Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/310

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��OMAN ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

��ixc" and that in this display of his talents he was shewing the joy which IK: felt on seeing strangers in a place where they came so rarely. Touched by his friendly sentiments Saint-Fond had not only applauded him, but had even pressed on him " quelques shelings," which he accepted, it almost seemed, merely out of com- plaisance. Taking pity on the stranger's solitude he came and played under his bed-room window in the silence of the night. It was all in vain that Saint- Fond rose, went out of doors, took him by the hand and led him away. " II revint au meme moment, me donnant a entendre qu'il n'ctait point fatigue, et qu'il jouerait toute la unit pour me plaire, et il tint parole."

The: bagpiper was surely the direct ancestor of those bands of musicians who at Oban distress the peaceful tourist. But there

are things worse even than musicians. How melan- choly is the change which has come over the whole scene in the last quarter of a century ! A beautiful bay ruined by man ! That it should become thronged was inevitable ; it need not have been made vulgar. It was on no scene of over- grown hotels that Johnson looked, as, with the tear

starting in his eye, he repeated those fine lines in which Goldsmith describes the character of the British nation :

" Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state,

With daring aims irregularly great,

Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,

1 see the lords of humankind pass by,

Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band,

My forms unfashion'd, fresh from Nature's hand;

Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,

True to imagin'd right, above control,

While e'en the peasant boasts these rights to scan,

And learns to venerate himself as man."

The Traveller had formed the subject of their talk at breakfast, and it was while Boswell helped Johnson on with his great-coat that

���DIINOLI.Y CASTI.K, OBAN.

��Voyage en Anglctcrre, &c. , i. 369-373.

�� �