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Like his own Rasselas, “his business was with man; he travelled not to measure fragments of temples, or trace choked aqueducts, but to look upon the various scenes of the present world b.” The journey should be perused together with his letters to Mrs. Thrale, written on his route, which may be safely pronounced to afford models for elegant epistolary communication on travelling and its incidents. They, as well as the journey, abound with descriptions conveyed in unaffected language, but awakening emotions almost exclusively under the dominion of poetry.

His plaintive and simple phrase, “and paradise was opened in the wild," as illustrative of the softening effect of the evening services of religion, performed in a domestic group on the rugged island of Inch Kenneth, has, perhaps, been seldom surpassed. -We need scarcely allude to his heart-thrilling meditations among the ruins of Iona, nor to his exquisite picture of the scene where his first design to give his narrative to the world was conceived. “We would invoke the winds of the Caledonian mountains,” exclaim the critical reviewers of the journey, “to blow for ever with their softest breezes on the bank where our author reclined ; and request of Flora that it might be perpetually adorned with the gayest and most fragrant productions of the year.”

Their taste is poor indeed who can peruse the passages to which we have referred, and have their minds so little enthralled thereby, as to have leisure to search whether the writer hated a Scotchman. We dismiss the unworthy inquiry.

Rasselas, chap. xxx.

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I HAD desired to visit the Hebrides, or Western Islands of Scotland, so long, that I scarcely remember how the wish was originally excited; and was, in the autumn of the year 1773, induced to undertake the journey, by finding in Mr. Boswell a companion, whose acuteness would help my inquiry, and whose gaiety of conversation and civility of manners are sufficient to counteract the inconveniencies of travel, in countries less hospitable than we have passed.

On the eighteenth of August, we left Edinburgh, a city too well known to admit description, and directed our course northward, along the eastern coast of Scotland, accompanied the first day by another gentleman, who could stay with us only long enough to show us how much we lost at separation.

As we crossed the frith of Forth, our curiosity was attracted by Inch Keith, a small island, which neither of my companions had ever visited, though, lying within their view, it had all their lives solicited their notice. Here, by climbing, with some difficulty, over shattered crags, we made the first experiment of unfrequented coasts. Inch Keith is nothing more than a rock covered with a thin layer of earth, not wholly bare of grass, and very fertile of thistles. A small herd of cows grazes annually upon it in the summer. It seems never to have afforded to man or beast a permanent habitation.

Vol. IX.


We found only the ruins of a small fort, not so injured by time but that it might be easily restored to its former

It seems never to have been intended as a place of strength, nor was built to endure a siege, but merely to afford cover to a few soldiers, who, perhaps, had the charge of a battery, or were stationed to give signals of approaching danger. There is, therefore, no provision of water within the walls, though the spring is so near, that it might have been easily enclosed. One of the stones had this inscription : "Maria Reg. 1564.” It has probably been neglected from the time that the whole island had the same king.

We left this little island, with our thoughts employed awhile on the different appearance that it would have made, if it had been placed at the same distance from London, with the same facility of approach ; with what emulation of price a few rocky acres would have been purchased, and with what expensive industry they would have been cultivated and adorned.

When we landed, we found our chaise ready, and passed through Kinghorn, Kirkaldy, and Cowpar, places not unlike the small or straggling market-towns in those parts of England where commerce and manufactures have not yet produced opulence.

Though we were yet in the most populous part of Scotland, and at so small a distance from the capital, we met few passengers.

The roads are neither rough nor dirty; and it affords a southern stranger a new kind of pleasure to travel so commodiously without the interruption of tollgates. Where the bottom is rocky, as it seems commonly to be in Scotland, a smooth way is made, indeed, with great labour, but it never wants repairs; and in those parts where adventitious materials are necessary, the ground, once consolidated, is rarely broken; for the inland commerce is not great, nor are heavy commodities often transported otherwise than by water. The carriages in common use are small carts, drawn each by one little horse ; and a man

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