« ПредишнаНапред »
JAMES VI. AND THE WILD GEESE.
The large island of Inch-tavanach, off the Rossdhu shore on Loch Lomond, has been already mentioned as having once been the property of the Macfarlanes, from whom, together with the greater part of their estate, it was purchased by Sir James Colquhoun. When Lord Teignmouth visited the island, some fiveand-thirty years ago, he found a snug farmhouse, in a delicious situation, tenanted by a Macfarlane, who pointed out, on his chimney-piece, the armorial bearings of the chief of his clan, surmounted by the motto, with the gathering cry of Loch Sloy beneath it.*
* Lord Teignmouth's Scotland, ii. 289.
NOW we come down to Inversnaid, and get ashore at
N its little pier, where the steamers set down so many thousands of tourists, on their route through Rob Roy’s country to Loch Katrine and the Trosachs. Of course there is an hotel at Inversnaid-a very good one, too, it appeared to be, although my acquaintance with it was but slight; and there are several houses, and Mr. Brown's shooting-box, and an old fort, and a stream, and a waterfall: so that there is plenty to see at Inversnaid, especially as it appeared to me to be one of the best points upon the loch, from which the most striking views can be obtained. But the loch itself is so beautiful in its entire extent, that one is tempted to think that every fresh place where we tarry to sleep, or rest, or sketch, and where, consequently, we have more time to look carefully about us, than in a mere bird-ofpassage flight, we are tempted to think that from this spot the combinations of rock, mountain, wood, and
water are superior to those that we noted or sketched from our last resting-place. The fact is, that no one ought to attempt to be authoritative on such a point as this, unless he has lived at least six months on the borders of the loch, and, during that time, made daily pilgrimages to the thousand sumptuous shrines of scenery that the great God of Nature has there set up for His creatures to bow in adoration before the glorious works of His hands, and, through them, to love him the more, looking through Nature up to Nature's God.' If grand old David Cox could, for half a century, find abundant subjects for his pencil amid the scenes of a Welsh village, what might not an artist achieve at Loch Lomond, even though all the subjects of his pencil throughout his whole life were selected from the varied materials supplied by the loch scenery? The range of subjects would indeed be unlimited.
Yet, whatever difference of opinion may exist as to the superiority of one spot over another for a view of the loch, I think that no one can ascend the hilly road above Inversnaid, and, turning himself round, look westward, without being struck by the magnificence of the prospect. Far below, is the placid surface of the loch. On the opposite bank is Glensloy, the glen striking off to the south-west, and surrounded by a grand group of mountains, among which Benvoirlich lifts his head to a height of 3,160 feet, and is but little inferior to Ben Lomond himself. Crocherechan, also, rears his head, and looks to the distorted form of Ben Arthur, or The Cobbler. “To the Cobbler,' says Macculloch, time rolls on in vain. Still he lifts his head to the clouds, defying the sun and the storm, still he hammers at his last, unmoved, unchanged, looking down from his proud elevation on the transitory sons of
little men, reckless as his noted namesake of the turmoils and mutations of the world at his feet. Absurd as is this object, the resemblance is indeed striking.... The resemblance is preserved in all its integrity, even to the base of the precipice; but the whimsical effect of the form is there almost obliterated by the magnificence of these bold rocks, towering high above, and perched, like the still more noble Scuir of Egg, on the utmost ridge of the mountain. I quote this authority in explanation of Ben Arthur's sobriquet, but I failed to discover the slightest similarity between the outline of the mountain and that of a cobbler working at his last, although the form of Ben Arthur is certainly sufficiently grotesque and striking, and is a prominent object in the view. At the mouth of Glensloy, the ground falls gently to the margin of the loch in pleasant meadow-land, from which a few white houses gleam from embowering shrubs and trees. Above these appear the varied tints of the heather, intermingled and contrasted with the cold greys of the rocks, and the infinite variety of hues on the mountain-sides. On this side the loch, far down below, we see the blue slate roofs and white walls of the houses at Inversnaid, the trees all around and o'ertopping them. Down from us to them, Inversnaid Burn is leaping from crag to crag in a succession of small falls, that worthily culminate in the larger waterfall which completes the journey of this romantic burn from Loch Arolet to Loch Lomond. The overhanging shrubs, the trees on either side, the tufts of heather, and the irregular masses of rock, over and between which the water is dashing downward in its headlong course—this makes the near view to the left of the picture. On the right of the foreground rises a rugged bank, the tops of the hard rocky masses being VIEW FROM ABOVE INVERSNAID BURN.
softly rounded by herbage and heather, and crowned with trees, among which groups of Scotch firs are conspicuous for their beauty no less than for their position. The front of the rock has been hewn away to admit of the steep road that winds round the abrupt surface of the hill-side, the road on the other side being guarded by a low stone wall, to prevent passengers from being precipitated into the tumbling waterfalls of Inversnaid Burn. Altogether it is a most lovely landscape; and, to those tourists who approach Inversnaid from the Trosachs, this, their first glimpse of Loch Lomond, is a view which must at once impress them very favourably with the surpassing beauty of the queen of Scottish lakes.
The steamer comes up from Tarbet to Inversnaid pier the while I am endeavouring to transfer to my sketching-block a faint reminiscence of this view. These tourists,' said the homely priest of Ennerdale
These tourists, Heaven preserve us! needs must live
Just so; I sit perched upon a crag, and find the sun rather more powerful than I could wish the while I
look and scribble,' and steamers come and go, and the rapid and gay' butterfly tourists, who have a hard day's route to be scrambled through, pass and repass. Here come a number of gentlemen tourists straggling up from Inversnaid on foot, the road being so extremely