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In the Prefs, and speedily will be published, Elegantly printed, on a Fine Paper, in Large Octavo,
A COMPLETE EDITION OF
The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL. D.
NOTES and ILLUSTRATIONS, and a LIFE of
Sir JOHN HAWKINS, one of the Executors.
*This Edition will include feveral Pieces by Dr. JOHNSON, both in Profe and Verfe, which have never before appeared in Print.
HAD defired to vifit the Hebrides, or Western Islands of Scotland, fo long, that I fcarcely remember how the wish was originally excited; and was in the Autumn of the year 1773 induced to undertake the journey, by finding in Mr. Boswell a companion, whofe acuteness would help my inquiry, and whofe gaiety of conversation and civility of manners are fufficient to B counteract
counteract the inconveniencies of travel, in countries lefs hofpitable than we have paffed.
On the eighteenth of Auguft we left Edinburgh, a city too well known to admit defcription, and directed our courfe northward, along the eaftern coaft of Scotland, accompanied the first day by another gentleman, who could ftay with us only long enough to fhew us how much we loft at feparation.
As we croffed the Frith of Forth, our curiofity was attracted by Inch Keith, a fmall island, which neither of my companions had ever vifited, though, lying within their view, it had all their lives folicited their notice. Here, by climbing with fome difficulty over fhattered crags, we made the first experiment of unfrequented coafts. Inch Keith is nothing more than a rock covered with a thin layer
layer of earth, not wholly bare of grafs, and very fertile of thiftles. A small herd of cows grazes annually upon it in the fummer. It seems never to have afforded to man or beast a permanent habitation.
We found only the ruins of a small fort, not fo injured by time but that it might be easily restored to its former ftate. It seems never to have been intended as a place of ftrength, nor was built to endure a fiege, but merely to afford cover to a few foldiers, who perhaps had the charge of a battery, or were stationed to give fignals of approaching danger. There is therefore no provifion of water within the walls, though the fpring is fo near, that it might have been easily enclosed. One of the ftones had this infcription: "Maria Reg. "1564." It has probably been neglected from the time that the whole island had the fame king.
We left this little ifland with our thoughts employed awhile on the different appearance that it would have made, if it had been placed at the fame distance from London, with the fame facility of approach; with what emulation of price a few rocky acres would have been purchafed, and with what expenfive industry they would have been cultivated and adorned.
When we landed, we found our chaise ready, and paffed through Kinghorn, Kirkaldy, and Cowpar, places not unlike the fmall or ftraggling market-towns in those parts of England where commerce and manufactures have not yet produced opulence.
Though we were yet in the most populous part of Scotland, and at fo fmall a distance from the capital, we met few paffengers.