the lofty hills. One indeed we found by following the course of a river up a fine glen, but owing to the long drought its roar had sunk into a murmur.
Johnson's host, Colonel Macleod, was the good kinsman who had befriended the young Laird in the troubles which he encoun- tered on his succession to the property.
"He had," writes Boswell, "been bred to physic, had a tincture of scholarship in his conversation, which pleased Dr. Johnson, and he had some very good books ; and being a colonel in the Dutch service, he and his lady, in consequence of having lived abroad, had introduced the ease and politeness of the continent into this rude region."
Pennant, writing in the year 1774, thus describes these Scotch regiments in the Dutch service :
" They were formed out of some independent companies sent over either in the reign of Elizabeth or James VI. At present the common men are but nominally national, for since the scarcity of men occasioned by the late war, Holland is no longer permitted to draw her recruits out of North Britain. But the officers are all Scotch, who are obliged to take oaths to our government, and to qualify in presence of our ambassador at the Hague." '
In the war which broke out between England and Holland in
1781, this curious system, which had survived the great naval battles between the two countries in the seventeenth century, at last came to an end. In the Gentlemen s Magazine for December,
1782, we read, that on the first of that month :
" The Scotch Brigade in the Dutch service renounced their allegiance to their lawful Sovereign, and took a new oath of fidelity to their High Mightinesses. They are for the future to wear the Dutch uniform, and not to carry the arms of the enemy any longer in their colours, nor to beat their march. They are to receive the word of command in Dutch, and their officers are to wear orange-coloured sashes,
Colonel Macleod, if he was still living, lost, of course, his com- mand. At the time of our travellers' visit he was on leave of absence, which had been extended for some years, says Johnson, "in this time of universal peace." The knowledge which he had gained in Holland he turned to good account in Skye. He both drained the land which lay at the foot of the mountains round Talisker, and made a good garden. ' He had been," says Knox, " an observer of Dutch improvements. He carried off in proper channels the waters of two rivers which often deluged the bottom. He divided the whole valley by deep and sometimes wide ditches into a number of square fields and meadows. He now enjoys the
1 Pennant's Voyage to the Hebrides, ed. 1774, p. 289. - Gentleman's Magazine, 1782, p. 595.