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tion was procured, he fled with the faithful Gorimil to the western Isles, whence a passage was taken, in a vessel bound to America with a numerous body of their expatriated countrymen. The ship was preparing to sail by the evening tide; and Allan, who had been ashore, was returning, with several others, when one of those sudden squalls, so frequent and dangerous in the deep indented salt-water lakes of the highlands, swept from the mountains; and upset the boat! Ill-fated Grant was lost; and the distracted Gorimil was only by force prevented from dashing herself into the watery bed which enwrapt her Allan in the oozy depths of Loch Cailart.

The ship weighed anchor and stood to sea, and the disconsolate and wildly raving Gorimil was borne on her way to a country in which she had fondly hoped to end her life with the darling of her heart. Providence had otherwise ordained; and she now only desired to join the society of her betrothed in heaven. The pleasing belief that she should soon be permitted to meet him in the blissful regions of eternal joy, hastened the consummation of her ardent wishes. Consumed by the intensity of her feelings, she sank rapidly, and confidently stated that her body would be consigned to that element which contained the corse of her beloved Allan. Her only satisfaction appeared to be when, placed on deck, she gazed alternately on the ocean and on the sky. A beam of silent joy would overspread her pallid cheek, as stedfastly she fixed her eyes on the clouds sweeping along with the Atlantic breeze. With that ancient belief, not altogether exinguished among the Gaël, she fancied she beheld the athletic but aërial form of Allan ; and she dreamed that he nightly entreated her to join him. Her frame at last gave way, and long ere the vessel reached her destined port, the hapless female closed her eyes on a world to which she had no longer any tie.

It is to be added to this mournful recital, that the elder brother and sister had taken their passage for the New World in the same vessel. Thus was the joy of so unexpected a meeting suddenly changed to grief; but, with a feeling peculiar to those people, they firmly believed, as did their companions, that the Almighty had chosen to remove a faithful pair to happiness, who would otherwise in this life have tasted more deeply than heretofore of bitter calamity.

ALPIN.

NATURAL HISTORY.

THE HOG-BACKED TROUT OF PLINLIMMON.

It is not merely a sensation of pleasure which is imparted by a Spring visit to a mountainous region : such a scene is, I conceive, far better adapted than any other, for inspiring the contemplative mind with those passions which great and excellent men in all ages have endeavoured to teach the mass-the lesser intellectual. A scene of common rustic industry or beauty is indeed instrumental in framing the heart to a contented and grateful mood; the recollection of flocks, smooth rivers, hanging woods, snug white cottages, a healthy peasantry; nay, the very twittering of the swallow on a house-top, or the distant bustle of a rookery, are deeply impressed upon our nature, unquestionably beneficially impressed, and leave behind at least an approach to purity of thought and of will. But these, charming as they are, must yield in extent of result to the first, and every little object in the grand whole has its own peculiar value. The mountain sheep are much more unapproachable than the fat heavy animals of the vallies, and their wild countenances, betokening extreme timidity, attaches to them a greater interest than to the other. The sweet tints of the heath-flowers, the blue-bell, with other endless varieties; and, in the more sheltered nooks of the hills, the white fox-glove, certainly possess a more attractive simplicity than the gaudy hues

of a village garden, and their fragrance is surpassingly fine. The hum of myriads of industrious bees, seeking the aroma of the heath, presents an interesting contrast to mountain solitude.

As regards the sublime, there can be no comparison. The opening of day over mountains cannot be described, but the recollection of it will remain with life: the notes of the morning lark are louder and clearer among the hills than elsewhere. I never there heard the lark without calling to my mind David ab Gwylim's beautiful address, where he invokes the lark:

“Oh! wilt thou climb yon heav'ns for me,

Yon rampart's starry height,
Thou interlude of melody

'Twixt darkness and the light;
And seek, with heav'n's first dawn upon thy crest,
My-lady love, the moonbeam of the west ?
“ No woodland caroller art thou ;

Far from the archer's eye,
Thy course is o'er the mountain's brow,

Thy music in the sky:
Then fearless float thy path of cloud along,

Thou earthly denizen of angel song.' The lark springs from the heath before the greyness of morning has reached the earth, but high up in the air the little chorister's wing becomes first silvered by the sun's rays, when all is night below. How beautifully has David described this in his invocation !

A seat on the brink of some monstrous rock is indescribably humiliating to the pigmy who has placed himself there, and must therefore necessarily chasten his thoughts; and this is one of innumerable causes, all tending, in alpine districts, to produce the same effect: every torrent suggests the idea of unlimited power of propulsion for mechanical purposes, and, consequently, a train of useful reflection is brought on.

The close of a day among mountains is equally impressive as the opening of morning. For such a time, I would select the margin of a hill-lake, as the sun retires from the gorgeous scene, the stealthy approach of night veiling surrounding objects, until the outlines of western mountains only are visible. The lone observer is probably, at such a season, recalled from his inmost reflections by the sudden and peculiar moaning of the snipe, seeking her nest, on some little island or tuft of rushes; and, as the view becomes lost in blackness, or the stars break forth in their mild splendor, the weeping curlew is heard increasing her lament, until the echoes are received again and again among the rocks, and gradually dying away and lowering by half notes in scale, until all is quiet, save little gusts of wind kissing the

. I venture to think this Invocation to the Lark one of the most beautiful and poetic pieces of imagery ever conceived by man, and its English translation, by MAELOG, has always been considered very fine. For the entire piece, see Cambrian Quarterly, vol. 1, p. 15.

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lake, or perhaps some great trout flouncing out of the water at night-moths. Such solitudes and retirement, the writer of these few remarks nearly every year enjoys for a few days, and they more than repay each toil or disquietude; every object tends to harmonise the heart, to strengthen the best feelings it is capable of experiencing : there nature is on a scale of immensity, the mind is drawn to contemplation distinct from self-importance, and self dwindles into its just proportion of weakness and dependence.

It has been on such occasions that I have at various times made a few observations relating to the natural history of Wales, which, I trust, are not wholly without their value. The minutest object in nature is of itself an endless source of wonder, and, among them all, I do not think there are any more so than an examination of the peculiarities and habits of animals. Of the specimen I propose introducing into the present number of the Cambrian and Caledonian Quarterly, I can say but little, except describing its form, the country in which it is found, as well as a few circumstances which may, in some degree, account for its novel formation.

[graphic]

The hog-backed trout of Plinlimmon, as far as I am enabled to collect, has never been described by naturalists, nor have I ever met with it in any water excepting Bygeilyn, (Bugail Llyn, Shepherd's-pool,) which is a small lake in the hundred of Cyveiliog, and parish of Penegos, XIX.

DD

Montgomeryshire. Bygeilyn is situated about one third up the Plinlimmon mountains, on the Machynllaith or western side. The lake is celebrated for its admirably flavored trout, which have been known to arrive at the weight of fourteen pounds, but it is now so shamefully poached during the spawning season, when the fish are ascending a small stream which empties itself in the lake, that for several

years

I have never met with one more than two pounds weight. The hog-backed fish are rarely met with. I have caught four or five; they were uniformly of the same size, which is so contemptible, as apparently to escape the observation of anglers, at least I presume so, for I have never found

any individual who could give an account of the fish. Not one of these were taken with a fly, but by worm, at bottom. The first I caught immediately attracted my notice, but I conceived it to be some deformed or abortive creature, and I returned it to the water; others I had no means of saving from decomposition: the last was taken on the 28th of May, which I was enabled to preserve.* It is certainly a most singular specimen of the abdominal tribe : the head is small, the body brilliantly marked, as the Salmo Fabrio, or common river-trout, from which it differs in nothing, excepting the high hogged back, and large stomach. Its length is nearly four inches; depth from back to stomach two inches; and weighed, when taken out of the water two and a half ounces, which, as I before stated, appears to be uniformly their full growth. I also ascertained that the original of the subjoined specimen has no spawn in the stomach.

I have already had occasion, in the Cambrian Quarterly, (vol. 1, p. 451,) to speak of Bygeilyn; and, as it is necessary to remark upon the nature of the lake, in endeavouring to account for the singular formation of this fish, I shall quote from my former communication.

SHEPHERD'S POOL. “There is a circumstance respecting the Bygeilyn, (shepherd's-pool,) contrary to the general laws of nature: twenty years ago there were no fish in it. A writer has observed, that all bodies of water produce fish; some of the Alpine lakes, situated amid almost inaccessible glaciers, have invariably been found to contain trout; and he sensibly adds,

* The fish is to be seen preserved in alcohol at our publication-office, it London.-EDrs.

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