Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

the English Pound, and the Latin Pondo. In the Orkneys, where our ancient civil and religious institutions probably found their last refuge, the Lispund, i. e. the Royal or Standard Pund (Regum Pondo,) is still in use.

Dumfries, uniformly pronounced Drumfries, i. e. Drum-Frith, i. e. the Dorsum or range on the Firth, is a town well known in the South of Scotland. A little to the east of the town stands the ancient Tom-an-moid, or Justice Hill, on which the Dun Friars built a chapel, and this circumstance is supposed to have given name to the town. The Grey Friars also built a religious house here, which still retains the name of the Old Greyfriars, and is used as one of the parochial churches. The conversion of Dun Friars into Drumfries is a mere conceit, totally unfounded in fact. By the same analogy, Greyfriars should be pronounced Greyfries, but no such thing is the case, for it retains its proper orthography, both in writing and in pronunciation. That the word Friars should be so ductile in the one case, as to melt down into Fries, and so stubborn in the other as not to change a letter, must appear not a little singular. The truth seems to be, that this etymology has been adopted at random, because no other more probable occurred. Brumfries is situated on the Firth of Nith, and also a Dorsum which stretches along that Firth. This analysis, therefore, establishes itself independent of further argument. How natural is Drumfrith, the Dorsum on the Firth, compared to Dunfriars, the ill-coloured monks, As to the trifling variation betwixt Frith and Fries, I shall only observe, that it is difficult to pronounce Frith any other way than Fries. This word Frith, Fri, or Fre, (for they are all synonimous) is the radix of the English Firth, and the Latin Fretum.

Reswallow, i.e. Ris-uaigh-low, i. e. The King's Grave Hill, is the name of small Property about two miles from January 1808.

Forfar. In this vicinity was fought a bloody battle betwixt the Scots and Picts, in which the latter were totally defeated, with the loss of their King. Uaigh is pronounced ula, so that there is hardly a shadow of difference betwixt Reswallow and Risuaighlow. Whether this denotes the grave of the said Pictish King, or of some other King, (for Forfar was occasionally a Royal residence) cannot now be determined. But as the name intimates that he was buried on an eminence, probably some tumulus or other memorial may still point out the place. I am unacquainted with the antiquities on the estate of Reswallow, and will be obliged to any of your correspondents in that quarter, if they will communicate them through the medium of your Miscellany, and particularly any particulars respecting this Royal grave.

Tinto, uniformly pronounced Tintoc,, i. e. Tin-teach, i.. e. the fire house, is situated in the upper part of Clydesdale. In the statistical account this hill is erroneously translated the fire hill. A tradition still obtains in that part of the country that a perpetual fire was here kept in honour of the great Celtic God Belus. This tradition might well be doubted were it not in some degree corroborated by a similar custom in honour of the goddess Vesta. From the chastity of the priestesses, and other circumstances, there is good reason to suppose that this same Vesta was Diana, or the Moon, and that the institution itself was derived from the ancient Umbrian Sabines, who were confessedly of the Druidical religion. Now, if a perpetual fire was kept up in honour of Moon, or minor luminary, it is probable the major luminary, Belus, would have the same honour paid him. If so, a house was absolutely necessary, both for a saving of fuel and to shelter the priests from the inclemency of the weather. Tradition says a perpetual fire was kept here,

and

and the parallel instance of Vesta
renders it at least probable. The
name itself is another strong presump-
tion that this was really the case. If so,
what more appropriate name could have
been given to this hill than Tin-teach,
or the house in which this fire was
kept continually burning?
30th November 1807.

MILO.

Curious Fact regarding CONGELATION,

To the Editor.

SIR,

If it

Sit down to put you in possession of a fact or observation regarding congelation, of which you may make what use you think proper. should happen, that you resolve to honour it with a place in your Magazine, you can easily make a suitable

with ice. All the others were covered with liquid. Upon touching one of them with my nail, the ice immediately began to form, and spread from the point where I had touched the pane, as from a centre, The same thing was observable when the other panes were touched. Not having a stop watch, I could not measure the velocity with which the congelation pervaded the water. I therefore resolved to seize the next opportunity for that purpose. I waited in vain ever since, till within these few days, when one morning, I found three of the

condition for the experiment. The panes of my window in excellent rest were frozen over. These were covered with liquid, and, upon their being touched with the nail, the congelation pervaded them, as on the forty, (for which purpose I had a penduin twenty-five seconds. The freezing lum prepared.)-It was about two feet proceeded fastest where the moisture seemed to be most abundant.

mer occasion. I measured the veloci

ficiently obvious, that the velocity of Now, upon this statement, it is sufthe motion of congelation is materially different from that of electricity; for an electric shock moves thro' a very long slender wire, to all appearance instantaneously; so that the comgelation through water cooled below mon comparison of the motion of conelectricity, seems not altogether just. the freezing point, to the motion of

I have to beg pardon for trespassing so long upon your time, and for engrossing (if it should so happen,) so large a portion of your valuable miscellany, which some of your readers may think might be better bestowed

ditle for it.

Water, we all know, may, with certain precautions, be cooled consider bly below the freezing point, without being congealed. If a bit of ice, or a pointed instrument, be brought into contact with it in this state, the congelation immediately commences, and is said to pervade the whole like a flash of lightning. The following fact disposes me to call in question the propriety of the illustration.

One night, at the commencement of a very intense frost, which we experienced two or three winters ago, upon going to bed, I saw my window Covered in the inside with moisture. I drew my finger along one of the panes, to see if it were really as wet as it appeared to be; and thought no more about the matter till just before I extinguished the candle, when it occurred to me to look whether the moisture had encreased sensibly during the time of undressing. I found (to my astonishment, I confess,) the

pane which I had touched covered Edinburgh, 8th Dec. 1807.

otherwise.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient servant, and constant reader,

GELU

Con

Continuation of a Tour to ARRAN. THE HE village of Torlyn, is pleasantly situated in a hollow on the banks of a rivulet, at no great distance from the sea. It consists of a few low, detached houses. At a mill situated in the middle of the village a considerable quantity of malt is prepared, which, I was told, was chiefly employed in the illegal distillation of whisky in this island. Around the village there is a considerable extent of improveable land, which presents, in a few places, the appearance better cultivation than is to be observed in many other parts of the island equally susceptible of it.

of

The rivulet of Torlyn, so far as I had an opportunity of examining, has cut its channel through beds of red sandstone and ironshot clay. The beds of sandstone are intersected in several places by veins of basalt.The basaltic matter of these veins does not appear to have produced any change or induration in the rocks with which it is in immediate contact.Many rolled masses of Pitchstone here occur among the gravel in the

bed of the rivulet.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Leith and Portobello during the month of January.

*This Porphyry has a basis of a grey colour and even fracture; not to be scratched by a knife. In it are numerous angular pieces of Felspar of a white colour, and rounded pieces of

Mr Pennant supposes the Sand- Quartz of a smoke grey colour.

more than is sufficient to supply their

present wants.

1- At Drumodoon a high bank of sandstone is covered by a thick horizontal bed of Porphyritic Greenstone *. Proceeding along the coast to the northward, the bed of Porphyry gradually decreases in thickness, and at last totally disappears. Near the King's Cove a bed of Pitchstone occurs, resting between two beds of sandstone. The upper bed of sandstone is covered by a bed of green

stone.

These greenstone rocks were dotted red in several places with Lichen ventosus, and Lichen coccineus; and on several of the rocks and stones here the Polytrichum piliferum was growing in plenty.

The King's Cove is a large hollow which has been scooped out from a solid bed of red sandstone, by the action of the sea at some remote period. The length of the cave may be about a hundred feet, and the breadth at the entrance about forty. A projecting mass of sandstone causes the cave to terminate in two narrow recesses, the division between these having some resemblance to the keel of a ship. On this projection the figure of a cross has been cut. A few rude scratches on the sides of the cave are said by the country people to represent dogs, stags, sheep, &c. but as far as I could perceive, they bear no resemblance to any terrestrial object.

The roofs of several small caves were here hung with the dark green fronds of the Harts-Tongue, Scolopendrium vulgare, and their moist sides were covered with the Golden Saxifrage, Chrysosplenium oppositifolium. On several rocks in the neigh bourhood I observed the Sea Spleen,

*The basis of this stone is of a green colour, glimmering lustre, fracture even, passing into earthy. It scratches with the knife, and the scratch is grey. In this basis a few crystals of Felspar and Quartz are disseminated,

T

wort, Asplenium marinum. This plant (together with the Cotyledon umbilicus which is here common) was observed at this place in the summer of 1772, by the late Rev. J, Lightfoot, the fellow traveller of Pennant, and the author of the excellent Flora Scotica. In a moor near this place, I likewise found the Black Bog-Rush, Schanus nigricans.

In the King's Cove, and many other caves around the coast of this island, the Rock Pigeon, Columba enas, breeds in considerable numbers. This bird is usually supposed to be the parent stock of our common domestic pigeons. Mr Pennant, however, is of opinion, that the bird which he describes under the name of the StockDove, or Wood - Pigeon, (not the Ring - Dove, or Cushat, the Columba Palumbus,) and which he su pposes a distinct species from the preceding, may likewise have contributed to the increase of our domestic stock *.

A little way to the northward of the King's Cove a large vein of porphyry, upwards of forty feet in wideness, traverses the sandstone strata on the shore. The porphyry of this vein is similar in appearance to the porphyry which forms the Brown Hills, already described.

The hills behind the King's Cove are covered with a stratum of moss earth nearly two feet in thickness.As this was the proper season for digging peat for fuel, I often met with whole families in the moors employed in that necessary work. The peat is cut into oblong pieces, usually about a foot in length, and nearly two inches in breadth and thickness. The peat in this place was chiefly composed of the remains of heath, and of small herbaceous plants. Where these were in

[blocks in formation]

in the most complete state of decomposition, or bituminization, the peat was of a black colour, and when dry, was solid, hard, and highly inflammable.

Around the Shiskin there is a fine act of level and fertile land. The Clachen Burn, however, which traverses this vale or strath, carries with it, during floods, great quantities of gravel and large stones, which it deposits on the neighbouring fields; and no embankments are constructed on the sides of the rivulet, to prevent such destructive inundations, although these could easily be accomplished.

In the mouth of Glen Clachen, a neat chapel was built a few years ago, by the voluntary subscription of the people of the neighbourhood. The minister of the parish of Kilmorie officiates in it every third Sunday. In an adjacent burial ground, a circular mound of earth, with a depression in the centre containing a kind of gravestone, is pointed out as the place where Saint Molios, or Moleese, was interred. Many strange stories are, as might be expected, told by the inhabitants, of the virtues and miracles of this tutelary saint of Arran.

In ascending Glen Clachen, beds of red-coloured sandstone, and of greenstone, are seen to alternate with each other. On the top of the hill on the south side of the glen, a limestone quarry has in part been wrought.This limestone forms a thick irregular bed *. It contains a great admixture of quartz. It is traversed in several places by veins of Lime-spart. This

This limestone is of a grey colour, faintly glimmering lustre, splintery fracture, in some places even and compact. It is translucent on the edges, scratches easily with the knife; streak white.

I have here, and elsewhere, used the word Lime-spar in preference to the terms calcareous spar, or calc spar, although these are sanctioned by high

kind of Limestone is evidently of an older formation than the common grey limestone, which belongs to the independent coal formation. By the absence of petrifactions, and by its translucidity on the edges, it makes an approach to the primitive marbles, and it may be considered as the oldest member of the stratified, or transition series of limestone rocks.

[ocr errors]

At a place called the Shedog, in the district of the Shiskin, there are a few scattered houses, and an inn, such as it is.

In the moor between Schedog and Machry there are a number of large upright stones, disposed in circles.— One of these circles, which I measured, was about 50 feet in diameter.Another circle, of 64 feet in diameter, inclosed a smaller circle of 36 feet in diameter. The inner circle was formed of eight blocks of grey granite, placed at equal distances. Several single upright stones I likewise observed in other parts of the moor.These circles, it has generally been supposed, had been employed as places of religious worship in the days of Druidism.

1

About the farm of Auchingallon, a considerable quantity of pitchstone is to be observed, lying in loose masses. In the rivulet north from Achincar, a thick bed of Breccia or Puddingstone may be seen. This Breccia, which is composed of rounded masses of granite, gneiss, quartz, &c. cemented by a hard clay basis, is probably connected with the primitive rocks.

The Flowering Fern, Osmunda regalis, was here common; as was the Sweet Willow or Dutch Myrtle, Myrica gale, in the moist moors. Lightfoot,

authority. It is composed of two English words, and is equally short and expressive with any term of similar im◄ port borrowed from the Latin language.

« EdellinenJatka »