Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/34

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��INTRODUCTION.

��of his temper :md his indolence, it scarcely merits censure. We allow to the man

In the two reviews of his fottnuy in the same magazine, there is not one word of censure ; neither when Boswell, eleven years later, brought out his account of the tour, had they any fault to find. In the character which they drew of Johnson on his death they leave unnoticed his attacks on Scotland. They are even generous in their praise. Speaking of his pension they say : " It would have been a national disgrace if such talents, distinguished by such writings, had met with no other recompense than the empty con- sciousness of fame." : There were also men of eminence in Scot- land who at once acknowledged the merits of the book. " I love the benevolence of the author," said Lord Hailes. 3 The "virtuous and candid Dempster," the patriotic Knox," Tytler, the historian, " a Scot, if ever a Scot there were," had each his word of high praise.' Sir Walter Scott, writing many years later, said : " I am far from being of the number of those angry Scotsmen who imputed to Johnson's national prejudices all or a great part of the report he has given of our country. I remember the Highlands ten or twelve years later, and no one can conceive of how much that could have

These men, nevertheless, formed a small minority. The out- cry that was raised against Johnson was at once loud and bitter. To attacks for many a long year he had been used, but yet this time he was startled. " He expressed his wonder at the extreme jealousy of the Scotch, and their resentment at having their country described as it really was."" Boswell mentions "the brutal reflections thrown out against him," and " the rancour with which How quickly the storm gathered and burst is shown in a letter written by an Englishman from Edinburgh a few days after the book was published :

"Edinburgh, Jan. 24, 1775. Dr. Johnson's Tour has just made its appearance here, and has put the country into a flame. Everybody finds some reason to be affronted. A thousand people who know not a single creature in the Western Isles interest themselves in their cause, and are offended at the accounts that are given of them. Newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, all teem with abuse of the Doctor.

��1 Scots Magazine, 1773, p. 133.

2 Ib. 1784, p. 685.

3 Boswell's fohnson, v. 406.

4 Ib. ii. 305-6.

��' Croker's Correspondence, ii. 34. BosweH'sy//w, ii. 306. 7 //'. ii. 303-5.

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