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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


tumblers. Everything about him-his coat, his wig, his figure, his face, his scrofula, his St. Vitus?s dance, his rolling walk, his blinking eyes, his insatiable appetite for fish sauce and veal pie with plums, his mysterious practice of treasuring up scraps of orange-peel, his morning slumbers, his saw a man led by a bear!? So romantic and fervid was his admiration of Johnson, that he tells us he added A500 to the fortune of one of his daughters, Veronica, because when a baby she was not frightened by the hideous visage of the lexicographer. LORD SEMPLE?S HOUSE, CASTLE HILL. midnight disputations, his contortions, his mutterings, his gruntings, his puffings, his vigorous, acute, and ready eloquence, his sarcastic Wit, his vehemence and his insolence, his fits of tempestuous rage,? &e, all served to make it a source of wonder to Mrs. Boswell that her husband could abide, much less worship, such a man. Thus, she once said to him, with extreme warmth, ?I have seen many a bear led by a man, bur I never before ? Among those invited to meet him at James?s Court was Margaret Duchess of Douglas, a lady noted among those of her own rank for her illiteracy, and whom Johnson describes as ?talking broad Scotch with a paralytic voice, as scarcely understood by her own countrymen ; ? yet it was remarked that in that which we would term now a spirit of ?? snobbery,? Johnson reserved his attentions during the whole evening exclusively for the
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The Lawnmarket.] JAMES BOSWELL. I01 duchess. A daughter of Douglas of Mains, she was the widow of Archibald Duke of Douglas, who died in 1761. While on this visit, Patrick Lord Elibank, a learned and accomplished noble, addressed a letter to him, and they afterwards had various conversatkns on literary subjects, all of which are duly On one occasion he was in a large party, of which David Hume was one. A mutual friend proposed to introduce him to the historian, ?? No, sir ! ? bellowed the intolerant moralist, and turned away. Among Boswell?s friends and visitors at James?s Court were Lords Kames and Hailes, the annalist of Scotland; Drs. Robertson, Slab, and recorded in the pages of the sycophantic Boswell. Johnson was well and hospitably received by all classes in Edinburgh, where his roughness of manner and bearing were long proverbiaL ?? From all I can learn,? says Captain Topham, who visited the city in the following year, ?he repaid all their attention to him with ill-breeding; and when in the company of the ablest men in this country his whole design was to show them how little he thought of them.? Beattie, and others, the most eminent of his countrymen; but his strong predilection for London induced him to move there with his family, and in the winter of 1786 he was called to the English bar. His old house was not immediately abandoned to the plebeian population, as his successor in it was Lady Wallace, dowager of Sir Thomas Wallace of Craigie, and mother of the unfortunate Captain William Wallace of the 15th Hussars, whose involvement in the affairs of the
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