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into the profession of the law. He had travelled a good deal, and seen many varieties of human life. He had thought more than any. body had supposed, and had a pretty good stock of general learning and knowledge. He had all Dr. Johnson's principles, with some degree of relaxation. He had rather too little than too much prudence ; and, his imagination being lively, he often said things of which the effect was very different from the intention. He resem. bled, sometimes,
“ The best good man with the worst-natured muse."
He cannot deny himself the vanity of finishing with the encomium of Dr. Johnson, whose friendly partiality to the companion of his tour represents him as one, “whose acuteness would help my inquiry: and whose gaiety of conversation, and civility of manners, are sufficient to counteract the inconveniences of travel, in countries less hospitable than we have passed."
Dr. Johnson thought it unnecessary to put himself to the additional expense of bringing with him Francis Barber, his faithful black servant ; so we were attended only by my man, Joseph Ritter, a Bohemian, a fine stately fellow above six feet high, who had been over a great part of Europe, and spoke many languages. He was the best servant I ever saw. Let not my readers disdain his introduction ; for Dr. Johnson gave him this character : “Sir, he is a civil man and a wise man."
From an erroneous apprehension of violence, Dr. Johnson had provided a pair of pistols, some gunpowder, and a quantity of bullets : but upon being assured we should run no risk of meeting any robbers, he left his arms and ammunition in an open drawer, of which he gave my wife the charge. He also left in that drawer one volume of a pretty full and curious Diary of bis Life, of wbich I have a few fragments ; but the book has been destroyed. I wish female curiosity had been strong enough to have had it all travscribed, which might easily have been done, and I should think tlie theft, being pro bono publico, might have been forgiven. But I may
My wife told me she never once looked into it. She did not seem quite easy when we left her : but away we weut !
Hith of Forth-Inch Keith-Kinghorn-Cupar-Composition of Parliament--Influence on
Peerg-St. Andrews-Literature and Patronage-Writing and Conversation--Change of Manners-Drinking and Smoking-The Union-St. Rule's Chapel—John Knox-Retirement from the World-Dinner with the Professors--Subscription of Articles—Latin Grace Sharp's Monument-St. Salvador's-Dinner to the Professors—Instructions for Composition-Supper at Dr. Watson's—Uncertainty of Memory-Observance of Sunday—Trees in Scotland-Leuchars—Transubstantiation-Literary Property--Montrose.
MR. NAIRNE, advocate, was to go with us as far as St. Andrews It gives me pleasure that, by mentioning his name, I connect his title to the just and handsome compliment paid him by Dr. Johnson, in his book :“A gentleman who could stay with us only long enough to make us know how much we lost by his leaving us.” When we came to Leith, I talked with perhaps too boasting an air, how pretty the Frith of Forth looked ; as, indeed, after the prospect froin Constantinople, of which I have been told, and that from Naples, which I have seen, I believe the view of that Frith and its environs, from the Castle-hill of Edinburgh, is the finest prospect in Europe. “Ay,” said Dr. Johnson, “ that is the state of the world. Water is the same everywhere.
“Una est injusti cærula forma maris.'
I told him the port here was the mouth of the river or water of Leith. “Not Lethe," said Mr. Nairne. "Why, Sir,” said Dr. Johnson, “when a Scotchman sets out from this port for England, he forgets his native country.” NAJRNE. “I hope, Sir, you will forget England here." Johnson. " Then 'twill be still more Lethe.” He observed of the pier or quay, “ You have no occasion for so lai ye a one ; your trade does not require it : but you are like a shopkeeper who takes a shop, not only for what he has to put into it, but that it may be believed he has a great deal to put into it.” It is very true, that there is now, comparatively, little trade upon the eastern coast of Scotland. The riches of Glasgow show how much there is in the west ; and, perhaps, we shall find trade t'avel westward on a great scale as well as a small.
i Mr. William Nairne, afterwards Sir William, and a judge of the court of session, by the tille, made rlassical by Shakspeare, of Lord Dunsinnan.
? Non illic urbes, non tu mirabere silvas :
Una est injusti cærula forma maris.-Ovid. Amor. I. ii.
We talked of a man's drowning himself. Johnson. " I should riever think it time to make away with myself.” I put the case of Eustace Budgell, who was accused of forging a will, and sunk himself in the Thames before the trial of its authenticity came on. “Suppose, Sir," said I, "that a man is absolutely sure, that, if he lives a few days longer, he shall be detected in a fraud, the consequence of which will be utter disgrace and expulsion from society." Johnson. “Then, Sir," let him go abroad to a distant country ; let him go to some place where he is not known. Don't let him go to the devil, where he is known !"
He then said, “I see a number of people bare-footed here : I suppose you all went so before the Union. Boswell, your ancestors went so when they had as much land as your family has now. Yet Auchinleck is the field of Stones ; there would be bad going bare-footed there. The lairds, however, did it." I bought some speldings, fish (generally whitings) salted and dried in a particular manner, being dipped in the sea and dried in the sun, and eaten by the Scots by way of a relish. He had never seen them, though they are sold in London. I insisted on Scottifying his palate; but he was very reluctant. With difficulty I prevailed with him to let ? bit of one of them lie in his mouth. He did not like it.
In crossing the Frith, Dr. Johnson determined that we should land upon Inch Keith. On approaching it, we first observed a high rocky shore. We coasted about, and put into a little bay ou the north-west. We clambered up a very steep ascent, on which was very good grass, but rather a profusion of thistles. There were sixteen head of black cattle grazing upon the island. Lord Hailes, observed to me, that Brantome call it L'isle des Chevaux, and that
My friend, General Campbell, Governor of Madras, tells me, that they make spełdings iu the East Indies, particularly at Bombay, where they call them Bambaloes.
it was probably a safer stable” than many others in his time. The fort, with an inscription on it, Maria Re: 1564, is strongly built. Dr. Johnson examined it with much attention. He stalked like a gian" among the luxuriant thistles and nettles. There are three wells in the island, but we could not find one in the fort. Tiere must probably have been one, though now filled up, as a garrison could not subsist without it.” 1 But I have dwelt too long ou shis little spot. Dr. Johnson afterwards bade me try to write a description of our discovering Inch Keith, in the usual style of travellers, describing fully every particular ; stating the grounds on which we concluded that it must have once been inhabited, and introducing many sage reflections, and we should see how a thing might be covered in words, so as to induce people to come and sur
All that was told might be true, and yet in reality there might be nothing to see.
He said, “I'd have this island. I'd build a house, make a good landing-place, have a garden, and vines, and all sorts of trees. A rich man, of a hospitable turn, here, would have many visiters from Edinburgh.” When we had got into oar boat again, he called to me, “ Come now, pay a classical compliment to the island on quitting it.” I happened luckily, in allusion to the beautiful Queen Mary, whose name is upon the fort, to think of what Virgil makes Æneas say, on having left the country of his charming Dido :
· Invitus, regina, tuo de littore cessi.'
Very well bit off !” said he. We dined at Kinghory, and then got into a post-chaise. Mr. Nairne and his servant, and Joseph, rode by us. We stopped at Cupar, and drank tea. We talked of Parliament ; and I said, I supposed very few of the members knew much of what was going on, as indeed very few gentlemen know much of their own private affairs. Johnson. “Why, Sir, if a man is not of a sluggish mind, he may be his own steward. If he will look into his affairs, he will
The remains of the fort have been removed, to assist in constructing a very useful light house upon the island.-WALTER SCOTT.
2 “Unhappy queen!
Unwilling I forsook your friendly state.”-Dryden,
So it is as to public affairs. There must always be a certain number of men of business in parliament.” BOSWELL. · But consider, Sir, what the House of Commons ? Is not a year. part of it chosen by peers? Do you think, Sir, they ought to haro such an influence ?” Johnson. “Yes, Sir. Influence must ever be in proportion to property ; and it is right it should.” Boswe!". “But is there not reason to fear that the common people may be uppressed !” Johnson. “No, Sir. Our great fear is from want of power in government. Such a storm of vulgar force has broken in.” BOSWELL. “It has only roared.” JOHNSON. “Sir, it has roared, till the judges in Westminster Hall have been afraid to pro nounce sentence in opposition to the popular cry. frightened by what is no longer dangerous, like Presbyterians by Popery." He then repeated a passage, I think in Butler's Remains, which ends, “and would cry fire ! fire ! in Noah's flood.” 1
We had a dreary drive, in a dusky night, to St. Andrews, where we arrived late. We found a good supper at Glass's inn, and Dr. Johnson revived agreeably. He said, “ The collection called “ The Muses' Welcome to King James' (first of England, and sixth of Scotland), on his return to his native kingdom, showed that there was then abundance of learning in Scotland ; and that the conceits in that collection, with which people find fault, were mere mode." He added, “ We could not now entertain a sovereign so ; that Buchanan had spread the spirit of learning amongst us, but we had lost it during the civil wars." He did not allow the Latin poetry of
I The passage quoted by Dr. Johnson is in the “Character of the Assembly Man," Butler's Remains, p. 232, edit. 1754 : “He preaches, indeed, both in season and out of season, for he rails at Popery, when the land is almost lost in Presbytery; and would cry fire! fire : in Noah's flood." There is reason to believe that this piece was not written by Butler, rut by Sir John Birkenhead; for Wood, in his Athence Oxonienses, vol. ii. p. 640, enumerates it among that gentleman's works, and gives the following account of it.
“ The Assembly Man' (or the character of an assembly man), written 1647, Lond. 1062—3, in three sheets in quarto. The copy of it was taken from the author by those who said they could not rob, because all was theirs ; so excised what they liked not, and so mangled and reformed it, that it was no character of an assembly, but of themselves. At length, after it had slept several years, the author published it, to avoid false copies. It is alsc reprinted in a book entitled “Wit and Loyalty revived,' in a collection of some smart satyrs ole verse and prose on the late times, Lond. 1682, qu , said to be written by Abr. Cowley, Sis Jobu Birkens head, and Hudibras, alias Sam. Butler."
For this information I am indebted to Mr. Reed, of Staple Inn.