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and penance for erring monks, who were made to kneel in it with their hands fastened in the recess. This seems a somewhat far-fetched theory, though tradition not seldom grows from a germ of truth. Possibly acute observation and learned research (and, like every other relic in the island, this is worthy of the best that can be given) may some day detect its true original use and history.
But almost the most remarkable of the edifices in the sacred precincts is the only remaining example of the dwelling - places which were occupied by the brethren of the community, and this indeed may well carry our thoughts back to a legendary period. Sadly shattered as it is by time, and possibly by careless hands, it has preserved enough of its original character to show how rude and simple it originally was, and to what a long-forgotten type of architecture it belongs. It has been pointed out that it is of the same era, and was built by men of the same school, as those who raised the Round Towers of Ireland.1 It is a double cell, formed of two cone-shaped or beehive - like dwellings meeting and joining each other, with a low connecting square doorway at the point of contact. One of these is about 13 ft. in diameter, and the other a little smaller. The walls of both are, like those of the church, of uncemented stones, most deftly laid to
gether so as to develop the curve of the lowly cone. At the side of the outer door of the double habitation is a small recess in the wall, which may either have been a socket for a massive bolt, or may possibly have formed a small shelf. is perhaps not a little to be wondered at that, with no cement of any kind to keep the stones in their places, the walls have preserved for SO many centuries even а semblance of their original form. If men had never visited the spot since the community forsook their island home, they might have been even more complete. The winds and storms that sweep over these lonely islets would possibly have failed to disturb these rounded dwellings, which have, like the huts and tents of all primitive peoples, the exact shape which best defies the assaults of the elements. But though the place is deserted for long periods, shepherds come here from time to time to gather the cattle, and, using the huts for shelter, have treated them carelessly, shifting one stone after another till they have made gaps which have widened into semi-ruin.
Near the church, somewhat apart by itself, and possibly rather larger than other dwellings of like nature in the precincts, this double cell may, by little stretch of the imagination, be recognised as the one occupied by the spiritual head of the little settlement, St Columba himself, during his frequent
1 See The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland,' &c. By George Petrie.
visits to the island. If so, it is the actual place where,
"while the holy man was sojourning in Hinba island, the grace of holy inspiration was poured out upon him in an abundant and incomparable manner, and wonderfully continued with him for three days; so that, for three days and as many nights, he
remained within a house which was locked up and filled with celestial light, would suffer no man to come near him, and neither did eat nor drink. And from this house, mark you, rays of intense brightness were seen at night, breaking out through the chinks of the doors and the keyholes. Some spiritual songs also, which had not been heard before, were then heard as they were being sung by him." 1
A little distance to the west of the church there is a space on which are seen, ranged with some slight appearance of regularity, a number of rounded swellings in the ground, seeming to suggest that here there was a village of the beehiveshaped cells, now collapsed in ruin and hidden by soil and vegetation. Here and there loose, partially-wrought stones still show that they were at
time used as building materials; and careful examination might yet disclose some cells not entirely destroyed, and very possibly other interesting and instructive relics.
most primitive Irish fashion, made of withes and branches woven together and supported on wooden poles (the island was not then, as now, altogether destitute of trees). It was not for some years after their first arrival that the brotherhood were able to have so much as a wooden church; and then, in order to erect it, it was necessary to bring oaks from the forests on
mainland shore. But at Hinba, as we have seen, everything was from the first built of stone. It be that Hinba was may always without vegetation except pasturage, and that, there being good store of slaty rock easily to be fashioned into building material, the monks of Irish descent bethought themselves, when church and dwellings were to be provided, of the patterns given to them by the works lately seen in their native Ireland.
On a sun-kissed knoll, hard by the faint traces of the monkish village, are the vestiges of a cemetery, and, it may be presumed, the cemetery of the monastery. Here are several tombstones, one of which, at any rate, is marked with a cross; and if the earth is probed, other (almost certainly) monumental slabs are evident some distance below the green turf. On this eminence, as tradition tells, is the grave of Eithne, St Columba's mother, daughter of Dimma MacNave, sprung from the princely house of The highly born
About the church and all the subsidiary buildings of the monastery at Hinba, as distinguished from those of the original parent establishment at Iona, there was this peculiarity of character. At Iona the buildings constructed by St Columba for himself and his people were, after the Leinster.
In 1824 Dr M'Culloch, in describing the island, said that "at a small distance from the ruins was the burying-ground, containing many ornamented stones, with remains of crosses, apparently native." A short summer hour gives little opportunity for exploration, and it is easy in a hurried visit to overlook that which is fairly obvious; but if these stones and crosses have remained in the small "God's acre," some of them should have caught the eye. Can it be that they have been removed from their consecrated resting-place to fill an obscure niche in some public or private museum, or is it that the heedless hand of man has already hurried them to destruction by putting them to ignoble uses? There is an adjacent sheep - fank, which bore, as it seemed to me, the same would-be innocent expression as that of a dog more than suspected of stealing a mutton-chop. It has evidently been made in great part from stones that have belonged to the old ruins, and it cannot but be feared that it has not altogether respected the buryingground and its monuments.
Irishwoman had followed her earth. In the golden light of saintly son, and and her bones the sinking sun, Colonsay, were laid in this spot which Oronsay, Isla, Jura, Scarba lie he loved so well. like jewels on the shimmering expanse of waters. To the north rise, a thousand feet in height, the bold basaltic cliffs of Mull, with cloud-capped Ben More peeping over their crests. The long space of Loch Linnhe stretches round eastward towards the land of Lorne and gigantic Cruachan, monarch of a wide circle of peaks. It may be permitted to a Scotsman to think, Where else can we see the like? But, surpassingly beautiful as it all is in the clear calm of a glorious summer afternoon, we cannot forget that the scene takes a sterner, wilder form on most days of the year, that a very moderate breeze will be enough to lash these narrow seas into fury, and that, to seafarers, the towering cliffs and picturesque coast may only present threatening lee shore, unless their craft is stout and well found. We may well marvel how St Columba and his monks made their way from island to island so frequently and with such certainty, and admire the skilful daring of their seamanship. It would be interesting indeed to see some of the frail barks in which these gallant boatmen confidently left port, and it would probably make a modern sailor shudder if he were asked to trust himself to such bottoms. They were for the most part constructed of osiers, covered with skins, and their size was estimated by the number of skins that found a place on the frame.
Before leaving the Island of the Saints, it is worth while to stroll to the top of the nearest height and gaze on the panorama that lies around, panorama the sight of which would in itself be ample reward for the toils of a journey from the uttermost parts of the
They had some boats, too, hollowed out of the trunks of trees, such as those which have been found buried in the peatbogs of Ireland. But it must be believed that St Columba and his men had some galleys that were reasonably stout and had considerable capacity. The one in which the first voyage was made from Ireland to Iona was, we know, sixty feet long, and carried not only the saint and his twelve immediate disciples, but other brethren, labourers and sailors. We know, too, that Gaulish merchants brought the wines of their country for sale in Ireland (even then a taste for claret was a gentlemanly weakness among the priests and people of the green island), and the ships engaged in the trade must have been strong and seaworthy; so it is very probable that, though the boats used for fishing and for service along the coasts were slight and feeble, it must have been possible to charter more solid and roomy craft for distant enterprises. By the way, the sailing rig of the galleys was a cross-yard with a square sail, and this the monks particularly esteemed; for they felt that the yard was always making over their crew the sign of the
sea, there were many dangers to be encountered from the pirate rovers who infested island and coast, gathering prey both by outrage on the deep and by making descents on the villages of the shore. The Cormac Doil of "The Lord of the Isles" "was a lineal descendant and a true representative of the reivers who frequented sound and estuary at an earlier time. Twice, at least, in St Columba's career he miraculously spoke the doom of such sea-wolves,-once when he announced that Ioan, the son of Conall, who had essayed to murder him in the previous year, was at that moment being killed in battle; and again when, having vainly implored a spoiler to abandon his plunder, he foretold the immediate destruction by shipwreck of the ruthless man who had reft the goods from the saint's wellloved friend.
But a low sough of wind is coming up with the evening, and it is well that we should leave the island before a swell sets in from the Atlantic. As our boat is pushed off from St Columba's haven, an old seal and her young one are gambolling at the outlet of the creek. Some folks say that their presence so close to the shore is a presage of a rising
And besides the perils of the storm.
RICHARD HARTLEY, PROSPECTOR.
BY DOUGLAS BLACKBURN.
CHAPTER XIV.-A DECADENT CHIEF.
WILMOT's first view of the kraal which had been the headquarters of the truculent and fearless Magato, but now the home of his unworthy weakling son 'Mpfeu, was disappointing in the extreme. He had listened with intense interest to the stories of the first visit of Hartley and Adam M'Queen, and had filled in the unrecorded details with the colour of imagination, for it is rarely that South Africans can satisfy the natural craving of the new-comer to know something more than their bald matter-of-fact narratives
convey. He had pictured a native village of clustering huts, of a guileless unclad swarm of natives engaged in their primitive but useful avocations, and, in the royal kraal, something approaching that barbaric splendour which tradition associates with the semi-savage chieftain in his own stronghold.
'Mpfeu's kraal consisted of less than a dozen grass - built beehive huts, differing no whit from any other of the scores Wilmot had seen on the journey up, and even on the outskirts of the mine near Krugersdorp. Three or four Kafirs lay about doing nothing in particular, and apparently too destitute of curiosity and energy to recognise the arrival
of white men beyond staring at them. A few girls and women paused in their sluggish tasks to inquire of the induna what the invasion meant; but Bulalie was the only representative of the royal circle who proffered any greeting. Like most Transvaal Kafirs he spoke a little of the Taal, and advancing to Hartley, informed him that 'Mpfeu was too sleepy to see him that day. In the meantime, would he outspan and take possession of the hut devoted to the use of visitors?
Hartley declined the offer. He knew too much of the horrors of a native hut, reeking with smoke and the dirt of a generation, and lighted only by the forty-inch aperture that did duty for door and window. He told Bulalie that he and his friends preferred to live in their waggon, but accepted the green mealies and Kafir beer brought by one of the royal wives.
"Is this the village?" Wilmot asked, disgust and disenchantment in his voice, as soon as they got under the shelter of the waggon-tilt.
"Village? Surely you know there's no such thing as a Kafir village in South Africa?" Hartley answered. "A tribe occupies a large district, not a small spot. Look there, and there."