Excerpt from Reminiscences of a Clachnacuddin Nonagenarian
Nearly 90 years ago, I was deprived when a child of my father, which loss, though a serious one, was, however, ameliorated by the kindness of my grandfather, then an old man of about 70 years of age, who did what he could to supply the place of my parent, during the remainder of his life, which was extended to the age of 97 years. In my youth ful days, to say nothing of those of my grandfather, which united, now reach through a period of 155 years, the Highlands were very different from what they now are, in a variety of ways. Some of the alterations, however, that strike me most forcibly, consist in the facilities of travelling communication, and in the means of conveying information. When a boy, I knew not only every inhabitant of Inver ness, but even their very dogs; then houses were few, new books that made their way so far north, were rarities; and those comparatively modern vehiclesof public information, newspapers, were scarce in Scotland, and had no existence in the metropolis of the north; where the first was not commenced till 1808. The absence of the press as a means of recording events, necessarily induced the aged to treasure up more minutely in their memories, the particulars of events that transpired, and carefully to transmit them to posterity. From my grand father I, in this manner, derived information on a variety of subjects, and in making allusion to events, previously to my own time, this will be born in mind, and considered a sufficient explanation. There are comparatively few buildings now in Inverness of which I have not beheld the origin, and those which form the exceptions, seem on that account to recommend themselves more strongly to the affec tions of an old man, as mementoes of former times and friends, bringing back to my memory the events of infancy and youth, with a vividness not unalloyed by feelings of pain, at beholding myself left, as it were, like the lone and shattered pine of the forest, and separated from the companions of my early days. I have reason, however, to be thankful, that while acquaintance and friend after friend has been removed from my side, others have been springing up around me, and, in order to dissipate all repining thoughts, I will attempt to amuse my hearer, and to gratify fondly cherished recollections, by detailing what I have heard, and what I personally re member, of one of my earliest infantine and yet standing acquaintances - The Bridge.