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not a word now of his "impatience to be in civilised life;" though indeed I should beg pardon he found it here. We had slept well, and lain long. After breakfast we surveyed the castle and the garden. Mr. Bethune, the parish minister, Magnus Macleod of Claggan, brother to Talisker, and Macleod of Bay, two substantial gentlemen of the clan, dined with us. We had admirable venison, generous wine; in a word, all that a good table has. This was really the hall of a chief. Lady Macleod had been much obliged to my father, who had settled, by arbitration, a variety of perplexed claims between her and her relation, the Laird of Brodie, which she now repaid by particular attention to me. Macleod started the subject of making women do penance in the church for fornication. JOHNSON. "It is right, Sir. Infamy is attached to the crime, by universal opinion, as soon as it is known. I would not be the man who would discover it, if I alone knew it, for a woman may reform; nor would I commend a parson who divulges a woman's first offence; but being once divulged, it ought to be infamous. Consider of what importance to society the chastity of women is. Upon that all the property in the world depends. We hang a thief for stealing a sheep, but the unchastity of a woman transfers sheep, and farm, and all, from the right owner. I have much more reverence for a common
haviour at Dunvegan. Her grandson, the present Macleod, assures me that it was not so: "they were all," he says emphatically," delighted with him ;" and, indeed, his father's Memoirs give the same impression.-C.
prostitute than for a woman who conceals her guilt The prostitute is known. She cannot deceive: she cannot bring a strumpet into the arms of an honest man, without his knowledge." BOSWELL. "There is, however, a great difference between the licentiousness of a single woman, and that of a married woman." JOHNSON. "Yes, Sir; there is a great difference between stealing a shilling and stealing a thousand pounds; between simply taking a man's purse, and murdering him first, and then taking it. But when one begins to be vicious, it is easy to go on. Where single women are licentious, you rarely find faithful married women." BOSWELL." And yet we are told, that in some nations in India, the distinction is strictly observed." JOHNSON. "Nay, don't give us India. That puts me in mind of Montesquieu, who is really a fellow of genius too in many respects; whenever he wants to support a strange opinion, he quotes you the practice of Japan, or of some other distant country, of which he knows nothing. To support polygamy, he tells you of the island of Formosa, where there are ten women born for one man. He had but to suppose another island, where there are ten men born for one woman, and so make a marriage between them. (1)
At supper, Lady Macleod mentioned Dr. Cadogan's book on the gout. JOHNSON. "It is a good book in general, but a foolish one in particulars.
is good in general, as recommending temperance,
(1) What my friend treated as so wild a supposition, has actually happened in the western islands of Scotland, if we may believe Martin, who tells it of the islands of Col and Tyr-yi, and says that it is proved by the parish registers.
and exercise, and cheerfulness. In that respect it is only Dr. Cheyne's book told in a new way; and there should come out such a book every thirty years, dressed in the mode of the times. It is foolish, in maintaining that the gout is not hereditary, and that one fit of it, when gone, is like a fever when gone." Lady Macleod objected that the author does not practise what he teaches. (2) JOHNSON. "I cannot help that, Madam. That does not make his book the worse. People are influenced more by what a man says, if his practice is suitable to it, because they are blockheads. The more intellectual people are, the readier will they attend to what a man tells them. If it is just, they will follow it, be his practice what it will. No man practises so well as he writes. I have, all my life long, been lying till noon; yet I tell all young men, and tell them with great sincerity, that nobody who does not rise early will ever do any good. Only consider! You read a book; you are convinced by t; you do not know the author. Suppose you
afterwards know him, and find that he does not practise what he teaches; are you to give up your former conviction? At this rate you would be kept in a state of equilibrium, when reading every book, till you knew how the author practised."
(1) This was a general reflection against Dr. Cadogan, when his very popular book was first published. It was said, that whatever precepts he might give to others, he himself indulged freely in the bottle. But I have since had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with him, and, if his own testimony may be believed (and I have never heard it impeached), his course of life has been conformable to his doctrine.-B.-[Dr. Cadogan died in 1797, in the eighty-sixth year of his age.]
"But," said Lady Macleod, "you would think better of Dr. Cadogan, if he acted according to his principles." JOHNSON. "Why, Madam, to be sure, a man who acts in the face of light is worse than a man who does not know so much; yet I think no man should be the worse thought of for publishing good principles. There is something noble in publishing truth, though it condemns one's self. I expressed some surprise at Cadogan's recommending good humour, as if it were quite in our own power to attain it. JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, a man grows better humoured as he grows older. He improves by experience. When young, he thinks himself of great consequence, and every thing of importance. As he advances in life, he learns to think himself of no consequence, and little things of little importance; and so he becomes more patient, and better pleased. All good humour and complaisance are acquired. Naturally a child seizes directly what it sees, and thinks of pleasing itself only. By degrees, it is taught to please others, and to prefer others; and that this will ultimately produce the greatest happiness. If a man is not convinced of that, he never will practise it. Common language speaks the truth as to this: we say, a person is well bred. As it is said, that all material motion is primarily in a right line, and is never per circuitum, never in another form, unless by some particular cause; so it may be said intellectual motion is." Lady Macleod asked, if no man was naturally good? JOHNSON. "No, Madam, no more than a wolf." BOSWELL. "Nor no woman, Sir ?" JOHNSON "No, Sir." Lady Macleod started at
RORIE MORE'S HORN.
this, saying, in a low voice, "This is worse than Swift!" (1)
M'Leod of Ulinish had come in the afternoon. We were a jovial company at supper. The Laird, surrounded by so many of his clan, was to me a pleasing sight. They listened with wonder and pleasure, while Dr. Johnson harangued. I am vexed that I cannot take down his full strain of eloquence. Wednesday, Sept. 15. The gentlemen of the clan went away early in the morning to the harbour of Lochbraccadale, to take leave of some of their friends who were going to America. It was a very wet day. We looked at Rorie More's horn, which is a large cow's horn, with the mouth of it ornamented with silver curiously carved. It holds rather more than a bottle and a half. Every Laird of Macleod, it is said, must, as a proof of his manhood, drink it off full of claret without laying it down. (2) 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, 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 now used, though called the glaymore (i.e. the great sword), is much smaller than that used in Rorie More's time. There is hardly a
(1) It seems as if Boswell and Lady Macleod had expected that Johnson would have excepted women from the general lot of mankind. C.
(2) [If ever Macleod's heirs were obliged to receive investiture by bumpering that horn, the breed must be woefully degenerated. MACCULLOCH.]