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The groves of Auchinleck.
acknowledged my pride of ancient blood, in which I was encouraged by Dr. Johnson: my readers therefore will not be surprised at my having indulged it on this occasion.
Not far from the old castle is a spot of consecrated earth, on which may be traced the foundations of an ancient chapel, dedicated to St. Vincent, and where in old times was the place of graves' for the family. It grieves me to think that the remains of sanctity here, which were considerable, were dragged away, and employed in building a part of the house of Auchinleck, of the middle age; which was the family residence, till my father erected that 'elegant modern mansion,' of which Dr. Johnson speaks so handsomely. Perhaps this chapel may one day be restored.
Dr. Johnson was pleased when I shewed him some venerable old trees, under the shade of which my ancestors had walked. He exhorted me to plant assiduously', as my father had done to a great extent.
As I wandered with my reverend friend in the groves of Auchinleck, I told him, that, if I survived him, it was my intention to erect a monument to him here, among scenes which, in my mind, were all classical; for in my youth I had appropriated to them many of the descriptions of the Roman poets. He could not bear to have death presented to him in any shape; for his constitutional melancholy made the king of terrours more frightful. He turned off the subject, saying, 'Sir, I hope to see your grand-children !' This forenoon he observed some cattle without horns, of which he has taken notice in his Journey', and seems
He repeated this advice in 1777. Ante, iii. 235.
"Of their black cattle some are without horns, called by the Scots humble cows, as we call a bee, an humble bee, that wants a sting. Whether this difference be specifick, or accidental, though we inquired with great diligence, we could not be informed.' Johnson's Works, ix. 78. Johnson, in his Dictionary, gives the right derivation of humble-bee, from hum and bee. The word Humble-cow is found in Guy Mannering, ed. 1860, iii. 91 :—““ Of a surety," said Sampson, " I deemed I heard his horse's feet." "That," said John, with a broad grin, “was Grizzel chasing the humble-cow out of the close."'
Cattle without horns.
undecided whether they be of a particular race. His doubts appear to have had no foundation; for my respectable neighbour, Mr. Fairlie, who, with all his attention to agriculture, finds time both for the classicks and his friends, assures me they are a distinct species, and that, when any of their calves have horns, a mixture of breed can be traced. In confirmation of his opinion, he pointed out to me the following passage in Tacitus,-Ne armentis quidem suus honor, aut gloria frontis';' (De mor. Germ. § 5) which he wondered had escaped Dr. Johnson.
On the front of the house of Auchinleck is this inscription :
'Quod petis, hic est;
It is characteristick of the founder; but the animus æquus is, alas! not inheritable, nor the subject of devise. He always talked to me as if it were in a man's own power to attain it; but Dr. Johnson told me that he owned to him, when they were alone, his persuasion that it was in a great measure constitutional, or the effect of causes which do not depend on ourselves, and that Horace boasts too much, when he says, æquum mi animum ipse parabo3.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5.
The Reverend Mr. Dun, our parish minister, who had dined with us yesterday, with some other company, insisted that Dr. Johnson and I should dine with him to-day. This gave me an opportunity to shew my friend the road to the church, made by my father at a great expence, for above three miles, on his own estate, through a range of well enclosed farms, with a row of trees on each side of it. He
'Even the cattle have not their usual beauty or noble head.' Church and Brodribb's Tacitus.
The peace you seek is here- where is it not?
If your own mind be equal to its lot.'
CROKER. Horace, 1 Epistles, xi. 29.
'Horace, I Epistles, xviii. 112.
A pair of intellectual gladiators.
called it the Via sacra, and was very fond of it. 'Dr. Johnson, though he held notions far distant from those of the Presbyterian clergy, yet could associate on good terms with them. He indeed occasionally attacked them. One of them discovered a narrowness of information concerning the dignitaries of the Church of England, among whom may be found men of the greatest learning, virtue, and piety, and of a truly apostolic character. He talked before Dr. Johnson, of fat bishops and drowsy deans; and, in short, seemed to believe the illiberal and profane scoffings of professed satyrists, or vulgar railers. Dr. Johnson was so highly offended, that he said to him, 'Sir, you know no more of our Church than a Hottentot.' I was sorry that he brought this upon himself.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6.
I cannot be certain, whether it was on this day, or a former, that Dr. Johnson and my father came in collision. If I recollect right, the contest began while my father was shewing him his collection of medals; and Oliver Cromwell's coin unfortunately introduced Charles the First, and Toryism. They became exceedingly warm, and violent, and I was very much distressed by being present at such an altercation between two men, both of whom I reverenced; yet I durst not interfere. It would certainly be very unbecoming in me to exhibit my honoured father, and my respected friend, as intellectual gladiators, for the entertainment of the publick: and therefore I suppress what would, I dare say, make an interesting scene in this dramatick sketch, this account of the transit of Johnson over the Caledonian Hemisphere3.
'This and the next paragraph are not in the first edition. The paragraph that follows has been altered so as to hide the fact that the minister spoken of was Mr. Dun. Originally it stood:-' Mr. Dun, though a man of sincere good principles as a presbyterian divine, discovered,' &c. First edition, p. 478.
2 See ante, p. 136.
'Old Lord Auchinleck was an able lawyer, a good scholar, after
Yet I think I may, without impropriety, mention one circumstance, as an instance of my father's address. Dr.
the manner of Scotland, and highly valued his own advantages as a man of good estate and ancient family; and, moreover, he was a strict presbyterian and Whig of the old Scottish cast. This did not prevent his being a terribly proud aristocrat; and great was the contempt he entertained and expressed for his son James, for the nature of his friendships and the character of the personages of whom he was engoué one after another. There's nae hope for Jamie, mon,' he said to a friend. Jamie is gaen clean gyte. What do you think, man? He's done wi' Paoli-he's off wi' the land-louping scoundrel of a Corsican; and whose tail do you think he has pinned himself to now, mon?' Here the old judge summoned up a sneer of most sovcreign contempt. A dominic, mon-an auld dominie: he keeped a schule, and cau'd it an acaadamy.' Probably if this had been reported to Johnson, he would have felt it more galling, for he never much liked to think of that period of his life [ante, i. 131, note 1]; it would have aggravated his dislike of Lord Auchinleck's Whiggery and presbyterianism. These the old lord carried to such a height, that once, when a countryman came in to state some justice business, and being required to make his oath, declined to do so before his lordship, because he was not a covenanted magistrate. Is that a' your objection, mon?' said the judge; 'come your ways in here, and we'll baith of us tak the solemn league and covenant together.' The oath was accordingly agreed and sworn to by both, and I dare say it was the last time it ever received such homage. It may be surmised how far Lord Auchinleck, such as he is here described, was likely to suit a high Tory and episcopalian like Johnson. As they approached Auchinleck, Boswell conjured Johnson by all the ties of regard, and in requital of the services he had rendered him upon his tour, that he would spare two subjects in tenderness to his father's prejudices; the first related to Sir John Pringle, president of the Royal Society, about whom there was then some dispute current: the second concerned the general question of Whig and Tory. Sir John Pringle, as Boswell says, escaped, but the controversy between Tory and Covenanter raged with great fury, and ended in Johnson's pressing upon the old judge the question, what good Cromwell, of whom he had said something derogatory, had ever done to his country; when, after being much tortured, Lord Auchinleck at last spoke out, 'God, Doctor! he gart kings ken that they had a lith in their neck-he taught kings they had a joint in their necks. Jamie then set to mediating between his father and the philosopher, and availing himself of the judge's sense of hospitality, which was punctilious, reduced the debate
DURHAM ON THE GALATIANS.
Johnson challenged him, as he did us all at Talisker', to point out any theological works of merit written by Presbyterian ministers in Scotland. My father, whose studies did not lie much in that way, owned to me afterwards, that he was somewhat at a loss how to answer, but that luckily he recollected having read in catalogues the title of Durham on the Galatians; upon which he boldly said, 'Pray, Sir, have you read Mr. Durham's excellent commentary on the Galatians?' 'No, Sir,' said Dr. Johnson. By this lucky thought my father kept him at bay, and for some time enjoyed his triumph2; but his antagonist soon made a retort, which I forbear to mention.
In the course of their altercation, Whiggism and Presbyterianism, Toryism and Episcopacy, were terribly buffeted. My worthy hereditary friend, Sir John Pringle, never having been mentioned, happily escaped without a bruise.
My father's opinion of Dr. Johnson may be conjectured from the name he afterwards gave him, which was URSA MAJOR3. But it is not true, as has been reported, that it
to more order. WALTER SCOTT. Paoli had visited Auchinleck. Boswell wrote to Garrick on Sept. 18, 1771-'I have just been enjoying the very great happiness of a visit from my illustrious friend, Pascal Paoli. He was two nights at Auchinleck, and you may figure the joy of my worthy father and me at seeing the Corsican hero in our romantic groves.' Garrick Corres. i. 436. Johnson was not blind to Cromwell's greatness, for he says (Works, vii. 197), that he wanted nothing to raise him to heroick excellence but virtue.' Lord Auchinleck's famous saying had been anticipated by Quin, who, according to Davies (Life of Garrick, ii. 115), had said that 'on a thirtieth of January every king in Europe would rise with a crick in his neck.' 1 See ante, p. 286, 287.
James Durham, born 1622, died 1658, wrote many theological works. Chalmers's Biog. Dict. In the Brit. Mus. Cata. I can find no work by him on the Galatians; Lord Auchinleck's triumph therefore, was, it seems, more artful than honest.
Gray, it should seem, had given the name earlier. His friend Bonstetten says that about the year 1769 he was walking with him, when Gray exclaimed with some bitterness, "Look, look, Bonstetten! the great bear! There goes Ursa Major!" This was Johnson. Gray could not abide him.' Sir Egerton Brydges, quoted in Gosse's Gray,