« ÖncekiDevam »
generally able men selected by Louis diplomatic management presented in XIV. evinced his discernment; and, that long and eventful reign. Our Sir amongst these, our history places in William Temple made himself conprominent relief the ability of Barillon, spicuous for truth and plain dealing, his ambassador to England, though, which he found the surest instrument probably, Harcourt's success, in pro- of deception, and best cloak for his curing for the Bourbons the throne of
real designs. Lord Chesterfield, who Spain, is the most signal instance of was himself no mean proficient in the
art, describes the French, in general, tion of Lord Herbert's autobiography, as superior tacticians in it, though first published in 1764, at Strawberry Marlborough, in his portraiture, was Hill, by Horace Walpole, is the narrative still more resistless as an envoy than a of his duels, or rather challenges, both at home and at the Court of Louis XIII. military men, were able diplomatists,
warrior. Stair and Stanhope, too, both (see page 53 of the Memoirs,) in unhappy notwithstanding the haughty insolence accord with the prejudice which sets at nought the peremptory mandate of re
of a Popilius more than once betrayed, ligion, law, and reason, and substitutes according to St. Simon (tomes xvii. and for their jurisdiction a delusive code, and xviii.) by the former at the French Court. imperious tribunal, equally fallacious in It was usually, likewise, from the mar. principle and pernicious in action. But tial ranks, that Napoleon chose his this inheritance of a barbarous age, simi- envoys, such as Duroc, Andréossi, larly to the savage tribes or beasts of prey; Lauriston, Bournonville, Caulaincourt, necessarily, however slowly, recedes before
and so many others too numerous to the advance of civilization, of which its
recite. But, how distinguished soever decay, like that of one of its most stimu.
these officers were, two civilians-the lating causes-inebriation-may be viewed
one his constant adversary, though his an unerring test. The Journal de P. L'Etoile,
a contemporary of Herbert, is compatriot-the other, long his minispregnant with proofs of its destructive ter and finally his foe-transcended consequences. In 1609, he states that, in far in talent, and eclipsed the fame of the short interval of six months, not less their war-bred rivals-" Cedant arma than two hundred noble lives had been togæ,”
togæ," -was here perfectly applicable; thus forfeited -- of deluded men, qui and I need scarcely name Pozzo di avoient plus à coeur un honneur fondé sur Borgo, † and Talleyrand, as the most des fausses opinions que la vie," an accu- eminent of modern diplomatists. mulation of fatality which produced the royal edict of the 26th of June, then, and long after, quite impotent of correction, f In 1831 I had a long interview with or remedial of the evil. Occasionally, this celebrated character, on the part of however, some signal examples were made the late Earl of Dundonald, who had been in vindication of the law; and, amongst led to expect that some chemical secrets, them, in 1627, we even reckon a Mont- which his eccentric lordship probably morency, the Comte de Bouteville, father over-valued, would be purchased by the of Marshal Luxembourg, our glorious Russian Court; but the negotiation failed William's constant victor. Yet surely
of success. What most struck me, on the submission, often in defiance of our the occasion, was Pozzo di Borgo's marked conscience and conviction, to an arbitrary Italian accent, notwithstanding his long rule, based on the grossest perversion of use and perfect expression of the French terms, and misapplication of the noble tongue. He had been å representative precept, 6. Summum crede nefas animam from his native Corsica to the “ Assem. præferre pudori," argues no genuine blée Législative," in 1792, when, as he courage,
said, the outrageous proceedings of the “Ma, verace valor, ben che negletto, 10th of August excited his horror of the E'di se stesso a se freggio assai chiaro." Revolution and its promoters-an im
Brantome's " Discours sur les Duels," pression sufficiently apparent in his subreferable to an anterior period, well paints sequent career. It was in Paris that this the æra and the author, (@uvres, tome interview occurred, just before Lord iv.) and Rousseau's Nouvelle Héloise, Dundonald's decease, which very shortly (Lettre 57,) ably discusses the subject; followed that of his daughter, Lady while Johnson's sophistry, we learn from Dorothea, who died on the 23rd of Jan. Boswell, was wielded in its defence. See 1831, though I have, within these few vol. v. p. 95, 8vo. with the rational note weeks, seen her death announced in our of the Biographer, whose son subsequently public prints, an error unquestionably ; fell a sacrifice to this scourge of society, for I attended the religious rites and
The ensuing list promised by Mr. deemed it unnecessary; and yet his Holmes will, probably, demand little appeal to your readers, Mr. Urban, exposition beyond what he may think would seemingly throw upon others a proper to subjoin; as the approach to task which he appears to be so compeour own times will necessarily fa- tent to undertake himself. I wish he miliarise us with the actors on this would, per contra, enumerate the En. stage-one, doubtless, of high moment glish Ambassadors to France. in the intercourse, and, consequently, In conclusion, I beg leave to remark the interests of nations. But I am that if, in pursuing the foregone diplodeeply sensible how inadequate the matic record, the course of my obsources of inquiry open to me in a servations should occasionally appear remote provincial locality must be, to have overpassed their strict line or when compared to the vast repository necessity of purpose, I may truly aver, of materials for filling up this outline, that I had much oftener to repress than accessible to Mr. Holmes in the British to solicit the teeming source of the Museum, whence he dates his commu- arising and diversifying recollections, nication. If he has not been more ex- which I have thus incidentally introplicit, it is, of course, because he duced.
Yours, &c. J. R.
ter, will perhaps prove acceptable to IN the autumo of 1839, during a your antiquarian readers. short tour in the north of Scotland My principal object in addressing which I had the advantage of making you, is to offer a short description of in company with a dear friend, him- a sepulchral chamber in a Cairn, siself a Scotchman, I visited the Isle of tuated near Broadford, in the Isle of Skye. My stay in that interesting Skye; and, in order to make my narraIsland extended only to two days and tive more intelligible, I beg to refer a half, during which it rained inces- you to the annexed representation, santly in fact it always rains in copied from a sketch made on the spot Skye) ; but some of the observations by myself. which I collected during that brief in- Before proceeding to describe, I terval, being of an antiquarian charac- should perhaps premise that Broad
ford, -though a post-town, and pos
sessing, as such, considerable local funeral, as my eldest brother was her gode importance, - is an inconsiderable father. Mr. Burke, in his Peerage, has
place, situated on the north coast of the also inaccurately placed her demise in 1830. Forty-five years separated her and
southern part of Skye,-commanding her brother the present Earl's births (1775
a glorious view of the opposite moun-1820), no usual circumstance, truly.
tains in Rosshire. The neighbouring GENT. MAG. VOL. XV.
district belongs to a gentleman named trusted; but I was assured that the
Mr. Macinnon's house may be said render which more easily distinguishto stand on the sea-shore,-a small able, Mr. Macinnon was represented garden in front occupying the only in- peeping in,) indicates the size and potervening space ; about half a mile sition of the stone which became diseastward of which stands Broadford lodged on the occasion of the original Inn: and nearly midway, in a field of discovery. Having descended through which the beach forms the northern that aperture, the annexed sketch boundary, is situated the Cairn, which gives you a faithful representation of is alar, and measures 125 paces
the curious internal structure which round the base. It is reported to have immediately presents itself. The chambeen of a conical shape within the ber is hexagonal, and was evidently memory of persons living; but that formed in the first instance by six huge the stones which formed the apex have stones, or rather masses of rock circubeen carried away by the poor people larly disposed; the spaces between to assist them in building their cot- them being filled up by smaller flat tages. However this may be, the stones piled horizontally one upon Cairn is conical no longer, but flat at another. The base of the sepulchral top; and except here and there, where chamber measures four or five paces a few of the stones of which it was across ; but this space is made prooriginally constructed are visible, it is gressively to diminish above, by three covered with grass.
or four layers of huge stones,-each To a person standing on the sum- superior layer projecting beyond that mit of this mound, it seems clear, after on which it reposes,ấtill a circular an attentive survey, that it must con- aperture is formed, measuring seven tain several sepulchral chambers. The feet in diameter. Over this, which surface, which swells slightly at regu- may be called the mouth of the tomb, lar intervals, seems to afford unequi- a large flat stone is laid. A section of vocal indications of about ten such the structure is represented in the subterranean structures, circularly dis- figure (a). An immense number of posed, and of a larger one in the centre; and this supposition is confirmed
fig. a. in the strongest manner by the discovery, which accidentally took place some years ago, of a chamber beneath one of the protuberances just alluded to. The discovery was made by a poor girl, who related the circumstance to me as follows. One day, when she was sitting on the Cairn, some of the earth near her suddenly gave way, and fell in; presently, a large stones,--evidently collected stone followed,—revealing, to her great sea-shore, from the marine incrustasurprise and alarm, a dark hole, and tions yet discernible upon them, showing that the Cairn whereo she piled around and above, constituted the had been sitting was hollow. She ran Cairn. and communicated her discovery to It will be naturally asked how any
men ; who first threw some one could survey so singular a monustones into the cavern, and then ment, without wishing to extend the descended. The account of such very discovery by an excavation. Being incompetent observers is hardly to be prevented by unfavourable circum
stances of wind and weather from adjoining chamber : almost simultavisiting with my kind friends the neously, an attack was commenced on wonders of Corrie-usk and Gien-Sli. another well-pronounced protuberance, gachan—a loss which it is impossible a few yards further on; and a deerto recollect without the most lively keeper, who stood by with his gun, regret, the Cairn was resorted to as a having volunteered to show a royal kind of pis aller, and on its stubborn road into the cairn, a third breach sides was expended some of the fer- commenced at bis suggestion vour which the anticipation of a visit on the side nearest the sea. He to Corrie-usk had kindled. An declared that he had been present understanding was speedily enter- at the excavation of many similar ed into with nine active lads, who cairns in Caithness, and promised with “a pick-axe and a spade, a success, if I would only attend to his spade,” attacked the stony heap recommendation. at three different points, under the Long and patiently did we persevere, auspices of divers grave old Gaels; and more and more certain did we feel who folding their plaids about them, as every fresh stone was lifted out and sat smoking their wee pipes, and pre- rolled down the side of the cairn, that dicting between every whiff that the we were approaching the mouth of a Saxon would not find anything. A second subterranean chamber ; but no troop of half-clad children, attracted symptoms of so glorious a comsumby the novelty of the undertaking, mation did we discover. The afterswarmed to the spot, and contributed noon wore away: hope deferred made to make a very picturesque scene ; for the heart rather sick ; and the mist I must request you to imagine the which had been playfully threatening sea on one side, beautifully calm, and us for the first hour or two, speedily bounded by a fine range of hills, began to dissolve in rain,-a systespiritualized by distance, their hues matic drenching rain, which at first varying beneath every cloud and dispersed the spectators, and ended by every sunbeam. On the other side, dispiriting my men. Some whiskey, swelling up in solitary grandeur, judiciously administered, kept up their
a huge hill, around which a spirits till eight o'clock, at which hour veil of mist was perpetually float- they fairly struck, disappointed and ing, now half way up its side, now wet to the skin; but a promise was wreathed about its base, and now exacted from them at parting, that obscuring it entirely; but more fre- they would be on the ground by four quently resting on the summit alone, o'clock on the following morning. and shrouding from view the spot On the morrow, it was very tantawhere, according to tradition, the lizing, Mr. Urban, to know that I Queen of Haco, King of Norway, is should be obliged to leave the Island buried. She desired that her body at nine o'clock, and to see none of might be deposited there, (so runs the rogues make their appearance till the story,) in order that the winds six. To work, however, at six we of her native land might sometimes
went. Down came the rain, of course, blow over her grave; and the hill (for it always rains in Skye,) and in is called
in consequence Beinn na spite of fair words and whiskey, at caillich, or “the old woman's hill." the end of two hours, the labourers, But some people say that the auld one and all, vowed that it was imposwife was King Haco's nurse, and not sible to go on digging any longer, and his Queen. This is a point, how- threw down their spades accordingly. ever, which, I suspect, we must leave Meanwhile, the revenue-cutter which the old ladies to settle between them. was to conduct our party to BalmaThe original name is said to have carra in Rosshire, was waiting to been Duisgir, of which the meaning is waft us from Skye; so that remonnot known.
strance with my pioneers would have To return to our own proceedings. been useless. Away we went, -I, Our first attempt was made at what most reluctantly,—from my Cairn; appeared a sufficient distance from the which the charming society we met chamber already opened, in order to with on board the Swift, (commandeffect an entrance, if possible, into the ed by Captain Beatson,) could scarce
ly teach me to forget.
But to re
in the rear of which stands Creag an turn,
which means “the rock of the It is a very surprising thing that I waterfall," apparently a failed in finding one or more of the appropriate name; and further back sepulchral chambers which I was in still Glaic bhuidhe, or the "yellow search of. All the three points against hollow.” The residence of Mr. which the excavation had been direct. Macinnon, which comes next, is imed, resembled externally that portion properly called Coirrie, that name of the Cairn which had accidentally being the appellation still retained by been found to contain a sepulchralcham- a locality about three miles off, where ber; and in all these three instances, did stands the farm anciently inhabited by we dig from two to three feet below the the family. Coirrie is an abbreviation, level of the mouth of the said chamber. the entire name being Coirrie chatachan, I may also mention that, before they that is, “ The corrie or hollow (liteabandoned the task, the workmen had rally, cauldron,) of wild cats.” The made such progress, that what at first present residence is sometimes called were two holes, had become one large Laoras, of which the meaning is not one, by their two excavations meet- known. I could conduct you further, ing.
but had better avail myself of your paBefore concluding, I wish to offer a tience, to lay down the geography of few remarks on the probable history the ground on the right hand of a perof the Cairn I have been describing ; son standing on the Cairn. and must beg your patience and at- A stream which divides Fiasag from tention for a few minutes more, while Broadford is called, near its mouth, I advert as briefly as I am able to a Alltan na brucha, which means the delightful and highly poetical peculia- “streamlet of malt,” because it was rity which struck me much in the formerly used in distilling ; higher up, north, and at Skye particularly. I it is called the “streamlet of seals.” allude to the local nomenclature of A road, running parallel with the every meadow, rock, and hill, which beach, separates Goirtean na traghad, prevails so universally.
the “ field of the shore,” from Goirtean An intelligent young clergyman, by na h-uamha, the “ field of the cave,” name William Taylor, was obliging to which I shall return by and by enough to furnish me with the names The meadows behind these are seveof the different localities immediately rally called the" height of Broadford,” adjoining the Cairn, together with the “short hill," and the “ field of their significations; which are as fol- colt's foot.' Next in order comes lows. The local name of the field in Bearbhai, of which the meaning is un. which the Cairn stands, is Fiasag, known ; but a cairn stood here which which means ["the field of] beards." was lately removed, inside which, Supposing you to stand with
among other objects, was found a to the sea,
the field curious ornament of green stone, behind is called Pairc dhubh, which pierced with four holes. Further on
“Black park or field,” and is Achadh a' chùirn, which means the the field behind that, Goirtean a' « field of the cairn." bhlàir, which means " the field of The extremity of this part of the the battle.” Beyond, is a locality coast is called Dùn-àcuinn, which known as Guala fà'n dubhai, which means the "castle of Haco," by whom
the shoulder of lamenta- tradition declares the castle to have tion.". The first field on the left is been built. It is separated from the called Achadh nan càrn, which means mainland by Caol-àcuinn, which means “ the field of the cairns ; " behind the “straits of Haco;" that monarch, which is another “Black park or field.” as it is said, having passed through Nex in order comes Pairc bheag, them when he went on his great exwhich means “ Little park;” and a pedition. narrow slip of ground separating this 1
to say a few words more from the beach called Port an team. concerning the “ field of the cave," so puill, which means the “ Port of the called nobody knew why, till an actemple.” Next comes Càl an t-sabhaill, cident revealed the propriety of the which means behind the barn ; appellation. Mr. Macinnon informed