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of tanning, and of the nature of milk, and the various operations upon it, as making whey, &c. His variety of information is surprising; and it gives one much satisfaction to find such a man bestowing his attention on the useful arts of life. Ulinish was much struck with. his knowledge, and said, "He is a great orator, sir; it is music to hear this man speak."-A strange thought struck me, to try if he knew anything of an art, or whatever it should be called, which is no doubt very useful in life, but which lies far out of the way of a philosopher and a poet-I mean the trade of a butcher. I enticed him into the subject, by connecting it with the various researches into the manners and customs of uncivilized nations, that have been made by our late navigators into the South Seas. I began with observing, that Mr. (now Sir Joseph) Banks tells us that the art of slaughtering animals was not known in Otaheite, for, instead of bleeding to death their dogs (a common food with them), they strangle them. This he told me himself; and I supposed that their hogs were killed in the same way. Dr. Johnson said, "This must be owing to their not having knives, though they have sharp stones with which they can cut a carcase in pieces tolerably." By degrees, he showed that he knew something even of butchery. "Different animals," said he. are killed differently: an ox is knocked down, and a calf stunned; but a sheep has its throat cut, without anything being done to stupfy it. The butchers have no view to the ease of the animals, but only to make them quiet for their own safety and convenience. A sheep can give them little trouble. Hailes is of opinion that every animal should be blooded, without having any blow given to it, because it bleeds better."-BOSWELL: "That would be cruel."-JOHNSON: "No,
sir; there is not much pain if the jugular vein be properly cut.”—Pursuing the subject, he said the kennels of Southwark ran with blood two or three days in the week; that he was afraid there were slaughter-houses in more streets in London than one supposes (speaking with a kind of horror of butchering); "and yet," he added, “any of us would kill a cow rather than not have beef."-I said we could not."Yes," said he, "any one may. The business of a butcher is a trade indeed, that is to say, there is an apprenticeship served to it; but it may be learnt in a month."
I mentioned a club in London, at the Boar's Head in Eastcheap, the very tavern where Falstaff and his joyous companions met; the members of which all assume Shakspeare's characters. One is Falstaff, another Prince Henry, another Bardolph, and so on.-JOHNSON: "Don't be of it, sir. Now that you have a name, you must be careful to avoid many things, not bad in themselves, but which will lessen
your character.*--This every man who has a name must observe. A man who is not publicly known may live in London as he pleases, without any notice being taken of him; but it is wonderful how a person of any consequence is watched. There was a member of parliament who wanted to prepare himself to speak on a question that was to come on in the House; and he and I were to talk it over together. He did not wish it should be known that he talked with me; so he would not let me come to his house, but came to mine. Some time after he had made his speech in the House, Mrs. Cholmondely, a very airy lady, told me, 'Well, you could make nothing of him!' naming the gentleman; which was a proof that he was watched. I had once some business to do for government, and I went to Lord North's. Precaution was taken that it should not be known. It was dark before I went; yet a few days after I was told, 'Well, you have been with Lord North.' That the door of the prime minister should be watched, is not strange; but that a member of parliament should be watched, or that my door should be watched, is wonderful."
We set out this morning on our way to Talisker, in Ulinish's boat, having taken leave of him and his family. Mr. Donald Macqueen still favoured us with his company, for which we were much obliged to him. As we sailed along, Dr. Johnson got into one of his fits of railing at the Scots. He owned that they had been a very learned nation for a hundred years, from about 1550 to about 1650; but that they afforded the only instance of a people among whom the arts of
*I do not see why I might not have been of this club without lessening my character. But Dr. Johnson's caution against supposing one's self concealed in London, may be very useful to prevent some people from doing many things, not only foolish, but criminal.-BOSWELL.
[Boswell was little solicitous of his personal dignity after Johnson's decease. The great man held him in check, and repressed the tendency to jollity, which afterwards became too conspicuous. Madame d'Arblay recounts some of these unseemly exhibitions, and others are recorded. What would Johnson have said to his friend singing a song of his own composing, "The Grocer of London," at the Lord Mayor's feast, or to his publishing an Ode to Charles Dilly, the bookseller, beginning in this strain ?— "My cordial friend,
Still prompt to lend
Your cash when I have need on't;
We both must bear
Our load of care
At least we talk and read on't."
He once thought of taking Lord Thurlow for his hero. "Now that Dr. Johnson is gone to a better world, I bow the intellectual knee to Lord Thurlow, who, with inflexible wisdom, stops the tide of fashionable reform."—(" Letter to the People of Scotland.") The Chancellor must have "growled a curse of woe" on reading this declaration. The life and conversation of Thurlow, Boswellised, would have formed a curious record.-ED]
civil life did not advance in proportion with learning; that they had hardly any trade, any money, or any elegance, before the Union; that it was strange that, with all the advantages possessed by other nations, they had not any of those conveniences and embellishments which are the fruit of industry, till they come in contact with a civilized people. “We have taught you,” said he, “and we'll do the same in time to all barbarous nations: to the Cherokees, and at last to the Ouran-Outangs;" laughing with as much glee as if Monboddo had been present.-BOSWELL: "We had wine before the Union."JOHNSON: "No, sir; you had some weak stuff, the refuse of France, which would not make you drunk."-BOSWELL: "I assure you, sir, there was a great deal of drunkenness."-JOHNSON: "No, sir; there were people who died of dropsies, which they contracted in trying to get drunk."
I must here glean some of his conversation at Ulinish, which I have omitted. He repeated his remark, that a man in a ship was worse than a man in a jail. "The man in a jail," said he, "has more room, better food, and commonly better company, and is in safety.""Ay; but," said Mr. Macqueen, "the man in a ship has the pleasing hope of getting to shore."-JOHNSON: "Sir, I am not talking of a man's getting to shore; but of a man while he is in a ship: and then, I say, he is worse than a man while he is in jail. A man in a jail may have the 'pleasing hope' of getting out. A man confined for only a limited time, actually has it."-Macleod mentioned his schemes for carrying on fisheries with spirit, and that he would wish to understand the construction of boats. I suggested that he might go to a dock-yard and work, as Peter the Great did.-JOHNSON: Nay, sir, he need not work. Peter the Great had not the sense to see that the mere mechanical work may be done by any body, and that there is the same art in constructing a vessel, whether the boards are well or ill wrought. Sir Christopher Wren might as well have served his time to a bricklayer, and first, indeed, to a brick-maker."
There is a beautiful little island in the Loch of Dunvegan, called Isa.* Macleod said, he would give it to Dr. Johnson on condition of his residing on it three months in the year; nay, one month. Dr. Johnson was highly amused with the fancy. I have seen him please himself with little things, even with mere ideas like the present. He talked a great deal of this island; how he would build a house there, how he would fortify it, how he would have cannon, how he would plant, how he would sally out and take the Isle of Muck; and then
* Or Eilean Isa, the island of Jesus. It is fertile and supports about fifteen families. There are several small islands in the neighbourhood, but Isa is the only one that is inhabited.-ED.
he laughed with uncommon glee, and could hardly leave off. I have seen him do so at a small matter that struck him, and was a sport to no one else. Mr. Langton told me, that one night he did so while the company were all grave about him; only Garrick, in his significant smart manner, darting his eyes around, exclaimed, " Very jocose, to be sure!"-Macleod encouraged the fancy of Dr. Johnson's becoming owner of an island; told him that it was the practice in this country to name every man by his lands; and begged leave to drink to him in that mode: "Island Isa, your health!" Ulinish, Talisker, Mr. Macqueen, and I, all joined in our different manners, while Dr. Johnson bowed to each with much good humour.
We had good weather, and a fine sail this day. The shore was varied with hills, and rocks, and corn-fields, and bushes, which are here dignified with the name of natural wood. We landed near the house of Fernilea, a farm possessed by another gentleman of the name of Macleod, who, expecting our arrival, was waiting on the shore, with a horse for Dr. Johnson. The rest of us walked. At dinner I expressed to Macleod the joy which I had in seeing him on such cordial terms with his clan. "Government," said he "has deprived us of our ancient power; but it cannot deprive us of our domestic affections. I would rather drink punch in one of their houses (meaning the houses of his people), than be enabled by their hardships, to have claret in my own."-This should be the sentiment of every chieftain. All that he can get by raising his rents, is more luxury in his own house. Is it not better to share the profits of his estate, to a certain degree, with his kinsmen, and thus have both social intercourse and patriarchal influence ?
We had a very good ride, for about three miles, to Talisker, where Colonel Macleod introduced us to his lady. We found here Mr. Donald Maclean, the yound Laird of Col (nephew to Talisker), to whom I delivered the letter with which I had been favoured by his uncle, Professor Macleod, at Aberdeen. He was a little lively young man. We found he had been a good deal in England, studying farming, and was resolved to improve the value of his father's lands, without oppressing his tenants, or losing the ancient Highland fashions.
Talisker is a better place than one commonly finds in Sky. It is situated in a rich bottom. Before it is a wide expanse of sea, on each hand of which are immense rocks; and, at some distance in the sea, there are three columnal rocks rising to sharp points. The billows break with prodigious force and noise on the coast of Talisker. There are here a good many well-grown trees. Talisker is an extensive farm. The possessor of it has, for several generations, been the next heir to Macleod, as there has been but one son always in that family.
The court before the house is most injudiciously paved with the round blueish-grey pebbles which are found upon the sea-shore; so that you walk as if upon cannon-balls driven into the ground.
After supper, I talked of the assiduity of the Scottish clergy, in visiting and privately instructing the parishioners, and observed how much in this they excelled the English clergy. Dr. Johnson would not let this pass. He tried to turn it off, by saying, "There are different ways of instructing. Our clergy pray and preach."-Macleod and I pressed the subject, upon which he grew warm, and broke forth: "I do not believe your people are better instructed. If they are, it is the blind leading the blind; for your clergy are not instructed themselves." Thinking he had gone a little too far, he checked himself, and added, "When I talk of the ignorance of your clergy, I talk of them as a body; I do not mean that there are not individuals who are learned," looking at Mr. Macqueen. "I suppose there are such among the clergy in Muscovy. The clergy of England have produced the most valuable books in support of religion, both in theory and practice. What have your clergy done, since you sunk into presbyterianism? Can you name one book of any value, on a religious subject, written by them ?"-We were silent.-"I'll help you. Forbes wrote very well; but I believe he wrote before episcopacy was quite extinguished." And then pausing a little, he said, "Yes, you have Wishart AGAINST Repentance.*"-BOSWELL: "But, sir, we are not contending for the superior learning of our clergy, but for their superior assiduity." He bore us down again, with thundering against their ignorance, and said to me, "I see you have not been well taught, for you have not charity."--He had been in some measure forced into this warmth by the exulting air which I assumed; for, when he began, he said, “Since you will drive the nail!"—He again thought of good Mr. Macqueen, and taking him by the hand, said, “Sir, I did not mean any disrespect to you."
Here I must observe, that he conquered by deserting his ground, and not meeting the argument as I had put it. The assiduity of the
* This was a dexterous mode of description, for the purpose of his argument; for what he alluded to was a sermon published by the learned Dr. William Wishart, formerly principal of the college at Edinburgh, to warn men against confiding in a deathbed repentance, of the ineffacacy of which he entertained notions very different from those of Dr. Johnson.-BOSWELL.
[The allusion to Forbes is not so distinct; perhaps Johnson referred to Dr. John Forbes, of Corse, an eminent scholar and theologian, whose Histories, Theological Institutions, and other works were published in two volumes folio at Amsterdam, in 1703. Burnet, in his Life of Bedell, alludes in terms of high commendation to Forbes This learned divine was at one time Professor of Divinity in King's College, Aberdeen, but was driven abroad, by the introduction of the Solemn League and Covenant. He returned to die at home, April 29th, 1648.-ED.]