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Oct. 8.]

A stormy night at sea.


Hebrides, which is proverbial', came full upon my recollection. When I thought of those who were dearest to me, and would suffer severely, should I be lost, I upbraided myself, as not having a sufficient cause for putting myself in such danger. Piety afforded me comfort; yet I was disturbed by the objections that have been made against a particular providence, and by the arguments of those who maintain that it is in vain to hope that the petitions of an individual, or even of congregations, can have any influence with the Deity; objections which have been often made, and which Dr. Hawkesworth has lately revived, in his Preface to the Voyages to the South Seas'; but Dr. Ogden's excellent doctrine on the efficacy of intercession prevailed.

It was half an hour after eleven before we set ourselves in the course for Col. As I saw them all busy doing something, I asked Col, with much earnestness, what I could do. He, with a happy readiness, put into my hand a rope, which was fixed to the top of one of the masts, and told me to hold it till he bade me pull. If I had considered the matter, I might have seen that this could not be of the least service; but his object was to keep me out of the way of those who were busy working the vessel, and at the same time to divert my fear, by employing me, and making me think that I was of use.

Thus did I stand firm to my post, while the wind

The stormy Hebrides.' Milton's Lycidas, 1. 156. 'Boswell was thinking of the passage (p. xxi.) in which Hawkesworth tells how one of Captain Cook's ships was saved by the wind falling. If,' he writes, 'it was a natural event, providence is out of the question; at least we can with no more propriety say that providentially the wind ceased, than that providentially the sun rose in the morning. It it was not,' &c. According to Malone the attacks made on Hawkesworth in the newspapers for this passage affected him so much that from low spirits he was seized with a nervous fever, which on account of the high living he had indulged in had the more power on him; and he is supposed to have put an end to his life by intentionally taking an immoderate dose of opium.' Prior's Malone, p. 441. Mme. D'Arblay says that these attacks shortened his life. Memoirs of Dr. Burney, i. 278. He died on Nov. 17 of this year. See ante, i. 293, and ii. 284.




Driven into Col.

[Oct. 3

and rain beat upon me, always expecting a call to pull my rope.

The man with one eye steered; old M'Donald, and Col and his servant, lay upon the fore-castle, looking sharp out for the harbour. It was necessary to carry much cloth, as they termed it, that is to say, much sail, in order to keep the vessel off the shore of Col. This made violent plunging in a rough sea. At last they spied the harbour of Lochiern, and Col cried, 'Thank GOD, we are safe!' We ran up till we were opposite to it, and soon afterwards we got into it, and cast anchor.

Dr. Johnson had all this time been quiet and unconcerned. He had lain down on one of the beds, and having got free from sickness, was satisfied. The truth is, he knew nothing of the danger we were in': but, fearless and unconcerned, might have said, in the words which he has chosen for the motto to his Rambler,

'Quo me cunque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes'.'

Once, during the doubtful consultations, he asked whither we were going; and upon being told that it was not certain whether to Mull or Col, he cried, 'Col for my money!' I now went down, with Col and Mr. Simpson, to visit him.

''After having been detained by storms many days at Sky we left it, as we thought, with a fair wind; but a violent gust, which Bos had a great mind to call a tempest, forced us into Col.' Piozzi Letters, i. 167. The wind blew against us in a short time with such violence, that we, being no seasoned sailors, were willing to call it a tempest... The master knew not well whither to go; and our difficulties might, perhaps, have filled a very pathetick page, had not Mr. Maclean of Col... piloted us safe into his own harbour.' Johnson's Works, ix. 117. Sir Walter Scott says, 'Their risque, in a sea full of islands, was very considerable. Indeed, the whole expedition was highly perilous, considering the season of the year, the precarious chance of getting sea-worthy boats, and the ignorance of the Hebrideans, who, notwithstanding the opportunities, I may say the necessities, of their situation, are very careless and unskiiful sailors.' Croker's Boswell, p. 362.

For as the tempest drives, I shape my way. FRANCIS. [Horace, Epistles, i. 1. 15.] BOSWELL.


Oct. 4.]

Johnson's unintentional fastings.


He was lying in philosophick tranquillity with a greyhound of Col's at his back, keeping him warm. Col is quite the Juvenis qui gaudet canibus'. He had, when we left Talisker, two greyhounds, two terriers, a pointer, and a large Newfoundland water-dog. 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 could 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 Morrison 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.


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, but happened just in the course of a literary life'.'

There was a little miserable publick-house close upon the

'Imberbus juvenis, tandem custode remoto,

Gaudet equis canibusque, et aprici gramine campi.'
'The youth, whose will no froward tutor bounds,
Joys in the sunny field, his horse and hounds.'

'1 Henry VI, act i. sc. 2.

› See ante, i. 542, and iii. 347.

FRANCIS. Horacę, Ars Poet. 1. 161.



Captain Lauchlan M'Lean.

[Oct. 4. shore, to which we should have gone, had we landed last night but this morning Col resolved to take us directly to the house of Captain Lauchlan 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 Shelties, 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 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 Dr. Johnson said, it was not in 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

'Johnson describes him as 'a gentleman who has lived some time in the East Indies, but, having dethroned no nabob, is not too rich to settle in his own country.' Johnson's Works, ix. 117.

* This curious exhibition may perhaps remind some of my readers of the ludicrous lines, made, during Sir Robert Walpole's administration, 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;

So long, so lean, so lank, so bony?
Dat be de great orátor, Littletony.'


These lines were beneath a caricature called The Motion, described by Horace Walpole in his letter of March 25, 1741, and said by Mr. Cunningham to be 'the earliest good political caricature that we possess.' Walpole's Letters, i. 66. Mr. Croker says that 'the exact words


"Who's dat who ride astride de Pony,
So long, so lank, so lean and bony?
O he be de great orator Little-Tony."'


Oct. 5.]

Burnet's dedication to Lauderdale.


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 dramatick 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 high praise of Lauderdale in a dedication', when he shews him in his history to have been so bad a man. JOHNSON. 'I do not myself think that a man should say in a dedication 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.


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!

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In 1673 Burnet, who was then Professor of Theology in Glasgow, dedicated to Lauderdale A Vindication of the Authority, &c., of the Church and State of Scotland. In it he writes of the Duke's 'noble character, and more lasting and inward characters of his princely mind.'

See ante, i. 521.


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