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a lady's hair in papers; but I should think that, when there is wind, they would come down, and knock people on the head.
We dined at the inn at Sconser, where I had the pleasure to find a letter from my wife. Here we parted from our learned companion, Mr. Donald M'Queen. Dr. Johnson took leave of him very affectionately, saying "Dear Sir, do not forget me!" We settled, that he should write an account of the Isle of Sky, which Dr. Johnson promised to revise. He said, Mr. M'Queen should tell all that he could; distinguishing what he himself knew, what was traditional, and what conjectural. (1)
We sent our horses round a point of land, that we might shun some very bad road; and resolved to go forward by sea. It was seven o'clock when we got into our boat. We had many showers, and it soon grew pretty dark. Dr. Johnson sat silent and patient. Once he said, as he looked on the black coast of Sky, black, as being composed of rocks seen in the dusk, "This is very solemn." Our boatmen were rude singers, and seemed so like wild Indians, that a very little imagination was necessary to give one an impression of being upon an American river. We landed at Strolimus, from whence we got a guide to walk before us, for two miles, to Corrichatachin. Not being able to procure a horse for our baggage, I took one portmanteau before me, and Joseph
(1) [The Rev. Donald M'Queen died at Edinburgh, Oct. 24. 1776; but without fulfilling this project. See Nichols's Illust. vol. v. p. 405., and Gent. Mag. vol. lxiv. p. 881.]
another. We had but a single star to light us on our way. It was about eleven when we arrived. We were most hospitably received by the master and mistress, who were just going to bed, but, with unaffected ready kindness, made a good fire, and at twelve o'clock at night had supper on the table.
James Macdonald, of Knockow, Kingsburgh's brother, whom we had seen at Kingsburgh, was there. He showed me a bond granted by the late Sir James Macdonald, to old Kingsburgh, the preamble of which does so much honour to the feelings of that much-lamented gentleman, that I thought it worth transcribing. It was as follows:
"I, Sir James Macdonald, of Macdonald, Baronet, now, after arriving at my perfect age, from the friendship I bear to Alexander Macdonald, of Kingsburgh, and in return for the long and faithful services done and performed by him to my deceased father, and to myself during my minority, when he was one of my tutors and curators; being resolved, now that the said Alexander Macdonald is advanced in years, to contribute my endeavours for making his old age placid and comfortable,”—therefore he grants him an annuity of fifty pounds sterling.
Dr. Johnson went to bed soon. When one bowl of punch was finished, I rose, and was near the door, in my way up stairs to bed; but Corrichatachin said it was the first time Col had been in his house, and he should have his bowl; and would not I join in drinking it? The heartiness of my honest landlord, and the desire of doing social honour to our very obliging conductor, induced me to sit down again. Col's bowl was finished; and by
that time we were well warmed. A third bowl was soon made, and that too was finished. We were cordial, and merry to a high degree; but of what passed I have no recollection, with any accuracy. I remember calling Corrichatachin by the familiar appellation of Corri, which his friends do. A fourth bowl was made, by which time Col, and young McKinnon, Corrichatachin's son, slipped away to bed. I continued a little with Corri and Knockow; but at last I left them. It was near five in the morning when I got to bed.
Sunday, Sept. 26.-I awaked at noon, with a severe headache. I was much vexed, that I should have been guilty of such a riot, and afraid of a reproof from Dr. Johnson. I thought it very inconsistent with that conduct which I ought to maintain, while the companion of the Rambler. About one he came into my room, and accosted me, "What, drunk yet?' His tone of voice was not that of severe upbraiding; so I was relieved a little. "Sir," said I, "they kept me up." He answered, "No, you kept them up, you drunken dog." This he said with good-humoured English pleasantry. Soon aflerwards, Corrichatachin, Col, and other friends, assembled round my bed. Corri had a brandybottle and glass with him, and insisted I should take a dram. "Ay," said Dr. Johnson, "fill him drunk again. Do it in the morning, that we may laugh at him all day. It is a poor thing for a fellow to get drunk at night, and sculk to bed, and let his friends have no sport." Finding him thus jocular, I became quite easy; and when I offered to get up, he very
good-naturedly said, "You need be in no such hurry now." (1) I took my host's advice, and drank some brandy, which I found an effectual cure for my headache. (2) When I rose, I went into Dr. Johnson's room, and taking up Mrs. M'Kinnon's Prayerbook, I opened it at the twentieth Sunday after Trinity, in the epistle for which I read, “ And be
(1) My ingenuously relating this occasional instance of intemperance has, I find, been made the subject both of serious criticism and ludicrous banter. With the banterers I shall not trouble myself, but I wonder that those who pretend to the appellation of serious critics should not have had sagacity enough to perceive that here, as in every other part of the present work, my principal object was to delineate Dr. Johnson's manners and character. In justice to him I would not omit an anecdote, which, though in some degree to my own disadvantage, exhibits in so strong a light the indulgence and good humour with which he could treat those excesses in his friends of which he highly disapproved. In some other instances, the critics have been equally wrong as to the true motive of my recording particulars, the objections to which I saw as clearly as they. But it would De an endless task for an author to point out upon every occasion the precise object he has in view. Contenting himself with the approbation of readers of discernment and taste, he ought not to complain that some are found who cannot or will not understand him.
(2) ["At Corrichatachin, in hoggism sunk,
I got with punch, alas! confounded drunk;
The Doctor, entering, called me 'drunken dog.'
And read in Dame M'Kinnon's book of prayer;
And read these words, Pray, be not drunk with wine:
Since drunkenness doth make a man a swine.'
Alas,' says I, the sinner that I am!'
And, having made my speech, I took a dram."-Bozzy and Piozzi.]
not drunk with wine, wherein there is excess." Some would have taken this as divine interposition.
Mrs. M'Kinnon told us at dinner, that old Kingsburgh, her father, was examined at Mugstot, by General Campbell (1), as to the particulars of the dress of the person who had come to his house in woman's clothes, along with Miss Flora Macdonald; as the general had received intelligence of that disguise. The particulars were taken down in writing, that it might be seen how far they agreed with the dress of the Irish girl who went with Miss Flora from the Long Island. Kingsburgh, she said, had but one song, which he always sung when he was merry over a glass. She dictated the words to me, which are foolish enough:
"Green sleeves and pudding pies,
"May our affairs abroad succeed,
And may our king come home with speed,
"To all our injured friends in need,
(1) General Campbell, it seems, was accompanied by Captain Fergussone, of the Furnace, part of whose share in this examination we have already seen, antè, p. 205.-C.
(2) "Green sleeves," however, is a song, a great deal older than the Revolution. "His disposition and words no more adhere and keep pace together, than the hundredth psalm and the tune of Green sleeves," says Mrs. Ford, in the Merry Wives of Windsor.-C.