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Etat. 66.


It is not criminal, though it is not what one should do, who is anxious for the preservation and increase of piety, to which a peculiar obfervance of Sunday is a great help. The diftinction is clear between what is of moral and what is of ritual obligation."

On Saturday, May 13, I breakfafted with him by invitation, accompanied by Mr. Andrew Crosbie, a Scotch Advocate, whom he had seen at Edinburgh, and the Hon. Colonel (now General) Edward Stopford, brother to Lord Courtown, who was defirous of being introduced to him. His tea and rolls and butter, and whole breakfast apparatus were all in fuch decorum, and his behaviour was fo courteous, that Colonel Stopford was quite furprized, and wondered at his having heard fo much faid of Johnson's flovenlinefs and roughness. I have preserved nothing of what paffed, except that Crosbie pleased him much by talking learnedly of alchymy, as to which Johnson was not a positive unbeliever, but rather delighted in confidering what progress had actually been made in the tranfmutation of metals, what near approaches there had been to the making of gold; and told us that it was affirmed, that a perfon in the Ruffian dominions had difcovered the fecret, but died without revealing it, as imagining it would be prejudicial to fociety. He added, that it was not impoffible but it might in time be generally known.

It being asked whether it was reafonable for a man to be angry at another whom a woman had preferred to him;-JOHNSON. "I do not fee, Sir, that it is reasonable for a man to be angry at another, whom a woman has preferred to him: but angry he is, no doubt; and he is loath to be angry at himfelf."

Before setting out for Scotland on the 23d, I was frequently in his company at different places, but during this period have recorded only two remarks: one concerning Garrick: "He has not Latin enough. He finds out the Latin by the meaning, rather than the meaning by the Latin." And another concerning writers of travels, who, he observed, "were more defective than any other writers.”

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I paffed many hours with him on the 17th, of which I find all my memorial is, "much laughing." It would feem he had that day been in a humour for jocularity and merriment, and upon fuch occafions I never knew a man laugh more heartily. We may fuppofe, that the high relish of a state so different from his habitual gloom, produced more than ordinary exertions of that distinguishing faculty of man, which has puzzled philofophers fo much to explain. Johnson's laugh was as remarkable as any circumftance in his manner. It was a kind of good humoured growl. Tom Davies defcribed it drolly enough: " He laughs like a rhinoceros."


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"I MAKE no doubt but you are now fafely lodged in your own habi-
tation, and have told all your adventures to Mrs. Bofwell and Mifs Veronica.
Pray teach Veronica to love me.
Bid her not mind mamma.
"Mrs. Thrale has taken cold,


and been very much difordered, but I hope well. Mr. Langton went yesterday to Lincolnshire, and has invited Nicolaida to follow him. Beauclerk talks of going to Bath. I am to fet out on Monday; fo there is nothing but difperfion.

"I have returned Lord Hailes's entertaining fheets, but muft ftay till I come back for more, because it will be inconvenient to fend them after me in my vagrant ftate.

"I promised Mrs. Macaulay that I would try to ferve her fon at Oxford. I have not forgotten it, nor am unwilling to perform it. If they defire to give him an English education, it should be confidered whether they cannot fend him for a year or two to an English fchool. If he comes immediately from Scotland, he can make no figure in our Universities. The schools in the north, I believe, are cheap; and, when I was a young man, were eminently good.

"There are two little books published by the Foulis, Telemachus and Collins's Poems, each a fhilling; I would be glad to have them.

"Make my compliments to Mrs. Boswell, though she does not love me. You see what perverse things ladies are, and how little fit to be trufted with feudal eftates. When fhe mends and loves me, there may be more hope of her daughters.

66 May 27, 1775.

"I will not fend compliments to my friends by name, because I would be loath to leave any out in the enumeration. Tell them, as you see them, how well I fpeak of Scotch politenefs, and Scotch hofpitality, and Scotch beauty, and of every thing Scotch, but Scotch oat-cakes and Scotch prejudices.

"Let me know the answer of Rafay, and the decifion relating to Sir
Allan'. I am, my deareft Sir, with great affection,

"Your most obliged and most humble fervant,

4 A learned Greek.

5 Wife of the Reverend Mr. Kenneth Macaulay, authour of "The Hiftory of St. Kilda.”
A law-fuit carried on by Sir Allan Maclean, Chief of his Clan, to recover certain parts of
his family eftate from the Duke of Argyle.



Ætat. 66.



After my return to Scotland, I wrote three letters to him, from which I Etat. 66. extract the following paffages:

"I have feen Lord Hailes fince I came down. He thinks it wonderful that you are pleased to take fo much pains in revifing his Annals.' I told him that you faid you were well rewarded by the entertainment which you had in reading them."

"There has been a numerous flight of Hebrideans in Edinburgh this fummer, whom I have been happy to entertain at my house. Mr. Donald Macqueen and Lord Monboddo fupped with me one evening. They joined in controverting your propofition, that the Gaelick of the Highlands and Ifles of Scotland was not written till of late."

My mind has been fomewhat dark this fummer. I have need of your warming and vivifying rays; and I hope I fhall have them frequently. I am going to pafs fome time with my father at Auchinleck."



"I AM now returned from the annual ramble into the middle counties. Having feen nothing that I had not feen before, I have nothing to relate. Time has left that part of the island few antiquities; and commerce has left the people no fingularities. I was glad to go abroad, and, perhaps, glad to come home; which is, in other words, I was, I am afraid, weary of being at home, and weary of being abroad. Is not this the state of life? But, if we confess this weariness, let us not lament it; for all the wife and all the good fay, that we may cure it.

"For the black fumes which rife in your mind, I can prescribe nothing but that you difperfe them by honest business or innocent pleasure, and by reading fometimes eafy and fometimes ferious. Change of place is useful; and I hope that your refidence at Auchinleck will have many good effects.

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"That I fhould have given pain to Rafay, I am fincerely forry; and am therefore very much pleafed that he is no longer uneafy. He ftill thinks that I have reprefented him as perfonally giving up the Chieftainfhip. I meant only that it was no longe rcontefted between the two houfes, and fuppofed it

7 A very learned minifter in the Isle of Sky, whom both Dr. Johnson and I have mentioned with regard.


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fettled, perhaps, by the ceffion of fome remote generation, in the house of Dunvegan. I am forry the advertisement was not continued for three or four tat. 66. times in the papers.

"That Lord Monboddo and Mr. Macqueen fhould controvert a pofition contrary to the imaginary intereft of literary or national prejudice, might be eafily imagined; but of a standing fact there ought to be no controverfy: If there are men with tails, catch an bomo caudatus; if there was writing of old in the Highlands or Hebrides, in the Erfe language, produce the manuscripts. Where men write, they will write to one another, and fome of their letters, in families ftudious of their ancestry, will be kept. In Wales there are many manufcripts.

"I have now three parcels of Lord Hailes's hiftory, which I purpose to return all the next week: that his respect for my little obfervations should keep his work in fufpenfe, makes one of the evils of my journey. It is in our language, I think, a new mode of hiftory, which tells all that is wanted, and, I suppose, all that is known, without laboured splendour of language, or affected fubtilty of conjecture. The exactnefs of his dates raises my wonder. He feems to have the clofeness of Henault without his constraint.

"Mrs. Thrale was fo entertained with your Journal',' that the almost read herself blind. She has a great regard for you.

"Of Mrs. Bofwell, though fhe knows in her heart that she does not love me, I am always glad to hear any good, and hope that she and the little dear ladies will have neither sickness nor any other affliction. But she knows that she does not care what becomes of me, and for that she may be fure that I think her very much to blame.

"Never, my dear Sir, do you take it into your head to think that I do not love you; you may fettle yourself in full confidence both of my love and my esteem; I love you as a kind man, I value you as a worthy man, and hope in time to reverence you as a man of exemplary piety. I hold you as Hamlet has it, in my heart of heart,' and, therefore, it is little to fay, that I am, Sir,


<< London, August, 27, 1775.


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"Your affectionate humble fervant,

My Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides," which that lady read in the original manufcript."

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Alat. 66.

To the fame.

<<< SIR,

"IF in thefe papers, there is little alteration attempted, do not fuppofe me negligent. I have read them perhaps more closely than the rest; but I find nothing worthy of an objection.

"Write to me foon, and write often, and tell me all your honeft heart.

"I am, Sir,

"Your's affectionately,

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To the fame.


"I Now write to you, left in fome of your freaks and humours you fhould fancy yourself neglected. Such fancies I must entreat you never to admit, at least never to indulge, for my regard for you is fo radicated and fixed, that it is become part of my mind, and cannot be effaced but by fome cause uncommonly violent; therefore, whether I write or not, fet your thoughts at reft. I now write to tell you that I fhall not very foon write again, for I am to set out to-morrow on another journey.


"Your friends are all well at Streatham, and in Leicefter-fields. Make my compliments to Mrs. Bofwell, if fhe is in good humour with me. "I am, Sir, &c.

September 14, 1775.


What he mentions in fuch light terms as, "I am to fet out to-morrow on another journey," I foon afterwards difcovered was no less than a tour to France with Mr. and Mrs. Thrale. This was the only time in his life that he went upon the Continent.


Edinburgh, Oct. 24, 1775


"IF I had not been informed that you were at Paris, you should have had a letter from me by the earlieft opportunity, announcing the birth

2 Another parcel of Lord Hailes's "Annals of Scotland."


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