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which carried our portmanteaus, and two Highlanders who walked along with us, John Hay and Lauchland Vass, whom Dr. Johnson has remembered with credit in his JOURNEY, though he has omitted their names. Dr. Johnson rode Dr. Johnson rode very well.
About three miles beyond Inverness, we saw, just by the road, a very complete specimen of what is called a Druid's temple. There was a double circle, one of very large, the other of smaller stones. Dr. Johnson justly observed, that, "to go and see one druidical temple is only to see that it is nothing, for there is neither art nor power in it; and seeing one is quite enough."
It was a delightful day. Lochness, and the road upon the side of it, shaded with birch trees, and the hills above it, pleased us much. The scene was as sequestered and agreeably wild as could be desired, and for a time engrossed all our attention.
To see Dr. Johnson in any new situation is always an interesting object to me; and, as I saw him now for the first time on horseback, jaunting about at his ease in quest of pleasure and novelty, the very different occupations of his former laborious life, his admirable productions, his London, his Rambler, &c. &c. immediately presented themselves to my mind, and the contrast made a strong impression on my imagination.
When we had advanced a good way by the side of Lochness, I perceived a little hut, with an old looking woman at the door of it. I thought here might be a scene that would amuse Dr. Johnson; so I mentioned it to him. Let's go in," said he. We dismounted, and we and our guides entered the hut. It was a wretched little hovel of earth only, I think,
and for a window had only a small hole, which was stopped with a piece of turf, that was taken out occasionally to let in light. In the middle of the room or space which we entered, was a fire of peat, the smoke going out at a hole in the roof. She had a pot upon it, with goat's flesh, boiling. There was at one end under the same roof, but divided by a kind of partition made of wattles, a pen or fold in which we saw a good many kids.
Dr. Johnson was curious to know where she slept. I asked one of the guides, who questioned her in Erse. She answered with a tone of emotion, saying, (as he told us,) she was afraid we wanted to go to bed to her. This coquetry, or whatever it may be called, of so wretched a being, was truly ludicrous. Dr. Johnson and I afterwards were merry upon it. I said it was he who alarmed the poor woman's virtue." No, sir, (said he,) she'll say, there came a wicked young fellow, a wild dog, who I believe would have ravished me, had there not been with him a grave old gentleman, who repressed him but when he gets out of the sight of his tutor, I'll warrant you he'll spare no woman he meets, young or old."-" No, sir, (I replied,) she'll say, There was a terrible ruffian who would have forced me, had it not been for a civil decent young man who, I take it, was an angel sent from heaven to protect me."
Dr. Johnson would not hurt her delicacy, by insisting on "seeing her bed-chamber," like Archer in the Beaux Stratagem. But my curiosity was more ardent; I lighted a piece of paper, and went into the place where the bed was. There was a little partition of wicker, rather more neatly done than
that for the fold, and close by the wall was a kind of bedstead of wood with heath upon it by way of bed! at the foot of which I saw some sort of blankets or covering rolled up in a heap. The woman's name was Fraser; so was her husband's. He was a man of eighty. Mr. Fraser of Balnain allows him to live in this hut, and keep sixty goats, for taking care of his woods, where he then was. They had five children, the eldest only thirteen. Two were gone to Inverness to buy meal; the rest were looking after the goats. This contented family had four stacks of barley, twenty-four sheaves in each. They had a few fowls. We were informed that they lived all the spring without meal, upon milk and curds and whey alone. What they got for their goats, kids, and fowls, maintains them during the rest of the year.
She asked us to sit down and take a dram. I saw one chair. She said she was as happy as any woman in Scotland. She could hardly speak any English except a few detached words. Dr. Johnson was pleased at seeing, for the first time, such a state of human life. She asked for snuff. It is her luxury, and she uses a great deal. We had none; but gave her sixpence a piece. She then brought out her whiskey bottle. I tasted it; as did Joseph and our guides, so I gave her sixpence more. She sent us away with many prayers in Erse.
We dined at a publick house called the General's Hut, from General Wade, who was lodged there when he commanded in the North. Near it is the meanest parish Kirk I ever saw. It is a shame it should be on a high road. After dinner, we passed through a good deal of mountainous country. I had known Mr. Trapaud, the deputy governour of
Fort Augustus, twelve years ago, at a circuit at Inverness, where my father was judge. I sent forward one of our guides, and Joseph, with a card to him, that he might know Dr. Johnson and I were coming up, leaving it to him to invite us or not. It was dark when we arrived. The inn was wretched. Government ought to build one, or give the resident governour an additional salary; as in the present state of things, he must necessarily be put to a great expence in entertaining travellers. Joseph announced to us, when we alighted, that the governour waited for us at the gate of the fort. We walked to it. He met us, and with much civility conducted us to his house. It was comfortable to find ourselves in a well built little square, and a neatly furnished house, in good company, and with a good supper before us; in short, with all the conveniencies of civilized life in the midst of rude mountains. Mrs. Trapaud, and the governour's daughter, and her husband, Captain Newmarsh, were all most obliging and polite. The governour had excellent animal spirits, the conversation of a soldier, and somewhat of a Frenchman, to which his extraction entitles him. He is brother to General Cyrus Trapaud We passed a very agreeable evening..
TUESDAY, AUGUST 31.
The governour has a very good garden. We looked at it, and at the rest of the fort, which is but small, and may be commanded from a variety of hills around. We also looked at the galley or sloop belonging to the fort, which sails upon the Loch, and brings what is wanted for the garrison. Captains Urie and Darippe, of the 15th regiment of foot, breakfasted with us. They had served in America, and
entertained Dr. Johnson much with an account of the Indians. He said, he could make a very pretty book out of them, were he to stay there. Governour Trapaud was much struck with Dr. Johnson. "I like to hear him (said he,) it is so majestick. I should be glad to hear him speak in your court." -He pressed us to stay dinner; but I considered that we had a rude road before us, which we could more easily encounter in the morning, and that it was hard to say when we might get up, were we to sit down to good entertainment, in good company: I therefore begged the governour would excuse us. -Here too, I had another very pleasing proof how much my father is regarded. The governour expressed the highest respect for him, and bade me tell him, that, if he would come that way on the Northern circuit, he would do him all the honours of the garrison.
Between twelve and one we set out, and travelled eleven miles, through a wild country, till we came to a house in Glenmorison, called Anoch, kept by a M'Queen.* Our landlord was a sensible fellow; he had learned his grammar, and Dr. Johnson justly observed, that "a man is the better for that as long as he lives." There were some books here: a Treatise against Drunkenness, translated from the French; a volume of the Spectator; a volume of Prideaux's Connection, and Cyrus's Travels. M'Queen said he had more volumes; and his pride
* A M'Queen is a Highland mode of expression. An Englishman would say one M'Queen. But where there are clans or tribes of men, distinguished by patronymick surnames, the individuals of each are considered as if they were of different species, at least as much as nations are distinguished; so that a M'Queen, a M'Donald, a McLean, is said, as we say a Frenchman, an Italian, a Spaniard.