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22 INTRODUCTION.

" In endless night they sleep unwept, unknown, No bard had they to make all time their own." '

By the men of Johnson's time the journey was looked upon as one of real adventure. When Boswell visited Voltaire at Ferney, and mentioned their design of taking this tour, "he looked at him as if he had talked of going to the North Pole, and said, 'You do not insist on my accompanying you ? ' ' No, Sir.' ' Then I am very willing you should go.'" Dr. Percy, of the Rcliqucs, wrote from Alnwick Castle that a gentleman who had lately returned from the Hebrides, had told him that the two travellers were detained prisoners in Skye, their return having been intercepted by the torrents. " Sir Alexander Macdonald and his lady," Percy adds, " at whose house our friend Johnson is a captive, had made their escape before the floods cut off their retreat ; so that possibly we may not see our friend till next summer releases him." 3 A Glasgow newspaper gave much the same report, but attributed his delay to the clanger of crossing in the late autumn "such a stormy surge in a small boat." On the Island of Col they were indeed storm-bound for eleven days. " On the travellers' return to Edinburgh," writes Boswell, " everybody had accosted us with some studied compliment. Dr. Johnson said, 'I am really ashamed of the congratulations which we receive. We are addressed as if we had made a voyage to Nova Zembla, and suffered five persecu- tions in Japan.'" 5 Dr. Robertson "had advanced to him repeating a line of Virgil, which I forget," Boswell adds. " I suppose either,

Post varies casus, per tot discrimiiia renting or

multum ilk et tern's jactatus et altol'

Johnson afterwards remarked that to see a man come up with a formal air and a Latin line, when we had no fatigue and no danger, was provoking." Of exaggeration he had always a strong hatred, and would not allow it in his own case any more than in another's. He had undergone great fatigue, and he had been in real danger, but of both he made light. It was in high spirits that he returned home after his tour of a hundred days. " I came home last night,"

1 Francis's Horace, Odes, IV. ix. 26. "Through various hazards ami events we '* Bosweirsya4tt>, v. 14. move." Dryden, sEneid, i. 204.

3 From tlie original, in the possession of Mr. 7 " Long labours both by sea and land he W. R. Smith, of Greatham Moor, West Liss. bore." Ib. i. 3.

4 BosweH's^/b^TWff, v. 344. ' //>. 392. ^ Bos\veH's_/i?////.>w/, ii. 268.

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