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SPECIAL PLEADING OUT OF PLACE.
have been prouder of his Celtic ancestors and their contemporaries. It would seem that he designedly blackens the character both of the country and its people, in order to pave the way for the exculpation of his favourite from the blame that must ever attach to him, for signing and countersigning the warrant for the massacre of Glencoe. The historian, foreseeing that he is approaching King William's Seven years of Famine,' as they were termed by the Jacobites, and drawing unpleasantly near to an event which has left an indelible stain on his idol's character—that “crime which has cast a dark shade over his glory'—foreseeing this, the historian condescends to the tricks of a special pleader, and, by making out that the Highlanders of that day were considered by Englishmen to be a race of barbarians and blood-eating savages, who lived amid filth and disease, and only supported themselves in their squalid poverty by acts of rapine and slaughterwould then hint, as it were, that King William would imagine he was treating with mere “banditti,' thieves, and murderers, wbose extermination was a duty, who had made the Highlands a thorn in the flesh to him, and had caused him to wish to heaven that Scotland were a thousand miles off.' It is to some such special pleading as this that the readers of Macaulay are probably indebted for their introduction to the thousands of clerks and milliners who are annually thrown into raptures by the sight of Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond.
If the indulgence of raptures is to be a mark of the natural effervescence of feeling which is peculiar to clerks and milliners, then, I think, that all we on board the steamer-our knickerbocker swells excepted-must be considered as the representatives of those two useful classes of society, on this heavenly day on which we are sailing up Loch Lomond to Tarbet, with the sunny side of the mighty Ben turned towards us. Assuredly we have a full cargo of raptures on board; and the scenery on either side of us richly deserves their liberal outlay. From Tarbet the grandest view of Ben Lomond is obtained, offering the finest study for a painter, with its magnificent combination of rock, wood, and water. The magic pencil of Turner delineated this scene early in the century,* just at that period when he had broken through the beginning of his art (as Ruskin says), 'in greyish-blue, with brown foregrounds, and when he had mingled, with these sombre tones, bright tints and local colours; and to exquisite refinement and expression, had still preserved his reverent love of truth to nature. If, in this his first period' of Ruskin's division, Turner · laboured as a student, imitating successfully the work of the various masters who excelled in the qualities he desired to attain himself,' the master whom he had in his eye, when painting his Loch Lomond picture, seems to have been Wilson. There is the same feeling of breadth of grandeur in the long withdrawing sweep of the mountain range; the same calm brilliance in the smooth surface of the placid lake; the same sun-steeped freshness on the smiling landscape. But the äerial effect is all Turner's own. A dark storm-cloud is sweeping up from behind the hills to the left of the picture, its pall-like hue casting deep floating shadows over the mountains of the mid-distance, and causing the furthest peak to shine out snow-white from the force of contrast. A grand pile of clouds PICTURES OF LOCH AND BEN LOMOND.
* His first Ben Lomond picture was exhibited in 1801. Turner had visited Scotland in 1798. He again paid visits to Scotland in 1818 and 1831,
occupies the centre of the sky, meeting the mountains with their wreaths of mist, but turning their fleecy sides to the bright blue heaven that fills up the right-hand corner of the picture. At the back the lake is shut in by the fully illuminated hill-side, which continues the glittering hue of the water, and imperceptibly carries the eye to the highest lights of the picture. The mountain is finely broken up into shine and shade, and diversified by a subtle treatment of tints. The luxuriant ash and beech trees fringe the lake, and cluster round the group of white-walled houses in the valley. A single boat skims over the loch, its tiny sail gleaming against the long level shadow flung across the water. A hill-side road and rocky bank occupy the foreground, the golden brown of the rugged bank standing out with startling force against the sunny hue of the loch, and the dark group of trees down in the valley. Two figures with a flock of sheep, admirably massed, are seen on the further brow of the bank, backed by the waters of the loch ; and on the hill-road, in the nearest point of the picture, are four seated figures of men and women, too lazy to work or walk in such glorious sunshiny weather, and enjoying the dolce far niente of a noontide rest and chat. The male figures are dressed in the full • Highland costume;' and this is the only conventional item of a picture that is steeped in truth. If Loch Lomond should never again be represented on canvass or paper, it would not want for a faithful exponent of its manifold beauties while this picture of Turner's exists.*
It must have been sketched on just such another day
* Two other pictures by Turner of Ben Lomond are referred to in Modern Painters, i. 254, 360; the latter being engraved as the vignette to Rogers' Poems.
as this on which we are sailing up the loch to Tarbet ; for, while there is the same breadth of sunshine, there is a similar pall-like cloud just appearing from behind the shoulder of mighty Ben, and threatening that stormy change of weather which did indeed come that same evening. Wo to the tourist who is condemned to hurry through his programme without any reference to the weather; his impressions of the country must necessarily depend upon the fickleness of the climate; and the landscape which he has travelled so many miles to see, may be blotted out by mists, or drenched in a down-pouring rain. Here, for example, is a steamer bearing down upon us, chartered expressly for a monster excursion. These excursionists left Edinburgh shortly after six this morning; they came by rail to Callander, stopping at Stirling for breakfast; they coached through the Trossacks; sailed up Loch Katrine; crossed Rob Roy's country; dined at Inversnaid ; and are now sailing down Loch Lomond. They will reach Glasgow this evening, and will sail at an early hour in the morning, by the ‘Iona,' to Oban, through the Crinan Canal. On the next day they will have a peep at Staffa and Iona, and will then return to Glasgow. They are thus the victims of a programme of speed and cheapness, which may be made dear at any price if the weather is unfavourable. For the present, however, they are in luck; the sun smiles upon them, and we are sharers in their good fortune.
SCOTCH MUSIC AND SCOTCH SCENERY.
The Piper, the Modern Æolus-Antiquity of the Bagpipe-
everything as being serene, and sunny, and perfectly charming, I have been guilty of a suppressio veri, and have been withholding the fact that our steamer bore with it an atra cura, which was well nigh sufficient to throw a gloom over the brightest scene, and destroy the charm of the sunniest memory. We had a bagpiper on board. Hinc illæ lachrymæ; hence the indulgence in curt and homely Saxon phrases ; hence the objurgations, not loud but deep, which met the ear, and jarred strangely with the praises lavished upon the landscape. The blind fiddler, who was also on board, and to whose merits a printed testimony had been posted up by the cabin door, was a mitigated nuisance; but the bagpiper was an unmitigated evil, and never ought to have been permitted to walk the deck. If the sound of the bagpipes is necessary to a Scotchman (or Scotsman, as the sticklers delight to have it) for the proper enjoyment of Scottish scenery, by all means let him be gratified—but in another vessel, and that out of ear-shot