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Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 by Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

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[1026] _Ecclesiastes_, i. 14.

[1027] See _post_, May 16, 1778. It should seem that _Candide_ was
published in the latter half of February 1759. Grimm in his letter of
March 1, speaks of its having just appeared. 'M. de Voltaire vient de
nous egayer par un petit roman.' He does not mention it in his previous
letter of Feb. 15. _Grimm, Carres. Lit_. (edit. 1829), ii. 296.
Johnson's letter to Miss Porter, quoted in the Appendix, shows that
Rasselas was written before March 23; how much earlier cannot be known.
_Candide_ is in the May list of books in the _Gent. Mag_. (pp. 233-5),
price 2_s_. 6_d_., and with it two translations, each price 1_s_. 6_d_.

[1028] See _post_, June 13, 1763.

[1029] In the original,--'which, perhaps, prevails.' _Rasselas_, ch.

[1030] This is the second time that Boswell puts 'morbid melancholy' in
quotation marks (ante, p. 63). Perhaps he refers to a passage in
Hawkins's _Johnson_ (p. 287), where the author speaks of Johnson's
melancholy as 'this morbid affection, as he was used to call it.'

[1031] 'Perfect through sufferings.' _Hebrews_, ii. 10.

[1032] Perhaps the reference is to the conclusion of _Le Monde comme il
va_:--'Il resolut ... de laisser aller _le monde comme il va_; car, dit
il, _si tout riest pas bien, tout est passable_.'

[1033] Gray, _On a Distant Prospect of Eton College_.

[1034] Johnson writing to Mrs. Thrale said:--'_Vivite lacti_ is one of
the great rules of health.' _Piozzi Letters_, ii. 55. 'It was the motto
of a bishop very eminent for his piety and good works in King Charles
the Second's reign, _Inservi Deo et laetare_--"Serve God and be
cheerful."' Addison's _Freeholder_, No. 45.

[1035] Literary and Moral Character of Dr. Johnson. BOSWELL.

[1036] This paper was in such high estimation before it was collected
into volumes, that it was seized on with avidity by various publishers
of news-papers and magazines, to enrich their publications. Johnson, to
put a stop to this unfair proceeding, wrote for the _Universal
Chronicle_ the following advertisement; in which there is, perhaps, more
pomp of words than the occasion demanded:

'London, January 5, 1759. ADVERTISEMENT. The proprietors of the paper
intitled _The Idler_, having found that those essays are inserted in the
news-papers and magazines with so little regard to justice or decency,
that the _Universal Chronicle_, in which they first appear, is not
always mentioned, think it necessary to declare to the publishers of
those collections, that however patiently they have hitherto endured
these injuries, made yet more injurious by contempt, they have now
determined to endure them no longer. They have already seen essays, for
which a very large price is paid, transferred, with the most shameless
rapacity, into the weekly or monthly compilations, and their right, at
least for the present, alienated from them, before they could themselves
be said to enjoy it. But they would not willingly be thought to want
tenderness, even for men by whom no tenderness hath been shewn. The past
is without remedy, and shall be without resentment. But those who have
been thus busy with their sickles in the fields of their neighbours, are
henceforward to take notice, that the time of impunity is at an end.
Whoever shall, without our leave, lay the hand of rapine upon our
papers, is to expect that we shall vindicate our due, by the means which
justice prescribes, and which are warranted by the immemorial
prescriptions of honourable trade. We shall lay hold, in our turn, on
their copies, degrade them from the pomp of wide margin and diffuse
typography, contract them into a narrow space, and sell them at an
humble price; yet not with a view of growing rich by confiscations, for
we think not much better of money got by punishment than by crimes. We
shall, therefore, when our losses are repaid, give what profit shall
remain to the _Magdalens_; for we know not who can be more properly
taxed for the support of penitent prostitutes, than prostitutes in whom
there yet appears neither penitence nor shame.' BOSWELL.

[1037] I think that this letter belongs to a later date, probably to
1765 or 1766. As we learn, _post_, April 10, 1776, Simpson was a
barrister 'who fell into a dissipated course of life.' On July 2, 1765,
Johnson records that he repaid him ten guineas which he had borrowed in
the lifetime of Mrs. Johnson (his wife). He also lent him ten guineas
more. If it was in 1759 that Simpson was troubled by small debts, it is
most unlikely that Johnson let six years more pass without repaying him
a loan which even then was at least of seven years' standing. Moreover,
in this letter Johnson writes:--'I have been invited, or have invited
myself, to several parts of the kingdom.' The only visits, it seems,
that he paid between 1754-1762 were to Oxford in 1759 and to Lichfield
in the winter of 1761-2. After 1762, when his pension gave him means, he
travelled frequently. Besides all this, he says of his step-daughter:--
'I will not incommode my dear Lucy by coming to Lichfield, while her
present lodging is of any use to her.' Miss Porter seems to have lived
in his house till she had built one for herself. Though his letter to
her of Jan. 10, 1764 (Croker's _Boswell_, p. 163), shews that it was
then building, yet she had not left his house on Jan. 14, 1766 (_ib_.
p. 173).



'Your father's inexorability not only grieves but amazes me[1038]: he is
your father; he was always accounted a wise man; nor do I remember any
thing to the disadvantage of his good-nature; but in his refusal to
assist you there is neither good-nature, fatherhood, nor wisdom. It is
the practice of good-nature to overlook faults which have already, by
the consequences, punished the delinquent. It is natural for a father to
think more favourably than others of his children; and it is always wise
to give assistance while a little help will prevent the necessity
of greater.

[1038] In the _Rambler_, No. 148, entitled 'The cruelty of parental
tyranny,' Johnson, after noticing the oppression inflicted by the
perversion of legal authority, says:--'Equally dangerous and equally
detestable are the cruelties often exercised in private families, under
the venerable sanction of parental authority.' He continues:--'Even
though no consideration should be paid to the great law of social
beings, by which every individual is commanded to consult the happiness
of others, yet the harsh parent is less to be vindicated than any other
criminal, because he less provides for the happiness of himself.' See
also _post_, March 29, 1779. A passage in one of Boswell's _Letters to
Temple_ (p. 111) may also be quoted here:--'The time was when such a
letter from my father as the one I enclose would have depressed; but I
am now firm, and, as my revered friend, Mr. Samuel Johnson, used to say,
_I feel the privileges of an independent human being_; however, it is
hard that I cannot have the pious satisfaction of being well with
my father.'

[1039] Perhaps 'Van,' for Vansittart.

[1040] Lord Stowell informs me that Johnson prided himself in being,
during his visits to Oxford, accurately academic in all points: and he
wore his gown almost _ostentatiously_. CROKER.

[1041] Dr. Robert Vansittart, of the ancient and respectable family of
that name in Berkshire. He was eminent for learning and worth, and much
esteemed by Dr. Johnson. BOSWELL. Johnson perhaps proposed climbing over
the wall on the day on which 'University College witnessed him drink
three bottles of port without being the worse for it.' _Post_, April
7, 1778.

[1042] _Gentleman's Magazine_, April, 1785. BOSWELL. The speech was made
on July 7, 1759, the last day of 'the solemnity of the installment' of
the Earl of Westmoreland as Chancellor of the University. On the 3rd
'the ceremony began with a grand procession of noblemen, doctors, &c.,
in their proper habits, which passed through St. Mary's, and was there
joined by the Masters of Arts in their proper habits; and from thence
proceeded to the great gate of the Sheldonian Theatre, in which the most
numerous and brilliant assembly of persons of quality and distinction
was seated, that had ever been seen there on any occasion.' _Gent. Mag_.
xxix. 342. Would that we had some description of Johnson, as, in his new
and handsome gown, he joined the procession among the Masters! See
_ante_, p. 281.

[1043] _Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides_, 3d edit. p. 126 [Aug. 31].
BOSWELL. The chance of death from disease would seem also to have been
greater on the ship than in a jail. In _The Idler_ (No. 38) Johnson
estimates that one in four of the prisoners dies every year. In his
Review of Hanway's _Essay on Tea_ (_Works_, vi. 31) he states that he is
told that 'of the five or six hundred seamen sent to China, sometimes
half, commonly a third part, perish in the voyage.' See _post_,
April 10, 1778.

[1044] _Ibid_. p. 251 [Sept. 23]. BOSWELL.

[1045] In my first edition this word was printed _Chum_, as it appears,
in one of Mr. Wilkes's _Miscellanies_, and I animadverted on Dr.
Smollet's ignorance; for which let me propitiate the _manes_ of that
ingenious and benevolent gentleman. CHUM was certainly a mistaken
reading for _Cham_, the title of the Sovereign of Tartary, which is well
applied to Johnson, the Monarch of Literature; and was an epithet
familiar to Smollet. See _Roderick Random_, chap. 56. For this
correction I am indebted to Lord Palmerston, whose talents and literary
acquirements accord well with his respectable pedigree of

After the publication of the second edition of this work, the author was
furnished by Mr. Abercrombie, of Philadelphia, with the copy of a letter
written by Dr. John Armstrong, the poet, to Dr. Smollet at Leghorne,
containing the following paragraph:--'As to the K. Bench patriot, it is
hard to say from what motive he published a letter of yours asking some
triffling favour of him in behalf of somebody, for whom the great CHAM
of literature, Mr. Johnson, had interested himself.' MALONE. In the
first edition Boswell had said:--'Had Dr. Smollet been bred at an
English University, he would have know that a _chum_ is a student who
lives with another in a chamber common to them both. A _chum of
literature_ is nonsense.'

[1046] In a note to that piece of bad book-making, Almon's _Memoirs of
Wilkes_ (i. 47), this allusion is thus explained:-'A pleasantry of Mr.
Wilkes on that passage in Johnson's _Grammar of the English Tongue_,
prefixed to the Dictionary--"_H_ seldom, perhaps never, begins any but
the first syllable."' For this 'pleasantry' see _ante_, p. 300.

[1047] Mr. Croker says that he was not discharged till June 1760. Had he
been discharged at once he would have found Johnson moving from Gough
Square to Staple Inn; for in a letter to Miss Porter, dated March 23,
1739, given in the Appendix, Johnson said:-'I have this day moved my
things, and you are now to direct to me at Staple Inn.'

[1048] _Prayers and Meditations _, pp. 30 [39] and 40. BOSWELL.

[1049] 'I have left off housekeeping' wrote Johnson to Langton on Jan.
9, 1759. Murphy (_Life_, p. 90), writing of the beginning of the year
1759, says:--'Johnson now found it necessary to retrench his expenses.
He gave up his house in Gough Square. Mrs. Williams went into lodgings
[See _post_, July 1, 1763]. He retired to Gray's-Inn, [he had first
moved to Staple Inn], and soon removed to chambers in the Inner
Temple-lane, where he lived in poverty, total idleness, and the pride of
literature, _Magni stat nominis umbra_. Mr. Fitzherbert used to say that
he paid a morning visit to Johnson, intending from his chambers to send
a letter into the city; but, to his great surprise, he found an authour
by profession without pen, ink, or paper.' (It was Mr. Fitzherbert, who
sent Johnson some wine. See _ante_, p. 305, note 2. See also _post_,
Sept. 15, 1777). The following documents confirm Murphy's statement of
Johnson's poverty at this time:

'May 19, 1759.

'I promise to pay to Mr. Newbery the sum of forty-two pounds, nineteen
shillings, and ten pence on demand, value received. L42 19 10.

'Sam. Johnson.'

'March 20, 1760.

'I promise to pay to Mr. Newbery the sum of thirty pounds upon demand.,
L30 0 0.

'Sam. Johnson.'

In 1751 he had thrice borrowed money of Newbery, but the total amount of
the loans was only four guineas. Prior's _Goldsmith_, i. 340. With
Johnson's want of pen, ink, and paper we may compare the account that he
gives of Savage's destitution (_Works_, viii. 3):--'Nor had he any other
conveniences for study than the fields or the streets allowed him; there
he used to walk and form his speeches, and afterwards step into a shop,
beg for a few moments the use of the pen and ink, and write down what he
had composed upon paper which he had picked up by accident.' Hawkins
(_Life_, p. 383) says that Johnson's chambers were two doors down the
Inner Temple Lane. 'I have been told,' he continues, 'by his neighbour
at the corner, that during the time he dwelt there, more inquiries were
made at his shop for Mr. Johnson, than for all the inhabitants put
together of both the Inner and Middle Temple.' In a court opening out of
Fleet Street, Goldsmith at this very time was still more miserably
lodged. In the beginning of March 1759, Percy found him 'employed in
writing his _Enquiry into Polite Learning_ in a wretched dirty room, in
which there was but one chair, and when he from civility offered it to
his visitant, himself was obliged to sit in the window.' _Goldsmith's
Misc. Works_, i. 61.

[1050] Sir John Hawkins (Life, p. 373) has given a long detail of it, in
that manner vulgarly, but significantly, called rigmarole; in which,
amidst an ostentatious exhibition of arts and artists, he talks of
'proportions of a column being taken from that of the human figure, and
_adjusted by Nature_--masculine and feminine--in a man, sesquioctave of
the head, and in a woman _sesquinonal_;' nor has he failed to introduce
a jargon of musical terms, which do not seem much to correspond with the
subject, but serve to make up the heterogeneous mass. To follow the
Knight through all this, would be an useless fatigue to myself, and not
a little disgusting to my readers. I shall, therefore, only make a few
remarks upon his statement.--He seems to exult in having detected
Johnson in procuring 'from a person eminently skilled in Mathematicks
and the principles of architecture, answers to a string of questions
drawn up by himself, touching the comparative strength of semicircular
and elliptical arches.' Now I cannot conceive how Johnson could have
acted more wisely. Sir John complains that the opinion of that excellent
mathematician, Mr. Thomas Simpson, did not preponderate in favour of the
semicircular arch. But he should have known, that however eminent Mr.
Simpson was in the higher parts of abstract mathematical science, he was
little versed in mixed and practical mechanicks. Mr. Muller, of Woolwich
Academy, the scholastick father of all the great engineers which this
country has employed for forty years, decided the question by declaring
clearly in favour of the elliptical arch.

It is ungraciously suggested, that Johnson's motive for opposing Mr.
Mylne's scheme may have been his prejudice against him as a native of
North Britain; when, in truth, as has been stated, he gave the aid of
his able pen to a friend, who was one of the candidates; and so far was
he from having any illiberal antipathy to Mr. Mylne, that he afterwards
lived with that gentleman upon very agreeable terms of acquaintance, and
dined with him at his house. Sir John Hawkins, indeed, gives full vent
to his own prejudice in abusing Blackfriars bridge, calling it 'an
edifice, in which beauty and symmetry are in vain sought for; by which
the citizens of London have perpetuated study their own disgrace, and
subjected a whole nation to the reproach of foreigners.' Whoever has
contemplated, _placido lumine_ [Horace, _Odes_, iv. 3, 2], this stately,
elegant, and airy structure, which has so fine an effect, especially on
approaching the capital on that quarter, must wonder at such unjust and
ill-tempered censure; and I appeal to all foreigners of good taste,
whether this bridge be not one of the most distinguished ornaments of
London. As to the stability of the fabrick, it is certain that the City
of London took every precaution to have the best Portland stone for it;
but as this is to be found in the quarries belonging to the publick,
under the direction of the Lords of the Treasury, it so happened that
parliamentary interest, which is often the bane of fair pursuits,
thwarted their endeavours. Notwithstanding this disadvantage, it is well
known that not only has Blackfriars-bridge never sunk either in its
foundation or in its arches, which were so much the subject of contest,
but any injuries which it has suffered from the effects of severe frosts
have been already, in some measure, repaired with sounder stone, and
every necessary renewal can be completed at a moderate expence. BOSWELL.
Horace Walpole mentions an ineffectual application made by the City to
Parliament in 1764 'for more money for their new bridge at Blackfriars,'
when Dr. Hay, one of the Lords of the Admiralty, 'abused the Common
Council, whose late behaviour, he said, entitled them to no favour.'
Walpole's _Memoirs of the Reign of George III_, i. 390. The late
behaviour was the part taken by the City in Wilkes's case. It was the
same love of liberty no doubt that lost the City the Portland stone.
Smollett goes out of the way to praise his brother-Scot, Mr. Mylne, in
_Humphry Clinker_--'a party novel written,' says Horace Walpole, 'to
vindicate the Scots' (_Reign of George III_, iv. 328). In the letter
dated May 29, he makes Mr. Bramble say:--'The Bridge at Blackfriars is a
noble monument of taste and public spirit--I wonder how they stumbled
upon a work of such magnificence and utility.'

[1051] Juvenal, _Sat_. i. 85.

[1052] 'Born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of
Briton.'--George III's first speech to his parliament. It appears from
the _Hardwicke Papers_, writes the editor of the _Parl. Hist. (xv. 982),
that after the draft of the speech had been settled by the cabinet,
these words and those that came next were added by the King's own hand.
Wilkes in his _Dedication of Mortimer_ (see _post_, May 15, 1776)
asserted that 'these endearing words, "Born,&c.," were permitted to be
seen in the royal orthography of Britain for Briton,' Almon's
_Works_, i. 84.

[1053] In this _Introduction_ (_Works_, vi. 148) Johnson answers
objections that had been raised against the relief. 'We know that for
the prisoners of war there is no legal provision; we see their distress
and are certain of its cause; we know that they are poor and naked, and
poor and naked without a crime.... The opponents of this charity must
allow it to be good, and will not easily prove it not to be the best.
That charity is best of which the consequences are most extensive; the
relief of enemies has a tendency to unite mankind in fraternal
affection.' The Committee for which Johnson's paper was written began
its work in Dec. 1759. In the previous month of October Wesley records
in his _Journal (ii. 461):--'I walked up to Knowle, a mile from Bristol,
to see the French prisoners. Above eleven hundred of them, we were
informed, were confined in that little place, without anything to lie on
but a little dirty straw, or anything to cover them but a few foul thin
rags, either by day or by night, so that they died like rotten sheep. I
was much affected, and preached in the evening on _Exodus_ xxiii. 9.'
Money was at once contributed, and clothing bought. 'It was not long
before contributions were set on foot in various parts of the Kingdom.'
On Oct. 24 of the following year, he records:--'I visited the French
prisoners at Knowle, and found many of them almost naked again.' _Ib_.
iii. 23. 'The prisoners,' wrote Hume (_Private Corres_. p. 55),
'received food from the public, but it was thought that their own
friends would supply them with clothes, which, however, was found after
some time to be neglected.' The cry arose that the brave and gallant
men, though enemies, were perishing with cold in prison; a subscription
was set on foot; great sums were given by all ranks of people; and,
notwithstanding the national foolish prejudices against the French, a
remarkable zeal everywhere appeared for this charity. I am afraid that
M. Rousseau could not have produced many parallel instances among his
heroes, the Greeks; and still fewer among the Romans. Baretti, in his
_Journey from London to Genoa_ (i. 62, 66), after telling how on all
foreigners, even on a Turk wearing a turban, 'the pretty appellation of
_French dog_ was liberally bestowed by the London rabble,'
continues:--'I have seen the populace of England contribute as many
shillings as they could spare towards the maintenance of the French
prisoners; and I have heard a universal shout of joy when their
parliament voted L100,000 to the Portuguese on hearing of the tremendous

[1054] Johnson's _Works_, vi. 81. See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 16,
1773, where Johnson describes Mary as 'such a Queen as every man of any
gallantry of spirit would have sacrificed his life for.' 'There are,'
wrote Hume, 'three events in our history which may be regarded as
touchstones of party-men. An English Whig who asserts the reality of the
popish plot, an Irish Catholic who denies the massacre in 1641, and a
Scotch Jacobite who maintains the innocence of Queen Mary, must be
considered as men beyond the reach of argument or reason, and must be
left to their prejudices.' _History of England_, ed. 1802, v. 504.

[1055] _Prayers and Meditations_, p. 42. BOSWELL. The following is his
entry on this day:--

'1760, Sept. 18. Resolved D[eo]j[uvante]'
To combat notions of obligation.
To apply to study.
To reclaim imagination.
To consult the resolves on Tetty's coffin.
To rise early.
To study religion.
To go to church.
To drink less strong liquors.
To keep a journal.
To oppose laziness, by doing what is to be done tomorrow.
Rise as early as I can.
Send for books for Hist. of War.
Put books in order.
Scheme of life.'

[1056] See _post_, Oct. 19, 1769, and May 15, 1783, for Johnson's
measure of emotion, by eating.

[1057] Mr. Croker points out that Murphy's _Epistle_ was an imitation of
Boileau's _Epitre a Moliere_.

[1058] The paper mentioned in the text is No. 38 of the second series of
the _Grays Inn Journal_, published on June 15, 1754; which is a
translation from the French version of Johnson's _Rambler_, No. 190.
MALONE. Mrs. Piozzi relates how Murphy, used to tell before Johnson of
the first time they met. He found our friend all covered with soot, like
a chimney-sweeper, in a little room, with an intolerable heat and
strange smell, as if he had been acting Lungs in the _Alchymist_, making
aether. 'Come, come,' says Dr. Johnson, 'dear Murphy, the story is black
enough now; and it was a very happy day for me that brought you first to
my house, and a very happy mistake about the Ramblers.' Piozzi's _Anec_.
p. 235. Murphy quotes her account, Murphy's _Johnson_, p. 79. See also
_post_, 1770, where Dr. Maxwell records in his _Collectanea_ how Johnson
'very much loved Arthur Murphy.' Miss Burney thus describes him:--'He is
tall and well-made, has a very gentlemanlike appearance, and a quietness
of manner upon his first address that to me is very pleasing. His face
looks sensible, and his deportment is perfectly easy and polite.' A few
days later she records:--'Mr. Murphy was the life of the party; he was
in good spirits, and extremely entertaining; he told a million of
stories admirably well.' Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary_, i. 195, 210. Rogers,
who knew Murphy well, says that 'towards the close of his life, till he
received a pension of L200 from the King, he was in great pecuniary
difficulties. He had eaten himself out of every tavern from the other
side of Temple-Bar to the west end of the town.' He owed Rogers a large
sum of money, which he never repaid. 'He assigned over to me the whole
of his works; and I soon found that he had already disposed of them to a
bookseller. One thing,' Rogers continues, 'ought to be remembered to his
honour; an actress with whom he had lived bequeathed to him all her
property, but he gave up every farthing of it to her relations.' He was
pensioned in 1803, and he died in 1805. Rogers's _Table-Talk_, p. 106.

[1059] Topham Beauclerk, Esq. BOSWELL.

[1060] Essays with that title, written about this time by Mr. Langton,
but not published. BOSWELL.

[1061] Thomas Sheridan, born 1721, died 1788. He was the son of Swift's
friend, and the father of R. B. Sheridan (who was born in 1751), and the
great-great-grandfather of the present Earl of Dufferin.

[1062] Sheridan was acting in Garrick's Company, generally on the nights
on which Garrick did not appear. Davies's _Garrick_, i. 299. Johnson
criticises his reading, _post_, April 18, 1783.

[1063] Mrs. Sheridan was authour of _Memoirs of Miss Sydney Biddulph_, a
novel of great merit, and of some other pieces.--See her character,
_post_, beginning of 1763. BOSWELL.

[1064] _Prayers and Meditations_, p. 44. BOSWELL. '1761. Easter Eve.
Since the communion of last Easter I have led a life so dissipated and
useless, and my terrours and perplexities have so much increased, that I
am under great depression and discouragement.'

[1065] See _post_, April 6, 1775.

[1066] I have had inquiry made in Ireland as to this story, but do not
find it recollected there. I give it on the authority of Dr. Johnson, to
which may be added that of the _biographical Dictionary_, and
_Biographia Dramatica_; in both of which it has stood many years. Mr.
Malone observes, that the truth probably is, not that an edition was
published with Rolt's name in the title-page, but, that the poem being
then anonymous, Rolt acquiesced in its being attributed to him in
conversation. BOSWELL.

[1067] I have both the books. Innes was the clergyman who brought
Psalmanazar to England, and was an accomplice in his extraordinary
fiction. BOSWELL. It was in 1728 that Innes, who was a Doctor of
Divinity and Preacher-Assistant at St. Margaret's Westminster, published
this book. In his impudent Dedication to Lord Chancellor King he says
that 'were matters once brought to the melancholy pass that mankind
should become proselytes to such impious delusions' as Mandeville
taught, 'punishments must be annexed to virtue and rewards to vice.' It
was not till 1730 that Dr. Campbell 'laid open this imposture.' Preface,
p. xxxi. Though he was Professor of Ecclesiastical History in St.
Andrews, yet he had not, it should seem, heard of the fraud till then:
so remote was Scotland from London in those days. It was not till 1733
that he published his own edition. For Psalmanazar, see _post_,
April 18, 1778.

[1068] 'Died, the Rev. Mr. Eccles, at Bath. In attempting to save a boy,
whom he saw sinking in the Avon, he, together with the youth, were both
drowned.' _Gent. Mag_. Aug. 15, 1777. And in the magazine for the next
month are some verses on this event, with an epitaph, of which the
first line is,

'Beneath this stone the "_Man of
Feeling_" lies.'


[1069] 'Harry Mackenzie,' wrote Scott in 1814, 'never put his name in a
title page till the last edition of his works.' Lockhart's _Scott_, iv.
178. He wrote also _The Man of the World_, which Johnson 'looked at, but
thought there was nothing in it.' Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 2, 1773.
Scott, however, called it 'a very pathetic tale.' Croker's _Boswell, p.
359. Burns, writing of his twenty-third year, says: '_Tristram Shandy_
and the _Man of Feeling_ were my bosom favourites.' Currie's _Life of
Burns_, ed.1846. p. 21.

[1070] From the Prologue to Dryden's adaptation of _The Tempest_.

[1071] The originals of Dr. Johnson's three letters to Mr. baretti,
which are among the very best he ever wrote, were communicated to the
elegant monthly miscellany, _The European Magazine_, in which they first
appeared. BOSWELL.

[1072] Baretti left London for Lisbon on Aug. 14, 1760. He went through
Portugal, Spain, and France to Antibes, whence he went by sea to Genoa,
where he arrived on Nov. 18. In 1770 he published a lively account of
his travels under the title of _A Journey from London to Genoa_.

[1073] Malone says of Baretti that 'he was certainly a man of
extraordinary talents, and perhaps no one ever made himself so
completely master of a foreign language as he did of English.' Prior's
_Malone_, p. 392. Mrs. Piozzi gives the following 'instance of his skill
in our low street language. Walking in a field near Chelsea he met a
fellow, who, suspecting him from dress and manner to be a foreigner,
said sneeringly, "Come, Sir, will you show me the way to France?" "No,
Sir," says Baretti instantly, "but I will show you the way to Tyburn."'
He travelled with her in France. 'Oh how he would court the maids at the
inns abroad, abuse the men perhaps, and that with a facility not to be
exceeded, as they all confessed, by any of the natives. But so he could
in Spain, I find.' Hayward's _Piozzi_, ii. 347.

[1074] Johnson was intimate with Lord Southwell, _ante_, p. 243. It
seems unlikely that Baretti merely conducted Mr. Southwell from Turin to
Venice; yet there is not a line in his _Journey_ to show that any
Englishman accompanied him from London to Turin.

[1075] See _ante_, p. 350, note.

[1076] The first of these annual exhibitions was opened on April 21,
1760, at the Room of the Society of Arts, in the Strand. 'As a
consequence of their success, grew the incorporation of a Society of
Artists in 1765, by seccession from which finally was constituted the
Royal Academy [In Dec. 1768].' Taylor's _Reynolds_, i. 179. For the
third exhibition Johnson wrote the Preface to the catalogue. In this,
speaking for the Committee of the Artists he says:--'The purpose of this
Exhibition is not to enrich the artist, but to advance the art; the
eminent are not flattered with preference, nor the obscure insulted with
contempt; whoever hopes to deserve public favour is here invited to
display his merit.' Northcote's _Reynolds_, i. 101.

[1077] Hawkins (_Life_, p. 318) says that Johnson told him 'that in his
whole life he was never capable of discerning the least resemblance of
any kind between a picture and the subject it was intended to
represent.' This, however must have been an exaggeration on the part
either of Hawkins or Johnson. His general ignorance of art is shown by
Mrs. Piozzi (_Anec_., p. 98):--'Sir Joshua Reynolds mentioned some
picture as excellent. "It has often grieved me, sir," said Mr. Johnson,
"to see so much mind as the science of painting requires, laid out upon
such perishable materials: why do not you oftener make use of copper? I
could wish your superiority in the art you profess to be preserved in
stuff more durable than canvas." Sir Joshua urged the difficulty of
procuring a plate large enough for historical subjects. "What foppish
obstacles are these!" exclaims on a sudden Dr. Johnson. "Here is Thrale
has a thousand tun of copper; you may paint it all round if you will, I
suppose; it will serve him to brew in afterwards. Will it not, Sir?" to
my husband who sat by. Indeed his utter scorn of painting was such, that
I have heard him say, that he should sit very quietly in a room hung
round with the works of the greatest masters, and never feel the
slightest disposition to turn them, if their backs were outermost,
unless it might be for the sake of telling Sir Joshua that he _had_
turned them.' Such a remark of Johnson's must not, however, be taken too
strictly. He often spoke at random, often with exaggeration. 'There is
in many minds a kind of vanity exerted to the disadvantage of
themselves.' This reflection of his is the opening sentence to the
number of the Idler (No. 45) in which he thus writes about
portrait-painting:--'Genius is chiefly exerted in historical pictures;
and the art of the painter of portraits is often lost in the obscurity
of his subject. But it is in painting as in life; what is greatest is
not always best. I should grieve to see Reynolds transfer to heroes and
to goddesses, to empty splendour and to airy fiction, that art which is
now employed in diffusing friendship, in reviving tenderness, in
quickening the affections of the absent, and continuing the presence of
the dead.' It is recorded in Johnson's _Works_, (1787) xi. 208, that
'Johnson, talking with some persons about allegorical painting said, "I
had rather see the portrait of a dog that I know than all the
allegorical paintings they can show me in the world."' He bought prints
of Burke, Dyer, and Goldsmith--'Good impressions' he said to hang in a
little room that he was fitting up with prints. Croker's _Boswell_, p.
639. Among his effects that were sold after his death were 'sixty-one
portraits framed and glazed,' _post_, under Dec. 9, 1784. When he was at
Paris, and saw the picture-gallery at the Palais Royal, he entered in
his Diary:--'I thought the pictures of Raphael fine;' _post_, Oct. 16,
1775. The philosopher Hume was more insensible even than Johnson. Dr.
J.H. Burton says:--'It does not appear from any incident in his life, or
allusions in his letters, which I can remember, that he had ever really
admired a picture or a statue.' _Life of me_, ii. 134.

[1078] By Colman--'There is nothing else new,' wrote Horace Walpole on
March 7, 1761 (_Letters,_ in. 382), 'but a very indifferent play, called
_The Jealous Wife_, so well acted as to have succeeded greatly.'

[1079] In Chap. 47 of _Rasselas_ Johnson had lately considered monastic
life. Imlac says of the monks:--'Their time is regularly distributed;
one duty succeeds another, so that they are not left open to the
distraction of unguided choice, nor lost in the shades of listless
inactivity.... He that lives well in the world is better than he that
lives well in a monastery. But perhaps every one is not able to stem the
temptations of publick life; and, if he cannot conquer, he may properly
retreat.' See also _post_, March 15, 1776, and Boswell's _Hebrides_,
Aug. 19, 1773.

[1080] Baretti, in the preface to his _Journey_ (p. vi.), says that the
method of the book was due to Dr. Johnson. 'It was he that exhorted me
to write daily, and with all possible minuteness; it was he that pointed
out the topics which would most interest and most delight in a future

[1081] He advised Boswell to go to Spain. _Post_, June 25 and July 26,

[1082] Dr. Percy records that 'the first visit Goldsmith ever received
from Johnson was on May 31, 1761, [ten days before this letter was
written] when he gave an invitation to him, and much other company, many
of them literary men, to a supper in his lodgings in Wine Office Court,
Fleet Street. Percy being intimate with Johnson, was desired to call
upon him and take him with him. As they went together the former was
much struck with the studied neatness of Johnson's dress. He had on a
new suit of clothes, a new wig nicely powdered, and everything about him
so perfectly dissimilar from his usual appearance that his companion
could not help inquiring the cause of this singular transformation.
"Why, Sir," said Johnson, "I hear that Goldsmith, who is a very great
sloven, justifies his disregard of cleanliness and decency by quoting my
practice, and I am desirous this night to show him a better example."'
Goldsmith's _Misc. Works_, i. 62.

[1083] _Judges_, v. 20.

[1084] _Psalms_, xix. 2.

[1085] _Psalms_, civ. 19.

[1086] Boswell is ten years out in his date. This work was published in
1752. The review of it in the _Gent. Mag_. for that year, p. 146, was, I
believe, by Johnson.

[1087] He accompanied Lord Macartney on his embassy to China in 1792. In
1797 he published his _Account of the Embassy_.

[1088] It was taken in 1759, and restored to France in 1763. _Penny
Cyclo_. xi. 463.

[1089] W. S. Landor (_Works_, ed. 1876, v. 99) says:--'Extraordinary as
were Johnson's intellectual powers, he knew about as much of poetry as
of geography. In one of his letters he talks of Guadaloupe as being in
another hemisphere. Speaking of that island, his very words are these:
"Whether you return hither or stay in another hemisphere."' Guadaloupe,
being in the West Indies, is in another hemisphere.

[1090] See _post_, April 12, 1776.

[1091] 'It is necessary to hope, though hope should always be deluded;
for hope itself is happiness, and its frustrations, however frequent,
are less dreadful than its extinction.' _The Idler_, No. 58. See also
_post_, under March 30, 1783, where he ranks the situation of the Prince
of Wales as the happiest in the kingdom, partly on account of the
enjoyment of hope.

[1092] Though Johnson wrote this same day to Lord Bute to thank him for
his pension, he makes no mention to Baretti of this accession to
his fortune.

[1093] See _ante_, p. 245. Mrs. Porter, the actress, lived some time
with Mrs. Cotterel and her eldest daughter. CROKER.

[1094] Miss Charlotte Cotterel, married to Dean Lewis. See _post_, Dec.
21, 1762.

[1095] Reynolds's note-book shows that this year he had close on 150
sitters. Taylor's _Reynolds_, i. 218.

[1096] He married a woman of the town, who had persuaded him
(notwithstanding their place of congress was a small coalshed in Fetter
Lane) that she was nearly related to a man of fortune, but was
injuriously kept by him out of large possessions. She regarded him as a
physician already in considerable practice. He had not been married four
months, before a writ was taken out against him for debts incurred by
his wife. He was secreted; and his friend then procured him a protection
from a foreign minister. In a short time afterwards she ran away from
him, and was tried (providentially in his opinion) for picking pockets
at the Old Bailey. Her husband was with difficulty prevented from
attending the Court, in the hope she would be hanged. She pleaded her
own cause and was acquitted. A separation between them took place.'
_Gent. Mag_. lv. 101.

[1097] Richardson had died more than a year earlier,--on July 4, 1761.
That Johnson should think it needful at the date of his letter to inform
Baretti of the death of so famous a writer shows how slight was the
communication between London and Milan. Nay, he repeats the news in his
letter of Dec. 21, 1762.

[1098] On Dec. 8, 1765, he wrote to Hector:--'A few years ago I just
saluted Birmingham, but had no time to see any friend, for I came in
after midnight with a friend, and went away in the morning.' _Notes and
Queries_, 6th S. iii. 321. He passed through Birmingham, I conjecture,
on his visit to Lichfield.

[1099] Writing to Mrs. Thrale from Lichfield on July 20, 1767, he
says:--'Miss Lucy [Porter, his step-daughter, not his daughter-in-law,
as he calls her above] is more kind and civil than I expected, and has
raised my esteem by many excellencies very noble and resplendent, though
a little discoloured by hoary virginity. Everything else recalls to my
remembrance years, in which I proposed what I am afraid I have not done,
and promised myself pleasure which I have not found.' _Piozzi
Letters_, i. 4.

[1100] In his _Journey into Wales_ (Aug. 24, 1774), he describes how
Mrs. Thrale visited one of the scenes of her youth. 'She remembered the
rooms, and wandered over them with recollection of her childhood. This
species of pleasure is always melancholy. The walk was cut down and the
pond was dry. Nothing was better.'

[1101] This is a very just account of the relief which London affords to
melancholy minds. BOSWELL.

[1102] To Devonshire.

[1103] See _ante_, p. 322.

[1104] Dr. T. Campbell (_Diary of a visit to England_, p. 32) recorded
on March 16, 1775, that 'Baretti said that now he could not live out of
London. He had returned a few years ago to his own country, but he could
not enjoy it; and he was obliged to return to London to those
connections he had been making for near thirty years past.' Baretti had
come to England in 1750 (_ante_, p. 302), so that thirty years is an

[1105] How great a sum this must have been in Johnson's eyes is shown by
a passage in his _Life of Savage_ (_Works_, viii. 125). Savage, he says,
was received into Lord Tyrconnel's family and allowed a pension of L200
a year. 'His presence,' Johnson writes, 'was sufficient to make any
place of publick entertainment popular; and his approbation and example
constituted the fashion. So powerful is genius when it is invested with
the glitter of affluence!' In the last summer of his life, speaking of
the chance of his pension being doubled, he said that with six hundred a
year 'a man would have the consciousness that he should pass the
remainder of his life _in splendour_, how long soever it might be.'
_Post_, June 30, 1784. David Hume writing in 1751, says:--'I have L50 a
year, a L100 worth of books, great store of linens and fine clothes, and
near L100 in my pocket; along with order, frugality, a strong spirit of
independency, good health, a contented humour, and an unabating love of
study. In these circumstances I must esteem myself one of the happy and
fortunate.' J. H. Burton's _Hume_, i. 342. Goldsmith, in his _Present
State of Polite Learning_ (chap, vii), makes the following observation
on pensions granted in France to authors:--'The French nobility have
certainly a most pleasing way of satisfying the vanity of an author
without indulging his avarice. A man of literary merit is sure of being
caressed by the great, though seldom enriched. His pension from the
crown just supplies half a competence, and the sale of his labours makes
some small addition to his circumstances; thus the author leads a life
of splendid poverty, and seldom becomes wealthy or indolent enough to
discontinue an exertion of those abilities by which he rose.' Whether
Johnson's pension led to his writing less than he would otherwise have
done may be questioned. It is true that in the next seventeen years he
did little more than finish his edition of _Shakespeare_, and write his
_Journey to the Western Islands_ and two or three political pamphlets.
But since he wrote the last number of _The Idler_ in the spring of 1760
he had done very little. His mind, which, to use Murphy's words (_Life_,
p. 80), had been 'strained and overlaboured by constant exertion,' had
not recovered its tone. It is likely, that without the pension he would
not have lived to write the second greatest of his works--the _Lives of
the Poets_.

[1106] Mr. Forster (_Life of Goldsmith_, i. 281) says:--'Bute's pensions
to his Scottish crew showing meaner than ever in Churchill's daring
verse, it occurred to the shrewd and wary Wedderburne to advise, for a
set off, that Samuel Johnson should be pensioned.' _The Prophecy of
Famine_ in which Churchill's attack was made on the pensioned Scots was
published in Jan. 1763, nearly half a year after Johnson's pension was

[1107] For his _Falkland's Islands_ 'materials were furnished to him by
the ministry' (_post_, 1771). '_The Patriot_ was called for,' he writes,
'by my political friends' (_post_, Nov. 26, 1774). 'That _Taxation no
Tyranny_ was written at the desire of those who were then in power, I
have no doubt,' writes Boswell (_post_, under March 21, 1775). 'Johnson
complained to a friend that, his pension having been given to him as a
literary character, he had been applied to by administration to write
political pamphlets' (_Ib_.). Are these statements inconsistent with
what Lord Loughborough said, and with Boswell's assertion (_Ib_.) that
'Johnson neither asked nor received from government any reward
whatsoever for his political labours?' I think not. I think that, had
Johnson unpensioned been asked by the Ministry to write these pamphlets,
he would have written them. He would have been pleased by the
compliment, and for pay would have trusted to the sale. Speaking of the
first two of these pamphlets--the third had not yet appeared--he said,
'Except what I had from the booksellers, I did not get a farthing by
them' (_post_, March 21, 1772). They had not cost him much labour. _The
False Alarm_ was written between eight o'clock of one night and twelve
o'clock of the next. It went through three editions in less than two
months (_post_, 1770). _The Patriot_ was written on a Saturday (_post_,
Nov. 26, 1774). At all events Johnson had received his pension for more
than seven years before he did any work for the ministry. In Croft's
_Life of Young_, which Johnson adopted (_Works_, viii. 422), the
following passage was perhaps intended to be a defence of Johnson as a
writer for the Ministry:--'Yet who shall say with certainty that Young
was a pensioner? In all modern periods of this country, have not the
writers on one side been regularly called hirelings, and on the other

[1108] See _ante_, p. 294.

[1109] Murphy's account is nearly as follows (_Life_, p. 92):--'Lord
Loughborough was well acquainted with Johnson; but having heard much of
his independent spirit, and of the downfall of Osborne the bookseller
(_ante_, p. 154), he did not know but his benevolence might be rewarded
with a folio on his head. He desired me to undertake the task. I went to
the chambers in the Inner Temple Lane, which, in fact, were the abode of
wretchedness. By slow and studied approaches the message was disclosed.
Johnson made a long pause; he asked if it was seriously intended. He
fell into a profound meditation, and his own definition of a pensioner
occurred to him. He desired to meet next day, and dine at the Mitre
Tavern. At that meeting he gave up all his scruples. On the following
day Lord Loughborough conducted him to the Earl of Bute. The
conversation that passed was in the evening related to me by Dr.
Johnson. He expressed his sense of his Majesty's bounty, and thought
himself the more highly honoured, as the favour was not bestowed on him
for having dipped his pen in faction. "No, Sir," said Lord Bute, "it is
not offered to you for having dipped your pen in faction, nor with a
design that you ever should."' The reviewer of Hawkins's _Johnson_ in
the _Monthly Review_, lxxvi. 375, who was, no doubt, Murphy, adds a
little circumstance:--'On the next day Mr. Murphy was in the Temple Lane
soon after nine; _he got Johnson up and dressed in due time_; and saw
him set off at eleven.' Malone's note on what Lord Bute said to Johnson
is as follows:--'This was said by Lord Bute, as Dr. Burney was informed
by Johnson himself, in answer to a question which he put, previously to
his acceptance of the intended bounty: "Pray, my Lord, what am I
expected to do for this pension?"'


'In Britain's senate he a seat obtains
And one more pensioner St. Stephen gains.'

_Moral Essays_, iii. 392.

Johnson left the definition of _pension_ and _pensioner_ unchanged in
the fourth edition of the _Dictionary_, corrected by him in 1773.

[1111] He died on March 10, 1792. This paragraph and the letter are not
in the first two editions.

[1112] The Treasury, Home Office, Exchequer of Receipt and Audit Office
Records have been searched for a warrant granting a pension to Dr.
Johnson without success. In 1782, by Act of Parliament all pensions on
the Civil List Establishment were from that time to be paid at the
Exchequer. In the Exchequer Order Book, Michaelmas 1782, No. 46, p. 74,
the following memorandum occurs:--"Memdum. 3 Dec. 1782. There was issued
to the following persons (By order 6th of Nov. 1782) the sums set
against their names respectively, etc.:--Persons names: Johnson Saml,
LL.D. Pensions p. ann. L300. Due to 5 July 1782, two quarters, L150."

This pension was paid at the Exchequer from that time to the quarter
ending 10 Oct. 1784. 'It is clear that the pension was payable quarterly
[for confirmation of this, see _post_, Nov. 3, 1762, and July 16, 1765]
and at the old quarter days, July 5, Oct. 10, Jan. 5, April 5, though
payment was sometimes delayed. [Once he was paid half-yearly; see
_post_, under March 20, 1771.] The expression "bills" was a general term
at the time for notes, cheques, and warrants, and no doubt covered some
kind of Treasury warrant.' The above information I owe to the kindness
of my friend Mr. Leonard H. Courtney, M.P., late Financial Secretary to
the Treasury. The 'future favours' are the future payments. His pension
was not for life, and depended therefore entirely on the king's pleasure
(see _post_, under March 21, 1775). The following letter in the
_Grenville Papers_, ii. 68, seems to show that Johnson thought the
pension due on the _new_ quarter-day:--


'July 2, 1763.


'Be pleased to pay to the bearer seventy-five pounds, being the
quarterly payment of a pension granted by his Majesty, and due on the
24th day of June last, to Sir,

'Your most humble servant,


[1113] They left London on Aug. 16 and returned to it on Sept. 26.
Taylor's _Reynolds_, i. 214. Northcote records of this visit:--'I
remember when Mr. Reynolds was pointed out to me at a public meeting,
where a great crowd was assembled, I got as near to him as I could from
the pressure of the people to touch the skirt of his coat, which I did
with great satisfaction to my mind.' Northcote's _Reynolds_, i. 116. In
like manner Reynolds, when a youth, had in a great crowd touched the
hand of Pope. _Ib_, p. 19. Pope, when a boy of eleven, 'persuaded some
friends to take him to the coffee-house which Dryden frequented.'
Johnson's _Works_, viii. 236. Who touched old Northcote's hand? Has the
apostolic succession been continued?--Since writing these lines I have
read with pleasure the following passage in Mr. Ruskin's _Praeterita_,
chapter i. p. 16:--'When at three-and-a-half I was taken to have my
portrait painted by Mr. Northcote, I had not been ten minutes alone with
him before I asked him why there were holes in his carpet.' Dryden,
Pope, Reynolds, Northcote, Ruskin, so runs the chain of genius, with
only one weak link in it.

[1114] At one of these seats Dr. Amyat, Physician in London, told me he
happened to meet him. In order to amuse him till dinner should be ready,
he was taken out to walk in the garden. The master of the house,
thinking it proper to introduce something scientifick into the
conversation, addressed him thus: 'Are you a botanist, Dr. Johnson:'
'No, Sir, (answered Johnson,) I am not a botanist; and, (alluding no
doubt, to his near sightedness) should I wish to become a botanist, I
must first turn myself into a reptile.' BOSWELL.

[1115] Mrs. Piozzi (_Anec_. 285) says:--'The roughness of the language
used on board a man of war, where he passed a week on a visit to Captain
Knight, disgusted him terribly. He asked an officer what some place was
called, and received for answer that it was where the loplolly man kept
his loplolly; a reply he considered as disrespectful, gross and
ignorant.' Mr. Croker says that Captain Knight of the _Belleisle_ lay
for a couple of months in 1762 in Plymouth Sound. Croker's _Boswell_, p.
480. It seems unlikely that Johnson passed a whole week on ship-board.
_Loplolly_, or _Loblolly_, is explained in _Roderick Random_, chap.
xxvii. Roderick, when acting as the surgeon's assistant on a man of war,
'suffered,' he says, 'from the rude insults of the sailors and petty
officers, among whom I was known by the name of _Lobolly Boy_.'

[1116] He was the father of Colonel William Mudge, distinguished by his
trigonometrical survey of England and Wales. WRIGHT.

[1117] 'I have myself heard Reynolds declare, that the elder Mr. Mudge
was, in his opinion, the wisest man he had ever met with in his life. He
has always told me that he owed his first disposition to generalise, and
to view things in the abstract, to him.' Northcote's _Reynolds_, i.
112, 115.

[1118] See _post_, under March 20, 1781.

[1119] See _ante_, p. 293. BOSWELL.

[1120] The present Devonport.

[1121] A friend of mine once heard him, during this visit, exclaim with
the utmost vehemence 'I _hate_ a Docker.' BLAKEWAY. Northcote (Life of
Reynolds, i. 118) says that Reynolds took Johnson to dine at a house
where 'he devoured so large a quantity of new honey and of clouted
cream, besides drinking large potations of new cyder, that the
entertainer found himself much embarrassed between his anxious regard
for the Doctor's health and his fear of breaking through the rules of
politeness, by giving him a hint on the subject. The strength of
Johnson's constitution, however, saved him from any unpleasant
consequences.' 'Sir Joshua informed a friend that he had never seen Dr.
Johnson intoxicated by hard drinking but once, and that happened at the
time that they were together in Devonshire, when one night after supper
Johnson drank three bottles of wine, which affected his speech so much
that he was unable to articulate a hard word, which occurred in the
course of his conversation. He attempted it three times but failed; yet
at last accomplished it, and then said, "Well, Sir Joshua, I think it is
now time to go to bed."' _Ib_. ii. 161. One part of this story however
is wanting in accuracy, and therefore all may be untrue. Reynolds at
this time was not knighted. Johnson said (_post_, April 7, 1778): 'I did
not leave off wine because I could not bear it; I have drunk three
bottles of port without being the worse for it. University College has
witnessed this.' See however _post_, April 24, 1779, where he said:--'I
used to slink home when I had drunk too much;' also _ante_, p. 103, and
_post_, April 28, 1783.

[1122] George Selwyn wrote:--'Topham Beauclerk is arrived. I hear he
lost L10,000 to a thief at Venice, which thief, in the course of the
year, will be at Cashiobury.' (The reference to this quotation I
have mislaid.)

[1123] Two years later he repeated this thought in the lines that he
added to Goldsmith's _Traveller_. _Post_, under Feb. 1766.

[1124] We may compare with this what 'old Bentley' said:--'Depend upon
it, no man was ever written down but by himself.' Boswell's _Hebrides_,
Oct. 1, 1773.

[1125] The preliminaries of peace between England and France had been
signed on Nov. 3 of this year. _Ann Reg_. v. 246.

[1126] Of Baretti's _Travels through Spain, &c_., Johnson wrote to Mrs.
Thrale:--'That Baretti's book would please you all I made no doubt. I
know not whether the world has ever seen such _Travels_ before. Those
whose lot it is to ramble can seldom write, and those who know how to
write very seldom ramble.' _Piozzi_ Letters, i. 32.

[1127] See _ante_, p. 370.

[1128] See _ante_, p. 242, note 1.

[1129] Huggins had quarrelled with Johnson and Baretti (Croker's
_Boswell_, 129, note). See also _post_, 1780, in Mr. Langton's

[1130] See _ante_, p. 370.

[1131] Cowper, writing in 1784 about Collins, says:--'Of whom I did not
know that he existed till I found him there'--in the _Lives of the
Poets_, that is to say. Southey's _Cowper_, v. II.

[1132] To this passage Johnson, nearly twenty years later, added the
following (_Works_, viii. 403):--'Such was the fate of Collins, with
whom I once delighted to converse, and whom I yet remember with

[1133] 'MADAM. To approach the high and the illustrious has been in all
ages the privilege of Poets; and though translators cannot justly claim
the same honour, yet they naturally follow their authours as attendants;
and I hope that in return for having enabled TASSO to diffuse his fame
through the British dominions, I may be introduced by him to the
presence of YOUR MAJESTY.

TASSO has a peculiar claim to YOUR MAJESTY'S favour, as follower and
panegyrist of the House of _Este_, which has one common ancestor with
the House of HANOVER; and in reviewing his life it is not easy to
forbear a wish that he had lived in a happier time, when he might, among
the descendants of that illustrious family, have found a more liberal
and potent patronage.

I cannot but observe, MADAM, how unequally reward is proportioned to
merit, when I reflect that the happiness which was withheld from TASSO
is reserved for me; and that the poem which once hardly procured to its
authour the countenance of the Princess of Ferrara, has attracted to its
translator the favourable notice of a BRITISH QUEEN.

Had this been the fate of TASSO, he would have been able to have
celebrated the condescension of YOUR MAJESTY in nobler language, but
could not have felt it with more ardent gratitude, than MADAM, Your
MAJESTY'S Most faithful and devoted servant.'--BOSWELL.

[1134] Young though Boswell was, he had already tried his hand at more
than one kind of writing. In 1761 he had published anonymously an _Elegy
on the Death of an Amiable Young Lady_, with an _Epistle from Menalcas
to Lycidas_. (Edinburgh, Donaldson.) The Elegy is full of such errors as
'Thou liv'd,' 'Thou led,' but is recommended by a puffing preface and
three letters--one of which is signed J--B. About the same time he
brought out a piece that was even more impudent. It was _An Ode to
Tragedy_. By a gentleman of Scotland. (Edinburgh, Donaldson, 1761. Price
sixpence.) In the 'Dedication to James Boswell, Esq.,' he says:--'I have
no intention to pay you compliments--To entertain agreeable notions of
one's own character is a great incentive to act with propriety and
spirit. But I should be sorry to contribute in any degree to your
acquiring an excess of self-sufficiency ... I own indeed that when ...
to display my extensive erudition, I have quoted Greek, Latin and French
sentences one after another with astonishing celerity; or have got into
my _Old-hock humour_ and fallen a-raving about princes and lords,
knights and geniuses, ladies of quality and harpsichords; you, with a
peculiar comic smile, have gently reminded me of the _importance of a
man to himself_, and slily left the room with the witty Dean lying open
at--P.P. _clerk of this parish_. [Swift's _Works_, ed. 1803, xxiii.
142.] I, Sir, who enjoy the pleasure of your intimate acquaintance, know
that many of your hours of retirement are devoted to thought.' The _Ode_
is serious. He describes himself as having

'A soul by nature formed to feel Grief sharper than the tyrant's steel,
And bosom big with swelling thought From ancient lore's
remembrance brought.'

In the winter of 1761-2 he had helped as a contributor and part-editor
in bringing out a _Collection of Original Poems_. (_Boswell and
Erskine's Letters_, p. 27.) His next publication, also anonymous, was
_The Club at Newmarket_, written, as the Preface says, 'in the Newmarket
Coffee Room, in which the author, being elected a member of the Jockey
Club, had the happiness of passing several sprightly good-humoured
evenings.' It is very poor stuff. In the winter of 1762-3 he joined in
writing the _Critical Strictures_, mentioned _post_, June 25, 1763. Just
about the time that he first met Johnson he and his friend the Hon.
Andrew Erskine had published in their own names a very impudent little
volume of the correspondence that had passed between them. Of this I
published an edition with notes in 1879, together with Boswell's
_Journal of a Tour to Corsica_. (Messrs. Thos. De La Rue & Co.).

[1135] Boswell, in 1768, in the preface to the third edition of his
_Corsica_ described 'the warmth of affection and the dignity of
veneration' with which he never ceased to think of Mr. Johnson.

[1136] In the _Garrick Carres_, (ii. 83) there is a confused letter from
this unfortunate man, asking Garrick for the loan of five guineas. He
had a scheme for delivering dramatic lectures at Eton and Oxford; 'but,'
he added, 'my externals have so unfavourable an appearance that I cannot
produce myself with any comfort or hope of success.' Garrick sent him
five guineas. He had been a Major in the army, an actor, and dramatic
author. 'For the last seven years of his life he struggled under
sickness and want to a degree of uncommon misery.' _Gent. Mag_. for
1784, p. 959.

[1137] As great men of antiquity such as Scipio _Africanus_ had an
epithet added to their names, in consequence of some celebrated action,
so my illustrious friend was often called _DICTIONARY JOHNSON_, from
that wonderful atchievement of genius and labour, his _Dictionary of the
English Language_; the merit of which I contemplate with more and more
admiration. BOSWELL. In like manner we have 'Hermes Harris,' 'Pliny
Melmoth,' 'Demosthenes Taylor,' 'Persian Jones,' 'Abyssinian Bruce,'
'Microscope Baker,' 'Leonidas Glover,' 'Hesiod Cooke,' and
'Corsica Boswell.'

[1138] See _ante_, p. 124. He introduced Boswell to Davies, who was 'the
immediate introducer.' _Post_, under June 18, 1783, note.

[1139] On March 2, 1754 (not 1753), the audience called for a repetition
of some lines which they applied against the government. 'Diggs, the
actor, refused by order of Sheridan, the manager, to repeat them;
Sheridan would not even appear on the stage to justify the prohibition.
In an instant the audience demolished the inside of the house, and
reduced it to a shell.' Walpole's _Reign of George II_, i. 389, and
_Gent. Mag_. xxiv. 141. Sheridan's friend, Mr. S. Whyte, says
(_Miscellanea Nova, p. 16):--'In the year 1762 Sheridan's scheme for an
_English Dictionary_ was published. That memorable year he was nominated
for a pension.' He quotes (p. 111) a letter from Mrs. Sheridan, dated
Nov. 29, 1762, in which she says:--'I suppose you must have heard that
the King has granted him a pension of 200L. a year, merely as an
encouragement to his undertaking.'

[1140] See _post_, March 28, 1776.

[1141] Horace Walpole describes Lord Bute as 'a man that had passed his
life in solitude, and was too haughty to admit to his familiarity but
half a dozen silly authors and flatterers. Sir Henry Erskine, a military
poet, Home, a tragedy-writing parson,' &c. _Mem. of the Reign of George
III_, i. 37.

[1142] See _post_, March 28, 1776.

[1143] 'Native wood-_notes_ wild.' Milton's _L'Allegro_, l. 134


'In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas
Corpora. Di coeptis (nam vos mutastis et illas)
Adspirate meis.'
'Of bodies changed to various forms I sing:--
Ye Gods from whence these miracles did spring
Inspired, &c.'--DRYDEN, Ov. _Met_. i.i.

See _post_ under March 30, 1783, for Lord Loughborough.

[1145] See _post_, May 17, 1783, and June 24, 1784. Sheridan was not of
a forgiving nature. For some years he would not speak to his famous son:
yet he went with his daughters to the theatre to see one of his pieces
performed. 'The son took up his station by one of the side scenes,
opposite to the box where they sat, and there continued, unobserved, to
look at them during the greater part of the night. On his return home he
burst into tears, and owned how deeply it had gone to his heart, "to
think that _there_ sat his father and his sisters before him, and yet
that he alone was not permitted to go near them."' Moore's
_Sheridan_, i. 167.

[1146] As Johnson himself said:--'Men hate more steadily than they love;
and if I have said something to hurt a man once, I shall not get the
better of this by saying many things to please him.' _Post_, Sept.
15, 1777.

[1147] P. 447. BOSWELL. 'There is another writer, at present of gigantic
fame in these days of little men, who has pretended to scratch out a
life of Swift, but so miserably executed as only to reflect back on
himself that disgrace which he meant to throw upon the character of the
Dean.' _The Life of Doctor Swift_, Swift's _Works_, ed. 1803, ii. 200.
There is a passage in the _Lives of the Poets_ (_Works_, viii. 43) in
which Johnson might be supposed playfully to have anticipated this
attack. He is giving an account of Blackmore's imaginary _Literary Club
of Lay Monks_, of which the hero was 'one Mr. Johnson.' 'The rest of the
_Lay Monks_,' he writes, 'seem to be but feeble mortals, in comparison
with the gigantick Johnson.' See also _post_, Oct. 16, 1769. Horace
Walpole (_Letters_, v. 458) spoke no less scornfully than Sheridan of
Johnson and his contemporaries. On April 27, 1773, after saying that he
should like to be intimate with Anstey (the author of the _New Bath
Guide_), or with the author of the _Heroic Epistle_, he continues:--'I
have no thirst to know the rest of my contemporaries, from the absurd
bombast of Dr. Johnson down to the silly Dr. Goldsmith; though the
latter changeling has had bright gleams of parts, and the former had
sense, till he changed it for words, and sold it for a pension. Don't
think me scornful. Recollect that I have seen Pope and lived with Gray.'

[1148] Johnson is thus mentioned by Mrs. Sheridan in a letter dated,
Blois, Nov. 16, 1743, according to the _Garrick Corres_, i. 17, but the
date is wrongly given, as the Sheridans went to Blois in 1764: 'I have
heard Johnson decry some of the prettiest pieces of writing we have in
English; yet Johnson is an honourable man--that is to say, he is a good
critic, and in other respects a man of enormous talents.'

[1149] My position has been very well illustrated by Mr. Belsham of
Bedford, in his _Essay on Dramatic Poetry_. 'The fashionable doctrine
(says he) both of moralists and criticks in these times is, that virtue
and happiness are constant concomitants; and it is regarded as a kind of
dramatick impiety to maintain that virtue should not be rewarded, nor
vice punished in the last scene of the last act of every tragedy. This
conduct in our modern poets is, however, in my opinion, extremely
injudicious; for, it labours in vain to inculcate a doctrine in theory,
which every one knows to be false in fact, _viz_. that virtue in real
life is always productive of happiness; and vice of misery. Thus
Congreve concludes the Tragedy of _The Mourning Bride_ with the
following foolish couplet:--

'For blessings ever wait on virtuous deeds,
And though a late, a sure reward succeeds.'

'When a man eminently virtuous, a Brutus, a Cato, or a Socrates, finally
sink under the pressure of accumulated misfortune, we are not only led
to entertain a more indignant hatred of vice than if he rose from his
distress, but we are inevitably induced to cherish the sublime idea that
a day of future retribution will arrive when he shall receive not merely
poetical, but real and substantial justice.' _Essays Philosophical,
Historical, and Literary_, London, 1791, vol. II. 8vo. p. 317.

This is well reasoned and well expressed. I wish, indeed, that the
ingenious authour had not thought it necessary to introduce any
_instance_ of 'a man eminently virtuous;' as he would then have avoided
mentioning such a ruffian as Brutus under that description. Mr. Belsham
discovers in his _Essays_ so much reading and thinking, and good
composition, that I regret his not having been fortunate enough to be
educated a member of our excellent national establishment. Had he not
been nursed in nonconformity, he probably would not have been tainted
with those heresies (as I sincerely, and on no slight investigation,
think them) both in religion and politicks, which, while I read, I am
sure, with candour, I cannot read without offence. BOSWELL. Boswell's
'position has been illustrated' with far greater force by Johnson. 'It
has been the boast of some swelling moralists, that every man's fortune
was in his own power, that prudence supplied the place of all other
divinities, and that happiness is the unfailing consequence of virtue.
But surely the quiver of Omnipotence is stored with arrows against which
the shield of human virtue, however adamantine it has been boasted, is
held up in vain; we do not always suffer by our crimes; we are not
always protected by our innocence.' _The Adventurer_, No. 120. See also
_Rasselas_, chap. 27.

[1150] 'Charles Fox said that Mrs. Sheridan's _Sydney Biddulph_ was the
best of all modern novels. By the by [R. B.] Sheridan used to declare
that _he_ had never read it.' Rogers's _Table-Talk_, p. 90. The editor
says, in a note on this passage:--'The incident in _The School for
Scandal_ of Sir Oliver's presenting himself to his relations in disguise
is manifestly taken by Sheridan from his mother's novel.'

[1151] No. 8.--The very place where I was fortunate enough to be
introduced to the illustrious subject of this work, deserves to be
particularly marked. I never pass by it without feeling reverence and
regret. BOSWELL.

[1152] Johnson said:--'Sir, Davies has learning enough to give credit to
a clergyman.' _Post_, 1780, in Mr. Langton's _Collection_. The spiteful
Steevens thus wrote about Davies:--'His concern ought to be with the
outside of books; but Dr. Johnson, Dr. Percy, and some others have made
such a coxcomb of him, that he is now hardy enough to open volumes, turn
over their leaves, and give his opinions of their contents. Did I ever
tell you an anecdote of him? About ten years ago I wanted the Oxford
_Homer_, and called at Davies's to ask for it, as I had seen one thrown
about his shop. Will you believe me, when I assure you he told me "he
had but one, and that he kept for _his own reading_?"' _Garrick
Corres_. i. 608.

[1153] Johnson, writing to Beattie, _post_, Aug 21, 1780, says:--'Mr.
Davies has got great success as an author, generated by the corruption
of a bookseller.' His principal works are _Memoirs of Garrick_, 1780,
and _Dramatic Miscellanies_, 1784.

[1154] Churchill, in the _Rosciad_, thus celebrated his wife and mocked
his recitation:--

'With him came mighty Davies. On my life
That Davies hath a very pretty wife:--
Statesman all over!--In plots famous grown!--
He mouths a sentence, as curs mouth a bone.'

Churchill's _Poems_, i. 16.

See _post_, under April 20, 1764, and March 20, 1778. Charles Lamb in a
note to his _Essay on the Tragedies of Shakespeare_ says of Davies, that
he 'is recorded to have recited the _Paradise Lost_ better than any man
in England in his day (though I cannot help thinking there must be some
mistake in this tradition).' Lamb's _Works_, ed. 1840, p. 517.

[1155] See Johnson's letter to Davies, _post_, June 18, 1783.

[1156] Mr. Murphy, in his _Essay on the Life and Genius of Dr. Johnson_,
[p. 106], has given an account of this meeting considerably different
from mine, I am persuaded without any consciousness of errour. His
memory, at the end of near thirty years, has undoubtedly deceived him,
and he supposes himself to have been present at a scene, which he has
probably heard inaccurately described by others. In my note _taken on
the very day_, in which I am confident I marked every thing material
that passed, no mention is made of this gentleman; and I am sure, that I
should not have omitted one so well known in the literary world. It may
easily be imagined that this, my first interview with Dr. Johnson, with
all its circumstances, made a strong impression on my mind, and would be
registered with peculiar attention. BOSWELL.

[1157] See _post_, April 8, 1775.

[1158] That this was a momentary sally against Garrick there can be no
doubt; for at Johnson's desire he had, some years before, given a
benefit-night at his theatre to this very person, by which she had got
two hundred pounds. Johnson, indeed, upon all other occasions, when I
was in his company, praised the very liberal charity of Garrick. I once
mentioned to him, 'It is observed, Sir, that you attack Garrick
yourself, but will suffer nobody else to do it.' JOHNSON, (smiling)
'Why, Sir, that is true.' BOSWELL. See _post_, May 15, 1776, and
April 17, 1778.

[1159] By Henry Home, Lord Kames, 3 vols. Edinburgh, 1762. See _post_,
Oct. 16, 1769. 'Johnson laughed much at Lord Kames's opinion that war
was a good thing occasionally, as so much valour and virtue were
exhibited in it. "A fire," says Johnson, "might as well be thought a
good thing; there is the bravery and address of the firemen employed in
extinguishing it; there is much humanity exerted in saving the lives and
properties of the poor sufferers; yet after all this, who can say a fire
is a good thing?"' Johnson's _Works_, (1787) xi. 209.

[1160] No. 45 of the _North Briton_ had been published on April 23.
Wilkes was arrested under a general warrant on April 30. On May 6 he was
discharged from custody by the Court of Common Pleas, before which he
had been brought by a writ of _Habeas Corpus_. A few days later he was
served with a subpoena upon an information exhibited against him by the
Attorney-General in the Court of King's Bench. He did not enter an
appearance, holding, as he said, the serving him with the subpoena as a
violation of the privilege of parliament. _Parl. Hist_. xv. 1360.

[1161] Mr. Sheridan was then reading lectures upon Oratory at Bath,
where Derrick was Master of the Ceremonies; or, as the phrase is, KING.
BOSWELL. Dr. Parr, who knew Sheridan well, describes him 'as a
wrong-headed, whimsical man.' 'I remember,' he continues, 'hearing one
of his daughters, in the house where I lodged, triumphantly repeat
Dryden's _Ode upon St. Cecilia's Day_, according to the instruction
given to her by her father. Take a sample:--

"_None_ but the brave
None but the _brave_.
None _but_ the brave deserve the fair."

Naughty Richard [R. B. Sheridan], like Gallio, seemed to care nought for
these things.' Moore's _Sheridan_, i. 9, 11. Sheridan writing from
Dublin on Dec. 7, 1771, says:--'Never was party violence carried to such
a height as in this session; the House [the Irish House of Parliament]
seldom breaking up till eleven or twelve at night. From these contests
the desire of improving in the article of elocution is become very
general. There are no less than five persons of rank and fortune now
waiting my leisure to become my pupils.' _Ib_. p. 60. See _post_,
July 28, 1763.

[1162] Bonnell Thornton. See _post_ July 1, 1763.

[1163] Lloyd was one of a remarkable group of Westminster boys. He was a
school-fellow not only of Churchill, the elder Colman, and Cumberland,
buy also of Cowper and Warren Hastings. Bonnell Thornton was a few years
their senior. Not many weeks after this meeting with Boswell, Lloyd was
in the Fleet prison. Churchill in _Indepence_(_Poems_ ii 310) thus
addresses the Patrons of the age:--

'Hence, ye vain boasters, to the Fleet repair
And ask, with blushes ask if Lloyd is there.'

Of the four men who thus enlivened Boswell, two were dead before the end
of the following year. Churchill went first. When Lloyd heard of his
death, '"I shall follow poor Charles," was all he said, as he went to
the bed from which he never rose again.' Thornton lived three or four
years longer, Forster's _Essays_, ii 217, 270, 289. See also his _Life
of Goldsmith_ i. 264, for an account how 'Lloyd invited Goldsmith to sup
with some friends of Grub Street, and left him to pay the reckoning.'
Thornton, Lloyd, Colman, Cowper, and Joseph Hill, to whom Cowper's
famous _Epistle_ was addressed, had at one time been members of the
Nonsense Club. Southey's _Cowper_, i. 37.

[1164] The author of the well-known sermons, see _post_, under Dec. 21,

[1165] See _post_, under Dec. 9, 1784.

[1166] See _post_, Feb. 7, 1775, under Dec. 24, 1783, and Boswell's
_Hebrides_, Nov. 10, 1773.

[1167] 'Sir,' he said to Reynolds, 'a man might write such stuff for
ever, if he would _abandon_ his mind to it;' _post_, under March
30, 1783.

[1168] 'Or behind the screen' some one might have added, _ante_, i. 163.

[1169] Wesley was told that a whole waggon-load of Methodists had been
lately brought before a Justice of the Peace. When he asked what they
were charged with, one replied, 'Why they pretended to be better than
other people, and besides they prayed from morning to night.' Wesley's
_Journal_, i. 361. See also _post_, 1780, near the end of Mr. Langton's

[1170] 'The progress which the understanding makes through a book has'
he said, 'more pain than pleasure in it;' _post_, May 1, 1783.

[1171] _Matthew_, vi. 16.

[1172] Boswell, it is clear, in the early days of his acquaintance with
Johnson often led the talk to this subject. See _post_, June 25, July
14, 21, and 28, 1763.

[1173] See _post_, April 7, 1778.

[1174] He finished his day, 'however late it might be,' by taking tea at
Miss Williams's lodgings; _post_, July 1, 1763.

[1175] See _post_, under Feb. 15, 1766, Feb. 1767, March 20, 1776, and
Boswell's _Hebrides_, Sept. 20, 1773, where Johnson says:--'I have been
trying to cure my laziness all my life, and could not do it.' It was
this kind of life that caused so much of the remorse which is seen in
his _Prayers and Meditations_.

[1176] Horace Walpole writing on June 12, 1759 (_Letters_, iii. 231),
says:--'A war that reaches from Muscovy to Alsace, and from Madras to
California, don't produce an article half so long as Mr. Johnson's
riding three horses at once.' I have a curious copper-plate showing
Johnson standing on one, or two, and leading a third horse in full
speed.' It bears the date of November 1758. See _post_, April 3, 1778.

[1177] In the impudent _Correspondence_ (pp. 63, 65) which Boswell and
Andrew Erskine published this year, Boswell shows why he wished to enter
the Guards. 'My fondness for the Guards,' he writes, 'must appear very
strange to you, who have a rooted antipathy at the glare of scarlet. But
I must inform you, that there is a city called London, for which I have
as violent an affection as the most romantic lover ever had for his
mistress.... I am thinking of the brilliant scenes of happiness, which I
shall enjoy as an officer of the guards. How I shall be acquainted with
all the grandeur of a court, and all the elegance of dress and
diversions; become a favourite of ministers of state, and the adoration
of ladies of quality, beauty, and fortune! How many parties of pleasure
shall I have in town! How many fine jaunts to the noble seats of dukes,
lords, and members of parliament in the country! I am thinking of the
perfect knowledge which I shall acquire of men and manners, of the
intimacies which I shall have the honour to form with the learned and
ingenious in every science, and of the many amusing literary anecdotes
which I shall pick up,' etc. Boswell, in his _Hebrides_ (Aug. 18, 1773),
says of himself:--'His inclination was to be a soldier; but his father,
a respectable Judge, had pressed him into the profession of the law.'

[1178] A row of tenements in the Strand, between Wych Street and Temple
Bar, and 'so called from the butchers' shambles on the south side.'
(_Strype_, B. iv. p. 118.) Butcher Row was pulled down in 1813, and the
present Pickett Street erected in its stead. P. CUNNINGHAM. In _Humphry
Clinker_, in the letter of June 10, one of the poor authors is described
as having been 'reduced to a woollen night-cap and living upon
sheep's-trotters, up three pair of stairs backward in Butcher Row.'

[1179] Cibber was poet-laureate from 1730 to 1757. Horace Walpole
describes him as 'that good humoured and honest veteran, so unworthily
aspersed by Pope, whose _Memoirs_, with one or two of his comedies, will
secure his fame, in spite of all the abuse of his contemporaries.' His
successor Whitehead, Walpole calls 'a man of a placid genius.' _Reign of
George II_, iii. 81. See _ante_, pp. 149, 185, and _post_, Oct. 19,
1769, May 15, 1776, and Sept. 21, 1777.

[1180] The following quotations show the difference of style in the two


'When her pride, fierce in arms,
Would to Europe give law;
At her cost let her come,
To our cheer of huzza!
Not lightning with thunder more terrible darts,
Than the burst of huzza from our bold _British_ hearts.'

_Gent. Mag_. xxv. 515.


'Ye guardian powers, to whose command,
At Nature's birth, th' Almighty mind
The delegated task assign'd
To watch o'er Albion's favour'd land,
What time your hosts with choral lay,
Emerging from its kindred deep,
Applausive hail'd each verdant steep,
And white rock, glitt'ring to the new-born day!'

_Ib_. xxix. 32.

[1181] See _ante_, p. 167.

[1182] 'Whitehead was for some while Garrick's "reader" of new plays for
Drury-lane.' Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 41. See _post_, April 25, 1778,
note. The verses to Garrick are given in Chalmers's _English Poets_,
xvii. 222.

[1183] 'In 1757 Gray published _The Progress of Poetry_ and _The Bard_,
two compositions at which the readers of poetry were at first content to
gaze in mute amazement. Some that tried them confessed their inability
to understand them.... Garrick wrote a few lines in their praisc. Some
hardy champions undertook to rescue them from neglect; and in a short
time many were content to be shown beauties which they could not see.'
Johnson's _Works_, viii. 478. See _post_, March 28, and April 2, 1775,
and 1780 in Mr. Langton's _Collection_. Goldsmith, no doubt, attacked
Gray among 'the misguided innovators,' of whom he said in his _Life of
Parnell_:--'They have adopted a language of their own, and call upon
mankind for admiration. All those who do not understand them are silent,
and those who make out their meaning are willing to praise to show they
understand.' Goldsmith's _Misc. Works_, iv. 22.

[1184] Johnson, perhaps, refers to the anonymous critic quoted by Mason
in his notes on this Ode, who says:--'This abrupt execration plunges the
reader into that sudden fearful perplexity which is designed to
predominate through the whole.' Mason's _Gray_, ed. 1807, i. 96.

[1185] 'Of the first stanza [of _The Bard_] the abrupt beginning has
been celebrated; but technical beauties can give praise only to the
inventor. It is in the power of any man to rush abruptly upon his
subject that has read the ballad of _Johnny Armstrong_.' Johnson's
_Works_, viii. 485.

[1186] My friend Mr. Malone, in his valuable comments on Shakspeare, has
traced in that great poet the _disjecta membra_ of these lines. BOSWELL.
Gray, in the edition of _The Bard_ of the year 1768, in a note on these
lines had quoted from _King John_, act v. sc. 1:--'Mocking the air with
colours idly spread.' Gosse's _Gray_, i. 41. But Malone quotes also from
_Macbeth_, act i. sc. 2:--

'Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky
And fan our people cold.'

'Out of these passages,' he said, 'Mr. Gray seems to have framed the
first stanza of his celebrated _Ode_.' Malone's _Shakespeare_, xv. 344.

[1187] Cradock records (_Memoirs_, 1.230) that Goldsmith said to
him:--'You are so attached to Kurd, Gray, and Mason, that you think
nothing good can proceed but out of that formal school;--now, I'll mend
Gray's _Elegy_ by leaving out an idle word in every line.

"The curfew tolls the knell of day,
The lowing herd winds o'er the lea
The ploughman homeward plods his way

Enough, enough, I have no ear for more.'

[1188] So, less than two years later, Boswell opened his mind to Paoli.
'My time passed here in the most agreeable manner. I enjoyed a sort of
luxury of noble sentiment. Paoli became more affable with me. I made
myself known to him.' Boswell's _Corsica_, p. 167.

[1189] See _ante_, p. 67.

[1190] See _post_, Sept. 22, 1777.

[1191] See _post_, March 30, 1778, where in speaking of the appearance
of spirits after death he says:--'All argument is against it; but all
belief is for it.' See also _ante_, p. 343, and _post_, April 15, 1778,
under May 4, 1779, April 15, 1781, and June 12, 1784.

[1192] The caricature begins:--

'Pomposo, insolent and loud
Vain idol of a _scribbling_ crowd,
Whose very name inspires an awe
Whose ev'ry word is Sense and Law.'

Churchill's _Poems_, i. 216.

[1193] The chief impostor, a man of the name of Parsons, had, it should
seem, set his daughter to play the part of the ghost in order to pay out
a grudge against a man who had sued him for a debt. The ghost was made
to accuse this man of poisoning his sister-in-law, and to declare that
she should only be at ease in her mind if he were hanged. 'When Parsons
stood on the Pillory at the end of Cock Lane, instead of being pelted,
he had money given him.' _Gent. Mag_. xxxii. 43, 82, and xxxiii. 144.

[1194] Horace Walpole, writing on Feb. 2, 1762 (_Letters_, iii. 481),
says:--'I could send you volumes on the Ghost, and I believe, if I were
to stay a little, I might send its _life_, dedicated to my Lord
Dartmouth, by the Ordinary of Newgate, its two great patrons. A drunken
parish clerk set it on foot out of revenge, the Methodists have adopted
it, and the whole town of London think of nothing else.... I went to
hear it, for it is not an _apparition_, but an _audition_, ... the Duke
of York, Lady Northumberland, Lady Mary Coke, Lord Hertford, and I, all
in one Hackney-coach: it rained torrents; yet the lane was full of mob,
and the house so full we could not get in.' See _post_, April 10, 1778.

[1195] Described by Goldsmith in _Retaliation_ as 'The scourge of
impostors, the terror of quacks.' See _ante_, p. 229.

[1196] The account was as follows:--'On the night of the 1st of February
[1762] many gentlemen eminent for their rank and character were, by the
invitation of the Reverend Mr. Aldrich, of Clerkenwell, assembled at his
house, for the examination of the noises supposed to be made by a
departed spirit, for the detection of some enormous crime.

'About ten at night the gentlemen met in the chamber in which the girl,
supposed to be disturbed by a spirit, had, with proper caution, been put
to bed by several ladies. They sat rather more than an hour, and hearing
nothing, went down stairs, when they interrogated the father of the
girl, who denied, in the strongest terms, any knowledge or belief
of fraud.

'The supposed spirit had before publickly promised, by an affirmative
knock, that it would attend one of the gentlemen into the vault under
the Church of St. John, Clerkenwell, where the body is deposited, and
give a token of her presence there, by a knock upon her coffin; it was
therefore determined to make this trial of the existence or veracity of
the supposed spirit.

'While they were enquiring and deliberating, they were summoned into the
girl's chamber by some ladies who were near her bed, and who had heard
knocks and scratches. When the gentlemen entered, the girl declared that
she felt the spirit like a mouse upon her back, and was required to hold
her hands out of bed. From that time, though the spirit was very
solemnly required to manifest its existence by appearance, by impression
on the hand or body of any present, by scratches, knocks, or any other
agency, no evidence of any preter-natural power was exhibited.

'The spirit was then very seriously advertised that the person to whom
the promise was made of striking the coffin, was then about to visit the
vault, and that the performance of the promise was then claimed. The
company at one o'clock went into the church, and the gentleman to whom
the promise was made, went with another into the vault. The spirit was
solemnly required to perform its promise, but nothing more than silence
ensued: the person supposed to be accused by the spirit, then went down
with several others, but no effect was perceived. Upon their return they
examined the girl, but could draw no confession from her. Between two
and three she desired and was permitted to go home with her father.

'It is, therefore, the opinion of the whole assembly, that the child has
some art of making or counterfeiting a particular noise, and that there
is no agency of any higher cause.' BOSWELL. _Gent. Mag_. xxxii. 81. The
following MS. letter is in the British Museum:--


The appointment for the examination stands as it did when I saw you
last, viz., between 8 and 9 this evening. Mr. Johnson was applied to by
a friend of mine soon after you left him, and promised to be with us.
Should be glad, if convenient, you'd show him the way hither. Mrs.
Oakes, of Dr. Macauley's recommendation, I should be glad to have here
on the occasion; and think it would do honour to the list of examiners
to have Dr. Macauley with us.

I am, Dear Sir,
your most obedient servant,

If Dr Macauley can conveniently attend, should be glad you'd acquaint
Lord Dartmouth with it, who seemed to be at loss to recommend a
gentleman of the faculty at his end of the town.

St. John's Square. Monday noon.

To the Revd. Dr. Douglas.'

Endorsed 'Mr. Aldrich, Feb. 1762, about the Cock Lane
ghost.--Examination at his house.'

[1197] Boswell was with Paoli when news came that a Corsican under
sentence of death 'had consented to accept of his life, upon condition
of becoming hangman. This made a great noise among the Corsicans, who
were enraged at the creature, and said their nation was now disgraced.
Paoli did not think so. He said to me:--"I am glad of this. It will be
of service. It will contribute to form us to a just subordination. As we
must have Corsican tailours, and Corsican shoemakers, we must also have
a Corsican hangman."' Boswell's _Corsica_, p. 201. See _post_, July 20
and 21, 1763, April 13, 1773, and March 28, 1775.

[1198] 'Mallet's Dramas had their day, a short day, and are forgotten.'
Johnson's _Works_, viii. 468.

[1199] See _ante_, p. 384, note.

[1200] 'A man had heard that Dempster was very clever, and therefore
expected that he could say nothing but good things. Being brought
acquainted, Mr. Dempster said to him with much politeness, "I hope, Sir,
your lady and family are well." "Ay, ay, man," said he, "pray where is
the great wit in that speech?"' _Boswelliana_, p. 307. Mr. Dempster is
mentioned by Burns in _The Author's Earnest Cry and Prayer to the Scotch
Representatives in the House of Commons_:--'Dempster, a true-blue Scot
I'se warran.' In 1769 he was elected member for the Forfar Boroughs.
_Parl. Hist_. xvi. 453.

[1201] _The Critical Review_, in which Mallet himself sometimes wrote,
characterised this pamphlet as 'the crude efforts of envy, petulance and
self conceit.' There being thus three epithets, we, the three authours,
had a humourous contention how each should be appropriated. BOSWELL.

[1202] Johnson (_Works_, ix. 86) talks of the chiefs 'gradually
degenerating from patriarchal rulers to rapacious landlords.' In
Boswell's _Hebrides_, the subject is often examined.

[1203] See _ante_, i. 365.

[1204] 'Dr. Burney spoke with great warmth of affection of Dr. Johnson;
said he was the kindest creature in the world when he thought he was
loved and respected by others. He would play the fool among friends, but
he required deference. It was necessary to ask questions and make no
assertion. If you said two and two make four, he would say, "How will
you prove that, Sir?" Dr. Burney seemed amiably sensitive to every
unfavourable remark on his old friend.' H. C. Robinson's _Diary_,
iii. 485.

[1205] See _post_, April 24, 1777, note, and Oct. l0, 1779, where he
consults Johnson about the study of Greek. He formed wishes, scarcely
plans of study but never studied.

[1206] See _post_, Feb. 18, 1777. It was Graham who so insulted
Goldsmith by saying:--''Tis not you I mean, Dr. _Minor_; 'tis Dr.
_Major_ there.' Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 24, 1773.

[1207] See _post_, Sept. 19, 1777.

[1208] Of Mathematics Goldsmith wrote:--'This seems a science to which
the meanest intellects are equal.' See _post_, March 15, 1776, note.

[1209] In his _Present State of Polite Learning_, ch. 13 (_Misc. Works_,
i. 266), Goldsmith writes:--'A man who is whirled through Europe in a
post-chaise, and the pilgrim who walks the grand tour on foot, will form
very different conclusions. _Haud inexpertus loquor_.' The last three
words are omitted in the second edition.

[1210] George Primrose in the _Vicar of Wakefield_ (ch. 20), after
describing these disputations, says:--'In this manner I fought my way
towards England.'

[1211] Dr. Warton wrote to his brother on Jan. 22, 1766:--'Of all solemn
coxcombs Goldsmith is the first; yet sensible--but affects to use
Johnson's hard words in conversation.' Wooll's _Warton_, p. 312.

[1212] It was long believed that the author of one of Goldsmith's early
works was Lord Lyttelton. '"Whenever I write anything," said Goldsmith,
"I think the public _make a point_ to know nothing about it." So the
present book was issued as a _History of England in a series of Letters
from a Nobleman to his Son_. The persuasion at last became general that
the author was Lord Lyttelton, and the name of that grave good lord is
occasionally still seen affixed to it on the bookstalls.' Forster's
_Goldsmith_, i. 301. The _Traveller_ was the first of his works to which
he put his name. It was published in 1764. 16. p. 364.

[1213] Published in 1759.

[1214] Published in 1760-1.

[1215] See his Epitaph in Westminster Abbey, written by Dr. Johnson.

'Qui nullum fere scribendi genus
Non tetigit,
Nullum quod tetigit non ornavit.'

_Post_, under June 22, 1776.

[1216] In allusion to this, Mr. Horace Walpole, who admired his
writings, said he was 'an inspired ideot;' and Garrick described him
as one

'----for shortness call'd Noll,
Who wrote like an angel, and
talk'd like poor Poll.'

Sir Joshua Reynolds mentioned to me that he frequently heard Goldsmith
talk warmly of the pleasure of being liked, and observe how hard it
would be if literary excellence should preclude a man from that
satisfaction, which he perceived it often did, from the envy which
attended it; and therefore Sir Joshua was convinced that he was
intentionally more absurd, in order to lessen himself in social
intercourse, trusting that his character would be sufficiently supported
by his works. If it indeed was his intention to appear absurd in
company, he was often very successful. But with due deference to Sir
Joshua's ingenuity, I think the conjecture too refined. BOSWELL.

Horace Walpole's saying of the 'inspired ideot' is recorded in Davies's
_Garrick_, ii. 151. Walpole, in his _Letters_, describes Goldsmith as 'a
changeling that has had bright gleams of parts,' (v. 458); 'a fool, the
more wearing for having some sense,' (vi. 29); 'a poor soul that had
sometimes parts, though never common sense,' (_ib_. p. 73); and 'an
idiot, with once or twice a fit of parts,' (_ib_. p. 379).
Garrick's lines--

'Here lies Nolly Goldsmith, for shortness called Noll,
Who wrote like an angel, but talked like poor Poll,'

are his imaginary epitaph on Goldsmith, which, with the others, gave
rise to _Retaliation_. Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 405.

[1217] Rousseau accounting for the habit he has 'de balbutier
promptement des paroles sans idees,' continues, 'je crois que voila de
quoi faire assez comprendre comment n'etant pas un sot, j'ai cependant
souvent passe pour l'etre, meme chez des gens en etat de bien juger....
Le parti que j'ai pris d'ecrire et de me cacher est precisement celui
qui me convenait. Moi present on n'aurait jamais su ce que je valois, on
ne l'aurait pas soupconne meme.' _Les Confessions_, Livre iii. See
_post_, April 27, 1773, where Boswell admits that 'Goldsmith was often
very fortunate in his witty contests, even when he entered the lists
with Johnson himself:' and April 30, 1773, where Reynolds says of him:
'There is no man whose company is more liked.'

[1218] Northcote, a few weeks before his death, said to Mr.
Prior:--'When Goldsmith entered a room, Sir, people who did not know him
became for a moment silent from awe of his literary reputation; when he
came out again, they were riding upon his back.' Prior's _Goldsmith_, i.
440. According to Dr. Percy:--'His face was marked with strong lines of
thinking. His first appearance was not captivating; but when he grew
easy and cheerful in company, he relaxed into such a display of good
humour as soon removed every unfavourable impression.' Goldsmith's
_Misc. Works_, i. 117.

[1219] 'Dr. Goldsmith told me, he himself envied Shakespeare.' Walpole's
_Letters_, vi. 379. Boswell, later on (_post_, May 9, 1773), says:--'In
my opinion Goldsmith had not more of it [an envious disposition] than
other people have, but only talked of it freely.' See also _post_, April
12, 1778. According to Northcote, 'Sir Joshua said that Goldsmith
considered public notoriety or fame as one great parcel, to the whole of
which he laid claim, and whoever partook of any part of it, whether
dancer, singer, slight of hand man, or tumbler, deprived him of his
right.' Northcote's _Reynolds_, i. 248. See _post_, April 7, 1778, where
Johnson said that 'Goldsmith was not an agreeable companion, for he
talked always for fame;' and April 9, 1778.

[1220] Miss Hornecks, one of whom is now married to Henry Bunbury, Esq.,
and the other to Colonel Gwyn. BOSWELL.

[1221] 'Standing at the window of their hotel [in Lisle] to see a
company of soldiers in the Square, the beauty of the sisters Horneck
drew such marked admiration, that Goldsmith, heightening his drollery
with that air of solemnity so generally a point in his humour and so
often more solemnly misinterpreted, turned off from the window with the
remark that elsewhere _he_ too could have his admirers. The Jessamy
Bride, Mrs. Gwyn, was asked about the occurrence not many years ago;
remembered it as a playful jest; and said how shocked she had
subsequently been "to see it adduced in print as a proof of his envious
disposition."' Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 217.

[1222] Puppets.

[1223] He went home with Mr. Burke to supper; and broke his shin by
attempting to exhibit to the company how much better he could jump over
a stick than the puppets. BOSWELL. Mr. Hoole was one day in a coach with
Johnson, when 'Johnson, who delighted in rapidity of pace, and had been
speaking of Goldsmith, put his head out of one of the windows to see
they were going right, and rubbing his hands with an air of satisfaction
exclaimed:--"This man drives fast and well; were Goldsmith here now he
would tell us he could do better."' Prior's _Goldsmith_, ii. 127.

[1224] See _post_, April 9, 1773; also April 9, 1778, where Johnson
says, 'Goldsmith had no settled notions upon any subject.'

[1225] I am willing to hope that there may have been some mistake as to
this anecdote, though I had it from a Dignitary of the Church. Dr. Isaac
Goldsmith, his near relation, was Dean of Cloyne, in 1747. BOSWELL. This
note first appears in the second edition.

[1226] Mr. Welsh, in _A Bookseller of the Last Century_, p. 58, quotes
the following entry from an account-book of B. Collins of Salisbury, the
printer of the first edition of the _Vicar_:--'_Vicar of Wakefield_, 2
vols. 12mo., 1/3rd. B. Collins, Salisbury, bought of Dr. Goldsmith, the
author, October 28, 1762, L21.' Goldsmith, it should seem from this, as
Collins's third share was worth twenty guineas, was paid not sixty
pounds, but sixty guineas. Collins shared in many of the ventures of
Newbery, Goldsmith's publisher. Mr. Welsh says (_ib_. p. 61) that
Collins's accounts show 'that the first three editions resulted in a
loss.' If this was so, the booksellers must have been great bunglers,
for the book ran through three editions in six or seven months.
Forster's _Goldsmith_, i. 425.

[1227] The Traveller (price one shilling and sixpence) was published in
December 1764, and _The Vicar of Wakefield_ in March 1766. In August
1765 the fourth edition of _The Traveller_ appeared, and the ninth in
the year Goldsmith died. He received for it L21. Forster's _Goldsmith_,
i. 364, 374, 409. See _ante_, p. 193, note i.

[1228] '"Miss Burney," said Mrs. Thrale [to Dr. Johnson], "is fond of
_The Vicar of Wakefield_, and so am I. Don't you like it, Sir?" "No,
madam, it is very faulty; there is nothing of real life in it, and very
little of nature. It is a mere fanciful performance."' Mme. D'Arblay's
_Diary_, i. 83. 'There are a hundred faults in this Thing,' said
Goldsmith in the preface, 'and a hundred things might be said to prove
them beauties. But it is needless. A book may be amusing with numerous
errors, or it may be very dull without a single absurdity.' See _post_,
April 25, 1778.

[1229] _Anecdotes of Johnson_, p. 119. BOSWELL.

[1230] _Life of Johnson_, p. 420. BOSWELL.

[1231] In his imprudence he was like Savage, of whom Johnson says
(_Works_, viii. 161):--'To supply him with money was a hopeless attempt;
for no sooner did he see himself master of a sum sufficient to set him
free from care for a day, than he became profuse and luxurious.' When
Savage was 'lodging in the liberties of the Fleet, his friends sent him
every Monday a guinea, which he commonly spent before the next morning,
and trusted, after his usual manner, the remaining part of the week to
the bounty of fortune.' _Ib_. p. 170.

[1232] It may not be improper to annex here Mrs. Piozzi's account of
this transaction, in her own words, as a specimen of the extreme
inaccuracy with which all her anecdotes of Dr. Johnson are related, or
rather discoloured and distorted:--'I have forgotten the year, but it
could scarcely, I think, be later than 1765 or 1766 that he was _called
abruptly from our house after dinner_, and returning _in about three
hours_, said he had been with an enraged authour, whose landlady pressed
him for payment within doors, while the bailiffs beset him without; that
he was _drinking himself drunk_ with Madeira, to drown care, and
fretting over a novel, which, when _finished_, was to be his _whole
fortune_, but _he could not get it done for distraction_, nor could he
step out of doors to offer it for sale. Mr. Johnson, therefore, sent
away the bottle, and went to the bookseller, recommending the
performance, and _desiring some immediate relief_; which when he brought
back to the writer, _he called the 'woman of the house directly to
partake of punch, and pass their time in merriment.' Anecdotes of Dr.
Johnson_, p. 119. BOSWELL. The whole transaction took place in 1762, as
is shown, _ante_, p. 415, note 1; Johnson did not know the Thrales
till 1764.

[1233] Through Goldsmith Boswell became acquainted with Reynolds. In his
_Letter to the People of Scotland_ (p. 99), he says:--'I exhort you, my
friends and countrymen, in the words of my departed _Goldsmith_, who
gave me many nodes _Atticae_, and gave me a jewel of the finest
water--the acquaintance of Sir Joshua Reynolds.'

[1234] See _post_, July 30, 1763.

[1235] See _post_, March 20, 1776, and Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 17,

[1236] See _post_, March 15, 1776.

[1237] 'Dr. Campbell was an entertaining story-teller, which [_sic_]
sometimes he rather embellished; so that the writer of this once heard
Dr. Johnson say:--"Campbell will lie, but he never lies on paper."'
_Gent. Mag_. for 1785, p. 969.

[1238] I am inclined to think that he was misinformed as to this
circumstance. I own I am jealous for my worthy friend Dr. John Campbell.
For though Milton could without remorse absent himself from publick
worship [Johnson's _Works_, vii. 115] I cannot. On the contrary, I have
the same habitual impressions upon my mind, with those of a truely
venerable Judge, who said to Mr. Langton, 'Friend Langton, if I have not
been at church on Sunday, I do not feel myself easy.' Dr. Campbell was a
sincerely religious man. Lord Macartney, who is eminent for his variety
of knowledge, and attention to men of talents, and knew him well, told
me, that when he called on him in a morning, he found him reading a
chapter in the Greek New Testament, which he informed his Lordship was
his constant practice. The quantity of Dr. Campbell's composition is
almost incredible, and his labours brought him large profits. Dr. Joseph
Warton told me that Johnson said of him, 'He is the richest authour that
ever grazed the common of literature.' BOSWELL.

[1239] See _post_, April 7, 1778. Campbell complied with one of the
_Monita Padagogica_ of Erasmus. 'Si quem praeteribis natu grandem,
magistratum, sacerdotem, doctorem.... memento aperire caput.... Itidem
facito quum praeteribis asdem sacram.' Erasmus's _Colloquies_, ed.
1867, i. 36.

[1240] Reynolds said of Johnson:--'He was not easily imposed upon by
professions to honesty and candour; but he appeared to have little
suspicion of hypocrisy in religion.' Taylor's _Reynolds_, ii. 459.
Boswell, in one of his penitent letters, wrote to Temple on July 21,
1790:--'I am even almost inclined to think with you, that my great
oracle Johnson did allow too much credit to good principles, without
good practice.' _Letters of Boswell_, p. 327.

[1241] Campbell lived in 'the large new-built house at the
north-west-corner of Queen Square, Bloomsbury, whither, particularly on
a Sunday evening, great numbers of persons of the first eminence for
science and literature resorted for the enjoyment of conversation.'
Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 210.

[1242] Churchill, in his first poem, _The Rosciad_ (Poems, i. 4),
mentions Johnson without any disrespect among those who were thought
of as judge.

'For Johnson some, but Johnson, it was feared,
Would be too grave; and Sterne too gay appeared.'

In The Author (ib. ii. 36), if I mistake not, he grossly alludes to the
convulsive disorder to which Johnson was subject. Attacking the
pensioners he says--the italics are his own:--

'Others, _half-palsied_ only, mutes become,
And what makes Smollett write makes Johnson dumb.'

[1243] See _post_, April 6, 1772, where Johnson called Fielding a

[1244] Churchill published his first poem, _The Rosciad_, in March or
April 1761 (_Gent. Mag_. xxxi. 190); _The Apology_ in May or June (_Ib_.
p. 286); _Night_ in Jan. 1762 (_Ib_. xxxii. 47); The First and Second
Parts of The Ghost in March (_ib_. p. 147); The Third Part in the autumn
(_ib_. p. 449); _The Prophecy of Famine _in Jan. 1763 (_ib_. xxxiii.
47), and _The Epistle to Hogarth_ in this month of July (_ib_. p. 363).
He wrote the fourth part of _The Ghost_, and nine more poems, and died
on Nov. 4, 1764, aged thirty-two or thirty-three.

[1245] 'Cowper had a higher opinion of Churchill than of any other
contemporary writer. "It is a great thing," he said, "to be indeed a
poet, and does not happen to more than one man in a century; but
Churchill, the great Churchill, deserved that name." He made him, more
than any other writer, his model.' Southey's _Cowper_, i. 87, 8.

[1246] Mr. Forster says that 'Churchill asked five guineas for the
manuscript of _The Rosciad_ (according to Southey, but Mr. Tooke says he
asked twenty pounds).' Finding no purchaser he brought the poem out at
his own risk. Mr. Forster continues:--'The pulpit had starved him on
forty pounds a year; the public had given him a thousand pounds in two
months.' Forster's _Essays_, ii. 226, 240. As _The Rosciad _was sold at
one shilling a copy, it seems incredible that such a gain could have
been made, even with the profits of _The Apology_ included. 'Blotting
and correcting was so much Churchill's abhorrence that I have heard from
his publisher he once energetically expressed himself, that it was like
cutting away one's own flesh.' D'Israeli's _Curiosities of Literature_,
ed. 1834, iii. 129. D'Israeli 'had heard that after a successful work he
usually precipitated the publication of another, relying on its
crudeness being passed over by the public curiosity excited by its
better brother. He called this getting double pay, for thus he secured
the sale of a hurried work.'

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