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sions been related nakedly, without any detail of the circumstances which generally led to them, they would not have been believed.”
Sir Allan Maclean bragged that Scotland had the advantage of England, by its having more water. JOHNSON : « Sir, we would not have your water, to take the vile bogs which produce it. You have too much! A man who is drowned has more water than either of us ;" --and then he laughed. (But this was surely robust sophistry; for the people of taste in England, who have seen Scotland, own that its variety of rivers and lakes makes it naturally more beautiful than England, in that respect.)-Pursuing his victory over Sir Allan, he proceeded : “ Your country consists of two things, stone and water. There is, indeed, a little earth above the stone in some places, but a very little; and the stone is always appearing. It is like a man in rags; the naked skin is still peeping out.” He took leave of Mr. Macleod, saying, “Sir, I thank you
your entertainment, and your conversation."
Mr. Campbell, who had been so polite yesterday, came this morning on purpose to breakfast with us, and very obligingly furnished us with horses to proceed on our journey to Mr. Maclaine's of Lochbuy, where we were to pass the night. We dined at the house of Dr. Alexander Maclean, another physician in Mull, who was so much struck with the uncommon conversation of Dr. Johnson, that he observed to me, “ This man is just a hogshead of sense.”
Dr. Johnson said of the “ Turkish Spy," which lay in the room, that it told nothing but what every body might have known at that time; and that what was good in it, did not pay you for the trouble of reading to find it.
After a very tedious ride, through what appeared to me the most gloomy and desolate country I had ever beheld, we arrived, between seven and eight o'clock, at Moy, the seat of the Laird of Lochbuy.— Buy, in Erse, signifies yellow, and I at first imagined that the loch or branch of the sea here, was thus denominated, in the same manner as the Red Sea; but I afterwards learned that it derived its name from a hill above it, which being of a yellowish hue, has the epithet of Buy.
We had heard much of Lochbuy's being a great, roaring braggadocio, a kind of Sir John Falstaff, both in size and manners; but we found that they had swelled him up to a fictitious size, and clothed him with imaginary qualities. Col's idea of him was equally extravagant, though very different: he told us he was quite a Don Quixote; and said, he would give a great deal to see him and Dr. Johnson together. The truth is, that Lochbuy proved to be only a bluff, comely, noisy, old gentleman, proud of his hereditary consequence,
and a very hearty and hospitable landlord. Lady Lochbuy was sister to Sir Allan Maclean, but much older. He said to me, "They are quite antediluvians." Being told that Dr. Johnson did not hear well, Lochbuy bawled out to him, “Are you of the Johnstons of Glencro, or of Ardnamurchan?"-Dr. Johnson gave him a significant look, but made no answer; and I told Lochbuy that he was not Johnston, but Johnson, and that he was an Englishman.*
Lochbuy some years ago tried to prove himself a weak man, liable to imposition, or, as we term it in Scotland, a facile man, in order to set aside a lease which he had granted; but failed in the attempt. On my mentioning this circumstance to Dr. Johnson, he seemed much surprised that such a suit was admitted by the Scottish law, and observed, that "In England no man is allowed to stultify himself.”†
Sir Allan, Lochbuy, and I, had the conversation chiefly to ourselves to-night. Dr. Johnson, being extremely weary, went to bed soon after supper.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22.
Before Dr. Johnson came to breakfast, Lady Lochbuy said, "He was a dungeon of wit;" a very common phrase in Scotland to express a profoundness of intellect, though he afterwards told me, that he never had heard it. She proposed that he should have some cold sheeps'-head for breakfast. Sir Allan seemed displeased at his sister's vulgarity, and wondered how such a thought should come into her head. From a mischievous love of sport, I took the lady's part; and very gravely said, "I think it is but fair to give him an offer of it. If he does not choose it, he may let it alone."-" I think so," said the lady, looking at her brother with an air of victory. Sir Allan, finding the matter desperate, strutted about the room, and took snuff. When Dr. Johnson came in, she called to him, "Do you choose any cold sheep's-head, sir ?”—“ No, MADAM," said he, with a tone of surprise and anger."- "It is here, sir," said she, supposing he had refused it to save the trouble of bringing it in. Thus they went on at cross
* Dr. Clarke heard this related differently on the island. The old laird, on being informed that his visitor was neither of the Johnsons of Glencoe, nor of the Johnsons of Ardnamurchan, bluntly said to him, "Then you must be a bastard!" The name of Johnson or John's son, in Gaelic, is Mac Ian. The Mac Ians of Glencoe, and those of Ardnamurchan, were well known branches of the Clan Colla or Macdonald; and as Dr. Johnson belonged to neither of these septs, Lochbuy concluded that he was illegitimate. Boswell had not understood the question, and confounded Glencoe, famous for its rugged scenery and the massacre of the Mac Ians in 1692, with Glencroe, also a magnificent valley, in Argyleshire, through which the travellers passed on their return. Old Lochbuy, after escaping the accident which proved fatal to young Coll, died April 4th, 1778.-ED.
†This maxim, however, has been controverted. See "Blackstone's Commen. taries," Vol. II., p. 291; and the authorities there quoted.--BosWELL.
purposes, till he confirmed his refusal in a manner not to be misunderstood; while I sai quietly by, and enjoyed my success.
After breakfast, we surveyed the old castle, in the pit or dungeon of which Lochbuy had some years before taken upon him to imprison several
persons; and though he had been fined in a considerable sum by the Court of Justiciary,* he was so little affected by it, that while we were examining the dungeon, he said to me, with a smile, “ Your father knows something of this ;” (alluding to my father having sat as one of the judges on his trial.) Sir Allan whispered me, that the laird could not be persuaded that he had lost his heritable jurisdiction.f
We then set out for the ferry, by which we were to cross to the main-land of Argyleshire. Lochbuy and Sir Allan accompanied us. We were told much of a war-saddle, on which this reputed Don Quixote used to be mounted; but we did not see it, for the young laird had applied it to a less noble purpose, having taken it to Falkirk fair with a drove of black cattle. I
* This was a characteristic Highland case The laird, with three of his tenants, the innkeeper, the piper's son, and a servant, seized upon Hector Maclean, son of Maclean of Killean, and Allan Maclean of Kilmory, and thrust them into the old ruinous castle of Moy, where they were kept two days. The inferior parties pleaded (no doubt with great truth) their situation of dependence, and their obligation to obey the laird's orders, but the plea was not sustained in Court. Lochbuy was fined 500 marks Scots, and 1801. sterling of damages and expenses, and with the others was condemned to suffer imprisonment for seventeen days. This was a sufficient hint as to the progress of the law. The Rev. Donald Macqueen, Kilmuir, in his communication to Pennant on the subject of the Western Islands, says, “ The approaches of the law were far from welcome to men closely attached to their own customs and connexions, being deaf to the voice of parties, and to the distinctions of clans and individuals. The law hath come the length of Rosshire,' saith one neighbour to another. 'O ho!' replied he; 'if God doth not stop it you will soon have it nearer home.'"-ED,
+ The heritable jurisdictions were taken from the proprietors and vested in the Crown by statute, 20th George II., or 1747. Their value, as stated by the Lords of Session, in their Report laid before the Privy Council, and as subsequently paid to the proprietors, was 152,0371. 128. 2d. The Argyle family seem to have obtained the lion's share of this money; a sum of 15,0001. was allowed the duke for his office of Justice-General, and 6,0001. for different regalities. Maclaine of Lochbuy preferred & claim as “Bailie of the Bailiery of Morovis and Mulerois," valued at 500l. ; but the claim was disallowed. A great many claims were rejected by the Lords of Session, on the ground that lords of regalities had not a power to split or divide those jurisdictions; although it had been common with them, when they sold a part of their lands, to give the purchasers a privilege of regality, or criminal jurisdiction, over what they bought.--Ed.
* The young laird met with a melancholy end. Dr. E. D. Clarke writes, “The estates are now fallen to a distant relation of the late Laird of Lochbuy, who got his death in consequence of a dispute about the best method of cutting up a duck. He had been in the American War, and returning from New York with laurels worthy of his illustrious clan, was coming to reside once more upon the territories of his ancestors. In his passage home a dispute arose about the properest method of carving a duck, which ended in a duel, and the last descendant of the chieftains of Lochbuy fell
We bade adieu to Lochbuy, and to our very kind conductor, Sir Allan Maclean, on the shore of Mull, and then got into the ferry-boat, the bottom of which was strewed with branches of trees or bushes, upon which we sat. We had a good day and a fine passage, and in the evening landed at Oban, where we found a tolerable inn. After having been so long confined at different times in islands, from which it was always uncertain when we could get away, it was comfortable to be now on the main-land, and to know that, if in health, we might get to any place in Scotland or England in a certain number of days.
Here we discovered, from the conjectures which were formed, that the people on the main-land were entirely ignorant of our motions; for in a Glasgow newspaper we found a paragraph, which, as it contains a just and well-turned compliment to my illustrious friend, I shall here insert:
“ We are well assured that Dr. Johnson is confined by tempestuous weather to the Isle of Sky; it being unsafe to venture in a small boat upon such a stormy surge as is very common there at this time of the year. Such a philosopher, detained on an almost barren island, resembles a whale left upon the strand. The latter will be welcome to every body, on account of its oil, his bone, &c., and the other will charm his companions, and the rude inhabitants, with his superior kuowledge and wisdom, calm resignation, and unbounded benevolence.”
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23. After a good night's rest, we breakfasted at our leisure. We talked of Goldsmith's “
Traveller," of which Dr. Johnson spoke highly; and, while I was helping him on with his great-coat, he repeated from it the character of the British nation, which he did with such energy, that the tear started into his eye:
“Stern o’er each bosom Reason holds her state,
And learns to venerate himself as man." We could get but one bridle here, which, according to the maxim detur digniori, was appropriated to Dr. Johnson's sheltie. I and
a victim upon that occasion. The father of this young man was the identical Highland laird mentioned by Dr. Johnson as 'rough and haughty, and tenacious of his dignity.' (Life of Dr. E.D. Clarke, vol. i. p. 293.) Since the date of Dr. Johnson's visit a handsome mansion-house has been erected near the old tower of Lochbuy.-Ev,
Joseph rode with halters. We crossed in a ferrry-boat a pretty wide lake, and on the farther side of it, close by the shore, found a hut for our inn. We were much wet. I changed my clothes in part, and was at pains to get myself well dried. Dr. Johnson resolutely kept on all his clothes, wet as they were, letting them steam before the smoky turf fire. I thought him in the wrong; but his firmness was, perhaps, a species of heroism.
I remember but little of our conversation. I mentioned Shenstone's saying of Pope, that he had the art of condensing sense more than any body. Dr. Johnson said, It is not true, sir. There is more sense in a line of Cowley than in a page (or a sentence, or ten lines,-I am not quite certain of the very phrase) of Pope.”* He
* Most readers will, on this point, prefer the dictum of Shenstone to that of Johnson. In wit and fancy Cowley may contest the laurel with Pope; the ore was richer, though generally less refined. But in conveying truth and sense, maxims of life, and moral or ethical precepts, where shall we find such precision, elegance, and concentration as in the “Moral Essays" and "Satires" of Pope? His select and brilliant expression of thought and sentiment is also a contrast to the careless, irregular dic