Open main menu

Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/228

This page needs to be proofread.


��SCOTTISH DANCES.

��Raasay's Cap, as sailors called the mountain, to whom far away at sea it was a conspicuous landmark. On the top they danced a Highland reel. If we may trust the statement of a young English tourist, the dance was just as enjoyable, though there were no ladies for partners. " The Scotch," he writes, " admire the reel for its own merit alone. A Scotchman comes into an assembly room as he would into a field of exercise, dances till he is literally tired, possibly without ever looking at his partner. In most countries the men have a partiality for dancing with a woman : but here I have frequently seen four gentlemen perform one of these reels seemingly

���with the same pleasure as if they had had the most sprightly girl for a partner. They give you the idea that they could with equal glee cast off round a joint-stool or set to a corner cupboard." ' Beyond Dun Can to the north-west the travellers visited the ruins of the old castle, once the residence of the lairds of Raasay. On their return from their walk of four-and-twenty miles over very rugged ground, "we piqued ourselves," Boswell writes, "at not being outdone at the nightly ball by our less active friends, who had remained at home."

Of the ancient crosses which he mentions I fear but one is

1 E. Topham's Litters front Edinburgh, p. 264.

�� �� �� �