Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tour Scotland The Soul of the Gael

The Highlanders are a grave and intelligent people, of a turn of mind peculiarly inquisitive, and susceptible mind which he naturally acquires from a rambling and excursive mode of life, and the daily opportunities he enjoys of contemplating nature on the most extensive scale. To the same circumstances it would seem we are to attribute that slight dash of melancholy with which the Highland character is uniformly tinged. The melancholy of the Highlander being far more morose, and having no tendency to misanthropy, seems rather to be a habit of mind produced by the combined effects of sensibility, solitude, and the habitual contemplation of sublime scenery. Little employed in cultivating the ground, his mind is not fettered by minute attention to a single spot; the range of his excursions is wide, but it is lonely. In tending his flocks he scales the lofty mountains, and traverses the extensive moor or dusky forest, and has occasion from time to time to contemplate the grandest objects in nature—the war of the elements, the impetuous torrent sweeping everything before it, the thunder of heaven, reverberating, in repeated peals, among the mountains, the violence of the winds, rendered furious, by being pent up in a deep and narrow valley, and snow coiled up in heaps, that interrupts for weeks the intercourse of a whole district. All these circumstances, alike unfavourable to frivolousness of thought, are well calculated to fix down the mind to habits of sober thinking, and to impress it with serious meditation on the vicissitudes of human affairs. Notwithstanding this general character of what may be called pensive susceptibility, which belongs to the Highlander, he is in the highest degree alive to joyous feelings. The Highlanders are fond of music and of dancing, with diversions of all kinds. In ancient times,when the hospitality of the chieftain furnished subsistence to his numerous dependants, it is remembered, in the traditions of the generation last passed, that the recitation of ancient Celtic poetry formed their favourite amusement; thus innocently did they twine the garland around dark Winter's brow. Beriah Botfield (1829).

Scottish Proverbs and Scottish Sayings.

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