« PrejšnjaNaprej »
deputy governor of Fort Augustus, twelve years ago, at a circuit at Inverness, where my father was judge. I sent forward one of our guides, and Joseph, with a card to him, that he might know Dr. Johnson and I were coming up, leaving it to him to invite us or not. It was dark when we arrived; the inn was wretched. Government ought to build one, or give the resident governor an additional salary; as in the present state of things he must necessarily be put to a great expense in entertaining travellers. Joseph announced to us, when we alighted, that the governor waited for us at the gate of the fort: we walked to it. He met us, and with much civility conducted us to his house. It was comfortable to find ourselves in a well-built little square, and a neatly furnished house, in good company, and with a good supper before us : in short, with all the conveniencies of civilised life in the midst of rude mountains. Mrs. Trapaud, and the governor's daughter, and her husband, Captain Newmarsh, were all most obliging and polite. The governor had excellent animal spirits, the conversation of a soldier, and somewhat of a Frenchman, to which his extraction entitles him. He is brother to General Cyrus Trapaud. We passed a very agreeable evening. *
TUESDAY, AUGUST 31. The governor has a very good garden. We looked at it, and at the rest of the fort, which is but small, and may be commanded from a variety of hills around. We also looked at the galley or sloop belonging to the fort, which sails upon the Loch, and brings what is wanted for the garrison. Captains Urie and Darippe, of the 15th regiment of Foot, breakfasted with us. They had served in America, and entertained Dr. Johnson much with an account of the Indians. He said he could make a very pretty book out of them, were he to stay there. Governor Trapaud was much struck with Dr. Johnson. “I like to hear him,” said he, “it is so majestic; I should be glad to hear him speak in your court.” He pressed us to stay dinner ; but I considered that we had a rude road before us, which we could more easily encounter in the morning, and that it was hard to say when we might get up were we to sit down to good entertainment, in good company : I therefore begged the
governor would excuse us. Here, too, I had another very pleasing proof how
* Mr. Trapaud died at Fort Augustus, December 2nd, 1796, aged eighty-four. He was aide-de-camp to General Ponsonby at the battle of Fontenoy, and to General Huske at Culloden, where he was wounded. We may remark that Johnson seems to have enjoyed an unwonted night's rest in the fort; for three years and a half afterwards he enters in his diary that he had passed the previous night in such sweet uninterrupted sleep as he Liad not known since he slept at Fort Augustus.-Ev.
much my father is regarded. The governor expressed the highest respect for him, and bade me tell him, that if he would come that
way on the northern circuit he would do him all the honours of the garrison.
Between twelve and one we set out, and travelled eleven miles through a wild country, till we came to a house in Glenmorison, called Anoch, kept by a Macqueen.* Our landlord was a sensible
he had learned his grammar, and Dr. Johnson justly observed, that "
a man is the better for that as long as he lives.” There were some books here: a Treatise against Drunkenness, translated from the French; a volume of the Spectator; a volume of Prideaux's Connexion, and Cyrus's Travels. Macqueen said he had more volumes; and his pride seemed to be much piqued that we were sur prised at his having books.
Near to this place we had passed a party of soldiers, under a sergeant's command, at work upon the road. We gave them two shillings to drink ; they came to our inn, and made merry in the barn. We went and paid them a visit, Dr. Johnson saying, “Come, let's go and give 'em another shilling a-piece.” We did so, and he was saluted "my lord" by all of them. He is really generous, loves influence, and has the way of gaining it. He said, “I am quite feudal, sir.” Here I agree with him. I said, I regretted I was
† A Macqueen is a Highland mode of expression. An Englishman would say one Macqueen. But where there are clans or tribes of men, distinguished by patronymic surnames, the individuals of each are considered as if they were of different species, at least as much as nations are distinguished; so that a Macqueen, a Macdonald, a Maclean, is said as we say, a Frenchman, an Italian, a Spaniard.-Boswell.
not the head of a clan ; however, though not possessed of such an hereditary advantage, I would always endeavour to make my tenants follow me. I could not be a patriarchal chief, but I would be a feudal chief.
The poor soldiers got too much liquor; some of them fought and left blood upon the spot, and cursed whiskey next morning. The house here was built of thick turfs, and thatched with thinner turfs and heath; it had three rooms in length, and a little room which projected. Where we sat, the side-walls were wainscoted, as Dr. Johnson said, with wicker, very neatly plaited: our landlord had made the whole with his own hands.
After dinner, Macqueen sat by us awhile, and talked with us ; he said all the laird of Glenmorison's people would bleed for him, if they were well used, but that seventy men had gone out of the glen to America ; that he himself intended to go next year, for that the rent of his farm, which twenty years ago was only five pounds, was now raised to twenty pounds; that he could pay ten pounds and live, but no more. Dr. Johnson said, he wished Macqueen laird of Glenmorison, and the laird to go to America. Macqueen very generously answered, he should be sorry for it, for the laird could not shift for himself in America as he could do.*
* Glenmoriston affords one of the first of Johnson's Highland pictures. He was now fairly in the mountain territory, remote from towns, and amidst a strange people and strange modes of life.
His innkeeper at Anoch was the type of a class original and distinct, but now almost gone. Macqueen was a gentleman of the old Highland stamp, who considered himself a public benefactor by condescending to keep a change-house. He was married to a laird's daughter, and could both read Latin and write Celtic poetry. He was famous in the gien for his ready wit and his talent at telling a story or rehearsing a legend. Still he kept a sharp eye on the main chance; and he grumbled because his farm was too dear. He paid twenty pounds of rent; and he told Johnson that he kept one hundred sheep, as many goats, twelve milch cows, and twenty-eight beeves, ready for the drover. He had also a considerable range of hill-ground, capable of grazing from fifty to sixty cattle in summer; and it was generally let to the low-country farmers about Inverness and Nairnshire. In addition to the land he had the advantage of the inn--not great, perhaps, yet the road through Glenmoriston was the main artery of communication with the West Highlands and islands, and the inn at Anoch was a drovestance or resting-place for the cattle going south from Skye. On the whole, Macqueen could not have had a very bad bargain, and the farm, without any inn attached to it, now lets for about seventy pounds. Part of the cottage walls, which serve as an inclosure for the sheep at shearing-time, mark the site of the old hostelrie. Macqueen did not carry out his intention of going to America. He lived at Anoch fifteen years after his entertainment of the olla Sassenach, or jolly Englishman, as he used to call Johnson. He then removed to Dalcataig, another farm in the neighbourhood, and survived till past ninety. His pretty daughter, who made tea for the travellers, became Mrs. Mackintosh, wife of a watchmaker in Morayshire, and died without issue. With respect to the laird of Glenmoriston, long since gathered to his fathers, but whom the too-ready tongue of Macqueen has condemned to an immortality of odium, we believe that serious injustice has been done. Johnson states his rental to have been 4001. per annum, or three halfpence an acre. It was only about 300l.; and, in order to keep his people on the
I talked of the officers whom we had left to-day, how much service they had seen, and how little they got for it, even of fame.—John
Sir, a soldier gets as little as any man can get.”—BOSWELL: "Goldsmith has acquired more fame than all the officers last war who were not generals.”-JOHNSON: “Why, sir, you will find ten thousand fit to do what they did, before you find one who does what Goldsmith has done ; you must consider that a thing is valued according to its rarity. A pebble that paves the street is in itself more useful than the diamond upon a lady's finger.” I wish our friend Goldsmith had heard this.
I yesterday expressed my wonder that John Hay, one of our guides, who had been pressed a-board a man-of-war, did not choose to continue in it longer than nine months, after which time he got off.-JOHNSON: “Why, sir, no man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a gaol ; for being in a ship is being in a gaol, with the chance of being drowned.”
We had tea in the afternoon, and our landlord's daughter, a modest civil girl, very neatly dressed, made it for us; she told us that she had been a year at Inverness, and learnt reading and writing, sewing, knitting, working lace, and pastry. Dr. Johnson made her a present of a book which he had bought at Inverness.*
estate, the poor laird had offered to the tacksmen, who were all relations of his own, leases of their farms for periods of nineteen, thirty-eight, or fifty-seven years, at the former rent, nearly the whole of which was paid to them by their sub-tenants. The tacksmen, or gentlemen-farmers, by this sub-letting enjoyed their own possessions almost rent free. None of them, however, would remain in the country. A rage for emigration then prevailed, and some of their friends who had fled to America after the affair of the '45 (in which laird and tenants were engaged), returned with such glowing accounts of the western world that all resolved to go and partake of the golden shower. The glen was left half desolate, and the laird was obliged to accept such tenants (Macqueen among the number) as presented themse.ves from other districts. Few of the Highland farmers on the mainland then kept sheer excepting in small numbers, that could be watched all day and housed at night. Foxes were so numerous that sheep were not safe on the hills. The practice was to graze the working oxen of the low-country farmers, which were sent to the hills in May, when labour was over, and taken back again at the fall of the season. Such of the tenants as did not follow this system usually kept a number of mares--wild animals that were never housed or handled-from which they reared garrons, or rough horses, and Highland ponies. The latter were spirited beasts, sure-footed as Spanish mules, and sold readily at the great Inverness Mary-mass fair. This fair used to last a whole week. Every marketable commodity from John o'Groat's to the Corran of Ardgour-horses, timber, bark, staves, wearing-apparel, and provisions --Was there bought and sold. At length sheep were generally introduced; fox-hunters were established in every district; and the sheep multiplied so fast that no other kind of stock or produce paid the farmer so well. The rent of Glenmoriston, which eighty years since was only 3001., gradually rose to 2,4001., the present rental ; and the grandson of the unfortunate laird of 1773 sees around him in 1852 a happy and prosperous tenantry, every one of whom was born in the glen.-ED.
* This book has given rise to much inquiry, which has ended in ludicrous surprise. Several ladies, wishing to learn the kind of reading which the great and good
The room had some deals laid across the joists, as a kind of ceiling. There were two beds in the room, and a woman's gown was hung on a rope to make a curtain of separation between them. Joseph had sheets, which my wife had sent with us, laid on them. We had much hesitation, whether to undress, or lie down with our clothes
I said at last, “I'll plunge in! There will be less harbour for vermin about me when I am stripped !” Dr. Johnson said, he was like one hesitating whether to go into the cold bath. At last he resolved too. I observed he might serve a campaign.-JOHNSON : “I could do all that can be done by patience; whether I should have strength enough I know not.”
He was in excellent humour. To see the Rambler as I saw him to-night was really an amusement. I yesterday told him I was thinking of writing a poetical letter to him, On his return from Scotland, in the style of Swift's [Pope's] humorous epistle in the character of Mary Gulliver to her husband, Captain Lemuel Gulliver, on his return to England from the country of the Houyhnhnms :
“At early morn I to the market haste,
Sullen you turn from both, and call for oats.”
any sense of decency or delicacy you won't do that !”—BOSWELL: “Then let it be in Cole's, the landlord of the Mitre tavern, where we have so often sat together.”—JOHNSON : “Ay, that may
do." After we had offered up our private devotions, and had chatted a little from our beds, Dr. Johnson said, “God bless us both, for Jesus
He was angry.
Dr. Johnson esteemed most fit for young women, desired to know what book he had selected for this Highland nymph. “They never adverted,” said he, “that I had no choice in the matter. I have said that I presented her with a book which I happened to have about me.” And what was this book ? My readers, prepare your features for merriment.
“ Cocker's Arithmetic !” Wherever this was mentioned, there was a loud laugh, at which Dr. Johnson, when present, used sometimes to be a little angry. One day, when we were dining at General Oglethorpe's, where we had many a valuable day, I ventured to interrogate him. “But, sir, is it not somewhat singular that you should happen to have Cocker's Arithmetic' about you on your journey? What made you buy such a book at Inverness ?" He gave me a very sufficient answer. “Why, sir, if you are to have but one book with you upon a journey, let it be a book of science. When you have read through a book of entertainment, you know it, and it can do no more for you ; but a book of science is inexhaustible.”-Boswell.
[The book was long kept with care, but is now lost. The person who waited upon Johnson in the Inverness bookseller's shop, a young woman, showed him some new works. One of these was “ The Rambler," at which he seemed much pleased.-Ed.]