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JOURNEY

TO THE

WESTERN ISLANDS

SCOTLAND,

BY

SIMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.

PERFORMED IN THE YEAR 1773.

IN

our preface, we have already given a general character of Dr. Johnson's Tour in Scotland, and bipted at the beneficial effects of his publication. As it is neither prolix in detail, nor capable of material abridgement, we have determined pot only to adopt the manner of the author, but to let him deliver his observations in his own words. Ta alter the language of such a waster, would expose us to the charge of presumption; to obscure or conceal his sentiments, would be deemed, by many, little less than sacrilege. Professing and feeling, ourselres, a very great degree of veneration for the labours of this great and good man, though not ah. solute slaves to his dogmas, nor insensible of his prejudices, we have merely shortened some of his digressions, which have little connection with the subject, or added a few notes, by way of illustra. tion or correction. For this we hope to meet with the approbation of the candid of either country, and of cach persuasion,

Von, II.

B

I had desired, says Dr.Johnson, to visit the Hebrides or Western Islands of Scotland, so long, that I scarcely remember how the wish was originally excited; and was in the autumn of the year 1773, induced to undertake the journey, by finding in Mr. Bos. well a companion, whose acuteness would help my enquiry, and whose gaiety of conversation and civility of manners are sufficient to counteract the inconveniences of travel, in countries less hospitable than we have passed.

On the 18th of August, we left Edinburgh, a city too well known to admit description, and di. rected our course northward, along the eastern coast of Scotland, accompanied the first day by another gentleman, who could stay with us only long enough to shew us how much we lost at separation.

As we crossed the Frith of Forth, our curiosity was attracted by Inch Keith, a small island, which neither of my companions had ever visited, though, lying within their view, it had, all their lives, solicited their notice. Here, by climbing with some difficulty over shattered crags, we made the first experiment of unfrequented coasts. Inch Keith is nothing more than a rock covered with a thin layer of earth, not wholly bare of

grass,

and very fertile of thistles. A small herd of cows grazes annually npon it in the summer.

It seems never to have afforded to man or beast a permanent ha. bitation.

We found only the ruins of a small fort, not so injured by time, but that it might be easily restored to its former state. It seems never to have been intended as a place of strength, nor was built to endure a siege, but merely to afford cover to a few soldiers, who, perhaps, had the charge of a battery, or were stationed to give signals of approaching danger. There is, therefore, no provision of water

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