On Friday, Sept. 11th, I left for the north the morning after my arrival in Edinburgh, hoping to finish my long walk before the rainy season commenced.  My old friend and host accompanied me across the Forth, by the Granton Ferry, and walked with me for some distance on the other side; then bidding me God-speed, he returned to the city.  The weather was fine, and the farmers were very busy at work.  A vast quantity of grain, especially of oats, was cut and ready for carting; but little of it had been ricked in consequence of frequent showers.  I noticed that they used a different snath for their scythes here from that common in England.  It is in two parts, like the handles of a plough, joining a foot or two above the blade.  One is shorter than the other, each having a thole.  It is a singular contrivance, but seems to be preferred here to the old English pole.  I have never seen yet an American scythe-snath in England or Scotland, although so much of our implemental machinery has been introduced.  American manure-forks and hay-forks, axes and augurs you will now find exposed for sale in nearly every considerable town, but one of our beautifully mounted scythes would be a great novelty here.

The scenery varies, but retains the peculiarly Scotch features.  Hills which we should call mountains are frequently planted with trees as far up as the soil will lie upon the precipitous sides.  On passing one of great height, bald at the top, but bearded to the eyebrows with fir and larch, I asked an elderly man, a blacksmith, standing in his shop-door, if they were a natural growth.  He said that he and his two boys planted them all about forty-eight years ago.  They were now worth, on an average, twelve English shillings, or about three dollars a-piece.

I lodged in Kinross, a pleasant-faced, quiet and comfortable little town, done up with historical associations of special interest.  Here is Loch Leven, serene and placid, like a mirror framed with wooded hills, looking at their faces in it.  It is a beautiful sheet of water, taking the history out of it.  But putting that in and around it, you see a picture before you that you will remember.  Here is more of Mary the Unfortunate.  You see reflected in the silver sheen of the lake that face which looks at you with its soft appeal for sympathy in all the galleries of Christendom.  Out there, on that little islet, green and low, stands the black castle in which they prisoned her.  There they made her trembling, indignant fingers write herself "a queen without a crown."  Southward there, where amateurs now fish for trout, young Douglas rowed her ashore with muffled oars so softly that they stirred no ripple at the bow.  The keys of the castle they threw into the lake to bar pursuit, lay in the mud for nearly three centuries, when they were found by a lad of the village, and presented to the Earl of Morton, a representative of the Douglas family.

The next day I walked on to Perth, passing through a very interesting section, which nature and history have enriched with landscapes and manscapes manifold.  It is truly a romantic region for both these qualities, with delightful views in sudden and frequent alternation.  Glens deep, winding and dark, with steep mountain walls folding their tree-hands over the road; lofty hills in full Scotch uniform, in tartan heather and yellow grain plaided in various figures; chippering streams, now hidden, now coming to the light, in white flashing foam in a rocky glade of the dell; straths or savannas, like great prairie gardens, threaded by meandering rivers and studded with wheat in sheaves, shocks and ricks, seen over long reaches of unreapt harvests; villages, hamlets, white cottages nestling in the niches and green gorges of the mountains, - and all these sceneries set in romantic histories dating back to the Danes and their doings in Scotland, make up a prevista for the eye and a revista for the mind that keep both in exhilarating occupation every rod of the distance from Kinross to Perth.

The road via Glenfarg would be a luxury of the first enjoyment to any tourist with an eye to the wild, romantic and picturesque.  Debouching from this long, winding, tree-arched dell, you come out upon Strathearn, or the bottom-land of the river Earn, which joins the Tay a few miles below.  The term strath is peculiarly a Scottish designation which many American readers may not have fully comprehended, although it is so blended with the history and romance of this country.  It is not a valley proper, as we use that term; as the Valley of the Mississippi or the Valley of the Connecticut.  If the word were admissible, it might be called most descriptively the land-bay of a river, at a certain distance between its source and mouth, such for instance as the German Flats on the Mohawk, or the Oxbow on the Connecticut, at Wethersfield, in Vermont, or the great onion-growing flat on the same river at Wethersfield in Connecticut.  These straths are numerous in Scotland, and constitute the great productive centres of the mountain sections.  They are generally cultivated to the highest perfection of agricultural science and economy and are devoted mostly to grain.  As they are always walled in by bald-headed mountains and lofty hills, cropped as high as man and horse can climb with a plough and planted with firs and larches beyond, they show beautifully to the eye, and constitute, with these surroundings, the peculiar charm of Scotch scenery.  The term is always prefixed to the name of the river, as Strathearn, Strathspey, etc.

I noticed on this day's walk the same singular habit that struck me in the north part of Yorkshire; that is, of cutting inward upon the standing grain.  Several persons, frequently women and boys, follow the mowers, and pick up the swath and bind it into sheaves, using no rake at all in the process.  So pertinaciously they seem to adhere to this remarkable and awkward custom, that I saw two mowers walk down a hill, a distance of full a hundred rods, with their scythes under their arms, in order to begin a new swath in the same way; four or five men and women running after them full tilt to bind the grain as it fell!  Here was a loss of at least five minutes each to half a dozen hands, amounting to half an hour to a single man at the end of each swath or work.  Supposing the mowers made twenty in ten hours from bottom to top of the field, here is the loss of one whole day for one man, or one sixth of the whole aggregate time applied to the harvesting of the crop, given to the mere running down that hill of six pairs of legs for no earthly purpose but to cut inward instead of outward, as we do.  The grain-ricks in Scotland are nearly all round and quite small.  Every one of them is rounded up at the top and fitted with a Mandarin-looking hat of straw, which sheds the rain well.  A good-sized farm-house is flanked with quite a village of these little round stacks, looking like a comfortable colony of large, yellow tea-caddies in the distance.

Reached Perth a little after dark, having made a walk of nearly twenty miles after 11 a.m.  Here I remained over the Sabbath, and greatly enjoyed both its rest and the devotional exercises in some of the churches of the city.

The Fair City of Perth is truly most beautifully situated at the head of navigation on the Tay, as Stirling is on the Forth.  It has no mountainous eminence in its midst, castle-crowned, like Stirling, from which to look off upon such a scene as the latter commands.  But Nature has erected grand and lofty observatories near by in the Moncrieffe and Kinnoull Hills, from which a splendid prospect is unrolled to the eye.  There is some historical or legendary authority for the idea that the Romans contemplated this view from Moncrieffe Hill; and, as the German army, returning homeward from France, shouted with wild enthusiasm, at its first sight, Der Rhein!  Der Rhein! so these soldiers of the Cæsars shouted at the view of the Tay and the Corse of Gowrie, Ecce Tiber!  Ecce Compus Martius!  There was more patriotism than parity in the comparison.  The Italian river is a Rhine in history, but a mere Goose Creek within its actual banks compared with the Tay.  In history, Perth has its full share of "love and murder," rhyme and romance, sieges, battering and burning, royals and rebels.  In the practical life of to-day, it is a progressive, thriving town, busy, intelligent, respected and honorable.  The two natural features which would attract, perhaps, the most special attention of the traveller are the two Inches, North and South, divided by the city.  This is a peculiar Scotch term which an untravelled American will hardly understand.  It has no relation to measurement of any kind; but signifies what we should call a low, level green or common in or adjoining a town.  The Inches of Perth are, to my eye, the finest in Scotland, each having about a mile and a half in circumference, and making delightful and healthy playgrounds and promenades for the whole population.

On Monday, Sept. 14th, I took staff and set out for another week-stage of my walk, or from Perth to Inverness.  Crossed the Tay and proceeded northward up the east side of that fertile river.  Fertile may sound at first a singular qualification for a broad, rapid stream running down out of the mountains and widening into a bay or firth at its mouth.  But it may be applied in the best sense of production to the Tay; and not only that, but other terms known to practical agriculture.  Up to the present moment, no river in the world has been cultivated with more science and success.  None has been sown so thickly with seed-vitalities or produced more valuable crops of aquatic life.  Here salmon are hatched by hand and folded and herded with a shepherd's care.  Here pisciculture, or, to use a far better and more euphonious word, fish-farming, is carried to the highest perfection in Great Britain.  It is a tillage that must hereafter take its place with agriculture as a great and honored industry.  If the cold, bald-headed mountains, the wild, stony reaches of poverty-stricken regions, moor, morass, steppe and prairie are made the pasturage of sheep innumerable, the thousands of rivers in both hemispheres will not be suffered to run to waste through another century.  The utilitarian genius of the present age will turn them into pasturage worth more per acre than the value of the richest land on their banks.  Just think of the pasturage of the Tay.  It rents for £14,000 a year; and those who hire it must make it produce at least £50,000, or $240,000 annually.  Let us assume that the whole length of this salmon-pasturage is fifty miles, and its average width one-eighth of a mile.  Then the whole distance would contain the space of 4,000 square acres, and the annual rent for fishing would amount to over £3 13s. per acre.  This would make every fish-bearing acre of the river worth £100, calculated on the land basis of interest or rent.

Having heard of the Stormontfields' Ponds for breeding salmon, I had a great desire to see them.  They are situated on the Tay, a few miles above Perth, and are well worthy of the inspection and admiration of the scientific as well as the utilitarian world.  The process is as simple as it is successful and valuable.  A race or canal, filled with a clear, mountain stream, and constructed many years ago to supply motive power to a corn-mill, runs parallel with the river, at the distance from it of about twenty rods.  At right angles with this stream, there are twenty-five wooden boxes side by side, about fifty feet in length, placed on a slight decline.  These boxes or troughs, each about two feet wide and one foot deep, are divided into partitions by cross-boards, which do not reach, within a few inches, the top of the siding, so that the water shall make a continuous surface the whole length of the trough.  Each trough is filled with round river stones or pebbles washed clean, on which the spawn is laid.  The water is let out of the mill-race upon these troughs through a wire-cloth filter, covering them about two inches deep above the stones.  At the bottom, a lateral channel or race, running at right angles to the troughs, conducts the waste water in a rapid, bubbling stream down into the feeding-pond, which covers the space of about one-fifth of an acre, close to the river, with which it is connected by a narrow race gated also with a wire-cloth, to prevent the little living mites from being carried off before their time.

This may serve to give the reader some approximate idea of the construction of the fish-fold.  The next process is the stocking it with the breeding ewes of the sea and river.  The female salmon is caught in the spawning season with a net, and the ova are expressed from her by passing the hand gently down the body, when she is again put into the river to go on her way.  The manager told me that they generally reckoned upon a thousand eggs to a pound of the salmon caught.  Thus fourteen good-sized fish would stock the twenty-five troughs.  When hatched, the little things run down into the race-way, which carries them into the feeding-pond.  Here they are fed twice daily, with five pounds of beef's liver pulverised.  They remain in this water-yard from April to autumn, when the gate is raised and they are let out into the river.  And it is a very singular and interesting fact that those only go which have got their sea-coats on them, or have reached the "smolt" character.  The smaller fry remain in the pond until, as it has been said in higher circles of society, their beards are grown, or, in their case, until their scales are grown, to fit them for the rough and tumble of salt-water life.

The growth of the little bull-headed mites, after being turned into the river-pasture, is wonderful - more rapid than that of lambs of the Southdown breed.  The keeper had marked some of them, on letting them out, by clipping the dorsal fin.  On being caught six or eight months afterward, they weighed from five to seven pounds against half a pound each when sent forth to take care of themselves.  The proprietors of the fisheries defray the expense of this breeding establishment, being taxed only twopence in the pound of their rental.  This, of course, they get back with large interest and profit from the tenant-farmers of the river.  As a proof of the enhanced production of the Tay fisheries under this cultivation the fact will suffice, that they now rent for £14,000 a year against £11,000 under the old system.

Salmon-breeding is doubtless destined to rank with sheep-culture and cattle-culture in the future.  The remotest colonies of Great Britain are moving in the matter with vigor and almost enthusiasm.  Vessels have been constructed on purpose to convey this fair and mottled stock of British rivers to those of Australia and New Zealand.  In France, fish-farming has become a large and lucrative occupation.  I hope our own countrymen, who plume themselves on going ahead in utilitarian enterprises, will show the world what they can do in this.  Surely our New England men, who claim to lead in American industries and ingenuities, will not suffer half a million acres of river-pasturage to run to waste for another half century, when it would fold and feed millions of salmon.  Once they herded in the Connecticut in such multitudes that a special stipulation was inserted in the indentures of apprentices in the vicinity of the river, that they should not be obliged to eat salmon more than a certain number of times in a week.  Now, if a salmon is caught between the mouth and source of the river, it is blazoned forth in the newspapers as a very extraordinary and unnatural event.  There is no earthly reason why the Connecticut should not breed and supply as great a number of these excellent and beautiful fish as the Tay.  Its waters are equally pure and quiet as those of the Scotch river.  Every acre of the Connecticut, from the northernmost bridge that spans it in Vermont to its debouchment at Saybrook, might be made productive of as great a value as any onion-garden acre at Wethersfield.

The salmon-shepherd at Stormontfields, having fully explained the labors and duties of his charge, rowed me across the Tay, and I continued my walk highly gratified in having seen one of the new industries which this age is adding to the different cultures provided for the sustentation and comfort of human life.  The whole way to Dunkeld was full of interest, nature and history making every mile a scene to delight the eye and exhilarate the mind.  The first considerable village I passed through was Stanley, which gives the name to that old family of British peers known in history by the battle-cry of a badly-pressed sovereign, "On, Stanley, on!"  Murthley Castle, the seat of Sir William Stewart, and the beautiful grounds which front and surround it, will excite the admiration of the traveller and pay him well for a moment's pause to peruse its illuminated pages opened to his view.  The baronet is regarded as an eccentric man, perhaps chiefly because he has built a splendid Roman Catholic chapel quite near to his mansion and supports a priest of that order mostly for his own spiritual good.  Near Dunkeld, Birnam Hill lifts its round, dark, bushy head to the height of over 1,500 feet, grand and grim, as if it wore the bonnet of Macbeth and hid his dagger beneath its tartan cloak of firs.  "Birnam Wood," which Shakespeare's genius has made one of the immortals among earthly localities, was the setting of that hill in his day, and perhaps centuries before it.  Crossing the Tay by a magnificent bridge, you are in the famous old city and capital of ancient Caledonia, Dunkeld.  Here centre some of the richest rivulets of Scotch history, ecclesiastical and military, of church and state, cowl and crown.  Walled in here, on the upper waters of the Tay, by dark and heavily-wooded mountains, it was just the place for the earliest monks to select as the site of one of their cloistered communities.  The two best saints ever produced by these islands, St. Columba and St. Cuthbert, are said to have been connected with the religious foundations of this little sequestered city.  The old cathedral, having been knocked about like other Roman Catholic edifices in the sledge-hammer crusades of the Reformation, was ruined very picturesquely, as a tourist, with one of Murray's red-book guides in his hand, would be likely to say.  But the choir was rebuilt and fitted up for worship by the late Duke of Atholl at the expense of about £5,000.

Of this duke I must say a few words, for he has left the greenest monument to his memory that a man ever planted over his grave.  He did something more and better than roofing the choir of a ruined cathedral.  He roofed a hundred hills and valleys with a larch-and-fir work that will make them as glorious and beautiful as Lebanon forever.  One of the most illustrious and eloquent of the Iroquois aristocracy was a chief called Corn-planter.  This Duke of Atholl should be named and known for evermore as the great Tree-planter of Christendom.  We have already dwelt upon the benefaction that such a man leaves to coming generations.  This Scotch nobleman virtually founded a new order of knighthood far more useful and honorable than the Order of the Garter.  To talk of garters! - why, he not only put the cold, ragged shivering hills of Scotland into garters, but into stockings waist high, and doublets and bonnets and shoes of beautifully green and thick fir-plaid.  He planted 11,000 square acres with the larch alone; and thousands of these acres stood up edgewise against mountains and hills so steep that the planters must have spaded the holes with ropes around their waists to keep them from falling down the precipice.  It is stated that he had twenty-seven millions of the larch alone planted on his mountainous estates, besides several millions of other trees.  Now, it is doubtful if the whole region thus dibbled with this tree-crop yielded an average rental of one English shilling per acre as a pasturage for sheep.  On passing through miles and miles of this magnificent wood-grain and taking an estimate of its value, I put it at 10s., or $2 40c. per tree.  Of the twenty-seven millions of larches thus planted, ten must be worth that sum; making alone, without counting the rest, £5,000,000, or $24,000,000.  It is quite probable that the larches, firs and other trees now covering the Atholl estates, would sell for £10,000,000 if brought to the hammer.  But he was not only the greatest arboriculturist in the world, but the founder of tree-farming as a productive industry as well as a decorative art.  Already it has transformed the Highlands of Scotland and trebled their value, as well as clothed them with a new and beautiful scenery.  What we call the Scotch larch was not originally a native of that country.  Close to the cathedral in Dunkeld stand the two patriarchs of the family, first introduced into Scotland from Switzerland in 1737.

Having remained the best part of two days in Dunkeld, I held on northward, through heavily-shaded and winding glen and valley to Blair Atholl.  For the whole distance of twenty miles the country is quite Alpine, wild and grand, with mountains larched or firred to the utmost reach and tenure of soil for roots; deep, dark gorges pouring down into the narrowing river their foamy, dashing streams; mansions planted here and there on sloping lawns showing sunnily through groves and parks; now a hamlet of cottages set in the side of a lofty hill, now a larger village opening suddenly upon you at the turning of the turnpike road.  I reached Blair Atholl at about dark, and lodged at the largest hotel I slept in between London and John O'Groat's.  It is virtually the tourist's inn; for this is the centre of some of the most interesting and striking sceneries and localities in Scotland.  Glens, waterfalls, stream, torrent, mountain and valley, with their romantic histories, make this a very attractive region to thousands of summer travellers from England and other countries.  The railway from Perth to Inverness via Dunkeld and Blair Atholl, has just opened up this secluded Scotch Switzerland to multitudes who never would have seen it without the help of the Iron Horse.  A month previous, this point had been the most distant in Scotland from steam-routes of transportation and travel.  Now southern sportsmen were hiring up "the shooting" for many miles on both sides of the line, making the hills and glens echo with their fusillades.  Blair Castle, the duke's mansion, is a very ordinary building in appearance, looking from the public road like a large four-story factory painted white, with small, old-fashioned windows.  He himself was lying in a very painful and precarious condition, with a cancer in the throat, from which it was the general impression that he never would recover.  The day preceding, the Queen had visited him, while en route for Balmoral, having gone sixty miles out of her way to comfort him with such an expression of her sympathy.

The next day I reached the northern boundary of the Duke of Atholl's estates, having walked for full forty miles continuously through it.  Passed over a very bleak, treeless, barren waste of mountain and moorland, most of it too rocky or soilless for even heather.  The dashing, flashing, little Garry, which I had followed for a day or two, thinned and narrowed down to a noisy brook as I ascended towards its source.  For a long distance the country was exceedingly wild and desolate.  Terrible must be the condition of a man benighted therein, especially in winter.  There were standing beacons all along the road for miles, to indicate the track when it was buried in drifting snow.  These were painted posts, about six or eight feet high, planted on the rocky, river side of the road, at a few rods interval, to guide the traveller and keep him from dashing over the concealed precipices.  About the middle of the afternoon I reached the summit of the two watersheds, where a horse's hoof might so dam a balancing stream as to send it southward into the Tay or northward into the Moray Firth.  Soon a rivulet welled out in the latter direction with a decided current.  It was the Spey.  A few miles brought me suddenly into a little, glorious world of beauty.  The change of theatrical sceneries could hardly have produced a more sudden and striking contrast than this presented to the wild, cold, dark waste through which I had been travelling for a day.  It was Strathspey; and I doubt if there is another view in Scotland, of the same dimensions, to equal it.  It was indescribably grand and beautiful, if you could blend the meaning of these two commonly-coupled adjectives into one qualification, as you can blend two colors on the easel.  To get the full enjoyment of the scene at one draught, you should enter it first from the south, after having travelled for twenty miles without seeing a sheaf of wheat or patch of vegetation tilled by the hand of man.  I know nothing in America to compare it with or to help the American reader to an approximate idea of it.  Imagine a land-lake, apparently shut in completely by a circular wall of mountains of every stature, the tallest looking over the shoulders of the lower hills, like grand giants standing in steel helmets and green doublets and gilded corselets, to see the soft and quiet beauty of the valley sleeping under their watch and ward.  As the sun-bursts from the strath-skies above darted out of their shifting cloud-walls and flashed a flush of light upon the solemn brows of these majestic apostles of nature one by one, they stood haloed, like the favored saints in Scripture in the overflow of the Transfiguration.  It was just the kind of day to make the scene glorious indescribably.  The clouds and sky were in the happiest disposition for the brilliant plays and pictures of light and shade, and dissolving views of fascinating splendor succeeded and surpassed each other at a minute's interval.  Now, the great land-lake, on whose bosom floated in the sunlight a thousand islands oat-and-barley-gilded, and rimmed with the green and purple verdure of the turnip and rutabaga, was all set a-glow by a luminous flood from the opening clouds above.  The next moment they closed this disparted seam in their drapery, and opened a side one upon the still, grave faces of the surrounding mountains; and, for a few minutes, the smile went round from one to the other, and the great centurions of the hills looked happy and almost human in the gleam.  Then shade's turn came in the play, and it played its part as perfectly as light.  It put in the touch of the old Italian masters, giving an everchanging background to all the sublime pictures of the panorama.

I was not alone in the enjoyment of this scenery.  For the first time in this Walk I had a companion for a day.  A clergyman from near Edinburgh joined me at Kingussie, with whom I shared the luxury of one of the most splendid views to be found in Scotland.  Indeed, few minds are so constituted as to prefer to see such natural pictures alone.  After a day's walk among these sceneries, we came to the small village of Aviemore in the dusk of the evening.  Here we found that the only inn had been closed and turned into a private residence, and that it was doubtful if a bed could be had for love or money in the place.  The railway through it to Inverness had just been opened, and the navvies seemed still to constitute the largest portion of the population.  Neither of us had eaten any dinner, and we were hungry as well as tired.  Seeing a little, low cottage near the railroad, with the sign of something for the public good over the door, we went to it, and found that it had two rooms, one a kind of rough, stone-floored shed, the other an apartment full ten feet square, with two beds in it, which occupied half the entire space.  But, small as it was, the good man and woman made the most of it in the way of entertainment, getting up a tea occasionally for persons stopping over in the village at a meal-time, also selling small articles of grocery to the laborers.  Everything was brought from a distance, even their bread, bacon and butter.  Their stock of these fundamentals was exhausted, so that they could not give us anything with our tea until the arrival of the train from the north, which we all watched with common interest.  In the course of half an hour it came, and soon our cabin-landlord brought in a large basket full of the simplest necessaries of life, which we were quite prepared to enjoy as its best luxuries.  Soon a wood fire blazed for us in the double-bedded parlor, and the unpainted deal table was spread in the fire-light with a repast we relished with a pleasant appreciation.

My companion was bound northward by the next train in that direction, and was sure to find good quarters for the night; but as there was not an inn for ten miles on the route I was to travel, and as it was now quite night and the road mostly houseless and lonely, I felt some anxiety about my own lodging.  But on inquiry I was very glad to find that one of the two beds in the room was unoccupied and at my disposal.  So, having accompanied my fellow-traveller to the station and seen him off with mutual good wishes, I returned to the cottage, and the mistress replenished the fire with a new supply of chips and faggots, and I had two or three hours of rare enjoyment, enhanced by some interesting books I found on a shelf by the window.  And this is a fact worthy of note and full of good meaning.  You will seldom find a cottage in Scotland, however poor and small, without a shelf of books in it.  I retired rather earlier than usual; but before I fell asleep, the two regular lodgers, who occupied the other bed, came in softly, and spoke in a suppressed tone, as if reluctant to awaken me.  And here I was much impressed with another fact affiliated with the one I have mentioned - that of praying as well as reading in the Scotch cottage.  After a little conversation just above a whisper, the elder of the two - and he not twenty, while the other was apparently only sixteen - first read, with full Scotch accent, one of the hard-rhymed psalms used in the Scotch service.  Then, after a short pause, he read with a low, solemn voice a chapter in the Bible.  A few minutes of silence succeeded, as if a wordless prayer was going upward upon the still wings of thought, which made no audible beating in their flight.  It was very impressive; an incident that I shall ever hold among the most interesting of all I met with on my walk.  They were not brothers evidently, but most likely strangers thrown together on the railroad.  They doubtless came from different directions, but, from Highlands or Lowlands, they came from Bible-lighted homes, whose "voices of the night" were blended with the breathings of religious life and instruction.  Separated from such homes, they had agreed to make this one after the same spiritual pattern, barring the parental presence and teaching.

The next day after breakfast, took leave of my kind cottage hosts, exchanging good wishes for mutual happiness.  Went out of the amphitheatre of Strathspey by a gateway into another, surrounded by mountains less lofty and entirely covered with heather.  For several miles beyond Carr Bridge I passed over the wildest moorland.  The road was marked by posts about ten feet high, painted white within two feet of the top and black above.  These are planted about fifteen rods apart, to guide the traveller in the drifting and blinding snows of winter.  The road over this cold, desolate waste exceeded anything I ever saw in America, even in the most fashionable suburbs of New York and Boston.  It was as smooth and hard as a cement floor.  Here on this treeless wild, I met several men at work trimming the edges of the road by a line, with as much precision and care as if they were laying out an aisle in a flower garden.  After a walk of about seventeen miles, I reached Freeburn Inn about the middle of the afternoon, and as it began to rain and to threaten bad weather for walking, I concluded to stop there for the night, and found good quarters.

The rain continued in showers, and I feared I should be unable to reach Inverness to spend the Sabbath.  There was a cattle fair at the inn, and a considerable number of farmers and dealers came together notwithstanding the weather.  Indeed, there were nearly as many men and boys as animals on the ground.  A score or more had come in, each leading or driving a single cow or calf.  The cattle generally were evidently of the Gaelic origin and antecedents - little, chubby, scraggy creatures, of all colors, but mostly black, with wide-branching horns longer than their fore-legs.  Their hair is long and as coarse as a polar seal's, and they look as if they knew no more of housing against snow, rain and wintry winds, or of a littered bed, than the buffaloes beyond the upper waters of the Missouri.  One would be inclined to think they had lived from calf-hood on nothing but heather or gorse, and that the prickly fodder had penetrated through their hides and covered them with a growth midway between hair and bristles.  They will not average over 350 lbs. when dressed; still they seem to hold their own among other breeds which have attracted so much attention.  This is probably because they can browse out a living where the Durham and Devon would starve.

The sheep in this region are chiefly the old Scotch breed, with curling horns and crocked faces and legs, such as are represented in old pictures.  The black seems to be spattered upon them, and looks as if the heather would rub it off.  The wool is long and coarse, giving them a goat-like appearance.  They seem to predominate over any other breed in this part of Scotland, yet not necessarily nor advantageously.  A large sheep farmer from England was staying at the inn, with whom I had much conversation on the subject.  He said the Cheviots were equally adapted to the Highlands, and thought they would ultimately supplant the black faces.  Although he lived in Northumberland, full two hundred miles to the south, he had rented a large sheep-walk, or mountain farm, in the Western Highlands, and had come to this section to buy or hire another tract.  He kept about 4,000 sheep, and intended to introduce the Cheviots upon these Scotch holdings, as their bodies were much heavier and their wool worth nearly double that of the old black-faced breed.  Sheep are the principal source of wealth in the whole of the North and West of Scotland.  I was told that sometimes a flock of 20,000 is owned by one man.  The lands on which they are pastured will not rent above one or two English shillings per acre; and a flock even of 1,000 requires a vast range, as may be indicated by the reply of a Scotch farmer to an English one, on being asked by the latter, "How many sheep do you allow to the acre?"  "Ah, mon," was the answer, "that's nae the way we count in the Highlands; it's how monie acres to the sheep."

At about two p.m., the showers becoming less frequent, I set out with the hope of reaching Inverness before night.  The wind was high, the road muddy, or dirty, as the English call that condition; and the rain frequently compelled me to seek shelter in some wayside cottage, or under the fir-trees that were planted in groves at narrow intervals.  The walking was heavy and slow in face of the frequent showers, and a strong gale from the north-east; so that I was exceedingly glad to reach an inn within four miles of Inverness, where I promised myself comfortable lodgings for the night.  It was a rather large, but comfortless-looking house, evidently concentrating all its entertainment for travellers in the tap-room.  After considerable hesitation, the landlady consented to give me bed and board; and directed "the lassie" to make a fire for me in a large and very respectable room on the second floor.  I soon began to feel quite at home by its side.  My boots had leaked on the way and my feet were very wet and cold; and it was with a pleasant sense of comfort that I changed stockings, and warmed myself at the ruddy grate, while the storm seemed to increase without.  After waiting about an hour for tea, I heard the lassie's heavy footstep on the stairs; a knock - the door opens - now for the tray and the steaming tea-pot, and happy vision of bread, oatcake and Scotch scones!  Alas! what a falling-off was there from this delicious expectation!  The lassie had brought a severe and peremptory message from the master, who had just returned home.  And she delivered it commiseratingly but decidedly.  She was to tell me from him that there was nothing in the house to set before me; that the fair the day before had eaten out the whole stock of his provisions; in short, that I was to take my staff and walk on to Inverness.  It was in vain that I remonstrated, pleaded and urged wet feet, the darkness, the wind and rain.  "It is so," said the lassie, "and can't be otherwise."  She tried to encourage me to the journey by shortening the distance by half its actual miles, saying it was only two, when it was full four, and they of the longest kind.  So I went out into the night in my wet clothes, and put the best face and foot to the head-wind and rain that I could bring to bear against them.  Both were strong, beating and drenching; and it was so dark that I could hardly see the road.  In the course of half an hour, I made the lassie's two miles, and in another, the whole of the actual distance, and found comfortable quarters in one of the temperance inns of Inverness, reaching it between nine and ten at night.  Here I spent a quiet Sabbath, which I greatly enjoyed.