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of Col's at his back, keeping him warm. Col is quite the Jnvenis qui gaudet canibua. He had. when we left Talisker, two greyhounds, two terriers, a pointer, and a large Newfoundland water-do:!. He lost one of his terriers by the road, but had still five dogs with him. I was very ill, and very desirous to get to shore. When I was told that we oould not land that night, as the storm had now increased. I looked so miserably, as Col afterwards informed me, that what Shakspeare has made the Frenchman say of the English soldiers, when scantily dieted, "Piteous they will look, like drowned mice!" might, I believe, have been well applied to me. There was in the harbour, before us, a Campbell-town vessel, the Betty, Kenneth Morison master, taking in kelp, and bound for Ireland. We sent our boat to beg beds for two gentlemen, and that the master would send his boat, which was larger than ours. He accordingly did so, and Col and I were accommodated in his vessel till the morning.
Monday, Oct. 4.—About eight o'clock we went in the boat to Mr. Simpson's vessel, and took in Dr. Johnson. He was quite well, though he had tasted nothing but a dish of tea since Saturday night. On our expressing some surprise at this, he said, that " when he lodged in the Temple, and had no regular system of life, he had fasted for two days at a time, during which he had gone about visiting, though not at the hours of dinner or supper; that he had drunk tea, but eaten no bread; that this was no intentional fasting.1 but happened just in the course of a literary life."
There was a little miserable public-house close upon the shore, to which we should have gone, had we landed last night: but this morning Co/ resolved to take us directly to the house of Captain Lauchlau M'Lean, a descendant of his family, who had acquired a fortune in the East Indies, and taken a farm in Col. We had about an English mile to go to it. Col and Joseph, and some others. ran to some little horses, called here s/iefties.that were running wild on a heath, and catched one of them. We had a saddle with us, which was clapped upon it, and a straw halter was put on its
1 This was probably the same kind of unintentional fasting as that which suggested to him, at an earher period, the affecting epithet t<»pransius. — Walter Scott.
head. Dr. Johnson was then mounted, and Joseph very slowly and gravely led the horse. I said to Dr. Johnson, "I wish, Sir, the club saw you in this attitude."'
It was a very heavy rain, and I was wet to the skin. Captain M'Lean had but a poor temporary house, or rather hut; however, it was a very good haven to us. There was a blazing peat fire, and Mrs. M'Lean, daughter of the minister of the parish, got us tea. I felt still the motion of the sea. Dr. Johnson said, it was not in the imagination, but a continuation of motion on the fluids, like that of the sea itself after the storm is over.
There were some books on the board which served as a chimney-piece. Dr. Johnson took up " Burnet's History of his own Times." He said, "The first part of it is one of the most entertaining books in the English language: it is quite dramatic; while he went about every where, saw every where, and heard every where. By the first part, I mean so far as it appears that Burnet himself was actually engaged in what he has told; and this may be easily distinguished." Captain M'Lean censured Burnet, for his
1 This curious exhibition may, perhaps, remind some of my readers of the ludicrous lines made, during Sir Kobert Walpole's administration (1741), on Mr. George (afterwards Lord) Lyttelton, though the figures of the two personages must be allowed to be very different:—
"But who is this astride the pony.
These lines are part of a song printed under a political caricature print, levelled against Sir Robert Walpole, called The Motion, representing a chariot drawn by six spirited horses, in and about which are the chiefs of the opposition of the day, Lords Chesterfield and Carteret, Duke of Argyll, Mr. Sandys, &c.—Croker.
The exact words are:—
Who's dat who ride astride de Pony,
The print contains an interesting view of Whitehall. "I have received," says Horace Walpole, " a print by this post that diverts me extremely,—The Motion. Tell me, dear, now who made the design, and who took the likenesses; they are admirable: the lines are as good as one sees on such occasions."—Walpole to Conway, March 25, 1741.—P. Cunningham.
high praise of Lauderdale in a dedication, when he shows him in his history to have been so bad a man. Johnson. "I do not think, myself, that a man should say in a dedition what he could not say in a history. However, allowance should be made; for there is a great difference. The known style of a dedication is flattery: it professes to flatter. There is the same difference between what a man says in a dedication, and what he says in a history, as between a lawyer's pleading a cause, and reporting it."
The day passed away pleasantly enough. The wind became fair for Mull in the evening, and Mr. Simpson resolved to sail next morning: but having been thrown into the island of Col, we were unwilling to leave it unexamined, especially as we considered that the Campbell-town vessel would sail for Mull in a day or two; and therefore we determined to stay.
Tuesday, Oct. 5.—I rose, and wrote my Journal till about nine, and then went to Dr. Johnson, who sat up in bed and talked and laughed. I said, it was curious to look back ten years, to the time when we first thought of visiting the Hebrides. How distant and improbable the scheme then appeared! Yet here we were actually among them. "Sir," said he, "people may come to do any thing almost, by talking of it. I really believe I could talk myself into building a house upon Island Isa, though I should probably never come back again to see it. I could easily persuade Reynolds to do it; and there would be no great sin in persuading him to do it. Sir, he would reason thus: 'What will it cost me to be there once in two or three summers? Why, perhaps, five hundred pounds; and what is that, in comparison of having a fine retreat, to which a man can go, or to which he can send a friend?' He would never find out that he may have this within twenty miles of London. Then I would tell him, that he may marry one of the Miss Macleods, a lady of great family. Sir, it is suprising, how people will go to a distance, for what they may have at home. I knew a lady' who came up from Lincolnshire to Knightsbridge with one of her daughters, and gave five guineas a week for a lodging and a warm
1 Mrs. Langtpn, the mother of his friend.— Croker.
bath; that is, mere warm water. That, you know, could not be had in Lincolnshire! She said, it was made either too hot or too cold there."
After breakfast, Dr. Johnson and I, and Joseph, mounted horses, and Col and the captain walked with us about a short mile across the island. We paid a visit to the Rev. Mr. Hector M'Lean. His parish consists of the islands of Col and Tyr-vi. He was about seventy-seven years of age, a decent ecclesiastic, dressed in a full suit of black clothes, and a black wig. He appeared like a Dutch pastor, or one of the "Assembly of Divines" at Westminster. Dr. Johnson observed to me afterwards, "that he was a fine old man, and was as well dressed, and had as much dignity in his appearance, as the dean of a cathedral." We were told that he had a valuable library, though but poor accommodation for it, being obliged to keep his books in large chests. It was curious to see him and Dr. Johnson together. Neither of them heard very distinctly; so each of them talked in his own way, and at the same time. Mr. M'Lean said, he had a confutation of Bayle, by Leibnitz. Johnson. "A confutation of Bayle, Sir! What part of Bayle do you mean? The greatest part of his writings is not confutable: it is historical and critical." Mr. M'Lean said, "the irreligious part;" and proceeded to talk of Leibnitz's controversy with Clarke, calling Leibnitz a great man. Johnson. "Why, Sir, Leibnitz persisted in affirming that Newton called space sensorium numinis, notwithstanding he was corrected, and desired to observe that Newton's words were Quasi sensorium numinis. No, Sir; Leibnitz was as paltry a fellow as I know. Out of respect to Queen Caroline, who patronized him, Clarke treated him too well."
During the time that Dr. Johnson was thus going on, the old minister was standing with his back to the fire, cresting up erect, pulling down the front of his perisvig, and talking what a great man Leibnitz was. To give an idea of the scene would require a page with two columns; but it ought rather to be represented by two good players. The old gentleman said, Clarke was very wicked, for going so much into the Arian system. "I will not say he was wicked," said Dr. Johnson; "he might be mistaken."'
Ean. "He was wicked, to shut his eyes against the Scriptures; and worthy men in England have since confuted him to all intents and purposes." Johnson. "I know not who has confuted him to all intents and purposes." Here again there was a double talking, each continuing to maintain his own argument, without hearing exactly what the other said.
I regretted that Dr. Johnson did not practise the art of accommodating himself to different sorts of people. Had he been softer with this venerable old man, we might have had more conversation; but his forcible spirit and impetuosity of manner, may be said to spare neither sex nor age. I have seen even Mrs. Thrale stunned; but I have often maintained, that it is better he should retain his own manner. Pliability of address I conceive to be inconsistent with that majestic power of mind which he possesses, and which produces such noble effects. A lofty oak will not bend like a supple willow.
He told me afterwards, he liked firmness in an old man, and was pleased to see Mr. M'Lean so orthodox. "At his age, it is too late for a man to be asking himself questions as to his belief."
We rode to the northern part of the island, where we saw the ruins of a church or chapel. We then proceeded to a place called Grissipol, or the rough pool.
At Grissipol we found a good farm-house, belonging to the Laird of Col, and possessed by Mr. M'Sweyn. On the beach here there is a singular variety of curious stones. I picked up one very like a small cucumber. By the by, Dr. Johnson told me that Gay's line in the "Beggar's Opera," "As men should serve a cucumber," Ac.,1 has no waggish meaning, with reference to men flinging away cucumbers as too cooling, which some have thought; for it has been a common saying of physicians in England, that a cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing. Mr. M'Sweyn's predecessors had been in Sky from a very remote period, upon the estate belonging to Macleod; probably before
1 "I wonder any man alive should ever rear a daughter; For when she's dress'd with care and cost, all tempting, fine, and gay, As men should serve a cucumber, she flings herself away." — Wright.