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Of a steady and grateful disposition,
- And diffusive benevolence.
And easily stirred up,
For, though he might have been
Even upon his foes;
When such illustrious examples
Such resplendent virtues
Thus basely blown upon! Tho' rather the promoter of a cheerful glass in others,
And somewhat given to smoaking,
Yet he was never seen in liquor,
Was far from spoiling his,
His days, which were short, Were ended by a gentle and gradual decay: His substance wasted, and his strength consumed, A temporal period was put to his finite existence
By his being seized with a cold,
In one of the warm days
By his friends,
Of his endearing virtues.
FOR THE POCKET MAGAZINE, A RAMBLE TO THE WESTERN HIGHLANDS
Resumed from Vol. II. p. 534. THE prospect from the other and more lofty pinnacle of Dumbarton Rock, on account of its height and situation, must, when the atmosphere is at all clear, be both extensive and interesting; as the spectator on this exalted spot would obtain a commanding view of the Clyde with its enclosing hills, and the river Leven, uniting Loch Lomond with the Clyde, as well as of all the picturesque beauty which adorns the lovely valley through which this short stream may be truly said to meander. Nor could the spectator avoid being struck with the sublimity of Ben Lomond, surrounded by the Grampians and other lofty mountains at the extremity of this valley. Unfortunately for us, however, the bad. ness of the day was such as to render all objects invisible except those in the immediate vicinity. We were not, therefore, detained long upon the summit, but soon descended, and retracing our steps for a short distance, again came into the road.
My companion, having gratified his curiosity respecting Wallace's sword, was now as desirous of returning to Glasgow as he had been but a few minutes before of reaching Dumbarton Castle, and notwithstanding the fatigue and hunger he must have felt, he would not be persuaded to enter the town and obtain some slight rest and refreshment, but, wishing me a pleasant ramble and good morning, proceeded back to Glasgow, where he arrived at about five o'clock, after a walk of about thirty miles without either rest or food. I, on the contrary, was too selfishly inclined to think of being so hard upon my appetite and limbs, and accordingly entered the first inn I met with in the town. Some large black letters stretching across the front of the building, informed me, if my recollection be correct, that it was Hammerman Tavern, although the miserable and cold appearance of its interior would scarcely have entitled it to rank with a poor country English ale-house. The sight of some new oat cakes before the fire, however, tempted me to remain. I was shown into a nasty comfortless little back room, where I sat myself down to rest; and, rather wavering in my resolution, began to consider the nature of my undertaking. For some few monients, forgetful of the pleasure I was certain to derive from my walk, I, with shame, confess the consideration that I was about to enter by myself, on my first pedestrian excursion, so wild a country as the Highlands, at so great a distance from home, together with the dullness of the day, and the wetness of my clothes, had such a powerful effect upon my mind, as almost to make me wish I had not set out upon the expedition. Whilst I was revolving the subject in my mind, I contrived to make a hearty meal of oat cake and butter, with a bottle of Edinburgh ale, which, happily, soon recruited my body and spirits, and perceiving that the rain had ceased, and the sky become less gloomy, I left Dumbarton a little before three, and, with a determined pace, pursued my way along the western bank of the river Leven. The transparent stream of the Leven winds through a most delightful valley, whose sides are interspersed with wood, heath, and cultivated ground, enlivened by many picturesque villages and a few elegant seats. The dark green of the whims, a shrub similar to our heath, but at certain seasons covered with a yellow flower, and the rugged. ness of the surface of the lands, observable in some parts, gave to the view an aspect differing from the generality of English scenery, and rendered it peculiarly attractive to me, who had been accustomed to a much more fertile soil. The charms of nature, however, do not alone constitute the whole beauty of this vale, since it obtains considerable additional interest when looked upon as the birth place of Buchanan and Smollett. A monument has been erected to the memory of each of these celebrated men; the one on the eastern and the other on the western side of the river. That which is dedicated to the memory of Buchanan I could not spare sufficient time to visit, as it was some distance out of my way. Smollett's monument stands in a field at the entrance to a little village called Renton, not more than a few feet from the road. It consists of a pillar terminated at the top by an oval shaped ornament, and standing on a raised stone pedestal, in which is a large slab of white marble, contajniug a Latin inscription, of which Dr. Graham of Aberfoyle has given the following elegant translation:
Pause a little over the memory of
TOBIAS SMOLLETT, M.D. With those virtues, both of the man and of the citizen, Which claim thy applause and imitation
He was eminently adorned :
He handed down his name to posterity,
By a premature death,
Lie his remains.
The place of his nativity,
And subject of his latest song, by. JAMES SMOLLETT of Bonhill, his cousin german,
Who ought rather to have received
This last tribute from him. The epithet of perishable in addition to that of unavailing, might have been most prophetically applied to this much neglected “record of affection !""*Mr. James Smollett, of Bonhill, who paid this token of respect to the genius of his relative, has long since been dead, and the monument has been suffered to remain in a decayed state, to the great disgrace of his countrymen. A considerable fragment of the marble slab, containing the inscription, and most of the iron
railing, which formerly protected the monument from the prying and mischievous hands of mortals, is now seen mouldering among the weeds around the pedestal! Let, however, the ingratitude of his countrymen suffer such frail monuments to sink into decay, the descriptive talents of Smollet will ever be a source of admiration and amusement as long as Scotland shall feel proud to boast of the genius she has produced.
Before leaving this sweet rale, I cannot refrain from introducing Smollett's “ picturesque and accurately descriptive ode to Leven water:”—
On Leven's banks while free to rove,
The blessings they enjoy to guard. A mile or two beyond Renton, at a turn of the road, my whole attention was suddenly engaged with a