��THE ROW TO PORTREE.
��and so much singing and dancing, that little opportunity was left for his energetic conversation. He seemed sensible of this; for when I told him how happy they were at having him there, he said, ' Yet we have not been able to entertain them much.' " The weather, which had been very wet and stormy, cleared up on the morning of September 12. " Though it was Sunday," says John- son, " we thought it proper to snatch the opportunity of a calm clay." A row of some five or six miles brought them to Portree in Skye, a harbour whose name commemorated the visit of King James V. The busy little town on the top of the cliff, with its
��Court House, hotels, banks, and shops, which has grown up at the end of the land-locked harbour, did not then exist. Sir James Macdonald, " the Marcellus of Scotland," as Boswell called him, had intended to build a village there, but by his untimely death the design had come to nothing. There seems to have been little more than the public-house at which the travellers dined. " It was," Johnson believed, " the only one of the island." He forgot, how- ever, as Boswell pointed out to him when he read his narrative, another at Sconser, and a third at Dunvegan. " These," Boswell adds, "are the only inns properly so dialled. There are many huts where whisky is sold." ' On the evening which I spent at Portree,
1 Croker's Boswell, p. 826.