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Where Are the Highlands?

Monday, 14.--After ten years' inquiry, I have learned what are the Highlands of Scotland. Some told me, "The Highlands begin when you cross the Tay"; others, "when you cross the North Esk"; and others, "when you cross the river Spey." But all of them missed the mark. The truth of the matter is, the Highlands are bounded by no river at all, but by carns, or heaps of stones laid in a row, southwest and northeast, from sea to sea. These formerly divided the kingdom of the Picts from that of the Caledonians, which included all the country north of the carns; several whereof are still remaining. It takes in Argyleshire, most of Perthshire, Murrayshire, with all the northwest counties. This is called the Highlands because a considerable part of it (though not the whole) is mountainous. But it is not more mountainous than North Wales, nor than many parts of England and Ireland; nor do I believe it has any mountain higher than Snowdon Hill, or the Skiddaw in Cumberland. Talking Erse [Gaelic], therefore, is not the thing that distinguishes these from the Lowlands. Neither is this or that river; both the Tay, the Esk, and the Spey running through the Highlands, not south of them.

Friday, 18.--We rode over to the Earl of Haddington's seat, finely situated between two woods. The house is exceedingly large and pleasant, commanding a wide prospect both ways; and the Earl is cutting walks through the woods, smoothing the ground and much enlarging and beautifying his garden. Yet he is to diel In the evening, I trust God broke some of the stony hearts of Dunbar. A little increase here is in the society likewise, and all the members walk unblamably.

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