Open main menu

Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/219

This page needs to be proofread.


From Corrichatachin our travellers rode down to the sea-side at Broadford, two miles off, where they took boat for the island of Raasay. The Macgillichallum, or laird of Raasay, John Macleod, had politely sent his coach and six, as he called his six-oared boat, to fetch them over. Though it was " thus dignified with a pompous name," writes Johnson, " there was no seat, but an occasional bundle of straw. I never," he acids, " saw in the Hebrides a boat furnished with benches." In it had come the learned Donald M'Oueen, a minister, and old Malcolm Macleod, who had been out in the '45, and had aided the Young Pretender in his escape. I had at one time thought that it was to him that Johnson alludes, when he speaks of having met one man, and one only, who defied the law against wearing the Highland dress. " By him," he adds, "it was worn only occasionally and wantonly." I now believe, however, that it was Macdonald of Kingsburgh who was meant. Ever since the last rebellion the national garb had been suppressed. It had been enacted that " no person whatsoever should wear or put on those parts of the Highland clothes, garb, or habiliments which are called the plaid, philibeg, 2 or little kilt, or any of them." Any offender " not being a landed man, or the son of a landed man " shall be tried before a justice of the peace "in a summary way, and shall be delivered over to serve as as a soldier." 1 Even the loyal Highlanders in the Duke of Cumberland's army had been com- pelled in part to adopt the southern garb. " Near Linlithgow," writes Henderson, " the whole army passed in review before their illustrious General. When the Highlanders passed he seemed much delighted with their appearance, saying, ' They look very well ; have breeches, and are the better for that." 4 Some years later when Pitt " called for soldiers from the mountains of the North," "to allure them into the army it was thought proper to indulge them in the continuance of their national dress." s Numerous were the devices to evade the law, and great must have been the per- plexities of the magistrates. One of Wolfe's officers wrote in 1/52,

1 Johnson's Works, ix. 47. the 19 Get. //., made in //if 21 Geo, II, Edin-

2 The philibeg, or fillibeg, is defined as "the burgh, 174!*, p. 15.

dress or petticoat reaching nearly to the knees." 4 Henderson's History of I lie Kebellion, p. 99.

3 An Act to AnictiJ t/u- Disarming Act of * Johnson's Works, ix. 94.

�� �