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Before quitting this grimly fasci- supplied with a fresh fly, we went nating corner of Skye, perhaps the to work again. Taut goes the reader may like to bear me com- line, down goes the rod - top in pany in a couple of hours' sea-trout violent jerks, and then the rapid fishing on the neighbouring lake click of the reel winding itself up already mentioned, Loch na as fast as fingers can turn the Créitheach, which I had on the handle; then a stop, and a whirr evening following the Coruisg out again, and so on, till the fish, tramp. All day the storm had after many a leap and spin into continued, so that to us in camp the air, is wheedled up alongside it was perforce a dies non as to the boat, and hauled in somehow work; but the evening cleared up or other. Thus we secured four enough to allow a start for the or five fine white sea-trout, ranging loch. I should explain that per- from one to two pounds apiece; mission had been given me for a and lastly, a splendid fellow that day's fishing in it; but strangers, held me in play full half an hour so the shooting-tenant told me, with my light gear. We had no are by no means particular abouị net, or anything with which to lift getting such permission, appar- a fish of his weight into the boat, ently regarding the lake as a sort so there was nothing for it but to of “no man's” water. On arrival row slowly into the shingly beach with my rod at the loch - side, and float him ashore, O meanO and I found a rickety old while landing and seizing the prize boat half - full of water, and a just as he was flopping about at pair of sculls hidden away near the edgo of the water. It was by. The boat baled out, she was an exciting moment, and aftersoon launched, and having wards, when the fish was put on kindly volunteered to do the row- the scales, he, just turned them at ing, I tried casting along the three pound3. shores, but all to no purpose; the As I put up the rod, and while -wind had dropped, not a fin was the rotten old punt was being stirring, and neither tinsel body hauled up high and dry and secured nor varigated wing of any sort or by its rusty chain to a boulder on kind had charm to raise a fish in the bank, the sun suddenly gleamthe feebly rippling water. Then ed out through a rift in the clouds, I bethought me of taking to the and turned the topmost crags of middle deeps of the lake, with a Blaven into burnished gold, streaklong line trailing out over the sterned with intense ultramarine in the of the boat, and then the sport shadows of the deep-furrowed clefts came. The rod and tackle were of and crannies. Altogether, conthe lightest, the former a slender sidering the gear at command, single-handed one, bought for a those two hours' sport, that still lady. First, a biggish fellow—to cloudy evening on this lonesome judge by the rush and splash of lake, dark with its majestic overhim, about a couple of p unds hanging cliffs and their broad everweight – went for the fly, and deepening reflections, is another carried it off, casting-line and all. episode of that brief camping-time This was irritating ; but a new and worthy to live in the memory, stronger casting-line having been albeit the take was not salmon.
in a wonderfully artistic and graphic manner, so that any one who can read a map would understand from them the whole articulation of these mountain-ranges.
For it needs not to tell the know- every direction. In the pile of ing among the perusers of these stones which caps the peak we pages of the delights of sea-trout found a bottle stowed away. confishing in a spot like this, nor yet taining one or two paper records of the corresponding deliciousness of those who had climbed to the of flavour appertaining to these spot—three or four names in as “spolia,” a flavour little inferior many years, proof that this spireto that of their more illustrious like pinnacle is decidedly “caviare kindred in the same waters. to the general.” A couple of men,
While on the subject of fishing, who appeared clambering up the let me just note the abundance of cliffs with ropes and guides while sea-trout and salmon the Coruisg we were there, and posed as pastriver has always been famed for. måsters in mountaineering, assured In the notes to his poem Scott us they had tried most Alpine and relates how they swarmed where other difficult ascents on the Conthe river Scavaig discharged into tinent; but that, altitude for altithe bay.
I was told this had been tude, they had never met with for a long time past a great poach- harder climbing than this. O ing - ground for stray yachts and and I added our names to the light craft. These would run in MSS. in the-let us hope—imto the little deep - water haven, perishable bottle, and then had to often at night; and in so solitary a hurry down to escape the threatplace it is the easiest thing to slipening mists which came rolling up, ashore, and rod or net both the and might very soon have belatriver and loch, without any one in ed us. the neighbourliood being a whit And here a word of warning. the wiser.
Let no one attempt to search out
the dark mysteries of the Cuillins There is not much more to tell. aloue, if it be possible to get a comAnother day in camp took us to panion. The weather is at all times the top of “Sgùrr nan Gillean of the
year most treacherous in this (3167 feet high, exactly the alti- locality, and the vapour from the tude of Sgurr na Banachdich), the warm Gulf Stream which courses best known of the Cuillin peaks, up these western Scottish coasts and much the easiest of ascentis perpetually passing into great though correctly described in the cloud-wreaths, which loom up from guide-books as “difficult.” Our the Atlantic, and descend in mists route left the main bridle-path to or rain down the inner slopes of the Sligachan at Loch Dubh (black glens and corries. Not even the lake), crossed the river where it weather-wisest here can forecast emerges from Harta Corrie, and the elements for many hours, and thence struck up the shoulder of if a man be overtaken by the mist the great eastern lip of that corrie anywhere bigh up the rocky fasttill the sharp jagged watershed nesses of the Cuillins, ten chances ridge was reached. Following this to one he has no choice but to stop north-westerly, you are brought, where he is till the mist clears after some pretty stiff climbing, to (which may be one, two, or more the summit of the Scaur, whence a days), unless he is bent upon runwonderful sight is obtained of the ning the risk of breaking his neck. northern extremity of the mighty In such circumstances, lucky is be range, which here thrusts out its who has a fair supply of food left great spurred and spiked talons in in his pocket, good store of whisky
VOL. CXLVI.-NO, DCCCLXXXVI.
in his flask, and a well-filled to. over it on a certain occasion in the bacco-pouch.
dark of nightfall, over many rocky If, then, in summer the normal streams and devious places. So aspect, weather, and general sur will the hospitable kindness they, roundings of this Hebridean wilder-wearied and soaking wet to the ness are such as I have described knees, met with at the shootingthem, conceive what they must be tenant's house; neither shall we in the gloom and dreariness of forget the moonlight drive thence winter. It was told me that not along the shadowy shores of Loch a few of the tenants of the solitary Slapin, with the mysterious dark farmhouse by our camp had in pasti profile of Blaven abreast of us,times either“ gone off their heads,” a singularly perfect picture of a taken to whisky, or otherwise come mountain-side. Nor must I omit to grief, presumably from the appal- to mention the hamlet of Torran, ling loneliness of the place. But, with its reminder of the disconhowever that may have been, I tented Skye crofters and their agican vouch that the farm occupants tation, a great gaping hole in the of a year or two ago, brothers and middle of the road, which vexed Lowlanders, had so far manifested the soul of my driver every time no signs of deterioration. They we drove by the spot,—the hole were shrewd, capable, thriving men, being left unmended because the the owners of many sheep, and crofters refused to pay the roadthey showed the camped-out way rate. farers in their neighbourhood no And so, back to Broadford and little civility.
aboard the passing steamer, away Sorry indeed was I when the round through Loch Alsh and down time came to bid farewell to the the Sound of Sleat with prow turned camp on the shore of the Bay of toward the Brighton of the West Watching” (Camas Fhionnairidh), Highlands. Again a glimpse, ard the last look had to be taken though this time a far-distant one, of the grand straight glen of the massive “stern old Coolin” Leac," issuing from the heart of and Blaven, and so conspicuous in the “His high and haggard head, landscape with its grey stones and That echoes but the tempest's moan, silvery waterfalls. As for the Or the deep thunder's rending groan.” rugged track which leads from Yet a little while more, Camasunary to Strathaird House along a bleak hillside, it will always “And Coolin's crest has sunk behind,
And Slapin's caverned shore." be memorable to the writer by reason of the ladies he had to pilot
T. PILKINGTON WHITE.
THE ROLL OF BATTLE: A ROMANCE OF FEUDALISM.
We remenıber readiug many the great army of geutlewer of years ago, witb infinite amuse- blood and lineage, vevertheless ment, a clever pamphlet on the there is a general suspicion that
Art of Pedigree-making,' by the many pedigrees are nors or less Scottish Lyon-King-of-Arms, the questionable. There is an impresenthusiastio successor of Sir Darid sion that the ancestry of wen who Lyndsay of the Mount. He select- have made their money in profesed for scarification an unfortunate sions or trades and received the gentleman who, having paid the honour of “ancient but decayed Heralds' Office for sundry extrava- families,” should rank for the niost gant flights of fancy, had foisted part with the inyths of the middle on popular credulity a tissue of ages. No doubt the suspicion is myth and fable; and a terrible ex: tolerably well founded, though it ample he made of the offender. may do injustice to individuals. We all know how the sarcastic That is the inevitable penalty of author of the “Snob Papers' the really illustrious obscure, who described the genealogy of Sir had been content to swagger on Alured de Mogyns, né Muggins, the strength of their birth, and who traced his descent to have never had the capacity to the days of the Druids, and to do much credit to their country. the mighty Hogyn Mogyn of Moreover, there have been not the hundred beeves. The art a few men, and notably Scotsof pedigree - making will never men, who have been content to fall altogether into disrepute, so keep pedigrees, and even anceslong as self-made men, though tral titles, in abeyance, till they they may have raised theinselves could reconcile prudence with from the democracy, and get family pride, in the enjoyment of their galleries of family portraits an adequate income. Scott, speakfrom the Wardour Street deal. ing through the mouth of King ers, foolishly aspire to ancestral James I. of England, made a senhonours, - though perhaps they sible remark on the subject in the are less foolish than they appear • Fortunes of Nigel.' Talking of to be, and are rather content to a Scot emerging from a prolonged sacrifice themselves nobly for the eclipse, —"Out he pulls his pedisatisfaction of their children. gree,
." said the King, “on he The father of future generations buckles his sword, gives his beaver is ridiculed, but people soon begin a brush, and cocks it in the face to believe what they read in of all creation.” That by the way; *Burke'; the son escapes with an but when we rise above the longoccasional sneer from the well- neglected middle ranks, we pass informed, and the great-grandson from the licence of popular romay be said to be absolutely safe, mance into an atmosphere of relaunless old absurdities should be tive certainties. For good or evil raked up in the heat of an election. the great families of England have But though legions of impostors written their names indelibly on have managed to pass muster in the pages of history. Many of
The Battle Abbey Roll, with some Account of the Norman Lineages. By the Duchess of Cleveland. Three volumes. London: 1889.
the famous historic races were ex- Jonathan Wild, and their crimes tinguished long ago. Disraeli said would seem scandalous in the Newin Coningsby' that after the gate Calendar. To do then justice, wars of the Roses a Norman they were as hard on their equals baron was
as on their inferiors, though froni a But many survive in collateral point of perhaps egotistical punctilio branches, and not a few, not- they spared their equals the dishonwithstanding Disraeli's sweeping our of actual torture. The captive dictum, are represented at this had neither comfort nor mercy to day by direct descendants. Many expect till he paid his ransom of them have left a memory be- or was rescued by his friends. hind, not merely in the records of What stories of slow misery in the their deeds of arms by the chron- very shadow of death might be iclers, but in the castles or man- told by the dungeons that may ors to which they gave a name or still be seen beneath the foundafrom which they borrowed one. tious of such castles as Warkworth
The biographical roll of those or Kenilworth! There the wellnotable historical characters can nurtured knight, like Damian de hardly fail to be exciting reading. Lacy in The Betrothed,' shackled Though falsehoods and exaggera and ironed, although there was no tions must necessarily have crept possibility of escape, was doomed in, on the whole is founded on to solitary seclusion on the coarsest truth and facts. It describes and scantiest food. Fettered in in detail the growth of the king- the damp and the darkness among dom, which, having lost by the loathsome creeping things, he drew fortune of war its vast Continen- breath with difficulty in the foulest tal possessions, has developed into air; and it was fortunate for him the British en pire with colonies that, like the cold-blooded toads in every clime. It paints to the which were his fellow-prisoners, life, although episodically and in- undeveloped sensibilities saved him cidentally, the gradual emerging of from insanity. The only access to a much-enduring society from the those loathsome oubliettes was, as domination of the men of blood at Warkworth, through the trapand iron. As for these nien, their door opening in the roof. What checkered careers were as full of must have been the tone of mind sensation as their characters were of the chivalrous lord of the strangely yet naturally inconsist- castle, who could feast and carouse ent. From the higliest to the in the banqueting-ball above-stairs lowest they made arms their trade; with such horrors and such sufferambition and martial glory were ing beneath his feet! But what the breath of their uostrils. Yet between hard fighting, free feastthe chivalrous knights who came ing, and deep drinking, the nobles of over with the Conqueror. the the middle ages seem to have kept nobles who fought at Neville's conscience at arni’s-length, as they Cross and Orecy and Agincourt, had become absolutely indifferent were, for the most part, the merci- to the sufferingsof their fellow-crealess tyrants of their serfs and de- tures. There were rare exceptions pendants. Sordid rapacity kept to prove the rule. Some princes pace with reckless profusion; and and wealthy nobles were piously in the arbitrary exercise of their inclined and munificent. They feudal rights they shrank from no gave liberally in their lifetimes, form of oppressive cruelty. Their and made magnificent ecclesiastical brutalities would have disgraced a foundations, But generally the