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shewhomust

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Dr Johnson vs the SNP [May. 6th, 2015|11:41 am]
shewhomust
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I am reading Boswell's account of his travels with Dr Johnson to the Western Isles, in preparation for our own trip. "Ah," says durham_rambler, "you always have the most up-to-date guidebooks!" So far the narrative has not progressed beyond Edinburgh, but this passage seemed pretty topical:
I here began to indulge old Scottish sentiments, and to express a warm regret, that, by our union with England, we were no more—our independent kingdom was lost.

JOHNSON. 'Sir, never talk of your independency, who could let your Queen remain twenty years in captivity, and then be put to death, without even a pretence of justice, without your ever attempting to rescue her; and such a Queen too! as every man of any gallantry of spirit would have sacrificed his life for.'

Worthy MR JAMES KERR, Keeper of the Records. 'Half our nation was bribed by English money.'

JOHNSON. 'Sir, that is no defence: that makes you worse.'

Good MR BROWN, Keeper of the Advocates Library. 'We had better say nothing about it.'

BOSWELL. 'You would have been glad, however, to have had us last war, sir, to fight your battles!'

JOHNSON. 'We should have had you for the same price, though there had been no Union, as we might have had Swiss, or other troops. No, no, I shall agree to a separation. You have only to GO HOME.'

Just as he had said this, I to divert the subject, shewed him the signed assurances of the three successive Kings of the Hanover family, to maintain the Presbyterian establishment in Scotland. 'We'll give you that,' said he, 'into the bargain.'
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2015-05-06 11:44 am (UTC)
'We were bought and sold for English gold
Sic a parcel of rogues in a nation'.......
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-05-06 12:03 pm (UTC)
Indeed!
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[User Picture]From: gillpolack
2015-05-06 03:00 pm (UTC)
And now I have an earworm. Stop doing this to me!!
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2015-05-06 03:09 pm (UTC)



:op
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[User Picture]From: gillpolack
2015-05-06 03:30 pm (UTC)
I shall remind myself that not all my friends are evil. Just most of them.
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2015-05-06 03:35 pm (UTC)
:o)
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[User Picture]From: gillpolack
2015-05-06 03:00 pm (UTC)
Johnson strikes me as someone I wouldn't want to actually know (not from this - from many things).
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-05-07 09:13 am (UTC)
Someone with whom you couldn't agree politically, and with whom you wouldn't enjoy disagreeing. Though there's clearly an element of performance: he knows what is expected of him, and he obliges.

Boswell, too, has a certain charm in his transparent pleasure at being the Great Man's companion, but might be more wearing in person than he is on the page.
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