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TO THE SAME.
1773. “ Mr. Johnson sends his compliments to Mr. Ætat. 04. Bosweil, being just arrived at Boyd's.”
“ Saturday night."
His stay in Scotland was from the 18th of August, on which day he arrived, till the 22d of November, when he set out on his return to London; and I believe ninety-four days were never passed by any man in a more vigorous exertion.
He came by the way of Berwick upon Tweed to Edinburgh, were he remained a few days, and then went by St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Inverness, and Fort Augustus, to the Hebrides, to visit which was the principal object he had in view. He visited the isles of Sky, Rasay, Col, Mull, Inchkenneth, and Icolmkill. He travelled through Argyleshire by Inverary, and from thence by Lochlomond and Dunbarton to Glasgow, then by Loudon to Auchinleck in Ayrshire, the seat of my family, and then by Hamilton, back to Edinburgh, where he again spent sone time. He thus saw the four Universities of Scotland, its three principal cities, and as much of the Highland and insular life as was sufficient for his philosophical contemplation. I had the pleasure of accompanying him during the whole of his journey. He was respectfully entertained by the great, the learned, and the elegant, wherever he went; nor was he less delighted with the hospitality which he experienced in humbler life.
His various adventures, and the force and vivacity of his mind, as exercised during this peregrination, upon innumerable topicks, have been faithfully, and to the best of my abilities, displayed in my “ Journal
1773. of a Tour to the Hebrides,” to which, as the publick S has been pleased to honour it by a very extensive Etat. 64.
circulation, I beg leave to refer, as to a separate and remarkable portion of his life, * which may be there seen in detail, and which exhibits as striking a view of his powers in conversation, as his works do of his excellence in writing. Nor can I deny to myself the very flattering gratification of inserting here the character which my friend Mr. Courtenay has been pleased to give of that work:
“ With Reynolds' pencil, vivid, bold, and true,
* [The authour was not a small gainer by this extraordinary Journey ; for Dr. Johnson thus writes to Mrs. Thrale, Nov. 3, 1773 : “ Boswell will praise my resolution and perseverance, and I shall in return celebrate his good humour and perpetual cheerfulness. He has better faculties than I had imagined; more justness of discernment, and more fecundity of images. It is very convenient to travel with him ; for there is no house where he is not received with kindness and respect." Let. 90, to Mrs. Thrale. M.]
5“ The celebrated Flora Macdonald, See Boswell's Tour,"
During his stay at Edinburgh, after his return from 1773. the Hebrides, he was at great pains to obtain infor
Ætat. 64 mation concerning Scotland; and it will appear
from his subsequent letters, that he was not less solicitous for intelligence on this subject after his return to London.
" TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
incom. modity, danger, or weariness, and am ready to begin a new journey. I shall go to Oxford on Monday. I know Mrs. Boswell wished me well to go;her wishes have not been disappointed. Mrs. Williams has received Sir A's ? letter.
“ Make my compliments to all those to whom my compliments may be welcome.
“ Let the box be sent as soon as it can, and let me know when to expect
• In this he shewed a very acute penetration. My wife paid him the most assiduous and respectful attention, while he was our guest; so that I wonder how he discovered her wishing for his departure. The truth is, that his irregular hours and uncouth habits, such as turning the candles with their heads downwards, when they did not burn bright enough, and letting the wax drop upon the carpet, could not but be disagreeable to a lady. Besides, she had not that high admiration of him which was felt by most of those who knew him; and what was very natural to a female mind, she thought he had too much influence over her husband. She once in a little warmth, made, with more point than justice, this remark upon that subject :
" I have seen many a bear led by a man; but I never before saw a man led by a bear."
9 Sir Alexander Gordon one of the Professors at Aberdeen.
8 This was a box containing a number of curious things which he had picked up in Scotland, particularly some born spoons. VOL. II.
1773. “ Enquire, if you can, the order of the Clans:
Macdonald is first, Maclean second ; further I canÆtat. 64. not go. Quieken Dr. Webster:9 I am, Sir,
* Yours affectionately, “Nov. 27, 1773.
“ Sam. Johnson."
66 MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
“Edinburgh, Dec. 2, 1773.
“ You shall have what information I can procure as to the order of the Clans. A gentleman of the name of Grant tells me, that there is no settled order among them; and he says, that the Macdonalds were not placed upon the right of the army at Culloden; the Stuarts were.' I shall, however, examine witnesses of every name that I can find here. Dr. Webster shall be quickened too. I like your little memorandums; they are symptoms of your being in earnest with your book of northern travels.
“ Your box shall be sent next week by sea. You will find in it some peices of the broom bush, which you saw growing on the old castle of Auchinleck. The wood has a curious appearance when sawn across. You
either have a little writing-standish made of it, or get it formed into boards for a treatise on witchcraft, by way of a suitable binding.”
9 The Reverend Dr. Alexander Webster, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, a man of distinguished abilities, who had promised hiin information concerning the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
1773. “Edinburgh, Dec. 18, 1773. Ætat. 64.
“ You promised me an inscription for a print to be taken from an historical picture of Mary Queen of Scots being forced to resign her crown, which Mr. Hamilton at Rome has painted for me.
The two following have been sent to me:
• Maria Scotorum Regina meliori seculo digna, jus regium civibus seditiosis invita resignat.'
• Cives seditiosi Mariam Scotorum Reginam sese mua neri abdicare invitam cogunt.'
“Be so good as to read the passage in Robertson, and see if you cannot give me a better inscription. I must have it both in Latin and English; so if you should not give me another Latin one, you will at least choose the best of these two, and send a translation of it."
His humane forgiving disposition was put to a pretty strong test on his return to London, by a liberty which Mr. Thomas Davies had taken with him in his absence, which was, to publish two volumes entitled, “ Miscellaneous and fugitive Pieces,” which he advertised in the news-papers, " By the Authour of the Rambler.” In this collection, several of Dr. Johnson's acknowledged writings, several of his
anonymous performances, and some which he had written for others, were inserted; but there were also some in which he had no concern whatever. He was at first very angry, as he had good reason to be. But, upon consideration of his poor friend's narrow