JOHNSON'S COMPLIMENTS TO THE SCOTCH. ,,)
the aged minister of Col he had a wrangle over Bayle, and Clarke, and Leibnitz. " Had he been softer with this venerable old man," writes Boswell, " we might have had more conversation." ' This rebuke Johnson read in Boswell's manuscript. The amends which he makes is surely ample. He describes the minister's " look of venerable dignity, excelling what I remember in any other man. I lost some of his goodwill by treating a heretical writer with more regard than in his opinion a heretic could deserve. I honoured his orthodoxy, and did not much censure his asperity. A man who has settled his opinions does not love to have the tranquillity of his conviction disturbed ; and at seventy-seven it is time to be in earnest."
The people he praises no less than their ministers. " Civility," he says, "seems part of the national character of Highlanders. Every chieftain is a monarch, and politeness, the natural product of royal government, is diffused from the Laird through the whole clan. " :t He describes the daughter of the man who kept the hut in Glenmorison, where he passed a night. " Her conversation like her appearance was gentle and pleasing. We knew that the girls of the Highlanders are all gentlewomen, and treated her with great respect, which she received as customary and due." 4 He praises the general hospitality. " Wherever there is a house the stranger finds a welcome. If his good fortune brings him to the residence of a gentleman he will be glad of a storm to prolong his stay." 5 How graceful is the compliment which he pays to Macleod of Rasay ! " Rasay has little that can detain a traveller except the Laird and his family ; but their power wants no auxiliaries. Such a seat of hospitality amidst the winds and waters fills the imagina- tion with a delightful contrariety of images. Without is the rough ocean and the rocky land, the beating billows and the howling storm ; within is plenty and elegance, beauty and gaiety, the song and the dance. In Rasay if I could have found a Ulysses I had fancied a Phaeacia.'" 5 To the other branch of the Macleods he is no less complimentary. " At Dunvegan I had tasted lotus," he wrote, " and was in danger of forgetting that I was ever to depart." 7 He met Flora Macdonald, and does not let the occasion pass to pay her a high compliment. " Hers is a name that will be mentioned in history, and, if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with
1 Boswell's Johnson, v. 288. J //). p. 32. 5 lb. pp. 50, 97.
- Works, ix. 118. 3 Ib. p. 25, H, . p. 62. ' Jl>. p. 67.