Plate XLII.


THIS glen is perhaps the most celebrated of any in Scotland. It is the supposed birth place of Ossian; it
is the well known spot of the most dreadful massacre; and it embraces some of the most sublime scenes in
this part of the world. On entering it you behold a series of craggy mountains, shooting up to the skies
in the most fantastic forms, over which so frequently hang the dark blue mists, mentioned in Ossian.
"In no other part of Britain," says Dr. Stoddart in his Local Scenery of Scotland, "have I ever seen moun-
tain summits so wholly consisting of bare crags as here. Even the herdsmen and hunters, who are best
acquainted with them, frequently find it both difficult and dangerous to follow the straying sheep or wild roe-
buck." The pencil, indeed, can give but an inadequate idea of objects so immense, and savagely grand.

In the midst of the valley of Glencoe there is a small lake, whence issues the river Coe, the Cona of
Ossian, just above which stands the ruined house of the ill-fated Macdonald. Although that murderous
tale be well known, yet we cannot refrain from giving a slight sketch of it. It was in the reign of Wil-
liam, that an order was issued for the massacre of this clan, amounting to two hundred. Macdonald and
his followers had delayed to take the oaths till the very last day allowed was come. He on that day
went to Fort William, but he found no officer empowered to administer them, another day there-
fore necessarily elapsed, before they could reach the sheriff of the county. They then took them one day
beyond the prescribed time, and returned to their homes, as they thought, in perfect safety. By the repre-
sentation however of the Earl of Breadalbane, the king, "whose chief virtue," says Smollet, "was not
humanity," signed the warrant for their deaths, and captain Campbell, with a party of soldiers, was sent
to the glen; and, on declaring upon his honour, that his views were friendly, he was entertained there in
the most hospitable manner for fifteen days; when, after passing the evening with the Macdonalds, he,
in the midst of the night, ordered the dreadful deed to commence, and thirty-eight persons were surprised
in their beds, and basely murdered by him, who had been their guest, and his soldiers. It was the intention
to murder all the males under seventy, but, as some portion of troops did not secure the passes in time, the
rest escaped. The women and children indeed were spared the bayonet, but in the midst of a cold wintry
night, and in a waste covered with snow, they were all turned naked from their houses, and left to perish."

This view, which was taken in 1799, shews part of the lake with the Coe issuing from it: beyond
which is the old house of Macdonald, backed by some stupendous mountains. Glencoe is situated in the
united parishes of Lismore and Appin, in Argyleshire.