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such as Ben Nevis,* Ben Macdui, and Cairngorm, which rise to a height of over 4,000 feet. The southern front of these mountains has in many places a gradual and pleasant slope into a level country of great extent, of much fertility, and extreme rural beauty.
6. Notwithstanding the formidable aspect of the mountains themselves, with their coverings of dark brown heath, and rugged masses of black or grey rock, they are intersected in all directions by rivers and brooks and rills of the most pure and limpid water. These mountain streams in some places come rolling in foam and fury over beds of stone, struggling to find a passage through the deep and narrow defiles; in others they glide peacefully along the lovely dales, sheltered by woods of the dark green pine, or the graceful silver birch.
7. The northern side of the Grampians is more rugged in its appearance than the southern.
The enormous mountain masses are here seen piled over each other in wild grandeur, and often with their dark summits hidden in grey mist or cloudy vapour. On the summits of the higher mountains there is little more than gravel and stones covered with moss; but lower down we find the heath and cranberry plant; and, in boggy places the cloud-berry, and coarse grass. 8. The views from the summits of
of the mountains in the Southern Highlands are justly celebrated. That from Ben Lomond has been thus described :-" The view from Ben Lomond is grand in the extreme. The lake seems to be at our feet. In the distance the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow can be seen sparkling in the sunshine. We look down even on the Vale of the Clyde, with all its towns and villages. In that direction, too, the distant Atlantic and the dim blue coast of Ireland are visible.
To the north the prospect is grandly sublime, alp piled on alp; dark Ben Cruachan towering above Ben Voirlich and all his brethren, with snow-clad Ben Nevis rearing his loftier head in the greater distance.
* Ben Nevis (4,406 feet), the highest mountain in Great Britain, is separated from the main chain by a desolate region called the Moor of Rannoch. Ben Lawers is 3,984 feet, and Ben More 3,843 feet.
We are in a region of clouds, which are to be seen floating midway down below.” 9. The glens of the Highlands are exceedingly
Many of them are noted for picturesque beauty, flanked as they are on either side by great mountain ranges, whose summits are rugged and rocky, or heath-clad, and whose lower slopes are covered with forest—the weeping birch, the oak, the elm, the fragrant hawthorn, and the light quivering aspen, with a dense
jungle of holly, sloe, and hazel. Others are wild and bleak, dreary and desolate, whose sides are stupendous black overhanging rocks-places which look as if no sunshine could ever brighten them.
10. Through some of these glens clear streams glide merrily along; whilst in the deeper defiles the torrents struggle to force a downward passage ; and in some places the opposite hills approach so near that the waters rush with incredible force and deafening roar to the more open valley beyond. The hollows in hundreds of these glens are filled with water from the rains and melting snows, forming lakes, many of them of great beauty,
SURFACE.-II. THE LOWLANDS.
1. The surface of the Lowlands of Scotland differs greatly from that of the Highlands. There are plenty of mountains and hills; but they are less grand in form, less rugged in outline. Instead of jagged peaks and frowning rocks, we have gently swelling heights and rounded mountain tops. Instead of wild and gloomy glens, we have level plains and peaceful, fertile dales; instead of foaming torrents, gentle rippling streams.
2. Like the Highlands, the Lowlands are divided by a canal, which joins two deep inlets of the sea on the opposite coasts—the Firths of Forth and Clyde. In the northern division a range of hills extends in a north-east direction, parallel to the Grampians, from the Clyde to Forfarshire. This range is broken by the valleys through which flow the rivers Forth and Tay. North of the Tay we have the Sidlaw Hills; south of the Forth, the Campsie Fells or Hills, and between the rivers the Ochil Hills.
3. Between the chain of hills and the Grampians lies the broad and fertile valley of Strathmore. This plain extends from south-west to north-east, a distance of more than 80 miles, with a breadth varying from 16 miles in its widest part to scarcely a mile at its northern extremity.
4. In the southern division of the Lowlands there are two chains of hills running in zigzag lines from east to west. The more southern of these commences with the Cheviot Hills, which divide the counties of Northumberland and Roxburgh. Westward of the Cheviots are the Lowther Hills, dividing Dumfries on the south from Selkirk, Peebles, and Lanark on the north. From these chains numerous spurs of low hills run into the adjoining counties; but the main chain continues in a south-west direction, and terminates on the shores of the North Channel near Loch Ryan.
5. The second range in the southern Lowlands commences at St. Abb’s Head, and as we proceed westward the hills are named respectively the Lammermuir Hills, the Moorfoot Hills, and the Pentland Hills. The undulating ridge of the Pentlands terminates at Edinburgh in crag
called Arthur's Seat. “The heights of Lammermuir form a vast sheep-walk, which presents a surface of purple heath, morass and furze, striped here and there by emerald green, where the tracts of the summer torrents have grooved the upland slopes."
6. The Lowther and Moorfoot Hills are joined by a cross range.
In this cross range we have the highest mountain in southern Scotland-Mount Broad Law (2,761 feet).
7. Besides the great Vale of Strathmore and the Carse of Gowrie, which may be considered a continuation of it, the level tracts of country in the Lowlands are the broad valleys and fine alluvial plains of the Forth and Clyde; the less extensive dales of the Tweed and its tributaries, and of those many rivers which run southwards from the Lowther Hills; the plain of Ayr, and the flat lands which lie along the northern shores of the Solway Firth.
LESSON I V.
1. The Highlands of Scotland abound in lakes of all sizes and every description. So numerous are they in the Northern Highlands and the Outer Hebrides that hundreds may be counted from a single mountain-top. Some are unattractive, some are noted for their stern and gloomy surroundings; others are second to none in the world for picturesque beauty. They lie for the most part in narrow glens, shut in by mountains. They are long and narrow, often presenting the appearance of rivers. Many of them are of great depth, and their waters are clear and transparent. Some are fringed