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Alexander Baillie of Dochfour, who had just then acquired the feu right to that estate, adds—" He (Mr Baillie) proposes to build a fine house and offices on the lands of Dochcaira, preferring a situation there to Dochfour, and proposes laying out £3000 or £4000 in the improvement of them both jointly. He is just now enclosing the hill above Dochcairn and Dochfour, and is to have it planted this month, or I should have said this autumn." The only natural fir woods we know of near Inverness were those* of Borlum. These are found referred to in description "the fir woods of Borlum " as early as 1651. It is pleasant to record that the hill of Borlum, unfortunately bared some years since by Lord Saltoun, has been planted by the present owner.
The affairs of Mr floss having got into confusion, Kinmylies was sold to Mr Alexander Baillie of Dochfour. The state of the property in 1784 is fully seen by the following advertisement, taken from the Caledonian Mercury newspaper of 30th August 1784 :—
"Farm near Inverness.—To be let on lease, for such number of years as may be agreeable to the tenant, and entered upon at the term of Whitsunday next, the lands of Kinmylies, in tho parish and county of Inverness, consisting of 502 acros of arable land, and several hundred acres of well grown planting. One half of the arable land is enclosed and subdivided, and the proprietor will enclose and subdivide the other half, or make a proper allowance to the tacksman for doing it. These lands have a fine southern enclosure, and come close to the west suburb of the town of Inverness. The whole of them lie within a mile of the town, which makes the carriage of dung and other manure very easy to the tacksman; and as the planting is well grown and forms a ring round the farm, it not only affords considerable shelter, but will enable the tacksman to winter a number of cattle. Thdre is a convenient farmhouse and offices answerable. Proposals for a lease may be given to Major Eraser of Belladrum, or Alex. Baillie, Esq. of Dochfour, near Inverness; to Lachlan Duff, Writer to the Signet, Edinburgh; or to Kobert Webster, at Fowlis, near Dundoe, and every offer will be kept secret, that is not accepted of."
About 1812 the extensive woods of Kinmylies having come to maturity were cut down; and the late Mr Evan Baillie of Dochfour writing to the late Mr Fraser, Dochnalorg, wishes him to encourage the reclamation of the Leachkin, and to offer facilities to crofters to settla This was carried out, and the whole of the upper part of Kinmylies was lotted out and reclaimed by a numerous and hardy race. The intention to throw the whole into one farm some years ago, if ever seriously contemplated, has been happily abandoned.
Before closing this paper, some reference may be made to the stone of Clachnahalig, the upper boundary of the Four Coble Fishings. In May's map it is pointed out, and the following reference made :—" Up the river and on the north or left side thereof, but towards the lower end of the plan, is 4 stones standing near one another, at tho placed marked 1, 2, 3, 4, the eastmost of which was said to be the stone called Clachnahielet or Clachnagaick, and was also said to be the bounding of the salmond fishings at the upper end." The same plan indicates that Bught is the low land lying behind the mill lead and tail race, and the river. What is now known as Bught proper, is termed "arable landa of the Bught, called Keill-a-vean, belonging to Clerk Fraser."
A THOUSAND YEAKS AGO; OR, THE HAEElS PRINCESS.
Hundreds of years ago, long before the founder of the great Clan Macleod lived in the Western Hebrides, the Isle of Harris was governed by a wealthy and powerful prince, concerning whose forefathers or posterity (save an only daughter) we tind no record—that being wrapt up in mystery. Kodel House, the dwelling of the mighty potentate before spoken of, was built more for safety and defence than for symmetry. Strong walls, pierced by loopholes to shoot through, and Hanked with turrets for watchmen; massive oaken doors, studded with enormous nails; iron-barred windows and a deep ditch all combined to show a style of architecture seldom if ever met with in the present day. The King of Harris—for each petty ruler had almost regal power on his own estate in those days—had an only daughter, his heiress, named Garlatha, whose beauty was proverbial She was tall and of an extremely fair complexion, and the pretty clusters of golden hair fell in graceful confusion upon a snow-white bosom, looking and feeling like silk new spun from the cocoon, and contrasting finely with her alabaster brow. Her face, archly beaming with innate mirth and wit, was more like the countenance of an angel than that of mortal. No one could meet her without being irresistibly captivated and fascinated by her many charms. To her innumerable personal attractions, we may add a cheerful, pleasant, and obliging temper, a virtue she inherited from her mother, who died in giving her birth. This circumstance accounts for the great love which her noble father bore to the offspring of his dear wife. From her natal day she was the pride and the very core of her sire's existence. She was his angel, and, as she grow in years, she grew the more in her father's love and estimation.
By reason of her high rank and wondrous beauty, many suitors came to claim her hand, but being full of coquetry and mirth, although she was gentle and obliging to all, she carefully abstained from raising in their hearts hopes which were doomed to disappointment. Of all her adorers, lie who held the first place in her heart was Caolagan, King of North Uist. An accomplished, brave, gentle, generous, and noble young man, he was in all respects well-fitted for the fair object of his affection, by •whom his love was amply returned, and at last she decided to take him for her husband. This resolution, however, she did not divulge to her father, for certain reasons which are not recorded But "the course of true love never runs smooth" is an old proverb, and here it was verifiod, for as the inexorable goddess Eate decreed, her lather's choice of a partner for his beloved daughter lighted upon a totally different person—namely, Ceanmhaol, King of Lewis, who it is but fair to state bore the same ardent unchangeable love to Garlatha as his more favoured rival Caolagan. He also was of a prepossessing appearance, but of a bold, restless, and warlike temperament. He repeatedly shed tears when pleading his suit, but both tears and eloquence were useless, as no one could supersede Caolagan in his betrothed's heart
Prior to the time that Garlatha had been betrothed to Caolagan, her father had never spoken to her upon the subject of marriage. He allowed her to amuse hor admirers as 3he pleased, seeing plainly that she had more than she could love in return. But one day, not long after she had consented to become the future partner of Caolagan's joys and sorrows, her father addressed her thus :—
"My dear Garlatha, I am now getting old and frail, and will soon follow my fathers to their last resting-place. You are, as you know, my only child, and of course sole heiress to my possessions; and as I wish to see you under the guardianship of a proper person before I die, I am anxious to see you married. I am aware that you have several admirers, all of whom are men of talent, and as I have made my choice of a husband for you, I hope you will be content to abide by my choice. You have never thwarted my purpose, and I sincerely hope you will not do it now."
Garlatha stood spell-bound for a few moments, but at length, knowing that it was useless to dispute her father's will, she roused herself and quietly replied:—
"To your decision, noble sir, I humbly bow, even if it should make me both miserable and unhappy during the remainder of my life."
"I am glad, my dear Garlatha," said her sire, "that you have so willingly concurred in my proposal, which I am sure will be agreeable to you. With no insult to your other suitors, Ceanmhaol is, I think, the most suitable of all for you."
"I am betrothed to Caolagan," she answered, sobbing, "but I submit to your decision."
The joyful news that the Princess of Harris had consented to become the wife of the King of Lewis was at once communicated to that ruler, who, half mad with joy, immediately made all necessary preparations for his nuptials. The same thing was going on at Kodel. The long expected day at last arrived. The marriage feast was the most magnificent ever seen. The guests thronged the house, and discussed the rich and dainty viands placed before them, and joy and mirth knew no bounds. The bride, always beautiful, was never before seen to such advantage as now. Dressed in gorgeous robes, sparkling with jewels, and trimmed with gold and silver lace, every clasp an emerald set in a ring of gold, and her fair brow encircled by a coronet of pearls; she had no equal. Everything went on smoothly until the time came for the great wedding-feast, but when all the guests had seated themselves round the groaning table, it was found that the bride's seat was empty. There was a slight pause for a few moments in the expectation that she would soon make her appearance, but as time flew on, and no sign of her was seen, they grew frightened. A search was instituted in all directions, but in vain. Garlatha's maid then said that the Princess had told her she was about to play a trick upon Ceanmhoal that day, but that she (the maid) should on no account tell anyone if any alarm pervaded the assembly on her (Garlatha's) account. Upon hearing this Ceanmhaol said that she only meant to test his love for her, but by and bye, when she did not appear, he gave way to the most sad despair. Her father, thinking she might have eloped or been carried off by Caolagan, sent messengers to North Uist to ascertain if his surmises were well-founded, but when his messengers returned with the news that she had not gone to Uist, he wept like a child for his daughter and tore the white hairs from his venerable head.
Caolagan and her other lovers, also finding that she was missing, gave way to the moat intense grief. Such an incident had never before been heard of in the Western Isles. Every pool, corrie, cave, and creek between Barra Head and the Butt of Lewis was searched, but in vain. The mysterious character of her disappearance seem a matter which could never be solved. Broken-hearted, her devoted lover, Ceanmhaol, left his native land and went to Norway, where, after living a few mouths, he died.
But keenly as Ceanmhaol felt for the fate of his bride, his grief was light compared to what her father suifered. He lived for many years after her disappearance, having neither peace nor rest. He wandered aimlessly through the "Western Isles as if in search of something. At length, worn to a walking skeleton and a semi-maniac, he found relief in death. Having no heirs, Rodel House remained for a long time untenanted, and at last the wide possessions of the late King of Harris passed into the hands of the stranger, and ultimately to the founder of the Clan Macleod.
Long after, when the King of Harris and the lost Garlatha were all but forgotten, some alterations were being made in Rodel House, and whilst removing some old pieces of furniture which had lain in a dungeon from time immemorial, the bottom fell from an old worm-eaten chest, and along with it a female skeleton, which, upon contact with the air, immediately crumbled into dust. Among the dust was found a gold wedding-ring, on which were engraved the words " Garlatha" and "Ceanmhaol." Although Garlatha and her story were well-nigh forgotten, the discovery brought back to memory the whole circumstances of her disappearance. The mystery, alas, was solved too late. She had got into the chest to play a trick, as she told her maid, upon Ceanmhaol, not knowing that it was secured by a spring-lock, which, as soon as she had closed the lid, fastened, and the chest became her coffin. Being air-tight, Garlatha must have been suffocated almost immediately she entered it. It has been alleged that she sought her death willingly rather than marry Ceanmhaol. We must, however, leave that to mere conjecture.
THE SCOTTISH CELTIC REVIEW.—This long-expected Quarterly, edited by one of our best and most accurate Gaelic scholars, the Rev. Alexander Cameron, Brodick, has at last reached us. We are safe in saying that it is altogether creditable to every one concerned, editor, contributors, and printer, and we welcome our lusty-looking brother, and extend to him a hearty fraternal greeting. Though the younger, he is much the bigger brother, and his learnedness is simply formidable. The field he has taken up is quite unoccupied, and he appears well fitted to cultivate it successfully. The Review extends to eighty pages, containing about a quarter more matter than an ordinary number of the Celtic Magazine. Contents of the first number and other particulars will be found among our advertisements.
CELTIC MAGAZINE, Number III., wanted. Liberal price given for any quantity; or for Vol. I.