mination,' said Sir Joshua Reynolds, ' which he could not show without pointing out the bad as well as the good in every character.' " l If in his narrative he has not spared the shade, every fair-minded reader must allow that he has not been sparing of the light. John Wesley, who had often travelled over the same ground as far as Inverness, on May 18, 1776, recorded in his Journal at Aberdeen : " I read over Dr. Johnson's Tour to the Western Isles. It is a very curious book, wrote with admirable sense, and, I think, great fidelity; although in some respects he is thought to bear hard on the nation, which I am satisfied he never intended." :
That Johnson was not careless of the good opinion of the Scotch is shown by his eagerness to learn what Boswell had to tell him about the book. " Let me know as fast as you read it how you like it ; and let me know if any mistake is committed, or any- thing important left out." A week later he wrote : " I long to hear how you like the book ; it is, I think, much liked here." The modesty of the closing passage of his narrative should have clone something towards disarming criticism. " Having passed my time almost wholly in cities, I may have been surprised by modes of life and appearances of nature that are familiar to men of wider survey and more varied conversation. Novelty and ignorance must always be reciprocal, and I cannot but be conscious that my thoughts on national manners are the thoughts of one who has seen but little." 4 The compliment which he paid to the society of the capital must surely have won some hearts. " I passed some days in Edinburgh," he wrote, " with men of learning whose names want no advancement from my commemoration, or with women of elegance, which perhaps disclaims a pedant's praise."' He never 'ets slip an opportunity of gracefully acknowledging civilities and acts of kindness, or of celebrating worth and learning. As he closed his book, so he had opened it with a well-turned compliment. It was, he said, Boswell's " acuteness and gaiety of conversation and civility of manners which induced him to undertake the journey."' He praises the kindness with which he was gratified by the pro- fessors of St. Andrews, and " the elegance of lettered hospitality " with which he wasentertained. 7 At Aberdeen the same grateful heart
1 Botwell's_/0/i?u0tt, ii. 306. 3 lioswell's Johnson, ii. 290.
2 Wesley's Journal, iv. 74. He repeats this ' Works, ix. lt>i. 5 //'. p- 159- statement live years later (//>. p. 207). " //'. p. I. ' tt. p. 3.