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"TO THE SAME. “ Dear Sir,
“ Not being at Mr. Thrale's when your letter came, I had written the enclosed paper and sealed it
; bringing it hither for a frank, I found your's. thing could repress my ardour, it would be such a letter as yours. To disappoint a friend is unpleasing: and he that forms expectations like yours, must be disappointed. Think only when you see me, that you see a man who loves you, and is proud and glad that you love him. I am, Sir,
“ Your most affectionate,
“ SAM. JOHNSON.” “ August 3, 1773."
66 TO THE SAME.
Newcastle, Aug. 11, 1773. “ I CAME hither last night, and hope, but do not absolutely promise to be in Edinburgh on Saturday. Beattie will not come so soon. I am, Sir, “ Your most humble servant,
" SAM. JOHNSON. My compliments to your lady."
" TO THE SAME.
“MR. JOHNSON sends his compliments to Mr. Boswell, 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, where he remained a few days, and then
went by St. Andrew, 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 some 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 of a Tour to the Hebrides,” to which, as the publick has been pleased to honour it by a very extensive 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 :
* [The author 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.]
“ With Reynolds' pencil, vivid, bold, and true,
So fervent Boswell gives him to our view :
And Samuel sings, 'The King shall have his ain.'" During his stay at Edinburgh, after his return from the Hebrides, he was at great pains to obtain information 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. “ DEAR SIR,
“I CAME home last night, without any incommodity, 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
“ The celebrated Flora Macdonald. See Boswell's Tour. P 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
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 it.
“ Inquire, if you can, the order of the Clans : Macdonald is first, Maclean is second ; farther I cannot go. Quicken Dr. Webster. I am, Sir,
“ Yours affectionately,
“ SAM. Johnson." “ Nov. 27, 1773."
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.
thought he had too much influence over her husband. She once, in a little warmtli, 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.
* This was a box containing a number of curious things which he had picked up in Scotland, particularly some horn spoons.
• The Reverend Dr. Alexander Webster, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, a man of distinguished abilities, who had promised him information concerning the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
“ Your box shall be sent next week by sea. You will find in it some pieces of the broom bush, which you saw growing on the old castle of Auchinleck. The wood has a curious appearance when sawn across. You may 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:
MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
“ Edinburgh, Dec. 18, 1773.
“ 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 muneri 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