Life Of Johnson, Vol. 3
by Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill
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[631] 'For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face.' I Corinthians, xiii. 12.

[632] Goldsmith notices this in the Haunch of Venison:—

My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come; For I knew it (he cried), both eternally fail, The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale.'

CROKER. See ante, i. 493.

[633] See post, April 1, 1781. 'Johnson said:—"He who praises everybody praises nobody."' Johnson's Works (1787), xi. 216.

[634] See ante, p. 55.

[635] Johnson wrote in July 1775:—'Everybody says the prospect of harvest is uncommonly delightful; but this has been so long the summer talk, and has been so often contradicted by autumn, that I do not suffer it to lay much hold on my mind. Our gay prospects have now for many years together ended in melancholy retrospects.' Piozzi Letters, i. 259. On Aug. 27, 1777, he wrote:—'Amidst all these little things there is one great thing. The harvest is abundant, and the weather a la merveille. No season ever was finer.' Ib. p. 360. In this month of March, 1778, wheat was selling at 5s. 3d. the bushel in London; at 6s. 10d. in Somerset; and at 5s. 1d. in Northumberland, Suffolk, and Sussex. Gent. Mag. xlviii. 98. The average price for 1778 was 5s. 3d. Ann. Reg. xxi. 282.

[636] See post, iii. 243, Oct. 10, 1779, and April 1, 1781.

[637] The first edition was in 1492. Between that period and 1792, according to this account, there were 3600 editions. But this is very improbable. MALONE. Malone assumes, as Mr. Croker points out, that this rate of publication continued to the year 1792. But after all, the difference is trifling. Johnson here forgot to use his favourite cure for exaggeration—counting. See post, April 18, 1783. 'Round numbers,' he said, 'are always false.' Johnson's Works (1787), xi. 198. Horace Walpole (Letters, viii. 300), after making a calculation, writes:—'I may err in my calculations, for I am a woeful arithmetician; but no matter, one large sum is as good as another.'

[638] The original passage is: 'Si non potes te talem facere, qualem vis, quomodo poteris alium ad tuum habere beneplacitum?' De Imit. Christ. lib. i. cap. xvi. J. BOSWELL, Jun.

[639] See p. 29 of this vol. BOSWELL.

[640] Since this was written the attainder has been reversed; and Nicholas Barnewall is now a peer of Ireland with this title. The person mentioned in the text had studied physick, and prescribed gratis to the poor. Hence arose the subsequent conversation. MALONE.

[641] See Franklin's Autobiography for his conversion from vegetarianism.

[642] See ante, ii. 217, where Johnson advised Boswell to keep a journal. 'The great thing to be recorded, is the state of your own mind.'

[643] 'Nobody can live long without knowing that falsehoods of convenience or vanity, falsehoods from which no evil immediately visible ensues, except the general degradation of human testimony, are very lightly uttered, and, once uttered, are sullenly supported.' Johnson's Works, viii. 23.

[644] Literary Magazine, 1756, p. 37. BOSWELL. Johnson's Works, vi. 42. See post, Oct. 10, 1779.


'Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic incredulus odi.' 'For while upon such monstrous scenes we gaze, They shock our faith, our indignation raise.'

FRANCIS. Horace, Ars Poet. 1. 188. Johnson speaks of 'the natural desire of man to propagate a wonder.' Works, vii. 2. 'Wonders,' he says, 'are willingly told, and willingly heard.' Ib. viii. 292. Speaking of Voltaire he says:—'It is the great failing of a strong imagination to catch greedily at wonders.' Ib. vi. 455. See ante, i. 309, note 3, ii. 247, and Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 19, 1773. According to Mrs. Piozzi (Anec. p. 137) Hogarth said:—'Johnson, though so wise a fellow, is more like King David than King Solomon; for he says in his haste that all men are liars.'

[646] The following plausible but over-prudent counsel on this subject is given by an Italian writer, quoted by 'Rhedi de generatione insectarum,' with the epithet of 'divini poetae:'

'Sempre a quel ver ch'ha faccia di menzogna Dee l'uom chiuder le labbra quanto ei puote; Pero che senza colpa fa vergogna.' BOSWELL.

It is strange that Boswell should not have discovered that these lines were from Dante. The following is Wright's translation:—

'That truth which bears the semblance of a lie, Should never pass the lips, if possible; Tho' crime be absent, still disgrace is nigh.'

Infern. xvi. 124. CROKER.

[647] See ante, i. 7, note 1.

[648] See ante, i. 405.

[649] 'Of John Wesley he said:—"He can talk well on any subject."' Post, April 15, 1778. Southey says that 'his manners were almost irresistibly winning, and his cheerfulness was like perpetual sunshine.' Life of Wesley, i. 409. Wesley recorded on Dec. 18, 1783 (Journal, iv. 258):—'I spent two hours with that great man Dr. Johnson, who is sinking into the grave by a gentle decay.'

[650] 'When you met him in the street of a crowded city, he attracted notice, not only by his band and cassock, and his long hair white and bright as silver, but by his pace and manner, both indicating that all his minutes were numbered, and that not one was to be lost. "Though I am always in haste," he says of himself, "I am never in a hurry; because I never undertake any more work than I can go through with perfect calmness of spirit."' Southey's Wesley, ii. 397.

[651] No doubt the Literary Club. See ante, ii. 330, 345. Mr. Croker says 'that it appears by the books of the Club that the company on that evening consisted of Dr. Johnson president, Mr. Burke, Mr. Boswell, Dr. George Fordyce, Mr. Gibbon, Dr. Johnson (again named), Sir Joshua Reynolds, Lord Upper Ossory, and Mr. R. B. Sheridan.' E. no doubt stands for Edmund Burke, and J. for Joshua Reynolds. Who are meant by the other initials cannot be known. Mr. Croker hazards some guesses; but he says that Sir James Mackintosh and Chalmers were as dubious as himself.

[652] See Langhorne's Plutarch, ed. 1809, ii. 133.

[653] 'A man came in balancing a straw upon his nose, and the audience were clapping their hands in all the raptures of applause.' The Citizen of the World, Letter xxi. According to Davis (Life of Garrick, i. 113), 'in one year, after paying all expenses, L11,000 were the produce of Mr. Maddocks (the straw-man's agility), added to the talents of the players at Covent Garden theatre.'

[654] See ante, i. 399.

[655] 'Sir' said Edwards to Johnson (post, April 17, 1778), 'I remember you would not let us say prodigious at College.'

[656] 'Emigration was at this time a common topick of discourse. Dr. Johnson regretted it as hurtful to human happiness.' Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 15, 1773.

[657] In 1766 Johnson wrote a paper (first published in 1808) to prove that 'the bounty upon corn has produced plenty.' 'The truth of these principles,' he says, 'our ancestors discovered by reason, and the French have now found it by experience. In this regulation we have the honour of being masters to those who, in commercial policy, have been long accounted the masters of the world.' Works, v. 323, 326, and ante, i. 518. 'In 1688 was granted the parliamentary bounty upon the exportation of corn. The country gentlemen had felt that the money price of corn was falling. The bounty was an expedient to raise it artificially to the high price at which it had frequently been sold in the times of Charles I. and II.' Smith's Wealth of Nations, book I. c. xi. The year 1792, the last year of peace before the great war, was likewise the last year of exportation. Penny Cyclo. viii. 22.


'Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote.'

Goldsmith's Retaliation.

Horace Walpole says of Lord Mansfield's speech on the Habeas Corpus Bill of 1758:—'Perhaps it was the only speech that in my time at least had real effect; that is, convinced many persons.' Reign of George II, iii. 120.

[659] Gibbon, who was now a member of parliament, was present at this dinner. In his Autobiography (Misc. Works, i. 221) he says:—'After a fleeting illusive hope, prudence condemned me to acquiesce in the humble station of a mute.... Timidity was fortified by pride, and even the success of my pen discouraged the trial of my voice. But I assisted at the debates of a free assembly; I listened to the attack and defence of eloquence and reason; I had a near prospect of the character, views, and passions of the first men of the age.... The eight sessions that I sat in parliament were a school of civil prudence, the first and most essential virtue of an historian.'

[660] Horace, Odes, iii. 24, 46.

[661] Lord Bolingbroke, who, however detestable as a metaphysician, must be allowed to have had admirable talents as a political writer, thus describes the House of Commons, in his 'Letter to Sir William Wyndham:' —'You know the nature of that assembly; they grow, like hounds, fond of the man who shews them game, and by whose halloo they are used to be encouraged.' BOSWELL. Bolingbroke's Works, i. 15.

[662] Smollett says (Journey, i. 147) that he had a musquetoon which could carry eight balls. 'This piece did not fail to attract the curiosity and admiration of the people in every place through which we passed. The carriage no sooner halted than a crowd surrounded the man to view the blunderbuss, which they dignified with the name of petit canon. At Nuys in Burgundy, he fired it in the air, and the whole mob dispersed, and scampered off like a flock of sheep.'

[663] Smollett does not say that he frightened the nobleman. He mistook him for a postmaster and spoke to him very roughly. The nobleman seems to have been good-natured; for, at the next stage, says Smollett, 'observing that one of the trunks behind was a little displaced, he assisted my servant in adjusting it.' His name and rank were learnt later on. Journey, i. p. 134.

[664] The two things did not happen in the same town. 'I am sure, writes Thicknesse (Travels, ii. 147), 'there was but that single French nobleman in this mighty kingdom, who would have submitted to such insults as the Doctor says he treated him with; nor any other town but Sens [it was Nuys] where the firing of a gun would have so terrified the inhabitants.'

[665] Both Smollett and Thicknesse were great grumblers.

[666] Lord Bolingbroke said of Lord Oxford:—'He is naturally inclined to believe the worst, which I take to be a certain mark of a mean spirit and a wicked soul; at least I am sure that the contrary quality, when it is not due to weakness of understanding, is the fruit of a generous temper and an honest heart.' Bolingbroke's Works, i. 25. Lord Eldon asked Pitt, not long before his death, what he thought of the honesty of mankind. 'His answer was, that he had a favourable opinion of mankind upon the whole, and that he believed that the majority was really actuated by fair meaning and intention.' Twiss's Eldon, i. 499.

[667] Johnson wrote in 175l:—'We are by our occupations, education, and habits of life, divided almost into different species, which regard one another, for the most part, with scorn and malignity.' The Rambler, No. 160. In No. 173 he writes of 'the general hostility which every part of mankind exercises against the rest to furnish insults and sarcasm.' In 1783 he said:—'I am ready now to call a man a good man upon easier terms than I was formerly.' Post, under Aug. 29, 1783.

[668] Johnson thirty-four years earlier, in the Life of Savage (Works, viii. 188), had written:—'The knowledge of life was indeed his chief attainment; and it is not without some satisfaction that I can produce the suffrage of Savage in favour of human nature.' On April 14, 1781, he wrote:—'The world is not so unjust or unkind as it is peevishly represented. Those who deserve well seldom fail to receive from others such services as they can perform; but few have much in their power, or are so stationed as to have great leisure from their own affairs, and kindness must be commonly the exuberance of content. The wretched have no compassion; they can do good only from strong principles of duty.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 199.

[669] Pope thus introduces this story:

'Faith in such case if you should prosecute, I think Sir Godfrey should decide the suit, Who send the thief who [that] stole the cash away, And punish'd him that put it in his way.'

Imitations of Horace, book II. epist. ii. [l. 23]. BOSWELL.

[670] Very likely Boswell himself. See post, July 17, 1779, where he put Johnson's friendship to the test by neglecting to write to him.

[671] No doubt Dr. Barnard, Dean of Derry, afterwards Bishop of Killaloe. See ante, p. 84.

[672] The reverse of the story of Combabus, on which Mr. David Hume told Lord Macartney, that a friend of his had written a tragedy. It is, however, possible that I may have been inaccurate in my perception of what Dr. Johnson related, and that he may have been talking of the same ludicrous tragical subject that Mr. Hume had mentioned. BOSWELL. The story of Combabus, which was originally told by Lucian, may be found in Bayle's Dictionary. MALONE.

[673] Horace Walpole, less than three months later, wrote (Letters, vii. 83):—'Poor Mrs. Clive has been robbed again in her own lane [in Twickenham] as she was last year. I don't make a visit without a blunderbuss; one might as well be invaded by the French.' Yet Wesley in the previous December, speaking of highwaymen, records (Journal, iv. 110):—'I have travelled all roads by day and by night for these forty years, and never was interrupted yet.' Baretti, who was a great traveller, says:—'For my part I never met with any robbers in my various rambles through several regions of Europe.' Baretti's Journey from London to Genoa, ii. 266.

[674] A year or two before Johnson became acquainted with the Thrales a man was hanged on Kennington Common for robbing Mr. Thrale. Gent. Mag. xxxiii. 411.

[675] The late Duke of Montrose was generally said to have been uneasy on that account; but I can contradict the report from his Grace's own authority. As he used to admit me to very easy conversation with him, I took the liberty to introduce the subject. His Grace told me, that when riding one night near London, he was attacked by two highwaymen on horseback, and that he instantly shot one of them, upon which the other galloped off; that his servant, who was very well mounted, proposed to pursue him and take him, but that his Grace said, 'No, we have had blood enough: I hope the man may live to repent.' His Grace, upon my presuming to put the question, assured me, that his mind was not at all clouded by what he had thus done in self-defence. BOSWELL.

[676] See Boswell's Hebrides, Sept. 22, for a discussion on signing death-warrants.

[677] 'Mr. Dunning the great lawyer,' Johnson called him, ante, p. 128. Lord Shelburne says:—'The fact is well known of the present Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (Lord Loughborough, formerly Mr. Wedderburne) beginning a law argument in the absence of Mr. Dunning, but upon hearing him hem in the course of it, his tone so visibly [sic] changed that there was not a doubt in any part of the House of the reason of it.' Fitzmaurice's Shelburne, iii. 454.

[678] 'The applause of a single human being,' he once said, 'is of great consequence.' Post, 1780, in Mr. Langton's Collection.

[679] Most likely Boswell's father, for he answers to what is said of this person. He was known to Johnson, he had married a second time, and he was fond of planting, and entertained schemes for the improvement of his property. See Boswell's Hebrides, Nov. 4 and 5, 1773. Respectable was still a term of high praise. It had not yet come down to signify 'a man who keeps a gig.' Johnson defines it as 'venerable, meriting respect.' It is not in the earlier editions of his Dictionary. Boswell, in his Hebrides (Oct. 27), calls Johnson the Duke of Argyle's 'respectable guest,' and post, under Sept. 5, 1780, writes of 'the respectable notion which should ever be entertained of my illustrious friend.' Dr. Franklin in a dedication to Johnson describes himself as 'a sincere admirer of his respectable talents;' post, end of 1780. In the Gent. Mag. lv. 235, we read that 'a stone now covers the grave which holds his [Dr. Johnson's] respectable remains.' 'I do not know,' wrote Hannah More (Memoirs, i. 43) of Hampton Court, 'a more respectable sight than a room containing fourteen admirals, all by Sir Godfrey.' Gibbon (Misc. Works, ii. 487), congratulating Lord Loughborough on becoming Lord Chancellor, speaks of the support the administration will derive 'from so respectable an ally.' George III. wrote to Lord Shelburne on Sept. 16, 1782, 'when the tie between the Colonies and England was about to be formally severed,' that he made 'the most frequent prayers to heaven to guide me so to act that posterity may not lay the downfall of this once respectable empire at my door.' Fitzmaurice's Shelburne, iii. 297. Lord Chesterfield (Misc. Works, iv. 308) writing of the hour of death says:—'That moment is at least a very respectable one, let people who boast of not fearing it say what they please.'

[680] The younger Newbery records that Johnson, finding that he had a violin, said to him:—'Young man, give the fiddle to the first beggar man you meet, or you will never be a scholar.' A Bookseller of the Last Century, pp. 127, 145. See Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 15.

[681] When I told this to Miss Seward, she smiled, and repeated, with admirable readiness, from Acis and Galatea,

'Bring me a hundred reeds of ample growth, To make a pipe for my CAPACIOUS MOUTH.' BOSWELL.

[682] See post, June 3, 1784, where Johnson again mentions this. In The Spectator, No. 536, Addison recommends knotting, which was, he says, again in fashion, as an employment for 'the most idle part of the kingdom; I mean that part of mankind who are known by the name of the women's-men, or beaus,' etc. In The Universal Passion, Satire i, Young says of fame:—

'By this inspired (O ne'er to be forgot!) Some lords have learned to spell, and some to knot.'

Lord Eldon says that 'at a period when all ladies were employed (when they had nothing better to do) in knotting, Bishop Porteous was asked by the Queen, whether she might knot on a Sunday. He answered, "You may not;" leaving her Majesty to decide whether, as knot and not were in sound alike, she was, or was not, at liberty to do so.' Twiss's Eldon, ii. 355.

[683] See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 23.

[684] See post, p. 248.

[685] Martin's style is wanting in that 'cadence which Temple gave to English prose' (post, p. 257). It would not be judged now so severely as it was a century ago, as the following instance will show:—'There is but one steel and tinder-box in all this commonwealth; the owner whereof fails not upon every occasion of striking fire in the lesser isles, to go thither, and exact three eggs, or one of the lesser fowls from each man as a reward for his service; this by them is called the Fire-Penny, and this Capitation is very uneasy to them; I bid them try their chrystal with their knives, which, when they saw it did strike fire, they were not a little astonished, admiring at the strangeness of the thing, and at the same time accusing their own ignorance, considering the quantity of chrystal growing under the rock of their coast. This discovery has delivered them from the Fire-Penny-Tax, and so they are no longer liable to it.'

[686] See ante, p. 226.

[687] Lord Macartney observes upon this passage, 'I have heard him tell many things, which, though embellished by their mode of narrative, had their foundation in truth; but I never remember any thing approaching to this. If he had written it, I should have supposed some wag had put the figure of one before the three.'—I am, however, absolutely certain that Dr. Campbell told me it, and I gave particular attention to it, being myself a lover of wine, and therefore curious to hear whatever is remarkable concerning drinking. There can be no doubt that some men can drink, without suffering any injury, such a quantity as to others appears incredible. It is but fair to add, that Dr. Campbell told me, he took a very long time to this great potation; and I have heard Dr. Johnson say, 'Sir, if a man drinks very slowly, and lets one glass evaporate before he takes another, I know not how long he may drink.' Dr. Campbell mentioned a Colonel of Militia who sat with him all the time, and drank equally. BOSWELL.

[688] See ante, i. 417.

[689] In the following September she is thus mentioned by Miss Burney: —'Mrs. Thrale. "To-morrow, Sir, Mrs. Montagu dines here, and then you will have talk enough." Dr. Johnson began to see-saw, with a countenance strongly expressive of inward fun, and after enjoying it some time in silence, he suddenly, and with great animation, turned to me and cried; "Down with her, Burney! down with her! spare her not! attack her, fight her, and down with her at once! You are a rising wit, and she is at the top; and when I was beginning the world, and was nothing and nobody, the joy of my life was to fire at all the established wits, and then everybody loved to halloo me on."' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 117. 'She has,' adds Miss Burney, 'a sensible and penetrating countenance and the air and manner of a woman accustomed to being distinguished and of great parts. Dr. Johnson, who agrees in this, told us that a Mrs. Hervey of his acquaintance says she can remember Mrs. Montagu trying for this same air and manner.' Ib. p. 122. See ante, ii. 88.

[690] Only one volume had been published; it ended with the sixteenth chapter.

[691] Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto. p. 462) says:—'She did not take at Edinburgh. Lord Kames, who was at first catched with her Parnassian coquetry, said at last that he believed she had as much learning as a well-educated college lad here of sixteen. In genuine feelings and deeds she was remarkably deficient. We saw her often in the neighbourhood of Newcastle, and in that town, where there was no audience for such an actress as she was, her natural character was displayed, which was that of an active manager of her affairs, a crafty chaperon, and a keen pursuer of her interest, not to be outdone by the sharpest coal-dealer on the Tyne; but in this capacity she was not displeasing, for she was not acting a part.'

[692] What my friend meant by these words concerning the amiable philosopher of Salisbury, I am at a loss to understand. A friend suggests, that Johnson thought his manner as a writer affected, while at the same time the matter did not compensate for that fault. In short, that he meant to make a remark quite different from that which a celebrated gentleman made on a very eminent physician: 'He is a coxcomb, but a satisfactory coxcomb.' BOSWELL. Malone says that the celebrated gentleman was Gerard Hamilton. See Boswell's Hebrides, Nov. 3, where Johnson says that 'he thought Harris a coxcomb,' and ante, ii. 225.

[693] Hermes.

[694] On the back of the engraving of Johnson in the Common Room of University College is inscribed:—'Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in hac camera communi frequens conviva. D.D. Gulielmus Scott nuper socius.' Gulielmus Scott is better known as Lord Stowell. See ante, i. 379, note 2, and iii. 42; and post, April 17, 1778.

[695] See ante, under March 15, 1776.

[696] See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 31.

[697] See ante, p. 176.

[698] See ante, i. 413.

[699] Eminent is the epithet Boswell generally applies to Burke (ante, ii. 222), and Burke almost certainly is here meant. Yet Johnson later on said, 'Burke's talk is the ebullition of his mind. He does not talk from a desire of distinction, but because his mind is full.' Post, March 21, 1783.

[700] Kames describes it as 'an act as wild as any that superstition ever suggested to a distempered brain.' Sketches, etc. iv. 321.

[701] See ante, p. 243.

[702] 'Queen Caroline,' writes Horace Walpole, 'much wished to make Dr. Clarke a bishop, but he would not subscribe the articles again. I have often heard my father relate that he sat up one night at the Palace with the Doctor, till the pages of the backstairs asked if they would have fresh candles, my father endeavouring to persuade him to subscribe again, as he had for the living of St. James's. Clarke pretended he had then believed them. "Well," said Sir Robert, "but if you do not now, you ought to resign your living to some man who would subscribe conscientiously." The Doctor would neither resign his living nor accept the bishopric.' Journal of the Reign of George III, i. 8. See ante, i. 398, post, Dec. 1784, where Johnson, on his death-bed, recommended Clarke's Sermons; and Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 5.

[703] Boswell took Ogden's Sermons with him to the Hebrides, but Johnson showed no great eagerness to read them. See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 15 and 32.

[704] See ante, p. 223.

[705] King Lear, act iii. sc. 4.

[706] The Duke of Marlborough.

[707] See Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, i. 330.

[708] See ante, p. 177.

[709] 'The accounts of Swift's reception in Ireland given by Lord Orrery and Dr. Delany are so different, that the credit of the writers, both undoubtedly veracious, cannot be saved but by supposing, what I think is true, that they speak of different times. Johnson's Works, viii. 207. See Boswell's Hebrides, Sept. Lord Orrery says that Swift, on his return to Ireland in 1714, 'met with frequent indignities from the populace, and indeed was equally abused by persons of all ranks and denominations.' Orrery's Remarks on Swift, ed. 1752, p. 60. Dr. Delany says (Observations, p. 87) that 'Swift, when he came—to take possession of his Deanery (in 1713), was received with very distinguished respect.'

[710] 'He could practise abstinence,' says Boswell (post, March 20, 1781), 'but not temperance.'

[711] 'The dinner was good, and the Bishop is knowing and conversible,' wrote Johnson of an earlier dinner at Sir Joshua's where he had met the same bishop. Piozzi Letters, i. 334.

[712] See post, Aug 19, 1784.

[713] There is no mention in the Journey to Brundusium of a brook. Johnson referred, no doubt, to Epistle I. 16. 12.


'Ne ought save Tyber hastning to his fall Remaines of all. O world's inconstancie! That which is firme doth flit and fall away, And that is flitting doth abide and stay.'

Spenser, The Ruines of Rome.

[715] Giano Vitale, to give him his Italian name, was a theologian and poet of Palermo. His earliest work was published in 1512, and he died about 1560. Brunet, and Zedler's Universal Lexicon.


'Albula Romani restat nunc nominis index, Qui quoque nunc rapidis fertur in aequor aquis. Disce hinc quid possit Fortuna. Immota labascunt, Et quae perpetuo sunt agitata manent.'

Jani Vitalis Panormitani De Roma. See Delicia C.C. Italorum Poetarum, edit. 1608, p. 1433, It is curious that in all the editions of Boswell that I have seen, the error labescunt remains unnoticed.

[717] See post, June 2, 1781.

[718] Dr. Shipley was chaplain to the Duke of Cumberland. CROKER. The battle was fought on July 2, N.S. 1747.


'Inconstant as the wind I various rove; At Tibur, Rome—at Rome, I Tibur love.'

FRANCIS. Horace, Epistles, i. 8. 12. In the first two editions Mr. Cambridge's speech ended here.


'More constant to myself, I leave with pain, By hateful business forced, the rural scene.'

FRANCIS. Horace, Epist., I. 14. 16.

[721] See ante, p. 167.

[722] Fox, it should be remembered, was Johnson's junior by nearly forty years.

[723] See ante, i. 413, ii. 214, and Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 2.

[724] See ante, i. 478.

[725] 'Who can doubt,' asks Mr. Forster, 'that he also meant slowness of motion? The first point of the picture is that. The poet is moving slowly, his tardiness of gait measuring the heaviness of heart, the pensive spirit, the melancholy of which it is the outward expression and sign.' Forster's Goldsmith, i. 369.

[726] See ante, ii. 5.

[727] Essay on Man, ii. 2.

[728] Gibbon could have illustrated this subject, for not long before he had at Paris been 'introduced,' he said, 'to the best company of both sexes, to the foreign ministers of all nations, and to the first names and characters of France.' Gibbon's Misc. Works, i. 227. He says of an earlier visit:—'Alone, in a morning visit, I commonly found the artists and authors of Paris less vain and more reasonable than in the circles of their equals, with whom they mingle in the houses of the rich.' Ib. p. 162. Horace Walpole wrote of the Parisians in 1765, (Letters, iv. 436):—'Their gaiety is not greater than their delicacy—but I will not expatiate. [He had just described the grossness of the talk of women of the first rank.] Several of the women are agreeable, and some of the men; but the latter are in general vain and ignorant. The savans—I beg their pardon, the philosophes—are insupportable, superficial, overbearing, and fanatic.'

[729] See post, under Aug. 29, 1783, and Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 14.

[730] See post, April 28, 1783.

[731] See ante, p. 191.

[732] [Greek: 'gaerusko d aiei polla didaskomenos.'] 'I grow in learning as I grow in years.' Plutarch, Solon, ch. 31.


''Tis somewhat to be lord of some small ground In which a lizard may at least turn around.'

Dryden, Juvenal, iii. 230.

[734] Modern characters from Shakespeare. Alphabetically arranged. A New Edition. London, 1778. It is not a pamphlet but a duodecimo of 88 pages. Some of the lines are very grossly applied.

[735] As You Like it, act iii. sc. 2. The giant's name is Gargantua, not Garagantua. In Modern Characters (p. 47), the next line also is given:—'Tis a word too great for any mouth of this age's size.' The lines that Boswell next quotes are not given.

[736] Coriolanus, act iii. sc. 1.

[737] See vol. i. p. 498. BOSWELL.

[738] See ante, ii. 236, where Johnson charges Robertson with verbiage. This word is not in his Dictionary.

[739] Pope, meeting Bentley at dinner, addressed him thus:—'Dr. Bentley, I ordered my bookseller to send you your books. I hope you received them.' Bentley, who had purposely avoided saying anything about Homer, pretended not to understand him, and asked, 'Books! books! what books?' 'My Homer,' replied Pope, 'which you did me the honour to subscribe for.'—'Oh,' said Bentley, 'ay, now I recollect—your translation:—it is a pretty poem, Mr. Pope; but you must not call it Homer.' Johnson's Works, viii. 336, note.

[740] 'It is certainly the noblest version of poetry which the world has ever seen; and its publication must therefore be considered as one of the great events in the annals of Learning.' Ib. p. 256. 'There would never,' said Gray, 'be another translation of the same poem equal to it.' Gray's Works, ed. 1858, v. 37. Cowper however says, that he and a friend 'compared Pope's translation throughout with the original. They were not long in discovering that there is hardly the thing in the world of which Pope was so utterly destitute as a taste for Homer.' Southey's Cowper, i. 106.

[741] Boswell here repeats what he had heard from Johnson, ante, p. 36.

[742] Swift, in his Preface to Temple's Letters, says:—'It is generally believed that this author has advanced our English tongue to as great a perfection as it can well bear.' Temple's Works, i. 226. Hume, in his Essay Of Civil Liberty, wrote in 1742:—'The elegance and propriety of style have been very much neglected among us. The first polite prose we have was writ by a man who is still alive (Swift). As to Sprat, Locke, and even Temple, they knew too little of the rules of art to be esteemed elegant writers.' Mackintosh says (Life, ii. 205):—'Swift represents Temple as having brought English style to perfection. Hume, I think, mentions him; but of late he is not often spoken of as one of the reformers of our style—this, however, he certainly was. The structure of his style is perfectly modern.' Johnson said that he had partly formed his style upon Temple's; ante, i. 218. In the last Rambler, speaking of what he had himself done for our language, he says:—'Something, perhaps, I have added to the elegance of its construction, and something to the harmony of its cadence.'

[743] 'Clarendon's diction is neither exact in itself, nor suited to the purpose of history. It is the effusion of a mind crowded with ideas, and desirous of imparting them; and therefore always accumulating words, and involving one clause and sentence in another.' The Rambler, No. 122.

[744] Johnson's addressing himself with a smile to Mr. Harris is explained by a reference to what Boswell said (ante, p. 245) of Harris's analytic method in his Hermes.

[745] 'Dr. Johnson said of a modern Martial [no doubt Elphinston's], "there are in these verses too much folly for madness, I think, and too much madness for folly."' Piozzi's Anec. p. 61. Burns wrote on it the following epigram:—

'O thou whom Poetry abhors, Whom Prose has turned out of doors, Heard'st thou that groan—proceed no further, 'Twas laurell'd. Martial roaring murder.'

For Mr. Elphinston see ante, i. 210.

[746] It was called The Siege of Aleppo. Mr. Hawkins, the authour of it, was formerly Professor of Poetry at Oxford. It is printed in his Miscellanies, 3 vols. octavo. BOSWELL. 'Hughes's last work was his tragedy, The Siege of Damascus, after which a Siege became a popular title.' Johnson's Works, vii. 477. See ante, i. 75, note 2. Hannah More (Memoirs, i. 200) mentions another Siege by a Mrs. B. This lady asked Johnson to 'look over her Siege of Sinope; he always found means to evade it. At last she pressed him so closely that he refused to do it, and told her that she herself, by carefully looking it over, would be able to see if there was anything amiss as well as he could. "But, Sir," said she, "I have no time. I have already so many irons in the fire." "Why then, Madame," said he, quite out of patience, "the best thing I can advise you to do is to put your tragedy along with your irons."' Mrs. B. was Mrs. Brooke. See Baker's Biog. Dram. iii. 273, where no less than thirty-seven Sieges are enumerated.

[747] That the story was true is shewn by the Garrick Corres. ii. 6. Hawkins wrote to Garrick in 1774:—'You rejected my Siege of Aleppo because it was "wrong in the first concoction," as you said.' He added that his play 'was honoured with the entire approbation of Judge Blackstone and Mr. Johnson.'

[748] The manager of Covent Garden Theatre.

[749] Hawkins wrote:—'In short, Sir, the world will be a proper judge whether I have been candidly treated by you.' Garrick, in his reply, did not make the impertinent offer which he here boasts of. Hawkins lived in Dorsetshire, not in Devonshire; as he reminds Garrick who had misdirected his letter. Garrick Corres. ii. 7-11.

[750] See ante, i. 433.

[751] 'BOSWELL. "Beauclerk has a keenness of mind which is very uncommon." JOHNSON. "Yes, Sir; and everything comes from him so easily. It appears to me that I labour, when I say a good thing." BOSWELL. "You are loud, Sir, but it is not an effort of mind."' Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 21. See post, under May 2, 1780.

[752] Boswell seems to imply that he showed Johnson, or at least read to him, a portion of his journal. Most of his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides had been read by him. Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 18, and Oct. 26.

[753] Hannah More wrote of this evening (Memoirs, i. 146):—'Garrick put Johnson into such good spirits that I never knew him so entertaining or more instructive. He was as brilliant as himself, and as good-humoured as any one else.'

[754] He was, perhaps, more steadily under Johnson than under any else. In his own words he was 'of Johnson's school.' (Ante, p. 230). Gibbon calls Johnson Reynolds's oracle. Gibbon's Misc. Works, i. 149.

[755] Boswell never mentions Sir John Scott (Lord Eldon) who knew Johnson (ante, ii. 268), and who was Solicitor-General when the Life of Johnson was published. Boswell perhaps never forgave him the trick that he and others played him at the Lancaster Assizes about the years 1786-8. 'We found,' said Eldon, 'Jemmy Boswell lying upon the pavement—inebriated. We subscribed at supper a guinea for him and half-a-crown for his clerk, and sent him next morning a brief with instructions to move for the writ of Quare adhaesit pavimento, with observations calculated to induce him to think that it required great learning to explain the necessity of granting it. He sent all round the town to attornies for books, but in vain. He moved however for the writ, making the best use he could of the observations in the brief. The judge was astonished and the audience amazed. The judge said, "I never heard of such a writ—what can it be that adheres pavimento? Are any of you gentlemen at the Bar able to explain this?" The Bar laughed. At last one of them said, "My Lord, Mr. Boswell last night adhaesit pavimento. There was no moving him for some time. At last he was carried to bed, and he has been dreaming about himself and the pavement."' Twiss's Eldon, i. 130. Boswell wrote to Temple in 1789:—'I hesitate as to going the Spring Northern Circuit, which costs L50, and obliges me to be in rough, unpleasant company four weeks.' Letters of Boswell, p. 274. See ante, ii. 191, note 2.

[756] 'Johnson, in accounting for the courage of our common people, said (Works, vi. 151):—'It proceeds from that dissolution of dependence which obliges every man to regard his own character. While every man is fed by his own hands, he has no need of any servile arts; he may always have wages for his labour, and is no less necessary to his employer than his employer is to him.'

[757] He says of a laird's tenants:—'Since the islanders no longer content to live have learned the desire of growing rich, an ancient dependant is in danger of giving way to a higher bidder, at the expense of domestick dignity and hereditary power. The stranger, whose money buys him preference, considers himself as paying for all that he has, and is indifferent about the laird's honour or safety. The commodiousness of money is indeed great; but there are some advantages which money cannot buy, and which therefore no wise man will by the love of money be tempted to forego.' Ib. ix. 83.

[758] 'Every old man complains ... of the petulance and insolence of the rising generation. He recounts the decency and regularity of former times, and celebrates the discipline and sobriety of the age in which his youth was passed; a happy age, which is now no more to be expected, since confusion has broken in upon the world, and thrown down all the boundaries of civility and reverence.' The Rambler, No. 50.

[759] Boswell, perhaps, had in mind The Rambler, No. 146:—'It is long before we are convinced of the small proportion which every individual bears to the collective body of mankind; or learn how few can be interested in the fortune of any single man; how little vacancy is left in the world for any new object of attention; to how small extent the brightest blaze of merit can be spread amidst the mists of business and of folly.'

[760] See ante, ii. 227.


'Fortunam reverenter habe, quicumque repente Dives ab exili progrediere loco.'

Ausonius, Epigrammata, viii. 7.

Stockdale records (Memoirs, ii. 186), that Johnson said to him:—'Garrick has undoubtedly the merit of an unassuming behaviour; for more pains have been taken to spoil that fellow than if he had been heir apparent to the Empire of India.'

[762] A lively account of Quin is given in Humphry Clinker, in the letters of April 30 and May 6.

[763] See ante, i. 216.

[764] A few days earlier Garrick wrote to a friend:—'I did not hear till last night that your friends have generously contributed to your and their own happiness. No one can more rejoice at this circumstance than I do; and as I hope we shall have a bonfire upon the occasion, I beg that you will light it with the inclosed.' The inclosed was a bond for L280. Garrick Corres. ii. 297. Murphy says:—'Dr. Johnson often said that, when he saw a worthy family in distress, it was his custom to collect charity among such of his friends as he knew to be affluent; and on those occasions he received from Garrick more than from any other person, and always more than he expected.' Life of Garrick, p. 378. 'It was with Garrick a fixed principle that authors were intitled to the emolument of their labours, and by that generous way of thinking he held out an invitation to men of genius.' Ib. p. 362. See ante, p. 70, and post, April 24, 1779.

[765] When Johnson told this little anecdote to Sir Joshua Reynolds, he mentioned a circumstance which he omitted to-day:—'Why (said Garrick) it is as red as blood.' BOSWELL. A passage in Johnson's answer to Hanway's Essay on Tea (ante, i. 314) shews that tea was generally made very weak. 'Three cups,' he says, 'make the common quantity, so slightly impregnated that, perhaps, they might be tinged with the Athenian cicuta, and produce less effects than these letters charge upon tea.' Works, vi. 24.

[766] To Garrick might be applied what Johnson said of Swift:—'He was frugal by inclination, but liberal by principle.' Works, viii. 222.

[767] See post, under March 30, 1783. In Fitzmaurice's Shelburne, ii. 329, is a paper by Lord Shelburne in which are very clearly laid down rules of economy—rules which, to quote his own words (p. 337), 'require little, if any, more power of mind, than to be sure to put on a clean shirt every day.' Boswell records (Hebrides, Aug. 18) that Johnson said:—'If a man is not of a sluggish mind, he may be his own steward.'

[768] 'Lady Macbeth urges the excellence and dignity of courage, a glittering idea which has dazzled mankind from age to age, and animated sometimes the housebreaker, and sometimes the conqueror.' Johnson's Works, v. 69.

[769] Smollett, who had been a ship's doctor, describes the hospital in a man-of-war:—'Here I saw about fifty miserable distempered wretches, suspended in rows, so huddled one upon another, that not more than fourteen inches space was allotted for each with his bed and bedding; and deprived of the light of the day as well as of fresh air; breathing nothing but a noisome atmosphere ... devoured with vermin.' &c. The doctor, when visiting the sick, 'thrust his wig in his pocket, and stript himself to his waistcoat; then creeping on all fours under their hammocks, and forcing up his bare pate between two, kept them asunder with one shoulder until he had done his duty.' Roderick Random, i. ch. 25 and 26.

[770] See ante, ii. 339.

[771] 'The qualities which commonly make an army formidable are long habits of regularity, great exactness of discipline, and great confidence in the commander ... But the English troops have none of these requisites in any eminent degree. Regularity is by no means part of their character.' Johnson's Works, vi. 150.

[772] See ante, i. 348.

[773] In the Marmor Norfolciense (Works, vi. 101) he describes the soldier as 'a red animal, that ranges uncontrolled over the country, and devours the labours of the trader and the husbandman; that carries with it corruption, rapine, pollution, and devastation; that threatens without courage, robs without fear, and is pampered without labour.' In The Idler, No. 21, he makes an imaginary correspondent say:—'I passed some years in the most contemptible of all human stations, that of a soldier in time of peace.' 'Soldiers, in time of peace,' he continues, 'long to be delivered from the tyranny of idleness, and restored to the dignity of active beings.' Ib. No. 30, he writes:—'Among the calamities of war may be justly numbered the diminution of the love of truth by the falsehoods which interest dictates, and credulity encourages. A peace will equally leave the warriour and relater of wars destitute of employment; and I know not whether more is to be dreaded from streets filled with soldiers accustomed to plunder, or from garrets filled with scribblers accustomed to lie.' Many years later he wrote (Works, viii. 396):—'West continued some time in the army; though it is reasonable to suppose that he never sunk into a mere soldier, nor ever lost the love, or much neglected the pursuit of learning.'

[774] See ante, p. 9.

[775] See post, March 21, 1783.

[776] The reference seems to be to a passage in Plutarch's Alcibiades, where Phaeax is thus described:—'He seemed fitter for soliciting and persuading in private than for stemming the torrent of a public debate; in short, he was one of those of whom Eupolis says:—"True he can talk, and yet he is no speaker."' Langhome's Plutarch, ed. 1809, ii. 137. How the quotation was applied is a matter only for conjecture.

[777] 'Was there,' asked Johnson, 'ever yet anything written by mere man that was wished longer by its readers, excepting Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and The Pilgrim's Progress?' Piozzi's Anec. p. 281.

[778] See ante, i. 406.

[779] See ante, March 25, 1776.

[780] In the Gent. Mag. for 1776, p. 382, this hulk seems to be mentioned:—'The felons sentenced under the new convict-act began to work in clearing the bed of the Thames about two miles below Barking Creek. In the vessel wherein they work there is a room abaft in which they are to sleep, and in the forecastle a kind of cabin for the overseer.' Ib. p. 254, there is an admirable paper, very likely by Bentham, on the punishment of convicts, which Johnson might have read with advantage.

[781] See Boswell's Hebrides, Sept. 25.

[782] Malone says that he had in vain examined Dodsley's Collection for the verses. My search has been equally in vain.

[783] Johnson (Works, vii. 373) praises Smith's 'excellent Latin ode on the death of the great Orientalist, Dr. Pocock.' He says that he does not know 'where to find it equalled among the modern writers.' See ante, ii. 187, note 3.

[784] See ante, p. 7.

[785] See post, April 15, 1781.

[786] See ante, ii. 224.

[787] 'Thus commending myself and my eternal concerns into thy most faithful hands, in firm hope of a happy reception into thy kingdom; Oh! my God! hear me, while I humbly extend my supplications for others; and pray that thou wouldst bless the King and all his family; that thou wouldst preserve the crown to his house to endless generations.' Dodd's Last Prayer, p. 132.

[788] See ante, iii. 166.

[789] See ante, i. 413.

[790] 'I never knew,' wrote Davies of Johnson, 'any man but one who had the honour and courage to confess that he had a tincture of envy in him. He, indeed, generously owned that he was not a stranger to it; at the same time he declared that he endeavoured to subdue it.' Davies's Garrick, ii. 391.

[791] Reynolds said that Johnson, 'after the heat of contest was over, if he had been informed that his antagonist resented his rudeness, was the first to seek after a reconcilation.' Taylor's Reynolds, 11. 457. See ante, 11. 109.

[792] Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, edit. 3, p. 221 [Sept. 17]. BOSWELL.

[793] See this accurately stated, and the descent of his family from the Earls of Northumberland clearly deduced in the Reverend Dr. Nash's excellent History of Worcestershire, vol. ii. p. 318. The Doctor has subjoined a note, in which he says, 'The Editor hath Seen and carefully examined the proofs of all the particulars above-mentioned, now in the possession of the Reverend Thomas Percy.' The same proofs I have also myself carefully examined, and have seen some additional proofs which have occurred since the Doctor's book was published; and both as a Lawyer accustomed to the consideration of evidence, and as a Genealogist versed in the study of pedigrees, I am fully satisfied. I cannot help observing, as a circumstance of no small moment, that in tracing the Bishop of Dromore's genealogy, essential aid was given by the late Elizabeth Duchess of Northumberland, Heiress of that illustrious House; a lady not only of high dignity of spirit, such as became her noble blood, but of excellent understanding and lively talents. With a fair pride I can boast of the honour of her Grace's correspondence, specimens of which adorn my archives. BOSWELL.

[794] 'The gardens are trim to the highest degree, and more adapted to a villa near London than the ancient seat of a great Baron. In a word, nothing except the numbers of unindustrious poor that swarm at the gate excites any one idea of its former circumstances.' Pennant's Scotland, p. 31.

[795] Mr. Croker quotes a passage from The Heroic Epistle, which ends:—

'So when some John his dull invention racks To rival Boodle's dinners, or Almack's, Three uncouth legs of mutton shock our eyes, Three roasted geese, three buttered apple pies.'

[796] Johnson saw Alnwick on his way to Scotland. 'We came to Alnwick,' he wrote, 'where we were treated with great civility by the Duke: I went through the apartments, walked on the wall, and climbed the towers.' Piozzi Letters, i. 108.

[797] 'When Reynolds painted his portrait looking into the slit of his pen and holding it almost close to his eye, as was his custom, he felt displeased, and told me he would not be known by posterity for his defects only, let Sir Joshua do his worst. I said that the picture in the room where we were talking represented Sir Joshua holding his ear in his hand to catch the sound. "He may paint himself as deaf, if he chooses," replied Johnson, "but I will not be blinking Sam."' Piozzi's Anec. p. 248.

[798] 'You look in vain for the helmet on the tower, the ancient signal of hospitality to the traveller, or for the grey-headed porter to conduct him to the hall of entertainment. Instead of the disinterested usher of the old times, he is attended by a valet to receive the fees of admittance.' Pennant's Scottland, p. 32.

[799] It certainly was a custom, as appears from the following passage in Perce-forest, vol. iii. p. 108:—'Fasoient mettre au plus hault de leur hostel un heaulme, en signe que tous les gentils hommes et gentilles femmes entrassent hardiment en leur hostel comme en leur propre.' KEARNEY.

[800] The title of a book translated by Dr. Percy. BOSWELL. It is a translation of the introduction to l'Histoire de Danemarck, par M. Mallet. Lowndes's Bibl. Man. ed. 1871, p. 1458.

[801] He was a Welshman.

[802] This is the common cant against faithful Biography. Does the worthy gentleman mean that I, who was taught discrimination of character by Johnson, should have omitted his frailties, and, in short, have bedawbed him as the worthy gentleman has bedawbed Scotland? BOSWELL.

[803] See Dr. Johnson's Journey to the Western Islands, 296 [Works, ix. 124];—see his Dictionary article, oats:—and my Voyage to the Hebrides, first edition. PENNANT.

[804] Mr. Boswell's Journal, p. 286, [third edition, p. 146, Sep. 6.] PENNANT.

[805] See ante, ii. 60.

[806] Percy, it should seem, took offence later on. Cradock (Memoirs, i. 206) says:—'Almost the last time I ever saw Johnson [it was in 1784] he said to me:—"Notwithstanding all the pains that Dr. Farmer and I took to serve Dr. Percy in regard to his Ancient Ballads, he has left town for Ireland without taking leave of either of us."' Cradock adds (p. 238) that though 'Percy was a most pleasing companion, yet there was a violence in his temper which could not always be controlled.' 'I was witness,' he writes (p. 206), 'to an entire separation between Percy and Goldsmith about Rowley's [Chatterton's] poems.'

[807] Sunday, April 12, 1778. BOSWELL.

[808] Johnson, writing of the uncertainty of friendship, says: 'A dispute begun in jest upon a subject which, a moment before, was on both sides regarded with careless indifference, is continued by the desire of conquest, till vanity kindles into rage, and opposition rankles into enmity. Against this hasty mischief I know not what security can be obtained; men will be sometimes surprised into quarrels.' The Idler, No. 23. See ante, ii. 100, note 1.

[809] Though the Bishop of Dromore kindly answered the letters which I wrote to him, relative to Dr. Johnson's early history; yet, in justice to him, I think it proper to add, that the account of the foregoing conversation and the subsequent transaction, as well as some other conversations in which he is mentioned, has been given to the publick without previous communication with his Lordship. BOSWELL. This note is first given in the second edition, being added, no doubt, at the Bishop's request.

[810] See post, 1780, in Mr. Langton's Collection.

[811] Chap. xlii. is still shorter:—'Concerning Owls.

'There are no owls of any kind in the whole island.'

Horrebow says in his Preface, p. vii:—'I have followed Mr. Anderson article by article, declaring what is false in each.' A Member of the Icelandic Literary Society in a letter to the Pall Mall Gazette, dated May 3, 1883, thus accounts for these chapters:—'In 1746 there was published at Hamburg a small volume entitled, Nachrichlen von Island, Groenland und der Strasse Davis. The Danish Government, conceiving that its intentions were misrepresented by this work, procured a reply to be written by Niels Horrebow, and this was published, in 1752, under the title of Tilforladelige Efterretninger om Island; in 1758, an English translation appeared in London. The object of the author was to answer all Anderson's charges and imputations. This Horrebow did categorically, and hence come these Chapters, though it must be added that they owe their laconic celebrity to the English translator, the author being rather profuse than otherwise in giving his predecessor a flat denial.'

[812] See ante, p. 255.

[813] 'A fugitive from heaven and prayer,

I mocked at all religious fear, Deep scienced in the mazy lore Of mad philosophy: but now Hoist sail, and back my voyage plough To that blest harbour which I left before.'

FRANCIS. Horace, Odes, i. 34. 1.

[814] See ante, i. 315, and post, p. 288.

[815] Ovid, Meta. ii. 13.

[816] Johnson says (Works, viii. 355):—'The greater part of mankind have no character at all, have little that distinguishes them from others equally good or bad.' It would seem to follow that the greater part of mankind have no style at all, for it is in character that style takes its spring.

[817] 'Dodd's wish to be received into our society was conveyed to us only by a whisper, and that being the case all opposition to his admission became unnecessary.' Hawkins's Johnson, p. 435.

[818] See note, vol. iii. p. 106. BOSWELL. See post, p. 290, for Johnson's violence against the Americans and those who sided with them.

[819] The friend was Mr. Steevens. Garrick says (Corres. ii. 361) that Steevens had written things in the newspapers against him that were slanderous, and then had assured him upon his word and honour that he had not written them; that he had later on bragged that he had written them, and had said, 'that it was fun to vex me.' Garrick adds:—'I was resolved to keep no terms with him, and will always treat him as such a pest of society merits from all men.' 'Steevens, Dr. Parr used to say, had only three friends—himself, Dr. Farmer, and John Reed, so hateful was his character. He was one of the wisest, most learned, but most spiteful of men.' Johnstone's Parr, viii. 128. Boswell had felt Steevens's ill-nature. While he was carrying the Life of Johnson through the press, at a time when he was suffering from 'the most woeful return of melancholy,' he wrote to Malone,—'Jan 29, 1791. Steevens kindly tells me that I have over-printed, and that the curiosity about Johnson is now only in our own circle.... Feb. 25. You must know that I am certainly informed that a certain person who delights in mischief has been depreciating my book, so that I fear the sale of it may be very dubious.' Croker's Boswell, p. 828. A certain person was, no doubt, Steevens. See ante, ii. 375, and post, under March 30, 1783, and May 15, 1784.


'I own th' indulgence—Such I give and take.'

FRANCIS. Horace, Ars Poet. 1. II.


'We grant, altho' he had much wit, H' was very shy of using it, As being loth to wear it out.'

Hudibras, i. I. 45.

[822] 'Among the sentiments which almost every man changes as he advances into years is the expectation of uniformity of character.' The Rambler, No. 70. See ante, i. 161, note 2.

[823] See ante, iii. 55.

[824] After this follows a line which Boswell has omitted:—'Then rises fresh, pursues his wonted game.' Cato, act i. sc. 4.

[825] Boswell was right, and Oglethorpe wrong; the exclamation in Suetonius is, 'Utinam populus Romanus unam cervicem haberet.' Calig. xxx.—CROKER.

[826] 'Macaroon (macarone, Italian), a coarse, rude, low fellow; whence, macaronick poetry, in which the language is purposely corrupted.' Johnson's Dictionary. 'Macaroni, probably from old Italian maccare, to bruise, to batter, to pester; Derivative, macaronic, i.e. in a confused or mixed state (applied to a jumble of languages).' Skeat's Etymological Diet.

[827] Polemo-middinia, as the Commentator explains, is Proelium in sterquilinio commissum. In the opening lines the poet thus calls on the Skipperii, or Skippers:—

'Linquite skellatas botas, shippasque picatas, Whistlantesque simul fechtam memorate blodeam, Fechtam terribilem, quam marvellaverat omnis Banda Deum, quoque Nympharum Cockelshelearum.'

[828] In Best's Memorials, p. 63, is given another of these lines that Mr. Langton repeated:—'Five-poundon elendeto, ah! mala simplos.' For Joshua Barnes see post, 1780, in Mr. Langton's Collection.

[829] See ante, iii. 78.

[830] Dr. Johnson, describing her needle-work in one of his letters to Mrs. Thrale, vol. i. p. 326, uses the learned word sutile; which Mrs. Thrale has mistaken, and made the phrase injurious by writing 'futile pictures.' BOSWELL. See post, p. 299.

[831] See ante, ii. 252, note 2.

[832] The revolution of 1772. The book was published in 1778. Charles Sheridan was the elder brother of R.B. Sheridan.

[833] See ante, i. 467.

[834] As Physicians are called the Faculty, and Counsellors at Law the Profession; the Booksellers of London are denominated the Trade. Johnson disapproved of these denominations. BOSWELL. Johnson himself once used this 'denomination.' Ante, i. 438.

[835] See ante, ii. 385.

[836] A translation of these forged letters which were written by M. de Caraccioli was published in 1776. By the Gent. Mag. (xlvi. 563) they were accepted as genuine. In The Ann. Reg. for the same year (xix. 185) was published a translation the letter in which Voltaire had attacked their authenticity. The passage that Johnson quotes is the following:—'On est en droit de lui dire ce qu'on dit autrefois a l'abbe Nodot: "Montrez-nous votre manuscript de Petrone, trouve a Belgrade, ou consentez a n'etre cru of de personne."' Voltaire's Works, xliii. 544.

[837] Baretti (Journey from London to Genoa, i. 9) says that he saw in 1760, near Honiton, at a small rivulet, 'an engine called a ducking-stool; a kind of armed wooden chair, fixed on the extremity of a pole about fifteen feet long. The pole is horizontally placed on a post just by the water, and loosely pegged to that post; so that by raising it at one end, you lower the stool down into the midst of the river. That stool serves at present to duck scolds and termagants.'

[838] 'An two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind.' Much Ado about Nothing, act iii. sc. 5.

[839] See ante, ii. 9.

[840] 'One star differeth from another star in glory.' I Cor. xv. 41.

[841] See ante, iii. 48, 280.

[842] 'The physicians in Hogarth's prints are not caricatures: the full dress with a sword and a great tye-wig, and the hat under the arm, and the doctors in consultation, each smelling to a gold-headed cane shaped like a parish-beadle's staff, are pictures of real life in his time, and myself have seen a young physician thus equipped walk the streets of London without attracting the eyes of passengers.' Hawkins's Johnson, p. 238. Dr. T. Campbell in 1777, writing of Dublin to a London physician, says:—'No sooner were your medical wigs laid aside than an attempt was made to do the like here. But in vain.' Survey of the South of Ireland, p. 463.

[843] 'Jenyns,' wrote Malone, on the authority of W.G. Hamilton, 'could not be made without much labour to comprehend an argument. If however there was anything weak or ridiculous in what another said, he always laid hold of it and played upon it with success. He looked at everything with a view to pleasantry alone. This being his grand object, and he being no reasoner, his best friends were at a loss to know whether his book upon Christianity was serious or ironical.' Prior's Malone, p. 375.

[844] Jenyns maintains (p. 51) that 'valour, patriotism, and friendship are only fictitious virtues—in fact no virtue at all.'

[845] He had furnished an answer to this in The Rambler, No. 99, where he says:—'To love all men is our duty so far as it includes a general habit of benevolence, and readiness of occasional kindness; but to love all equally is impossible.... The necessities of our condition require a thousand offices of tenderness, which mere regard for the species will never dictate. Every man has frequent grievances which only the solicitude of friendship will discover and remedy, and which would remain for ever unheeded in the mighty heap of human calamity, were it only surveyed by the eye of general benevolence equally attentive to every misery.' See ante, i. 207, note 1.

[846] Galatians, vi. 10.

[847] St. John, xxi. 20. Compare Jeremy Taylor's Measures and Offices of Friendship, ch. i. 4.

[848] In the first two editions 'from this amiable and pleasing subject.'

[849] Acts of the Apostles, ix. i.

[850] See ante, ii. 82.

[851] If any of my readers are disturbed by this thorny question, I beg leave to recommend, to them Letter 69 of Montesquieu's Lettres Persanes; and the late Mr. John Palmer of Islington's Answer to Dr. Priestley's mechanical arguments for what he absurdly calls 'Philosophical Necessity.' BOSWELL. See post, under Aug. 29, 1783; note.

[852] See ante, ii. 217, and iii. 55.

[853] 'I have proved,' writes Mandeville (Fables of the Bees, ed. 1724, p. 179), 'that the real pleasures of all men in nature are worldly and sensual, if we judge from their practice; I say all men in nature, because devout Christians, who alone are to be excepted here, being regenerated and preternaturally assisted by the divine grace, cannot be said to be in nature.'

[854] Mandeville describes with great force the misery caused by gin— 'liquid poison' he calls it—'which in the fag-end and outskirts of the town is sold in some part or other of almost every house, frequently in cellars, and sometimes in the garret.' He continues:—'The short-sighted vulgar in the chain of causes seldom can see further than one link; but those who can enlarge their view may in a hundred places see good spring up and pullulate from evil, as naturally as chickens do from eggs.' He instances the great gain to the revenue, and to all employed in the production of the spirit from the husbandman upwards. Fable of the Bees, p. 89.

[855] 'If a miser, who is almost a plum (i.e. worth L100,000, Johnson's Dictionary), and spends but fifty pounds a year, should be robbed of a thousand guineas, it is certain that as soon as this money should come to circulate, the nation would be the better for the robbery; yet justice and the peace of the society require that the robber should be hanged.' Ib. p. 83.

[856] Johnson, in his political economy, seems to have been very much under Mandeville's influence. Thus in attacking Milton's position that 'a popular government was the most frugal; for the trappings of a monarchy would set up our ordinary commonwealth,' he says, 'The support and expense of a court is, for the most part, only a particular kind of traffick, by which money is circulated, without any national impoverishment.' Works, vii. 116. Mandeville in much the same way says:—'When a covetous statesman is gone, who spent his whole life in fattening himself with the spoils of the nation, and had by pinching and plundering heaped up an immense treasure, it ought to fill every good member of the society with joy to behold the uncommon profuseness of his son. This is refunding to the public whatever was robbed from it. As long as the nation has its own back again, we ought not to quarrel with the manner in which the plunder is repaid.' Ib. p. 104.

[857] See ante, ii. 176.

[858] In The Adventurer, No. 50, Johnson writes:—'"The devils," says Sir Thomas Brown, "do not tell lies to one another; for truth is necessary to all societies; nor can the society of hell subsist without it."' Mr. Wilkin, the editor of Brown's Works (ed. 1836, i. liv), says:—'I should be glad to know the authority of this assertion.' I infer from this that the passage is not in Brown's Works.

[859] Hannah More: see post, under date of June 30, 1784.

[860] In her visits to London she was commonly the guest of the Garricks. A few months before this conversation Garrick wrote a prologue and epilogue for her tragedy of Percy. He invested for her the money that she made by this play. H. More's Memoirs, i. 122, 140.

[861] In April 1784 she records (ib. i. 319) that she called on Johnson shortly after she wrote Le Bas Bleu. 'As to it,' she continues, 'all the flattery I ever received from everybody together would not make up his sum. He said there was no name in poetry that might not be glad to own it. All this from Johnson, that parsimonious praiser!' He wrote of it to Mrs. Thrale on April 19, 1784:—'It is in my opinion a very great performance.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 364. Dr. Beattie wrote on July 31, 1784:—'Johnson told me with great solemnity that Miss More was "the most powerful versificatrix" in the English language.' Forbes's Beattie, ed. 1824, p. 320.

[862] See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 18.

[863] The ancestor of Mr. Murray of Albemarle Street.

[864] See A Letter to W. Mason, A.M. from J. Murray, Bookseller in London; 2d edition, p. 20. BOSWELL.

[865] 'The righteous hath hope in his death.' Proverbs, xiv. 32.

[866] See post, June 12, 1784.

[867] Johnson, in The Convict's Address (ante, p. 141), makes Dodd say:—'Possibly it may please God to afford us some consolation, some secret intimations of acceptance and forgiveness. But these radiations of favour are not always felt by the sincerest penitents. To the greater part of those whom angels stand ready to receive, nothing is granted in this world beyond rational hope; and with hope, founded on promise, we may well be satisfied.'

[868] 'I do not find anything able to reconcile us to death but extreme pain, shame or despair; for poverty, imprisonment, ill fortune, grief, sickness and old age do generally fail.' Swift's Works, ed. 1803, xiv. 178.

[869] 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.' 2 Timothy, iv. 7 and 8.

[870] See ante, p. 154.

[871] 'Inde illud Maecenatis turpissimum votum, quo et debilitatem non recusat, et deformitatem, et novissime acutam crucem dummodo inter haec mala spiritus prorogetur.

"Debilem facito manu, Debilem pede, coxa; Tuber adstrue gibberum, Lubricos quate dentes; Vita dum superest, bene est; Hanc mihi vel acuta Si sedeam cruce sustine."'

Seneca's Epistles, No. 101.

Dryden makes Gonsalvo say in The Rival Ladies, act iv. sc. 1:—

'For men with horrour dissolution meet, The minutes e'en of painful life are sweet.'

In Paradise Lost Moloch and Belial take opposite sides on this point:—

MOLOCH. 'What doubt we to incense His utmost ire? which, to the height enraged, Will either quite consume us, and reduce To nothing this essential; happier far Than miserable to have eternal being.'

Bk. ii. 1. 94.

BELIAL. 'Who would lose, Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Those thoughts that wander through eternity, To perish rather, swallowed up and lost In the wide womb of uncreated night, Devoid of sense and motion?'

1. 146.

Cowper, at times at least, held with Moloch. He wrote to his friend Newton:—'I feel—I will not tell you what—and yet I must—a wish that I had never been, a wonder that I am, and an ardent but hopeless desire not to be.' Southey's Cowper, vi. 130. See ante, p. 153, and Boswell's Hebrides, Sept. 12.

[872] Johnson recorded in Pr. and Med. p. 202:—'At Ashbourne I hope to talk seriously with Taylor.' Taylor published in 1787 A Letter to Samuel Johnson on the Subject of a Future State. He writes that 'having heard that Johnson had said that he would prefer a state of torment to that of annihilation, he told him that such a declaration, coming from him, might be productive of evil consequences. Dr. J. desired him to arrange his thoughts on the subject.' Taylor says that Johnson's entry about the serious talk refers to this matter. Gent. Mag. 1787, p. 521. I believe that Johnson meant to warn Taylor about the danger he was running of 'entering the state of torment.'

[873] Wesley, like Johnson, was a wide reader. On his journeys he read books of great variety, such as The Odyssey, Rousseau's Emile, Boswell's Corsica, Swift's Letters, Hoole's Tasso, Robertson's Charles V., Quintus Curtius, Franklin's Letters on Electricity, besides a host of theological works. Like Johnson, too, he was a great dabbler in physic and a reader of medical works. His writings covered a great range. He wrote, he says, among other works, an English, a Latin, a Greek, a Hebrew, and a French Grammar, a Treatise on Logic and another on Electricity. In the British Isles he had travelled perhaps more than any man of his time, and he had visited North America and more than one country of Europe. He had seen an almost infinite variety of characters. See ante, p. 230.

[874] The story is recorded in Wesley's Journal, ed. 1827, iv. 316. It was at Sunderland and not at Newcastle where the scene was laid. The ghost did not prophesy ill of the attorney. On the contrary, it said to the girl:—'Go to Durham, employ an attorney there, and the house will be recovered.' She went to Durham, 'and put the affair into Mr. Hugill the attorney's hands.' 'A month after,' according to the girl, 'the ghost came about eleven. I said, "Lord bless me! what has brought you here again?" He said, "Mr. Hugill has done nothing but wrote one letter."' On this Wesley writes by way of comment:—'So he [the ghost] had observed him [the attorney] narrowly, though unseen.' See post, under May 3, 1779.

[875] Johnson, with his horror of annihilation, caught at everything which strengthened his belief in the immortality of the soul. Boswell mentions ante, ii. 150, 'Johnson's elevated wish for more and more evidence for spirit,' and records the same desire, post, June 12, 1784. Southey (Life of Wesley, i. 25) says of supernatural appearances:—'With regard to the good end which they may be supposed to answer, it would be end sufficient if sometimes one of those unhappy persons, who looking through the dim glass of infidelity see nothing beyond this life, and the narrow sphere of mortal existence, should, from the established truth of one such story (trifling and objectless as it might otherwise appear), be led to a conclusion that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in their philosophy.' See ante, p. 230, and post, April 15, 1781.

[876] Miss Jane Harry. In Miss Seward's Letters, i. 97, is an account of her, which Mr. Croker shows to be inaccurate. There is, too, a long and lifeless report of the talk at this dinner.

[877] See ante, ii. 14, 105.

[878] Mrs. Knowles, not satisfied with the fame of her needlework, the 'sutile pictures' mentioned by Johnson, in which she has indeed displayed much dexterity, nay, with the fame of reasoning better than women generally do, as I have fairly shewn her to have done, communicated to me a Dialogue of considerable length, which after many years had elapsed, she wrote down as having passed between Dr. Johnson and herself at this interview. As I had not the least recollection of it, and did not find the smallest trace of it in my Record taken at the time, I could not in consistency with my firm regard to authenticity, insert it in my work. It has, however, been published in The Gent. Mag. for June, 1791. It chiefly relates to the principles of the sect called Quakers; and no doubt the Lady appears to have greatly the advantage of Dr. Johnson in argument as well as expression. From what I have now stated, and from the internal evidence of the paper itself, any one who may have the curiosity to peruse it, will judge whether it was wrong in me to reject it, however willing to gratify Mrs. Knowles. BOSWELL. Johnson mentioned the 'sutile pictures' in a letter dated May 16, 1776, describing the dinner at Messrs. Dilly's. 'And there,' he wrote, 'was Mrs. Knowles, the Quaker, that works the sutile [misprinted by Mrs. Piozzi futile] pictures. She is a Staffordshire woman, and I am to go and see her. Staffordshire is the nursery of art; here they grow up till they are transplanted to London.' Piozzi Letters, i. 326. He is pleasantly alluding to the fact that he was a Staffordshire man. In the Dialogue in The Gent. Mag. for 1791, p. 502, Mrs. Knowles says that, the wrangle ended thus:—'Mrs. K. "I hope, Doctor, thou wilt not remain unforgiving; and that you will renew your friendship, and joyfully meet at last in those bright regions where pride and prejudice can never enter." Dr. Johnson. "Meet her! I never desire to meet fools anywhere." This sarcastic turn of wit was so pleasantly received that the Doctor joined in the laugh; his spleen was dissipated, he took his coffee, and became, for the remainder of the evening, very cheerful and entertaining.' Did Miss Austen find here the title of Pride and Prejudice, for her novel?

[879] Of this day he recorded (Pr. and Med. p. 163):—'It has happened this week, as it never happened in Passion Week before, that I have never dined at home, and I have therefore neither practised abstinence nor peculiar devotion.'

[880] See ante, iii. 48, note 4.

[881] I believe, however, I shall follow my own opinion; for the world has shewn a very flattering partiality to my writings, on many occasions. BOSWELL. In Boswelliana, p. 222, Boswell, after recording a story about Voltaire, adds:—'In contradiction to this story, see in my Journal the account which Tronchin gave me of Voltaire.' This Journal was probably destroyed by Boswell's family. By his will, he left his manuscripts and letters to Sir W. Forbes, Mr. Temple, and Mr. Malone, to be published for the benefit of his younger children as they shall decide. The Editor of Boswelliana says (p. 186) that 'these three literary executors did not meet, and the entire business of the trust was administered by Sir W. Forbes, who appointed as his law-agent, Robert Boswell, cousin-german of the deceased. By that gentleman's advice, Boswell's manuscripts were left to the disposal of his family; and it is believed that the whole were immediately destroyed.' The indolence of Malone and Temple, and the brutish ignorance of the Boswells, have indeed much to answer for. See ante, i. 225, note 2, and post, May 12, 1778.

[882] 'He that would travel for the entertainment of others should remember that the great object of remark is human life.' The Idler, No. 97.

[883] See ante, ii. 377.

[884] Johnson recorded (Pr. and Med. p. 163):—'Boswell came in to go to Church ... Talk lost our time, and we came to Church late, at the Second Lesson.'

[885] See ante, i. 461.

[886] Oliver Edwards entered Pembroke College in June, 1729. He left in April, 1730.

[887] Pr. and Med. p. 164. BOSWELL.

[888] 'Edwards observed how many we have outlived. I hope, yet hope, that my future life shall be better than my past.' Pr. and Med. p. 166.

[889] See post, April 30, 1778.

[890] See ante, p. 221.

[891] 'Don't, Sir, accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.' Ante, i. 471.

[892] Johnson said to me afterwards, 'Sir, they respected me for my literature; and yet it was not great but by comparison. Sir, it is amazing how little literature there is in the world.' BOSWELL.

[893] See ante, i. 320.

[894] Very near the College, facing the passage which leads to it from Pembroke Street, still stands an old alehouse which must have been old in Johnson's time.

[895] This line has frequently been attributed to Dryden, when a King's Scholar at Westminster. But neither Eton nor Westminster have in truth any claim to it, the line being borrowed, with a slight change, from an Epigram by Crashaw:—

'Joann. 2,

'Aquae in vinum versae. Unde rubor vestris et non sua purpura lymphis? Qua rosa mirantes tam nova mutat aquas? Numen, convinvae, praesens agnoscite numen, Nympha pudica DEUM vidit, et erubuit.' MALONE.

What gave your springs a brightness not their own? What rose so strange the wond'ring waters flushed? Heaven's hand, oh guests; heaven's hand may here be known; The spring's coy nymph has seen her God and blushed.

[896] 'He that made the verse following (some ascribe it to Giraldus Cambrensis) could adore both the sun rising, and the sun setting, when he could so cleanly honour King Henry II, then departed, and King Richard succeeding.

"Mira cano, Sol occubuit, nox nulla sequutaest."'

Camden's Remains (1870), p. 351.

[897] 'When Mr. Hume began to be known in the world as a philosopher, Mr. White, a decent, rich merchant of London, said to him:—"I am surprised, Mr. Hume, that a man of your good sense should think of being a philosopher. Why, I now took it into my head to be a philosopher for some time, but tired of it most confoundedly, and very soon gave it up." "Pray, Sir," said Mr. Hume, "in what branch of philosophy did you employ your researches? What books did you read?" "Books?" said Mr. White; "nay sir, I read no books, but I used to sit whole forenoons a-yawning and poking the fire." Boswelliana, p. 221. The French were more successful than Mr. Edwards in the pursuit of philosophy, Horace Walpole wrote from Paris in 1766 (Letters, iv. 466):—'The generality of the men, and more than the generality, are dull and empty. They have taken up gravity, thinking it was philosophy and English, and so have acquired nothing in the room of their natural levity and cheerfulness.'

[898] See ante, ii. 8.

[899] See ante, i. 332.

[900] See ante, i. 468, and Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 4.

[901] I am not absolutely sure but this was my own suggestion, though it is truly in the character of Edwards. BOSWELL.

[902] Sixty-nine. He was born in 1709.

[903] See ante, i. 75, note 1.


'O my coevals! remnants of yourselves! Poor human ruins, tottering o'er the grave! Shall we, shall aged men, like aged trees, Strike deeper their vile roots, and closer cling, Still more enamoured of this wretched soil?'

Young's Night Thoughts, Night iv.

[905] See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 20, 1773. According to Mrs. Piozzi 'he liked the expression so well that he often repeated it.' Piozzi's Anec. p. 208. He wrote to her:—'Have you not observed in all our conversations that my genius is always in extremes; that I am very noisy or very silent; very gloomy or very merry; very sour or very kind?' Piozzi Letters, ii. 166. In Mme. D'Arblay's Diary (ii. 310) we read that 'Dr. Johnson is never his best when there is nobody to draw him out;' and in her Memoirs of Dr. Burney (ii. 107) she adds that 'the masterly manner in which, as soon as any topic was started, he seized it in all its bearings, had so much the air of belonging to the leader of the discourse, that this singularity was unsuspected save by the experienced observation of long years of acquaintance.' Malone wrote in 1783:—'I have always found him very communicative; ready to give his opinion on any subject that was mentioned. He seldom, however, starts a subject himself; but it is very easy to lead him into one.' Prior's Malone, p. 92. What Dugald Stewart says of Adam Smith (Life, p. 114) was equally true of Johnson:—'He was scarcely ever known to start a new topic himself, or to appear unprepared upon those topics that were introduced by others.' Johnson, in his long fits of silence, was perhaps like Cowper, but when aroused he was altogether unlike. Cowper says of himself:—'The effect of such continual listening to the language of a heart hopeless and deserted is that I can never give much more than half my attention to what is started by others, and very rarely start anything myself.' Southey's Cowper, v. 10.

[906] In summer 1792, additional and more expensive decorations having been introduced, the price of admission was raised to two shillings. I cannot approve of this. The company may be more select; but a number of the honest commonalty are, I fear, excluded from sharing in elegant and innocent entertainment. An attempt to abolish the one-shilling gallery at the playhouse has been very properly counteracted. BOSWELL.

[907] Regale, as a noun, is not in Johnson's Dictionary. It was a favourite word with Miss Burney.

[908] 'Tyers is described in The Idler, No. 48, under the name of Tom Restless; "a circumstance," says Mr. Nichols, "pointed out to me by Dr. Johnson himself."' Lit. Anec. viii. 81. 'When Tom Restless rises he goes into a coffee-house, where he creeps so near to men whom he takes to be reasoners, as to hear their discourse, and endeavours to remember something which, when it has been strained through Tom's head, is so near to nothing, that what it once was cannot be discovered. This he carries round from friend to friend through a circle of visits, till, hearing what each says upon the question, he becomes able at dinner to say a little himself; and as every great genius relaxes himself among his inferiors, meets with some who wonder how so young a man can talk so wisely.'

[909] 'That accurate judge of human life, Dr. Johnson, has often been heard by me to observe, that it was the greatest misfortune which could befall a man to have been bred to no profession, and pathetically to regret that this misfortune was his own.' More's Practical Piety, p. 313. MARKLAND.

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