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occasions.When I boasted, at Rasay, of my independency of spirit, and that I could not be bribed, he said, "Yes, you may be bribed by flattery."-At the Reverend Mr. M'Lean's Dr. Johnson asked him, if the people of Col had any superstitions. He said, "No." The cutting peats at the increase of the moon was mentioned as one; but he would not allow it, saying, it was not a superstition, but a whim. Dr. Johnson would not admit the distinction. There were many superstitions, he maintained, not connected with religion; and this was one of them.-On Monday we had a dispute at the Captain's, whether sand-hills could be fixed down by Dr. Johnson said, "How the devil can you do it?" but instantly corrected himself, "How can you do it?" -I never before heard him use a phrase of that nature.
He has particularities which it is impossible to explain. He never wears a night-cap, as I have already mentioned; but he puts a handkerchief on his head in the night. The day that we left Talisker, he bade us ride on. He then turned the head of his horse back towards Talisker, stopped for some time; then wheeled round to the same direction with ours, and then came briskly after us. He sets open a window in the coldest day or night, and stands before it. It may do with his constitution; but most people, amongst whom I am one, would say, with the frogs in the fable, "This may be sport to you; but it is death to us."-It is in vain to try to find a meaning in every one of his particularities, which, I suppose, are mere habits, contracted by chance; of which every man has some that are more or less remarkable. His speaking to himself, or rather repeating, is a common habit with studious men accustomed to deep thinking; and, in consequence of their being thus rapt, they will even laugh by themselves, if the subject which
they are musing on is a merry one. Dr. Johnson is often uttering pious ejaculations, when he appears to be talking to himself; for sometimes his voice grows stronger, and parts of the Lord's Prayer are heard. I have sat beside him with more than ordinary reverence on such occasions.*
In our Tour, I observed that he was disgusted whenever he met with coarse manners. He said to me, "I know not how it is, but I cannot bear low life and I find others, who have as good a right as I to be fastidious, bear it better, by having mixed more with different sorts of men. You would think that I have mixed pret
ty well too."
He read this day a good deal of my Journal, written in a small book with which he had supplied me, and was pleased, for he said, "I wish thy books were twice as big." He helped me to fill up blanks which I had left in first writing it, when I was not quite sure of what he had said, and he corrected any mistakes that I had made.
They call me a scholar, (said he,) and yet how very little literature is there in my conversation."-Boswell. “That, sir, must be according to your company. You would not give literature to those who cannot taste it. Stay till we meet Lord Elibank.”
We had at last a good dinner, or rather supper, and were very well satisfied with our entertainment.
Wednesday, 13th October.
Col called me up, with intelligence that it was a good day for a passage to Mull; and just as we rose, a sailor
It is remarkable, that Dr. Johnson should have read this account of some of his own peculiar habits, without saying any thing on the subject, which I hoped he would have done.
from the vessel arrived for for us. We got all ready with dispatch. Dr. Johnson was displeased at my bustling, and walking quickly up and down. He said, "It does not hasten us a bit. It is getting on horseback in a ship. All boys do it; and you are longer a boy than others." He himself has no alertness, or whatever it may be called; so he may dislike it, as Oderunt hilarem tristes.
Before we reached the harbour, the wind grew high again. However, the small boat was waiting, and took us on board. We remained for some time in uncertainty what to do; at last it was determined, that, as a good part of the day was over, and it was dangerous to be at sea at night, in such a vessel, and such weather, we should not sail till the morning tide, when the wind would probably be more gentle. We resolved not to go ashore again, but lie here in readiness. Dr. Johnson and I had each a bed in the cabbin. Col sat at the fire in the forecastle, with the captain, and Joseph, and the rest. I eat some dry oatmeal, of which I found a barrel in the cabbin. I had not done this since I was a boy. Dr. Johnson owned that he too was fond of it when a boy; a circumstance which I was highly pleased to hear from him, as it gave me an opportunity of observing that, notwithstanding his joke on the article of OATS, he was himself a proof that this kind of food was not peculiar to the people of Scotland.
Thursday, 14th October.
When Dr. Johnson awaked this morning, he called, Lanky!" having, I suppose, been thinking of Langton; but corrected himself instantly, and cried, "Boz zy?" He has a way of contracting the names of his
friends. Goldsmith feels himself so important now, as to be displeased at it. I remember one day, when Tom Davies was telling that Dr. Johnson said, "We are all in labour for a name to Goldy's play," Goldsmith cried, "I have often desired him not to call me Goldy.”
Between six and seven we hauled our anchor, and set sail with a fair breze; and after a pleasant voyage, we got safely and agreeably into the harbour of Tobermorie, before the wind rose, which it always has done, for some days, about noon.
Tobermorie is an excellent harbour. An island lies before it, and it is surrounded by a hilly theatre. The island is too low, otherwise this would be quite a secure port; but, the island not being a sufficient protection, some storms blow very hard here. Not long ago, fifteen vessels were blown from their moorings. There are sometimes sixty or seventy sail here: to-day there were twelve or fourteen vessels. To see such a fleet was the next thing to seeing a town. The vessels were from different places; Clyde, Campbelltown, Newcastle, &c. One was returning to Lancaster from Hamburgh. After having been shut up so long in Col, the sight of such an assemblage of moving habitations, containing such a variety of people, engaged in different pursuits, gave me much gaiety of spirit. When we had landed, Dr. Johnson said, "Boswell is now all alive. He is like Antæus; he gets new vigour whenever he touches the ground."—I went to the top of a hill fronting the harbour, from whence I had a good view of it. We had here a tolerable inn. Dr. Johnson had owned to me this morning, that he was out of humour. Indeed, he shewed it a good deal in the ship; for when I was expressing my joy on the prospect of our landing in Mull, he said, he had no joy, when he recollected that it
would be five days before he should get to the main land. I was afraid he would now take a sudden resolution to give up seeing Icolmkill. A dish of tea and some good bread and butter, did him service, and his bad humour went off. I told him, that I was diverted to hear all the people whom we had visited in our Tour, say, "Honest man! he's pleased with every thing; he's always content !"-" Little do they know," said I. He laughed, and said, "You rogue !"
We sent to hire horses to carry us across the island of Mull to the shore opposite to Inchkenneth, the residence of Sir Allan M'Lean, uncle to young Col, and Chief of the M'Leans, to whose house we intended to go the next day. Our friend Col went to visit his aunt, the wife of Dr. Alexander M'Lean, a physician, who lives about a mile from Tobermorie.
Dr. Johnson and I sat by ourselves at the inn, and talked a good deal.-I told him, that I had found, in Leandro Alberti's Description of Italy, much of what Addison has given us in his Remarks. He said, “The collection of passages from the Classicks has been made by another Italian: it is, however, impossible to detect a man as a plagiary in such a case, because all who set about making such a collection must find the same passages; but, if you find the same applications in another book, then Addison's learning in his Remarks tumbles down. It is a tedious book; and, if it were not attached to Addison's previous reputation, one would not think much of it. Had he written nothing else, his name would not have lived. Addison does not seem to have gone deep in Italian literature: he shews nothing of it in his subsequent writings. He shews a great deal of French learning.-There is, perhaps, more knowledge circulated in the French language