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he appeared to be almost in a convulsion; and, in order to support himself, laid hold of one of the posts at the side of the foot-pavement, and sent forth peals fo loud, that in the silence of the night his voice seemed to resound from Temple-bar to Fleet-ditch.
This most ludicrous exhibition of the aweful, melancholy, and venerable Johnson, happened well to counteract the feelings of sadness which I used to experience when parting with him for a considerable time. I accompanied him to his door, where he gave me his blessing.
He records of himself this year, “ Between Easter and Whitsuntide, having always considered that time as propitious to study, I attempted to learn the Low Dutch language ?.” It is to be observed, that he here admits an opinion of the human mind being influenced by seasons, which he ridicules in his writings. His progress, he says, “was interrupted by a fever, which, by the imprudent use of a small print, left an inflammation in his useful eye.” We cannot but admire his fpirit when we know, that amidst a complication of bodily and mental distress, he was still animated with the desire of intellectual improvement. Various notes of his studies appear on different days, in his manuscript diary of this year; such as, “ Inchoavi lesticnem Pentateuchi-Finivi lectionem Conf. Fab. Burdonum.Legi primum ačtum Troadum.—Legi Dissertationem Clerici postremam de Pent.--2 of Clark's Sermons.-L. Appolonii pugnam Betriciam.--L. centum versus Homeri.” Let this serve as a specimen of what accessions of literature he was perpetually infusing into his mind, while he charged himself with idleness. This
year died Mrs. Salusbury, (mother of Mrs. Thrale,) a lady whom he appears to have esteemed much, and whose memory he honoured with an Epitaph 4.
In a letter from Edinburgh, dated the 29th of May, I pressed him to persevere in his resolution to make this year the projected visit to the Hebrides, of which he and I had talked for many years, and which I was confident would afford us much entertainment.
To JAMES Boswell, Esq. « DEAR SIR,
“ WHEN your letter came to me, I was so darkened by an inflammation in my eye, that I could not for some time read it. I can now write without trouble, and can read large prints. My eye is gradually growing 1773• stronger; and I hope will be able to take some delight in the survey of a Ætat. 64. Caledonian loch.
3 Prayers and Meditations, p. 129.
4 Mrs. Piozzi's Anecdotes of Johnson, p. 131.
“ Chambers is going a Judge, with fix thousand a year, to Bengal. He and I shall come down together as far as Newcastle, and thence I shall easily get to Edinburgh. Let me know the exact time when your Courts intermit. I must conform a little to Chambers's occasions, and he must conform a little to mine. The time which you shall fix, must be the common point to which we will come as near as we can. Except this eye, I am very well.
“ Beattie is so caressed, and invited, and treated, and liked, and flattered, by the great, that I can see nothing of him. I am in great hope that he will be well provided for, and then we will live upon him at the Marischal College, without pity or modesty.
left the town without taking leave of me, and is gone in deep dudgeon to Is not this very childish ?
Where is now my legacy?
“ I hope your dear lady and her dear baby are both well. I shall see them too when I come, and I have that opinion of your choice, as to suspect that when I have seen Mrs. Boswell, I shall be less willing to go away. I am, dear Sir,
" Your affectionate humble servant, « Johnson's-court, Fleet.
SAM. JOHNSON. ftreet, July 5, 1773.
“ Write to me as soon as you can.
Chambers is now at Oxford.”
I again wrote to him, informing him that the Court of Session rose on the twelfth of August, hoping to see him before that time, and expressing, perhaps in too extravagant terms, my admiration of him, and my expectation of pleasure from our intended tour.
TO JAMES Boswell, Esq. « DEAR SIR,
“ I SHALL set out from London on Friday the sixth of this month, and purpose not to loiter much by the way. Which day I shall be at Edinburgh, I cannot exactly tell. I suppose I must drive to an inn, and send a porter to find you.
“ I am afraid Beattie will not be at his College foon enough for us, and I shall be sorry to miss him ; but there is no staying for the concurrence of all conveniences. We will do as well as we can. I am, Sir,
" Your most humble servant, “ August 3, 1773.
To the same.
« DEAR SIR,
“ NOT being at Mr. Thrale’s when your letter came, I had written the inclosed paper and sealed it; bringing it hither for a frank, I found
yours. If any 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
see me, that man who loves you, and is proud and glad that you love him. I am, Sir,
« Your most affectionate August 3, 1773
you see a
To the same. « DEAR SIR,
Newcastle, Aug. 11, 1771. “ 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 fame.
“ 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's, 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, Rafay, Col, Mull, Inchkenneth, and Icolmkill. He travelled through Argyleshire by Inveraray, and from thence Ærato 64. 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 this 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 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,
S“ The celebrated Flora Macdonald. See Boswell's Tour."
During his stay at Edinburgh, after his return from the Hebrides, he was Etat. 67. 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 goo; 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 it.
Enquire, if you can, the order of the Clans: Macdonald is first, Maclean second; further I cannot go. Quicken Dr. Webster'. I am, Sir, “ Yours affectionately,
6. 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
In this he shewed a very acute penetration. My wife paid him the most affiduous 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.”
? Sir Alexander Gordon, one of the Professors at Aberdeen.
8 This was a box containing a number of curious things which he had picked ap in Scotland, particularly fome horn spoons.
9 The Reverend Dr. Alexander Webster, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, a man of diftinguished abilities, who had promised him information concerning the Highlands and Islands of Scotland,