302 SIR JOHN DALRYMPI.E.
tions, should raise a memorial as the god of gardens. According to a tradition which has come down to our time, a group of ash- trees was planted by Lord Elibank on his suggestion. 1 Planting had begun earlier than he thought. " It may be doubted," he said, "whether before the Union any man between Edinburgh and England had ever set a tree." The market-gardener told me that he hail counted one hundred and ninety rings on some tall trees near the house, which had been cut down fourteen years before. This would show that they were planted not only before the Union, but also before the Revolution, for though a ring marks the growth of a year, yet in an old tree many of the rings cannot be dis- tinguished.
As I wandered about the ruins, and listened to the jackdaws chattering overhead " with nothing conclusive in their talk," how much I regretted that Boswell's indolence had kept him from recording the conversation which passed here in those three November days between the old Jacobite lord and his famous guest.
Johnson's tour was rapidly drawing to a close. Brundusium
is at hand.
He wrote from Edinburgh to Mrs. Thrale on Thursday, No- vember 1 8 : "I long to be at home, and have taken a place in the coach for Monday ; I hope, therefore, to be in London on Friday, the 26th, in the evening. Please to let Mrs. Williams know." On Saturday he accepted the invitation of Sir John Dalrymple, a cousin of Lord Hailes, and author of Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland, to visit him at his house at Cranston, twelve miles from Edinburgh on the middle road to Newcastle. There he was to be taken up by the London coach. Three years earlier Boswell had described Dalrymple as "a very knowing, lively companion ;" 3 but his feelings towards him were changed. He had not worshipped the image which he had set up. Nevertheless, " he was am- bitious," Boswell writes, "of having such a guest; but as I was well assured, that at this very time he had joined with some of his prejudiced countrymen in railing at Dr. Johnson, and had said, he
1 This interesting tradition comes to me from 2 " From thence our travels to Brundusium
my friend General Cadell, C.H., of Cocken/.ie bend,
House, to whom I am indebted for the accom- Where our long journey and my paper end."
panying sketch of the trees. FRANCIS'S Horace, i. Sat. v. 103.
' Letters of Boswell to Temple, p. 168.