Saturday, August 29, 2009


Johnson and Boswell are in Inverness today; the year is 1773. Johnson's commentary depicts what I think is not unusual of the English perspective toward Scotland at this time.

"...Yet what the Romans did to other nations, was in a great degree done by Cromwell to the Scots; he civilized them by conquest, and introduced by useful violence the arts of peace. I was told at Aberdeen that the people learned from Cromwell's soldiers to make shoes and plant kail..."

Compare to with some of Scott's description (The Highland and Western Isles of Scotland):

"Inverness has been strangely underrated. To compare the country again with Edinburgh, there is a careless wealth of surface about it...contrasted with the dry and cold economy of Edinburgh, where the trees that are to be seen only remind us of the million that are wanting, and where every field and road is deformed by a stone wall, as if it was a land of thieves and law, as if the bones of a country were appearing through its meager surface

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