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This edition was planned, and in great part executed, in Macedonia, in the summer of 1918. I had a camp behind Smol Hill, on the left bank of the Vardar, and a six-inch gun (Mark XI, a naval piece, on an improvised carriage ; very rare in this state
'), with which I made a demonstration in aid of the French and Greek armies, when they stormed the heights beyond the river ; I think in June. This was in the early hours of the morning, and a very pretty display of fireworks. Twelve hours later, I remember, Mark XI was still too hot to touch. But long weeks of inactivity followed. I had a hut made of sandbags, with a roof constructed of corrugated iron in layers, with large stones between, to allow perflation ; 1 and here, in the long hot afternoons, when 'courage was useless, and enterprise impracticable ?, ? a temporary gunner, in a khaki shirt and shorts, might have been found collating the three editions of the Tour to the Hebrides, or re-reading A Journey to the Western Islands in the hope of finding a corruption in the text. Ever and again, tiring of collation and emendation, of tepid
1 P. 72.
2 Falkland's Islands.
tea and endless cigarettes, I would go outside to look at the stricken landscape
the parched, yellow hills and ravines, the brown coils of the big snaky river at my feet, the mountains in the blue distance; until the scorching wind, which always blew down that valley, sent me back to the Hebrides. These particulars are doubtless irrelevant; but I like to think that the scene would have pleased James Boswell.
My original design was merely to provide an accurate text and an adequate index. I have since been led to add some notes, not purely textual, on the Journey, which however has little need of a commentary, and a few appendixes. I have tried to refrain from annotating the Tour, except in a few places where Birkbeck Hill's ample commentary admits correction or supplement.
The Journey and the Tour have never before, so far as I know, been included in a single volume. I have sought, in the notes and index, to promote the enjoyment of those readers who take pleasure in listening to Johnson now with, and now without, Boswell's promptings and comments. The arrangement of the Journey being topographical, and that of the Tour chronological, it is not easy to pass rapidly
from one narrative to the corresponding part of the
I am indebted to my friends for help
friends for help in many ways.
R. W. C.