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chief. Have all the comforts and conveniences of life upon it, but never leave Rorie More's cascade." "But," said she, " is it not enough if we keep it? Must we never have more convenience than Rorie More had? he had his beef brought to dinner in one basket, and his bread in another. Why not as well be Rorie More all over, as live upon his rock? And should not we tire, in looking perpetually on this rock? It is very well for you, who have a fine place, and every thing easy, to talk thus, and think of chaining honest folks to a rock. You would not live upon it yourself." "Yes, Madam,” said I, “ I would live upon it, were I Laird of Macleod, and should be unhappy if I were not upon it." JOHNSON (with a strong voice and most determined manner). "Madam, rather than quit the old rock, Boswell would live in the pit; he would make his bed in the dungeon." I felt a degree of elation, at finding my resolute feudal enthusiasm thus confirmed by such a sanction. The lady was puzzled a little. She still returned to her pretty farm - rich ground fine garden. “Madam,” said Dr. Johnson, “were they in Asia, I would not leave the rock." () My
(1) Dunvegan well deserves the stand which was made by Dr. Johnson in its defence. Its greatest inconvenience was that of access. This had been originally obtained from the sea, by a subterranean staircase, partly arched, partly cut in the rock, which, winding up through the cliff, opened into the court of the castle. This passage, at all times very inconvenient, had been abandoned, and was ruinous. A very indifferent substitute had been made by a road, which, rising from the harbour, reached the bottom of the moat, and then ascended to the gate by a very long stair. The present chief, whom I am happy to call my friend, has made a perfectly convenient and characteristic access, which gives a direct approach to the further side of the moat, in front of the castle gate, and surmounts the chasm by a draw
opinion on this subject is still the same. An ancient family residence ought to be a primary object; and though the situation of Dunvegan be such that little can be done here in gardening or pleasure ground, yet, in addition to the veneration acquired by the lapse of time, it has many circumstances of natural grandeur, suited to the seat of a Highland chief: it has the sea islands - rocks — hills a noble cascade; and when the family is again in opulence, something may be done by art. (1)
Mr. Donald M'Queen went away to-day, in order to preach at Braccadale next day. We were so comfortably situated at Dunvegan, that Dr. Johnson could hardly be moved from it. I proposed to him that we should leave it on Monday. "No, Sir," said he, "I will not go before Wednesday. I will have some more of this good." However, as the weather was at this season so bad, and so very un
bridge, which would have delighted Rorie More himself. I may add, that neither Johnson nor Boswell were antiquaries, otherwise they must have remarked, amongst the Cimela of Dunvegan, the fated or fairy banner, said to be given to the clan by a Banshee, and a curious drinking cup (probably), said to have belonged to the family when kings of the Isle of Man-certainly of most venerable antiquity.—WAlter Scott, 1829.
(1) Something has indeed been, partly in the way of accommodation and ornament, partly in improvements yet more estimable, under the direction of the present beneficent Lady of Macleod. She has completely acquired the language of her husband's clan, in order to qualify herself to be their effectual benefactress. She has erected schools, which she superintends herself, to introduce among them the benefits, knowledge, and comforts of more civilised society; and a young and beautiful woman has done more for the enlarged happiness of this primitive people, than had been achieved for ages before. — WALTER SCOTT.
certain, and we had a great deal to do yet, Mr. M'Queen and I prevailed with him to agree to set out on Monday, if the day should be good. Mr. M'Queen, though it was inconvenient for him to be absent from his harvest, engaged to wait on Monday at Ulinish for us. When he was going away, Dr. Johnson said, "I shall ever retain a great regard for you:" then asked him if he had the "Rambler." Mr. M'Queen said, "No, but my brother has it." JOHNSON. "Have you the "Idler?" M'QUEEN. "No, Sir." JOHNSON. "Then I will order one for you at Edinburgh, which you will keep in remembrance of me." Mr. M'Queen was much pleased with this. He expressed to me in the strongest terms, his admiration of Dr. Johnson's wonderful knowledge, and every other quality for which he is distinguished. I asked Mr. M'Queen if he was satisfied with being a minister in Sky. He said he was; but he owned that his forefathers having been so long there, and his having been born there, made a chief ingredient in forming his contentment. I should have mentioned, that on our left hand, between Portree and Dr. Macleod's house, Mr. M'Queen told me there had been a college of the Knights Templars; that tradition said so; and that there was a ruin remaining of their church, which had been burnt: but I confess Dr. Johnson has weakened my belief in remote tradition. In the dispute about Anaitis, Mr. M'Queen said, Asia Minor was peopled by Scythians, and, as they were the ancestors of the Celts, the same religion might be in Asia Minor and Sky. JOHNSON. "Alas! Sir, what
can a nation that has not letters tell of its original? I have always difficulty to be patient when I hear authors gravely quoted, as giving accounts of savage nations, which accounts they had from the savages themselves. What can the M'Craas tell about themselves a thousand years ago? (1) There is no tracing the connection of ancient nations, but by language; and therefore I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigree of nations. If you find the same language in distant countries, you may be sure that the inhabitants of each have been the same people; that is to say, if you find the languages a good deal the same; for a word here and there being the same, will not do. Thus Butler, in his 'Hudibras,' remembering that penguin, in the Straits of Magellan, signifies a bird with a white head, and that the same word has, in Wales, the signification of a white-headed wench, (pen head, and guin white), by way of ridicule, concludes that the people of those straits are Welsh."
A young gentleman of the name of M'Lean, ne
(1) "What can the M'Craas tell of themselves a thousand years ago?" More than the Doctor would suppose. I have a copy of their family history, written by Mr. John Mac Ra, minister of Dingwal, in Ross-shire, in 1702. In this history, they are averred to have come over with those Fitzgeralds now holding the name of M'Kenzie, at the period of the battle of Largs, in 1263. I was indulged with a copy of the pedigree, by the consent of the principal persons of the clan, in 1826, and had the original in my possession for some time. It is modestly drawn up, and apparently with all the accuracy which can be expected when tradition must be necessarily much relied upon. The name was in Irish, Mac Grath, softened in the Highlands into Mac Ra, Mac Corow, Mac Rae, &c.; and in the Lowlands, where the patronymic was often dropped, by the names of Crow, Craw, &c. WALTER SCOTT.
phew to the Laird of the Isle of Muck, came this morning; and, just as we sat down to dinner, came the Laird of the Isle of Muck himself, his lady, sister to Talisker, two other ladies, their relations, and a daughter of the late M'Leod of Hamer, who wrote a treatise on the second sight, under the designation of "Theophilus Insulanus.(1)" It was somewhat droll to hear this laird called by his title. Muck would have sounded ill; so he was called Isle of Muck, which went off with great readiness. The name, as now written, is unseemly, but is not so bad in the original Erse, which is Mouach, signifying the Sows' Island. Buchanan calls it Insula Porcorum. It is so called from its form. Some call it the Isle of Monk. The Laird insists that this is the proper name. It was formerly church-land belonging to Icolmkill, and a hermit lived in it. It is two miles long, and about three quarters of a mile broad. The Laird said, he had seven score of souls upon it. Last year he had eighty persons inoculated, mostly children, but some of them eighteen years of age. He agreed with the surgeon to come and do it at half a crown a head. It is very fertile in corn, of which they export some; and its coasts abound in fish. A tailor comes there six times in a year. They get a good blacksmith from the Isle of Egg.
Sunday, Sept. 19.-It was rather worse weather than any that we had yet. At breakfast Dr. John son said, "Some cunning men choose fools for }
(1) The work of "Theophilus Insulanus was written in as eredulous a style as either Dr. Johnson or his biographer could have desired. WALTER SCOTT.