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repartee. He answered, with quick vivacity, “It is of two evils choosing the least.” I was delighted with this flash bursting from the cloud which hung upon his mind, closed my letter directly, and joined the company

We supped at Professor Anderson's. The general impression upon my memory is, that we had not much conversation at Glasgow, where the professors, like their brethren at Aberdeen, did not venture to expose themselves much to the battery of cannon which they knew might play upon them. (') Dr. Johnson, who was fully conscious of his own superior powers, afterwards praised Principal Robertson for his caution in this respect. He said to me, “ Robertson, Sir, was in the right. Robertson is a man of eminence, and the head of a college at Edinburgh. He had a character to maintain, and did well not to risk its being lessened.”

Saturday, Oct. 30. - We set out towards Ayrshire. I sent Joseph on to Loudoun, with a message, that, if the earl was at home, Dr. Johnson and I would have the honour to dine with him. Joseph met us on the road, and reported that the earl jumped for joy,and said, “ I shall be very happy to see them.” We were received with a most pleas


no vice

(1) Boswell himself was callous to the contacts of Dr. Johnson; and when telling them, always reminds one of a jockey receiving a kick from the horse which he is showing off to a cus tomer, and is grinning with pain while he is trying to cry out, pretty rogue

- all fun.” To him Johnson's rude ness was only “pretty Fanny's way.". Dr. Robertson had a sense of good breeding which inclined him rather to forego the benefit of Johnson's conversation than awaken his rudeness. -WALTER SCOTT.

ing courtesy by his lordship, and by the countess his mother (1), who, in her ninety-fifth year, had all her faculties quite unimpaired. This was a very cheering sight to Dr. Johnson, who had an extraordinary desire for long life. Her ladyship was sensible and well-informed, and had seen a great deal of the world. Her lord had held several high offices, and she was sister to the great Earl of Stair.

I cannot here refrain from paying a just tribute to the character of John Earl of Loudoun (?), who did more service to the county of Ayr in general, as well as to individuals in it, than any man we have ever had. It is painful to think that he met with much ingratitude from persons both in high and low rank: but such was his temper, such his knowledge of “base mankind (3),” that, as if he had expected no other return, his mind was never sou

oured, and he retained his good humour and benevolence to the

(1) Lady Margaret Dalrymple, only daughter of John Earl of Stair, married, in 1700, to Hugh, third Earl of Loudoun. She died in 1777, aged one hundred. Of this venerable lady, and of the Countess of Eglintoune, whom Johnson visited next day, he thus speaks in his Journey:

:-"Length of life is disa tributed impartially to very different modes of life in very dif. ferent climates; and the mountains have no greater examples of age and health than the Lowlands, where I was introduced to two ladies of high quality, one of whom (Lady Loudoun), in her ninety-fourth year, presided at her table with the full exercise of all her powers; and the other (Lady Eglintoune) had attained her eighty-fourth year, without any diminution of her vivacity, and little reason to accuse time of depredations on her beauty.' Works, vol. viii, p. 313.-C.

(2) Fourth Earl, born in 1705, died in 1782. He had considerable military commands, and was the person who brought Johnson's friend, Lord Charles Hay, to a court martial, as we shall see hereafter.-C.

(3) “ The unwilling gratitude of base mankind."-Pope,

"last. The tenderness of his heart was proved in 1745-6, when he had an important command in the Highlands, and behaved with a generous humanity to the unfortunate. I cannot figure a more honest politician; for though his interest in our county was great, and generally successful, he not only did not deceive by fallacious promises, but was anxious that people should not deceive themselves by too sanguine expectations. His kind and dutiful attention to his mother was unremitted. At his house was true hospitality; a plain but a plentiful table; and every guest being left at perfect freedom, felt him. self quite easy and happy. While I live, I shall honour the memory of this amiable man.

At night, we advanced a few miles farther, to the house of Mr. Campbell, of Treesbank, who was married to one of my wife's sisters, and were entertained very agreeably by a worthy couple.

Sunday, Oct. 31. — We reposed here in tranquillity. Dr. Johnson was pleased to find a numerous and excellent collection of books, which had mostly belonged to the Rev. Mr. John Campbell, brother of our host. I was desirous to have procured for my fellow-traveller, to-day, the company of Sir John Cuninghame, of Caprington, whose castle was but two miles from us.

He was a very distinguished scholar, was long abroad, and during part of the time lived much with the learned Cuninghame, the opponent of Bentley as a critic upon Horace. He wrote Latin with great elegance, and, what is very remarkable, read Homer and Ariosto through every year. I wrote tu him to request he would come to us; but unfortunately he was prevented by indisposition.

Monday, Nov. 1. — Though Dr. Johnson was lazy, and averse to move, I insisted that he should go with me, and pay a visit to the Countess of Eg. lintoune ( ), mother of the late and present earl. I assured him he would find himself amply recompensed for the trouble; and he yielded to my solicitations, though with some unwillingness. We were well mounted, and had not many miles to ride. He talked of the attention that is necessary in order to distribute our charity judiciously.

“ If thoughtlessly done, we may neglect the most deserving objects; and, as every man has but a certain portion to give, if it

lavished upon those who first present themselves, there may be nothing left for such as have a better claim. A man should first relieve those who are nearly connected with him, by what. ever tie ; and then, if he has any thing to spare, may extend his bounty to a wider circle."

As we passed very near the castle of Dundonald, which was one of the many residences of the kinys of Scotland, and in which Robert the Second lived and died, Dr. Johnson wished to survey it particularly. It stands on a beautiful rising ground, which is seen at a great distance on several quarters, and from whence there is an extensive prospect of the rich district of Cuninghame, the western sea,

(1) Susanna, daughter of Sir Alex. Kennedy, of Culzeen, third wife of the ninth Earl of Eglintoune. She was a patroness of the Belles Lettres. Allan Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd was dedicated to her in a very fulsome style of panegyric. She died in 1780, aged ninety-one.-C.

the isle of Arran, and a part of the northern coast of Ireland. It has long been unroofed; and, though of considerable size, we could not, by any power of imagination, figure it as having been a suitable habitation for majesty. Dr. Johnson, to irritate my old Scottish enthusiasm, was very jocular on the homely accommodation of " King Bob," and roared and laughed till the ruins echoed.

Lady Eglintoune, though she was now in her eighty-fifth


and had lived in the retirement of the country for almost half a century, was still a very agreeable woman. She was of the noble house of Kennedy, and had all the elevation which the consciousness of such birth inspires. Her figure was majestic, her manners high-bred, her reading extensive, and her conversation elegant. She had been the admiration of the gay circles of life, and the patroness of poets.

Dr. Johnson was delighted with his reception here. Her principles in church and state were congenial with his. She knew all his merit, and had heard much of him from her son, Earl Alexander ('), who loved to cultivate the acquaintance of men of talents in every department.

All who knew his lordship will allow that his understanding and accomplishments were of no ordinary rate. From the gay habits which he had early acquired, he spent too much of his time with men, and in pursuits far beneath such a mind as his. He afterwards became sensible of it, and turned his

(1) See antè, Vol. III. p. 59.-C.

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