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Sad Sights In The Scottish Highlands

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mmmm But the cottages which to the right of our road straggled down to a rocky stream below had no redeeming whitewaeh, no vines about their doore. The turf around them was worn away. Some were chimneyless; onothersthe thatcb, where weeds did not hold it together, had broken through, leaving grest holes in the roof. On a bench tilted up against the wall ot the lowest of these cottages Bat an old grayhaired man in Tam o' Shanter, his head bent low, his clasped hands falling between his knees. It was a picturesque place, and we camped out a while under an o)d cart near the road-side. Perhaps it would have been wise if, hke Mr. ton, we could have seen only the picturesqueness of the Highland claehan, only the color and sublimity of the huts, only the fine women who live within them. Bnt how could we sit there and not see that the picturesquene89 waè that of mÍ8ery, that whatever color and sublimity there might be- and to the sublimity I must coníess we were blind - were but outward signs of poverty and squalor, and that the huts sheltered not only strong young women, but feeble oíd men like tbat pathetic figure with the clasped hands and bent head ? We have seen the oíd age of the poor when we thought it but a peaceful rest alter the work of yeara. In English almshouses we have found it in our hearts to envy the old men and women their homes. But here despair and sadness seemed the portion of old age. I do not know why it was, but as we ed that gray-haired man, though there was a space of blue sky just above him, and the day was warm and the air sweet, it was of the winter he made us think, of the time soon to come when the cold winds would roar through the pass, and snow would lie on the hills, and he would shiver alone in the chimneyless cottage with its one tiny window. A few miles away, men in a fortnight throw away on their fishing more than these people can make in a year. Scotch landlords rent their wild uncullivated acres for fabulous sums, while villages like this grow desolate. It when you are in the Highlands you would still see them as they are in the romance of Scott or in the sickly sentiment of Landseer, or as a mere pleasureground for tourists and sportsmen, you mu8t get the people out of your mind, just as the laird gets them off bÍ9 estáte. Go everywhere, by stage and steam-boat, and when you come to a clachan or to a lonely cottage, shut your eyes and pass on. EUe you must realiza a we did - and more strongly as we went furlher - that this land, which holiday-makers hava come to look upon as their own, is (he Eaddest on God's earth. . . . Afler Kilchrenan the road crossed the moorland, Een-Cru -cl;an towering far to our right. We came to another wretched village down by Loch Etive. Heie again in the sunshine was an ol 1 man. He was wa'king slowly a' d feebly np and down, and there wes in his face a look as ïf hope had long gons froin hini. In Englaud scarce a town or village is without its charities. But in the Highlands, while deer and grouse are piotejiedby law, men a'e cbased from the r h unes, iha agei) and infirm sre Itft to abift tor themselves. I think the misery of these villages is made to seem but the greater becau-e ot' me laige hriue which so otten stnod c!o-e by. - Mrs. Pennell, in ÜBiper's Magazine for September.


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Ann Arbor Register