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When yelled the wolf and fled the deer,
Loose crags had toppled o'er;
A mass no host could raise.
On its precarious base.
Now left their foreheads bare."
LESSON 10.—THE GREAT GLEN OF SCOTLAND.
1. "One of the most prominent features in the geography of Scotland is that great opening which extends from the shores of Caithness, directly across the island, through the shires of Inverness (In-ver-ness') and Argyle (Ar-gile') to the Atlantic Ocean. The principal part of this valley or opening is occupied by the arms of the sea, Loch Linnhe with its continuation Loch Eil and the Moray Firth; and of the space of land between these two, which is only sixty miles in extent, nearly two-thirds are covered by a series of fresh-water lakes.
2. “To the plains and low hills bounding this important division of country on the east succeed chains of rough mountains, which gradually increase in height, and attain the greatest elevation in Great Britain at Ben Nevis near Fort-William, which rises 4406 feet above the sea.
3. This valley, called in Gaelic, “Glen More nan Albin," “the great glen of Scotland,” forms the line of that commercial water-way from sea to sea which was completed
1 Anderson's Guide to the Highlands.
in 1822 and is named “ the Caledonian Canal.” This is a work of great usefulness for vessels of moderate size, as it enables them to pass from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea, or the reverse way, without requiring to navigate by the longer route round the north of Scotland.
4. The lakes which form links in this canal or waterway from north-east to south-west are Loch Ness, Loch Oich (Oik), and Loch Lochy, respectively about twentythree, three, and ten miles in length. Loch Ness attains the very great depth of nearly 800 feet at its deepest part and Loch Lochy about half as much. The hills on either side of the lakes rise to a considerable elevation. On Loch Ness they are rugged and well-wooded; and on the other two lakes they are covered with green pastures, with here and there a few birch trees scattered over them.
5. All three lakes present pleasing and attractive scenery, the effect of which is heightened by the smooth placid water, the views along glens extending northward, as Glen Moriston opening on Loch Ness.
6. About a mile from the south bank of Loch Ness are situated the celebrated Falls of Foyers, consisting of a lower fall and an upper fall, the former about 90 feet in height the latter about 30. The richly wooded scenery of this gorge is of the grandest character, and the lower fall has been declared to form one of the finest sights in Britain.
7. At the south-western end of the canal there is a series of locks known by the name of “Neptune's Staircase” by which vessels descend to or mount up from the sea at Loch Eil (Eel). There is a similar but lesser series of locks at the other end near the town of Inverness; the river Ness not forming part of the canal route.
8. Near Loch Eil, to the south, may be seen Ben Nevis, the monarch of all our British mountains. Standing well apart from other mountain masses and rising almost from the edge of the sea it presents a grand and impressive appearance. On the north side a steep precipice commences at the summit and reaches down to a depth of not less than 1500 feet. From the top of Ben Nevis may be seen the distant hills of Caithness and the Outer Hebrides.
9. Loch Eil and Loch Linnhe form a sea-arm which presents all the way to Oban a succession of romantic scenery.
The traveller who follows this route in summer, and is fortunate enough to be favoured with a fine sunset, has the opportunity of enjoying one of the most splendid views anywhere to be seen.
He advances over a wide expanse of sunlit sea, bounded right and left by the wild hills of Glencoe, Morven, and Appin, whose wildness is softened by the mellow evening tints, towards the bold rounded hills of the island of Mull in front, now in deep shadow. These are seen rising over the nearer low and fertile island of Lismore, and present in their highest peak, Benmore, 3168 feet high, a wellknown landmark which is visible from many distant points in this region.
10. With the island of Mull the great valley may be said to end. Along its northern shore by the strait called the Sound of Mull, is the approach to the Outer Hebrides, while round its southern extremity is the sea-way to the open Atlantic Ocean.
LESSON 11.—THE HIGHLANDS.
1. Land of gray rock and drifting rain,
Of noisy brook and stormy main,--