Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/360

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292 RETURN TO EDINBURGH.

Johnson to visit the Palace of Hamilton, as the Duke's castle is called. " He had not come to Scotland to see fine places of which there were enough in England." lie would do nothing more than view the outside. That same night " they arrived at Edinburgh after an absence of eighty-three days. For five weeks together of the tem- pestuous season," adds Boswell, " there had been no account received of us." Yet, as the crow flies, they had never at their farthest been two hundred miles away. How vast is the change since those clays ! I received the other day at my house in Oxford, a letter which had been posted in Bombay just fifteen days before. Johnson would have hurried on to London had he followed his own wishes. " I long to come under your care," he wrote to Mrs. Thrale a day or two after his arrival in Edinburgh, " but for some days cannot decently get away." He had his morning levees to hold, and his dinner and supper parties to attend. " ' Sir,' he said one evening, ' we have been harassed by invitations.' I acquiesced. ' Ay, sir,' he replied, ' but how much worse would it have been if we had been neglected ! ' ' There was one man who did not harass him. Boswell nowhere mentions that he visited Lord Auchinleck at his house in Parliament Close.

He paid a visit to New Hailes, four miles east of Edinburgh, the seat of Sir David Dalrymple, better known by the title of Lord Hailes, which he bore as one of the judges of Scotland. " Here," says Boswell, " we passed a most agreeable day, but," he adds, " again I must lament that I was so indolent as to let almost all that

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passed evaporate into oblivion." Johnson had first heard of his host ten years earlier. One evening, when he and Boswell were supping in a private room at the Turk's Head Coffee-house in the Strand, " he drank a bumper to Sir David Dalrymple as ' a man of worth, a scholar, and a wit. I have,' said he, ' never heard of him, except from you ; but let him know my opinion of him ; for, as he does not show himself much in the world, he should have the praise of the few who hear of him.' ' They did not meet till Johnson came to Edinburgh, but then they at once took to each other. " I love him better than any man whom I know so little," wrote Johnson eighteen months later. His love was no doubt in- creased by the decision which his friend gave a few years later in that famous case in which it was decided, by a majority of the judges, that a slave who had been brought from Jamaica to

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