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“ I, Sir James Macdonald, of Macdonald, Baronet, now, after arriving at my perfect age, from the friendship I bear to Alexander Macdonald of Kingsburgh, and in return for the long and faithful services done and performed by him to my deceased father, and to myself during my minority, when he was one of my Tutors and Curators; being resolved, now that the said Alexander Macdonald is advanced in years, to contribute my en.
, deavours for making his old age placid and comfortable," -therefore he grants him an annuity of fifty pounds sterling
Dr. Johnson went to bed soon. When one bowl of punch was finished, I rose, and was near the door, in my way up stairs to bed; but Corrichatachin said, it was the first time Col had been in his house, and he should have his bowl ;—and would not I join in drinking it? The heartiness of my honest landlord, and the desire of doing social honour to our very obliging conductor, induced me to sit down again. Col's bowl was finished; and by that time we were well warmed. A third bowl was soon made, and that too was finished. We were cordial, and merry to a high degree; but of what passed I have no recollection, with any accuracy. I remember calling Corrichatachin by the familiar appellation of Corri, which his friends do. A fourth bowl was made, by which time Col, and young M'Kinnon, Corrichatachin's son, slipped away to bed. I continued a little with Corri and Knockow ; but at last I left them. It was near five in the morning when I got to bed.
Sunday, 26th September. I awaked at noon, with a severe head-ach. I was much vexed that I should have been guilty of such a
riot, and afraid of a reproof from Dr. Johnson. I thought
very inconsistent with that conduct which I ought to maintain, while the companion of the Rambler. About one he came into my room, and accosted me, What, drunk yet ?”—His tone of voice was not that of severe upbraiding ; so I was relieved a little.—“Sir, said I, they kept me up.”—He answered, “No, you kept them up, you drunken dog.”—This he said with goodhumoured English pleasantry. Soon afterwards, Corrichatachin, Col, and other friends, assembled round my bed. Corri had a brandy-bottle and glass with him, and insisted I should take a dram.—“Ay, said Dr. Johnson, fill him drunk again. Do it in the morning, that we may laugh at him, all day. It is a poor thing for a fellow to get drunk at night, and sculk to bed, and let his friends have no sport.”—Finding him thus jocular, I became quite easy; and when I offered to get up, he very good naturedly said, “ You need be in no such hurry now.”—I took my host's advice, and drank some brandy, which I found an effectual cure for my head-ach. When I rose, I went into Dr. Johnson's room, and taking up Mrs. M-Kinnon's Prayer. book, I opened it at the twentieth Sunday after Trinity, in the epistle for which I read, “ And be not drunk with wine, wherein there is excess.” Some would have taken this as a divine interposition.
Mrs. M‘Kinnon told us at dinner, that old Kingsburgh, her father, was examined at Mugstot, by General Campbell, as to the particulars of the dress of the person who had come to his house in woman's clothes, along with Miss Flora M‘Donald; as the General had received intelligence of that disguise. The particulars were taken down in writing, that it might be seen how far they agreed with the dress of the Irish girl who went with
Miss Flora from the Long Island. Kingsburgh, she said, had but one song, which he always sung when he was merry over a glass. She dictated the words to me, which are foolish enough :
Green sleeves and pudding pies,
May our affairs abroad succeed,
To all our injured friends in need,
Green sleeves, &c.
While the examination was going on, the present Talisker, who was there as one of M'Leod's militia, could not resist the pleasantry of asking Kingsburgh, in allusion to his only song, “Had she green sleeves ?” Kingsburgh gave him no answer. Lady Margaret M‘Donald was very angry at Talisker for joking on such a serious occasion, as Kingsburgh was really in danger of his life.-Mrs. M‘Kinnon added that Lady Margaret was quite adored in Sky. That when she travelled through the island, the people ran in crowds before her, and took the stones off the road, lest her horse should stumble and she be hurt. Her husband, Sir Alexander, is also remembered with great regard. We were told that every week a hogshead of claret was drunk at his table.
This was another day of wind and rain : but good cheer and good society helped to beguile the time. I felt myself comfortable enough in the afternoon. I then thought that my last night's riot was no more than such a social excess as may happen without much moral blame ; and recollected that some physicians maintained that a fever produced by it was, upon the whole, good for health : so different are our reflections on the same subject, at different periods ; and such the excuses with which we palliate what we know to be wrong.
Monday, 27th September.
Mr. Donald M‘Leod, our original guide, who had parted from us at Dunvegan, joined us again to-day. The weather was still so bad that we could not travel. I found a closet here, with a good many books, beside those that were lying about. Dr. Johnson told me, he found a library in his room at Talisker; and observed, that it was one of the remarkable things of Sky, that there were so many books in it.
Though we had here great abundance of provisions, it is remarkable that Corrichatachin has literally no garden: not even a turnip, a carrot or a cabbage.--After dinner, we talked of the crooked spade used in Sky, already described, and they maintained that it was better than the usual garden-spade, and that there was an art in tossing it, by which those who were accustomed to it could work very easily with it.—“Nay, (said Dr. Johnson,) it may be useful in land where there are many stones to raise ; but it certainly is not a good instrument for digging good land. A man may toss it, to be sure ; but he will toss a light spade much better : its weight makes it an incumbrance. A man may dig any land with it; but he has no occasion for such a weight in digging good land. You may take a fieldpiece to shoot sparrows; but all the sparrows you can bring home will not be worth the charge.”—He was quite social and easy amongst them; and, though he drank no fermented liquor, toasted Highland beauties with great readiness. · His conviviality engaged them so much, that they seemed eager to shew their attention to him, and vied with each other in crying out, with a strong Celtick pronunciation, “Toctor Shonson, Toctor Shonson, your health !”
This evening one of our married ladies, a lively pretty little woman, good-humouredly sat down upon Dr. Johnson's knee, and being encouraged by some of the company, put her hands round his neck, and kissed him." Do it again, (said he,) and let us see who will tire first." —He kept her on his knee some time, while he and she drank tea. He was now like a buck indeed. All the company were much entertained to find him so easy and pleasant. To me it was highly comick, to see the grave philosopher,—the Rambler,toying with a Highland beauty!—But what could he do? He must have been surly, and weak too, had he not behaved as he did. He would have been laughed at, and not more respected, though less loved.
He read to-night, to himself, as he sat in company, a great deal of my Journal, and said to me, “The more I read of this, I think the more highly of you.”—The gentlemen sat a long time at their punch, after he and I had retired to our chambers. The manner in which they were attended struck me as singular :—The bell being broken, a smart lad lay on a table in the corner of the room, ready to spring up and bring the kettle, whenever it was wanted. They continued drinking, and singing Erse songs, till near five in the morning, when they