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above the petty cares, the frivolous perhaps a dead chamois at my pursuits, “the low ambition," of feet. this nether world. If any one de All was calm and silent. Nosire really to feel that all is vanity thing near us spoke of animated life, here below; if he wish to catch a except perchance a butterfly, borne glimpse of the yet undeveloped ca- by the storm far from its native pabilities of his nature, of those flowers. We seemed alone in the mysterious longings, after which world ; but how different is this the heart of man so vainly yet so loneliness from that felt by those earnestly aspires ; let him wander“ who, shut in chambers, think it amongst the higher Alps, and alone. loneliness!” It was a solitude
Scenes like these must be seen that exalted, not de based, the mental and felt ; they cannot be described. faculties ; that soothed, that purifiLanguages were formed in the ed, that invigorated the soul; that plain ; and they have no words ad- taught one to forget this world inequately to represent the sensations deed, but that raised the thoughts which all must have experienced to another and a better.world. among mountain scenery. A man If ever my earthly spirit has been may pass all his life in towns, and roused to a more worthy contemthe haunts of men, without knowing plation of the Almighty Author of he possesses within him such feel- Creation, it has been at such moings as a single day's chamois-hunt- ments as these ; when I have looking will awaken. A lighter and a ed around on a vast amphitheatre of purer air is breathed there ; and the rocks, torn by ten thousand storms, body, being invigorated by exercise and of Alps clothed with the spotand temperance, renders the mind less mantle of everlasting snow. more capable of enjoyment. Though Above me, was the clear blue vault earthly sounds there are none, I of heaven, which at such elevations have often remarked, amid this so seems so perceptibly nearer and lemn silence, an undefinable hum, more azure : far below me, the vast which yet is not sound, but seems, glacier, from whose chill bosom as it were, the still small voice of issues the future river, which is Nature communing with the heart, there commencing its long course through other senses than we are to the ocean : high over head, those at present conscious of possessing. icy pinnacles on which countless
But not to analyze the cause of winters have spread their dazzling its charm, there is doubtless a fas- honors :—who is there that could cination in the lonely sublimities of see himself surrounded by objects Alpine scenery, which nothing else such as these, and not feel his soul earthly, to my mind, can approach. elevated from Nature to Nature's And if the Arab feels such ungo- God? Yes, land of the mountain vernable rapture when launching and the torrent ! land of the glacier his courser into the bosom of the and the avalanche ! who could wandesart, is it to be wondered that the der amidst thy solitudes of unrivalsame transport should swell the ed magnificence without catching Alp-hunter's breast, who enjoys the a portion, at least, of the inspiration same sensation of freedom, the they are so calculated to excite ? I same absence of man, with the ad- wonder not that thy sons, cradled dition of scenery of unparalleled among thy ever matchless scenery, magnificence ?
should cling with such filial affecSeldom or never have I experi- tion to the mountain-breast that enced such thrilling, yet tranquil nursed them, and yearn for their delight, as when reposing beneath native cot amid the luxuries of some over-arching rock, in full view foreign cities ; when even a stranof Mont Blanc, or Monte Rosa, ger, born in softer lands, and passwith my chasseurs at my side, and ing but a few months' pilgrimage
within thy borders, yet felt himself quis versari, quam tui meminisse!” at once attached to thee as to a I would not exchange the recollecsecond home ; nor yet can hear tion of the hours I have passed without emotion the sounds that re- among thy more hidden sublimities, mind him of thy hills of freedom ! for the actual and visible enjoyment How has my heart beaten as, sling- of the tamer beauties of other couning my rifle at my back, and with tries! The future none can comwalking-staff in hand, I have turned mand ; but deeply grieved indeed me from the evil cares and worse should I be if I thought I were nepassions of cities, to meet the ver more to view thy pyramids of breeze, fresh from Heaven, upon eternal snow hung in mid-heaven thy mountain's side, and listen to above me, nor tread again, though the Kuhreihen of thy pastoral sons ! perchance with less elastic step, “ Heu ! qaunto minus est cum reli- thy wide-spread fields of ice !
THE GREAT MORAY FLOODS.*
Many of our readers, we dare say, 1829, fell chiefly on the Monadhread accounts in the newspapers of leadh mountains, rising between the Great Floods during August last south-eastern parts of Lochness, and year in the Province of Moray. But Kingussie in Badenoch, and on that newspaper accounts of calamities part of the Grampian range forming are generally considered apocryphal, the somewhat independent group of except they record the bite of a mad the Cairngorums. The heat in the dog-each strange tale of hydropho- province of Moray, during the bia being held devoutly true by the months of May, June, and July, had Reading Public. Sir Thomas Lau- been unusually great ; and in the der Dick has spared no pains in col- earlier part of that period, the lecting all the most interesting cir- drought so excessive as to kill many
of that unexampled of the recently planted shrubs and Flood, many of them bordering so trees. As the season advanced, the closely upon the marvellous, that he fluctuations of the barometer became acknowledges he might have felt very remarkable ; but they were not some difficulty in reporting them, followed by the usual alternations of had they not, in every instance, been weather. It often followed that the well vouched. The extent of ground results were precisely the reverse of carried off or destroyed in particular its prognostications, and observers places, the various items of miscel- of the instrument began to lose all laneous damage, and the sums of confidence in it.
These apparent money at which the various losses derangements arose, Sir Thomas are estimated, are stated from re D. remarks, from electrical changes turns made after the survey by able in the atmosphere. The Aurora and responsible men, whose valua- Borealis appeared with uncommon tions were exclusive of all such in- brilliancy about the beginning of juries as might affect mere taste, or July, and was frequently seen afteranything not usually measured' by wards, being generally accompanied money. Though nothing approach- by windy and unsteady weather, the ing to any just estimate of the grand continued drought having been total can possibly be formed, it must sometimes interrupted during the indeed have been enormous. previous months by sudden falls of
The deluge of rain that produced rain partaking of the character of the flood of the 3d and 4th of August, waterspouts. One of these occur
* An Account of the Great Floods of August, 1929, in the Province of Moray, and adjoining Districts. By Sir Thomas Lauder Dick. Edinburgh and London, 1830.
red on Sunday the 12th of July, at these and other rivers were all more Keanlochluichart, a little Highland or less affected by the flood exactly hamlet at the head of the lake of in proportion as they were more or that name, in the parish of Contin, less connected with those mounin Ross-shire. A man, who had tains. Some persons could not betaken shelter under a bridge, sud- lieve, looking at the floods, that they denly beheld a moving mountain of could have been produced by meresoil, stones and trees,
coming down ly twenty-four hours' rain. But the deep course of the stream. He sure, such rains were never seen ; had just time to leave his stance for Mr. Murdoch, gardener to the before it reached the bridge, which Duke of Gordon, at Huntly Lodge, it overthrew in a moment, and de- ascertained that 32 inches of rain vastated the plain bordering the fell between five o'clock of the lake. All the grown-up people of morning of the 3d, and five o'clock the hamlet were at church, but the of the morning of the 4th of August; children, who were playing at home, that is to say, that, taking the avewere miraculously preserved by es- rage of the years from 1821 to 1828 caping to a hillock before the river inclusive, about one-sixth part of our reached the spot. The whole fury annual allowance of rain fell within of the flood rushed directly against those twenty-four hours ! This, too, the devoted houses ; and these, was at a great distance from the and everything they contained, were mountains—so that among them the at once annihilated, as well as their rain must have been like one of the crops, together with the very soil floods, which was described by one they grew on; and after the debacle of the sufferers, from its fury, as had passed away, the course of the "just perfeckly ridiculous.” river ran through the ruined hearths The united line of the rivers, of this so recently happy a commu- whose devastations Sir Thomas unnity. This waterspout did not ex- dertakes to describe, cannot be less tend beyond two miles on each side in extent than from 500 to 600 miles. of the village, which led, continues Having visited the greater part of Sir Thomas, these simple people to the flooded districts in person, he consider their calamity as a visita- writes about them very much from tion of Providence for their land- his own observation, aided by the lord's vote in Parliament in favor ample oral and written information of Catholic Emancipation !
obtained from persons of intelliSir Thomas has a very plausible gence ; and often he brings forward theory to account for the great floods the witnesses to tell in their own of the 3d and 4th of August. words their own story. The narraThe previous prevalence of westerly tive, therefore, is often enlivened by winds had produced a gradual ac- dramatic scenes, equal in interest cumulation of vapor somewhere to to the best in Sir Walter's novels. the north of our island, and the co- We shall select, almost at random, lumn being suddenly impelled by a a few of the most interesting. strong north-easterly blast, it was The Dorback, which joins the driven towards the south-west, its Divie, comes from the wild lake of right flank almost sweeping the Lochindorbe, remarkable for the Caithness and Sunderland coasts, extensive ruins of its insulated casuntil, rushing up and across the tle, and has many tributary burns. Moray Frith, it was attracted by One of its branches destroyed a the lofty mountains of the Monadh- bridge on the Grantown road, and leadh range,
and discharged its tor- another tore down the bridge of rents into the Nairn, the Findhorn, Dava, swept away the garden of the the Spey, the Lossie, the Deveron, inn, and the whole crop and soil atthe Don, and the Dee, and their va- tached to it. The Dorback itself rious tributaries. Certain it is, that utterly annihilated the whole of the
low lands of Lord Moray's estate most accurately on its natural base. of Braemoray, and converted the The flood immediately assailed this, green slopes of the hills into naked and carried off the greater part of precipices. The damage done on it piecemeal. Part of it yet remains, Mr. Cumming Bruce's part of the however, with the trees growing on Dorback is of the same character it, in the upright position, after havand comparative extent. At the ing traveled through a horizontal Ess, or waterfall of the Dorback, distance of 60 or 70 yards, with a where the river runs through a ra- perpendicular descent of not less vine thirty feet wide, the flood was than 60 feet.” twenty feet high-a towering alti The Dorback then destroyed the tude for a rivulet which, in ordinary beautiful meal
mill and carding-mill seasons, you may wade,—at a hun- of Dunphail. The whole family, dred fords — knee-deep. Lower consisting of the miller, a meritodown, the deluge of rain performed rious and ingenious, and what is far a curious achievement. It so soak- better, religious young man, Wiled and saturated about an acre of liam Sutherland-aboy, his brother wood on the face of a bank, 100 feet —the assistant miller-a lad, and a high, that the whole mass, with servant girl, found themselves surslopes and terraces covered with rounded by the food. As they birch and alder-trees, gave way at were engaged in family worship, once, threw itself headlong down, down came the river suddenly upon and bounded across the Dorback, them, pouring into the house both blocking up the waters in that tre- by the doors and windows. But mendous flood.
here we must quote the miller's own " William Macdonald, the farmer impressive account of the affair : of Easter Tillyglens, witnessed this ««• I ran,' said the miller, “to the phenomenon. He told me that it bed where my little brother lay ; fell 'wi' a sort o' a dumb sound,' and, snatching him up, I carried which, though somewhat of a con- him out to the meal-mill, the floor tradiction in terms, will yet convey of which was elevated and dry, and the true meaning better than any I kindled a fire on the bricks to more correct expression. Astonish- keep him and the lass warm. By ed and confounded, Macdonald re- this time the cattle were up to the mained gazing. The bottom of the bellies in water in the byre ; and I valley is here some 200 yards or ran to throw straw bundles under more wide, and the flood nearly fill- them and the pigs; to raise them, to ed it. The stoppage was not so prevent their being drowned. I had great, therefore, as altogether to ar- hardly returned to the house, when rest the progress of the stream. But the south gable, which had the curthis sudden obstacle created an ac- rent beating against it, fell inwards cumulation of water behind it, which on the other room, and I was inwent on increasing for nearly an stantly obliged to knock out that hour, till, becoming too powerful to window in the north gable, to let the be longer resisted, the enormous water escape, otherwise we must dam began to yield, and was swept have perished where we were. off at once, and hurled onwards like About five o'clock, I observed my a floating island. But this was not neighbors John Grant and his wife all ; for while Macdonald was stand- standing on the bank in front. The ing, lost in wonderment, to behold distance between us was not thirty his farm thus sailing off to the ocean yards ; yet I could not make them by acres at a time, better than half hear for the fearsome roar of the an acre more of it rent itself away water, which was now quite tremenfrom its native hill, and descended dous. Large trees were constantly at once, with a whole grove of trees coming down and striking against on it, to the river, where it rested the carding-mill. The look up the
water was awful. It seemed as if a had so fallen that I made my way in sea was coming down upon us, with to give provender to the beasts. I terrible waves, tossing themselves then found that the whole Dorback into the air, much higher than the had come over from the west side houses. I saw Grant's wife go up of the valley, and cut a new course the bank, and she returned some close at the back of the mills. All time afterwards with four men. We the mill-leads were cut entirely watched them consulting together, away. A deep ravine was dug out and our hopes rose high ; but when between the houses and the bankwe saw them leave the place with- their foundations were undermined out making any attempt to save us, in that direction—the machinery dewe thought that all hope for us in stroyed-the gables next the river this world was gone. Willingly carried away—and all, even the would I have given all I had, or very ground, so ruined, that it is might expect to possess, to have quite impossible ever to have mills planted but the soles of my feet, and here again."" those of my companions, on yon bit On the evening of the 3d, the Digreen sod, then still untouched by vie rose so as to carry away two the waters. Every moment we ex- handsome wooden bridges, and, an pected the crazed walls of the house embankment at the upper end of a to yield, and to bury us in their ru- broad, green, and partially wooded ins, or that we and it together should island of some acres in extent, havbe swept away. We began to pre- ing given way, a mighty torrent pare ourselves for the fate that poured towards the house of Mr, seemed to await us. I thank Al- Cumming Bruce, of Dunphail, who mighty God that supported me in prevailed on his wife and daughter that hour of trial. I felt calm and to repair to the house of a friend. collected, and my assistant was no Before doing so, about six in the
My little brother, too, said evening, their anxiety had been exhe was na feared ; but the woman tremely excited for the fate of a faand the lad were frantic, and did vorite old pony, then at pasture in nothing but shriek and wring their the island. Though the house of hands.
Dunphail itself was about to be in “While we were in this situa- jeopardy, their feeling hearts felt for tion, we suddenly saw about sixty old Dobbin. people coming down the bank, and “ As the spot had never been our hopes revived. The four men flooded in the memory of man, no had
gone to raise the country, and one thought of removing him until it they now appeared with ropes. All was too late. When the embankour attention was fixed on their mo- ment gave way, and the patches of tions. They drove a post into the green gradually diminished, Dobground, and threw the end of a thick bin, now in his twenty-seventh year, rope across to me. This we fixed and in shape something like a 74 to a strong beam, and jammed it gun-ship cut down to a frigate, was within the front window, whilst they seen galloping about in great alarm, on the bank made fast the other end as the wreck of roots and trees floatof it to the post.
A smaller rope ed past him ; and as the last spot of was thrown over.
This I fastened grass disappeared, he was given up round the boy's waist, and he was for lost. At this moment he made dragged through the water to the a desperate effort to cross the stream bank, supporting himself all the way under the house,—was turned head on the larger rope, that was stretch- over heels by its force-rose again, ed between the window and the post. with his head up the river-made The lass lost her hold, and was taken boldly up against it, but was again out half drowned ; but, thank Pro- borne down and turned over. Every vidence ! we were all saved. By six one believed him gone, when, rising o'clock in the evening, the water once more, and setting down the