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Imperial Magazine ;
OR, COMPENDIUM OF RELIGIOUS, MORAL, & PHILOSOPHICAL KNOWLEDGE.
THE VALUE OF A BOOK IS TO BE ESTIMATED BY ITS USE."
JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO THE
the one hand a view of the Long Island, HEBRIDES.
rising in greater elevation and gran
deur about South Uist, and stretching [Continued from col. 695.]
in detached lumps far to the northFriday, July 22d.-Loch Namaddy ward. On the other hand, we had a affords a great number of good and a view, though an imperfect one, of safe harbours and inlets, but in a those three remarkable rocks called picturesque view it ranks low indeed: M’Leod's Maidens, which rise immewhen a country rises in immense hills diately from the sea to a great elevaor rocky mountains, we lose the un- tion: one of them, we understood, is pleasant idea of sterility, in contem- perforated; but the distance at which plating their varied and august forms, we stood, soon shut them up from our in admiring the colouring produced by view, with the high rocky head of Braflying clouds, or the native tints of their cadale. Towards evening, the grand unclothed strata; but when this is re- chain of the mountains of Cullen, at duced to a mere flat, we meet with no- the south end of Skye, came in view, thing to arrest or engage our atten- their tops shrowded in mists. Beyond tion; a cursory view takes in at once these, stretched to a low point, lay the all the parts which compose it, and the extremity of Slate, and completed the eye wanders, satiated and fatigued, western view of the island. over the uninteresting expanse.
We now stood across for Cannay, The latter observations will nearly the coast of which to the northward rose apply in the present instance; some with the same rocky abruptness as the patches of cultivation, however, were generality of these islands; but its mingled with the general barrenness, height, though very considerable, apbut the whole was rendered still more peared much diminished by a compaunpleasant by the gloominess and rison with its more elevated neighwetness of the weather, which kept us bour on the other side of the channel, confined on board the vessel during the island of Rum. the whole day.
The night appearing rough, we came Saturday, 23d.—Sailed at four in to an anchor in a fine bay formed by the morning, with a very light breeze, the islands of Cannay and Sandy. which carried us slowly down the chan- Sunday, 24th.—In the morning we nel. From hence we had a view of went on shore, and walked to see the Skye, stretching a great length, and remains of a small tower, situated upon terminating in two long and similar a remarkable rock, composed of pebpoints, which, forming a supposed re- bles mixed or run with a matter which semblance to the extended wings of a bears every resemblance to lava. * bird, formerly obtained it the name of On the back side are some strata of the Winged Ísland. The intermediate basaltes varying from squares to pencoast formed an agreeably varied out- tagons; but their angles are ill defined, line, sweeping into green hollows, or and surfaces rough, inclining generally rising to abrupt cliffs, over which three to the bending form. On the top of cascades were seen pouring their this heterogeneous mass, a small semiwaters.
circular tower had been erected, as reWe here observed a whale playing port says, by some jealous husband, as on the surface, and blowing the water the temporary abode of his suspected to a considerable height. A misty rain, wife, who, to prove that his suspicions. which had been gathering some time were not unfounded, contrived means to the westward, now overtook us, and to escape with her gallant, in spite of soon enveloped all our prospects of all his precautions. land in total obscurity; this, however, at length cleared away, giving us on * See the Plate in No. 2, of this Magazine. No.9,-Vol. I.
Where the northern ocean in vast whirls
Various parts of the island exhibit the south side of the island, to see some volcanic appearances; the rocks are caves, which we were informed were ponderous, black, and appear to have there. We, however, missed our obbeen fused, and the shores seem as if ject, but found a coast wild and rugformed by streams of liquid matter ged in the extreme ; black rocks of suddenly cooled by the water. In one the most dreary aspect, overhung with place was shewn us a piece of wood, a vast elevation, the ocean that dashed buried at least forty feet beneath this with prodigious violence and noise at mixed mass, which, from its broken their feet. The summits of some which appearance, plainly shews that it has stood insulated from the rest, were been thrown together by some violent covered with flocks of sea-fowl, whose convulsion of nature.
mournfuland incessant screams, joined The general appearance of the with the roaring of the waves, formed a island is fertile; the lower parts co- concert well adapted to the scenery. vered with corn-fields, and the higher The low strands were here and parts (for mountains there are none) there strewed with small fragments of clothed with a fine verdant pasture. some vessel, which had been dashed Ata distance, Cannay appears low and on this rugged coast; a melancholy flat, but it is only the comparative proof of the dangers of a navigation height of the adjacent islands which through these narrow channels, assailgives it that appearance; the shores are ed by violent currents and sudden extremely high, and their summits are and furious tempests, against which uniformly composed of 'upright rocks the most experienced mariner cannot split into irregular squares, and ge- always sufficiently guard. nerally wearing the appearance of Thomson pictures these scenes, basaltes.
their wildness, their occasional place Above the rock alluded to, is the of resort to immense flocks of sea-birds, Compass Hill, so called from the qua- with his usual beauty and fidelity. lity it has of changing the direction of the needle. I took a small compass, Boils round the naked melancholy isles and walked to the top; but though I
of farthest Thule, and the Atlantic surge tried it in various places, it had no
Pours in among the stormy Hebrides;
Who can recount what transmigrations there effect. The stone, however, was sen
Are annual made! what nations come and go! sibly impregnated with iron; a small And how the living clouds on clouds arise, piece of it drew the needle completely Infinite wings! till all the plume-dark air, round-a plain indication of the cause
And rude resounding shore, are one wild cry? of the phenomenon ascribed to it, A wet afternoon confined us aboard which, in the situation I tried it, would for the rest of the day. no doubt have had a great effect on the Tuesday, 26th.—Sailed early in the dipping needle. In the boat, however, morning, and were soon becalmed in we had more success; rowing pretty the sound between Sanda and Rum: near a high rocky point, the needle our progress being of course extremely immediately varied from north to slow, we took the boat, with an intensouth, and remained fixed there. I af- tion of landing on the latter island, terwards found a similar effect in other but a heavy surge setting in on the parts of the island.
rough beach, prevented us; we had, In the afternoon we walked along however, a fine view of its rugged sides, the shore, and were much pleased with towering to an immense height, with a the grand effect of a heavy swell from degree of steepness that seemed to the westward, breaking on this rocky preclude all possibility of ascent; yet coast: a small cave in particular drew we could observe several sheep hangour attention; into this the sea rolled ing, as it were, to the green herbage, with great violence, and compressing which every where mingled with the the air at the upper end, was driven barren soil. Towards the extremity back with a velocity that reduced it to of this side, the rocks had a peculiar vapour, accompanied with a dull ex- appearance, jutting out into parts from plosion, like the sound of distant ar- | the main body, which they seemed to tillery.
prop like the heavy buttresses of an Monday, 25th.-Went on shore at ancient building. Sanda, which is separated from Can- The same light winds continued nay by a shallow channel, impassable during the day, and by the evening we except in boats ; and walked over to were only abreast of the south end of
Rum, becalmed in the same situation | stinately opposing elements, which, in where, on a preceding night, we had three different attempts to visit these been compelled to bear away in a islands, have constantly frustrated our heavy gale.
design. The surrounding islands were seen Whatever regret, however, we might in the most placid state of serenity, experience on our own account, it was but a heavy shower rested on the lat- unavoidable not to feel for the distress ter, diffusing over it a deep purple which seemed to threaten the wretched gloom, before which some light fleecy inhabitants of this inhospitable cliclouds hung at mid-height, and added mate. The kelp weed, or wreck, as it a high degree of wildness to the ge- is called, which forms in general the neral grandeur of the scene.
most profitable part of their harvest, Towards dark, we observed a large was spoiling on the coast by the rain, shoal of fish, which continued playing and seemed likely to be wholly destroyround the vessel for a very consider- ed; but what was of still greater imable time. We now steered direct for portance, the corn on the lands was Icolmkill, having had, for the first time, retarded in its growth by a wet and a continuance of light winds for the cold summer; and the prospect, if any,
of a winter harvest, with its attendant Wednesday, 27th. The night became loss, was all that remained open to the squally and tempestuous, with heavy dejected husbandmen. The inconvenirain and a great swell, and the wind ences which we had endured from the changed to the northward. The sea badness of the weather, were forgotwe were entering abounded with small ten in the comparison; and we could islands and sunken rocks; and the only deeply lament the unfortunate lot land, from the obscurity of the rain, of those whom fate had placed in this was scarcely visible at a ship's length. inauspicious region. Under these circumstances, it was Passing through the sound of Mull, deemed most prudent, after being toss- we retraced the passage we had before ed about till four in the morning, to seen; the accompaniment of a heavy abandon our design, and bear away rain, made, however, some variety, for the sound of Mull, which was yet pouring down in a multitude of caswithin our power.
des fron mountainous Morvern. In leaving Staffa and Icolmkill, we Proceeding on,we passed Dunstafnage, could not but feel the most lively re- a venerable castle, surrounded by trees, gret: the singular and curious forma- and situated on a rock; and entering tion of the one, and the venerable re- the Liunhe Loch, came to an anchor lics of the latter, were sufficient to give under a small island to the eastward poignancy to our disappointment; and of Lismore, and opposite to Appin. it may be justly said, we lost the view The Marquis of Tweedale has a of the two most interesting islands of small seat here, pleasantly situated; the Hebrides.
and the adjacent lands are well covered But the most discouraging circum- with wood. stances operated to drive us away; had My voyage was now terminated, and we been enabled to keep the sea for my solitary pedestrian expedition the night, the great swell would have about to commence ; the former had totally precluded all hopes of landing, occupied near six weeks, during which and of course the only object of con- we had run something more than 1000 sequence must have been relinquish- miles of direct course. ed. To have remained at Tobermorey
(To be continued.) with a view of returning the first opportunity would have been tedious, and METHOD OF PRESERVING BIRDS. most probably fruitless in the end, in [Concluded from No. 4.—col. 334.] weather which had, in the course of Having in my former paper detailed near six weeks in the height of summer, my method of preserving small birds, yielded only a continued series of calms viz. from the humming bird to the or tempests. We were now also on starling, it will easily be conceived, the eve of August, a time when the in- that the use of æther would be too habitants look for the commencement expensive for birds of a large size, of irregular and wet weather.
and of course would prevent many Thus circumstanced, it seemed use- from indulging themselves in this less to strive further against these ob- | amusing pursuit.