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see its ill tendency, and yet insert it at her desire. He was acting only ministerially." I apprehend, however, that Hooke was bound to give his best advice. I speak as a lawyer. Though I have had clients whose causes I could not, as a private man, approve; yet, if I undertook them, I would not do anything that might be prejudicial to them, even at their desire, without warning them of their danger.
Saturday, Sept. 11.—It was a storm of wind and rain, so we could not set out. I wrote some of this journal, and talked awhile with Dr. Johnson in his room, and passed the day, I cannot well say how, but very pleasantly. I was here amused to find Mr. Cumberland's comedy of the "Fashionable Lover," in which he has very well drawn a Highland character, Colin Macleod, of the same name with the family under whose roof we now were. Dr. Johnson was much pleased with the Laird of Macleod,1 who is indeed a most promising youth, and with a noble spirit struggles with difficulties, and endeavours to preserve his people. He has been left with an incumbrance of forty thousand pounds debt, and annuities to the amount of thirteen hundred pounds a year. Dr. Johnson said, " If he gets the better of all this, he'll be a hero; and I hope he will. I have not met with a young man who had more desire to learn, or who has learnt more. I have seen nobody that I wish more to do a kindness to than Macleod." Such was the honourable euloginm on this young chieftain, pronounced by an accurate observer, whose praise was never lightly bestowed.
There is neither justice of peace nor constable in Rasay. Sky has Mr. Macleod of Ulinish, who is the sheriff substitute, and no other justice of peace. The want of the execution of justice is much felt among the islanders. Macleod very sensibly observed, that taking away the heritable jurisdictions had not been of such service in the
1 The late General Macleod, born in 1754. In 1776, he entered the army, raising, then, an independent company, and in 1780. the second battalion of the forty-second, which he led to India, where he served with great distinction. On his return home, he became M.P. for the county of Inverness, as his grandfather had been; but so far from extinguishing the debt on his estate, he increased it; for though he had sold a great tract of land in Harris, he left at his death, in 1801, the original debt of £r>0,000 increased to £70,000.—Croter.
islands as was imagined. They had not authority enough in lieu of them. What could formerly have been settled at once, must now either take much time and trouble, or be neglected. Dr. Johnson said, "A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws: because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose. Now destroying the authority of the chiefs sets the people loose. It did not pretend to bring any positive good, but only to cure some evil; and I am not well enough acquainted with the country to know what degree of evil the heritable jurisdictions occasioned." I maintained, hardly any ; because the chiefs generally acted right, for their own sakes.
Dr. Johnson was now wishing to move. There was not enough of intellectual entertainment for him, after he had satisfied his curiosity, which he did, by asking questions, till he had exhausted the island; and where there was so numerous a company, mostly young people, there was such a flow of familiar talk, so much noise, and so much singing and dancing, that little opportunity was left for his energetic conversation. He seemed sensible of this; for when I told him how happy they were at having him there, he said, " Yet we have not been able to entertain them much." I was fretted from irritability of nerves, by M'Cruslick's too obstreperous mirth. I complained of it to my friend, observing we should be better if he was gone. "No, Sir," said he. "He puts something into our society, and takes nothing out of it." Dr. Johnson, however, had several opportunities of instructing the company; but I am sorry to say, that I did not pay sufficient attention to what passed, as his discourse now turned chiefly on mechanics, agriculture, and such subjects, rather than on science and wit. Last night Lady Rasay showed him the operation of wawking cloth, that is, thickening it in the same manner as is done by a mill. Here it is performed by women, who kneel upon the ground, and rub it with both their hands, singing an Erse song all the time. He was asking questions while they were performing this operation, and, amidst their loud and wild howl, his voice was heard even in the room above.
They dance here every night. The queen of our ball was the eldest Miss Macleod, of Rasay, an elegant well-bred woman, and celebrated for her beauty over all those regions, by the name of Miss Flora Rasay.1 There seemed to be no jealousy, no discontent among them; and the gaiety of the scene was such, that I for a moment doubted whether unhappiness had any place in Easay. But my delusion was soon dispelled, by recollecting the following lines of my fellow-traveller:—
"Yet hope not life from pain or danger free,
Sunday, Sept. 12.—It was a beautiful day, and although we did not approve of travelling on Sunday, we resolved to set out, as we were in an island from whence one must take occasion as it serves. Macleod and Talisker sailed in a boat of Basay's for Sconser, to take the shortest way to Dunvegan. M'Cruslick went with them to Sconser, from whence he was to go to Slate, and so to the main land. We were resolved to pay a visit at Kingsburgh and see the celebrated Miss Flora Macdonald, who is married to the present Mr. Macdonald of Kingsburgh; so took that road, though not so near. All the family, but Lady Easay, walked down to the shore to see us depart. Rasay himself went with us in a large boat, with eight oars, built in his island; as did Mr. Malcolm Macleod, Mr. Donald M'Queen, Dr. Macleod, and some others. We had a most pleasant sail between Rasay and Sky; and passed by a cave where Martin says fowls were caught by lighting fire in the mouth of it. Malcolm remembers this. But it is not now practised, as few fowls come into it.
We spoke of Death. Dr. Johnson on this subject observed, that the boastings of some men, as to dying easily, were idle talk, proceeding from partial views. I mentioned Hawthornden's Cypress Grove,- where it is said that the
1 She had been some time at Edinburgh, to which she again went, and was married  to my worthy neighbour, Colonel Mure Campbell, now Earl of Loudoun; but she died soon afterwards, leaving one daughter.
Her daughter, Countess of Loudoun in her own right, married the late Earl of Moira, created Marquis of Hastings, and is the mother of the present Marquis.—Croker.
world is a mere show; and that it is unreasonable for a man to wish to continue in a show-room after he has seen it. Let him go cheerfully out, and give place to other spectators.1 Johnson. "Yes, Sir, if he is sure he is to be well, after he goes out of it. But if he is to grow Mind after he goes out of the show room, and never to see any thing again; or if he does not know whither he is to go next, a man will not go cheerfully out of a show-room. No wise man will be contented to die, if he thinks he is to go into a state of punishment. Nay, no wise man will be contented to die, if he thinks he is to fall into annihilation: for however unhappy any man's existence may be, he yet would rather have it than not exist at all. No; there is no rational principle by which a man can die contented, but a trust in the mercy of God, through the merits of Jesus Christ." This short sermon, delivered with an earnest tone, in a boat upon the sea, which was perfectly calm, on a day appropriated to religious worship, while every one listened with an air of satisfaction, had a most pleasing effect upon my mind.
Pursning the same train of serious reflection, he added, that it seemed certain that happiness could not be found in this life, because so many had tried to find it, in such a variety of ways, and had not found it.
We reached the harbour of Portree, in Sky; which is a large and good one. There was lying in it a vessel to carry off the emigrants, called the "Nestor." It made a short settlement of the differences between a chief and his clan :—
"Nestor componere lites
Inter Peleiden festinat et inter Atrklen."
We approached her, and she hoisted her colours. Dr. Johnson and Mr. M'Queen remained in the boat: Rasay and I, and the rest, went on board of her. She was a very pretty vessel, and, as we were told, the largest in Clyde. Mr. Harrison, the captain, showed her to us. The cabin
1 "They which forewent us did leave a room for us, and why should we grieve to doc the same to those which should come after us? Who, being admitted to see the exquisite rarities of some antiquary's cabinet, i< grieved, all viewed, to have the curtain drawn, and give place to new I'ilgrims ?" &c.—Cypress Grove, edit. 1630.—Lockhart.
was commodious, and even elegant. There vras a little library, finely bound. Portree has its name from King James the Fifth having landed there in his tour through the Western Isles, ree in Erse being King, as re is in Italian; so it is Port-Koyal.1 There was here a tolerable inn. On our landing, I had the pleasure of finding a letter from home; and there were also letters to Dr. Johnson and me, from Lord Elibank, which had been sent after us from Edinburgh. His lordship's letter to me was as follows:—
"21 August, 1773.
'- I flew to Edinburgh the moment I heard of Mr. Johnson's arrival; but so defective was my intelligence, that I came too late.
"It is but justice to believe, that I could never forgive myself, nor deserve to be forgiven by others, if I was to fail in any mark of respect to that very great genius. I hold him in the highest veneration; for that very reason I was resolved to take no share in the merit, perhaps guilt, of enticing him to honour this country with a visit. I could not persuade myself there was anything in Scotland worthy to have a summer of Samuel Johnson bestowed on it; but since he has done us that compliment, for Heaven's sake inform me of your motions. I will attend them most religiously; and though I should regret to let Mr. Johnson go a mile out of his way on my account, old as I am,2 I shall be glad to go five hundred miles to enjoy a day of his company. Have the charity to send a council-post3 with intelligence; the post does not suit us in the country. At any rate, write to me. I will attend you in the north, when I shall know where to find you. I am, my dear Boswell, your sincerely obedient humble servant, "Elibank."
1 Why does not Mr. Boswell also discover that port is, in Erse, port? Indeed 1 suppose that the original Erse was the language of a very poor and barbarous people, for the names now employed for the principal objects of commerce, and of social or political life, seem to have been borrowed from foreigners, as king, port, horse, cow, &c., unless, indeed, as some philologers imagine, tkese were derived from roots common to all languages.—Croker.
* His lordship was now seventy, having been born in 1703.—Croker.
3 A term in Scotland for a special messenger, such as was formerly sent with despatches by the Lords of the Council.