Fragrance in Travel Literature-Scotland




THE SPELL OF SCOTLAND
BY - Clark, Keith


There is an American who has
written of the Hill, a young inland American
whom the gods loved to an early death. I re-
member hearing Arthur Upson talk of days and
nights on the Calton, and his sonnet catches
the note

"High and alone I stood on Calton Hill

Above the scene that was so dear to him
Whose exile dreams of it made exile dim.
October wooed the folded valleys till
In mist they blurred, even as our eye upfill

Under a too-sweet memory; spires did swim,
And gables, rust-red, on the gray sea's brim
But on these heights the air was soft and still,
Yet, not all still; an alien breeze will turn

Here, as from bournes in aromatic seas,
As round old shrines a new-freed soul might yearn

With incense of rich earthly reveries.
Vanish the isles : Mist, exile, searching pain,
But the brave soul is freed, is home again."


Far across the shimmering green meadows
and through the fragrant orchards came the
sound of bagpipes on this my first evening in
Scotland ! And whether or not you care for the
pipes, there is nothing like them in a Scottish
twilight, a first Scottish twilight, to reconstruct
all the Scotland that has been.

It is a walk of perhaps eight miles through a
charming memory-haunted land, lovely cer-
tainly, lonely; there were few people to be met
with, but there was no sense of desertion. It
was a day of quick clouds, rushing across a
deep blue, compact white clouds which say noth-
ing of rain, and very vivid air, the surfaces and
the shadows being closely defined. The birch
leaves played gleefully over the path as we left
the highway, and that sweet shrewd scent of the
birch leaf, as I "pu'd a birk" now and then,
completed the thrill, the ecstasy if one may be
permitted the extravagance.


And one man, buried here, was brought all
the way, as the tombstone publishes, from "St.
Peter, Minnesota." It's a historic town, to its
own people. But what a curious linking with
this very old town. I thought of a man who
had hurried away from Montana the winter be-
fore, because he wanted to "smell the heather
once more before I die." And he had died in
St. Paul, Minnesota, only a thousand miles on
his way back to the heather.

DESCRIPTION
of
THE WESTERN ISLANDS
OF
SCOTLAND.

BY JOHN MACCULLOCH, M. D.




The plants which cover the sandy plains of Tirey
abound here also, perfuming the air around, and in the
season of flowering, prevading so as to conceal the verdure
from the eye. A small tract, known by the name of the
variegated plain, presents an enamelled carpet of unde-
scribable gayety, being covered with all the ordinary
meadow plants, together with a profusion of the brilliant
crimson flowers of Geranium sanguineum. Spring has
here ' a character no less remarkable for its novelty
than its splendour. Although protracted till late in
June, and though no trees are seen bursting into leaf,
the colours which deck the ground, the perfume that fills
the air, and the melodious note of the wood-lark,
produce an effect, striking both in itself and in its
contrast with the desert of rocks and the wide ocean
which every where meet the eye.

"Bonnie Scotland"

Moncrieff, A. R. Hope
I wonder if that modern John o' Groat be still to
the fore, who some twenty years ago was presented with a
testimonial for his constancy in carrying across the mail
during the lifetime of a generation. He belonged to a
school of ancient mariners who had the knack of smelling
their way about the sea, whereas our modern Nelsons, it
seems, don't know where they are till they have gone
down into their cabin and worked out a sum. I once
crossed with this " skeely skipper," and was much struck
by his method of navigation. A thick fog came on half-
way across a tide that races at ten miles an hour ; then to
clear his inner light, he had up a glass of grog, through
which he took frequent observations. Every now and
again he stopped the engines and bawled out into the fog
without any response ; but when at last a muffled hail came
back, we were within a hundred yards of Scrabster Pier.


The only pier is a thing of use, where
the wholesome smell of seaweed mingles with a strong
fishy flavour. No gilded pagoda of a bandstand profanes
the " Scores," that cliff road which your Margates would
have made into a formal promenade. A few bathing
machines on the sands alone hint at one side of the town's
character. In one of the rocky coves of the cliff is a
Ladies' bathing place, which I can praise only by report.

RECOLLECTIONS
OF
A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND

A.D. 1803
BY DOREOTHY WORDSWORTH
A little semi-vestibule between two doors prefaced
the entrance into what might be considered the principal
room of the cottage. It was an oblong square, not above
eight and a half feet high, sixteen feet long, and twelve
broad, very prettily wainscoted from the floor to the
ceiling with dark polished oak, slightly embellished with
carving. One window there was a perfect and unpre-
tending cottage window with little diamond panes,
embowered at almost every season of the year with roses,
and, in the summer and autumn, with a profusion of
jasmine and other fragrant shrubs. From the exuberant
luxuriance of the vegetation around it, this window,
though tolerably large, did not furnish a very powerful
light to one who entered from the open air. ... I was
ushered up a little flight of stairs, fourteen in all, to a
little drawing-room, or whatever the reader chooses to
call it.

One is struck throughout by the absence of all effort at
fine or imaginative writing. But this only- makes more
effective those natural gleams that come unbidden. After
the dulness of Glasgow and the Vale of Leven comes that
wakening up to very ecstasy among the islands of Loch
Lomond, that new world, magical, enchanting. And then
that plunge into the heart of the Highlands, when they
find themselves by the shores of Loch Katrine, alone with
the native people there, the smell of the peat-reek within,
and the scent of the bog-myrtle without; those 'gentle
odours ' that awake, as they move along Lochawe-side
and look into the cove of Cruachan, or catch that Appin
glen by Loch Linnhe, at the bright sunset hour, enlivened
by the haymaking people ; or that new rapture they drink
in at the first glimpse, from Loch Etive shores, of the
blue Atlantic Isles. And then what a fitting close to such
a tour was that meeting with Walter Scott ; the two great
poets of their time, both in the morning of their power,
and both still unknown, joining hands of friendship which
was to last for life !

As we walked along he pulled a leafy
twig from a birch-tree, and, after smelling it, gave it to
me, saying, how ' sweet and halesome ' it was, and that
it was pleasant and very halesome on a fine summer's
morning to sail under the banks where the birks are
growing. This reminded me of the old Scotch songs, in
which you continually hear of the ' pu'ing the birks.'
Common as birches are in the north of England, I believe
their sweet smell is a thing unnoticed among the peasants.

This seems to be the name by which Miss Wordsworth knew
the plant which Lowlanders generally call bog myrtle, Border men
gale, or sweet gale, and Highlanders roid (pronounced as roitcli).
Botanists, I believe, know it as Myrica Gale, a most fragrant plant
or shrub, growing generally in moist and mossy ground. Perhaps
nothing more surely brings back the feeling that you are in the very
Highlands than the first scent of this plant caught on the breeze.


ARDENMOHR
AMONG THE HILLS.
A RECORD OF SCENERY AND SPORTS IN THE HIGHLANDS
OF SCOTLAND.

BY SAMUEL ABBOTT

MORE powerful for early rising than rhyme or
reason was a frightful discord perpetrated by Fred
on Ward's cornet ; and after shying a pillow at the
wretch, which, of course, he dodged, I shuffled out
to the bath and felt the soft west wind and bright
sunshine so pleasant after yesterday's rain: the air
was sweet with the smell of the plants, and the
honey-like aroma of heather bloom.

All round the edge of the loch there is sand or
shingle; and, but for the absence of shells and sea-
weed and of that peculiar sea-beach smell, one might
fancy oneself on the sea-shore ; the more so from the
screaming of gulls floating on the water, and hover-
ing about the islands.

I like to see those homely folks as they gather about
the little church, near the graves of their grandsires
and friends. All about the scene appears so natural
to their state and condition. I like to hear the
tuneless ding-dong sounding from the belfry, and to
look at the parishioners standing by the grey, moss-
grown tombstones, while the sun is shining brightly
on the fair face of nature, and the light breeze gentle
moves the long grass, and carries the sweet summer
fragrance of the country into the doors and open
windows of the kirk. I like the plain orthodox
sermon (if not too long), the simple old-fashioned
singing (if not too loud), and I like the benedic-
tion.


There is always to me peculiar enjoyment in driving
along these Highland roads, especially in a new
country, and the more so on such an evening as this.
It had rained heavily early in the day, but had now
cleared up, and the great aromatic pines and fields of
white clover smelt, oh, how fresh and sweet ! At every
turn there was a change of scene : here dark wood on
either side, with now and then a peep through some
open glade; by-and-by wide moor and rolling hills
far beyond, then past braes covered with broom and
wild flowers ; now, by a thatched hamlet at the burn-
side, we catch a glimpse of white-haired urchins at
play, or a shy Highland maiden filling her pitchers
at the stream ; then through miles of wood, and we
drove down a steep part of the road, crossed a bustling
little burn, and came to the river.

The gateway of Scotland : or East Lothian, Lammermoor and the Merse
- Bradley, A. G.

Here, upon Hardens Hill, after trailing between
fine avenues of beech and ash, and mounting higher
into windswept pine woods, the road sweeps out at
last into the glorious heaths of Lammermoor. A
half hour upon the brow of this high rampart comes
vividly back to me. It was a July noon, beneath a
clear sunny sky with the gentlest and balmiest of south-
west breezes wafting on its wings the mingled fragrancy
of moorland and pine wood. A dry bank of sward was
handy for the greater enjoyment of a glorious scene.


Every morning the town
herd collects the cows, and drives them up to this
immemorial expanse of ragged, moorish pasture a mile
or so beyond the town, and every evening drives them
home again to scatter to their various lodgings and
byres. I traversed the town moor one day, in walking
from Greenlaw to Hume Castle, which lies some three
or four miles to the southward ; a really primitive bit
of the old wild country that might well make a stage
for any of those old ditties that tell of the loves and
humours of a peasantry who have ceased to exist, as
everywhere else. Clean nibbled sward was here, and
tousely moor-grass, yellow^ with tansy and ragwort ;
wet green rushy hollows, fragrant with meadow-sweet
and patches of broom, or gorse, or heather, and
unmolested thistles. Companies of stunted thorns
straggled about the wide-spreading upland, whose
choice bites were, no doubt, an open book to the
veterans of the town herd. I found their guardian, a
man of many years, sitting by the roadside, and only
too ready for a crack. He was reading a newspaper,
and admitted that when this daily performance was
concluded he found time hang heavy on his hands.
He had none of the Scottish classics, theological or
secular, either in his pocket, or apparently at command,
not even a Burns, and obviously was not a man of
culture. He " didna tak' nuich heed to Burns," he
said. But he told me all about the time-honoured
rules and regulations affecting the grazing rights of the
moor. There was no shelter on this whole stretch of it
but the afore-mentioned stunted thorns and the like,
and I asked him how he did in heavy storms. He
replied he didn't do at all well, but fared on such
occasions "jes' the same as ilka ane o' yon beasties."
Then he waxed eloquent on the thunderstorms he had
braved, and the lightning flashes he had narrowly
escaped. There had, in fact, been a severe one the
day before : hence his eloquence.


But if a stormy day upon the moor has its
sombre and weird sort of fascination for some of us,
when the clouds roll away and the sun bursts upon the
battered spongy waste, there can be no two opinions.
Divergent temperaments which a display of elemental
forces thrust for the moment so mysteriously far apartt
forget their difference when the curtain of morning
rises on another scene ; a scene radiant with sunshine,
canopied with blue skies, and balmy with soft scent-
laden zephyrs. Such, indeed, are days worth living
for upon the moors, and this was one of them. The
waning heather had gathered a new lease of life, and
glowed with reinvigorated glory. The sheep pastures
listened with a fresh touch of verdure. The brown
burns shone brimming and lusty in the valleys, and
from every side came that delicious sound of gurgling
waters.


Penelope's experiences in Scotland : being extracts from the commonplace book of Penelope Hamilton

Wiggin, Kate Douglas Smith

We are exploring the neighbourhood together, and
whichever path we take we think it lovelier than the
one before. This morning we drove to Pettybaw Sands,
Francesca and Salemina following by the footpath and
meeting us on the shore. It is all so enchantingly fresh
and green on one of these rare bright days: the trig
lass bleaching her ' claes ' on the grass by the burn
near the little stone bridge; the wild partridges whir-
ring about in pairs; the farm-boy seated on the clean
straw in the bottom of his cart, and cracking his whip
in mere wanton joy at the sunshine ; the pretty cottages :
and the gardens with rows of currant and gooseberry
bushes hanging thick with fruit that suggests jam and
tart in every delicious globule. It is a love-coloured
landscape, we know it full well; and nothing in the
fair world about us is half as beautiful as what we see
in each other's eyes. Ah, the memories of these first
golden mornings together after our long separation. I
shall sprinkle them with lavender and lay them away in
that dim chamber of the heart where we keep precious
things. We all know the chamber. It is fragrant with
other hidden treasures, for all of them are sweet, though
some are sad. That is the reason why we put a finger
on the lip and say ' Hush,' if we open the door and allow
any one to peep in.

'Don't pick flaws in Miss Hamilton's finest line!
That picture of a fair American, clad in a kilt and mutch,
decked in heather and scones, and brandishing a clay-
more, will live for ever in my memory. Don't clip the
wings of her imagination ! You will be telling her soon
that one doesn't tie one's hair with thistles, nor couple
collops with cairngorms.'
Somebody sent Francesca a great bunch of yellow
broom, late that afternoon. There was no name in the
box, she said, but at night she wore the odorous tips in
the bosom of her black dinner-gown, and standing erect
in her dark hair like golden aigrettes.


THE LAND OF THE HILLS AND
THE GLENS

By Gordon, Seton Paul

The perfume of the bog-myrtle's opening leaves, the scent of
the youthful bracken fronds, of heather and young grasses,
all lie on the still air and charm the senses.

It is in June and July that the crofters look for the best
weather of the season. In July the bell heather is in full
bloom, so that its perfume carries far over the sun-baked
earth.

Standing perched on the stems of the fragrant bog myrtle, whinchats called anxiously.
They too had their nests, but unlike the stonechats, which
had thriving broods to care for, were still sitting on their
eggs of pale unspotted blue.


Arriving at sea level, no breath of wind disturbed the
loch. Gradually the flood tide crept inward, covering the
sun-baked rocks and parched seaweeds with its cool waters.
Along the shore sandpipers called anxiously, for their young
were near them, and in the air was the scent of many yellow
irises with which the shores of the loch are covered at this
season of early summer.

The hot sun draws out
many delightful scents from the mountain vegetation. The
perfume of the bog-myrtle's opening leaves, the scent of
the youthful bracken fronds, of heather and young grasses,
all lie on the still air and charm the senses.

The hill-top is
not high — it stands less than 1,500 feet above sea-level — yet
I do not think that it has ever been my good fortune to
be favoured with so extensive a view as during this day when
summer was yet young, and the scent of hill plants was
everywhere.


At one point along the southern shore of the loch the
rocks come sheer to the water's edge, and a precarious
passage is made for the narrow road that traverses the
island. During nights so dark that even the sea beneath
was invisible, I have made the journey along the loch side,
and have found the wind so strong that it was difficult
even to stand against it. The roar of the surf beneath, the
roar of the wind among the rocks above, the thick driving
mist strong with the scent of the sea — on such nights as
this one felt the spirit of the storm brooding darkly over
the loch.

It is, perhaps, on a clear day of sunshine early in May
that Ceann a' Bharra is at its best. By now the grass is
springing up fresh and green, and wild hyacinths are
tingeing the southern slopes of the hill with blue, while
many primroses blossom in the sun-bathed and sheltered
crannies, and throw out their scent far across the hill.

The wild hyacinth grows in the glen. In late May,
when the sun shines strongly and the last of the northerly
winds of spring has passed by, the glen is tinged with
blue, and the quiet air of an evening is laden with the
sweet scent of countless of these fragile flowers. Far up
the hillsides the hyacinths are to be found; they approach
even the ptarmigan country and the land of the eagle.

Hill flowers would grow near her nest. In the hot sun the
blossoms of the cushion pink would throw out their sweet
scent into the still air, and there would be violets, and wild
pansies and the small white flowers of the mountain saxifrage,
growing where the rocks are damp.


During these days of midsummer the scent of the bog
myrtle is carried far over the loch, for myriads of its plants
have their home in the boggy land leading down to the
water. A profusion of sea thrift is now in blossom on the
shingle lying near the sea pool, so that a tinge of pink is
to be seen over all the river estuary.

The next day brought sunshine and showers, so that
when the sun shone, hot and clear, the scent of the bell
heather came across the glen from the hillside beyond the
river, and mingled with it was the aroma from many bog
myrtle plants.

On the 29th whimbrel were passing over, and on the 30th I
heard a whinchat in song. The temperature on the last
two days of the month exceeded 65 degrees, and the snow-
fields rapidly dwindled even on the higher hills. Every-
where the birches were budding and the air was filled with
the sweet aroma from their young leaves.

Wanderings in the Highlands of Banff and Aberdeen Shires, with trifles in verse
BY J.I. PHILLIPS.

Quite a profusion of mountain daisies
reared their modest petals under the shadow of the perfumed
birches. Continuing our march upward for about a mile
and a-half, we crossed the Conglass, and reached the road that
traverses the glen near a mountain spring called the " Well
of the Leicht."

The
glen began to get narrower as we approached Upper Cabrach,
and soon came to be a ravine, through which the Deveron
rolls along its rugged course, and finds its way to the Moray
Firth. The road wends along the river side, through banks
and braes of natural birch and hazel that filled the air with
perfume. We lingered long here, admiring the sweet seclu-
sion of the spot, and though it could not perhaps be called
absolutely beautiful, it was, to say the least, a very pretty
scene.

This is the most beautiful road in upper Glenlivet. For
more than two miles it is like an avenue, being lined on
both sides with natural birches, whose branches in some parts
almost kiss the flashing waters of the Livet. On a summer
evening a walk on this road is delightful. The buzz of in-
sects, the song of birds, the murmuring of the stream, and the
perfume of the birches induce a feeling of calm tranquillity
and repose.

We pressed along towards it
as rapidly as the rough nature of the ground would admit,
pausing now and again to gather " blaeberries " and cran-
berries that grew thickly around. The place proved to be the
farm-house of Backans, tenanted by Mr Brodie, a gentleman
with whom we had some acquaintance. We received a warm
welcome and a cup of fragrant tea, which was very refreshing
after our walk. We spent rather more time here than could
well be spared ; but this was so far made up for by Mr
Brodie volunteering to accompany us down the Glen and
show us the local places of interest.

The Cabrach, like most Highland glens, was now look-
ing its very best. The heather on the hillsides was sending
forth its purple bloom. The gentle uplands carried a mass
of waving green, and the pasture lands were sending forth
their clovery fragrance. We called at Upper Ardwell, in-
quiring the way, and met a kind reception. With the hos-
pitality of their country, they pressed upon us to eat, and
when we did not incline doing so, we received a flowing bowl
of rich milk, which was relished very much.

Spring had just given birth to summer, and
all nature rejoiced at the new born season. Phoebus began
to show himself above the summit of the eastern hills, and
his bright beams were frolicking with the masses of fleecy
cloud that floated lazily northwards on the wings of the soft
southern breeze. The feathery choristers chirruped and sang
in the trees at Chapelton as we passed, and the bees were
out on the scented clover as we entered the Moss of Vautuck.


"Sketch-book of the North"

BY
GEORGE EYRE-TODD

Less and less, as the narrow road rises through
the fir woods, grows the bit of blue loch seen
far behind under the branches, and the little
clachan in the warm hollow over the brow of
the hill is shut from the world on every side by
the deep and silent forests of fragrant pine.
Wayside flowers are seeding on the time-darkened
thatch of these sequestered dwellings. There,
with branches of narrow pods, the wallflower
clings ; and the spikes of the field-mustard ripen
beside the golden bullets of the ox-eyed daisy.


Three hundred years ago and more it all
happened, and the moss grows dark and velvety
now on the ruined bridge over which once rang
the hoofs of Queen Mary's steed ; but the grey
and broken walls, silent amid the warm summer
sunshine, recall these memories of the past.
There could be no sweeter spot to linger near.
Foamy branches of hawthorn in spring fill the
air here with their fragrance ; and in the wood-
land aisles lie fair beds of speedwell, blue as
miniature lakes. Under the dry, crumbling banks,
too, among tufts of delicate fern, are to be seen
the misty, purple-flowering nettle and the soft
green shoots of brier.

There was a
shower of rain in the early morning ; it has laid
the dust, and left the road firm and cool to the
tread. Everything is refreshed : wild rosebuds,
red and white, are everywhere opening after the
shower ; the yellow broom-blossom is softer and
brighter; the delicate forget-me-nots have a
lovelier blue ; and beyond, in the shady spaces
of the woods, the foxgloves raise their spires of
drooping bells. The rain, too, has brought out
afresh every wayside scent ; the new-cut clover
there in the meadow, the flowerless sweetbrier
and clambering yellow honeysuckle here in the
hedge, all fill the air with fragrance.

After the throbbing deck of the great
steamer, and the oily smell of engines and cook's
galley, it is pleasant to be bowling along a firm
road with the honey-scent of the heather in the
air, and — yes, it is quite certain — the fragrance of
peat smoke. For as the road turns inland the
village opens to view, a double line of dark blue
dwellings along the mountain foot.

For a lifetime a man has
been painfully toiling up the Alps of circum-
stance ; it may be he has gained the object of
his desire — the glittering ice-crystal on the peak
which long ago dazzled his upward-looking eyes ;
and now, toying with the walnuts and the wine,
someone says " I remember : " — lo ! the years are
forgotten ; the greybeard is back in the sunny
valley of his boyhood, wandering the field-paths
with chubby companions long since dust, and
filling his heart once more with the sweet scent
of hayricks, of the hedges in hawthorn-time. It
is not for nothing that rustic children day after
day, as they start for school, hear the low of the
farmyard kine coming in to the milking, and that
day after day, as they tread the long miles of
moorland path, they see the grouse whirr off to
the mountain, and the trout dart away from the
sunny shallows ; and it is not for nothing that
they spend long truant afternoons by ferny lanes
and harebell copses in the seasons of bird-nesting
and bramble-gathering. These make the fragrant
memories of after years ! And again and again,
in later life, to the man jaded with anxiety and
care, the old associations come back, laden with
pleasant regrets — a breath from the clover-fields
of youth.

How the wind sighs
in the naked hedges, with a louder whisper where
the thick-leaved holly-trees are set ! One is
tempted to linger under the soft shelter of the
wood, where the air is rich with the fragrance of
the undergrowth, and the stillness gives a feeling
of pleasant security by contrast with the roar
and sough of the storm in the tree-tops far above.

But look here. With true Highland hospitality,
preparations for tea have been surreptitiously
advanced, and the fresh, wholesome - looking
daughter of the house and her mother lift into
the middle of the earthen floor the table ready
caparisoned with cloth-of-snow, glittering cups
and knives, heaped sugar-bowl, and beaker of
rich yellow cream. A lissome flower of the
moors is this crofter maid. The oatmeal which
she has been baking is not more soft and fair
than the skin of the comely lass, and, as she
smiles reply in lifting the toasted oat-farles from
the flat iron " girdle " swung over the fire, it
needs no poet to notice that her eyes are bits
of summer sea and her mouth a damask bud.
The toasted farles of oat-cake from her hand
send forth an ambrosial smell which, with the
fragrance of the new-made tea, is irresistible to
hungry folk, and no pressing Highland exhorta-
tion is needed to set visitors of both sexes to
the attack of the viands.

The air grows less heavy as the road again
approaches the shore, and there comes up with
the murmur of the shingle the faint salt smell
of the sea. Away in front the bright blaze
streaming out in the darkness strikes from the
lighthouse tower at the outmost sea-edge, receiv-
ing its signal, like the bale-fires of old, from
the beacon on the opposite coast, and flashing
it on to the next point up channel.

A magnificent day indeed it promises to be.
The wreathing night-mists have already risen
from the Bens, and the loch below gleams like
melted sapphire round sylvan island and far-set
promontory. Everywhere the mountains are clad
in purple, and from the moor-bloom spreading
its springy carpet underfoot rises a fragrance
that fills air and heart alike with delight.

The dark cool drawing-room is bright with
the light dresses of young girls, and musical with
the murmur of happy laughter, while the air that
just stirs the creamy gossamer of the curtains
brings in with it the fragrance of the dark
velvety wallflower still flowering outside in the
sunshine before the window.

The air grows fresher and sweeter in a
shower, a richer fragrance comes out in the woods,
and the true gloom and grandeur of the mountains
can only be seen when the grey rain-veils are
darkening and glittering among their glens. Even
into the house steals the reviving freshness of the
rain. The scent of the wet sweetbrier budding
in the garden hedge enters at the open window ;
from the larch-wood near, the grateful thrushes
can be heard sending forth more liquid trillings ;
and the daffodils, hung like yellow jewels along
the lawn, appear fairer and brighter amid the
shower. But better than wasting the day indoors
it is to sally forth, strong-booted and roughly
clad, breathe the freshness of the cool, new air,
and start, staff in hand, for the hills themselves.


And while one treads on the brown, fallen
needles of spruce and larch, the subtle forest
scents fill the heart with many pleasant memories.
Never are these forest scents richer than when
brought out by a shower, and it is curious how
vividly some faint perfume drifting on the air will
recall the happy scenes of other days, memories
that are themselves the pensive fragrance of old
age.

Presently, as he turns from the beaten high-
way into the snow-clad woods of the manor,
hearing the bell of the distant town steeple
behind him striking the hour, he gives an
encouraging word to his dog, and quickens his
steps a little. As he passes the humble window
of the gate-lodge, he pauses a moment — there
was a sound ; yes, it is audible again — a mother
crooning softly over her child ; and his eye
glistens as his ear catches the lullaby, old
bachelor as he is. From the chimney on the
low roof, too, there steals down among the trees
the savoury fragrance of the evening meal.

Wet and heavy the roads are, and there will
be more rain yet, for the pools in the ruts are
not clear. The slender larch on the edge of the
wood has put on a greener kirtle in the night,
and stands forward like a young bride glad amid
her tears. If a glint of sunshine came to kiss
her there, she would glitter with a hundred rain-
jewels. The still, heavy air is aromatic with the
scent of the pines. By the wayside the ripening
oats are bending their graceful heads after the
rain, like Danae, with their golden burden, while
the warrior hosts of the barley beyond hold their
spiky crests white and erect.

The winding lines of telegraph-poles that mark
the road can be seen stretching away for miles
among the hills. The sun has set now, and
night, falling earlier in the late autumn, is coming
down. It is the gloaming hour. Out of the
grass-field here by the roadside the trailing-footed
kine, with patient eyes and deep udders, are turn-
ing down the hill towards their byre. Their
satisfied breathing fills the air as they pass with
the warm sweet scent of clover.

Not another creature is to be seen on the upland
road ; only, now and again, the lonely cry of the
curlew can still be heard far off upon the moor.
The last field is passed, and the last shieling lies
behind in the valley. The air up here is full of the
honey-scent of the heather. The last belated bee,
however, hummed homewards half an hour ago.

Cool yet is the air of the corrie
as it comes from the waterfall, and all the
mountain-side is musical with the far-off call of
the grouse. Under the rich-leaved plane-trees
there is the hum of bees at the green hanging
blossoms, and from the meadows by the river
drift the bleatings of a thousand lambs. Appetite
comes here keen as a knife if one but stands a
moment on the sunny doorstep, and the morning
meal is enjoyed with a whole-hearted zest that
brooks no scantiness. Indeed, if there be heal-
ing power anywhere on earth for the wasted
body or the sorrowing soul, it is to be found
here among the hills. Who can long be sick
at heart with that glory of valley and sky about
him ? and who frail of step with his nostrils
full of the clover-scent and his tread on the
springing heather?

Here, above the
fields, the air is sweet with the scent of clover ;
the stillness is only broken by the faint pipe of
a yellowhammer sometimes in the depth of the
wood ; and the blue heavens shed their peace
upon the heart. Nothing but the faintest breath
of air is moving, just enough to stir gently the
deep grasses of the hayfield, and to touch cheek
and lip now and again with the soft warm sigh
of the sweetbrier in the hedge. Gleaming flies,
green and yellow, with gauzy wings, float like
jewels in the sunshine ; a shadow for a moment
touches the page as a stray rook drifts silently
overhead ; and on the edge of the great yellow
daisy that flames over there like a topaz among
the corn, a blue butterfly lazily opens and shuts
its wings.

On the dyke-top here, the clover, with great
ball-blooms of rich pink, is growing beside the
purple-toothed vetch and the small yellow stars
of another unknown flower. In the hedge, among
the heavy-scented privet blossoms, are flowers of
pink wild-rose delicate as the bloom of a girl's
cheek, with full pouting buds red as lips that
would be kissed. White brier-roses there are,
too, as large as crown pieces ; and great velvety
humble-bees are busy botanising among their
stamens. The bees prefer the newly opened
ones, however, whose hearts are still a rich
golden yellow.

But here is our inn, a long-forgotten hostelrie,
where one can sit at noon in the shade by the
doorway with a book, and watch the ships far
out go by upon the firth, while the cool sea
glistens below, and all day long there is the
drowsy hum of bees about the yellow tassels
of the laburnums at the gable ends. A pleasant
spot it is even now in the darkness. The lilac-
trees in the garden are a-bloom, and the air is
sweet with their scent. A pleasant place, where
the comely hostess will welcome the tired
pedestrian, where his supper will taste the better
for the fresh night air from the open window,
and where, presently, he will fall asleep between
sheets that smell of the clover-field, to dream of
the firmly-grasped tiller, the snowy cloud of
sails overhead, and the rushing of the water
under the yacht's counter of the morrow.