Returning, we left the road at Dunluce, and took a path which led along the summit of the cliffs. The twilight was gathering, and the wind blew with perfect fury, which, combined with the black and stormy sky, gave the coast an air of extreme wildness. All at once, as we followed the winding path, the crags appeared to open before us, disclosing a yawning chasm, down which a large stream, falling in an unbroken sheet, was lost in the gloom below. Witnessed in a calm day, there may perhaps be nothing striking about it, but coming upon us at once, through the gloom of twilight, with the sea thundering below and a scowling sky above, it was absolutely startling.
The path at last wound, with many a steep and slippery bend, down the almost perpendicular crags, to the shore, at the foot of a giant isolated rock, having a natural arch through it, eighty feet in height. We followed the narrow strip of beach, having the bare crags on one side and a line of foaming breakers on the other. It soon grew dark; a furious storm came up and swept like a hurricane along the shore. I then understood what Horne means by “the lengthening javelins of the blast,” for every drop seemed to strike with the force of an arrow, and our clothes were soon pierced in every part.
Then we went up among the sand hills, and lost each other in the darkness, when, after stumbling about among the gullies for half an hour, shouting for my companions, I found the road and heard my call answered; but it happened to be two Irishmen, who came up and said—“And is it another gintleman ye’re callin’ for? we heard some one cryin’, and didn’t know but somebody might be kilt.”
Finally, about eleven o’clock we all arrived at the inn, dripping with rain, and before a warm fire concluded the adventures of our day in Ireland.
Ben lomond and the Highland lakes.
The steamboat Londonderry called the next day at Port Rush, and we left in her for Greenock. We ran down the Irish coast, past Dunluce Castle and the Causeway; the Giant’s organ was very plainly visible, and the winds were strong enough to have sounded a storm-song upon it. Farther on we had a distant view of Carrick-a-Rede, a precipitous rock, separated by a yawning chasm from the shore, frequented by the catchers of sea-birds. A narrow swinging bridge, which is only passable in calm weather, crosses this chasm, 200 feet above the water.
The deck of the steamer was crowded with Irish, and certainly gave no very favorable impression of the condition of the peasantry of Ireland. On many of their countenances there was scarcely a mark of intelligence—they were a most brutalized and degraded company of beings. Many of them were in a beastly state of intoxication, which, from the contents of some of their pockets, was not likely to decrease. As evening drew on, two or three began singing and the others collected in groups around them. One of them who sang with great spirit, was loudly applauded, and poured forth song after song, of the most rude and unrefined character.