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Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 by Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

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the south. You may publish this if you please."' Twiss's _Eldon_, i.
303. See _post_, April 10, 1778, note for Lord Eldon.

[562] Johnson (_Works_, viii. 220) says that 'Swift's delight was in
simplicity. That he has in his works no metaphor, as has been said, is
not true; but his few metaphors seem to be received rather by necessity
than choice. He studied purity.... His style was well suited to his
thoughts.... He pays no court to the passions; he excites neither
surprise nor admiration; he always understands himself, and his reader
always understands him; the peruser of Swift wants little previous
knowledge; it will be sufficient that he is acquainted with common words
and common things; ... [his style] instructs, but it does not persuade.'
Hume describes Swift's style as one which he 'can approve, but surely
can never admire. It has no harmony, no eloquence, no ornament, and not
much correctness, whatever the English may imagine.' J. H. Burton's
_Hume_, ii. 413.

[563] Johnson's Works, v. 146.

[564] Dr. Warton wrote on Jan. 22, 1766:--'Garrick is entirely off from
Johnson, and cannot, he says, forgive him his insinuating that he
withheld his old editions, which always were open to him; nor, I
suppose, his never mentioning him in all his works.' Wooll's _Warton_,
p. 313. Beauclerk wrote to Lord Charlemont in 1773:--'If you do not come
here, I will bring all the club over to Ireland to live with you, and
that will drive you here in your own defence, Johnson _shall spoil your
books_, Goldsmith pull your flowers, and Boswell talk to you: stay then
if you can.' Charlemont's _Life_, i. 347. Yet Garrick had lent Johnson
some books, for Johnson wrote to him on Oct. 10, 1766:--'I return you
thanks for the present of the _Dictionary_, and will take care to return
you [qu. your] other books.' _Garrick Corres_, i. 245. Steevens, who had
edited Johnson's _Shakespeare_, wrote to Garrick:--'I have taken the
liberty to introduce your name, because _I have found_ no reason to say
that the possessors of the old quartos were not sufficiently
communicative.' _Ib_ p. 501. Mme. D'Arblay describes how 'Garrick,
giving a thundering stamp on some mark on the carpet that struck his
eye--not with passion or displeasure, but merely as if from
singularity--took off Dr. Johnson's voice in a short dialogue with
himself that had passed the preceding week. "David! Will you lend me
your _Petrarca_?" "Y-e-s, Sir!" "David! you sigh?" "Sir--you shall have
it certainly." "Accordingly," Mr. Garrick continued, "the book,
stupendously bound, I sent to him that very evening. But scarcely had he
taken it in his hands, when, as Boswell tells me, he poured forth a
Greek ejaculation and a couplet or two from Horace, and then in one of
those fits of enthusiasm which always seem to require that he should
spread his arms aloft, he suddenly pounces my poor _Petrarca_ over his
head upon the floor. And then, standing for several minutes lost in
abstraction, he forgot probably that he had ever seen it."' Dr. Burney's
_Memoirs_, i. 352. See _post_, under Aug. 12, 1784.

[565] The gentleman most likely is Boswell (_ante_, ii. 14, note 1). I
suspect that this anecdote belongs to _ante_, April 14, when 'Johnson
was not in the most genial humour.' Boswell, while showing that Mrs.
Piozzi misrepresented an incident of that evening 'as a personality,'
would be afraid of weakening his case by letting it be seen that Johnson
on that occasion was very personal. Since writing this I have noticed
that Dr. T. Campbell records in his _Diary_, p. 53, that on April 1,
1775, he was dining at Mr. Thrale's with Boswell, when many of Johnson's
'bon-mots were retailed. Boswell arguing in favour of a cheerful glass,
adduced the maxim _in vino veritas_. "Well," says Johnson, "and what
then, unless a man has lived a lie." Boswell then urged that it made a
man forget all his cares. "That to be sure," says Johnson, "might be of
use, if a man sat by such a person as you."' Campbell's account confirms
what Boswell asserts (_ante_, ii. 188) that Mrs. Piozzi had the
anecdote from him.

[566] No. 150. The quotation is from Francis Osborne's _Advice to a
Son_. Swift, in _The Tatler_, No. 230, ranks Osborne with some other
authors, who 'being men of the Court, and affecting the phrases then in
fashion, are often either not to be understood, or appear perfectly

[567] See post, May 13, 1778, and June 30, 1784.

[568] Mrs. Piozzi, to whom I told this anecdote, has related it, as if
the gentleman had given 'the _natural history of the mouse_.' _Anec_. p.
191. BOSWELL. The gentleman was very likely Dr. Vansittart, who is
mentioned just before. (See _ante_, i. 348, note 1.) Mrs. Thrale, in
1773, wrote to Johnson of 'the man that saw the mouse.' Piozzi
_Letters_, i. 186. From Johnson's answer (_ib_. p. 197) it seems that
she meant Vansittart. Mr. Croker says 'this proves that Johnson himself
sanctioned Mrs. Piozzi's version of the story--_mouse versus flea_.' Mr.
Croker has an odd notion of what constitutes both a proof and
a sanction.

[569] Lord Shelburne says that 'William Murray [Lord Mansfield] was
sixteen years of age when he came out of Scotland, and spoke such broad
Scotch that he stands entered in the University books at Oxford as born
as Bath, the Vice-Chancellor mistaking _Bath for Perth_.' Fitzmaurice's
_Shelburne_, i. 87.

[570] The asterisks seem to show that Beattie and Robertson are meant.
This is rendered more probable from the fact that the last paragraph is
about Scotchmen.

[571] See _ante_, ii. 51.

[572] Boswell's friend was very likely his brother David, who had long
resided in Valencia. In that case, Johnson came round to Boswell's
opinion, for he wrote, 'he will find Scotland but a sorry place after
twelve years' residence in a happier climate;' _post_, April 29, 1780.

[573] See _ante_, i.443, note 2.

[574] Wilson against Smith and Armour. BOSWELL.

[575] Lord Kames, in his _Historical Law Tracts_. BOSWELL.

[576] 'Covin. A deceitful agreement between two or more to the hurt of
another.' Johnson's _Dictionary_.

[577] Lord Kames (_Sketches of the History of Man_, iv. 168) says:--'The
undisciplined manners of our forefathers in Scotland made a law
necessary, that whoever intermeddled irregularly with the goods of a
deceased person should be subjected to pay all his debts, however
extensive. A due submission to legal authority has in effect abrogated
that severe law, and it is now [1774] scarce ever heard of.' Scott
introduces Lord Kames in _Redgauntlet_, at the end of chap. I of the
_Narrative_:--'"What's the matter with the auld bitch next?" said an
acute metaphysical judge, though somewhat coarse in his manners, aside
to his brethren.' In Boswell's poem _The Court of Session Garland_,
where the Scotch judges each give judgment, we read:--

'Alemore the judgment as illegal blames,
"Tis equity, you bitch," replies my Lord Kames.'

Chambers's _Traditions of Edinburgh_, ii. 161. Mr. Chambers adds (p.
171) that when Kames retired from the Bench, 'after addressing his
brethren in a solemn speech, in going out at the door of the court room,
he turned about, and casting them a last look, cried, in his usual
familiar tone, "Fare ye a' weel, ye bitches."'

[578] At this time there were no civil juries in Scotland. 'But this was
made up for, to a certain extent, by the Supreme Court, consisting of no
fewer than fifteen judges; who formed a sort of judicial jury, and were
dealt with as such. The great mass of the business was carried on by
writing.' Cockbarn's _Jeffery_, i. 87. See _post_, Jan. 19, 1775, note.

[579] In like manner, he had discovered the _Life of Cheynel_ to be
Johnson's. Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 17, 1774.

[580] The _Essay on Truth_, published in May, 1770. Beattie wrote on
Sept. 30, 1772:--'The fourth edition of my _Essay_ is now in the press.'
Forbes's _Beattie_, ed. 1824, p. 134. Three translations--French,
Dutch, and German--had, it seems, already appeared. _Ib_ p. 121. 'Mr.
Johnson made Goldsmith a comical answer one day, when seeming to repine
at the success of Beattie's _Essay on Truth_. "Here's such a stir," said
he, "about a fellow that has written one book, and I have written many."
"Ah, Doctor," says he, "there go two and forty sixpences you know to one
guinea."' Piozzi's _Anec_. p. 179. See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct
1, 1773.

[581] See _ante_, ii. 144, 183.

[582] On the same day he wrote to Dr. Taylor:--'Your uneasiness at the
misfortunes of your relations, I comprehend perhaps too well. It was an
irresistible obtrusion of a disagreeable image, which you always wished
away, but could not dismiss, an incessant persecution of a troublesome
thought, neither to be pacified nor ejected. Such has of late been the
state of my own mind. I had formerly great command of my attention, and
what I did not like could forbear to think on. But of this power, which
is of the highest importance to the tranquillity of life, I have been so
much exhausted, that I do not go into a company towards night, in which
i foresee anything disagreeable, nor enquire after anything to which I
am not indifferent, lest something, which I know to be nothing, should
fasten upon my imagination, and hinder me from sleep.' _Notes and
Queries_, 6th S., v. 383. On Oct. 6 he wrote to Dr. Taylor:--'I am now
within a few hours of being able to send the whole _Dictionary_ to the
press [_ante_, ii. 155], and though I often went sluggishly to the work,
I am not much delighted at the completion. My purpose is to come down to
Lichfield next week.' _Ib_ p. 422. He stayed some weeks there and in
Ashbourne. _Piozzi Letters_, i. 55-70.

[583] See _ante_, ii. 141, note 3.

[584] 'While of myself I yet may think, while breath my body sways.'
Morris's Aeneids, iv. 336.

[585] It should seem that this dictionary work was not unpleasant to
Johnson; for Stockdale records (_Memoirs_, ii. 179) that about 1774,
having told him that he had declined to edit a new edition of Chambers's
_Dictionary of the Arts and Sciences_, 'Johnson replied that if I would
not undertake, he would. I expressed my astonishment that, in his easy
circumstances, he should think of preparing a new edition of a tedious,
scientific dictionary. "Sir," said he, "I like that muddling work." He
allowed some time to go by, during which another editor was found--Dr.
Rees. Immediately after this intelligence he called on me, and his first
words were:--"It is gone, Sir."'

[586] He, however, wrote, or partly wrote, an Epitaph on Mrs. Bell, wife
of his friend John Bell, Esq., brother of the Reverend Dr. Bell,
Prebendary of Westminster, which is printed in his _Works_ [i. 151]. It
is in English prose, and has so little of his manner, that I did not
believe he had any hand in it, till I was satisfied of the fact by the
authority of Mr. Bell. BOSWELL. 'The epitaph is to be seen in the parish
church of Watford.' Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 471.

[587] See _ante_, i. 187. Mme. D'Arblay (_Memoirs of Dr. Burney_, i.
271) says that this year Goldsmith projected a _Dictionary of Arts and
Sciences_, in which Johnson was to take the department of ethics, and
that Dr. Burney finished the article _Musician_. The scheme came
to nothing.

[588] We may doubt Steevens's taste. Garrick 'produced _Hamlet_ with
alterations, rescuing,' as he said, 'that noble play from all the
rubbish of the fifth act' (_ante_, ii. 85, note 7.) Steevens wrote to
Garrick:--'I expect great pleasure from the perusal of your altered
_Hamlet_. It is a circumstance in favour of the poet which I have long
been wishing for. You had better throw what remains of the piece into a
farce, to appear immediately afterwards. No foreigner who should happen
to be present at the exhibition, would ever believe it was formed out of
the loppings and excrescences of the tragedy itself. You may entitle it
_The Grave-Diggers; with the pleasant Humours of Osric, the Danish
Macaroni_.' _Garrick Corres_. i. 451.

[589] A line of an epigram in the _Life of Virgil_, ascribed to Donatus.

[590] Given by a lady at Edinburgh. BOSWELL.

[591] There had been masquerades in Scotland; but not for a very long
time. BOSWELL. 'Johnson,' as Mr. Croker observes, 'had no doubt seen an
account of the masquerade in the _Gent. Mag_. for January,' p. 43. It is
stated there that 'it was the first masquerade ever seen in Scotland.'
Boswell appeared as a dumb Conjurer.

[592] Mrs. Thrale recorded in 1776, after her quarrel with Baretti:--'I
had occasion to talk of him with Tom Davies, who spoke with horror of
his ferocious temper; "and yet," says I, "there is great sensibility
about Baretti. I have seen tears often stand in his eyes." "Indeed,"
replies Davies, "I should like to have seen that sight vastly,
when--even butchers weep."' Hayward's _Piozzi_, ii. 340. Davies said of
Goldsmith:--'He least of all mankind approved Baretti's conversation; he
considered him as an insolent, overbearing foreigner.' Davies, in the
same passage, speaks of Baretti as 'this unhappy Italian.' Davies's
_Garrick_, ii. 168. As this was published in Baretti's life-time, the
man could scarcely have been so ferocious as he was described.

[593] 'There were but a few days left before the comedy was to be acted,
and no name had been found for it. "We are all in labour," says Johnson,
whose labour of kindness had been untiring throughout, "for a name to
Goldy's play." [See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 14, 1773.] What now
stands as the second title, _The Mistakes of a Night_, was originally
the only one; but it was thought undignified for a comedy. _The Old
House a New Inn_ was suggested in place of it, but dismissed as awkward.
Sir Joshua offered a much better name to Goldsmith, saying, "You ought
to call it _The Belle's Stratagem_, and if you do not I will damn it."
When Goldsmith, in whose ear perhaps a line of Dryden's lingered, hit
upon _She Stoops to Conquer_.' Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 337, and
Northcote's _Reynolds_, i. 285. Mr. Forster quotes the line of Dryden as

'But kneels to conquer, and but stoops to rise.'

In Lord Chesterfield's _Letters_, iii. 131, the line is given,

'But stoops to conquer, and but kneels to rise.'

[594] This gentleman, who now resides in America in a publick character
of considerable dignity, desired that his name might not be transcribed
at full length. BOSWELL.

[595] Now Doctor White, and Bishop of the Episcopal Church in
Pennsylvania. During his first visit to England in 1771, as a candidate
for holy orders, he was several times in company with Dr. Johnson, who
expressed a wish to see the edition of his _Rasselas_, which Dr. White
told him had been printed in America. Dr. White, on his return,
immediately sent him a copy. BOSWELL.

[596] Horace. _Odes_, iii. I. 34.

[597] See _post_, Oct. 12, 1779.

[598] Malone had the following from Baretti: 'Baretti made a translation
of _Rasselas_ into French. He never, however, could satisfy himself with
the translation of the first sentence, which is uncommonly lofty.
Mentioning this to Johnson, the latter said, after thinking two or three
minutes, "Well, take up the pen, and if you can understand my
pronunciation, I will see what I can do." He then dictated the sentence
to the translator, which proved admirable, and was immediately adopted.'
Prior's _Malone_, p. 161. Baretti, in a MS. note on his copy of _Piozzi
Letters_, i. 225, says:--'Johnson never wrote to me French, but when he
translated for me the first paragraph of his _Rasselas_.' That Johnson's
French was faulty, is shown by his letters in that language. _Ante_, ii.
82, and _post_, under Nov. 12, 1775.

[599] It has been translated into Bengalee, Hungarian, Polish, Modern
Greek, and Spanish, besides the languages mentioned by Johnson. Dr. J.
Macaulay's _Bibliography of Rasselas_. It reached its fifth edition by
1761. _A Bookseller of the Last Century_, p. 243. In the same book (p.
19) it is mentioned that 'a sixteenth share in _The Rambler_ was sold
for L22 2s. 6d.'

[600] A motion in the House of Commons for a committee to consider of
the subscription to the Thirty nine Articles had, on Feb. 23 of this
year, been rejected by 159 to 67. _Parl. Hist_. xvii. 742-758. A bill
for the relief of Protestant Dissenters that passed the House of Commons
by 65 to 14 on March 25, was rejected in the House of Lords by 86 to 28
on April 2. _Ib_ p. 790.

[601] See _post_, April 25, 1778, where Johnson says that 'Colman [the
manager] was prevailed on at last by much solicitation, nay, a kind of
force, to bring it on.' Mr. Forster (_Life of Goldsmith_, ii. 334-6)
writes:--'The actors and actresses had taken their tone from the
manager. Gentleman Smith threw up Voting Marlow; Woodward refused Tony
Lumpkin; Mrs. Abington declined Miss Hardcastle [in _The Athenaeum_, No.
3041, it is pointed out that Mrs. Abington was not one of Colman's
Company]; and, in the teeth of his own misgivings, Colman could not
contest with theirs. He would not suffer a new scene to be painted for
the play, he refused to furnish even a new dress, and was careful to
spread his forebodings as widely as he could.' The play met with the
greatest success. 'There was a new play by Dr. Goldsmith last night,
which succeeded prodigiously,' wrote Horace Valpole (_Letters_, v. 452).
The laugh was turned against the doubting manager. Ten days after the
play had been brought out, Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale:--'C----[Colman]
is so distressed with abuse about his play, that he has solicited
Goldsmith to _take him off the rack of the newspapers_.' _Piozzi
Letters_, i. 80. See _post_, just before June 22, 1784, for Mr.
Steevens's account.

[602] It was anything but an apology, unless _apology_ is used in its
old meaning of _defence_.

[603] Nine days after _She Stoops to Conquer_ was brought out, a vile
libel, written, it is believed, by Kenrick (_ante_ i. 297), was
published by Evans in _The London Packet_. The libeller dragged in one
of the Miss Hornecks, 'the Jessamy Bride' of Goldsmith's verse.
Goldsmith, believing Evans had written the libel, struck him with his
cane. The blow was returned, for Evans was a strong man. 'He indicted
Goldsmith for the assault, but consented to a compromise on his paying
fifty pounds to a Welsh charity. The papers abused the poet, and
steadily turned aside from the real point in issue. At last he stated it
himself, in an _Address to the Public_, in the _Daily Advertiser_ of
March 31.' Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 347-351. The libel is given in
Goldsmith's _Misc. Works_ (1801), i. 103.

[604] '_Your_ paper,' I suppose, because the _Chronicle_ was taken in at
Bolt Court. _Ante_, ii. 103.

[605] See Forster's _Goldsmith_, i. 265, for a possible explanation of
this sarcasm.

[606] Horace Walpole is violent against Dalrymple and the King. 'What
must,' he says, 'be the designs of this reign when George III.
encourages a Jacobite wretch to hunt in France for materials for
blackening the heroes who withstood the enemies of Protestantism and
liberty.' _Journal of the Reign of George III_, i. 286.

[607] Mr. Hallam pointed out to Mr. Croker that Johnson was speaking of
Dalrymple's description of the parting of Lord and Lady Russell:--'With
a deep and noble silence; with a long and fixed look, in which respect
and affection unmingled with passion were expressed, Lord and Lady
Russell parted for ever--he great in this last act of his life, but she
greater.' Dalrymple's _Memoirs_, i. 31. See _post_, April 30, 1773, for
the foppery of Dalrymple; and Boswell's _Hebrides_, near the end, for
Johnson's imitation of Dalrymple's style.

[608] See _ante_, i. 334.

[609] See _ante_, ii. 170.

[610] Horace Walpole says:--'It was not Chesterfield's fault if he had
not wit; nothing exceeded his efforts in that point; and though they
were far from producing the wit, they at least amply yielded the
applause he aimed at.' _Memoirs of the Reign of George II_, i. 51.

[611] A curious account of Tyrawley is given in Walpole's _Reign of
George II_, iii. 108. He had been Ambassador at Lisbon, and he 'even
affected not to know where the House of Commons was.' Walpole says
(_Letters_, i. 215, note) that 'Pope has mentioned his and another
ambassador's seraglios in one of his _Imitations of Horace_.' He refers
to the lines in the _Imitations_, i. 6. 120:--

'Go live with Chartres, in each vice outdo
K----l's lewd cargo, or Ty----y's crew.'

Kinnoul and Tyrawley, says Walpole, are meant.

[612] According to Chalmers, who himself has performed this task, Dr.
Percy was the first of these gentlemen, and Dr. John Calder the
second. CROKER.

[613] Sir Andrew Freeport, after giving money to some importunate
beggars, says:--'I ought to give to an hospital of invalids, to recover
as many useful subjects as I can, but I shall bestow none of my bounties
upon an almshouse of idle people; and for the same reason I should not
think it a reproach to me if I had withheld my charity from those common
beggars.' _The Spectator_, No. 232. This paper is not by Addison. In No.
549, which is by Addison, Sir Andrew is made to found 'an almshouse for
a dozen superannuated husbandmen.' I have before (ii. 119) contrasted
the opinions of Johnson and Fielding as to almsgiving. A more curious
contrast is afforded by the following passage in _Tom Jones_, book i.
chap. iii:--'I have told my reader that Mr. Allworthy inherited a large
fortune, that he had a good heart, and no family. Hence, doubtless, it
will be concluded by many that he lived like an honest man, owed no one
a shilling, took nothing but what was his own, kept a good house,
entertained his neighbours with a hearty welcome at his table, and was
charitable to the poor, i.e. to those who had rather beg than work, by
giving them the offals from it; that he died immensely rich, and built
an hospital.'

[614] Boswell says (_Hebrides_, Aug. 26, 1773):--'His recitation was
grand and affecting, and, as Sir Joshua Reynolds has observed to me, had
no more tone than it should have.' Mrs. Piozzi (_Anec_. p. 302)
writes:--'His manner of repeating deserves to be described, though at
the same time it defeats all power of description; but whoever once
heard him repeat an ode of Horace would be long before they could endure
to hear it repeated by another.' See _ante_, ii. 92, note 4.

[615] 'Some of the old legendary stories put in verse by modern writers
provoked him to caricature them thus one day at Streatham:--

"The tender infant, meek and mild,
Fell down upon the stone;
The nurse took up the squealing child,
But still the child squeal'd on."

'A famous ballad also beginning--_Rio verde, Rio verde_, when I
commended the translation of it, he said he could do it better himself,
as thus:--

"Glassy water, glassy water,
Down whose current clear and strong,
Chiefs confused in mutual slaughter,
Moor and Christian roll along."

"But, Sir," said I, "this is not ridiculous at all." "Why no," replied
he, "why should I always write ridiculously?"' Piozzi's _Anec_. p. 65.
See _ante_, ii. 136, note 4. Neither Boswell nor Mrs. Piozzi mentions
Percy by name as the subject of Johnson's ridicule.

[616] See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 4, 1773.

[617] Rogers (_Table-Talk_, p. 88) said that 'Fox considered Burnet's
style to be perfect.'

[618] Johnson (_Works_, vii. 96) quotes; 'Dalrymple's observation, who
says "that whenever Burnet's narrations are examined, he appears to be
mistaken."' Lord Bolingbroke (_Works_, iv. 151) wrote of party pamphlets
and histories:--'Read them with suspicion, for they deserve to be
suspected; pay no regard to the epithets given, nor to the judgments
passed; neglect all declamation, weigh the reasoning, and advert to
fact. With such precautions, even Burnet's history may be of some use.'
Horace Walpole, noticing an attack on Burnet, says (_Letters_, vi.
487):--'It shows his enemies are not angry at his telling falsehoods,
but the truth ... I will tell you what was said of his _History_ by one
whose testimony you yourself will not dispute. That confessor said,
"Damn him, he has told a great deal of truth, but where the devil did he
learn it?" This was St. Atterbury's testimony.'

[619] The cross-buns were for Boswell and Levet. Johnson recorded (_Pr.
and Med_. p. 121):--'On this whole day I took nothing of nourishment but
one cup of tea without milk; but the fast was very inconvenient. Towards
night I grew fretful and impatient, unable to fix my mind or govern my

[620] It is curious to compare with this Johnson's own record:--'I found
the service not burdensome nor tedious, though I could not hear the
lessons. I hope in time to take pleasure in public works.' _Pr. and
Med_. p. 121.

[621] In the original _in_.

[622] Afterwards Charles I. BOSWELL.

[623] See _ante_, ii. 47.

[624] See _post_, April 9, 1778, where Johnson said:-'Goldsmith had no
settled notions upon any subject; so he talked always at random.'

[625] The next day Johnson recorded:--'I have had some nights of that
quiet and continual sleep which I had wanted till I had almost forgotten
it.' _Pemb. Coll. MSS_.

[626] See _ante_, ii. 11.

[627] We have the following account of Johnson's kitchen in 1778: 'Mr.
Thale.--"And pray who is clerk of your kitchen, Sir?" Dr. J.--"Why, Sir,
I am afraid there is none; a general anarchy prevails in my kitchen, as
I am told Mr. Levet, who says it is not now what it used to be." Mr.
T.--"But how do you get your dinners drest?" Dr. J.--"Why, Desmouline
has the chief management, for we have no jack." Mr. T.--"No jack? Why,
how do they manage without?" Dr. J.--"Small joints, I believe, they
manage with a string, and larger one done at the tavern. I have some
thoughts (with a profound gravity) of buying a jack, because I think a
jack is some credit to a house." Mr. T.--"Well, but you'll have a spit
too?" Dr. J.--"No Sir, no; that would be superfluous; for we shall never
use it; if a jack is seen, a spit will be presumed."' Mme. D'Arblay's
_Diary_, i. 115.

[628] See _ante_, i. 418.

[629] See _ante_, i. 252.

[630] 'By inscribing this slight performance to you, I do not mean so
much to compliment you as myself. It may do me some honour to inform the
publick, that I have lived many years in intimacy with you. It may serve
the interests of mankind also to inform them, that the greatest wit may
be found in a character, without impairing the most unaffected
piety.' BOSWELL.

[631] See an account of this learned and respectable gentleman, and of
his curious work in the _Middle State, Journal of a Tour to the
Hebrides_, 3rd edition. p. 371. [Oct. 25.] BOSWELL. See _post_, June
9, 1784.

[632] See _ante_, i. 225, for Boswell's project works, and i. 211.

[633] 'When the efficiency [of men and women] is equal, but the pay
unequal, the only explanation that can be given is custom.' J. S. Mill's
_Political Economy_, Book ii. ch. xiv. 5.

[634] The day before he told Boswell this he had recorded:--'My general
resolution, to which I humbly implore the help of God, is to methodise
my life, to resist sloth. I hope from this time to keep a journal.' _Pr.
and Med_. p. 124. Four times more he recorded the same resolution to
keep a journal. See _ante_, i. 433, and _post_, Apr. 14,1775.

[635] See _post_, March 30, 1778, where Johnson says:--'A man loves to
review his own mind. That is the use of a diary or journal.'

[636] 'He who has not made the experiment, or who is not accustomed to
require rigorous accuracy from himself, will scarcely believe how much a
few hours take from certainty of knowledge and distinctness of imagery
... To this dilatory notation must be imputed the false relations of
travellers, where there is no imaginable motive to deceive. They trusted
to memory what cannot be trusted safely but to the eye, and told by
guess what a few hours before they had known with certainty.' Johnson's
_Works_, ix. 144.

[637] Goldsmith, in his dedication to Reynolds of the _Deserted
Village_, refers no doubt to Johnson's opinion of luxury. He writes:--'I
know you will object (and indeed _several of our best and wisest
friends_ concur in the opinion) that the depopulation it deplores is
nowhere to be seen, and the disorders it laments are only to be found in
the poet's own imagination.... In regretting the depopulation of the
country I inveigh against the increase of our luxuries; and here also I
expect the shout of modern politicians against me. For twenty or thirty
years past it has been the fashion to consider luxury as one of the
greatest national advantages.' See _post_, April 15, 1778.

[638] Johnson, in his _Parl. Debates_ (_Works_, x. 418), makes General
Handasyd say:--'The whole pay of a foot soldier is sixpence a day, of
which he is to pay fourpence to his landlord for his diet, or, what is
very nearly the same, to carry fourpence daily to the market ...
Twopence a day is all that a soldier had to lay out upon cleanliness and
decency, and with which he is likewise to keep his arms in order, and to
supply himself with some part of his clothing. If, Sir, after these
deductions he can, from twopence a day, procure himself the means of
enjoying a few happy moments in the year with his companions over a cup
of ale, is not his economy much more to be envied than his luxury?'

[639] The humours of Ballamagairy. BOSWELL.


'Ah me! when shall I marry me?
Lovers are plenty; but fail to relieve me.
He, fond youth, that could carry me,
Offers to love, but means to deceive me.
But I will rally and combat the ruiner:
Not a look, nor a smile shall my passion discover;
She that gives all to the false one pursuing her,
Makes but a penitent and loses a lover.'

Boswell, in a letter published in Goldsmith's _Misc. Works_, ii. 116,
with the song, says:--'The tune is a pretty Irish air, call _The Humours
of Ballamagairy_, to which, he told me, he found it very difficult to
adapt words; but he has succeeded very happily in these few lines. As I
could sing the tune and was fond of them, he was so good as to give me
them. I preserve this little relic in his own handwriting with an
affectionate care.'

[641] See _ante_, i. 408, and _post_ April 7, 1776.

[642] See _ante_, ii. 74.

[643] See _ante_, i. 429.

[644] See ante, ii. 169, for Johnson's 'half-a-guinea's worth of

[645] Boswell (_ante_, i. 256) mentions that he knew Lyttelton. For his
_History_, see _ante_, ii. 37.

[646] Johnson has an interesting paper 'on lying' in _The Adventurer_,
No. 50, which thus begins:--'When Aristotle was once asked what a man
could gain by uttering falsehoods, he replied, "Not to be credited when
he shall tell the truth."'

[647] Johnson speaks of the past, for Sterne had been dead five years.
Gray wrote on April 22, 1760:--'_Tristram Shandy_ is still a greater
object of admiration, the man as well as the book. One is invited to
dinner where he dines a fortnight beforehand.' Gray's _Works_, ed.
1858, iii. 241.

[648] 'I was but once,' said Johnson, 'in Sterne's company, and then his
only attempt at merriment consisted in his display of a drawing too
indecently gross to have delighted even in a brothel.' Johnson's _Works_
(1787), xi. 214.

[649] Townshend was not the man to make his jokes serve twice. Horace
Walpole said of his _Champagne Speech_,--'It was Garrick writing and
acting extempore scenes of Congreve.' _Memoirs of the Reign of George
III_, iii. 25. Sir G. Colebrooke says:--'When Garrick and Foote were
present he took the lead, and hardly allowed them an opportunity of
shewing their talents of mimicry, because he could excel them in their
own art.' _Ib_ p. 101, note. '"Perhaps," said Burke, "there never arose
in this country, nor in any country, a man of a more pointed and
finished wit."' Payne's _Burke_, i. 146.

[650] The 'eminent public character' is no doubt Burke, and the friend,
as Mr. Croker suggests, probably Reynolds. See Boswell's _Hebrides_,
Aug. 15, 1773, for a like charge made by Johnson against Burke. Boswell
commonly describes Burke as 'an eminent friend of ours;' but he could
not do so as yet, for he first met him fifteen days later. (_Post_,
April 30.)

[651] 'Party,' Burke wrote in 1770 (_Thoughts on the Present
Discontents_), 'is a body of men united for promoting by their joint
endeavours the national interest upon some particular principle in which
they are all agreed. For my part I find it impossible to conceive that
any one believes in his own politics, or thinks them to be of any
weight, who refuses to adopt the means of having them reduced into
practice.' Payne's _Burke_, i. 86.

[652] On May 5, and again on Nov. 10, the play was commanded by the King
and Queen. Prior's _Goldsmith_, ii. 394.

[653] _Absalom and Achitophel_, part i. l. 872.

[654] Paoli perhaps was thinking of himself. While he was still 'the
successful rebel' in Corsica, he had said to Boswell:--'The arts and
sciences are like dress and ornament. You cannot expect them from us for
some time. But come back twenty or thirty years hence, and we'll shew
you arts and sciences.' Boswell's _Corsica_, p.172.

[655] 'The Duke of Cumberland had been forbidden the Court on his
marriage with Mrs. Horton, a year before; but on the Duke of
Gloucester's avowal of his marriage with Lady Waldegrave, the King's
indignation found vent in the Royal Marriage Act: which was hotly
opposed by the Whigs as an edict of tyranny. Goldsmith (perhaps for
Burke's sake) helped to make it unpopular with the people: "We'll go to
France", says Hastings to Miss Neville, "for there, even among slaves,
the laws of marriage are respected." Said on the first night this had
directed repeated cheering to the Duke of Gloucester, who sat in one of
the boxes.' Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 358. See _ante_, ii. 152.

[656] _Stenography_, by John Angell, 1758.

[657] See _post_, April 10, 1778.

[658] See _ante_, ii.

[659] James Harris, father of the first Earl of Malmesbury, born 1709,
died 1780. Two years later Boswell wrote to Temple: 'I am invited to a
dinner at Mr. Cambridge's (for the dinner, see _post_, April 18, 1773),
where are to be Reynolds, Johnson, and Hermes Harris. "_Do you think
so?" said he. "Most certainly, said I_." Do you remember how I used to
laugh at his style when we were in the Temple? He thinks himself an
ancient Greek from these little peculiarities, as the imitators of
Shakspeare, whom the _Spectator_ mentions, thought they had done
wonderfully when they had produced a line similar:--

"And so, good morrow to ye, good Master Lieutenant."'

_Letters of Boswell_, p.187. It is not in the _Spectator_, but in
_Martinus Scriblerus_, ch. ix. (Swift's _Works_, 1803, xxiii, 53), that
the imitators of Shakspeare are ridiculed. Harris got his name of Hermes
from his _Hermes, or a Philosophical Inquiry concerning Universal
Grammar_. Cradock (_Memoirs_, i, 208) says that, 'A gentleman applied to
his friend to lend him some amusing book, and he recommended Harris's
_Hermes_. On returning it, the other asked how he had been entertained.
"Not much," he replied; "he thought that all these imitations of
_Tristram Shandy_ fell far short of the original."' See _post_, April 7,
1778, and Boswell's _Hebrides_, Nov. 3, 1773.

[660] Johnson suffers, in Cowper's epitaph on him, from the same kind of
praise as Goldsmith gives Harris:--

'Whose verse may claim, grave, masculine and strong,
Superior praise to the mere poet's song.'

Cowper's _Works_, v. 119.

[661] See _ante_, 210.

[662] Cave set up his coach about thirty years earlier (_ante_, i, 152,
note). Dr. Franklin (_Memoirs_, iii, 172) wrote to Mr. Straham in
1784:--'I remember your observing once to me, as we sat together in the
House of Commons, that no two journeymen printers within your knowledge
had met with such success in the world as ourselves. You were then at
the head of your profession, and soon afterwards became a member of
parliament. I was an agent for a few provinces, and now act for
them all.'

[663] 'Hamilton made a large fortune out of Smollett's _History_.'
Forster's _Goldsmith_, i, 149. He was also the proprietor of the
_Critical Review_.

[664] See _ante_, i, 71.

[665] See _ante_, ii, 179, and Boswell's _Hebrides_, Sept. 19, 1773.
Horace Walpole wrote of the year 1773:--'The rage of duelling had of
late much revived, especially in Ireland, and many attempts were made in
print and on the stage to curb so horrid and absurd a practice.'
_Journal of the Reign of George III_, i. 282.

[666] Very likely Boswell. See _Post_, April 10, 1778, where he
says:--'I slily introduced Mr. Garrick's fame and his assuming the airs
of a great man'.

[667] In the _Garrick's Corres_ up to this date there is no letter from
Lord Mansfield which answers Boswell's descriptions. To Lord Chatham
Garrick had addressed some verses from Mount Edgecumbe. Chatham, on
April 3, 1772, sent verses in return, and wrote:--'You have kindly
settled upon me a lasting species of property I never dreamed of in that
enchanting place; a far more able conveyancer than any in Chancery-land.
_Ib_ i, 459.


'Then I alone the conquest prize,
When I insult a rival's eyes:
If there's, &c.'

Act iii, sc. 12.


'But how did he return, this haughty brave,
Who whipt the winds, and made the sea his slave?
(Though Neptune took unkindly to be bound
And Eurus never such hard usage found
In his AEolian prison under ground).'

Dryden, _Juvenal_, x. 180.

[670] Most likely Mr. Pepys, a Master in Chancery, whom Johnson more
than once roughly attacked at Streatham. See _post_, April 1, 1781, and
Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary_, ii. 46.

[671] See _ante_, ii. 73.

[672] 'Jan. 5, 1772. Poor Mr. Fitzherbert hanged himself on Wednesday.
He went to see the convicts executed that morning; and from thence in
his boots to his son, having sent his groom out of the way. At three his
son said, Sir, you are to dine at Mr. Buller's; it is time for you to go
home and dress. He went to his own stable and hanged himself with a
bridle. They say his circumstances were in great disorder.' Horace
Walpole's _Letters_, v. 362. See _ante_, i. 82, and _post_, Sept.
15, 1777.

[673] Boswell, in his _Hebrides_ (Aug. 18, 1773) says that, 'Budgel was
accused of forging a will [Dr. Tindal's] and sunk himself in the Thames,
before the trial of its authenticity came on.' Pope, speaking of
himself, says that he--

'Let Budgel charge low Grub-street on his quill,
And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his will.'

_Prologue to the Satires_, 1, 378.

Budgel drowned himself on May 4, 1737, more than two years after the
publication of this Prologue. _Gent. Mag_. vii. 315. Perhaps the verse
is an interpolation in a later edition. See _post_, April 26, 1776.

[674] See _post_, March 15, 1776.

[675] On the Douglas Cause. See _ante_, ii. 50, and _post_, March 26,

[676] I regretted that Dr. Johnson never took the trouble to study a
question which interested nations. He would not even read a pamphlet
which I wrote upon it, entitled _The Essence of the Douglas Cause_;
which, I have reason to flatter myself, had considerable effect in
favour of Mr. Douglas; of whose legitimate filiation I was then, and am
still, firmly convinced. Let me add, that no fact can be more
respectably ascertained than by the judgement of the most august
tribunal in the world; a judgement, in which Lord Mansfield and Lord
Camden united in 1769, and from which only five of a numerous body
entered a protest. BOSWELL. Boswell, in his Hebrides, records on Oct.
26, 1773:--'Dr. Johnson roused my zeal so much that I took the liberty
to tell him that he knew nothing of the [Douglas] Cause.' Lord Shelburne
says: 'I conceived such a prejudice upon the sight of the present Lord
Douglas's face and figure, that I could not allow myself to vote in this
cause. If ever I saw a Frenchman, he is one.' Fitzmaurice's _Shelburne_,
i. 10. Hume 'was struck,' he writes, 'with a very sensible indignation
at the decision. The Cause, though not in the least intricate, is so
complicated that it never will be reviewed by the public, who are
besides perfectly pleased with the sentence; being swayed by compassion
and a few popular topics. To one who understands the Cause as I do,
nothing could appear more scandalous than the pleadings of the two law
lords.' J. H. Burton's _Hume_, ii. 423. In Campbell's _Chancellors_, v.
494, an account is given of a duel between Stuart and Thurlow that arose
out of this suit.

[677] The Fountains. _Works_, ix. 176.

[678] See _ante_, ii. 25.

[679] It has already been observed (_ante_, ii. 55), that one of his
first Essays was a Latin Poem on a glow-worm; but whether it be any
where extant, has not been ascertained. MALONE.

[680] 'Mallet's works are such as a writer, bustling in the world,
shewing himself in publick, and emerging occasionally from time to time
into notice, might keep alive by his personal influence; but which,
conveying little information and giving no great pleasure, must soon
give way, as the succession of things produces new topicks of
conversation and other modes of amusement.' Johnson's _Works_,
viii. 468.

[681] Johnson made less money, because he never 'traded' on his
reputation. When he had made his name, he almost ceased to write.

[682] 'May 27, 1773. Dr. Goldsmith has written a comedy--no, it is the
lowest of all farces. It is not the subject I condemn, though very
vulgar, but the execution. The drift tends to no moral, no edification
of any kind. The situations, however, are well imagined, and make one
laugh, in spite of the grossness of the dialogue, the forced witticisms,
and total improbability of the whole plan and conduct. But what disgusts
me most is, that though the characters are very low, and aim at low
humour, not one of them says a sentence that is natural or marks any
character at all. It is set up in opposition to sentimental comedy, and
is as bad as the worst of them.' Horace Walpole's _Letters_, v. 467.
Northcote (_Life of Reynolds_, i. 286) says that Goldsmith gave him an
order to see this comedy. 'The next time I saw him, he inquired of me
what my opinion was of it. I told him that I would not presume to be a
judge of its merits. He asked, "Did it make you laugh?" I answered,
"Exceedingly." "Then," said the Doctor, "that is all I require."'

[683] Garrick brought out his revised version of this play by Beaumont
and Fletcher in 1754-5. Murphy's _Garrick_, p. 170. The compliment is in
a speech by Don Juan, act v. sc. 2: 'Ay, but when things are at the
worst, they'll mend; example does everything, and the fair sex will
certainly grow better, whenever the greatest is the best woman in
the kingdom.'

[684] _Formular_ is not in Johnson's _Dictionary_.


'On earth, a present god, shall Caesar reign.'

FRANCIS. Horace, _Odes_, iii. 5.2.

[686] See _ante_, i. 167.

[687] Johnson refers, I believe, to Temple's Essay _Of Heroic Virtue_,
where he says that 'the excellency of genius' must not only 'be
cultivated by education and instruction,' but also 'must be assisted by
fortune to preserve it to maturity; because the noblest spirit or genius
in the world, if it falls, though never so bravely, in its first
enterprises, cannot deserve enough of mankind to pretend to so great a
reward as the esteem of heroic virtue.' Temple's _Works_, iii. 306.

[688] See _post_, Sept. 17, 1777.

[689] In an epitaph that Burke wrote for Garrick, he says: 'He raised
the character of his profession to the rank of a liberal art.' Windham's
_Diary_, p. 361.

[690] 'The allusion,' as Mr. Lockhart pointed out, 'is not to the _Tale
of a Tub_, but to the _History of John Bull_' (part ii. ch 12 and 13).
Jack, who hangs himself, is however the youngest of the three brothers
of _The Tale of a Tub_, 'that have made such a clutter in the work'
(_ib_. chap ii). Jack was unwillingly convinced by Habbakkuk's argument
that to save his life he must hang himself. Sir Roger, he was promised,
before the rope was well about his neck, would break in and cut
him down.

[691] He wrote the following letter to Goldsmith, who filled the chair
that evening. 'It is,' Mr. Forster says (_Life of Goldsmith_, ii. 367),
'the only fragment of correspondence between Johnson and Goldsmith that
has been preserved.'

'April 23, 1773.

'SIR,--I beg that you will excuse my absence to the Club; I am going
this evening to Oxford.

'I have another favour to beg. It is that I may be considered as
proposing Mr. Boswell for a candidate of our society, and that he may be
considered as regularly nominated.

'I am, sir,

'Your most humble servant,


If Johnson went to Oxford his stay there was brief, as on April 27
Boswell found him at home.

[692] 'There are,' says Johnson, speaking of Dryden (_Works_, vii. 292),
'men whose powers operate only at leisure and in retirement, and whose
intellectual vigour deserts them in conversation.' See also _ante_, i.
413. 'No man,' he said of Goldsmith, 'was more foolish when he had not a
pen in his hand, or more wise when he had;' _post_, 1780, in Mr.
Langton's _Collection_. Horace Walpole (_Letters_, viii. 560), who 'knew
Hume personally and well,' said, 'Mr. Hume's writings were so superior
to his conversation, that I frequently said he understood nothing till
he had written upon it.'

[693] The age of great English historians had not long begun. The first
volume of _The Decline and Fall_ was published three years later.
Addison had written in 1716 (_Freeholder_, No. 35), 'Our country, which
has produced writers of the first figure in every other kind of work,
has been very barren in good historians.' Johnson, in 1751, repeated
this observation in _The Rambler_, No. 122. Lord Bolingbroke wrote in
1735 (_Works_, iii. 454), 'Our nation has furnished as ample and as
important matter, good and bad, for history, as any nation under the
sun; and yet we must yield the palm in writing history most certainly to
the Italians and to the French, and I fear even to the Germans.'

[694] Gibbon, informing Robertson on March 26, 1788, of the completion
of _The Decline and Fall_, said:--'The praise which has ever been the
most flattering to my ear, is to find my name associated with the names
of Robertson and Hume; and provided I can maintain my place in the
triumvirate, I am indifferent at what distance I am ranked below my
companions and masters.' Dugald Stewart's _Robertson_, p. 367.

[695] 'Sir,' said Johnson, 'if Robertson's style be faulty, he owes it
me; that is, having too many words, and those too big ones.' _Post_,
Sept. 19, 1777. Johnson was not singular among the men of his time in
condemning Robertson's _verbiage_. Wesley (_Journal_, iii. 447) wrote of
vol. i. of _Charles the Fifth_:--'Here is a quarto volume of eight or
ten shillings' price, containing dry, verbose dissertations on feudal
government, the substance of all which might be comprised in half a
sheet of paper!' Johnson again uses _verbiage_ (a word not given in his
_Dictionary_), _post_, April 9, 1778.

[696] See _ante_, ii. 210.

[697] See _post_, Oct. 10, 1779.

[698] 'Vertot, ne en Normandie en 1655. Historien agreable et elegant.
Mort en 1735.' Voltaire, _Siecle de Louis XIV_.

[699] Even Hume had no higher notion of what was required in a writer of
ancient history. He wrote to Robertson, who was, it seems, meditating a
History of Greece:--'What can you do in most places with these (the
ancient) authors but transcribe and translate them? No letters or state
papers from which you could correct their errors, or authenticate their
narration, or supply their defects.' J.H. Burton's _Hume_, ii. 83.

[700] See _ante_, ii. 53. Southey, asserting that Robertson had never
read the Laws of Alonso the Wise, says, that 'it is one of the thousand
and one omissions for which he ought to be called rogue as long as his
volumes last.' Southey's _Life_, ii. 318.

[701] Ovid. de Art. Amand. i. iii. v. 13 [339]. BOSWELL. 'It may be that
our name too will mingle with those.'

[702] The _Gent. Mag_. for Jan. 1766 (p. 45) records, that 'a person was
observed discharging musket-balls from a steel crossbow at the two
remaining heads upon Temple Bar.' They were the heads of Scotch rebels
executed in 1746. Samuel Rogers, who died at the end of 1855, said, 'I
well remember one of the heads of the rebels upon a pole at Temple Bar.'
Rogers's _Table-Talk_, p. 2.

[703] In allusion to Dr. Johnson's supposed political principles, and
perhaps his own. BOSWELL.

[704] 'Dr. Johnson one day took Bishop Percy's little daughter upon his
knee, and asked her what she thought of _Pilgrim's Progress_. The child
answered that she had not read it. "No!" replied the Doctor; "then I
would not give one farthing for you:" and he set her down and took no
further notice of her.' Croker's _Boswell_, p. 838. Mrs. Piozzi (_Anec_.
p. 281) says, that Johnson once asked, 'Was there ever yet anything
written by mere man that was wished longer by its readers, excepting
_Don Quixote_, _Robinson Crusoe_, and The _Pilgrim's Progress_?'

[705] It was Johnson himself who was thus honoured. _Post_, under Dec.
20, 1784.

[706] Here is another instance of his high admiration of Milton as a
Poet, notwithstanding his just abhorrence of that sour Republican's
political principles. His candour and discrimination are equally
conspicuous. Let us hear no more of his 'injustice to Milton.' BOSWELL.

[707] There was an exception to this. In his criticism of _Paradise
Lost_ (_Works_, vii. 136), he says:--'The confusion of spirit and matter
which pervades the whole narration of the war of Heaven fills it with
incongruity; and the book in which it is related is, I believe, the
favourite of children, and gradually neglected as knowledge is

[708] In the _Academy_, xxii. 348, 364, 382, Mr. C. E. Doble shews
strong grounds for the belief that the author was Richard Allestree,
D.D., Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford, and Provost of Eton. Cowper
spoke of it as 'that repository of self-righteousness and pharisaical
lumber;' with which opinion Southey wholly disagreed. Southey's
_Cowper_, i. 116.

[709] Johnson said to Boswell:--'Sir, they knew that if they refused you
they'd probably never have got in another. I'd have kept them all out.
Beauclerk was very earnest for you.' Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug.
21, 1773.

[710] Garrick and Jones had been elected this same spring. See _ante_,
i. 481, note 3.

[711] Mr. Langton, in his _Collection_ (_post_, 1780), mentions an ode
brought by Goldsmith to the Club, which had been recited for money.

[712] Dr. Johnson's memory here was not perfectly accurate: _Eugenio_
does not conclude thus. There are eight more lines after the last of
those quoted by him; and the passage which he meant to recite is as

'Say now ye fluttering, poor assuming elves, Stark full of pride, of
folly, of--yourselves; Say where's the wretch of all your impious crew
Who dares confront his character to view? Behold Eugenio, view him o'er
and o'er, Then sink into yourselves, and be no more.'

Mr. Reed informs me that the Author of _Eugenio_, a Wine Merchant at
Wrexham in Denbighshire, soon after its publication, viz. 17th May,
1737, cut his own throat; and that it appears by Swift's _Works_ that
the poem had been shewn to him, and received some of his corrections.
Johnson had read _Eugenio_ on his first coming to town, for we see it
mentioned in one of his letters to Mr. Cave, which has been inserted in
this work; _ante_, p. 122. BOSWELL. See Swift's _Works_, ed. 1803, xix.
153, for his letter to this wine merchant, Thomas Beach by name.

[713] These lines are in the _Annus Mirabilis_ (stanza 164) in a
digression in praise of the Royal Society; described by Johnson
(_Works_, vii. 320) as 'an example seldom equalled of seasonable
excursion and artful return.' _Ib_ p. 341, he says: 'Dryden delighted to
tread upon the brink of meaning, where light and darkness begin to
mingle.... This inclination sometimes produced nonsense, which he knew;
and sometimes it issued in absurdities, of which perhaps he was not
conscious.' He then quotes these lines, and continues: 'They have no
meaning; but may we not say, in imitation of Cowley on another book--

"'Tis so like _sense_, 'twill serve the turn as well."'

Cowley's line is from his _Pindarique Ode to Mr. Hobs_:--

''Tis so like _truth_, 'twill serve _our_ turn as well.'

[714] In his _Dictionary_, he defines _punster as a low wit, who
endeavours at reputation by double meaning_. See _post_, April 28, 1778.

[715] I formerly thought that I had perhaps mistaken the word, and
imagined it to be _Corps_, from its similarity of sound to the real one.
For an accurate and shrewd unknown gentleman, to whom I am indebted for
some remarks on my work, observes on this passage--'Q. if not on the
word _Fort_? A vociferous French preacher said of Bourdaloue, "Il preche
_fort bien, et_ moi _bien fort_."'--Menagiana. See also Anecdotes
Litteraires, Article Bourdaloue. But my ingenious and obliging
correspondent, Mr. Abercrombie of Philadelphia, has pointed out to me
the following passage in _Menagiana_; which renders the preceding
conjecture unnecessary, and confirms my original statement:

'Madme de Bourdonne, Chanoinesse de Remiremont, venoit d'entendre un
discours plein de feu et d'esprit, mais fort peu solide, et
tresirregulier. Une de ses amies, qui y prenoit interet pour l'orateur,
lui dit en sortant, "Eh bien, Madme que vous semble-t-il de ce que vous
venez d'entendre?--Qu'il ya d'esprit?"--"Il y a tant, repondit Madme de
Bourdonne, que je n'y ai pas vu de _corps_"'--Menagiana, tome ii. p. 64.
Amsterd. 1713. BOSWELL. _Menagiana, ou les bans mots et remarques
critiques, historiqites, morales et derudition de M. Menage, recueillies
par ses amis_, published in 1693. Gilles Menage was born 1613,
died 1692.

[716] That Johnson only relished the conversation, and did not join in
it, is more unlikely. In his _charge_ to Boswell, he very likely pointed
out that what was said within was not to be reported without. Boswell
gives only brief reports of the talk at the Club, and these not openly.
See _post_, April 7, 1775, note.

[717] See _post_, the passage before Feb. 18, 1775.

[718] By the Rev. Henry Wharton, published in 1692.

[719] See _ante_, ii. 126, for what Johnson said of the _inward light_.

[720] Lady Diana Beauclerk. In 1768 Beauclerk married the eldest
daughter of the second Duke of Marlborough, two days after her divorce
from her first husband, Viscount Bolingbroke, the nephew of the famous
Lord Bolingbroke. She was living when her story, so slightly veiled as
it is, was thus published by Boswell. The marriage was not a happy one.
Two years after Beauclerk's death, Mr. Burke, looking at his widow's
house, said in Miss Burney's presence:--'I am extremely glad to see her
at last so well housed; poor woman! the bowl has long rolled in misery;
I rejoice that it has now found its balance. I never myself so much
enjoyed the sight of happiness in another, as in that woman when I first
saw her after the death of her husband.' He then drew Beauclerk's
character 'in strong and marked expressions, describing the misery he
gave his wife, his singular ill-treatment of her, and the necessary
relief the death of such a man must give.' Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary_,
ii. 147.

[721] Old Mr. Langton. CROKER. See _post_, April 26, 1776.

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

[723] See _post_, May 15, 1776.

[724] The writer of hymns.

[725] Malone says that 'Hawkesworth was introduced by Garrick to Lord
Sandwich, who, thinking to put a few hundred pounds into his pocket,
appointed him to revise and publish _Cook's Voyages_. He scarcely did
anything to the MSS., yet sold it to Cadell and Strahan for L6000.'
Prior's _Malone_, p. 441. Thurlow, in his speech on copy-right on March
24, 1774, said 'that Hawkesworth's book, which was a mere composition of
trash, sold for three guineas by the booksellers' monopolizing.' _Parl.
Hist_. xvii. 1086. See _ante_, i. 253, note 1, and Boswell's
_Hebrides_, Oct. 3.

[726] Gilbert White held 'that, though most of the swallow kind may
migrate, yet that some do stay behind, and bide with us during the
winter.' White's _Selborne_, Letter xii. See _ante_, ii. 55.

[727] See _ante_, ii. 73.

[728] No. 41. 'The sparrow that was hatched last spring makes her first
nest the ensuing season of the same materials, and with the same art as
in any following year; and the hen conducts and shelters her first brood
of chickens with all the prudence that she ever attains.'

[729] See _post_, April 3, 1776, April 3, 1779, and April 28, 1783.

[730] Rousseau went further than Johnson in this. About eleven years
earlier he had, in his _Contract Social_, iv. 8, laid down certain
'simple dogmas,' such as the belief in a God and a future state, and
said:--'Sans pouvoir obliger personne a les croire, il [le Souverain]
peut bannir de l'Etat quiconque ne les croit pas: ... Que si quelquiun,
apres avoir reconne publiquement ces memes dogmes, se conduit comme ne
les croyant pas, qu'il soit puni de mort; il a commis le plus grand des
crimes, il a menti devant les lois.'

[731] See _post_, 1780, in Mr. Langton's _Collection_.

[732] Boswell calls Elwal Johnson's countryman, because they both came
from the same county. See _ante_, ii.

[733] Baretti, in a MS. note on _Piozzi Letters_, i. 219,
says:--'Johnson would have made an excellent Spanish inquisitor. To his
shame be it said, he always was tooth and nail against toleration.'

[734] Dr. Mayo's calm temper and steady perseverance, rendered him an
admirable subject for the exercise of Dr. Johnson's powerful abilities.
He never flinched; but, after reiterated blows, remained seemingly
unmoved as at the first. The scintillations of Johnson's genius flashed
every time he was struck, without his receiving any injury. Hence he
obtained the epithet of The Literary Anvil. BOSWELL. See _post_, April
15, 1778, for an account of another dinner at Mr. Dilly's, where Johnson
and Mayo met.

[735] The Young Pretender, Charles Edward.

[736] Mr. Croker, quoting Johnson's letter of May 20, 1775 (_Piozzi
Letters_, i. 219), where he says, 'I dined in a large company at a
dissenting bookseller's yesterday, and disputed against toleration with
one Doctor Meyer,' continues:--'This must have been the dinner noted in
the text; but I cannot reconcile the date, and the mention of the death
of the Queen of Denmark, which happened on May 10, 1775, ascertains that
the date of the _letter_ is correct. Boswell ... must, I think, have
misdated and misplaced his note of the conversation.' That the dinner
did not take place in May, 1775, is, however, quite clear. By that date
Goldsmith had been dead more than a year, and Goldsmith bore a large
part in the talk at the Dilly's table. On the other hand, there can be
no question about the correctness of the date of the letter. Wesley, in
his _Journal_ for 1757 (ii. 349), mentions 'Mr. Meier, chaplain to one
of the Hanoverian regiments.' Perhaps he is the man whom Johnson met
in 1775.

[737] See _ante_, i. 423, note 2.

[738] 'It is very possible he had to call at Covent-garden on his way,
and that for this, and not for Boswell's reason, he had taken his hat
early. The actor who so assisted him in Young Marlow was taking his
benefit this seventh of May; and for an additional attraction Goldsmith
had written him an epilogue.' Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 376.

[739] Johnson was not given to interrupting a speaker. Hawkins (_Life_,
p. 164), describing his conversation, says:--'For the pleasure he
communicated to his hearers he expected not the tribute of silence; on
the contrary, he encouraged others, particularly young men, to speak,
and paid a due attention to what they said.' See _post_, under April 29,
1776, note.

[740] That this was Langton can be seen from Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug.
22, 1773, and from Johnson's letters of July 5, 1773, July 5, 1774, and
Jan. 21, 1775.

[741] See _post_, April 28, 1783.

[742] _Pr. and Med_. p. 40. Boswell.

[743] See _ante_, i. 489.

[744] 'In England,' wrote Burke, 'the Roman Catholics are a sect; in
Ireland they are a nation.' Burke's _Corres_. iv. 89.

[745] 'The celebrated number of _ten_ persecutions has been determined
by the ecclesiastical writers of the fifth century, who possessed a more
distinct view of the prosperous or adverse fortunes of the church, from
the age of Nero to that of Diocletian. The ingenious parallels of the
_ten_ plagues of Egypt, and of the _ten_ horns of the Apocalypse, first
suggested this calculation to their minds.' Gibbon's _Decline and Fall_,
ch. xvi, ed. 1807, ii. 370.

[746] See _ante_, ii. 121, 130.

[747] See _ante_, ii. 105.

[748] Reynolds said:--'Johnson had one virtue which I hold one of the
most difficult to practise. After the heat of contest was over, if he
had been informed that his antagonist resented his rudeness, he was the
first to seek after a reconciliation.' Taylor's _Reynolds_, ii. 457. He
wrote to Dr. Taylor in 1756:--'When I am musing alone, I feel a pang for
every moment that any human being has by my peevishness or obstinacy
spent in uneasiness.' _Notes and Queries_, 6th S., v. 324. More than
twenty years later he said in Miss Burney's hearing:--'I am always sorry
when I make bitter speeches, and I never do it but when I am
insufferably vexed.' Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary_, i. 131. 'When the fray was
over,' writes Murphy (_Life_, p. 140), 'he generally softened into
repentance, and, by conciliating measures, took care that no animosity
should be left rankling in the breast of the antagonist.' See
_ante_, ii. 109.

[749] Johnson had offended Langton as well as Goldsmith this day, yet of
Goldsmith only did he ask pardon. Perhaps this fact increased Langton's
resentment, which lasted certainly more than a year. See _post_, July 5,
1774, and Jan. 21, 1775.

[750] 'Addison, speaking of his own deficiency in conversation, used to
say of himself, that with respect to intellectual wealth he could draw
bills for a thousand pounds, though he had not a guinea in his pocket.'
Johnson's _Works_, vii. 446. Somewhat the same thought may be found in
_The Tatler_, No. 30, where it is said that 'a man endowed with great
perfections without good-breeding, is like one who has his pockets full
of gold, but always wants change for his ordinary occasions.' I have
traced it still earlier, for Burnet in his _History of his own Times_,
i. 210, says, that 'Bishop Wilkins used to say Lloyd had the most
learning in ready cash of any he ever knew.' Later authors have used the
same image. Lord Chesterfield (_Letters_, ii. 291) in 1749 wrote of Lord
Bolingbroke:--'He has an infinite fund of various and almost universal
knowledge, which, from the clearest and quickest conception and happiest
memory that ever man was blessed with, he always carries about him. It
is his pocket-money, and he never has occasion to draw upon a book for
any sum.' Southey wrote in 1816 (_Life and Corres_. iv. 206):--'I wish
to avoid a conference which will only sink me in Lord Liverpool's
judgment; what there may be in me is not payable at sight; give me
leisure and I feel my strength.' Rousseau was in want of readiness like
Addison:--'Je fais d'excellens impromptus a loisir; mais sur le temps je
n'ai jamais rien fait ni dit qui vaille. Je ferais une fort jolie
conversation par la poste, comme on dit que les Espagnols jouent aux
echecs. Quand je lus le trait d'un Duc de Savoye qui se retourna,
faisant route, pour crier; _a votre gorge, marchand de Paris_, je dis,
me voila.' _Les Confessions_, Livre iii. See also _post_, May 8, 1778.

[751] 'Among the many inconsistencies which folly produces, or infirmity
suffers in the human mind, there has often been observed a manifest and
striking contrariety between the life of an author and his writings; and
Milton, in a letter to a learned stranger, by whom he had been visited,
with great reason congratulates himself upon the consciousness of being
found equal to his own character, and having preserved in a private and
familiar interview that reputation which his works had procured him.'
_The Rambler_, No. 14.

[752] Prior (_Life of Goldsmith_, ii. 459) says that it was not a German
who interrupted Goldsmith but a Swiss, Mr. Moser, the keeper of the
Royal Academy (_post_, June 2, 1783). He adds that at a Royal Academy
dinner Moser interrupted another person in the same way, when Johnson
seemed preparing to speak, whereupon Goldsmith said, 'Are you sure that
_you_ can comprehend what he says?'

[753] Edmund Burke he called Mund; Dodsley, Doddy; Derrick, Derry;
Cumberland, Cumbey; Monboddo, Monny; Stockdale, Stockey. Mrs. Piozzi
represents him in his youth as calling Edmund Hector 'dear Mund.'
_Ante_, i. 93, note. Sheridan's father had been known as Sherry among
Swift and his friends. Swift's _Works_, ed. 1803, x. 256.

[754] Mr. Forster (_Life of Goldsmith_, ii. 103) on this remarks:--'It
was a courteous way of saying, "I wish _you_ [Davies] wouldn't call me
Goldy, whatever Mr. Johnson does."' That he is wrong in this is shown by
Boswell, in his letter to Johnson of Feb. 14, 1777, where he says:--'You
remember poor Goldsmith, when he grew important, and wished to appear
_Doctor Major_, could not bear your calling him _Goldy_.' See also
Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 14, 1773.

[755] The Reverend Thomas Bagshaw, M.A., who died on November 20, 1787,
in the seventy-seventh year of his age, Chaplain of Bromley College, in
Kent, and Rector of Southfleet. He had resigned the cure of Bromley
Parish some time before his death. For this, and another letter from Dr.
Johnson in 1784, to the same truely respectable man, I am indebted to
Dr. John Loveday, of the Commons [_ante_, i. 462, note 1], a son of the
late learned and pious John Loveday, Esq., of Caversham in Berkshire,
who obligingly transcribed them for me from the originals in his
possession. This worthy gentleman, having retired from business, now
lives in Warwickshire. The world has been lately obliged to him as the
Editor of the late Rev. Dr. Townson's excellent work, modestly entitled,
_A Discourse on the Evangelical History, from the Interment to the
Ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ_; to which is prefixed, a
truly interesting and pleasing account of the authour, by the Reverend
Mr. Ralph Churton. BOSWELL.

[756] Sunday was May 9.

[757] As Langton was found to deeply resent Johnson's hasty expression
at the dinner on the 7th, we must assume that he had invited Johnson to
dine with him before the offence had been given.

[758] In the _Dictionary_ Johnson, as the second definition of
_metaphysical_, says: 'In Shakespeare it means _supernatural_ or
_preternatural_.' 'Creation' being beyond the nature of man, the right
derived from it is preternatural or metaphysical.

[759] See _ante_, i. 437.

[760] Hume, on Feb. 24 of this year, mentioned to Adam Smith as a late
publication Lord Monboddo's _Origin and Progress of Language_:--'It
contains all the absurdity and malignity which I suspected; but is writ
with more ingenuity and in a better style than I looked for.' J. H.
Burton's _Hume_, ii. 466. See _ante_, ii. 74.

[761] Monday was May 10.

[762] See _ante_, i. 413. Percy wrote of Goldsmith's envy:--'Whatever
appeared of this kind was a mere momentary sensation, which he knew not
how, like other men, to conceal.' Goldsmith's _Misc. Works_, i. 117.

[763] He might have applied to himself his own version of Ovid's lines,
_Genus et proavos_, &c., the motto to _The Rambler_, No. 46:--

'Nought from my birth or ancestors I claim; All is my own, my honor and
my shame.'

See _ante_, ii. 153.

[764] That Langton is meant is shewn by Johnson's letter of July 5
(_post_, p. 265). The man who is there described as leaving the town in
deep dudgeon was certainly Langton. 'Where is now my legacy?' writes
Johnson. He is referring, I believe, to the last part of his playful and
boisterous speech, where he says:--'I hope he has left me a legacy.' Mr.
Croker, who is great at suspicions, ridiculously takes the mention of a
legacy seriously, and suspects 'some personal disappointment at the
bottom of this strange obstreperous and sour merriment.' He might as
well accuse Falstaff of sourness in his mirth.

[765] See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Sept. 23, 1773, where Boswell makes the
same remark.


'Et quorum pars magna fui.'
'Yea, and was no small part thereof.'

Morris, AEneids, ii. 6.

[767] Johnson, as drawn by Boswell, is too 'awful, melancholy, and
venerable.' Such 'admirable fooling' as he describes here is but rarely
shown in his pages. Yet he must often have seen equally 'ludicrous
exhibitions.' Hawkins (_Life_, p. 258) says, that 'in the talent of
humour there hardly ever was Johnson's equal, except perhaps among the
old comedians.' Murphy writes (Life, p. l39):--'Johnson was surprised to
be told, but it is certainly true, that with great powers of mind, wit
and humour were his shining talents.' Mrs. Piozzi confirms this. 'Mr.
Murphy,' she writes (_Anec_. p. 205), 'always said he was incomparable
at buffoonery.' She adds (p. 298):--'He would laugh at a stroke of
genuine humour, or sudden sally of odd absurdity, as heartily and freely
as I ever yet saw any man; and though the jest was often such as few
felt besides himself, yet his laugh was irresistible, and was observed
immediately to produce that of the company, not merely from the notion
that it was proper to laugh when he did, but purely out of want of power
to forbear it.' Miss Burney records:--'Dr. Johnson has more fun, and
comical humour, and love of nonsense about him than almost anybody I
ever saw.' Mine. D'Arblay's _Diary_, i. 204. See Boswell's own account,
_post_, end of vol. iv.

[768] _Pr. and Med_. p. 129. BOSWELL. See _post_, 1780, in Mr. Langton's
_Collection_ for Johnson's study of Low Dutch.

[769] 'Those that laugh at the portentous glare of a comet, and hear a
crow with equal tranquillity from the right or left, will yet talk of
times and situations proper for intellectual performances,' &c. _The
Idler_, No. xi. See _ante_, i. 332.

[770] 'He did not see at all with one of his eyes' (_ante_, i. 41).

[771] Not six months before his death, he wished me to teach him the
Scale of Musick:--'Dr. Burney, teach me at least the alphabet of your
language.' BURNEY.

[772] Accurata Burdonum [i.e. Scaligerorum] Fabulae Confutatio (auctore
I. R). Lugduni Batavorum. Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium MDCXVII. BRIT. MUS.

[773] Mrs. Piozzi's _Anecdotes of Johnson_, p. 131. BOSWELL. Mrs. Piozzi
(_Anec_. p. 129) describes her mother and Johnson as 'excellent, far
beyond the excellence of any other man and woman I ever yet saw. As her
conduct extorted his truest esteem, her cruel illness excited all his
tenderness. He acknowledged himself improved by her piety, and over her
bed with the affection of a parent, and the reverence of a son.'
Baretti, in a MS. note on _Piozzi Letters_, i. 81, says that 'Johnson
could not much near Mrs. Salusbury, nor Mrs. Salusbury him, when they
first knew each other. But her cancer moved his compassion, and made
them friends.' Johnson, recording her death, says:--'Yesterday, as I
touched her hand and kissed it, she pressed my hand between her two
hands, which she probably intended as the parting caress ... This
morning being called about nine to feel her pulse, I said at parting,
"God bless you; for Jesus Christ's sake." She smiled as pleased.' _Pr.
and Med_. p. 128.

[774] Johnson wrote to Dr. Taylor July 22, 1782:--'Sir Robert Chambers
slipped this session through the fingers of revocation, but I am in
doubt of his continuance. Shelburne seems to be his enemy. Mrs. Thrale
says they will do him no harm. She perhaps thinks there is no harm
without hanging. The mere act of recall strips him of eight thousand a
year.' _Notes and Queries_, 6th S., v. 462.

[775] Beattie was Professor of Moral Philosophy. For some years his
'English friends had tried to procure for him a permanent provision
beyond the very moderate emoluments arising from his office.' Just
before Johnson wrote, Beattie had been privately informed that he was to
have a pension of L200 a year. Forbes's _Beattie_, ed. 1824, pp. 145,
151. When Johnson heard of this 'he clapped his hands, and cried, "O
brave we!"' Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 26.

[776] Langton. See _ante_, p. 254, note 2.

[777] Langton--his native village.

[778] See _ante_, p. 261, note 2.

[779] That he set out on this day is shewn by his letter to Mrs. Thrale.
_Piozzi Letters_, ii. 103. The following anecdote in the _Memoir of
Goldsmith_, prefixed to his _Misc. Works_ (i. 110), is therefore
inaccurate:--'I was dining at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, August 7, 1773,
where were the Archbishop of Tuam and Mr. (now Lord) Eliot, when the
latter making use of some sarcastical reflections on Goldsmith, Johnson
broke out warmly in his defence, and in the course of a spirited
eulogium said, "Is there a man, Sir, now who can pen an essay with such
ease and elegance as Goldsmith?"' Johnson did in August, 1783, dine at
Reynolds's, and meet there the Archbishop of Tuam, 'a man coarse of
voice and inelegant of language' _Piozzi Letters_, ii. 300.

[780] It was on Saturday the 14th of August that he arrived.

[781] From Aug. 14 to Nov. 22 is one hundred days.

[782] It is strange that not one of the four conferred on him an
honorary degree. This same year Beattie had been thus honoured at
Oxford. Gray, who visited Aberdeen eight years before Johnson, was
offered the degree of doctor of laws, 'which, having omitted to take it
at Cambridge, he thought it decent to refuse.' Johnson's _Works_,
viii. 479.

[783] He was long remembered amongst the lower order of Hebrideans by
the title of _Sassenach More_, the _big Englishman_. WALTER SCOTT.

[784] The first edition was published in September, 1785. In the
following August, in his preface to the third edition, Boswell speaks of
the first two editions 'as large impressions.'

[785] The authour was not a small gainer by this extraordinary Journey;
for Dr. Johnson thus writes to Mrs. Thrale, Nov. 3, 1773:--'Boswell will
praise my resolution and perseverance, and I shall in return celebrate
his good humour and perpetual cheerfulness. He has better faculties than
I had imagined; more justness of discernment, and more fecundity of
images. It is very convenient to travel with him; for there is no house
where he is not received with kindness and respect.' Let. 90, to Mrs.
Thrale. [_Piozzi Letters_, i. 198.] MALONE.

[786] 'The celebrated Flora Macdonald. See Boswell's _Tour_' COURTENAY.

[787] Lord Eldon (at that time Mr. John Scott) has the following
reminiscences of this visit:--'I had a walk in New Inn Hall Garden with
Dr. Johnson and Sir Robert Chambers [Principal of the Hall]. Sir Robert
was gathering snails, and throwing them over the wall into his
neighbours garden. The Doctor repreached him very roughly, and stated to
him that this was unmannerly and unneighbourly. "Sir," said Sir Robert,
"my neighbour is a Dissenter." "Oh!" said the Doctor, "if so, Chambers,
toss away, toss away, as hard as you can." He was very absent. I have
seen him standing for a very long time, without moving, with a foot on
each side the kennel which was then in the middle of the High Street,
with his eyes fixed on the water running in it. In the common-room of
University College he was dilating upon some subject, and the then head
of Lincoln College, Dr. Mortimer, occasionally interrupted him, saying,
"I deny that." This was often repeated, and observed upon by Johnson, in
terms expressive of increasing displeasure and anger. At length upon the
Doctor's repeating the words, "I deny that," "Sir, Sir," said Johnson,
"you must have forgot that an author has said: _Plus negabit tinus
asinus in una hora quam centum philosophi probaverint in centum
annis_."' [Dr. Fisher, who related this story to Mr. Croker, described
Dr. Mortimer as 'a Mr. Mortimer, a shallow under-bred man, who had no
sense of Johnson's superiority. He flatly contradicted some assertion
which Johnson had pronounced to be as clear as that two and two make
four.' Croker's _Boswell_, p. 483.] 'Mrs. John Scott used to relate that
she had herself helped Dr. Johnson one evening to fifteen cups of tea.'
Twiss's _Eldon_, i. 87.

[788] In this he shewed a very acute penetration. My wife paid him the
most assiduous and respectful attention, while he was our guest; so that
I wonder how he discovered her wishing for his departure. The truth is,
that his irregular hours and uncouth habits, such as turning the candles
with their heads downwards, when they did not burn bright enough, and
letting the wax drop upon the carpet, could not but be disagreeable to a
lady. Besides, she had not that high admiration of him which was felt by
most of those who knew him; and what was very natural to a female mind,
she thought he had too much influence over her husband. She once in a
little warmth, made, with more point than justice, this remark upon that
subject: 'I have seen many a bear led by a man; but I never before saw a
man led by a bear.' BOSWELL. See _ante_, ii. 66.

[789] Sir Alexander Gordon, one of the Professors at Aberdeen. BOSWELL.

[790] This was a box containing a number of curious things which he had
picked up in Scotland, particularly some horn spoons. BOSWELL.

[791] The Rev. Dr. Alexander Webster, one of the ministers of Edinburgh,
a man of distinguished abilities, who had promised him information
concerning the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. BOSWELL.

[792] The Macdonalds always laid claim to be placed on the right of the
whole clans, and those of that tribe assign the breach of this order at
Culloden as one cause of the loss of the day. The Macdonalds, placed on
the left wing, refused to charge, and positively left the field
unassailed and unbroken. Lord George Murray in vain endeavoured to urge
them on by saying, that their behaviour would make the left the right,
and that he himself would take the name of Macdonald. WALTER SCOTT.

[793] The whole of the first volume is Johnson's and three-quarters of
the second. A second edition was published the following year, with a
third volume added, which also contained pieces by Johnson, but no
apology from Davies.

[794] 'When Davies printed the _Fugitive Pieces_ without his knowledge
or consent; "How," said I, "would Pope have raved had he been served
so?" "We should never," replied he, "have heard the last on't, to be
sure; but then Pope was a narrow man: I will however," added he, "storm
and bluster _myself_ a little this time;"--so went to London in all the
wrath he could muster up. At his return I asked how the affair ended:

'"Why," said he, "I was a fierce fellow, and pretended to be very angry,
and Thomas was a good-natured fellow, and pretended to be very sorry; so
_there_ the matter ended: I believe the dog loves me dearly. Mr. Thrale"
(turning to my husband), "What shall you and I do that is good for Tom
Davies? We will do something for him to be sure."' Piozzi's _Anec_.
p. 55.

[795] _Prayers and Meditations_, BOSWELL.

[796] The ancient Burgh of Prestick, in Ayrshire. BOSWELL.

[797] Perhaps Johnson imperfectly remembered, '_novae rediere in
pristina vires_.' _AEneid_, xii. 424.

[798] See _ante_, i. 437. The decision was given on Feb. 22 against the
perpetual right. 'By the above decision near 200,000L. worth of what was
honestly purchased at public sale, and which was yesterday thought
property, is now reduced to nothing.... The English booksellers have now
no other security in future for any literary purchase they may make but
the statute of the 8th of Queen Anne, which secures to the authors
assigns an exclusive property for 14 years, to revert again to the
author, and vest in him for 14 years more.' _Ann. Reg_. 1774, i. 95.

[799] Murphy was a barrister as well as author.

[800] Mr. Croker quotes a note by Malone to show that in the catalogue
of Steevens's Library this book is described as a quarto, _corio turcico
foliis deauratis_.

[801] A manuscript account drawn by Dr. Webster of all the parishes in
Scotland, ascertaining their length, breadth, number of inhabitants, and
distinguishing Protestants and Roman Catholicks. This book had been
transmitted to government, and Dr. Johnson saw a copy of it in Dr.
Webster's possession. BOSWELL.

[802] Beauclerk, three weeks earlier, had written to Lord
Charlemont:--'Our club has dwindled away to nothing. Nobody attends but
Mr. Chambers, and he is going to the East Indies. Sir Joshua and
Goldsmith have got into such a round of pleasures that they have no
time.' Charlemont's _Life_, i. 350. Johnson, no doubt, had been kept
away by illness (_ante_, p. 272).

[803] Mr. Fox, as Sir James Mackintosh informed me, was brought in by
Burke. CROKER.

[804] Sir C. Bunbury was the brother of Mr. H. W. Bunbury, the
caricaturist, who married Goldsmith's friend, the elder Miss
Horneck--'Little Comedy' as she was called. Forster's _Goldsmith_,
ii. 147.

[805] Rogers (_Table-Talk_, p. 23) tells how Dr. Fordyce, who sometimes
drank a good deal, was summoned to a lady patient when he was conscious
that he had had too much wine. 'Feeling her pulse, and finding himself
unable to count its beats, he muttered, "Drunk by G--." Next morning a
letter from her was put into his hand. "She too well knew," she wrote,
"that he had discovered the unfortunate condition in which she had been,
and she entreated him to keep the matter secret in consideration of the
enclosed (a hundred-pound bank-note)."'

[806] Steevens wrote to Garrick on March 6:--'Mr. C. Fox pays you but a
bad compliment; as he appears, like the late Mr. Secretary Morris, to
enter the society at a time when he has _nothing else to do_. If the
_bon ton_ should prove a contagious disorder among us, it will be
curious to trace its progress. I have already seen it breaking out in
Dr. G----[Goldsmith] under the form of many a waistcoat, but I believe
Dr. G---- will be the last man in whom the symptoms of it will be
detected.' _Garrick Corres_. i. 613. In less than a month poor Goldsmith
was dead. Fox, just before his election to the club, had received
through one of the doorkeepers of the House of Commons the following
note:--'SIR,--His Majesty has thought proper to order a new commission
of the Treasury to be made out, in which I do not perceive your
name. NORTH.'

[807] See Boswell's answer, _post_, May 12.

[808] See _post_, April 16, 1775.

[809] See _ante_, i. 122, note 2.

[810] Iona.

[811] 'I was induced,' he says, 'to undertake the journey by finding in
Mr. Boswell a companion, whose acuteness would help my inquiry, and
whose gaiety of conversation and civility of manners are sufficient to
counteract the inconveniences of travel in countries less hospitable
than we have passed.' Quoted by Boswell in his _Hebrides_, Aug.
18, 1773.

[812] See _post_, Nov. 16, 1776.

[813] Boswell wrote to Temple on May 8, 1779:--'I think Dr. Johnson
never answered but three of my letters, though I have had numerous
returns from him.' _Letters of Boswell_. See _post_, Sept. 29, 1777.

[814] Dr. Goldsmith died April 4, this year. BOSWELL. Boswell wrote to
Garrick on April 11, 1774:--'Dr. Goldsmith's death would affect all the
club much. I have not been so much affected with any event that has
happened of a long time. I wish you would give me, who am at a distance,
some particulars with regard to his last appearance.' _Garrick
Corres_. i. 622.

[815] See _ante_, p. 265.

[816] See _ante_, ii. 27, and Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 29, 1773.

[817] These books Dr. Johnson presented to the Bodleian Library,

[818] On the cover enclosing them, Dr. Johnson wrote, 'If my delay has
given any reason for supposing that I have not a very deep sense of the
honour done me by asking my judgement, I am very sorry.' BOSWELL.

[819] See _post_, March 20, 1776.

[820] 'Sir Joshua was much affected by the death of Goldsmith, to whom
he had been a very sincere friend. He did not touch the pencil for that
day, a circumstance most extraordinary for him who passed _no day
without a line_. Northcote's _Reynolds_, i. 325.

[821] He owed his tailor L79, though he had paid him L110 in 1773. In
this payment was included L35 for his nephew's clothes. We find such
entries in his own bills as--'To Tyrian bloom satin grain and, garter
blue silk beeches 8L 2s. 7d. To Queen's-blue dress suit 11L 17s. 0d. To
your blue velvet suit 21L 10s. 9d.' (See _ante_, ii. 83.) Filby's son
said to Mr. Prior:--'My father attributed no blame to Goldsmith; he had
been a good customer, and had he lived would have paid every farthing.'
Prior's _Goldsmith_, ii. 232.

[822] 'Soon after Goldsmith's death certain persons dining with Sir
Joshua commented rather freely on some part of his works, which, in
their opinion, neither discovered talent nor originality. To this Dr.
Johnson listened in his usual growling manner; when, at length, his
patience being exhausted, he rose with great dignity, looked them full
in the face, and exclaimed, "If nobody was suffered to abuse poor Goldy,
but those who could write as well, he would have few censors."'
Northcote's _Reynolds_, i. 327. To Goldsmith might be applied the words
that Johnson wrote of Savage (_Works_, viii. 191):--'Vanity may surely
be readily pardoned in him to whom life afforded no other comforts than
barren praises, and the consciousness of deserving them. Those are no
proper judges of his conduct who have slumbered away their time on the
down of plenty; nor will any wise man presume to say, "Had I been in
Savage's condition, I should have lived or written better than Savage."'

[823] Mrs. Thrale's mother died the summer before (_ante_, p. 263). Most
of her children died early. By 1777 she had lost seven out of eleven.
_Post_, May 3, 1777.

[824] Johnson had not seen Langton since early in the summer of 1773. He
was then suffering from a fever and an inflammation in the eye, for
which he was twice copiously bled. (_Pr. and Med_. 130.) The following
winter he was distressed by a cough. (_Ib_ p. 135.) Neither of these
illnesses was severe enough to be called dreadful. In the spring of 1770
he was very ill. (_Ib_ p. 93.) On Sept. 18, 1771, he records:--'For the
last year I have been slowly recovering from the violence of my last
illness.' (_Ib_ p. 104.) On April 18, 1772, in reviewing the last year,
he writes:--'An unpleasing incident is almost certain to hinder my rest;
this is the remainder of my last illness.' (_Ib_ p. iii.) In the winter
of 1772-3, he suffered from a cough. (_Ib_ p. 121.) I think that he must
mean the illness of 1770, though it is to be noticed that he wrote to
Boswell on July 5, 1773:--'Except this eye [the inflamed eye] I am very
well.' (_Ante_, p. 264.)

[825] 'Lord have mercy upon us.'

[826] See Johnson's _Works_, i. 172, for his Latin version. D'Israeli
(_Curiosities of Literature_, ed. 1834, vi. 368) says 'that Oldys
[_ante_, i. 175] always asserted that he was the author of this song,
and as he was a rigid lover of truth I doubt not that he wrote it. I
have traced it through a dozen of collections since the year 1740, the
first in which I find it.'

[827] Mr. Seward (_Anec_, ii. 466) gives the following version of these

'Whoe'er thou art with reverence tread
Where Goldsmith's letter'd dust is laid.
If nature and the historic page,
If the sweet muse thy care engage.
Lament him dead whose powerful mind
Their various energies combined.'

[828] See _ante_, p. 265.

[829] At Lleweney, the house of Mrs. Thrale's cousin, Mr. Cotton, Dr.
Johnson stayed nearly three weeks. Johnson's _Journey into North Wales_,
July 28, 1774. Mr. Fitzmaurice, Lord Shelburne's brother, had a house
there in 1780; for Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale on May 7 of that
year:--'He has almost made me promise to pass part of the summer at
Llewenny.' _Piozzi Letters_, ii. 113.

[830] Lord Hailes was Sir David Dalrymple. See _ante_, i. 267. He is not
to be confounded with Sir John Dalrymple, mentioned _ante_, ii. 210.


E'en in a bishop I can spy desert;
Seeker is decent, Rundel has a heart.'

Pope's _Epilogue to the Satires_, ii. 70.

[832] In the first two editions _forenoon_. Boswell, in three other
passages, made the same change in the third edition. _Forenoon_ perhaps
he considered a Scotticism. The correction above being made in one of
his letters, renders it likely that he corrected them before

[833] Horace, _Ars Poet_. l. 373.

[834] 'Do not you long to hear the roarings of the old lion over the
bleak mountains of the North?' wrote Steevens to Garrick. _Garrick
Corres_, ii. 122.

[835] 'Aug. 16. We came to Penmanmaur by daylight, and found a way,
lately made, very easy and very safe. It was cut smooth and enclosed
between parallel walls; the outer of which secures the passenger from
the precipice, which is deep and dreadful.... The sea beats at the
bottom of the way. At evening the moon shone eminently bright: and our
thoughts of danger being now past, the rest of our journey was very
pleasant. At an hour somewhat late we came to Bangor, where we found a
very mean inn, and had some difficulty to obtain lodging. I lay in a
room where the other bed had two men.' Johnson's _Journey into
North Wales_.

[836] He did not go to the top of Snowdon. He says:--'On the side of
Snowdon are the remains of a large fort, to which we climbed with great
labour. I was breathless and harassed,' _Ib_ Aug. 26.

[837] I had written to him, to request his interposition in behalf of a
convict, who I thought was very unjustly condemned. BOSWELL.

[838] He had kept a journal which was edited by Mr. Duppa in 1816. It
will be found _post_, in vol. v.

[839] 'When the general election broke up the delightful society in
which we had spent some time at Beconsfield, Dr. Johnson shook the
hospitable master of the house [Burke] kindly by the hand, and said,
"Farewell my dear Sir, and remember that I wish you all the success
which ought to be wished you, which can possibly be wished you
indeed--_by an honest man_."' Piozzi's _Anec_. p. 242. The dissolution
was on Sept. 30. Johnson, with the Thrales, as his _Journal_ shows, had
arrived at Beconsfield on the 24th. See _ante_, ii. 222, for Johnson's
opinion of Burke's honesty.

[840] Mr. Perkins was for a number of years the worthy superintendant of
Mr. Thrale's great brewery, and after his death became one of the
proprietors of it; and now resides in Mr. Thrale's house in Southwark,
which was the scene of so many literary meetings, and in which he
continues the liberal hospitality for which it was eminent. Dr. Johnson
esteemed him much. He hung up in the counting-house a fine proof of the
admirable mizzotinto of Dr. Johnson, by Doughty; and when Mrs. Thrale
asked him somewhat flippantly, 'Why do you put him up in the
counting-house?' he answered, 'Because, Madam, I wish to have one wise
man there.' 'Sir,' (said Johnson,) 'I thank you. It is a very handsome
compliment, and I believe you speak sincerely.' BOSWELL.

[841] In the news-papers. BOSWELL.

[842] 'Oct. 16, 1774. In Southwark there has been outrageous rioting;
but I neither know the candidates, their connections, nor success.'
Horace Walpole's _Letters_, vi. 134. Of one Southwark election Mrs.
Piozzi writes (_Anec_. p. 214):--'A Borough election once showed me Mr.
Johnson's toleration of boisterous mirth. A rough fellow, a hatter by
trade, seeing his beaver in a state of decay seized it suddenly with one
hand, and clapping him on the back with the other. "Ah, Master Johnson,"
says he, "this is no time to be thinking about _hats_." "No, no, Sir,"
replies our doctor in a cheerful tone, "hats are of no use now, as you
say, except to throw up in the air and huzza with," accompanying his
words with the true election halloo.'

[843] See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 19, 1773. Johnson thus mentions him
(_Works_, ix. 142):--'Here we had the last embrace of this amiable man,
who, while these pages were preparing to attest his virtues, perished in
the passage between Ulva and Inch Kenneth.'

[844] Alluding to a passage in a letter of mine, where speaking of his
_Journey to the Hebrides_, I say, 'But has not _The Patriot_ been an
interruption, by the time taken to write it, and the time luxuriously
spent in listening to its applauses?' BOSWELL.

[845] We had projected a voyage together up the Baltic, and talked of
visiting some of the more northern regions. BOSWELL. See Boswell's
_Hebrides_, Sept. 16.

[846] See _ante_, i. 72.

[847] John Hoole, the son of a London watchmaker, was born in Dec. 1727,
and died on Aug. 2, 1803. At the age of seventeen he was placed as a
clerk in the East-India House; but, like his successors, James and John
Stuart Mill, he was an author as well as a clerk. See _ante_, i. 383.

[848] _Cleonice_. BOSWELL. Nichols (_Lit. Anec_. ii. 407) says that as
_Cleonice_ was a failure on the stage 'Mr. Hoole returned a considerable
part of the money which he had received for the copy-right, alleging
that, as the piece was not successful on the stage, it could not be very
profitable to the bookseller, and ought not to be a loss.'

[849] See _ante_, i. 255.

[850] See _post_, March 20, 1776.

[851] 'The King,' wrote Horace Walpole on Jan. 21, 1775 (_Letters_, vi.
179), 'sent for the book in MS., and then wondering said, "I protest,
Johnson seems to be a Papist and a Jacobite--so he did not know why he
had been made to give him a pension."'

[852] Boswell's little daughter. Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug, 15, 1773.

[853] 'Bis dat qui cito dat, minimi gratia tarda pretii est.' Alciat's
_Emblems_, Alciati _Opera_ 1538, p. 821.

[854] It was at the Turk's Head coffee-house in the Strand. See _ante_,
i. 450.

[855] _Hamlet_, act iii. sc. 2.

[856] 'Exegi monumentum aere perennius.' Horace, _Odes_, iii. 30. I.

[857] The second edition was not brought out till the year after
Johnson's death. These mistakes remain uncorrected. Johnson's _Works_,
ix. 44. 150.

[858] See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 23.

[859] In the Court of Session of Scotland an action is first tried by
one of the Judges, who is called the Lord Ordinary; and if either party
is dissatisfied, he may appeal to the whole Court, consisting of
fifteen, the Lord President and fourteen other Judges, who have both in
and out of Court the title of Lords, from the name of their estates; as,
Lord Auchinleck, Lord Monboddo, &c. BOSWELL. See _ante_, ii. 201,
note 1.

[860] Johnson had thus written of him (_Works_, ix. ll5):--'I suppose my
opinion of the poems of Ossian is already discovered. I believe they
never existed in any other form than that which we have seen. The
editor, or author, never could show the original; nor can it be shown by
any other. To revenge reasonable incredulity by refusing evidence is a
degree of insolence with which the world is not yet acquainted; and
stubborn audacity is the last refuge of guilt.' See _ante_, ii. 126.

[861] _Taxation no Tyranny_. See _post_, under March 21, 1775.

[862] See _ante_, p. 265.

[863] In Tickell's _Epistle from the Hon. Charles Fox to the Hon. John
Townshend_ (1779) are the following lines (p. 11):--

'Soon as to Brooks's thence thy footsteps bend,
What gratulations thy approach attend!

See Beauclerk's cheek a tinge of red surprise,
And friendship give what cruel health denies.'

[864] It should be recollected, that this fanciful description of his
friend was given by Johnson after he himself had become a water-drinker.
BOSWELL. Johnson, _post_, April 18, 1775, describes one of his friends
as _muddy_. On April 12, 1776, in a discussion about wine, when Reynolds
said to him, 'You have sat by, quite sober, and felt an envy of the
happiness of those who were drinking,' he replied, 'Perhaps, contempt.'
On April 28, 1778, he said to Reynolds: 'I won't argue any more with
you, Sir. You are too far gone.' See also _ante_, i. 313, note 3, where
he said to him: 'Sir, I did not count your glasses of wine, why should
you number up my cups of tea?'

[865] See them in _Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides_, 3rd edit. p. 337
[Oct. 17]. BOSWELL.

[866] He now sent me a Latin inscription for my historical picture of
Mary Queen of Scots, and afterwards favoured me with an English
translation. Mr. Alderman Boydell, that eminent Patron of the Arts, has
subjoined them to the engraving from my picture.

'Maria Scotorum Regina
Homimun seditiosorum
Contumeliis lassata,
Minis territa, clamoribus victa
Libello, per quem
Regno cedit,
Lacrimans trepidansque
Nomen apponit?'

'Mary Queen of Scots,
Harassed, terrified, and overpowered
By the insults, menaces,
And clamours
Of her rebellious subjects,
Sets her hand,
With tears and confusion,
To a resignation of the kingdom.'


Northcote (_Life of Reynolds_, ii. 234) calls Boydell 'the truest and
greatest encourager of English art that England ever saw.'

[867] By the Boston Port-Bill, passed in 1774, Boston had been closed as
a port for the landing and shipping of goods. _Ann. Reg_. xvii. 64.

[868] Becket, a bookseller in the Strand, was the publisher of _Ossian_.

[869] His Lordship, notwithstanding his resolution, did commit his
sentiments to paper, and in one of his notes affixed to his _Collection
of Old Scottish Poetry_, he says, that 'to doubt the authenticity of
those poems is a refinement in Scepticism indeed.' J. BLAKEWAY.

[870] Mr. Croker writes (Croker's _Boswell_, p. 378, note):--'The
original draft of these verses in Johnson's autograph is now before me.
He had first written:--

'Sunt pro legitimis pectora pura sacris;'

he then wrote--

'Legitimas faciunt pura labella preces;'

which more nearly approaches Mr. Boswell's version, and alludes, happily
I think, to the prayers having been read by the young lady.... The line
as it stands in the _Works_ [Sint pro legitimis pura labella sacris, i.
167], is substituted in Mr. Langton's hand.... As I have reason to
believe that Mr. Langton assisted in editing these Latin _poemata_, I
conclude that these alterations were his own.'

[871] The learned and worthy Dr. Lawrence, whom Dr. Johnson respected
and loved as his physician and friend. BOSWELL. 'Dr. Lawrence was
descended, as Sir Egerton Brydges informs me, from Milton's friend
['Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son.' Milton's _Sonnets_, xx.].
One of his sons was Sir Soulden Lawrence, one of the Judges of the
King's Bench.' Croker's _Boswell_, p. 734. See _post_, March 19, 1782.

[872] My friend has, in this letter, relied upon my testimony, with a
confidence, of which the ground has escaped my recollection. BOSWELL.
Lord Shelburne said: 'Like the generality of Scotch, Lord Mansfield had
no regard to truth whatever.' Fitzmaurice's _Shelburne_, i. 89.

[873] Dr. Lawrence. See Johnson's letter to Warren Hastings of Dec. 20,
1774. _Post_, beginning of 1781.

[874] I have deposited it in the British Museum. BOSWELL. Mr. P.
Cunningham says:--'Of all the MSS. which Boswell says he had deposited
in the British Museum, only the copy of the letter to Lord Chesterfield
has been found, and that was not deposited by him, but after his death,
"pursuant to the intentions of the late James Boswell, Esq."' Croker's
_Boswell_, p. 430. The original letter to Macpherson was sold in Mr.
Pocock's collection in 1875. It fetched L50, almost five times as much
as Johnson was paid for his _London_. It differs from the copy, if we
can trust the auctioneer's catalogue, where the following passage is
quoted:--'Mr. James Macpherson, I received your foolish and impudent
note. Whatever insult is offered me, I will do my best to repel, and
what I cannot do for myself the law shall do for me. I will not desist
from detecting what I think a cheat from any fear of the menaces of
a Ruffian.'

[875] In the _Gent. Mag_. for 1773, p. 192, is announced: '_The Iliad of
Homer_. Translated by James Macpherson, Esq., 2 vols. 4to. L2 2s.
Becket.' Hume writes:--'Finding the style of his _Ossian_ admired by
some, he attempts a translation of _Homer_ in the very same style. He
begins and finishes in six weeks a work that was for ever to eclipse the
translation of Pope, whom he does not even deign to mention in his
preface; but this joke was still more unsuccessful [than his _History of
Britain_].' J. H. Burton's _Hume_, i. 478. Hume says of him, that he had
'scarce ever known a man more perverse and unamiable.' _Ib_ p. 470.

[876] 'Within a few feet of Johnson lies (by one of those singular

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