On the Highland stretch of their tour of the Hebrides, in a narrow valley, which Boswell records as close to 'Achnashiel' (Achadh
nan Seileach?), Samuel Johnson sat his broad beam down on the banks of a river:
'... such as a writer of Romance might have delighted to feign. I had indeed no trees to whisper over my
head, but a clear rivulet streamed at my feet.
The day was calm, the air soft, and all was rudeness, silence, and
Before me, and on either side, were high hills, which by hindering the
eye from ranging, forced the mind to find entertainment for itself. Whether I spent the hour well I know not; for
here I first conceived the thought of this narration.'
Later this Summer Ken and I will find the same river bank, somewhere near the confluence of Allt na Carnach and the River Shiel, on our tour Out of Books.