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contemptuous, by acute and right-hearted
remarks, that will spirit him forwards like a
draught of water from a chance-found spring.

Mr. Phillimore's general conclusion is, we
think, that the doctrine of the exclusion of testimony,
had its rise in the general want of veracity
which belongs equally to ages of barbarism
and of corrupt civilisation; and that its
gradual disappearance from our law, marks a
gradual improvement of our nation in that
highest of all social qualities, a reverence for
the truth. Whether, under any
circumstances, resort to exclusion was a wise and
well-chosen method of meeting the perplexities
arising out of the general absence of
veracity, may well be doubted. That it was a
natural course enough when first taken, and
implied no perversity of mind in lawgivers,
may, perhaps, be admitted, when we reflect
on the universality of its adoption. It ministers
to no corrupt desire either in the makers or
the administrators of the laws.


IN the centre of the broadest part of
Scotland, between the great valleys of the Spey
and the Dee, six clustered mountains rise to
heights exceeding in average, by nearly one
thousand feet, the range of those Western
Grampians amidst which lie the glens and
lakes usually sought by tourists. These hills
are so remote from the poorest hostelries, and
so devoid of cottage shelter, that they have
rarely been explored; although the inn at
Braemar, the nearest house of entertainment
to them, is often inconveniently crowded
during the summer months with guests, and
the autumnal sojourn of the Queen at Balmoral,
a few miles further from them, has lately
drawn some distinguished persons, and the
loyal and affectionate thoughts of many of her
subjects, near to their precincts. To reach
any commanding point among these hills, the
traveller must take a journey of at least
twenty miles from Braemar; and although
half this distance may be performed on horseback,
the residue involves so much rugged
walking, that the entire forty miles require
a long day to conquer them. There is a path,
indeed, over a low ridge leading from
Deeside to Aviemore on the Spey, which those
happiest of all travellers, vigorous young
men, without encumbrance, except knapsacks,
may traverse in a long summer's day; but
even they must be content to keep the direct
track, which would scarcely hint of the
recesses of the mountains. To accomplish these,
they must brace themselves for a night's
bivouac under a rock; for they will find no
human habitation to cover them.

These mountains, forming the loftiest cluster
of the British isles, have a character worth
studying. They are not like the western
hills, jagged and broken, rising in walls of
granite, and capped by peaks or turret-like
rocks, but rise from the table-land on which
they are based in huge cones, unfringed by
herbage, but not unlovely in colourbeing
formed of reddish stone, vast fragments of
which are scattered all over their swelling
sides. The Great Cairngorm, which gives its
name to the range, is the most perfect specimen
of this order of vast conical hill, standing
nobly apart from its neighbours, though close
to them, and attended by another mountain
akin to it, but smallercalled the Little
Cairngorm, which, notwithstanding its nominal
littleness, equals the height of Ben Lomond.
The central mountain of the group, Ben Muich.
Dhui, is less clearly defined, being propped on
each side by the neighbouring hills; and
though, from a distance, it seems to terminate
in a peak, is really crowned by a vast dome,
covered with huge rocks of stone. Deeply
embosomed among these heights is the source
of the Deea large clear well, walled in by
the roots of Ben Muich Dhui and Breirach,
whence, in huge seams, torrents perpetually
pour to augment its waters. Although the
summits are within the line of perpetual frost,
the most elevated slopes sustain large patches
of snow, which lie scarcely soiled through the
hottest summers.

Finding myself at Edinburgh on the 25th
of August last, with a few days free for Highland
enjoyment, I determined to devote them
to the effort of obtaining a glimpse of this
region, which I had heard described by
Scotchmencompetent, but not always
credible witnesses on such an issueas excelling
in grandeur the Highlands with which all
the world is familiar. I was the more
inclined to the attempt by a desire to form an
acquaintance with the too successful rival of
Ben Nevis, which had long borne the palm of
mountain eminence in Britain, and at the
summit of which I had three times believed
myself to stand on the loftiest British pinnacle.
I had heard, not without repugnance, that
the " Sappers and Miners " employed to survey
our eminences, had divested the old
sovereign of the pre-eminence which, " if ancestry
should be in aught believed," he was entitled
to wear, and had transferred it to Ben Muich
Dhui, a remote mountain in Aberdeenshire,
which nobody knew or cared for, by giving
him ten feet more in height. With all due
conservative apprehension of the dangers of
that science, which would thus unsettle the
claims of mountain sovereignty, which had
seemed stable as the solid earth, and all my
affection for the " old discrowned head " of
the deposed monarch, I longed to visit the
usurper, and ascertain how far he was worthy
of his newly achieved inheritance.* I found
the railway, taken at half-past twelve, would
bring me before sunset to Aberdeen, whence I
might ascend the Dee from its mouth to its
sourcea glorious career of eighty miles

* Since the above was written, I have been informed that
the last verdict is in favour of Ben Nevis; and if so, I trust
that it will not be disturbed.