Chapter 6 (7 references)
We went and saw Colonel Nairne's garden and grotto. Here was a fine old plane tree. Unluckily the colonel said, there was but this and another large tree in the county. This assertion was an excellent cue for Dr Johnson, who laughed enormously, calling to me to hear it. He had expatiated to me on the nakedness of that part of Scotland which he had seen. His Journey has been violently abused, for what he has said upon this subject. But let it be considered, that, when Dr Johnson talks of trees, he means trees of good size, such as he was accustomed to see in England; and of these there are certainly very few upon the EASTERN COAST of Scotland. Besides, he said, that he meant to give only a map of the road; and let any traveller observe how many trees, which deserve the name, he can see from the road from Berwick to Aberdeen. Had Dr Johnson said, 'there are NO trees' upon this line, he would have said what is colloquially true; because, by no trees, in common speech, we mean few. When he is particular in counting, he may be attacked. I know not how Colonel Nairne came to say there were but TWO large trees in the county of Fife. I did not perceive that he smiled. There are certainly not a great many; but I could have shewn him more than two at Balmuto, from whence my ancestors came, and which now belongs to a branch of my family.
Chapter 7 (7 references)
We came to Aberdeen at half an hour past eleven. The New Inn, we were told, was full. This was comfortless. The waiter, however, asked if one of our names was Boswell, and brought me a letter left at the inn: it was from Mr Thrale, enclosing one to Dr Johnson. Finding who I was, we were told they would contrive to lodge us by putting us for a night into a room with two beds. The waiter said to me in the broad strong Aberdeenshire dialect, 'I thought I knew you, by your likeness to your father.' My father puts up at the New Inn, when on his circuit. Little was said to-night. I was to sleep in a little press-bed in Dr Johnson's room. I had it wheeled out into the dining-room, and there I lay very well.
Chapter 8 (7 references)
He received a card, from Sir Alexander Gordon, who had been his acquaintance twenty years ago in London, and who, 'if forgiven for not answering a line from him', would come in the afternoon. Dr Johnson rejoiced to hear of him, and begged he would come and dine with us. I was much pleased to see the kindness with which Dr Johnson received his old friend Sir Alexander; a gentleman of good family, Lismore, but who had not the estate. The King's College here made him Professor of Medicine, which affords him a decent subsistence. He told us that the value of the stockings exported from Aberdeen was, in peace, a hundred thousand pounds; and amounted, in time of war, to one hundred and seventy thousand pounds. Dr Johnson asked, what made the difference? Here we had a proof of the comparative sagacity of the two professors. Sir Alexander answered, 'Because there is more occasion for them in war.' Professor Thomas Gordon answered, 'Because the Germans, who are our great rivals in the manufacture of stockings, are otherwise employed in time of war.' JOHNSON. 'Sir, you have given a very good solution.'
Chapter 9 (7 references)
Principal Campbell, Sir Alexander Gordon, Professor Gordon, and Professor Ross, visited us in the morning, as did Dr Gerard, who had come six miles from the country on purpose. We went and saw the Marischal College, [Footnote: Dr Beattie was so kindly entertained in England, that he had not yet returned home.] and at one o'clock we waited on the magistrates in the town hall, as they had invited us in order to present Dr Johnson with the freedom of the town, which Provost Jopp did with a very good grace. Dr Johnson was much pleased with this mark of attention, and received it very politely. There was a pretty numerous company assembled. It was striking to hear all of them drinking?'Dr Johnson! Dr Johnson!' in the town-hall of Aberdeen, and then to see him with his burgess-ticket, or diploma, [Footnote: Dr Johnson's burgess-ticket was in these words:
Chapter 15 (7 references)
Dr Johnson has the happy art (for which I have heard my father praise the old Earl of Aberdeen) of instructing himself, by making every man he meets tell him something of what he knows best. He led Keith to talk to him of the Excise in Scotland, and, in the course of conversation, mentioned that his friend Mr Thrale, the great brewer, paid twenty thousand pounds a year to the revenue; and that he had four casks, each of which holds sixteen hundred barrels--above a thousand hogsheads.
Chapter 19 (7 references)
We found here Mr Janes of Aberdeenshire, a naturalist. Janes said he had been at Dr Johnson's in London, with Ferguson the astronomer. JOHNSON. 'It is strange that, in such distant places, I should meet with any one who knows me. I should have thought I might hide myself in Sky.'
Chapter 76 (7 references)
We supped at Professor Andersen's. The general impression upon my memory is, that we had not much conversation at Glasgow where the professors, like their brethren at Aberdeen, did not venture to expose themselves much to the battery of cannon which they knew might play upon them. Dr Johnson, who was fully conscious of his own superior powers, afterwards praised Principal Robertson for his caution in this respect. He said to me, 'Robertson, sir, was in the right. Robertson is a man of eminence, and the head of a college at Edinburgh. He had a character to maintain, and did well not to risk its being lessened.'