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veyance is by the crubban, a triangular machine formed of rods, and suspended across the horse's back on each side. It is well adapted for carrying peats, corn in sacks, hay, &c. A sort of stout creels, of a similar construction, are called Rechailich, and a tradition exists that the stones of which the bridge of Dee, near Aberdeen was built, about 1522, were conveyed by these means. A sort of saddle, called a Clubbar, formed of wood, has a deep notch in the top, for the purpose of holding a rope of straw, rushes, or heath, to which are fastened, on each side the horse, a basket or bag, made of straw, rushes, or floss, a sort of reed, and woven like a mat. They are of an oval shape, about three feet wide at bottom, and two and a half at top, being about one foot eight inches deep, and capable of containing half a boll of oats. They are called cazzies, or ceises, and are furnished with a handle or fettle at each end, by which they can be carried, and have two straw or other ropes to tie the mouth, when full. These simple and convenient articles are generally made during the winter nights: they will last two years, and their value in the Northern counties is perhaps fourpence or sixpence; but in Badenoch, where they were chiefly employed in carrying cheese and butter from the sheelings, they cost more. Highland garrons with these will travel through the most rugged paths, each fastened to the tail of the other, however many there may be, attended by one driver, and, when unloaded, the halter of the foremost is tied to the tail of the last, so that it is impossible for them to stray, as they can only move in a circle. This mode of fastening by the tail is thought an excellent method of breaking horses.
To conclude this chapter, it may be observed, that the state of the old Highland tenantry was far from being slavish or uncomfortable. Strangers seldom took farms,
or indeed had the opportunity, for few were ever removed from their ancient possessions, to which they thought they had a sort of prescriptive right. The farm tenants of modern times have generally a cow on the common pasture, and one, or one and a half acres of land for vegetables, with the privilege of cutting grass on the bogs, for which they pay a rent of five or six pounds. The freedom of a pastoral and agricultural life is highly favourable to a military spirit, and it did not escape the observation of the ancients, that their best troops were raised in the country. The children born of husbandmen, says Cato, are the most valiant and hardy soldiers, and the most intrepid. The late war evinced, in the case of the Highlanders, the truth of his remark.
THERE was no scarcity of food amongst the Celtæ, when they came under the observation of the more polished nations of Europe, and their good living must have materially assisted in producing the strong limbs and large stature for which they were so remarkable. The vegetable kingdom, unimproved by horticultural skill, and the wild herds of the forest, afford the means of subsistence to mankind in the first stage of civilization; but the nations of the west were not confined to these precarious supplies, having long before the commencement of our era, as may already appear, pastured numerous flocks of cattle, and cultivated, with success, extensive fields of corn. To this general observation the state of some of the remote and barbarous tribes will indeed be an exception. Strangers to the advantages of climate and intercourse with more refined nations, they continued in primitive rudeness, unaffected by commerce,
and contented with their savage enjoyments; but the Gauls were far removed from that state in which human beings are under the necessity of appropriating the coarse fruits of the forest trees, or the wild herbs and roots of the field, for their chief subsistence. They were, as has been shewn, supplied with abundance of venison from their well-stocked forests, and other meat from their tame herds, and the plenty which filled the land was evinced by their well-supplied tables and continued feasting, which were the theme of even Roman commendation. The Aquitani were famed for their sumptuous and frequent entertainments, and the Celtiberi were noted for being particularly nice and curious in their diet."
Before manners have been changed by civilization, or mankind has emerged from a state of nature, the savage beings subsist on the coarse and undressed articles of food which they may be able to procure. The roots of the field, and the produce of the forest trees, supply a ready, though precarious, means of subsistence, and, consistent with the plan hitherto pursued, it will be inquired how far the ancient Celts depended on the wild productions of nature, or had supplied themselves with vegetables and fruit, improved by horticultural industry.
The Germans, according to Tacitus and Appian, lived chiefly on raw herbs and wild fruit, and some of the Britons, also, were accustomed to satisfy the cravings of hunger with the same unsavoury aliment; but this must have been in cases of necessity, and among the most barbarous of the tribes, for they certainly had, in general, ample supplies of other food. It is, besides, found that nations will continue the use of the hard fare which satisfied their fathers, when it is in their power to procure better provisions, as the
Arcadians, who continued to eat acorns to the time that the Lacedemonians warred with them; and the Celtiberia, who used, throughout all the country, to serve up roasted mast as a second course, notwithstanding they had all sorts of flesh in plenty, and were not obliged to use this plain diet. The Celts, although, as shall be shewn, they by no means disregarded good living, seemed to have considered temperance a virtue, being moderate, as Diodorus and Tacitus express themselves, in eating, banishing hunger by plain fare without curious dressing. This race have ever been noted for their contempt of delicacies, or aversion to epicurianism, and their ability to bear the privations of hunger and fatigue. It has been found that the Highlanders are, when surrounded with plenty, more sparing in their diet than others; and it is a fact, that they will continue a whole day
a at laborious field work, contenting themselves with only two meals of water brose, or a simple mixture of oatmeal and water. They will eat, says Mrs. Grant, with a keen appetite and sufficient discrimination; but were they to stop in any pursuit because it was meal time, growl over a bad dinner, or exult over a good one, the manly dignity of their character would be considered as fallen for ever. I have seen a piper from “the head of the Highlands,” at a sumptuous dinner on St. Andrew's day, select, from the various choice dishes around him, plain boiled sheep's trotters in preference to anything else!
The ancient Celts held corpulence in so much abhorrence, that the young men had a girdle to determine their size, and if they were found to exceed its dimensions, they were subjected to a fine. A fat paunch has always been reckoned a great misfortune in the Highlands.
Health may be preserved with a much less quantity of food than is generally supposed; for repletion is more c Pausanias, vii. 7.