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On leaving Loch Ewe, we stood their extremity, when he will reach the away southward for the Sound of foot of the Storr, with a steep ascent Rona, but the weather was bazy and of about one thousand feet before hiin. the wind adverse ; so that it took us This surmounted, he will find himself twenty-four hours to reach Portree, close to a huge precipice of black rock, the capital of Skye. The scenery on on the seaward side of which a num. both sides of the narrow strait that ber of isolated pinnacles of the most separates the islands of Rona and varied and fantastic forms, and of Rasay from Skye is wild and stern; enormous size, jut out from the side of rugged mountains and lofty cliffs, a the hill, at every variety of inclination, streak of foam here and there marking whilst between these and the precipice where a waterfall pours into the sea, above alluded to is a deep narrow and extensive moorlands of dark brown valley, or rather chasm, strewed with heath sloping away into the interior. fractured masses of stone. It would be In a few spots there is some appear- difficult to imagine a more stern and ance of verdure, but with the exception dismal spot than this, especially under of some stunted and scraggy bushes, no the aspect in which I beheld it; trace of foliage.
upon one hand that wall of black rock; The Bay of Portree forms a spa- on the other, these rugged pinnacles, cious land-locked harbour, on the north and the deep ravine between, half filled side of which stands the village, built with drifting wreaths of mist, now along a steep slope. The entrance is clearing off and disclosing frowning narrow, between two lofty headlands, crags and yawning fissures; then, which form the commencement of a again, settling down, and involving splendid range of coast scenery, ex- everything in gloom and obscurity. tending northward to the Point of I have never seen any place which Aird. We found ourselves surrounded more completely fulfilled, and, indeed, by a perfect fleet of fishing boats and surpassed my expectations, than this herring-coupers, as they are here Storr Hill. Below the pinnacles, it termed. These are, for the most part, slopes rapidly down into the valley, powerful sloop-rigged vessels, whose which then rises gently for more than a crews do not fish themselves, but buy mile, when it terminates in steep cliffs, from the fishermen. They are often which dip abruptly into the waters of very fast sailers. The scene around the sound. The most conspicuous and was very busy and picturesque ;-the remarkable of the crags which project quay, where an active traffic was being from the face of the Storr is that called carried on, piled up and cumbered the needle-an enormous mass, nearly a with herring-boxes, nets hanging from hundred yards in circumference at the posts on shore, or depending from the base, and about as high as the Scott rigging of vessels in the bay; boats nonument in Edinburgh. It inclines constantly arriving and setting sail ; so much, that I should think a plumb. and, above all, a perfect Babel of line dropped from the summit would tongues, bargaining, abusing, and ca- fall thirty or forty feet beyond its base. joling, in Gaelic and English.
Anglers should observe the lake nearest It was Sunday morning when we the Storr, where the fishing is open to arrived, and, on landing, we found that all, and in which, as Mr. Skene of the service was in Gaelic ; so, as the Portree informed me, it is no uncomday was a remarkably fine one for mon day's fishing to kill from twenty Skye, whose weeping climate is pro- to thirty pounds of trout. verbial, I left my companion to wait I got back to Portrec about half-past for the afternoon service, which was five, but not without experiencing the in English, and set out to walk to the provoking variableness of the weather, Storr Hill, about seven miles to the as the last three miles of my journey north of Portree. The path leads at were performed under a perfect deluge first along the bottom of a wide valley, of rain. bounded by a gentle acclivity, on Next day we drove to Sligachan Inn, surmounting which two lakes are seen at the entrance to the magnificent glen filling up a similar hollow beyond. of the same name, and near the foot of Keeping these lakes on his right, the Scuir-na-Gillean,* the loftiest peak of traveller proceeds until he arrives at the Cuchullin hills, which disputes
# Scuir-na-Gillean means, Rock of the Young Men.
with Ben Blaven the honour of being residence of Mr. Rainy, of Rasay, the highest mountain in Skye. My whose yacht, the Falcon, was anchored companion hired a guide and a pony close to us. to proceed up the glen, cross the ridge, Next day we got sail on the cutter and descend upon the far-famed Loch at six o'clock, and, with a fine leading Corruisk. This I had formerly seen ; wind from the north-west, which conso I remained behind to sketch and tinued steady throughout the day, fish. I caught some fine sea-trout in passed through the narrow channel the Sligachan river, and afterwards which at Kyleakin separates Skye from tried, though not with much success, the mainland. The position of this on account of the stillness of the day, village is very romantic; and every a small moorland tarn, about a mile one must admire the ruins of Castle distant from the inn. By far the best Moyle, whose shattered and weather. fly for the Sligachan water is one stained walls look down upon the dressed with a full, roughish-green strait. At Balmacara, in the district body and brown wings.
of Loch Alsh, the scenery assumes a Late in the evening my friend re- more gentle and sylvan aspect. Here turned, sorely jolted and shaken by the we diverged from our course for the rough roads over which he and his
purpose of visiting Loch Duich, an arm quadruped had passed, and with his of the sea whose beauty we had heard feeling for the beautiful quite swal- highly praised; nor did we find this lowed up in a sense of his bodily fa- praise misplaced. We sailed somewbat tigue. Added to this, he was exor- beyond the ruins of Eilan Donan bitantly charged for the Celt and the Castle, the ancient stronghold of the pony, so that when we left the inn for Mackenzies of Kintail, built in the Portree it was certainly not a blessing thirteenth century as a defence against that parted from his lips. The inn- the Northmen, to whom most of the keeper's niece, known in this part of western isles belonged, and who often the world as Mary of Sligachan, is the ravaged the coasts of Scotland. From principal person in the establishment, this point we had a good view of the which she seems to manage with much head of the loch, and the noble moun. address. We received a great deal of tains which overshadow it. inforination from her with regard to An arm of the sea, called Loch Loung, the roads and scenery around, which diverges from Loch Duich; a small she dispensed with a more than femi- river flows into the head of it; and nine share of volubility, looking quite some miles up the southern branch of picturesque in the broad-brimmed this stream is the finest waterfall in wide-awake, which she wore to shade Scotland, the Glomak, nearly twice the her from the sun, which may occasion- height of the better known fall of ally be felt in Glen Sligachan, though Foyers, in Invernesshire. The scenit is said that the oldest inhabitant ery around it is wild and desolate; scarcely remembers a day without a and where the stream leaps into the shower.
deep chasm below there is no trace of We set sail from Portree in the fore- foliage, not even a blade of grass, noon of a fine day, with a steady nothing but barren rocks. easterly breeze, hoping easily to reach On leaving Loch Duich we entered Loch Alsh by the evening; but we the sound of Sleat, which for more were again doomed to experience and than twenty miles separates Skye from to suffer from the mutability of this the mainland of Invernesshire. Both singular climate. It continued bright sides of this strait are of wonderful and and warm until two o'clock, when we varied beauty. There are lofty and were between the islands of Scalpa and rugged mountains, wild tracts of heath, Rasay, where we lay becalmed for and sea lochs running far into the some time, though at a little distance mainland ; but there are also sheltered on either side there was a strong pastoral valleys and quiet bays, with breeze. Presently it came on to blow undulating wood-covered hills sloping so hard where we lay that we had to up from the waters of the sound. take in sail, and soon after a dense fog One of the most beautiful scenes is settled down all round us. The result Glenelg. There is a fine sweep of a was, that instead of proceeding, we bay, with several neat white houses were glad to come-to for the night in peeping out of thick foliage, and the Clachan Bay, close to the beautiful rains of an extensive barrack, built in
the last century, to overawe the tur- bay; one of them was the Surprise, a
in a pretty cascade, into the bay. Some
We found two English yachts in the village, beautifully situated, and al.
* Loch Hourn means, The Loch of Hell.
most buried amongst the woods that land. We made a fine passage encircle a deep and quiet bay. On our through the sound, meeting, amongst return we had to beat down the other vessels, a handsome small cutter loch against a strong breeze, but we yacht, belonging to the St. George's got back to Tobermory in time to Club of Ireland. On clearing the land and walk across the island to an sound, we stood across for the Mull of elevated point, from which we had a Cantire, a promontory which bears an glorious view of the sun setting behind evil reputation for storms, and around the distant islands of Coll and Tiree. which the tides run very rapidly. We
Our homeward course lay by the were, however, destined to experience west side of the Island of Mull, pass- none of the stormy influences of the ing the singular group known as the Mull; the wind was favourable, the Trishinish islands, one of which is sea smooth, and we entered the noble called the Dutchman's Cap, and re- estuary of the Clyde just a month sembles a wide-awake, with a particu. after we had left the Firth of Forth. larly broad brim. Afterwards, fa- During that time we met with no acvoured by the weather, we visited the cident, and encountered few difficul. caves of Staffa, and the ruins at Iona, ties; the weather was almost uniform. but these are so well known, and have ly beautiful, there having been only been so often and eloquently describ- two wet days in the whole cruise; and ed, that any notice from us would be we returned with spirits raised, and equally presumptuous and unneces- health invigorated, after having visitsury. We then steered for the sound ed and admired some of the finest and of Isla, passing Colonsay, the property least known scenery of which the Bri. of the Lord Justice-General of Scot. tish isles can boast.
THE DRAMATIC WRITERS OF IRELAND.NO. VIII.
THOMAS MOORE-TIK REV. C, R, MATURIN-SIR AUBREY DE VERE, BART.
"If anything be overlooked, or not accurately inserted, let no one find fault, but take into considention that this history is compiled from all quarters."-TRANSLATION FROM EVAGRIUS.
There are few namnes connected with of the present generation, have ere the literature of Ireland, which will now received one thousand pounds bear repetition, without danger of sa- sterling for weak, indifferent plays, tiety, inore frequently than that of merely because there was something in Tuomas MOORE. The inherent vita- the title, or the incidents selected, lity and variety of the subject are not or the time chosen, which gave them exhausted by the late vo-luminous com- a fleeting importance; or that the pilation of Lord John Russell, which name of the writer was invested, either inevitably suggests a reminiscence of by himself, or his friends, or critics, Sheridan's joke, or ambiguous compli- with overrated influence. A few failment to Gibbon, in his speech on the ures caused the market to decline a trial of Warren Hastings. In the little, but still, as book auctioneers pages so industriously heaped together say of old, useless, scarce quartos, they by the ex-minister for the Colonies, brought “stiff prices," and four hun. we find scarcely any allusion to Moore's dred pounds per article were readily dramatic attempts, and only one or demanded and paid. The supply is two slight references to them in his still abundant, but not in such request own selected letters. Yet he wrote as formerly, although the standard for the stage, and in one instance with price (without purchasers) remains temporary success, which might have considerably above par. " To think," induced him to repeat the experiment. said the other day a quick writer with Dramatic writing pays well, perhaps a large stock on hand, “ to think of better than any other branch of lite. the madness and folly of some manarary labour, when great excellence is gers! Here is has laid out three attained. Authors, within the circle thousand pounds on the revival of an old, worn ont thing of Shakspeare's, strength and poetic beauty. Many when he could bave secured ten of my were wont to say, “If Sir Walter new pieces for the same money !" would only take to writing plays, what Only three hundred sovereigns, ready a dramatist we should have !" Yet cash, for a modern tragedy or comedy, when he tried his hand at last, the and this in the land where Otway died effort evaporated in such dull failures of hunger, and Milton sold “Paradise as Macduff's Cross, Auchindrane, The Lost" for fifteen pounds, paid by in- Doom of Devorgoil, and the poor, stalments !
Germanised mediocrity entitled, The *Fresh fish from Helicon! who'll buy? who'll buy!
House of Aspen, supplied first as a The precious bargain's cheap,"
contribution to one of the ephemeral exclaims the self-complacent seller and
annuals, although written many years
before. proprietor " In faith, not I !"*
Where, then, are we to look for responds the suffering manager, whose the true ingredients of the pure dra. exchequer is scarcely yet convalescent matic essence, and how, when, and from former unhealed wounds.
where are they compounded into the Moore seems to have possessed all happy harmony which produces a the elements and conditions which are Shakspeare or a Sheridan ? The required to produce a successful dra- question is easily asked, but a commatist. He had imagination, genius, plete solution appears as difficult as cultivated taste, a boundless command the discovery of the longitude, the of poetical language, great conversa- quadrature of the circle, the origin of tional power, ready imagery, a clear evil, or the causes of the magnetic atperception of character, intimate ac- traction of the pole. quaintance with the best society, good Moore, as is well known, was born classical scholarship improved by read- in Dublin, on the 28th of May, 1779, ing and observation, and a fund of and died at his residence, Sloperton natural humour, which saw and seized Cottage, in Wiltshire, on the 26th of the ridiculous with happy facility. February, 1852. He had nearly comThere seems to have been nothing pleted the seventy-third year of a long wanting here to constitute a first-rate life, in which he had enjoyed much and votary of Thalia, even though his bent suffered little, although his latter years inclined him not to worship at the were clouded by the failure of mental shrine of her more stately and severer powers, and the loss of all his remain. sister. Yet Moore, with all these ap- ing children. Up to a late period, al. parent requisites, and an inclination
though his head was grey, his heart to make the attempt, did little in the continued green
and cheerful, as in the dramatic line, and that little
few first dawn of youth, forming a marked indications of the brilliant inmortality contrast to his friend, Lord Byron, which awaited him in other depart- who suffered himself to wither into ments. Walter Scott furnishes an- comfortless cynicism at thirty. An other, and a very remarkable parallel elastic, buoyant temperament is a betinstance. His novels abound in ner- ter gift from Providence than an herevous dialogue, with diversity of ori. ditary estate ; and truly does the wise ginal character, action, incident, and monarch of Israel observe, “A merry interest. With very little change, be- heart maketh a cheerful countenance, yond the necessary condensation, they but by sorrow of the heart the spirit have been transformed into some of is broken." the most popular and profitable plays Moore received his early education of the day, and were eagerly watched, under the renowned Samuel Whyte, as they appeared, by rival managers, and afterwards at Trinity College, who had their cooks ready to hash Dublin, where he took his degree of them into the palatable shape within a Bachelor of Arts, and from whence few hours after publication. The sen. he departed to seek his fortune in the tences, said to be from “old plays," great world of London in 1799. Like but known to be written by the no- Horatio, he was possessed of little revelist himself, and prefixed as headings venue beyond his “good spirits ;" but to the different chapters, are full of be had a translation of "Anacreon"
Byron, " English Bards and Scotch Reviewers."