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one mile two, and yet cannot comprehend that twelve such imaginary miles make in truth but six.”
We reached the shore of Armidale before one o'clock. Sir Alexander M‘Donald came down to receive us.
He and his lady, (formerly Miss Bosvile of Yorkshire,) were then in a house built by a tenant of this place, which is in the district of Slate, the family mansion here having been burned in Sir Donald Macdonald's time.
The most ancient seat of the chief of the Macdonalds in the isle of Sky was at Duntulm, where there are the remains of a stately castle. The principal residence of the family is now at Mugstot, at which there is a considerable building. Sir Alexander and lady Macdonald had come to Armidale in their way to Edinburgh, where it was necessary for them to be, soon after this time.
Armidale is situated on a pretty bay of the narrow sea, which flows between the main land of Scotland and the isle of Sky. In front there is a grand prospect of the rude mountains of Moidart and Knoidart. Behind are hills gently rising and covered with a finer verdure than I expected to see in this climate, and the scene is enlivened by a number of little clear brooks.
Sir Alexander Macdonald having been an Eton scholar, and being a gentleman of talents, Dr. Johnson had been very well pleased with him in London. But my fellow-traveller and I were now full of the old Highland spirit, and were dissatisfied at hearing of racked rents and emigration ; and finding a chief not surrounded by his clan. Dr. Johnson said, “Sir, the Highland chiefs should not be allowed to go farther south than Aberdeen. A strong minded man, like Sir James Macdonald, may be improved by an English education ; but in general, they will be tamed into insignificance.”
We found here Mr. Janes of Aberdeenshire, a naturalist. Janes said he had been at Dr. Johnson's, in London, with Ferguson the Astronomer.-Johnson. “It is strange that, in such distant places, I should meet with any one who knows me. I should have thought I might hide myself in Sky.”
Friday, 3d September.
This day proving wet, we should have passed our time very uncomfortably, had we not found in the house two chests of books, which we eagerly ransacked. After dinner, when I alone was left at the table with the few Highland gentlemen who were of the company, having talked with very high respect of Sir James Macdonald, they were all so much affected as to shed tears. One of them was Mr. Donald Macdonald, who had been lieutenant of grenadiers in the Highland regiment, raised by Colonel Montgomery, now Earl of Eglintoune, in the war before last; one of those regiments which the late Lord Chatham prided himself in having brought from “the mountains of the North :” by doing which he contributed to extinguish in the Highlands the re. mains of disaffection to the present Royal Family. From this gentleman's conversation, I first learnt how very popular his Colonel was among the Highlanders; of which I had such continued proofs, during the whole course of my Tour, that on my return I could not help telling the noble Earl himself, that I did not before know how great a man he was.
We were advised by some persons here to visit Rasay, in our way to Dinnvegan, the seat of the Laird
of Macleod. Being informed that the Rev. Mr. Donald M'Queen was the most intelligent man in Sky, and having been favoured with a letter of introduction to him, by the learned Sir James Foulis, I sent it to him by an express, and requested he would meet us at Rasay; and at the same time enclosed a letter to the Laird of Macleod, informing him that we intended in a few days to have the honour of waiting on him at Dunvegan.
Dr. Johnson this day endeavoured to obtain some knowledge of the state of the country ; but complained that he could get no distinct information about any thing, from those with whom he conversed.
Saturday, 4th September.
My endeavours to rouse the English-bred Chieftain, in whose house we were, to the feudal and patriarchal feelings, proving ineffectual, Dr. Johnson this morning tried to bring him to our way of thinking. ---Johnson. “Were I in your place, sir, in seven years I would make this an independant island. I would roast oxen whole, and hangouta flag as a signal to the Macdonalds to come and get beef and whisky.”—Sir Alexander was still starting difficulties.—Johnson. “Nay, sir; if you are born to object, I have done with you. Sir, I would have a magazine of arms."-Sir Alexander. “They would rust.” Johnson. “Let there be men to keep them clean. Your ancestors did not use to let their arms
We attempted in vain to communicate to him a portion of our enthusiasm. He bore with so polite a goodnature our warm, and what some might call Gothick, expostulations, on this subject, that I should not forgive myself, were I to record all that Dr. Johnson's ardour led him to say.--This day was little better than a blank.
Sunday, 5th September.
I walked to the parish church of Slate, which is a very poor one. There are no church bells in the island. I was told there were once some; what has become of them, I could not learn. The minister not being at home, there was no service. I went into the church, and saw the monument of Sir James Macdonald, which was elegantly executed at Rome, and has the following inscription, written by his friend, George Lord Lyts tleton :
To the memory
Who in the flower of youth
In Mathematics, Philosophy, Languages,
As few have acquired in a long life
Wholly devoted to study :
Great talents for business,
Great politeness of manners!
His memory vast and exact;
And every private virtue,
But also from foreign nations,
The 25th of his life,
He died at Rome,
Since the death of Sir Philip Sydney.
To his afflicted family,
Many useful improvements,
Under the sober direction
Reader, bewail our loss,
In testimony of her love,
To her departed son,
He shewed for her,
His much afflicted mother,
Erected this Monument,
A. D. 1768.*
* This extraordinary young man, whom I had the pleasure of knowing intimately, having been deeply regretted by his country, the most minute particulars cohcerning him must be interesting to many. I shall therefore insert his two last letters to his mother, Lady Margaret Macdonald, which her ladyship has been pleased so communicate to me. “My Dear MOTHER,
Rome, July 9th, 1766. “YESTERDAY's post brought me your answer to the first letter in which I acquainted you of my illness. Your tenderness and concern upon that account are the same I have always experienced, and to which I have often owed my life. Indeed it never was in so great danger as it has been lately; and though it would have been a very great comfort to me to have had you near me, yet per