now," he writes, " generally use coat, waistcoat, and breeches, as elsewhere. Persons of distinction wear the garb in fashion in the south of Scotland." '
While Johnson in the voyage to Raasay "sat high on the stern of the boat like a magnificent Triton," old Malcolm, no less magni- ficent through his attire, took his turn at tugging the oar, " singing an Erse song, the chorus ot which was Haty in foam foam eri, with words of his own." The original was written in praise of Allan of Muidart, a chief of the Clanranald family. The following is a trans- lation of the complete chorus :
" Along, along, then haste along,
For here no more I'll stay ; I'll braid and bind my tresses long,
And o'er the hills away.""
In the sound between Scalpa and Raasay, "the wind," writes Boswell, " made the sea very rough. I did not like it. ' This now,' said Johnson, 'is the Atlantic. If I should tell, at a tea-table in London, that I have crossed the Atlantic in an open boat, how they'd shudder, and what a fool they'd think me to expose myself to such clanger.'" In his letter to Mrs. Thrale he makes light of the roughness of the waves. " The wind blew enough to give the boat a kind of dancing agitation." Fora moment or two his temper was ruffled, for by the carelessness of their man-servant his spurs were carried overboard. " There was something wild," he said, " in letting a pair of spurs be carried into the sea out of a boat." What a fine opening we have here for the enthusiasm of the John- son Club ! An expedition properly equipped should be sent to dredge in this sound for the spurs, with directions to proceed after- wards to the Isle of Mull, and make search for that famous piece of timber, his walking-stick, which was lost there.
As the boat drew near the land the singing of the reapers on shore was mingled with the song of the rowers. It was frequently noticed by travellers how the Highlanders loved to keep time with their songs to whatever they were doing. Gray heard the masons singing in Erse all day long as they were building the park wall at Glamis Castle. 3 An earlier writer tells how " the women in harvest work keep time by several barbarous tones of the voice ; and stoop and rise together as regularly as a rank of soldiers when they
' Martin's Description of the Western Islands, pp. 206-7. 2 Croker's Boswell, p. 364. 3 Gray's Works, iv. 55.