« PreviousContinue »
SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
A JOURNAL OF A TOUR TO THE HEBRIDES,
By JAMES BOSWELL.
A REPRINT OF THE FIRST EDITION.
TO WHICH ARE ADDED MR. BOSWELL'S CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONS, ISSUED
IN 1792 ; THE VARIATIONS OF THE SECOND EDITION, WITH SOME
EDITED, WITH NEW NOTES,
PERCY FITZGERALD, M.A., F.S.A.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
SECOND EDITION WITH A PREFACE BY THE EDITOR, AND A BOSWELL
Librarian to the Athenæum Club.
DR. JOHNSON revised some sheets of Lord Hailes's " Annals of Scot. land,” and wrote a few notes on the margin with red ink, which he bade me tell his Lordship did not sink into the paper, and might be wiped off with a wet sponge, so that he did not spoil his manuscript. ' I told him there were very few of his friends so accurate as that I could venture to put down in writing what they told me as his sayings. JOHNSON. “Why should you write down my sayings ?” Boswell. “I write them when they are good." JOHNSON. “Nay, you may as well write down the sayings of any one else that are good.” But where, I might with great propriety have added, can I find such ?
I visited him by appointment in the evening, and we drank tea with Mrs. Williams. He told me that he had been in the company of a gentleman whose extraordinary travels had been much the subject of conversation. But I found that he had not listened to him with that full confidence, without which there is little satisfaction in the society of travellers. I was curious to hear what opinion so able a judge as Johnson had formed of his abilities, and I asked if he was not a man of sense. JOHNSON. “Why, Sir, he is not a distinct relater; and I should say, he is neither abounding nor deficient in sense. I did not perceive any superiority of understanding." Boswell. “ But will you not allow him a nobleness of resolution, in penetrating into distant regions ?” JOHNSON. " That,