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6. Retribution awaited him, for unable to hear the warning bell he perished upon the fatal rock.
“Canst hear,' said one, the breakers roar?
Alas! it is the Inchcape Rock!” 7. The northern coast is rocky and dangerous. Three steep cliffs of red sandstone project into the sea, rising several hundred feet above the level of the water. They are Duncansby Head on the east, Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of the mainland, and Cape Wrath on the west. Near the shore, a mile and a half to the west of Duncansby Head, was John o' Groat's House, which was probably a ferry-house where passengers could cross the dangerous Pentland Firth to the Orkney Islands.
8. The Orkney Islands, extending away to the north, are seventy in number; Mainland and a few others are of fair size, and all are low except Hoy, which is mountainous. Fifty miles north-east of the Orkneys lie the Shetland Islands, which are hilly, with high coasts worn into deep inlets forming fine natural harbours.
9. Between the Orkneys and Shetlands is the Fair Isle, where the flagship of the admiral of the Spanish Armada was wrecked in 1588; the sailors who were saved remained on the isle, and at the present day the women knit scarfs, stockings, &c., of such bright colours--red, blue, and yellow—as the Spaniards admire.
1 John o' Groat is said to have built a house of stone having eight sides and doors, that his eight sons might enter together without quarrelling as to who should take the first place. “From John o' Groat's to Land's End" is a common saying, meaning from one end of Britain to the other.
LESSON 4.—THE COASTS.-II.
1. The western coast of Scotland is by far the longest. It consists of cliff-lined peninsulas, separated by deep, narrow inlets known as lochs, and skirted by islands of the same character as the mainland.
The largest openings are Loch Linnhe (Lin'-ne), Loch Fyne, and the Firth of Clyde. The lakes of Scotland are also called lochs, so that there are two kinds of lochs.
2. The only important capes are — Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly point of the Scottish mainland; the Mull of Kintyre (Kin-tire'), which stands at the extremity of the peninsula of the same name, 14 miles from the coast of Ireland; and the Mull of Galloway in the extreme south-west.
3. The islands are in two groups, called the Inner and Outer Hebrides or Western Isles. The Outer Hebrides form a chain of islands and rocky islets separated from the mainland and the Inner Hebrides by the channel of the Minch and its continuation the Little Minch. The Inner Hebrides skirt the shore.
4. Several of the Hebrides are of large size, the chief being Lewis, Skye, Mull, Islay, and Jura. In Lewis there is a great number of small lakes. Skye (meaning “clouds") obtains its name from the frequency of mists and rain. On the coast of Skye may be seen tall cliffs of basalt1 arranged in columns; in the interior are several high mountain ridges. Mull is also mountainous and has numerous caverns; the rounded mountains, covered with brown heather, present a tame appearance, but the caves, cliffs, and arches of basaltic columns are only surpassed by those of the neighbouring islet of Staffa.
1 A hard dark-coloured stone, like granite in many respects.
5. Fingal's Cave in Staffa is a grand example of natural architecture. It is formed of basaltic columns, which are as regularly placed and jointed as it would be possible for a mason to dispose them; they support a vaulted
roof of rock, which is ornamented by clusters of short hanging columns; the sea forms the floor, along which boats may pass in fair weather.
6. The small islands of Iona and Colonsay (Col'-on-say) contain ruins of very ancient churches. In Iona dwelt St. Columba, who thirteen centuries ago planted a Christian mission to the Pictish tribes in the Highlands. The island was considered sacred, and in the burying-ground attached to St. Oran's Chapel, numerous kings of Scotland, Ireland, and Norway have been buried. 7. Islay (I'-lā) is perhaps the richest in agricultural pro
ducts of all the Hebrides. In it there are a number of distilleries of whisky.
8. Within the Firth of Clyde are the islands of Arran and Bute. Arran is mountainous, and was anciently covered with forests, in which roes, wild boars, and foxes were very numerous; hares, rabbits, deer, and
grouse are plentiful, and a few wild cats are still found there. Bute has no mountains, but the scenery is pleasing, for the surface is undulating; there are several pretty little lakes, and the island commands fine views of Arran and of the neighbouring mainland.
9. The coast of the Irish Sea forms shallow, open bays, having little to commend them either for scenery or for use in navigation.
10. The features of the Scotch coast are its great length, and rocky character, the deep inlets, and the many islands, especially on the west coast. Compared with the English coast it is longer, but has fewer harbours; it has many more inlets forming natural havens, but a far less number of river estuaries; it is not skirted by sandbanks, but is studded with rocks; it has more grandeur but less variety of scenery
LESSON 5.-STAFFA AND IONA.
1. The floor of this majestic edifice-Fingal's Caveis a liquid mirror, reflecting, in calm weather, the various forms and tints of the vault above; while, at other times, the gentle waves that sweep along the projecting columns, resounding from the roof and walls, produce a wild and sweet music.
2. But when the southern tempest stirs the surrounding ocean, and drives the lofty waves through the yawning
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entrance of the cavern, then the encounter of billow and rock shakes the island.
3. Perhaps on the whole surface of the earth there is not a more sublime or awful sight than a thunderstorm at Staffa in a dark night. The war of the elements above, below, and around, might well cause men to tremble
when the rocks shake beneath their feet, and appear in danger of being swept beneath the waves.
4. The approach to Staffa is not very inviting on account of the comparative flatness of the island; but on coming close to the south end, the ranges of basaltic columns rivet attention. The most striking view is at the distance of five or six hundred yards, when the Cormorant's Cave is just in view on the left, the Boat Cave in the centre, and Fingal's Hall on the right.
5. Landing near Clamshell Cave, and clambering towards Fingal's Cave, we saw thousand columns scattered in all directions. We entered and were struck