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

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[279] In the _Garrick Corres_., i. 385, there is a letter from Mrs.
Montagu to Garrick, which shows the ridiculous way in which Shakespeare
was often patronised last century, and 'brought into notice.' She
says:--'Mrs. Montagu is a little jealous for poor Shakespeare, for if
Mr. Garrick often acts Kitely, Ben Jonson will eclipse his fame.'

[280] 'Familiar comedy is often more powerful on the theatre than in the
page; imperial tragedy is always less.' Johnson's _Works_, v. 122. See
also Boswell's _Hebrides_, August 15 and 16, 1773, where Johnson
'displayed another of his heterodox opinions--a contempt of tragick
acting.' Murphy (_Life_, p. 145) thus writes of Johnson's slighting
Garrick and the stage:--'The fact was, Johnson could not see the
passions as they rose and chased one another in the varied features of
that expressive face; and by his own manner of reciting verses, which
was wonderfully impressive, he plainly showed that he thought there was
too much of artificial tone and measured cadence in the declamation of
the theatre.' Reynolds said of Johnson's recitation, that 'it had no
more tone than it should the have.' Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 26, 1773.
See _post_, April 3, 1773.

[281] See _post_, April 6, 1775, where Johnson, speaking of Cibber's
'talents of conversation,' said:--'He had but half to furnish; for one
half of what he said was oaths.'

[282] See _ante_, June 13, 1763.

[283] See _post_, Sept. 21, 1777.

[284] On Oct. 18, one day, not two days before, four men were hanged at
Tyburn for robbery on the highway, one for stealing money and linen, and
one for forgery. _Gent. Mag_., xxxix. 508. Boswell, in _The
Hypochondriack_, No. 68 (_London Mag_. for 1783, p. 203), republishes a
letter which he had written on April 25, 1768, to the _Public
Advertiser_, after he had witnessed the execution of an attorney named
Gibbon, and a youthful highwayman. He says:--'I must confess that I
myself am never absent from a public execution.... When I first attended
them, I was shocked to the greatest degree. I was in a manner convulsed
with pity and terror, and for several days, but especially nights after,
I was in a very dismal situation. Still, however, I persisted in
attending them, and by degrees my sensibility abated, so that I can now
see one with great composure. I can account for this curiosity in a
philosophical manner, when I consider that death is the most awful
object before every man, whoever directs his thoughts seriously towards
futurity. Therefore it is that I feel an irresistible impulse to be
present at every execution, as I there behold the various effects of the
near approach of death.' He maintains 'that the curiosity which impels
people to be present at such affecting scenes, is certainly a proof of
sensibility, not of callousness. For, it is observed, that the greatest
proportion of the spectators is composed of women.' See _post_, June
23, 1784.

[285] Of Johnson, perhaps, might almost be said what he said of Swift
(_Works_, viii. 207):--'The thoughts of death rushed upon him at this
time with such incessant importunity that they took possession of his
mind, when he first waked, for many hours together.' Writing to Mrs.
Thrale from Lichfield on Oct. 27, 1781, he says:--'All here is gloomy; a
faint struggle with the tediousness of time, a doleful confession of
present misery, and the approach seen and felt of what is most dreaded
and most shunned. But such is the lot of man.' _Piozzi Letters_,
ii. 209.

[286] Johnson, during a serious illness, thus wrote to Mrs.
Thrale:--'When any man finds himself disposed to complain with how
little care he is regarded, let him reflect how little he contributed to
the happiness of others, and how little, for the most part, he suffers
from their pain. It is perhaps not to be lamented that those solicitudes
are not long nor frequent which must commonly be vain; nor can we wonder
that, in a state in which all have so much to feel of their own evils,
very few have leisure for those of another.' _Piozzi Letters_, i. 14.
See _post_, Sept. 14, 1777.

[287] 'I was shocked to find a letter from Dr. Holland, to the effect
that poor Harry Hallam is dying at Sienna [Vienna]. What a trial for my
dear old friend! I feel for the lad himself, too. Much distressed. I
dined, however. We dine, unless the blow comes very, very near the heart
indeed.' Macaulay's _Life_, ii. 287. See also _ante_, i. 355.

[288] See _post_, Feb. 24, 1773, for 'a furious quarrel' between Davies
and Baretti.

[289] Foote, two or three years before this, had lost one leg through an
accident in hunting. Forster's _Essays_, ii. 398. See _post_, under
Feb. 7, 1775.

[290] When Mr. Foote was at Edinburgh, he thought fit to entertain a
numerous Scotch company, with a great deal of coarse jocularity, at the
expense of Dr. Johnson, imagining it would be acceptable. I felt this as
not civil to me; but sat very patiently till he had exhausted his
merriment on that subject; and then observed, that surely Johnson must
be allowed to have some sterling wit, and that I had heard him say a
very good thing of Mr. Foote himself. 'Ah, my old friend Sam (cried
Foote), no man says better things; do let us have it.' Upon which I told
the above story, which produced a very loud laugh from the company. But
I never saw Foote so disconcerted. He looked grave and angry, and
entered into a serious refutation of the justice of the remark. 'What,
Sir, (said he), talk thus of a man of liberal education;--a man who for
years was at the University of Oxford;--a man who has added sixteen new
characters to the English drama of his country!' BOSWELL.

Foote was at Worcester College, but he left without taking his degree.
He was constantly in scrapes. When the Provost, Dr. Gower, who was a
pedant, sent for him to reprimand him, 'Foote would present himself with
great apparent gravity and submission, but with a large dictionary under
his arm; when, on the doctor beginning in his usual pompous manner with
a surprisingly long word, he would immediately interrupt him, and, after
begging pardon with great formality, would produce his dictionary, and
pretending to find the meaning of the word, would say, "Very well, Sir;
now please to go on."' Forster's _Essays_, ii. 307. Dr. Gower is
mentioned by Dr. King (_Anec_., p. 174) as one of the three persons he
had known 'who spoke English with that elegance and propriety, that if
all they said had been immediately committed to writing, any judge of
the language would have pronounced it an excellent and very beautiful
style.' The other two were Bishop Atterbury and Dr. Johnson.

[291] _Cento_. A composition formed by joining scrapes from other
authours.' Johnson's _Dictionary_.

[292] See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Sept. 30, 1773.

[293] For the position of these chaplains see _The Tatler_, No. 255, and
_The Guardian_, No. 163.

[294] 'He had been assailed in the grossest manner possible by a woman
of the town, and, driving her off with a blow, was set upon by three
bullies. He thereupon ran away in great fear, for he was a timid man,
and being pursued, had stabbed two of the men with a small knife he
carried in his pocket.' Garrick and Beauclerk testified that every one
abroad carried such a knife, for in foreign inns only forks were
provided. 'When you travel abroad do you carry such knives as this?'
Garrick was asked. 'Yes,' he answered, 'or we should have no victuals.'
_Dr. Johnson: His Friends and His Critics_, p. 288. I have extracted
from the _Sessional Reports_ for 1769, p. 431, the following evidence as
to Baretti's character:--'SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS. I have known Mr. Baretti
fifteen or sixteen years. He is a man of great humanity, and very active
in endeavouring to help his friends. He is a gentleman of a good temper;
I never knew him quarrelsome in my life; he is of a sober
disposition.... This affair was on a club night of the Royal
Academicians. We expected him there, and were inquiring about him before
we heard of this accident. He is secretary for foreign correspondence.'
'DR. JOHNSON. I believe I began to be acquainted with Mr. Baretti about
the year '53 or '54. I have been intimate with him. He is a man of
literature, a very studious man, a man of great diligence. He gets his
living by study. I have no reason to think he was ever disordered with
liquor in his life. A man that I never knew to be otherwise than
peaceable, and a man that I take to be rather timorous.' Qu. 'Was he
addicted to pick up women in the street?' 'Dr. J. I never knew that he
was.' Qu. 'How is he as to his eye-sight?' 'Dr. J. He does not see me
now, nor I do not [sic] see him. I do not believe he could be capable of
assaulting anybody in the street without great provocation.' 'EDMUND
BURKE, ESQ. I have known him between three and four years; he is an
ingenious man, a man of remarkable humanity--a thorough good-natured
man.' 'DAVID GARRICK, ESQ. I never knew a man of a more active
benevolence.... He is a man of great probity and morals.' 'DR.
GOLDSMITH. I have had the honour of Mr. Baretti's company at my chambers
in the Temple. He is a most humane, benevolent, peaceable man.... He is
a man of as great humanity as any in the world.' Mr. Fitzherbert and Dr.
Hallifax also gave evidence. 'There were divers other gentlemen in court
to speak for his character, but the Court thought it needless to call
them.' It is curious that Boswell passes over Reynolds and Goldsmith
among the witnesses. Baretti's bail before Lord Mansfield were Burke,
Garrick, Reynolds, and Fitzherbert. Mrs. Piozzi tells the following
anecdotes of Baretti:--'When Johnson and Burke went to see him in
Newgate, they had small comfort to give him, and bid him not hope too
strongly. "Why, what can _he_ fear," says Baretti, placing himself
between them, "that holds two such hands as I do?" An Italian came one
day to Baretti, when he was in Newgate, to desire a letter of
recommendation for the teaching his scholars, when he (Baretti) should
be hanged. "You rascal," replies Baretti in a rage, "if I were not _in
my own apartment_, I would kick you down stairs directly."' Hayward's
_Piazzi_, ii. 348. Dr. T. Campbell, in his _Diary_ (p. 52), wrote on
April 1, 1775:--'Boswell and Baretti, as I learned, are mortal foes; so
much so that Murphy and Mrs. Thrale agreed that Boswell expressed a
desire that Baretti should be hanged upon that unfortunate affair of his
killing, &c.'

[295] Lord Auchinleck, we may assume. Johnson said of Pope, that 'he was
one of those few whose labor is their pleasure.' _Works_, viii. 321.

[296] I have since had reason to think that I was mistaken; for I have
been informed by a lady, who was long intimate with her, and likely to
be a more accurate observer of such matters, that she had acquired such
a niceness of touch, as to know, by the feeling on the outside of the
cup, how near it was to being full. BOSWELL. Baretti, in a MS. note on
_Piozzi Letters_, ii. 84, says:--'I dined with Dr. Johnson as seldom as
I could, though often scolded for it; but I hated to see the victuals
pawed by poor Mrs. Williams, that would often carve, though
stone blind.'

[297] See _ante_, July 1 and Aug. 2, 1763.

[298] See _ante_, i. 232.

[299] An Italian quack who in 1765 established medicated baths in Cheney
Walk, Chelsea. CROKER.

[300] The same saying is recorded _post_, May 15, 1784, and in Boswell's
_Hebrides_, Oct. 5, 1773. 'Cooke reports another saying of Goldsmith's
to the same effect:--"There's no chance for you in arguing with Johnson.
Like the Tartar horse, if he does not conquer you in front, his kick
from behind is sure to be fatal."' Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 167. 'In
arguing,' wrote Sir Joshua Reynolds, 'Johnson did not trouble himself
with much circumlocution, but opposed directly and abruptly his
antagonist. He fought with all sorts of weapons--ludicrous comparisons
and similies; if all failed, with rudeness and overbearing. He thought
it necessary never to be worsted in argument. He 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.... That he
was not thus strenuous for victory with his intimates in tete-a-tete
conversations when there were no witnesses, may be easily believed.
Indeed, had his conduct been to them the same as he exhibited to the
public, his friends could never have entertained that love and affection
for him which they all feel and profess for his memory.' Taylor's
_Reynolds_, ii. 457, 462.

[301] He had written the _Introduction_ to it. _Ante_, p. 317.

[302] See _post_, beginning of 1770.

[303] He accompanied Boswell on his tour to the Hebrides. Boswell's
_Hebrides_, Aug. 18, 1773.

[304] While he was in Scotland he never entered one of the churches. 'I
will not give a sanction,' he said, 'by my presence, to a Presbyterian
assembly.' _Ib_ Aug. 27, 1773. When he was in France he went to a Roman
Catholic service; _post_, Oct. 29, 1775.

[305] See _post_, March 21, 1772.

[306] See _ante_, ii. 82.

[307] See _post_, March 27, 1772.

[308] See _post_, May 7, 1773, Oct. 10, 1779, and June 9, 1784.

[309] _St. James_, v. 16.

[310] See _post_, June 28, 1777, note.

[311] Laceration was properly a term of surgery; hence the italics. See
_post_, Jan. 20, 1780.

[312] See _post_, April 15, 1778.

[313] See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Sept. 12, 1773.

[314] He bids us pray 'For faith that panting for a happier seat, Counts
death kind nature's signal of retreat.'


'To die is landing on some silent shore,
Where billows never beat, nor tempests roar,
Ere well we feel the friendly stroke, 'tis o'er.'

GARTH. Quoted in Johnson's _Works_, vi. 61. Bacon, if he was the author
of _An Essay on Death_, says, 'I do not believe that any man fears to be
dead, but only the stroke of death.' Spedding's _Bacon_, vi. 600. Cicero
(_Tuscul. Quaest_. i. 8) quotes Epicharmus's saying:--'Emori nolo, sed
me esse mortuum nihil aestimo.'

[316] See _post_, beginning of 1773.

[317] See _post_, April 17, 1778.

[318] Perhaps _on_ is a misprint for _or_.

[319] Johnson says of Blackmore (_Works_, viii. 36) that 'he is one of
those men whose lot it has been to be much oftener mentioned by enemies
than by friends.'

[320] This account Johnson says he had from an eminent bookseller, who
had it from Ambrose Philips the poet. 'The relation of Philips,' he
adds, 'I suppose was true; but when all reasonable, all credible
allowance is made for this friendly revision, the author will still
retain an ample dividend of praise.... Correction seldom effects more
than the suppression of faults: a happy line, or a single elegance, may
perhaps be added, but of a large work the general character must always
remain.' _Works_, viii. 41.

[321] An acute correspondent of the _European Magazine_, April, 1792,
has completely exposed a mistake which has been unaccountably frequent
in ascribing these lines to Blackmore, notwithstanding that Sir Richard
Steele, in that very popular work, _The Spectator_, mentions them as
written by the Authour of The British Princes, the Honourable Edward
Howard. The correspondent above mentioned, shews this mistake to be so
inveterate, that not only _I_ defended the lines as Blackmore's, in the
presence of Dr. Johnson, without any contradiction or doubt of their
authenticity, but that the Reverend Mr. Whitaker has asserted in print,
that he understands they were _suppressed_ in the late edition or
editions of Blackmore. 'After all (says this intelligent writer) it is
not unworthy of particular observation, that these lines so often quoted
do not exist either in Blackmore or Howard.' In _The British Princes_,
8vo. 1669, now before me, p. 96, they stand thus:--

'A vest as admired Voltiger had on, Which, from this Island's foes, his
grandsire won, Whose artful colour pass'd the Tyrian dye, Oblig'd to
triumph in this legacy.'

It is probable, I think, that some wag, in order to make Howard still
more ridiculous than he really was, has formed the couplet as it now
circulates. BOSWELL. Swift in his _Poetry: A Rhapsody_, thus joins
Howard and Blackmore together:--

'Remains a difficulty still,
To purchase fame by writing ill.
From Flecknoe down to Howard's time
How few have reached the low sublime!
For when our high-born Howard died,
Blackmore alone his place supplied.'

_Swift's Works_ (1803), xi. 296.

[322] Boswell seems to have borrowed the notion from _The Spectator_,
No. 43, where Steele, after saying that the poet blundered because he
was 'vivacious as well as stupid,' continues:--'A fool of a colder
constitution would have staid to have flayed the Pict, and made buff of
his skin for the wearing of the conqueror.'

[323] See _ante_, ii. 100, note 1.

[324] Mrs. Piozzi (_Anec_. p. 97) tells how one day at Streatham 'when
he was musing over the fire, a young gentleman called to him suddenly,
and I suppose he thought disrespectfully, in these words:--"Mr.
Johnson, would you advise me to marry?" "I would advise no man to marry,
Sir," returns for answer in a very angry tone Dr. Johnson, "who is not
likely to propagate understanding," and so left the room. Our companion
looked confounded, and I believe had scarce recovered the consciousness
of his own existence, when Johnson came back, and drawing his chair
among us, with altered looks and a softened voice, joined in the general
chat, insensibly led the conversation to the subject of marriage, where
he laid himself out in a dissertation so useful, so elegant, so founded
on the true knowledge of human life, and so adorned with beauty of
sentiment, that no one ever recollected the offence except to rejoice in
its consequences.' This 'young gentleman,' according to Mr. Hayward
(Mrs. Piozzi's _Auto_. i. 69), was Sir John Lade, the hero of the ballad
which Johnson recited on his death-bed. For other instances of Johnson's
seeking a reconciliation, see _post_, May 7, 1773, and April 12 and
May 8, 1778.

[325] '_The False Alarm_, his first and favourite pamphlet, was written
at our house between eight o'clock on Wednesday night and twelve o'clock
on Thursday night. We read it to Mr. Thrale when he came very late home
from the House of Commons.' Piozzi's _Anec_. p. 41. See also _post_,
Nov. 26, 1774, where Johnson says that '_The Patriot_ was called for by
my political friends on Friday, was written on Saturday.'

[326] Wilkes was first elected member for Middlesex at the General
Election of March, 1768. He did not take his seat, having been thrown
into prison before Parliament met. On Feb. 3, 1769, he was declared
incapable of being elected, and a new writ was ordered. On Feb. 16 he
was again elected, and without opposition. His election was again
declared void. On March 16 he was a third time elected, and without
opposition. His election was again declared void. On April 13 he was a
fourth time elected by 1143 votes against 296 given for Colonel
Luttrell. On the 14th the poll taken for him was declared null and void,
and on the 15th, Colonel Luttrell was declared duly elected. _Parl.
Hist_. xvi. 437, and Almon's _Wilkes_, iv. 4. See _post_, Oct. 12, 1779.

[327] The resolution of expulsion was carried on Feb. 17, 1769. _Parl.
Hist_. xvi. 577. It was expunged on May 3, 1782. _Ib_ xxii. 1407.

[328] In the original it is not _rulers_, but _railers_. Johnson's
_Works_, vi. 176.

[329] How slight the change of system was is shown by a passage in
Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 388. Mr. Forster mentions a 'memorial in
favour of the most worthless of hack-partizans, Shebbeare, which
obtained for him his pension of L200 a year. It is signed by fifteen
members of the House of Commons, and it asks for a pension "that he may
be enabled to pursue that laudable _inclination which he has_ of
manifesting his zeal for the service of his Majesty and his Government";
in other words, that a rascal shall be bribed to support a corrupt
administration.' Horace Walpole, in 1757 (_Letters_, iii. 54), described
Shebbeare as one 'who made a pious resolution of writing himself into a
place or the pillory, but who miscarried in both views.' He added in a
note, 'he did write himself into a pillory before the conclusion of that
reign, and into a pension at the beginning of the next, for one and the
same kind of merit--writing against King William and the Revolution.'
See also _post_, end of May, 1781.

[330] Johnson could scarcely be soothed by lines such as the

'Never wilt thou retain the hoarded store,
In virtue affluent, but in metal poor;
* * * * *
Great is thy prose; great thy poetic strain,
Yet to dull coxcombs are they great in vain.

[331] Stockdale, who was born in 1736 and died in 1811, wrote _Memoirs
of his Life_--a long, dull book, but containing a few interesting
anecdotes of Johnson. He thought himself, and the world also, much
ill-used by the publishers, when they passed him over and chose Johnson
to edit the _Lives of the Poets_. He lodged both in Johnson's Court and
in Bolt Court, but preserved little good-will for his neighbour.
Johnson, in the _Life of Waller_ (_Works_, vii. 194), quoting from
Stockdale's _Life_ of that poet, calls him 'his last ingenious
biographer.' I. D'Israeli says that 'the bookseller Flexney complained
that whenever this poet came to town, it cost him L20. Flexney had been
the publisher of Churchill's _Works_, and never forgetting the time when
he published _The Rosciad_, he was speculating all his life for another
Churchill and another quarto poem. Stockdale usually brought him what he
wanted, and Flexney found the workman, but never the work.' _Calamities
of Authors_, ed. 1812, ii. 314.

[332] 'I believe most men may review all the lives that have passed
within their observation without remembering one efficacious resolution,
or being able to tell a single instance of a course of practice suddenly
changed in consequence of a change of opinion, or an establishment of
determination.' _Idler_, No. 27. 'These sorrowful meditations fastened
upon Rasselas's mind; he passed four months in resolving to lose no more
time in idle resolves.' _Rasselas_, ch. iv.

[333] _Pr. and Med_. p. 95. [p. 101.] BOSWELL.

[334] See _ante_, i. 368.

[335] The passage remains unrevised in the second edition.

[336] Johnson had suffered greatly from rheumatism this year, as well as
from other disorders. He mentions 'spasms in the stomach which disturbed
me for many years, and for two past harassed me almost to distraction.'
These, however, by means of a strong remedy, had at Easter nearly
ceased. 'The pain,' he adds, 'harrasses me much; yet many leave the
disease perhaps in a much higher degree, with want of food, fire, and
covering, which I find also grievous, with all the succours that riches
kindness can buy and give.' (He was staying at Mr. Thrale's) _Pr. and
Med_. pp. 92-95. 'Shall I ever,' he asks on Easter Day, 'receive the
Sacrament with tranquility? Surely the time will come.' _Ib_ p. 99.

[337] Son of the learned Mrs. Grierson, who was patronised by the late
Lord Granville, and was the editor of several of the Classicks. BOSWELL.


'Pontificum libros, annosa volumina vatum,
Dictitet Albano Musas in monte locutas.'
'Then swear transported that the sacred Nine
Pronounced on Alba's top each hallowed line.'

FRANCIS. Horace, _Epis_. II. i. 26.

[339] See _ante_, i. 131, where Boswell says that 'Johnson afterwards
honestly acknowledged the merit of Walpole.'

[340] See _post_, May 15, 1783.

[341] 'His acquaintance was sought by persons of the first eminence in
literature; and his house, in respect of the conversations there, became
an academy.' Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 329. See _ante_, i. 247, 350,
note 3.

[342] Probably Madame de Boufflers. See _post_, under November 12, 1775.

[343] 'To talk in publick, to think in solitude, to read and hear, to
inquire and answer inquiries, is the business of a scholar.' _Rasselas_,
ch. viii. Miss Burney mentions an amusing instance of a consultation by
letter. 'The letter was dated from the Orkneys, and cost Dr. Johnson
eighteen pence. The writer, a clergyman, says he labours under a most
peculiar misfortune, for which he can give no account, and which is
that, though he very often writes letters to his friends and others, he
never gets any answers. He entreats, therefore, that Dr. Johnson will
take this into consideration, and explain to him to what so strange a
thing may be attributed.' Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary_, ii. 96.

[344] 'How he [Swift] spent the rest of his time, and how he employed
his hours of study, has been inquired with hopeless curiosity. For who
can give an account of another's studies? Swift was not likely to admit
any to his privacies, or to impart a minute account of his business or
his leisure.' Johnson's _Works_, viii. 208.

[345] See _post_, March 31, 1772.

[346] 'He loved the poor,' says Mrs. Piozzi (_Anec_. p. 84), 'as I never
yet saw any one else do, with an earnest desire to make them happy.
"What signifies," says some one, "giving half-pence to common beggars?
they only lay it out in gin or tobacco." "And why should they be denied
such sweeteners of their existence?" says Johnson.' The harm done by
this indiscriminate charity had been pointed out by Fielding in his
_Covent Garden Journal_ for June 2, 1752. He took as the motto for
the paper:

'O bone, ne te
Frustrere, insanis et tu';

which he translates, 'My good friend, do not deceive thyself; for with
all thy charity thou also art a silly fellow.' 'Giving our money to
common beggars,' he describes as 'a kind of bounty that is a crime
against the public.' Fielding's _Works_, x. 77, ed. 1806. Johnson once
allowed (_post_, 1780, in Mr. Langton's _Collection_) that 'one might
give away L500 a year to those that importune in the streets, and not do
any good.' See also _post_, Oct. 10, 1779.

[347] He was once attacked, though whether by robbers is not made clear.
See _post_, under Feb. 7, 1775.

[348] Perhaps it was this class of people which is described in the
following passage:--'It was never against people of coarse life that his
contempt was expressed, while poverty of sentiment in men who considered
themselves to be company _for the parlour_, as he called it, was what he
would not bear.' Piozzi's _Anec_. 215.

[349] See _ante_, i. 320, for one such offer.

[350] See _ante_, i. 163, note 1, and _post_, March 30, 1781.

[351] Dr. T. Campbell, in his _Survey of the South of Ireland_, ed. 1777
(_post_, April 5, 1775), says:--'By one law of the penal code, if a
Papist have a horse worth fifty, or five hundred pounds, a Protestant
may become the purchaser upon paying him down five. By another of the
same code, a son may say to his father, "Sir, if you don't give me what
money I want, I'll turn _discoverer_, and in spite of you and my elder
brother too, on whom at marriage you settled your estate, I shall become
heir,"' p. 251. Father O'Leary, in his _Remarks on Wesley's Letter_,
published in 1780 (_post_, _Hebrides_, Aug. 15, 1773), says (p.
41):--'He has seen the venerable matron, after twenty-four years'
marriage, banished from the perjured husband's house, though it was
proved in open court that for six months before his marriage he went to
mass. But the law requires that he should be a year and a day of the
same religion.' Burke wrote in 1792: 'The Castle [the government in
Dublin] considers the out-lawry (or what at least I look on as such) of
the great mass of the people as an unalterable maxim in the government
of Ireland.' _Burke's Corres_., iii. 378. See _post_, ii. 130, and May
7, 1773, and Oct. 12, 1779.

[352] See post, just before Feb. 18, 1775.

[353] 'Of Sheridan's writings on elocution, Johnson said, they were a
continual renovation of hope, and an unvaried succession of
disappointments.' Johnson's _Works_ (1787), xi. 197. See _post_, May
17, 1783.

[354] In 1753, Jonas Hanway published his _Travels to Persia_.

[355] 'Though his journey was completed in eight days he gave a relation
of it in two octavo volumes.' Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 352. See
_ante_, i. 313.

[356] See _ante_, i. 68, and _post_, June 9, 1784, note, where he varies
the epithet, calling it 'the best piece of _parenetic_ divinity.'

[357] '"I taught myself," Law tells us, "the high Dutch language, on
purpose to know the original words of the blessed Jacob."' Overton's
_Life of Law_, p. 181. Behmen, or Boehme, the mystic shoemaker of
Gorlitz, was born in 1575, and died in 1624. 'His books may not hold at
all honourable places in libraries; his name may be ridiculous. But he
_was_ a generative thinker. What he knew he knew for himself. It was not
transmitted to him, but fought for.' F.D. Maurice's _Moral and Meta.
Phil_. ii. 325. Of Hudibras's squire, Ralph, it was said:

'He Anthroposophus, and Floud,
And Jacob Behmen understood.'

_Hudibras_, I. i. 541.

Wesley (_Journal_, i. 359) writes of Behmen's _Mysteriun Magnum_, 'I can
and must say thus much (and that with as full evidence as I can say two
and two make four) it is most sublime nonsense, inimitable bombast,
fustian not to be paralleled.'

[358] 'He heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to
utter,' 2 Corinthians, xii. 4.

[359] See _ante_, i. 458. In _Humphry Clinker_, in the Letter of June
11, the turnkey of Clerkenwell Prison thus speaks of a Methodist:--'I
don't care if the devil had him; here has been nothing but canting and
praying since the fellow entered the place. Rabbit him! the tap will be
ruined--we han't sold a cask of beer nor a dozen of wine, since he paid
his garnish--the gentlemen get drunk with nothing but your damned

[360] 'John Wesley probably paid more for turnpikes than any other man
in England, for no other person travelled so much.' Southey's _Wesley_,
i. 407. 'He tells us himself, that he preached about 800 sermons in a
year.' _Ib_ ii. 532. In one of his _Appeals to Men of Reason and
Religion_, he asks:--'Can you bear the summer sun to beat upon your
naked head? Can you suffer the wintry rain or wind, from whatever
quarter it blows? Are you able to stand in the open air, without any
covering or defence, when God casteth abroad his snow like wool, or
scattereth his hoar-frost like ashes? And yet these are some of the
smallest inconveniences which accompany field-preaching. For beyond all
these, are the contradiction of sinners, the scoffs both of the great
vulgar and the small; contempt and reproach of every kind--often more
than verbal affronts--stupid, brutal violence, sometimes to the hazard
of health, or limbs, or life. Brethren, do you envy us this honour?
What, I pray you, would buy you to be a field-preacher? Or what, think
you, could induce any man of common sense to continue therein one year,
unless he had a full conviction in himself that it was the will of God
concerning him?' Southey's _Wesley_, i. 405.

[361] Stockdale reported to Johnson, that Pope had told Lyttelton that
the reason why he had not translated Homer into blank verse was 'that he
could translate it more easily into rhyme. "Sir," replied Johnson, "when
the Pope said that, he knew that he lied."' Stockdale's _Memoirs_, ii.
44. In the _Life of Somervile_, Johnson says:--'If blank verse be not
tumid and gorgeous, it is crippled prose.' Johnson's _Works_, viii. 95.
See _post_ beginning of 1781.

[362] _Ephesians_, v. 20.

[363] In the original--'Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain' See
_post_ June 12, 1784.

[364] See _post_ under Aug 29, 1783, and Boswell's _Hebrides_ Oct 14,

[365] 'The chief glory of every people arises from its authours.'
Johnson's _Works_, v 49.

[366] In a Discourse by Sir William Jones, addressed to the Asiatick
Society [in Calcutta], Feb. 24, 1785, is the following passage:--

'One of the most sagacious men in this age who continues, I hope, to
improve and adorn it, Samuel Johnson [he had been dead ten weeks],
remarked in my hearing, that if Newton had flourished in ancient Greece,
he would have been worshipped as a Divinity.' MALONE. Johnson, in _An
Account of an Attempt to ascertain the Longitude_ (_Works_, v, 299),
makes the supposed author say:--'I have lived till I am able to produce
in my favour the testimony of time, the inflexible enemy of false
hypotheses; the only testimony which it becomes human understanding to
oppose to the authority of Newton.'

[367] Murphy (_Life_, p. 91) places the scene of such a conversation in
the house of the Bishop of Salisbury. 'Boscovitch,' he writes, 'had a
ready current flow of that flimsy phraseology with which a priest may
travel through Italy, Spain, and Germany. Johnson scorned what he called
colloquial barbarisms. It was his pride to speak his best. He went on,
after a little practice, with as much facility as if it was his native
tongue. One sentence this writer well remembers. Observing that
Fontenelle at first opposed the Newtonian philosophy, and embraced it
afterwards, his words were:--"Fontenellus, ni fallor, in extrema
senectute fuit transfuga ad castra Newtoniana."' See _post_, under Nov.
12, 1775. Boscovitch, the Jesuit astronomer, was a professor in the
University of Pavia. When Dr. Burney visited him, 'he complained very
much of the silence of the English astronomers, who answer none of his
letters.' Burney's _Tour in France and Italy_, p. 92.

[368] See _post_, in 1781, the _Life of Lyttelton_.

[369] The first of Macpherson's forgeries was _Fragments of Ancient
Poetry collected in the Highlands_. Edinburgh, 1760. In 1762, he
published in London, _The Works of Ossian, the son of Fingal_, 2 vols.
Vol. i. contained _Fingal, an Ancient Epic Poem_, in six Books. See
_post_, Jan 1775.

[370] Horace, _Ars Poetica_, l. 41.

[371] Perhaps Johnson had some ill-will towards attorneys, such as he
had towards excisemen (_ante_, i. 36, note 5 and 294). In _London_,
which was published in May, 1738, he couples them with street robbers:

'Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay,
And here the fell attorney prowls for prey.'

_Works_, i. 1. In a paper in the _Gent. Mag_. for following June (p.
287), written, I have little doubt, by him, the profession is this
savagely attacked:--'Our ancestors, in ancient times, had some regard to
the moral character of the person sent to represent them in their
national assemblies, and would have shewn some degree of resentment or
indignation, had their votes been asked for murderer, an adulterer, a
know oppressor, an hireling evidence, an attorney, a gamester, or pimp.'
In the _Life of Blackmere_ (_Works_, viii. 36) he has a sly hit at the
profession. 'Sir Richard Blackmore was the son of Robert Blackmore,
styled by Wood gentleman, and supposed to have been an attorney.' We may
compare Goldsmith's lines in _Retaliation_:--'Then what was his failing?
come tell it, and burn ye,--

'He was, could he help it? a special attorney.'

See also _post_, under June 16, 1784.

[372] See _ante_, i. Appendix F.

[373] Dr. Maxwell is perhaps here quoting the _Idler_, No. 69, where
Johnson, speaking of _Bioethics on the Confronts of Philosophy_, calls
it 'the book which seems to have been the favourite of the middle ages.'

[374] Yet it is Murphy's tragedy of _Zenobia_ that Mrs. Piozzi writes
(_Anec_. p. 280):--'A gentleman carried Dr. Johnson his tragedy, which
because he loved the author, he took, and it lay about our rooms some
time. "Which answer did you give your friend, Sir?" said I, after the
book had been called for. "I told him," replied he, "that there was too
_Tig and Terry_ in it." Seeing me laugh most violently, "Why, what
would'st have, child?" said he. "I looked at nothing but the _dramatis_
[_personae_], and there was _Tigranes_ and _Tiridates_, or _Teribaeus_,
or such stuff. A man can tell but what he knows, and I never got any
further than the _first_ pages."' In _Zenobia_ two and Tigranes.

[375] Hume was one who had this idle dream. Shortly before his death one
of his friends wrote:--'He still maintains that the national debt must
be the ruin of Britain; and laments that the two most civilised nations,
the English and French, should be on the decline; and the barbarians,
the Goths and Vandals of Germany and Russia, should be rising in power
and renown.' J. H. Burton's _Hume_, ii. 497.

[376] Hannah More was with Dr. Kennicott at his death. 'Thus closed a
life,' she wrote (_Memoirs_, i. 289), 'the last thirty years of which
were honourably spent in collating the Hebrew Scriptures.' See also
Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 16, 1773.

[377] Johnson (_Works_, viii. 467) says that Mallet, in return for what
he wrote against Byng, 'had a considerable pension bestowed upon him,
which he retained to his death.' See _ante_, i. 268.

[378] See _ante_, ii. 76.

[379] 'It is dangerous for a man and woman to suspend their fate upon
each other at a time when opinions are fixed, and habits are
established; when friendships have been contracted on both sides; when
life has been planned into method, and the mind has long enjoyed the
contemplation of its own prospects.' _Rasselas_, ch. xxix.

[380] Malone records that 'Cooper was round and fat. Dr. Warton, one
day, when dining with Johnson, urged in his favour that he was, at
least, very well informed, and a good scholar. "Yes," said Johnson, "it
cannot be denied that he has good materials for playing the fool, and he
makes abundant use of them."' Prior's _Malone_, p. 428. See _post_,
Sept. 15, 1777, note.

[381] See _post_, Sept 21, 1777, and Boswell's _Hebrides_, Sept. 22,

[382] But see _ante_, i. 299, where Johnson owned that his happier days
had come last.


'In youth alone unhappy mortals live,
But ah! the mighty bliss is fugitive;
Discolour'd sickness, anxious labours come,
And age, and death's inexorable doom.'

DRYDEN. Virgil, _Georgics_, iii. 66. In the first edition Dr. Maxwell's
_Collectanea_ ended here. What follows was given in the second edition
in _Additions received after the second edition was printed_, i. v.

[384] To Glaucus. Clarke's translation is:--'Ut semper fortissime rem
gererem, et superior virtute essem aliis.' _Iliad_, vi. 208. Cowper's
version is:--

'That I should outstrip always all mankind In worth and valour.'

[385] Maxwell calls him his old master, because Sharpe was Master of the
Temple when Maxwell was assistant preacher. CROKER.

[386] Dr. T. Campbell, in his _Survey of the South of Ireland_, p. 185,
writes: 'In England the meanest cottager is better fed, better lodged,
and better dressed than the most opulent farmers here.' See post,
Oct. 19, 1779.

[387] In the vice-royalty of the Duke of Bedford, which began in Dec.
1756, 'in order to encourage tillage a law was passed granting bounties
on the land carriage of corn and flour to the metropolis.' Lecky's
_Hist. of Eng_. ii. 435. In 1773-4 a law was passed granting bounties
upon the export of Irish corn to foreign countries. _Ib_ iv. 415.

[388] See _ante_, i. 434.

[389] See _ante_, ii. 121. Lord Kames, in his _Sketches of the History
of Man_, published in 1774, says:--'In Ireland to this day goods
exported are loaded with a high duty, without even distinguishing made
work from raw materials; corn, for example, fish, butter, horned cattle,
leather, &c. And, that nothing may escape, all goods exported that are
not contained in the book of rates, pay five per cent, _ad valorem_.'
ii. 413. These export duties were selfishly levied in what was supposed
to be the interest of England.

[390] 'At this time [1756] appeared Brown's _Estimate_, a book now
remembered only by the allusions in Cowper's _Table Talk_ [Cowper's
_Poems_, ed. 1786, i. 20] and in Burke's _Letters on a Regicide Peace_
[Payne's _Burke_, p. 9]. It was universally read, admired, and believed.
The author fully convinced his readers that they were a race of cowards
and scoundrels; that nothing could save them; that they were on the
point of being enslaved by their enemies, and that they richly deserved
their fate.' Macaulay's _Essays_, ii. 183. Dr. J.H. Burton says:--'Dr.
Brown's book is said to have run to a seventh edition in a few months.
It is rather singular that the edition marked as the seventh has
precisely the same matter in each page, and the same number of pages as
the first.' _Life of Hume_, ii. 23. Brown wrote two tragedies,
_Barbarossa_ and _Athelstan_, both of which Garrick brought out at Drury
Lane. In _Barbarossa_ Johnson observed 'that there were two
improprieties; in the first place, the use of a bell is unknown to the
Mahometans; and secondly, Otway had tolled a bell before Dr. Brown, and
we are not to be made April fools twice by the same trick.' Murphy's
_Garrick_, p. 173. Brown's vanity is shown in a letter to Garrick
(_Garrick Corres_. i. 220) written on Jan. 19, 1766, in which he talks
of going to St. Petersburg, and drawing up a System of Legislation for
the Russian Empire. In the following September, in a fit of madness, he
made away with himself.

[391] See _post_, May 8, 1781.

[392] Horace Walpole, writing in May, 1764, says:--'The Earl of
Northumberland returned from Ireland, where his profusion and
ostentation had been so great that it seemed to lay a dangerous
precedent for succeeding governors.' _Memoirs of the Reign of George
III_, i. 417. He was created Duke in 1766. For some pleasant anecdotes
about this nobleman and Goldsmith, see Goldsmith's _Misc. Works_, i. 66,
and Forster's _Goldsmith_, i. 379, and ii. 227.

[393] Johnson thus writes of him (_Works_, viii. 207):--'The Archbishop
of Dublin gave him at first some disturbance in the exercise of his
jurisdiction; but it was soon discovered that between prudence and
integrity he was seldom in the wrong; and that, when he was right, his
spirit did not easily yield to opposition.' He adds: 'He delivered
Ireland from plunder and oppression, and showed that wit confederated
with truth had such force as authority was unable to resist. He said
truly of himself that Ireland "was his debtor." It was from the time
when he first began to patronise the Irish, that they may date their
riches and prosperity.' _Ib_ p. 319. Pope, in his _Imitations of
Horace_, II. i. 221, says:--

'Let Ireland tell how wit upheld her cause,
Her trade supported, and supplied her laws;
And leave on Swift this grateful verse engraved,
"The rights a Court attacked, a poet saved."'

[394] These lines have been discovered by the author's second son in the
_London Magazine_ for July 1732, where they form part of a poem on
_Retirement_, copied, with some slight variations, from one of Walsh's
smaller poems, entitled _The Retirement_. They exhibit another proof
that Johnson retained in his memory fragments of neglected poetry. In
quoting verses of that description, he appears by a slight variation to
have sometimes given them a moral turn, and to have dexterously adapted
them to his own sentiments, where the original had a very different
tendency. In 1782, when he was at Brighthelmstone, he repeated to Mr.
Metcalfe, some verses, as very characteristic of a celebrated historian
[Gibbon]. They are found among some anonymous poems appended to the
second volume of a collection frequently printed by Lintot, under the
title of _Pope's Miscellanies_:--

'See how the wand'ring Danube flows,
Realms and religions parting;
A friend to all true Christian foes,
To Peter, Jack, and Martin.
Now Protestant, and Papist now,
Not constant long to either,
At length an infidel does grow,
And ends his journey neither.
Thus many a youth I've known set out,
Half Protestant, half Papist,
And rambling long the world about,
Turn infidel or atheist.'

MALONE. See _post_, 1780, in Mr. Langton's _Collection_, and Boswell's
_Hebrides_ Aug. 27, and Oct. 28, 1773.

[395] Juvenal, _Sat_. iii. 1. 2.

'Yet still my calmer thoughts his choice commend.'

Johnson's _London_, 1. 3.

[396] It was published without the authors name.

[397] 'What have we acquired? What but ... an island thrown aside from
human use; ... an island which not the southern savages have dignified
with habitation.' _Works_, vi. 198.

[398] 'It is wonderful with what coolness and indifference the greater
part of mankind see war commenced. Those that hear of it at a distance,
or read of it in books, but have never presented its evils to their
minds, consider it as little more than a splendid game, a proclamation,
an army, a battle, and a triumph. Some, indeed, must perish in the most
successful field, but they die upon the bed of honour, "resign their
lives, amidst the joys of conquest, and, filled with England's glory,
smile in death." The life of a modern soldier is ill-represented by
heroic fiction. War has means of destruction more formidable than the
cannon and the sword.

Of the thousands and ten thousands that perished in our late contests
with France and Spain, a very small part ever felt the stroke of an
enemy; the rest languished in tents and ships, amidst damps and
putrefaction; pale, torpid, spiritless, and helpless; gasping and
groaning, unpitied among men made obdurate by long continuance of
hopeless misery; and were at last whelmed in pits, or heaved into the
ocean, without notice and without remembrance. By incommodious
encampments and unwholesome stations, where courage is useless, and
enterprise impracticable, fleets are silently dispeopled, and armies
sluggishly melted away.' _Works_, vi. 199.

[399] Johnson wrote of the Earl of Chatham:--'This surely is a
sufficient answer to the feudal gabble of a man who is every day
lessening that splendour of character which once illuminated the
kingdom, then dazzled, and afterwards inflamed it; and for whom it will
be happy if the nation shall at last dismiss him to nameless obscurity,
with that equipoise of blame and praise which Corneille allows to
Richelieu.' _Works_, vi. 197.

[400] _Ephesians_, vi. 12. Johnson (_Works_, vi. 198) calls Junius 'one
of the few writers of his despicable faction whose name does not
disgrace the page of an opponent.' But he thus ends his attack;--'What,
says Pope, must be the priest where a monkey is the god? What must be
the drudge of a party of which the heads are Wilkes and Crosby,
Sawbridge and Townsend?' _Ib_ p. 206.

[401] This softening was made in the later copies of the _first_
edition. A second change seems to have been made. In the text, as given
in Murphy's edition (1796, viii. 137), the last line of the passage
stands:--'If he was sometimes wrong, he was often right.' Horace Walpole
describes Grenville's 'plodding, methodic genius, which made him take
the spirit of detail for ability.' _Memoirs of the Reign of George III_,
i. 36. For the fine character that Burke drew of him see Payne's
_Burke_, i. 122. There is, I think, a hit at Lord Bute's Chancellor of
the Exchequer, Sir F. Dashwood (Lord Le Despencer), who was described as
'a man to whom a sum of five figures was an impenetrable secret.'
Walpole's _Memoirs of the Reign of George III_, i. 172, note. He himself
said, 'People will point at me, and cry, "there goes the worst
Chancellor of the Exchequer that ever appeared."' _Ib_ p. 250.

[402] Boswell, I suspect, quoted this passage from hearsay, for
originally it stood:--'If he could have got the money, he could have
counted it' (p. 68). In the British Museum there are copies of the first
edition both _softened_ and _unsoftened_.

[403] _Thoughts on the late Transactions respecting Falkland's Islands_.

[404] By comparing the first with the subsequent editions, this curious
circumstance of ministerial authorship may be discovered. BOSWELL.

[405] _Navigation_ was the common term for canals, which at that time
were getting rapidly made. A writer in _Notes and Queries_, 6th, xi. 64,
shows that Langton, as payment of a loan, undertook to pay Johnson's
servant, Frank, an annuity for life, secured on profits from the
_navigation_ of the River Wey in Surrey.

[406] It was, Mr. Chalmers told me, a saying about that time, 'Married a
Countess Dowager of Rothes!' 'Why, everybody marries a Countess Dowager
of Rothes!' And there were in fact, about 1772, three ladies of that
name married to second husbands. CROKER. Mr. Langton married one of
these ladies.

[407] _The Hermit of Warkworth: A Ballad in three cantos_. T. Davis, 25.
6d. Cradock (_Memoirs_, i. 207) quotes Johnson's parody on a stanza in
_The Hermit_:

'I put my hat upon my head,
And walked into the Strand,
And there I met another man
With his hat in his hand.'

'Mr. Garrick,' he continues, 'asked me whether I had seen Johnson's
criticism on the _Hermit_. "It is already," said he, "over half
the town."'

[408] '"I am told," says a letter-writer of the day, "that Dr. Goldsmith
now generally lives with his countryman, Lord Clare, who has lost his
only son, Colonel Nugent."' Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 228. '_The Haunch
of Venison_ was written this year (1771), and appears to have been
written for Lord Clare alone; nor was it until two years after the
writer's death that it obtained a wider audience than his immediate
circle of friends.' _Ib_ p. 230. See _post_, April 17, 1778.

[409] Gibbon (_Misc. Works_, i. 222) mentions Mr. Strahan:--'I agreed
upon easy terms with Mr. Thomas Cadell, a respectable bookseller, and
Mr. William Strahan, an eminent printer, and they undertook the care and
risk of the publication [of the _Decline and Fall_], which derived more
credit from the name of the shop than from that of the author.... So
moderate were our hopes, that the original impression had been stinted
to five hundred, till the number was doubled by the prophetic taste of
Mr. Strahan.' Hume, by his will, left to Strahan's care all his
manuscripts, 'trusting,' he says, 'to the friendship that has long
subsisted between us for his careful and faithful execution of my
intentions.' J. H. Burton's _Hume_, ii. 494. See _ib_. p. 512, for a
letter written to Hume on his death-bed by Strahan.

[410] Dr. Franklin, writing of the year 1773, says (_Memoirs_, i.
398):--'An acquaintance (Mr. Strahan, M.P.) calling on me, after having
just been at the Treasury, showed me what he styled _a pretty thing_,
for a friend of his; it was an order for L150, payable to Dr. Johnson,
said to be one half of his yearly pension.'

[411] See _post_, July 27, 1778.

[412] Hawkins (_Life_, p. 513) says that Mr. Thrale made the same
attempt. 'He had two meetings with the ministry, who at first seemed
inclined to find Johnson a seat.' 'Lord Stowell told me,' says Mr.
Croker, 'that it was understood amongst Johnson's friends that Lord
North was afraid that Johnson's help (as he himself said of Lord
Chesterfield's) might have been sometimes _embarrassing_. "He perhaps
thought, and not unreasonably," added Lord Stowell, "that, like the
elephant in the battle, he was quite as likely to trample down his
friends as his foes."' Lord Stowell referred to Johnson's letter to
Chesterfield (_ante_, i. 262), in which he describes a patron as 'one
who encumbers a man with help.'

[413] Boswell married his cousin Margaret Montgomerie on Nov. 25, 1769.
On the same day his father married for the second time. _Scots Mag_. for
1769, p. 615. Boswell, in his _Letter to the People of Scotland_ (p.
55), published in 1785, describes his wife as 'a true _Montgomerie_,
whom I esteem, whom I love, after fifteen years, as on the day when she
gave me her hand.' See his _Hebrides_, Aug. 14, 1773.


'Musis amicus, tristitiam et metus
Tradam, &c.

While in the Muse's friendship blest,
Nor fear, nor grief, shall break my rest;
Bear them, ye vagrant winds, away,
And drown them in the Cretan Sea.'

FRANCIS. Horace, _Odes_, i. 26. I.

[415] Horace. _Odes_, i. 22. 5.

[416] Lord Elibank wrote to Boswell two years later:--'Old as I am, I
shall be glad to go five hundred miles to enjoy a day of Mr. Johnson's
company.' Boswell's _Hebrides_ under date of Sept. 12, 1773. See _ib_.
Nov. 10, and _post_, April 5, 1776.

[417] Goldsmith wrote to Langton on Sept. 7, 1771:--'Johnson has been
down upon a visit to a country parson, Doctor Taylor, and is returned to
his old haunts at Mrs. Thrale's.' Goldsmith's _Misc. Works_, i. 93.

[418] While Miss Burney was examining a likeness of Johnson, 'he no
sooner discerned it than he began see-sawing for a moment or two in
silence; and then, with a ludicrous half-laugh, peeping over her
shoulder, he called out:--"Ah, ha! Sam Johnson! I see thee!--and an ugly
dog thou art!"' _Memoirs of Dr. Burney_, ii. 180. In another passage (p.
197), after describing 'the kindness that irradiated his austere and
studious features into the most pleased and pleasing benignity,' as he
welcomed her and her father to his house, she adds that a lady who was
present often exclaimed, 'Why did not Sir Joshua Reynolds paint Dr.
Johnson when he was speaking to Dr. Burney or to you?'

[419] 'Johnson,' wrote Beattie from London on Sept. 8 of this year, 'has
been greatly misrepresented. I have passed several entire days with him,
and found him extremely agreeable.' Beattie's _Life_, ed. 1824, p. 120.

[420] He was preparing the fourth edition, See _post, March 23, 1772.

[421] 'Sept. 18, 1771, 9 at night. I am now come to my sixty-third year.
For the last year I have been slowly recovering both from the violence
of my last illness, and, I think, from the general disease of my life:
... some advances I hope have been made towards regularity. I have
missed church since Easter only two Sundays.... But indolence and
indifference has [sic] been neither conquered nor opposed.' _Pr. and
Med_. p. 104.

[422] 'Let us search and try our ways.' _Lamentations_ iii. 40.

[423] _Pr. and Med_. p. 101 [105]. BOSWELL.

[424] Boswell forgets the fourth edition of his _Dictionary_. Johnson,
in Aug. 1771 (_ante_, p. 142), wrote to Langton:--'I am engaging in a
very great work, the revision of my _Dictionary_.' In _Pr. and Med_. p.
123, at Easter, 1773, as he 'reviews the last year,' he records:--'Of
the spring and summer I remember that I was able in those seasons to
examine and improve my _Dictionary_, and was seldom withheld from the
work but by my own unwillingness.'

[425] Thus translated by a friend:--

'In fame scarce second to the nurse of Jove,
This Goat, who twice the world had traversed round,
Deserving both her masters care and love,
Ease and perpetual pasture now has found.'


[426] Cockburn (_Life of Jeffrey_, i. 4) says that the High School of
Edinburgh, in 1781, 'was cursed by two under master, whose atrocities
young men cannot be made to believe, but old men cannot forget, and the
criminal law would not now endure.'

[427] Mr. Langton married the Countess Dowager of Rothes. BOSWELL.

[428] From school. See _ante_, ii. 62.

[429] See _ante_, i. 44.

[430] Johnson used to say that schoolmasters were worse than the
Egyptian task-masters of old. 'No boy,' says he, 'is sure any day he
goes to school to escape a whipping. How can the schoolmaster tell what
the boy has really forgotten, and what he has neglected to learn?'
Johnson's _Works_ (1787), xi. 209. 'I rejoice,' writes J. S. Mill
(_Auto_. p. 53), 'in the decline of the old, brutal, and tyrannical
system of teaching, which, however, did succeed in enforcing habits of
application; but the new, as it seems to me, is training up a race of
men who be incapable of doing anything which is disagreeable to them.'

[431] See _ante_, i. 373.

[432] See _ante_, ii. 74.

[433] The ship in which Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander were to have sailed
was the Endeavour. It was, they said, unfit for the voyage. The
Admiralty altered it in such a way as to render it top-heavy. It was
nearly overset on going down the river. Then it was rendered safe by
restoring it to its former condition. When the explorers raised their
former objections, they were told to take it or none. _Ann. Reg_. xv.
108. See also Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 18, 1773.

[434] I suspect that _Raleigh_ is here an error of Mr. Boswell's pen for
_Drake_. CROKER. Johnson had written Drake's _Life_, and therefore must
have had it well in mind that it was Drake who went round the world.

[435] _Romeo and Juliet_, act v. sc. 1.


'_Edinburgh_, May 3, 1792.


'As I suppose your great work will soon be reprinted, I beg leave to
trouble you with a remark on a passage of it, in which I am a little
misrepresented. Be not alarmed; the misrepresentation is not imputable
to you. Not having the book at hand, I cannot specify the page, but I
suppose you will easily find it. Dr. Johnson says, speaking of Mrs.
Thrale's family, "Dr. Beattie _sunk upon us_ that he was married, or
words to that purpose." I am not sure that I understand _sunk upon us_,
which is a very uncommon phrase, but it seems to me to imply, (and
others, I find, have understood it in the same sense,) _studiously
concealed from us his being married_. Now, Sir, this was by no means the
case. I could have no motive to conceal a circumstance, of which I never
was nor can be ashamed; and of which Dr. Johnson seemed to think, when
he afterwards became acquainted with Mrs. Beattie, that I had, as was
true, reason to be proud. So far was I from concealing her, that my wife
had at that time almost as numerous an acquaintance in London as I had
myself; and was, not very long after, kindly invited and elegantly
entertained at Streatham by Mr. and Mrs. Thrale.

'My request, therefore, is, that you would rectify this matter in your
new edition. You are at liberty to make what use you please of
this letter.

'My best wishes ever attend you and your family. Believe me to be, with
the utmost regard and esteem, dear Sir,

'Your obliged and affectionate humble servant, J. BEATTIE.'

I have, from my respect for my friend Dr. Beattie, and regard to his
extreme sensibility, inserted the foregoing letter, though I cannot but
wonder at his considering as any imputation a phrase commonly used among
the best friends. BOSWELL. Mr. Croker says there was a cause for the
'extreme sensibility.' 'Dr. Beattie was conscious that there was
something that might give a colour to such an imputation. It became
known, shortly after the date of this letter, that the mind of Mrs.
Beattie had become deranged.' Beattie would have found in Johnson's
_Dictionary_ an explanation of _sunk upon us_--'_To sink. To suppress;
to conceal_. "If sent with ready money to buy anything, and you happen
to be out of pocket, _sink_ the money and take up the goods on
account."' Swift's _Rules to Servants_, _Works_, viii. 256.

[437] See _ante_, i 450.

[438] See _ante_, ii. 10.

[439] See _Post_, April 15, 1778, note, and June 12, 1784.

[440] See ante, i. 405.

[441] _St. John_, xv. 24

[442] See note, p. 51 of this volume. BOSWELL.

[443] See _ante_, ii. 105.

[444] The petition was presented on Feb. 6 of this year. By a majority
thrown of 217 to 71 leave was refused for it to be brought up. _Parl.
Hist_. xvii. 245-297. Gibbon, in a letter dated Feb. 8, 1772 (_Misc.
Works_, ii. 74), congratulates Mr. Holroyd 'on the late victory of our
dear mamma, the Church of England. She had, last Thursday, 71 rebellious
sons, who pretended to set aside her will on account of insanity; but
217 worthy champions, headed by Lord North, Burke, and Charles Fox,
though they allowed the thirty-nine clauses of her testament were absurd
and unreasonable, supported the validity of it with infinite humour. By
the by, Charles Fox prepared himself for that holy war by passing
twenty-two hours in the pious exercise of hazard; his devotion cost him
only about L500 per hour--in all, L11,000.' See Boswell's _Hebrides_,
Aug. 19, 1773.

[445] 'Lord George Germayne,' writes Horace Walpole, 'said that he
wondered the House did not take some steps on this subject with regard
to the Universities, where boys were made to subscribe to the Articles
without reading them--a scandalous abuse.' _Journal of the Reign of
George III_, i. 11.

[446] See _ante_, ii. 104.

[447] Burke had thus answered Boswell's proposal:--'What is that
Scripture to which they are content to subscribe? The Bible is a vast
collection of different treatises; a man who holds the divine authority
of one may consider the other as merely human. Therefore, to ascertain
Scripture you must have one Article more, and you must define what that
Scripture is which you mean to teach.' _Parl. Hist_. xvii. 284.

[448] Dr. Nowell (_post_, June 11, 1784) had this year preached the fast
sermon before the House of Commons on Jan. 30, the anniversary of the
execution of Charles I, and received the usual vote of thanks. _Parl.
Hist. xvii_. 245. On Feb. 25 the entry of the vote was, without a
division, ordered to be expunged. On the publication of the sermon it
had been seen that Nowell had asserted that George III was endued with
the same virtues as Charles I, and that the members of the House were
the descendants of those who had opposed that King. _Ib_ p. 313, and
_Ann. Reg_. xv. 79. On March 2, Mr. Montague moved for leave to bring in
a bill to abolish the fast, but it was refused by 125 to 97. _Parl.
Hist_. xvii. 319. The fast was abolished in 1859--thirteen years within
the century that Johnson was ready to allow it. 'It is remarkable,'
writes Horace Walpole, 'that George III had never from the beginning of
his reign gone to church on the 30th of January, whereas George II
always did.' _Journal of the Reign of George III_, i. 41.

[449] This passage puzzled Mr. Croker and Mr. Lockhart. The following
extract from the _Gent. Mag_. for Feb. 1772, p. 92, throws light on
Johnson's meaning:--'This, say the opposers of the Bill, is putting it
in the King's power to change the order of succession, as he may for
ever prevent, if he is so minded, the elder branches of the family from
marrying, and therefore may establish the succession in the younger. Be
this as it may, is it not, in fact, converting the holy institution of
marriage into a mere state contract?' See also the Protest of fourteen
of the peers in _Parl. Hist_. xvii. 391, and _post_, April 15, 1773.
Horace Walpole ends his account of the Marriage Bill by saying:--'Thus
within three weeks were the Thirty-nine Articles affirmed and the New
Testament deserted.' _Journal of the Reign of George III_, i. 37. How
carelessly this Act was drawn was shown by Lord Eldon, when
Attorney-General, in the case of the marriage of the Duke of Sussex to
Lady Augusta Murray. 'Lord Thurlow said to me angrily at the Privy
Council, "Sir, why have you not prosecuted under the Act of Parliament
all the parties concerned in this abominable marriage?" To which I
answered, "That it was a very difficult business to prosecute--that the
Act had been drawn by Lord Mansfield and _Mr. Attorney-General Thurlow_,
and Mr. Solicitor-General Wedderburne, and unluckily they had made all
parties present at the marriage guilty of felony; and as nobody could
prove the marriage except a person who had been present at it, there
could be no prosecution, because nobody present could be compelled to be
a witness." This put an end to the matter.' Twiss's _Eldon_, i. 234.

[450] See _post_, May 9, 1773, and May 13, 1778.

[451] See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 25, 1773, where Johnson, discussing
the same question, says:--'There is generally a _scoundrelism_ about
a low man.'

[452] Mackintosh told Mr. Croker that this friend was Mr. Cullen,
afterwards a judge by the name of Lord Cullen. In _Boswelliana_ (pp.
250-2), Boswell mentions him thrice, and always as 'Cullen the mimick.'
His manner, he says, was wretched, and his physiognomy worse than
Wilkes's. Dr. A. Carlyle (_Auto_. p. 268) says that 'Cullen possessed
the talent of mimicry beyond all mankind; for his was not merely an
exact imitation of voice and manner of speaking, but a perfect
exhibition of every man's manner of thinking on every subject.' Carlyle
mentions two striking instances of this.

[453] See _post_, May 15, 1776.

[454] 'The prince of Dublin printers,' as Swift called him. Swift's
_Works_ (1803), xviii. 288. He was taken off by Foote under the name of
Peter Paragraph, in _The Orators_, the piece in which he had meant to
take off Johnson (_ante_, ii. 95). 'Faulkner consoled himself (pending
his prosecution of the libeller) by printing the libel, and selling it
most extensively.' Forster's _Goldsmith_, i. 287. See Boswell's
_Hebrides_, Aug. 29.

[455] Faulkner had lost one of his legs. 'When Foote had his accident
(_ante_, ii. 95), "Now I shall take off old Faulkner indeed to the
life," was the first remark he made when what he had to suffer was
announced to him.' Forster's _Essays_, ii. 400.

[456] A writer in the _Monthly Review_, lxxvi. 374 (no doubt Murphy),
says:--'A large number of friends such as Johnson, Mr. Burke, and Mr.
Murphy dined at Garrick's at Christmas, 1760. Foote was then in Dublin.
It was said at table that he had been horse-whipped by an apothecary for
taking him off upon the stage. "But I wonder," said Garrick, "that any
man would show so much resentment to Foote; nobody ever thought it worth
his while to quarrel with him in London." "And I am glad," said Johnson,
"to find that the man is rising in the world." The anecdote was
afterwards told to Foote, who in return gave out that he would in a
short time produce the Caliban of literature on the stage. Being
informed of this design, Johnson sent word to Foote, that, the theatre
being intended for the reformation of vice, he would go from the boxes
on the stage, and correct him before the audience, Foote abandoned the
design. No ill-will ensued.'

[457] See _post_, May 15, 1776, where Johnson says:--'I turned Boswell
loose at Lichfield, my native city, that he might see for once real

[458] In my list of Boswell's projected works (_ante_, i. 225, note 2) I
have omitted this.

[459] See _post_, April 7, 1775.

[460] Boswell visited Ireland in the summer of 1760. Prior's
_Goldsmith_, i. 450.

[461] Puffendorf states that 'tutors and schoolmasters have a right to
the moderate use of gentle discipline over their pupils'--viii. 3-10;
adding, rather superfluously, Grotius's _caveat_, that 'it shall not
extend to a power of death.' CROKER.

[462] The brother of Sir J. Macdonald, mentioned _ante_, i. 449. Johnson
visited him in the Isle of Skye. 'He had been very well pleased with him
in London, but he was dissatisfied at hearing heavy complaints of rents
racked, and the people driven to emigration.' Boswell's _Hebrides_,
Sept. 2, 1773. He reproached him also with meanness as a host.

[463] Lord Campbell (_Lives of the Chancellors_, v. 449) points out that
this conversation followed close on the appointment of 'the incompetent
Bathurst' as Chancellor. 'Such a conversation,' he adds, 'would not have
occurred during the chancellorship of Lord Hardwicke or Lord Somers.'


'But if at first he minds his hits,
And drinks champagne among the wits,' &c.

Prior's _Chameleon_, 1. 39.

[465] 'Plain truth, _dear Murray_, needs no flowers of speech.' Pope
thus addresses him in Epistle vi. Book i. of his _Imitations of Horace_,
which he dedicated to him.

[466] See _ante_, 386.

[467] See _post_, March 23, 1776.

[468] Afterwards Lord Ashburton. Described by Johnson (_post_, July 22,
1777), as 'Mr. Dunning, the great lawyer.'

[469] 'Having cleared his tongue from his native pronunciation, so as to
be no longer distinguished as a Scot, he seems inclined to disencumber
himself from all adherences of his original, and took upon him to change
his name from Scotch _Malloch_ to English _Mallet_, without any
imaginable reason of preference which the eye or ear can discover. What
other proofs he gave of disrespect to his native country I know not, but
it was remarked of him that he was the only Scot whom Scotchmen did not
commend.' Johnson's _Works_, viii. 464. See _ante_, i. 268, and _post_,
April 28, 1783.

[470] Mr. Love was, so far as is known, the first who advised Boswell to
keep a journal. When Boswell was but eighteen, writing of a journey he
had taken, he says: 'I kept an exact journal, at the particular desire
of my friend, Mr. Love, and sent it to him in sheets every post.'
_Letters of Boswell_, p. 8.

[471] 'That's villainous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool
that uses it.' _Hamlet_, iii. 2.

[472] Jeffrey wrote from Oxford, where he spent nine months in
1791-2:--'The only part of a Scotchman I mean to abandon is the
language, and language is all I expect to learn in England.' (Cockburn's
_Jeffrey_, i. 46). His biographer says:--'He certainly succeeded in the
abandonment of his habitual Scotch. The change was so sudden and so
complete, that it excited the surprise of his friends, and furnished
others with ridicule for many years.... The result, on the whole, was
exactly as described by Lord Holland, who said that though Jeffrey "had
lost the broad Scotch at Oxford, he had only gained the narrow
English."' Cockburn, in forgetfulness of Mallet's case, says that 'the
acquisition of a pure English accent by a full-grown Scotchman is
fortunately impossible.'

[473] Henry Dundas, afterwards Viscount Melville. See _post_, under Nov.
29, 1777. Boswell wrote to Temple on May 22, 1775:--'Harry Dundas is
going to be made King's Advocate--Lord Advocate at thirty-three! I
cannot help being angry and somewhat fretful at this; he has, to be
sure, strong parts, but he is a coarse, unlettered, unfanciful dog.'
_Letters of Boswell_, p. 195. Horace Walpole describes him as 'the
rankest of all Scotchmen, and odious for that bloody speech that had
fixed on him the nick-name of _Starvation_! _Journal of the Reign of
George III_, ii. 479. On p. 637 he adds:--'The happily coined word
"starvation" delivered a whole continent from the Northern harpies that
meant to devour it.' The speech in which Dundas introduced _starvation_
was made in 1775. Walpole's _Letters_, viii. 30. See _Parl. Hist_.,
xviii. 387. His character is drawn with great force by Cockburn. _Life
of Jeffrey_, i. 77.

[474] The correspondent of Hume. See J. H. Burton's _Hume_, i. 320.

[475] See _post_, May 12, 1778.

[476] In the _Plan_ (Works, v. 9), Johnson noticed the difference of the
pronunciation of _great_. 'Some words have two sounds which may be
equally admitted as being equally defensible by authority. Thus _great_
is differently used:--

'For Swift and him despised the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great.'--POPE.

'As if misfortune made the throne her seat,
And none could be unhappy but the great.'--ROWE.

In the _Preface to the Dictionary_ (_Works_, v. 25), Johnson says that
'the vowels are capriciously pronounced, and differently modified by
accident or affectation, not only in every province, but in every
mouth.' Swift gives both rhymes within ten lines:--

'My lord and he are grown so great--
Always together, tete-a-tete.'

* * * * *

'You, Mr. Dean, frequent the great, Inform us, will the emperor treat?'
Swift's _Works_ (1803), x. 110.

[477] 'Dr. Henry More, of Cambridge, Johnson did not much affect; he was
a Platonist, and, in Johnson's opinion, a visionary. He would frequently
cite from him, and laugh at, a passage to this effect:--"At the
consummation of all things, it shall come to pass that eternity shall
shake hands with opacity"' Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 543.

[478] See _post_, April 17, 1778, and May 19, 1784.

[479] See _ante_, i. 240, and ii. 105.

[480] _Revelations_, xiv. 2.

[481] Johnson, in _The Rambler_, No. 78, describes man's death as 'a
change not only of the place, but the manner of his being; an entrance
into a state not simply which he knows not, but which perhaps he has not
faculties to know.'

[482] This fiction is known to have been invented by Daniel Defoe, and
was added to Drelincourt's book, to make it sell. The first edition had
it not. MALONE. 'More than fifty editions have not exhausted its
popularity. The hundreds of thousands who have bought the silly treatise
of Drelincourt have borne unconscious testimony to the genius of De
Foe.' Forster's _Essays_, ii. 70.

[483] See _ante_, i. 29.

[484] In his _Life of Akenside ( Works_, viii. 475) he says:--'Of
Akenside's _Odes_ nothing favourable can be said.... To examine such
compositions singly cannot be required; they have doubtless brighter and
darker parts; but when they are once found to be generally dull, all
further labour may be spared; for to what use can the work be criticised
that will not be read?' See _post_, April 10, 1776.

[485] See _post_, just before May 15, 1776.

[486] See _post_, Sept. 23, 1777.

[487] The account of his trial is entitled:--'_The Grand Question in
Religion Considered. Whether we shall obey God or Man; Christ or the
Pope; the Prophets and Apostles, or Prelates and Priests. Humbly offered
to the King and Parliament of Great Britain. By E. Elwall. With an
account of the Author's Tryal or Prosecution at Stafford Assizes before
Judge Denton. London.'_ No date. Elwall seems to have been a Unitarian
Quaker. He was prosecuted for publishing a book against the doctrines of
the Trinity, but was discharged, being, he writes, treated by the Judge
with great humanity. In his pamphlet he says (p. 49):--'You see what I
have already done in my former book. I have challenged the greatest
potentates on earth, yea, even the King of Great Britain, whose true and
faithful subject I am in all temporal things, and whom I love and
honour; also his noble and valiant friend, John Argyle, and his great
friends Robert Walpole, Charles Wager, and Arthur Onslow; all these can
speak well, and who is like them; and yet, behold, none of all these
cared to engage with their friend Elwall.' See _post_, May 7, 1773. Dr.
Priestley had received an account of the trial from a gentleman who was
present, who described Elwall as 'a tall man, with white hair, a large
beard and flowing garments, who struck everybody with respect. He spoke
about an hour with great gravity, fluency, and presence of mind.' The
trial took place, he said, in 1726. 'It is impossible,' adds Priestley
(_Works_, ed. 1831, ii. 417), 'for an unprejudiced person to read
Elwall's account of his trial, without feeling the greatest veneration
for the writer.' In truth, Elwall spoke with all the simple power of the
best of the early Quakers.

[488] Boswell, in the _Hypochrondriack_ (_London Mag_. 1783, p. 290),
writing on swearing, says:--'I have the comfort to think that my
practice has been blameless in this respect.' He continues (p. 293):--
'To do the present age justice, there is much less swearing among
genteel people than in the last age.'

[489] 'The _Life of Dr. Parnell_ is a task which I should very willingly
decline, since it has been lately written by Goldsmith, a man of such
variety of powers, and such felicity of performance, that he always
seemed to do best that which he was doing.... What such an author has
told, who would tell again? I have made an abstract from his larger
narrative, and have this gratification from my attempt, that it gives me
an opportunity of paying due tribute to the memory of Goldsmith. [Greek:
Togargerasesti Thanonton].' Johnson's _Works_, vii. 398.

[490] See _ante_, i. 26, and _post_, April 11, 1773.

[491] 'Mr. Ruffhead says of fine passages that they are fine, and of
feeble passages that they are feeble; but recommending poetical beauty
is like remarking the splendour of sunshine; to those who can see it is
unnecessary, and to those who are blind, absurd.' _Gent. Mag_. May,
1769, p. 255. The review in which this passage occurs, is perhaps in
part Johnson's.

[492] See _ante_, i. 448.

[493] See _post_, April 5, 1775.

[494] It was Lewis XIV who said it. 'Toutes les fois que je donne une
place vacante, je fais cent mecontens et un ingrat.' Voltaire, _Siecle
de Louis XIV_, ch. 26. 'When I give away a place,' said Lewis XIV, 'I
make an hundred discontented, and one ungrateful.' Johnson's _Works_,
viii. 204.

[495] See _post_, May 15, 1783.

[496] This project has since been realized. Sir Henry Liddel, who made a
spirited tour into Lapland, brought two rein-deer to his estate in
Northumberland, where they bred; but the race has unfortunately
perished. BOSWELL.

[497] Dr. Johnson seems to have meant the Address to the Reader with a
KEY subjoined to it; which have been prefixed to the modern editions of
that play. He did not know, it appears, that several additions were made
to _The Rehearsal_ after the first edition. MALONE. In his _Life of
Dryden_ (_Works_, vii. 272) Johnson writes:--'Buckingham characterised
Dryden in 1671 by the name of Bayes in _The Rehearsal_.... It is said
that this farce was originally intended against Davenant, who in the
first draught was characterised by the name of Bilboa.... It is said,
likewise, that Sir Robert Howard was once meant. The design was probably
to ridicule the reigning poet, whoever he might be. Much of the personal
satire, to which it might owe its first reception, is now lost or

[498] 'The Pantheon,' wrote Horace Walpole (_Letters_, v. 489), a year
later than this conversation, 'is still the most beautiful edifice in
England.' Gibbon, a few weeks before Johnson's visit to the Pantheon,
wrote:--'In point of _ennui_ and magnificence, the Pantheon is the
wonder of the eighteenth century and of the British empire.' Gibbon's
_Misc. Works_, ii. 74. Evelina, in Miss Burners novel (vol. i. Letter
xxiii.) contrasts the Pantheon and Ranelagh:--'I was extremely struck on
entering the Pantheon with the beauty of the building, which greatly
surpassed whatever I could have expected or imagined. Yet it has more
the appearance of a chapel than of a place of diversion; and, though I
was quite charmed with the magnificence of the room, I felt that I could
not be as gay and thoughtless there as at Ranelagh; for there is
something in it which rather inspires awe and solemnity than mirth and
pleasure.' Ranelagh was at Chelsea, the Pantheon was in Oxford-street.
See _ante_, ii. 119, and _post_, Sept. 23, 1777.

[499] Her husband, Squire Godfrey Bosville, Boswell (_post_, Aug. 24,
1780), calls 'my Yorkshire _chief_.' Their daughter was one of the young
ladies whom he passes in review in his letters to Temple. 'What say you
to my marrying? I intend next autumn to visit Miss Bosville in
Yorkshire; but I fear, my lot being cast in Scotland, that beauty would
not be content. She is, however, grave; I shall see.' _Letters of
Boswell_, p. 81. She married Sir A. Macdonald, Johnson's inhospitable
host in Sky (_ante_, ii. 157).

[500] In _The Adventurer_, No. 120, Johnson, after describing 'a gay
assembly,' continues:--'The world in its best state is nothing more than
a larger assembly of beings, combining to counterfeit happiness which
they do not feel.' _Works_, iv. 120.

[501] 'Sir Adam Fergusson, who by a strange coincidence of chances got
in to be member of Parliament for Ayrshire in 1774, was the
great-grandson of a messenger. I was talking with great indignation that
the whole (? old) families of the county should be defeated by an
upstart.' _Boswelliana_, p. 283.

[502] See _ante_, ii. 60.

[503] See _ante_, i. 424. Hume wrote of the judgment of Charles I.
(_Hist. of Eng_. vii. 148):--'If ever, on any occasion, it were laudable
to conceal truth from the populace, it must be confessed that the
doctrine of resistance affords such an example; and that all speculative
reasoners ought to observe with regard to this principle the same
cautious silence which the laws in every species of government have ever
prescribed to themselves.'

[504] 'All foreigners remark that the knowledge of the common people of
England is greater than that of any other vulgar. This superiority we
undoubtedly owe to the rivulets of intelligence [i. e. the newspapers]
which are continually trickling among us, which every one may catch, and
of which every one partakes.' _Idler_, No. 7. In a later number (30), he
speaks very contemptuously of news-writers. 'In Sir Henry Wotton's
jocular definition, _an ambassador is said to be a man of virtue sent
abroad to tell lies for the advantage of his country. A newswriter is _a
man without virtue, who writes lies at home for his own profit_.'

[505] See _post_, April 3, 1773.

[506] Probably Mr. Elphinston. See _ante_, i. 210, _post_, April 19,
1773, and April i, 1779. Dr. A. Carlyle (_Auto_. p. 493) wrote of a
friend:--'He had overcome many disadvantages of his education, for he
had been sent to a Jacobite seminary of one Elphinstone at Kensington,
where his body was starved and his mind also. He returned to Edinburgh
to college. He had hardly a word of Latin, and was obliged to work hard
with a private tutor.'

[507] 'In progress of time Abel Sampson, _probationer_ of divinity, was
admitted to the privileges of a preacher.' _Guy Mannering_, chap. ii.

[508] In his Dictionary he defines _heinous_ as _atrocious; wicked in a
high degree_.

[509] _Ephesians_, v. 5.

[510] His second definition of _whoremonger_ is _one who converses with
a fornicatress_.

[511] It must not be presumed that Dr. Johnson meant to give any
countenance to licentiousness, though in the character of an Advocate he
made a just and subtle distinction between occasional and habitual
transgression. BOSWELL.

[512] Erskine was born in 1750, entered the navy in 1764, the army in
1768, he matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1776, was called
to the Bar in 1778, was made a King's counsel in 1783, and Lord
Chancellor in 1806. He died in 1823. Campbell's _Chancellors_,
vi. 368-674.

[513] Johnson had called Churchill 'a blockhead.' _Ante_, i. 419. 'I
have remarked,' said Miss Reynolds, 'that his dislike of anyone seldom
prompted him to say much more than that the fellow is a blockhead.'
Croker's _Boswell_, p. 834. In like manner Goldsmith called Sterne a
blockhead; for Mr. Forster (_Life of Goldsmith_, i. 260) is, no doubt,
right in saying that the author of _Tristram Shandy_ is aimed at in the
following passage in _The Citizen of the World_ (Letter, 74):--'In
England, if a bawdy blockhead thus breaks in on the community, he sets
his whole fraternity in a roar; nor can he escape even though he should
fly to nobility for shelter.' That Johnson did not think so lowly of
Fielding's powers is shown by a compliment that he paid Miss Burney, on
one of the characters in _Evelina_. '"Oh, Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith is the
man!" cried he, laughing violently. "Harry Fielding never drew so good a
character!"' Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary_, i. 78.

[514] Richardson wrote of Fielding (_Corres_, vi. l54):--'Poor Fielding!
I could not help telling his sister that I was equally surprised at and
concerned for his continued lowness. Had your brother, said I, been born
in a stable, or been a runner at a sponging-house, we should have
thought him a genius, and wished he had had the advantage of a liberal
education, and of being admitted into good company.' Other passages show
Richardson's dislike or jealousy of Fielding. Thus he wrote:--'You guess
that I have not read _Amelia_. Indeed, I have read but the first volume.
I had intended to go through with it; but I found the characters and
situations so wretchedly low and dirty that I imagined I could not be
interested for any one of them.' _Ib_ iv. 60. 'So long as the world will
receive, Mr. Fielding will write,' _Ib_ p. 285.

[515] Hannah More wrote in 1780 (_Memoirs_, i. 168), 'I never saw
Johnson really angry with me but once. I alluded to some witty passage
in _Tom Jones_; he replied, "I am shocked to hear you quote from so
vicious a book. I am sorry to hear you have read it: a confession which
no modest lady should ever make. I scarcely know a more corrupt work!"
He went so far as to refuse to Fielding the great talents which are
ascribed to him, and broke out into a noble panegyric on his competitor,
Richardson; who, he said, was as superior to him in talents as in
virtue; and whom he pronounced to be the greatest genius that had shed
its lustre on this path of literature.' Yet Miss Burney in her Preface
to _Evelina_ describes herself as 'exhilarated by the wit of Fielding
and humour of Smollett.' It is strange that while Johnson thus condemned
Fielding, he should 'with an ardent and liberal earnestness' have
revised Smollett's epitaph. Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 28, 1773.
Macaulay in his _Speech on Copyright_ (_Writings and Speeches_, p. 615)
said of Richardson's novels:--'No writings have done more to raise the
fame of English genius in foreign countries. No writings are more deeply
pathetic. No writings, those of Shakespeare excepted, show more profound
knowledge of the human heart.' Horace. Walpole (_Letters_, iv. 305), on
the other hand, spoke of Richardson as one 'who wrote those deplorably
tedious lamentations, _Clarissa_ and _Sir Charles Grandison_, which are
pictures of high life as conceived by a bookseller, and romances as they
would be spiritualised by a methodist teacher.' Lord Chesterfield says
of _Sir Charles Grandison_, that 'it is too long, and there is too much
mere talk in it. Whenever he goes _ultra crepidam_ into high life, he
grossly mistakes the modes; but to do him justice he never mistakes
nature, and he has surely great knowledge and skill both in painting and
in interesting the heart.' _Ib_ note. See _ante_, ii. 48.

[516] _Amelia_ he read through without stopping. _Post_, April 12, 1776.
Shenstone (_Works_, iii. 70) writes of 'the tedious character of Parson
Adams,' and calls the book 'a very mean performance; of which the
greater part is unnatural and unhumorous.'

[517] Johnson wrote to Richardson of _Clarissa_, 'though the story is
long, every letter is short.' He begged him to add an _index rerum_,
'for _Clarissa_ is not a performance to be read with eagerness, and laid
aside for ever; but will be occasionally consulted by the busy, the
aged, and the studious.' Richardson's _Corres_, v. 281.

[518] 'Our immortal Fielding was of the younger branch of the Earls of
Denbigh, who draw their origin from the Counts of Habsburg, the lineal
descendants of Eltrico, in the seventh century Duke of Alsace. Far
different have been the fortunes of the English and German divisions of
the family of Habsburg: the former, the knights and sheriffs of
Leicestershire, have slowly risen to the dignity of a peerage: the
latter, the Emperors of Germany and Kings of Spain, have threatened the
liberty of the old, and invaded the treasures of the new world. The
successors of Charles the Fifth may disdain their brethren of England;
but the romance of _Tom Jones_, that exquisite picture of human manners,
will outlive the palace of the Escurial, and the imperial eagle of the
house of Austria.' Gibbon's _Misc. Works_, i. 4. Richardson, five years
after _Tom Jones_ was published, wrote (_Corres_, v. 275):--'Its run is
over, even with us. Is it true that France had virtue enough to refuse a
license for such a profligate performance?'

[519] Mr. Samuel Paterson, eminent for his knowledge of books. BOSWELL.
In the first two editions this note does not appear, but Mr. Paterson is
described as 'the auctioneer.' See _post_, Aug. 3, 1776.

[520] Mr. Paterson, in a pamphlet, produced some evidence to shew that
his work was written before Sterne's _Sentimental Journey_
appeared. BOSWELL.

[521] _Coryat's Crudities hastily gobled up in five Moneths Trauells in
France, Sauoy, Italy, etc. London_, 1611.

[522] 'Lord Erskine,' says Mr. Croker, 'was fond of this anecdote. He
told it to me the first time that I was in his company, and often
repeated it, boasting that he had been a sailor, a soldier, a lawyer,
and a parson.'

[523] 185,000. 2 _Kings_, xix. 35.

[524] Lord Chatham wrote on Oct. 12, 1766, to Lord Shelburne that he
'had extremely at heart to obtain this post for Lord Cardross, a young
nobleman of great talents, learning, and accomplishments, and son of the
Earl of Buchan, an intimate friend of Lord Chatham, from the time they
were students together at Utrecht.' _Chatham Corres_. iii. 106. Horace
Walpole wrote on Oct. 26, 'Sir James Gray goes to Madrid. The embassy
has been sadly hawked about it.' Walpole's _Letters_, v. 22. 'Sir James
Gray's father was first a box-keeper, and then footman to James II.'
_Ib_ ii. 366.

[525] See _ante_, ii. 134, for Johnson's attack on Lord Chatham's
'feudal gabble.'

[526] In Boswell's _Hebrides_, on Aug. 25, 1773, Johnson makes much the
same answer to a like statement by Boswell. See _post_, March 21, 1783.

[527] See _ante_, i. 343, 405, and _post_, April 10, 1772.

[528] 'I cannot,' wrote John Wesley, (_Journal_, iv. 74), 'give up to
all Deists in Great Britain the existence of witchcraft, till I give up
the credit of all history, sacred and profane. And at the present time,
I have not only as strong but stronger proofs of this from eye and ear
witnesses than I have of murder; so that I cannot rationally doubt of
one any more the than the other.'

[529] See this curious question treated by him with most acute ability,
_Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides_, 3rd edit. p. 33. [Aug. 16.]
BOSWELL. Johnson, in his _Observations on Macbeth_ (_Works_, v. 55-7),
shews his utter disbelief in witchcraft. 'These phantoms,' he writes,
'have indeed appeared more frequently in proportion as the darkness of
ignorance has been more gross; but it cannot be shewn that the brightest
gleams of knowledge have at any time been sufficient to drive them out
of the world.' He describes the spread of the belief in them in the
middle ages, and adds:--'The reformation did not immediately arrive at
its meridian, and though day was gradually increasing upon us, the
goblins of witchcraft still continued to hover in the twilight.' See
_post_, April 8, 1779 and 1780, in Mr. Langton's _Collection_.

[530] The passage to which Johnson alluded is to be found (I conjecture)
in the _Phoenissae_, I. 1120. J. BOSWELL, JUN.

[531] Boswell (_Letters_, p. 324), on June 21, 1790, described to Temple
the insults of that 'brutal fellow,' Lord Lonsdale, and continued:--'In
my fretfulness I used such expressions as irritated him almost to fury,
so that he used such expressions towards me that I should have,
according to the irrational laws of honour sanctioned by the world, been
under the necessity of risking my life, had not an explanation taken
place.' Boswell's eldest son, Sir Alexander Boswell, lost his life in
a duel.

[532] Johnson might have quoted the lieutenant in _Tom Jones_, Book vii.
chap. 13. 'My dear boy, be a good Christian as long as you live: but be
a man of honour too, and never put up an affront; not all the books, nor
all the parsons in the world, shall ever persuade me to that. I love my
religion very well, but I love my honour more. There must be some
mistake in the wording of the text, or in the translation, or in the
understanding it, or somewhere or other. But however that be, a man must
run the risk, for he must preserve his honour.' See _post_, April 19,
1773, and April 20, 1783, and Boswell's _Hebrides_, Sept. 19, 1773.

[533] Oglethorpe was born in 1698. In 1714 he entered the army. Prince
Eugene's campaigns against the Turks in which Oglethorpe served were in
1716-17. Rose's _Biog. Dict_. vii. 266 and x. 381. He was not therefore
quite so young as Boswell thought.

[534] In the first two editions _Bender_. Belgrade was taken by Eugene
in 1717.

[535] 'Idem velle atque idem nolle ea demum firma amicitia est.'
Sallust, _Catilina_, xx. 4.

[536] More than one conjecture has been hazarded as to the passage to
which Johnson referred. I believe that he was thinking of the lines--

'Et variis albae junguntur saepe columbae;
Et niger a viridi turtur amatur ave.'

_Sappho to Phaon_, line 37.

'Turtles and doves of differing hues unite,
And glossy jet is paired with shining white.' (POPE.)

Goldsmith had said that people to live in friendship together must have
the same likings and aversions. Johnson thereupon calls to mind Sappho,
who had shown that there could be love where there was little likeness.

[537] It was not published till after Goldsmith's death. It is in the
list of new books in the _Gent. Mag_. for Aug. 1774, p. 378. See _post_,
under June 22, 1776, the note on Goldsmith's epitaph.

[538] 'Upon my opening the door the young women broke off their
discourse, but my landlady's daughters telling them that it was nobody
but the Gentleman (for that is the name that I go by in the
neighbourhood as well as in the family), they went on without minding
me.' _Spectator_, No. 12.

[539] The author also of the _Ballad of Cumnor Hall_. See Scott's
_Introduction to Kenilworth. Bishop Horne says that 'Mickle inserted in
the _Lusiad_ an angry note against Garrick, who, as he thought, had used
him ill by rejecting a tragedy of his.' Shortly afterwards, he saw
Garrick act for the first time. The play was _Lear_. 'During the first
three acts he said not a word. In a fine passage of the fourth he
fetched a deep sigh, and turning to a friend, "I wish," said he, "the
note was out of my book."' Horne's _Essays_, ed. 1808, p. 38. See
_post_, under Dec. 24, 1783, and Garrick's letter in Boswell's
_Hebrides_, Oct. 23,1773.

[540] The farmer's son told Mr. Prior that 'he had felt much reluctance
in erasing during necessary repairs these memorials.' Prior's
_Goldsmith_, ii. 335.

[541] See _ante_, ii. 178.

[542] Here was a blank, which may be filled up thus:--'_was told by an
apparition_;'--the writer being probably uncertain whether he was asleep
or awake, when his mind was impressed with the solemn presentiment with
which the fact afterwards happened so wonderfully to correspond.
BOSWELL. 'Lord Hardinge, when Secretary at War,' writes Mr. Croker,
'informed me, that it appears that Colonel Sir Thomas Prendergast, of
the twenty-second foot, was killed at Malplaquet, Aug. 31, 1709; but no
trace can be found of any _Colonel_ Cecil in the army at that period.
Colonel W. Cecil, who was sent to the Tower in 1744, could hardly have
been, in 1709, of the age and rank which Oglethorpe's anecdote seems to
imply.' Prendergast, or Prendergrass, in the year 1696, informed the
government of the plot to assassinate William III., in which Friend was
one of the leaders. Macaulay (_Hist. of Eng_. chap. 21), calls
Prendergrass 'a Roman Catholic gentleman of known courage and honour.'
Swift, attacking Prendergast's son, attacks Prendergast himself:--

'What! thou the spawn of him who shamed our isle,
Traitor, assassin, and informer vile.'

Swift's _Works_, xi. 319.

[543] Locke says:--'When once it comes to be a trial of skill, contest
for mastery betwixt you and your child, you must be sure to carry it,
whatever blows it costs, if a nod or words will not prevail.' He
continues:--'A prudent and kind mother of my acquaintance was, on such
an occasion, forced to whip her little daughter, at her first coming
home from nurse, eight times successively the same morning, before she
could master her stubbornness, and obtain a compliance in a very easy
and indifferent matter.... As this was the first time, so I think it was
the last, too, she ever struck her.' _Locke on Education_ (ed. 1710),
p. 96.

[544] Andrew Crosbie, arguing for the schoolmaster, had
said:--'Supposing it true that the respondent had been provoked to use a
little more severity than he wished to do, it might well be justified on
account of the ferocious and rebellious behaviour of his scholars, some
of whom cursed and swore at him, and even went so far as to wrestle with
him, in which case he was under a necessity of subduing them as he best
could.' _Scotch Appeal Cases_, xvii. p. 214. The judgment of the House
of Lords is given in Paton's _Reports of Cases upon Appeal from
Scotland_, ii. 277, as follows:--'A schoolmaster, appointed by the
Magistrates and Town Council of Cambelton, without any mention being
made as to whether his office was for life or at pleasure: Held that it
was a public office, and that he was liable to be dismissed for a just
and reasonable cause, and that acts of cruel chastisement of the boys
were a justifiable cause for his dismissal; reversing the judgment of
the Court of Session.... The proof led before his dismission went to
shew that scarce a day passed without some of the scholars coming home
with their heads cut, and their bodies discoloured. He beat his pupils
with wooden squares, and sometimes with his fists, and used his feet by
kicking them, and dragged them by the hair of the head. He had also
entered into the trade of cattle grazing and farming--dealt in black
cattle--in the shipping business--and in herring fishing.'

[545] These six Methodists were in 1768 expelled St. Edmund's Hall, by
the Vice-Chancellor, acting as 'visitor.' Nominally they were expelled
for their ignorance; in reality for their active Methodism. That they
were 'mighty ignorant fellows' was shown, but ignorance was tolerated at
Oxford. One of their number confessed his ignorance, and declined all
examination. But 'as he was represented to be a man of fortune, and
declared that he was not designed for holy orders, the Vice-Chancellor
did not think fit to remove him for this reason only, though he was
supposed to be one of "the righteous over-much."' _Dr. Johnson: His
Friends and his Critics_, pp. 51-57. Horace Walpole, Whig though he was,
thought as Johnson. 'Oxford,' he wrote (_Letters_ v. 97), 'has begun
with these rascals, and I hope Cambridge will wake.'

[546] Much such an expulsion as this Johnson had justified in his _Life
of Cheynel_ (_Works_, vi. 415). 'A temper of this kind,' he wrote, 'is
generally inconvenient and offensive in any society, but in a place of
education is least to be tolerated ... He may be justly driven from a
society, by which he thinks himself too wise to be governed, and in
which he is too young to teach, and too opinionative to learn.'

[547] Johnson wrote far otherwise of the indulgence shown to Edmund
Smith, the poet. 'The indecency and licentiousness of his behaviour drew
upon him, Dec. 24, 1694, while he was yet only bachelor, a publick
admonition, entered upon record, in order to his expulsion. Of this
reproof the effect is not known. He was probably less notorious. At
Oxford, as we all know, much will be forgiven to literary merit.... Of
his lampoon upon Dean Aldrich, [Smith was a Christ-Church man], I once
heard a single line too gross to be repeated. But he was still a genius
and a scholar, and Oxford was unwilling to lose him; he was endured with
all his pranks and his vices two years longer; but on Dec. 20, 1705, at
the instance of all the Canons, the sentence declared five years before
was put in execution. The execution was, I believe, silent and tender.'
_Works_, vii. 373-4.

[548] See post, p. 193, note i.

[549] 'Our bottle-conversation,' wrote Addison, 'is infected with
party-lying.' _The Spectator_, No. 507.

[550] Mrs. Piozzi, in her _Anecdotes_, p. 261, has given an erroneous
account of this incident, as of many others. She pretends to relate it
from recollection, as if she herself had been present; when the fact is
that it was communicated to her by me. She has represented it as a
personality, and the true point has escaped her. BOSWELL. She tells the
story against Boswell. 'I fancy Mr. B---- has not forgotten,'
she writes.

[551] See post, April 11, 1776.

[552] Johnson, in his Dictionary, defines _manufacturer_ as a _workman;
an artificer_.

[553] Johnson had no fear of popular education. In his attack on
Jenyns's _Enquiry_ (ante, i. 315), he wrote (_Works_, vi. 56):--'Though
it should be granted that those who are _born to poverty and drudgery_
should not be _deprived_ by an _improper education_ of the _opiate_ of
_ignorance_, even this concession will not be of much use to direct our
practice, unless it be determined, who are those that are _born to
poverty_. To entail irreversible poverty upon generation after
generation, only because the ancestor happened to be poor, is in itself
cruel, if not unjust.... I am always afraid of determining on the side
of envy or cruelty. The privileges of education may sometimes be
improperly bestowed, but I shall always fear to withhold them, lest I
should be yielding to the suggestions of pride, while I persuade myself
that I am following the maxims of policy.' In _The Idler_, No. 26, he
attacked those who 'hold it little less than criminal to teach poor
girls to read and write,' and who say that 'they who are born to poverty
are born to ignorance, and will work the harder the less they know.'

[554] Tacitus's Agricola, ch. xii, was no doubt quoted in reference to
the shortness of the northern winter day.

[555] It is remarkable, that Lord Monboddo, whom, on account of his
resembling Dr. Johnson in some particulars, Foote called an Elzevir
edition of him, has, by coincidence, made the very same remark. _Origin
and Progress of Language_, vol. iii. 2nd ed. p. 219. BOSWELL. See
Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 21, note.

[556] On Saturday night Johnson recorded:--'I resolved last Easter to
read within the year the whole Bible, a very great part of which I had
never looked upon. I read the Greek Testament without construing, and
this day concluded the Apocalypse.... Easter Day. After twelve at night.
The day is now begun on which I hope to begin a new course, [Greek:
hosper aph husplaeggon], [as if from the starting-place.]

My hopes are from this time--
To rise early,
To waste less time,
To appropriate something to charity.'

A week later he recorded:--'It is a comfort to me that at last, in my
sixty-third year, I have attained to know even thus hastily, confusedly,
and imperfectly, what my Bible contains. I have never yet read the
Apocrypha. I have sometimes looked into the Maccabees, and read a
chapter containing the question, _Which is the strongest?_ I think, in
Esdras' [I Esdras, ch. iii. v. 10]. _Pr. and Med_. pp. 112-118.

[557] _Pr. and Med_. p. iii. BOSWELL.

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

[559] 'I was always so incapable of learning mathematics,' wrote Horace
Walpole (_Letters_, ix. 467), 'that I could not even get by heart the
multiplication table, as blind Professor Sanderson honestly told me,
above three-score years ago, when I went to his lectures at Cambridge.
After the first fortnight he said to me, "Young man, it would be
cheating you to take your money; for you never can learn what I am
trying to teach you." I was exceedingly mortified, and cried; for, being
a Prime Minister's son, I had firmly believed all the flattery with
which I had been assured that my parts were capable of anything.'

[560] Reynolds said:--'Out of the great number of critics in this
metropolis who all pretend to knowledge in pictures, the greater part
must be mere pretenders only. Taste does not come by chance; it is a
long and laborious task to acquire it.' Northcote's _Reynolds_, i. 264.

[561] 'Jemmy Boswell,' wrote John Scott (afterwards Lord Eldon), 'called
upon me, desiring to know what would be my definition of taste. I told
him I must decline defining it, because I knew he would publish it. He
continued his importunities in frequent calls, and in one complained
much that I would not give him it, as he had that morning got Henry
Dundas's, Sir A. Macdonald's, and J. Anstruther's definitions. "Well,
then," I said, "Boswell, we must have an end of this. Taste, according
to my definition, is the judgment which Dundas, Macdonald, Anstruther,
and you manifested when you determined to quit Scotland and to come into

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