Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/276

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216 THE SAIL TO TOBERMORY.

hope," he wrote, "Jupiter I'luvius has not been so constant at Ampthill. 1 think he ought to be engraved at the top of every map of Hngland." Happily in the young Laird of Col our travellers had the kindest of hosts. 1 1 is house " new-built and neat " still stands ; Grissipol, which they visited, is in ruins. It was not till the morning of Thursday, the 141)1, that they were able to set sail. With a fair breeze they were soon carried over to Tobermory, or Mary's Well, a beautiful bay in the Isle of Mull.

'There are (writes ISoswell) sometimes sixty or seventy sail here: to-day there were twelve or fourteen vessels. To see such a fleet was the next thing to seeing a town. The vessels were from different places ; Clyde, Campbeltown, Newcastle, &c. One was returning to Lancaster from Hamburgh. After having been shut up so long in Col, the sight of such an assemblage of moving habitations, containing such a variety of people engaged in different pursuits, gave me much gaiety of spirit.

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��COL : THE LAIRDS HOUSE.

��When we had landed, Dr. Johnson said, ' Boswell is now all alive. He is like Antaeus ; he gets new vigour whenever he touches the ground.' "

No such fleet is, I imagine, ever to be seen there at the present day, for one steamer does the work of many small vessels. The beauty of this little haven has been long celebrated. Sacheverell, who visited it two hundred years ago, thus describes it :

" To the landward it is surrounded with high mountains covered with woods, pleasantly intermixed with rocks, and three or four cascades of water, which throw themselves from the top of the mountain with a pleasure that is astonishing, all which together make one of the oddest and most charming prospects I ever saw. Italy itself, with all the assistance of art, can hardly afford anything more beautiful and diverting."'

He had been sent there to fish for sunken treasure. Martin,

1 Walpole's Letters, v. 512.

2 W. Sachevefell's Account of I he Isle of Man, ed. 1702, p. 126.

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