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Dear to my spirit, Scotland, hast thou been,
PICTURE OF SCOTLAND.
SCOTLAND is the northern and smaller section of the island denominated Great Britain. Originally a distinct kingdom, it still displays striking points of difference from the larger portion to which, for upwards of a century, it has been politically annexed. Nor does it differ from England more strikingly in its laws, manners, and religion, than in the respect of its geographical features. Instead of being, like that more fortunate region, an almost uninterrupted plain, it is a generally and decidedly mountainous country: it is, as one of its greatest poets has described it, a
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
The smooth beautiful face of the Saxon is not more dissimilar to the harsh and strongly marked visage of the Caledonian, than is the champaign aspect of English scenery to the irregular appearance of that of North
Britain. Though this, however, be the general characteristic of Scotland, it by no means applies uniformly to all its details. The whole territory is divided into two distinct regions, which, on account of the strong dissimilarity of their topographical features, are respectively designated the Lowlands and the Highlands. The Lowlands bear a near resemblance to England, to which they adjoin ; and it is only in the more remote region, broken as it is into the wildest irregularity, that a violent difference is perceptible.
The littoral outline of Scotland is quite unlike that of England. The whole coast, but especially the western, is penetrated by innumerable arms of the sea; so that, while England forms itself into an almost regular isosceles triangle, Scotland is unlike every mathematical or regular figure, and defies all attempts but those of the hydrographer at its description. An idea may be formed regarding this peculiarity of its character, from the circumstance that, though in some places nearly three hundred miles long and two hundred broad, there is only one spot throughout its whole circuit, upwards of forty miles from the sea. Of course, the irregularity of the littoral outline arises from the unequal nature of the ground; and this peculiarity, therefore, prevails most in the Highlands.
Scotland is neither triangular like England, square like France, leviathan-like like Russia, nor boot-like like Italy. There is, however, one object in nature which it resembles, and by comparing it with which, it may almost be possible to communicate an idea of its real figure and proportions. This object is an old woman,-one who has a hunchback, and who
supposed to sit upon her hams, while she holds out and expands her palms at a fire. The knees of this novel and somewhat startling personification of Caledonia are formed by the county of Wigton. Kirkcudbright, Dumfries, Roxburgh, Selkirk, and Berwick represent the lower part of her limbs, upon which the whole figure is incumbent. Ayr, Renfrew, Lanark, Peebles, and the Lothians represent the upper part of the limbs. Fife
(including Kinross) stands, or rather sits, for the sitting part of the old lady. Argyll hangs in pieces from a lap formed by Dumbarton and Stirling. Perth is the abdomen. Angus and the Mearns make the back. Aberdeen, Banff, Morạy, and Nairn constitute the prodigious hump. Inverness is the chest. Ross looks like a voluminous kerchief enclosing the neck. Sutherland is the face, ears, and brow. And Caithness is a little nightcap surmounting all. To complete the idea :the isle of Skye is the right palm turned upwards, that of Mull the left inclining downwards. The fire must be understood, unless the distant archipelago of Lewis be held as untowardly representing, something of the kind: and the islands of Orkney and Shetland may be pressed into service by a similar stretch of fancy, in the capacity of a rock or distaff which the figure bears over her head, after the manner of a flag-staff.*
With the exception of a few plains near the sea, the whole surface of Scotland is more or less hilly, and level tracts are only to be found along the banks of rivers. As most of the rivers determine their courses latitudi. nally from the interior of the country towards the sea, the whole
be described as an oblong field, with an irregular alternation of rig and fur. Such is the predominance of mountain land throughout Scotland, that out of the nineteen millions of acres of which it consists, only five are cultivated ; and it is an old popular saying that there is no spot anywhere to be found, that is more than two Scotch miles from heather.
Though the surface of Scotland do not measure less than a half of that of England, it contains only about a seventh
* That this resemblance really holds good, is proved by an anecdote which I have since been told by a Perthshire clergyman. An old purblind Highland woman, visiting the manse one day, was shown into the study, where there was a large map of Scotland hanging against the wall. The whole was highly coloured, and Caithness happened to be pretty strongly marked with scarlet. « Eh!” cried the old woman, who had never seen a map in her life before, “ what a braw carline, sitting on her hunkers, wi' a red nightcap, and a pipe in her cheek !”
part of the population of that more fertile region. While this is to be attributed to the comparative poverty of the soil, the marked inferiority of the Scottish people in point of commercial and manufacturing activity is evidently owing to the circumstance that, till a late happy era, England always acted the part of an over-powerful oppressor in regard to her less fortunate neighbour. From the accident of situation, England was moreover able to intercept the progress of the arts towards Scote land. Had none of these circumstances been sufficient for the depression of North Britain, the infelicity of its independent government would have accomplished it. It is little wonder to see plenty reigning where peace has been undisturbed for centuries ; but the case
is natur. ally very different in a territory where dissension and disaster have but recently permitted the sword to be sheathed and the brow to be smoothed.
The prevailing characteristics of the Scottish people are generally allowed to be, caution,--acuteness of mind,-endurance of evil, with the prospect of eventual good, more justice than generosity,-a rigorous system of piety and integrity,-a spirit of adventure which leads them all over the globe in search of fortune, pride of blood not invariably unaccompanied by sordid conduct,
-more humour than wit,-great fondness for poetry and music, and a contempt of sensual as opposed to intellectual gratifications. These must be understood as applying to the common people; because the upper ranks, from their intercourse with England, are, in a great measure, identified with people of similar rank in that country; and because, even in the middle class of society, the manners and language of Scotland are fast becoming amalgamated and confounded with those of England.
The Scottish people are divided into two classes, corresponding with the two great subdivisions of their country, Lowlanders and Highlanders. The lineage of the former is composed of British, Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Danish, and Celtic; and their language, like their manners, is nearly allied to that of their cousins of