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drink it off full of claret without laying it down. From Rorie More many of the branches of the family are descended; in particular, the Talisker branch; so that his name is much talked of. We also saw his bow, which hardly any man now can bend, and his glaymore,1 which was wielded with both hands, and is of a prodigious size. We saw here some old pieces of iron armour, immensely heavy. The broad-sword used, though called the glaymore (i.e. the great sicord), is much smaller than that used in Rorie More's time. There is hardly a target now to be found in the Highlands. After the disarming act, they made them serve as covers to theii butter-milk barrels; a kind of change, like beating spears into pruning-hooks. Sir George Mackenzie's Works (the folio edition) happened to lie in a window in the dining-room. I asked Dr. Johnson to look at the Characteres Advocatorum. He allowed him power of mind, and that he understood very well what he tells; but said, that there was too much declamation, and that the Latin was not correct. He found fault with appropinquabant in the character of Gilmour.
1 tried him with the opposition between gloria and palma, in the comparison between Gilmour and Nisbet, which Lord Hailes, in his " Catalogue of the Lords of Session," thinks difficult to be understood. The words are, "penes ilium gloria, penes hunc palma."* In a short Account of the Kirk of Scotland which I published some years ago, I applied these words to the two contending parties, and explained them thus: "The popular party has most eloquence; Dr. Robertson's party most influence." I was very desirous to hear Dr. Johnson's explication. Johnson. "I see no difficulty. Gilmour was admired for his parts; Nisbet carried his cause by his skill in law. Palma is victory." I observed, that the character of Nicholson, in this book, resembled that of Burke; for it is said, in one place, " in amines lusos et jocos se scepe resolvebat," ' and, in another, "sed accipitris more, e eonspectu aliquando astanthun sublimi se protrahens volatu, in prcedam miro impetu descendebat." 2 Johnson. "No, Sir; I never heard Burke make a good joke in my life."3 Boswell. "But, Sir, you will allow he is a hawk." Dr. Johnson, thinking that I meant this of his joking, said, "No, Sir, he is not the hawk there. He is the beetle in the mire." I still adhered to my metaphor; "but he soars as the hawk." Johnson. "Yes, Sir; but he catches nothing." Macleod asked, what is the particular excellence of Burke's eloquence? Johnson. "Copiousness and fertility of allusion; a power of diversifying his matter, by placing it in various relations. Burke has great information, and great -command of language; though, in my opinion, it has not in every respect the highest elegance." Boswell. "Do you think, Sir, that Burke has read Cicero much?" JohnSon. "I don't believe it, Sir. Burke has great knowledge, great fluency of words, and great promptitude of ideas, so that he can speak with great illustration on any subject that comes before him. He is neither like Cicero, nor like Demosthenes, nor like any one else, but speaks as well as he can."
1 Commonly called claymare, but more properly qlaymore, quasi glaive, more, the great sword. Gl?ve or Glaive is used in this sense both in English and French—derived, says Menage, from the Latin gladius.— Crnker.
'" Opposuit Gilmorin providentia Nisbetum: qui summa doctrinS consummataqne eloquentia eausas agebat, ut justitia' seahe in equilibrio essent; nimia tamen arte semper utens [Xisbetus] artem suam suspectam reddebat. Quoties ergo contlixerunt, penes Gilmorium gloria, penes Nisbetum palma fuit; quoniam in hoc plus artis et cultus, in illo plus natures ct virium."—Mackenzie's Works, edited by Kuddiman,
2 vols, folio, 1722.—Wright.
In the sixty-fifth page of the first volume of Sir George Mackenzie, Dr. Johnson pointed out a paragraph beginning with Aristotle, and told me there was an error in the text, which he bade me try to discover. I was lucky enough to hit it at once. As the passage is printed, it is said that the devil answers even in engines. I corrected it to—ever in tvnigmas. "Sir," said he, "you are a good critic. This would have been a great thing to do in the text of an ancient author."
1 "He often indulged himself in every species of pleasantry and wit."
a "But like the hawk, having soared with a loft}- flight to a height which the eye could not reach, he was wont to swoop upon his quarry with wonderful rapidity."
3 It should not he forgotten that all this passed at an early stage of Burke's public life—he had been but eight years in parliament, and had not yet attained nor deserved the great reputation of his subsequent days.—Croker.
Thursday, Sept. 16.—Last night much care was taken of Dr. Johnson, who was still distressed by his cold. He had hitherto most strangely slept without a nightcap. Misa Macleod made him a iarge flannel one, and he was prevailed with to drink a little brandy when he was going to bed. He has great virtue in not drinking wine or any fermented liquor, because, as he acknowledged to us, he could not do it in moderation. Lady Macleod would hardly believe him, and said, "I am sure. Sir, you would not carry it too far." Johnson. "Nay, Madam, it carried me. I took the opportunity of a long illness to leave it off. It was then prescribed to me not to drink wine; and having broken off the habit, I have never returned to it."
In the argument on Tuesday night, about natural goodness, Dr. Johnson denied that any child was better than another, but by difference of instruction; though, in consequence of greater attention being paid to instruction by one child than another, and of a variety of imperceptible causes, such as instruction being counteracted by servants, a notion was conceived, that of two children, equally well educated, one was naturally much worse than another. He ownedr this morning, that one might have a greater aptitude to learn than another, and that we inherit dispositions from our parents. "J inherited," said he, "a vile melancholy from my father, which has made me mad all my life, at least not sober." Lady Macleod wondered he should tell this. -' Madam," said I, "he knows that with that madness he is superior to other men."
I have often been astonished with what exactness and perspicuity he will explain the process of any art. He this morning explained to us all the operation of coining, and, at night, all the operation of brewing, so very clearly, that Mr. M'Queen said, when he heard the first, he thought he had been bred in the Mint; when he heard the second, that he had been bred a brewer.
I was elated by the thought of having been able to entice such a man to this remote part of the world. A ludicrous, yet just image presented itself to my mind, which I expressed to the company. I compared myself to a dog who has got hold of a large piece of meat, and runs a way with it to a corner, where he may devour it in peace, without any fear of others taking it from him. "In London, Reynolds, Beauclerk, and all of them, are contending who shall enjoy Dr. Johnson's conversation. We are feasting upon it, undisturbed, at Dunvegan."
It was still a storm of wind and rain. Dr. Johnson however walked out with Macleod, and saw Rorie More's cascade in full perfection. Colonel Macleod, instead of being all life and gaiety, as I have seen him, was at present grave, and somewhat depressed by his anxious concern about Macleod's affairs, and by finding some gentlemen of the clan by no means disposed to act a generous or affectionate part to their chief in his distress, but bargaining with him as with a stranger. However, he was agreeable and polite, and Dr. Johnson said he was a very pleasing man. My fellowtraveller and I talked of going to Sweden; and, while we were settling our plan, I expressed a pleasure in the prospect of seeing the king. Johnson. "I doubt, Sir, if he would speak to us." Colonel Macleod said, "I am sure Mr. Boswell would speak to him." But seeing me a little disconcerted by his remark, he politely added, "and with great propriety." Here let me offer a short defence of that propensity in my disposition, to which this gentleman alluded. It has procured me much happiness. I hope it does not deserve so hard a name as either forwardness or impudence. If I know myself, it is nothing more than an eagerness to share the society of men distinguished either by their rank or their talents, and a diligence to attain what I desire. If a man is praised for seeking knowledge, though mountains and seas are in his way, may he not be pardoned, whose ardour, in the pursuit of the same object, leads him to encounter difficulties as great, though of a different kind?
After the ladies were gone from the table, we talked of the Highlanders not having sheets; and this led us to consider the advantage of wearing linen. Johnson. "All animal substances are less cleanly than vegetables. Wool, of which flannel is made, is an animal substance; flannel therefore is not so cleanly as linen. I remember I used to think tar dirty; but when I knew it to be only a preparation of the juice of the pine, I thought so no longer. It is not disagreeable to have the gum that oozes from a plumtree upon your fingers, because it is vegetable; but if you have any candle-grease, any tallow upon your fingers, you are uneasy till you rub it off.—I have often thought that, if I kept a seraglio, the ladies should all wear linen gowns, or cotton—I mean stuffs made of vegetable substances. I would have no silk; you cannot tell when it is clean; it will be very nasty before it is perceived to be so. Linen detects its own dirtiness."
To hear the grave Dr. Samuel Johnson, " that majestic teacher of moral and religious wisdom," while sitting solemn in an arm-chair in the isle of Sky, talk, e.r cathedra, of his keeping a seraglio, and acknowledge that the supposition had often been in his thoughts, struck me so forcibly with ludicrous contrast, that I could not but laugh immoderately. He was too proud to submit, even for a moment, to be the object of ridicule, and instantly retaliated with such keen sarcastic wit, and such a variety of degrading images, of every one of which I was the object, that though I can bear such attacks as well as most men, I yet found myself so much the sport of all the company, that I would gladly expunge from my mind every trace of this severe retort.
Talking of our friend Langton's house in Lincolnshire, he said "the old house of the family was burnt. A temporary building was erected in its room; and to this day they have been always adding as the family increased. It is like a shirt made for man when he was a child, and enlarged always as he grows older."
We talked to-night of Luther's allowing the Landgrave of Hesse two wives, and that it was with the consent of the wife to whom he was first married. Johnson. "There was no harm in this, so far as she was only concerned, because volenti non Jit injuria. But it was an offence against the general order of society, and against the law of the Gospel, by which one man and one woman are to be united. No man can have two wives, but by preventing somebody else from having one."
Friday, Sept. 17.—After dinner yesterday, we had a conversation upon cunning. Macleod said that he was not afraid of cunning people; but would let them play their