 
patches of grain amidst the darkness of the wood, or con- 
trasted by the expanse of the brown hillside ; the breeze- 
varied appearances of the surface of the water, and the 
shining and roaring of the mountain streams, these 
things give it an endless and irresistible charm. All this, 
to be sure, is the fascination of fine weather. But if other- 
places also are to be judged of in bad weather, these lochs 
have nothing to fear. The worst thing is the contrast 
between the quiet little Indian wigwam-looking hamlets, 
when seen at a distance, and their utter abomination when 
approached. It is horrid that human life should be, 
passed in these disgusting holes. It is true that fishing 


especially when combined with curing, cannot be conducted 
without filth, but there are many proofs that its slobbery 
nastiness may be concealed, and kept apart from the 
fishers' dwellings, and that a fishing village may be a 
beautiful thing. But until the lairds be civilised and 
cease to be all regularly and systematically bankrupt, it is 
in vain to expect decency or comfort in the domestic habits 
of their people. 

The day was perfect for that glorious stage from Cairn- 
dow to Tarbet. Few things are more magnificent than the 
rise from Cairndow to Rest-and-be-Thankful. The top of 
it, where the rocky mountain rises above the little solitary 
Loch Eestal, and all the adjoining peaks are brought into 
view, is singularly fine. As I stood at the height of the 
road, and gazed down on its strange course both ways, I 
could not help rejoicing that there was at least one place 
where railways, and canals, and steamers, and all these 
devices for sinking hills, and raising valleys, and intro- 
ducing man and levels, and destroying solitude and nature, 
would for ever be set at defiance. 

Loch Lomond has been beautiful. The summits of 
Ben Lomond and all the neighbouring hills have been 
bright, and it has been one universal blaze of brilliant 
calmness. It is a difficult competition between the upper 
and the lower end of the loch ; but upon the whole, I rather 
decide for the upper. The islands scattered over the 
broad part of it are delightful, and for constant residence, 
there must be an advantage in the openness of the expanse. 
But the narrow end is far more Swiss-like. The stern, 
flinty mountains, with their sharp, high-reared ridges, the 
deep, clear water, the visibleness of the objects on both 
sides; the storm-defying, precipitous rocks, that repress 
the little waves ; the soft green promontories that jut out 
into the loch : the copse tossed about the bases of the hills ; 


the waterfalls, and the long, fringed hollows that contain 
their streams ; the solitude, the wildness, and apparent 
absence of appropriation ; these are the things that would 
make me prefer a comfortable small house, well placed on 
a bit of level oasis, two or three miles above this inn, at 
least for an occasional summer, or during a fit of temporary 

BARR, Wednesday, ISth September 1838, 1 1 o'clock A.M. 
We left Tarbet yesterday morning at ten, and returned 
here by Luss and Eenfrew at six in the evening. I half 
wish that, for the sake of variety, we had gone down Loch 
Long, and reached Dumbarton by Ardencaple. But this 
may be next time, and no one can see Loch Lomond too 
often. The day was good, and if we had not been spoiled 
by the super-excellence of the four that preceded it, we 
would have thought it better than we did. This coming 
down decides the question in favour of the upper end. 
The lower one is beautiful, but the Highland character 
and feelings are gone the moment that the rocky, ridgy 
mountains become rounded into low, common grazing hills, 
and agriculture and dressed places appear, instead of 
bothies, precipices, unchangeable natural features, adven- 
ture, and heather. 

I go to-day to Glasgow in order to begin business there 

BONALY, Friday, 28th September 1838. On Wednesday 
the 19th, I went to Glasgow, and dined with Alison, the 
sheriff (and the historian), at Fossil House ; a sort of 
official dinner. I met one distinguished man there 
Serjeant Talfourd, whom I had never seen before. He 
has the good sense to spend his vacation in Scotland 
frequently, and has been at Glenarbuck, near Dumbarton, 


all this autumn. He was very agreeable, though he 
suffered in the estimation of some people by giving Mrs. 
Alison very nearly an hour of English Circuit cases in 
rather a high-keyed voice. There was an old Irish colonel 
there, brilliant in scarlet and lace, who put me down in 
grand style, because I ventured to doubt the accuracy of his 
recollection when he said that it was in 1824 that George 
the Fourth was in Edinburgh, and I insinuated that it was 
in 1822. 

Next day we paraded to Court in great splendour. 
Talfourd was in my carriage, and I found him so pleasant 
that I was sorry when the procession reached the court- 
house. We talked of the English Courts, Tom Campbell, 
Brougham, and Richmond the Spy, all of whom he hates. 
He sat on the bench with us a short while. My colleague 
was Meadowbank. 

We had our public dinner that day. About fifty 
attended, including Meadowbank's wife, and her sister and 
daughter. Excellent turtle and venison. Contrary to 
rule, Meadowbank drank Talfourd's health, and, contrary 
to a still more necessary rule, his Lordship told him that 
if he chose, he might reply, on which the learned serjeant 
made a regular speech. His topics were the excellence of 
the Scotch scenery he had been living in, and of the 
Scotch Judges before him. There was another English- 
man there whom I ought to have mentioned that I had 
met, and introduced myself to, at Cairndow. This was 
Lushington, the new Professor of Greek in Glasgow, in 
the room of Sandford. He is a very amiable young man, 
and a great Grecian. His powers as a teacher remain to 
be seen. I fear he is too soft. 

We had eighty-one cases to try, and this took six entire 
clays. There was a Sunday in the middle of them, which 
was spent by Meadowbank at Garscube, and by me at Barr. 



The great majority of the cases were thefts, and, in- 
cluding the whole, I don't think I ever saw so many cases 
so devoid of interest. A coarse-looking fellow was not 
only accused of theft, which greatly shocked his friends, 
he being a laird with a landed rental of 200, but con- 
victed of it. When he was first detected, he was thrown 
into great agitation, which he accounted for by saying he 
was in love. 

My colleague and I being of the same opinion on the 
absurdity of the practice, there was no sermonising to 
prisoners. It is clear to me that the idea of a judge doing 
good, either to the public of villains, or to prisoners in- 
dividually, by expounding the moral and Christian law to 
them, with appeals to their consciences, and representa- 
tions of the consequences of their rejecting, or availing 
themselves of, the blood of the Redeemer (which has 
become almost a technical phrase) in each case, is utterly 
fallacious. The attempt is not merely useless, it is hurtful. 
There are cases fit for the discourse, and which require it, 
and the true thing is, to select these well. But practising 
it in every case, only deadens its impressiveness, and applied, 
as I have seen it, to a dozen of petty thefts successively, 
it becomes ludicrous. To be sure it is new to each first- 
convicted prisoner, who gets it fresh in so far as he is 
concerned, in his turn. But when the judge's address is 
so habitually repeated that it becomes a form, there can 
be no freshness in it. The very prisoners know it by 
hearsay, or probably, from having often listened to it in the 
gallery, while they were watching the fate of their comrades 
who had got to the bar before them ; and there are very 
few of the public who do not expect it as they do the 
proclamations by the clerk, or who care for it more. A 
pious and benevolent judge who thinks that he can gener- 
ally move the heart of a culprit, and that he ought not to 


lose the opportunity, ought to have private interviews with 
prisoners, or take any other course rather than let what, 
well used, may be impressive, and therefore important, 
degenerate into a hackneyed ceremony, dull and heartless 
by mere frequency of repetition. 


SPRING 1839. 

BRIDGE OF TILT INN, by BLAIR, Wednesday Night, 
10th April 1839. This Circuit promises to be nearly a 
facsimile of my North one of last spring, so I have nothing 
to say. 

I left home yesterday morning at ten, with Jane and 
Eliza Maitland, and was at Perth all night. 

We left Perth to-day about eleven, and got here by six, 
though the distance be only about thirty-five miles. But 
we went about six miles off the road to call at Snaigow, and 
had to mend the carriage at Dunkeld. 

I could not pass Blair- Adam without remembering the 
excellent old chief. The place shall know him no more. 

And Snaigow ! Mrs. Keay, the widow, was from home : 
so I got half an hour of the silent rooms and untrodden 
walks to myself, a painful, yet irresistible enjoyment. The 
place is one of the best examples of the triumph of taste 
within a short period over poor natural features, long 
aggravated into worse badness by detestable management. 
Fifteen years ago, it seemed absolutely irreclaimable, and 
its ugliness was in the worst style of dull, nasty, meaning- 
less inconvenience. It is now a comfortable, respectable, 
sensible place, with all the old abominations of stone fences, 
single rows of wind-bent trees, and wet grass fields re- 
moved, and a beautiful house, surrounded by well laid-out 
and well-kept ornamental ground, thriving evergreens, 


good lawn, and the former wood broken into natural and 
useful shapes and positions, substituted in their stead. 
But in all this satisfactory creation, the mind of James 
Keay predominated, one of the most sensible of men. 

These two days have been beautiful cold, but bright. 
There has not been a shower for many weeks, which, at 
this season, gives the earth an appearance that I like. I 
have always had a taste for mere well-dressed ground, 
though there be no vegetable life visible on it. It looks 
clean, and shows care, and suggests the coming crop. 
During our whole way from Perth to this, we have been 
looking down upon the valleys of the Tay and other rivers, 
where rich fields have been spread out, on which human 
skill has been not only exerting, but exhibiting all its re- 
sources, and the dryness of the mould seemed to have 
made agriculture a pastime, and to have allured the whole 
population of the straths out to the plough, and the sowing, 
and the harrows ; while the sun, undisturbed by even a 
zephyr, touched the low grounds with some heat, and the 
larks and mavises exulted over the scene, as each field was 
done, and the comfortable horses rattling with their gear, 
were led into new fields, leaving the finished one to delight 
the eye, with the dry lines, above all the drains, and all 
the cleaned ridges, and all the combing and harrowing it 
had got, with not even a weed to interfere with its purity. 
It was beautiful. The bare trees looked on in silence, but 
it was not difficult for fancy to clothe them, and to an- 
ticipate summer, and its universal glory. 

It is very satisfactory to see the improvement that is 
taking place in the dwellings along this glorious drive- 
They used to be worse than even the pig-styes of Luss. 
But a great number of comfortable stone houses are made 
every year, and the old mud huts promise soon to be for- 


I observed several old women spinning in the sun at 
their doors, and a great many children playing upon knolls, 
but lambs only twice, and not a single primrose. It is 
curious, by the way, how primroses get into districts. Why 
is Glencroe full of them, and none on the hills or glens 
between Perth and Inverness ? (But query is this last 
a fact ?) 

I am sorry to see so many of Burn, the architect's, 
repetitions of himself throughout this picturesque district. 
There is one of his gimcrack cottage houses at Fascally, 
two, if not three about Urrard, and one at Lude, all the 
same, and none of them in keeping with a rough climate 
and situations of romantic wildness. I lament the 
destruction of the old house at Fascally ; which, though in 
violation of all the rules of taste, and probably of the more 
important rules of internal convenience, had become, and 
very much from its solemn oddity, a striking object in the 
Pass. If it had been built now, it would have been taken 
for a cotton-mill. But its age and situation excluded all 
such notions. It had a very long line of front, very little 
depth, and was very high, with not one particle of orna- 
ment or one inch of projection, its plain windows all in 
long rows, and was covered with the whitest rough- cast. 
It was like a compartment of Blair Castle that had walked 
down the water. I should suppose that it must have had 
about fifteen windows in front, and been five or six stories 
high, and not thirty feet deep, a regular, thin, oblong. 
Ugly enough, no doubt, and not to be made. But stand- 
ing, staring, in that deep, wild valley white, strong, and 
plain, long built, and unlike every modern-built thing in 
that quarter, it referred us to the days of Killiecrankie 
and the 'Forty-Five, and had become by association as 
peculiar and natural a feature in that scene as either the 
rocks or the river. But it is all gone, and we have a new 


polished freestone cottage in its place, with porches, and 
pinnacles, and oriel windows, and all the rest of it. Half 
the money would have made the old edifice a good house, 
arid removed its external defect of sameness, without 
destroying its peculiar and half-feudal character. 

AVIEMORE, Thursday Night, llth April 1839. A calm, 
dry, cloudy, heavy day. All the hills, the whole way 
from Kinross, have had snow on their summits, and the 
high ones more than half-way down. By Drumochter 
it was lying thick, in some places, on the very road. 
Loch Garry was frozen entirely over, and his surface, 
instead of blue water, was a sheet of unbroken snow. 
The massiveness of the grey, motionless clouds rather 
improved the effect of the magnificent mountains by 
which the whole valley from Blair to this is enclosed. 
The silence was impressive. Between Dunkeld and this 
we have only seen two gigs, one mail-coach, and not a 
dozen of carts. There is little labour in the fields after 
leaving Blair,, being mostly in natural pasture. The 
population is far thinner. Except Kingussie. and its 
neighbour Newtonmore, there is no village, and nowhere 
any attempt at any manufacture, beyond what can be 
accomplished by a bad axe or saw, or a little rustic wheel. 
There is no road so long and so good, from the whole 
course of which there is such an absence of all that pro- 
duces artificial sound. And even of the natural sounds I 
heard none in my walk, except the bleating of a sheep or 
two, the singing of a few blackbirds, and the roaring of 
one hill cataract, all of which were heard from a great 
distance. All this gave the day and the scene a mysterious 
and somewhat fearful character. 

There are only two things wanted to make Aviemore 
one of the grandest inland places in Scotland. These are 


wood, and a house. Yes, if it had only wood and a house, 
it would do. The house must be a noble old castle, 
strong and large, but commodious for modern habitation, 
standing on the left bank of the Spey, somewhere opposite 
the Doune (or Dune) of Rothiemurchus, but on the table- 
land above the river, not on the low ground, and with its 
accompaniments of terraces, evergreens, gardens, and above 
all, a history. As to the wood, we must begin by clearing 
the country of at least nineteen parts out of every twenty 
of that abominable larch with which it pleased the late 
Rothiemurchus, as it still pleases many Highland lairds, to 
stiffen and blacken the land. Then my wood must be 
almost all forest trees, chiefly sweet chesnut and oak, the 
average age of the younger ones being about 100 years, 
so extensive, that, if collected, it would cover at least 
3000 or 4000 acres, but must be scattered over, and dealt 
out among, the whole tableland and low hills round my 
castle. There are few places of which it can be said that 
only these two improvements, which are, loth in man's 
power, would be sufficient. But the natural elements here 
admit of no good change. My river, and my rocks, and 
my mountains, and my lakes, and my glens, and my plains, 
are all perfect. Since I am at it, I should like to give the 
district a little more of a southern climate. But as I am 
speaking of Scotland, these two may do. 

There has been more burning of heather, all along, than 
I remember to have seen before. The fires on the distant 
hills were striking at night, but not so much so as the long- 
trailing streaks, and the high curling of the smoke during 
the day. It was endless watching its forms and directions. 
Neither in the valleys nor on the mountains was it inter- 
fered with by the slightest wind, but took its own way, 
with its own lightness. 


INVERNESS, Monday, 15th April 1839, 11 o'clock A.M. I 
came here on Friday the 1 2th at three o'clock ; was in Court 
on Saturday till midnight, finishing all the business ; pro- 
cessed to church yesterday forenoon ; gave a dinner to 
about thirty people, and mean to be off in a little to Nairn. 

The weather has continued beautiful, and few places 
are more worthy of fine weather than the neighbourhood 
of Inverness. It is a glorious district, and the spire, the 
bridge, the river, and the magnificently placed new court- 
house, give an air of picturesque respectability even to the 
otherwise mean town. I wish that Playfair had had the 
planning of the court-house, and not Burn. 

There were only eight or nine cases, all insignificant, 
except to the culprits. I sent a fellow six months 
to Cromarty jail for his third assault, and predicted 
publicly that he would one day commit murder. He 
is a cunning, violent beast ; writes and reads very well, 
but is deaf, though not dumb, and takes advantage of 
his deafness to make some people believe him an idiot, 
upon the faith of which he thinks he may give way to 
his fury with impunity, and keeps the whole country-side 
in terror. I have little doubt of his being convicted 
of murder, but he will get his sentence commuted on the 
score of his mental weakness, which is now the ground 
always taken up by the pious and benevolent, and it is 
far too often successful. 

Our sermon was by a worthy fanatic called Dr. C . 

There are few things more curious than the decorous 
appearance of patience with which sensible people can sit 
and hear a man. with an unattractive manner, roar out two 
and a quarter hours of sheer absolute nonsense. Yet nothing 
so common. This is the clergyman whose Circuit prayer 
Hermand interrupted a few years ago. The reverend 
gentleman was standing, as usual, beside his Lordship on 


the Bench, praying away, loud and long, as if there had 
been nothing else to do than to hear him perform, when 
Hermand gave him a jog with his elbow, and whispered, 
with his ordinary birr : " We 've a great deal of business, 
sir.' 1 

The Sunday costume of the lower orders here on a fine 
Sunday is peculiar, and rather striking. They go to 
church with shawls over their shoulders, commonly tartan, 
and bare heads, their hair tethered in various ways by 
ribbons, combs, and large brooch-headed pins, but no caps, 
or any covering for the head. They look like humble 
people dressed in a room. It suggests the agreeable idea 
that they think the day good, and that they are enjoying 
it. They are almost all coarse and uncomely, mostly 
yellow skinned, with large freckles. 

HUNTLY, Tuesday 1 6th April 1839, Night. We left 
Inverness yesterday about two, and stayed all night at 
Nairn, where we were joined by Graham Speirs the 
Sheriff, pious, grave, honest, sound-headed, and very calm ; 
fit, from firmness, sense, and devotion, united to a black, 
gaunt, thoughtful countenance, to have been one of 
Cromwell's majors. Nairn, bleak and exposed, and seem- 
ingly dead, but Speirs says full of internal bitterness, 
being fiercely divided into Whigs and Eadicals. It pro- 
duces excellent little fishes, and has a glorious beach. 
But I have no desire to pass the evening of my days 
under the brown shade of Nairn. 

Forres would do far better. A very nice, clean, thriving 
little place, with its old gables still to the street, and its 
magnificent prospects of the ridgy outlines of the blue 
hills of Eoss-shire, Cromarty, and Sutherland. 

And Elgin would do better still. I am not sure that, 
except Perth, there is a nicer provincial town in Scotland. 


Placed in a delightful country, with a climate not exceeded 
in mildness, and a soil not equalled in dryness, by any 
that we have, it is dignified by the survivance of many of 
the old ecclesiastical dwellings, of which numerous obvious 
vestiges are to be seen in the streets ; and the affection 
of its successful sons is attested by munificent bequests, 
which their beautiful public buildings show that the exist- 
ing inhabitants have intelligence to use rightly, while 
over all there presides the spirit that yet hovers over the 
ruins of their glorious Cathedral. Old Henry Mackenzie, 
who married a Grant, and had much intercourse with 
Moray shire, described Elgin in its old state, before its 
modern improvements began, as " a melancholy and gentle- 
manlike place" So it was, being respectable, ancient, and 
silent. It has now far more new life, graced by due 
antiquity. The scenery of Perth is better, but it has 
weavers. Montrose, in its main street at least, is grander, 
but it has ships. Stirling has every interest, a history, 
picturesque streets, ruins, prospect and its castle, but the 
town is squalid and cursed by charity. Kelso, Melrose, 
and Jedburgh, have each its river and its ruin, but they 
are all paltry, sinking, insignificant places. I cannot 
recollect such another union of ancient venerableness with 
modern respectability, and provincial seclusion as in 

I wasted an hour on Gordon Castle, which I despised 
so much when I first saw it, above forty years ago, that I 
have never taken the trouble to look at it since, often as 
I have passed it. I find it as contemptible as ever. 

From Fochabers to this is Aberdeenshire, and so will 
from this to Aberdeen be to-morrow, and no more can be 

Beautiful day. 


PERTH, Monday Night, 22d April 1839. On Wednesday 
the 17th we went to Aberdeen, and stayed there till 
yesterday forenoon. 

I am more and more astonished at the industry and 
skill of the Aberdeenshire people in smoothing and drying 
the horrible surface of their soil. It is the greatest 
triumph of man over nature, of obstinacy over moss and 
stones. Talk not of deserts, or swamps, or forests to these 

Moncreiff and his son James's wife joined us at Aber- 
deen, and our previous mirth has not diminished. 

We were in Court all Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 
with more serious cases than usually occur at Circuits, but 
no capital conviction. 

We had a most diverting party at the Provost's on 
Saturday evening ; a quadrille party and a solid supper. 
His name is Milne, an excellent octogenarian Whig, with a 
queer, out of the way, capacious, old-fashioned house, and 
a still more queer and old-fashioned wife, but nice, kind, 
respectable, natural, happy bodies, with all manner of 
substantial comforts, and the accent and dialect of the 
place in great purity. We had the officers of the 74th 
regiment, remarkably agreeable, gentlemanly men, who 
had the sense to enjoy the frolic without turning up their 
noses. On asking the hostess how she got them so soon 
invited, as it was the idea of a few hours only, " Troth," 
said she, " I just sent up the lass to the barracks an' bade 
them a' come doon." The venerable spouse's wig, an old 
brown one, much the worse of wear, got awry, as she 
thought, on which she put it right, her own head being 
too glorious with ribbons and muslin to be seen. " Madam," 
said he, with great solemnity, " I '11 thank you to let my 
wig alone, / never meddle with yours" Much kindness and 
much laughter we had. 


We went to church next forenoon, and heard one of the 
very best ordinary sermons by Mr. Davidson, one of the 
town ministers, I have almost ever heard in Scotland. 

They boast much of their new Marischal College. But 
confined amidst paltry buildings, its position is bad, it 
has no architecture, and its erection implies the destruc- 
tion of the old building, which sets all that they will do 
utterly at defiance. They should be all quashed, and 
only King's College kept up. We, Moncreiff and his party 
included, left Aberdeen yesterday at half-past one, and got 
to Arbroath at seven. A delightful day mild, calm, and 
clear, with the sea singularly blue. How peacefully Stone- 
haven lay in its little quiet bay ! I scarcely ever saw so 
many people out, lounging about their doors, and walking 
and lying on the grass. It was our first truly spring 
Sunday, and every village was enjoying it in a truly 
Christian way. It was delightful to see so happy and 
respectable a population. It was scarcely like a Scotch 
Sunday, for though everything was peaceful and grave, 
there was no sourness or gloom. Their hearts were bask- 
ing in the sun. 

I strolled down to the harbour of Arbroath at near 
twelve at night. The moon was bright, the water 
trembling in light, and the town impressively still. I 
walked through all the main streets without encountering 
a living creature, except one peripatetic cat. 

This morning we (Moncreiffs too) revisited the rocks and 
the ruins, and then came here, amidst the balm of an 
almost summer day. The Carse was magnificent. I was 
on the look-out for my swallow, but did not catch him. 
The whole drive was a crash of blackbirds, mavises, and 
larks, with bursting hedges and larches, and field after 
field left, in beautiful cultivation, to the elements, man's 
power being exhausted. 


BONALY, Saturday, 27th April 1839. We were in Court 
at Perth all Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday last, the 
23d, 24th, and 25th, from morning to night. There were 
forty-eight insignificant cases, thirty-five of them being 
ordinary thefts. My due 1 feet never failed to visit some 
of the scenery of that beautiful place before breakfast, and 
about midnight, particularly the North Inch, where the 
fishermen dropping and drawing in their nets by moon- 
light is always striking. I purchased two dozen of 
curious roses (the roots, I mean) but could not get a 
yellow carnation. 

I heard here that my friend Rutherfurd was made Lord 
Advocate, and Ivory, Solicitor. Rutherfurd's elevation is 
an occurrence of the deepest importance to Scotland. I 
have some misgiving about the validity of our proceedings 
here, because the commission to the Depute- Advocate fell 
by the fact that the previous Lord Advocate (John A. 
Murray) had ceased to hold that office, and that no new 
commission was produced to us. A new commission did 
exist, because it was executed at Edinburgh just as we 
began business. But it was not produced in Court, nor 
was Cosmo Innes, who acted, sworn in under it, nor were 
we applied to to appoint any one. Innes held himself 
to be safe without the Court's interference, and nothing 
was said by anybody. But I don't clearly see how a 
person can act legally under a deputation said to exist, but 
not exhibited, and not sworn to. 

We came home yesterday forenoon. This has been a 
merry and delightful Circuit. The weather has been, and 
continues, ethereal. We have only had one shower since 
we left Edinburgh, at Aberdeen, and it did not last 
above two hours. 

1 " But let my due feet never fail 

To walk the studious cloistei's pale. 

II Penseroso 


I am more and more charmed with Moncreiff, whom it is 
impossible not to love and reverence. There never was 
such a union of the sternness of duty with the softness of 
affection, of force of intellect, in so far as legal reasoning 
is concerned, with simplicity in all other matters. 

Murray, it seems, has insisted on finishing off by being 
made a Knight! ! ! It was he who once praised a sea- 
captain to me, because when he was told that the Admir- 
alty meant to knight him for some gallant action, he 
said : " By the Lord ! they shall try me by a Court-martial 
first !" It is incomprehensible. 


AUTUMN 1839. 

KIRKLANDS, by JEDBURGH, Wednesday llth September 
1839. I left Edinburgh for this South Circuit, on Satur- 
day last, the 7th, with Mrs. Cockburn, my two daughters, 
Jane and Elizabeth, and my youngest son, Frank. 

We left Edinburgh at eight in a wet morning, and 
breakfasted with the Tods, at their villa at Kirkhill, on 
the Esk, a little above Dalhousie, a very nice spot. Mr. 
Webster, distinguished in this country as the American 
orator, with several of his family, went just before us all 
this first stage, on their way to England, by Abbotsford. 
I had dined with him the day before at Jeffrey's, an 
agreeable and sensible man. 

Departing from Kirkhill about twelve, we proceeded 
over Middleton Moor and down the Gala; a valley 
associated with my earliest recollections, and which, in a 
sunny day, still appears to me to be singularly pleasing. 
The old ale-house at Heriot was the first inn I ever 
entered. My father, who, I think, was Convener of the 
County, went out to attend some meeting of Road Trustees, 
and he took a parcel of us with him. He rode, and we 
had a chaise to ourselves, happiness enough for boys. 
But more was in store for us. For he remained at the 
mansion-house of Middleton with his friend Mr. Hepburn, 
and we went on about four miles further to Heriot House, 
where we breakfasted and passed the day, fishing, bathing, 


and rioting. It was my first inn, and the first inn of 
most of the party ! What delight ! A house to our- 
selves, on a moor, a burn, nobody to interfere with us, 
the power of ringing the bell as we chose, a lass most 
willing to answer and to obey, the ordering of our own 
dinner, blowing the peat fire, laughing as often and as 
loud as we chose. What a day ! We rang the hand-bell 
for the pure pleasure of ringing, and enjoyed our inde- 
pendence by always going out and in by the window. 
This dear little inn does not now exist ; but its place is 
marked by a square of ash-trees. It was a bright, beauti- 
ful, August day. 

We returned to the inn of Middleton, on our way 
home, about seven in the evening; and there we saw 
another scene which I have never forgotten. People 
sometimes say that there is no probability in Scott's 
making the party in Waverley retire from the Castle to 
the Howf, but these people were not with me at the inn 
at Middleton, about fifty years ago. The Duke of Buc- 
cleuch was living at Dalkeith ; Henry Dundas, then Home 
Secretary, at Melville ; Kobert Dundas, the Lord Advocate, 
at Arniston ; Hepburn of Clerkington, at Middleton, and 
several of the rest of the aristocracy of Midlothian within 
a few miles off, all with their families and luxurious 
houses. Yet had they all, to the number of twelve or 
sixteen, or so, congregated in this wretched inn for a day 
of freedom and jollity. We found them roaring, and sing- 
ing, and laughing, in a low-roofed room scarcely large 
enough to hold them, with wooden chairs and a sanded 
floor. When their own lacqueys, who were carrying on 
high life in the kitchen, did not choose to attend, the 
masters were served by two women. There was plenty 
wine, particularly claret, in rapid circulation, on the table ; 
but my eye was chiefly attracted by a huge bowl of hot 



whisky punch, the steam of which was almost drop- 
ping from the roof, while the odour was enough to per- 
fume the whole parish. We were called in, and made to 
partake, and were very kindly used, particularly by my 
uncle Harry Dundas. How they did joke and laugh ! 
with songs and toasts ! and disputation ! and no want of 
practical fun ! I don't remember anything they said, and 
probably did not understand it. But the noise, and the 
heat, and the uproarious mirth, I think I hear and feel 
yet. My father was in the chair, and having gone out 
for a little, one of us boys (I forget who) was voted and 
put into his place, and the boy's health was drunk, with 
all the honours, as " The young Convener," hurrah ! 
hurrah ! " may he be a better man than his father ! " 
hurrah ! hurrah ! very good ! hurrah ! etc. I need not 
mention that they were all in a state of elevation, though 
there was nothing like absolute intoxication, so far as I 
could judge. They were all happy and glorious, enjoying 
their unchecked boose. Yet they were within a mile or 
two of the best and the freest houses in the country, all 
their own, but voluntarily preferred the licence of that 
little nasty alehouse. 

My next acquaintance with the Gala was about two 
years after this, when my brother Robert and I were sent 
to pass our six-weeks' vacation at Burnhouse, then belong- 
ing to the same family (Thomson) that has it yet. The 
Thomson who had it then was a bachelor, who had to 
attend to his farm ; and so, except when he, who was a 
first-rate fisher, could go with us to the water, which was 
not very often, we were left entirely to the freedom of our 
own wills, and each of us had not only a rod, but a rod 
with a reel, and a basket, and a superfluity of lines and hooks: 
nay more, a pony. Glorious six weeks ! The trouts, 
the open hills, the greyhounds, the ponies, the idleness ! 


Ever since, I have loved the Gala. But I think I should 
have loved its pastoral valley without this early attach- 
ment. It is bleak and wet, no doubt, but so is most of 
the pastoral scenery of Scotland, the whole of which 
requires the attraction of a bright day. But with such 
a day, the sparkling stream of the Gala, the range of its 
wild, unenclosed hills, and its impressive solitude, to say 
nothing of its coming in for a share of the historical 
interest which belongs to the whole of our southern border, 
give it charms which I always feel powerful. When I 
knew it first, Galashiels was a rural hamlet ; the house of 
Torwoodlee stood bare and staring, and the high-road ran 
on the west side of the valley. The old laird of Torwood- 
lee survives to enjoy the reward of his having planted 
judiciously, in seeing his now beautiful place nearly buried 
in foliage. Galashiels has become the Glasgow of Selkirk- 

The day brightened up about two, and we saw the rich 
and interesting district from about Galashiels to Kirk- 
lands, by Melrose, in all its beauty. Abbotsford, Melrose 
Abbey, Dryburgh, the Tweed, and the distant border 
summits, these give its interest to this range, 

We remained here (Kirklands) all Sunday the 8th, and 
on Monday the 9th we went to Borthwickbrae, where we 
stayed till to-day. We went along the right bank of the 
Teviot, both going and coming. The weather not good ; 
a struggle between the sun and the rain; a battle in 
which, when it is fought in Scotland, Sol has seldom much 
chance with Aquarius. But the air was mild, the woods 
fresh, the fields green, and the drive beautiful. 

If any change of our atmosphere should ever render 
height advantageous, or immaterial, Borthwickbrae may 
be an agreeable place. But at present seven or eight 
hundred feet of elevation above the sea is inconsistent 


with Scotch comfort. A sloppy clay soil, trees imbedded 
in thick, wet, green fog, fields of grass which look 
bright at a distance, but in which, when gone upon, it is 
seen that every hoof makes a well, and every well is filled 
with moss water, slimy out-houses, a general chill, a 
heavy smell, these are the natural curses of such a height. 
My niece, however, and all her family were very kind, and 
the party agreeable. 

I went to Branxholm, which I had not seen for a long 
time. It was never much ; but a highway between it and 
the Teviot, and its conversion into a modern house, have 
now made it nothing. 

I also, for the first time, made a pilgrimage to Ale- 
moor Loch, a small and bleak piece of insignificant 
water, but interesting as the source of the Ale, which 
rushes copiously out of it. My juridical eye rested (I 
hope) with due respect on the high and sterile district 
which has the honour of having given his title to my 
predecessor, Lord Alemoor, whom I have always been accus- 
tomed to reverence, though I don't know on what grounds, 
as a respectable judge, classical and pompous, stupid and 

KIRKLANDS, Tuesday, 17 th September 1839. Still here. 
The weather since the llth has been very rainy. Sunday 
last was flood. Nevertheless thick shoes and a thick skin 
make water a smaller evil than it is often thought. And 
there are always gleams, the more prized from the con- 

The Court was held and finished yesterday. Only about 
half a dozen of insignificant cases. 

I never see Jedburgh without pleasure. Its position, 
its history, and its abbey, impress it with that peculiar 
feeling of softness and of sacredness which pervades all 


our border scenery, but especially those parts of it which 
are dignified by fragments of architectural antiquity. 

It is a long time since I was there professionally, and 
this was my first visit as a judge. I was much pleased to 
see that the Crailing Guard had escaped being anyhow 
modernised. A delightful institution. The dotage of the 
feudal system. 

The shades of Eskgrove, and of Brougham, of Craig, and 
pf Scott, rose before me. Brougham's only professional 
occupation for about two years after he joined the Faculty 
of Advocates (in 1800), consisted in torturing Eskgrove, 
the Justice-Clerk, a great lawyer, and a testy, avaricious, 
ludicrous, and contemptible old man. His Lordship once 
stopped the business, according to the prevailing custom 
then, to dine, and after teasing his very soul out at table, 
the Evil (Brougham's nickname) disappeared the instant 
that his Lordship drank good afternoon, in order to 
process back to Court. It was soon seen why the Evil 
had taken himself off; for the procession had not advanced 
half-way when a military-looking gentleman (being the 
learned counsel), and a respectful servant, with a cockade 
in his hat, dashed from the slope above the town, through 
the middle of it, scattering the warriors of Crailing 
advocates, jurymen, trumpeters, and clerk, and then before 
the splashed and dinner- shaken walkers could recover 
from their agitation, or get well placed in Court, the 
person, who a minute before had performed the part of a 
captain in a hurry, was on the floor, gowned and wigged, 
objecting to everything. The poor Justice was glad to 
let the devil alone. His step had not been the steadier, 
nor his temper the calmer, nor his fright the less, from his 
refreshment, but glad to find his bones all safe, he evapo- 
rated in his usual fierce, but insignificant wrath, at " that 
most malapert young man, Maister Broom or Broug-ham." l 

i Journals, vol. i. 241. 


Craig was several years after this. The decorous block- 
head was deserted on his first Circuit day by everybody 
else ; but as he insisted on drawling on at Jedburgh for 
three entire days, Scott as a Sheriff, Campbell of Craigie 
as a counsel, and I as the Advocate-Depute, were compelled 
to drawl on with him. But for Scott's vivacity, these 
days must have proved fatal. His Lordship, still in terror 
of the French Revolution, insisted on himself and us three 
standing up gravely every day, while he toasted the king, 
and the trumpeters played God save him. One night when 
his heart was softened, and his eyes moistened by remini- 
scence and hot brandy and water, he fell into the days of 
his "Mirror" and "Lounger," and told us how he was once 
driven from the paradise of Barskimming where he had 
retreated for nature and romance, by looking out on a 
dewy morning and seeing the brute (as he called him) of a 
butcher killing a calf on the lawn. " Would not you have 
fled too, Mr. Sheriff Scott ? " " No, my Lord, I would 
have consoled myself by thinking of a good veal cutlet." 

We leave this to-morrow for Beatock by Selkirk and 
St. Mary's Loch. Murphy assures us it is to be a good 
day, which that scenery well deserves. 

BEATOCK, Thursday Morning, 18^ September 1839. But 
Murphy was wrong. We left Kirklands yesterday at half- 
past eight A.M., and reached this at six in the evening. It was 
an average day for that country, that is, very rainy, which, 
however, seems to be universal this season, in the plains as 
well as on the hills. But its truces let me walk up many 
ascents, and there were even a few gleams of sunshine. 

The first thing that attracted my notice was the statue 
of Sir Walter Scott in Selkirk, which I never saw before. 
A sad piece of sculpture, not very honourable to the gentry 
of Selkirkshire. There are two things good about it, how- 


ever, the inscription, which quotes, very happily, his own 
lines on his favourite Yarrow and Ettrick, and the pride 
which the people of the town feel in the man, and in his 
effigy. "Have ye seen our (oor) Sir Walter, mem?" 
said a poor shop-keeper to Mrs. Cockburn, with a strong 
appropriating emphasis on the pronoun. All the natives 
seemed gratified whenever a stranger stopped to look at it. 

The whole thirty-seven miles, from Selkirk to Beatock, 
is beautiful, at least to a Scotch and pastoral eye. I had 
been at the head of St. Mary's Loch once before, a few 
years ago, when I passed a day and a night at a farm- 
house of Henderland's, with Eichardson and Sir Charles 
Bell, and their ladies. The rest of the way, from St. 
Mary's to this was quite new to me. 

The woodland part of the scenery, by Bowhill, Newark, 
and Hangingshaw, is the part that pleases the majority of 
spectators. But though very beautiful, yet composed, as 
it is, of wood, river, and hill, not arranged with any 
singularity, it is not more beautiful than thousands of 
similar Scotch scenes. By far the best part of it owes its 
charm to the old tower of Newark. 

It is when the trees begin to fail, when the hard-wood 
keeps back, and lets the fir go on, and when, after ascend- 
ing the Yarrow a little more, the very fir gives up to the 
grass, and we are left to the solitude of the hills, that the 
real peculiarity and interest of the range begins. It is as 
purely pastoral a district as I have seen in Scotland, with 
very green grass, unbroken by a single rock, few houses, 
and no village, except little secluded Yarrow, the clear 
river, the silent turf-edged loch, the old stories and ballads, 
and the genius of Scott lingering in every valley, and 
embellishing every feature and every tale. The bareness, 
openness, and sameness of the valley might seem to pre- 
clude its being interesting, but these are the very things 



that aid the old associations, and impart that feeling of 
pleasing melancholy which belongs to the region. There is 
inspiration in the words Newark, Yarrow, and Dryhope. 1 

There being, as yet, fortunately, no inn to pollute the 
strath, the Selkirk horses took us to Meggat Bridge, 
eighteen miles, and there a fresh pair met us from Beatock 
and brought us here. 

The lower part of the descent, near this, is not remark- 
able. But the first drive down from the Loch of the Lowes 
till Moffat Water begins to run with some profession of 
horizontality, is glorious. It is as fine a ravine as we 
have, of mere turf. In spite of the rain, Lizzie, Frank, 
and I went up and saw the tail of the Grey Mare, which 
was fully powdered and frizzled. 

Cosmo Innes, our Advocate-Depute, stayed all Tuesday 
night, in almost a bothy, at St. Mary's Loch, for the sake 
of fishing. His hostess has two sons, and some other kins- 
people, who emigrated a few years ago to Canada, where 
she says they are all prospering in a Selkirkshire and 
Dumfriesshire of their own naming. In describing their 
felicity, she mentioned a circumstance which, to be sure, 
must strike a St. Mary's Loch woman. " An', what d'ye 
think ! in Yarrow kirk ye sometimes canna hear ae word 
the minister says for the folk coughing. But ye may gang 
to their kirk the hail year round without either hearing a 
clocher or a hoast." 

Richardson, the most experienced of Scotch London 
solicitors, tells me that this inn (Beatock) was built on 
a public view by a tax, being almost the only job of the 
kind that parliament has ever been cajoled to sanction. 
They have their reward. The public was assessed about 
5000 to pay for buildings, and the establishment is abomin- 
able. But Sawney is not an inn-keeping animal. Civility, 
1 Journals, vol. i. 243. 


tidiness, and activity without bustle, are no parts of his 
nature. The landlord here is a living dunghill. 

I have gone this morning to the top of a hill. A few 
months dry weather every summer over the low ground, 
leaving the hills to have their verdure brightened by the 
showers, would make Moffat a very agreeable place ; as it 
is, it is all splash, splash. 

THORNHILL, Sunday Forenoon, 2lst September 1839. 
We left Beatock on Thursday forenoon, amidst a torrent 
of rain, which only stopped for a few minutes, out of 
respect to the law, as we entered Dumfries in procession. 
We were joined there in the evening by Meadowbank, 
with two daughters and a son-in-law. The Court was 
held next day, and the business was over by four ; after 
which, the usual banquet closed the judicial labours of 

I had not been there for several years, and found two 
or three changes. 

The old windmill has been converted into what they 
call an Observatory; which means a windmill-looking 
tower, with a bit of shrubbery round it, ginger-beer 
in the ground floor, a good telescope in the second story, 
and a camera obscura in the third. So the astrono- 
mical dignity of the establishment is not great, but still it 
is an agreeable and civilised institution. The views of 
the neighbouring country are beautiful, and there are few 
better positions for a camera. 

I never enter mad-houses, but the new Lunatic Asylum 
is very striking outside, and stands on a fine site. W T hile 
asking a little boy on the road some questions about it, 
he used a word, which it is to be hoped does not truly 
indicate the character of the internal treatment. He 
pointed out a man who was walking in a gallery, as " the 


Breaker!' "What do you call the Breaker?" "The 
man that breaks the daft folk." A lad beside us also 
used the term as one familiar. 

An ill conceived and worse executed granite monument 
has been erected to the memory of the Covenanting 
martyrs, in the churchyard. In order that it might stand 
on the very spot where some of them were buried, their 
original tombstones have been lifted, and instead of being 
replaced properly, are allowed to lie about anyhow, in 
scarcely legible positions. Some of their inscriptions are 
very good, breathing devotion and defiance. Those who, 
like the Committee on Scott's monument at Edinburgh, 
think that white marble may withstand the climate of 
Scotland, should look at Turnerelli's horrid statue of 
Burns in this churchyard. It has only been erected about 
twenty-three years, and is covered in on the roof and on 
three sides, yet it is completely spoiled. But this does 
no injustice to the sculptor. 

I have always liked Dumfries. It stands high in the 
rank of our Scottish provincial towns, and owes much to 
its river, but more, in my opinion, to its churchyard, 
which contains several most interesting tombs, and the 
ashes of many families famous in our Southern history. 

And my decision is, that its windows are the cleanest 
in Scotland. 

We are going to pay some visits in Galloway ; but we 
can't be received till to-morrow. So, being unwilling to 
live two days in a wretched Dumfries inn, we left " The 
Commercial Hotel " there, yesterday after breakfast, and 
came here, to while two days away. 

As soon as we arrived, we set off for Drumlanrig, which 
I had passed before, but had never gone up to, and loitered 
some hours in and about the house and the grounds. It 
would be unjust to condemn any place utterly, which is 


in such a pitiable state of disrepair. But I doubt if any- 
thing, even the restoration of the old wood, which has 
been so barbarously destroyed within my own time, in 
order that its produce might be wasted on foolish profligacy 
in London, would make it a fine place. The incurable 
defect is the paltriness of the natural features. No lake, 
no sea, no rock, no mountains except some lumpish ones 
too far off to belong to this place particularly, and not 
even a river, for the Nith is so hidden and so distant that 
practically it forms no part of the home scenery, at present 
scarcely any good wood, and no ruin. The house, archi- 
tecturally, is excellent, as might be expected from Inigo 
Jones, who, I believe, designed it, and the terraces belo\v 
are on a greater scale than anything else of the kind in 
Scotland. But they are not good, because, like every- 
thing else about the place, they are obviously incomplete 
and ill kept. To be right, they ought to have balustrades, 
statues, and fountains, whereas at present they have not 
even decent gravel. The inside of the house seems to 
be in a mean taste, and it is said that the whole fabric is 
dangerously frail. If this be the case, the best thing that 
could be done would be to leave it as a ruin, to get a 
noble design, for a new castle from Playfair, to build it 
more in visible connection with the river, to renew the 
terraces in better style, to plant largely and judiciously, 
and to do everything in anticipation of how the whole is to 
look after these woods shall have sucked the nourishment 
of a hundred summers. 

I walked home, and saw the valley of the Nith lighted 
up by a sweet and splendid autumn sunset. The day was 
beautiful, and so is this day. I like the character of the 
strath, lined by respectable (though not picturesque) hills, 
the low grounds, and even some of the high, brightened 
by agricultural cultivation, and darkened by masses of 


straggling wood, and a beautiful stream playing itself 
through the whole. The smoke of the village fires yester- 
day a Saturday evening gave it the last charm of which 
any scene admits. 

I have been much pleased with the floral taste of the 
people, whose gardens and windows abound with good 
flowering shrubs. There are more fuchsias and geraniums 
at the doors and in the windows of that beautifully-placed 
Penpont, which I have just strolled through, than in all 
the hamlets in Midlothian. 

And this inn, which, though I should not suppose it 
contained above half a dozen of rooms, is ludicrously called 
" The Buccleuch and Queensberry Hotel," is the very best 
little country inn it has ever yet been my good fortune 
to fall in with in Scotland. In kindness, purity, quiet, 
comfort, and good cheer, it would be a formidable rival to 
any of its English sisters. Like most other perfectly well- 
conducted small inns, it is managed entirely by women, 
Mrs. Glendinning, a tidy and sensible matron, with a 
lively eye and soft voice, being the Lady Abbess, who 
bustles about actively, but very gently, amidst her nice 
hedge alehouse nuns. 

We mean to return to Dumfries to-night. 

CUMPSTONE, near KIRKCUDBRIGHT, Thursday, 26th Sep- 
tember 1839. We went to Dumfries last Sunday evening, 
under the influence of a mild and bright moon, and left it 
next day about eleven, and went round the coast by South- 
wick to Dalbeattie, and from thence to Gelston Castle, 
where we remained till Wednesday forenoon, the whole 
distance being only about thirty-two miles. The early 
part of the day was foggy, but after twelve it was calm, 
warm, and sunny. 

We stopped and did homage to New Abbey, which I 


had not seen for above thirty years. It is a beautiful and 
venerable fragment. It would be difficult to find any 
building where the stone and the ivy combine more 
harmoniously. But though as yet time has only blended 
them beautifully into one composition, and breathed an 
unbroken reverence over both, the further insinuation and 
clustering of vegetable life ought to be repressed ; as it is, 
it has covered quite enough. The chief value, however, 
of this abbey, consists in its standing as a monument of 
the brutality of Scotland in these matters. It is only 
about twenty-five years ago that the whole pile was not 
only sold, but was bought actually far the purpose of being 
taken down and made into stone dykes ! And this purpose 
was partly carried into effect. No proprietor could have 
made such a transaction in any country of right feeling, 
nor in such a country could any person have dared to have 
avowed such a design. The liberality (combined, I hope, 
with the indignation) of six or eight gentlemen saved the 
residue of the ruin by repurchasing it. It is theirs still, 
but I grieve to say that another specimen of our unworthi- 
ness to possess such relics is to be found in the disgraceful 
state in which it is kept. It is a byre. Beasts ! 

" The unlettered muse " seems never to have entered 
the churchyard. There is not even an attempt at an in- 
scription in it, beyond names and dates. The name and 
the years are there, but no holy text around is strewed. 
They have even removed (at least, I could not find it), the 
stone which, when I was last there, contained the post- 
humous defamation of first stating that a young lady was 
an affectionate sister, and a dutiful daughter, etc., and then 
adding " and a chaste virgin." 

I had been told (but only by Galwegians) to expect 
something uncommonly fine along this part of the shores of 
the Solway, and from this highway. I was disappointed. 


It is the stupidest of all our Firths. Few rocks, no islands, 
and especially no edging of picturesque mountains. For 
to point, as the natives always do, to the dim ghosts of 
some distant hills, of which only the outlines are visible, 
and to explain, with an air of triumph, these are the 
English mountains, is mere stuff. They are too far off to 
be felt as parts of the real picture. They may serve the 
part of remote distance, but not of foreground. 

Southwick is too far from the sea, at least for a place 
so near it ; but still it has all the appearance of being 

We stayed at Gelston ugliness itself till yesterday 
forenoon, that is, from the forenoon of Monday the 23d, 
till the forenoon of Wednesday the 25th, when we came 
here (to Cumpston) eight miles further. 

CUMPSTON, Friday, 27th September 1839, Night. Went 
up the Tarf yesterday, seeing and visiting. On the way 
home, I went with Edward Maitland over the eminence 
called Tongueland Hill, from which there is a good view 
of the Eoyal Burgh of Kirkcudbright and its waters, 
and down to the Dee, at present a noble stream, with its 
bridge, one of the largest, though certainly not one of the 
handsomest, arches in Scotland. A bad day. 

To-day we went and saw the Abbey of Dundreiman. 
Though greatly abridged, it is still a .beautiful and interest- 
ing mass. But every other feeling is superseded by one's 
horror and indignation at the state in which it is kept. 
If it had been an odious and offensive building, which the 
Crown and the adjoining landowners were trying to obli- 
terate as fast as possible, and to render disgusting and 
inaccessible in the meantime, what else could they do ? 
Five pounds worth of draining, 20 worth of clearing and 
levelling, and 200 of masonry, would preserve it, in 


decency, for centuries. But (though a little has been 
done, and ill done) it is left a victim to every element, man 
included, by which architecture can be effaced. Not a 
trace of it will be discoverable in fifty years. Arches and 
windows might be rescued by the labour of one man for 
a single day ; but it is dealt with as if spite hated it. No 
execration can do justice to the careless or selfish insensi- 
bility that can obstinately persevere in the daily perpetra- 
tion of such atrocity. My excellent and esteemed host, 
in whose house I now am, and on whose ground this 
abbey stands, is the chief delinquent. And the value 
of the case is that he is a most liberal and right-minded 
gentleman, because this shows that the mischief proceeds 
from no positively improper object, but from that absence 
of right feeling which, on such subjects, seems to be nearly 
universal among Scotch proprietors. They gaze on the 
glorious ruins of noble buildings, over which time and 
history delight to linger, and which give their estates all 
the dignity they possess, with exactly the same emotion 
that the cattle do, to which these impressive edifices are 
generally consigned. It is a humiliating, national scandal. 
A rainy, rainy day. Where's the old rainbow *? 

CUMPSTON, Saturday, 28th September 1839, Night. The 
first half of this day had a famine-like appearance. Heavy, 
stook-rotting rain. About twelve it cleared up, and we 
had a rather splendid day for Gaily. We passed some 
hours there. I had seen it before, but not since the new 
front has been added to the house, and the marble lobby 
made, and the furniture put in. The place, with its wood. 
its well-kept home ground, its varied surface, its distant, 
bounding hills, and its obvious extensive idea of a great 
and beautiful domain, is one of the finest in Scotland. As 
to the house granite and marble though it be and 


though its portico be designed by Papworth and admired 
by Playfair, I was disappointed. Solid, grave, and in 
good proportion, it ought to please, and I fancy I am 
wrong in not being sufficiently pleased. But for such a 
place, and such a house, it is all too small. And accord- 
ingly the chief defence of it, particularly of the portico, is 
that it is of granite, a strong stone, and that there are no 
larger granite columns in this country. Well, neither are 
there larger gold or larger gingerbread pillars, but if, 
whatever their substance be, they be not sufficiently large 
to satiate the architectural appetite, the peculiarity or diffi- 
culty of their material is nothing. Granite is admirable 
for fortifications, bridges, or other works of eternity, where 
durability is the only beauty. But for houses it is too 
cold (I speak only of the grey), and its seams don't admit 
of being well joined ; and though great reverence be due to 
hardness, and to any size, however small, that for the 
material, is unusually large, it won't do to give us a mansion 
of great pretension, though perhaps the pretension were of 
modesty, and then, when we object to its want of greatness, 
to say, it is built of very hard and rare stone. 

The marble lobby is new in Scotland, and beautiful. 
But for a thing of the kind, it is too little and far too fine 
for a mere common lobby. I advise whoever means to 
lay out enough of money, to cover a lobby with pure 
white marble, and to adorn it with beautiful busts, to put 
it well into the inside of the edifice, and to use it for 
sculpture, or music, or anything dignified, rather than as a 

The factor told me that the whole marble of this lobby 
was cut, and polished, and put up by a common workman 
from Whitehaven. 

I wish I had the two busts of Napoleon and Washington. 


CUMPSTON, Sunday Night, 2$th September 1839. A 
beautiful day. I passed it in the temple not made with 
hands. But I have nothing to record. The Dee, after 
the late rains, was glorious; not so much however from 
fulness, as from rugged, foaming whiteness. The pro- 
spect from Tongueland Hill is beautiful and peculiar. 
Kirkcudbright stands like a little Venice, in the midst of 
its surrounding waters. 

THORNHILL, Monday Night, 30th September 1839. We 
left Cumpston to-day about half-past ten, and got here, by 
New Galloway, about half-past five. 

The whole of these thirty-eight or forty miles were new 
to me, and we had a perfect day for enjoying them. 

The space is all partly agricultural, and partly pastoral ; 
that is, better than either separately ; though with a great 
preponderance of the pastoral. With moor and mountain 
enough to preserve the feeling of wildness, the prevailing 
character of the range is that of advancing cultivation, 
interrupted by many a tumbling stream, and broken by 
innumerable hillocks, and streaks and masses of wood, 
by which the whole surface of this half Highland country 
is diversified. 

A shepherd, with whom I had a crack, was much 
offended at the slight put upon his river by my asking 
him if it was the " Tarf " 1 "Tarf! deil a drap o' Tarf's 
in 't. That 's the black water o' Dee ! the onncientest 
ivater in Scotland." 

By far the most striking thing I 've seen of late was the 
Loch and Castle of Kenmure. It is a very curious scene. 
Whenever we hear of lakes in Scotland, we are apt to 
think of Highland ones, and to be disappointed if we do 
not find rocky promontories, and the water set in a deep 
frame of mountains, and all the other circumstances of 



Celtic scenery. There is nothing of this in Kenmure, nor 
in almost any of our southern lochs. Its bank is flat on 
the one side, and not picturesque on the other, though 
there be a hill, which however, with the exception of the 
single peak (of Dennans), is lumpish, and from the surface 
not lofty. But the cultivation on the low ground gave 
the loch an air of civilisation, and the water lay shining 
throughout its whole extent, under a bright, soft sun ; 
and everything was calm and silent, while at the upper 
end the dark rebel tower frowned from its high mound, 
over all this peaceful loveliness, as if still retaining the 
scornful spirit which drove its owner to the ruin of his 
house in 1715. We stopped and made a slight, unob- 
trusive inspection of the restored Peer's eyrie. Everything 
denotes poverty. Money laid out chiefly on repairs and 
on planting, would make it a proud feudal keep, with a 
worthy subjected domain. One of the best, because one 
of the most barbarous, prospects of what is called the 
castle, is from the bridge, about half a mile after leaving 
New Galloway. There is only a streak of the loch visible 
and very little wood, but the high, solitary, old building 
is seen, backed by a bare moory mountain, and its vassal 
village cowering at its feet, exactly as it was in the days 
of the Stewarts. The Peer, now in his 90th year, I 
understand, is as much of the old school as his tower is. 

Next to Kenmure, we were delighted with what a 
geologist would call the Basin of Minnyhive. 

It's a wretched, half-dead village, which should either 
be regenerated into a clean, nice, thriving country town, 
or be altogether superseded by a great mansion. Because 
its position, at the confluence of several pastoral valleys, 
is extremely beautiful, and the district is distinguished 
by everything pleasing in the half-natural, and half-culti- 
vated scenery of the Scottish strath. All the low grounds 


and much of the hills, were gleaming with bright corn and 
grass; a great deal of wood is tossed richly everywhere, 
the surface is full of knolls, some of them very regular, 
and plainly shaped by water; comfortable, embowered 
houses are perched on heights ; the river sweeps in a full 
flow of liquid crystal; and there is a prevailing air of 
industry. I walked, or rather lingered, here for above an 
hour, and was never more charmed. To be sure, I saw it 
all under the magic of the sweetest sunshine that ever 
blessed the close of a calm autumnal day. But, with its 
elements, that scene can never be but beautiful. We lost 
the glow of the Happy Valley, as we got into the narrow 
defile, but the wood and the stream joined us again about 
two miles from Penpont, and as I looked back from the 
bridge over the Nith, close by Thornhill, I saw a day in- 
capable of being made better, ended by a magnificent, 
gorgeous sunset, and did not bid the last day of September 
adieu till " the gradual, dusky veil " had fallen over all 

BONALY, Tuesday Night, 1st October 1839. We left 
Thornhill to-day about nine, and were here before seven. 

But how was the fine gold of yesterday dimmed ! We 
were persecuted by a rainy fog, which destroyed the 
magnificent Pass of Dalveen, and after following us here, 
is now pattering, as if in spite, on the poor drenched Pent- 
lands. We saw nothing, fairly, and our enjoyment con- 
sisted in the prospect of getting under the cover of our 
own tower. 

My printed companions (but I have been very idle), 
have been Goodman's History of his own times, too grave 
for a chaise ; Grattan's Life of his father, the very worst 
book that has ever yet been penned by man ; The Fair 
Maid of Perth, read for the twentieth time and always 


with fresh pleasure, and some frivolities in the department 
of the ladies. 

Meadowbank took Ayr himself. In arranging this 
Circuit, MoncreifF and I shed mutual tears at the necessity 
of our being divorced, and vowed our reunion next 


SPRING 1840. 

BONALY, llth May 1840. But our reunion did not 
take place, Moncreiff was married to the Justice (Boyle), 
and I to Meadowbank. 

I went to Stirling and Meadowbank to Inveraray, and 
both of us to Glasgow. 

It was not worth while taking any note of so short and 
common journeys, and I only put down the dates and 
places after returning home, in order to keep up the Log- 

I went with my daughter Jane and Rosa Macbean 
to Stirling, visiting Linlithgow Palace by the way, on 
Monday the 27th of April. Before dinner that day, I 
went and visited Lord Abercromby at Airthrie. He had 
been very ill, but was then better, and his place was in 
the perfection of young vernal beauty. It has been the 
finest spring ever vouchsafed to Scotland. There are few 
Julys like this April. And the verdure of Abercromby's 
grass, the bright, fresh, tenderness of his foliage, the clear- 
ness of his lake, the mirth of his lambs and water-fowl, 
and the softened richness of his rocks and hills were all 
blended into a scene of singular loveliness. 

I was in Court the whole of the three next days, the 
28th, 29th, and 30th. There was nothing particular 
in any of the cases, except that in one of them we had 
an excellent specimen of that beautiful option. Four 


people were under trial for theft, and two for reset. A 
villain, who would have cut the throats of all his re- 
lations for a shilling, was called as a witness by the 
prosecutor. It was objected that, being the son of one 
of the thieves, he was not bound to give evidence. The 
prosecutor (Cosmo limes) endeavoured to make the objec- 
tion inapplicable by saying that he only called him against 
the two resellers. But the reply, that still his parent was 
one of the accused, and that he was in the same position 
with a wife called to testify in a case where her husband 
was one of the accused, is at present deemed sound by the 
Court. So I was obliged to disgrace the law by explaining 
to him the respect paid to his sensibilities, and that in 
order to spare his filial piety, he had the option of defeat- 
ing justice by telling the truth or not, just as he chose. 
No censure of this modern piece of judge-made legal 
nonsense could be severer than the grotesque and villainous 
leer with which he said : " Odd ! a' like that hoption, ma 
Lord!" on which he retired amidst the laughter of the 
prisoners, and the amazement of the jury, and saved the 
two resetters. 

The Lord Advocate (Rutherfurd) and I made out a Bill 
lately, which has just passed the Commons, for preventing 
the repetition of such disgraceful scenes by abolishing the 
objection of relationship. But its passage through the 
Peers is by no means certain ; for a majority of the 
Faculty of Advocates is actually opposing it. They call 
such a blackguard's declining to speak, "the voice of nature," 
and profess to be moved by the metus perjurii. The 
opponents always take the case in which nothing worse 
can happen than that a guilty man escapes. But under 
this rule an innocent one may be convicted. Take this 
case. A is on his trial along with B for a murder, which 
B alone committed. He calls B's son. who saw his father 


alone do it. In this case the life of the innocent person 
is sacrificed to what, at the very best, is the filial injustice 
of the guilty one's relation. 

When at Stirling, I heard of the death of Mrs. Cock- 
burn's brother, William Macdowall of Barr, an event not 
anticipated, and which clouded all the rest of the Circuit, 
and will long cloud the recollections of all who knew him. 
We came to Edinburgh during the night of the 30th of 
April, as 1 had to attend an Estate Bill, and then to go to 
Barr next day. We reached Edinburgh at four in the 
morning, through a dull, but most refreshing, fog, left it 
at two next forenoon, and reached Barr that night about 
ten. The funeral was next day. I remained there with 
Mrs. Cockburn and Mrs. Maitland till the morning of 
Tuesday the 5th of May, when I went to Glasgow, which 
I reached in time for a public breakfast, and was in Court 
by ten that day. 

We had five days of Avork, from nine in the morning 
till six or seven in the evening, having been liberated, 
however, on Saturday the 9th in time to reach home that 

There was nothing particular in the cases, the great 
mass of them being aggravated thefts, followed by seven 
years' transportation, ad nauseam. There was one capital 
conviction, for murder. But even this was commonplace ; 
the common Scotch case of a brute, excited by his own 
liquor, and pretending to be provoked by that of his wife, 
and finding himself alone in his own house with his help- 
less victim, proceeding to beat her to death. This man 
seemed to think it a sort of defence that it was a Satur- 
day night, when " he was always worst, it being his pay- 
day." His wife was perfectly sober, and though "she 
could take u dram," was not of dissipated habits generally, 
and was never known to show any violence towards her 


husband. Yet though the proof could not have been 
clearer if the jury had seen him murder her, they unani- 
mously recommended him to mercy on the ground of 
provocation, of which there was not a tittle, either in 
evidence or in truth. Such is the modern aversion to 
capital punishment. His name was Thomas Templeton. 

There was also a shocking case of a poor child, scarcely 
eight years old, a climbing boy, who was compelled by 
threats to go up, or down, thirty-eight new chimneys 
successively, and without any interval for rest or food, 
though he was quite exhausted, cold, wet, and excoriated, 
and imploring that he might not be sent down the thirty- 
eighth vent, in which he died. The labour and danger 
were greatly increased by the vents being new, and the 
object being to clear them, by a chisel, of the lime and 
rubbish that adhered to their sides, a task requiring time 
and strength, and the rubbish greatly obstructing the 
passage at every turn. It was only charged as a culpable 
homicide, and the master had rather an affection for the 
boy, and worked him to death from no anger or selfish- 
ness, but merely from the general brutality of his craft. 
We longed to transport him, and will be abused by the 
benevolent for not doing so ; but, in the circumstances, we 
could not go beyond imprisonment. 

Our public breakfast was a substitute for the public 
dinner, and has been tried twice at Glasgow with success. 
It does not supersede one or two small, rational, dinners, 
of eight or twelve friends, or respectable connections of 
the Court, but only the abominable gathering of all the 
monsters who, as a matter of right, have long been per- 
mitted to scandalise Scotch Circuits. Though often sorely 
grudged, the old judges deemed these festivals indispens- 
able to the dignity of the law. They were deemed 
essential for the preservation of Church and State. But, 


for some years past, much business, the want of the judges, 
picking the jurors, the cessation of the attendance of the 
gentry, and the weakness of the modern stomach, have 
introduced a distaste among most of us for these judicial 
and stately feasts. There are only two of us who now 
don't loathe them ; Moncreiff, who enjoys the refreshment 
of meat and drink, and the Justice (Boyle) who, besides 
the conviviality, still deludes himself with the notion that 
the Circuit dinner exhibits him and the law in an impos- 
ing attitude. These two delight to sit down at two in 
the morning to salmon and roast-beef, though they have 
to return to Court at nine, and to do Provosts the honour of 
taking bumpers of claret or mulled port with them ; every 
shut eyelid in the house starting open at the sound of the 
glorious trumpets, as they drink the royal health. When 
these two shall be gone, there will not be a judge of such 
bad taste as to endure these horrid and mirthless meet- 
ings. But how Hermand would have despised this. With 
him the jollity of the Circuit was the only thing respect- 
able about it. Nothing made it contemptible, even 
judicially, except sobriety. I once heard the servant of 
his serene colleague Pitmilly, who had a strong taste for 
decorum and law, and none whatever for laughter or 
liquor, tell the chambermaid at Perth to bring his master 
a large kettle of warm water. Hermand, who was passing 
to his dinner at midnight, said, " God bless me, sir, is he 
going to make a whole kettle of punch, and before supper 
too ! " " No, no, my Lord, he 's going to his bed, but he 
wants to bathe his feet first!" "Feet, sir 1 ?" exclaimed 
Hermand, "what ails his feet 1 ? Tell him to put some 
rum among it, and to give it all to his stomach ! " 

My book on this Circuit was Romilly's Memoirs of his 
own life, just published. The first part, being the account 
of his youth, is excellent. The Parliamentary Diary recalls 


many interesting discussions, and discloses many valuable 
views, particularly those of Romilly himself, but on the 
whole, it is not so striking as I thought that a record of the 
parliamentary life of such a man would have been. It is 
difficult to understand how he could record his impressions 
and proceedings at the time, and yet keep so entirely clear 
of the characters, conduct, manners, or curious doings or 
sayings, of his associates or opponents. The charm of the 
whole book consists in its development of the character 
of the author, whose high, severe purity is softened, in 
these pages, into greater amiableness than appeared in 
the original in real life. There never was a better man. 
He had a capital head, and a capital heart, for criminal 
justice. His proposal that the Court should be entitled 
to award costs to the unjustly accused against the pro- 
secutor, is wise and humane, and perhaps original among 
moderate and practical reformers. Why should the public 
be permitted to charge an innocent man with a crime, and 
though he be acquitted, to ruin him by costs, when it is 
not allowed to bring a civil action against him unjustly, 
with the same consequence 1 Such a law would soon 
introduce public prosecutors into England, by the necessity 
it would create of greater caution of prosecution and pre- 
paration. In Scotland it would probably not burden the 
public with 50 a year. 


AUTUMN 1840. 

DALMALLY, Saturday Night, 29th August 1840. lam 
here on this Western Circuit, Meadowbank going to Stir- 
ling, and I to Inveraray, and both to Glasgow. 

I left Edinburgh on the morning of the 26th, with 
Mrs. Cockburn, Jane, Elizabeth, and Frank, and went that 
day by Stirling and Ardoch, to my nephew's, Sir David 
Dundas, at Dunira, four miles west of Comrie. We stayed 
there all the 27th and 28th, and left it this morning, 
and got here about seven in the evening. 

As yet we have had delicious weather, and have enjoyed 
it. Nothing except what good weather reveals, in the 
finer scenery of Scotland, has occurred worthy of being 
mentioned, though our two days at Dunira were merry 
and kind. 

Strathearn, meaning the strath of about twenty miles 
from Crieff to Lochearn Head, though by no means the 
grandest, is, I suspect, perhaps the most picturesquely 
beautiful district in Scotland. The rapid and steep 
descent upon it from Ardoch, especially when it is lighted 
up by the glow of a summer evening, is very striking, not 
nearly so Swiss-like as the descent on the opposite side of 
the valley, from Amulree, but still surprising and beautiful. 
We snuffed the Comrie peat, and hailed the singularly 
lucid water of Earn, and soon found lowly Dunira sleep- 
ing calmly, as usual, in its magnificent cradle of crags 


and woods. The two next days were entirely given to 
explore that delightful strath, which though I had 
formerly been in it for days together, never appeared so 
fresh and clean. I exclude Drummond Castle, for it is on 
the flat, but what have we in this country more perfect, 
in mixed cultivation and rocky wildness, than Ochter- 
tyre, Lawers, Dunira, and Strowan 1 though its preponder- 
ance of mere agriculture, perhaps, would justify the ex- 
clusion of the last from the society of such glorious places. 
And then how their interstices are filled up by the tufts 
of Clathick, Comrie House, Dalchonzie, and Aberuchill ! 
The eye and the mind wander incessantly from the rich, 
low, flat, gravelly, alluvial holms, bright with verdure and 
grain, though perpetually darkened with knolls of wood 
and rock, to the lofty sierras of black and grey crags, 
their bases all covered profusely with good wood, till the 
solid masses are broken and dissipated as they get 
higher, till at last they die away as the height still in- 
creases, into streaks up the sheltered ravines, till vegetation 
ceases, save where one or two successful adventurers may 
be seen far beyond all companionship, defying the storm, 
braving it, like the strong men of the world, and calling 
on their timorous associates to come up to them. I never 
tire of getting on the summit of one of the Strathearn 
crags, and sitting and surveying the scene below, obviously 
once a lake, and still the best preparation for a new lake 
in the world. 1 

The whole drive from Dunira to this was glorious. 
The day calm, balmy, and bright, and everything, from 
the rich placidity of Lochearn, to the alpine grandeur of 
Dalmally, seen in the most favourable circumstances. It 
is about thirty-one years since I was in these regions. 
What a district it is ! Lying along the bases of Ben 
Voirlich, Ben More, and in the company of Ben Cruachan 

1 Journals, vol. i. 266. 


and Ben Lawers, four of the greatest mountains in Scot- 
land. Their summits were all played with by the sun and 
the clouds all day. How the shadows swept over them ! 
Amidst the milkiness of such an air, and the gorgeousness 
of such lights, nothing is wanted to entitle Scotland to 
stand up whenever even Switzerland is named. The 
approach to Dalmally, where the valley opens out, as if 
to give fair play to the amphitheatre of mountains, and 
the solitary church marks the presence of men, forms 
one of the noblest prospects I have almost ever seen. 
And the hills ! They have driven Aviemore out of my 
head. 1 

OBAN, Sunday, 3 (MA August 1840. We left Dalmally 
this morning before eleven. The day still incapable of 
improvement. The superiority of the Cairngorms is in 
their ridginess. The Dalmally mountains are more earthly 
and lumpish. But what lumps ! And how well placed ! 
Oh for old oaks, a huge old castle, and a feudal history, 
about the centre of that amphitheatre ! 

The country from Dalmally to this was new to me, and 
it is now gratifying to an aged gentleman to have the 
omissions of his youth rewarded by being able to say that 
so is the journey from this to Lochgilphead, and from 
Lochgilphead to Inveraray. 

The upper, that is the Dalmally, end of Loch Awe, 
dignified by the ruins of Kilchurn Castle, and bounded by 
the steep and stony Ben Cruachan, with its wooded base 
and the magnificent corries that flank its northern bank, 
is all very fine ; the southern hills, near the lake, are low, 
but this implies shallowness of water, which gives islands, 
with which accordingly this part of the loch is more richly 
supplied than most of our Highland waters. 

No river has a more striking outlet than the Awe, with 
1 Journals, vol. i. 267, 


its sides roaring with cataracts, and so steep that, though 
sheep were browsing on their oases of verdure, it defied 
us to find out how they had got there, or were ever to 
get away. The river makes a short but violent rush to 
Loch Etive, amidst a profusion of mountain, wood, and 
many well-placed cliffs, till Muckairn Kirk, from which 
the surface recedes on both sides, tells us we have gained 
the summit, and must now descend to the sea. 

Lest Ben Cruachan, whose summit was glittering to-day 
as well as all the other sublimities of the district, should 
not be sufficient for the honour of Muckairn, the heritors or 
somebody have erected a thing in the churchyard, about 
the size of a large broomstick, and not more attractive in 
its form. I asked the driver what it was. " It 's a moni- 
ment to a gentleman." " What gentleman 1 " " Ou, a 
dinna mind his name. He dee'd a while ago. Ou' ay. 
A mind noo. It's to Lord Ne-e-elson." 

The descent from this summit to Loch Etive is all very 
fine. The very rapid ebbing of the water towards low tide 
as we saw it, suggests the notion of an American river ; 
the dun hills remind one who has never been among them, 
and knows them only from opinion, of something more 
poetical ; and the appearance of little, comfortable Oban, 
with the feudal fragment of Dunolly, makes the traveller, 
even of two days, feel as if he had reached a haven of 
repose after a long and perilous voyage. 

This is the gem of sea villages. A small bay locked in 
by hills ; five little vessels sleeping on the quiet water ; a 
crescent of white houses almost touching the sea, backed 
by a corresponding curve of cliff; the old tower of Dunolly 
at the end of the one horn, and high knolls at the end of 
the other; no manufactures, no trade, and scarcely any 
bustle, several strangers attracted by mere beauty and 
tranquillity ; all this completes one's idea, or rather one's 


feeling, of a peaceful summer sea retreat. How gloriously 
the sun set behind the hills of Mull ! and with what deep 
and ineffable peacefulness has the night gradually, and as 
if reluctantly, closed over the silver waters. 

I half tremble to think that to-morrow is destined for 
the Sound of Mull in a steamer, in order to see lona and 
Staffa, by me for the first time. Hitherto my stomach has 
only been for the solid earth, and I am shabby enough to 
half wish for the apology of a storm. 

LOCHGILPHEAD, Tuesday Night, 1st September 1840. 
Well ! I have actually had my piety warmed by musing 
over the ruins of lona, and my faith in Ossian excited by 
being in Fingal's Cave. 

Francis, Elizabeth, and I left Oban yesterday morning 
in the Erenda, a rumbling steamer, at six o'clock, and 
were relanded there, after a prosperous voyage round the 
Island of Mull, at eight in the evening, going by the 
south end and returning by the Sound. Consequently 
we not only saw lona and Staffa, but about 120 miles of 
islands, and nature never produced a better day. 

I saw little after the tenth or twelfth mile till I reached 
lona, for my very unmaritime stomach was rebellious, 
and for about four hours I lay abusing my folly, and vow- 
ing that this should be my last voyage. In this state I 
was landed on that island, but my infirmity instantly 
ceased, and, getting into water like glass, it never came 
over me again during the day. 

The ruins greatly surpassed my expectation. I thought 
that all I was to see was the mere stools of buildings, 
whereas I found as many legible old inscriptions, carved 
tombstones, and standing walls, as in most very ancient, 
fallen edifices. Being walked round by the Captain, and 
only an hour allowed, and a whole cargo of travellers to 


be satiated, it was not a visit that could do more than leave 
a general idea of the appearance of the place, and enable 
one to know hereafter what people are speaking about 
when they speak of lona. Were it not absurd, after all 
that has been said and written, it would be irresistible for 
any one of ordinary sense or feeling to indulge in the 
visions which this remote and deserted little island is so 
well fitted to inspire. They came across me, and the 
recollection of the scene will now for ever suggest them 
more easily and vividly. 

I must confess that my contemplations of the past were 
greatly marred by the reality of the present. A more 
wretched set of creatures than those that crawled around 
us I doubt if even Ireland could exhibit. Certainly no 
other part of the world that I have ever read of could 
exceed it. It might have been accounted for by suppos- 
ing that Argyleshire had sent its most humiliating desti- 
tution to affect the visitors of lona, had it not been for 
the sad truth, that the naked and diseased dirt which 
greets and follows the tourist there, will meet and follow 
him in many other islands of the Hebrides. My sensi- 
bility has perhaps been too little blunted by the past 
reality of such spectacles, for I doubt if I was ever on one 
of the western islands before, but it is dreadful to think 
that these poor creatures are not only human, but country- 
men. Yet they have an infants' school, which I saw in 
action, and a church where the Sacrament was dispensed 
the day before. So easy is it to combine the forms of 
religion and education with the degradation of human 
habits, if not the prostration of the human character. 
They are the better of the church and the school, but still 
are about as brutish in the economy of life as their very 
nasty cows and swine are. 

But what can be expected, though they had all the 


churches and schools in Christendom, of people who live 
in the constant view of these still more brutally kept 
monuments and temples. What a disgrace to their 
owners ! who I understand are the Argyles. All the 
waters of Loch Fyne will not cleanse them from the shame 
of these neglected solemn ruins. They are the most in- 
teresting relics in the British Empire, and might, by mere 
attention, and with very little expenditure, have been pro- 
tected for centuries ; the flat, carved tombstones might 
have had their venerable letters saved from being worn 
out by regardless feet ; and the grass might have been kept 
as smooth and pure as the turf at any of the Oxford 
colleges ; but no foul beast ever trod a pearl in the dirt so 
unconsciously as these titled men have, for many ages, but 
particularly during the last hundred years, deliberately 
allowed fragments, that have been the wonder of thinking 
men, to be reduced to a worse condition than most pig- 
styes. If proprietors who behave so had all the apology 
of bankruptcy, this might be a consolation, for a well-dis- 
posed mind could not fail to consider this as God's punish- 
ment for their crime. But every one of them wastes 
yearly, on contemptible importance, what would be quite 
sufficient to transmit these sacred gifts of a former age to 
succeeding ones, and in such a condition that they might 
be admired, as they descend, without having the venera- 
tion they inspire marred by unnecessary disgust. Even 
the Argyle is diminished in my sight. 

We landed easily on Staffa, and I was one of four 
who went to the very innermost recess of the cave. It is 
one of the very few much-spoken-of wonders to which my 
fancy had not come up. And I cannot say that my ex- 
pectation had been lowered by the opinion of Serjeant 
Talfourd, who told me, two years ago, that he thought, 
Staffa " contemptible" a crotchet to be ascribed, no doubt 



to the poet's stomach not having come to its senses so soon 
as mine had. It is one of nature's great geological feats. 
No thunder is more awful than the roar of the wave as it 
breaks along the sides, and on the inner end of the cavern. 
And then there is nothing human about it. It is all pure 
nature. Not a single ass has even painted his name upon 
it. The solitude and storminess of its position greatly 
enhance its interest. 

On the whole, I have rarely been more gratified than 
by at last beholding these two sights, one the wonder of 
nature, the other of man. I had been anxious to see them 
almost all my life, and the recollection will now be more 
exciting than the fancy of them was. 

The rest of the sail was delightful. We moved over a 
sea nearly of glass, past places, but particularly past islands 
and points, and things called castles, the names of which 
were familiar, and where the mere surprise of seeing what 
one had so often heard of was a pleasure. In their present 
state there is very little beauty in any one place along that 
coast, and not a single old building of any architectural 
interest. The great want is of wood, even of larch, which, 
however, for scenery, is rarely wood. Nor is it true that 
wood would not grow on these tempest-beaten and foam- 
dashed spots. A thousand small and exposed, but still 
oak-clad, islands, and promontories, and bays, and knolls, 
and ravines, but especially islands which are most in the 
way of the spray and the wind, attest that, even though not 
planted in great masses, the whole of the Hebrides might 
be adorned and warmed by trees. It is sheep and poverty, 
not the ocean or the storm, that keep them hard and uni- 
form. What an Archipelago it would be had it only due, 
summer ! 

As it is, the charm of the region consists in the pictur- 
esque grouping of the features of the scenery, particularly 


of the hills, in the barbarous history, and above all, in 
the desolation that seems to prevail over everything. We 
did not see two dozen of vessels, including boats, through- 
out the whole day, no town, or even village, except Tober- 
mory, very few, and very insignificant houses, and no 
people ; we heard no sounds except the oars of the few 
boats that came alongside for passengers ; everything was 
silent, hard, and still, under the impressiveness of which 
one sails along, amidst scenes which time has been incapable 
of changing, and which seem as if they had been preserved 
merely that they might be the localities of old stories. 

The two finest prospects are, a little after leaving Aros, 
when the whole of Ben Cruachan, and a little after leav- 
ing Ardtornish, when the Appin mountains stand before us, 
both as we saw them, blazing with the setting sun, and 
contrasted with the shaded, and almost black groups 
behind us. 

I suspect that had I seen Tobermory first, I should 
have said of it all I have said of Oban, which it is very 
like. Tobermory has the advantages of a steeper im- 
mediate background, fringed with scattered wood; of a 
high and a low town, the one on the summit of the cliff 
seeming to stand on the top of the houses on the beach 
and of a church with a sort of a spire peering out from 
among the trees amidst the upper buildings. Our twenty- 
five passengers, or so, were mostly English, and all of 
them were struck with its exact resemblance to Torquay 
in its primitive condition. 

The number of foreign, but chiefly of English, travellers 
is extraordinary. They fill every conveyance, and every 
inn, attracted by scenery, curiosity, superfluous time and 
wealth, and the fascination of Scott, while, attracted by 
grouse, the mansion-houses of half of our poor devils of 
Highland lairds are occupied by rich and titled Southrons. 


Even the students of Oxford and Cambridge come to the 
remote villages of Scotland in autumn to study ! I found 
ten of them three years ago, with two tutors, in lodgings at 
Callander ; and a party, also with the tutor and the Greek 
books, at Inveraray last time I was there ; and I found both 
English and Irish youths established now at Oban. The 
quantity of Greek imbibed, even by the dominie, I can 
only conjecture, but they can do nothing better for their 
minds or bodies than breathe such air, in such scenes. 

Yesterday morning I went and saw Dunstaffnage. It 
would be difficult to fancy a more glorious position for a 
great castle, old or new. Indignation is never satiated 
with abusing the unworthy owners of such shamefully 
neglected ruins, nor imagination with arranging and im- 
proving the materials of the scenery, recalling the former 
condition of such places, or reviewing them for modern 
life. I was very anxious to steal a curious round thin 
flat stone, of about a foot in diameter, with a hole in its 
centre (part of a quern, probably), and ventured to ask a 
sort of a fool of a lad, who was attending me, if I might 
take it, but he completely disarmed me by fidgeting, and 
clawing, and drawling out, with a look of pain, " Ou ay 
I dinna ken hit it 's been a lang while here," putting a most 
appealing emphasis on the lang, which he spun out to five 
times its ordinary length. "It's been here a la-a-a-ng 
time," plainly implying the question " And wad she tak 
it awaf So there it lies for me. There is a tender 
epitaph in the bury ing-ground by a swain, over the remains 
of "my modest love, snatched from me by death." But it 
turns out that in spite of all her modesty, the lamentation 
proceeds from her spouse and numerous offspring. 

We left Oban to-day at eleven, and got here at eight. 
Another perfect day. 

There is little to be seen between Kilmartin and this, 


eight miles but all the rest of the road, from Oban to 
Kilmartin, about thirty-two miles, is most admirable 
most admirable indeed. A great deal of it quite inland, 
consisting of deep valleys, profusely enriched by wood 
(real wood, not filthy mercantile larch) and water; but 
then we met, every few miles, with our friends the arms 
of the sea again, and as our way lay mostly across the 
upper bays of their most inland touchings of the country, 
and was consequently far from the storm, the whole of 
these delightful little seas were surrounded by wood, and 
sprinkled by knolly islands. Loch Melfort is beautiful, 
and has the advantage of having sometimes defied engin- 
eering to make a road along its precipitous approaches. 

I found a lad carving a monument from a design of his 
own, in Kilmartin churchyard, whom I mention because 
I should not wonder if he should hereafter be distinguished 
as an artist. He told me his name was Mossman. His 
conversation, and that design, a blasted tree, standing 
over a broken column, gave me the impression of his 
being an able young man. 

There are a great many old, and curiously carved, flat 
tombstones in this churchyard, generally without inscrip- 
tions, but probably identified to the families by the carved 
devices. There is also the remains of a cross, which had 
been in the form of a human figure, on a cross, with out- 
stretched arms. Though it be nearly covered with dirt 
and nettles, and the arms be broken off above each elbow, 
enough remains to evince considerable taste and skill in 
the artist. It was Mossman who pointed it out to me. 
There is also a very respectable and hoary monument, 
built into a wall, to the memory of the last Catholic 
minister of the parish. 

STRACHUR, Sunday, bth September. 1840. We left Loch- 


gilphead, and went to Minard, on the forenoon of last 
Wednesday the 2d, under a deluge of rain which was 
thought great even in Argyleshire, and endured the 
whole day. 

We remained at Minard till Friday morning. The 
place had struck me so forcibly two years ago that I 
visited it now chiefly that I might be better acquainted 
with its beauties, especially as I had seen it advertised 
for sale "as the most beautiful Highland residence in 
Scotland." I was disappointed, chiefly (which applies 
to nearly the whole western side of Loch Fyne), because 
the opposite side is so heavy and uninteresting. The 
eastern is clearly the side to look from. The hills, too, 
which had seemed, and still seem, so picturesque from 
where I now am, were lost at Minard itself. That place, 
however, projects so far into the sea that it is distinguished 
by the rare peculiarity of having no road between it and 
the water. I saw many proofs there, as I have elsewhere, 
of the favourableness of these regions for vegetation. 
Besides gorgeous fuchsias and very considerable passion- 
flowers, a myrtle has sustained itself healthily for many 
years, though uncovered and on an unheated wall. But 
much of Argyleshire is south of Edinburgh, on a gravelly 
soil, and on the level of the sea. 

I made acquaintance, for the first time, with Castle 
Lachlan, opposite Minard, with nothing castellated in 
its modern style, but a remarkably sensible small house, 
standing in a sheltered valley, with a beautiful prospect of 
the sea, which turns the waves of its little inland bay at 
its feet, excellent interspersed turf and shrubbery, and 
altogether a comfortable place, in judicious taste, and 
without any of the nearly universal symptoms of the idiot 
of a laird having built, or improved, or idled himself out 
of his estate. 


After an agreeable visit to a kind and cheerful family 
of ladies, we left Minard early on Friday, and held the 
Court that day at Inveraray. A very wet day. 

The business (three cases) was over by six in the even- 
ing. Having palmed off a public breakfast upon the 
people, I gave them no public dinner (see p. 72). The 
only peculiarity in Court was, it was the first time I had 
been on the bench since the recent passing of the bill 
which I mentioned that Kntherfurd and I had prepared 
last spring for quashing the objection of relationship, 
with its consequent option, the initial examination, 
and the necessity of having every witness out of Court. 
All this tedious and unjust nonsense is now extinguished. 
It is a satisfaction to recollect that in my own practice, 
and unless when compelled by a weak brother, I had never 
put the initial interrogations. 

We crossed to St. Catherine's and came here yesterday, 
where we found Maitland (Solicitor-General), and Archi- 
bald Davidson (Advocate-Depute), Lord and Lady and 
William Murray, Mrs. Rigby, and Mrs. Wildman. An 
agreeable evening. But this is another bad day. 

In crossing from Minard to Castle Lachlan we all 
ladies too tried the line-fishing with no success. But it 
reminded me of the day, I think in 1808, when I had 
tried Loch Fyne in the same way with Lord Hermand. 
He was the judge here, with his wife, and his two nieces 
one since married to me, and one to Maitland, and I 
was the Advocate-Depute. Eobert Bell, now Procurator to 
the Church, was at Inveraray, with Lord Cullen. It was 
a bright, calm day, and we paddled about the whole fore- 
noon. I rowed. His Lordship brought up some great 
fishes, but not without many a drive, and many a loud 
direction, and not a total absence of abuse, from the 
fisherman, who was all deference to my lord so long as no 


fish was on the hook, but no sooner saw that one was in 
danger of being lost by his lordship's awkwardness, than 
his whole respect was forgotten, and he bawled, and shook 
his fist, and directed and scolded most energetically, to 
the learned judge's vast entertainment. The night before, 
the two judges, who were of opposite politics, and no 
friends, had met (at supper) for the first time for several 
years. They were cold to each other at first, but at last 
liquor soldered them, and by two in the morning (John 
Richardson, Bell, and I, alone being present) they were 
embracing and vowing eternal friendship, and toasting 
each other's wives, and giving us young ones imita- 
tions of the old lawyers. I scarcely ever saw such a 
scene. But it was not unjudicial in those days. Cullen 
was in bed all next day, and never saw his own Circuit 
Court, but the immortal head of Hermand was clear 
and cool next morning by six, and after a few hours of 
business and a long sail, he returned to the charge at 
dinner with a picturesque and cordial exuberance of spirits 
which the concentrated kindness and gaiety of all Argyle- 
shire could not have equalled. 

HERMAND, Friday, llth September 1840. On Monday 
last, the 7th, we left Strachur for Kilmun. a beautiful day, 
and a delightful stage of sixteen miles. And we had 
ample time to enjoy the melancholy beauty of Loch Eck, 
for our steeds did not choose to hasten through the scene 
faster than three and a half miles in the hour, and one of 
them at last stood still, and had it not been for the 
vicinity of a Samaritan cottar, who lent us a substitute, 
we might possibly have been obliged to survey that narrow 
strip of water by moonlight, and under the morning 
dawn. It was comfortable to see that our proper beast 
was not much fatigued, for no sooner was he liberated 

WES T CIR C Ul TA UTUMN \ 840. 89 

than he at once proceeded to a most active graze. We 
were in time, after all, for the steamer, which soon swept 
us out into the busy and glorious Clyde, the most varied, 
magnificent, and enjoyable of inland seas. The sun was 
hastening home, and threw his parting light on almost the 
whole circle of bright and striking towns and villages, by 
which its edges are specked ; on Kilmun, Dunoon, Gourock, 
Greenock, Helensburgh, and on many hamlets, besides 
kindling the summits of the finest collection of noble and 
picturesque mountain peaks in the world. After a shame- 
fully awkward debarkation of the carriage at Greenock, 
we proceeded to my daughter's at Erskine Manse, where 
we stayed that night. 

Next morning (Tuesday the 8th) I went to Glasgow, 
but was compelled, by a mistake about horses, to go, with 
the vulgar, by a steamer ! a degradation of the judicial 
dignity whereat the Justice-Clerk will be greatly shocked. 
Our 54 or 55 cases were got through yesterday by four 
o'clock, that is, in three short days. They were mostly 
trashy thefts, and we literally had not two hours' speaking 
from the bar, taking it all together, and neither Meadow- 
bank nor I think it our duty to preach regularly to every 

As soon as we got off I came here. 

I forgot to mention before, that twenty youths from 
Oxford and Cambridge, with two tutors, have been living 
for about two and a half months at Inveraray, and eight at 

I heard some lamentation at Inveraray when I was ex- 
tolling the woods of Glenfeochan and Loch Melfort, about 
the probable consequences of their all having been sold to 
the Bunaw Iron Company for charcoal. Such sales are 
hurtful, or the reverse, according to circumstances. How- 
ever injurious to any particular spot a senseless massacre 


of wood may be, nothing can be more favourable to the 
general cultivation of trees than a market for them. 
Accordingly, I see that this groundless foreboding about 
the Bunaw Company was made above seventy years ago, 
and the country, though not timbered, is foliaged still. " At 
Bunaw, near the north end, is a large salmon fishery, also 
a considerable iron-foundry, which I fear will soon devour the 
beautiful ivoods of the country." So predicted Pennant in 
the year 1769. 

I had so much to see that the only book I could get 
read was the Pathfinder, which I was told was Cooper's 
best novel. It is his worst. The occurrences that marked 
the period when the French, the English, and the original 
natives fought for the soil of North America, supplied 
some excellent materials both for true and for fictitious 
narrative. But they were too few and too simple for 
much of it. They are devoid of the variety and interest 
which history and society alone furnish. Accordingly, 
Cooper, in these stories, is always copying himself. It is 
all one what the title of any of his Indian tales may be, 
for they all produce exactly the same impression, through 
substantially the same scenes arid characters. It is always 
the wily Indian with his rifle that never misses ; the brave, 
honourable, and obstinate English officer ; the gentle and 
heroic woman, braving bullets, tomahawks, long marches, 
and the fiery sieges of the wooden fortress; the noble 
savage, with all the gallantry of chivalry, and all the mag- 
nanimity of Christianity ; the trail through the forest ; the 
canoe and the rapids ; eyes glaring through bushes ; red 
skins and pale skins; hostile tribes, with their skilful 
leaders and odd names, etc. This does well once, but not 
often. Cooper is never original, or in his element, except 
in a ship. His home is on the deep. 


WINTER 1841. 

EDINBURGH, \\th January 1841. I returned yesterday 
from holding the Glasgow Winter Circuit. 

On Monday the 4th, my daughter Elizabeth, Miss Eosa 
Macbean, and I, went, amidst heavy snow and bitter 
cold, to my daughter Mrs. Stewart's at the Manse of 
Erskine. I stayed there all night, and went next morn- 
ing to breakfast at Moore Park, near Govan, where my 
colleague Lord Medwyn was, at his nephew's, Charles 
Forbes, banker. We went from that, in procession, to 

There were 68 cases, of which 65 were tried, the 
other three being put off from absence of witnesses 
or of culprits. There were two cases which occupied 
a whole day from nine one morning till four next 
morning, yet, except one immaterial case which Medwyn 
remained to try to-day (Monday), the whole business 
was leisurely and patiently gone through on Saturday 
night, and I came home (still through snow and frost) 

Medwyn, though more of a monk in matters of religion 
or politics than any man I know, is an excellent, judicious, 
humane, practical judge, with great industry, and a deep 
sense of official duty. Though pious, and acquainted, by 
long administration of the affairs both of the innocent and 

the guilty poor, with the feelings of the lower orders 



when in distress, he agrees with me in the uselessness, if 
not the hurtfulness, of the judge preaching to ever}' 
prisoner who is undergoing sentence. 

We had three capital cases, a murder, a rape, and a 
robbery. But though each was as clearly proved as if the 
commission of the fact had been actually seen, and each 
was a very aggravated case of its kind, such is the pre- 
vailing aversion to capital punishment, that no verdict 
inferring such a punishment could be obtained, and these 
horrid culprits were only transported. It can't be helped 
as yet, perhaps, but this want of sympathy between law 
and the public is very unseemly. The public is wrong. 

We had also a bad case of bigamy, for which, according 
to our usage, we could only send the heartless, perfidious 
villain for one year to jail. This, till lately, was the 
English punishment also, but within these two years they 
have got a statute extending it to seven years transporta- 
tion. I have already renewed my recommendation to 
the Lord Advocate (A. Eutherfurd) to try to pass such an 
Act for Scotland. 


SPRING 1841. 

LANGHOLM, Saturday Night, IQth April 1841. I left 
Edinburgh, on this South Spring Circuit, on the morn- 
ing of Wednesday last, the 7th instant, with Mrs. Cock- 
burn and my niece Graham Maitland. Meadowbank is to 
go to Ayr ; I have been at Jedburgh, and am proceeding 
to Dumfries. 

After being dragged up, with our backs to the glories 
of Edinburgh, to Middleton Moor, we swept down, amid 
the silent peacefulness of the Gala, to Melrose. It was 
about thirty years since I had gone into the Abbey, and I 
was very glad that the necessity of showing it to Graham 
compelled me to see it again. It is greatly improved in 
keeping, being really, at last, decently clean and respect- 
able. But they have allowed a brewery to get up 
within, I should suppose, 100 yards of the principal 
window. John Bowers, too, who has shown it for about 
forty years, and who even makes drawings of it thought 
worthy of being engraved, though, I dare say, a worthy 
man, has two faults, one that somebody has told him to 
eschew plain Scotch, and so he called the ruin " a grand 
liowen" and gave it as his opinion that if the great window 
were to be destroyed it would " create a vast vacuum;" the 
other that, though for anything I know he may be qualified 
for the Presidency of the strictest Temperance Society, he 
has a very whiskyfied visage. Shall we never see these 


Scotch fragments, waited upon by attendants worthy of 
them ? By the respectful, well dressed, reverential old 
man, the nice, tidy, decent, kindly woman, or the gentle 
and intelligent girl. 

We stopped at Kirklands (Richardson's, near Ancrum) 
for about an hour and a half. Beautiful, but there is 
always sadness in the emptiness and silence of a friend's 

I processed into Jedburgh that day at four, and next 
day (the 8th) disposed of the criminal business, and of 
a dull public dinner. I went back to Court for two hours 
next day, to hear two appeals, and this ended the Jethart 
Justice of this spring. The Court was crowded on the 
second day to hear the discussion of an appeal, which, 
divested of all surplusage, came to this point, whether the 
burial, by an owner, in his own ground, of a dead horse 
implied such dereliction that the abstraction of it was not 
theft? The Sheriff- Substitute had decided no theft, 
which I reversed. 

I went, duly, morning and evening, to linger over that 
massive and curious ruin, to which, far more than even to 
its sweet and secluded position, Jedburgh owes its principal 
interest. A glorious pile, nobly placed ; but disgrace- 
fully, most disgracefully, abused. What extenuation can 
even charity suggest for the atrocity of converting one- 
half of the building into the parish church, a proceeding 
by which, for the sake of saving the heritors from the 
expense of a new church, one-half of the old cathedral 
windows have been nearly built up, and the antiquity of 
the place has been interfered with. Letting a Ruther- 
ford of Edgerston get a bright new gimcrack, and richly 
ornamented tomb put over his bones, icithin the old 
building, and a whole aisle of it locked up for his special 
comfort, is a piece of taste of the same kind. The Barons 


of Exchequer had great merit in clearing Arbroath Abbey 
unsparingly of the whole of this ' rubbish," as it was 
called, to the immense indignation of the descendants of 
the intruding defuncts. The apology for the Edgerston 
abomination is, that his titles gave him a right to it, 
which, being interpreted, means that as usual, some of his 
cunning ancestors chose to put this right into his private 
parchments. Then the manse, and a private school, and 
a dyer's work, and many hovels, all permitted to jostle and 
elbow the unprotected majesty of the sacred, mouldering 
edifice. One hundred thousand pounds, or certainly two, 
would clear and purify all the old historical buildings in 
Scotland, and would keep them permanently right, and I 
don't know how the money could be laid better out. But 
I believe the whole four abbeys of Roxburghshire are 
private property. 

Yet, in spite of all its surrounding bad taste and selfish 
disregardedness, how beautiful was this one ! With its 
clear stream, its hanging gardens, and its young foliage. 
This is a very early spring, and many of the planes, and 
more of the poplars, stood out amidst primroses, and a 
whole world of bursting buds, in rich, bright, fresh verdure, 
exhibiting one of the best pictures of the decay of the 
works of art, in combination with the eternal youth 
of the works of nature, and of the holy softness that is 
breathed over the' latter by the pathetic interest of the 

We left Jedburgh about one yesterday, and came up the 
Teviot to Hawick, and from that to Borthwickbrae, where 
we stayed till this forenoon, when we came here by Moss 

The weather has been beautiful, the perfection, indeed, 
of a Scotch spring bright, calm, and very dry, and with 
no foolish prematurity of heat, but on the contrary, with 


a sensible, prospective sharpness, which, though it may 
make us sometimes envy the opening of a more southern 
climate, gives us the comfortable assurance that every leaf 
that is born will live. The whole country has been 
beautiful, the hedges nearly green, every bank sweet with 
primroses and wood anemone; the larches clothed in 
their early, short-lived freshness; all the village gardens 
gay with yellow daffodils and green gooseberry bushes; 
larks revelling in the sky, and mavises in every wood ; the 
fields in that delightful state of weedless cleanliness, that 
shows the exact nature of every agricultural operation, and 
makes one think it would be pleasant to play upon them. 
And then these quiet pastoral hills ! The descent, through 
them, from Moss Paul to this tranquil place, was delight- 
ful. Langholm was lying in its valley, at the junction of 
its waters, under an evening so sunny and so sweet, that 
one can scarcely avoid believing that every poor man 
would be happy if he could only get all his Saturdays to 
close so softly. And what a fact to be able to record of 
any town, that though comfortable and well ordered, it is 
so simple that there is not a single lamp in any part of 
any street within it. It was all pitch dark to-night at 
nine. Except from the shop of "Anderson, Baker and 
Grocer" there was not so much as one candle shining from 
one window. Yet the people were not all asleep. On the 
contrary they were walking about in considerable numbers, 
only as no one could see his, or her neighbour, they seemed 
to feel the necessity of hailing, for I never heard so much 

We explored Langholm Lodge. Nothing. And ill 
kept. But Buccleuch is a many-placed Duke. 

LOCHMABEN, Sunday Night, llth April 1841. I saw 
this morning that there was a gaswork at Langholm, and 


gas burners in the streets. But the work seemed cold, 
and the burners were without glasses, and rusty. 

We meant to have come directly from Langholm to this, 
but, attracted by the beauty of the drive, which I knew, 
and by the hope of English muffins, we went round by 
Longtown, where we breakfasted to-day. 

It is indeed a beautiful drive, one of the most beautiful 
in the Scotch Lowlands. But we were too early in the 
season for it, for it depends much upon its forest trees 
being in leaf, not merely from the charm of foliage, but 
because this valley is the better of having the poverty of 
its hills if they deserve the name hid. But still the 
river, the pines, the evergreens round almost every house, 
the comfortable villages and farms, and above all, the 
general appearance of care, culture, and of an interest in 
the beauty of the district, make that a delightful stage 
at any period of the year. It is the most gentlemanlike 
stage in Scotland. 

And the muffins were excellent. Dinner is the English 
meal, breakfast the Scotch. An Englishman's certainty 
of getting a good dinner, seems to make him indifferent 
about his breakfast, while the substantiality of a Scotch- 
man's breakfast impairs, or at least might impair, his 
interest in his dinner. However, the vicinity of Scotland 
has instructed the people of Longtown, and the whole 
morning set-out was capital. But the peculiar glory 
belonged to the muffins \ things which Scotland never 
.succeeds in imitating. 

We went from Longtown to Ecclefechan, where we 
stayed an hour to let the horses rest. I tried to reach 
Hoddam Castle during this pause, but could not. It 
seemed the only thing worth seeing on that road, except 
a place which had the appearance of being a very nice 
modern house, with its bank, river, and old castle. 



We got here from Ecclefechan about half-past three, 
24 miles from Longtown, the whole way respectable 
in point of agriculture, so far as one who is no farmer 
could judge, and there its merits end. 

Contrary to our expectation, we have found a decent 
hostelry in this wretched carcass of a royal burgh. Yet 
they have their provost, and their town house with a spire, 
and their cross, which last reminds me to mention that 
the people of Melrose have lately repaired the pedestal of 
theirs, and well. Hermand used to say that he always 
detected a royal burgh by its stink. 

I went and saw the castle. It must have been a strong 
place once, but is truly a ruin now. I don't see how any 
fragment of it can survive above ground fifty years longer. 
It has plainly been skinned. The ashlar work has been 
removed both outside and in, for the sake of the materials, 
and nothing left but the interstice, a rude conglomeration 
of mortar and of water-worn stones, in their round, 
natural state. The walls stand by the mere tenacity of 
the lime, without any solidity from the weight or position 
of the stones. It should be all given up to ivy. In its 
best days it must have been the least interesting of all our 
great castles. Nothing can exceed the paltriness of its 
situation, with its flat, bare, rockless, islandless loch, its 
own few wretched trees, and the poor beggarly idiot of a 
burgh that stares at it. 

We go to Dumfries to-morrow morning, and I fancy my 
next note will be at Thornhill, on our way home on Tues- 

THORNHILL, Tuesday Night, ISth April 1841. We left 
Lochrnaben yesterday morning about half-past seven, and 
went to Dumfries. This ended the new part of my road, 
which was from Longtown to Dumfries, There is noth- 


ing to be recorded concerning this last stage, except 
the prospect of Dumfries and its vicinity from a hill 
about half a mile before reaching Torthorwald kirk. It 
was extensive and splendid, the bright sun glittering 
on the roofs of the Dumfries houses, and on the sides 
of countless farms and country mansions, all of which 
had their white sides exposed to the clear morning 

I was in Court yesterday till six in the evening, with 
very common cases, after which we had a grand dinner. 
The draft ale excellent. To-day I was in Court till four, 
when we came here. 

We includes James Craufurd, the Advocate-Depute, 
who has been with us since Jedburgh, but leaves us to- 
morrow for Ayr an honourable, able youth, with more 
of an Irishman in his manner than any Scotsman of my 
present acquaintance. 

I saw nothing whatever of Dumfries this time. Mrs. 
Cockburn brought me the following epitaph from a 
Covenanter's tomb in the churchyard : 

Stop, passenger, read ! Here interred doth lie 
A witness 'gainst poor Scotland's perjury ; 
Whose head, once fixt up on the Bridgeport stood, 
Proclaiming vengeance for her guiltless blood. 

WM. PENTLAND, 1667. 

I was told a singularly pleasing fact about their Lun- 
atic Asylum. A box is occasionally taken in the theatre 
for the patients, who go respectably in coaches and sit 
happily and enjoy the play. A very curious and delight- 
ful fact. 

Mr. Montgomery Bell and Mr. Young, both advocates, 
who are going to Ayr to-morrow with Craufurd, dined 
with us here. Very pleasant. Except myself, the house 


is all snoring, and I proceed to snore too. Dalveen to- 
morrow ! 

Wednesday Morning, \ktli April 1841, THORNHILL. 
Just leaving Mrs. Glendinning and her hotel, which are 
both as worthy as I found them in 1839 of the traveller's 
attention. The day is not what I would have it, being 
showery, but we may possibly have a gleam for the Pass. 
His Grace has built a new and respectable-looking church 
here since I was last at this place, for which, of course, he 
has the curses of the Dissenters, who greatly prefer the 
decline of the Church to the rise of knowledge. I have 
heard it said that there is an extent of wretchedness in 
Thornhill beyond what is usual even in Highland villages. 
But I don't believe it, because it is inconsistent with the 
prevalent air of decided comfort that appears, the clean- 
ness of the streets, the substantiality of the houses, and, 
above all, the wholeness and cleanness of all the windows. 

TROLOSS TOLL-BAR, half -past 10 A.M., lith April 1841. 
I have stopped here for an hour in mercy to the beasts, for 
whom this twenty-mile stage from Thornhill to Crawford 
is far too long. 

I adhere to my former feeling about Drumlaurig, chiefly 
that the hills round it, in so far as they can be considered 
as connected with the house, are stupidly lumpish. But 
in reference to farms, keeping, and attention to the people, 
the whole country exhibits those constant proofs of 
judicious munificence which mark the family of Buccleuch. 
But for the repetition by Burn of himself in every build- 
ing, the farm-houses are beautifully placed, planned, and 
kept, and a great landowner's history cannot be more 
honourably read than in the comfort and obvious improv- 
ingness of the whole district. 


The day is bright, and I have had a walk through the 
Pass, the finest, certainly, in any pastoral region of Scot- 
land. I should like to see it by moonlight. The smooth- 
ness of the velvet hills, which indeed forms the principal 
charm of the scene, is very strange, considering their steep- 
ness and the wateryness of the climate. I should have 
expected the rills to have broken the surface into a 
hundred gullies thousands of years ago. 

But the horses say they are ready for another pull, and 
I am not sorry to get quit of William Anderson's squalling 
bairns. But no wonder they squall, because as soon as we 
came in they were dragged to a pail and got their faces 
washed, and then Mrs. Cockburn gave them oranges, the 
cutting, and skinning, and eating of which, with all the 
consequent competition, and battling for the knife, and 
interference of the mother, only increased the confusion. 

I ought to have mentioned Durisdeer, which, there is 
no reason to doubt, is as shabby inside as most Scotch 
villages, but outside, and seen from a distance, has always 
struck me with its remoteness and solitude. I first saw it 
when I was walking alone from Closeburn school where 
I had been commissioned by my father to go and place 
my brother Montague to Edinburgh, in my nineteenth or 
twentieth year, and have never lost the impression made 
upon me, early in the morning, by the loneliness of that 
still, smokeless, and silent village. It is like a town one 
would expect to meet with in the wilds of Arabia. 

BONALY, Thursday Evening, 15th April 1841. We got 
to Edinburgh last night about seven, after a cloudless day. 
Under such a sky, desolate though it be, the whole region 
from Thornhill to Edinburgh is excellent. To me, its 
desolation is its charm. The wide open hills and moors, 
unbroken by wood, the solitude rather deepened than 


interfered with, by an occasional hut or farm-house ; the 
appearances of life and of human care, in the white 
clothes laid out on the patch of bright grass beside the 
sparkling burn, in the little bit of garden, and in the 
dirty children chasing the mutinous pig ; the admirable 
fields that are reclaimed, wherever they are reclaimable, 
by skill and patient labour, the sound of the mail-coach 
horn surprising the ear in these wastes, and then dying 
away with the rattle of the carriage, and leaving the 
wilds again to their natural, thoughtful stillness ; making 
acquaintance with Clyde in his infancy, and when he has 
scarcely collected himself into a visible river ; the gradual 
descent from the higher district till we get down into 
Lothian, and are absorbed in the metropolis; what is 
wanted to make, this course delightful, except a just 
impression of the interest imparted to it by what is called 
the dreariness of the upland districts ? 

My books were the treatises on Political Philosophy 
written by Brougham and published by the Society for 
the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, but not in his name, 
and Master Humphrey's Clock. His Lordship's expositions 
are able and vigorous, and have the great advantage of 
containing the views and feelings of a practical statesman. 
But on the other hand he ventures, and with great con- 
fidence, as might be expected from the man, into subjects 
such as China and the Antiquities of the Feudal System, of 
which he apparently knows less than ordinary writers, 
and, on the whole, I thought him dull. But who could 
be anything else than dull, when reading him implied not 
reading Dickens ! This man seems likely to do, in novel 
writing, for England, what Scott has done for Scotland. 
He has opened a new era in the art. All his works are 
excellent, but Nell has set this one above them all. What 
a beautiful conception, and how beautifully executed ! I 


doubt if there be anything in nature to justify such a 
strange monster as Quilp, a London Caliban. The Clock 
and the Club seems an awkward apparatus for the author 
to trouble himself with. Scott excepted (who I think as 
yet far Dickens's superior), no man but Shakespeare has 
fancied and wrought out so many original characters. But 
even this is not his chief praise, which is due to the 
warmth and sincerity with which he uniformly encourages 
right principles and good affections, not by vague or grandi- 
loquent declamation, but by adhering to truth and nature. 
I saw a letter from Jeffrey to-day, from London, in which 
he says that Dickens tells him that the sale of these 
weekly numbers of the Clock amounts at present to 
45,000, and is on the rise. Very honourable to him, and 
very good for the public, but it is bad for a man of 
genius to be fettered, though by chains of gold, till he 
perform any weekly task. 

But there is nothing, even in all Dickens, so agreeable 
as the lunatics at the play. 


AUTUMN 1841. 

TYNDRUM, Monday Night, '30th August 1841. I left 
Edinburgh for this North Circuit on Saturday last, the 
28th instant, with Mrs. Cockburn, my daughter Jane, 
my son Frank, and my niece Graham Maitland, in and 
about an open carriage. 

Our first day's journey was by Stirling to Dunira, 
where we stayed all yesterday. And to-day we came on, 
by Lochearn Head and Luib, here. 

Up to this point I have nothing to say beyond what I 
said last autumn. But 1 think it is exactly thirty-two 
years since I last put up at this unchanged inn. I ran 
past it last September on my way to Dalmally, merely 
getting fresh horses, and did not come out of the carriage. 
I have sauntered about to-day, both in the forenoon and 
evening, and renewed my acquaintance with the numerous 
and glorious peaks which distinguish the district. It is a 
magnificent region, most picturesque in the forms of its 
mountains, and sublime in its solitude. It was a fair and 
rather mild, but a calm, cloudy, melancholy day ; the sides 
of the hills moved over by films of vapour, like Ossian's 
ghosts, and the thin clouds through which his heroes 
behold the stars. There was but one moment of sun- 
shine all day, just at the day's close, when a whole world of 
light haze, which had clustered round the summits of the 
mountains, was enflamed into red, and then faded again 
into the dead grey in which it wrapped them for the night, 

Some variety is given to this Highland scene by it* 

NOR TH CIR C UITA UTUMN 1 84 1 - 105 

mining, wretched mining in reference to science, and, I 
suspect, in reference to profit, for the poor human emmets 
have been scratching the same ravine, and apparently only 
on its surface, for above sixty years. But the high 
placed apparatus, the peculiarity of the operation, and the 
detached, colonial, appearance of the workmen, give it all 
a picturesque air. 

The dwellings of the people in Tyndrum proper, that 
is, the holes in which they burrow, are disgraceful, and 
nearly inconceivable, even in Scotland. 

To-morrow for Glencoe ! 

BALLACHULISH, 31st August 1841, Niyht. And when 
will there ever be a more glorious Glencoe ? A mild, calm, 
brilliant day, the sky garnished by gorgeous, huge, white 
clouds, sailing above their shadows, over the mountains, 
and not a drop of rain, though in a very rainy season, not 
even the fear of a drop, till a short, fairy shower imparted 
the only other desirable charm to the upper part of 

We left Tyndrum about nine, and got here about five. 

The whole thirty-six miles are a range of unbroken, and 
in so far as Britain or Ireland are concerned, I suspect, of 
unrivalled mountain magnificence. The great peculiarities 
are the detached position, and the peaked form, of the 
hills. Each is magnificent, both by itself, and as one of a 
collection. The first five miles, including the retrospect, 
after leaving Tyndrum, the six or seven after leaving 
Inveroran, and the whole sixteen from King's House to 
this, not only defy my powers of description, but of fancy- 
ing improvement. Last year Dalmally superseded Avie- 
more, this year Tyndrum has superseded Dalmally, and 
I only hope that the Cuillin Hills, towards which I am 
veering, may supersede Tyndrum. 


What I have been in the society of all this day have 
been mere mountains. There have been no arms of the 
sea, no lakes (for Tulla is but a pool), no buildings, 
modern or in ruins, no woods, no islands, no distant pro- 
spects (except of summits), nothing to interfere with the 
claims of the solitary majestic heights on our thought, 
and I can scarcely conceive the mind that can be insensible 
to their sublimity. 

Yet, with what rapture is a day of admiration, or 
rather of awe, succeeded by the mingling of beauty with 
grandeur, when we emerge from the stern gully of Glencoe, 
to the more open brightness of this delicious Loch Leven. 
Never but twice, once at this very place, when I last saw 
it in 1819, and once, still further back, when from the 
coast of Ayrshire I saw the sun sink behind Arran, have 
I beheld a more glorious sunset than this evening. What 
a blaze over the heights behind Ardgour ! And when 
these heights intercepted the luminary, and showed us 
nothing but darkness on the sides of the hills next us, 
with what a soft vapoury splendour did he stream down 
the valleys, till he at last resigned the whole scene to 
slow-coming, gentle night, and to a moon which did what 
it could in its way, but though about full, and with a 
placid, inland, lake-like sea to work upon, could make 
itself no rival to such a close of such a day. 

I cannot hope ever again to see such 36 miles. 
And I have to remark two facts. One is, another 
example of mining, or rather of quarrying, being pictur- 
esque. The Ballachulish slate quarries are singularly so. 
The other is, that though the faces of the people, and 
particularly of the women and children, would certainly 
thole a little more water, they positively seem to be much 
cleaner than they used to be. I mean the whole way 
from Dunira to this. But the people are tolerably 


educated, and every way well behaved; and if their 
habits could be raised, and the climate would sometimes 
make it possible for their clothes or skins to be a week 
dry, their comfort in dirt would soon cease. So long, 
however, as they are worse housed than their swine, 
nothing above the habits of swine can be expected. 

I see that Anderson in his generally very sensible 
Guide to the Highlands and Islands, gives it as his 
opinion that " the stage of 18 miles to King's House 
(from Tyndrum) is bleak and sterile." What the devil 
would he be at 1 Does he want wheat-fields, and larch 
weeds. His sole praise is to Loch Tulla, the only paltry 
part of the scenery, which he calls " picturesque." And 
the road over the Black Mount, which exhibits the most 
glorious mountain prospects, and which nature plainly 
compelled the road to be taken over in order that these 
might be seen, is described as crossing " a tedious, high, 
and tiresome hill, called the Black Mount." But he 
probably saw it all on a bad day, when his knapsack was 
fretting his back, and his shoe his toe, and his inward 
man longing for the King's House whisky. 

We have found this inn on the south side of the water 
decently comfortable, better, so far as I could judge from 
merely calling, than the one at the north side. 

But the north one was still kept by Angus Cameron, 
who had it when I passed three days under his roof in 
1819, the most perfectly beautiful days my memory can 
recall. Even this evening it has been chiefly through the 
eyes of those days that I have been able to see this 
paradise of Scotch sea scenes. 

Angus was the best piper in his day, and, when only 
eighteen, gained the competition prize at Edinburgh. 
But he had the misfortune to marry what was called " a 
leddy," a very good wife, I hope, but who thought the 


pipes below her dignity, and so fiercely discouraged them, 
that at last she has compelled her spouse totally to 
abandon the source of all his glory. On one occasion, 
when he was delighting a crowd of admirers, and would 
not take a gentle hint, she stepped forward with a knife 
and stabbed the bag. 

Though giving great praise to old rivals, and to young 
aspirants, he bemoaned the general decline of the art, for he 
said that there was not now one single " real piper a man 
who made the pipe his business," in the whole of Appin. 
I suggested that it was probably owing to the want of 
county militia regiments, for the Highland colonels used 
to take their pipers with them. But he eschewed this, 
saying that we had plenty pipers long before the militia 
was heard of. I then suggested the want of training. 
"Ay! there's a deal in that, for it does tak edication! 
a deal o' edication." But then, why were they "no 
edicated " ? So he hit it on the very head, by saying it 
was the decline of chieftains, and their castles and gather- 
ings. "Yes," said I, "few of them live at home now." 
" At hame ! ou, they 're a' deed ! an' they 're a' puir ! an' 
they 're a' English !" 

His complimentary reasons for our sitting down in his 
house were very Highland. "There's a chyre for you, 
mem, for ye 're heavy, an' no' able to stan' like ither folk." 
"An' here's a chyre for you, mem, for ye 're young an' 
tender ! " " An' here 's a chyre for ye, ma Lord, for your 
Lordship and me 's gettin' doon the hill noo." We thought 
there was neither weight, nor weakness, nor age among us. 

INVEKMORISTON INN, 1st September 1841. We came 
here from Ballachulish, by Fort William, yesterday, through 
a torrent of uninterrupted rain. It was dull dull and 
horrible ; made worse, I have no doubt, from the way not 


being new to me. But we were very merry, and had a 
sumptuous repast of oatcakes, eggs, and whisky, at Letter- 
tinlay, the worst shelter for poor travellers I have ever 
been in. But I slept soundly in it in 1819. 

There is not much (for Scotland) in the space between 
Linnhe Loch and Loch Ness. But all of these are 
beautiful, and the rain and the mist just disclosed enough 
of them to let us know what we were losing. 

I was surprised by seeing that brutal obelisk still stand- 
ing near Invergarry Castle, which the late Glengarry 
erected about 1812 to commemorate what his inscription 
styles "the swift course of feudal justice" which means the 
murder by one of his ancestors of seven men. It was 
defaced for many years by passengers and the people, and 
when I saw it, with Thomas Telford, engineer, very soon 
after its, first erection, he could scarcely keep his hand 
off it. But it was protected by a lodge. 1 

The great Highland estate of Glengarry, consisting of a 
magnificent country, was sold last year to Lord Ward, by 
the son of him of the obelisk, to pay his father's debts ; 
and this son, the existing Glengarry, a respectable young 
man, I am told, is trying what he can do in Australia. 
His father was famous in his day, and by flattery and the 
affectation of Highland usages, had the good fortune to 

1 [The inscription is given at length in a curious book called the Jew 
Exile, published in 1828, thus : " As a memorial of the ample and sum- 
mary vengeance which, in the swift course of feudal justice (inflicted by 
the Lords M'Donald and Aross), overtook the foul murder of the Keppoch 
family, a branch of the powerful and illustrious clan of which his Lordship 
was the chief. This monument is erected by Col. M'Donald of Glen- 
garry xvii. Mac-Mhic-Alaister, his successor and representative, in the 
year of our Lord 1812. 

"The heads of these seven murderers were presented at the feet of the 
noble chief, in Glengarry Castle, after having been washed in this spring, 
and ever since that event, which took place early in the sixteenth century, 
it has been called by the name of Tobernan Keann-The well of the heads." 


get Sir Walter Scott to immortalise him in several of his 
works, as a fine specimen of the chieftain. But none 
knew better than Scott that he was a paltry and odious 
fellow, with all the vices of the bad chieftain and none of 
the virtues of the good one ; with the selfishness, cruelty , 
fraud, arrogant pretension and base meanness of the one, 
without the fidelity to superiors, and the generosity to 
vassals, the hospitality, or the courage of the other. 

Scott used to account for his enduring these sort of 
people, by saying that they were " savage and picturesque, 
both of which is in my way." 

The only fearlessness he ever displayed was in an act of 
madness which Telford (the engineer) and I saw, and to 
which, as to his duel, he was driven by insolent fury. A 
boat, in which he wished to cross Loch Oich, or Loch 
Lochy, left the shore without him, and a laugh showed 
that it had done so on purpose to avoid him, on which he 
plunged, with the pony he was on, into the water, to 
swim after it. The people pretended not to see, anrl 
rowed as hard as they decently could. Telford and 
others were in ecstasy with the hope that they were at 
last to be relieved of him. And certainly he ought to 
have been drowned. But after being carried very nearly 
across (a mile I should suppose), by the vigour of a 
creature more meritorious than its rider, he got on board, 
and was praised for what it had done. 

A rainy day brings out the full measure of the wretched- 
ness of ill-housed poverty. We saw mud-hovels to-day, 
and beings with the outward forms of humanity within 
them, which I suspect the Esquimaux would shudder at. 
And this, as usual, close beside the great man's gate. We 
shall see what the English purses, and the English com- 
fort, of the southern supplanters of our banished, beggarly, 
but proud, lairds will do. 


SHIEL HOUSE, 2d September lS4I,Nif!ht. We left Inver- 
moriston this morning, and got here in the evening. The 
stages are Torgyle 8 miles, Cluany 16, Shiel House 12. 
As we have been told that there are no post-horses kept 
along our intended route, we ordered a pair from Inverness 
to Invermoriston, and we keep these till we reach Inver- 
ness. There are none kept indeed after leaving Fort 
William. And there is not even an inn at Fort Augustus. 
The steamer carries all the world past. Nor, so far, is 
there a habitable inn between Fort William and this. 
Letterfmlay I have mentioned. The one at Invermoris- 
ton ought to be good. If kept by an Englishman, Mrs. 
Grlendinning, its position, at the outlet of Glenmoriston, 
and within 28 miles of Inverness, would secure its success, 
even without the aid of its charming scenery. As it is, it 
is shameful. But it is not a bad specimen of what is 
called a good Scotch country inn, because, though they 
knew of our coming, and had seen it pouring all day, they 
had neither fire nor food prepared, a tea tray was receiv- 
ing the rain from the skylight of what was given me to 
dress in; and the landlord, though married only last week, 
was drunk. Torgyle, Cluany, and Shiel House are mere 
drovers' quarters, and bad quarters for the poorest 
drovers ; but very civil with good oatcakes, some 
tolerable Glasgow "loaf bread/' as they call it, excellent 
eggs, cool water, and passable whisky; bad wet peats, 
but good moss timber, and some English coal. Animal 
food they seem scarcely to know ; and when they catch a 
lord even a poor paper lord they charge him (most 
properly) higher than he would be charged in the Clarendon 
Hotel. But these hostels have only whetted our mirth, 
which is excessive. 

The whole way from Invermoriston till we shall reach 
Inverness, has been, and will be, entirely new to me. 


And so far it is admirable. I have been told to go and 
see Glenmoriston almost all my life, and now that I have 
seen it, I am satisfied that I have never got this advice 
too strongly. And I say so, though I grieve to add, that 
in point of weather this day was worse than yesterday. 
But I sat out the whole of both days, and, thanks to 
caoutchouc, so perfectly dry that I did not require to 
shift an article on getting housed for the night. 

For our first hour the rain checked itself in order to 
let us see the lower part of the glen in peace. I cannot 
pay these four wooded miles, where the softness of the 
birch contrasts so naturally with the savage rocky stream 
a higher compliment than by saying that they reminded 
me of some parts of the unrivalled Findhorn, by far 
the finest of British torrents. All the rivers here are 
swollen at present, and Moriston was in his fiercest 

As the valley opened and rose, its masses of wood dis- 
appeared, though it was long adhered to by sprinklings of 
fine birch and of noble, old, branchy Scotch fir; till at 
last it was a composition of mountain and of water alone. 
And it would not be easy to find better specimens of either. 
The character of valley is never lost, and indeed throughout 
it is a glen so narrow, that everything within it even to 
near the tops of the countless and almost perpendicular 
cascades that tear up and whiten the sides of the hills, 
is very distinctly visible. There is no cultivation, singu- 
larly few inhabitants, not one single seat, scarcely above 
two farm-houses, and these both towards the lower end, 
not a village, nothing but mountain and water. And I 
saw enough to satisfy me that the mountains had every- 
thing that rock, prccipitousness, and peaked summits 
could give them. Seen in a fine day it must be a noble 
range. I have been particularly struck with the great 


profusion of peaked knolls and hills. That blockhead 
Anderson (whom I notice only because he is in fashion as 
a guide) first says that they are " like so many sugar 
loaves," and then explains that " the slope is like the 
side of a tent,'' these two things being quite dissimilar. 
The truth is, that they are not so much peaked as mam- 
malated. It is at this end at least, a very pappy glen. 
Loch Cluany, though not to be named among even our 
fifth-rate lakes, is beautiful, chiefly from its steep sides. 
Yet this is the very thing that Anderson objects to. 
" The mountain on the south side rises rather abruptly from 
the water," ass ! Except as to miles I 'm done with him. 
The sky is now clear, and the moon beautiful, as the 
bright surface of Loch Duich and the dark sides of the 
hills opposite this caravansera attest. I go to bed pray- 
ing, but trembling, for the day to-morrow. I wish I had 
the price of all the superfluous water I have seen to-day, 
if it were properly distributed and sold in New South 

SHIEL HOUSE, 3d September 1841, Morning. The day 
does not promise to be decidedly bad. Blue sky visible, 
and all the hill-tops. A delightful place this ; touching 
Loch Duich, all along ridged with precipitous hills, over 
which the rainbows seem to take a pleasure in smiling. 
That dog Anderson has excited my wrath again this 
morning, by saying, which I had not observed before, 
that " from the east end of Loch Cluany to about four 
miles beyond the inn, the glen is pretty level, and barren 
ivithout grandeur" There is not half a mile level in the 
whole 36 miles; and except that there are no grapes or 
even wheat, there is not an inch of barrenness in them. 
Is there any barrenness of torrent or rock ; and for what 
else did God toss the earth about so ? 


In the garden of the only other house here (which was 
formerly the inn) I see about sixteen sweet chestnuts and 
walnuts, the former about thirty years old and very healthy, 
and some more chestnuts at the opposite side of the house. 
It is a pity that the sensible man, whoever he was, who 
planted these once not uncommon trees, in this sea-beach 
place, had not set them in larger masses. They would 
have kept possession of all the ravines, and all the meadows 
they had got. 

KYLE EHEA, SKYE, same day, i.e. 3d September 1841, 
2 P.M. Here we are in Skye, as proud as Columbus when 
he first landed in America. 

The Laird of Ratichan, who lives within a mile of our 
last night's quarters, sent us a pair of horses to help us up 
his hill, which is as long a steep pull as I have seen, 
except perhaps on Corryarick, I should suppose, but it is 
a mere conjecture, that it must rise from the level of Loch 
Duich (the sea) at least as high as Arthur Seat, in three 
miles. But the Laird's beasts, not understanding why they 
should be set to pull up a Saxon coach, had the skill to keep 
their rope traces almost always slack, a propensity which 
the whip of the Saxon driver behind them only increased. 

There is a good view of Loch Duich and its hills (which 
rise " rather abruptly ") from the top. It is the scene of 
this region; but, though very good, it is surpassed by 
hundreds of other Scotch firths. The road throughout 
the rest of the twelve miles to the ferry on what we now 
call the mainland opposite this, insinuates itself very skil- 
fully through the same succession of hills that distinguished 
yesterday ; but they get gradually lower and more open, 
till near the ferry they spread themselves out in good 
open south country pasture. 

This ferry, though boasted as the best in Skye, is detest- 


able, at least for carriages, and as ill-conducted as possible. 
But what can a ferry be for carriages, where ours is only 
the third that has passed this year, and the object of the 
landlord of the ferry-house on each side is to detain 
instead of advancing the passenger, and where, when at 
last it is seen that they can carry it on no longer, the only 
machinery for putting the vehicle on board consists of 
dozens of lazy and very awkward Highlanders, all scolding 
in Erse, who almost lift it and throw it into the groaning 

BROADFORD, SKYE, 3d September 1841, Night. The 
first six or so of the twelve miles to this are a con- 
tinuance of the same striking mountain scenery. There 
is a still worse ascent immediately after leaving this side 
of the ferry. It is a worse road, rises as high, or nearly 
so, and is in one place steeper, altogether more formidable. 
We hired two leaders for it, and without them, our making 
it out would have been very doubtful. So far as we have 
gone, these two hills and the ascent up Glencoe (which how- 
ever we came down) are the only three places where there 
can be any pretence for putting more than two horses to 
a light chariot with six people, besides the driver, and all 
their indispensable luggage. 

The last six miles next this open and descend into a 
commonplace pastoral country. But (observe this but) 
there is from that descent a good view of the landlocked 
sea ending with this Bay of Broadford, and bounded on 
all sides, except round its upper end, with good stern 
hills. This (the upper) end or head of the bay, is flat 
and mean. But all below is beautiful. Perfectly treeless, 
hard looking, and bare, but still capable of all the beauty 
that a bright sun can bestow on calm water, and on silent 
massive hills. The day has proved excellent. 


I thought Broadford had been a town, not a toon, but 
a real town or respectable village. But I find that it con- 
sists of three houses, the inn, the school, and " the shop," 
near which there are a dozen or two of hovels, not standing 
together, however, so as to form even a toon, but scattered 
at distances, and all so like the black moss they stand on 
that till we came up to the holes which are termed the 
doors, and saw the ragged human rabbits looking out of 
the warren, we did not take them to be houses. 

As soon as we arrived, I called on Mr. Mackinnon of 
(or on) Corry, who lives half a mile from the inn, and with 
whom I had been in correspondence about getting to 
Coruisk, etc. He had expected the whole party to have 
gone and taken up their quarters at his house, but the 
word "you" used in his letters, and " /" by me in mine, 
produced a misunderstanding which gave him only me 
individually, and this only to dinner. However, the 
badness of this inn, which is only not just so bad as Slriel 
House, and therefore might have had so much the less fun, 
joined to Corry hospitality, have made us resolve to be his 
guests from and after to-morrow morning. 

Meanwhile I go to bed at the inn, anxious about 
to-morrow, and much moved for a poor cat, which has been 
mewing incessantly in some undiscoverable recess of the 
parlour here, but which we have satisfied the people has 
been lately built up under the floor. If so, they say it 
must have been there two days. I have vowed to have it 
out to-morrow. 

CORRY, near Bradford, Sunday, 5th September 1841, 
Night. Well ! I have seen the Spar Cave, part of the 
Cuillin Hills, and Coruisk, the two last the objects of all 
this travel. 

But let me proceed regularly. The cat gave up mewing 

NO A' TH CIR C UITA UTUAIN 1 84 1 . 117 

as soon as we gave up talking or moving, and was as 
silent as we were all night. But no sooner did I begin to 
stir yesterday at six in the morning than it renewed its 
supplications, though in a much weaker voice. I broke up 
the skirting of the floor, but this would not do, and the 
carpenter who was repairing the house had not arrived. 
So I was obliged to leave it a little longer in durance, but 
left proper injunctions. On coming home in the evening 
I learned that the carpenter had never come, and that the 
mason was averse to touch wood. The general opinion of 
the household was, that though no doubt it was the best 
cat in the house, it should be left to die, because why 
did it go ml and could they be expected to lift the 
carpet which had been just nailed down. The cook alone 
was tender-hearted, and talked of the " puir cratur," and 
" how would we like to want our own meals," and " what 
a smell it would make in the room if it died," and besides 
they should consider "the feelings of the leddy." The 
smell was the only thing that seemed to make any impres- 
sion. But still, had it not been for Mrs. Cockburn and 
our servant Eobert, death by starvation would have been 
its fate. They got a bit of the precious carpet removed 
and a board raised, when out jumped pussy, and made the 
best of its way from that floor, and I find to-day that it is 
quite well after its three days' abstinence. 

Now for Coruisk. And as it, and the way of getting 
at it, are little known, let me be particular. Corry is the 
best guide to it in the world, and I did as he directed, for 
he could not go himself. 

Frank and I breakfasted yesterday morning a little after 
six, and left this in our own carriage at seven, with cloaks 
and a basket of provisions, and drove about five miles, in 
a south-westerly direction, past the old kirk of Strath, 
and till the road stopper! at the sea. It is a good road, and, 


it is impossible for a person who sets off upon it, and goes 
on, to avoid reaching the sea. It is necessary to have a 
boat bespoke there, for there is no village, and no proper 
boat can be got upon chance. The minister, who lives 
(but not in the manse, for there is none) close by, can 
always provide one if properly applied to, but a better 
way is to engage a boat and four men from Broadford, and 
to cart the boat across the five miles if necessary. Corry 
did this for me, so I found my bark and my crew waiting 
for me. I sent back the carriage, with directions to return 
to the same place at six in the evening. 

So we got on board, and set off from that place (I never 
heard its name), which is at the head of Loch Slapin. 
It was a strong, clumsy fishing-boat, with no mast, sail, or 
rudder. The crew consisted of three men and a boy only 
one of whom spoke English. The boy rowed as well as 
any of the men, and they were all civil and merry. 

The day was perfect and the sea like glass. They said 
that the distance to be rowed was 16 miles going and 
16 coming; but I should think 14 nearer the truth. 
The course lay down Loch Slapin and up Loch Scavaig, 
these two being adjoining lochs, separated by one pro- 

We coasted down along the west side of Slapin, a space 
of about seven miles, rarely 100 yards, and often not so 
many feet, from the shore, over water so clear that we 
often fancied we saw the monsters of the deep. The hills 
bounding the loch are not striking, either in their height or 
forms. But the more distant eminences, blended as they 
were, were beautiful, and would have been so even with- 
out the aid of the islands, which, however, very powerfully 
contributed to the composition of the scene. But in truth 
it was difficult to withdraw one's eyes from the objects 
that were close at hand. The whole shore along which 


we were passing is lined by a perpendicular, though not 
an absolutely continuous wall of rock, into which the sea 
has eaten by washing off the soil till it has formed a 
barrier against its own further encroachments. It was 
low tide, yet the water was deep enough for the boat to 
sail close up to the rock, so that there is no beach. With- 
out quarrying and smoothing no bathing-machine could 
work on all the seven miles along the west side of Slapin, 
except at one place near the upper end. The line of rock 
varies in its height, from 20 to apparently 200 feet. The 
average, I should think, must be about 100 feet. The 
rock is all laid in horizontal laminae, and is separated 
vertically into detached pieces at almost every 50 or 100 
feet or oftener, so that it is not an unbroken wall, but a 
long series of detached and horizontally laminated masses, 
cut into all sorts of forms, from great solid lumps to tall 
pillars, and worn into all sorts of curious appearances. The 
fissures between the cliffs are often cleared out entirely so as 
to leave no roof, but in other places a roof is often preserved, 
or in other words a cave is formed, and into every crevice 
the fresh sea entered and laved the pebbly bottom and the 
clean sides. Even in the interstices and on the tops of the 
fantastic rock, such is the general severity of the storm 
or the want of soil, that there is scarcely any vegetation, 
in so much that the rowers stopped to point out a crack 
in which a single ash had attempted to root itself, for which 
it is now bleached nearly white. It is all strangely worn 
rock, which, though at last the employment becomes idle, 
it is impossible to give up observing and wondering at. 1 

We passed close by the Spar Cave, which I did not 

know we were to do, and so yielded to the rowers, who 

seemed to think it ominous that any stranger should pass 

their wonder without entering. Not thinking of this as 

i Journals vol. i. 299. 


a part of the day's work, we had brought no lights, and 
had to send for candles to a house not far off, but which 
I never saw. We wasted an hour on this piece of non- 
sense. It is not worth describing ; even MacCulloch, who 
saw it when its stalactites were unbroken, thought it in- 
significant. Now that not one remains, the whole charm, 
which was in its sparriness, is gone, for in its mere dimen- 
sions it is nothing. There is no dirt in it, I mean no 
mud, but it is very wet, a pool of about thirty feet has to 
be crossed on a Celt's back, a steep and slippery inclined 
plane of about 40 feet has to be scrambled up on one 
side, and down on another, a feat requiring skill even from 
the guide ; and after all this splashing and straining, and 
wetting of hands and feet, there is nothing whatever, 
absolutely nothing, to be seen. The only way to deal with 
it would be to shut it up for a century or two, and let 
the dropping reconstruct the white figures, which alone 
can ever give it any interest. At present the only reward 
for going in consists in the pleasure of getting out. And 
indeed I suspect that even in its best days, the outer- 
entrance was always the finest part of the show. It con- 
sists of a fissure between two rocks, which, were it not 
open to the sky, would have made a cave worth entering. 
I paced it as well as I could, and it seemed to me to be 
about 500 or 600 feet in from the sea, that is, in depth: 
about 40 wide, and about 150 or 200 high; each side 
being of solid rock, and either quite perpendicular or 
leaning inward, and every tide brightens its sea-weed and 
channelly floor. 

But my thoughts were of Coruisk, which is pronounced 
here Corui.s7ik. So we proceeded and were now near the 
point which we had to double in order to get into Scavaig. 

Ever since we reached Kyle Khea, we had been excited 
by glimpses of the summits of Cuchullin, and were so in 


Slapin this very morning. At last, after rounding that 
point, at the distance of about seven or eight miles, across 
a sheet of calm bright water, the Cuillin Hills stood before 
us ! seen from their bases to their tops some of their 
pinnacles veiled in thin vapour, but most of them in the 
light of a brilliant meridian sun. I gazed in admiration, 
and could not for a long time withdraw myself from the 
contemplation of that singular assemblage of mountainous 

The Cuillin range extends to eight or ten miles, but the 
portion before me was not probably above from two to 
three. But I am told it is the best portion, and may 
safely be taken for the whole. I had two full hours to 
observe them during our approach, which lay up and across 
Scavaig ; but indeed, their features and characters may be 
apprehended in a very few minutes. Black, steep, hard, 
and splintered, they seem to stand amphitheatrically, and 
rising from the very level of the sea, their irony and 
shivered tops stream up to the height, MacCulloch says, of 
3000 feet (but I suspect that this is too much), and are 
fixed in every variety of peak, and precipice, and ridge, 
and pillar, made more curiously picturesque by forms so 
fantastic, that were it not for their position and their 
obvious hardness, it might almost be supposed that they 
were artificial. 

There was a considerable shower as we advanced, and 
the whole scene was wrapped up. I began to fear, but it 
cleared away in a quarter of an hour, and confidence 
returned with the sun. 

On looking round, I found new ground for admiration. 
Loch Scavaig, in the middle of which we were, I saw to be 
one of the finest sea bays I had ever beheld. The eastern 
side is bounded by a hill, which till it actually reaches the 
Cuillin, is low and pastoral, and the grass (such as it is) 


comes down to the shore, the belt of rock I have spoken 
of ceasing at the point of Slapin. But on the opposite 
or western side, the whole shore was lined with the same 
stern barrier as Slapin, above which the mountains rose 
high, and hard, and sharp, till they too fell into the Cuillin 
range. Towards the north end the loch is enclosed by 
these Cuillin mountains. The southern, and far wider end, 
is locked in by several islands; of which Eigg, Rum, and 
Soa are the largest, and these, and the projecting pro- 
montories of the mainland of Skye, group most beautifully. 
I was particularly struck with Rum, which I don't recollect 
having heard praised for its shapes. But it is very striking, 
both in itself, and as a part of the general landscape. It 
is not equal, or nearly equal, to Arran, either in height or 
in form ; but it is the only island I have yet seen that 
can justly remind us of that one. The beauty that shone 
over all these objects was the beauty of mere light and 
form : for there was little visible vegetation, not one 
tree, no verdure, no apparent house, no ruin, no sound. 
But the positions and the forms of the objects were admir- 
able, and a depth of interest was impressed upon the whole 
circle around me, by its universal hardness and sterility t 
which no softening could have increased. 

So we went on, till, almost palpitating with anxiety, 
we were landed on a rock at the head of the loch. I found 
an oar lying in some heather, and on looking round saw 
a boat seemingly deserted, on the beach, and eight barrels 
at a little distance. These, I learned, were the still un- 
gathered store of a poor fisherman, who was drowned three 
days before, in trying to cross the stream which flows out 
of Coruisk, when it was in flood. 

The level of Coruisk is not, I should suppose, more 
than from 30 to 50 feet above that of the sea; and the 
fresh loch is not above half a mile from the salt one. 


The space between them requires scrambling, for it is 
rocky and boggy. I bade the boatmen remain with the 
boat, to rest and refresh themselves, and went forward, 
and in a few minutes stood on the side of Coruisk. 

I was foolish enough, considering what I knew, to feel 
a moment's disappointment at the smallness of the cupful 
of water. But it was only for a moment. And then I 
stood entranced by the scene before me. Subsequent 
examination and reflection were necessary for the details, 
but its general character was understood and felt at once. 
The sunless darkness of the water, the precipitousness of 
the two sides and of the upper end, the hardness of their 
material, consisting almost entirely of large plates of 
smooth rock, from which all turf, if there ever was any, 
has been torn by the torrents; the dark pinnacles, the 
silence, deepened rather than diminished by the sound of a 
solitary stream, above all, the solitude, inspired a feel- 
ing of awe rather than of solemnity. No mind can resist 
this impression. Every prospect and every object is 
excluded, except what are held within that short and 
narrow valley; and within that there is nothing except 
the little loch, towered over by.^the high and grisly forms 
of these storm-defying and man-despising mountains. 

On withdrawing one's mind from the passive impression 
of this singular piece of savage wildness, and looking to 
particulars, I could not help being certain that the lake 
was not three miles long, which some state it to be, and 
I doubt if it reach even to two. MacCulloch's test, of 
the time he took to walk round it is quite fallacious, 
because the walking strip, extending to about 100 yards 
in breadth, between the water and the hills, is covered 
with large rocks and bits of bog, and getting over these 
(for it is not walking) is difficult and precarious. How- 
ever, he may be right, for the largeness of the hills makes 


the water seem smaller. Besides two or three specks 
just showing themselves above the water, there are three 
islands, seemingly about a quarter of an acre in size, all 
low and covered with shrubs, heather, or stunted grass. 
The lake lies from north-west to south-east, which I 
mention because MacCulloch's description is somewhat 
confused by his calling its direction from east to west. 
Each of the hills seems to consist of one stone. They are 
not rocky mountains, but mountainous rocks. Hence the 
sharpness into which they have been cut, and hence the 
large plates, or rather fields, of smooth stone which the 
two sides exhibit. I need scarcely say that there is no 
path, no grazing, no human symptom. When it rains the 
sides must stream with water. But the surfaces are so 
steep that it soon runs off, and when I was there, there 
was not a rill either to be heard or seen; except one, which 
ran down an open grassy slope on the east side of the 
lake towards the lower end. The hills enclosing the upper 
end may, on being examined, be found to be not at all 
semicircular, or to have any approach to that form, but 
as seen either from the sea or Coruisk, they seemed to be 
curved inwards, and part of the seclusion of the place 
appeared to be owing to their doing so. 1 

Some things are stated which misled me, because they 
are not correct. It is not the fact that the loch is set in a 
frame of actually perpendicular rock, like a wall, and that 
hence it has never been approached by even a shepherd's 
foot except from the sea. The hills may, in one sense, be 
called walls, and they are very steep. But they are not 
perpendicular, and have no wall-like appearance. They are 
not steeper than the turfy hills forming the left bank of 
the River Awe, on which I saw sheep browsing very com- 
fortably last September. It is the hardness, not their 
steepness that makes the access difficult. Yet, hard though 
i Journals, vol. i. 303. 


they be, I thought 1 saw places where even I could have 
found my way out ; and Mackinnon assures me that the 
shepherds find their way in by the hills, whenever it is 
necessary. At the open and grassy slope a horseman 
might trot both up and down, at least in so far as steep- 
ness is concerned. 

Then it is said that there is no vegetable life. Scott 
won't admit either mosses or heathbells. This may be fair 
enough in a fancy piece, but it is bad in a portrait. There 
is abundance both of mosses and of heather. I picked up 
about a dozen of the ordinary wild-flowers of Scotch hills 
and valleys. The sweet gale or bog myrtle is in profusion ; 
MacCulloch makes the islands shine "with the brightness of 
emeralds." This, to be sure, is on the flat, but even on the 
" solid wall," as MacCulloch calls the steep hills, there are 
thousands of fissures, and generally where there is a 
fissure there is accumulated rubbish, and where this is 
there will be vegetable life, and so there is here. There 
are also hollows on the islands. 

These exaggerations are unnecessary for this place; 
enough of stern sterility and of calm defiance remains. 

After lingering over the solitude for above an hour, it 
being now three, and other four hours rowing before us, 
I withdrew from a scene which far less than an hour was 
sufficient to comprehend, and which once comprehended, 
there was no danger of forgetting. So turning backwards 
and descending, a few steps, what had given me Coruisk, 
deprived me of it suddenly and utterly, and we pro- 
ceeded, homeward bound. 

As our bark receded from the shore, the Cuillins stood 
out again, and the increased brilliancy of the sun cast a 
thousand lights over Scavaig, and over all its associated 
islands, and promontories, and bays. The eastern side of 
everything was dark, while the opposite sides shone more 


intensely in front of the evening sun. One horn of the 
curved Cuillins, though quite clear, seemed almost black, 
while the opposite horn was blazing. The dark side of 
Rum was towards me, but its outlines, like all the other 
shaded summits, were made distinct by the glow behind 
them. And as far as the eye could reach, bright spots, 
especially light-touched rocks, attracted it ; and almost the 
whole line of wall by which the eastern shores of every- 
thing but Scavaig were barriered was gleaming in the 
distance. It was a glorious scene. 

I should feel it as a sort of sacrilege to prefer, or even 
to compare anything to the Firth of Clyde. But one 
great difference between the sources of its beauty and 
that of Scavaig was forcibly impressed upon me. How 
much does Clyde owe to human association, to culture, to 
seats, to villages, to towns, to vessels ! The peculiarity of 
the interest in Scavaig arose from the total absence of all 
human interference. The scene would have been the same 
had man not existed. 

As we sailed close by the shore of Scavaig and near 
the point of Slapin, the rowers stopped to point out five 
huts. It was there, they said, that the drowned fisherman 
had lived, and where his remains were lying, preparatory 
to their being interred in a burying-place (not a church- 
yard) about two miles off, next day. I thought of Steenie, 
and felt as if I were ashamed of enjoying an evening 
which was probably closing so bitterly over these poor 

On coasting along Slapin again we found the many 
herds of nice, clean, free goats we had shouted to in the 
morning almost all in the same nooks. And I was even 
more satisfied than before, that if the people would but 
examine the innumerable openings in that line of rock, 
instead of one spar cave, they would probably find several, 


We landed at half-past six, and found the carriage 

The only error of this day's work, but it was a material 
one, consisted in my mode of returning. I ought to have 
been directed to go from Coruisk up Glen Sligachan, and 
to have slept at Sligachan, 9 miles from Coruisk and 
16 from Broadford. This could have been done either 
by walking the nine miles, or by getting a pony sent to a 
place occupied by a Mr. Macmillan, near Coruisk, and the 
carriage should have met me at Sligachan. The walk or 
ride down the glen would have shown me the whole of the 
Cuillins. Mackinnon (called Corry here) says he did not 
advise this, because after what I did see, the rest is 
immaterial. But he was clearly wrong. 

Another mistake was in not letting me know till this 
forenoon, when it was near church-time, that there was a 
view from the high, but very accessible hill hard by, of 
almost all Skye. A "red Lord," as it seems the Skye 
Erse calls the Justiciary Judges, would not abstain from 
church in so small and noticing a place, but I was told I 
could ascend after it came out; and when it did come 
out being three I had no time. So I lost my view. 

We Saxons went in to the English part of the service, 
which closed with Gaelic prayer and psalmody. I never 
saw a more respectable country congregation. There were 
about 350 present, all except Corry's party in the humblest 
rank. The men had almost all strong blue fishermen's 
jackets. The women, with only one exception, so far as I 
could observe, had all on red tartan cloaks or shawls and 
clean mutches of snowy whiteness, with borders of many 
plies. I can't comprehend how such purity can come out 
of such smoky hovels. There was not one child or very 
young person. This was perhaps the reason that there 
was no beauty. The reverse. One old woman, however, 


reminded me of the late Mrs. Murray of Henderland. 
Some of them had walked eight miles, and some sailed 

The cat is well. 

JEAN TOWN, KOSS-SHIRE, Qth September 1841, Monday 
Night. We left our kind entertainer at Cony this 
morning. He was coming here on business, and Frank 
went with him in his yawl. 

Our route was to Kyle Akin, nine miles, where we 
crossed again into the mainland of Scotland. 

The inn at this Kyle seems excellent, and the Kyle 
itself is beautiful. I mean its position, placed as it is at 
the junction of Loch Carron and Loch Alsh, and not far 
from the opening into Loch Alsh of Loch Duich ; made 
respectable by the old fragment of Castle Muel or Maoil, 
and gay by fishing-boats. It was intended, it seems, to 
have been a small metropolis, but like other over-grand 
building plans, has stuck at about a dozen of two-storied 
houses. The ferry is ill provided with a boat and machinery 
for carriages, but hands, and the hope of whisky, did the 
business, though certainly their knocks and jolts, if 
survived, are the coachmaker's triumph. 

We said farewell to Skye from one of the heights on 
this side. We had seen little of it, but quite enough to 
give us an idea of the whole. The sun, if the wind keeps 
quiet, makes anything pleasing. We have seen this island 
rose coloured. But its prevailing state is marked by 
features that cannot be mistaken. The cold, cheerless 
rocks, the treeless desolation, the perpetual tendency of 
the clouds to rest, as if it was their home, on the tops of 
the hills, the great corries into which the weather has 
hollowed one side of most of the mountains, the utter want 
of natural verdure, the grey, benty colour of the always 


drenched pasture, the absence of villages and of all 
human appearance, these things mark Skye as the asylum 
of dreariness. The value of black cattle and sheep has 
no effect in landscape. The tempest seems to have said 
to an island of cloud-attracting mountains, standing on 
the north-west of Scotland, surrounded and everywhere 
pierced by a fierce sea, Thou art my brother ! and every- 
thing we behold attests their cordiality. To one who 
visits it for such purposes as mine it is only redeemed by 
Cuillin and Coruisk, by the projecting of its promontories, 
the receding of its bays, and the varying intermixture of 
its Scalpas, and Rums, and Eiggs, and Cannas : its Loch 
Eisharts and Loch Snizorts, and Loch Follarts ; its Sounds 
of Raasay and of Rona, and the whole host of things and of 
forms which go to make up its strange composition. 

The stage to Strome Ferry (12 miles) is very hilly, 
and few of the hills have much to recommend them. But 
it was a beautiful drive, because much of it lay along 
Loch Alsh and Loch Carron. Wood returned to us, and 
the day has been fine. 

Strome Ferry is like the rest picturesque (and for this 
the worse conducted the better) and as well managed as 
mere hands, without proper boats, piers, or any apparatus, 
can ever manage a ferry. When our ferrymen were 
loitering on the south side, it was curious to hear them 
excited to activity by the mail-horn on the other. I had 
forgot in these solitudes that there was a post. 

The road from Strome to Jean Town (six miles) runs 
along the shore of Loch Carron, which was glittering 
under a serene sun. 

We had been told that the inn here was very superior. 
But it is just a good bad inn. 

KINLOCHEWE, upper end of LOCH MAREE, Tuesday, 1th 


September 1841, Night. And I have now got a glimpse of 
Loch Maree, the last new object I wished particularly to 
see. But being as yet only a glimpse, I shall say nothing 
about it. 

We came from Jean Town this morning to Craig Inn 
10 miles, a mere feeding-place, though with one room 
styled the parlour. But it has been one of the peaceful 
bright days, in which there is a parlour on the top of every 
wall, and by every burn-side. 

Our next step was other 10 miles to Auchnasheen, 
bad even for horses, for not choosing to stop at Luib, 
which being only seven miles from Craig, made a bad 
division of the way, we had to bring oats from Craig with 

Here (Auchnasheen) I discovered that all my informa- 
tion about reaching Maree was wrong. As there was no 
stopping there (at Auchnasheen, I mean), and the opening 
of the new inn here (Maree or Kinlochewe) was uncertain, 
I had been advised to go to Auchanault (10 miles) for 
the night, and to proceed next morning from that place 
to this, which was said to be only about 10 miles to see 
this loch and to return there at night. Now it was 
found on inquiry that the new inn here was not open, 
that the distance from Auchanault to this was about 
20 miles, that to sail down even the half of this loch, 
which as yet is the only way of seeing it, would take four 
hours, and consequently that doing all this in one day was 
impossible. I therefore sent the ladies to Auchanault 
for the night, and finding a return two-horsed phaeton 
going to Dingwall, Frank and I got into it and came here. 
And I am glad that we did not attempt to bring the 
carriage to this place, for the road down Dochart, though 
new and hard enough, is more narrow, steep, and danger- 
ous than any new road I have seen, in so much that a 


carriage could scarcely have been got either up or down. 
The inn, moreover, as it is called, is the most deplorable I 
have ever been within, worse by far than either Letter- 
finlay or Shiel House. No party of ladies could put up 
here. As to the new inn, which is to be opened next 
week, besides giving up the best of it on lease to a shooter, 
it is very small, and has a flat composition roof. A com- 
position roof in the wilds of Ross-shire ! 

We engaged a boat for to-morrow morning. While our 
hideous dinner was preparing, I walked to the top of a 
hill, and had a good sight of the loch. 

GAKVE, 8th September 1841, Wednesday Night. It has 
been a beautiful grey day, perfectly still, mild, and with 
the full measure of the light that is consistent with the 
absence of positive sunshine, a steady, pensive day. 

Frank and I breakfasted at six, took the phaeton to the 
boat, two miles off, and were on board and the oars in 
action by seven. We sailed down among and a little past 
the islands, one of which we ascended ; and re-landed after 
being above four hours on the water. After this, and the 
two views I had of it yesterday, one from the road and 
one from the hill, I think I have a good general notion of 
the loch. 

I have heard it called the Loch Lomond of the north, 
and an intelligent person who unites a knowledge of art 
to an intimate acquaintance with Maree, told me before I 
left Edinburgh, that the truest idea he could give me of it 
was, that it contained about six miles of Trossachs. This 
is all nonsense. 

It is a noble lake, both in its splendid sheet of water, 
and in the great, black, sentinel mountains that guard it. 

Certainly about 16 or 18 miles long, it is said to be 
not wider at any part than three, but this width its 


apparent openness about the middle would make me doubt. 
I think it must be more there. 

Except at one part it is lined by a range of lofty hills 
on both sides, but particularly on the northern margin, 
which in every respect is far the finer of the two. All 
these hills are stony and black. Besides those close on 
the edge of the lake, every opening discloses others at a 
distance, striking both in form and in dimension. Not 
one of them is spiculated, in which feature one of the poorest 
Cuillins would laugh them all to scorn. But there are 
some conical and some saddlebacked, and indeed in all 
forms; except that they all avoid lumpishness, the greatest 
opprobrium of hills. The chief are Ben Lair and Sleugach, 
both on the northern side. Ben Lair, I believe, is the 
highest ; and MacCulloch, who ascended it, gives a striking 
description of the prospect with which it rewards him who 
has the sense to mount it, as what hill ever fails to do ? 
And, had I never been at Tyndrum, I would have agreed 
with him, that "the effect of Sleugach, seen from its base 
to its summit, is perhaps more striking than that of any 
mountain in Scotland." Its top is like what had once 
been a cone, crushed down into something more solid, and 
its obvious hardness attests the storms it encounters and 

The part where these respectable hills are not, is for 
about five miles towards the centre of the southern side of 
the water. This space is low, stupid, and insignificant ; 
being occupied by a long, dull sort of a tongue, lining the 
loch, and ending in a large flattish peninsular promontory, 
out of which the water in some geological yesterday has 
plainly cut the islands, which are sometimes foolishly 
described as the glory of Maree. 

For these islands are the worst things in it. One of 
them is beautifully wooded, and being the one farthest 


out into the centre of the loch, is a very prominent object. 
Tts verdure, and that of the very few patches of wood that 
are to be met with along the water's edge, show what 
might be done. But except it, all the other islands are 
bare, or worse than bare, their squalidness marked by 
a few old stunted Scotch firs, of from 3 to 10 feet high, 
beneath, or rather beside which, there is tall but scraggy 
heather, and wet bog. Then the whole twenty-four, or 
so, of them are set so close, that though it be possible to 
sail between them, they might as well for the landscape be 
all joined, or all covered by the water. Without height, 
for not one of them is 50 feet high, or wood, or rock, or 
ruin, and so huddled together that there is no gleam of 
water between them, it is the poorest of fresh-water 
archipelagos. To have seen the Trossachs or Loch 
Lomond, and to talk of these ! 

So that the peculiar features of Maree are its long 
extent of water, and its near and remote ranges of great 
mountains, the remote ones rather suggested than seen. 
Except that, I suppose, there are salmon in both, it is 
absurd to speak of it as resembling any part of Loch 
Lomond or Loch Katrine. Its want of wooded islands 
and wooded hillsides settles the matter as to Loch 
Katrine. It has no narrow gullied part like the upper 
strip of Loch Lomond; and its broader expanse wants 
all the delicious foliage which so softens the margins and 
the islets of that beautiful lake. 

What the effect of human familiarity might be, it is not 
easy to predict. An inn, or even a house, or perhaps even 
a sheep, would extinguish Coruisk ; and a mail-coach 
horn heard along the side of Maree, or a steamer panting 
and grunting over its surface, with crowds of happy and 
giggling ladies and gentlemen, would certainly make ah 
odds on that water. But at present, the belief that it is 


little known, and the certainty that whether known or 
not, it is beyond the intercourse of common tourists, gives 
it that irresistible interest which remoteness and silence 
can alone confer. 

We saw to-day one single house on the north side, 
inhabited by " an Englishman" which I observe that the 
Highlanders always think description enough for the whole 
of these foreigners. It is their Linnsean term for a class. 
Besides this, we could detect no house, and not six turf 
hovels. There was no smoke, no sheep's bleat, no colley's 
bark, no sail. The only sounds we heard were the call of 
two fishermen returning tired from the east coast, and of 
two persons something like gentlemen, who seemed to be 
laired in the heather, who wanted to be taken to the 
opposite end from that to which we were going. Not 
above two rills whispered down the precipices. All was 
stillness and solitude. 

And there stood the black mountains looking at the 
water. The deer possess the land. It is all rock, not 
the gigantic flags of unbroken rock that inlay the sides of 
Coruisk, but the ordinary fragments that refer themselves 
to the mountain mass they have fallen from. It is wood- 
less, plough] ess, and nearly heatherless and grassless, a 
region of stone. It seems as if the genius of sterility had 
sometimes left Skye and sat down upon the top of 
Ben Lair. 

The infrequency of society may, nay, certainly will, 
cease, and it is possible that hundreds of nooks on this, 
and on all our lochs may be gay with human habitation 
and happiness. But the physical aspect of Maree will 
continue a long lake roughened by an unusual number 
of steep promontories, lined by dark mountains, that will 
ever command the more admiration the more they are 
known, presided over, when left to nature, by sublime 


silence ; and to be enriched by its islands, only when these 
shall follow the example of the solitary emerald into which 
one of them has been converted. 

We found the phaeton waiting for us at the water-side, 
and left Maree about twelve, and were here by about five. 
The loch is not above nine miles from Auchnasheen. 

Two things make these nine miles very remarkable. 

Suppose you are going from Auchnasheen to Kinlochewe. 
Well ! You pass a poor idiot of a four-mile loch, called 
Kosck, or Rosque, with nothing but insipidity in its face 
or dress. After this the road rises very considerably. 
All up this ascent, but particularly towards its height, 
there is a grand view of a range of monsters of hills, 
which I was told were about the head of Loch Torridon. 
I know few such mountain prospects. And one peculiarity 
in them arises from their being made of quartz. They 
are whitish, not white, but whitish, pepper and salt, with 
a great preponderance of the salt. There is a grand one 
near Kinlochewe called, I think, Ben Eaye. It is literally 
powdered with its own dust. Except from snow I never 
saw a whitish hill before. 

The road then descends rapidly into Glendochart. And 
at a sudden turn, about three miles from Kinlochewe, 
almost the whole of Maree lies stretched out before you. 
Neither the hill I mounted, nor my sail, gave me a better 
view of it than these three miles did. In truth if you 
only wish to see its general features, either of land or of 
water, stop at that turn for an hour and go back. 

BOG ROY, ALEHOUSE, six miles from INVERNESS, 9th Sep- 
tember 1841, Thursday, 1 P.M. Disturbed all last night at 
Garve by a company of jovial, i.e. drunken, fishermen, who 
chose to sing, and dance, and yell, in spite of all entreaties, 
remonstrances, and threats to be quiet. Lord ! How they 
kicked the floor and howled I 


We were glad to escape that otherwise not uncomfort- 
able inn this morning at seven, and breakfasted at 
Dingwall. And we are now at this decent little place, 
giving our steeds their last feed. 

We have now crossed the southern end of Ross-shire, 
from Strome, I may say, to Inverness. It is a drive worth 
any one's taking. The inns are all comfortable, and as to 
roads, though there have been about four severe unavoid- 
able ascents, we have not come upon one bad quarter of a 
mile since we left home ; and all the Government roads 
are uniformly admirable. 

The country from Jean Town eastward has some lochs, 
and rivers, and hills, but they are not sufficient to save 
the most of it, till we reach Contin, from the character of 
uninteresting dreariness ; except in the eye of a grouse- 
shooter and fisher, or of one who, like me, thinks there is 
something bordering on sublimity in mere solitary vastness 
of surface. There are shooting-boxes all along the road, 
generally ill-placed. Mackenzie's of Scatwell is by far 
the best, both well-placed and handsome. 

The change from wildness to civilisation is completed in 
a few miles after leaving Garve. The region of wheat 
succeeds that of heather instantaneously. And when this 
region begins, the justice of all that is said in praise of 
the richness of Easter Ross cannot be denied. It is a 
half-Highland country, beautifully cultivated, still improv- 
ing, well wooded, and adorned by many good seats. 

We passed, but only passed, Kihnorack and its falls, and 
my time did not permit of our going out of our way for 
the Drem. 

If Dingwall was in its ordinary state, it must be an 
excellent place for sleeping a life away in. The whole 
royal burgh was as still as if not awake. Anderson says 
it has nothing to boast of except the cross and the pillar 


to the memory of the Cromarties. No boast in either. 
But has it not to boast of the following epitaph, which I 
found in the churchyard on " William Potter, Shipmaster," 
who departed this life only in the year 1830 1 

Loud Boreas' blasts, on ocean's waves, 

Oft has tost me too and fro ; 
But God's decree, you plainly see, 

Has harboured me below. 

While here I safe at anchor ride, 

With many of our fleet, 
Untill that day we anchor weigh, 

Our Admiral Christ to meet. 

Very meritorious tomb poetry for 1830. 

We stopped and disgusted ourselves by going into the 
ruin of the Priory of Beauly. The poor building has little 
in itself to recommend it. But it has something. It has 
old windows, and other obvious marks of an ancient 
ecclesiastical edifice. But it has a deeper interest in its 
position and its history. Six hundred years plead for its 
protection, in which they are powerfully supported by 
the sacredncss of ancient and the tenderness of recent 
sepulture. Yet a spot more absolutely abandoned to 
abomination never disgraced a community. Rubbish, 
nettles, and that filth so dear to Sawney, have there their 
triumph over decency. The very bones of the modern 
dead, allowed to be exposed, are not spared. Yet the 
guide-books tell us of the famous Erasers, and Chisholms, 
and Mackenzies, etc., who repose within these odious 
precincts. The Lady of Sir Francis Mackenzie of Gair- 
loch was buried in one of the aisles within these few 
years. I saw the same or even worse brutality at Dingwall. 
It is owing chiefly to inveterate bad habit and to the 
want of good example, but partly to the nature of 
Calvinism, at least of Scotch Calvinism, which holds 


spirit to be everything and matter nothing. The Scotch 
despise, if they do not even abhor, ornamented churches ; 
because the devotion of the place is all that they respect, 
and they waste none of their reverence on stone and 
timber. They have neither the consecration of religion 
nor of affection for churchyards. Any field will do. 
Because provided the soul be safe, why misapply a sigh 
over the dust it animates no more 1 Accordingly there 
are probably not now one hundred modern tombs in all 
Scotland that are even decent ; not fifty that are much 
above mere decency, and not twenty or even a dozen that 
are beautiful and beautifully kept; and these almost 
wholly among the Episcopalians. We are a pious and 
affectionate people, no doubt, but if I were required to 
produce the tribe of men most regardless of their dead, I 
would turn to my countrymen. 

FORRES, 12th September 1841, Sunday Night. All since 
we reached Inverness is hackneyed. I shall therefore 
make the log very short. 

We got there on Thursday the 9th. Dined that day with 
our cousin William Fraser, at Laggors Cottage. Moncreiff 
had arrived at Inverness with his spouse, a son, a daughter, 
a manservant, and (horrible !) a lady's-maid. It is but 
justice to record the merit of my wife, daughters, and all 
my Circuit companions in this respect. They have never 
afflicted me with the monster called a lady's-maid. She 
is no joint of my tail. For the which, God be praised ! 

The criminal business was over in one forenoon. 

On the 10th we had our Circuit trumpet-tongued 

On Friday the llth, Moncreiff began the trial of a civil 
cause. I sat with him some hours, and then, being 
useless, went and dined at Ness Castle with Lady Saltoun. 


This day we went to church. A metaphysical roaring 

The civil case is not done, and Moncreiff is obliged to 
stop for it. I have come on here. 

A delicious day. 

INVERURY, Tuesday, lUh September 1841, 2 P.M. Left 
Forres yesterday morning and breakfasted at Elgin. 
Visited the Cathedral. John Shanks (see p. 15) is dead. 

From Elgin we went to Arndilly, 15 miles, where we 
stayed two hours. Then to Keith, 1 2 miles ; then to Park, 
12 more. 

We were very kindly received by our friends the 
Gordons, with whom we dined and stayed all night. 

We left them this morning at eight, and have come 
here by Huntly (which is 13 miles from Park). And 
as we were here by one, and four is the hour for meeting 
the Magistrates, we have had to wait here one hour, and 
have another to wait ; which my companions will keep up 
for ever against me, as one of the ten thousand proofs of 
my impatience ; but for which they say that they might 
have slept in peace two hours more at Park. But, say I, 
where would you have been if you had broken a wheel, or 
even lost a shoe ? Never shave close with the Bailies. 

I ought to have mentioned before that the Tories have 
come into power since we left home, and that their first 
fruit appeared at Inverness, in the form of Adam Urquhart 
as Advocate-Depute. He had no commission, and there 
was no evidence that his principal, Sir William Eae, had 
been sworn in. But Moncreiff and I had no difficulty in 
appointing him valeat quantum. 

CASTLETON, BRAEMAR, Friday, 17th September 1841, 
Night. I processed into Aberdeen in vast pomp, on the 
14th. Moncreiff joined us there in the evening. 


Next day (15th) we both processed, under the charge 
of the 7 1 st Regiment, to Court ; where we remained till 
near six, when we had a grand judicial festival, the most 
numerous, it was said, that had ever been seen in that place. 
On the following morning, after a re-procession and some 
more very stupid cases, we all dined (ladies and all) at a 
Mr. Crombie's, a bailie ; who, on a few hours' notice, had 
collected enough to make a party of twenty-one to dinner, 
and of about thirty-five to dance and sup in the evening. 
He lives in one of the large, excellent old houses, entering 
by a close, and containing a more spacious lobby, staircase, 
dining-room, and drawing-room than any house in the 
New Town of Edinburgh. We were all very merry, and 
the worthy host did one of the duties of hospitality with 
great effect, not merely by precept, but by example. 

Aberdeen is improving rapidly in public taste, and King 
Street, a creation within these five or six years, is really 
beautiful ; and Marischal College, though covered, I have 
no doubt, with defects, in the eye of correct architecture, 
is a wonderful production for such a place. Their granite 
wrought as they now work it, is, when fresh, not much, if 
at all, inferior to marble; but modern Aberdeen shows 
that it never can be polished sufficiently for houses to 
preserve its brightness long. They have a manufactory 
for polishing and shaping it for slabs, pillars, chimney- 
pieces, vases, urns, and such things, which produces articles 
far more beautiful than could be made out of most marbles ; 
but houses can never afford to be polished like these. 

I made a remonstrance about the cross, which stands 
in Castle Street, by far the finest thing of the kind in 
Scotland, but from which the cheek of a queen, the horn 
of a unicorn, and half the head of a horse, have been 
chipped since I was last there. The apology was that the 
hustings were always erected close beside it, and that it 


generally suffered at elections. An excellent reason for 
holding the elections elsewhere. However, I was told 
that it was to be removed (being its second change of site) 
to nearer the top of the street, in a few weeks : when it 
was also to be repaired and cleaned, and to have its 
arches, which are at present closed, reopened, and windows 
put into them, so as to convert it into a shop, and then 
to be all protected by an iron fence. I hope that these 
intentions may be adhered to, but Town Councils and 
taste rarely draw together. 

We left Aberdeen this morning, breakfasted at Banchory, 
. and were here by six in the evening. 

The whole of this district from Aberdeen to Perth 
by Braemar is new to me. I have wished to go by it a 
hundred times, but have never made it out till now. And 
I have got it done in the most favourable possible day ; 
sunny, calm, mild. 

We have come about 60 miles, and the whole of this 
long strath merits all the admiration it generally receives. 
It is beautiful. 

In their forms the hiJls are defective, scarcely a ravine; 
except about Invercauld, very little rock ; and not one 
peak or pinnacle all heavy monotonous masses. Their 
size and quantity, however, make them very respectable, 
and they fully perform their main duty of enclosing the 
valley. The whole valley is far less narrow, ridgy, and 
picturesque than I had supposed. In truth it is only 
after passing Ballater, about 42 miles up, and getting 
into the higher region of Invercauld, that the really 
Highland character of the landscape begins. But nothing 
can exceed the beauty of all this lower portion of the 
strath. The lateral country is never once let in, so that 
the seclusion of the proper strath is always preserved. 
And while considerable portions of the low ground, and 


almost all the visible high, are richly furnished with 
excellent Scotch fir, and with birch which Loch Ness alone 
can equal, the valley is constantly brightened by finely 
cultivated haughs, comfortable cottages, seats, and the best 
villages that Scotland can boast of. It is this profusion 
of wild culture that forms the true charm of the whole 
district, the brilliancy of the yellow grain, set off against 
the dark pine, and interspersed by the comfortable habita- 
tions of those who work, as well as of those who own, the 
soil ; while the Dee, after it is once got to, gleams in its 
long, distant reaches, and sweeps past with great purity 
and little turbulence, presenting a constant succession of 
delightful pictures. And after these withdraw and leave 
the mountains to deal with Invercauld, or rather with 
Braemar, as they please, the scenery becomes strictly 
Highland, and the great masses of wood distinguish it from 
most of our Highland scenes. 

The villages of Banchory, Ballater, and Castleton 
(including both sides of the Cluny) are not surpassed in 
position, comfort, or rural beauty, by any that I can at 
present recollect, and they are all remarkable in their 
openness, the separation of their houses, and the free 
ground within and around them. I wish I could have 
got up to see the old Castle of Crathes more nearly. I 
did go up to Aboyne, saddened by bankruptcy, the 
windows boarded up, the furniture sold, the axe ringing 
in every wood, and the whole place desolate. Abergeldie 
is beautiful, and Balmoral (at least it sounded like this) still 
more so. They have both preserved the picturesque style 
of building which so eminently distinguishes Aberdeenshire 
above any other Scotch county, and their positions are 
admirable. Indeed I do not recollect where I have seen 
any place that struck me more than Balmoral. And the 
strange mass constituting Braemar Castle, closes the 


upper end of the valley by a striking and solitary 

On the whole, it has been a most agreeable day. There 
is no such way of passing a day. If any man wants to 
be happy, I advise him to get a public allowance for 
travelling, to cast out any devil by which he may be 
possessed, and then to get into the dickie of an open 
carriage, with a suitable assortment of books and cloaks ; 
an amiable, affectionate, sensible, and very quiet niece 
beside him, and a wife, daughter, and son, with whom he 
is on good terms, behind ; and to drive 60 miles through 
a new and beautiful country, in a sweet and bright autumn 

The sun never did his duty better than he did to-day, 
including his whole career, from his dispersing an alarm- 
ing-looking fog in the morning, to his sinking in gorgeous 
splendour behind these Braemar hills in the evening. 

CASTLETON, Saturday Morning, 18th September 1841. 
I have been down looking at Braemar Castle. I am not 
architect or antiquary enough to be able to determine 
whether it be ancient, or what may be called modern. But 
if I were its owner, I would remove the wall round it, 
which is loopholed for musketry, and all the other modern 
symptoms about it, and leave its tall solitary knoll-placed 
form, with its five odd turrets, to tell its own tale. 

This castle, and the two churches, give the village and 
this upper end of the strath a respectable and striking 
appearance. One of the churches is the Established parish 
one, and on its side of the water stand the few stone and 
slated houses composing Castleton proper. The other is 
Catholic, twice the size of its rival, and on its side are 
scattered the more humble and more numerous dwelling- 
places of what is called Auchendyne. Each church is 


quite new, each beautifully set up on a platform overlook- 
ing the valley, and between them flows the sparkling Cluny. 
I know no country place in Scotland where the Papist 
beards the Protestant so ostentatiously. Strange that 
men can't go to heaven the same way, or let each other 
take their own road in peace, to the same end. Here are 
a few poor people of the same tongue, and tribe, and 
pursuits, living in a remote and mountain-bounded spot, 
which if they chose, might to them be the Happy Valley. 
Yet religious differences, not nearly so clear, even to them- 
selves, as the stream that divides them, and small though 
it be, as easily passable by reason, separates them into 
two sects, each of which thinks the other travelling to 
hell, towards which neither would probably be averse 
to give the other a push. 

Another glorious day. 

I ought to add before leaving this region, that the inns 
of Banchory, Aboyne, Ballater, and Castleton, are all most 
excellent for country inns. Nothing can be better. And 
each, except Aboyne, keeps horses. Banchory is perfect. 

PERTH, 20//& September 1841, Night, Monday. We left 
Castleton after breakfast, and went to the Spittal of 
Glenshee, and from that to Kindrogan, where we remained 
from Saturday forenoon till this morning, when we came 

There is much to be enjoyed, though little to be 
described, between Castleton and Kindrogan. Huge 
clumsy mountains, merely made for the muirfowl grouse, 
and prairies. But bulk and loneliness suggest awe, and 
therefore inspire pleasure. Sheep and turf are rapidly 
encroaching on heather and muirfowl. There is no better 
pasture on any Highland hills. 

The household of Kindrogan was kind and honest. No 


hospitality could be greater. This is one of the virtues 
that is very easily capable of being made disagreeable. 
Nothing saves it except simplicity, consideration of others, 
and frank sincerity. Let a friendly stranger go to Kin- 
drogan and be reasonable, and he will know what true 
hospitality is. 

The 30 miles from Kindrogan to Perth are the last 
stage of the descent from the mountain to the plain, and 
wheat and hedges furnish no subjects for a tourist. But 
I must notice Craighall, a second Hawthornden. I very 
reluctantly passed that singular place with no other know- 
ledge of it than what passing it can give. But this was 
enough to make me doubt its comfortableness as a residence. 
No flat ground. 

KINROSS, Friday Night, 24th September 1841. The 
Perth business has occupied us four days. Not one case 
of the slightest interest, except to the culprits. Assaults, 
whicli are on the increase, formed very nearly a fourth of 
the whole. We left that place to-night about six, and 
after sleeping here, our plan is to go and breakfast 
to-morrow at the Tower of Tulliebole. 

And I cannot part in the meantime with the owner of 
that tower (as I understand it to be, for I have never 
seen it), without recording my love of the man, and my 
admiration of him as a judge. I have had another Circuit's 
experience of Moncreiff, and have again not only acted 
with him in public, but been privy to all his private 
official feelings and views ; and I am confirmed in the 
conclusion forced upon me by forty years' friendship, that 
there cannot possibly be a better man, or a more pure, 
honest, anxious, or high-minded judge. With no superi- 
ority of talent, and a great inferiority of general knowledge, 
little taste, and no fancy, a look and manner far from 


commanding, and a very bad voice ; no one ever overcame 
such defects by so few excellences. But two things, and 
only two his force of reasoning and his virtue make 
him very powerful, both as an object of affection and of 
fear. Nothing can withstand the concentrated energy of 
his logic, and that man must have a very hard, or a very 
thoughtless heart, who does not reverence his goodness. 
I differ from his system of addressing prisoners as a 
uniform system, but when he falls in with a proper 
subject and a proper occasion, his tone and sentiments do 
honour to the Bench, and bring upon it the grateful esteem 
of all right-minded hearers. Simple, pious, and warm- 
hearted, a superior being, exhorting and encouraging a 
guilty but still reclaimable creature of this lower world, 
could scarcely impress the scene with a deeper feeling of 
reverence and of kindness. With some peculiarities to 
amuse his friends, who occasionally smile at the very 
intensity of his honesty, and the seriousness of his zeal, 
few men have so much solid excellence to secure their 
respect and esteem. 

I am delighted to learn that Perth, like Edinburgh, as 
appears from the recent census, has increased very little, 
if at all, in population during the last ten years. Almost 
all the material additions to the number of the people have 
been in towns, where it has chiefly been an addition of 
precariously fed manufacturers, who are constantly making 
others tremble for the effects of their seditions of the belly. 
It is comfortable to have a few Goshens, a few spots where 
taste, and intellect, and peace can enjoy themselves in 
their old way, undisturbed by steam-engines, mobs, and 
upstart temporary wealth. I scarcely know a more singular 
fact, than that the people of Glasgow, who with plenty 
better things to boast of, are proudest of that very excess 
of population under which they fret and groan, were very 

NOR TH CIR C UITA UTUMN 1 84 1 . 147 

angry that the statute ordered the late census to be 
taken on a Sunday, because this excluded many of their 
inhabitants who went regularly out of town that day. 
The Sheriff, I am told (the Historian of Europe as he is 
termed), actually issued a sort of official recommendation 
to the natives, either to stay at home that day, or, though 
really absent, to return themselves (contrary to the Act) as 
if present. This Glasgow zeal is not for truth, but for 
Glasgow. As if the best thing that could happen to them 
would not be to have a hundred thousand fewer. 

BONALY, Saturday Night, 25th September 1841. We 
did not get to Tulliebole. It rained too heavily for us to 
go seven miles out of our way in an open carriage, merely 
to sit wet to breakfast. But though it was cruel, I forgive 
the rain, because it was the only umbrella shower we had 
since leaving Shiel House upon the morning of the 3d. 
So we came straight home, after exactly four weeks' absence 
this very day. 

My book has been Combe's Notes on America ; that is, 
Notes of his recent travels in America, by George Combe, 
Writer to the Signet, and now the Apostle of Phrenology, 
an excellent book by a most excellent man. Deducting 
his unhappy science (as he calls it), he sees everything 
clearly and fairly, and in a right spirit. His candour, 
even on his own subject, never forsakes him, and his 
benevolence never cools. And a zest is given to every 
part of his diary, and of his proceedings, by his honest 
phrenological credulity. He can see nothing except 
through phrenological spectacles. He is now in Germany, 
where he means to lecture in the native language ; and in 
a land where thousands have faith in animal magnetism, 
and where mysticism and craze seem to be indigenous, 
lecturing on phrenology, he cannot fail. He is well suited 


for the apostleship of a new and absurd sect, zealous, 
calm, and unobtrusive, benevolent, modest, and as unpre- 
tending as is consistent with a firm conviction that, 
Spurzheim being gone, he himself is the head of the 
phrenologists, and that all other philosophers are wrong. 
Independently of his arguments there is great attraction 
in his worth and simplicity. The very plainness of his 
appearance and elocution, which have nothing beyond 
perfect naturalness to recommend them, takes people in. 
And no one who knows him can doubt his honesty. 
What he believes may possibly be nonsense, but there can 
be no question as to the belief being sincere. 

And so ends the best Circuit expedition that was ever 
performed 1 


SPRING 1842. 

CUPAR- ANGUS, Monday Night, \\thApril 1842. North 
again. And with Moncreiff. 

Jane and I, and Helen Maitland, left Edinburgh this 
morning at eight, and got here by Perth at about four. 
It has been a beautiful dry transparent clay. But I have 
nothing to say of a route so common to me. 

My object in coming this way has been to see Glamis, 
which I have tried to see all my life in vain, and I doubt if 
I shall be more successful now because I must meet the 
Magistrates of Aberdeen to-morrow about four at the 
Bridge of Dee, nearly seventy miles from this, which 
admits of little delay for castle seeing. However, we shall 
start early and try. Had it not been for two confounded 
factors, I should have passed this evening at the village of 
Glamis. But my friend John Dun das, who acts for the 
Strathmore trustees, wrote to them to be sure to pay me 
every attention, the consequence of which was that if I 
had gone there to-day, instead of being let alone, and left to 
loiter over the castle as I chose, I should have had to dine 
with these two brothers, excellent men both one said to 
make up for being only 22 years of age by being 25 
stones in weight, with probably some of the gentry " to 
meet me"; and copious bowls of hot whisky punch, 
I am told, is the habit of the house, even in July 
evenings. This hospitality I have had the barbarity to 


avoid, even at the risk of not seeing the finest castle in 

Was not there some flaw in the marriage of Helen Fell, 
who put the following statement on the tombstone of the 
person she calls her husband, and which I found in the 
churchyard here 1 

" Erected by Helen Fell, in memory of Donald Stewart, 
her husband, who, after having lived with her in a married 
life, departed this life the 10th June 1779." It must 
only have been a marriage by cohabitation. At least it 
has a left-handed appearance. 

ABERDEEN, 12th April 1842. As I expected, we did 
not see Glamis ; we got to its outside at eight A.M., which, 
early though it was, left us by no fair calculation above 
half an hour to spare for the inside, which is the real thing 
to see. This half-hour was wasted in vain efforts, by 
bells and knocking, to rouse any one to open the door and 
show the castle. So we were obliged to move off, but had 
the pleasure of seeing a woman standing to admit us 
when we looked back from the first park gate. The 
closed shutters showed that the factors were still asleep. 

I don't think I shall ever see Glamis more; for the 
Strath more approach to Aberdeen is so incomparably the 
worst, that my present resolution is, never to repeat it. 
Except to an agricultural and a fox-hunting eye, the whole 
seventy miles or thereby, from Perth to Stonehaven, are 
utterly uninteresting. The Castle of Glamis is the solitary 
thing worth stopping to see ; though perhaps the abbey, 
or whatever it is called, of Brechin, is not undeserving of 
a look. 

The day has again been splendid. 

Moncreiff joined me at Stonehaven, and we processed 
into Aberdeen grandly. 


FOCHABERS, Saturday Night, 1 6th April 1842. We were 
in Court in Aberdeen all Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 
the 13th, 14th, and 15th, and I was there to-day till 
eleven, when I came away in order to get to Inverness 
with as little of what is now called " Sabbath desecration," 
which chiefly means travelling on Sunday, as possible. 
I left Moncreiff yoked to a long case of fire-raising, by a 
black-looking fellow called Rosenberg, a Prussian Jew, and 
his wife, at one time an actress in London ; and got here 
about six. 

The only unusual bar scene at Aberdeen was in the 
lifting in of a prisoner, the only one I ever saw so intro- 
duced to be tried. She was an otherwise respectable 
woman, who if she had not directly murdered her infant, 
had caused its death by wilful neglect at bringing it into 
the world. And remorse, as was said, had deprived her 
of the use of her limbs, and prevented her from being 
capable of being tried till her crime was three years old, 
and she had become a truly pious woman. As it was 
necessary to get quit of her case one way or other, she, 
though not small, was lifted like a big child into Court, 
in the arms of an herculean porter, who, after she had 
pleaded guilty, and had been sentenced to a short im- 
prisonment for the neglect, put his left arm under her as 
a nurse does to a child, and (she steadying herself by 
placing her right arm over his neck) carried her away. 

The only person I ever saw absolutely and entirely 
lifted into Court, was one Smith, who, because he chose 
to work for less wages than they thought proper, was shot 
by these scoundrels the cotton-spinners on the street, in 
Glasgow, in open day. The ball shattered his spine, and 
paralysed him all over, but left his mind unimpaired. He 
was brought in as a witness, lying in bed, the bed (without 
any posts or curtains) being laid on a flat wooden frame, and 


placed on the table of the Court. He was pale and emaciated, 
with a fallen chin arid feeble voice, but with a clear eye, 
though obviously dying. I scarcely ever felt more than 
when he lay before us, and raising up his thin hand, swore, 
in answer to the absurd initiatory question, of which we 
have only last year got quit, that he had no malice or ill- 
will at the prisoner, to whom he owed the painful and 
lingering death which closed his sufferings in a few days. 
My client would have been hanged if the law had allowed 
it, but unfortunately, the statute which makes shooting, 
though not fatally, capital, had not then been extended to 
Scotland. This miscreant had the merit of getting it 
done. 1 

We had a premature sort of a villain at Aberdeen, an 
advocate's clerk aged only nineteen, but who was old 
enough to conceive and execute the sending of three 
threatening letters, in order to extort money. They were 
well-written and well-contrived letters for his purpose, for 
each of them held out to a different person the certainty 
of utter ruin, by having crimes imputed to them, if they 
did not comply with his demands, which demands were 
always made very slender, but if once yielded to, would of 
course have risen. We cordially transported the heartless 
dog for ten years. 

We went to an evening party at Aberdeen. If their 
usual society be, as I am told it is, in the same style with 
any I have ever seen, they are a kindly, hospitable, 
unceremonious, happy people. 

Their cross has been removed further up the street, 
a much better site, and has been cleaned, repaired, and 
set all right ; the original stones have all been preserved 

1 This case must have been soon before the date of the first statute. 
The trial took place at Glasgow before Justice-Clerk Boyle. [Trial of 
John Kean, 1825.] 


where they were broken, the broken ones have been 
replaced, the carving has been dealt with in the same 
way, and in short it is the old cross, only in a better 
place. Very well done. 

The great present defect of the town is the want of 
a tolerable access to the pier. They should take down 
the houses which now close in Castle Street at its upper 
end, and make a street from that down to it. It would 
be well worth doing, were it only for the sake of letting 
people get an easier walk to the pier, which carries them 
further out into a blue and stormy sea than any pier in 

Marischal College is finished. If they do not succeed in 
getting the front of it cleared, they have been wasting 
their money. And even though they do, the building 
will be poor, and the attempt to maintain two Univer- 
sities in such a place absurd. " For you must know, Mr. 
Speaker," as somebody said a few years ago in the House 
of Commons, " that England has two Universities, and so 
has Aberdeen." They should have given up the one in 
the town and made the old, venerable, well -placed, 
academic-looking King's College the single seat of their 
science. It is in vain to speak of anything so reasonable 
to either of these two parties, each of whom would rather 
see its favourite establishment, and science besides, extin- 
guished than yield to the other. But their folly ought to 
have been disregarded. 

It is the fashion to abuse Aberdeenshire, but our drive 
here to-day, through its large, reclaimed, well-cultivated, 
and well-walled fields, was very pleasing. It is the beauty 
of utility, the rejoicing of the desert. There is more of the 
blossoming of the rose in Strathmore, but there they have 
a far better soil and climate, and have had more time. 
Theirs is the rose of nature. In Aberdeenshire it is the 


rose of art. And it is art laid out purely in subduing the 
appalling obstacles to their conquest over the soil. No 
towns, few villages, no stack of any manufactory, nothing 
but agriculture, which, besides its own proper triumph, has 
produced regions of surface, of which the purity and order, 
especially in this weedless season, when the clean line of 
every harrow is visible and the only herbage yet green is 
that of the cultivated seeds, delights the eye of taste. 

The inn here is excellent. And if the village had been 
less regular, and less obviously withdrawn in its structure 
from the will of the people, it would have been better. 
But the truth is that during the lives of the two last 
dukes, a period probably of sixty years it was neither 
meant nor used as a village for villagers, but as a kennel 
for the retired lacqueys and ladies'-maids of the castle, 
and for the natural children and pensioned mistresses of 
the noble family, with a due proportion of factors, game- 
keepers, and all the other adherents of such establishments 
as their two Graces and their household rejoiced in. 

INVERNESS, Monday Morning, 1 8th April 1842. We 
came here last night, having had some difficulty in steering 
through the various parishes, so as to escape the people 
going into or coming out of church. But, on the whole, 
though I have no doubt that a judge travelling on Sunday, 
even though it was absolutely necessary, will be publicly 
denounced by some reverend zealots, we contrived to make 
it as little offensive as possible. Moncreiff, however, is in a 
worse plight, for his case of Rosenberg, which began on 
Saturday morning at nine, was not over till yesterday 
forenoon at twelve. He could not adjourn till Monday, 
because as the Circuit Court was to be held here to-day, 
and can only be held in one place at once, it would have 
been illegal. It is diverting that this desecration should 
have fallen to the lot of Moncreiff, a deeply religious man, 


a known anti-desecrator, a strict observer of Sunday, and 
an acting elder in Candlish's church. If it had been me 
or any other ordinarily pious man, we would have been 
excommunicated to a certainty. And probably they would 
perform this operation even on Moncreiff, if they were to 
detect that after getting out of Court, breakfasting, taking 
a walk and a nap, he dined out, and only got home about 
twelve at night. His fire-raisers were convicted. 

Our drive here to-day was delightful, for the sky was 
still blue, and the air milky. And old Lithgow is 
right in calling this eastern district of Morayshire "the 
pleasant planure of the north." The road frequently 
winds through wood, where it did not require much fancy 
to make us suppose that we actually saw the larches 
greening themselves as we passed them, and it was difficult 
ta say whether the glorious edging of the bright burnished 
whin, apparently exulting in having its roots cherished 
by the warm sand, gave more delight to us or to the bees. 
The coast of Ross-shire, seen across the serene blue sea, 
appeared as if it were beside us, with its rocks, and crevices, 
and sutors; Fort George glittered on the point of its 
promontory; as we advanced up the Moray Firth, new 
objects attracted the eye and the heart, for all the people 
were enjoying the scene in the evening of their day of 
well-clad rest. Ben Wy vis presided over all, the long level 
ridge of his summit sparkling in the purest snow, the idle 
boats lay on the shore, two vessels vainly courted air 
enough to move them towards Inverness, which, backed 
by its singular group of picturesque eminences, reposed 
peacefully at the head of the Firth. 

Of course I took Helen to the Cathedral of Elgin. 
The Bishop's House is still standing, and they say it 
is to be allowed to remain. I was sorry to find one 
grave marked by an insignificant flat stone containing 
only the four words "John Shanks, Shoemaker, Elgin." 


So patient and successful an Old Mortality deserved a 
fuller epitaph, and I said something to induce the Elginites 
to give him one. He, as well as Wren, may tell the 
stranger who asks where his monument is, to look round. 
But not far from John's dust we found the following 
excellent specimen of sycophancj 1 -, over the ashes of Mr. 
Hoy, a decent man, the best part of whose life was spent 
in performing the part of Macwheeble to the family of 

Here Lieth 

The Body of 


More than 46 years 

Secretary at Gordon Castle 

During which time 

He enjoyed the confidence and friendship 
Of two Noble Dukes and two Dutchesses 

Of the illustrious House of Gordon. 

He departed this life on the 19th Deer., 

In the year of our Lord 1827, aged 80 years. 

Departed in that constant hope of trust 

To rest eternally among the just ; 

To live and die well was his whole endeavour ; 

And in assurance died to live for ever. 

He was but words are wanting to say what, 
Say what a Christian should be, he was that. 

Few men lived better certainly, for he dined at Gordon 
Castle every day. And it is pleasing to think that the 
friendship of noble dukes and duchesses can give such 
consolation in death, and such glory after it. 

We stopped to look at the Forres pillar, and after 
walking through that nice old country town, which was 
so silent that I was afraid my solitary step might dis- 
turb the people in church, I played with the Findhorn 


at its beautiful suspension bridge, from which the view of 
the town is very striking. 

We went to the Frasers, at Laggan, four miles beyond 
Inverness, without stopping, and, having dispensed with 
the procession, crept into town quietly at ten at night. 
Yet I have been told that my friend Dr. Clark has been 
composing abuse against the two judges for desecration. 
It is a pity that I shall be out of the place before he can 
get an opportunity of letting it off. 

BRIDGE OF TILT, Wednesday Night, 20th April 1842. 
I was in Court two days at Inverness. There were two 
cases of fire-raising, in which each of the culprits was a 
boy considerably under twenty ; not an ordinary juvenile 
offence. One was acquitted. The other was convicted 
and transported for seven years. He was about nineteen, 
and went into a barn, one end of which was used as a 
dwelling-house by two fisher-girls. He attempted to use 
liberties with them, on which they turned him out. Stung 
with what he called the " insult," he swore that he would 
not sleep till he had burned the house over their heads. 
He was as good as his word, for, returning that night about 
twelve, he stove in the door, and took peats from the fire 
with which he kindled a mass of straw that was in the 
opposite end of the place, and made dust and ashes of the 
whole concern in a few minutes. This, I presume, was 
his first adventure in love. 

The weather was perfect during these two days, and my 
due feet did not fail, as they never do, to go morning and 
evening about half a mile up the left bank of the river 
one of the most beautiful of walks, more so, perhaps, than 
even the North Inch of Perth. However these two places 
may settle it between themselves, there can be no such 
competition between them and any other towns in Britain. 


Though we left Inverness this morning at six, we did 
not reach this till half-past seven in the evening, a long 
while for about eighty miles. But we stopped to break- 
fast at Aviemore, and there is a good deal of hill on the 
road. And I wish it had taken us double the time. For 
what a tract ! And what a day ! Calm, bright, warm, 
silent. The snow of last winter still whitened the corries 
of the mountains, while all their exposed sides and 
heads were free ; the little patches of hamlet farms in the 
valley, having been spared their usual rain for about a 
month, were clean and in good order, and the waters 
sparkled in their purest blue. But it is the solitude of this 
magnificent strath that awes and delights, the deep and 
long solitude. I do not know any other so long tract, 
fairly within the reach and the daily use of civilised man 
in this island, which is so utterly unobtruded upon by the 
appearances or the sounds of art or population. 

The firs that I mentioned four years ago have done 
the job. They have very greatly obstructed the western 
prospect from the high part of the road, for some miles after 
leaving Inverness. 

This is an excellent inn, a very excellent one, small, 
nice, and well placed. It is to be hoped that its vicinity 
to its brother at Blair will be a check upon each ; but it 
is somewhat absurd to have two hostels, on a lonely road, 
within three hundred yards of each other. This is one of 
the effects of the ridiculous rivalship that used to subsist 
between the houses of Athole and Lude. Each laird 
built his inn, and his village ; and Lude consoled itself for 
Athole's getting the church by Lude getting the poor bit 
of an Episcopal chapel, which stands in the field below 
the mansion-house. 

The Place of Blair used to be open to everybody. And 
no wonder. For its only pleasure-ground is mountains, 
and there is no town to make intrusion formidable. It 


was not easy indeed to be found by the late duke on his 
domain, without getting not only welcome, but dinner. 
Under his second son Lord Glenlyon, however, who, during 
the insanity of his elder brother, is the acting duke, 
strangers are warned off by threatening placards at every 
corner. This is thoroughly Scotch. There are very few of 
the owners of our great places who have sense or humanity 
to make the enjoyment of their places by others a source 
of enjoyment to themselves. They seem to think that 
they get it best when they get it all, and frown at 
every stranger as an enemy who does not do them due 
homage if he walks in, not because the owner permits him, 
but merely because the beauty of the spot invites him. 
The proprietor of a place like Blair, which is composed of 
solitary mountains, should be thankful for all human 
intercourse. Glenlyon's placards should have announced 
that every properly-behaved person who would enliven 
the place by walking in it, should be rewarded by oat- 
cake and whisky. I am aware of what is said about the 
mischievousness of the Scotch. But nothing provokes 
this vice, or rather habit, so much as our practice of stern 
exclusion from everything beyond the line of the highway. 

PERTH, Thursday Night, 2Ist April 1842. We left the 
Bridge of Tilt at ten, and were here at half-past four. 

The strath between Blair and Dunkeld could not have 
been seen to greater advantage ; it was in the perfection of 
its vernal beauty. The day has been delicious, June-like. 
The earth, the air, and the trees, were full of happy 
animal life, lambs, insects, birds. Labour had withdrawn 
from the flat, warm haughs, and had finally resigned its 
seeds to the undisturbed nurture of the elements. How 
softly the blue stream flowed through the valley. The 
larches were everywhere covered with that delicate and 
short-lived verdure, which makes that tree one of the best 


emblems of the Scottish spring. The planes, the first 
forest trees that display their confidence in the departure 
of winter, were bright with their rich gummy foliage. 
And what a world of brown bursting buds were the limes, 
the elms, and especially the birches, silently turning out 
into leaves. The whole scene was worthy of Charles the 
Fifth's praise of Florence, that it was too beautiful to 
be looked upon except on a holy-day. 

But the most pleasing circumstance is the obvious 
improvement of the human beings who inhabit what was 
lately not the Happy Valley. I remember it one of the 
most squalid regions in Scotland, with the duke's two 
houses at its opposite ends, and mud hovels and beggary 
between. It was an established Athole custom for the 
children to run like savages for miles alongside of every 
carriage, calling out for charity. The change that is 
taking place is striking and satisfactory. The mud 
tenements are disappearing every year ; respectable stone 
houses, with their little gardens, are rising ; busy, civilised 
villages are multiplying ; the schoolmaster is abroad with 
the basin and the towel. So that we could scarcely 
detect a very dirty face on any child throughout our 
whole drive, nor were we assailed by a single beggar, 
young or old. 1 

Of these reformed villages, Pitlochry and Blair (includ- 
ing the Bridge of Tilt) are the most important. They 
exhibit too many symptoms of the determination of some 
single owner to have his capital picturesque, in which 
respect, though finer, they are less natural than Kingussie, 
which is plainly done by the people themselves. But 
time will correct this, by taking off the newness of the 
more pretentious cities. By the way, I was struck with a 
village somewhere near Elgin, called Lhanbryde, I think, 
which I don't remember observing before. It is in the 
1 Journals, i. 317. 


transition state towards a . better condition, and if its 
master, whoever he may be, shall adhere to the preserva 
tion of the trees, and the scattering of the houses, I 
predict favourably of Lhanbryde. 

I called at Urrard, a most beautiful spot, and wished I 
had only 1000 and two years time to dress it up. 

Helen and I also went into the grounds of Dunkeld 
always odious ; because there is nothing to be seen beyond 
what can be seen out of them, and because a walk there 
is subjected to restraints which destroy the pleasure. I 
had to get the landlord to send somewhere to ask leave 
for me. This leave came in the form of a printed per- 
mission, which was to be kept in the hand till a person 
took it. The person took it at the gate. Then our names 
had to be signed in a book at. the lodge. And after all 
this preparation, the heels of a guide, impatient for the 
stranger's contribution to his wages, had to be followed 
step by step, with a check and an instruction if the in- 
dulged intruder deviated one inch from the showman's 
wake. If I lived there as the owner, the sight of all the 
people of Dunkeld in my grounds every day would only 
enhance my enjoyment of them. 

PERTH, Sunday Night, 24/A April 1842. Moncreiff 
rejoined me here. We were in Court all Friday and 
yesterday ; and this has been a well-spent day. For I 
have been round the North Inch, I cannot tell how often ; 
and on the top of Kinnoul Hill, and had a pleasant quiet 
dinner of eight, and have enjoyed this rose of country 
towns, from morning to night, from the dewy grass 
before breakfast, to the serene moon at twelve at night, and 
even processed to the East Church and heard a discourse 
by Dr. Easdale, saturated with morphia. The day was 
so warm that the windows were all open, and it was 


really delightful to see so many people asleep in so pure 
an air. Of the 700 who I suppose might be present, 300 
at least were in Elysium. Of the public authorities I 
observed five elders, two sheriffs, three magistrates, and 
one judge, all under the gentle influence at once. I don't 
recollect being here on a Sunday before, and hence I have 
perhaps been the more impressed with the Calvinistic 
grimness of the place, from its being so unlike what might 
have been expected. I thought that the beauty which 
God had given to it would have led all the truly pious 
out to enjoy His works. But no ! I don't believe that 
there have been 100 persons, and certainly not 200 on 
the North Inch this whole day. It has been an utter 
solitude, in the morning, between the two public services, 
and even in the evening. It produces a very painful 
feeling of the sourness of mind that can think such sullen- 
ness against nature a duty. That plain of green velvet on 
which the very sun seemed delighted to repose, edged by 
the silver Tay, and surrounded by all the appearances of 
vernal life in the finest condition ; bounded towards the 
one end by distant blue mountains, some snow still linger- 
ing on their loftier summits ; and towards the other, by 
the beautiful bridge, and its comfortable little city, ought 
to have been swarmed over by the young and the old, the 
cheerful and the pensive, but especially by the pious, on 
this their day of thought, from the morning to the evening 

But what can be expected 1 For since I came here, I 
learn that even the extensive and comparatively secluded 
grounds of Dunkeld, are now, for the first time, absolutely 
shut against everybody even the few and well-ordered in- 
habitants of that quiet village during the whole of Sunday. 
This is another of the already too many examples of 
matters being so managed by what terms itself the religious 


world, that that large class, being the great majority of the 
people, which will positively desecrate, as it is called, are 
not allowed to do so in the purest and most intellectual 
way, but are driven to find their recreation on the streets, 
or in the pot-house. Fanatical masters and mistresses 
are very apt to excuse their hatred of a smile upon the 
Sunday, by ascribing their intolerance to consideration 
for their servants, and I dare say that this exclusion of 
the villagers of Dunkeld will be said to be for the purpose 
of letting the guides go to church. But they surely need 
not gloom in the church the whole Sunday, and though 
they did, the visitors would be much the better, and the 
grounds certainly not the worse of their absence. 

BONALY, Saturday, 30th April 1842. We finished at 
Perth yesterday about eleven in the forenoon, and were in 
Edinburgh to dinner. 

I never have been so much struck with the beauty of 
Perth as during this the only week I ever passed in it. 
It requires nothing to make it perfect except a great old 
building. The Cathedral of Glasgow, or the ruins of 
Elgin, would give it all its wants, the dignity imparted 
by time, or by the palpable vestiges of history. It is 
lamentable to hear some of its best citizens envying 
Dundee for its trade; that is, for its steam-engines, its 
precarious wealth, its starving, turbulent population, its 
vulgar blackguardism. Long may their foolish efforts to 
deepen the river fail, as they recently have done. We 
must have manufacturing towns. But there is no necessity 
for their being made out of the ruins of natural beauty, 
or of retreats of academic learning. Who can doubt that 
it would have been better for Scotland, and even for 
Glasgow, if trade and the loom had been encouraged to 
fasten their black claws on any other part of the Clyde, 


and had left Glasgow with its College, and its Cathedral, 
its river, and its Green, alone. 

I saw models of two plans for widening the bridge. 
The one which proposes to raise additional arches for foot 
passengers on each side, is clearly the best, but the doubt 
is whether the piers on which these side arches must rest 
be sufficiently strong to bear them. It is a very hand- 
some bridge as it is, and it is to be hoped that the 
authorities will not fall into the usual error of letting 
everything depend on the ignorance of some local ass, 
ambitious only of an opportunity of disgracing himself, 
which he calls employment. 

I saw my first 1842 swallow on the river, on the morn- 
ing of Monday the 25th. 

We had 84 cases, the greatest number, I am told, that 
has ever been at any one Circuit town in Scotland, 
except once at Glasgow, where there were 85. Most 
of them were from the said enviable Dundee. There was 
no capital sentence, and only one transportation for life. 
Nor was there any case worth recording, except one 
too horrid, however, to be mentioned. The dark roll was 
filled with the ordinary, and scarcely varied repetition of 
robberies, assaults, sheep and cattle stealing, fraud, con- 
spiracy, forgery, fire-raising, night poaching, bigamy, and 
above all of theft, which now forms fully a half of all the 
criminal business of Scotland. There is certainly a fashion 
in crimes. There was far less transportation than usual, 
long imprisonments in the recently-opened penitentiary at 
Perth being the substitute. 

Moncreiff and I went and visited this establishment, 
which, though only opened about a month ago, contains 
already about 150 inmates. It is a very humane and well- 
considered experiment. But except upon the young, I am 
not sanguine of its success. They who are generally guilty 


from ignorance, are never to be despaired of, till the effect 
of knowledge shall be tried ; the knowledge not merely 
of reading and writing, and the rules of morality and 
religion, but of a trade, and of the practical consequences 
of misconduct. There is a considerable class too of other- 
wise well-behaved people, who have got into a first scrape, 
who if not corrupted in jail, will probably never get into 
another. But with the true, regular, professional, middle- 
aged criminal, who requires a change of nature reforma- 
tion I don't expect much from comfortable living, though 
in confinement, nor from steady occupation, even though 
combined with considerable solitude. I fear that such 
criminals must be given over, and that, after all, there is 
nothing for it but to get rid of them by exportation. The 
prison is in beautiful order. But like all other prisons, it 
is far too small. The 400 cells, being all that are now 
built, will be full next year. 

Our business closed by the best Circuit address from 
Moncreiff that I have ever heard on such an occasion. 
It had no nonsense in it, and besides being judicious, was 
benevolent, and practically useful. 

During the whole Circuit we have not had one single 
drop of rain, and scarcely even a cloud. 

My book was Barnaby Rudge. a novel of which any 
other author might be proud, but which is, perhaps, the 
least admirable that Dickens has produced. But still it 
is excellent. I must, however, except the hangman, who, 
with his professional jokes, is disgusting and unnatural. 
Scott, in his Quentin Durward, has a couple of hangmen 
too, and, in his Heart of Midlothian, he has a mob. And 
in neither do I think that he suffers by the competition 
even of Dickens. 


AUTUMN 1842. 

ARDROSSAN, Friday, $th September 1842, 7 A.M. I left 
Edinburgh on this West Circuit, on the morning of 
Tuesday last, the 6th, with Maitland and Archibald 
Davidson, the former of whom was going on a case to 
Stirling, the latter to Dunira. Circuitising though I was, 
I went to Falkirk by the railway, but then I had secured 
the coupe" (I wish they had given us an English word for 
it), which is a private carriage, and secures the learned 
lord from contamination with witnesses, parties, jurors, 
and the world. We got to Falkirk at 8 A.M., being 
one hour from Edinburgh, posted to Stirling in an hour 
and a half, breakfasted, and I was in Court at quarter-past 

The business lasted two days. Commonplace cases. 
The weather after five months of unbroken excellence, 
warm and dry, was moist and foggy. However, I per- 
formed my pilgrimage through the streets and round 
the castle before breakfast. The people are recovering 
their quasi rights in the beautiful turf pleasure-ground, 
below, and to the south-west of the castle, of which the 
Woods and Forests, from ignorance, lately deprived them. 
These Commissioners put this ground, with all the green 
and regular mounds which marked its ancient uses as a 
place of royal and public pastime, into a farmer's lease, 
and the plough had begun its devastation, when public 



clamour instructed the Commissioners, and they are now 
in the course of getting their error corrected. 

I observed two things, one was that the apex of a 
modern (at least not an ancient) porch over the door of 
Cowan's Hospital, covered one-half of the old square stone 
which records the virtues of the founder John Cowane. 
The other was that the two or three public wells are so 
constructed, having only one spout each, that (as in the 
High Street of Edinburgh since I remember) the poor 
people are obliged to stand idle and shivering for hours 
before they can get their vessels filled, to their great dis- 
comfort, and not at all to the improvement of their manners 
or morals. I counted above 200 tubs, pails, pitchers, etc., 
ranged on the street, with the owners waiting their 
turns from the solitary spouts. I told the provost that if 
I was in his place, both of these evils should be remedied 
in a month, the one at the pumps by simply multiplying 
the spouts at the existing drawing-places. The answer 
was that the porch was soon to be taken away for other 
reasons, that the facility of putting a spout at each of the 
four sides of a pillar, instead of only at one, had never 
occurred to them, though they had often lamented the 
people's delay, and that if it should be found to cost nothing 
or very little, it would probably be done. 

Maitland and I left Stirling at seven, breakfasted at 
Cumbernauld, and were in Glasgow by eleven. At one, 
my daughters, Jane and Elizabeth, and my old companion 
Frank, joined us there, having left Edinburgh by the 
railway at eleven. At half-past one we all left Glasgow 
by the Ayr railway, and were here by three, where 
Maitland's family has been living for some months. 

Lord Mackenzie has gone to Inveraray, and we don't 
begin at Glasgow till Thursday next, the 1 5th, and my 
object in coming here is to get over to Arran, where I 


have never been, and to pass some days in its solitudes. 
But the window I am writing at looks across the water, 
and Arran is invisible, the waves surly, and the air 
showery. My contemptible stomach almost turns at the 
look of it, and is not made steadier by the pitching of a 
sloop a mile or two out. So my long desire to be in Glen 
Sannox, or on the top of Goatfell, may probably not be 
gratified to-day. 

ARDROSSAN, Friday, $th September 1842, 11 P.M. It 
was not. We went to the end of the pier here, and saw 
the steamer set out, and she grunted and heaved so, that 
I was thankful I was not in her. But then, as usual, she 
probably landed by half-past eleven at Brodick, so it 
would have been all over in an hour and a half, by which 
time it turned out an excellent day. Still it was only 
excellent for this side, for Arran was only seen like a 
ghost, through mist, occasionally. But to-morrow ! 

We took a carriage and went within a mile of Fairlie, 
and then got out and walked about. 

Fairlie is the best village of the wealthy in Scotland. 
Excellent houses, capital gardens, umbrageous trees, the 
glorious Clyde, backed by Arran and its dependencies 
stretched out before them, a gravelly soil, and a mild 
western climate. 

On our way home we went up the high ground on the 
left side of the road, in order to try if we could find out a 
waterfall, of which the minister gives a grand description 
in his statistical account of the parish (old edition), but 
which the parishioners, or such of them as we fell in with, 
knew so little about, that none of them could say exactly 
where it was. After a long and wettish scramble we at 
last discovered the fall of Southannan. A poor affair. 
For the guidance of future travellers, I may mention that 



it lies about a mile and a half on this side of Fairlie, and 
about half a mile up the hill to the left. 

BRODICK INN, Sunday Morning, 1 1th September 1842. 
Yesterday was so little bad that we resolved to tempt the 
deep. But we lost Maitland, for just before embarking, a 
letter from Mrs. Cockburn, who is in Edinburgh, announced 
the death of her and Mrs. Maitland's only surviving 
brother. The event was expected, and in his wretched 
and incurable state of suffering not to be deplored. It 
induced Maitland, however, to go to Edinburgh to give 
directions, and made his wife stay behind. So Helen, 
George, and James Maitland, Henry Davidson, my Eliza- 
beth and Francis, and myself came here. 

We left Ardrossan at ten. I took the precaution of 
lying down flat on the deck and shutting my eyes, from 
the very first moment of going on board till we reached 
Brodick, with the effect, which I had experienced before, 
of a total exemption from sickness. The voyage is about 
an hour and a half long. 

The clouds said No, to our question whether we 
should ascend Goatfell. So George Maitland, H. 
Davidson, and I proceeded and explored Glenrosie, the 
outlet of which is within a mile of this, and the valley not 
above three or four miles long. There is, fortunately, no 
road, and the upper part is so stony and so cut into holes 
by streams, that it makes rather a severe scramble. But 
it is a valley well worth passing a day in. All gushing 
with the clearest water tumbling over granite ; deep sides, 
browned with chocolate-coloured autumn fern, many dark 
rocky peaks, and the upper end enclosed by as striking 
an assemblage of black and picturesque precipitous moun- 
tain-tops as is often to be seen. 

Not wishing to return the same way, we climbed to the 


top of the range which forms the left boundary of the 
valley, and came home over it instead of round it. It was 
a tough pull, and took us apparently more than half up 
Goatfell. The prospect was extensive, but there was too 
much islandless sea. 

On the way home Davidson and I went into Brodick 
Castle. a strong thing, with antiquity, site, and trees, 
sufficient to have enabled its noble owner, if he had chosen 
to spare a little of the gilding he has wasted on the 
weavers of Hamilton, to have easily made it a fine place. 
The gardener, who took us to the top of the house, when 
we asked him to point out the way to the top of the hill, 
did so, but added, with something like a boast, that though 
he had been living at its base for sixty years, he had never 
once even attempted to ascend it. 

I have walked this morning to the opposite (or south) 
side of the bay. It is by far the best of the two, at least 
when warmed, as it was an hour ago, by the morning sun, 
and in full prospect of the castle rising over its respectable 
wood, and of the craggy summits of Goatfell. Every one 
of the neat white cottages that are scattered about round 
the whole bay is let to people who come here in summer 
for health or idleness, and it was delightful to see so many 
comfortable breakfasts laid out, in small, but very clean, 
well-papered, cottage rooms. The church bell sounded, 
I don't know why, as I was told that there was to be no 
service, but its sound added greatly to the charm of the 
tranquil scene. The day is balmjr, clear, and calm. 

BRODICK INN, Monday, 8 A.M., 12th September 1842. 
The guides don't practise their profession upon Sunday, 
even when there is no service, and therefore practised 
their established pious fraud, of assuring us that yesterday 
would be a bad day, but this a good one. We therefore 



got a boy with two horses, on which we put Helen and 
Elizabeth, and having packed a little refreshment into a 
basket, we all set out on the ascent. The horses could only 
get about half-way up. The girls then dismounted, and 
tried their own proper muscles. But Helen soon failed, 
and was established on the lee-side of a rock till our 
return. Elizabeth went to the very top. After lingering 
there a long while, we picked up the one we had left, 
recreated ourselves out of the basket, put the ladies on 
their beasts, and were all safe here in about five and a half 
hours from our setting out, which had been about eleven. 

The guides proved so far right, that soon after our 
reaching the top, we, and all our world, were covered with 
mist. But it did not come on till after we had seen every- 
thing, and cleared off three or four times. And it was 
only the Argyleshire side that it ever entirely hid, leaving 
Clyde almost constantly bright. It was not therefore a 
perfect day for Goatfell, but it was not a very lad one. 
We saw everything, but only not long, or steadily, enough. 
With the exception of this partial misfortune on the 
summit, the whole ascent and descent were absolutely 
perfect, and the day, in every respect, was delicious. 

In point of mere climbing, the ascent, except over a 
few rocks near the top, is not at all formidable. A mule 
could go to the very summit. 

I have a taste for the tops of hills ; but making allow- 
ance for this failing, it is certainly well worth the while 
even of a lover of flat ground, to mount Goatfell. It 
gives him a splendid prospect, both of land and water. 
Nature has rarely been more fortunate. The elevation 
of nearly 3000 feet of granite, in an island, placed in the 
wide bay between Argyle on the west, and Renfrewshire 
and Ayrshire on the east, and near the openings of 
Loch Fyne and tho Firth of Clyde ; from which eminence 


all the adjacent seas, and firths, and lochs, and sounds, and 
mountains, and islands are distinctly visible, was one of 
her happiest achievements. 

I have been on a good many Scotch hills ; but the com- 
petitors for the first prize are only four; Ben Lomond, 
Goatfell, Demyet, and Swanston (but neither this nor Cape 
Law is the correct name) [Cairketton], the eastmost of the 
Pentlands. The claim of Ben Lomond rests chiefly on the 
stupendous mass of boiling mountains behind it. In point 
of beauty Demyet is perhaps to be preferred, because it is 
very low, and holds a delightful district of striking objects, 
particularly Stirling, within its eye. Goatfell bids 
defiance to them all, in the bright and varied splendour 
of its many, and islanded waters, contrasted with the hard 
and generally dark Argyleshire peaks, by which these 
waters seem to be guarded and looked upon. But still, 
considering the beauty of Edinburgh, and the dignity im- 
parted to scenery by objects of importance, I am rather 
inclined to give the palm to that Pentland. 

For prospects, Ben Lawers, Ben Ledi, Ben More, and 
Ben Nevis, are to be altogether discounted. Ben Nevis 
however, has an indisputable superiority of interest, of 
a different kind to every other height in the British Islands. 
No other mountain is nearly so grand in itself. 

I am sorrier now than I was last September, that I did 
not ascend the hill in Skye. Arid, from what lies all 
around at its feet, I can't conceive how Ben Cruachan 
(which I have never yet ascended), can avoid holding the 
spectator up to a prospect of first-rate magnificence. 

This is another beautiful day, but not for the hill-top, 
and T rejoice that we did not wait for it yesterday. 

BRODICK INN, Monday Night, 1 2th September 1842. This 
forenoon was given to Glen Sannox. Elizabeth, Eliza 

WES T CIR C UITA UTUMN 1 842. 1 73 

Maitland (who came over this morning from Ardrossan with 
my daughter Jane), H. Davidson, George Maitland, and I. 
got in, and upon, a car, and drove the seven miles from 
this to the lower end of the glen. The whole of these 
seven miles are beautiful, both in their marine prospects, 
and their fringing of rock and wood, down to the very 
shores. The girls walked up the glen, till they reached 
a queer manufactory (not going) of Carytes. I went on 
a good deal further, but was obliged to return for them. 
Maitland and Davidson went up the whole of Sannox 
and down Glenrosie, a severe, but admirable walk. 
These two glens which hold Goatfell in their arms 
are of the same character ; rough with marsh and rock, 
roaring with water, and gloriously hemmed in by black 
splintered peaks. 

It has been a calm delicious bright day, and Davidson 
and I retire for the night, resolved to be once more on the 
top of Goatfell, if the weather pleaseth, to-morrow. We 
should have been there to-day, if the morning had told us 
that after eleven the summit was to be so clear as it has 
been. I again walked, between four and six, round this 
bay. The south side is, beyond dispute, the best. But 
my exploration was suddenly stopped by discovering that 
a letter which I had written, addressed, and sealed, on 
the th inst., to the Provost of Glasgow, announcing the 
Circuit, and requiring him to process within his own 
burgh, on Thursday first, was still in my pocket. I was 
too late for the post, and had just time to hasten home, 
and give the letter, crumpled as it was, to a person who 
was stepping on board the steamer, and was to be in 
Glasgow to-night. I rather suspect that I would have 
stormed if anybody else had done this. 

ARDROSSAN, Tuesday Night, 13th September 1842. To- 


day was another yesterday, so far as concerned the enjoy- 
ment of the seashore regions, but warm lazy clouds lay 
on the hill-tops. After lounging therefore on the beach 
till two, Davidson and I set off and walked to Lamlash ; 
after viewing which, we embarked in the steamer, went 
back to Brodick, but did not land, took in the rest of the 
party, and, bidding adieu to Arran, were here by seven. 

Lamlash is quietly placed, and this is its only recom- 
mendation. No, it has also a more gravelly beach than 
Brodick, the only defect of which is, that a line of paltry 
swamp is interposed between the beach and the houses. 
In every other respect Lamlash is far inferior to its rival 
capital ; particularly in want of wood, want of high hills, 
and want of scattered cottages. These last, the humble, 
but clean, white cottages, that are tossed about, each oc- 
cupied by a comfortable idler, form the peculiar charm 
of Brodick. 

GLASGOW, Wednesday Night, Itth September 1842. I 
went this forenoon to Lochwinnoch, to attend the funeral 
of my brother-in-law, Lieut.-Col. Laurence Macdowall. 
After which I came here, where I found my colleague, 
Lord Mackenzie, who has been at Inveraray. And so 
nothing of this Circuit remains, except the comfortable 
prospect of having to try about one hundred criminal cases, 
besides some civil ones, and to dispose of some appeals. 

But I have forgot Ardrossan. It is above, or about, 
thirty years since I last saw it. It was then a sort of 
poor fishing-village, with no harbour, and no fashion as a 
bathing-place. The late Earl of Eglinton was just begin- 
ning the attempt to realise his vision, of glorifying and 
enriching his family, by carrying a canal from Glasgow, 
by Paisley, to this part of his property, and thus making 
Ardrossan Tyre, and Saltcoats Sidon. The canal, after 


being bankrupt, reached Johnstone, and now, with its rail- 
way rival, it will certainly never advance an inch further. 
But his lordship succeeded in compelling the sea to submit 
to be a small port, and in alluring genteel invalids, by a 
large bad inn, and small bad baths, to resort there in 
summer. So Ardrossan is a town, and has a harbour. 

There is no beauty in its own immediate neighbourhood. 
But no place on the Firth of Clyde can ever be without 
charms and interest, and until Arran shall be covered 
again by the waters, it will always be delightful to look 
from Ardrossan. It consists at present chiefly of a single 
line of small houses, curving with the line of the beach ; in 
front of the houses is the public road or street, and next 
the street the sea, which ebbs very little. The summer 
population consists mostly of strangers, few of whom have 
what, in Scotch Irish, are called self-contained houses, 
most of them cramming into the small, but clean, upper 
flats, which are let for bathers by the poorer people below. 
The whole place is respectably clean. 

The ladies' bathing is conducted on the genuine Scotch 
principle, of not being at all ashamed of it, as why should 
they ? Is it not pure 1 and healthy ? and ordered by the 
doctor 1 and anything wrong in it 1 So the ladies emerge, 
in full day, from their flats, in their bathing-dresses, 
attended by a maid, and a sister or aunt, the maid carry- 
ing a small bundle containing a towel and some dry clothes, 
the friend tittering. The bather crosses the road, and 
goes to the sea, which is never more than a few yards, or 
inches, beyond the road's edge. She then enters the water, 
and shivers, or splashes, according to her taste, conversing 
or laughing or screaming all the while, with her attendants 
ashore. But it is on coming out that the delicate part of 
the operation begins ; for, as they don't walk home wet, 
and then dress in their own rooms, they must change their 


whole raiment before the public. For this purpose the 
maid holds a portion of the dry vestment over the dripping 
lady's head, and as the soaked gown descends to the heels, 
the dry is supposed to descend over the head as fast, so 
that the principle is, that, between the two, the lady is 
never seen. Ignorance is sometimes bliss, and it is very 
wise in the assistants never to tell the patient anything 
about it. But I wonder how, when they happen to be 
looking at a fellow-exhibitor, and observe the interest 
taken from every window, and by all the street, in the 
proceeding, they can avoid discovering that such feats are 
seldom performed without revelations, and that a single 
fold of wet linen adheres too accurately to the inner 
surface to require any other revelation. 

But I never saw bathing performed by ladies in Scotland 
even with common decency. Why the devil can't they 
use bathing-machines, or go into retired places, or wall or 
pale off enclosures ? There was one bathing-machine on 
the beach at Ardrossan, which was rarely used, and two 
in the inn court, which the landlord told me were never 
used at all. Portobello, however (the most immodest spot 
in Scotland), shows that machines may be used so as to 
be no protection, but the reverse, for there they are used, 
nearly touching, by men and women indiscriminately. 

BONALY, Saturday, 2 th September 1842. We began at 
Glasgow on the morning of Thursday the 1 5th, and ended 
yesterday at four o'clock P.M. We had exactly 99 cases 
to dispose of, being about 15 or 20 more than were ever 
on the list at any of our Circuits, and, one way or other, 
every one of them was disposed of. None, I mean, that 
could have been tried were not tried. There was no 
capital case, and the whole batch was utterly uninteresting, 
the great majority being commonplace thefts. The exile 
of about 60 of our fellow- creatures is upon our souls. 

WEST CIRC UJ 7 AUTUMN 1842. 177 

One of our days was a Sunday, a very serious thing in 
Glasgow. To avoid its horrors, Lord Mackenzie spent 
the day at Fossil. But I rather think I fell upon a better 
scheme. Because the Court having risen at six on the 
Saturday evening, I got into the seven o'clock train, and 
found myself here (Bonaly), at tea and an egg, before ten. 
On Monday morning at seven, the impatient engine, after 
grunting and hissing to get away, was set free; and at 
nine exactly I was back in Glasgow, and, after a leisurely 
breakfast, was in Court when it met at ten. I remember 
Jeffrey offering to speak till a writing could be brought 
from Glasgow, though the shortest journey then was five 
hours going and five coming, rather than his cause should 
be lost. Few orators will restrict themselves now to a run 
to Glasgow. 

Mr. Charles Neaves was our Depute- Advocate, a sensible 
man, agreeable, literary, and an excellent compounder of 
clever humorous verse, chiefly in the line of songs, which 
he also sings well. 

Lord Mackenzie is a very old acquaintance, and one 
of the best possible colleagues. A weak, awkward, and 
apparently timid manner, gives him an outward appearance 
almost directly the reverse of the real man. For beneath 
this external air of helplessness, there works an acute, 
resolute, and original understanding ; combined with great 
intelligence, and a very amiable heart. Not very practical, 
and wanting tact, he seems to be constantly engaged with 
his own speculations, the intrepidity of which make an 
amusing contrast with the feebleness of his manner. 
He is a most excellent man, a singularly agreeable com- 
panion, and an admirable judge ; except that, on the Bench, 
whenever there is anything to be done which requires 
force, or impressiveness, his poverty of manner makes him 
necessarily fail. But in private life this outside awkward- 
ness makes him only picturesque. 


I see that I have forgot to do justice to the inn at 
Brodick. I had heard all my life, and particularly this 
very summer, that one of the difficulties of a pilgrimage 
to Arran was that it was impossible to go to the inn, as 
it was abominable, and choke full of Glasgow weavers 
every time that a steamer arrived, -and that there were no 
attainable lodgings to make up for this. All nonsense ! 
Lodgings it would clearly be difficult, or impossible, to 
get for a few days, and at this season. But the inn for 
there is only one is excellent, for a Scotch country inn 
most excellent, well-placed, clean, retired, with a good 
larder, and much kindness. The widow landlady, Mrs. 
Jameson, is a nice, respectable, motherly person. There 
is at present only one steamer daily, which sails from 
Ardrossan, and when we were there it landed no passengers 
whose existence was known to us ; we had the upper flat 
of the house. 

I was one morning admiring a very handsome boy about 
six years old, dressed as a Highlander, and whose fate will 
probably be fulfilled by his being landlord of the inn, or a 
shepherd on Goatfell. Mrs. Jameson told me he was her 
son, and said she would like to consult me about what she 
should do with him. After various schemes on my part, 
none of which ever went beyond his being landlord, or a 
waiter, or a shepherd, or a poacher, she, a decent, sensible 
widow, with not a joke even in her head, said, with the 
most perfect gravity and sincerity : " If I was to send him to 
Edinbro, do ye think they wad sune mak him a joodge ] " 
(judge). I had not cruelty to cloud her maternal visions 
altogether. But all the hope I could give her consisted 
in assuring her that birth, whatever influence it once 
might have had, had little to do with it now. Whereat 
she seemed considerably cheered. 


SPRING 1843. 

TARBET, Thursday Night, 20th April 1843. I ought to 
have gone the South Circuit this Spring, but I have con- 
trived to avoid it, because John Hope, the Justice-Clerk, 
the most uncomfortable of all possible companions, would 
have been my colleague. But I could not have escaped 
him had it not been that it was a more convenient Circuit 
than any other for poor Moncreiff, who being obliged to 
go to London for medical advice for his wife, who is 
alarmingly* ill, wished it to be late and short. I had 
attempted all sort of manoeuvres to get rid of our chief; 
but they were all defeated, because I found that all my 
brethren were manoeuvring for the same object. A curious 
fact for the head of a Court. 

But I have got Meadowbank, who has been at Stirling. 
I am on my way to Inveraray, and we meet at Glasgow. 

Elizabeth (my daughter), Graham Maitland, and I, left 
Edinburgh by the railway this morning at eight ; reached 
Glasgow ten minutes before ten, breakfasted there, left 
it at twelve, and were here by four. 

There must be an end of engraving the same lines, so 
I have nothing new to say. 

It was a dull rain nearly the whole way from Glasgow 
to Tarbet. The young grass and the bright larches were 
not the worse of this, but it is impossible to forgive the 
sun when he does not shine on Loch Lomond. I retract 



as to Kilpatrick, which to-day had rather a blackguard 
appearance ; a distinct west-country manufacturing black- 
guardism. And oh ! how abominable is the whole course 
of the Leven ! Pure enough, I suppose, in Smollett's 
time, but now a nearly unbroken track of manufactories, 
which seem to unite the whole pollutions of smoke, 
chemistry, hot water, and squalid population, and blight 
a valley which nature meant to be extremely beautiful. 
No " mottled parr " now, unless they are mottled by the 
refuse of dyes. It is only when the loch opens, and we 
cast Glasgow and its feculence off, that the region of beauty 
and magnificence begins. 

We walked about a couple of miles up the loch before 
dinner, and now (ten at night) the water and the moun- 
tains are dark and silent. 

DALMALLY, Sunday Night, 23d April 1843, We left 
Tarbet on Friday at eleven, and after much lingering and 
sauntering in Glencroe, and the considerate aid of a lame 
horse, reached Inveraray at four. 

The ,day, though never bright, and occasionally showery, 
was mild and calm. I have only two things to record 
this time about Glencroe. One is that the stone tablet at 
Kest-and-be-Thankful, which used to attest the merits of 
General Wade, who, about eighty years ago, had made 
this, as he had made other Highland roads, has recently 
been chipped and rendered utterly illegible, for which it 
is fortunate for some people that man's curses are often 
fruitless. The other is, that in the whole glen I could not 
find a primrose, even in leaf, though I have seen miles of 
it brightened with them nearly forty years ago, and in this 
very month. Possibly May may evoke them. But there 
is something strange in the localities of this delightful 
flower; for I am satisfied that there are places where, 


after being planted and after settling themselves and 
spreading for years, they die out ; and no one can traverse 
the Highlands without finding other places where it is 
difficult to suppose that they can have been planted, and 
yet where they abound. Since they are tossed profusely 
over several parts of the banks of Loch Lomond, over all 
the neighbourhood of Inveraray, and over the shores of 
Loch Awe, and they flourish best amidst moisture why 
should there be intervening districts with the very same 
surface and climate, which ages have never made them 
reach, or from which they have decayed? Do sheep 
extirpate them? If they do, this fact would go far to 
explain their apparently capricious eradication; for it 
is only, or at least chiefly under the shelter of old spongy 
copse, or the drippings of rocks, that they seem to domes- 

The business at Inveraray began on Saturday at ten, 
and was over that day by five. No case worth mention- 
ing. A jury of fifteen stots acquitted a most aggravated 
assaulter, in spite of the clearest possible evidence, to 
make up for which they repeatedly and obstinately tried 
to convict him of another offence, with which it was over 
and over again explained to them that he was not 
charged. One does fall in with a bad drove occasionally. 

I gave the usual festival in the evening (for a breakfast, 
I find, won't go down), with claret jolted last week all the 
way from Leith, as the landlord said, for the occasion. 

I had been over all the grounds in immediate connec- 
tion with the castle on Friday, before and after dinner, 
and to-day David Milne, the Advocate-Depute, and I went 
to the top of Dunaquaich, and other places, before breakfast. 
In the churchyard, which lies hid behind a horrid wall, 
about half a mile north of the town, Milne found the 
following gallant epitaph on the tombstone of "John 


Stewart, Lieutenant in the 21st Regiment of Foot," who 
died in May 1820, aged 29 : 

Farewell, vain world ! I know enough of thee, 
I value not what thou can'st say of me. 

After this preparation (and a breakfast of most admir- 
able sea trout) I went canonically to church. A procession 
must necessarily be imposing to a public whose magistrates 
heading it are sixteen in number, while their constituents 
are only twenty-eight. It was a neat, clean little church, 
and a discourse very strong in the water. There certainly 
were not 150 people present. I could only count 132. 
Nor was there a single kilt, or blue bonnet, a plaid, or 
yard of tartan. All Saxon and apathy. Cut this was the 
temple of the aristocracy ; which at Inveraray consists of 
writers and the Duke. The Gaelic was going on at the 
other side of the wall. For a town population of about 
1200, and a country population attending church of far 
less than 800, that is for 2000 people, they have six 
services, three English and three Gaelic, every Sunday, one 
of each being in the evening ; and of the two ministers, 
dull though he was, the provost assured me that the one 
I got was by far the liveliest. God help the natives, both 
for the quality and the quantity. 

I have been acquainted with Inveraray since I was a 
lad, and I never saw it without feeling that it was 
unworthy of the great reputation it has contrived to get. 
It is plain that Sir David Wilkie (Life, vol. i. pp. 473, 474) 
thought so too. The castle is abominable. And it and 
the town are so conspicuously near, that each hurts the 
other. The head of the loch is too narrow. Except 
Dunaquaich, which is certainly picturesque, the hills are 
all insignificant, and those which bound the east side of 
the loch are utterly paltry. Except in being strewed over 


by some very fine trees, every one of which, however, is 
dying of moss, there is nothing in the laying out of the 
grounds. A brilliant sun gilds anything, but in its 
ordinary state, Inveraray to me is a scene of heavy 

We left it to-day after church, and came here. I have 
not been along the east side of Loch Awe since I missed 
t>ld Lord Meadowbank, with whom I was going this 
Circuit as Advocate Depute in 1808 or 1809, and had to 
walk from Dalmally to Inveraray. I had not forgot it ; 
but my admiration of this noble loch is greatly raised by 
to-day's view. Its islands, though mostly small, are more 
numerous than those in most of our lakes. Not one of 
our lakes has such irregularity of shape (I speak only of 
this end), or variety of outline. And which of them can 
boast of a Ben Cruachan % So far as I have seen our 
sheets of fresh water, the competition for the second place 
clearly lies between Loch Awe and Maree. The first is 
indisputably due to Loch Lomond. 

TARBET, Monday Night, 24th April 1843. A successful 

We took a car before breakfast and went to Kilchurn, 
of which, besides seeing it, I wanted to have a bit, for my 
long contemplated, and seemingly never to be executed, 
old castle chessmen. It is a very fine ruin, grandly placed. 
There are far larger and far more beautiful and interesting 
fragments of religious architecture in Scotland, but I can- 
not recollect the ruins of any greater castle. And this one 
has still enough of turret, and window, and ivy remaining 
to render it perhaps in as perfect a stage for preservation, 
as a ruin, as it ever has been or can be. But what murder 
it is undergoing ! There is little neighbouring population, 
and therefore there is little of the usual Scotch sheer filth 


But except this, there is every other atrocity. Not one 
sixpence of money or one moment of care has ever been 
bestowed on either of the two duties of protecting or of 
cleaning. The whole rubbish has been allowed to accumu- 
late exactly as it has fallen ; and not one trowelful of 
lime has ever been laid out to prevent the descent and 
accumulation of more. The consequences are that the 
inside is almost utterly inaccessible, and that time has 
made, and is making, innumerable obvious preparations for 
undermining and throwing down more large and important 
masses. Whole walls seem to depend in some places on 
the crumbling of a small stone. The boatman who rowed 
us over (for though it be on the mainland, boating is the 
driest way of reaching it) defended his master, the Marquis 
of Breadalbane, to whom it belongs, by saying that "Some- 
thing had been dune til't a while ago, as ye wad see by a 
stane abune the door." And no doubt there is a clear cut 
lintel above the door, with the date of 1693; for the 
repairs of which period the castle, after standing since the 
1 3th century, it is to be hoped was grateful. But has there 
been a shilling laid out since 1693, in mere protection or 
clearing? It is scandalous, and to me utterly incompre- 
hensible. Here is a noble Marquis with an estate of the 
highest class, and no children, who can afford to entertain 
the Queen, and to cover the country from sea to sea with 
gamekeepers, and to exhaust all the powers of decoration 
on his residence at Taymouth, but cannot give a mite or 
a thought for the decency or the perpetuation of a great 
historical relic, in comparison of which, in reference even 
to the dignity of his own estate, queens and upholsterers are 
nothing. It is not avarice, nor is it ignorance, at least 
not in his case. It proceeds from want of thought, which 
creates the habit of being reconciled to what ought to be 
felt shameful; till at last he who would give 500 for a 
hearthrug, or 5000 for a Gothic dairy, stares at the idea 


of expending a shilling on arresting the decay of the only 
thing he may happen to possess which painting or poetry 
think worthy of their notice. 1 

In going to Kilchurn we saw several swallows, the first 
of the year. 

We left Dalmally about eleven, went to Tyndrum, 
then to Inverarnan, 12 miles, and here, 10 miles more. 
There is a good deal of hill, though the whole road is 
excellent, but we walked and loitered, and our day's 
journey of 34 miles was only ended by the carriage at 
about five, and by me, who walked the last stage, at about six. 

All I now say of Dalmally and Tyndrum, and of their 
ranges, is that I adhere to all I have said already. What 
can I say more ? 

I never came down by the head of Loch Lomond except 
once before, and this was about twenty years ago, and while 
the old road was in its full adventurous impassableness. 
Two of that party, Mrs. Richardson and Sir Charles Bell, 
are no more, but I often saw them to-day. 

The new road has greatly changed, and greatly improved 
the general scenery. It would not be easy to find twelve 
more beautiful or picturesque miles than those between 
Glenfalloch and Tarbet. The descent towards Loch 
Lomond is not quite completed, when the hills are 
observed to have lost the whole of the unbroken massive- 
ness which had marked those in the region above, and to 
have become rocky and ridgy. And there is a very strik- 
ing succession of them visible along the whole way, from 
Ben Oss, at the upper end of the valley, to Ben Lomond, 
which though far below, is seen to more advantage, because 
deprived of its lumpiness, than in any other aspect. The 
whole district is as fully wooded as perhaps is desirable ; 
and the copse has been sprinkled with unusual liberality 
higher up the hills than I can recollect to have seen it. 
1 Journals, vol. ii. 122. 



1 was alarmed by observing a great collection of sawn 
wood, and of large cut forest trees ; because seeing no new 
plantations or enclosures, and recollecting that insolvency 
is essential to a Scotch laird, I anticipated that next time 
I was here there would not be an old stem left, if there 
was a sawmill. But I found that there was not, and that 
this was a depot of wood cut about Taymouth, and on its 
way to the Clyde. The whole sides of the hills are 
engraved by torrents, all rushing to contribute their mites 
to the treasury of Loch Lomond. The day was cloudy 
but fair, and the tops of all the hills, though sunless, were 
quite clear. There are a few patches of farming, which, by 
contrast, rather improve the picturesque sublimity of a 
valley in which there is nothing soft except the surface of 
the lake, and the young leaves. 

About eight miles above this I saw a large rock, which 
had plainly fallen from a hill behind, standing by itself about 
100 yards off the road, with a wooden door placed in its 
front. I waited till the carriage came up and asked the 
driver what it was, who said it was a church. We sent to 
a house about half a mile back for the key, when it was 
all explained. It is not a church, but a pulpit. The place 
is in the parish of Arrochar, but far from the kirk. So 
the people have made a very striking kirk of their own. 
This stone seemed to be about as large as a three-storied 
house. I took it to be about 40 feet high by 40 wide, 
except towards the top, where it rounds off, thus 

It is one single stone, and stands quite alone. Its top is 


covered with growing heather. The whole end where the 
door is, is perfectly smooth, a face of clear whin. And 
this end is not quite perpendicular, only because it projects 
a little forward. It is called the Bull Stone, from a 
tradition that it was shaken and dislodged from its original 
position by two bulls when they were fighting. 

Well, as the movable wooden pulpit which is usual at 
field preachings would have but a poor chance amidst 
these rocky and shivered solitudes, they have picked and 
blasted an excellent covered rostrum out of the solid stone. 
The hole inside is about 8 feet high, 6 feet wide, 
and 5 deep. There are ten rude stone steps up to it. 
A wooden bench is fixed in the back part, the door is 
cut across into two divisions, and during service the lower 
division is kept shut, and a movable desk being hooked 
upon it, the minister is seen about 16 feet above the 
ground, exactly as in an ordinary pulpit, except that he 
is closed in on the sides and overhead. There is room for 
one elder, or any other of the aristocracy, on the bench on 
each side of the preacher. The congregation sits (if it 
chooses to sit) on rows of seats fronting the pulpit, these 
seats being made of lines of low dry stone wall, cushioned 
with turf. Humble as all this is, it is not too humble for 
charity. We found two ladles under the bench. I put 
the whole silver I had into them. It was only a sixpence 
for each. But no one can give more than he has. Paper 
would have rotted before the next angel visit. 

I cordially agreed with Graham Maitland, when she 
said that she would like to hear Gutiirie preach from that 
pulpit. Now that Chalmers, who is incomparably his 
superior in knowledge and in genius, is on the wane, 
Guthrie is our greatest preacher, and though never courting 
vulgar popularity by fanaticism or any other unbecoming 
art, and always observing good sense and good taste, he is 


pre-eminently the orator of the poor. It would indeed be 
glorious to hear him under the inspiration of this scene : 
the dark and pinnacled hills all around ; the lake, scarcely 
rippling, in front, the remnant of Presbyterian mountaineers 
under the open sky, and he addressing them from his 
living rock, amidst the very haunts where their forefathers 
bled, in order that they might hear the same doctrines, 
preached in the same forms ! If Guthrie will preach this 
sermon, I shall willingly go all the way from Edinburgh 
to hear it. I think I see the tall dark man, with his 
singularly graceful action, and hear the full sonorous 
voice, and the strong natural eloquence, all applied with 
simplicity, assuredness and success, to soothe and elevate 
the poor by all the hopes and comforts which they 
peculiarly require. 

GARSCUBE, Tuesday Night, 25th April 1843. We came 
here to-day, through wind and rain, from Tarbet. I have 
been invited to this hospitable house for above thirty 
years, but never made it out till now. A very comfortable 
place, with the air and the reality of luxury, in everything 
about it. Considering the odious manufacturing country 
that surrounds it, its principal excellence is its singular 
seclusion within the dressed ground of the place. A 
stranger could never suspect while admiring its trees, beauti- 
ful grass, well-kept walks, its garden, stream, and mansion- 
house, that if he ventured to raise his head above the 
slopes that enclose him, he would see groves of chimneys, 
the obelisks of manufacturers, polluting the atmosphere on 
every side. 

BONALY, 3d May 1843. Meadowbank and I left Gars- 
cube on the morning of Wednesday the 26th of April, 
and processed into Glasgow. Whether it was our error 


or theirs I do not know, but the magistrates and we took 
different roads, and for about half an hour we chased each 
other, to the great diversion of the people. We had our 
public dinner on that day, and were quiet, though not 
absolutely solitary, every day afterwards. On Saturday 
evening I came to Edinburgh, and went back on Monday 

There were 82 indictments and 142 prisoners. Some 
of these cases were so long, that if they had all gone 
on, they could not have been disposed of till the end of 
this week. But a doubt occurred about the citations of 
about twenty of the longest of them, which prevented 
these being proceeded with, and it has had a similar effect 
at Perth. This misfortune, for it is wrong not to dispose 
of all the business, and it generally recurs at some less 
convenient season, liberated us suddenly yesterday at two, 
and at five we were in Edinburgh. 

There was one capital sentence, a murderer's, a brute, 
who after fatiguing himself by beating his half-drunk wife, 
at last sharpened a knife on the hearthstone, and stabbed 
her, all because she would not give him breakfast, which 
his blows made her incapable of doing, but which was 
done for her by another woman. She was an intolerable 
wife, insomuch that he had often said that "one of us 
would certainly swing for the other." But they had gone 
out this morning about nine on good terms, and had 
returned in about an hour, both more stupefied than 
excited by whisky ; and after taking all his blows with- 
out any other resistance than an appeal to " Charley, 
dear," the wretched woman was bled to death by a fierce 
cut of the femoral artery, on no other provocation than 
that of being disabled by his violence from feeding 
the beast with her own hands. This scene occurred on a 
Sunday; a day sacred, with a part of our population, 


to whisky and brutality. The convict's name is Charles 

There was also the case of a woman accused of murder- 
ing her husband, but it was one of the twenty, and did not 
come on. It will be a famous case in its day, however. 
She first committed the capital offence of giving her husband 
a dose of arsenic, which very nearly killed him, but he 
survived it. Thinking (truly) that it was her unskilful- 
ness in administering that made this dose fail, she resolved 
to improve herself by a little practice, and then to renew 
the attempt. She therefore experimented upon a neigh- 
bour, whom she killed. And having now ascertained how 
to proceed, she gave another dose to her spouse, and killed 
him too. She was indicted for the two murders and the 
abortive administration, an awkward accumulation of 
charges. It being in her case that the motion to put off 
all the trials was made, she was brought to the bar ; and, 
whether it was fancy or not, struck me as having a very 
singular expression. She was little, apparently middle- 
aged, modest and gentle looking, with firm-set lips, a pale 
countenance, and suspicious restless eyes. Her name is 
Mary Macfarlane or Taylor. 

A band of five horrible women, real Glasgow faggots, 
incorrigible devils, were sent to Botany in a batch, for a 
ferocious robbery, committed on a decent stranger they 
had inveigled into their den. I was greatly diverted by 
overhearing the account which one of them gave, in a 
soliloquy, of her learned judges, as she was leaving the 

bar, " Twa d d auld grey-headed blackguards ! They 

gie us plenty o' their law, but deevilish little joostice ! " 

My books were the 156th No. of the Edinburgh Review, 
and Allan Cunningham's Life of Sir David Wilkie. The last 
is made dull by sheer protraction. Instead of three large 
volumes, one moderate one would have been enough. 


Wilkie seems to have been a modest, amiable, industrious, 
and contented man, but without much originality or 
strength of mind. His life does not impress me with a 
favourable idea of the position even of a successful artist 
in this country. In Wilkie's case it produced little money 
and constant anxiety about patronage. 


AUTUMN 1843. 

ROTHESAY, Sunday Night, 10th September 1843. My 
two daughters, Elizabeth and Mrs. Stewart, and I, left 
Edinburgh yesterday by the one o'clock train, and were in 
Glasgow before three. At four we left Glasgow by the 
train, and got to Greenock by five, and then, embarking 
in a steamer, were here by seven. 

I never was at this famed place before, or indeed below 
Dunoon, except crossing from Ardrossan to Largs. It far 
exceeds all my expectations. 

There could not possibly have been a more perfect 
evening. Such a September, so far as it has yet gone, has 
rarely been seen or felt in Scotland. The temperature 
was about 70 in the shade, which, at this season, implies 
a cloudless sky. The Clyde was glorious ! Whether is 
it the bright waters of the Firth, or the dark masses of 
the Argyleshire hills, or the bays and the promontories, 
or the long lochs and the islands, or the holiday gaiety of 
little sea towns devoted to idleness and enjoyment, or all 
of them, that constitute the peculiar charm of all this 
district 1 Before our voyage was over, the southern sides 
of the Argyle mountains were in the shade, the glow of 
the sunset was fading even from the opposite shores of 
Renfrew and Ayr ; and at last the moon, nearly full, had 
quenched the few remaining streaks of day, and was shed- 
ding its magical lustre over this beautiful bay and its 



delightful little town. Our landing, with the people 
lounging under the mitigated air, and the lights in the 
semicircle of windows, was striking and pleasing. Henry 
Davidson (who was waiting for us) and I, walked along 
the beach for nearly an hour before retiring to rest, and 
indeed even after the night-shirt was on, it was not easy 
to refrain from taking always one other gaze at the 
trembling water, the bright houses, and the silent masses 
of the hills. 

Last night the whole population was abroad. This was 
riot quite so good a day, being grave, hazy, and pensive, 
but still it has been warm, calm, and pleasing. But, being 
Sunday, the population has been all dead. I had always 
heard that a smile upon the Lord's day was a sin in 
Kothesay, and now I have found it to be so. The land- 
lord and landlady of this public inn (no less than " The 
Bute Arms,") refused to let Davidson and his brother have 
their dinner in the house two years ago, because it was 
Sunday. They were driven into a temperance coifee-house, 
where their stomachs were filled with solids; but not a 
drop of wine were they allowed even to bring in, and they 
only got it by the good nature of a compassionate apothe- 
cary, who sent them in a bottle of sherry, wrapped up and 
labelled, with all the laboratory marks, as Bitters. Last 
night I said I wanted to see the ruins of the castle this 
morning. " No power on earth will get you in to-morrow, 
it 's Sunday. " I then asked if the garden of Mount Stuart 
was shown. " Oh, to everybody, my lord, but not upon 
Sunday." And conformably to this mode of making 
Sunday amiable, except on the way to and from the 
Established Church, and the Free Church, and the Seceders, 
the people have been literally dead. Not a foot has been 
heard on the pavement, no working man's dusty skin has 
been refreshed in the pure sea, no boat has skimmed from 



the shore, no eye has performed the pious homage of rais- 
ing itself to observe glories which God does not veil upon 

However, Davidson and I contrived to get a car, and 
to give ourselves a general notion of Bute, the Montpellier 
of Scotland. We first went to Mount Stuart. No 
admission to the garden. We strolled through some part of 
the grounds, but thought little of them, possibly because we 
were angry. If I had been autocrat of Bute, I would have 
erected my castle at this (the Eothesay) end of the island. 
But every station near any part of its shores is good. 

We then drove to Kingarth a mere name, with two or 
three cot houses, an inn, and a church, most beautifully 
situated, so as to look upon the sea on both sides of the 
island, at least by going a very few paces. 

After driving a few miles homeward by the inland road, 
we left the car, and walked along a succession of heights, 
to the top of the highest ground in the island : spelt " Ben 
Varogen " by MacCulloch, but pronounced by the natives 
" Ba-rone," leaving out the Ben. I should doubt its being 
higher than Arthur Seat. Yet MacCulloch says (vol. ii. p. 
20), " Arran is here a peculiarly fine object, the whole of its 
mountain district being displayed in a magnificent manner, 
and conveying a more perfect idea of the grandeur of this 
tract than can be obtained from any other position." I 
suppose this means that a better idea of the grandeur of 
this district is to be obtained from Barone than from 
Goatfell. This is an example of the different eyes, though 
in the same head, with which it is possible to see things in 
different states; a good or a bad day, good or bad humour, 
fatigue or strength, patience or impatience, make all the 
odds in the world; insomuch that they can render the 
prospect from Barone as magnificent as that from Goatfell. 
We did not see it well, because the extreme distances 


were invisible, and nothing even of Arran was to be seen 
except a part of its dim ghost. But the whole of Bute, 
and all the near seas and lands, were within our view ; 
and occasional abatings of the warm haze, aided by some 
bright streaks, disclosed enough of the distance to show 
that under a clearer sun the unobstructed panorama must 
be both beautiful and grand. The interior of this island, 
however, is paltry. Its cultivation is the best of it. The 
portions still in a state of nature consist of poor, flattish 
heath, and of the four or five fresh-water lochs, none have 
any beauty except Loch Fad, and it not much. The only 
striking feature in the internal scenery is this town of 
Rothesay, which lies delightfully between two little hills, 
with its bay, round which it is extending its arms in front. 
The people still try to make a sight of Kean's cottage, 
merely because it was lived in by that ranting liquor-loving 
player, and seemed surprised that we would not go to look 
at it. 

On the whole, this famous Bute is plainly worthy of its 
reputation. For though there did not seem to me to be a 
single inland spot which seemed to say, " Place a cottage 
here," there was no part of the shore which did not give 
such an invitation. The sea, and the absence of great 
heights, account, I suppose, for the undoubted softness of 
the climate. But it is this town, with its quiet bay, its 
Argyle hills, its idle holiday population, its active steamers 
landing and removing sight-seeing crowds, that is the 
real charm of the island. 

ROTHESAY, Monday, 9 A.M., \\tli September 1843. We 
have been this morning to the castle. I have been wrong 
(p. 183) in calling Kilchurn the largest of our Scotch 
c.astles in ruin. Robert Bruce's, at Rothesay, is much larger, 
and must have been a noble edifice, but its being placed 


where it is seems odd, for it has no natural defences of rock 
or of situation. It was cleared out about twenty-six years 
ago, and though not at all as it ought to be, is in a far 
better condition than most of our ruins. It will crumble, 
however, sooner than it need do, under the mass of 
universal ivy which is encouraged to eat into its bones. 

A good day for our sail through the Kyles, clouds and 
sunshine playing on all the hills. But the wind is far too 
high for the chyle of my stomach. 

ARDPATRICK, Tuesday Morning, 12th September 1843. 
We lingered about Eothesay yesterday till near twelve, 
sauntering up its heights, and round its bay. It is really 
beautiful; and at this season, on a fine day, enjoyment 
seems to be the sole business of the inhabitants. Going 
in cars, boating, sitting on the rocks or at open windows, 
bathing, sewing or reading on the shore, looking through 
telescopes, or basking in luxurious idleness, these are the 
occupations of a community composed of strangers who 
resort there for pleasure, and of natives who let their 
houses to them. The bathing is conducted on the 
primaeval and innocent principle of seeing no difference 
between water and air, and of living with the same 
freedom in both. It is more socially done than at 
Ardrossan, where the ladies come forth in their marine 
robes one by one ; whereas at Rothesay I counted a single 
group of about forty, all in company, and indeed in 
contact, and very merry. And it wants the profligacy of 
Portobello, where men intermix, with an obvious but 
disregarded sense of its impropriety; while at Rothesay 
such is the universal simplicity that there is no conscious- 
ness whatever that, in point of decency, there is any 
difference between wet clothes and dry, or even between 
clothes and no clothes. Men and women, and ladies and 


gentlemen, proceed with their respective visits to the sea, 
close together, and apparently even in arranged parties, 
with exactly the same ease and absence of ceremony that 
they would feel in walking and conversing together in a 
ball-room. I had been told that this was always the case 
at Eothesay, and it did not require more than a few hours of 
one warm day to show that the report was correct. A 
single fact indeed attests it. The edge of the bay is lined 
for at least half a mile by dwelling-houses standing close 
together. These houses are not 100 feet from the water, 
and all the bathing is in front of them ; yet, except one 
private one, there is n.ot a single bathing-machine or covered 
bathing-house of any kind in the whole place. So simple is 
the purity of this little island ; it refines even strangers 
who come upon it from the mainland. 

Davidson returned to Dunoon, where he is living with 
his brother Archibald, and the rest of us embarked in the 
Inveraray steamer about twelve. We reached East Tarbert 
about three, took a car across the mile to West Tarbert, 
got on board the Islay steamer there, sailed down Loch 
Tarbert, and were landed in about an hour at this house, 
presently inhabited by the Campbells of Kilberry, to whom 
we are consigned on a visit of three days. 

The whole journey from Eothesay to this was new to 
me, and aided by novelty, and by a calm, warm, splendid 
day, it was most delightful. 

The chief beauty of the sea being the land, the narrower 
the sea the better. Therefore there can be few better 
sails than round Bute. In themselves, most of the 
individual features are insignificant, but it is pleasant to 
sail through comfortable-looking Highland farms, almost 
within the sound of the sickle, and within hand-shaking 
of the people on the shore. The Kyles proper are far 
more rugged and picturesque, and get so narrow and so 


involved in rocks, that it is frequently a puzzle to find out 
where we are to thread next. 

But Tarbert ! East Tarbert ! How is it that I had never 
even heard of that curious little bay? I can't recollect 
that I ever saw it mentioned in any tour. I was never 
more surprised than in sailing into that quiet sort of a 
natural wet dock, apparently not containing above 10 or 
20 acres. There it lay, calm and silvery, deeply set all 
round, except at the narrow entrance, in ridgy hills of hard 
rock; a curve of about 20 or 30 small houses drawn 
round the upper end, all comfortable looking, and, except 
three houses and seven hovels, all bright with fresh white- 
wash ; a great number of herring-boats floating at anchor, 
with their brown, tanned sails hanging to dry ; the ruins of 
an old castle standing on a rocky knoll at the left side of 
the entrance, and the whole scene of peaceful and secluded 
industry crowned by a respectable church, which looks down 
on it from a little eminence behind the rim of habitation, 
a striking and beautiful spot like a scene in a theatre. 

Nor had I ever heard Loch Tarbert praised, or even 
talked of. Nevertheless, many a worse loch has excited 
many a pen and many a pencil. It is about 10 or 12 
miles long, perfectly straight, about a mile wide or less on 
an average, lined by black, rocky, but not very high, hills, 
very jagged along its whole edges by rough promontories, 
which, however, are softened occasionally by patches of 
cultivation ; a very picturesque piece of water. 

INVERARAY, Sunday Morning, llth September 184 3. 
We remained at Ardpatrick all Tuesday, Wednesday and 
Thursday. During these days we drove and boated, and 
ate oatcakes and drank whisky, and slept, and were very 
kindly treated, and by no means stinted in sleep. The 
weather was beautiful, both under the sun and under the 

WEST CIR C Ul TA UTUMN \ 843. 199 

moon. My chief pleasure was in getting up any knoll 
from which I could see the heights of Jura. Our host's 
property of Kilberry extends from the sea opposite Islay on 
the west, to Loch Tarbert on the east, about 7 or 10 miles 
or so in all. It is at present mansionless, and he must 
build. Loch Tarbert tempts him by the finest possible 
sites, on a range of rocky hills, covered with wood and 
rattling with burns, and rich in little haughs and knolls, 
all washed by the loch. Yet though he admits that that 
is infinitely the most convenient situation, he is nearly 
resolved to set himself down on his western extremity, 
which consists of a bare, flat, featureless, half-reclaimed 
moor, made only the uglier by some turnips and barley. 
And why 1 ? Because it was the family place ! That is 
because some savages practised rapine there 500 years ago, 
and built what they called a castle and a religious house; 
of neither of which does a single organised fragment 
now remain. I scarcely know a greater sacrifice of sense 
to folly. 

On Friday (15th) at about one we came away in his 
carriage to East Tarbert, thus seeing the loch by land as 
we had formerly done by water. And we got another 
visit to the village. I went up to the castle, which must 
anciently have been a very large stronghold. There were 
about 200 boats in the bay, with their tanned hanging 
sails. And I observed, which I had not noticed before, 
that the bay, small though it be, has three islands, one of 
them cased in masonry, about 30 feet square and flat on 
the top, and used for hanging nets upon over rude screens. 
It is really a delightful nook. But the Sheriff tells me 
that it is a profligate place. Nonsense ! I don't believe 
it. The brawls, which are his only facts, must proceed 
from the stranger fishers who nestle in it. I won't believe 
anything bad of the natives of that little Virgilian port. 


This Sheriff a worthy, ugly, sensible, cart-horse of a 
man, hideously ugly, and with a coarse, high-keyed, 
idiotical voice, at which the very stots stare. Sir Walter 
Scott once amazed us all by taking this strange, good, and 
most illiterate creature to Paris with him, the most in- 
comprehensible fact in the history of either man. It is 
commonly accounted for by ascribing it to Scott's great 
neighbourly kindness, but many of the anecdotes brought 
back by the novelist made it plain that his chief enjoy- 
ment consisted in observing the effect of foreign things on 
his rustic and simple associate, who seems to have glowered, 
and munched, and to have been free in all quarters, with 
what he meant to be French, and to have rolled his large 
white eyes, and to have made "unwieldy mirth," in all 
sorts of ways, to the poet's entire satisfaction. An English 
lady, who had just arrived in Scotland, with her head full 
of enthusiasm about everything Scotch, had the good 
luck to be seated at Abbotsford next R . She hap- 
pened to ask him the name of the stream she had seen 
joining the Tweed. " It was the Ga-a-la, Ma-a-dam." 
" The Gala ! Well, I am so delighted at that ! Because I 
know the song of ' The braw (brae) lads of Gala (Gay-la) 
Water/ and I should so like to see one of them." " Ou ! 
joost look at me, Madam; a'm ane o' them masel'." 
Nevertheless, there cannot be a worthier or more sensible 

We had got horses and an open carriage (for this 
Circuit I had no carriage of my own, it is an incumbrance 
in this district) sent from Ardrishaig to Tarbert, and we 
went along the western shore of Loch Fyne to Inveraray, 
which we reached about nine at night. Knowing that it 
would be under cloud of night that I would enter, I had 
dispensed with the attendance of the provost and his poor 


The stage from Tarbert to Ardrishaig was the only one 
that was new to me. And it is extremely beautiful, and 
would be so even without the aid of such an evening as 
we had quite calm, the water and the sky contending in 
unbroken blueness, and the air so soft that it was a luxury 
to let the hands and face bathe themselves in it. I left 
the carriage and took a look of the new house of Barmore. 
It is Playfair's work, and seemed worthy of its author. 
The place, too, is beautiful. But I hope it is not true that 
the house cost about 30,000, and that, after selling an 
estate to pay it, the laird has only about 3000 a year 
left. Probably, however, it is true, because a proprietor 
ruining himself by too large a mansion-house is quite con- 
formable to the Scotch practice. Malcolm of Poltalloch, 
the Croesus of Argyle, has built a grand hotel at Ardrishaig, 
of which the ostensible landlord is only his manager. 
Both this village and Lochgilphead (within a mile of it) 
looked most attractive, for they were glittering in sunshine. 

The moon was rising over Inveraray as we approached it. 

We had only three trifles to dispose of in Court yester- 
day. The last trial failed by a juror's taking a fit in the 
box while they were considering their verdict, and the 
rest of the jury having been dismissed, as this was the 
only remaining case, the trial could not be begun again. 

At dinner we had a grand dessert of unripe fruit, brought 
for the occasion from Glasgow, and no herrings, though 
they were never more plentiful or better. But I never 
come to Argyle without seeing that a herring has no 
honour in its own country. 

STRACHUR, Monday Night, ISth September 1843. I went 
to church at Inveraray yesterday, and had another opiate 
from the same preacher as last April. The Provost and 
the Sheriff of Bute are both keen Free Churchmen, and 


were very averse to countenance the Establishment, and 
were only reconciled by my assuring them that they could 
only be held to attend officially, which inferred no homo- 
logation. But then they could not brook one of the two 
ministers, who was a rat, and ought to have gone out. 
They were told that he was from home. So they girt 
up their loins and processed, and after being fixed in the 
pew, their friend the rat mounted the pulpit. 

After church I took a boat and came here. The day 
was bad. 

This day has been better, but not very good, and so 
I only loitered about the shore throughout the forenoon. 
In the evening, people are pretty independent of weather 
wherever Lord Murray is the landlord. 

We go to-morrow by Dunoon to Glasgow. 

GLASGOW, Tuesday Night, 19/A September 1843. We 
left Strachur (an open carriage and horses sent from 
Inveraray) to-day about nine, and reached Dunoon about 
one. The day was excellent. But no sun can make Loch 
Eck smile. Narrow, straight, and islandless, its unvarying 
form is seen at once, almost from end to end, without a 
single village, and with very few houses, and little culture ; 
it is never enlivened by sound, and its dead surface is 
rarely broken by an oar or a sail. The large and heavy 
mountains that line it on both sides have one-half of it 
generally in shade, and even when the sun is in the 
meridian, depth makes its water dark. It is beautiful, 
but sad. 

We went to Archibald Davidson's, who is living at 
Dunoon, and remained there till half-past four, when 
we crossed to Greenock, and were here by the railway 
before seven. 

I heard at Dunoon, for the first time, of the sudden 


death of George Houston, an irrecoverable blow to his 
family, of which he was the delight, and the last direct 
branch. I can scarcely recollect any stroke more utterly 
crushing than the one that has been inflicted by the early 
and unexpected removal of this excellent young man. 

BONALY, Sunday Night, 1st October 1843. I found 
Moncreiff and two of his daughters in Glasgow on the 
19th of September. Next morning we had our usual pro- 
cession to Court, where 69 cases kept us till the evening 
of Wednesday the 27th. The 24th being a Sunday, I 
came here on Saturday evening, and was in Court again 
on Monday a few minutes after ten. 

When here, I received intimation of the death of my 
old friend, George Joseph Bell, Clerk of Session, and Pro- 
fessor of Scotch Law, and destined to be known to 
posterity as the author of the book on Bankruptcy. His 
death was not to be regretted, old, blind, poor, and 
getting poorer, and never forgetting the disgraceful treat- 
ment which excluded him from the Bench because he would 
not be dishonest, life for him had lost most of its attrac- 
tions. There could not possibly be a better man, and he 
is the greatest legal writer in Scotland next to Stair. It 
is not, perhaps, too much to say that his work is the 
greatest practical book on Mercantile Jurisprudence that 
has been produced in modern times. 

None of our cases were of any novelty or importance. 
An able doctor of medicine, a clever writer in Blackwood's 
Magazine, was transported for embezzlement, and for com- 
posing and sending a threatening letter. I was shown 
(after the case was over) another epistle from the same 
powerful blackguard to his victim, in which he intimates 
that at his trial he has nothing to do but to plead in- 
sanity. I have little doubt that, at present, when the 


benevolent towards criminals have succeeded in raising a 
cry against punishing any culprit who had, or says that 
he had, a crotchet which led him to commit his offence 
(which they call by some technical name), there are very 
few acts of criminal malice that are not helped on by the 
idea that this defence may be successful in the time of 

In another case an honest-looking, generous-hearted 
Irish lad moved me greatly by repeating, and with equal 
eloquence and feeling, the proposal of MacCombich in the 
Court at Carlisle, that they would let him have his head 
cut off instead of Vich Ian Vohr. He and several of his 
countrymen were accused of aggravated housebreaking. 
He was acquitted, but his brother was convicted, on which 
he entreated, with great simplicity and earnestness, that he 
might be allowed to be transported in his brother's place. 
He was grieved and shocked when told that this was 
impossible, and after a parting at the bar, very painful to 
see, they were separated, probably for ever ; and for the 
moment at least he by far the most severely punished of 
the two. The misfortune is, that, though attached to his 
brother, his only attachment to others was to their 

There has been a strong desire for years past to 
avoid the necessity of transportation by trying long 
imprisonments in properly regulated prisons, and the 
whole system and apparatus of prison discipline in Scot- 
land has been changed in order to give this benevolent 
experiment fair play. I grieve to say that as yet the 
results are not encouraging. Those who have come out of 
an eighteen months' or a two years' confinement seem to 
revert to crime, at least to crimes against property, as 
easily as if nothing had ever been done to reform or to 
frighten them. We had about twenty of them this Circuit 


at Glasgow alone ! I don't see how it can be otherwise, 
so long as convicts are turned out after their term is over, 
without money, or character, or master. The proposal 
now is to let them emigrate at the public expense. And 
I am clear for getting them out of this country in as great 
numbers as possible. But it may be easily foreseen that 
even this voluntary emigration won't tempt those who have 
once fairly tasted the sweets of a life of thieving. Every 
other criminal, except probably a coiner and a poacher, 
there may be hope of, and possibly even of a first thief. 
But after a second conviction shows that stealing has 
become a trade, be he or she old, middle-aged or young, 
I don't at present believe that reformation is possible. 
Simply because the sport of thieving, in its various forms, 
is the most irresistible of all pastimes. What have the 
moors equal to it? No licence to pay for, no permission 
to ask, no close time, total idleness, great risk, frequent 
success, constant excitement, a community of their own, 
the whole public their preserve, the delight of eluding the 
law, and the many chances of escape even after being caught 
trespassing. If anything could be required to whet the 
appetite for this game, it would be its contrast with the 
dulness of a good prison recently left. I hope I 'm wrong, 
but if there be a thoroughly reformed, twice-convicted 
thief, I would rather pay a shilling to see him than to see 
any other wonder in any living show. 

Our Advocate-Depute was Mark Napier, the biographer 
of the discoverer of the logarithms, and author of other good 
Scotch works. He is better known as an author than as 
a counsel, but he is a sensible, industrious, amiable man, 
and Moncreiff and I agreed that we had never seen the 
business better done. 

I came here on Thursday (28th) forenoon, somewhat 
stricken with cold, and have been mostly in bed till now. 


I read nothing except some articles in the new Quarterly. 

It will be long before I can cease wondering at the folly 
of the Butes in not removing Rothesay when this was 
possible, and laying out their money, and such taste as 
they had, upon a place near its present site. They would 
have had finer prospects, an old historical ruin, better 
shelter, and might have brought Loch Fad and some 
others within their grounds. At present the lochs are lost. 

There is a passage, I think, in one of Scott's novels in 
which he makes somebody, who is lamenting the encroach- 
ments of civilisation on Highland solitudes say, but only 
as an extreme result, that he should not wonder if the 
mail-coach horn should one day be heard in Glencoe. 
Alas, alas ! it has been heard all this summer. A 
romantic tourist pinched for time can now be hurried 
from Fort William to Edinburgh in one not long day. 
A coach left Fort William all this season at about six in 
the morning, and after blowing away to Ballachulish, up 
Glencoe to Kingshouse, and from thence to Tyndrum, 
and down Glenfalloch to Tarbet, which it reached about 
two, its passengers could get into a steamer there and 
reach Glasgow in time for the five o'clock train, which 
landed them at Edinburgh about seven. Spirits of Fingal 
and of Eob Eoy ! what say ye to this ? 


WINTER 1844. 

BONALY, 8th January 1844. I left Edinburgh by the 
half-past seven o'clock train on Tuesday last, the 2d, and 
was in time for the Winter Circuit procession at ten. 
Medwyn was my colleague. The job lasted till Saturday 
evening the 6th, sitting generally from nine till about 
eight. There were 64 cases, and we left not one untried 
that the prosecutor could proceed with. 

My strolls, whether before breakfast or after dinner, 
being all in the dark and generally under heavy rain, I 
saw nothing. 

The cases were a mass of commonplace trash. 

It seems to me to augur worse and worse for the effect 
of long imprisonments. We had about twelve thieves, all 
of whom had been imprisoned by the Court of Justiciary for 
at least one year, and several more on whom the bene- 
volence of long and religious incarceration had been wasted 
by Sheriffs. I suppose that, including the last Spring and 
Autumn Circuits at Glasgow, I have seen about fifty such 
cases in the last ten months. One handsome-looking 
young woman, called Mary Boyle, had been in the Peni- 
tentiary at Perth, the very school of penal virtue, and had 
come out with a great character, a thoroughly reformed 
creature, their best swatch. Well, after being a month 
free, and employed, she engages in a daring burglary with 
a gang of male villains ; and then on being sentenced to 


transportation threw off in an instant the decorous air 
which had made people first doubt the evidence, and then 
pity her, and broke out into a paroxysm of the most 
cordial fury I ever saw at the bar; cursing prosecutor, 
judges, jury, her own counsel, and all concerned, in the 
coarsest terms, and in the manner of the best brimstone, 
and dealing effective blows on all the enemies within her 
reach, not omitting even the poor macer, who had had 
nothing to do with it. But crime nay, the particular sort 
of it runs in families like everything else, and this lady 
belongs to a race of thieves. She has a father and mother 
and two brothers or sisters already in Australia, and the 
only two that remain have already gone through what 
seems to be the first stage of the transporting process a 
short imprisonment. It is to be hoped that the strength 
of the hereditary tendency saves the reputation of Perth. 

I was struck with two copies of the printed indictments 
which had been served on two lads, incorrigible and now 
transported thieves. One of them was covered with 
verse, partly from Burns, and partly original, the last 
better than any jail verse I ever saw, all about his sad 
separation from " Betsy." The other was adorned by the 
pencil, the drawings (by quill) describing the artist's own 
feats, particularly the one which, added to many others, 
was taken advantage of to get him out of the country, 
picking the pocket of a tall gentleman whose nose was in 
the skies, while the boy and his comrades were dealing 
with the tails of his coat. It was a very spirited sketch. 

A Lanarkshire Justice of Peace was examined in two 
cases of bigamy, who admitted that he carried on a sort 
of trade of receiving declarations of marriage, for which 
he was paid by half-crowns, which failing, by drams, 
and that he believed that he might have done so 100 times 
in one year. We, as recommended by the jury, referred 


Ins case to the Lord Advocate, who happened to be in 
Glasgow, and next day a register, which the Justice stated 
that he had kept, was got, from which it appeared that in 
the last ten years he had married above 1200 pairs! 
Whether he will be allowed to marry any more or . not 

will be seen. Meanwhile his name is Hugh , 

and such a number of irregular marriages, not over all 
Scotland, but in one place and by one man, is a curious 
fact in reference to the law, and to the habits of the people 
of Scotland. 

David Mure (Caldwell) was our Public Accuser ; a most 
excellent youth, well educated, judicious, gentle without 
weakness, and firm without any intemperance, incapable 
of being misled by professional keenness into any want of 
candour, and, in feelings as well as manners, a gentleman. 
He is one of the Tories at our Bar who ought to have 
been a Whig. He is one in reality, although he does not 
know it. 

Thank God, no other Court will ever be held in the 
abominable internal structure which, for above thirty years, 
has disgraced Glasgow, and impeded the administration of 
justice, to say nothing of its smiting judges, who were 
exposed to its bitterest gale, with lumbago, sciatica, and 
all manner of colds. The wit of no devil could devise a 
more atrocious composition. Posterity will scarcely believe 
that so recently as about the year 1810, a large sum was 
expended in a great city on a Courthouse so constructed 
that the judges sat (literally) on the top of a staircase, and 
separated from the street only by a folding door, that their 
only room for robing or taking refreshment was a closely 
adjoining water-closet, that there was not a single apart- 
ment of any kind for counsel, or anybody, except two, that 
were got for the occasion each Circuit, one for the jury to 
be enclosed in, and one of about 15 feet square, for as 


many of perhaps 1000 witnesses as could be squeezed into 
it without respect to age, sex, or station, and that for all 
concerned, except judges, and witnesses, and prisoners, 
that is, for counsel, agents, jurymen, and mob coming and 
going, there was only one door, and it placed at the greatest 
attainable distance from the greatest number of people. 
This cursed door made the Court just a street. There was 
a constant stream of jostling comers in and goers out, 
whose noise, from tongue and from feet, the thumbscrew 
itself could not have checked. The Court is still to be 
held in the same place, but totally changed in all its 
arrangements. How these will turn out will be seen in 
September. A good Court-room must have innumerable 
apartments close at hand, a separate place, and each place 
with a separate access, for each class of the members of the 
Court, judges, counsel, agents, jurors, witnesses, and dis- 
tinguished spectators, and though there ought to be due 
and comfortable accommodation for the public, it is an error 
to suppose that it is necessary to admit the whole public 
at once. 

Of all the judicial spectators in Scotland, those of 
Glasgow are the worst. They are the least attentive, and 
by far the most vulgar. But I observe that the attention 
is always in proportion to the facility of hearing. 

The only bad fact that I know for the new Court is, 
that John Hope has taken the chief charge of the plan, 
and declares it to be perfect. 


SPRING 1844. 

DUNKELD, Monday, 15th April 1844, Night. North 
again, after two years' interval. Creeffy is to be my col- 
league ; my daughter Elizabeth, and my niece Mary 
Fullerton, my companions. 

Meaning to proceed the whole way by the ordinary old 
road, I can have nothing to say. 

We left Edinburgh this morning at eight, and were here 
by four. Eain, of course, over Kinross-shire, but every- 
where else, a respectable Scotch spring day. 

Dunkeld never looks so well as in the evening, and 
particularly in its approach from the south ; it was ex- 
tremely beautiful to-day. Spring is much more advanced 
here than it is about Edinburgh, and there are few places 
where spring is more pleasingly marked. The gardens, 
and villas, and cottages, and cultivated haughs, for about 
two miles down the Tay, were all in the most perfect order, 
dry, weeded and sown; and, by bursting larches, fresh 
green hedges, and daffodils, made delightful to old and 
to young. 

I made an inward vow last time I was here never 
again to degrade myself by entering the grounds of 
Dunkeld, as if I were a maniac and his keeper. But 
the girls having never seen the place, I was obliged to 
go through the ceremonies for their sakes. The velvet 
walk up the river is certainly very fine. We went into 



the cathedral, which I had not done for many years. Its 
keeping absolutely within the ducal shrubbery is most 
disgraceful. Letting one end of it be made into the parish 
church, and the other into the parish burying-ground, is 
scandalous, but perfectly natural, for it saves the heritors 
from providing other accommodation. The worthy lady 
who showed the cathedral apologised by saying that it 
had always been so at least ever since the Reformation. 
Dunkeld having been one of the Catholic religious edifices, 
for the cleansing of which from all vestiges of popery 
there was a special order, this is possibly true. But what 
defence is it to dukes who can afford to give 5000 a 
year of their estate to the deer ? 

KINGUSSIE, Tuesday, 16th April 1844, Night. Left 
Dunkeld this morning at ten, and reached this at seven. 

A day of dull leaden clouds, but calm and dry. 

We walked through most of the Pass, and gave nearly 
an hour to the Falls of the Bruar. These falls were beauti- 
ful, even though not yet embowered by Burns's foliage. 
The ravines through which the water tumbles are so 
narrow in proportion to the size of the stream, that there 
can never be any apparent deficiency of water. 

It was (at least in this late spring) a month too soon 
for the Pass. The whole valley from Dunkeld to Blair 
loses half its glories in being leafless. And of all trees 
the birch, especially when seen in masses, on a slope, from 
the whiteness of its stem, reminds us the most of the 
absence of its leaves. Some of the hillsides looked, to-day, 
as if they had been stuck full of white-painted poles. 
There was very little of a spring feeling either on 
branches or on fields, or in the air. A thrush the only 
bird that we heard attempting a note, struck us all. 
Drumochter was heavy with clouds, and with innumerable 


patches of snow. But after getting a little down the Spey- 
ward descent, we came again to a milder and clearer 
region. My admiration of this whole, long, solitary track, 
especially after actually reaching the Spey. and returning 
to rock and birch, increases every time I see it. 

My old friend the inn of Pitmain I found converted 
into a farm-house, and we are now in the Gordon Arms 
Hold at Kingussie, with the loudest bells and the strongest 
teethed rats I have ever encountered. Old Pitmain ! an 
abominable hostel, but it had served the public, I suppose, 
at least one hundred years, and all this time had received 
that sort of welcome which is given by a vessel in distress 
to the only port it has to repair to. In the days in which 
the traveller had to pass two nights on the road between 
Edinburgh and Inverness, even when going by the fastest 
public coach, Pitmain was his second house of refuge. 
And what a scene ! when the enormous vehicle disgorged 
a cargo of beasts, clean and unclean, greater than what 
loaded the ark, and, knowing by experience the advantage 
of first possession, every monster rushed in and seized 
whatever he could lay his claws upon meat, drink, the seat 
next the fire, the best room, the best bed and awkward- 
ness or timidity were left to shiver or starve ! The 
moment of the arrival was quite well known, yet the 
savages of the house, partly from Sawney's natural want of 
tidiness, and partly from knowing that they had the 
defenceless wretches in their power, never had anything 
ready or arranged, but considered the hubbub as showing 
the importance of the house. Yet the merriest night 
I ever had was there with Macbean and Dr. Gordon 
the evening before the breakfast at the Bridge of Carr. 
It was on that night that an experienced quartermaster, 
who was missing at the public supper, was found to have 
secured himself a bed by having taken real, corporeal, 


and actual possession of the first that came, drenched but 
undressed, and having thus appropriated the prize by 
spoiling it for anybody else, ate his morsel and drank his 
jorum as he lay in peace, leaving one dry and well-fed 
fellow-traveller, who had been sneering during his damp 
friend's cramming, to sleep on the floor. 

INVERNESS, Thursday, 18th April 184:4, Night. We left 
Kingussie on Wednesday about ten ; got to the Erasers at 
Laggan, four miles beyond Inverness, at five ; dined there ; 
and came here before twelve at night. 

I have nothing more to say ; for the course is unchanged, 
and I have said it all already. Yesterday was a beautiful 
day, more sunny than cloudy ; rain we don't dream of ; and 
the air was soft. And these Cairngorms ! I got out of the 
chaise, without stopping it, by the [front] window, and sat 
(as I often do) for an hour or so, after leaving Aviemore, 
on the cap box, and gazed at them for the twentieth time 
in undiminished delight. There were parts of the road 
from which the whole plain between us and the base of the 
hills lay visibly below us. The larch was only in its 
brown, bud-bursting state; but its leaflessness left the 
heather visible, which, though not in flower, brightened 
the dark verdure of the Scotch fir. Through that sea of 
pines, the blue, full Spey was sweeping ; and beyond stood 
that noble range of mountains, singularly marked by corries 
and valleys, variegated by streaks, and patches, and fields 
of snow, of all sizes, positions, and forms, all softening 
under a mild southern air, the unsnowed parts standing 
out in deeper darkness ; the whole masses clear to their 
very summits, but hovered over by racks of gorgeous 
clouds, which seemed as if anxious to show that they could 
be as magnificent as the solid matter before them. 

The prospect of the Moray Firth and the coast of Ross- 


shire, from the height between Inverness and Freeburn was 
as good as ill-placed but (thank God) ill-growing larches 
allow. It is a very fine scene. But I can't say that I 
discover the resemblance between it and any views I have 
ever seen of the Bay of Naples, with which the worthy 
people here are very apt to compare it. No two things 
can be less like, except that there 's salmon in both. But 
every beautiful sea view in Scotland is said to be like the 
Bay of Naples. The Firth of Forth is, and the Firth of 
Clyde, and many parts of the Solway, and above all, Loch 
Lomond is. Except in climate some of them are perhaps 
better, but the habit of comparing them is a mere homage 
to the fame of Naples. 

There is a strange Avild place called Glen Truim on the 
left hand (going north), between Dalwhinnie and Kingussie, 
the progress of which I have been marking since ever it 
began a few years ago. It is the work of a Major 
Macpherson, an Indian officer, I believe, who, no doubt 
from his having run about in a torn kilt here in his youth, 
has adventured on the rather bold attempt to make a 
habitable residence in apparently the most savage position 
of the whole strath. Everybody laughs at him, and he 
has certainly set his mansion too high ; but since he has 
courage to begin, and to live there, I predict its one day 
being a fine and not uncomfortable highland place. It 
will depend entirely on the wood he will be able to coax 
into life. 

KILRAVOCK, Sunday, list April 1844, half -past 7 A.M. 
We finished our insignificant dozen of cases on the evening 
of Friday the 19th. 

Next morning (yesterday), Moncreiff and I went to 
inspect a road on the estate of Leys, in reference to a civil 
cause, and saw what is called " The Druidical Temple," 

2 1 6 C1R C Ul T JO URNE VS. 

said to be the most complete remains of one of these con- 
structions in the north of Scotland. I never saw one 
anywhere (but I have not seen Stonehcnge) so entire. It 
consists of the usual outer and inner circles of large stones. 
One of the outer stones is about 8 or 1 2 feet high ; the 
rest are lower, but not perhaps less, for they are mostly 
large lumps. Both circles are nearly entire ; and if the 
owner would only clean them, so as to let them be dis- 
tinctly seen, they would be very striking ; especially as 
their position on a knoll, with a very good prospect from 
it, is excellent. But they are half-buried in whins, and 
open to all cattle. 

Moncreiff and his two daughters went yesterday to 
Fochabers. We came here. 

I am sorry that I did not stop within two or three 
miles of this, and walk up to Dalcross seemingly a 
good ruined castle standing on a table-land eminence, 
with a good view of the Moray Firth. But laziness, or 
indifference at the moment, is the sin which besets some 
travellers, of which they are always sure to repent after it 
is too late. 

After looking about this place, which has for fifteen 
years been tenanted by Mrs. Campbell and her daughter- 
English people we were driven by Miss Campbell, a great 
equestrian in all forms, to Cawdor Castle, about two and 
a half miles off. It is a long time since I saw it. There 
is a deal of good wood, and everything about the place has 
a secluded rustic air. But the castle is the thing. And 
a strong, venerable castle it is, well situated, a little above 
the Cawdor, a respectable stream ; and if living poverty 
of purse and of spirit had been kept away, time and Shake- 
speare would have dignified all about it, inside and out. 
But, these miserable nobles ! The edifice, though 
pretended to be still maintained as a place of residence, 


is all in the most humiliating condition of paltry disrepair. 
There are a number of curious, old, clumsy, carved stone 
chimney-pieces, and there was probably one in every room 
formerly. But the peer has repaired several of the apart- 
ments, among the rest the one which has the reputation of 
having had Duncan murdered in it. And such repara- 
tions ! New floors quite right. Cleaned walls quite 
right. But such floors ! and such cleaning ! Fir deals 
ill-laid by the village carpenter; size by the village 
painter; furniture by the village upholsterer; the old 
chimney-pieces taken away, and bits of plank and plaster put 
into their places. Yes, the carved chimney-piece which 
saw Macbeth stab Duncan has been probably broken for 
a dyke and replaced by Is. 6d. worth of ill-sawed larch 
and bad Cawdor plaster. The whole castle is in the same 
scandalous style of bad taste and beggarly penury. There 
is no Findhorn fishcurer or Nairn grocer who would not 
have done it better. 

The parish church close by is one of the very best (out- 
side) in Scotland. Part of it is plainly in its old state of 
Catholic village architecture. Corstorphine, however, is 

We dined yesterday at this place, and are still here. I 
had been long wishing to see Kilravock, which I had 
never heard described except as an interesting old place ; 
and I have not been disappointed. 

The castle, as they call everything here, consists of 
a square tower about four centuries old, with the usual 
later, but still not very modern, additions. They all 
harmonise well enough ; not the worse that the maker 
of each addition never thought whether it would har- 
monise or not, but left them all to make the most of it. 
The tower is perfect. High, massive, plain, no regular 
window in it, but only a very few little holes ; a small 


round turret in a sort of half relief at the top of each 
corner, and a steep-roofed house on the summit. 

All this is placed not on a rock as I had been told 
for there is no rock in the place, but on the edge of a 
bank about fifty or seventy feet above the river Nairn, 
which flows through an unpicturesque valley below. It 
is a good position, and, seen from the valley, the building 
looks admirably. It is an excellent house inside, with no 
want of broad wooden stairs, queer closets, and old family 

Close beside the house, at one end, there is a most 
beautiful flower-garden unwalled, and unhedged, but 
surrounded by a cheap trellis fence. The spaces for the 
flowers are cut in the usual way, and in all forms, out of 
the turf; and there is a good mixture of evergreens and 
trees. This garden, like everything else about the place, 
is in perfect keeping, and there are a number of very 
fine trees walnut, chestnut, oak, etc. In an admirable 
wood of about eighty acres, full of heather and juniper, 
and undergrowth of all kinds, there are a number of the 
very finest Scotch firs I have ever seen. They are spread 
and tossed about in the branches like forest trees, and have 
the true, but rare, bright brown barks, on which the 
slanting rays of the evening sun were shining beautifully. 

Altogether it is an interesting place, even as we saw it, 
nearly leafless. When the trees are out it must be 

We have had the kindest possible reception, and passed 
a quiet but merry evening yesterday. When I observed 
that one and a half bottles of wine far more than sufficed 
for four ladies and three gentlemen, I could not help 
thinking of the very different days that the tower had 
seen. For it was at Kilravock, as old Henry Mackenzie, 
who was related to the family, used to tell, that a sort of 


household officer was kept, whose duty was to prevent the 
drunk guests from choking. Mackenzie was once at a 
festival there, towards the close of which the exhausted 
topers sank gradually back and down on their chairs, till 
little of them was seen above the table except their noses ; 
and at last they disappeared altogether, and fell on the 
floor. Those who were too far gone to rise lay still there 
from necessity ; while those who, like the Man of Feeling, 
were glad of a pretence for escaping, fell into a doze from 
policy. While Mackenzie was in this state, he was 
alarmed by feeling a hand working about his throat, and 
called out. A voice answered, " Dinna be feared, sir ; it 's 
me." " And who the devil are you V "A 'm the lad tJiat 
louses (looses) the neckcloths. 1 ' 

FOCHABERS, Sunday, 2 1st April 1844, Night. We left 
Kilravock to-day about half-past ten, and reached this by 
six ; a beautiful spring day. 

We first went to Forres, seventeen miles. Walked 
through the silent city ; went to the Pillar ; called on the 
Tokes, who are at Colonel Frascr's villa all at church, 
and the house without a servant ; so, after loud and vain 
ringing, we pinned our cards to the door and retired. 

I then fulfilled a vow I had often made, and often 
broken, never to be in this quarter again without seeing 
Pluscarden. We went four miles round, and saw the 
abbey on our way to Elgin, by an excellent road. 

It is in a more paltry situation than most old religious 
houses, beside shabby hills modern larch wood, no rock, 
and no water beyond a bad muddy rill. 

But it is a most beautiful ruin, not large, but well 
proportioned, and its whole original structure distinctly 
shown. Placed on a well-kept lawn, it would be an 
exquisite relic. The main square tower is mellowed by a 


reddish lichen which combines excellently with the fresh 
ivy. But this ivy, if not kept in order, will soon eat up 
the whole concern. 

But what a mercy it is that Lord Fife became bankrupt 
some years ago ! Long may he continue so ! An old abbey 
still in adequate preservation may, innocently, and even 
with good taste, be kept up as a residence, if this be done 
properly. But this poor, insensible, ignorant wretch was 
making Pluscarden into a shooting-box! He had got a great 
part of it roofed and slated, and several portions cut into 
two stories, and new floored, and made comfortable with 
register stoves. The jambs for his kitchen range are put 
up. In another year the monster would have had sports- 
men and lacqueys drinking and snoring and smoking in 
Pluscarden Abbey ! But Providence interfered. It is in exe- 
crable taste, though not just so execrable, that he allowed 
a part of the abbey to be fitted up and used as a preaching- 
place. And since he made up his mind to do so, why 
could he not have got it done properly ! Even the presence, 
nay, the being actually surrounded by, the pillars and 
arches, and tall windows of a beautiful Gothic building, 
cannot seduce a Scotch laird, even when still solvent, to 
abate his paltriness and abominations. The modern 
chapel, though used every Sunday, would be scunnered at 
by any congregation of pigs. 

However, give the devil his due ; he has done one thing 
well. He had given the use of this chapel as a relief to 
the parish of Elgin. The minister went out. But his 
lordship, who is tolerant of dissent, lets him and his people 
continue ; and it is now a chapel of the Free Church. 

We passed an hour amidst the ruins of Elgin. Since I 
was last there, the Woods and Forests have preserved two 
important fragments of the building by judicious, but 
rather smooth, under propping. 


No epitaph for John Shanks yet. I believe I shall 
make and set up one myself. 

I found the following epitaph to-day, which is new to 
me at least : 

Heir is the burial-place 
Apointecl for John Geddes, glover, 
Surges in Elgin, and Issobel 
Mckeian, his spouse, and their 

This world is a cite 
Ful of streets. 
And Death is the mercat 
That all men meets. 
If lyfe were a thing 
That monie could 
Buy, the poor could 
Not live, and the rich 
Would not die. 

On coming away I overheard Mary Fullerton saying, I 
thought to herself, " What a shame that these things " (old 
cathedrals, she meant) " should have been seen entire by 
people long ago and not by us." A just and natural remark. 
But I don't see how they could have been preserved IN 
ORDER, under Presbytery. 

Our evening here has been distinguished by a most 
diverting theological discussion between her and MoncreifF. 
He is a stern Presbyterian, and a resolute adherent of the 
Free Church ; she an Episcopalian and a Puseyite, and 
of course with no horror of Catholicism. The subjects 
handled were Puseyism and Episcopacy as against the 
Free and Presbytery the worship of angels the ex- 
pediency of a liturgy the propriety of prescribing set 
forms of prayer, and excluding all others and the merits 
of the Bishop of Exeter. In confidence in their own views, 
and contempt of all other opinions, they were pretty well 


matched, but the gentle firmness, and calm brevity of the 
young lady, had a conspicuous advantage over the 
vehement dogmatism of the learned lord, who in vain 
attempted to crush the weaker vessel by mere texts with 
his own construction put upon them. None of the three 
listeners, who formed the public, gave the slightest inter- 
ruption, except when I roared with laughter, which the 
combatants were too keenly occupied to notice. 

ABERDEEN, Monday Night, 22d April 1844. We came 
here to-day at five, by Huntly, from Fochabers. A bright 
day. I adhere to my admiration of Aberdonian skill and 
obstinacy in subjugating nature to their will. 

ARBROATH, Friday Night, 26th April 1844. We left 
Aberdeen to-day at eleven, and, in spite of many pauses, 
were here at six. 

We were in Court most part of Tuesday, Wednesday, 
and Thursday. Nothing particular. Bad thefts, and plenty 
transportations, but no glorious murder. No earl's son of 
worth and irregularity, of great courage and beauty, 
and abominably used by an old hunks of a father, or a 
vindictive stepmother, driven to forgery, by the necessity 
of protecting a clergyman's daughter, whom he had deceived. 
No theatrical apprentice despising honesty, and delighting 
the club by his account of his cheating his master. 
None, in short, of the poetry of crime ; all prosaic theft 
aggravated by housebreaking, habit and repute, and previous 
conviction. The truth is that the suppression of the 
gallows deprives modern Courts of half their charm. I did 
not keep an exact list ; but, out of twenty thieves, I have 
no doubt that at least twelve had been formerly convicted 
in the Justiciary, and had all laughed at long imprison- 
ment. So far as thieves are concerned, it plainly won't do. 


I retract, or at least qualify, much of what I have 
formerly insinuated against Aberdeen. It is an admirable 
provincial capital ; and to strangers, who necessarily see 
only the smiling surface of things, a kind, cheerful, and 
happy place, though, no doubt, it has its miseries and 

Their cross is now settled in its new site at the upper 
end of Castle Street, all repaired. It is now the hand- 
somest thing of the kind that I know of in Scotland. 

A statue has also been erected in Castle Street, and near 
the cross, in honour of a late Duke of Gordon ; a base 
and despicable, but, from manner, rather a popular fellow. 
It is of grey granite, the design by Campbell. A bad 
statue, but still very ornamental of a street. There are 
two parties in Aberdeen, one praising, the other abusing, 
its position. It is a little too high up the street, but, on 
the whole, the railers could not show me any site that was 
not clearly worse. So far as I am aware of, this is the 
first granite statue in Scotland. And, whatever such a 
statue may effect for the general decoration of a city, for 
sculpture, as exhibiting the human figure I don't think it 
will do. The freckled face, if the granite be grey, or the 
pimpled or blotched face, if it be red, are insuperable objec- 
tions. This duke's visage looks as if it had been rubbed 
over with oatmeal. The pedestal is too thin. 

Steell had made me promise to see and to report upon 
his lately erected statue in white marble of Provost Blaikie 
reverenced in Aberdeen as a citizen and magistrate. 
It stands in the vestibule of the West Church, and is very 
respectable, though for 1000 sculpture can't be expected 
to yield its finest fruits. 

This church, or rather the building which contains 
it and another church, has been excellently repaired; 
and including its burial-ground and handsome 


of a railing along the street, is a great honour to the 

I was much struck with the view, from the bridge down 
towards the infirmary, of a rude cathedral-looking mass, 
which contains three Free Churches. Seen from that 
distance, it has really a tolerably Gothic air. 

I visited Mrs. Elmslie's Orphan Hospital ; a new insti- 
tution, founded, and as yet managed, by a living lady of 
this name. The edifice is greatly admired by the natives. 
They say, among other things, and I think truly, that it 
is the best specimen they have of the possible fineness of 
jointing the granite. But still it is clear that granite must 
always join ill, unless its edges be polished, as they never 
will be for architecture. The tidiness of the whole estab- 
lishment, outside and in, was perfect. It was satis- 
factory to learn that they meant to avoid the usual folly 
of rearing these poor destitute creatures for governesses 
and other fine things, and were training them as domestic 
servants. It struck me as likely to be an excellent place 
to get a servant from, and I asked the matron to show me 
the one who, by first reaching sixteen, would be first turned 
out. She sent for the girl, aged fourteen, who appeared, 
with a sensible Aberdeen face, her stout arms bare, and all 
glowing from washing a stair. They intend to receive boys 
hereafter, but at present have only about twenty orphan girls. 

I also visited a set of rickety garrets in which a school 
was taught on an excellent principle. It was solely for 
the children of the poorest of the poor, who, without this 
aid, would beg and go to ruin. They take them all in 
who choose to submit to the condition that, after coming 
there in the morning, they don't get out till the evening, 
when they depart to their homes, such as they may be. 
They are taught to read, write, work, and sing. They get 
three meals daily two of porridge and one of broth and 


meat. This is produced at 2jd. yes, at two pence half- 
penny ahead per day; and of this the children's work 
repays about one-half, and the balance, if there be any, 
goes to themselves. The result is that these infants (for 
they keep none after fourteen, I think) of raggedness get 
education, heat, and food, and pocket yearly from 20s. to 
40s. I don't suppose that any establishment ever cost 
less. The master of the working department, who seemed 
to me like an ordinary labourer, gets but 12s. a week. 
Nothing with the object of preventing juvenile delinquency 
seems ever to succeed, but this seems as plausibly calculated 
for it as anything. 

The market, which I left in spring 1842 just about to 
be opened, is now in full operation. It has its defects 
the chief being that the tables are all of lousy-looking 
wood instead of pure stone ; but in spite of all this, it is 
by far the grandest covered market, or rather bazaar, in 
Scotland. Nor has Scotland such a fountain. But, like 
many other concerns which benefit the public, it does not 
reward the subscribers. 

The girls had two dances, which I honoured. Both 
excellent, easy, merry parties, with abundance of liquid 
and of solid refreshment, and got up in a style of offhand 
readiness, good humour, and success, which certainly could 
not be imitated in Edinburgh. 

This has been a charming day. The sea, both in the 
distance and in the bays which so indent this eastern 
coast, has been beautiful, and all the little beach-placed 
sea-towns looked calm and respectable. 

We crossed a field by a footpath, which distinctly 
invites the traveller, and got to Dunnottar. But strong 
gates prevented all access without the key ; and the key, 
we found, was kept in Stonehaven I We saw the general 
nature and position of the castle ; and I, who had been in 



it before, think I did not deceive my companions when I 
consoled them by saying that the interior was nothing. 
It is the strange, savage, sea-girt pedestal of pudding-stone 
that is the wonder. 

ARBROATH, Saturday Forenoon, 27th April 1844. 
Another day of blue sky and of still bluer sea, both varie- 
gated, however, by passing clouds. 

We have been to the cliffs, the abbey, and the harbour. 
All excellent. 

But Fairport is getting too large and too public. It 
was a nice respectable place while little and secluded. 
But, like all spots of the kind that they touch, the railway 
has smote it. It is now within half an hour of Dundee, 
the palace of Scotch blackguardism, unless perhaps Paisley 
be entitled to contest this honour with it. And I grieve 
to say that wherever we have been between Edinburgh 
and Inverness, the aspiration is for steam. Every town 
worships the volatile god. I venture to predict that if I 
be on the North Circuit in 1854 (alas, alas!) I shall be 
able to go the whole of it without horses. The effect of 
the railways in drawing people, all by fixed routes, to 
fixed stations, is, so far, good. It clears the country of 
them, and, in some places, leaves Nature more to herself. 
But it also extinguishes inns, and pours greater mobs over 
such glens, and lochs, and rocks as happen to be within 
the reach of a steamer or an omnibus. 

Meanwhile, Arbroath is what they call rapidly advancing, 
that is, its steam-engine chimney-stacks are multiplying. 
But its old character is disappearing. 

And so we will be off in a little by its railway to the 
said Dundee, from whence, having to-morrow free, I mean 
to pass on and meditate amidst the fragments of St. 


ST. ANDREWS, Sunday Night, 2Sth April 1844. And a 
delightful meditation it has been. We got here yesterday 
in time to mount St. Kegulus, which soon gives a stranger 
an idea of the whole place, and to view the cathedral ; and 
I have passed the whole of this, the day of peace, amidst 
the relics and the scenery of this singular spot. Both days 
have been beautiful. 

I have only been twice here before, and am thankful 
that I had utterly forgotten everything about it, except its 
general character. The first time was about thirty-two 
years ago, when I came as counsel before the presbytery 
for Principal Playfair, under the scandalous persecution by 
which his old age was troubled ; a persecution carried on 
in the name of the local Church Court, but suggested, 
kept up, and conducted solely by his rival principal, 
George Hill, the most graceful and externally elegant, but 
the meanest of political priests. I never abused any 
man with such cordiality as I did him for about four 
years. Professor Fergusson, then in his 90th year, lived 
here at that period, with whose family I was very intimate. 
He was then the most monumental of living men. A fine 
countenance, long milk-white hair, grey eyes, nearly sight- 
less, a bare, deeply gullied throat gave him the appearance 
of an antique cast of this world, while an unclouded 
intellect, and a strong spirit, savoured powerfully of the 

My next visit here was a few years after this I can't 
remember exactly when but I came to see some priory 
acres, about which there was a litigation. I only stayed 
one evening. And on neither occasion had I time to see, 
or leisure to feel, the place. 

I have now, partly alone, and partly with Professor 
Jackson, seen and felt it all, outside and inside. 

There is no single spot in Scotland equally full of historical 


interest. A. foreigner who reads the annals of Scotland, 
and sees, in every page, the important position which this 
place occupied in the literary, the political, and the ecclesi- 
astical transactions of the country, would naturally imagine 
the modern St. Andrews, though amerced perhaps of its 
ancient greatness, to be a large, splendid, and influential 
city. On approaching it, he sees across an almost treeless 
plain a few spires standing on a point of rock on the edge 
of the ocean ; and on entering he finds himself in a dead 
village, without the slightest importance or attractions, 
except what it derives from the tales that these spires recall. 

There is no place in this country over which the Genius 
of Antiquity lingers so impressively. The architectural 
wrecks that have been spared are in themselves too far 
gone. They are literally ruins, or rather the ruins of 
ruins. Few of them have left even their outlines more 
than discoverable. But this improves the mysteriousness 
of the fragments, some of which, moreover, dignify parts 
of otherwise paltry streets, in which they appear to have 
been left for no other purpose except that of protesting 
against modern encroachment. And they are all of a civil 
character. Even what is called the castle was less of a 
castle than of a palace. It was a strong place, but not a 
place chiefly for military defence. They all breathe of 
literary and ecclesiastical events, and of such political trans- 
actions as were anciently involved in the Church. There 
is no feeling here of mere feudal war. 

And the associations of ancient venerableness which 
belong so peculiarly to St. Andrews are less disturbed by 
the repugnances of later ages than in any place that I can 
think of, where the claims of antiquity are opposed to those 
of living convenience. The colleges which, though young 
in comparison with the cathedral, the tower, and the castle, 
are coeval with the age of the Reformation, instead of in- 


terfering with the sentiment of the place, bring down the 
evidence of its learning into a nearer period, and prolong 
the appropriate feeling. The taste of some of their modern 
additions may be doubted, and the thing called the Madras 
College is at present a great blot. There should have been 
no commonplace, vulgar, bare -legged school here. Very 
useful, in one sense, probably, as bruising the towers of 
Oxford, and making its pillars and oriels into Mechanics' 
Institutions, would be useful. But, unless ingratiated with 
more circumspection than has operated here, all such in- 
ventions of what is now called useful knowledge, a phrase 
which generally means useless ignorance, are horrid to the 
genius loci. But the old academic edifices are in excellent 
keeping with the still older ruins. And these colleges, 
when gone into, display many most interesting remains, 
especially the general university library, a far better 
collection of books than I had any idea they pos- 

The town itself, though I would rather have no town 
at all, is less offensive than might be at first conceived 
possible. I don't speak of that detestable Bell Street, 
which, like everything else connected with the Founder of 
the Madras College, has an inharmonious, contemptible, 
new freestone look. Neither do I speak of a few villa 
sort of things which have set themselves down on the 
edges of the city, and have too often been allowed to steal 
bits of ancient walls and gardens. But the proper town 
the true St. Andrews is in good character. It is still 
almost entirely surrounded by its ancient wall, and is said 
never to have been larger than it is now, a statement which 
the absence of all vestiges of ancient buildings beytmd the 
wall makes very probable. Its only three considerable 
streets all radiate, at a very acute angle, from the cathedral 
westward. There has never been any attempt at decora- 


tion on the houses, which are all singularly plain, though 
often dignified by a bit of sculpture, a scarcely legible 
inscription, a defaced coat-of-arms, or some other vestige 
of the olden time. There are very few shops, and, thank 
God, no trade or manufactures. I could not detect a single 
steam-engine, and their navy consisted of three coal sloops 
which lay within a small pier composed of large stones 
laid rudely, though strongly, together upon a natural quay 
of rock. The gentry of the place consists of professors, 
retired Indians, saving lairds, old ladies and gentlemen with 
humble purses, families resorting here for golf and educa- 
tion, or for economy, or for sea-bathing. Nobody comes for 
what is called business. Woe be on the ignorant wight 
who did ! He would die of lethargy the first week. 

For all this produces a silent, calm place. The streets 
on Saturday evening and all this day were utterly quiet. 
The steps of a passenger struck me, while sitting in this 
Black Bull parlour, as if it had been a person moving in 
a cloister, or crossing some still college quadrangle, amidst 
the subdued noises of a hot forenoon. I remember when 
I was in Dr. Fergusson's long ago, observing a young man 
on the street, in August, with a grand blue coat, a pair of 
splendid bright yellow leather breeches, and glorious boots. 
I asked who he was, and was told, " Oh ! that 's the boarder." 
He was an English Lord Somebody, who had been at the 
college in winter, and was sentenced by his friends to 
remain here till the classes met again, being the only 
visible student who remained. I felt for the boarder 
solitary wretch. 

It is the asylum of repose a city of refuge for those 
who cannot live in the country, but wish for as little town 
as possible. And all this is in unison with the ruins, the 
still surviving edifices, the academical institutions, and the 
past historj' 1 of the place. On the whole, it is the best 


Pompeii in Scotland. If the professors and the youths be 
not studious and learned, it must be their own fault. 
They have everything to excite their ambition books, 
tranquillity, and old inspiration. And if anything more 
were wanting, they have it in their extensive links, their 
singular rocks, and their miles of the most admirable, hard, 
dry sand. There cannot be better sea walks. The 
prospects are not very good, except perhaps in a day such 
as this a day of absolute calmness and brightness when 
every distant object glitters, and the horizon of the ocean, 
in its landless quarter, trembles in light, and the white 
sea-birds stand on one leg on the warm rocks, and the 
water lays itself out in long unbroken waves, as if it was 
playing with the beautiful bays. The water, however, 
though clear enough for the east coast, is no match for the 
liquid crystal that laves all our western shores. 

Nor are the philosophers here disturbed, like some other 
naturally quiet spots, by being made a thoroughfare of. 
The town leads to almost nothing. Few can say truly 
that they went to any place by St. Andrews. St. Andrews 
itself must be the object of the pilgrimage. 

But though, to a stranger, tranquillity seems to be 
deeply impressed on the whole place, the natives are not 
solitary. On the contrary, among themselves they are 
very social. Except those who choose to study, they are 
all idle ; and having all a competency, often humble no 
doubt, but sometimes considerable, they are exactly the 
sort of people who can be gregarious without remorse, and 
are allured into parties by the necessity of keeping awake. 
And they have a local pleasure of their own, which is as 
much the staple of the place as old colleges and churches 
are. This is golfing, which is here not a mere pastime, 
but a business and a passion, and has for ages been so, 
owing probably to their admirable links. This pursuit 


actually draws many a middle-aged gentleman whose 
stomach requires exercise, and his purse cheap pleasure, to 
reside here with his family; and it is the established 
recreation of all the learning and all the dignity of the 
town. There is a pretty large set who do nothing else, 
who begin in the morning and stop only for dinner ; and 
who, after practising the game, in the sea breeze, all day, 
discuss it all night. Their talk is of holes. The inter- 
mixture of these men, or rather the intermixture of this 
occupation, with its interests, and hazards, and matches, 
considerably whets the social appetite. And the result is, 
that their meetings are very numerous, and that, on the 
whole, they are rather a guttling population. However, it 
is all done quietly, innocently, and respectably; inso- 
much, that even the recreation of the place partakes of 
what is, and ought to be, its peculiar character and 

If St. Andrews contributes little to knowledge, what 
college contributes much? What have been the direct 
products of Oxford? The chief use of the academic 
bowers is, to preserve the taste and the means of learning. 
And, in this view, though other Scotch colleges may be 
better fitted for professional education, there is none of 
them so well suited for a lettered retreat. 

Yesterday and to-day I have explored all the outsides 
of things, and as much of the interiors as Sunday would 
permit Mr. Jackson, the Professor of Divinity, to show me. 
I walked eastward with him this afternoon to the Spindle 
Rock, about two miles off; a beautiful sea-beach walk, ending 
with that tall and singular cliff standing apart on the 
shore the best of many specimens of the same kind. 

We went to his house at seven to tea, where we found 
Connell, the Professor of Chemistry, and his wife, and Dr. 
Haldane, the Principal of St. Mary's. At ten, the tea 


became an excellent supper. Two of the fattest hens I 
ever saw. They must have been fed by the monks for 
their own use. We came home under a brilliant moon, 
which ruins like. 1 

BRIDGE OF EARN, Monday Forenoon, 29^/z April 1844. 
Having seen St. Mary's College yesterday, we went this 
morning, before breakfast, and saw St. Leonard's and St. 
Salvator's, and the churches. Jackson and Connell and 
their respective spouses attended us. 

St. Mary's has been all repaired within these few years, 
and is in a state of respectable comfort. The library 
which is that of both colleges is far better than I had 
supposed ; and, with their 650 (or thereabouts), in lieu 
of their former Stationers' Hall privilege, it ought in time to 
form a great collection. But they are sadly in want of 
binding and repairing ; and if they don't attend to this 
soon, the mischief will become irreparable. 

The United College is more interesting in antiquarian 
remains ; but, on this very account, it is in a melancholy 
state of disrepair. They have rashly laid out about 
12,000, being all they had, in a wretched new building, 
containing only four class-rooms. If they ever get more, 
I anticipate a brief survivance of the remaining old portions 
of the college. They will all be torn down, not repaired, 
in order to make way for some poor substitute by the 
Burn or the Eeid of the day the two masons who have 
had most of the recent spoiling of this venerable place. 
There are many things well-deserving of preservation ; but 
what can be expected of poverty too great to keep even 
the monuments of Bishop Geddes and of Archbishop Sharp 
in order 1 ? 

After a pleasant and useful exploration, we all went and 

1 Journals, ii. 61-66. 


had an excellent breakfast at Dr. Haldane's. We then 
visited the garden of an Indian Major, the Provost. It is 
a nice garden, and he is an active and useful Provost. 
But the childish and elaborate gimcracks that deform the 
garden show that a man may be sensible in some things, 
and a fool in others. 

Sir David Brewster! He lives in St. Andrews and 
presides over its principal college, yet no one speaks to 
him ! With a beautiful taste for science, he has a stronger 
taste for making enemies of friends. Amiable and agree- 
able in society, try him with a piece of business, or with 
opposition, and he is instantly, and obstinately, fractious 
to the extent of something like insanity. With all arms 
extended to receive a man of whom they were proud a few 
years ago, there is scarcely a hand that he can now shake. 

We reluctantly left this place at eleven, and have come by 
Cupar and Newburgh here. There is nothing worth looking 
at this way except a little broken, hillocky ground near 
Newburgh, and the Tower of Abernethy. The last has 
that interest which attaches to anything said to be 1000 
years old, but is less worth going a mile to see than most 
sights, chiefly because it is so absolutely simple and so easy 
to be described. 

Moncreiff has gone to Cavil, and I enter Perth alone to- 
day at four ; and having reached this two hours too soon, 
I am sitting in this nice English-like inn bringing up these 
notes. The day is bright and warm. 

We saw a swallow on Saturday near Arbroath, and 
yesterday they were skimming the St. Andrews bays in 
great numbers. 

BONALY, Sunday Night, 5th May 1844. We were at 
Perth from the evening of last Monday, the 29th of April, 
till yesterday, the 4th of May, at three ; that is, we had 


four days and a half of business. We got away yesterday 
at three, and came to Edinburgh. 

There were only about forty-four cases, none of which 
were at all interesting, except a female fire-raiser, and a 
mad murderer. She of the fire burned above 1000 of a 
farmer's grain and outhouses, because he gave evidence 
against her in the Small Debt Court; and he cleft the 
heart of a constable who attempted to apprehend him. 
His total insanity was made quite clear, both by evidence 
and by his conduct at the bar. She, according to the 
present fashion of all great criminals, claimed an im- 
munity from responsibility, because her intellect was 
rather weak ; that is, because she was not a strong-minded 
woman. She was sentenced to transportation for fourteen 
years. Of the mob of thieves, above a dozen had been 
already convicted in the Justiciary, and purified by long 
incarceration. I fear that it may now be deemed certain 
that thieves, especially if young, cannot be reformed by 
being shut up in a box. 

Mark Napier was our public accuser. Our most sensible 
counsel for the accused was Mr. Arkley of Dunninald a 
judicious and worthy youth; but too gentle, I fear, for 
the rough work of the law. Our orator was a good soul, 
who ekes out the humble competency with which he is con- 
tent by keeping boarders, and rises at four in the morning 
to read Plato in Greek, and is a good Whig, and though 
otherwise judicious and very modest, is a nearly perfect 
specimen of the extent to which the voice and the language 
of rhetorical declamation, particularly in the pathetic line, 
may be combined with absolute, and even ludicrous, 
nonsense. We had an appeal on Saturday to the feelings 
of a jury on behalf of a resetter of stolen goods, of which 
I hope that Whigham, the Sheriff of the county, who 
seized his pen and wrote as soon as the sentimental passage 


dawned, has a good report, for its serious, well-composed 
and well-spoken absurdity was perfect. No small part of 
the comedy consisted in the way in which this awkward 
attempt to wheedle them out of their senses was taken by 
the fifteen plain men to whom it was addressed. They 
first lifted up large agrestic eyes and stared, then looked 
sulky, and at last confounded the orator by hedges of loud 
laughter. Yet all the words and thoughts were excellent, 
the manner, though heavy and formal, was not bad, and 
the voice was good. There was nothing wanting but 
common-sense, as applicable to the subject in hand. But 
he is a worthy man, and so good-natured and simple, that 
when somebody, as we were all crossing the ferry together, 
asked him, in joke, to recite the conclusion of his speech 
to the ladies, he was very nearly doing it. If I had a small 
but respectable office to bestow I would give it to this excel- 
lent man, who will probably be neglected because he is too 

My due feet never failed to walk the North Inch, in the 
morning and at midnight. The South Inch deserves more 
praise than it gets. The ten gardened houses on its west 
side are beautiful. I never discovered till now that Perth 
has one of the very sweetest chiming bells I have ever 
heard, even in the villages of England. I am told it is 
very old. I heard it, for the first time, at twelve at night, 
when I was at the west end of the North Inch. It would 
have been difficult to say whether it, or the Tay, or the 
moon was the softest. 

I grieve to say that the Perth heads are all full of rail- 
ways, and new streets and depots. They are not aware how 
very little would extinguish their city. 

My nocturnal peregrinations have made me know that 
the washerwomen here are distinguished from all their 
Scotch sisters that I am aware of, by having a police of 


their own, or at least for their own protection. I have 
often been surprised at seeing their clothes left out on the 
Inches all night. But I never went near the white plain 
without perceiving a man at my side, and I find that the 
nymphs of the tub have guardians of their own who watch 
all night while they are otherwise occupied. 

From the day we set off till the day we returned we 
had not one hour of rain. Nothing but bright, mild, 
vernal days and nights weather which says, " Go to sleep 
in peace, and don't disturb yourself about to-morrow." 
The only exception was on our approach to Edinburgh. 
We left Perth amidst sunshine and warmth ; but as soon 
as we approached the Forth, we found everything clouded 
by the icy breath of that blighter of springs haar. 

I read little except the recent numbers of the Edin- 
burgh and of the Quarterly Reviews. The great article of 
the day is Macaulay's " Life of Barrere," in the Edinburgh. 
It is a powerful, indeed an exterminating, exposition. 
But I see no use of such force for such an object. It is 
like setting a mastiff to worry a mouse. To my feeling, 
too, Macaulay is always ponderous. In the two one- 
things-needful thought and knowledge he never fails 
to be admirable. But his mere style I cannot approve of. 
I know no great English writer whose style is so danger- 
ous to youth. It is more so than even Gibbon's, because 
his other qualities are more attractive than Gibbon's. His 
elaborate brilliancy, constant antithesis, and studied 
quaintness of manner, are all wearisome. But these faults, 
though still gross, and even still paraded as his peculiar 
excellences, are diminishing ; and if the progress shall end 
in simplicity, he will then be a good writer. Simplicity 
ought to be his aim. All that is bad of him may be traced 
to the want of it. 


AUTUMN 1844. 

CUMPSTON, Saturday, 14th September 1844, Noon. Mrs. 
Cockburn and my two daughters, Elizabeth and Johanna, 
left Edinburgh with me on the morning of last Tuesday, 
the 10th, and got to Dumfries to dinner. A good day, 
which that dull road requires, and almost defies. Even 
Moffat, however, looked comfortable. 

Moncreiff joined me at Dumfries next morning from 
Jedburgh, where he had five cases to dispose of. We had 
one prisoner, and he for only stealing a greatcoat at 
Dumfries ; and transporting him for ten years finished the 
business of this innocent district. Had he not been sen- 
tenced to be transported before, he would have been sent 
to the Sheriff now, and left Dumfries without a Circuit 
indictment. Moncreiff has gone home, and I am on my 
way to Ayr. 

My love of Dumfries at least of its beauty increases. 
A most respectable country town, it wants nothing 
but an old cathedral. However, its church and church- 
yard, its nice, half-Anglified, reddish houses, with their 
bright windows, its clean streets, paved with small stones, 
its most beautiful river and green, and the memory of 
Burns, give it all a pleasing and respectable air. I am 
not sure that there is a more perfectly beautiful village 
scene anywhere even on the North Inch than on look- 
ing up the water from the lower end of the green. The spec- 


tator must be sc far down the green as to lose all the paltry 
part of Maxwelltown, and to see only Dumfries, lined by 
the Nith, softened by a few trees, and the prospect bounded 
by the bridge. Notwithstanding a few black coal sloops, 
and the pretty constant din of a cursed manufacturing mill 
at the lower end of the green, it is a singularly serene and 
pleasing prospect. 

There are just, if I recollect right, three country towns 
of the kind in Scotland Dumfries, Inverness, and Perth. 
I mean country towns lying on the very edges of consider- 
able and accessible rivers, and with large spaces of open 
recreation ground in connection with the town and the 
stream. The Tweed at Melrose is usurped as private pro- 
perty, the Jed at Jedburgh is only to be enjoyed from the 
highway, the Green of Glasgow, and the Clyde, too, are but 
the breathing courts of a hot and smoky workshop. (But 
query as to Peebles and Kelso 1) At these three places 
the mind is literally led " through pastures green, the 
quiet waters by." 

I was delighted to see some comfortable iron seats placed 
on different parts of the green, near the infirmary, marked 
" for the sick poor." 

Our public dinner, as it is called (Commercial Hotel), 
was the worst I ever beheld, even at a Circuit. I record it 
as a dinner of unexampled abomination. 

After getting quit of our solitary thief we went and 
called at Terregles, where we saw a recently-made flower- 
garden. It is extremely beautiful. Good flowers, shrubs, 
and trees, adorning, but, as usual, more adorned by pure, 
regular walks, bright, smooth turf, and well-kept stairs, urns, 
and terraces. But there are three errors. First, no water. 
They are going to bring it for the house soon, from a hill 
a mile off, and then they promise fountains. But at present 
they are dry. Second, they have put lines of gravel walks 


alongside of most of the flower-plots, cut out of the grass, 
instead of leaving the plots to be bounded by the grass 
itself. Thirdly, and chiefly, they have employed a pro- 
fessional rock-maker, from London I believe, to manufac- 
ture masses of fantastic rock- work. This in Scotland ! a 
country full of the best productions of the great rock 
maker, Nature ! Fech ! 

After coming back I renewed my acquaintance with 
Lincluden and with the kirkyard of Dumfries, and went, 
for the first time, into Burns's house the house in which 
he lived and died, and out of which he was taken to his 
long home. The two poor apartments are just as he left 
them ; but the only things within them that were there in 
his day are two bells in the kitchen. It is a shame to Scot- 
land that that house is not bought and preserved. It is 
now occupied by a seemingly very poor journeyman painter. 

That night Elizabeth, having found a friend in Miss 
Thomson, went with her to Allanton, to stay till Monday. 
And next morning (the 12th) Johanna left Dumfries with 
her cousin, George Maitland, and came here. That day 
(the 12th) was spent by Mrs. Cockburn, Mr. Macbean, 
whom we had met in Dumfries, and me, at Allanton. 

It is a nice little place, seven miles up the Nith, occupied 
by Mr. Morin, who married a daughter of my very oldest, 
and still living friend, Dr. Anthony Tod Thomson, of 
London. The Doctor promised to meet me there, but 
failed. His wife formerly Miss Byerley was there : the 
author of many books, yet a natural, unobtrusive, and 
agreeable woman. She is meditating lives, or biographical 
notices, of the leaders in our two Jacobite rebellions. I 
told her that in so far as the Scotch ones were concerned, 
she must either be false or represent them as a set of as 
paltry, foolish, and selfish fellows as ever dishonoured a 
cause, which nothing but disinterested heroism could have 


dignified. A hero of Lovat, Lochiel, or even Balmerino 
and Kenmure ! What a fancy ! 

We went to the top of a hill near Allanton, from which 
we had a splendid prospect of the whole valley of the Nith, 
from Drumlanrig to the sea. There are few finer inland 

We returned to Dumfries at night; and came here 
yesterday to dinner, calling at Gelston Castle on our way 
one of the ugliest of places. 

I go towards Ayr to-morrow. 

BLAIRQUHAN, Monday Morning, 16th September 1844. 
Leaving the rest of my party at Cumpston, George Mait- 
land and I came on here to-day, by Newton-Stewart and 
the Rowan Tree the longest way, but said to be the best 
worth seeing, and new to me. 

We set out amidst heavy rain, which had been going 
on for two days, and had deluged everything. But it 
brightened up for about two and a half hours after leaving 
Gatehouse : and we had this gleam from Gatehouse to 
Newton-Stewart, and through the wood, beyond that of 
Penninghame. These twenty-three or twenty-four miles 
are beautiful. Till we turn inland at Newton-Stewart the 
road runs close by the seashore, and passes through 
several wooded private properties. Of these, the one I 
would accept of with the least hesitation is Cardoness ; but 
there are others that I would not rashly reject. Gatehouse 
is clean and comfortable, but too visibly the village at 
the Great Man's Gate. Creetown and Newton-Stewart 
are beautifully situated, and seen at a little distance amidst 
their sheltering trees, look like capitals in Arcadia ; but 
oh, oh ! when they are entered ! ! Not even the peat- 
flavoured air whispering the approach of a Highland 
village so agreeably can save them. Styes for human 



swine. The opposite coast of Wigtown Bay is too flat ; 
but still, an expanse of bright water is always pleasing, 
and so long as this water is in view the stage is excellent, 
though certainly not entitled to the extravagant admiration 
of being perhaps the most beautiful in the south of Scot- 
land, by which it is sometimes misrepresented. And Loch 
Cree, which I have so often heard complimented, is, as a 
loch, nonsense. It is no loch. A loch one hundred yards 
across ! It is a widening of the Eiver Cree ; the river 
being only so much the worse of the widening. But in 
so far as either loch or river are within the Penninghame 
woods, the combination is very good. 

Immediately on leaving the coast and turning north- 
ward, the scene is entirely changed. From Penninghame 
to Blairwhan, a distance of about twenty-eight or thirty 
miles, it is all one world of unbroken desolation. And 
the traveller has no pretence of not having leisure to 
observe it, because he has to ascend the whole course ot 
the brawling Minnick, which gives him about twenty 
miles of a continued rise. Had it been bright, I have no 
doubt that a region of such utter solitude and wildness 
would have been extremely pleasing. But fog sat upon 
every knoll ; and while rain prevented walking, the horses 
had to drag the carriage slowly up, hour after hour, till 
its swinging creak became provoking. Nothing but 
philosophy and Burke's Correspondence, interspersed by 
occasional slumber, made the tediousness endurable. At 
last we reached the Rowan Tree a solitary hovel where, 
whatever there was in some former state, no tree now is. 
There there were no horses ; so we had to rest the ones we 
had, and to take them on twelve miles more ; the first three 
of these miles being the steepest of the whole, and showing 
themselves in a long dull sweep over a heavy lumpish 
hill. In order to be ready to fall at once on the Blairwhan 


banquet, we dressed here ; but despairing of it, allayed the 
inward monster by oatcake and kebbock. The natives 
were kind and merry ; a single Adam and a single Eve, 
who, in that paradise, had produced children enough soon 
to people the whole garden. These three miles exhausted 
fifty minutes ; but we were now at the summit, and after 
a very rapid descent we got here at seven. The banquet 
had begun ; but we soon made up to them. 

SHEWALTON, Monday Night, IQth September 1844. And 
a pleasant, quiet banquet it was. 

I rose early (I mean at seven) this morning, and sur- 
veyed the beauties of Blairwhan. It deserves its usual 
praises. A most gentlemanlike place, rich in all sort of 
attractions of wood, lawn, river, gardens, hill, agriculture, 
and pasture. The house (by Burn) is too ostentatious and 
too large for the place, and, architecturally, is nothing. 
But still it proclaims itself the mansion-house of a gentle- 
man, and a thing that does not intend itself to be taken 
for a common affair. The long approach, mostly by the 
side of the Girvan, is well conceived and well executed. 
There is, as usual, a cruel aversion to the axe. Part of it 
arises here from the anxiety for underwood for shooting. 
A fair object, but too often made a pretext for neglecting 
the trees. But whatever pheasants may like, the Dryads 
love a lover of the hatchet. 

Sir David Blair and I began our acquaintance in the 
same class of the High School. He is an excellent man ; 
and I was glad, at this my first visit to his seat, to see 
him so comfortably and respectably placed. 

We drove in the forenoon to Ayr, from whence George 
Maitland, Mark Napier the Advocate-Depute, and I, 
walked to Craigie House on a visit, after which Napier 
and I came on here to the Lord President Boyle's. We 


were in time for a two-hours' walk before dinner, and 
have passed an agreeable, though not a very merry, 
evening ; for it is a heavy house. The only persons who 
have been here, besides the family, Napier and I, have 
been Alison, the historian, and his spouse. 

Shewalton is a mere farm; but is a very good one. 
Quite flat, with good land, and much capable of being 
made so, all in excellent order, chiefly in clean, well laid 
down pasture, not unlike an English farm, except that 
there are no decent trees, and which is worse, none that 
time will ever make decent. The President is an honest, 
kind gentleman ; and it was very agreeable to find a Chief- 
Justice enjoying his vacation in check trousers, thick 
shoes, and a grey jacket ; with a weed-hook in his hand, 
health in his stomach, and jolly good humour in his face. 
The river Irvine gives little, if any, mere beauty to his 
place. But he partakes in common with all the coast of 
Ayrshire, of glorious Arran. 

I again paced the rhododendron at Craigie, to see which 
Rutherfurd and I performed a pilgrimage from Edinburgh 
last year, when it was in flower ; and I again ascertained 
that it was positively about eighty feet in circumference. 

We go to Ayr to-morrow. 

CUMPSTON, Wednesday Night and Thursday Morning, ISth 
and l$th September 1844. Napier and I, and Archibald 
Boyle, went to Ayr accordingly before breakfast; this 
being the first time I was ever in that burgh judicially. 

A very shabby procession for such a place landed us 
at an inn worthy of the procession. The judges should 
always have their own lodgings. 

There were only five cases. Of these, one was disposed 
of by a plea of guilty, another by the absence of a wit- 
ness, and a third by the prisoner's challenges (purposely) 


exhausting the special jurymen. So there were only two 
trials, which, however, occupied about ten hours ; and in 
one of these the jury convicted the accused of what 
another part of their verdict, as recorded, acquitted her; 
and this ended in a certification to the Court, so that a 
three months' imprisonment for a gentle homicide was the 
only penal result of this part of the Circuit. There were 
no appeals. The distinction of jurymen into special and 
genera], as we use it, by having a proportion of both in 
every jury is absurd. It was introduced about twenty 
years ago when the horrid power of "picking " every jury 
was taken from the presiding judge and given to the ballot- 
box, the notion being that this invention secured juries 
from having no " respectable men " in them. The common 
are just as respectable as the special, and I expect to see 
the blot of this aristocracy removed from the box, though 
the qualification of the whole had better, perhaps, be 

I used to be a great deal at Ayr formerly, especially 
when I lived with my long-deceased friend Eobert 
Kennedy of Underwood, very soon after I came to the 
bar. It was then filled with the families of gentlemen, 
from the country, from India, and from public service, and 
was a gay, card-playing, dancing, eating and drinking, 
scandal-loving place. There seemed to be a dinner or a 
tea and card party every day at several houses of Kennedys, 
and Boswells, and Crawfords, and Dalrymples, and lots of 
old colonels, and worthy old ladies. And to get up a ball, 
nothing was wanted but for somebody to set it agoing and 
they would be footing it away in a few hours. 

The taste for scandal and for guzzling probably remains, 
but all the rest is gone. There are more people in the 
town now than then, and they live in better houses. There 
was no Wellington Square, and scarcely a single suburban 


villa in my day. But the sort of gentry who formed its 
soul exists no longer. The yellow gentlemen who return 
now from India take their idleness and their livers to 
Cheltenham or Bath. The landowners don't reside even 
in the shire, or at least very few of them, but leave their 
seats cold under a very general system of absenteeism. The 
Municipal Reform Act has deprived the burgh even of the 
wretched political importance of its regularly bribed Town 
Council. The individuals whose station, age, habits, or char- 
acters gave respectability to the comfortable county town, 
are gone, and their very families the scenes of such mirth, 
beauty, kindness, and enjoyment have entirely disappeared. 
The fashion of the Ayr world hath passed away. The great 
family of Cassillis had formerly a large mansion, which was 
standing ten years ago, for their winter residence in 
May bole! The meaning of this was that the clustering 
together of the adjacent families made even Maybole 
agreeable, or that the inconvenience of living in that village 
was less than that of going ten miles further and reaching 
Ayr. These were the days of no roads and of detached 
communities. All things are now melted into one sea, 
with a strong Corryvreckan in it sweeping everything 
towards the metropolis. And this has been the process 
in all provincial capitals. Improved harbours, railroad 
stations, better trade, and larger masses of migratory 
people have succeeded, and those who prefer this to the 
recollections of the olden time will be pleased. As to me, 
my reason is with the modern world, my dreams with the 
old one. And I feel that as to the ancient days there is 
much of their enchantment that arises from distance. 

I went to the point of the pier, along the links, round 
the edges of the town, and through most of the streets, 
yesterday, before breakfast. Except Wellington Square, 
the Court-House, and a few half-country houses, it is all 


very unchanged. The old kirk steeple has been rebuilt 
and modernised, and of course amerced of its chief beauty 
and interest ; and the unpardonable and irreparable Van- 
dalism has been committed of removing the Wallace 
Tower, to which Ayr owed its chief dignity. The shore 
westward of the pier, though far inferior in firm, dry, 
purity of sand to that of St. Andrews, is excellent for the 
recreation of man and horse, and the whole bay is washed 
by a very respectable sea. There are some ugly symptoms 
of visions of building on the " Laigh Green," a tempting, 
but fatal proceeding for the seashore expatiation of the 
people. The greatest improvement on the mere town 
would be to shake the vermin of the Newton off its phylac- 
teries, and to put a terrace of neat, bowery houses above 
the old bridge, on the right bank of the river. The great 
deduction from the comfort and respectability of Ayr 
proper is this horrid Newton, and the squalid lines of 
wretched overcrowded hovels, stared out of by unfed 
and half-naked swarms of coal-black and seemingly defying 
inhabitants, that form its eastern approaches. They have 
a very Hibernian air. 

I found that Ayr still boasted of its peculiar female 
beauty. I scarcely ever knew a provincial town that did 
not. Ayr is not behind \ but though on the lookout, I 
can't say that my eyes were particularly dazzled. There 
was one fair figure, however, that haunted my memory; 
that of her who, in the former days, was Marion Shaw, 
and is now the widow of the late Sir Charles Bell. 
Beauty, such as hers, was enough for one city. That 
portion of it which belonged to the mind is as bright and 
as graceful as ever, and there are few forms with which 
time has dealt so gently. But the place knows her no 

George Maitland and I left Ayr yesterday [18th] after 


breakfast, and got here easily to dinner. Having got 
enough of the Eowan Tree on Sunday, we came by Dal- 
mellington, Carsphairn and New Galloway. 

I cannot compare the two routes, any more than a man 
can take the same view of things before dinner and after 
We endured the one through heavy fog, anxious not to be 
too late in reaching a house called a castle, and impatient 
with a road of unexpected and unchanging steepness ; the 
other we enjoyed under a friendly sun, with plenty time, 
and a good road, sloping down as much as up. In these 
circumstances I greatly prefer the Carsphairn way. 

Some of it of course is better than the rest, but the 
whole track is really excellent. It is all rich in extensive 
inland views, bounded and varied, not by wide plains 
which because they are high above the sea are said to be 
hills, but by real, plainly marked, sticking-up mountains. 
There are a great many beautiful places, and the whole 
country is alive with streams. I am not sure that I have 
seen any better specimen of our Southern Highlands. I 
wish I had Barbeth. When the time shall come (as come 
it will) when English cottages or English neatness shall 
be introduced into Scotland, what a village Dalmellington 
may be. A few old trees, irregular ground, tumbling 
burns, a spire, and a mill, what more is wanted 1 Loch 
Doon, like Loch Cree, is scarcely a loch. It is an 
aneurism on the river. The lately detected lead-mines near 
Carsphairn, instead of marring, to my taste improve the 
scene, and even increase its wildness. It looks like a 
colony of solitary strangers who were trying to discover 
subterranean treasures in a remote land. The finest part 
of the way is about New Galloway, particularly before 
reaching that place. 

N.B. I beg Newton- Stewart's pardon. It was not it 
that I meant, but another very small village, the name 


of which I forget. However, the purity even of Newton- 
Stewart is certainly not exemplary. 

CUMPSTON, Monday Forenoon.. 2 od September 1844. Still 
here, and shall be so for a few days longer. It is an 
excellent and respectable place, with a competent portion 
of old wood. There are not many seats in this country 
with so much well-managed young wood, and not one that 
I know of with better turf. The pasture might be con- 
tended for in England. But, in general, the turf of 
Galloway has not the poor yellow verdure of the turf of 
ordinary Scotland, but is the good, firm, clean, green turf 
of the south. There is a delightful variety of surface here, 
and some very good prospects. The defects of the place 
are the want of level ground though properly conducted 
walks might abate this the absence of water, and the 
presence of the paltry puddle of ebbing and flowing mud, 
which the natives natter themselves is the sea. 

I have revisited Dundrennan Abbey, and claim the 
principal merit of its being in the state it now is. The 
objurgation which I have recorded in 1839 was freely 
administered verbally. This roused Thomas Maitland, 
now of Dundrennan, and he roused Lord Selkirk and 
others ; and the result is that the Commissioners of Woods 
and Forests have cleaned out the rubbish, and drained the 
ground, and made some judicious repairs, and cleared away 
the abominable offices of the manse, and enclosed the 
whole. It is still far from what a reverenced ruin ought 
to be, because its preservation requires much more pinning 
and cementing, and purity; but compared to what it was, 
it is humanity to barbarism. It is another of several 
examples, that none of the hallowed architectural remains 
of Scotland, except those belonging to the Crown, will 
ever be kept in decent order. Something may always be 


expected to be done by the Woods and Forests, as Elgin, 
Arbroath, and Dundrennan attest. It is plain that every 
private ruin is destined to disappear. Mr. Maxwell of 
Terregles, the owner of Lincluden, a most liberal gentleman, 
and whose taste for old relics is excited by his Catholic 
faith, complained to me that he could not get that building 
preserved from the mischief of tourists and Dumfries pic- 
nickers. And what had this man of fortune, residing only 
two miles off, done to preserve it ? Put a wall round it, 
or planted a keeper there, or prosecuted any profane hand, 
or commanded reverence for that beautiful and beautifully 
situated fragment by the order in which it has been kept 1 
No, none of these. But he leaves it unenclosed, and may 
see the tenants' cattle in it any time he may choose, and 
lets spoliation proceed unchecked, and leaves every new ton 
of rubbish to lie, for the nettles, where it may fall. What 
can he expect from a broken placard, intimating that Mr. 
Maxwell of Terregles " requests " blackguards to do as little 
mischief as they like ? Does he do no more for his phea- 
sants 1 

I have also been at Cally again, and I retract much of 
what I have formerly said of that house. It is not too 
small ; and, indeed, being in just proportions, size is not 
very material. The joining of the stones is almost entirely 
concealed by the angular groove in which they are set. 
And, on the whole, it is a beautiful portico; and Pap- 
worth's taste may be observed in all the internal details. 

CUMPSTON, Morning, Wednesday, 25th September 1844.- 
After another of many visits to Kirkcudbright and other 
places, George Maitland and I closed the day by a pil- 
grimage on foot to the monument raised a few years ago 
to the covenanting martyrs in the Glenken Hills. We 
found it about seven miles from this a small, and rather 


ill-built, granite obelisk, placed beside the spot where 
James Clement and four others were murdered in 1685, 
and Clement buried, in a hollow, well suited by its seclu- 
sion for the concealment of the persecuted, yet equally 
suited, on rising a few steps, to inspire them by a splendid 
prospect of still, solitary plains and mountains. The funds 
for the erection of this testimony were produced by a 
sermon preached on the spot upon the llth of September 
1831, to which, notwithstanding the month and the eleva- 
tion, about 10,000 people listened. So unchanged are the 
religious feelings of the Scotch; so unextinguishable is 
indignation of persecution and admiration of courage. 
Yet this is the people whom an ignorant Government lately 
thought would submit quietly to a greatly increased inter- 
ference of patrons and Civil Courts with their spiritual 
concerns. The Free Church is the pillar to this folly. 

CUMPSTON, Thursday Morning, 2Qth September 1844. 
Yesterday was given to an expedition to the lighthouse on 
the island of Little Eoss, about six or seven miles below 
Kirkcudbright. Some rode and some drove, and George 
Maitland walked till we all came to the alehouse on the 
peninsula of Great Koss, where we took boat, and after 
about a mile's sailing, were landed on the island. It is 
one of the lesser lights. All its machinery was explained 
to us by a sensible keeper. I never understood the thing 
before. The prospect from the top, and, indeed, from 
every part of the island, is beautiful. But I was more 
interested in the substantial security and comfort of the 
whole buildings, both for scientific and for domestic pur- 
poses. No Dutchman's summer-house could be tidier. 
Everything, from the brass and the lenses of the light to 
the kitchen, and even to the coal-house, of each of the two 
keepers, was as bright as a jeweller's shop. 


Eleven people lunched at the alehouse on our return 
upon the oatcakes, cheese, butter, and ale of the house. 
In a frenzy of generosity I resolved to pay the bill, and 
was rewarded by finding it amounted to only one sixpence. 
There's a hotel for you! I shall tell this to William 
Clerk, and he '11 take up house there. 

George Maitland and I walked home a tough tramp. 
But it lay all the way along the shore, and mostly through 
Woods. Admirable woods most scandalously mis- 
managed. He is one of the poor creatures who have 
become the slaves of their own vermin. His pleasure 
is in death. He must be perpetually killing some- 
thing. And when his existence reaches any unhappy 
season in which there is nothing killable at home, he goes 
to Sweden or Norway and torments the unprotected fishes 
of these countries. There is one other rising youth in 
Scotland at present who soars far beyond what is called 
game, and, for mere pleasure, kills sheep and poultry, and 
particularly swine, the shedding of whose blood is his 
especial delight. These are Young Scotland. , 
grovelling in his own tastes, sacrifices everything to the 
creation of game. His estate is a great preserve, it 
is absolutely crawling with rabbits. For them, and 
for hares and pheasants, everything else is neglected. 
The worse state his woods get into, he thinks it the 
better, so as they be only suffering from growing into 
tangled masses of branches and of underwood. Tall 
jungles are his object. I could overlook the mean- 
ness of his taste, for it is his own loss ; and I could almost 
endure the cruel war which he and his mounted patrols 
of gamekeepers carry on against the people, because he 
gets properly cursed for it ; but it is impossible to forgive 
the selfishness which bequeaths the beautiful scenery 
which has the misfortune to call him master in a state of 


decay to the next generation. We passed to-day through 
miles of the finest sweet chestnuts all under sacrifice, 
in order that, during his hour, he may boast of his 

CUMPSTON, Friday, '27th September 1844, 4 P.M. 
Yesterday was (almost) wasted on a voyage from Kirk- 
cudbright to a place about six miles below, on the east 
side of the bay, called Dirk Hatteraick's Cave. The party 
consisted of George and James Maitland, a Captain Dun, 
with whom, when he was in the Kirkcudbright Militia, I, 
a gallant captain of volunteers, was quartered in Leith, in 
the year of our Lord 1807, the present provost, Mr. 
Gordon, the old provost, Mr. Macbean, myself, and four 
of a crew. Like all other aquatic expeditions of pleasure, 
the only pleasure was in getting out of the boat. A 
squally, dull day, a leaky boat, bad oars, and no captain, 
completed our comfort. The only thing that diverted me 
was the constant advices and entreaties of each provost to 
the other how to steer. The old one was clearly the best 
seaman, and indeed was admitted to be the best on the 
river. But then he was out, and a Whig. So, out of 
respect to the Tory, who was in, the ruling authority on 
shore took, and though plainly unfit, was allowed to keep 
the helm on the water : and if the point had been out or 
in at the Council board, the altercations could not have 
been more keen or frequent. " Keep her head up ! " 
" Keep her head down ! " " Keep off yon bank, can't ye ! " 
" What the deevil are ye doing now 1 " " Oh, man, gie me 
less of your advice ! " " Hullo ! we '11 be all swampt in a 
minute." "I wish you would try the rudder yourself." 
"Na, faith; keep it, since you've got it; only keep her 
head up," etc. 

And, after all, the said cave is perfect nonsense. A 


narrow, wet, dirty slit in a rock, produced by the washing 
away of the loose matter between two vertically laminated 
rocks, and answering Scott's scenery in no one respect, 
either outside or in. The coast is rocky and bold. 

To-day I went to Tongueland Hill to have another view 
of Kirkcudbright. I doubt if there be a more picturesque 
country town in Scotland. Small, clean, silent, and 
respectable ; it seems (subject, however, to one enormous 
deduction) the type of a place to which decent characters 
and moderate purses would retire for quiet comfort. The 
deduction arises from the dismal swamps of deep, sleechy 
mud, by which it is nearly surrounded at low tide. It is 
a dreadful composition. And what fields, and streaks, and 
gullies of it ! The tide rises at an average about twenty 
or twenty-five feet, and often a great deal more some- 
times thirty-five. This great flow fills up all the bays, 
making a brim-full sea for three miles above the town, 
and for six or eight below it. It is then a world of waters. 
But when the sea, ashamed of its advancement, shrinks 
back, what a change ! It becomes a world of sleech. It 
is worse than even at Chepstow, where the abomination, 
though deeper, does not cover so extensive a surface. I 
believe that painters don't dislike this substance, which 
they don't require to touch. It is not unpicturesque. Of 
a leaden grey colour, very shiny, in the sun even silvery 
in appearance ; utterly solitary, except to flocks of long- 
billed and long red-legged sea birds, and to occasionally a 
heavy fisherman working at a stranded boat in huge boots ; 
and its dull plains interspersed with odd streaks and pools 
of shallow water, it has hues and objects enough to afford 
subjects for many pictures. But, Lord, how horrible it is 
for real life ! Think of being surrounded by a dirty sub- 
stance, impossible to be touched, and most dangerous to be 
gone upon. A town surrounded by a lake of bird-lime ! 


It is only at full tide, or nearly so, that Kirkcudbright 
is to be viewed therefore, or at such a distance that the 
difference between water and watery mud is lost. And 
then, how beautifully does it stand ! With its brown ruin 
of a castle, its church spire, the spire of its old town-house, 
and the square tower of its new one, all seen above its 
edging of trees, and the whole village surrounded by 
wooded hills and apparently glittering sea. There is no 
point from which it can be viewed, whether high or low, 
and I have seen it from all possible points, at which it does 
not present the same appearance of picturesque peaceful- 
ness, of intermingled wood and water. From several 
aspects it is the Venice of Scotland. 

So I must go and pack up. For we plan being in 
Bonaly to-morrow, but only by being off soon after five in 
the morning. 

But I have forgot the two humble and very rustic 
churchyards of Christkirk and Senwick, both on the western 
or right bank of the river; Christkirk nearly opposite 
Kirkcudbright, Senwick about five miles lower down. If 
the Scotch could keep a churchyard decent, the positions 
and solitude of these two would make them beautiful. 
Few of their epitaphs are old, and not one good. Mere 
names and dates. 

By the way, I may mention in reference to the epitaph 
which I found in 1843 at Inveraray, beginning, "Fare- 
well, vain world," that I found the same thought, and in 
somewhat the same words, in Dundrennan, and also a few 
weeks ago in the two Herefordshire churchyards of Ross 
and Goodrich. 

BONALY, Monday, 30th September 1844. And we made 
out our journey well. We left Cumpston on Saturday, the 
day before yesterday, at half-past five in the morning; 


reached Ayr, by Dalmellington, before one ; left Ayr by 
the railway at two; got to the hotel at Glasgow by 
half-past four ; left it by six ; and were here by half-past 

I have nothing to observe. It was a dull, wet day. 
But I should have observed before that the owner, 
who is now Lord Kenmure, has been pleased to white- 
wash his castle. That old, grey, tall feudal keep is 
now as white as milk. The only thing let alone is the 
piece of ruin abutting to one side of the tower, which is 
left in original darkness ; and the contrast makes both the 
white and the black more ridiculous. 

Captain Dun told me that as he was walking last year 
with this worthy peer, his lordship happened, by an awk- 
ward step, to come against a large and well-placed tree 
of which he has certainly not too many. He was not in 
the least hurt; but the touch brought the temper out, 
and he instantly called to some workmen, " Down with it ! 
Down with it instantly ! ! " and stood for some hours till 
their hatchets laid it low. It was a tree that had certainly 
seen his ancestor "on and awa' " in 1715. 

My book was Burke's recently published Letters. I 
took it because Jeffrey, who is in England, wrote to me on 
the 4th instant that he had been reading it, and that it is 
"to me full of the deepest interest and delight. The 
greatest and most accomplished intellect which England 
has produced for centuries; and of a noble and lovable 
nature." The " centuries " cannot go beyond two, because 
three would include Bacon and Shakespeare; and even 
one includes Newton : with any one of whom Jeffrey could 
not mean to compare Burke. But no doubt the person 
he was fascinated by when he wrote these words was great 
and accomplished, noble and lovable. Nevertheless, for 
the public, his correspondence must be a dull book. For 


a person writing a history of England during the last half 
of the last century these letters may probably be invaluable, 
because they are chiefly occupied by parliamentary details, 
and by statements about the political manoeuvres of the 
great political families. But what is all this to a general 
reader 1 ? Nothing can be more wearisome than vague 
allusions, or than even precise statements, touching bygone 
Court intrigues, counterjobbings of Whig lords against 
Tory lords, and parliamentary movements, which, however 
absorbing in their day, left no permanent traces on the sur- 
faces of the waters they ruffled. Macaulay is meditating an 
article in the Edinburgh Review on this correspondence, and 
there can be no doubt that he, the future historian of 
Burke's time, will make it the finest thing in the world. 
But, to others, he may be assured that he will never make 
it have an atom of the interest that will attach to the 

And surely Burke's whole thoughts and days were not 
given up to party politics. Did he never write of litera- 
ture *? or to ordinary friends ? One could scarcely guess 
from reading these letters that he had any literature, or 
was intimate with Goldsmith or Johnson, or that a thing 
called " the people " existed in this country. It is all Lord 
Rockingham against Lord Somebody else, or the king 
against them all. Did he never philander or go to the 
Literary Club 1 Certainly he did. Then as certainly he 
wrote about these things, and why are they all kept back, 
and little given except the party proceedings, which he him- 
self declares that he wished chiefly to forget. It is refresh- 
ing to come to his two letters to Arthur Young about 
carrots and swine. I cannot conceive how so many 
letters could be extracted from the correspondence of 
a man so immersed in life, without almost a single 
description of a man, or of a scene, an anecdote, or even 


a graphic account of any of his favourite House of Com- 
mons occurrences. 

The letters are all well written. But not as letters. 
For these they are far too formal and didactic. Still, as 
expositions of principles, and of his own views, and a few 
on other matters, they are admirable. 


SPRING 1845. 

BRIDGE OF TILT, Friday Night, llth April 1845. Here 
again, with my daughter Elizabeth, and my niece Graham 
Maitland. I meant to have varied the route the whole 
way; but this has been prevented by being forced into 
bad arrangements, and by a very backward spring. So the 
old round is before me. I shall vary this journal by say- 
ing nothing about it. Not that I 'm at all tired of it ; but, 
for the nonce, I am tired of describing it. 

ABERDEEN, Friday Night, 18th April 1845. But I must, 
after all, record days and places. 

From Tilt Bridge we went to Aviemore last Saturday, 
the 12th. A clear and very cold day. 

On Sunday we went to Cantray, Mr. Davidson's. The 
way is the ordinary way towards Inverness till the river 
Nairn be crossed, which is at Craggie ; after which the 
left bank of that stream is descended about ten miles, when 
Cantray is reached. We got there about two. Cosmo 
Innes and I immediately got into a gig, and drove to 
Cawdor, three miles, and walked up Cawdor burn about 
half-way. I had never seen it before. We had a very 
merry dinner, with a few neighbours and a large domestic 


Next day, after some further accession to the party, 
we again proceeded, and got partly in carriages and partly 
on foot to the top of the burn, and walked all the way 
down, about two miles. 

It is very original. I know nothing like it. It is all 
one narrow ravine of pudding-stone, about, at an average, 
I should suppose, from 150 to 200, or even 300 feet deep. 
The ravine is probably not broader, and often not so broad, 
as George Street, sometimes not 50 feet while the per- 
pendicular cut is from 15 to 300 feet deep, reckoning from 
the walk on the upper edge of the rock to the surface of the 
stream. If the whole bank above the walk be included, it 
may be 400 or 500 feet. I say perpendicular height, 
because the sides of the gully are, in general, literally 
perpendicular, or very nearly so, so nearly so, that no 
path has been, or could be, formed at the water's edge, 
or lower down than the existing walk. It is a deep 
slice of rough-edged rock. And the whole rock, on both 
sides, is worn into the endless picturesque shapes into 
which pudding-stone is so apt to be rubbed. The whole 
scene is not merely woody, but entangled with wood. Old 
undisturbed shrubs and trees have rooted themselves in 
every fissure; and where they have not room to grow 
upwards, they grow outward, and project, and hang, and 
twist, festooned by all sorts of wild trailing plants, so 
fantastically, that wonder never ceases. And what masses 
of ivy ! What lichens ! What skins of bright verdure 
sticking closely to the inaccessible rock ! How the deep, 
dark water tumbles, and foams, and roars, and whirls ! 
The trees overhead, and to the very summit of each bank ! 
The old, dotard oaks dying dimly in their own white 
moss ! The brilliant worlds of holly bushes ! If I were a 
bird, Cawdor burn should be my country. There might 
be, and I dare say are, a hundred thousand nests in that 


dell, which all the boys in Christendom might be defied 
to discover. 

" A steep wilderness, whose hairy sides 
With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild, 
Access denied." 

We looked into the castle on our way home, and also at 
Kilravock, and passed close by Holme. We had a still 
more numerous and hilarious party in the evening. Our 
most excellent and unostentatious host indulges in the full 
Celtic garb. Odd enough, at this time of day. But 
another respectable and middle-aged gentleman, who, 
though called Mackenzie, is, by birth, education, and resid- 
ence (till lately), a Middlesex Englishman, does the same, 
merely because he has shootings here, and is pleased to 
fancy himself a Highlander. A. strange taste for ordinary 
life, in its quiet state. But it is a beautiful dress, and I 
trust that neither it, nor the language and manners it 
represents, will ever be extinguished. 

The flattish strath of the Nairn used to be called " The 
Happy Valley," not from any particular felicity of climate, 
scenery, or seclusion, but from the harmony that long 
united the six families it belongs to. These are The 
Macintosh at Daviot, Davidson of Cantray, Rose of 
Holme, Rose of Kilravock, Campbell of Cawdor, and 
Macintosh of Geddes. The devil has got among them in 
modern times, though not more than among the rest of 
the sons of Adam. But he was a long while, it seems, of 
finding out the Happy Valley. 

On the morning of Tuesday the 15th we went to Inver- 
ness to breakfast, having joined Moncreiff and two 
daughters at Cantray. The paltry business occupied all 
that day and a part of the next. 

On that next day (Wednesday the 16th) Moncreiff and 
I were honoured by a grand academic banquet. For 


above half a century Inverness has been so distracted by 
local dissension, that when the directors of their Eoyal 
A.cademy had to elect a Eector about seven years ago, 
the only thing they could agree upon was a resolution 
that they could agree about nothing, and therefore they 
concurred in a request that we two would elect for them. 
We did so, and got them a capital man, Mr. Gray, who was 
promoted last spring to the Professorship of Natural 
Philosophy in Aberdeen. On this vacancy they found that 
they were as discordant as ever, and they had just the 
sense to repeat their application to us. We again acted, 
and think that we have got them another good Eector. 
For all which we were requested to inspect the school, 
which we did, and also to submit to be banqueted and 
complimented, which we did also. So at four we sat down 
at a long table, with other forty or fifty, in the museum of 
the Academy. The table was gorgeous with cold meat and 
spring flowers, and there was no want of ice or champagne. 
The chairman of the directors drank us and the 
Queen. Moncreiff replied. I asked a holiday for the 
boys. And at five it was all over. A very well managed 

I and my comrades then left Inverness, and went to Nairn, 
leaving Greeny and his there. Next morning (Thursday 
the 17th) we went to Knockomie to breakfast. Knockomie 
is a villa or rather a comfortable cottage with a farm 
about a mile from Forres. It stands upon a sort of low 
knoll, and has a beautiful prospect of that little, venerable 
old city, and of the Moray Firth, and of the Eoss-shire 
hills, all of which were sleeping in calm, clear beauty. 
Except that it has no lake or stream, the place is perfect. 
A most excellent house, in the cottage style, bright grass, 
a profusion of evergreens and flowering shrubs, and a 
capital varied, half-flower and half- vegetable garden. And 


the owner, Miss Smith, is just as perfect herself. An 
aged maiden, cheerful, sensible, well-bred, kind, and very 
quiet. She took Cosmo Innes, Mr. Baillie, Mr. C. Eobert- 
son, and Mr. Irvine, the night before, within her wooden 
and ivied porch without any warning and without the 
slightest disconcertion. And that morning she had a first- 
rate breakfast for us three, Mr. Davidson of Cantray and 
another, besides nieces and a governess in the house. Yet 
this is all handsomely done out of her own two farms. The 
only peculiarity at breakfast was " Brodie Cockles " a dish 
new to me. They were merely boiled in the shell, and 
were excellent to the taste, with a fresh sea flavour. But 
I felt them clustered together in a ball all day in my un- 
cockly stomach. 

After breakfast we proceeded up the Findhorn, a river 
I knew well when the Lauders lived at Eelugas, but had 
not revisited for about fifteen years. I never saw it in 
greater glory at this season. The birches and larches were 
just opening their first soft leaves; the haughs had on their 
greenest herbage; the water was at an average fulness, 
and as blue as the sky, or as the distant sea; the dry 
pebbly channel seemed, by its purity and brightness, to 
invite us to play with it and the stream ; and the day was 
calm and balmy. Some of the party loitered about Altyre. 
I went up with two or three of the quiet to the heronry 
a royal burgh, and a very ancient one, of these civic birds, 
nobly placed ; to the Pool of Sluie, deep and eddying, and 
set in glorious rocks ; to Logie deserted and in disorder ; 
and to Eelugas ! the scene of many a happy day, and per- 
haps happier night. It also was in bad order, and "a 
stranger inhabits the mansion of peace." But the two rivers 
the Divie and the Findhorn the banks, and the rocks, 
these were the same. And what a combination ! I hold 
the Findhorn to be indisputably the finest river for scenery 


in Britain, and Relugas the most delicious spot on the 
Findhorn. But it was sad. Neither the shake of Sir 
Thomas's hand was there, nor the eternal light which shone 
from his window the Pharos of hospitality, nor the white 
frocks playing on the green, nor the joyous family, nor 
the kind welcome, nor the reluctant, lingering farewell. 
Yet I am glad that I went. 

We returned to Knockomie to a lunch that most dinners 
might envy, and left the worthy lady about four, and 
reached Fochabers at seven, where we found Creeffy, not 
just impatient for dinner, but plainly thinking such 
patience as he had great virtue. 

I stopped a moment at Elgin to see to John Shanks. 
When I came home from the North Circuit in April 
1844, finding that nothing would be done by the 
Elginites voluntarily, I set about getting him a monument 
myself. On this they promised to provide and erect the 
stone, if I would furnish the epitaph. This I agreed to, 
and after nearly a year's delay and manoeuvring I was 
lately told that the monument was up. I wanted to be 
sure of this, and so stopped and saw that it was so. A 
plain slab, fixed (by permission of the officer of the Woods 
and Forests which permission I had to procure) to the 
outer angle of the cathedral, with these words on it : 

Here lyes 
John Shanks, Shoemaker in Elgin, who died 14 April 1841, 

aged 83 years. 

For 17 years he was the keeper and the shower of this Cathedral; 
and while not even the Crown was doing anything for its preserva- 
tion, he, with his own hands, cleared it of many thousand cubic 
yards of rubbish ; disclosing the bases of the pillars, collecting the 
carved fragments, and introducing some order and propriety. 
Whoso reverences the Cathedral will respect the memory of this 


I 've seen worse epitaphs. It is very ill engraved the 
words, instead of being run all together like a piece of fact- 
stating prose, being divided into absurd lines. 

Mr. Baillie, Mr. Kobertson, and Mr. Irvine dined with 
us at Fochabers, which we all left together, and got to 
Aberdeen by about five to-day (Friday, 18th April 

ARBROATH, Tuesday Night, 22d April 1845. We were 
at Aberdeen all Saturday, Sunday, andMonday : the 19th, 
20th, and 21st. We left it to-day and came here. Near 
this I saw two things new to me. 

One was Brotherton, about four miles on this side of 
Bervie. It is a private residence very near the seashore, 
with a garden which has scarcely any merit in being ex- 
cellent, for, with a dry, sandy soil, a low elevation, and a 
sunny exposure, what else could it be ? I saw one fuchsia 
with a stem three inches in diameter, and another fully 
ten feet high. There is a slope from the house to the flat 
below, which is divided into three terraces, each backed by 
a strong wall, forming capital lines of ornamental garden. 
But the house is, to my eye, the most interesting. It is 
very old, as indeed the whole place is, very low, very 
irregular, and altogether not unlike an ancient fortress. 
The rooms are delightful, odd places cut out of thick walls, 
and small, but comfortable, and very diverting. The whole 
house seems to be panelled, and most of the compartments 
of panelling turn on hinges, and being opened, disclose 
deep holes and presses, dry and commodious, where arms, 
kegs, or captives could be safely and comfortably dis- 
posed of. We were urged to stay all night, and had 
it not been for breaking tryst with Moncreiff, whom 
I engaged to rejoin here, I should have liked to have 
done so. 


The other novelty was Den Finella ; that is, the den 
of the burn called the Finella, within half a mile of this 
side of Brotherton, and close by the public road. It is a 
waterfall of about seventy feet high, the stream, after its 
descent, flowing away down a deep rocky dell, buried in 
poor trees, and rich in ivy, ferns, and wild-flowers. No- 
thing with these elements can be bad ; but the paltriness 
of the water makes it all somewhat insignificant. 

The defect of Brotherton, even when in leaf, is that it 
is too bare. It is a beachy place. It is difficult to under- 
stand how, with its obvious generations of care, it is 
without almost a single evergreen. 

PERTH, Monday Morning, 28th April 1845. We came 
here from Arbroath on Wednesday the 23d, and shall be 
home to-morrow. 

Our cases, here as elsewhere, have been mere dirt. And, 
on the whole, the weather has not behaved so well as 
usual. Though with some delightful days, it has been 
cold and too showery. 

The Advocate-Depute gave us a concert and ball on 
Saturday evening. There were five ladies and seven 
gentlemen the latter consisting of two judges, two 
sheriffs, and three advocates, with one pianoforte ; many 
a waltz, polka, and quadrille ; abundance of ice and negus, 
and no want of laughter. An excellent precedent, not to 
be forgotten. Public Circuit balls were constant, at certain 
towns, formerly. I must say something about them some 

We processed to church yesterday. A discourse by a 

lately-placed youth called A , who, if he does not 

soon get more sense and less ambition, will settle into an 
eloquent ass. 

I went afterwards with Whigham to Dupplin and Inver- 


may, at which last we dined. I had never seen either 
place before, and it was not a favourable day. The place 
of Dupplin I was not struck with. But indeed the con- 
temptible little miser that owns it keeps it so ill, that the 
sun itself could scarcely gild it. The house, however, both 
inside and out, is excellent. One of the few modern 
Scotch houses not absurdly large, and well filled with 
pictures and books. It seems to me to be Burn's best. 

Invermay, in foliage and in a good day, must be delight- 
ful. A very contrast to Dupplin in keeping, it has 
excellent distant prospects, wild natural banks, the rugged 
ravines of the May, and constant vestiges of age. But the 
trees, by their white moss, call out, " Drain our roots." 
The laird and his brother seem a couple of the most com- 
fortable bachelors I have almost ever seen. But woe be 
to the survivor ! I missed a petticoat much. 

BONALY, Tuesday Night, 29^ April 1845. We got quit 
of our criminal friends yesterday about one. 

In spite of a drizzly day, we all went to Kinfauns, 
which I had not gone into, or over, for many years. The 
late peer, whom I remember a happy and independent man, 
with scarcely 500 a year, having got a good estate, of 
course died largely in debt, insomuch that some of his 
pictures and knickknacks were sold by public auction. I 
was glad therefore to find the place in good order, and 
the house, for which he chiefly ruined himself, not at all 
displenished. The whole concern is in an excellent con- 
dition. And an excellent concern it is. The only mis- 
fortune is that there is too little level ground. 

We then went and dined with Captain Scott, at present 
tenant of Seggieden. A very nice place ; a kind couple ; 
and a cheerful evening. 

To-day we came home. 


From Edinburgh to Inverness the whole people are mad 
about railways. The country is an asylum of railway 
lunatics. The Inverness patients, not content with a rail- 
way to their hospital from Aberdeen, insist on having one 
by the Highland road from Perth. They admit that there 
are no towns, or even villages, no population, and no chance 
of many passengers. But then they will despatch such 
flocks of sheep, and such droves of nowt ! And in further- 
ance of this shares are actually up for a railway through 
Killiecrankie, and by Dalwhinnie and Aviemore ! And any 
one who puts in a word for the preservation of scenery, 
or relics, or sacred haunts, is set down as a beast, hostile 
to the " poor man's rights," " modern improvement," and 
the "march of intellect." At Perth the magistrates, 
fancying, as usual with these civic guardians, that money 
and crowds are happiness and importance, are eager for 
giving up the South Inch for four railway stations ! After 
what has been done by their brethren of Edinburgh they 
need not despair. I visited the ground with their leader, 
but could not make him comprehend how turf or trees 
could be of any use to a town. The misfortune is that 
railways have come too late ; they should have put in their 
claim before the country was made up. 

Our Depute was Charles Baillie. I began with a pre- 
judice against him, thinking him a stick. But I ended 
with a prejudice in his favour, thinking him sensible, 
candid, and a gentleman, dry certainly, but only in manner. 

My studies were the last number of the Edinburgh Review 
and a novel called Foreman. The pillar of this number of 
the Review is Stephen's account of Gregory the Seventh. 
Foreman I have not just finished yet. It is good, but 
wants spirit. 

I see I have forgotten to mention that Mr. A.'s text 
began "What are these which are arrayed in white 


robes 1 and whence came they 1 " Though the words refer 
to certain angels, and not to the Lords Commissioners of 
Justiciary, yet as there is a good deal of white on our 
gowns, all eyes were on us for a moment. 

It is possible that the selection of this passage was acci- 
dental, but it certainly was not so when a clergyman preached 
at a stiff grim blockhead of an Advocate-Depute, called 
Samuel M'Cormick, somewhere about thirty years ago. His 
text was, as he read it, " And Samuel went from year to year 
in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh " (1 Samuel vii. 
16). These three places meant Jedburgh, Dumfries, and 
Ayr. The Justice (Boyle) and Samuel, who were stuck 
up in the front gallery, were visibly much offended, which 
did not diminish the smiles and winks of other people. 

Any minister who prostitutes the pulpit by such per- 
sonally punning texts should be thrashed on the spot. 
This would be the true practical commentary. -Even the 
text puns that are not personal, but expound the subject, 
are reprehensible, though some of them have been very 
witty. Swift, Sterne, South, and Sydney Smith have all 
given excellent specimens of it. 

When Moncreiff was at Glasgow, judicially, for the first 
time, he went, as he generally does, and heard his friend, 
the pious and venerable Dr. Brown, preach. He was un- 
wigged, but perfectly well known in that congregation. 
The worthy doctor was not dreaming either of this judge, 
or of Circuits, or any modern thing of the kind, but his 
text began, " There was in a city a judge, which feared not 
God, neither regarded man " (Luke xviii. 2). He had only 
uttered these words when the turn of all heads made him 
see the learned Lord, and he could hardly proceed from 
confusion and horror. The text has stuck to Creeffy, the 
most religious among us, ever since. 1 

1 Journals, vol. ii. 107. 


AUTUMN 1845. 

KING'S HOUSE, Sunday Morning, 1th September 1845. 
I got into the railway train for Falkirk at seven in the 
morning of Thursday last, the 4th, with my son Frank, 
my daughter Elizabeth, and Lizzie Thomson, a daughter 
of my very oldest living friend, Dr. Anthony Tod Thomson, 
physician in London. 

Moncreiff takes Stirling, and I take Inveraray ; and we 
unite at Glasgow. 

The only part of my intended route that will be new to 
me will probably be from Ballachulish to Oban, through 
Appin. I shall therefore say little or nothing of places 
already mentioned, but as to these shall only keep the 
log, unless where anything new happens to occur. 

We breakfasted at Stirling on Thursday, and then spent 
some hours in that delightful little royal city. I never 
saw the interior of the castle so well before. Seeing it 
thoroughly now we owed to the politeness of Sir Archi- 
bald Christie, the deputy governor, whom I knew a little, 
and called upon at his official house. He showed us every- 
thing, and explained everything both inside and out. 
There was a little too much haze ; but it was a beautiful 
day, and clear enough for all objects not very distant. 

Except St. Andrews, I can't recollect any other place of 
such exclusive historical interest. They have both been 
Pompeiied, saved by circumstances from being superseded, 



or dissipated, by modern change. It is the old stories 
alone that still linger in each. Stirling has its buildings 
and its walks ennobled by its singular position ; but still, 
it is the old tales that adorn it. 

How disgraceful it is to the nation, and particularly to 
Government, that the scenes of its history should be con- 
verted to such base uses ! The place where the Parliament 
met a barrack-room ! And every other sacred spot equally 
debased ! I have been often and positively assured that 
about the beginning of the last war, 1804, the Govern- 
ment of the day wished virtually to obliterate the castle 
altogether, by giving it up as a fortress, or as public pro- 
perty, and getting it all disposed of, by a statute, if 
necessary ! I have reason to believe that had it not been 
for a few of the neighbouring families, chiefly the Aber- 
crombies, this would actually have been done, and that 
we should have had it all made into a manufactory. 
Anything is credible after the unquestionable fact that 
only three years ago Government actually gave up many of 
the historical fields and green mounds, including, I believe, 
the tilting-ground, to be ploughed by a farmer under a 
lease. This error was corrected, no doubt ; but even yet, 
not entirely. The fearful fact, however, is, that such 
errors can be committed. 

Sir Archibald Christie's face had the rare honour of 
stopping a cannon-shot, and the still rarer good luck to 
survive that feat. But the ball has had its revenge. For 
the convexity of the one check, and the concavity of the 
other, with their effects, in twisting eyes, mouth, and nose, 
have left as hideous a countenance as war ever produced. 
Yet, such is the result of kindness and good manners, there 
are few more agreeable persons than this gentlemanly old 
soldier. 1 

1 Journals, vol. ii. 121. 


In passing, we looked into the Cathedral of Dunblane, 
which I had not seen for many years. A very interesting 
relic ; and well kept. It belongs to the Crown ; and the 
lairds, having nothing to pay themselves, have generally 
been clamorous for payment from the public purse. It 
does the Woods and Forests great credit. And its purity 
struck me the more from having, only a few days ago, 
gone into the interior of Jedburgh Abbey. What an 
abomination ! It cannot be described. And under the 
very lock and key of the noble house of Lothian, to whom 
it belongs, and who live within five miles of the smell of 
it ! nay, over the very dust and prostrate statues of their 
own ancestors ! They can dine off plate ; and they can 
build Puseyite chapels in Jedburgh ; but they cannot lay 
out one shilling in protecting a ruin, the ownership of 
which does them more honour than their title does, from 
pollution at which the snout of a famished hog would 
revolt. Yet it is no badness of nature that produces this, 
to me, utterly inconceivable misconduct, but mere want of 
thought. They sweep their own rooms because they would 
see the dirt in them if they were dirty, but they never 
waste a thought on duties and decencies, the violation of 
which does not incommode themselves. Yet how they 
can resist the mere romance of the matter I cannot under- 
stand. 1 

1 [Although the Abbey is the property of the Marquis of Lothian, it 
was at that time subject to the right of the heritors to its use as the parish 
church, which made it impossible for the proprietor to take effectual 
measures for its protection and preservation. But in 1869 the late Mar- 
quis effected an arrangement with the heritors which he did not live to 
see carried out, but which was subsequently fulfilled in a very liberal spirit 
by his brother and heir the present marquis, who has not only provided 
a new parish church of great architectural merit, but in order to have the 
command of the ground surrounding the Abbey (obtaining for this purpose 
a feu of the glebe), has also provided a new manse and garden, giving the 
use of the rest of the ground to the burgh of Jedburgh for a public park. 
Being thus free to act, the Marquis caused the venerable ruin to be com- 


And, the very next day, I saw about twenty respe.ctable 
and well-behaved farm-servants ask admittance into Melrose 
Abbey. Instead of having the door thrown open, and 
being encouraged to humanise their minds by the spectacle 
of such an edifice, they were sternly barred out, and those 
only let in (which to their honour was the whole of them) 
who would first pay a penny. And this Abbey belongs 
to the Duke of Buccleuch, to that great duke whose 
piety is such that he will neither allow Melrose Abbey to 
be seen on Sunday nor give the Free Church one spot of 
ground, but compels its adherents to worship God under 
the open sky. Let no friend say that his Grace knows 
nothing of the penny. Why does not he ? It is a system, 
and not any casual impropriety by his keeper. Does he not 
know that the Abbey is not open to all, and that it might 
safely be so did it receive one-thousandth part of the 
attention that the ducal kennel does ? 

We got to Dunira by four. Walked up the Boldercan. 
Dined and stayed Thursday night. On Friday we mounted 
as many heights and drove about as many of the valleys 
of Strathearn as could be done in one day. On Saturday 
the 6th (yesterday) we came from Dunira to this London 
made edifice of King's House. 

I have already spoken of all this course, and have no 
more to say. But I trust that though I were to travel 

pletely cleared, and employed the distinguished architect Dr. E. Rowand 
Anderson to put the fabric in proper repair. A heavy belfry which had 
been placed on the top of the central tower, and threatened its stability, 
was removed, beams and struts were fitted in between the nave walls, and 
the whole stonework carefully repaired and pointed. A replica of the 
beautiful south doorway leading to the cloister, which was fast decaying, 
was erected nearer the west end of the nave, and the surrounding ground 
laid out as an ornamental garden. No ecclesiastical ruin in Scotland is 
now in better condition or fairer surroundings, and no one would have 
more keenly appreciated the change than Lord Cockburn, or been more 
ready to withdraw the censure penned in such different circumstances.] 



it a thousand times I would always have more to think and 
to feel. My admiration, and even my surprise, increases. 

The day was most beautiful, indeed, for such scenery, 
perfect. Quite calm ; sun enough to leave the highest 
summits clear, yet clouds enough to let huge shadows 
repose occasionally on every mountain-side. It is all most 
glorious! From the soft, still beauty of Lochearn to 
the lofty cone of Ben More, enriched with scattered 
foliage full 1000 feet above its base; and from the long 
inspiring desolation of the Black Mount, made doubly black 
by the settling down upon it of the shadows of evening, 
to the detached and stately severity of Buachaille-Etive and 
his compeers, who, with him, guard the descent into Glencoe, 
and frown as darkly as if they had just heard of the 
massacre, nothing can be more magnificent. God help 
the poor man whose eye sees nothing, and whose mind feels 
nothing in such scenes. 

This is a very passable Highland hostel, better than 
I either expected or wished. I wanted the adventure of 
another Shiel House. 

Twice yesterday did I hear the horn and see the scarlet 
coat of the guard of the stage-coach which hurries people 
from Fort William to Loch Lomond and vice versa in eight 
hours. Och! och ! 

And now for Glencoe. 

BALLACHULISH, Sunday Night, 7th September 1845. 
And a perfect Glencoe it was. A calm, dun day as a 
Scotch Sunday should be but bright with occasional 
splendour; every ravine, crag, rill, and pinnacle quite 
clear, though the far distances were slightly veiled by 
mysterious gauzy vapour; and an irresistible feeling of 
pleased awe was inspired by a silence so profound, that it 
was broken by the bleating of a lamb or the hum of a bee. 


I will not attempt to describe what is so common, and is 
yet so superior to all description. It is the Switzerland 
of Scotland. And sublime as are the savage summits that 
line the glen, we no sooner slide into the more open regions 
of Loch Leven, than we begin to doubt whether, after all, 
the beauty of the water bounded by the mountains of 
Appin, Morven, and Lochaber be not preferable even to 
the Pass. My decision is in favour of whichever is before 
me. And, on the whole, I felt no nationality, but only 
justice, in believing that a candid Swiss could not more 
fairly describe some of the best scenes of his country than 
by saying, " This is the Scotland of Switzerland." 

Lord Ivory, to whose residence at Fasnacloich we are 
veering, met us here. We pass to-morrow at Kinloch 
Leven, the residence of John Stuart, a Chancery barrister, 
and brother of the Laird of Ballachulish. This will show 
me, what I have never seen, the upper end of Loch Leven. 
The still night, and the soft, dark water, streaked by long 
gleams of trembling light, seem to promise a steady day. 
The house is asleep ; the ferryman's oars no longer move ; 
nothing is heard except the murmur of the stream descend- 
ing through the delicious nest of Ballachulish from the 
picturesque mountains that overhang it. 

The Ballachulishites are well kirked. That little com- 
munity of slate quarriers, amounting only to about 600 
souls, has an Episcopal Chapel, a Catholic Chapel, and a 
Government Church. In addition to which this being a 
site-refusing district I saw the Free Church worshipping 
upon a knoll. 

Besides sundry grand commoners, we yesterday passed 
a brace of dukes and half a brace of marquises Eichmond, 
Buckingham, and Breadalbane. 

KINLOCH LEVEN, Monday Night, 8th September 1845. 


We breakfasted this morning at the house of Ballachulish, 
one of the laird-occupied Highland houses, where, at this 
season, the hospitality is greater than the accommodation. 
I can scarcely conceive a more delightful spot. 

We departed on our nine miles' voyage about eleven, 
and reached Kinloch Leven about half-past one, rowed by 
two strong Celts, and steered by the former reporter of 
Chancery cases. The day did not entirely fulfil what I 
supposed to be the promise of last night; but, on the 
whole, it was a good day, no rain, plenty occasional sun, 
the summits mostly all clear, nothing wanting but that 
general brilliancy, which besides intensity, gives variety 
of light. 

We were all in ecstasies. And no wonder. This Loch 
Leven (an unlucky name, for it is mistaken by strangers 
for the Kinross-shire pool) is one of the scenes which 
nearly defy anticipation. It is narrow seldom, if ever, 
a mile broad ; but deep and dark in its waters, lined the 
whole way by noble, detached mountains, full of glorious 
corries, which, however, though the loch be set in them, 
have openings enough to disclose innumerable distant peaks, 
so as to make the traveller feel that it is not merely be- 
tween two rows of hills that he is placed, but that he is em- 
bedded in an universally mountainous country. The upper 
regions are all black, rocky, and in general peaked ; their 
sides worn into countless gullies and ravines, of course 
with water commonly roaring and sparkling in them, 
though too many of them were dry now ; and the lower 
portions on both sides were profusely sprinkled with wood, 
chiefly ash, alder, oak, and birch, and greened all over with 
bright grass. Nothing can be more absolutely perfect than 
the contrasts of the blue water, the rich natural foliage, 
and the black rock. 

And the solitude ! After leaving the slate quarries, and 


Sir Duncan Cameron's modern town house of Callart on 
the opposite side, there is an end of man and his works. 
I only observed one little Highland farm after this, on the 
south side, and I don't think there was even one on the 
north. And no roads on either side. I don't mean 
merely no made road ; but no road at all on which any 
wheeled vehicle could be drawn, scarcely footing for a 
native pony, a soul-refreshing peculiarity, amidst this iron 
age of railways. The loch is the only practicable access to 
Kinloch Leven. 

Promontories narrow the loch at two places, like necks, 
giving at each the variety of an apparently new lake, with 
somewhat new scenes. I observed only three very small 
islands two at the lower end, and one near the upper. 
They are both flat and green, and attract the eye only by 
their history. One of the lower ones contains the ashes 
of the massacred in 1692 ; the other is said to have been 
sacred once to nuns. There is a fragment of wall upon 
it, and a solitary tree. 

Nothing seems so ineradicable as the recollection of public 
injustice. The isle of St. Mungo (as it sounds) is pointed 
out, after the lapse of 153 years, with nearly as much interest 
as it was soon after the strange massacre it recalls. And 
I never knew till now that the knoll close beside the inn 
was what the sentence calls, " The conspicuous eminence upon 
the south side of, and near to, the said ferry," on which 
James Stewart was executed on the 8th of November 
1752. I happened to put my foot into a hole, when I was 
told that it was the hole in which the main beam of his 
gibbet was erected, and that it was religiously kept open 
to mark the spot. Why should the people desire to pre- 
serve such a spot 1 Certainly not on account of the man, 
nor on account of his believed, and now almost certain- 
innocence, in which respect his fate, though very rare, is 


not absolutely singular. But because he was unfairly tried. 
An Argyle and a jury of Campbells, very faintly admon- 
ished by Elchies, and rather encouraged by Kilkerran, 
sacrificed him because he did not belong to their clan. 
Had his name been Campbell, he would not have been even 
accused. And had he been fairly tried, his innocence 
would not have perpetuated the memory of his story. He 
owes his local immortality to the misconduct of his judges. 1 

There is a dark, conical little hillock which, though part 
of the mainland, stands like an island in the middle of the 
loch half-way up on the right hand, and, whatever side it 
be seen from, is a singularly picturesque object. The 
position of the Episcopal Chapel is most beautiful. It 
stands on a little green plot by the water's edge, near 
Ballachulish, in the society of a few trees, close beside it. 
There is nothing peculiar in this. But where is there any- 
thing like the mountain right behind it ? Almost amphi- 
theatred by a magnificent come, reaching from its very 
summit to its base, on which base the chapel smiles, and 
tossed all over by trees, while a stream rushes down 
through it, and only gets gentle as it approaches the 
temple of peace. 

Except the doubtful bit of wall on the nuns' island, 
there is no fragment to testify that man had ever had pos- 
session of this loch. At first I thought that a ruin would 
have graced it ; but this was a mistake. It is far better 
that there is nothing to disclose that its recesses had ever 
been occupied. The impression of loneliness which im- 
parts such sublimity to the whole scene, is greatly deepened 
by its appearing before us now, exactly as it was ages ago. 

After landing, Mr. Stuart, Ivory, and I, walked for 
some hours up the River Leven a very considerable, and 
very rocky, boisterous mountain river. We did not go up 
1 Journals, vol. ii. 107. 


to the falls, not having time. Both the stream and all 
the hills, and each particular rock and gully, are softened 
by that rich and varied wood which seems to delight in 
Argyleshire, and is, I suppose, to be ascribed to the 
showeriness, the soil, and the mildness which seems to me 
to prevail everywhere in this country near the coast. A 
few years ago (not twenty-five) the left bank of the River 
Leven was covered, for about five miles from the junction of 
the stream with the loch, and high up, with very fine old 
birch. The whole of this wood was sold by the meanest 
man I was ever personally acquainted with, for about 
80. The purchaser, finding it too expensive to cut and 
carry away the trees, left them standing, but all peeled ; 
and there are still thousands of them not yet rotted away, 
but standing dead and grey. Can there be any doubt 
that the rich brute who could allow five miles of wood, the 
ornament of a district, to be destroyed for 80, is now 
suffering for this in a hotter world ? Spare him not, Devil. 
Give him his own faggots. 

FASNACLOICH, Tuesday Night, 9th September 1845. This 
morning I went about a mile up the river Leven before 
breakfast with Lizzy Thomson a most indefatigable, 
but most intelligent and unobtrusive, sightseer. After 
breakfast our party re-embarked for Ballachulish. 

The Stuarts were all agreeable and kind. What good 
sense there is in selecting Kinloch Leven for his vacation. 
He has not yet got a long enough lease to justify his build- 
ing, and therefore the cottage he now lives in, though as 
nice as English habits can make it, is too small, both in 
the size and in the number of its places, to suit even a 
Scotch minister or farmer. But there the resider in a good 
London house, and the receiver of about 6000 or 7000 
a year of equitable fees, retires annually, and is happy with 


his not much used gun and rod, his solitude and his 
scenery. It is his native country ; and I would believe him 
to be a good man, were it only from the kindly familiarity 
with which the elder people all greet him as "Maister John." 

I am afraid I must confess that the day was bad. Eain 
and wind might have been endured, but fog robbed us of 
our heights. Tourists are not children of the mist. It 
was a "dark and stormy water." Our two rowers could not 
have made it out. But we stopped at the little farm half- 
way down, and, half by coaxing, and half by the terrors of 
the " red Lord," got other two hands, and the four brought 
us to our port of destination. 

After getting dried, we had to go to lunch at the house 
of Ballachulish, after which we set forward, we in our 
carriage, and Ivory, Frank, and Benjamin Bell, whom we 
met here, in Ivory's car, towards Fasnacloich, twenty-one 
miles off. The whole drive is beautiful, when seen, 
especially from Appin onwards. But we only saw enough 
to let us fancy what we were losing. But, just at Appin, 
it pleased the sun to make one of those sudden and short 
bursts that often close a dull day. A splendid flash of 
about ten minutes. Everything was visible, the old 
tower of Castle Stalker, which rose within a quarter of a 
mile of us, the bright moss of the little sea-surrounded 
rock on which it stands, the Morven Hills on our right, 
the headlands and islands before us, the glittering roofs of 
the few houses that shone in the distance, all was revealed. 
And in this paroxysm of radiance the sun expired. We 
were in our fog again, and reached Fasnacloich at eight, 
without knowing what like it was. 

FASNACLOICH, Wednesday Night, 10th September 1845. 
A day of perfectly cloudless, unchecked, calm splendour. 
What a day ! 

WES T CIRCUIT A UTUMN 1 845 . 281 

I found that this place is about a mile from one of the 
many heads of Loch Creran. But as no Argyleshire place 
can exist without a lake, a fresh-water one of about a mile 
long lies close before it, within one hundred yards of the 
door. Except at the end , where the fresh and the salt waters 
are within a mile of joining, the place is entirely surrounded 
by high and properly-shaped mountains, displaying a great 
deal of wood, which, being all natural, excludes larch. The 
place is in the usual condition of most Highland places 
great once, when retainers made greatness, but now, when 
rent is the thing, fallen down far below the station for 
which the laird appeared to be born, and, if not protected 
by a quibble-proof entail, certain soon to fall into the hands 
of some base but wealthy Saxon. It is all in disorder, 
wood uncared for, fences mouldering, ditches choked, 
steading unpaved, gates broken, garden with its espaliers 
of white moss and wet weedy walks oppressive with a 
heavy damp odour. The house patched suddenly up for 
a tenant, and making one wonder how little sufficed in the 
days of yore for a feudal chieftain. Everything about it 
depending on man is melancholy, everything depending on 
nature beautiful and grand. The proprietor, a boy, was 
here, and rowed us on his own loch. 

The best part of the day was given to recover what we 
had lost yesterday, by a return to Appin. We drove to 
the house, and had our repast on the turf, a little higher 
up the bank. 

The whole scene I mean the whole district is glorious, 
the finest succession of sea and land compositions that are 
anywhere to be found. There is no end of the Creran, 
which pushes its bright waters into innumerable bays, and 
presents itself in so many and such new forms, that we 
are surprised to learn that all these are still the Creran. 
And then there is such a confusion, or at least such a 


mixture, of lochs, and such a strange breaking of the land 
into islands, or promontories like islands, that when seen 
under such a sun as kindled all this up for us to- day, 
nothing can be more beautiful. But still, the eye turns 
even from these islands, or seemingly islands, with 
their woods and their culture, and their blue waters, to 
the iron mountains of Morven ! What a ridge of stern 
rock ! Apparently as perpendicular as so high a ridge 
can be ; not a tree, or a visible blade nothing but sheer 
stone, upon which all the storms may rage for a thousand 
years in vain. I am not sure that I ever beheld such a 
composition of land and water as that which is displayed 
from the lawn of Appin House. It owes much to Stalker's 
Tower, standing up upon its island rock a monument of 
other days. 

After a sunset which only shows itself at Fasnacloich 
by the brilliancy of hill-tops and the darkness of shaded 
valleys, we had a merry, though rather noisy, dinner. 
Before tea, the girls stole out by themselves, and rowed 
on the lake, under a soft moon. Their being discovered 
and joined by some of the gentlemen did not improve the 
effect of the adventure as seen from the land, for it de- 
stroyed its peacefulness. 

Loch Etive is one of the things I have been wishing to 
see for half my life ; and to-morrow, I am to see it. 

FASNACLOICH, Friday Morning, 12th September 1845. 
And I have seen it, well 

First, for the facts. Yesterday was as perfect as the 
day before. Absolutely perfect. We divided ourselves 
into two parties. One, consisting of one Miss Ivory, 
Frank, Bell, and three or four youths, a guide, two ponies, 
and provisions, went by land to the head of the loch, by 
Grlenure. My Lizzy, Lizzy Thomson, Miss Ivory, Lord 


Ivory, and I drove to the lower end of the loch and sailed 
up. The land party had to go about ten miles, we about 
twenty-six. They went over the hills, we went round 

We left Fasnacloich at a little after seven in the morn- 
ing in Ivory's car, and went to a place which sounded like 
Creagan, four miles off, where there is a ferry across Loch 
Creran. But as it can ferry no horses or carriage, we 
should have been at a stand had not Mr. Cameron 
of Barcaldine tendered his carriage and horses, which, on 
getting across, we found waiting an open carriage, strong 
steeds, and a sensible, handy Celt of a coachman. He 
drove us, through Barcaldine, to Loch Etive, about ten 

On getting there (the Bunaw ferry), my prediction of the 
risk of not sending word a day before was confirmed, for 
after wasting an hour and a half entreating, and trying 
to bribe, and even letting off the red Lord, we could not get 
a single man to move at the opposite side, where alone 
tourist boats are kept, and which Ivory crossed to. I 
thought our expedition ended, when three stalwart quarriers 
from our own side volunteered their services, and the coach- 
man, doffing his livery coat, volunteered his. They found 
a boat, our provisions were put on board, and the voyage 
began. I never saw so good a Highland crew. Tall, 
strong, sensible, cheerful, willing fellows, and excellent 
rowers, but the coachman clearly the best. 

We got up at about two, having taken rather less than 
three hours to the fourteen miles. We looked eagerly for 
the land part of the expedition, which ought to have 
joined us here; but in vain. Every distant rock, and 
tuft, and stot was taken for them. But they never ap- 
peared. So, selecting a well-placed knoll, about half a 
mile from the very end of the loch, which seemed to have 


the best view, we spread our table, literally in the wilder- 

After an hour's contemplation and refreshment, we 
sailed again, homeward bound. Three hours and a half, 
stoppages included, brought us back to Bunaw. We 
there parted with our three maritime quarriers, on very 
good terms on both sides; and the coachman took us 
back to his ferry, where we, on equally good terms, parted 
with him. Ivory's car received us at his side of the water ; 
and another splendid moon lighted us to Fasnacloich, 
which we reached about nine. 

It was then explained that the hill party had reached 
the head of the loch ; but, despairing of us, had gone away 
before we arrived. They describe their whole route, 
especially Glenure, as very fine, which I believe, for the 
mountains imply it. 

So I have seen Loch Etive. There are few things 
in this country better worth seeing. 

From the Bunaw ferry it runs about fourteen or fifteen 
miles up the country, is nearly straight, and from one 
mile to three wide. The boatmen said that for about 
seven miles up, on the right side, there was, since they 
remembered, a profusion of birch, which the Bunaw 
furnaces had cleared away. Whether this be correct or 
not, there is scarcely one observable stem or leaf there 
now. No country can be more utterly woodless. There 
is some tolerable wood for about a mile next the ferry 
on the west side, and a sprinkling on the same side, 
very near the top. But these, though aided by a few 
foliaged ravines, are too insignificant to affect the general 
character of the valley, which may be described as utterly 
bare. Not even grass or heather seem to be happy here : 
at least not the soft green grass, nor the bright purple 
heather of Argyle. Nothing seems to live, a few oases 


excepted, but a sort of short, pale, wiry bent. And even 
this is mixed with stones, which gradually increase in 
quantity and in size, till, when not kept off by the solid 
rock, they get entire possession of the summits. These 
summits stand high and hard, and line the whole loch on 
both sides. 

But there are four of them which the eye can never 
withdraw itself from. Ben Cruachan rises from the very 
water at the lower end of the loch on the east side, and its 
peaks and enormous comes stand all out full in view, after 
getting a few miles up. Then on the same side comes Ben 
Slarive, a savage rock. And then the upper end is closed 
in by the two Buachaille-Etives (Beg and More), and a 
third of the same character, of which I can't describe the 
sound of the name by letters. 

These mountains are the objects ! Seen any way they 
are grand. But seen, as we saw them, first in the meridian 
blaze, and then varied by the deep shadows of evening, 
they are sublime. But both Cruachan and Ben Slarive 
yield to the three upper giants, not in bulk certainly, but 
in interest. There is something in the form and in the 
position of these distinctly separated, conical mountains 
which made me feel as if I was wasting my opportunity 
when I looked away from them, though it were only to 
look at their two rivals. 

The general and strongly impressed character of the 
scene is that of grey, lonely, sublime sterility. It reminded 
me of some of Roberts's views of the country near Petra, 
I need scarcely say that there is no road on either side 
except for about a mile from Bunaw, for there is no 
village or even toon, and the two or three poor houses that are 
detectable are only noticed for their loneliness. The only 
interesting building is an atom, which they call a church, 
on the east side, about half-way up, with three bothies 


beside it. It is only a preaching-place. I asked whether 
it was Free or Established ? One of the boatmen answered, 
"Ou, it's between the twa, for they're fechting aboot it." 
However, the Established had it yesterday, for a minister 
of that sect preached in it preparatory to the dispensation 
of the Sacrament on Sunday first. As we were passing 
homewards, the people came out. We counted them. 
Including the minister they were twenty-nine a large 
congregation for such a locality. About four or five of 
them went into the bothies ; the rest went all off different 
ways, in four boats. The whole scene was most interest- 
ing. I hope they will have a good day on Sunday. I 
cannot well conceive any one, whatever his own habits 
may be, so insensible of the feelings of others as not to 
sympathise with these poor people in their enjoyment of 
religious ordinances dear to their hearts, and without 
which what pleasure or humanity would their situation 
leave them ? I understood it to be the kirk of Inverousken. 
What cathedral is better entitled to our reverence ? 

Connected with this, I forgot to mention that I spoke to 
three very nice-looking children at King's House ; and 
finding that they were the landlord's, I asked the mother 
what school they went to. " Nae schule at a' ! There 's nae 
schules here." " But do you not mean to teach them any- 
thing?" "Ouayj but ou keep a tootor for them." This 
tutor, I found, was a boy from a normal school, whose 
salary consisted of his having the run of the kitchen during 
the teaching months. She seemed shocked at the notion 
that even her humble circumstances were to leave her 
children uneducated. 

The best way of seeing Loch Etive would be to sail up, 
and then to walk to King's House, about ten or twelve miles 
off, on the other side of Buachaille-Etive. This would 
show the upper part of the country, which is the best part, 


better than it can be seen from below. Descending from 
King's House, and sailing down, would do also. But this 
implies a tryst with a Bunaw boat always dangerous ; 
and it is always better to trace water and valleys to their 
sources, than to go down to their opening terminations. 
Juvat intus accedere fontes. 1 

OBAN, Friday Night, 12th September 1845. We left 
Fasnacloich to-day at eleven, and got here by five. The 
Ivorys came with us to Shean Ferry. The whole distance 
is only about eighteen miles; but it took six hours to 
devour this space, because we had the two ferries of Shean 
and Connel, the first of which took nearly two hours to 
itself. The boat, though bespoke, was at the wrong side. 
And then the pulling and lifting the poor carriage, by 
Celtic arms alone, unaided by any machinery, the scolding 
and directing all in Gaelic and no man master ! The 
expeditious passage of a Highland ferry would be a 
much greater miracle than the passage of the Red Sea. 
The whole way is beautiful, and in the same style ; a suc- 
cession of sea lochs, deeply set in rocky shores, the flats of 
which are woody and cultivated, the heights wild. The 
delay at Shean gave us a more general notion of Barcal- 
dine than we got by driving twice through it. It is a 
beautiful place. And if not seeing the finest sea views in 
the world, though close at hand, be an advantage, the 
modern house has been very skilfully contrived. 

A beautiful day. 

OBAN, Saturday Night, 13th September 1845. The two 
Lizzies, squired by Frank and Bell, went this morning at 

1 Since coming home, I have read MacCulloch's description of Loch 
Etive, of which I could not judge before. It is excellent. Nothing gives 
me a better idea of the scene than his " Gigantic Simplicity." 


seven to Staffa and lona, and returned in almost exactly 
twelve hours. I could not inspire myself for such a voyage. 
So having seen them off (but only through my bedroom 
window), I have had a day of solitary repose. But a very 
bad day it has been. Wet and hazy. But I have again 
looked at this little capital, and continue to think it beauti- 
ful. It is becoming a great steamboat station, too great. 
Each landing creates a nutter which disturbs its solitude. 
It seems fuller of strangers than of natives. But the birds 
of passage will soon be gone. My voyagers had a better 
day than I had, but still not a good one. There was 
rolling enough of the vessel to satisfy them that I was 
better on land. 

Having thus noted all that was new in this tour, I 
suppose I may consider the chronicle for the passing autumn 
as at an end. 

DALMALLY, Sunday Night, Ikth September 1845. We 
came here to-day by four o'clock, glad to find these 
nuisances to travellers, the inn-usurping shooters, all gone. 

The day has had a battle with itself, as to whether it 
was to be very bad or very good, ever since morning. 
After many vicissitudes, the final victory, I hope, is with 
this clear and steady moon. 

I am even more struck than I was five years ago 
with the country between this and Oban. Only, there 
has surely been some change of the road, which deprives 
passengers of a great part of River Awe. We did not pass 
along its velocity to-day for more than a mile or two. 
Nevertheless, the whole drive is beautiful. Its elements 
are, the many-bayed Etive, the River Awe, the loch, Kil- 
churn, Ben Cruachan, Dalmally, with its church and its 
own mountains, all enriched by profuse sprinklings of 
copsewood Cruachan is, no doubt, grand from this side, 


but it is only from Loch Etive that his merits are to be 
understood fully. 

STRACHUR, Monday Night, 1 5th September 1845. We 
went this morning and visited Kilchurn. Much of it 
has fallen since I last saw it in 1843. Strange that 
no friend will tell Lord Breadalbane about it, and about 
his duty. Pinning it all firmly up by using the fallen 
stones and properly coloured cement, and protecting the 
tops of all the walls by coping and mastic, and then wheel- 
ing away the remaining rubbish, killing the nettles, and 
laying it all down in pure turf, could probably be done 
for 500. But suppose it cost 5000. Would not the 
Marquis spend twice this in defending one of his grouse 
knolls, or even his marquisate ? 

Dalmally never looked grander than it did last night 
under the moon, and this morning. The tower of the 
church peering over the trees that hid the church itself 
would be a striking object anywhere, but is particularly 
so amidst the solitary masses that surround it. But I beg 
the Circuit Clerk, and the Macer, and my representatives 
to take notice that I won't be laid in that kirkyard. 
Abominable ! 

We left Dalmally about twelve, and reached Inveraray 
about three. Loch Awe beautiful. We met the Ruther- 
furds near Claddich, journeying towards Ballachulish. 
Sir Thomas Lauder was waiting for us at Inveraray with 
his official cutter, and took us to Strachur in its boat, 
beneath watery clouds and over a dark sea. And, after 
such spare fast as oft with Murray doth diet, here I am 
quite ready for that bed. 

INVERARAY, Tuesday Night, 16th September 1845. An 
excellent and a well-spent day, anything that gets one out 



of the horrid, dull moisture of Strachur being agreeable. 
I saw the cutter itself the very Princess Royal, 102 tons, 
twenty-three men, and a Navy lieutenant laying to, 
close inshore, with great pleasure, ^Eolus plainly whisper- 
ing that even I might venture. We all got on board, 
and, after hours of tacking, got down a little below 
Minard, and were relanded at Strachur about six, after 
about seven hours on Loch Fyne. A most agreeable cruise. 
I wish I had a sea stomach, since my friend Lauder has 
the use of such a vessel. I should then have seen, as he 
has done, every interesting point of the British and Irish, 
but especially of the Scotch, coast. There is scarcely a 
creek, island, or rock on the shore that he has not explored, 
nor an accessible ruin or lake ; and all these he has de- 
scribed in several journals written with considerable spirit, 
and embellished by graphic pencil and crow-quill sketches. 
I doubt if any one ever saw the coast of Scotland better. 
Certainly no one now or recently living has. I have read 
several of his journals. An excellent work could be made 
out of them. The best part of James Wilson's book called 
Voyage round the Coasts of Scotland, being the account of St. 
Kilda, is substantially Lauder's. I envy these two months' 
summer voyages exceedingly. They cost him nothing, or 
very little ; they are dignified by a sort of pretence of public 
business ; and their pleasures are not entirely maritime, 
for wherever a friend lives within reach of the coast, the 
herring secretary has only to anchor, to land, and to reach 
him. Then the gratification of taking friends, including 
his daughters and other ladies, on board, and giving them 
trips, and of wearing a blue jacket and trousers, and letting 
the moustaches sprout; what can be more delightful to 
a sketching and geological man, whose digestion, and 
slumber, and reading, Neptune, with his worst lurches, 
cannot disturb 1 


After more of the spare diet, I and my party got into a 
small toy of a steamer, which is hired out at Inveraray, and 
reached that place at about eleven to-night, after an hour's 
calm, mild, lunar sail from Strachur. The passage, includ- 
ing sending the steamer for us, only cost fifteen shillings. 

TARBET, LOCH LOMOND, Thursday Night, ISth September 
1845. The heavy rain of yesterday was avoided by being 
in Court till five. This disposed of all the district guilt. 

The Argyleshire stots make the stupidest jurymen. A 
Bute man was tried on the clearest possible evidence of 
deforcement. They convicted him, which was quite right, 
and recommended him to the lenity of the Court, which 
was quite wrong. On being asked, and indeed urged, to 
tell on what the recommendation proceeded, they stared 
and conferred, and stared again, but had not a word to 
say. They could give no reason whatever ; but though 
they were made perfectly to understand the necessity, for 
their own object, of my knowing their ground, they all 
remained dumb, and just glowered. It was suspected that 
they wished to acquit, but, finding this impossible, that 
they gave the recommendation as the next best for the 
excise deforcer ; and that they dare not avow that they 
had no reason except a desire to acquit. An Aberdeen 
jury who had got themselves into this position would have 
got out of it at once by a cunning pretence. 

We came here this forenoon. A rainy day. But it 
faired from about two to six, which enabled us to drive 
seven miles up the loch, during most part of which the 
Ben was clear to the summit. It was all very lovely, but 
Loch Lomond should never be seen under heavy, dull 
clouds. To-morrow for Dunoon. 

KILMUN, Friday Night, l$th September 1845. A bright 


day. We left Tarbet at about nine. Liz Thomson, 
Frank, and I went a little way up the hill behind the inn 
at Luss, and had a good view of the lower division of the 
loch, but not nearly so good as from the top of Inch- 
tavannach, to which island we all sailed. One of the boat- 
men said he had rowed Eichardson and me across to Eow- 
ardennan the week in which Lennox the ferryman at 
Inveruglas's boy was drowned forty-one years ago, and he 
had also been our boatman when we were here with (alas !) 
Mrs. Eichardson and Sir Charles and Lady Bell sixteen 
years ago. I engaged him to meet me here again on 
the 19th September 1861, when it would be sixteen 
more, to which he made a very ingenious answer, that 
as soon as he saw me there then he would be sure to 

After being detained an hour on the water at Dumbarton, 
where we got into a steamer, having sent the servant 
and the carriage on by land to Glasgow, and another hour 
at Greenock, we at last made Dunoon, where Captain 
H. Dundas told me of the sudden death at Eothesay of 
John Borthwick of Crookston, his brother-in-law, and in 
one and a half hours more a car at last landed us here at 
seven in the evening. The Fullertons are living here, and 
this is a visit to them. 

KILMUN, Saturday Night, 20th September 1845. A 
baddish day. We passed it chiefly at Loch Eck a piece 
of water grandly bounded, but solemn enough without 
being lowered over by dark clouds. Its gloomy stillness, 
however, did not prevent an hilarious hour at the public. 

KILMUN, Sunday Night, 2lst September 1845. A good 

A large party went to Glenfinart to church in a 


" roomy " chariot lent the Fullertons by a neighbouring 
cottar-king called Grahame. I took a boat across to 
Dunoon, and called on the Dundases. On getting home, 
at one, I went in a car and joined them at Gleufinart, 
eight miles up Loch Long. My chief object was to see 
the place, which I knew in its old condition, Lord Ful- 
lerton having occupied it as tenant for four years, since he 
became my near relation. It was then in its simple state, 
as when Rogers, who had visited the family of Dunmore 
there, alluded to it in the lines " written in the Highlands 
of Scotland " 

Glad sign and sure, for now we hail 
Thy flowers, Glenfinart, in the gale. 

The new and rich proprietor has changed it a good deal ; 
but, in general, for the better. He has given it a hand- 
some but sensible house on the old site ; and a broken, 
disorderly, and rather offensive foreground has been con- 
verted into about sixty acres of excellent lawn. People 
object to his garden. But since, to a family far away 
from purchaseable peas and turnips, a garden was indis- 
pensable, I could not discover where he could have 
placed it better. But he need certainly have had no wall. 
Few owners, however, can resist the temptation of souring 
their mouths, at a great expense, by hard peaches, because 
they are their own, instead of buying good ones cheaply, 
and enclosing their gardens with evergreen hedges in place 
of flaring stone. The worst thing I saw and it was very 
bad was the conversion of an excellent, free, mountain 
stream into a long, regular canal, with a succession of little 
two-feet falls ; and this abomination only for fresh-water 

After getting home at four, Mrs. Fullerton, the two 
Lizzies, Mary Fullerton, and I, went in a car up Glen 


Messan, at the head of this loch. It is a wild, rocky, 
picturesque, narrow glen, any one mile of which might 
keep the pencils of a thousand sketchers going for a year. 
But what Argyleshire glen would not ? 

We got back at seven, had a quiet dinner, and family 
worship closed the day. 

This Kilmun is a delightful retreat from the mill, the 
bank, and the bench. Its being better than the more 
open Clyde is perhaps doubtful. Moreover, it is a bad 
bathing-place, because there is no possible privacy. This 
is bad enough for ladies, though they have bathing-dresses; 
and unless men cover their nakedness also, they may just 
as well walk as they were born in Princes Street, as bathe 
at Kilmun, where, besides that the beach is lined by a row 
of houses, there are not even the rocky nooks that roughen 
the shore of Dunoon. 

So, for this bout, Argyleshire, adieu ! 

If I had at present my choice of an Eden in this delight- 
ful shire, I would select Ballachulish. 

But, alas ! let no one who can delay select now. The 
angel of destruction is hovering over its finest recesses. 
It is in great danger of being blasted by railways. See 
this advertisement ! 


A Company is in the course of formation for giving the benefits 
of railway communication to the large and important county of 
Argyle. The principal line is intended to commence at Oban, and 
to proceed by the banks of Loch Etive to the River Awe ; after 
crossing which it will run along the north side of Loch Awe to 
Dalmally, where it will fork one line proceeding by Tayndrum to 
Loch Lomond, and there form a junction with the railway already 
projected from Glasgow into Dumbartonshire, and the other by 
Glen Ary to Inverary, and from thence by Loch Eck to Kilmun, 
on the Clyde. 


The surveys are nearly completed, and so soon as the engineer's 
report is received, a detailed prospectus and list of provisional 
committee will be published. 

EDINBURGH, 19th July 1845. 

Britain is at present an asylum of railway lunatics, and 
one symptom of their malady consists in their being pos- 
sessed of the idea that all seclusion is a grievance. A 
canal is soon to join Loch Tarbert to Loch Fyne, destroying 
my little Virgilian harbour. 

To-morrow to Glasgow. Hech ! hech ! The poetry of 
the Circuit is over. The sow that hath been washed 
returneth to its wallowing in the mire. 

But I have forgot to mention a defence that was made 
for Argyle by a true Campbell when the chief was said to 
have got Ardshiel killed, though innocent : " Ay, to be 
shure, that 's the very thing. Onybody can get a man 
hanget that 's guilty, but it 's only 'Lummore [Macallum 
More] can hang a man wha 's no guilty ava." 

BONALY, Saturday Night, 27th September 1845. After 
four days of trials at Glasgow, I came here to-day. 

The cases were mere dirt ; thirty-nine, of which above 
thirty were thefts. Such common-places might almost be 
tried by steam. Only two things curious. One of them was 
the striking tact of a blind woman, a witness, who identified 
a considerable number of articles of dress and furniture solely 
by the touch. She generally mentioned the colours, and 
distinguished her own from others readily and accurately. 
The other was a poor Irishman convicted of bigamy. He 
pleaded guilty, and consequently could have no speech in 
his defence. But this he ascribed to his poverty, but for 
which his innocence, he flattered himself, would have been 
clear. His phrase for this struck me. After Moncreiff 


had given him a very good address, " Plase your honour," 
said he, " if I had only had money to buy a tongue, your 
honour would not have had all that to say." 

It was the first time I was in the new Court. An im- 
measurable improvement on the old cave. Except that 
the old one, from being a cave, was good for hearing in, 
for which the new square is very bad. The Judge's head 
is too high set, and his lordship is his own echo ; not un- 
natural defects, since the internal arrangements were all 
usurped by our worthy chief, my Lord Justice-Clerk, John 
Hope. The imperfections of the room, however, are 

David Mure was our Depute. 

My books were both American Bush, the Ambassador's, 
Residence in London, and Prescott's Essays, or rather 
Reviews. Rush seems to have looked at London intelli- 
gently. But I can't understand how an ambassador, or 
his family, can publish, or be allowed to publish, his official 
proceedings. I thought that the interviews, schemes, 
instructions, and plots of such men, had been all secret, 
and sacred. Everything that Prescott writes is sensible 
and candid. His criticism is so. Without any pre- 
tension to genius, originality, or learning, all he executes 
is made pleasing by judgment, industry, and amiable 


SPRING 1846. 

BONALY, Thursday, 23d April 1846. I left Edinburgh 
on this Spring Circuit last Thursday, the 1 6th, and here I 
am again. I have and can have nothing to say. 

My companions were my two daughters, Elizabeth and 
Johanna. We went to Jedburgh on the 16th. In 
Court all Friday, and till two on Saturday, the 1 7th and 
18th; went to Borthwickbrae to dinner on Saturday; 
stayed there till the morning of Monday the 20th ; went 
that day, by Langholm and Lockerbie, to Dumfries ; met 
Moncreiff there ; in Court till nine at night on Tuesday 
the 21st; and returned to Edinburgh yesterday, the 22d, 
leaving Moncreiff to take Ayr alone. Kainy, cold weather. 

Very few cases. The people are all employed, either on 
railways, or in consequence of them. There was a child 
murder at Dumfries, where doctors differed as to their 
scientific " tests " of the child having been born alive. 
But its throat was found crammed full of bits of coal, and 
there were the marks of a thumb and two fingers on the 
outside of the neck. These practical tests had little effect 
upon medical opinion; but as mothers don't generally 
throttle children that are dead, they were quite satisfac- 
tory to the jury. This was said to have been the fourth 
illegitimate that she had disposed of by violence. A tall, 
strong, dour, ogress. Still, hanging is at such a discount 
now, that, clear though it was, the prosecutor would have 



got no conviction unless he had restricted. Whenever any 
of the murderous appearances, such as finger-marks on the 
neck, was put to one of the doctors in defence, the scien- 
tific gentleman, after parading his vast experience, always 
stated that however these things might startle the ignorant, 
they were of no consequence to a person of great practice, 
and that he had seen hundreds of children born with these 
very marks. " Ay, but, doctor," said an agrestic-looking 
juryman, " did ye ever see ony o' them born wi' coals i' 
their mooth ? " 



STEWART'S INN, TROSSACHS, Tuesday Night, Sth Septem- 
ber 1846. Mrs. Cockburn, my daughter Elizabeth, and 
Elizabeth Richardson, embarked with me on a northern 
voyage, in a carriage on the Falkirk railway, at eight this 
morning. The carriage had been sent forward last night, 
arid met us at Falkirk a little after nine. We breakfasted 
at Stirling, after which Lizzie Richardson and I explored 
the castle and the city under a torrent of rain. We set 
off about one ; and after leaving our cards for David Dun- 
das, the new Solicitor-General of England, at Ochtertyre, 
his seat, we got here about half-past six. The two Lizzies 
and I walked, and just saw this end of Loch Katrine under 
a still, grave, peaceful evening. The day brightened before 
we got to Ochtertyre, and has continued steadily fine 
ever since. 

COMRIE HOUSE, Wednesday Night, 9th September 1846. 
We passed a couple of hours yesterday on Loch Katrine ; 
then went to Callander ; renewed my acquaintance with 
the Falls of Brackland, which I saw last in March 1811 ; 
left Callander about two ; and gliding along Loch Lub- 
naig and Loch Earn, got here at seven, amidst the blaze 
of a glorious sunset. All excellent ; but too common, 
even to myself, for reflections worth recording. 

The world is still paying homage to the genius of Scott 



at the Lake of his Lady. I find that Stewart's inn can 
accommodate about a dozen of people comfortably, and 
about twice that number with some decency. But there 
is now a small steamer on the loch, which goes three times 
down and three times up daily, and generally loaded. 
There are omnibuses to carry them on to Callander, be- 
sides gigs, cars, and private carriages. But they all arrive 
from Loch Lomond, Callander, and other quarters, expect- 
ing accommodation at the wonderful and expansive place 
called Stewart's inn, and, except the twelve or the twenty- 
four, are all daily, or rather hourly, destined to be disap- 
pointed. On our way from Callander to that place we 
counted about fifty people returning from Stewart's in 
vehicles. There had been above one hundred people at that 
inn that day. Yet the two peers, Willoughby and Mon- 
trose, have not sense either to shut up the loch altogether, 
or spirit to build a proper house. 

Montrose's side of the loch is still bare. It was cut, or 
rather grubbed out, I don't remember how long ago, but 
certainly after the publication of the poem ; for I remem- 
ber Scott, in his indignation, threatening to save the trees, 
and to disgrace their owner, by getting up a penny sub- 
scription, and paying the 200 (this, I believe, was the 
sum) for which they were to be sold. But we observed 
one of the very finest weeping birches, on the right-hand 
side of the road going towards Loch Katrine, which we 
were told that Lady Willoughby had given five guineas to 
save. I trust, and have no reason to doubt, that she has 
in store the treasure of many as good deeds. 

Loch Lubnaig, it is supposed, is going into Glasgow, 
to cleanse faces and be made into punch. I believe that 
an Act has been obtained for the supply of what the in- 
habitants delight to call the Metropolis of the West, with 
water from this lake. 


COMRIE HOUSE, Thursday Night, 10th September 1846. 
Another fine day, passed in roving, in an open carriage, 
through the exhaustless glories of this portion of Strath - 

This Comrie House, tenanted by my nephew Kobert 
Whigham, the Sheriff of the county, is the very perfection 
of a small Highland retreat. What can hills, trees, water, 
rocks, home scenery, distant prospects, and a sensible 
house, do more *? 

COMRIE HOUSE, Friday Night, llth September 1846. 
Ditto to-day. 

DUNKELD, Saturday Night, 12th September 1846. This 
has been a day ! 

We left Comrie about seven; breakfasted at Killin; 
went through the grounds at Taymouth ; and were here 
a little after eight P.M. 

Of the space between Comrie and Killin I say nothing, 
except that from the day of its creation, it was never more 

I have not been at Killin and Kenmore since, I think, 
1823, when I loitered through the district with Eichard- 
son and his now deceased wife, and Lady Bell and her 
now deceased husband Sir Charles. Nor had I ever before 
come down, or gone up, the right bank of the river, so 
that all this was now nearly new to me. I pity the man 
to whom it can ever become hackneyed. 

The day was perfect. The clear blue sky, diversified by 
rich white clouds, sailing slowly along, as if freighted with 
angels enjoying the surface of this beautiful world, and 
everything breathed upon by airs fresh from Paradise. A 
finer day never was, or ever can be, in Scotland. 

The peculiarity of Killin is in its assemblage of such a 


variety of picturesque objects in so small a space. All the 
sketchers in Britain might sketch there for their whole 
lives, and not exhaust it. I had never gone over to Fin- 
larig before. Besides its own interest, it is a platform for 
many views. But the burial-place of the Macnabs is more 
singular, and liker the final resting-place of a race of savage 
chiefs. It looks as if they had expected to be obliged to 
stand a siege even in the grave. It is needless to speak of 
our country parish churchyards. Some of the new town 
cemeteries are decent, and some even beautiful. But our 
country ones ! The one at Killin is in a situation fit to 
inspire any human creature, except a Scotch Calvinist, 
with proper sentiments and a proper cinerary taste. But 
what an abomination ! It makes death horrid. Yet 
lairds, kirk-sessions, ministers, and people, all submit, con- 
tentedly, from generation to generation. It sinks them 
lower in the scale of animals than any fact of their his- 

If seeing Ben Lawers be the only object, those are right 
who say that the south side of Loch Tay is the best to 
take. For the general scene, I am confident that the 
north is better; were it merely because it runs on a 
higher level, and makes everything be better seen. Oh, 
how the lake shone to-day ! Bright and unruffled, save 
when a whisper of breath played with bits of the surface, 
or the fishes, looking up, left little widening rings when 
they sunk again, or the progress of a fly rippled the surface 
crystal; every object mirrored in the water. Much of 
the hills, on both sides, would, in any other situation, be 
tame, for they are often without rock, or peak, or gully, 
or corry, or any roughness. But, as placed, they all 
harmonise. The peculiarity of the whole scene seems to 
me to lie in the absence of seats or villages, and in the 
profusion of little farms and toons, with their irregular 


patches of bright grain, their blue smoke, bits of mills, and 
hamlet trees; the boat, the bleaching of the homespun 
linen, the peat stack, and all the other appearances of 
happy and simple rural life. It seems to be a population 
over the enjoyments and virtue of which a great land- 
owner might be proud to preside. I am thankful that I 
have beheld the scene once- more, before it be polluted by 
the smoke, and noise, and bustle of a railway. But Tay ! 
thou art doomed ! We passed the surveyors' flags the 
scientific upas, twice this forenoon. I wonder how many 
millions it would take to make me, if it were mine, send 
the Gallowgate, ten times a day, along that loch. 

Lizzie Richardson and I walked through the grounds, 
and looked into the hall of Taymouth Castle, a noble 
place, admirably kept. The house much improved, because 
broken in its outline, by the addition of the library ; but 
still one can't help regretting that out of so much work 
and cost, so very little of real architecture has been pro- 
duced. The central and chief part of the edifice is a mere 
copy of Inveraray, the worst-looking Bridewell in this 
country. Yet old Grandtully Castle still stands, for hints, 
but a few miles off. We looked at it as we passed. A 
good old mass, maintaining a feudal atmosphere around 

A passage down the Tay is glorious. We lost a few of 
the last miles in the dark, but all the rest were seen in 
the splendour of the very finest evening. Independently 
of this accidental charm, Strath Tay is the glory of Scotch 
straths. Where have we a rival valley to that which 
begins at Killin and ends at Dundee? The lake, the 
river and its tributaries ; Killin, Kenmore, Dunkeld, and 
Perth ; the mountains, the wood, the rock, the culture, 
the seats, and the villages, I admit no equal competitor 
for this rich and unbroken assemblage of well-composed 


materials of the best class. It is especially the mixed 
cultivation and wildness that delights me. The people 
continued out to-night to the latest seeing hour, securing 
the bright stooks that contrasted so well with the dark 
wood ; women sitting at the doors mending the Sunday's 
clothes, children playing with young calves, whose ribs 
brightened in the sun ; the ferry and other boats secured 
in their little creeks, and always protected beneath some 
great sheltering branch; the trout rising; we almost 
the only travellers. Though brilliant, everything was 
still. And a deeper serenity was diffused by its being a 
Saturday evening. The repose of the coming day seemed 
to touch the close of the preceding one. And well did 
the sun do his duty ! How he kindled Ben More and 
Ben Lawers, turning every speck of cloud that dared to 
interfere with him into instant fire, and after dazzling 
everything, except the cool recesses of the Tay, and the 
shadows he himself produced, with the softest splendour, 
died gracefully away into grey tranquillity ! No week of 
rural happiness and industry could be brought to a more 
impressive close. There was more truth, as well as poetry, 
than she probably was aware of, in the expression by Miss 
Richardson, that " everything seemed soaked in gold." 

ARBROATH, Sunday Night, 13th September 1846. We 
left Dunkeld to-day at about ten, and came here, by Cupar- 
Angus and Forfar, by about five. A very fine day, and a 
very fine country ; more English-looking than any such long 
stretch (about fifty miles) that I know in Scotland. It is 
full of seats, good trees, respectable old spires, and excellent 
agriculture. The stages from Dunkeld to Cupar, and from 
Forfar to this, make it far better than the ordinary Strath- 
more road. 


CASTLETON, Friday Morning, ISth September 1846. We 
got to Aberdeen, after showing Lizzie Richardson the usual 
sights, on Monday to dinner ; were in Court all Tuesday 
and part of Wednesday, on the evening of which day 
we had another Aberdeen ball at our steady friend Mrs. 
Milne's, and yesterday came here, with Archibald Davidson, 
our depute, in his own carriage. 

I forget what I have already said of this Deeside, and I 
have not the volume here. But if I have not raved, I 
have been stupid and unjust ; for I now see that it is a 
fit rival of Strath Tay, not in soft beauty, but in varied 
grandeur. The whole sixty miles are most noble, at least 
from the moment that the suburbs of Aberdeen are shaken 
off, and the Dee is seen glittering under the birch. At first 
one is afraid that it is going to be too agricultural, but 
before reaching Banchory this alarm goes off, and the 
character of a wild though cultivated valley is secured. 
This impression is gradually increased as we go on, the 
valley narrowing, the corn-bright haughs lessening, the 
hills getting more into each other's company, the Scotch 
fir maintaining a more equal battle with the birch ; till 
at last, on approaching this city of Castleton, it is all pure, 
striking, Highland scenery. The profusion of birch is 
beautiful, and of good old birch, with thick, honest, rough 
stems, such as I thought were only to be seen along 
Loch Ness; and weeping, not like poor contemptible 
solitary creatures, cultivated just in order to weep in a 
garden, but pouring and waving miles of tears, as if 
they thought the Dee could not flow without them. And 
the Scotch fir! profuse, dark, large, with arms tossed 
about as if defying even the oak, and looking as eternal as 
the rocks they have taken possession of. It is a glorious 
firth of wood. The hills are seldom, if ever, peaky; but 


their massiveness is grand ; and they all disclose the truth 
of the great extent of their region. 

The strath is not peopled with nearly so many hamlets 
and villages as smile along Strath Tay ; but it has enough 
with all their accompaniments of mills, dyke-riding chil- 
dren, colts, peat stacks, and broken carts. And the poor 
people's houses are, in general, excellent. I did not see 
a mud one the whole day. They are built houses ; and in 
building, it is not difficult to have doors and windows and 
chimneys, the absence of which is generally owing to the 
edifice being made of turf, which admits of little beyond 
mere wall. And the four capitals of the valley Banchory, 
Aboyne, Ballater, and this Castleton are all delightful. 
In Switzerland, each of these would be the metropolis of 
a Canton. The houses are comfortable, and, for Scotland, 
tidy ; and there is no appearance of street, or of any par- 
simony of space. Nor has each merely its own neighbour- 
rejecting, fenced portion, but they are all scattered and 
tossed about without order or plan, as if each person 
had been allowed to squat as he chose. This has pro- 
duced wide, irregular, open-greened villages, a thousand 
times better than any design could have made. Bal- 
later is the most striking of the three lower ones; but 
even Ballater is utterly superseded by Castleton, the 
most curious and picturesque of Scotch villages. The 
approach to it, past the noble place of Invercauld, and the 
strange Castle of Braemar, till at last it is seen standing on 
its mountain-circled knolls, with its straggling houses, 
rival spires, and blue peat smoke, it is like coming upon 
some long-heard-of, and first-seen, place in a far-away coun- 
try. For it has no apparent connection with any place else, 
but seems to have been formed just because people had 
got to the head of the Dee, and were obliged to rest there 
because they could get no further. This impression of 


solitude is very strong; and it is increased rather than 
lessened by the little capital seeming to have everything, 
though in a very humble way, within itself. I found 
the coachmaker to be the carpenter, and the haberdasher 
the bookseller. It stands above, and aside from, the Dee, 
and is dashed through by the rocky Cluny, the banks of 
which are of themselves sufficient to give a place reputa- 
tion. The prospects both down the valley and up to the hills 
are grand, and vary at every step. But neither the valley 
nor the hills are nearly so interesting as the Castleton 
itself, which is a very curious place. Were the hills more 
peaked, it would have a very Swissish air. The impres- 
sion of its peculiarity, too, is increased by the number of 
strangers, who, besides the professional slayers of wild 
beasts, come here merely to wonder at Castleton. The 
little, nice, clean hostel we are in has one party of nine, 
and another party of seven, delicate ladies and gentlemen, 
some with titles, besides our party of five, and sundry 
individual " heads without name/' most of whom seem to 
have nothing to do but stare and lounge about this spot ; 
and who look as if adventure and community of purpose 
gave them a sort of right to confer with each other as 

In addition to its former Catholic and Establishment 
temples, there is now a Free kirk. I am told that, with true 
religious spirit, according as religion is too often practised, 
each sect lives in orthodox hatred of its brother. One 
would think that the sight of these peaceful and seemingly 
eternal mountains gilded as at this moment they are by 
a cloudless morning sun, diffusing its blessings equally on 
them all might teach them the insignificance of many of 
their follies. 

The only blot on the strath is Aboyne, which still 
exhibits all the signs of dilapidation and insolvency. But 


while his woods are falling, and railways are waiting to 
sleep upon them, the contemptible old monkey -faced wretch 
of a beau, who danced at Versailles with Marie Antoinette 
about sixty years ago, is still grinning and dancing some- 
where abroad, at the expense of creditors who can't 
afford to let him die. Every other place seems in happy 
and respectable order. And there are several of them. 
I thought Abergeldie the best. 

I should like to explore the many grand and lovely 
glens that stream down and lose themselves in what an 
engineer monster would call the trunk valley. I saw 
something in the Aberdeen papers about the incredible 
advantages of the Deeside line. I never see a scene of 
Scotch beauty, without being thankful that I have beheld 
it before it has been breathed over by the angel of mecha- 
nical destruction. 

KINDROGAN, Saturday Morning, I9th September 1846. 
We lingered about Castleton till near twelve yesterday, 
and then came here about five. The two stages are the 
Spittal of Glenshee, fifteen miles, and Kindrogan, seventeen. 
Soon after leaving the Spittal, the Highland appearances 
abate, and we could sometimes almost imagine that we 
are degraded again into Lowlandism. But all the first 
part of the way is admirable. The instant that Castleton 
disappears, which it does in a mile or so after it is left, we 
are in a new world. From being surrounded by wood, 
there is not a single leaf. No villages, no travellers, no 
D ee? nothing but great heavy mountains, with tops 
powdered with grey broken granite, a few large stone- 
streaked corries, solitude, and game. This continues about 
ten miles up Glen Cluny. And then comes a glorious plunge 
down G-lenbeg. It is literally a plunge a long, deep, 
rapid descent, faced at first by a towering and splintered 


rock, and requiring a mile or two to lay us on the level 
below. And so we come to the hospice of Glenshee, where 
we found a very nice inn, excellent eggs, butter, and 
oatcakes and milk, which the flocks of Abraham could not 
have surpassed. A party of five Irishmen went away last 
week, after being there since the 12th of August, and kill- 
ing nearly 1600 brace of grouse. This autumnal influx of 
sporting strangers is a very recent occurrence in Scotch 
economy. Almost every moor has its English tenant. 
They are not to be counted by ones, or pairs, or coveys, 
but by droves or flocks. On the whole, these birds of 
passage are useful. They are kind to the people, they 
increase rents, they spend money, and they diffuse a know- 
ledge of, and a taste for, this country. The only misfor- 
tune is, that though some of them try to imitate Celticism, 
on the whole, the general tendency is to accelerate the 
obliteration of everything peculiarly Highland. 

I spent part of the hour that we gave to the Spittal in 
examining its small and very lonely burying-ground. The 
chapel of ease is quite new ; but one or two tombstones 
showed that here dust had been long rendered unto dust. 
I found the following inscription. It refers only to mortal 
and natural feelings, and is composed with singular sim- 
plicity ; and its affection is rather deepened by recency. 

" 1845. 

" Erected by Peter Macgregor, in memory of his son John, who 
died at Inverherothy, June 1844, aged 22, Low he lies here in 
the dust ; and his memory fills parents, sister, and brother with 
grief. Silent is the tongue that used to cheer them." 

The sheep are evidently getting the better of the grouse 
throughout all the lower part of Glenshee, and even of 
Glenbeg, and there cannot be better hill pasture. This 
has been a grassy season, moist and warm in summer, and 


the verdure generally has been remarkable. All over the 
whole of these straths and glens the heather and the nut- 
brown ferns have been beautifully mixed, and contrasted 
not only with bright gleams, but with large vivid fields of 
the very finest green. 

BRIDGE OF TILT, Sunday Mining, 20th September 1846.- 
We left nice, kindly Kindrogan yesterday about twelve, 
and came here by three or four, amidst dull, drizzling, 
foggy rain. The wild and secluded Eden of Fascally, 
which we went through, looked as well as it could ; and 
so did the bridge in the pass, which we went down to. 

My object in coming here is to show the district to 
Lizzie Eichardson, and Glen Tilt to myself, which I have 
never seen. But it is not easy to see it now. I wanted 
to go direct from Castleton by the glen or glens to this. 
But there is no road for any carriage, or even car, which is 
very unfortunate, as my equestrian, and thirty-mile-a-day- 
pedestrian, days are over. But had they been in their 
ancient vigour, the traveller, though even in quest of such 
innocent things as botany, geology, or scenery, is now 
stopped by his Grace the Duke of Leeds, the tacksman of 
the Mar Lodge shootings, who says that he has a right to 
protect the deer from disturbance. The public says he 
has no such right ; but as there is no town at hand with 
its contemptuous citizens, of course the steady persever- 
ance and the long purse of the single nobleman will soon 
get the better of the poor Celtic slave, the irritated 
tourist, the sulky drover, and even the London news- 
papers, who, in this slack season, have taken up the case. 
And then, at this lower end of the glen, another Grand 
Duke he of Atholl has been pleased to set his gates 
and his keepers, and for the same reason, that he may get 
more deer to shoot easily. His grandfather, the last sane 


duke, who died about twelve or fifteen years ago, made a 
private drive several miles up the glen, and although he 
was by far the greatest deer-killer in Scotland, he not only 
permitted, but encouraged strangers to use it freely. His 
son, the duke who died last week, had been confined as 
a lunatic above forty years in England ; the estate was 
managed, after his succession, by his brother Lord Glen- 
lyon, and on his death it fell under the despotism of his 
son, who has, by the lunatic's recent death, become the 
duke within the last six days. It pleased him and his 
father to keep Glen Tilt to themselves and their game- 
keepers ; and, ever since, it has required a ducal ukase to 
see this portion of God's creation. This is not easily 
obtained. I had fortified myself by a letter from Whigham, 
who had also spoken to his lordship; and whenever I 
arrived I wrote a note with respectful compliments, etc., 
and re-duking and re-gracing him, and humbly begging 
that such a worm might be permitted to set its base wheels 
on this once free drive. The great man was engaged, but 
I got a gracious answer from his brother, enclosing a 
regular, partly printed pass. 

But the day is bad, and in as bad a style, for what we 
want, as is possible ; heavy, misty rain, hiding the hills, 
covering everything with one dull hue, wetting one's skin, 
and, worse than all, printing a wheel-mark in the mud of 
the drive. But having got the pass we must use it ; else 
the beast would roar. 

The view from this window recalls the established feud 
between the Atholls and the owners of Lude, whoever 
these may be. Their kingdoms are too near to let the 
rival sovereigns be on good terms. But, besides this, the 
last (sane) duke, a man not to be rubbed against the hair, 
succeeded in establishing his strange claim of a right to 
shoot over Lude. As soon as he obtained his decree, 


his Grace, instead of declining to exercise so offensive a 
privilege, which his own boundless forests made unneces- 
sary for his own sport, proceeded to annoy General 
Robertson, his neighbour and legal antagonist, by a grand, 
ostentatious day's deer-shooting over the lands of Lude. 
But the General out-manoeuvred him by a move which 
everybody admired. His lawn was ornamented by eight 
or ten cannons. These were distributed conveniently, 
and wherever the great man and his tail appeared, off 
went the guns, startling every hill and glen by their 
echoes, of course off went the deer, and his grace had 
nothing for it but to retire, cursing, with every ball in his 

BRIDGE OF TILT, Sunday Night, 20th September 1846. 
We iot up the Tilt, to a mean-like place called the 
Forest Lodge, eight miles up. The magic of sunshine 
would, of course, have made it a different sort of a thing ; 
but still, in so far as mere seeing was concerned, we saw 
it all distinctly enough. 

It is not the least like what I supposed. Ever since 
the days of Playfair and Seymour, I have heard so much 
of the geological treasures of Glen Tilt, that I fancied it to 
be all a bare, gullied, rocky valley. Whereas superficially, 
and to the ungeological eye, there is almost no rock, 
except in the very bed of the stream, which is all rock 
together ; the lower part of the glen is all wood, and 
the upper part, especially on the left bank, is softened 
by the purest and the finest turf I ever saw at such an 

In order to see the wooded part, which reaches, I should 
suppose, about three or four miles above Blair, it would 
be necessary to get down to near the very river, which we, 
with a carriage, could not do. Because the drive road is 


high above it ; so high that the existence of the torrent is 
only known by its roar, and by a few occasional glimpses 
that have been secured artificially. And though there be 
a profusion of excellent wood for the scene, particularly a 
great deal of admirable birch, it is all nearly superseded 
by the abominable larch poles with which the whole of 
Atholl is defaced. The bed, and the near banks of 
the river, must be full, every step, of striking picturesque 
beauty; but from our position we could not make its 
acquaintance ; and if there be no made footpath below, 
nobody, except a splash-defying geologist, can. 

To us, therefore, Glen Tilt, properly speaking, only began 
where the planted and preserved wood ceased. A carriage- 
borne visitor knoivs, and indeed feels, that he is in a glen 
while the wood lasts, but he sees few particulars, and does 
not understand the thing till he escapes into the free 
valley. He then finds himself in the loveliest of glens. 
It is very narrow , the stream dashes through curious 
plates of edge-placed rocks, and tumbles over innumerable 
little precipices ; it is sprinkled along its sides by birches 
and mountain ashes, standing sometimes in groups, but 
most singly ; and, while the remote summits are heathered 
to the entire satisfaction of stags and moorfowl, the lower 
sides of the hills are covered, especially on the left bank, 
with beautiful turf. If my soul ever goes into the body 
of a sheep, I trust that the south side of Glen Tilt may be 
my pasture. I could nibble there for ever. It is all 
vegetable emerald. 

We fed our horses at the lodge, where we blew up a 
good peat fire, saw a number of deer on the horizon of the 
hill nearest us, and had much talk, inside with a little girl, 
who seemed to be left in charge of the establishment, 
including Sandy, an infant, while all the rest were at 
church at Blair, and outside with an old, clear, grey-eyed, 


telescoped keeper, who surprised us by his low and freely 
expressed opinion of his ducal master. 

There is a carriage drive for about twelve miles 
from Braemar, so that there is only a space of about 
eight or ten miles between that and the Atholl 
drive. Through this space there is at present only a 
footpath, and this closed. It is very natural for these 
Grafs to keep their strath within their own power, and 
to protect their deer-stalking, the most manly of British 
sports. But nothing would exalt their dignity, as the 
lords of such scenes, so much as to lay them open, by a 
private road, to the eyes of such passengers as they can trust. 
A general authority might be given to the innkeepers, 
whose houses would be ruined by being deprived of the 
power, if it was abused, to send strangers through ; for the 
necessity of always making a personal application to the 
proprietor is a virtual prohibition. 

We afterwards went and saw the falls of the Bruar; 
and to-morrow for Perth. 

PERTH, Monday Night, 21 st September 1846. Came here 
to-day ; a beautiful day. Walked through Fascally ; and 
took Liz Richardson into Dunkeld. The interior of the 
cathedral thoroughly Scotch, being most beastly. The 
square tower will certainly be down, because the "great 
dukes," as Perthshire delights to call those of Atholl, can't 
afford 20 to pin it up. 

TULLIEBOLE, Saturday Morning, 26th September 1846. 
The Court occupied us in Perth all Tuesday, Wednesday, 
and Thursday, and about an hour yesterday. The only 
interesting case a murder, by poisoning went off, on 
a doubt of the relevancy of part of the charge. 

We then came here. Miss Kichardson and I visited 


Lochleven Castle by the way. A mean and melancholy 
residence Mary must have had of it, especially considering 
her habits and folly. Her friend Elizabeth would have 
swum ashore every forenoon, or would have consoled her- 
self by Greek, or by successful plots. 

Often as I have been invited, both by Sir Harry and 
his son, I was never at Tulliebole before, and am much 
surprised at it. I had fancied it a tall keep, standing 
nearly treeless, on a black moor. And no doubt it, like 
all Kinross, was black enough a few years ago. But now 
industry has transformed it into a good grassy and oaty 
country ; and I find some most respectable old trees round 
the house, and an admirable small castle. A delightful 
castle, inside and out. The date, 2d April 1608, and two 
scriptural texts carved above the door, a tower, walls seven 
feet thick, turrets, odd, small windows, queer irregular 
little up-and-down bits of stairs, and a general air of 
quaint solidity and primitive awkwardness, give it all the 
charm of ancient habits, which, in this instance, is not dis- 
turbed by the slightest attempt at modern innovation. 
The dining-room alone seems, from its size and its height, 
to be too good for an old edifice. But it is as old as the 
rest. The castle's recent history was rather curious. 
When Lord Mcncreiff's father, Sir Harry, succeeded, the 
property was worth less than even the living of Black- 
ford, which he held. He was therefore very poor, with 
several brothers and sisters to educate. The family 
chateau was in very bad order, and instead of trying to 
keep it up, it was decided that the best way was to take 
the roof off and sell its materials, and to let the whole 
concern go down. This was done ; many of the best trees 
were cut, and the castle stood as an abandoned ruin from 
1771 till 1801, when Sir Harry was able to put on a new 
roof and windows, and to turn out ^olus and the crows. 


The error of the place is in not cutting trees and letting 
in light and air. Its misfortune is, that it is in Kinross- 
shire, the most oozy and melancholy of Scotch surfaces. 
We were treated to the novelty of a fair day at Kinross 
yesterday ; but the weather is making up for this absurd- 
ity to-day. 

So we proceed to town, minus my Lizzy, who has 
remained in Perth on a visit, and this Circuit is over. 

I have read nothing in particular, and very little in 
general. The only entire book has been Cyril Thornton, 
by the late Captain Hamilton, the brother of the learned 
Sir William and the Ensign O'Doherty of the Nodes 
Ambrosiance. There is not a word of the novel good, except 
the Scotch scenes, which are all excellent. 


WINTER 1846. 

BONALY, 2Sth December 1846. Lord Mackenzie and I 
performed the Glasgow Winter Circuit last week a very 
insignificant affair. About thirty-seven cases, of which 
about thirty were vulgar thefts. We went on the morn- 
ing of Monday the 21st, and were done on the evening of 
Wednesday the 23d. 

Only two things struck me. One was that the ladies 
who expected transportation had all, quite plainly, concerted 
that they were to enact a faint when the reality of that 
doom was announced. Accordingly each, in her turn, as 
soon as the word transportation was uttered, cast up her 
eyes, clasped her hands, screamed a very ill-acted scream, 
and then pretended to fall back into the arms of a female 
who sat behind apparently for the very purpose of receiv- 
ing them ; after all which she stumped downstairs cursing, 
and the sound of a battle with the officers closed each 
one's scene. The misfortune was that their teacher had 
made them all do it in the very same way. 

The other was the remark of a Glasgow thief, who had 
been often imprisoned in vain, and on having his trade 
destroyed, by our sentence, for ten years in this country, 
expressed his feelings in the language of the commercial 
place he belonged to. On being told that his trial had ended 
in transportation, he first looked at the judges with a stare 
and an exclamation of surprise : " Ay ! " and then turned 
round to the gallery, and remarked with the greatest cool- 
ness, " There 's a wind-up for you ! " 



SPRING 1847. 

BONALY, 2d May 1847. The Spring Circuit now over 
was so expeditionless and commonplace, that I merely 
record the dates. 

On the evening of the 7th of April I went alone to Stir- 
ling, where I joined Moncreiff. The business kept us there 
till the evening of Saturday the 10th, when I came home, 
leaving Moncreiff, who wished to remain for some visits. 
But he signalised the Circuit by tumbling downstairs ; an 
alarming fall, attended with severe bruises and a good 
many cuts, and much bleeding. However, two days of bed 
and a week's repose made him all right. 

On Monday the 12th Mrs. Cockburn and I went from 
Bonaly to Edinburgh, where after being joined by Miss 
K. Thomson, we went at ten o'clock, on rails, to Glasgow. 
We there got into a respectable hired carriage, and went 
to Luss, where we stayed all night. Next day we went to 
Inveraray. The horses stuck in trying to haul us up to 
Eest-and-be-Thankful ; which obliged us to wait till we 
got other horses from Cairndow ; and gave us an excellent 
opportunity of treasuring the beauties of Glencroe. 

All the guilt of Argyle and Bute was disposed of on 
Wednesday the 14th. 

On Thursday the 15th we departed at eight in the 
morning; and going by Dalmally, Tyndrum, and Glen- 
falloch, reached Tarbet about seven in the evening. Next 



day (Friday the 1 6th) we got to Glasgow for the half-past 
three train, and were at home again by about seven. 

The weather, though cold to the skin, was most beautiful 
to the eye. I won't soon forget the evening from Glen- 
falloch to Tarbet, and the unwillingness of the sun to 
quit the top of Ben Lomond. 

On Monday the 19th Mrs. Cockburn and I and Elizabeth 
went to Glasgow. These two returned here on Friday the 
23d. I remained in Court all day, till Saturday at ten at 
night, when the horrors of a Glasgow Sunday drove me 
here, which I reached between one and two in the morning. 
After a delicious peek among my ribuses, hyacinths, and 
primroses, I returned by about ten on Monday morning 
(26th), and continued till Thursday the 29th, when we 
were finally liberated, and got here (to find my hyacinths 
nearly all smashed by a hurricane) in the evening. 

There were ninety-six indictments, the greatest number 
ever served for one Circuit at Glasgow. Of these, I should 
suppose, nearly ninety were tried, a most effectual clear- 
ing out. Nor was it all mere paltry common thefts. 
There were murders, and large forgeries, and railway and 
steamboat mismanagements, and fire-raising, and abundance 
of bad robberies, and, in short, a respectable infusion of 
dignified crime. Thirteen of the culprits had been previ- 
ously convicted in the Justiciary, i.e. had defied long 
imprisonment to frighten or reform them. And there 
were probably twice thirteen whose conduct had proclaimed 
the same fact after sentences by Sheriffs. 


AUTUMN 1847. 

DUMFRIES, 2Qth September 1847, Monday Night. The 
old round, so I shall say nothing about it. Musing along 
in the carriage to-day, I thought I had better try to recall 
some of the features of our ancient Circuits, which time 
has effaced. I have known Scotland, Circuitously, for 
above forty years. Many curious recollections arise on 
looking back on such a travelled road. The shades of 
many old lords, famous barristers, notorious provosts, 
sonorous macers, formal clerks, odd culprits, and queer 
witnesses reappear. But like wayside objects that we 
cast behind us on a journey, they cannot all be retained, 
and many must be let die. Some things, however, may 
be worth preserving. 

Those who are born to railroads, or even to modern 
mail-coaches, can scarcely be made to understand how we, 
of the previous age, got on. The state of the roads may 
be judged of from two or three facts. There was no bridge 
over the Tay at Dunkeld, or over the Spey at Fochabers, 
or over the Findhorn at Forres, nothing but wretched, 
pierless ferries, let to poor cottars, who rowed, or hauled, 
or pushed a crazy boat across, or more commonly got 
their wives to do it. There used to be no mail-coach 
north of Aberdeen, till, I think, after the battle of 
Waterloo. It consisted of a sort of chaise, drawn by two 
horses, and held three persons, two of them placed as usual 



iii a chaise, and the third stuck into a kind of sentry-box 
opposite, with his back to the horses, and, of course, there 
were no front windows. To reach Inverness by the mail 
thirty or even twenty-five years ago took only about nine 
hours short of the time required to get to London. If the 
direct Highland road was preferred, then there was neither 
public conveyance nor post-horses. It was necessary to 
take the same horses all the way from Perth, and then the 
journey occupied three entire days from Perth and four 
from Edinburgh. I once came from Inverness to Perth with 
the Justice-Clerk, Charles Hope, who was always very kind 
to me, and used to take me about with him ; and our 
days' work, with his four horses, were these : The first day 
we got to Kinrara, where we dined with the famous, 
clever, agreeable, profligate old Duchess of Gordon, who 
gathered all the neighbours within many miles for a ball 
The second day brought us, towards its close, to Dalnacar- 
doch ; the third to Perth. Of course we had to rest and 
feed the steeds every stage. Even the public coach, when 
set agoing, delighted the lieges by making them sleep only 
two nights by the way. They could only reach Perth (the 
Queensferry very bad) the first day. Starting next morn- 
ing at five, Pitmain was accomplished about nine at night, 
and Inverness appeared on the evening of the third day. 
The ark of a vehicle was generally moved by three horses, 
but for the stage between Dalnacardoch and Dalwhinnie it 
had four, and sometimes it had only two ; and no set ever 
escaped with a single stage. 

It was not just so bad on other Circuits, but it was bad 
enough. Dumfries and Ayr were both unattainable in 
one day ; and Inveraray was out of the world. Even 
Glasgow was a good day's work ; and hence the inns next 
it, and next Edinburgh, were excellent, for Scotch inns of 
that day, and were generally crowded every night. The 



fact is incredible now but it is a fact that there were 
few hostels more resorted to by newly married pairs than 
those of Midcalder, Uphall, Holytown, Noblehouse, and 
Blackshiels. These now mean ruins were then bowers of 
Hymen. It was not distances or bad roads that were the 
obstacles to progress, so much as the want of horses. 

What it must have been a few years before my time 
may be judged of from Bozzy's Letter to Lord Braxfield, 
published in 1780. He thinks that besides a carriage 
and his own carriage horses, every judge ought to have 
his sumpter horse ; and ought not to travel faster than the 
waggon 1 which carried "the baggage of the Circuit." I 

1 I don't know the history of this pamphlet. It is a declamation against 
the vices of the criminal judges, which seem to have been in 1780 nearly 
the same as those sometimes ascribed to them now. But as Boswell's 
father, to whom Braxfield succeeded, had been one of them, I doubt if he 
meant to attack them all. And as the letter is addressed to Braxfield, 
on his promotion to the criminal bench, he could have given no ground for 
it. The defects, or habits, for which they are abused, are levity, careless- 
ness, partiality, indecorum, pecuniary shabbiness, etc. 

Speaking of the waggon, which I nowhere else ever heard of, he says 
(p. 25) : ' ' The Lords of Justiciary should not contract their travelling 
equipage into that of a couple of private gentlemen on a jaunt of pleasure, 
but should remember that it is the train of a Court composed of different 
members. Formerly every one of the j udges had his led horse his sumpter 
in the procession. The disuse of that piece of pageantry may be for- 
given, though not applauded. But the abolishing of a covered waggon 
for the baggage of the Circuit, though a paltry saving, is a great grievance. 
Without it, how shall the mace, how shall the official clothes of the trum- 
petersnay, how shall the record of the Court, and the essential papers, 
be carried ? Not to mention the gowns and clothes of others, who ought 
to be decently dressed. Without it there must be such shifts and such 
pinching as is to be found only in a company of strolling players. Shall 
the mace, the badge of authority, be crammed into the boot of a coach, 
amongst black ball, shoe brushes, and currycombs ? the trumpeters be 
forced to ride in their official clothes, and look shabby ? the embroidered 
G.R. upon the breast of their coats be turned out to the rain and the tem- 
pest, as poor Lear was turned out by his own daughters ? The record of 
the Court, the indictments, criminal letters, precognitions, etc., must be 
at the mercy of the weather. The four pleas of the Crown may be blown 
about by the four winds of heaven," etc. 

There is some more sense in the pamphlet than this, however, but not 


understood from Hope that after 1784, when he came to 
the bar, he and Braxfield rode a whole North Circuit ; and 
that, from the Findhorn being in flood, they were obliged 
to go up its banks for about twenty-eight miles, to the 
Bridge of Dulsie, before they could cross. I myself rode 
Circuits, when I was Advocate-Depute, between 1807 and 
1810. The fashion of every depute carrying his own shell 
on his back, in the form of his own carriage, is a piece of 
very modern dignity. 

This slowness of movement, and badness of up-putting, 
prevented ladies from accompanying lords so habitually as 
they do now. But to make up for this, every judge car- 
ried about a lately fledged advocate as his humble friend. 
To be seen travelling Circuit with my lord, was thought 
such a feather in a youth's cap, that his friends never 
allowed him to decline the honour. Decline being aide-de- 
camp to the general ! But, Lord, it was dull ! I never 
knew one victim that enjoyed the sacrifice. There could, 
for weeks alone together, be no cordiality between age 
and youth, patronage and dependence, levity and dignity. 
Even Hope's kindness, and cumbrous efforts to be jolly, 
could not save it from oppressiveness. With most others, 
it was the peine forte et dure. The sedate driving, the 
two-hours pauses every stage, the disrespect of taking 
refuge in a book, the positive insult of walking off alone, 
the condescending remark of my lord, only so much the 
worse when it was intended to be gay, the respectful 
acquiescence of " the young man." Och ! och ! it was 
dreadful. Nearly fifty years have not yet effaced Lord 
Mackenzie's sufferings under Lord -Craig. 

There is nothing in which the old Circuits differed more 
from the modern than in the paucity of their business 
and the excess of their politics. Little as the business is 
now, it is at least fivefold what it was formerly. To be 


sure, being in no want of time, they wasted it freely. I 
have heard Jeffrey say that if there was only one cause in 
the world, it would never be done at all. It is only neces- 
sity that produces judicial expedition. The old debates on 
relevancy on every indictment, the technical objections to 
witnesses, the long harangues to juries in every case, the 
written verdicts, the parents of endless additional objections 
and discussions, these, and much other useless and teasing 
weft with which the woof of our old practice was crossed, 
made every trial, however clear and insignificant, a matter 
of keenness, pertinacity, eloquence, and sweat. That fifteen 
cases may be disposed of in eight hours, and that a Depute- 
Advocate may do his duty well, and yet not address a 
jury once in fifty trials, and that prisoners' counsel may 
decline addressing in the great majority of cases these 
facts, with which we are now quite familiar, would cer- 
tainly be discredited if they were told to Braxfield in 

To make up for want of business, our predecessors 
exerted themselves powerfully as political trumpets. 
What harangues ! about innovation, Jacobinism, and the 
peculiar excellence of every abuse. No judge could pre- 
serve his character, and scarcely even his place, for a 
month, who was to indulge in such exhibitions now. 
But that time applauded them. For example, when I 
was Advocate-Depute, with Hope as Justice-Clerk, at 
Aberdeen (1808 or 1809, I think), his lordship, after 
leaving the bench early, went and reviewed the volunteers ! 
Yes, the Judge of Assize doffed his wig, mounted a 
charger, and reviewed a regiment ; and went forward 
next day on his Circuit. After the display on the field, 
he entertained the officers and the military authorities of 
the place at dinner. There probably never was so much 
scarlet or so many epaulettes at a judge's assize banquet 


before. It was a grand military day in Aberdeen, and 
entirely extinguished the poor glory of the Court. 

All this seems odd now. But the wonder will abate 
when we recollect that the reviewing judge was an actual 
and most active Lieutenant-Colonel, and that though the 
judicious lamented this, the period permitted it. And 
indeed the judges, as representing the sovereign, had, and 
I fancy still have, a right to take the command of the whole 
military within the Circuit town. This is not practised 
now, but it was uniformly practised since I remember. 
The judge was formally waited upon by the commanding 
officer, or by some officer representing him, and asked for 
orders, and to give the password for the day. I never 
knew the judge give any orders, but he very generally 
gave the word; and the daily military report was 
frequently made to him by an officer lowering his 

There is one change for the worse. Magistrates and 
gentry are positively ordered by old royal proclamations, 
I believe, to testify their respect for the law by attend- 
ing the Circuit Courts. Long after this had become a 
mere piece of antiquarianism, the gentry did attend the 
Courts, from a sense of propriety partly ; but hardly one 
of them does so, voluntarily, now. This is wrong, but it 
is a mistake to think that it proceeds from the modern 
rise of popular vulgarity, or disrespect of authority. On 
the contrary, its chief cause is, that people respect the law 
so much, and so habitually, that they don't think that it 
needs any extra aid. The very decline of political interest 
contributes greatly to the absence of the aristocracy. 
But nothing contributes so much as the change of the law, 
which took the nomination of the jury from the judge. 
While this power lasted, the judge took care to secure the 
presence of gentlemen and friends, who would grace the 


procession and the banquet. A good diner was sure to 
be paid the compliment of being summoned. 

After opening the Court with all attainable splendour, 
the best modern practice is for the judges to go to and from 
the court-house as quietly as possible. But the fashion, till 
lately, was never to move but in procession, always 
fully tailed, and on foot, that the tail might be seen the 
better. It is not very long since there was a foot proces- 
sion to and from every meeting and rising of the Court ; 
even in Glasgow, where, whatever sneers it produced, it 
could produce no village awe. Yet twice every day did 
we walk, horn-blown, about a mile, through that contemn- 
ing mob ; ay, and with torches if it was at night. The 
last Glasgow foot procession I remember being in was 
about 1820. It was a wet day; and I have often 
regretted having lost a caricature which John Lockhart, 
a master in that art, drew of Lord Pitmilly, with his 
umbrella over his wig, and his gown tucked up out of the 
mud, to the exposure of his lordship's odd and well-known 
legs. We have taken to carriages and cavalry at Glasgow 
now. I hope to see the neighing steeds dispensed with 
soon ; but as to this I am at present solitary. (I have since 
found this picture.) 

It carries me far back into my fresh-hood, to recollect 
the time when I thought the Circuit dinner an imposing 

CUMPSTON, Friday, 24th September 1847. But this was 
during the revolutionary war, when there was some 
aristocracy and red cloth at them. The frivolous smile at 
the horns now ; but when they croaked forth God save the 
king, a tune that no one could safely treat even with 
jocular levity then, they were listened to with proud 
and decorous respect. A poor creature, whose case was 


not capital, cut his throat in jail (at Ayr, I believe), as 
soon as he heard the brazen sound which announced the 
approach of Eskgrove. At which his lordship rubbed his 
hands with delight, and explained, chuckling, how gratify- 
ing a sign it was of the wholesome terrors of the i cnit 
Judge. The first Circuit dinner I was at (Perth), I 
happened to say to a person beside me that a whole 
Circuit must surely be tiresome. "This is my sixty- 
third, sir " (or some such enormous number). I stared at 
him as a midge might at an elephant. It was Henry 
John stone Wyllie, the clerk, who lived to go about, or 
above, one hundred. He was a good man, and a stiff, 
correct clerk, famous in his day. When he at last retired 
he was complimented by a grand Circuit bar dinner. 

At Edinburgh, the old judges had a practice, at which 
even their barbaric age used to shake its head : they had 
always wine and biscuits on the bench when the business 
was to be plainly protracted beyond the usual dinner hour. 
The modern judges those I mean who were made after 
1800, never gave in to this; but with those of the 
preceding generation, some of whom lasted several years 
after 1800, it was quite familiar. Black bottles of strong 
port were set down beside them on the bench, with glasses, 
carafes of water, tumblers, and biscuits ; and this without 
the slightest shame or attempt at concealment. The 
refreshment was generally allowed to stand untouched, and 
as if despised, for a short while, during which their lord- 
ships seemed to be intent only on their notes. But in a 
little some water was poured into the tumbler, and sipped 
quietly, as if merely to sustain nature. Then a few drops of 
wine were ventured upon, but only with the water. Till 
at last patience could refrain no longer, and a full bumper 
of the pure black element was tossed over, after which the 
thing went on regularly, and there was a comfortable 


munching and quaffing, to the great envy of the parched 
throats in the gallery. The strong-headed ones stood it 
tolerably well. Bacchus had never an easy victory over 
Braxfield. But it told, plainly enough, upon the feeble or 
the twaddling, such as Eskgrove and Craig. Not that the 
ermine was absolutely intoxicated. But it was certainly 
very muzzy. This, however, was so ordinary with these 
sages, that it really made little apparent odds upon them. 
Their noses got a little redder, and their speech somewhat 
thicker, and they became drowsier. But these changes 
were not very perceptible at a distance ; and they all 
acquired the habit of sitting and looking judicial enough, 
even when their bottles had reached the lowest ebb. 

This open-court refection never prevailed, so far as I 
ever saw, at Circuits. It took a different form there. The 
temptation of the inn frequently produced a total stoppage 
of business; during which all concerned judges, and 
counsel, and clerks, and jurymen, and provosts had a 
jolly dinner ; after which they returned again to the trans- 
portations and hangings. I have seen this done often. It 
was a common remark that the step of the evening proces- 
sion was far less true to the music than that of the morn- 
ing. The excitement and indecorum once produced a 
scene of violence at Jedburgh (after 1807) which it was 
miraculous did not, in due time, place the judge at the bar. 

Nothing was so much disliked in those days as the 
appeals, which it was the fashion to treat as intrusions, 
and almost to smother under impatience and disdain. Be- 
sides other indecencies, they were generally heard after 
dinner, and at the inn. The dining-room, still fragrant, 
was cleared, or half-cleared, and, after tea, my lord re- 
appeared wigless, gownless, regardless ; flustered, and with 
an obvious impatience for supper. 

Circuit balls, now totally given up, were then quite 


established, but only at certain towns. There was always 
one at Dumfries and at Ayr, and frequently at Glasgow. 
And very nice balls they used to be; easy and merry. 
The judge was always expected to attend, and generally 
did so. 

Aberdeen used to be distinguished by " The Entertain- 
ment" which was an evening party given to the Court by 
the magistrates. It was not exactly a supper, for it had 
little of the true supper solidity. It was a refection, as 
slight, elegant, and intellectual as a municipal banquet 
could be. It took place on any convenient Circuit night, 
at nine or ten o'clock, in a handsome civic hall, and lasted 
about two hours. There seemed to be from eighty to one 
hundred persons present the city's cream. The aliments 
consisted of nothing but fruits, dried or fresh, all manner 
of cakes and biscuits, and a bottle of claret between each 
two persons. There being thus no need of changing plates, 
or of sending for distant dishes, and various drinks, ser- 
vants were superseded, and there were none in the room 
unless when rung for. The Provost presided. But he 
was above the vulgarity of toasts. This duty was devolved 
on a city officer, who stood, in uniform, behind the Pro- 
vost, with a list of the toasts, which he proclaimed on get- 
ting a sign, in a loud, official voice. There were very few, 
and very short, speeches, and scarcely any cheering. But 
there was a competency of mirth, and some songs, and a 
homely species of kind, and not very difficult, wit. On 
the whole, it was the most civilised magisterial festival I 
have ever seen. Why, or when, it ceased, I don't exactly 

Of the old picturesque Lords, none can hold up their 
heads against Eskgrove and Hermand. The whole of 
this volume would not contain one-half of the divert- 
ing, and now incredible, sayings and doings, of these two 

330 CTR C UIT JO URNE \ 'S. 

judicial men, who shone in quite different spheres. No 
outrageousness of originality could ever make Hermand 
cease to be a warm-hearted gentleman of the olden time. 
Eskgrove was a personified compound of avarice, indecency, 
official insolence and personal cowardice, great law, and 
practical imbecility. He cannot be thought of, in the 
Circuit days I refer to, except in connection with Brougham, 
who, during the four years he was at our bar, laid himself 
out, and with triumphant success, to make fun out of this 
creature, by torturing and exposing it. I can describe 
neither at present, nor give any of the countless anecdotes 
that signalised their peregrinations. It is difficult to say 
whether spectators laughed most at the ludicrous and con- 
temptible absurdities of the mean and testy judge, or at 
the able and audacious extravagances of the counsel. 
Paired, they were perfect. 

CUMPSTON, Saturday, 25th September 1847. There 
being little criminal, and no civil business, the more 
eminent counsel were rarely seen at Circuits. But every 
Circuit town had its own great barrister, generally con- 
nected with it personally. James Fergusson, afterwards a 
consistorial judge and a principal Clerk of Session, one of 
the best-natured and most absent of men, predominated at 
Ayr. Dumfries boasted of Eobert Corbet, subsequently 
Crown counsel in the matter of tithes, and keeper of 
something in the General Register House ; also an excel- 
lent and able, but vulgar and illiterate man. Aberdeen 
rung with the empty eloquence of James Gordon of Craig, 
the only Aberdonian I ever knew at the bar who had not 
a particle of granite in his head or his discourse ; all 
sputter, and froth, and declamation. Perth was the 

dunghill of , the patron of blackguardism, yet who 

never had a client equal to himself in that quality. 


Wordiness was the peculiarity of all these men ; as it 
ever must be of the local class, which must suit itself to 
the taste of the local market, where zeal is the prized 
virtue, and loud loquacity is the clearest mark of zeal. I 
am not aware that there is any district barrister now, 
except my friend Mr. Logan, who charms Stirling. 
Increase of business has abridged speeches, and when a 
case occurs that can pay for a speech, facility of travelling 
secures a better tongue than the provincial one. 

The last generation was not rich in curious Sheriffs. 
Fraser of Farraline at Inverness, Gordon of Culvennan at 
Kirkcudbright, and Edward M'Cormick at Ayr, were 
perhaps the least common ; but even they are insignificant. 
Walter Scott, to be sure, gave justice to Selkirkshire, and 
always cheered the Circuit at Jedburgh. His talk and 
mirth drove even the Abbey out of our heads. 

Of all my old Circuit companions, there is none it is so 
delightful to recollect as Jeffrey. I have been with him often, 
at every Circuit town except Inveraray, and we generally 
travelled together. Every court-house and every inn is 
associated with him. Striking as his professional displays 
used to be, they were always effaced by his personal worth 
and his rich and playful conversation. Whether walking 
through beautiful scenery, or shivering in a state of half- 
nausea in a crazy Kinghorn passage-boat, or toasting him- 
self over the kitchen fire of a bad inn, in the grey of a 
spring morning, till the ostler could be roused, he never 
failed to enliven the scene by his speculations and his dis- 
cussions with anybody, however humble, who came in his 
way. Would that he were on the Justiciary bench. But 
it may not be. 

CRAIGIE HOUSE, Sunday Night, 2Qth September 1847. 
The facts as to this Circuit are these : 


My daughter Elizabeth and Joanna Richardson are with 
me. We left Edinburgh last Monday, and dined at 
Dumfries, where we joined Moncreiff, who had taken 
Jedburgh. We were in Court at Dumfries all Tuesday 
the 21st and part of Wednesday the 22d; on which last 
day we got to Cumpston in the evening, with Moncreiff. 
He left it for Brougham Hall on Friday. We stayed there 
till this morning, when we came here, by Carsphairn 
and Dalmellington. 

A most beautiful day; worthy of such a drive. The 
Glenkens part of it from Cumpston to Carsphairn, 
about thirty miles, is really admirable. I grieve for 
Dalmellington. It has the appearance, and the reputation 
of being a singularly virtuous and happy village ; and I 
am told is perhaps the last place in Ayrshire where, with 
a good deal of old primitive manufacture, rural simplicity 
and contentment still linger. But it is now to taste of 
manufactures in an improved state. The devil has disclosed 
his iron, and speculation has begun to work it. There 
seemed to be about a dozen of pits sinking within half a mile 
of the village, and before another year is out those now 
solitary and peaceful hills will be blazing with furnaces, 
and blighted by the presence and the vices of a new popu- 
lation of black scoundrels. They were already lying snor- 
ing, and, I presume, drunk, on many indignant knolls. 

BONALY, 30th September 1847. I was in Court at Ayr 
all Monday and Tuesday, and till near one yesterday; 
after which we railed to Edinburgh, and were here in the 
evening. I lived entirely at Craigie, with iny old friend 
James Campbell, who was my companion on many a Circuit 
in the days of yore. Escape into country air, or into any 
air but that of a steamy, noisy, fetid, obscene public-house, 
was so agreeable, that it revived my scheme of having the 


abominable Circuit dinner abolished, and the judges let 
alone in their private lodgings. 

The only curious case on this Circuit was that of a 
worthy husband at Jedburgh, who wanted to get his 
spouse killed ; but instead of resorting to commonplace 
violence by himself, tried to make the law do it. For this 
purpose he fell upon the device of making it appear that 
she had poisoned him ; for which she was committed for 
trial, and was very nearly being tried. But suspicion 
being excited, it was discovered that his whole statements 
on precognition were false, and all his dexterous imitations 
of being poisoned utter fabrications. The result was that 
he was brought to trial himself for fraud, and Avas trans- 
ported for seven years. 


SPRING 1848. 

STONEHAVEN, Sunday Night, 9th April 1848. I left 
Edinburgh yesterday morning with my son George and 
my daughter Elizabeth, who has now become a part of the 

Our route and conveyance were new. I sent the carriage 
across to Burntisland on the evening of Friday the 7th ; 
and we got on the railway yesterday at 8.17; were at 
Granton in a few minutes ; crossed in less than half an 
hour ; re-railed to Cupar, where we found the carriage and 
horses waiting for us ; drove to the Dundee ferry ; crossed ; 
railwayed again from Dundee to Montrose ; posted here, 
where we arrived at six ; doing in ten hours what it had 
taken Moncreiff, who preferred the old way of horses and 
Perth, two days to achieve. 

We did this on Saturday, because, as yet, there is no 
railway travelling on Sunday ; and therefore we were 
obliged to pass this whole day here, with Moncreiff and 
his daughter. 

I passed two hours or so loitering round the point oppo- 
site the harbour, and along the shore, to very near Dun- 
nottar ; a way I never took before. It is a most glorious 
walk, with a good foot-worn path along the edge of the 
beach all along. Most picturesque rocks, black, water- 
carved into strange forms, interspersed by delicious little' 
bays, as to which it is impossible to avoid always doubting 


whether the velvet of the soft bank turf, or the pure stones 
glittering before and under the bright fresh ocean, be the 
most beautiful. And what an ocean, as seen to-day ! 
Blue-blue, calm, shipless, boundless, gazed over in silence 
by the ruin. I have seldom passed two hours of more 
useful solitude. 

INVERNESS, Sunday Evening, 1 6th April 1848. We 
meant to have begun business at Aberdeen on Monday the 
10th. But after the Circuit had been fixed for that day, 
it was discovered that it was their Sacramental Monday ; 
and we were obliged to give up the entering procession, 
and to adjourn till two. But we went there to breakfast. 

We were in Court that day till seven ; all Tuesday, all 
Wednesday, and part of Thursday. There was nothing 
curious in the business. But I took a note on the spot of 
a thing that struck me as very curious in the Circuit 
prayer. It shows the extent to which some people's faith 
in the reformation of criminals goes. The reverend gen- 
tleman, after praying for the judges and the jurors, and 
the witnesses, and the Advocate-Depute, and the counsel 
on each of whom he bestowed a separate aspiration came 
to the prisoners. And as to them, he expressed his 
hope and his belief that they would all come to consider 
their detection, and their conviction, and' their punishment, 
and " their very crimes" as so many kindnesses of Provi- 
dence to lead them into the right way ; and that if they 
did so, they might be assured that " at last they would 
shine as the brightest gems in the Redeemer's crown." 
These were his very words. 

Moncreiff returned southwards, and I came on here, 
after Aberdeen. We got to Elgin on the evening of 
Thursday the 1 3th, and stayed there (bad inn) that night 
Next morning we breakfasted at Knockomie and remained 


there till six in the evening. I again visited what, to me, 
was once the paradise of Relugas. My friend Sir Thomas 
Lauder, under whose domestic sunshine I used to know it, 
is dying, and I felt it a very sad visit. Believing his 
recovery impossible, I hope never to see it again. The 
worthy lady of Knockomie made her hospitality include 
both an excellent breakfast and an excellent dinner. But 
we at last prevailed upon ourselves to take to the road, 
and we got here about nine in the face of a magnificent 

Our business was over yesterday, in one short day ; 
and then came the dinner. 

This morning, as on the morning of yesterday, I Avalked 
up to the island, by the left bank of the river. Then 
went in gowned procession, and heard a very bad, noisy 
sermon. After which I went to the canal basin, along 
this side of the canal, till it nearly touches Craigphadrick, 
up to the top of that hill of Patrick ; down, and across 
fields to the river-side opposite the island ; and so home. 
And now, after a quiet repast, with Edward Maitland, 
Francis Russell, and Burnet, and a night view of the river 
from the bridge, I am " bedward ruminating." 

Every place I revisit is improving. The increase of 
religious and educational buildings is very striking. 
Huntly, Keith, Fochabers, and Forres, are each dignified 
by new edifices in a style certainly not below the import- 
ance of the places ; and the people here, having got some 
funds, are beginning to discover that the capital of the 
north requires a college. The vanity of Bell, who has 
ordered all his charity schools to be called Madras Col- 
leges one of which is at Inverness has vulgarised this 
once respectable title all over the country. The new jail, 
now erecting, will be a very great improvement in the 
composition of this already beautiful place. But it is 


melancholy to see a new house building even in little old 
Forres. Jails and schools, and such things, necessary, like 
railways and post offices, for modern accommodation, must 
be. submitted to ; but a new private dwelling-house intro- 
duced into Forres ! with its insolent front to the street, 
its ostentatious windows, its brass knocker, and a plate 
announcing the scoundrel's name ! 

AVIEMORE, Tuesday Morning, ISth April 1848. We left 
Inverness yesterday about ten, and were here by three. 
A good, clear day, though certainly not sultry. I walked 
till six, trying to find the way to the house of Eothie- 
murchus which, often as I have been here, I had never 
gone to ; and after going nearly two miles wrong, I suc- 
ceeded in getting within hail of it, but there was no boat 
to take me across. In the evening we went to see a little 
loch within less than a mile of the inn, which I never 
even heard of till now, when two gentlemen at Inverness 
were loud in its .praise. It is well set, in a hollow 
amidst birches at the base of a respectable rock. But 
the water is too shallow and too small ; a mere saucerful. 
The mountains were in great splendour, with their per- 
petual darkness, relieved by much bright snow, and all 
their forms, and valleys, and gullies, and corries, palpably 
near us. And, before bedding, their silent regions were 
looked upon by an excellent moon. But our Scotch moon 
is a cold creature. 

And there they are again this morning ; in a still finer 
day. ye Cairngorms, how have ye never produced a 
poet of your own ? Had I been born among ye, no doubt 
every one of your summits and your valleys would have 
been sung. I cannot look upon you, and doubt that your 
bard is rearing. 


BRIDGE OF TILT, Tuesday Night, 18th April 1848. 
Left Aviemore at nine and were here by five. The day 
cold but bright, and the long, silent range in an excellent 
state. There is no better drive for a contemplative man. 
We revisited the Bruar Falls ; the ducal monster being in 
London, George and I dared to walk to his castle. Out- 
side which is all that we saw it is all in a wretched 
condition, mean, comfortless, squalid. 

When I left home, I thought of devoting these pages to 
anecdotes connected with famous trials, chiefly those in 
which I have been professionally engaged. But I find 
that it would not do, without far more detail than any- 
body would care to follow. Let me therefore just tell 
three stories, which are all simple and curious. 

In July 1800 a person of the name of Elliot was con- 
victed of a capital offence either horse-stealing or forgery 
and was doomed to die. Owing to some legal doubt he 
was pardoned, only a day or two before he was to have 
suffered ; but another man, who had been condemned to 
be executed on the same day, was not so fortunate. Lord 
Medwyn (who is my informer) was caught, by accident, 
on the Lawnmarket of Edinburgh, and could not escape 
from the crowd which he found assembling to witness the 
execution of the law's remaining victim, but he got into a 
remote spot at the upper end of the street. A man came 
there hurriedly, and in intense agitation, and stood out 
most part of the scene. His eyes were strained towards 
the scaffold, as if they would burst, his hands clenched in 
agony, his chest heaving, the very picture of horror. It 
was Elliot. Medwyn had seen him in court, and knew 
him. Instead of flying, he felt it irresistible to witness the 
proceeding in which he himself had so nearly been an 
actor ; and probably suffered far more in seeing the 
position of his associate, and in sympathising with himself, 


than he would have done if he had been the spectacle, and 
not the spectator. It was a strange feeling that forced 
him there, yet not an incomprehensible one. 

I had a client called David Haggart, who was hanged 
at Edinburgh for murdering his jailor in Dumfries. He 
was young, good looking, gay, and amiable to the eye; 
but there never was a riper scoundrel, a most perfect and 
inveterate miscreant in all the darker walks of crime. 
Nevertheless, his youth (about twenty-five), and apparent 
gentleness, joined to an open confession of sins, procured 
him considerable commiseration, particularly among the 
pious and the female. He employed the last days of his 
existence in dictating memoirs of his own life to his agent, 
with a view to publication. The book was published, and 
my copy contains a drawing of himself in the condemned 
cell, by his own hand, with a set of verses, his own com- 
position, which he desired to be given to me in token of 
his gratitude for my exertions at his trial. Well, the con- 
fessions, and the whole book, were a tissue of absolute lies, 
not of mistakes, or of exaggerations, or of fancies, but of 
sheer and intended lies. And they all had one object, 
to make him appear a greater villain than he really was. 
Having taken to the profession of crime, he wished to be 
at the head of it. He wanted to die a great man. He 
therefore made himself commit crimes of all sorts ; none 
of which, as was ascertained by inquiry, were ever com- 
mitted at all. His guilt in these deathbed inventions was 
established by as good evidence as his guilt in the act for 
which he suffered was. A strange pride. Yet not with- 
out precedent ; and in nobler walks of criminal ambition. 

Mrs. Mackinnon was convicted of murder on the 13th 
of March 1823. Jeffrey and I were her counsel. Her 
family had been respectable. It was sworn, by a person 
who had served with him, that her deceased father was a 


captain in the army. But by misfortune after misfortune, 
or more probably by successive acts of misconduct, she 
was at last, when not much, if at all, above thirty, reduced 
to the condition of being the mistress of a disorderly house 
in Edinburgh. But still she was not all bad ; for a strong 
and lofty generosity, by which she had been distinguished 
before she fell, neither the corruptions, nor the habits of 
her subsequent life could extinguish. She had stabbed a 
man with a knife, in a brawl in her house, and it was for 
taking his life that her own was forfeited. If some cir- 
cumstances which were established in a precognition, taken 
by the orders of Sir Robert Peel, then Home Secretary, 
after her conviction, had transpired on the trial, it is more 
than probable that Jeffrey, whose beautiful speech, on the 
bad elements in his hands, is remembered to this hour, 
would have prevailed on the jury to restrict, their convic- 
tion to culpable homicide. But, in law, it was a murder, 
and Peel, though moved, was advised that she could not 
be spared. 

So she died publicly, but gracefully and bravely ; and 
her last moment was marked by a proceeding so singular, 
that it is on its account that I mention her case. She 
had an early attachment to an English Jew, who looked 
like a gentleman, on the outside at least ; and this passion 
had never been extinguished. She asked him to come and 
see her before her fatal day. He did so ; and on parting, 
finally, on her last evening, she cut an orange into two, 
and giving him one half, and keeping the other herself, 
directed him to go to some window opposite the scaffold, 
at which she could see him, and to apply his half to his 
lips when she applied her half to hers. All this was done ; 
she saw her only earthly friend, and making the sign, 
died, cheered by this affection. 

Here the anecdote ought to have ended ; and if it 


had been an invention, it would have ended here. But 
see how nature's wonders exceed those of art. She had 
left everything she had, amounting to four or five thousand 
pounds, to her friend. He took the legacy, but refused to 
pay the costs of her defence, which her agent only screwed 
out of him by an action. 

PERTH, Wednesday Night, 19/A April 1848. We came 
here to-day, amidst ceaseless and heavy rain. 

PERTH, Sunday Night, 23d April 1848. Getting on 
slowly, and dull, commonplace work. The audience was 
relieved yesterday by a murder. But it was a poor one. 
An infant suffocated in its clothes by its natural father. 
He was condemned, but won't be hanged. 1 

We went to church to-day in state. A grand oration, 
from the same mouthy declaimer we had on the 27th of 
April 1845. His fancy goods are of a bad pattern, and 
want body. 

After church Whigham and I had a beautiful walk, 
over Kinnoul Hill, down to Kinfauns, and home by the 
road; all glorious. There are few finer scenes in this 
country. Were I a Perth residenter, my morning and 
evening meditations should be inspired by the quiet beauty 
of the North Inch ; my forenoon exercise ennobled by the 
rich magnificence of the prospects from the hill of Kinnoul. 

BONALY, Thursday, 27th April 1848. We only got quit 
of Perth yesterday about two. 

George had left us on Saturday. The first one who 
ever ran off from one of my Circuits before it was finished. 
He has the misfortune to be an Episcopalian, and talked 
of being home on Easter Sunday. But he is also married, 
and his young wife was not with him. 

1 But he has been, though. 21st May 1848. 


My books were the last numbers of the Edinburgh and 
Quarterly Reviews. Both dullish. I then took to Grantley 
Manor , a novel, which I could not get on with. And then, 
for the fiftieth time, I discovered new beauties in the Fair 
Maid of Perth. 

Mr. Edward Maitland shed his first odours, as public 
accuser, over this Circuit. Hard and grim outside ; but 
inwardly, soft enough; calm, firm, sensible, pious, and 
honest. He had a little friend called Francis Russell, 
advocate, with him, a self-thinking fellow, as to whom I 
would not be surprised if he were to become some one. 


AUTUMN 1848. 

COMRIE HOUSE, Sunday, before dinner, 3d September 
1848. My route this Circuit will be nearly the very same 
as it was in this month 1845 ; so I shall literally just 
keep the log. 

Thursday, 31st August 1848. Left Edinburgh at seven 
A.M., by the Stirling train, with my son George, his wife, 
my daughter Johanna, and Marion Thomson of London. 
Reached Stirling (the carriage with us) at nine. Break- 
fasted ; saw the castle and everything ; departed at half 
past eleven ; passed one hour and a half with Sir David 
Dundas at Ochtertyre ; got to the Trossachs at five ; 
loitered by the lochside till six ; returned, dined, snored. 
The whole day bright, calm, and warm. 

Friday, 1st September 1848. Went to Loch at eight 
A.M. ; boated ; returned at ten ; breakfasted ; got to Cal- 
lander at twelve ; went to the Brig of Bracklin ; set off at 
2.30 ; reached this via Loch Lubnaig and Lochearn at 
6.30 ; a party to dinner; a sort of a dance in the evening. 
Day bad at Callander ; otherwise excusable. 

/, 2d September 1848. Drove and walked about 
all day ; lunched at Dunira ; dined here with two Strowan 
Stirlings and Dr. Malcolm. Day good. 


Sunday, 3d September 1848. Went to Comrie Estab- 
lished Church ; walked to Lawers ; impatient for dinner. 
Got it. To bed. 

Monday, 4th September 1848, 9.30 P.M. Left Comrie to- 
day at eight ; and got here (King's House) at six. Such 
a track ! and such a day ! A day to be remembered almost 
in the grave. 

Tuesday Night, 5th September 1848. Left King's House 
to-day at eleven, and was here, at Ballachulish, at three ; 
a beautiful day till about five, when the rain began. We 
met John Stuart, M.P. and chancery barrister, here, and 
arranged to sail up to his retreat at the head of Loch 
Leven with him to-morrow. Meanwhile we all dined at 
his brother's, the Laird of Ballachulish. 

Wednesday Night, 6th September 1848. A day of unceas- 
ing torrents of rain, and of furious wind. No Loch Leven 
possible. We have scarcely got our noses out. The 
glories of this place all veiled in black fog. 

Thursday Night, 7th September 1848. Ditto nearly. I 
never saw rain before. However, in desperation I went, 
with Charlotte and Marion, seven miles up Glencoe, to see 
and hear the torrents roaring down the sides of the hills. 
It was grand, but not so much as I expected. 

No two worse days could be contrived for this place. 

Saturday, 9th September 1848, Noon, OBAN. Yesterday 
morning promised so well, that Marion and I went, before 
breakfast, in a boat, that she might make a sketch of the 
Episcopal chapel, the grandest and the most beautifully 
placed chapel in Britain. While she was so occupied on 
an island, I loitered about, and saw many glorious gleams 
of glorious scenes. 


We left Ballachulish yesterday at eleven, and got to 
Oban at half-past six. A torrent of rain, and thick fog, 
with high wind, the whole way. We just saw enough to 
show us what we were losing. A drive of singular magni- 
ficence. This distance which I record because I got such 
opposite accounts of it is twenty-six miles, exclusive of 
the two ferries, of which Shean is above a mile across, and 
Connel about a quarter of a mile. The north side of Shean 
is sixteen miles from Ballachulish, the south side ten from 
Oban. We had horses waiting us at the south side of 
Shean from Oban. 

Our carriage was heavy, and the pair of horses from 
Ballachulish so light (or so sensible), that they stood stock 
still till we got out at every hill ; so that from our walks, 
and the two ferries, we were wet the whole day. And, 
like an idiot, I let us be put into the same open boat with the 
carriage at Shean, though the sea was as rough as a violent 
head wind could make it in a space one and a quarter mile 
wide, and we had only two oars, each with two rowers. It 
took them above an hour to get us, inch by inch, across ; the 
carriage, heavily laden, swung; the nine Celts who had 
charge of us jabbered and roared, all gesticulating opposite 
directions ; and in spite of their assurances that there was 
no danger, yet we were all alarmed, and I know one 
who was in a genuine fright. I had my cloak unbut- 
toned, a plank which was at my feet secured, and my 
mind made up as to the point I was to try for. My chief 
fear was for Johanna, who chose to remain in the carriage. 
For our real danger lay in its swinging over, in which case 
she was gone. The boat would have been upset ; but we, 
who were free, had some chances from spars and the keel, 
but she would, to a certainty, have been drowned in a 
box. Mrs. George was in dreadful agitation. Marion 
resolutely composed, though in great alarm. George sen- 


sible and quiet, and, like myself, had his thoughts on the 
keel, and his eye on the best spot to make for, should the 
keel fail. It was a very dangerous, and a culpably foolish, 
proceeding. We should have waited for a small boat for 
ourselves, though we had waited a year. They are dis- 
graceful ferries, having too few boats, and none of them 
good ; no landing-places ; no planks, or gangways, or 
cranes ; no men, excepting such as can be withdrawn for 
the occasion from their proper land occupations ; no 
master ; no system, or skill, or power either of speaking or 
of hearing intelligently. Passengers, cattle, and carriages 
are just lifted and thrown into clumsy, crazy boats, and 
jerked by bad rowers, with unsafe oars, amidst a disor- 
derly tumult of loud, discordant, half-naked, and very 
hairy Celts, who, however, expecting whisky, are at least 
civil, hearty, and strong. Bad though all this be, it is 
perhaps as good as the smallness of the traffic and the 
insolvency of the lairds admit of. 

To-day the weather is as bad as ever. How it roars 
and pours ! I begin to consider the spectacular part of the 
Circuit as over. 

Nevertheless, my four companions set sail, in the 
steamer Dolphin, this morning at seven, for lona and 
StafFa. Poor wretches ! I don't believe they will land at 

Sunday Night, Wth September 1848, TAYNUILT. But 
they landed at both, and describe even the sail, the gleam- 
broken clouds, and the dun hills of Mull as preferable to 
the quiet brilliancy of a fine day. Right to make the 
most of things. 

This day has been beautiful. At eleven A.M. we all 
went to the Episcopal room in Oban, and heard an English 
stranger read prayers, very ill ; and a young Oxford tutor 


who has been there for two months with pupils, preach 
very gently and elegantly, and quite uselessly. There 
were above seventy persons present, all strangers, as the 
landlord of the hotel told me, except about twenty or 

A Free Church has been erected in Oban since I last 
saw it. It is beautifully placed, and better in its structure 
than most of them. They are also beginning to make a 
few villas. No sea place has better or more varied sites 
than Oban, insomuch that under the wealth of England 
it would be a beautiful marine village. But with the 
poverty of Scotland, and the untidy habits of the people, 
the positions and the prospects are lost. At Ballachulish, 
the paradise of Scotland, the inn is exquisitely placed, 
within a few feet of the water's edge ; but the paradise is 
only to be seen over the dunghill, which is spread out 
between the windows and the clearest water in nature. 

To-day we left Oban about three ; went in a boat to 
Dunstaffnage, and got here about half-past six. A good 
bad inn. To-morrow for Loch Etive. 

Monday Night, llth September 1848, DALMALLY. A very 
successful expedition up Loch Etive. The day excellent, 
a capital boat, and four good and sensible rowers, one of 
whom renewed his acquaintance with me, having been in 
the same capacity in 1845. It is a magnificent piece of 
solitude, not improved since 1845 by the opening of 
two granite quarries, and with more pasture that I formerly 

We left Taynuilt about four, and came here. A glorious 

Tuesday Night, 1 2th September 1848, INVERARAY. Came 
here this forenoon. A day worthy of Loch Awe. 


Wednesday Night, INVERARAY, 13th September 1848. 
Moncreiff joined us here yesterday. In Court till six P.M.. 
and then the degrading dinner, which some of my brethren 
think essential for the preservation of the constitution. 

TARBET, Thursday Night, lth September 1848. Came 
here to-day at four P.M. A beautiful day. Stopped and 
saw reformed Ardkinglas. A delightful Highland spot. 
The flower-garden is excellent ; and the piece of water 
saved from the usual offensiveness of artificial ponds by 
the neatness with which it and its adjuncts are kept. 
Noble ash-trees, and silver firs ; but I doubt if there be 
two of the latter that are not suffering from the competi- 
tion of paltry enemies. The axe should spare nothing that 
touches, or even shades, a leaf of these magnificent pines. 

GLASGOW, Friday Night, 15th September 1848. Left 
Tarbet to-day after breakfast ; loitered, by land and by 
water, for some hours, at Luss, and were here about seven 
P.M. As perfect a day for Loch Lomond as there can be 
without bright sunshine. 

BONALY, Saturday Night, \th September 1848. After 
inspecting the beautiful and well restored Cathedral of 
Glasgow, and the striking but spoiled burial-ground, 
affectedly styled the Necropolis, and the venerable but 
doomed college, we came here to-day to dinner. 

I return to the Glasgow part of the business on Monday 
night. Too much time was allowed between Inveraray and 
Glasgow, and I have resorted to this home pause from 
economical necessity. 

My book during the last fortnight has been Ivanhoe 
once more. But I grieve to say that I read it with 
diminished admiration. Probably nobody else could have 


written that work; but his genius seems never to find 
profusion of matter except in Scotland. See how the 
figures rush up into living life in any of his good Scotch 
novels. Take Waverley with Madvor, Flora, Macwheeble, 
Davie Gellatley, Bradwardine, Evan Dhu Maccombich, 
etc. Or Guy Mannering with the Dominie, Meg Merrilees, 
Dandy Dinmont, the old Laird, Dirk Hatteraick, etc. Or 
Rob Roy with Rob, Helen MacGregor, the Bailie, Andrew 
Fairservice, the Dougal Cratur, etc. And so we may go 
on with nearly the whole works, each teeming with 
original life, exhibited in fresh, natural scenes. Rebecca 
is almost the solitary figure in Ivanlioe ; the passage at 
arms, and the glorious night between Richard and the 
Clerk of Copmanhurst, almost its two great scenes. The 
revival of Athelstane from the supposed dead, though such 
an incident may have occurred, is an absurdity and a 
trick, and unworthy of the work and of its author. There 
are other scenes, such as the storming of Torquilstone Castle, 
and the two interviews of the Templar and Rebecca in 
the one of which he tries to make her become his mistress, 
and in the other to escape with him as his wife that are 
admirable, but they are of inferior importance. On the 
whole, Imnhoe is a great prose epic, but it wants the 
varied, natural originality which signalises the works 
drawn from Scotch life and scenery. 

BONALY, 27th September 1848. On the night of Monday 
the 18th my daughter Elizabeth and I returned to 
Glasgow, where we remained till Saturday the 23d, when 
we came here to dinner. And on the morning of Monday 
the 25th I went back to Glasgow, but got finally free on 
the evening of Tuesday the 2 6th. 

There were only about 7 1 cases, and as we cleared off 
36 in the two first clays, we deluded ourselves by the hope 


of a speedy liberation. But the pleas of guilty always 
come first. These were succeeded by some tough trials, in- 
cluding one bad murder. The bad nature of the cases 
may be judged of from the results. There were only 
71 cases, involving 100 prisoners, of whom about eight 
or ten prisoners, owing to the illness of witnesses, etc., 
were not disposed of, and one had the solitary good luck 
to be acquitted, leaving about eighty individuals to be 
dealt with. Now of these 

1 was imprisoned ... 6 months. 

2 9 
9 ... 12 

10 ... 15 

4 .18 

31 were transported ... 7 years. 

20 ... 10 
2 ... 14 
1 Death. 


The murderer was John M'Luskie, a miner or collier, 
and Irish by nativity, who relieved the tedium of a quiet 
Sunday by stabbing James Macbride, his next door neigh- 
bour, four times, once mortally, with such a total absence 
of all provocation, defence, or mitigation, that except upon 
the principle of the brutal disregard of other peoples' 
lives which sometimes operates on stupid savages, the 
proceeding was altogether unintelligible. The jury 
recommended him to mercy on the ground that there 
had been no previous malice, a ground equally applicable 
wherever a man murders a stranger, and triumphantly 
where he murders a friend. Nevertheless this nonsense 
of the want of previous malice saved the beast's life. 


AUTUMN 1849. 

BRIDGE OF TILT, Monday Night, 10th September 1849. 
On the old round, with my daughter Johanna and my 
niece Mary Fullerton. Her sister Elphy was to have been 
with us, but being smitten with a hurlythrumbo, her 
doctor, at the last moment, forbade her, to my great 

We left Edinburgh by the Northern Eailway at ten A.M., 
and in spite of the ferry, got to Perth at about a quarter 
before one. We then made the agreeable change to post- 
ing, and got here about half-past six. 

A dull day ; and heavy rain from Dunkeld to this, 
with great fog. As bad a day for the scene as possible. 

I again went into the grounds of Dunkeld ; and think 
it a duty to record another execration against the almost 
swindling extortion and offensive insensibility of its noble 
and most contemptible owner. I cannot understand how 
a duke can degrade himself by such pecuniary exaction, 
and nauseate the lieges by keeping the cathedral in so 
loathsome a state. 

I had at different times planned different expeditions 
for this Circuit. They have all failed, chiefly from the 
impossibility of trusting this summer for two days together 
of good weather. But I may record them, for future 

One was. to take the mail from Inverness to Wick ; the 


steamer from Wick to Kirkwall, a six-hours' sail ; to see 
Orkney, and to return by steam to Wick. The steamer 
at present leaves Wick on Saturday forenoon, and returns 
there on Tuesday forenoon ; and two days are quite 
enough for Orkney. So that one week would suffice for 
this Circuit parenthesis. 

Another was to stop in the hackneyed Highland road at 
Dalwhinnie, and to go from Dalwhinnie by Loch Laggan 
to Fort William, a distance of about fifty miles; and 
from Fort William by the steamer, through the lochs and 
the Caledonian Canal, to Inverness. The road from Dal- 
whinnie to Fort William I understand to be excellent ; 
and the country, especially if Loch Treig be turned aside 
for, beautiful. The inns are not to be depended upon in 
this season, and still less the horses. But the Dalwhinnie 
horses, by sending a pair on, do the job easily. Besides 
the weather, I was deterred from this by the chance of 
finding the steamer crowded by jurymen, witnesses, tour- 
ists, and other injudicial accompaniments. 

A third was to give eight days to an exploration of 
Sutherland. I was much bent on this, and would have 
done it had the weather not frowned. I had got a good 
route from Mr. St. John, the author of the excellent works 
on Highland sports. And as few people know how to see 
this out of the way county, I shall preserve his stages 
here. The whole journey was to have been performed by 
the same pair of horses, taken from Inverness. 

First day. From Inverness to the Bridge of Alness, 
twenty-one miles ; from this to Ardguy (or Ardgye) 
fifteen miles. 

Second day. From Ardguy, by Bonar, along the shore 
of the firth, to Invershin, five miles ; from this Altnagach 
Inn, where the horses rest ; then to Inchnadamph. 

Third day. Inchnadamph to Loch Inver, twelve miles, 


and back to Inchnadamph, because no road further. But 
all this may be omitted without deranging the route. 

Fourth day. From Inchnadamph to Scourie, by the 
base of Quinigan, " the grandest of hills." The picturesque 
ferry of Kylesku to be crossed. 

Fifth day. From Scourie to Durness. 

Sixth day. From Durness by the head of Loch Eriboll 
and Loch Hope, through Strathmore, to Altnahara. 

Seventh day. To Lairg, eighteen miles; and by the 
head of Loch Shin to Ardguy. Or from Lairg to Golspie, 
eighteen miles, i.e. to Dunrobin, which is twenty miles 
from Tain. 

If the third day's work be given up, a day is left for 
going from Scourie to Tongue, and to Ben Loyal. 

The whole road is excellent ; and all the inns, particu- 
larly at the proposed sleeping-places, are most comfortable. 
I did not always get the miles, but no day's journey is at 
all excessive, and, in general, they are rather moderate. 

This is the thing to do. Unless one were to go both to 
Orkney and to Shetland, the rock scenery of which I believe 
is well worth any trouble or any suffering, except being 
torn inside out by the tossing of one hundred miles of 
restless water. 

AVIEMORE, Tuesday Night, llth September 1849. A dull, 
but fair day. 

I shall probably never see this noble tract again. They 
talk of continuing the Aberdeen railway to Inverness. 
This will destroy the posting and the inns on what has 
hitherto been called the Highland road, and will compel 
us to be conveyed like parcels speed alone considered, 
and seeing excluded. 

Cairngorm was mistified. 

The Highland coach going south was overset within a 


mile of this this forenoon. Nobody killed, but several 
hurt. There being no doctors here, they were all obliged to 
go on. One English gentleman, whom we saw sitting in 
a carriage, had a very uncomfortable-looking cheek. 

INVERNESS, Wednesdaij Night, 1 2th September 1849. 
Here to-day, through a ceaseless torrent, and a world of 
wet grey fog. What a scrape it would have been to have 
gone, as I was nearly doing, from Dalwhinnie to Fort 
William, and to have either received all the splash of this 
day on the deck of a steamer, or to have escaped it by the 
far worse horrors of a small cabin crowded by wet men 
stinking of tobacco. 

KNOCKOMIE, Saturday Morning, 1 5th September 1849. 
The Inverness criminal business was finished on Thursday 

But I must not forget the mail-coach. It was the one 
from Edinburgh to Inverness, by the Highland road. It 
was due at Inverness about nine or ten on Wednesday 
night, but was upset on the north side of Moy into a 
swollen stream, and the whole insides were very nearly 
drowned. They had, after being saved, to shiver, in their 
drenched garments, and without fire, though in a sort of mud 
toll-house, for six or seven hours, after which they were 
got on. Mr. Aitken, the Clerk of Court, and two counsel, 
were three of the drooked. The clerk's papers all went 
down the stream, but were recovered, though well steeped. 

The only thing memorable in our business was a case of 
rioting, deforcement, etc., charged against four poor respect- 
able men, who had been active in resisting a Highland 
clearing in North Uist. The popular feeling is so strong 
against these (as I think necessary, but) odious operations, 
that I was afraid of an acquittal, which would have been 


unjust and mischievous. On the other hand even the law has 
no sympathy with the exercise of legal rights in a cruel 
way. The jury solved the difficulty by first convicting, 
by a majority, and then giving this written, and therefore 
well-considered, recommendation, " The jury unanimously 
recommend the pannels to the utmost leniency and mercy 
of the Court, in consideration of the cruel, though it 
may be legal, proceedings adopted in ejecting the whole 
people of Solas from their houses and crops, without the 
prospect of shelter or a footing in their fatherland, or 
even the means of expatriating them to a foreign one," 
a statement that will ring all over the country. We 
shall not soon cease to hear of this calm and judicial 
censure of incredible but proved facts. For it was estab- 
lished (1) that warrants of ejectment, that is, of dismantling 
hovels, had been issued against about sixty tenants, being 
nearly the whole tenantry in the district of Solas, com- 
prehending probably three hundred persons, warrants 
which the agents of Lord Macdonald had certainly a right 
to demand, and the Sheriff was bound to grant ; (2) that 
the people had sown, and were entitled to reap their crops; 
(3) that there were no houses provided for them to take 
shelter in, no poor house, no ship. They had nothing but 
the bare ground, or rather the hard, wet beach, to lie down 
upon. It was said, or rather insinuated, that "arrange- 
ments" had been made for them, and in particular that a 
ship was to have been soon on the coast. But, in the 
meantime, the peoples' hereditary roofs were to be pulled 
down, and the mother and her children had only the 
shore to sleep on, fireless, foodless, hopeless. Resistance 
was surely not unnatural, and it was very slight. No life 
was taken, or blood lost. It was a mere noisy and 
threatening deforcement. 

I am sorry for Lord Macdonald, whose name, he being 


the landlord, was used, but who personally was quite 
innocent. He was in the hands of his creditors, and they 
of their doer, a Mr. Cooper, their factor. But his lordship 
will get all the abuse. 

The slightness of the punishment, four months' imprison- 
ment, will probably abate the public fury. 1 

Inverness, since I last saw it, has been injured in its 
beauty in two ways. One is by the erection, on a con- 
spicuous position, of a very ugly Free Kirk school. The 
other by the total destruction of the old stone bridge, 
which was carried off by a flood last winter. No loss 
could be greater. It was a most picturesque bridge, with 
pointed, ribbed arches, of a brown stone, and narrow. We 
shall have a far better new one, wider and flatter, and of a 
harder material; but Inverness won't look half so well. 

I had to go to Court yesterday for about an hour, after 
which we set off, and got here about half-past two. We 
instantly proceeded ; and after having seen the Sand Hills 
of Forres for above fifty years, I at last stood upon them. 
They form a very curious world of fine sand. On our way 
home we visited the garden of Dalvey, a place near Forres, 
belonging to a Mr. Macleod, a lover of horticulture. It is 
a very excellent shrubberied garden, prettily placed on a 
bit of haugh, with his comfortable-looking house on a bank 
above it, and a good stream below. His deodars are the 
best I have seen in Scotland. When his roses are out, it 
must be splendid ; but at present his gardens, like all others, 
are crushed and dissolved by the pitiless torrents of this 
drenchy 1849. 

KNOCKOMIE, Saturday Night, 1 5th September 1849. This 
day, which was pleased to fair, was given to Pluscarden, 
nine miles off, and reached by a coach filled inside and 
i Journals, vol. ii. 247. 


out, and two saddle horses. We loitered about the ruin 
for some hours, and had a turf refection, and a good deal 
of calotyping, conducted by my friend Cosmo Innes, the 
Sheriff of the county. 

The abbey is larger, and its fragments better, than I 
supposed. The colour of the walls, when the sun is on 
them, is singularly beautiful. It is far better kept than 
most Scotch ruins are, but still is kept very ill. And in 
ten or twenty years more, little, if anything, will be visible 
except a mass of ivy. It is really distressing to see so 
much architectural ornament given entirely up, in so 
many places, to this insinuating and insatiable usurper. 
But what is to be expected where a great part of a 
religious ruin has been half converted into a modern dwell- 
ing-house, and another has been converted entirely into a 
modern kirk ! The said kirk, a little paltry Free Kirk 
Chapel of Ease, amidst the greatest Presbyterian mean- 
ness, has a beautiful pulpit of dark, massive carved wood, 
dated 1684. The wise men of Elgin in rebuilding their 
church a few years ago, rejected this relic as unworthy of 
their novelties, and this chapel got it. 

We were home by half-past six, and had a party to 
dinner. And now for the land of Nod. 

FOCHABERS, Sunday Night, 16th September 1849. Innes 
and I revisited the unmatched Findhorn to-day, and 
called at Altyre. It is long since I became acquainted 
with the woods and glorious river scenery of this place 
(Altyre), but till to-day I had never resisted my aver- 
sion to go near the house. It is a beautiful garden, 
especially the lawny part of it. The Portugal laurels 
are the largest, except at Broomhall, I have ever seen in 

We dined at Knockomie at three, left it at four, were 


at Elgin at six, saw the cathedral, and were here by eight. 
And now, Nod again. 

ABERDEEN, Monday Night, 17th September 1849. Came 
here to-day, where Moncreiff joined me. 

CASTLETON, Saturday Night, 22d September 1849. The 
Aberdeen criminal business exhausted four days, Tuesday, 
Wednesday, Thursday, and yesterday. There were not 
more cases than usual ; but they happened to be of a 
worse description. In particular, there were four capital 
cases, viz. two murders, one murder combined with 
raptus, and one raptus alone. One of the murders ended 
in an acquittal, and very properly, because though the guilt 
was certain and savage, the evidence was not satisfactory. 
In another murder, a plea of culpable homicide produced 
twenty years' transportation. The simple raptus ended in 
a conviction, and in transportation for life. The murder 
and raptus combined caused a sentence of death. This 
last was a horrid case. 

The prisoner was James Robb, a country labourer of 
about twenty-five, a known reprobate, and stout. His 
victim was Mary Smith, a quiet woman of sixty-two, 
never married, or a mother, who lived by herself in a 
lonely house by the wayside. There was a fair held at a 
village in Aberdeenshire called Badenscoth, which some- 
times, though in no eminent degree, produced some of the 
disorderly scenes natural to fairs. 

Mary Smith, though not the least alarmed, happened to 
observe casually that " she was not afraid of anybody, 
except that lad Jamie Robb." That very night Robb left 
the fair (9th April 1849) about ten, avowing that he was 
determined to gratify his passion on somebody before 
he slept. He had then no thought of this old woman; 


but, unfortunately, her house lay in his way. He asked 
admittance, upon pretence of lighting his pipe. She re- 
fused. On this he got upon the roof and went down the 
chimney, which consisted of a square wooden box about 
5 feet long by 2J wide, placed about 8 feet above the fire. 
Its soot was streaked by his corduroy dress, which helped 
to identify him. Having got in, the beast fell upon its 
prey. She was thought in good health, but after death 
was discovered to have an incipient disease in the heart, 
which agitation made dangerous, but which might have lain 
long dormant. The violence of the brute, and the alarm, 
proved fatal. She was found dead in the morning, and 
the bed broken, and in the utmost confusion. A remark- 
able composite metal button, broken from its eye, was 
found twisted in what the witness called " a lurk," or fold, 
of the sheet. Buttons of exactly the same kind, and with 
the same words and figures engraved on them, were found 
on his jacket, all complete except that one was awanting. 
But its eye remained ; and this eye, with its bright recent 
fracture, exactly fitted the part of the button that had 
been found. These circumstances would have been suffi- 
cient to have established his having been in the house. 
But his declaration admitted the fact. Consent was 
excluded by its being obvious that it was the energy of 
her resistance that had killed her. 

It is difficult to drive the horrors of that scene out of 
one's imagination. The solitary old woman in the solitary 
house, the descent through the chimney, the beastly 
attack, the death struggle, all that was 'going on within 
this lonely room, amidst silent fields, and under a still, dark 
sky. It is a fragment of hell, which it is both difficult to 
endure and to quit. 

Yet a jury, though clear of both crimes, recommended the 
Irute to mercy ! because he did not intend to commit the 


murder ! Neither does the highwayman, who only means 
to wound, in order to get the purse, but kills. 

Within a few hours after he was convicted he confessed, 
and explained that the poor woman had died in his very 
grip. (He was executed, solemnly denying his guilt, 
quoad raptus !) 

We left Aberdeen this morning, and breakfasted at 
Drum, the seat, in Strath Dee, of my college acquaintance, 
A. Forbes Irvine. The house is one of the noble old castles 
of Aberdeenshire. But I saw no beauty about the place. 
He has two hollies close beside the mansion, the largest I 
have ever seen. They are forest trees, very nearly 8 feet 
in circumference. 

The day was excellent, and the whole drive up here 
still more glorious than I formerly thought it. 

The Queen is living at Balmoral, and therefore I expected 
to be obstructed by some of the usual bustle of royalty. 
But it is reputable for the royalty of this nation that, 
except by a paltry flag set up before his door by the inn- 
keeper of Ballater, there was not a vestige of Majesty in 
any part of the strath. We did not encounter a single 
carriage, nor a single rider, nor one soldier, nor a police 
officer, nor anything to mark a distinguished presence. 
The inns were rather less crowded than usual, the post- 
horses as fresh, the strath as natural. The sheep, the stots, 
and even the barelegged children, all went off exactly as 
before. Balmoral itself was silent ; flagless ; apparently un- 
guarded ; calm ; beautiful. I think this very respectable 
in her Majesty and family. It seems to show sense and 
taste. And the fact that such enjoyment of such virtuous 
pleasures is not merely possible, but easy and habitual, 
demonstrates how deep the monarchical principle is in the 
mind of the country, and how much better it is promoted 
by rational conduct, than by the common follies of royalty. 


The once absolute sovereigns of Europe have often thought 
that the limited monarch of Britain was no monarch at all. 
Which of them could now live for an autumn only the 
more safely that they lived in an unguarded wilderness t 

PERTH, Sunday Night, 23d September 1849. Came here 
to-day by the Spittal from Castleton. All beautiful. What 
a delightful contrast between the glorious green valleyed 
and blue summited hills of Glenshee, sublime in their 
treelessness, and the flush of picturesque richness that 
begins in Stratheric, and continues, through the splendid 
culture of domains and farms, till it be crowned in Perth. 

BONALY, Thursday Night, 21th September 1849. We got 
free from Court to-day at one, and into the Scottish Central 
Railway at about four, and after a pause in Edinburgh 
were here by nine. Her Majesty passed through the Perth 
station while we were there, on her way home. She left 
Balmoral by the highway this forenoon ; got on the rail- 
way at Cupar Angus, and was in Edinburgh, by Stirling, 
in two and a half hours. All the stations were crowded 
with people, panting for a sight of her ; and her gracious 
condescension was expressed by whisking past them at 
the rate of about thirty miles per hour, with all her win- 
dows shut. Immense folly ! ^Tien I 'm a queen, I shall 
hold it to be my dignity to go slow. 

I was absorbed during our journey by Sir Charles 
Lyell's Second Fisit to the United States. I had no idea 
that my geological friend could write such a book. It is 
the most manly, the most candid, the most sensible, and 
the most gentlemanly book existing on America, within 
his limited range. 1 

Edward Maitland was the depute. Excellent 

i I had not then seen Mackay's far dttpcr work. 


JANUARY 1850. 

EDINBURGH, 17 th January 1850. On Tuesday, the 8th 
inst., Lord Ivory and I began the Glasgow Winter Circuit. 
It was not over till the night of Tuesday the 15th, being 
seven Court days. 

It was an unusually black tribunal, there being 79 cases, 
involving about 125 culprits; among whom six [seven?] 
were charged with murder, and many with other serious 
crimes. Of the murders, one, a female poisoner, was doomed 
to die; two were transported for life, and one for seven years, 
one was acquitted, one escaped, and one was imprisoned. 
The poisoner had first stolen a bank deposit-receipt, and 
then finding that she could not get the money without 
the owner's signature, she forged it, and then, having 
committed these two offences, she murdered the victim in 
order to hide them. She was tried for the whole three 
crimes. The forgery, and the administration of arsenic 
were very clearly proved. But there was a doubt about 
the theft, and therefore the jury found it not proved. Yet 
upon this fact a majority of them grounded by far the 
most nonsensical recommendation to mercy that any jury, 
known to me, ever made themselves ludicrous by. They 
first recommended without stating any reason, and on 
being asked what their reason was, they retired, and after 
consultation, returned with these written words, viz. : that 
they gave the recommendation "in consequence of the 


first charge, of theft, not having been proved, which they 
believe in a great measure led to the commission of the 
subsequent crime ! " Grammatically, this means that it 
was their acquittal of the theft that did the mischief, but 
what they meant was, that the murder was caused by a 
theft not proved to have existed. It is the most Hibernian 
recommendation I have ever seen. 

The preceding recommendation, though backed by the 
whole force of the very active party opposed to capital 
punishment, failed, and the poor wretch died. 

Of the 125 accused, about 122 were tried, and of these 
only six were acquitted, a fact honourable to the criminal 
practice of Scotland. Eighty-five were transported. 

The peculiarity of this Circuit was that, for the first time 
at any Circuit in this country, the two judges sat, generally, 
each in a separate Court, of course doing double work. A 
statute was passed, to sanction this, about two years ago, 
but it had never been acted upon. Ivory and I were glad 
to set the example. It was very popular with everybody, 
as it saved time and expense. 

This was the first time I had seen Ivory as a criminal 
judge. He is excellent. His law, and agreeable manner 
could not be doubted. But, like other good lawyers, he 
is apt to be beset by nice doubts, and loves them in civil 
adjudication ; and many people were afraid that he might 
be troubled by this infirmity on the criminal bench. But 
if he was, which, however, I saw no symptom of, necessity 
made him shake it off. He was as decided and hardy as 
needed to be. A most excellent man. 


APRIL 1850. 

TARBET, LOCH LOMOND, Saturday Night, \ktli April 
1850. I am here with Mrs. Cockburn and my niece 
Elphy Fullerton, on the usual distribution of Argyleshire 

If the people who call themselves "the friends of 
Sabbath observance " had been possessed of common-sense, 
I would have been enabled to have attended church, and to 
have performed all domestic Sunday duties at home to-day, 
and would then have gone to Glasgow by an evening train 
to-night, and would have easily reached Inveraray from 
Glasgow to-morrow. But, being idiots, they allow no 
Sunday trains on the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway; 
one consequence of which has been, that I was forced to 
come here yesterday, and to pass the whole of this Sunday 
in a public house. This is what they call Sabbath keeping. 

I have never seen a worse Loch Lomond, and hope 
never to see it again under heavy, vulgar clouds, a surly 
north wind, and a late spring. 

The monsters are far on with a railway from about 
Bowling Bay to Balloch. The great benefit of which is, 
that henceforth the public can steam from Glasgow to 
Bowling in less than an hour, and railway from Bow- 
ling to Balloch in ten minutes, and steam again all over 
Loch Lomond at pleasure; for which pleasure there are 
now three Loch Lomond steamers ready. I am told that 



the owners of Killarney have been so insensible, or so 
abstemious, as to resist this luxury for their lake. 

TARBET, Monday, near Noon, 1 5th April 1850. A 
horrible day of rain and wind. The very masons can't 
work. But we are off for Inveraray. 

TARBET, Wednesday Night, llth April 1850. We were 
at Inveraray from Monday at four till to-day at one. 

All yesterday, till near eleven at night, was passed in 
Court trying one case. And a peculiarly villainous one it 
was. The accused was a tall, well-looking scoundrel of 
twenty-one, originally an Ayrshire farmer, but who last 
Whitsunday had taken a farm near Campbeltown. His 
affairs got desperate ; and having ascertained that this was 
the fact, and that a declaration of bankruptcy was neces- 
sary, he closed his last .ten free days by the following 
achievements. He first, by fraudulent concealment of his 
circumstances, got a very respectable gentlewoman to marry 
him. He then insured his stock and crop at above four 
times its true value, and then he set fire to it, having first 
made a collection of straw among the couples of his byre, 
which secured the burning alive of thirty cattle. All within 
ten days. It was for the fire-raising he was tried ; and 
being convicted, I must confess that the torture of the 
poor cattle gave me great pleasure in transporting him 
for twenty years. 

Home to-morrow. 

BONALY, Friday Night, l$th April 1850. We left Tar- 
bet yesterday at nine, got to Glasgow at half-past two, 
left Glasgow at four, were in Edinburgh at half-past five, 
and here by seven. This gives me a peck of three days 
amidst my hyacinths and primroses, and on Monday I 
breakfast at Glasgow. 


BONALY, Wednesday, 1st May 1850. After that break- 
fast Moncreiff and I went to Court, and worked away 
diligently, and with a total abstinence of all unnecessary 
speech, yet we could not finish our 74 cases in that week. 
I therefore came home by the train that leaves Glasgow at 
four, and passed Saturday evening and all Sunday here. 
On Monday the 29th I returned to Glasgow by ten o'clock, 
and was kept there till next day (yesterday) at three. 
This was far too long for 74 cases, of which not, I should 
suppose, above 65 were actually tried. But there were 
three long ones, each of which usurped a whole day. 



EDINBURGH, 5th November 1850. Moncreiff did Ayr; 
we met at Dumfries ; after which I meant to have done 

But on my way by rail from Bonaly to Dumfries, on 
Monday, 15th September, I was seized with what from its 
frequency seems to be an attack generated by railways, 
and reached Dumfries in great torture and great danger. 
I lay in the inn there (the King's Arms) twenty -three days 
before I could be brought back to Edinburgh, and never 
can forget the horrors, or the mercies, of the visitation. 
Of course it was a blank and bitter Circuit. I am not my- 
self yet, and sometimes wonder if it be true that I am 
still alive 1 

It is but justice to the King's Arms to record that, if 
any one should have to be severely ill in a Scotch inn, 
he should select this one, which, though in a noisy posi- 
tion, was quiet inside, and contained a household of the 
most devoted attention and apparently affectionate kind- 



APRIL 1851. 

TARBET, Tuesday, 8th April 1851. Mrs. Cockburn, 
my daughter Johanna, and my granddaughter Lily, left 
Edinburgh yesterday at four P.M., and stayed at Glasgow all 
night. To-day we came here. A beautiful day it has 

I little fancied, last September, when Moncreiff took 
leave of me, two-thirds dead, at Dumfries, to do my work 
at Jedburgh, that he, and not I, was to be first removed 
from these scenes. But alas ! he died a few days ago 
(30th March 1851). I shall try to do justice to his 
character in some other place. Meanwhile, a Circuit with- 
out him seems to me a left-handed affair. Ivory, whom I 
am to meet at Glasgow, is my colleague now. 

LuSs, Friday t llth April 1851, Night. We went to 
Inveraray on Wednesday the 9th ; I was in Court there yes- 
terday till six ; left it to-day, and were here by four, where 
we repose all night. 

The weather has been perfect, and if I had not prosed 
enough about scenery too often already, I would feel par- 
ticularly impelled to do it now. The three lochs were 
never more glorious. But the two salt ones have no 
chance with the fresh. 

I think it was when I was on this Circuit in spring 
1850 that I observed that the marble slab on Smollett's 



monument in the village now called Renton was falling 
out, and that it had been gradually doing so for years. 
The whole monument, indeed, was in a disgraceful state, 
going to ruin on the spot of his birth, and near the dwell- 
ings of his descendants, and in one of the richest districts 
of Scotland. In my indignation I wrote a statement of 
the case, and sent it to my old Outer House friend, Mr. 
Outram, who now conducts the most widely spread news- 
paper in Glasgow. He published this, and powerfully 
appealed to the proper feelings of all concerned himself. 

Well, when I came this way again last Tuesday, I 
expected to find it all right. Brutes ! it is worse than 
ever ! Nothing has been done, except by time, and a few 
months more must see the tablet fall and break. I shall 
renew my exposure ; and I am strongly inclined to do it 
openly and in my own name. One pound would do it 
probably, and certainly five would. Yet to save this sum, 
and a little care, nativity, nationality, and pedigree all 
stand by and see it fall into gradual, but rapid and certain, 
ruin. It is inconceivable, and would justify any terms of 

BONALY, Saturday Night, 12th April 1851. We came 
here to-day from Luss. Stirling which Ivory takes 
comes next, and Glasgow on the 22d. 

BONALY, Saturday, Noon, 26th April 1851. On Thurs- 
day the 17th Mrs. Cockburn and I went from this to 
Thornton, Ayrshire, to visit her sister and spouse, the 
Cunninghams, and stayed there till the evening of Monday 
the 22d, when we went to Glasgow. 

Next day Ivory and I went to hold the two Courts, a 
sensible innovation first begun by him and me there in 
January 1850. Luckily there was no cavalry in the town. 
2 A 


and so we got quit of the absurdity of always going to do 
justice surrounded by redcoats, sabres, and clattering 
hoofs, which, however, some of my brethren still love. 
The business lasted four clays, and we came home last 

No ferlies to tell. Yes, I saw Outram, who told me 
that Smollett's representative, whose estate is near the 
monument, holds that since the family erected it, nobody 
else shall interfere, and that he himself shall have the sole 
honour of repairing it. But then there are two considera- 
tions which obstruct him. One is that he has been blamed 
for not doing it. The other that it will cost a few pounds, 
perhaps even four or five ; a monstrous sum, considering 
that he has laid out several pounds already. And thus I 
suppose it will be allowed to disappear under the joint 
action of touchiness and penury. He should put the 
inscription on a metal tablet, and add 2 a year to the 
salary of the schoolmaster beside it, provided its preserva- 
tion shall show that his taws have done their duty. At 
present it is, as the inscription says, " Amoris, eheu ! 
inane monumentum." 



BONALY, 5th October 1851. This Circuit Journal has 
become so insignificant that I had forgotten to make any 
entry of it till this volume, when I happened to open the 
desk that contained it, seemed to reproach me. 

But this is all I have to say 

I went to Kirklands, alone, on Friday the 1 2th of Septem- 
ber, and stayed there till the morning of Monday the 15th, 
when I went to Jethart, and did justice there, from ten 
to half-past three, on six paltry villains. George Dundas 
and I then walked up the Jed, in the sweetest of evenings. 
At six that beastly Circuit dinner was held. It was 
described in the papers next day as "an elegant entertain- 
ment" Elegance and the Spread Eagle at Jedburgh 
probably never came together before; and the only 
elegance that I am aware of, was, that nineteen persons 
drank thirty-five bottles of wine. At night George and I 
returned to Kirklands, so that the eagle had me in his 
claws scarcely at all. 

I came home on Wednesday the 17th. 

On Friday the 19th Mrs. Cockburn and I, and my 
daughter Johanna, and my granddaughter Lily, went to 
Thornton, near Kilmarnock, where my brother-in-law, Mr. 
Cunningham, was living; and on Monday the 22d, I, 
leaving the rest there, went to Doonholm, the hired seat of 
my Lord Justice-Clerk, where I dined, and stayed all 



night. Lord Ivory was there, and he and I processed into 
Ayr next morning to breakfast, after which we judicially 
dittoed eight dittos, and then had a glorious walk along 
the beach, from four to near six. Then came the banquet. 
And then, that night, I drove back to Thornton. 

Ivory did Dumfries alone. I had no desire to excite 
the recollection of the sufferings there of last autumn. 

And so ends the South Circuit of autumn 1851. 
Twenty-four cases in all, out of a population of nearly 
half a million. 

An accident occurred at Ayr worth being recorded for 
the edification of the idolaters of Form. A few hours 
before the Court was to open, the clerk came to me with 
his hair on end, and announced that, by some blunder, 
none of the proper technical papers had arrived from 
Edinburgh. There were no original indictments, declara- 
tions, or productions, no executions, consequently no 
evidence that any accused, or juryman, or prisoner, had 
been cited to attend no anything. I bade him hold his 
tongue, and proceed as if everything was right, and 
explained to all the counsel who were present for 
prisoners what had happened, and that their objecting 
could only end in the trials being put off, and their clients 
suffering longer imprisonment. In this state we proceeded 
to business. What communication took place between 
them and the prisoners I do not know, but everything 
went on as usual. Jurors and witnesses attended and 
acted, copies were read instead of originals, and nobody 
could have suspected that there was any flaw. No Circuit 
could proceed more quietly, or more effectively ; nor was 
any attempt ever made to raise any doubt afterwards. A 
valuable precedent against nonsense. 


APRIL 1852. 

ABERDEEN, Thursday Night, 8th April 1852. I left 
Bonaly this morning at eight, with my daughter Johanna. 
At half-past nine Miss Susan Lauder joined us at the 
station, and we dived into the tunnel for Granton, crossed 
to Burntisland in less than half an hour, and in three 
hours from our first moving, were at Broughty. We 
stayed there two and a half hours, and at 3.15 set out 
again by the rails, and in about three hours were here. 

My object in selecting this track was to avoid the long 
round by Stirling and Perth, and to get the rest at 
Broughty ; Dumfries having taught me, in September 
1850, that too much railery is an unbecoming thing for an 
aged judge. 

I never was in Broughty before. It is the Portobello 
of Dundee. And, except in one particular, it is decidedly 
superior to the Portobello of Edinburgh. It is backed by 
high rising ground, and of uneven surface, on which are 
perched an increasing variety of good gardened houses, 
some of which are obviously excellent mansions; and it 
has a visible and near coast opposite, instead of the bound- 
less sea. But it wants the glorious Portobello sands; 
and it seems to me that its marine ablutions must be 
greatly interfered with by the intervention of the railway 
between the houses and the sea. The want of shore-line 



makes Portobello the least marine of any sea-place I 

The day was beautiful. But except the ocean and per- 
fect farming, there is nothing to attract from Burntisland 
to Aberdeen. The sea was dead calm, under a sleepy 
haze, the fields all dressed like gardens, and all in dry, 
weedless purity. 

WESTHALL, Saturday Afternoon, 1 Oth April 1852. We 
left Aberdeen yesterday forenoon, and came here. 

This place is about nine miles from Inverurie, and one 
from Pitmachie, and about one mile off the high-road to 
the West. My excellent friend Lord Ivory took it on lease 
last year, and has it till next May. He has a very odd 
custom of going to the country every year, but of changing 
his quarters every two, or at most three, seasons. I have 
known him in I should suppose at least a dozen of rura- 
lities, including Mid-Lothian, West Lothian, Peeblesshire, 
Argyle, Aberdeen, etc., and this summer he honours Perth- 
shire. It is a good way to see districts, but not to enjoy 
the country. A man's taste for nature must be very abstract 
which attaches itself to no particular scene, which has no 
alliances with its known fields, or trees, or flowers, no 
associations with the effects of the sun as it revisits his 
chosen haunts or prospects. Accordingly, it is fishing 
that he is chiefly hooked by ; and, to be sure, a lover of 
the angle is very apt to love angling alone. 

This was the portion of earth from which the judge 
called Lord Westhall took his official title. He reigned 
on the bench from 1777-84. It is a very enjoyable place, 
at least in the splendid weather of yesterday and to-day. 
The old portion of the house, though very small, is worthy 
of Aberdeenshire. The original tower, and the secondary 
structure, are both very curious. The tower very pictur- 


esque. A modern addition has been recently made, much 
to the inward comfort of the domicile, but of the most 
unnecessary abominableness outside. It is nearly sur- 
rounded by hills, which, however, are not so near as to 
form parts of the home scenery. One of these, and the 
nearest about two miles off is the famous Benachie, 
at the back of which the Gawdie runs the said Gawdie 
being within three or four hundred yards of the house 
I am sorry to be obliged to confess that there is as little 
poetry in the stream (but plenty trout) as in any poetised 
stream I ever saw. It flows through an open, and bare, 
and rockless country, and has not pebbles enough to keep 
itself always pure. Bennachie is a very respectable range 
of mountain, with one towering summit, and one or two 
of lesser pretensions, no rocky accompaniments that are 
apparent, and no ravines or corries, but a very respectable 
long line of hill. 

To-day we drove round it a drive of about twenty miles. 
On this side of it is the Gawdie, on the other side the Don. 
This side is generally woodless; the other all wooded. 
We went through Castle Forbes and a good deal of Mony- 
musk, through both of which the Don flows. Lord 
Forbes (who forsakes the Scotch Don for the society of an 
English priest) has lately built a new house, in as bad 
taste as possible. It seemed to me like a copy of the house 
at Johnstone, near Paisley; only what maybe excusable 
in one place may be inexcusable in the other. Castle 
Forbes is on the Don, and in Aberdeenshire ! I wonder 
that the builder did not tremble lest the true old castles 
of this most architectural shire should step out and tread 
his base tower and contemptible bright freestone under their 
feet. I saw no ornamental attempt about the grounds ; 
but Nature has done as much as she can ever do for river 
scenery with no rock, and with only young wood. But 


the hills, the stream, the cultivated hattghs, and the pro- 
fusion of wood scarcely middle-aged, made miles of the 
valley delightful, even though the trees, including the very 
larches, were all leafless. In summer it must be beautiful. 

The Monymusk forests seem to me much older, and the 
whole character of the ground consequently much superior. 

But, in every respect, the strath of the Don is greatly 
inferior to the strath of the Dee. 

Industry can point to no greater triumph than to this 
part of Scotland called Garioch. The people's slow vic- 
tory over obstacles that would have seemed insuperable 
even to a Dutchman, is perfectly astonishing. The result 
is, large districts of cleared, open fields, treeless and hedge- 
less, fenced by mounds of great granite blocks, and all 
admirably cultivated, though with almost no sheep pasture. 
Every manageable portion seems to have been given up, 
to be subdued, to one or to a few families, which seem to 
have become the tenants of what their toil had created. 
One pleasing effect of this system has been the scattering of 
small farmers and " toons " all over the reclaimed regions, 
with their simple but comfortable establishments of little 
barn-yards, peat-stacks, and hoary splashing mills. I saw 
in one village, of about a dozen of one-storied houses, this 
sign : " Entertainment for men and horses, clothier, and 
grocer." And another announcing "Lodgings and small 

KNOCKOMIE, Friday Night, 1 6th April 1852. On the 
llth of April we went from Westhall to this very agree- 
able nest, which took us from about nine to five. Next 
day, till five o'clock, was passed on the Findhorn, and at 
dear Kelugas. No such river scenery in Scotland. 

At five we set out for Inverness. 

Next day, being Tuesday the 13th, the Court opened 


there, and the business lasted till Thursday (yesterday) 
about two. 

The only interesting case was that of Mrs. and Mr. 
Fraser, a mother and her son (a lad), who had chosen 
to poison their father, a shopkeeper in Ross-shire. They 
thought him a useless creature, and that they would be 
better without him, especially as the wife had forged 
his name to bills, in reference to which his removal, before 
they became due, would be convenient. I never saw 
a couple of less amiable devils. The mother especially, 
had a cold, hard eye, and a pair of thin resolute lips, pro- 
ducing an expression very fit for a remorseless and steady 
murderess. She saw her daughter, a little girl, brought 
in as a witness, and heard her swear that there were no 
rats in the house, and that her father's sufferings were 
very severe, with a look of calm, severe ferocity, which 
would have done no discredit to the worst woman in hell. 
They were both convicted, but I fear that the gallows 
won't get its due. A legal doubt occurred, on which we 
held ourselves bound to consult the Court before pro- 
nouncing sentence ; and if this doubt be resolved in the 
prisoners' favour, they will escape altogether ; and even if 
it be decided against them, the delay will probably save 
their lives, which will be a pity. 

We came here again yesterday evening. This day was 
spent in paying visits in Forres, at Dalvey, and at Altyre. 
At Dalvey I saw the Victoria Lily for the first time, not 
in flower, but living, and in leaf. I was taken to visit an 
old lady in Forres, called Miss Macpherson, certainly a 
person well worth seeing. She called herself eighty, but 
is said to be eighty-four, and has a face which must have 
once been beautiful, and is still very handsome. She is 
in perfect preservation, and in great talk ; has known, and 
recollects every person and every event in the north of 


Scotland in her day ; is always in excellent spirits, and 
has a delightful northern accent and dialect, with a will- 
ing flow of strong sense and acute observation, generally 
of a cheerful character. A most enviable specimen of old 
age. She twice made use of an expression which struck 
me as very descriptive. I had asked who a particular 
Grant and a particular Fraser were, and she, meaning to 
describe them as just of their respective clans, said of each, 
" Hoot, he 's just the growth of the ground" She goes to 
Edinburgh in a few days to get her tusks repaired. " Not 
from vanity, but because I can't eat well." 

I went to Altyre to see Sir William Gumming, but 
missed him, a far more curious creature than any that 
his son Eoualeyn encountered in Africa. 

ABERDEEN, Monday Night, 19th April 1852. We went 
from Knockomie to Westhall last Saturday, the 17th, 
and stayed there till this forenoon. Yesterday I walked 
with Archibald Davidson, the Sheriff of Aberdeenshire, to 
very nearly the top of Benachie. Fog made it needless 
to go on. It is a very easy, and for prospect a very 
useless exploit. 

PERTH, Thursday Night, 22d April 1852. We left 
Aberdeen to-day at 2.30, after two contemptible and very 
tiresome days in Court. 

While there I heard of the deaths of two locally great 

One was James Gordon of Craig, whom I have men- 
tioned already, the most splutteratious of orators, but who 
seeded in his old age into a very kind and respectable 
country gentleman. 

The other was William, Baron Panmure, who was 
buried last Tuesday, aged above eighty, of whose virtues 


and grand funeral the district rings. The funeral, no 
doubt, was as grand as a mob of tenants and dependants, 
and police officers, and military pensioners, and magis- 
trates, and all manner of burgh feculence, could make it. 
He had lived all his life among them, and had always 
made himself popular with those who chose to be submis- 
sive, and, to such, was never close in the fist. But the 
virtues were a different matter. To his unfriends and 
he made many he was insanely brutal. His wife, his 
daughters, and at least two of his three sons, he compelled 
to fly from his house his daughters at midnight, and 
ever after shut his door and his heart against them; 
neither time nor their worth ever abating his mad and 
savage hatred. And so it was with every one who in- 
curred the ineffaceable guilt of daring to resist the capri- 
cious and intolerant despotism of his will. He would 
have roasted every soul of them, and their bodies too. A 
spoiled beast from its infancy. 

His oldest son, who presumed to save his sisters by 
helping them out of the house, was the object of his pecu- 
liar hatred ; a hatred which the public eminence of the 
son rather aggravated than lessened. About two years 
ago the monster celebrated his survivance from a danger- 
ous illness by a dinner to some of his tenants. His health, 
of course, was drunk, after which he gave " The Disap- 
pointed one" meaning his son ; upon which a farmer quietly 
observed that " he had never heard the Deil drunk before." 

My plan, on leaving Aberdeen, was to have been to- 
night at Birnam, and to have passed the next three days 
there. For this purpose I had written to the Birnam host 
to send a carriage for me to the Dunkeld road station. 
But on reaching that station, no carriage appeared ; and 
while we were wondering and speculating, the train that 
had taken us there was allowed to proceed ; and we were 


left, ten miles from Birnam, and four from Perth, on the 
road, at six P.M. It looked, for some time, as if we 
should have had to walk here. But at last we got a car 
for our three selves, and a cart for the luggage, and made 
for this harbour of refuge. But this misadventure, joined 
to our first bad weather, has extinguished our Birnam 
visions, and reconciled me to the unnatural idea of return- 
ing home to-morrow and passing the two next days at 
Bonaly, before opening the criminal fire here on Monday. 
This is a sad break in a North Circuit. But I shall see 
my too soon blown, and too rapidly dying, hyacinths. 

Steell's magnificent bust of old Panmure, which has 
been erected, I believe, in the Town Hall of one of his 
parasite burghs, will transmit to any posterity that may 
inquire about him, an idea of his outer man. As a work 
of art, it is admirable ; and though those who never saw 
the original must suppose it to be colossal, it is rather a 
miniature of one who was nearly as monstrous in coarse 
bodily structure as in the composition of his mind. It 
has already transpired by his settlement that the wretch 
maintained his domestic fiendism to the last. He is under- 
stood to have left a considerable personal residue to a 
domestic captain, and only about 2000 to one of his 
three poor daughters, and a sort of curse to a son. If it 
be so, the pleasure of anticipating the posthumous effect 
of this living heartlessness, was, next to predominating 
over a jovial crew of low flatterers, probably his greatest 
living luxury. 

PERTH, Thursday Night, 2$th April 1852. I enjoyed the 
hyacinths for two days, having gone to Bonaly on Friday 
the 23d, and stayed there on Saturday and Sunday, and 
returned here to breakfast on Monday last the 26th, where 
Ivory rejoined me. 


There was one buff hyacinth that, of itself, was worth 
the whole journey. It shone, amidst its fellows, like a 
speech by Logan at Stirling. I was just in time to catch 
their dying odours. 

We are here still, but shall return to peace and Eden 

This has been the most murderous Circuit I have ever 
known. Besides the two Frasers at Inverness, we have 
had three Cains here viz., Thomas Lyneham, who beat 
his sister-in-law so as to cause her to die ; Mrs. Blyth, who 
broke her old mother's head with the tongs ; and Charles 
Fancoat, who plunged a butcher's knife literally through 
the body of a fellow-workman who had struck him with 
the fist some time before. However, there was only one 
capital sentence. The sister-in-law was in such bad 
health, that this raised one of the doubts, at which juries are, 
justly, so apt to catch, and he was treated as an assaulter. 
Mrs. Blyth was proved to have been insane when she did 
her deed, and was disposed of accordingly. She was a 
hard, sensible-like woman, who lived in a village in Fife 
with her mother, to whom she was much attached. But 
the daughter's reason had been gradually leaving her for 
two years, till at last it was gone, and she passed her time 
in visionary misery in bed. One of her prevailing alarms 
was for her nose, which seemed a very respectable article ; 
but she was convinced that it had got black, and was 
going to fall off. When told that she had killed her 
mother, she said, " Weel, had she no lived lang eneuch." 
Nevertheless, she was clearly of opinion that she herself 
ought to be hanged, and was disappointed when the cere- 
mony was avoided. Fancoat, though strongly recom- 
mended to mercy by the jury, will probably suffer. His 
was a clear murder. He and his victim had been quarrel- 
ling throughout the day, and in these half-drunken con- 


flicts he had been ill-used. But at last they had parted, 
and he was safe, when, instead of being quiet, he went 
and borrowed a long and mortal knife, and proceeded 
apparently in quest of the other man, and meeting him, 
gave him a strong stab, which produced death in a few 
minutes. He is a young Englishman, of excellent charac- 
ter, whose good feelings were evinced to those who, 
like me, observed his emotion when some of his native 
villagers came forward to attest his peaceableness and 
humanity of disposition. I cannot help wishing that his 
life may be spared. It was whisky and groundless fear 
that, for the moment, overthrew his better nature. 1 

My excellent friend A. S. Logan was counsel, both in 
this case and in that of the Erasers, for the prisoners, and 
shone in neither. He is a very curious man. To talent, 
sense, and a considerable power of speaking, he joins great 
kindliness, perfect honesty, and a more comfortable pre- 
dominance of professional candour than generally is, or 
can be reduced to practice amidst legal conflicts. His 
father was a dissenting minister at St. Ninians, and if his 
son could have got out of the manse a little in his youth, 
especially to England, he might perhaps have refined him- 
self out of some of his defects. For he has the misfor- 
tunes of a homely, good-natured vulgarity, a bad, loud 
voice, a taste for bad jokes, which owe all their effect to 
their resolving into Loganisms, and a propensity, always 
dangerous, towards stories about himself. These things, 
which he thinks his excellences, keep him in a lower 
sphere than his talent, his honesty, and his worth belong 
to. I have a great regard for him, and mean to adven- 
ture on an admonition some day. But I fear that his 
skin has now become too Ethiopian. 

1 He has only been transported. 


BONALY, Saturday Night, 1st May 1852. Ivory, wiio was 
panting for his two last weeks of Westhall (for he goes 
this year to Kossie Ochil), left me yesterday morning, and 
would dine in Garioch. Only one case, but a most 
brutal one, remained, and in a couple of hours it ended in 
a transportation for life. 

I need scarcely say that it came from Dundee, certainly 
now, and for many years past, the most blackguard place in 
Scotland. Perth and its shire are always remarkably inno- 
cent. Nearly the whole guilt at this place proceeds from the 
two counties of Fife and Forfarshire, and, of course, chiefly 
from their towns. Of these towns, Kirkcaldy, Cupar, and 
Montrose seem well behaved enough. Arbroath is not 
good ; Dunfermline (always meaning the district) very bad ; 
Dundee a sink of atrocity, which no moral flushing seems 
capable of cleansing. A Dundee criminal, especially if a 
lady, may be known, without any evidence about character, 
by the intensity of the crime, the audacious bar air, and the 
parting curses. What a set of she-devils were before us ! 
Mercy on us ! if a tithe of the subterranean execration 
that they launched against us, after being sentenced, was 
to be as effective as they wished it, commination never 
was more cordial. 

Our weather could not have been better for our pur- 
poses, if we ourselves had had the choice of it. How 
beautifully Inverness and Perth lay, in the mornings, amidst 
their calm rising smoke, their bursting verdure, and their 
soft, glorious rivers. 

Our accusing spirit was David Mure, of whom eight 
years more of acquaintance enables me to confirm all that 
I have already said. 

I never owed so little to books on any Circuit. My 
friend Susan Lauder, when left to herself, was steadily 
busy with an Italian work which professed to make 


Astronomy clear to the simple : and Johanna turned over 
the leaves of a variety of circulating library trash. No 
relief for me there. For myself I had Adam Grahame of 
Mossgray, a new novel by the young authoress (whose name 
I forget) who has written some other excellent Scotch 
fictitious stories. This seems to me to be a considerable 
descent, for her. I could only yawn and nod over it. 
But then I had in the 194th number another of the sound 
and learned, but heavy opiates of the reverenced Edinburgh 
Review ; and this generally made the nod sink into 



OCTOBER 1852. 

, 25th October 1852. What a date for a Circuit ! 
But last July the Richardsons were idle enough, or kind 
enough, to wish to read this journal, and I sent it to them, 
and only brought it back from Kirklands to-day. 

However, I have nothing but dates to tell about my 
Western Circuit of September. 

I went alone (!) to Stirling on Wednesday, the 15th, in 
the forenoon, and had rather an alarming entry into that 
historical city. The magistrates met me at the station, 
from whence we processed to the hotel, they on foot, and 
my lord in his four-horsed carriage. But no sooner had 
my lord got near the hotel, than the band of the 42d 
Regiment, a company of which was posted at the door, 
struck up a sudden crash of drums and pipes, whereupon 
the unmilitary steeds made a furious and sharp counter- 
march, and were flying down the steep street, to the 
horror of the spectators, when, after throwing off the 
drivers, they were brought to a halt by one of them fall- 
ing on its side, on which his lordship whisked out, by the 
aid of a bailie, who said, " Gude God ! the like o' this 
never happened in the toon o' Stirling before." 

Leonard Horner, Mrs. and Miss Joanna Homer, Mr. 
John Tait, Sheriff of Clackmannan, and his brother 
Archibald, now Dean of Carlisle (but to be a bishop), dined 
with me. A pleasant evening. 
2 B 


Next day, the 1 6th, was for the Court, which was dis- 
solved about four, and then followed the tiresome and 
disreputable dinner. 

On the 17th I came home, with the Homers. 

Stirling was never more glorious than during these two 

I remained at home from the 17th till Friday the 24th, 
when, with my daughter-in-law Mary, I went to Thornton 
in Ayrshire to visit my sister-in-law Mrs. Cunninghame ; 
and on the morning of Monday the 27th I went to Glasgow. 
I was there joined by Ivory, who had been at Inverness, 
and we opened the Court at twelve. The business there 
lasted till the evening of Friday the 1st of October, and 
I returned home on Saturday the 2d. 

A shabby affair. 

The Depute was Edward Gordon. He is agreeable, 
modest, and able ; one of the very best specimens of our 
bar Celts. His talent, industry, and power of pleasing 
distinct speaking, I predict will raise him high in his pro- 
fession. He is one of the few counsel who can be calm 
without feebleness, and argumentative without vehemence. 
Listening to Edward Gordon arguing law is like listening 
to a piece of what is meant to be mathematics. The 
demonstration may often fail, the demonstration tone 


WINTER 1853. 

EDINBURGH, 2 MANOR PLACE, I9th January 1853. I 
had nearly forgotten the late Glasgow Circuit, the last 
winter one / shall last to go. 

I went to Glasgow alone (!) on the morning of Monday, 
3d January 1853, and, after the usual proceedings, Jgot 
home in the forenoon of Thursday the 6th. Ivory's cases 
detained him in Court for some hours upon that day ; but 
he was domestically housed that night. 

I have little else to record. 

The whole four days and nights were one ceaseless tor- 
rent of rain, which fell through one unbroken mass of cold, 
thick, wet, palpable fog, through which carts, cabs, vans, 
drays, and all sorts of manufacturing conveyances roared, 
as usual, without above two hours' cessation in the twenty- 
four. These two hours of truce were, and in Glasgow are, 
between two and four in the morning, before and after 
which neither London nor hell contain any vehicular roar 
more accursedly magnificent. Indeed, even these two hours 
are not always safe. For when I was deluding myself, in my 
second night watch, with the hope of silence and Elysium, 
the roar went on till four o'clock roused the whole host of 
labour to the toil and the noise of the day. And what 
caused this exception ? A ball, in the college, at the pro- 
fessors of divinity ! The least offensive sort of theological 


There were two cases of murder, with convictions in 
both. One was a mere commonplace affair of a woman 
drowning her illegitimate infant. About 2500 decent 
women have petitioned the Crown for a commutation. 1 
The other was the case of a fellow who, in hatred of 
his stepmother, intimated his determination to kill the 
child which she was soon to be delivered of, and kept his 
word by cutting off its head. His defence was insanity. 
A.nd no doubt he was as mad as gusts of passion could 
make him, but not nearly mad enough to cut off heads 
with impunity. However, I did not discourage the jury 
from convicting him, and thus avoiding the usual dan- 
gerous verdict, but recommending him to mercy on the 
ground of his intellect being defective. This they did, and 
his life has been allowed to proceed. But as the public 
reason on this question has been returning of late, the 
next half-crazy murderer will probably fare worse. 
i And they succeeded. 


SPRING 1853. 

BONALY, IQth April 1853, Saturday. On the evening 
of Wednesday last, the 13th, I went alone, by rail, to 
Melrose, took horses there, and got under the wings of 
the Spread Eagle at nine. Was in Court next day till 
four, then up the Jed with George Dundas, a walk 
I never willingly miss. There is something in that 
valley that never fails to move me. The lateness of 
this season deprived it of its due of leaves, but it was 
rich in buds and mavises ; its haugh, where grassy, 
was so green, and where under crop, so clean and so 
evenly harrowed, its stream so pure, and all so soft and 
peaceful, that it felt like an amiable heart. He must 
be very prosaic indeed whom the softness of that glen, 
especially in the evening, does not touch with some 
poetical emotion. 

After a beastly dinner, and another night of the Bird of 
Jove, I drove yesterday to Melrose to breakfast, and feel 
bound to record the unrivalled excellence of the fried eggs 
.and bacon. Melrose and its associates were most beautiful. 
But on the whole I think Jedburgh the better place of 
the two ; not perhaps in its actual and present state, for 
it is squalid in daily increasing poverty, but in its possi- 
bilities. It has a deeper feeling of old repose. The ruin, 
though less beautiful than that of Melrose, is grander. 
For enjoyment and personal affection, the little Jed is 


not inferior to the large and guarded historic Tweed. 
Jedburgh nestles better into its hidden nook. All that it 
needs is the summer attraction of visitors and families to 
put some life and some pence into it. Melrose is greatly 
improving itself in this way, owing to its having a railway 
at its door. If Jedburgh cannot get its dotage stopped 
somehow, the abbey will soon be the liveliest thing 
in it. 

Whoever wishes to see the contrast between the Scotch 
past and the Scotch present, should look on Melrose and 
Galashiels, and on Jedburgh and Hawick. Mouldering 
ruins, attesting the predominance of a single worship, and 
that the papal, and connected with great national occur- 
rences, solitude, poverty, and silence, on the one side ; and, 
but a few miles off, manufactures, bustle, wealth, popula- 
tion, and newness, on the other ; the solitary ruins sink 
the modern vulgarities into contempt. Both are best, but 
each in its place. Trade cannot mix itself with the 
sacred haunts of visible antiquity without profaning or 
destroying them, and should therefore keep to its own 
place. And I suppose it is from conscious shame that it 
generally does so 

I left Melrose at 11.15, and was here in my natural 
grey jacket attire by two. 

In one case I added hard labour to imprisonment a 
thing I never did, or saw done, in our Justiciary before. 
It is only now that we are enabled to do it by Govern- 
ment, through the Prison Board having prescribed what 
the hardness should consist in. It ought to be part of the 
punishment of male incorrigibles in almost all cases. 

Ivory goes in a few days to Dumfries, after which the 
waters meet at Ayr. 

THORNTON, Sunday Forenoon, Ztth April 1853. My 


daughter Johanna and I came here from Bonaly the day 
before yesterday ; from hence I go to Craigie House to- 
morrow, and we hoist the Bloody Flag on Tuesday the 

One of my youthful acquaintances was Robert Kennedy, 
eldest son of the then John Kennedy of Underwood. He 
came to the bar a year or two after me, and died in 1805. 
We were very intimate for about six years, and had a 
kindred ardour in the pursuit of all things becoming 
ambitious youths. We read and discoursed about litera- 
ture and philosophy wrote essays and made orations in 
the Speculative Society; dined, and quaffed, and recited 
verse, and walked for ever the sea, Roslin, and Arthur 
Seat being our favourite haunts. I went twice to see him at 
Underwood, which is within about five or six miles from Ayr, 
and on one of these occasions (in 1802, I think) remained 
about six weeks. None of the family were there except 
his father a very kind and excellent man, whose only 
defect consisted in an intense, and somewhat fantastic, 
desire not only to be a gentleman, which he really was in 
his conduct and feelings, but to appear like one in his 
manners and talk. So Robert and I had six weeks of 
Ayrshire rusticity, in July and August, to ourselves ; and 
we enjoyed it greatly. We walked, and coach -topped, all 
over the country, got deep in the then perpetual balls and 
dinners and flirtations of Ayr, and as the gentleman was 
never from home, and was very kind and social with us, 
we were always sure of a good plain dinner, and any 
quantity of wine and of punch, with him. They were very 
happy days. Our most ambitious labour was in the con- 
struction of a bathing-place in a small burn near the 
house. We were tempted to it by the excessive heat of 
the season, the umbrage of two or three respectable 
beeches, and the pleasure of toiling, especially as the 


toil provoked the dinner goblets of porter, and the evening 
cups of wine. We worked more than half naked, and 
were bitten as red as partans by the horse-flies and 
midges, which, however, produced refreshing contrasts by 
perpetual plunges into the pool. I left it all finished 
when I came home, the model, as we thought, of a rustic, 
open air, burn bath, and our names cut, for immortality, 
into the bark of a beech. 

Well, I never again beheld the scene of all this till 
yesterday. John Kennedy, Eobert's brother, who is now 
the laird, was obliged to leave Edinburgh from bad health 
about three years ago, and retired to Underwood ; hearing 
that I was to be in the neighbourhood, he invited me to 
go and see him and the place. I said that I would, and 
yesterday did so. 

The place, which is a mere farm, and has very little 
beauty, either natural or artificial, is nearly quite unchanged. 
A recent porch has improved the house, and the adjoining 
steading is modernised. The burn trickles as of yore. 
But of the bath, though long protected, after Eobert's 
death, by the affection of his father, not a vestige remains, 
not a particle or a trace. Vegetation has effaced our very 
names from the tree. I fancied that I could plausibly 
refer to a few marks as showing that it still owned frag- 
ments of us, but was conscious that the truth was that 
it did not, successions of other names, down apparently 
to last year, have followed ours, and are all passing into 
our oblivion. Such is vanity, or glory, or the aversion to 
be forgotten. 

Few things are more fallacious than anticipations as to 
how young men are, or are not, to turn out. But, though 
his manner was good, I still think that if poor Eobert's 
life had been prolonged, he would have been distin- 
guished ; for his abilities were superior, and they were 


combined with great industry, ardent ambition, and excel- 
lent affections. His poor father survived him many 
years, but his spirit was always hovering about his son's 

I saw a journal yesterday which it seems that Eobert had 
been in the practice of keeping. It contained this entry : 
" 7th June 1803. Dined with Cockburn, sate till four" 
(he means next morning), " walked " (i.e. both of us) " to 
Arthur's Seat, and returned at five in the morning." Thus 
summed up. "Study, 6J hours; company, 15 J; exer- 
cise, 2 ; sleep, 0." 

He and Richardson and I were insatiable of Arthur 
Seat and sun's rising. It was our Parnassus. And this was 
a common way of enjoying it. First to dine about four, 
to be sociable for a few hours, then a walk, then more 
sociality from about ten till the sun's hour was approach- 
ing, then up the hill, and then down to a few hours' 
sleep, or, as on this day with Kennedy, to feverish study. 
Yet, TAKE NOTICE, there never was the slightest drunken- 
ness. Elevation there was; but it stopped far, very 
far, below the intoxication mark. Excess in wine was 
never the habit of any set of friends into which I have 
been thrown. 

BONALY, 29^ April 1853. I left Thornton on Monday 
the 25th ; dined and stayed all night at Craigie House ; 
was in Court on Tuesday and Wednesday the 26th and 
27th; got off on the 27th in time to dine at Thornton; 
stayed there all night; left it on 28th (yesterday), and was 
here to dinner. 

I expected to be kept much longer at Ayr ; but a 
friendly witness favoured a bad murderer by staying away, 
a culpably negligent railway guard had the sense to prefer 
outlawry to conviction ; and an apothecary weaver, who 



slew a child by a wrong dose, professed penitence and 
pleaded guilty, and these " Providences" as some religious 
pedants call such things, freed us. 

Our Depute was Andrew Clark, a youth of whom I 
augur very favourably. 



CASTLETON, BRAEMAR, Wednesday Night, 28th September 
1853. Ivory took Inverness, which I escaped. 

But on the day before yesterday being Monday the 
26th instant my daughter Johanna and I left Edinburgh 
at 6.30, and got to Perth, by Stirling, by ten. After 
remaining there three hours, we set off for Aberdeen, but 
had to wait for three-quarters of an hour at Forfar, an 
excellent arrangement, which all railways should be com- 
pelled to adopt, because pauses are good for the health and 
for looking about. At 5.15 we were at Aberdeen, and 
were borne into the granite city in a blaze of Circuit 

The only new thing that I observed along that dull 
Strathmore was the little village of Dubton, near Mon- 
trose. I was not in it, but it seemed to be an unusually 
nice Scotch village. It is common for inlanders to go 
to the seaside in summer ; and it seems to be as common 
for seasiders to go in summer inland. Each wants change. 
Dubton, I understand, is the summer retreat of the Mon- 
trosers; and their need of respectable houses has made 
this an unusually comfortable city of little villas. 

The business at Aberdeen was finished yesterday by 
three o'clock. Another unlicensed doctor had poisoned 
a child by an absurd dose. This Circuit is the first 
occasion on which we had to expound and apply the 



recently introduced punishment of "Penal Servitude" in 
place of short transportations. I augur no good of it. 

After getting out, Ivory, Archibald Davidson the Sheriff, 
and I, spent two hours on the harbour and the pier. We 
went over a very fine new ship, which was nearly finished, 
and means, in four months, to be dashing aside the waves 
of Australia. But, as in all British traders, the place for the 
crew was disgracefully small, dark, and airless. We also 
saw a ship on the stocks, which (though only about 1500 
tons), is the largest sailing vessel ever built in Scotland. 
It, and another ship beside it, were building in a yard 
entirely covered over. 

A part of the wreck of the Duchess of Sutherland, a largo 
passenger steamer, which was dashed to pieces upon the 
point of the pier a few months ago, with great loss of life, 
is still unremoved, and fixed in the sand. I was much 
struck by the appearance, of two gentlewomen, who were 
leaning on the rail at the pierhead. One I could swear 
had had her heart broken by that wreck, and was gazing 
on the fragments amidst which some dear one had perished. 
The other was standing aside, not obtruding, but visibly 
watching the emotion of her friend. 

We had a beastly Circuit dinner, on a sanded floor, and 
came eagerly away this morning from the stinking Eoyal 
Hotel, and breakfasting at Banchory, were here about 
five Ivory, his daughter, and daughter-in-law, being with 
us. I have nothing more to say about beautiful Deeside. 
But below Ballater it is not improving. Up to Banchory 
it is polluted by a railway ; the wood is disappearing, and 
agriculture is encroaching. Above Ballater it is unchanged, 
and I hope unchangeable, and the whole eighteen miles 
are glorious. The new house building for the Queen at 
Balmoral may be better than the old one for residence, but 
I don't anticipate that it will equal the old one in pictur- 


esque beauty. The day was not very good, and yet not 
very bad. It was excessively cold, with too much wind, 
and some surly showers. But on the whole there was a 
prevalence of bright light, and Lochnagar never shone in 
greater splendour. 

I think it my duty to record the unmatched merits of a 
leg of mutton which we had to-day at dinner. It was a 
leg which stands out even amidst all the legs of my long 
and steadily muttonised life. It was glorious. A leg of 
which the fat flats of England can have no idea, and which 
even Wales, in its most favoured circumstances, could only 
approach. It was a leg which told how it had strayed 
among mountains from its lambhood to its death. It 
spoke of winter straths and summer heights, of tender 
heather, Alpine airs, cold springs, and that short sweet 
grass which corries alone can cherish. These were the 
mettle of its pasture. It left its savour on the palate, 
like the savour of a good deed on the heart. And then 
the room was so breezy, and our cloak devices so diverting, 
and we were always heaping so much wood on the fire, 
and had so much true wit with an old body of a waiter, 
who said his name was Malcolm, and who was pleased by 
being dubbed the king, and the brandy and hot-water 
were so satisfactory, and the evening closed by such a 
comfortable drowsiness, that, joined to the leg, it was a 
worthy close of a worthy day. 

PERTH, Thursday Night, 23th September 1853. We left 
Castleton this morning at nine, and were here about six. 
A brilliant, though cold day. But a glorious district. 
I think I have tried to describe it somewhere already. 1 
am not sure but that the descent on this side is as good as 
the rise on the other. these large, heathery, silent 
hills! Treeless, peakless, and nearly reckless ! Great 


masses of solitary silence, broken only by high rills, tum- 
bling into raging and sparkling torrents in the valley ! 
And the gradual opening of the rich low country, ending 
in the beauty of Perth ! Were I to see it yearly for a 
thousand years, I cannot conceive that its impression 
would ever fade. 

EOSSIE OCHIL, Sunday Night, 2d October 1853. In 
Court all Friday and Saturday. And we must go back 
like the sow that hath been washed to our mire to-mor- 
row. Meanwhile Ivory and I came here from Perth to 
breakfast this morning. 

On Friday the sad and unexpected tidings of the death 
of Lord Anderson reached us. He was to have opened 
the Circuit at Glasgow to-morrow. His judicial life was 
only about a single year long. A good lawyer, a good 
judge, and a good and agreeable man, his sudden extinc- 
tion makes one think. The few remaining old targets 
must be struck soon. 

I was never at this spot before. Ivory has it on lease. 
The ten or twelve miles between it and Perth are all 
beautiful, and pass through several very desirable places. 
No sensible man would object to take either Moncreiffe, or 
Kilgraston, or Freeland, or Eossie, or Invermay, even 
under the necessity of living at them. This Eossie Ochil 
is an seolian residence on the eastern end of the Ochil 
range. It is a small, sensible house, standing on the very 
top of an almost treeless hill, in the midst of a wide 
amphitheatre of much higher hills, the inner circle all 
varied by many heights, and masses of wood, and farms, 
and deeply engraved into countless valleys and gullies, 
gurgling with countless bright little streams, all falling into 
the May, which, after becoming a river, yields itself up to 
the Earn, and thus goes, like thousands of other rivers, to 


swell the majestic Tay. The elevation and openness of 
this farmhouse kind of a spot secures its being smote by 
every gale that blows, and therefore I should suppose that 
it would seldom be too hot. But its views, and freedom, 
and fresh air, make it a place that I am certain I would 

We had a long saunter through the low countries, and 
found a profusion of clear and rocky waters, green old 
turfy haughs, respectable trees, and good agriculture, with 
decent children coming from the Sunday school, and old 
hinds lying on the grass, playing with infants. But even 
these were less interesting than Ivory's more early walk 
and mine to the top of Kinteuchar Hill. What a prospect ! 
Nothing inland could be nobler. But amidst all its splen- 
dours, there was nothing on which my eye rested with 
more pleasure than on the very humble farmhouse of Kin- 
teuchar. It was formerly tenanted by a poor farmer 
called Deas, whose son is now a judge, a man of fortune, 
and of great worth, and born in that place. What is 
more refreshing than the sight of the lowly cradles of 
eminent men '{ What is so luxurious as the delight of a 
poor father in the public elevation of an affectionate son ? 

And so I go to bed. But I must first add that from 
Braemar to this the higher grounds have been richly 
sprinkled with snow. 

BONALY, Wednesday Night, 5th October 1853. We came 
from Rossie Ochil to Perth on the morning of Monday 
the 3d, and were in Court till eight that night. Next 
morning Ivory went to Glasgow to do what would have 
been done by poor Lord Anderson. I stayed at Perth, and 
got the business concluded by about one. We left Perth, 
by Fife, at three, and were here by seven in the evening. 

The cases throughout the whole Circuit were common- 


place. There were no fewer than twelve attacks by mas- 
culine brutes on women and feminine children. Mary 
Mackenzie, an incorrigible thief, was almost the handsomest 
figure I ever saw at a criminal bar. Young, stately, 
intelligent looking, and with a calm manner, she looked 
like one who, under favourable circumstances, might have 
shone on the stage, or in a high drawing-room; but 
trained, as she had been, in iniquity, a steady eye, and a 
resolute lip showed that defiance of society had become a 
necessity of her position, and that little more was wanted 
to make her an excellent devil. I wanted her counsel 
to marry her, but the paltry fellow had not the courage. 

I am confident that this new-fangled " Penal Servitude " 
won't do, even if strictly enforced. But it is plain by the 
establishment of " Tickets of Leave," that Government means, 
or will be tempted, to save expense by emptying the jails 
upon the public, which will just be drenching us, instead 
of our colonies, with tolerated villains. 

I see that my Lord Justice-Clerk, John Hope, has been 
lecturing the authorities on his Circuit from the Bench, on 
the duties and the details of the stink removing precau 
tions against cholera. No other judge has thought this 
matter within his province. And clearly neither it is. 
It recalls the days, now about forty-five years gone, when 
the Circuit judgment-seat was regularly converted into a 
platform from which Tory judges preached Toryism to the 
Tory authorities beneath them. A discourse upon drains 
from the Bench ! Instructions to inspectors of nuisances by 
my lord the judge ! And the absurdity of the thing is, 
that as the scavengers are not bound to obey the wig, and 
know much more of their own business than the ermine 
does, they hear the obtrusive address and inwardly laugh 
at it. John, John ! when will you be modest 1 

I heard a Scotch proverb, from a witness at Perth, 


which to me was new. A young woman had told her 
mother that she was afraid to return to the mill, because 
a man who worked there had said to her that he meant to 
wrong her. The mother, a decent-like body, presumed 
that, since he had announced it, he must have been in joke, 
and advised her girl to go back to her work, saying, " It 's 
no aye the cart that rumbles maist that gangs first oiver thf 

2 c 


SPRING 1854. 

BONALY, 22d April 1854. A most contemptible Cir- 
cuit; short, solitary, expeditionless. 

It has been the South. Ivory was again fixed for 
Dumfries, and I hoped to soothe myself under the 
pensive silence of venerable and fading Jedburgh. But 
a cold prevented me; so Ivory, with his usual kind- 
ness, took that too, and I went only to Ayr, where he 
joined me. 

I left this last Saturday the 15th, alone. Yes, for the 
second time alone. Which at least shows that I am not 
deemed to be yet quite doited. It may be said to testify 
my increasing moroseness, but my self-conceit doubts 
even this, for I see no other symptom of it. The truth 
is that she, who for above forty-three years has been, and 
still is, my second and better self, is no longer able for 
journeys beyond her own flowers, and that my only 
travellable daughter had occupations with stronger claims 
at home. So I braved the perils of a pilgrimage to Ayr 
by myself. 

I went to Thornton on the 15th, where I remained 
till the evening of Monday the 17th, when I went to 

We were in Court all the 18th and 19th, and a part of 
the 20th. 



The only interesting case was that of Alexander 
Cimninghame, charged with murdering his wife, and con- 
victed on the clearest possible circumstantial evidence. It 
was a singularly atrocious proceeding. He was about 
thirty-five, a strong, resolute-looking, dogged scoundrel. 
She had been a well-conditioned, good woman, whom he 
had been twice punished for assaulting, and who was 
obliged, for the preservation of herself and her four chil- 
dren, to cease living with him. She was twice or thrice 
persuaded to go back, but was always obliged to fly 
again, and they had been entirely parted for about a 
year. During all this time the children were main- 
tained solely by her labour. He often said that he would 
like to kill her, and that he would shoot her as easily 
as he would "that gull." An acquaintance to whom 
he once disclosed this inclination, warned him against 
"letting such thoughts enter his heart," as they would 
certainly lead to his being hanged. No intimation of 
these threats, or rather indications, was ever made to the 
authorities, because they were believed to be mere sulky 

Though they were both in so small a place as Girvan, 
he for nine months did not know where she was working. 
At last he found this out, and next day borrowed a gun, 
powder, and shot. That evening about seven a calm, 
dark evening last December he got into the garden 
behind the house she was working in, and saw her sitting, 
with a candle, at her loom. She was not sitting quite 
right for receiving the full effect of his shot. He there- 
fore threw a little gravel against the window. This made 
her look up. He fired, and she was dead. 

Yet, though the evidence was quite clear, and the jury 
said nothing of lenity, I expect an exertion to be made by 
the idiots who have got into a habit of distinguishing 


themselves on such occasions, to save the life even of this 
miscreant. They have luckily made their efforts some- 
what ridiculous of late, not so much by the folly of their 
reasons, as by their shameless fecundity in the creation 
of false evidence. 

The prisoner was very attentive to the proceedings, and 
understood everything that was going on. But he got 
into a very odd speculation. I observed him make a sign 
to his counsel to come to him. The counsel did so, and 
resumed his seat, with a look in which I thought I saw 
some horror and a little mirth. I afterwards asked him 
what his client had said. It was this, " If they hang me, 
what will they do wi' ma claes % " 

This was our last criminal case. It was over about 
two P.M. of Thursday the 20th. I left Ivory to try a civil 
cause, and, passing by the back of the Court, found myself 
on the seashore. It was one of the finest days of even 
this unsurpassed spring. The beautiful bay of Ayr could 
scarcely have been more beautiful. The advancing sea 
was insinuating its clear waters irresistibly, yet gently, 
into the innumerable little hollows and channels of the 
dry sand. Few people were out, but plenty sea-fowls 
playing on the beach, and in the air, and with the long 
soft waves. Three white-skinned boys were bathing. No 
ship, not even a boat, was visible. There was no sound, 
except of an occasional hammer by a few lazy masons 
who were pretending to be repairing the point of the pier, 
the ring of whose implements only deepened the silence. 
The picture of repose was completed on reaching the pier, 
every projecting point of which was occupied by one or 
two old bodies of rod fishers, who were watching the 
bobbing of their corks as attentively as slumber would 
allow. They caught nothing, and said that they would 
not till it should rain, which it had not done for six 



weeks. So the very fishes were at rest too. It was all a 
refreshing contrast to the heat and the crowd of that 
horrid Court. 1 

I went to Glasgow that evening, stayed there all night, 
and came here yesterday forenoon. 

[Next day Lord Coclzburn was seized with a serious illness, 
and died on Wednesday the 26th April, in his seventy-fifth 

1 Journals, vol. ii. 312. 

Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty, 
at the Edinburgh University Press. 


ABBOTSFORD, 48, 51, 200. 

Abercromby, Lord, 3, 69. 

Aberdeen, 16, 43-46, 139-141, 150-152, 
222-224, 259, 265, 268, 305, 320, 
335, 353, 358, 360, 373, 374, 378, 
395 ; harbour of, 18 ; The Enter- 
tainment at, 329. 

Aberdeenshire, improvements in, 16 ; 
castles, 360. 

Abergeldie, 142, 308. 

Abernethy, Tower of, 234. 

Aberuchill, 76. 

Aboyne, 142, 306, 307. 

Adam Grahame, a novel, 384. 

Airthrie, 3, 69. 

Aitken, Mr., Clerk of Court, 354. 

Ale, the river, 52. 

Alemoor, Lord, 52. 

Alison, Archibald, Sheriff, 4, 9, 147- 

Alison, Mrs., 33. 

Allanton, 240, 241. 

Alloa, 17, 18. 

Alness, Bridge of, 352. 

Altnagach Inn, 352. 

Altnahara, 353. 

Altyre, 263, 357, 377, 378. 

Amulree, 75. 

Anderson, Dr. R. Rowand, 273 note. 

Anderson, Lord, 399. 

Anderson's Guide to the Highlands, 
etc., 107, 113, 136. 

Antoinette, Marie, 308. 

Appin, 83, 270, 275, 281, 282. 

Arbroath, 19, 45, 222, 226, 265, 
266, 304, 383; Cathedral, 18, 95, 

Ardencaple, 32. 

Ardgour, 106. 

Ardguy (Ardgye), 352, 353. 

Ardkinglas, 29, 348. 

Ardoch, 75. 

Ardpatrick, 196, 198. 

Ardrishaig, 200. 

Ardrossan, 166, 168, 173-175, 192. 

Ardshiel, 295. 

Ardtornish, 83. 

Argyle family, 81. 

Argyleshire, 80, 81, 86, 171, 284, 318 ; 

glens, 294; hills, 192; lochs of, 

30; men as jury, 291. 
Arkley, Mr., of Dunninald, 235. 
Arndilly, 139. 
Arniston, 49. 
Aros, 83. 

Aross, the Lords, 109 note. 
Arran, 28, 106, 122, 167, 174, 175, 

194, 195, 244. 
Arrochar, 186. 
Arthur Seat, 391, 393. 
Ary, the river, 27. 
Athole, 158, 160, 313, 314 ; Duke of, 


Auchanault, 130. 
Auchendyne, 143. 
Auchnasheen, 130, 135. 
Aviemore, 10-12, 39, 77, 105, 158, 

259, 337, 353. 

Awe, the river, 77, 124, 288. 
Awe, Loch. See Loch Awe. 
Ayr, 192, 241, 243, 245, 247, 256, 

269, 372, 391, 393, 402. 
Ayrshire, 106, 171. 




Bacon, 256. 

Baillie, Charles, Advocate-Depute, 

263, 265, 268. 
Ballachulish, 105, 108, 206, 270, 274- 

276, 278-280, 294, 344, 345. 
Ballater, 141, 142, 306, 360, 396. 
Balloch, 364. 

Balmoral, 142, 360, 361, 396. 
Banchory, 141, 142, 305, 306, 396. 
Barbeth, 248. 
Barmore, 201. 
Barr, 4, 23, 32, 33. 
Barskiraming, 54. 
Beatock, 54, 55, 57. 
Beauly Priory, 137. 
Bell, Benjamin, 280, 282, 287. 
Bell, Sir Charles, 185. 
Bell, Montgomery, 99. 
Bell, Professor George Joseph, 203. 
Bell, Robert, Procurator to the 

Church, 87. 
Benachie, 375, 378. 
Ben Cruachan, 76, 77, 83, 172, 285, 


Ben Eaye, 135. 
Ben Lair, 132, 134. 
BenLawers, 76, 77,172, 302, 304, 344. 
Ben Ledi, 172. 

Ben Lomond, 31, 172, 185, 319. 
Ben Loyal, 353. 
Ben More, Perthshire, 76, 172, 274, 


Ben Nevis, 172. 
Ben Oss, 185. 
Ben Slarive, 285. 
Ben Varogen, 194. 
Ben Voirlich, 76. 
Ben Wyvis, 155. 
Bervie, 265. 
Birnam, 379, 380. 
Black Mount, 107. 274. 
Blackshiels, 322. 
Blaikie, Provost, Aberdeen, 223. 
Blair, Sir David, 243. 
Blair, 36, 39, 158-160, 212, 312, 313 ; 

the Place of, 158. 

Blairadam, 36. 

Blairquhan, 241, 243. 

Bog Roy, 135. 

Boldercan, 273. 

Bonaly, 1, 32, 46, 67, 69, 101, 163, 

176, 188, 203, 234, 255, 267, 295, 

297, 317, 318, 341, 348, 349, 361, 

365-367, 369, 371, 373, 380, 383, 

385, 389, 393, 399, 402. 
Borthwickbrae, 51, 95, 297. 
Boswell, his Letter to Lord Braxfield, 


Bowers, John, 93. 
Bowhill, 55. 
Bowling Bay, 364. 

Boyle, Lord President, 69, 73, 243, 269. 
Boyle, Archibald, 244. 
Boyle, Mary, 207. 
Brackland, Falls of, 299. 
Braemar, 139, 142, 314, 399 ; Castle, 

142, 143, 306. 
Branxholm, 52. 
Braxfield, Lord, 322 note, 328. 
Breadalbane, Marquis of, 184, 275, 


Brechin, 150. 
Brenda, the steamer, 79. 
Brewster, Sir David, 234. 
Bridge of Earn, 233. 
Brig of Bracklin, 343. 
Broadford, 115, 116, 127. 
Brodick, 168, 174 ; Castle, 170 ; Inn, 

169, 170, 172 ; described, 178. 
Broomhall, 357. 
Brotherton, 265, 266. 
Brougham, Lord Chancellor, 6, 7, 

33, 53; his Political Philosophy 


Brougham Hall, 332. 
Broughty, 373. 
Brown, Dr., Glasgow, 269. 
Bruar Falls, 212, 338. 
Bruce's Castle, 195. 
Buachaille-Etives (Beg and More), 

274, 285. 

Buccleuch, Duke of, 49, 96, 273. 
Buckingham, Duke of, 275. 



Bnnaw, 283, 285 ; Iron Company, 89- 


Burke's Correspondence, 242, 256. 
Burn, architect, 38, 41. 100, 233, 243. 
Burnhouse. See Thomson. 
Burns, 58, 240. 
Burntisland, 334, 373. 
Bute, 194, 195, 318 ; Kyles of, 196. 
Byerley, Miss, 240. 


Cairndow, 27, 29, 31, 33, 318. 

Cairngorms, 11, 77, 337, 353. 

Caledonian Canal, 352. 

Calender, 84, 299, 300, 343. 

Callart, 277. 

Cally, 63, 250. 

Cameron, Sir Duncan, 277. 

Cameron of Barcaldine, 283. 

Cameron, Angus, 107. 

Campbell, architect, 223. 

Campbell of Cawdor, 261. 

Campbell, James, of Craigie, 54, 332 

Campbell, Miss, 216. 

Campbell, Mrs. , 216. 

Campbell, Thomas, 33. 

Campbells of Kilberry, 197. 

Canna, 129. 

Carr, Bridge of, 12, 13, 213. 

Carsphairn, 248. 

Carytes, manufactory of, 173. 

Cassillis family, 246. 

Castle Forbes, 375. 

Castle Lachlan, 86. 

Castle Stalker, 280, 282. 

Castle Street, Aberdeen, cross in, 

140 ; houses of, 153 ; statue in, 223. 
Castleton, Braemar, 139, 142, 143, 

305-307, 358, 361, 395, 397. 
Cawdor, 259 ; Castle, 216. 
Christie, Sir Archibald, 270, 271. 
Christkirk, 255. 

Circuit dinners, 4 ; procession, 4. 
Circuit, Glasgow (1838), 8; (1841), 

91 ; (1844), 207 ; (1846), 317 ; (1850), 

362 ; (1853), 387. 

Circuit, North (1838), 10 ; (1839), 36 ; 
(1841), 104; (1842), 149; (Spring 
1844), 211 ; (1845), 259 ; (1846), 
299; (1848), 334; (1849), 351; 
(1852), 373 ; (1853), 395. 

Circuit, South (1839), 48 ; (1841), 93 ; 
(1844), 238; (1846), 297; (1847), 
320; (1850), 367; (1851), 371; 
(1853), 389 ; (1854), 402. 

Circuit, West (1837), 3 ; (1838), 23 ; 
(Spring 1840), 69 ; (Autumn 1840), 
75; (1842), 166; (Spring 1843), 
179 ; (Autumn 1843), 192 ; (1845), 
270; (1847), 318; (1848), 343; 
(1850), 364; (1851), 368; (1852), 

Claddich, 289. 

Clarendon compared with Brougham, 

Clark, Andrew, Advocate-Depute, 

Clathick, 76. 

Clerkington. See Hepburn. 

Closeburn School, 101. 

Cluany, 111. 

Cluny, The, 142, 307. 

Clyde, 23, 89, 126, 163, 168, 192, 239 ; 
Firth of, 171, 175, 215. 

Cockburn, Lord, death of, 405. 

Cockburn, Mrs., 4, 23, 24, 27, 48, 55, 
71, 75, 93, 99, 101, 104, 117, 169, 
238, 240, 299, 318, 319, 368, 369, 

Cockburn, Elizabeth, 4, 48, 56, 75, 
91, 167, 169, 171, 172, 179, 192, 
211, 238, 240, 259, 270, 282, 287, 
297, 299, 316, 319, 332, 334, 

Cockburn, Francis, 56, 75, 104, 117, 
130, 167, 169, 270, 280, 282, 287, 

Cockburn, George, 334, 338, 341, 
343, 371. 

Cockburn, Graham, 4, 10, 15. 

Cockburn, Henry, 23. 

Cockburn, Jane, 10, 23, 27, 48 69, 
75, 104, 149,167,173. 



Cockburn, Johanna, 238, 240, 297, 

343, 345, 351, 368, 371, 391, 395. 
Cockburn, Montague, 101. 
Cockburn, Robert, 50. 
Combe, George, his Notes on America, 


Commons, House of, 8. 
Comrie, 75 ; Church, 344 ; House, 

76, 299, 301, 343. 
Connell, Professor, 232. 
Contin, 136. 
Cooper, Mr., 356. 
Cooper's Pathfinder, 90. 
Corbet, Robert, 330. 
Corry, Skye, 116, 117. 
Corryarrick, 11. 
Corryvreckan, 246. 
Corstorphine Church, 217. 
Coruisk, 116, 117, 120, 122-125, 127, 

129, 133, 134. 
Court of Justiciary, 207. 
Cowane, John, 167. 
Craggie, 259. 

Craig, Lord, 53, 54, 323, 328. 
Craig. See Gordon. 
Craig Inn, 130. 
Craighall, 145. 

Craigie House, 243, 331, 332, 391. 
Craigphadrick, 336. 
Crailing, 53. 
Crathes, Castle of, ] 42. 
Craufurd, James, 99. 
Crawford, 100. 
Creagan, 283. 
Cree, the river, 242. 
Creetown, 241. 
Crieff, 75. 

Cromarty, 42; jail, 41. 
Cromarty family, 137. 
Crombie, Bailie, 140. 
Cuillin Hills, 105, 116, 120-122, 125, 

129, 132. 

Cullen, Lord, 87, 88. 
Cumbernauld, 167. 
Cumming, Sir William, 378. 
Cumpston, 60, 62, 63, 65, 238, 244, 

249, 253, 255, 326, 330, 332. 

Cunningham, Allan, his Lift of Sir 

D. Wilkie, 190. 

Cunningham, Mr. (Thornton), 371. 
Cunninghame, Alexander, 403. 
Cunninghame, Mrs., 386. 
Cupar, 234, 334, 383. 
Cupar-Angus, 149, 304, 361. 


Dalchonzie, 76. 

Dalcross, 216. 

Dalhousie, 48. 

Dalmally, 75-77, 104, 105, 180, 183, 
185, 288, 289, 318. 

Dalmellington, 248, 256, 332. 

Dalnacardoch, 321. 

Dalveen, Pass of, 67. 

Dalvey, 356, 377. 

Dalwhinnie, 11, 215. 268, 321, 352, 

Davidson, Rev. Mr., 45. 

Davidson, Archibald (Sheriff), Advo- 
cate-Depute, 87, 197, 202, 305, 378, 

Davidson of Cantray, 259. 261. 

Davidson, Henry, 170, 173, 174, 193, 
194, 197. 

Deas, Lord, 399. 

Dee, Kirkcudbright, 62, 65. 
| Dee, Aberdeen, 42, 305, 376. 
| Dee, Bridge of, 149. 
' Deeside, 305, 308. 
' Demyat Hill, 3, 172. 

Den Finella, 266. 

Dickens's Master Humphrey's Clock, 
102 ; Barnaby Rudge, 165. 

Dingwall, 130, 136, 137. 

Dirk Hatteraick's Cave, 253. 

Divie, the, 263. 

Don, 375, 376. 

Doonholm, 371. 

Doune of Rothiemurchus, 40. 

Drum, 360. 

Drumlanrig, 58, 100, 241. 

Drummond Castle, 76. 

Drumochter, 39, 212. 



Dryburgh, 51. 

Dryhope, 56. 

Dubton, 395. 

Duchess of Sutherland, wreck of the, 

Dulsie, Bridge of, 323. 

Dumbarton, 23, 32, 292. 

Dumfries, 58, 60, 93, 98, 99, 238, 239, 
241, 250, 269, 297, 320, 321, 329, 
330, 332, 339, 367, 368, 372, 373, 
390, 402; Asylum, 57, 99; kirk- 
yard, 240. 

Dun, Captain, 253, 256. 

Dimaquaich, 181, 182. 

Dunblane Cathedral, 272. 

Dundas, Sir David, Solicitor-General, 
75, 299, 343. 

Dundas, George, 371, 389. 

Duudas, Henry, Home Secretary. 
49, 50. 

Dundas, Captain H., 292. 

Dundas, John, 149. 

Dundas, .Robert, Lord Advocate, 49. 

Dundee, 29, 163, 164, 226, 303, 334, 
373, 383. 

Dundrennan Abbey, 62, 249, 250. 

Dunfermline, 383. 

Dunira, 75, 76, 104, 106, 166, 273. 

Dunkeld, 10, 11, 36, 39, 160-163, 
211, 212, 301, 303, 304, 314, 320. 
351, 379. 

Dunnottar, 225. 

Dunolly, 78. 

Dunoon, 89, 192, 197, 202, 291, 292. 

Dunrobin, 353. 

Dunstaffnage, 84, 347. 

Dupplin, 266, 267. 

Durisdeer, 101. 

Durness, 353. 

EARN, 75, 398. 
Easdale, Dr., Perth, 161. 
Ecclefechan, 97, 98. 
Edinburgh, 10, 19, 46, 48, 71, 75, 86, 
91, 93, 101, 107, 140, 146, 163, 166, 

179, 192, 207, 211, 235, 238, 268, 
297, 327, 332, 339, 340, 343, 354, 
362, 367, 368, 387 ; cotton-spinners 
trial at, 8 note. 

Edinburgh Review, 190, 237, 257. 
268, 342, 384; article by Alison 
in, 9 ; article by Lord Brougham 
in, 12. 

Eglinton, Earl of, 174. 

Eigg, 122, 129. 

Elgin, Sheriff of, 17. 

Elgin, 22, 42, 43, 139, 160, 219, 220, 
335, 357; Cathedral, 15, 43, 139, 
155, 163, 250, 264. 

Elliot, 338. 

Elmslie, Mrs., 224. 

Erskine Manse, 89, 91. 

Esk, 48. 

Eskgrove, Lord, 53, 327-330. 

Estate Bill, 71. 

Ettrick, 55. 

Europe, Sovereigns of, 361. 

.FAIRLIE, 168. 

Fairporfc, his description of Arbroath, 


Falkirk, 166, 270, 299. 
Fancoat, Charles, 381. 
Fascally, 38, 310, 314. 
Fasnacloich, 275, 279, 280, 283, 284, 


Fell, Helen, 150. 
Fergusson, Sir James, of Kilkerran, 

Fergusson, James, Clerk of Session. 


Fergusson, Professor, 227, 230. 
Fern Islands, 29. 
Fife, 383. 
Fife, Lord, 220. 
Findhorn, 112, 217, 263, 320, 323, 

357, 376. 

Fingal's Cave, 79. 
Firkin, 24. 
Florence, 160. 
Fochabers, 43, 216, 219, 222, 264. 




Forbes, Lord, 375. 

Forbes, Charles, banker, 91. 

Foreman, a novel, 268. 

Forest Lodge, 312. 

Forfar, 304, 395. 

Forfarshire, 383. 

Forres, 42, 138, 139, 219, 262, 320, 

337, 377. 

Fort Augustus, 11, 111. 
Fort George, 155. 
Fort William, 108, 111, 206, 352, 


Forth, Firth of, 29, 215, 237. 
'Forty-Five, The, 38. 
Fountainhall, 1. 
Fraser, Col. William, of Laggors, 

138, 219. 
Fraser, Mr., 377. 
Fraser of Farraline, 331. 
Frasers at Laggan, 157, 214. 
Freeburn, 215. 
Freeland, 398. 
French Revolution, 54. 
Fullerton, Elphy, 351, 364. 
Fullerton, Mary, 211, 221, 351. 
Fullerton family, 292, 293. 

GALA, 48, 50, 51, 93. 

Galashiels, 51, 390. 

Galloway, 58. 

Gallowgate, 303. 

Garioch, 376, 383. 

Garscube, 33, 188. 

Garve, 131, 135. 

Gatehouse, 241. 

Gawdie, 375. 

Geddes, Bishop, 233. 

Geddes, John, 221. 

Gelston Castle, 60, 62, 241. 

George IV. in Edinburgh, 1822, 33. 

Gibbon, his style, 237. 

Girvan, 243, 403. 

Glamis, 18, 149, 150 ; Castle of, 150. 

Glasgow, 4, 32, 69, 72, 75, 89, 146, 
147, 164, 173, 174, 188, 192, 202, 
269, 292, 295, 319, 329, 348, 364, 

366, 368, 369, 387, 405 ; Cathedral, 
163 ; College, 164 ; Green, 239. 

Glenarbuck, 32. 

Glenbeg, 308, 309. 

Glen Cluny, 308. 

Glencoe, 105, 106, 115, 206, 274. 

Glencroe, 26, 38, 180, 318. 

Glendinning, Mrs., 60, 100, 111. 

Glendochart, 130, 135. 

Glenfalloch, 24, 185, 206, 318, 319. 

Glenfeochan, 89. 

Glenfinnart, 292, 293. 

Glengarry, 109. 

Glenken Hills, 250. 

Glenlyon, Lord, 159. 

Glen Messan, 294. 

Glenmoriston, 111, 112. 

Glenrosie, Arran, 169, 173. 

Glen Sannox, Arran, 172, 173. 

Glen Sligachan, 127. 

Glenshee, Spittal of, 1 14, 309. 

Glen Tilt, 310-313. 

Glen Truim, 215. 

Glenure, 282, 284. 

Goatfell, 168, 170, 172, 194. 

Goldsmith, Oliver, 257. 

Golspie, 353. 

Goodman's History, 67. 

Goodrich, 255. 

Gordon Castle, 43, 153. 

Gordon, Dr., 13, 213. 

Gordon, Duke of, 22, 223. 

Gordon, Duchess of, 321. 

Gordon, Edward, Advocate-Depute, 

Gordon, James, of Craig, 330, 378. 

Gordon, Provost, 253. 

Gordon, of Culvennan, 331. 

Gourock, 89. 

Govan, 91. 

Graham, Robert, of Lyndoch, 28. 

Grandtully Castle, 303. 

Grantly Manor, a novel, 342. 

Granton, 334, 373. 

Grattan's Life of his Father, 67. 

Gray, Professor, 262. 

Great Ross, 251. 



Greenock, 89, 192, 292. 
Gutlirie, Rev. Dr., 187. 

HAGGART, David, 339. 

Haldane, Principal, 232, 234. 

Hamilton, Sir William, 316. 

Bamilton, Captain, his Cyril Thorn- 
ton, 316. 

Hamilton, 170. 

Hangingshaw, 55. 

Hawick, 95, 390. 

Hawthornden, 145. 

Hebrides, 80. 

Helensburgh, 89. 

Henderland, House of, 15. 

Henderland, Lord, 55. 

Hepburn of Clerkington, 48, 49. 

Heriot House, 48. 

Hermand, Lord, 42, 73, 87, 88, 98, 

High School, Edinburgh, 243. 

Hill, Principal George, 227. 

Hoddain Castle, 97. 

Holme. See Rose. 

Holytown, 322. 

Hope, John, Lord Justice-Clerk, 
210, 296, 400. 

Hope, Charles, 321, 324. 

Horner, Leonard, 385. 

Horner, Mrs., 385. 

Horner, Joanna, 385. 

Houston, George, 203. 

Hoy, James, 156. 

Hunter, cotton-spinner, 8 note, 9 

Huntly, 13, 42, 139, 222. 

INCHNADAMPH, 352, 353. 

Innes, Cosmo, 27, 46, 70, 259, 263, 

Inveraray, 4, 26, 69, 75, 77, 87, 89, 

167, 174, 179, 181-183, 198, 201, 

255, 270, 289, 291, 318, 321, 347, 

348, 365. 
Invercauld, 141, 142, 306. 

Invergarry Castle, 109. 

Invermay, 398. 

Invermoriston, 111 ; Inn, 108. 

Inverness, 10-12, 38, 41, 42, 135, 
136, 138, 139, 154, 157, 213-215, 
239, 261, 268, 321, 335, 337, 351, 
352, 354, 376, 383 ; Madras College 
of, 336. 

Inveroran, 105. 

Invershin, 352. 

Inveruglas, 292. 

Inverury, 139. 

lona, 79, 80, 346. 

Ionian Islands, 3. 

Ireland, 80, 105. 

Irvine, A. Forbes, 263, 265, 360. 

Irvine, the river, 244. 

Islay, 197. 

Ivory, Lord, 46, 275, 278, 284, 362, 
363, 369, 372, 374, 383, 386, 387, 
395, 398, 402. 

JACKSON, Professor, 227, 232. 
Jameson, Mrs., Brodick, 178. 
Jean Town, Ross-shire, 128-130, 


Jed, 239, 371, 389. 
Jedburgh, 43, 48, 52, 92, 94, 239, 

269, 297, 328, 333, 367, 368, 389, 

390, 402 ; Abbey, 272. 
Jeffrey, Lord, 27, 48, 103, 256, 331, 

339, 340. 
Jethart, 371. 
Jew Exile, 109 note. 
Johnson, Dr. S., 257. 
Johnstone, 375. 

KEAN, 195. 
Keay, James, 37. 
Keay, Mrs., 36. 
Keir, Patrick Small, 10. 
Kelso, 18, 43, 239. 
Kenmore, 301, 303. 
Kenmure, Lord, 256. 



Kenmure, 66 ; Castle of, 65. 
Kennedy, John, of Underwood, 391. 
Kennedy, John, jun., 392. 
Kennedy, Robert, 245, 391, 392. 
Keppoch family, 109 note. 
Kilberry, 199. 
Kilchurn, 183, 185, 195, 288 ; Castle, 


Kilgraston, 398. 
Kilkerran, 278. 
Killiecrankie, 11, 38, 268. 
Killin, 301, 303. 
Kilmarnock, 371. 
Kilmartin, 84, 85. 
Kilmorack, 136. 
Kilmun, 88, 89, 291, 292, 294. 
Kilpatrick, 23, 180. 
Kilravock, 215, 217-219, 261. 
Kindrogan, 10, 144, 145, 308, 310 ; 

described, 11. 
Kinfauns, 267, 341. 
Kingarth, 194. 

King's College, Aberdeen, 45, 153. 
King's House, 105, 107, 205, 270, 

273, 286, 344. 

Kingussie, 39, 160, 212, 214, 215. 
Kinlochewe, 129, 130, 135. 
Kinrara, 321. 

Kinross, 10, 39, 316 ; jail of, 18. 
Kinross-shire, 211, 316; Sheriff of, 


Kinteuchar Hill, 399. 
Kinloch Leven, 275-277. 
Kinnoul Hill, 161, 341. 
Kirkcaldy, 383. 
Kirkcudbright, 60, 62, 65, 250, 251, 


Kirklands, 48, 51, 52, 94, 371, 385. 
Kirkpatrick, John, 3. 
Kirkwall, 352. 
Knockomie, 262, 264, 335, 336, 354, 

356, 357, 376, 378. 
Kyle Akin, 128. 
Kyle Rhea, 114, 120. 
Kylesku, 353. 

LACHLAN. See Castle Lachlan. 

Laggors. See Fraser. 

Lairg, 353. 

Lamlash, 174. 

Langholm, 93, 97, 297. 

Langholm Lodge, 96. 

Largs, 192. 

Lander, Sir Thomas Dick, 3, 13, 264, 

289, 336. 

Lander, Miss Susan, 373, 383. 
Leeds, Duke of, 310. 
Leith, 181. 

Lennox the ferryman, 292. 
Letterfinlay, 109. 
Leven, the river, 180, 278, 279. 
Lewis, 13. 
Leys, 215. 

Lhanbryde, 160, 161. 
Lincluden, 240, 250. 
Linlithgow Palace, 69. 
Lithgow, 155. 
Little Ross, island of, 251. 
Lloyd, Mr., 27. 
Lloyd, Mrs., 28. 
Lochaber, 275. 
Loch Alemoor, 52. 
Loch Alsh, 128, 129. 
Loch Awe, 77, 181, 183, 289, 347 
Loch Carron, 128, 129. 
Loch Cluany, 113. 
Loch Cree, 242, 248. 
Loch Creran, 281, 283. 
Loch Doon, 248. 
Loch Duich, 113, 114, 128. 
Loch Earn, 299. 

Lochearnhead, 75, 76, 104, 274, 343. 
Loch Eck, 88, 202, 292. 
Loch Eishart, 129. 
Loch Eriboll, 353. 
Loch Etive, 78, 282-284, 286, 288, 


Loch Fad, 195, 206. 
Loch Follart, 129. 
Loch Fyne, 26, 28-30, 81, 86, 171. 

200, 290, 295. 
Loch Garry, 39. 
Lochgilphead, 77, 79, 86, 201. 
i Loch Hope, 353. 



Loch Inver, 352. 

Loch Katrine, 133, 299, 300. 

Loch Leven, Kinloch, 106, 275, 276, 

Lochleven Castle, Kinross, 315. 

Loch Linnhe, 109. 

Loch Lomond, 23, 31, 32, 131, 133, 
179, 181, 183, 185. 186, 215, 291, 
300, 364. 

Loch Long, 26, 32. 
Loch Lubnaig, 299, 300, 343. 
Lochmaben, 96, 98. 
Loch Maree, 129-131, 134, 135, 183. 
Loch Melfort, 89. 
Loch Ness, 109, 142, 305. 
Loch Eestal, 31. 
Loch Scavaig, 118, 121, 126. 
Loch Shin, 353. 

Loch Slapin, 118, 119, 122, 126. 
Loch Snizort, 129. 
Loch Tarbert, 197, 198, 295. 
Loch Tay, 302. 
Loch Torridon, 135. 
Loch Treig, 352. 
Loch Tulla, 106, 107. 
Lochwinnoch, 4, 23, 174. 
Lockerbie, 297. 
Lockhart's Life, of Scott, 12. 
Lockhart, John, 326. 
Logan, A. S., of Stirling, 331, 381, 


Logie, 263. 
Longtown, 97, 98. 
Lothian, Marquis of, 272 note. 
Lowes, the, 56. 
Lude, 158, 311. 
Luib, 104. 

Lushington, Professor, 33. 
Luss, 32, 37, 318, 348, 368; church 

of, 23. 
Lyell, Sir Charles : his Second Visit 

to the United States, 361. 
Lyndoch. See Graham. 
Lyneham, Thomas, 381. 

MACAULAY, LORD, his Life of Bar- 
rtre, 237. 

Macbean, Mr., 13, 213, 240, 253. 
Macbean, Rosa, 69, 91. 
Macbride, James, 350. 
M'Cormick, Edward, 331. 
M'Cormick, Samuel, 269. 
MacCulloch, 120, 121, 123-125, 132, 

194, 287 note. 
Macdonald, Lord, 355. 
M 'Donald, Colonel, of Glengarry, 

109 note. 

M 'Donald of Stafla, 15. 
Macdowall, William, of Barr, 71. 
Macdowall, Lieut. -Col. Laurence, 174. 
Macfarlane, Mary, 190. 
Macintosh of Daviot, 261. 
Macintosh of Geddes, 261. 
Mackenzie, Henry, 43, 218. 
Mackenzie, Lord, 167, 174, 177, 317, 


Mackenzie, Mary, 400. 
Mackenzie, Sir Francis, of Gairloch, 


Mackenzie of Scatwell, 136. 
Mackinnon, Mr., 116, 117, 125. 
Mackinnon, Mrs., 339. 
M'Lean, Malcolm, 13. 
Macleod of Dalvey, 356. 
M'Luskie, John, 350. 
Macmillan, Mr., 127. 
Macnabs, 302. 
Macpherson, Major, 215. 
Macpherson, Miss, 377. 
Madras College, St. Andrews, 229. 
Madras Colleges, origin of, 336. 
Maitland, Edward, 62, 336, 342, 361. 
Maitland, Eliza, 4, 36, 173. 
Maitlaud, George, Solicitor-General, 

87, 166, 167, 169, 173, 240, 241, 

243, 247, 250-253. 
Maitland, Graham, 93, 104, 179, 187, 


Maitland, James, 169, 253. 
Maitland, Thomas, 1, 249. 
Maitland, Mrs., 71, 169. 
Malcolm of Poltalloch, 201. 
Malcolm, Dr., 343. 
Marischal College, 45, 140, 153. 



Mar Lodge, 310. 

Mary Queen of Scots, 315. 

Maxwell of Terregles, 250. 

Maxwelltown, 239. 

May, the river, 267, 398. 

Maybole, 246. 

Meadowbank, Lord, the first, 183. 

Meadowbank, Lord, the second, 33, 
57, 68, 69, 75, 89, 93, 179, 188. 

Medwyn, Lord, 9, 91, 207, 338. 

Meggat Bridge, 56. 

Melrose, 43, 51, 93, 98, 239, 389, 
390 ; Abbey, 51, 93, 273. 

Melville, 49. 

Midcalder, 322. 

Middleton Inn, 49 ; Moor, 48, 93. 

Midlothian, 49, 102, 374. 

Milne, Mrs., Aberdeen, 305. 

Milne, Provost, of Perth, 44. 

Milne, David, Advocate-Depute, 181. 

Minard, 28, 86, 87. 

Minnick, 242. 

Minnyhive, 66. 

Moffat, 56, 57, 238. 

Moncreiff, Lord, 3, 4, 16, 17, 19, 44, 
47, 68, 69, 73, 138, 139, 145, 150, 
154, 164, 179, 211, 215, 216, 221, 
234, 238, 261, 262, 265, 269, 270, 
297, 315, 318, 332, 334, 335, 348, 
367, 368. 

Moncreiff, Sir Harry, 315. 

Moncreiff, James, 44, 45. 

Moncreiffe as a residence, 398. 

Montrose, 18, 43, 300, 334, 383. 

Montrose, Duke of, 26. 

Monymusk, 376. 

Moore Park, 91. 

Moray Firth, 12, 155, 214, 216, 262. 

Morayshire, 43, 155. 

Morin, Mr., 240. 

Moriston, 112. 

Morven, 275 ; Hills, 280, 282. 

Mossman, 85. 

Moss Paul, 95, 96. 

Mount Stewart, 193, 194. 

Moy, 354. 

Muckairn Kirk, 78. 

Muel (Maoil) Castle, 128. 

Mull, 346 ; Sound of, 79. 

Mure, David, 209, 296, 383. 

Murphy, 54. 

Murray, John, Lord-Advocate, 27, 

46, 47, 87, 202. 

Murray, Mrs. (Lady), 27, 28, 87. 
Murray, William, 15, 28, 87. 
Murray, Mrs., of Henderland, 128. 
Murray, prisoner, 21. 

NAIBN, 42, 217, 262. 

Nairn, the river, 218, 259. 

Napier, Mark, 205, 235, 243. 

Naples, Bay of, 215. 

Napoleon, 64. 

Neaves, Charles, Advocate-Depute, 


Nelson, Lord, 78. 
Ness Castle, 138. 
New Abbey, 60. 
Newark, 55, 56. 
Newburgh, 234. 
New Galloway, 65, 248. 
New South Wales, 113. 
Newton, Sir Isaac, 256. 
Newton, Ayr, 247. 
Newton-Stewart, 241, 248. 
Nith, 59, 67, 239-241. 
Noblehouse, 322. 
North Inch, Perth, 46, 161, 236, 238, 


North Uist, 354. 
Norway, 252. 

OBAN, 28, 77-79, 83-85, 89, 270, 

287, 288, 344-347. 
Ochtertyre, 76, 299, 343. 
O'Doherty, 316. 
"Option, The," 19-21. 
Orkney, 352, 353. 
Orphan Hospital, Aberdeen, 224. 
Ossian, 79, 104. 
Outram, Mr., 369, 370. 
Oxford, 81, 84, 89, 229, 232. 



PAISLEY, 174, 375. 

Panmure, Baron, 378, 380. 

Papworth, 64. 

Park, 139. 

Parliamentary Diary, The, 73. 

Patrick, 336. 

Peebles, 239. 

Peeblesshire, 374. 

Peel, Sir Robert, 340. 

Penal Servitude, 400. 

Pennant quoted, 90. 

Penninghame, 241, 242. 

Pennymore, 28. 

Penpont, 60, 67. 

Pentland, William, 99. 

Pentlands, 67, 172. 

Perjury, 19-21. 

" Perpetual Motion," 14. 

Perth, 16, 21, 36-38, 42-44, 46, 73, 
141, 144, 145, 149, 150, 157, 159, 
161, 163, 164, 234, 236, 237, 239, 
266, 268, 303, 314, 316, 321, 334, 
341, 351, 361, 373, 378, 380, 383, 
395, 397, 399 ; population of, 146 ; 
Penitentiary, 207. 

Perthshire, 374. 

Phrenology, 147. 

Pitlochry, 160. 

Pitmachie, 374. 

Pitmain, 213, 321. 

Pitmilly, Lord, 73, 326. 

Playfair, Principal, 227. 

Playfair, architect, 41, 59, 64, 201, 

Pluscarden, 219, 220, 356. 

Portobello, 176, 196, 374. 

Possil, 4 ; House, 32. 

Potter, William, 137. 

Prescott, his Essays, 296. 

Princess Royal, cutter, 290. 

Pringle, Captain, 28. 

Quarterly Review, 206, 237, 342. 
Queensferry, 321. 
Quinigan, 353. 

RAASAY, 129. 

j Rae, Sir William, 139. 
Railway, Northern, 351; Scottish 

Central, 361. 

Railways, 268 ; of Argyle, 294. 
Ratichan, 114. 
Reid, architect, 233. 
llelugas, 13, 263, 264, 336, 376. 
Renfrew, 32, 192 ; Ferry, 23. 
Renfrewshire, 4, 171. 
Renton, village, 369. 
Rest-and-be-Thankful, Glencroe, 180, 


Richardson, John, 56, 88, 393. 
Richardson, Mrs., 185, 292. 
Richardson, Elizabeth, 299, 310, 314. 
Richardson, Joanna, 332. 
Richmond, Duke of, 275. 
Richmond, the Spy, 33. 
Riddle, Thomas, 8. 
Rigby, Mrs., 87. 
Road Trustees, meeting of, 48. 
Robb, James, 358. 
Roberts, 285. 
Robertson, General, 312. 
Robertson, C., 263, 265. 
Rogers, 293. 

Romilly's Memoirs, 73, 74. 
Rona, 129. 
Rosck (Rosque), 135. 
Rosenberg, actress, 151. 
Rose of Holme, 261. 
Rose of Kilravock, 261. 
Roslin, 391. 
Ross, Easter, 136. 
Ross, Herefordshire, 255. 
Ross, islands of. See Little, Great 

Ross-shire, 42, 131, 155, 262, 377 ; 

Hills, 12. 

Rossie Ochil, 383, 398. 399. 
Rothesay, 192, 194-197, 206, 292. 
Rothiemurchus, 40. 
Rowan Tree, 241, 242, 248. 
Rowardennan, 292. 
Roxburghshire, 95. 
Rum, 122, 129. 
Rush, his Residence in London, 296. 



Russell, Francis, 336. 
Rutherford of Edgerston, 94. 
Rutherfurd, A., Lord Advocate, 46, 
70, 87, 92, 244, 289. 


St. Andrews, 226-228, 231, 247, 270. 

St. Catherine's, 87. 

St. John, Mr., 352. 

St. Kilda, 290. 

St. Leonard's College, 233. 

St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, 
232, 233. . 

St. Mary's Loch, 54-56. 

St. Mungo, Isle of, 277. 

St. Ninians, 382. 

St. Regulus, Tower of, 227. 

St. Salvator's College, 233' 

Saltcoats, 174. 

Saltoun, Lady, 138. 

Sandford, Professor, 33. 

Sannox. See Glen Sannox. 

Scalpa, 129. 

Scatwell, 136. 

Scotland, attractiveness of, 3 ; Epis- 
copalian tombs in, 138. 

Scott, Captain, of Seggieden, 267. 

Scott, Sir Walter, 12, 19, 26, 53- 
55, 58, 83, 102, 103, 125 ; his Quen- 
tinDurward, lb'5; his Heart of Mid- 
lothian, 165 ; his Barndby Rudge, 
165; as Sheriff, 331; his Fair 
Maid of Perth, 342 ; his Ivanhoe, 
348, 349; his Waverley, 349; his 
Guy Manneriny, 349; his Rob 
Roy, 349. 

Scourie, 353. 

Seggieden. See Scott. 

Selkirk, Lord, 249. 

Selkirk, 54, 55. 

Selkirkshire, 51. 

Senwick, 255. 

Seymour, architect, 312. 

Shakespeare, 103. 

Shanks, John, 16, 139, 155, 221, 264. 

Sharp, Archbishop, 233. 

Shaw, Marion, 247. 

Shean Ferry, 287, 345. 

Shetland, 353. 

Shewalton, 243, 244. 

Shiel House, 111, 113, 131, 147, 274. 

Skye, 114, 122, 127-129, 134, 172. 

Sleugach, 132.' 

Sligachan. See Glen Sligachan. 

Sluie, 263. 

Smith, Sydney, 269. 

Smith, Mrs., 12. 

Smith, Miss, Knockomie, 263. 

Smith, Mary, 358. 

Smollett, 180, 368, 370. 

Snaigow, 36. 

Soa, 122. 

Solway Firth, 61, 215. 

Southannan, 168. 

South Inch, Perth, 236. 

South, Dr., 269. 

South wick, 60, 62. 

Spar Cave, the, 116, 119. 

Speculative Society, 391. 

Speirs, Graham, 42. 

Spey, 40, 214. 

Spittal of Glenshee, 308, 361. 

Spurzheim, 148. 

Stair, 203. 

Staffa, 79, 81, 346. 

Stalker. See Castle Stalker. 

Steell, sculptor, 380. 

Stephen's account of Gregory vir., 


Sterne, 269. 
Stewart, Donald, 150. 
Stewart, James, 277. 
Stewart, Lieut. John, 182. 
Stewart, Mrs., Erskine Manse, 91, 192. 
Stewart's Inn, Trossachs, 299, 300. 
Stirling, 3, 69, 71, 75, 104, 167, 179, 

271, 299, 369, 373, 385, 386, 395 ; 

races, 3. 
Stirlings, Strowan, the family of, 


Stonehaven, 45, 150, 225, 3-34. 
Stonehenge, 216. 
Stornoway, 15, 



Strachur, 29, 85, 88, 201, 289-291 : 
Park, 27. 

Strath in Skye, 117. 

Strath Dee, 360. 

Strathearn, 75, 273, 301. 

Stratheric, 361. 

Strathmore, 149, 153, 304, 353, 395. 

Strath Tay, 303. 

Strome Ferry, 129, 136. 

Strowan, 76. 

Stuart, John, hamster, M.P., 275, 
278, 344. 

Sutherland, 42. 

Swanston, 172. 

Sweden, 252. 

Swift, 269. 

Swinton, Lord, on the cotton-spin- 
ners, 9. 

Switzerland compared with Scotland, 
3, 275, et passim. 

TAIN, 353. 

Tait, Archibald, 385. 

Tait, John, 385. 

Talfourd, Serjeant, 32, 33, 81. 

Tarbet, 26, 29, 32, 179, 183, 185, 206, 

291, 292, 318, 319, 348, 364. 
Tarbert, 200, 201. 
Tarbert, Bast, 197-199. 
Tarbert, West, 197. 
Tarf, the river, 62. 
Tay, 37, 162, 211, 303, 320, 399. 
Tayrnouth, 184, 301 ; Castle, 303. 
Taynuilt, 346, 347. 
Telford, Thomas, engineer, 109, 110. 
Templeton, Thomas, 72. 
Terregles, 239. 
Teviot, 51, 52, 95. 
Thomson, Dr. Anthony Tod, 240, 

Thomson, Elizabeth, 240, 270, 279, 

282, 287, 292. 
Thomson, MissK., 318. 
Thomson, Marion, 343. 
Thomson of Burnhouse, 50. 
Thornhill, 57, 65, 67, 98, 100, 101. 

Thornton (Ayrshire), 371, 372, 386, 

390, 393, 402. 
Tickets of Leave, 400. 
Tilt, Bridge of, 36, 157, 159, 160, 

259, 310, 312, 338, 351. 
Tobermory, 83. 
Tobernan Keann, 109 note. 
Tods of Kirkhill, 48. 
Tokes, 219. 
Tongue, 353. 

Tongueland Hills, 62, 65, 254. 
Torgyle, 111. 
Torquay, 83. 
Torthorwald Kirk, 99. 
Torwoodlee, 51. 
Trades Unions, 8. 
Travelling, difficulties of, 320-323. 
Troloss Toll-bar, 100. 
; Trossachs, 131, 133. 
Tulliebole, 314, 315 ; Tower of, 145. 
Turnerelli, 58. 
Tyndrum, 104, 105, 107, 185, 206, 

Tweed, 51, 239. 

UNDERWOOD. See Kennedy. 
j Uphall, 322. 
Urquhart, Adam, 139. 
Urrard, 38, 161. 

Victoria, Queen, 360. 
Victoria Lily, 377. 

WADE, General, 180. 

Wallace Tower, Ayr, 247. 
j Ward, Lord, 109. 
I Washington, 64. 

Waterloo, 320. 
Westhall, 374, 376, 383. 
Westhall, Lord, 374. 
West Lothian, 374. 
Whigham, Robert, Sheriff, 235, 
301, 311, 341. 



Wick, 351, 352. 

Wigtown Bay, 242. 

Wildman, Mrs., 87. 

Wilkie, Sir David, 182, 191. 

Willoughby, Earl of, 26. 

Willoughby, Lady, 300. 

Wilson, Professor, his Nodes Am- 

brosianae, 316. 
Wilson, James, his Voyage, 290. 

Woods and Forests, Commissioners 

of, 249, 250, 272. 
Wren, Christopher, 156. 

YARROW, 55, 56. 
Young, Arthur, 257. 
Young, Mr., advocate, 99. 


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