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ing mountains, and present to the eye such romantic scenery as must be admired by every traveler of taste. The rivers in the deep defiles · struggle to find a passage where the opposite hills approach so near, the indented rocks and impending woods embrace so closely, that the waters rush with incredible force, and a deafening roar, in proportion to the altitude of the fall. Then plains of various extent burst suddenly on the eye, which are filled with villages and well-cultivated farms. Chains of lakes, finely wooded down to the water-edge, are connected with meandering streams, stored with a variety of fish. The hills are covered with snowy flocks, and numerous herds are browsing on the pastures below. The noblemen and gentlemen's houses are generally set down on the side of a lake, or on gentle declivities facing the meridian sun, with a lawn in front intersected by the winding links of a river, and plantations of stately oaks, beeches, and other forest trees on the right and on the left, which together with the hills behind, variegated with planting, increase their beauty and their warmth.--The author has been advised by the Board to place this Topographical Description, not in the front of the Report, but in the Appendix, in which he has endeavoured to give some account of the general appearance of the surface of Perthshire, its most remarkable rivers, lakes, and mountains, the situation, prospects, and embellishments, of some of the noblemen and gentlemen’s-seats, with such remarks upon each as have naturally occurred.
• Along the south side of the Grampians, and on the north side of another range of green hills, there lies a large valley, or strath, which runs in the same direction with these mountains, and termi. nates on the north-east' at Stonehaven, and on the south-west at Dunbarton, reaching from sea to sea. This strath is of unequal breadth, from ten to fifteen miles over, in different places, and upwards of one hundred miles long. It is intersected by many large and beautiful rivers, every one of which is peculiar to this county, excepting two on the east, and one at the western extremity, beyond the limits of Perthshire.' P. 453.
The particular description is equally animated and precise. It reflects the highest credit on the taste, abilities, and judgement of Dr. Robertson. The account of the moss of Kincardine, and the methods adopted for reclaiming it, are well described ; and many useful hints may be collected from Mr. Smyth's method of cultivating waste land. Some other valuable papers are added in the appendix, among which we may particularly notice Mr. Haldane's attempts to introduce the fine-wooled sheep, and the description of various remains of antiquity in this county.
The arrangement of the General View before us is the same with the reports of other counties; but more minute, miscella-, neous, and instructive. What however 'constitutes the chief merit of the work to the reader, renders it impossible for us to : convey an adequate idea of it. We shall, nevertheless, mention the different heads, with a few remarks, as they occur. Of the state of property we can give no discriminate account; Crit. Rev. Vol. 34. April, 1802.
but shall select the pleasing picture of Scottish manners from the introduction.
• The noblemen have large estates; which enable them to support their dignity with splendor, and to perpetuate the hospitality of their ancestors. Many of the gentlemen have independent fortunes, gratifying a taste for elegance suited to their improved ideas and their rank in life. There are few or no counties in Scotland where the commoners are more distinguished by their education, their manners, their enlarged views, the love of their country, and the extent of their property. Those among them, who are not engaged in the arduous departments of government, of law, or military affairs, live for the most part upon their estates, have a pleasure in embellishing their residence, and ornamenting the country around them. Not a few of them superintend the improvements of their own tenants; and, by condescending to reason with the country people, remove their prejudices against new modes of culture, teach them to discern their true interest, acquire their confidence and esteem, and are regarded as the fathers and friends of every person within their domains. While the supercilious landlord, who, with an air of disdain, keeps his tenants at a distance, or does not know them at all, scarcely receives the cold salute and ceremonious bow which is due to rank; he who bends a little, and exchanges a few kind expressions, receives the respectful salutation of esteem, accompanied with the affectionate language of gratitude. The most beloved and the most successful generals were those who knew their soldiers personally. No man is less dignified for being loved; and it lessens no man's consequence in the world to have the confidence of those around him. Hence the generality of proprietors, who are resident on their estates, lead their tenants by the hand in the road of improvement and of wealth; and have found the true secret of promoting their own interest while they promote the interest of their people. .
. Under the feudal system the management of estates would be but little attended to: a property acquired by force of arms must be kept possession of by the sword. It was therefore more necessary to train the tenantry to war than to rural improvements.
On the large estates there was an officer next in authority to the proprietor himself, who, under the name of chamberlain, was at once minister, general, and manager of the estate. The farms were divided and subdivided to make room for a greater number of soldiers, and were frittered down into these small holdings in which they are now. found; in which circumstances no solid improvement could ever be expected to take place.' P. 37.
The division of property, where there are no dykes, is simple and curious. It is by 'wind and water ;' that is, the windward or leeward side of á hill, more accurately distinguished by the course which the rain takes when falling. The buildings and cottages are increasing in number and convenience: they do hot yet rise to elegance. The farms are large, the rents augmenting, and the whole county greatly improving. Dr. Robertsön thinks large farms most conducive to the profits and comforts of the agriculturist. We have lately advanced the same opinion. Neither poor's-rates nor tithes are known in Scotland. The means by which the ministers are supported, and the poor fed, are sufficiently known. Leases are not common; and the want of an extensive interest, together with a dependence on the caprice of the landlord, retards improvements. The profits of farming however, as here stated, seem not to be inconsiderable; and the implements of husbandry improve with the profits and the increasing scale of agricultural attempts. Inclosing and planting appear to have been encouraged at a very early period, and each has lately been much extended. We strongly suspect that what are called ridges in the following passage are natural appearances: yet the author's reflexions are judicious, and the passage itself is curious.
- We meet with evident vestiges of ridges in the higher regions of the mountains, beyond all these fences, where the land has never been inclosed. These inhospitable spots never could have been turned up in the ordinary circumstances of the country. What dire necessity could have compelled men to plough such land? And how could grain come to maturity in such a climate ? Either the first inhabitants of the country found the valleys so much infested with wild beasts, that they thought it safest to fix their residence on the mountains; and the country was so much wooded, that it was warmer than at present: or, during the successful campaigns of Agricola in this country, it is very likely that the Caledonians were compelled to retreat from the more fertile to the more barren parts of Scotland. The inhabitants flocked to their fastnesses, where their enemies durst not follow them. The population was in this event crowded beyond what the usual produce of the country in these places could support. The pressure of their situation urged them to have recourse to the soil of the mountains, by a temporary tillage, to prevent famine. What noble heroism, to 'run the risk of wanting subsistence, rather than to live in plenty, under the Romans, with the loss of liberty!
• These remarks are applicable to the general state of the High. lands at a very early period: the features of all the mountainous parts of North-Britain are in that respect much the same ; and excepting in the vicinity of the mansions of great proprietors, things remained for several centuries in this situation. Before the union, the trade of every man was war; and there was little leisure and no inclination to inclose or cultivate the ground. Within the period of half a century inclosing has made rapid progress in this country, especially during the last thirty years, and the ardor with which this and every other species of cultivation is carried on in our time promises to be lasting and highly beneficial to all ranks of men.' v. 1og. · Folding sheep on the mountains destroys very sensibly the heath; but it has less effect on the valleys, as the plant is probably there stronger and more hardy. Planting most certainly
shelters the crop and the habitations. Our author has witnessed evident improvements in Perthshire from this source. --The chapter on arable lands is a' very interesting one, and contains a great variety of useful information with respect to crops of almost every different kind. To give even the outline of the whole would be too extensive, and not particularly valuable : the entire subject must be read together. To prevent the fly in turnips, it is recommended to sow some new with the old seed. The former springs most rapidly; and, when devoured, the fly seeks some other crop, and the latter seed springs unmolested. The cheapness of turnip-seed renders this no very expensive method. The gradual spread of information towards the Highlands affords a pleasing prospect; and the Highland farming is not uninteresting. Our author's observations on the management of grass land, and the different grasses, afforded us much satisfaction. Indeed, there is no subject apparently so barren that he does not enliven and enrich by new or important remarks. The orchards and gardens, the woods and plantations, are in a thriving state, and promise to arrive gradually at some perfection, though in a high latitude, and in a less genial situation. All the variety of forest trees flourish in this county, but particularly larches. The plantations of oaks are also numerous.--In the chapter of wastes and moors we find some good directions for reclaiming mosses, and some strong arguments in favour of plantations. Scotland was certainly at one period covered with woods.
. Among the improvements in Perthshire, draining, embanking, trenching, manuring, and watering, hold distinguished places. Our intelligent author thinks with us respecting paring and burning. The manures chiefly employed are dung, marl, and lime; and Dr. Robertson seems to be of opinion, that pulverised lime-stone would succeed as well as calcined, but not so quickly, notwithstanding its effects are seemingly more lasting. The following facts, though not new, are placed in so interesting a light that we have been tempted to select them, with the author's truly judicious and philosophical conclusion.
• There is nothing more common, and perhaps few things more difficult to be accounted for, than when lime is spread on short heath, or other barren ground which has a dry bottom, to see white clover and daisies rising spontaneously and plentifully, the second or third spring thereafter, wbere not a vestige of either, nor even a blade of grass, was to be seen before..
• The seeds of some plants have wings, and when fully ripe they spread their sails to the wind; the seeds of others have long beards, which make them buoyant, and raise them aloft in the air, in quest of a new settlement: but it is vain to suppose that the heavy globular seeds of clover and daisies, without beard or wings, are wafted about by the winds : it is also absurd to say, that they are brought
there in the lime, after it has been burnt; and it is equally so, to allege that they are deposited from the stomachs of birds, without having been digested, as stone-seeds sometimes are, or that birds would pitch upon the very spot, where lime or other enriching manure had been spread, to deposit there the white clover and daisy seeds in such quantities, and in no other place near it, nor at any former time.
• Suppose a field to be well drained, and, in consequence of that operation, to carry the richest and finest grasses. If any one of the drains shall stop, rushes, sprits, and other coarse grass peculiar to spouty land, will grow apace. Why does this coarse grass grow only at the drain that has ceased to flow, where the land is overcharged with water? Why does not the same grass appear in the tract of the other drains, where the water is carried off? Or if the seeds of these coarse grasses are sown by birds, why are they not sown in dry land, which birds frequent, rather than in a bog, where few of them alight? Unless one can give a satisfactory answer to these difficulties, the sowing of clover and daisies, of sprits and rushes, and of every other species of grass, by birds, must be given up.
Lastly, it is altogether unphilosophical, and contrary to common sense, to have recourse to the doctrine of equiyocal generation, by imagining that any thing can produce itself, or that the seed of grasses can be produced without a cause. This doctrine is universally exploded. No man will hold it, who does not wish to be thought to have bid adieu to his understanding.-Many difficulties occur relative to the generation of animals as well as plants ; but to those my subject does not lead me. We are surrounded with mysteries on every hand; and many things both in the material and intel. lectual world appear inexplicable to us, owing to the shallowness of our understanding. The ways and the works of God are dark and intricate, and we often attempt to investigate them in vain. Our most profound researches are frequently nothing better than guessing at the causes of the phænomena that appear in the course of providence. There is no harm in these conjectures, if we hold them with humility.-Perhaps the seeds of all plants were created at the same time with the earth itself, and deposited in the ground, to remain there, until they are called forth by that degree of fecundity in the soil, and warmth in the sun, together with the moisture and exposure, and other circumstances which correspond to their nature.? P. 288.
The breed of cattle in Perthshire is bad; but superior kinds are daily introduced. The breed of goats is discouraged, as these animals destroy the young trees; and sheep are found to be more profitable. The flocks of sheep are now very numerous, and of the best stocks. They are in general the blackfaced kind from the south. The numbers do not seem to have hitherto diminished that of black cattle ; for many reasons assigned by our author: but he seems to think that the period is. not very distant when this effect will appear; for the sheep system is gradually gaining ground. Yet there are many arguments which show that the increasing fertility of Scotland, and the