“Who can like the Highlands?” asked Dr. Johnson after James Boswell had dragged him from Edinburgh to Inverness to Skye and back to the Lowlands. Boswell could,and soon set about immortalizing the tour…
At Auchinleck, Dr. Johnson, a vehement Tory, fell into a “warm and violent” quarrel with Boswell’s father, a hotly partisan Whig. The fight, which occurred at the end of the tour, erupted when Boswell’s father showed Johnson a medal bearing the likeness of Cromwell, representative of all that Johnson abhorred. Writing of the quarrel years later, Boswell consoled himself with the thought that the two combatants were now united in heaven, “where,” he observed with the fatuity that made him and Dr. Johnson immortal, “there is no room for Whiggism.”
Boswell:MONDAY 8 NOVEMBER. Notwithstanding the altercation that had passed, my father, who had the dignified courtesy of an old baron, was very civil to Dr. Johnson, and politely attended him to the post-chaise which was to convey us to Edinburgh.
Thus they parted. They are now in another, and a higher, state of existence; and as they were both worthy Christian men, I trust they have met in happiness. But I must observe, in justice to my friend’s political principles and my own, that they have met in a place where there is no room for Whiggism….