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Tour to “ At any rate,” he replied. This showed a kind of
fretful impatience; nor was it to be wondered at, considering our disagreeable ride. I feared he would give up Mull and Icolmkill, for he said something of his apprehensions of being detained by bad weather in going to Mull and Iona. However, I hoped well. We had a dish of tea at Dr. Macleod's, who had a pretty good house, where was his brother, a half-pay officer. His lady was a polite, agreeable woman. Dr. Johnson said, he was glad to see that he was so well married, for he had an esteem for physicians. The doctor accompanied us to Kingsburgh, which is called a mile farther; but the computation of Sky has no connexion whatever with real distance.
I was highly pleased to see Dr. Johnson safely arrived at Kingsburgh, and received by the hospitable Mr. Macdonald, who, with a most respectful attention, supported him into the house. Kingsburgh was completely the figure of a gallant Highlander,exhibiting "the graceful mien and manly looks," which our popular Scotch song has justly attributed to that character. He had his tartan plaid thrown about him, a large blue bonnet with a knot of black riband like a cockade, a brown short coat of a kind of duffil, a tartan waistcoat with gold buttons and gold button-holes, a bluish philibeg, and tartan hose. He had jet black hair tied behind, and was a large stately man, with a steady sensible countenance.
There was a comfortable parlour with a good fire, and a dram went round. By and by supper was served, at which there appeared the lady of the house, the celebrated Miss Flora Macdonald'. She is a
+ [It is stated in the account of the rebellion, published under the title of “ Ascanius," that she was the daughter of Mr. Macdonald, a tacksman or gentleman-farmer, of Melton, in South Uist, and was, in 1746, about twenty-tour years old. It is also said, that her portrait was painted in London in 1747, for Commodore Smith, in whose ship she had been brought prisoner from Scot.
little woman, of a genteel appearance, and uncom- Tour to monly mild and well bred. To see Dr. Samuel Johnson, the great champion of the English tories, salute Miss Flora Macdonald in the Isle of Sky, was a striking sight; for though somewhat congenial in their notions, it was very improbable they should meet here.
Miss Flora Macdonald (for so I shall call her) told me, she heard upon the main land, as she was returning home about a fortnight before, that Mr. Boswell was coming to Sky, and one Mr. Johuson, a young English buck', with him. He was highly entertained with this fancy. Giving an account of the afternoon which we passed at Anock, he said, “I, being a buck, had Miss in to make tea.” rather quiescent to-night, and went early to bed.
I was in a cordial humour, and promoted a cheerful glass. The punch was excellent. Honest Mr. M‘Queen observed that I was in high glee,“ my governor being gone to bed.”
Yet in reality my heart was grieved, when I recollected that Kingsburgh was embarrassed in his affairs, and intended to go to America. However, nothing but what was good was present, and I pleased myself in thinking that so spirited a man
land; but the editor has not been able to trace it. Dr. Johnson says of her to Mrs. Thrale, “She must then have been a very young lady; she is now not old ; of a pleasing person, and elegant behaviour. She told me that she thought herself honoured by my visit; and I am sure that whatever regard she bestowed on me was liberally repaid. "If thou likest her opinions, thou wilt praise her virtue.' She was carried to London, but dismissed without a trial, and came down with Malcolm Macleod, against whom sufficient evidence could not be procured. She and her husband are poor, and are going to try their fortune in America. Sic rerum volvitur orbis.”—Letters, i. 153. They did emigrate to America; but returned to Sky, where she died on the 4th March, 1790, leaving a son, Colonel John Macdonald, now, as the Editor is informed, residing at Exeter, and a daughter, still alive in Sky, married to a Macleod, a distant relation of the Macleod.-Ed. It is remarkable that this distinguished lady signed her name Flory, instead of the more classical orthography. Her marriage contract, which is in my possession, bears the name spelled Flory.-WALTER SCOTT.)
(It may be useful to future readers to know that the word “ macaroni" used in a former passage of this work, and the word “buck” here used, are nearly synonymous with the term “dandy,” employed now-a-days to express a young gen. tleman who in his dress and manners affects the extreme of the fashion.-Ed.] VOL. II.
Tour to would be well every where. I slept in the same room
with Dr. Johnson. Each had a neat bed, with tartan curtains, in an upper chamber.
Monday, 13th September. The room where we lay was a celebrated one. Dr. Johnson's bed was the very bed' in which the grandson of the unfortunate King James the Secondo lay, on one of the nights after the failure of his rash attempt in 1745–6, while he was eluding the pursuit of the emissaries of
government, which had offered thirty thousand pounds as a reward for apprehending him. To see Dr. Samuel Johnson lying in that bed, in the isle of Sky, in the house of Miss Flora Macdonald, struck me with such a group of ideas as it is not easy for words to describe, as they passed through the mind. He smiled, and said, “I have had no ambitious thoughts in it 3.” The room was decorated with a great variety of maps and prints. Among others, was Hogarth's print of Tour to
[In the examination of Kingsburgh and his wife, by Captain Fergussone, of the Furnace man of war, relative to this affair, Fergussone asked “ where Miss Flora, and the person in woman's clothes who was with her, lay ?" Kingsburgh answered with gentlemanly spirit, “He knew where Miss Flora lay; but as for servants he never asked any questions about them." The captain then, brutally enough, asked Mrs. Macdonald " whether she laid the young Pretender and Miss Flora in the same bed ?” She answered, with great temper and readiness, “Sir, whom you mean by the young Pretender, I do not pretend to guess ; but I can assure you it is not the fashion in Sky to lay mistress and maid in the same bed together.” The captain then desired to see the rooms where they lay, and remarked shrewdly enough that the room wherein the supposed maid-servant lay was better than that of her mistress. — Ascanius.-ED.)
* I do not call him the Prince of Wales, or the Prince, because I am quite satisfied that the right which the house of Stuart had to the throne is extin. guished. I do not call him the Pretender, because it appears to me as an insult to one who is still alive, and, I suppose, thinks very differently. It may be a parliamentary expression; but it is not a gentlemanly expression. I know, and I exult in having it in my power to tell, that the only person in the world who is entitled to be offended at this delicacy thinks and feels as I do;" and has liberality of mind and generosity of sentiment enough to approve of my tender. ness for what even has been blood royal. That he is a prince by courtesy cannot be denied ; because his mother was the daughter of Sobiesky, king of Poland. I shall, therefore, on that account alone, distinguish him by the name of Prince Charles Edward. Boswell. [The generosity of King George the Third, alluded to in this note, was felt by his successor, who caused a monument to be erected over the remains of the cardinal of York, in whom the line of James the Second ended. It was a royal and a national tribute to private and to public feeling: the political danger had been extinguished for more than half a century; and the claims of kindred, the honour of the English name, and the personal feelings of a generous prince, not only justified, but seemed to require such an evidence of British generosity.--Ed.)
3 This, perhaps, was said in allusion to some lines ascribed to Pope, on his
Hebrid. Wilkes grinning, with the cap of liberty on a pole by him. That too was a curious circumstance in the scene this morning ; such a contrast was Wilkes to the above group. It reminded me of Sir William Chambers's “ Account of Oriental Gardening," in which we are told all odd, strange, ugly, and even terrible objects, are introduced for the sake of variety; a wild extravagance of taste which is so well ridiculed in the celebrated epistle to him. The following lines of that poem immediately occurred to me;
“Here too, O king of vengeance! in thy fane,
Tremendous Wilkes shall rattle his gold chain." Upon the table in our room I found in the morning a slip of paper, on which Dr. Johnson had written with his pencil these words :
“Quantum cedat virtutibus aurum!." What he meant by writing them I could not tell’. He had caught cold a day or two ago, and the rain yesterday having made it worse, he was become very deaf. At breakfast he said, he would have given a good deal rather than not have lain in that bed. I owned he was the lucky man; and observed, that without doubt it had been contrived between Mrs. Macdonald and him. She seemed to acquiesce ; adding, “ You know young bucks are always favourites of the ladies.” He spoke of Prince Charles being
lying, at John Duke of Argyle's, at Adderbury, in the same bed in which Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, had slept :
“With no poetick ardour fired,
I press the bed where Wilmot lay ;
Tour to here, and asked Mrs. Macdonald “Who was with Hebrid.
him? We were told, madam, in England, there was one Miss Flora Macdonald with him." She said, “they were very right;" and perceiving Dr. Johnson's curiosity, though he had delicacy enough nut to question her, very obligingly entertained him with a recital of the particulars which she herself knew of that escape, which does so much honour to the humanity, fidelity, and generosity of the Highlanders. Dr. Johnson listened to her with placid attention, and said, “ All this should be written down."
From what she told us, and from what I was told by others personally concerned, and from a paper of information which Rasay was so good as to send me, at my desire, I have compiled an abstract (see Appendix), which, as it contains some curious anecdotes, will, I imagine, not be uninteresting to my readers, and even, perhaps, be of some use to future historians.
The gallant Malcolm (who had succeeded Flora Macdonald as guide to the Prince, and had so greatly contributed to his escape] was apprehended in about ten days after they separated, put aboard a ship, and carried prisoner to London. He said, the prisoners in general were very ill treated in their passage ; but there were soldiers on board who lived well, and sometimes invited him to share with them: that he had the good fortune not to be thrown into jail, but was confined in the house of a messenger of the name of Dick. To his astonishment, only one witness could be found against him, though he had been so openly engaged; and therefore, for want of sufficient evidence, he was set at liberty. He added, that he thought himself in such danger, that he would gladly have compounded for banishment. Yet, he said, “ he should never be so ready for death