Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 57

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Yesterday we were invited to the funeral of an old lady, the grandmother of a gentleman in this neighbourhood, and found ourselves in the midst of fifty people, who were regaled with a sumptuous feast, accompanied by the music of a dozen pipers. In short, this meeting had all the air of a grand festival; and the guests did such honour to the entertainment, that many of them could not stand when we were reminded of the business on which we had met. The company forthwith taking horse, rode in a very irregular cavalcade to the place of interment, a church, at the distance of two long miles from the castle. On our arrival, however, we found we had committed a small oversight, in leaving the corpse behind; so we were obliged to wheel about, and met the old gentlewoman half way, being carried upon poles by the nearest relations of her family, and attended by the coronach, composed of a multitude of old hags, who tore their hair, beat their breasts, and howled most hideously. At the grave, the orator, or senachie, pronounced the panegyric of the defunct, every period being confirmed by a yell of the coronach. The body was committed to the earth, the pipers playing a pibroch all the time; and all the company standing uncovered. The ceremony was closed with the discharge of pistols; then we returned to the castle, resumed the bottle, and by midnight there was not a sober person in the family, the females excepted. The 'squire and I were, with some difficulty, permitted to retire with our landlord in the evening; but our entertainer was a little chagrined at our retreat; and afterwards seemed to think it a disparagement to his family, that not above a hundred gallons of whisky had been drunk upon such a solemn occasion. This morning we got up by four, to hunt the roebuck, and, in half an hour, found breakfast ready served in the hall. The hunters consisted of Sir George Colquhoun and me, as strangers (my uncle not chusing to be of the party), of the laird in person, the laird's brother, the laird's brother's son, the laird's sister's son, the laird's father's brother's son, and all their foster brothers, who are counted parcel of the family: but we were attended by an infinite number of Gaelly's, or ragged Highlanders without shoes or stockings.

The following articles formed our morning's repast: one kit of boiled eggs; a second, full of butter; a third full of cream; an entire cheese, made of goat's milk; a large earthen pot full of honey; the best part of a ham; a cold venison pasty; a bushel of oat meal, made in thin cakes and bannocks, with a small wheaten loaf in the middle for the strangers; a large stone bottle full of whisky, another of brandy, and a kilderkin of ale. There was a ladle chained to the cream kit, with curious wooden bickers to be filled from this reservoir. The spirits were drank out of a silver quaff, and the ale out of hems: great justice was done to the collation by the guest in general; one of them in particular ate above two dozen of hard eggs, with a proportionable quantity of bread, butter, and honey; nor was one drop of liquor left upon the board. Finally, a large roll of tobacco was presented by way of desert, and every individual took a comfortable quid, to prevent the bad effects of the morning air. We had a fine chace over the mountains, after a roebuck, which we killed, and I got home time enough to drink tea with Mrs Campbell and our 'squire. To-morrow we shall set out on our return for Cameron. We propose to cross the Frith of Clyde, and take the towns of Greenock and Port-Glasgow in our way. This circuit being finished, we shall turn our faces to the south, and follow the sun with augmented velocity, in order to enjoy the rest of the autumn in England, where Boreas is not quite so biting as he begins already to be on the tops of these northern hills. But our progress from place to place shall continue to be specified in these detached journals of

Yours always,
J. MELFORD
ARGYLSHIRE, Sept. 3.