either for the eye or ear. There are, I fancy,"' he adds, "no sing- ing birds in. the Highlands." It is odd that he should have looked for singing-birds on the ist of September. Had it been earlier in the summer he would have found melody enough. Nowhere have I heard the thrushes sing more sweetly than at Glenelg. Wesley, visiting Inverness on an early day of May, "heard abundance of birds welcoming the return of spring." If so late in the summer there was no music for the ear, the eye surely should have been something more than entertained, when in the evening light the first sight was caught of Loch Duich and the waters of the Atlantic, and the barrier of mountains which so nobly encloses them. Yet they are passed over in silence by both our travellers. So fine is the scenery here that I longed to make a stay in the comfortable inn at Shiel, near the head of the loch. Hut we were forced to press on, having first witnessed, however, sheep-shearing on a large scale on a farm close by. In front of a storing-house for wool fifteen men were seated all hard at work with their shears, their dogs lying at their feet. They wore coloured jerseys in which the shades of blue and green were all the pleasanter to the eye because they were somewhat faded. Young lads were bringing up the sheep from the fold. The forelegs of each animal were tied, it was then lifted on to a narrow bank of turf which had been raised in front of each shepherd, thrown on its back, and in a moment the busy shears were at work. In the long summer day a quick hand could finish eighty, we were told. As soon as the fleece fell loose, an old woman came forward, folded it up tight, and carried it into the store-house ; while a boy, dipping the branding-iron into boiling pitch, scored the side of each sheep with a deep black mark. From time to time the farmer went round with a bottle and a small glass, and gave each man a dram of pure whisky. Not far from here on the banks of the loch was an old house where it was said that Johnson made a halt. It is so pleasant a place, with its grove of trees and its garden of roses, and so kindly was I welcomed, that I would willingly believe the tradition. I could wish, however, that he and Boswell had not treated it with the same neglect as they did the view. Had their reception been as kind as mine they would certainly have expressed their gratitude. It was here that I was told of the address which he made to the mountain at the foot of which the house stands, and up which he was now to
1 Wesley's foiti-nal, iv. 275.