himself read Johnson's fourttey, yet "Scotchmen still feel too sore to like reading him." Whatever soreness still lingers is, I have little doubt, much more due to his sarcasms recorded by Boswell than to any passages in his own narrative. But it is surprising that Scotchmen cannot more generally join in a hearty laugh at his humorous sallies, though they are at their own expense. That the Scotch of a hundred years and more ago were over-sensitive is not astonishing. At that time in most respects they were still far behind England. It was England that they were striving to follow in their arts, their commerce, and their agriculture. It was the English accent that they were striving to catch, and the English style in which they laboured to write. It was to the judgment of English- men that their authors, no small or inglorious band, anxiously appealed. That they should be sensitive to criticism beyond even the Americans of our day was not unnatural. For in the poverty of their soil, and the rudiments of their manufactures and trade, they found none of that boastful comfort which supports the citizen of the United States, even when he is most solicitous of English approbation. But at the present day, when they are in most respects abreast of Englishmen, and in some even ahead, they should disprove the charge that is brought against them of wanting humour by showing that they can enjoy a hearty laugh, even though it goes against them. Johnson's ill-humour did not go deep, and, no doubt, was often laughed away. Of that rancour which disgraced Hume his nature was wholly incapable. He wished no ill to Scotland as Hume wished ill to England. 1 " He returned from it," writes Boswell, " in great good-humour, with his prejudices much lessened, and with very grateful feelings of the hospitality with which he was treated." :
Not all Scotch critics were hostile towards him. The Scots Magazine, which last century was to Edinburgh what the Gentle- mans Magazine was to London, always spoke of him with great respect. Writing of him early in the year in which he visited Scotland, it says :
" Dr. Johnson has long possessed a splendid reputation in the republic of letters, and it was honestly acquired. He is said to affect a singularity in his manners and to contemn the social rules which are established in the intercourse of civil life. If this extravagance is affected, it is a fault ; if it has been acquired by the habitudes
' See Letters of David Hume to William Strahan, pp. 56, 114, 132. 2 Boswell's fohnson, v. 20.