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had a quarrel with the bishop. The bishop's house, and those of the other clergy, which are still pretty entire, do not seem to have been proportioned to the magnificence of the cathedral, which has been of
great extent, and had very fine carved work. The ground within the walls of the cathedral is employed as a burying-place. The family of Gordon have their vault here, but it has nothing grand.
We passed Gordon Castle* this forenoon, which has a princely
* I am not sure whether the Duke was at home. But, not having the honour of being much known to his Grace, I could not have presumed to enter his castle, though to introduce even so celebrated a stranger, We were at any rate in a hurry to get forward to the wildness which we came to see. Perhaps, if this noble family had still preserved that sequestered magnificence which they maintained when Catholics, corresponding with the Grand Duke of Tuscany, we might have been induced to have procured proper letters of introduction, and devoted some time to the contemplation of venerable superstitious state.-BOSWELL.
[Alexander Duke of Gordon, born 1743, died 1827. About the time of his Grace's death a considerable part of Gordon Castle was destroyed by fire. The present castle (now the seat of the Duke of Richmond) is chiefly of modern erection. It is of great size, being 570 feet in length, and of imposing appearance, though somewhat formal and monotonous in its regularity. The grounds are extensive, studded with noble trees, and containing a fine deer-park and gardens. One favourite lime-tree is 317 feet in circumference, all the branches touching the ground. Duke Alexander wrote some humorous Scotch songs, praised by Burns, and was famous for his skill in mechanics. He kept a turning-lathe, and delighted to make snuff-boxes for his friends. Queen Charlotte once requested him to turn a set of neck-ornaments for her, which he did in gold. Her Majesty wore them at a Drawing-room; "but I thought it as well,” said the
appearance. Fochabers, the neighbouring village, is a poor place, many of the houses being ruinous; but it is remarkable, they have in general orchards well stored with apple-trees. Elgin has what in England are called piazzas, that run in many places on each side of the street. It must have been a much better place formerly. Probably it had piazzas all along the town, as I have seen at Bologna. I approved much of such structures in a town, on account of their conveniency in wet weather. Dr. Johnson disapproved of them, because (said he) it makes the under-storey of a house very dark, which greatly over-balances the conveniency, when it is considered how small a part of the year it rains; how few are usually in the street at such times; that many who are might as well be at home; and the little that people suffer, supposing them to be as much wet as they commonly are in walking a street.”
We fared but ill at our inn here; and Dr. Johnson said, this was the first time he had seen a dinner in Scotland that he could not eat.
In the afternoon, we drove over the very heath where Macbeth met the witches, according to tradition.* Dr. Johnson again solemnly repeated
" How far is't called to Fores? What are these,
And yet are on't.” He repeated a good deal more of “Macbeth.” His recitation was grand and affecting, and, as Sir Joshua Reynolds has observed to me, had no more tone than it should have ; it was the better for it. He then parodied the “All hail” of the witches to Macbeth, addressing himself to me. I had purchased some land called Dalblair; and as in Scotland it is customary to distinguish landed men by the name of Duke, “ to take myself off to Gordon Castle; else I might perhaps have been appointed siecklace-maker to the Queen and the Princesses.” His Grace had an old librarian, Mr. James Hoy (a correspondent of Burns's) who was called the Duke's Crammer. His forenoon duty was to read the new books, as they arrived at the castle, while the Duke worked at his turning-lathe ; and in the afternoons, over a bottle of claret, he filled his patron with all that he considered worth remembering in them. Had Johnson visited Gordon Castle the quality and manner of his literary communications to the Duke would have formed a curious contrast to those of the old Scotch librarian.-Ed.]
* In reality they did not reach the spot till the following day. Johnson traces the journey correctly. Boswell had been misled by his memory or by looking into Pennant, who fell into the same error. ("Tour in Scotland in 1769.") The “ blasted heath” lies to the west of Forres, about halfway between that town and Nairn. A round knoll planted with fir-trees, and known by the name of “Macbeth's Hilloch,” has from time immemorial been pointed out as the place where the Thane met the weird sisters. In the immediate neighbourhood is the old castle of Inshock, once a seat of the Hays of Lochloy; and the hills of Rosshire and Sutherland are seen across the Frith. The once-drcary table-land of the moor is now almost all under cultivation-either with kfoods or arable farms, and the public highway passes through it.--Ed.
their estates, I had thus two titles, Dalblair and Young Auchinleck. So my friend, in imitation of
All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!"
condescended to amuse himself with uttering
"All hail, Dalblair! hail to thee, Laird of Auchinleck!"
We got to Fores at night, and found an admirable inn, in which Dr. Johnson was pleased to meet with a landlord who styled himself "Wine Cooper, from LONDON."
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27.
It was dark when we came to Fores last night, so we did not see what is called King Duncan's monument.* I shall now mark some gleanings of Dr. Johnson's conversation. I spoke of "Leonidas," and said there were some good passages in it.-JOHNSON: Why, you must seek for them." He said, Paul Whitehead's Manners was a poor performance. Speaking of Derrick, he told me he had a kindness for him, and had often said, that if his letters had been written by one of a more established name they would have been thought very pretty letters."
This morning I introduced the subject of the origin of evil.-JOHNSON : "Moral evil is occasioned by free will, which implies choice between good and evil. With all the evil that there is, there is no man but would rather be a free agent than a mere machine without the evil; and what is
Boswell must allude to "Forres Pillar" or "Sweno's Stone," a curiously carved obelisk, 23 feet in height above the ground, and said to be 12 feet under ground. stands in a field about half a mile to the east of the town. It is commonly supposed to commemorate the expulsion of the Danes after the Battle of Mortlach in the reign of Malcolm II. The antiquity of the stone is pointed out incidentally in a charter granted
If a man would
He is a different
best for each individual must be best for the whole. rather be the machine, I cannot argue with him. being from me."-BOSWELL: "A man, as a machine, may have agreeable sensations; for instance, he may have pleasure in music." JOHNSON: "No, sir, he cannot have pleasure in music; at least no power of producing music; for he who can produce music may let it alone; he who can play upon a fiddle may break it; such a man is not a machine." This reasoning satisfied me. It is certain, there cannot be a free agent unless there is the power of being evil as well as good. We must take the inherent possibilities of things into consideration, in our reasonings or conjectures concerning the works of God.
We came to Nairn to breakfast. Though a county town and a royal burgh, it is a miserable place. Over the room where we sat, a girl was spinning wool with a great wheel, and singing an Erse song: "I'll warrant you," said Dr. Johnson, He then repeated these lines:
one of the songs of Ossian."
"Verse sweetens toil, however rude the sound.
I thought I had heard these lines before.-JOHNSON: "I fancy not, sir; for they are in a detached poem, the name of which I do not remember, written by one Giffard, a parson."
I expected Mr. Kenneth Macaulay, the minister of Calder, who published the "History of St. Kilda," a book which Dr. Johnson liked, would have met us here, as I had written to him from Aberdeen. But I received a letter from him, telling me that he could not leave home, as he was to administer the sacrament the following Sunday, and earnestly requesting to see us at his manse. "We'll go," said Dr. Johnson; which we accordingly did. Mrs. Macaulay received us, and told us her husband was in the church distributing tokens.* arrived between twelve and one o'clock, and it was near three before he came to us.
by Alexander II., of the lands of Burgie, extending "a magno quercu in Malvin usque ad rune Pictorum." The carved figures and runic tracery on the pillar are singularly elaborate and striking.-ED.
* In Scotland there is a great deal of preparation before administering the sacrament. The minister of the parish examines the people as to their fitness, and to those of whom he approves gives little pieces of tin [pewter], stamped with the name of the parish, as tokens, which they must produce before receiving it. This is a species of priestly power, and sometimes may be abused. I remember a law-suit brought by a person against his parish minister, for refusing him admission to that sacred ordinance. -BOSWELL.
Dr. Johnson thanked him for his book, and said it was a very pretty piece of topography. Macaulay did not seem much to mind the compliment. From his conversation, Dr. Johnson was persuaded that he had not written the book which goes under his name. I my. self always suspected so; and I have been told it was written by the learned Dr. John Macpherson of Sky, from the materials collected by Macaulay. Dr. Johnson said privately to me, "There is a combination in it of which Macaulay is not capable." However, he was exceedingly hospitable; and, as he obligingly promised us a route for our tour through the Western Isles, we agreed to stay with him all night.*
After dinner, we walked to the old castle of Calder (pronounced Cawder), the Thane of Cawdor's seat. I was sorry that my friend,
Mr. Macaulay had, previous to his settlement at Calder, been minister of Ardnamurchan, in Argyleshire, and visited St. Kilda in 1758, as missionary to the island, from the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge. His "History of St. Kilda" was published in 1764. It is not very accurate in details, but is well written. Passages of the