페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

he would go and inquire of somebody else." The Frenchman's credulity, I observed, must be owing to his being accustomed to implicit submission; whereas every Englishman reasons upon the laws of his country, and instructs his representatives, who compose the legislature.

This day was passed in looking at a small island adjoining Inchkenneth, which afforded nothing worthy of observation; and in such social and gay entertainments as our little society could furnish.

CHAPTER III.

[ocr errors]

Voyage to Iona. Death of young Col. M'Kinnon's

Cave. La Crédulité des Incrédules.—Coast of Mull. Nuns' Island. Icolmkill. Quotation from Johnson's Tour. Return to Mull. Pulteney.

Pitt.- Walpole. Wilkes.- English and Jewish History compared. Turkish Spy." Moy. Lochbuy's War-saddle. Sheep's-heads.

Sail to Oban. Goldsmith's Traveller. - Pope and Cowley compared. Inverary. · Letter from Garrick. Hervey's Meditations.Meditation on a Pudding.- Country Neighbours. Castle of Inverary.

- Duke and Duchess of Argyle. - Influence of Peers.

[ocr errors]

Tuesday, Oct. 19. — AFTER breakfast we took leave of the young ladies, and of our excellent companion Col, to whom we had been so much obliged. He had now put us under the care of his chief; and was to hasten back to Sky. We parted from him with very strong feelings of kindness and gratitude, and we hoped to have had some future opportunity of proving to him the sincerity of what we felt; but in the following year he was unfortunately lost in the Sound between Ulva and Mull (1); and this

(1) Just opposite to M‘Quarrie's house the boat was swamped by the intoxication of the sailors, who had partaken too largely of M.Quarrie's wonted hospitality.--Walter Scott.—Johnson says in his Journey, “ Here we had the last embrace of this amiable man, who, while these pages were preparing to attest

imperfect memorial, joined to the high honour of being tenderly and respectfully mentioned by Dr. Johnson, is the only return which the uncertainty of human events has permitted us to make to this deserving young man.

Sir Allan, who obligingly undertook to accompany us to Icolmkill, had a strong good boat, with four stout rowers. We coasted along Mull till we reached Gribon, where is what is called Mackinnon's cave, compared with which that at Ulinish is inconsiderable. It is in a rock of a great height, close to the sea. Upon the left of its entrance there is a cascade, almost perpendicular from the top to the bottom of the rock. There is a tradition that it was conducted thither artificially, to supply the inhabitants of the cave with water. Dr. Johnson gave no credit to this tradition. As, on the one hand, his faith in the Christian religion is firmly founded upon good grounds; so, on the other, he is incredulous when there is no sufficient reason for belief; being in this respect just the reverse of modern infidels, who, however nice and scrupulous in weighing the evidences of religion, are yet often so ready to believe the most absurd and improbable tales of another nature, that Lord Hailes well observed, a good essay might be written Sur la Crédulité des Incrédules.

his virtues, perished in the passage between Ulva and Inchkenneth." The account given in the Journey of young Donald Maclean, made him a popular character. The Laird of Col is a character in O'Keefe's “ Highland Reel.” Johnson writes from Lichfield, 13th June, 1775:-“There is great lamentation here for poor Col;” and a review of the Journey, Gent. Mag. 1775, thus concludes: - -“ But, whatever Dr. Johnson saw, whatever he described, will now be perpetuated; and though the buildings of Icolmkill are mouldering into dust, and the young Laird of Col is insensible of praise,

readers yet unborn will feel their piety warmed by the ruins of Iona, and their sensibility touched by the untimely fate of the amiable Maclean.” -C

The height of this cave I cannot tell with any tolerable exactness; but it seemed to be very lofty, and to be a pretty regular arch. We penetrated, by candlelight, a great way; by our measurement, no less than four hundred and eighty-five feet. Tradition

says, that a piper and twelve men once advanced into this cave, nobody can tell how far (), and never returned. At the distance to which we proceeded the air was quite pure; for the candle burned freely, without the least appearance of the flame growing globular; but as we had only one, we thought it dangerous to venture farther, lest, should it have been extinguished, we should have had no means of ascertaining whether we could remain without danger. Dr. Johnson said, this was the greatest natural curiosity he had ever seen.

We saw the island of Staffa, at no very great distance, but could not land upon it, the surge was so high on its rocky coast.

Sir Allan, anxious for the honour of Mull, was still talking of its woods, and pointing them out to Dr. Johnson, as appearing at a distance on the skirts of that island, as we sailed along. Johnson. “Sir, I saw at Tobermorie what they called a wood, which I unluckily took for heath. If you show me what I shall take for furze, it will be something."

(1) There is little room for supposing that any person ever went farther into M Kinnon's cave than any man may now go. Johnson's admiration of it seems exaggerated. A great number of the M-Kinnons, escaping from some powerful enemy, hid themselves in this cave till they could get over to the isle of Sky. It concealed themselves and their

birlings, or boats; and they show M‘Kinnon's harbour, M.Kinnon's dining-table, and other localities. M‘Kinnon's candlestick was a fine piece of spar, destroyed by some traveller in the frantic rage for appropriation, with which tourists are sometimes animated.-WALTER SCOTT,

In the afternoon we went ashore on the coast of Mull, and partook of a cold repast, which we carried with us.

We hoped to have procured some rum or brandy for our boatmen and servants, from a public-house near where we landed; but unfortunately a funeral a few days before had exhausted all their store. Mr. Campbell, however, one of the Duke of Argyle's tacksmen, who lived in the neighbourhood, on receiving a message from Sir Allan, sent us a liberal supply.

We continued to coast along Mull, and passed by Nuns’ Island, which, it is said, belonged to the nuns of Icolmkill, and from which, we were told, the stone for the buildings there was taken. As we sailed along by moonlight, in a sea somewhat rough, and often between black and gloomy rocks, Dr. Johnson said, “If this be not roving among the Hebrides, nothing is.” The repetition of words which he had so often previously used made a strong impression on my imagination; and, by a natural course of thinking, led me to consider how our present adventures would appear to me at a future period.

I have often experienced, that scenes through which a man has passed improve by lying in the memory: they grow mellow.

Acti labores sunt jucundi. This may be owing to comparing them

« 이전계속 »