Life Of Johnson, Vol. 3
by Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill
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[910] He had wished to study it. See ante, i. 134.

[911] The fourth Earl of Lichfield, the Chancellor of Oxford, died in 1772. The title became extinct in 1776, on the death of the fifth earl. The present title was created in 1831. Courthope's Hist. Peerage, p. 286.

[912] See post, March 23, 1783, where Boswell vexed him in much the same way.

[913] I am not entirely without suspicion that Johnson may have felt a little momentary envy; for no man loved the good things of this life better than he did; and he could not but be conscious that he deserved a much larger share of them, than he ever had. I attempted in a newspaper to comment on the above passage, in the manner of Warburton, who must be allowed to have shewn uncommon ingenuity, in giving to any authour's text whatever meaning he chose it should carry. [Ante, ii. 37, note 1.] As this imitation may amuse my readers, I shall here introduce it:—

'No saying of Dr. Johnson's has been more misunderstood than his applying to Mr. Burke when he first saw him at his fine place at Beaconsfield, Non equidem invideo; miror magis. These two celebrated men had been friends for many years before Mr. Burke entered on his parliamentary career. They were both writers, both members of THE LITERARY CLUB; when, therefore, Dr. Johnson saw Mr. Burke in a situation so much more splendid than that to which he himself had attained, he did not mean to express that he thought it a disproportionate prosperity; but while he, as a philosopher, asserted an exemption from envy, non equidem invideo, he went on in the words of the poet miror magis; thereby signifying, either that he was occupied in admiring what he was glad to see; or, perhaps, that considering the general lot of men of superiour abilities, he wondered that Fortune, who is represented as blind, should, in this instance, have been so just.' BOSWELL. Johnson in his youth had translated

'Non equidem invideo; miror magis'

(Virgil, Eclogues, i. II) by

'My admiration only I exprest, (No spark of envy harbours in my breast).'

Ante, i. 51.

[914] See ante ii. 136.

[915] This neglect was avenged a few years after Goldsmith's death, when Lord Camden sought to enter The Literary Club and was black-balled. 'I am sorry to add,' wrote Mr. [Sir William] Jones in 1780, 'that Lord Camden and the Bishop of Chester were rejected. When Bishops and Chancellors honour us by offering to dine with us at a tavern, it seems very extraordinary that we should ever reject such an offer; but there is no reasoning on the caprice of men.' Life of Sir W. Jones, p. 240.

[916] Cradock (Memoirs, i. 229) was dining with The Literary Club, when Garrick arrived very late, full-dressed. 'He made many apologies; he had been unexpectedly detained at the House of Lords, and Lord Camden had insisted upon setting him down at the door of the hotel in his own carriage. Johnson said nothing, but he looked a volume.'

[917] Miss. [Per Errata; Originally: Mrs.] Burney records this year (1778) that Mrs. Thrale said to Johnson, 'Garrick is one of those whom you suffer nobody to abuse but yourself; for if any other person speaks against him, you browbeat him in a minute. "Why, madam," answered he, "they don't know when to abuse him, and when to praise him; I will allow no man to speak ill of David that he does not deserve."' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 65. See ante, i. 393, note 1.

[918] The passage is in a letter dated Dublin, Oct. 12, 1727. 'Here is my maintenance,' wrote Swift, 'and here my convenience. If it pleases God to restore me to my health, I shall readily make a third journey; if not we must part, as all human creatures have parted.' He never made the third journey. Swift's Works, ed. 1803, xvii. 154.

[919] See ante, ii. 162.

[920] No doubt Percy.

[921] The philosopher was Bias. Cicero, Paradoxa, i.

[922] Johnson recorded of this day (Pr. and Med. p. 164):—'We sat till the time of worship in the afternoon, and then came again late, at the Psalms. Not easily, I think, hearing the sermon, or not being attentive, I fell asleep.'

[923] Marshall's Minutes of Agriculture.

[924] It was only in hay-time and harvest that Marshall approved of Sunday work. He had seen in the wet harvest of 1775 so much corn wasted that he 'was ambitious to set the patriotic example' of Sunday labour. One Sunday he 'promised every man who would work two shillings, as much roast beef and plumb pudding as he would eat, with as much ale as it might be fit for him to drink.' Nine men and three boys came. In a note in the edition of 1799, he says:—'The Author has been informed that an old law exists (mentioned by Dugdale), which tolerates husbandmen in working on Sundays in harvest; and that, in proof thereof, a gentleman in the north has uniformly carried one load every year on a Sunday.' He adds:—'Jan. 1799. The particulars of this note were furnished by the late Dr. Samuel Johnson; at whose request some considerable part of what was originally written, and printed on this subject was cancelled. That which was published and which is now offered again to the public is, in effect, what Dr. Johnson approved; or, let me put it in the most cautious terms, that of which Dr. Johnson did not disapprove.' Marshall's Minutes etc., on Agriculture, ii. 65-70.

[925] Saturday was April 18.

[926] William Duncombe, Esq. He married the sister of John Hughes the poet; was the authour of two tragedies and other ingenious productions; and died 26th Feb. 1769, aged 79. MALONE. In his Life of Hughes (Works, vii. 477), Johnson says 'an account of Hughes is prefixed to his works by his relation, the late Mr. Duncombe, a man whose blameless elegance deserved the same respect.'

[927] See ante, i. 185, 243, and Boswell's Hebrides, Sept. 22.

[928] See ante, i. 145.

[929] See Appendix A.

[930] No doubt Parson Home, better known as Home Tooke, who was at this time in prison. He had signed an advertisement issued by the Constitutional Society asking for a subscription for 'the relief of the widows, etc., of our beloved American fellow-subjects, who had been inhumanly murdered by the King's troops at Lexington and Concord.' For this 'very gross libel' he had in the previous November been sentenced to a fine of L200 and a year's imprisonment. Ann. Reg. xx. 234-245. See post, May 13, 1778.

[931] Mr. Croker's conjecture that Dr. Shebbeare was the gentleman is supported by the favourable way in which Boswell (post, May 1781) speaks of Shebbeare as 'that gentleman,' and calls him 'a respectable name in literature.' Shebbeare, on Nov. 28, 1758, was sentenced by Lord Mansfield to stand in the pillory, to be confined for three years, and to give security for his good behaviour for seven years, for a libellous pamphlet intitled A Sixth Letter to the People of England. Gent. Mag. xxviii. 555. (See ante, p. 15, note 3.) On Feb. 7, 1759, the under-sheriff of Middlesex was found guilty of a contempt of Court, in having suffered Shebbeare to stand upon the pillory only, and not in it. Ib. xxix. 91. Before the seven years had run out, Shebbeare was pensioned. Smollett, in the preface to Humphry Clinker, represents the publisher of that novel as writing to the imaginary author:—'If you should be sentenced to the pillory your fortune is made. As times go, that's a sure step to honour and preferment. I shall think myself happy if I can lend you a lift.' See also in the same book Mr. Bramble's Letter of June 2.

[932] See p. 275 of this volume. BOSWELL. Why Boswell mentions this gentleman at all, seeing that nothing that he says is reported, is not clear. Perhaps he gave occasion to Johnson's attack on the Americans. It is curious also why both here and in the account given of Dr. Percy's dinner his name is not mentioned. In the presence of this unknown gentleman Johnson violently attacked first Percy, and next Boswell.

[933] Mr. Langton no doubt. See ante, iii. 48. He had paid Johnson a visit that morning. Pr. and Med. p. 165.

[934] See ante, p. 216.

[935] See ante, i. 494, where Johnson says that 'her learning is that of a schoolboy in one of the lower forms.'

[936] On this day Johnson recorded in his review of the past year:— 'My nights have been commonly, not only restless, but painful and fatiguing.' He adds, 'I have written a little of the Lives of the Poets, I think with all my usual vigour.... This year the 28th of March passed away without memorial. Poor Tetty, whatever were our faults and failings, we loved each other. I did not forget thee yesterday. Couldest thou have lived!' Pr. and Med. pp. 169, 170.

[937] Mr. Langton. See ante, iii. 48.

[938] Malone was told by Baretti that 'Dr. James picked up on a stall a book of Greek hymns. He brought it to Johnson, who ran his eyes over the pages and returned it. A year or two afterwards he dined at Sir Joshua Reynolds's with Dr. Musgrave, the editor of Euripides. Musgrave made a great parade of his Greek learning, and among other less known writers mentioned these hymns, which he thought none of the company were acquainted with, and extolled them highly. Johnson said the first of them was indeed very fine, and immediately repeated it. It consisted of ten or twelve lines.' Prior's Malone, p. 160.

[939] By Richard Tickell, the grandson of Addison's friend. Walpole's Letters, vii. 54

[940] She was a younger sister of Peg Woffington (ante, p. 264). Johnson described her as 'a very airy lady.' (Boswell's Hebrides, Sept. 23, 1773.) Murphy (Life, p. 137) says that 'Johnson, sitting at table with her, took hold of her hand in the middle of dinner, and held it close to his eye, wondering at the delicacy and the whiteness, till with a smile she asked:—"Will he give it to me again when he has done with it?"' He told Miss Burney that 'Mrs. Cholmondeley was the first person who publicly praised and recommended Evelina among the wits.' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 180. Miss Burney wrote in 1778:—'Mrs. Cholmondeley has been praising Evelina; my father said that I could not have had a greater compliment than making two such women my friends as Mrs. Thrale and Mrs. Cholmondeley, for they were severe and knowing, and afraid of praising a tort et a travers, as their opinions are liable to be quoted.' Ib. i. 47. To Mrs. Cholmondeley Goldsmith, just before his death, shewed a copy in manuscript of his Retaliation. No one else, it should seem, but Burke had seen it. Forster's Goldsmith, ii. 412.

[941] Dr. Johnson is supported by the usage of preceding writers. So in Musarum Deliciae, 8vo. 1656 (the writer is speaking of Suckling's play entitled Aglaura, printed in folio):—

'This great voluminous pamphlet may be said To be like one that hath more hair than head.'


Addison, in The Spectator, No. 529 says that 'the most minute pocket-author hath beneath him the writers of all pamphlets, or works that are only stitched. As for a pamphleteer he takes place of none but of the authors of single sheets.' The inferiority of a pamphlet is shewn in Johnson's Works, ed. 1787, xi. 216:—'Johnson would not allow the word derange to be an English word. "Sir," said a gentleman who had some pretensions to literature, "I have seen it in a book." "Not in a bound book," said Johnson; "disarrange is the word we ought to use instead of it."' In his Dictionary he gives neither derange nor disarrange. Dr. Franklin, who had been a printer and was likely to use the term correctly, writing in 1785, mentions 'the artifices made use of to puff up a paper of verses into a pamphlet.' Memoirs, iii. 178.

[942] See post, March 16, 1779, for 'the exquisite address' with which Johnson evaded a question of this kind.

[943] Garrick insisted on great alterations being made in The Good Natured Man. When Goldsmith resisted this, 'he proposed a sort of arbitration,' and named as his arbitrator Whitehead the laureate. Forster's Goldsmith, ii. 41. It was of Whitehead's poetry that Johnson said 'grand nonsense is insupportable.' Ante, i. 402. The Good Natured Man was brought out by Colman, as well as She Stoops to Conquer.

[944] See ante, ii. 208, note 5.

[945] See ante, i. 416.

[946] 'This play, written in ridicule of the musical Italian drama, was first offered to Cibber and his brethren at Drury Lane, and rejected; it being then carried to Rich had the effect, as was ludicrously said, of making Gay rich and Rich gay.' Johnson's Works, viii. 66. See ante, ii. 368.

[947] See ante, i. 112.

[948] In opposition to this Mr. Croker quotes Horace:—-

'Populus me sibilat; at mihi plaudo Ipse domi, simul ac nummos contemplor in arca.' 'I'm hissed in public; but in secret blest, I count my money and enjoy my chest.' Horace, Sat. i. I. 66.

See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 26.

[949] The anecdote is told in Menagiana, iii. 104, but not of a 'maid of honour,' nor as an instance of 'exquisite flattery.' 'M. d'Uzes etait chevalier d'honneur de la reine. Cette princesse lui demanda un jour quelle heure il etait; il repondit, "Madame, l'heure qu'il plaira a votre majeste."' Menage tells it as a pleasantry of M. d'Uzes; but M. de la Monnoye says, that this duke was remarkable for naivetes and blunders, and was a kind of butt, to whom the wits of the court used to attribute all manner of absurdities. CROKER.

[950] Horace, Odes, iv. 2. II. The common reading is solutis. Boswell (Hebrides, Aug. 15, 1773) says:—'Mr. Wilkes told me this himself with classical admiration.'

[951] See this question fully investigated in the Notes upon my Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, edit. 3, p. 21, et seq. [Aug. 15]. And here, as a lawyer mindful of the maxim Suum cuique tribuito, I cannot forbear to mention, that the additional Note beginning with 'I find since the former edition,' is not mine, but was obligingly furnished by Mr. Malone, who was so kind as to superintend the press while I was in Scotland, and the first part of the second edition was printing. He would not allow me to ascribe it to its proper authour; but, as it is exquisitely acute and elegant, I take this opportunity, without his knowledge, to do him justice. BOSWELL. See also ante, i. 453, and post, May 15, 1784.

[952] Horace, Sat. i. I. 106. Malone points out that this is the motto to An Enquiry into Customary Estates and Tenants' Rights, &c., with some considerations for restraining excessive fines. By Everard Fleetwood, 8vo, 1737.

[953] A modus is something paid as a compensation for tithes on the supposition of being a moderate equivalent. Johnson's Dictionary. It was more desirable for the landlord than the Parson. Thus T. Warton, in his Progress of Discontent, represents the Parson who had taken a college living regretting his old condition,

'When calm around the common-room I puffed my daily pipe's perfume; ... And every night I went to bed, Without a modus in my head.'

T. Warton's Poems, ii. 197.

[954] Fines are payments due to the lord of a manor on every admission of a new tenant. In some manors these payments are fixed by custom; they are then fines certain; in others they are not fixed, but depend on the reasonableness of the lord and the paying capacity of the tenant; they are fines uncertain. The advantage of fines certain, like that of a modus in tithes, is that a man knows what he shall get.

[955] Ante, iii. 35.

[956] Mr. P. Cunningham has, I think, enabled us to clear up Boswell's mystery, by finding in the Garrick Corres, ii. 305, May 1778, that Johnson's poor friend, Mauritius Lowe, the painter, lived at No. 3, Hedge Lane, in a state of extreme distress. CROKER. See post, April 3, 1779, and April 12, 1783.

[957] 'In all his intercourse with mankind, Pope had great delight in artifice, and endeavoured to attain all his purposes by indirect and unsuspected methods. "He hardly drank tea without a stratagem." ["Nor take her tea without a stratagem." Young's Universal Passion, Sat. vi.] He practised his arts on such small occasions that Lady Bolingbroke used to say, in a French phrase, that "he played the politician about cabbages and turnips."' Johnson's Works, viii. 311.

[958] Johnson, post, under March 30, 1783, speaks of 'the vain ostentatious importance of many persons in quoting the authority of dukes and lords.' In his going to the other extreme, as he said he did, may be found the explanation of Boswell's 'mystery.' For of mystery—'the wisdom of blockheads,' as Horace Walpole calls it (Letters, iii. 371)—Johnson was likely to have as little as any man. As for Grosvenor-square, the Thrales lived there for a short time, and Johnson had a room in the house (post, March 20, 1781).

[959] Tacitus, Agricola, ch. xxx. 'The unknown always passes for something peculiarly grand.'

[960] Johnson defines toy-shop as 'a shop where playthings and little nice manufactures are sold.'

[961] See ante, ii. 241.

[962] Mrs. Piozzi (Anec. p. 237) says that 'the fore-top of all his wigs were (sic) burned by the candle down to the very net-work. Mr. Thrale's valet, for that reason, kept one always in his own hands, with which he met him at the parlour door when the bell had called him down to dinner.' Cumberland (Memoirs, i. 357) says that he wore 'a brown coat with metal buttons, black waistcoat and worsted stockings, with a flowing bob-wig; they were in perfectly good trim, and with the ladies he had nothing of the slovenly philosopher about him.'

[963] See ante, ii. 432.

[964] Here he either was mistaken, or had a different notion of an extensive sale from what is generally entertained: for the fact is, that four thousand copies of that excellent work were sold very quickly. A new edition has been printed since his death, besides that in the collection of his works. BOSWELL. See ante, ii. 310, note 2.

[965] 'In the neighbourhood of Lichfield [in 1750] the principal gentlemen clothed their hounds in tartan plaid, with which they hunted a fox, dressed in a red uniform.' Mahon's Hist. of England, iv. 10.

[966] So Boswell in his Hebrides (Nov. 8), hoping that his father and Johnson have met in heaven, observes, 'that they have met in a place where there is no room for Whiggism.' See ante, i. 431.

[967] Paradise Lost, bk. i. 263. Butler (Miscellaneous Thoughts, 1. 169) had said:—

'The Devil was the first o' th' name From whom the race of rebels came.'

[968] In the phraseology of Scotland, I should have said, 'Mr. John Spottiswoode the younger, of that ilk.' Johnson knew that sense of the word very well, and has thus explained it in his Dictionary, voce ILK:—'It also signifies "the same;" as, Mackintosh of that ilk, denotes a gentleman whose surname and the title of his estate are the same.' BOSWELL. See ante, ii. 427, note 2.

[969] He wrote to Dr. Taylor on Oct. 19 of the next year:—'There are those still who either fright themselves, or would fright others, with an invasion.... Such a fleet [a fleet equal to the transportation of twenty or of ten thousand men] cannot be hid in a creek; it must be safely [?] visible; and yet I believe no man has seen the man that has seen it. The ships of war were within sight of Plymouth, and only within sight.' Notes and Queries, 6th S. v. 461.

[970] See ante, iii. 42.

[971] It is observed in Waller's Life, in the Biographia Britannica, that he drank only water; and that while he sat in a company who were drinking wine, 'he had the dexterity to accommodate his discourse to the pitch of theirs as it sunk.' If excess in drinking be meant, the remark is acutely just. But surely, a moderate use of wine gives a gaiety of spirits which water-drinkers know not. BOSWELL. 'Waller passed his time in the company that was highest, both in rank and wit, from which even his obstinate sobriety did not exclude him. Though he drank water, he was enabled by his fertility of mind to heighten the mirth of Bacchanalian assemblies; and Mr. Saville said that "no man in England should keep him company without drinking but Ned Waller."' Johnson's Works, vii. 197.

[972] See ante, iii. 41, and Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 17.

[973] Pope. Satires, Prologue, 1. 283.

[974] As he himself had said in his letter of thanks for his diploma of Doctor of Laws, 'Nemo sibi placens non lactatur' (ante, ii. 333).


'Who mean to live within our proper sphere, Dear to ourselves, and to our country dear.'

FRANCIS. Horace, Epistles, i. 3. 29.

[976] Johnson recommended this before. Ante, p. 169. Boswell tried abstinence once before. Ante, ii. 436, note 1, and iii. 170, note 1.

[977] Johnson wrote to Boswell in 1775:—'Reynolds has taken too much to strong liquor, and seems to delight in his new character.' Ante, ii. 292.

[978] See ante, p. 170, note 2.

[979] At the Castle of the Bishop of Munster 'there was,' writes Temple, 'nothing remarkable but the most Episcopal way of drinking that could be invented. As soon as we came in the great hall there stood many flagons ready charged; the general called for wine to drink the King's health; they brought him a formal bell of silver gilt, that might hold about two quarts or more; he took it empty, pulled out the clapper, and gave it me who (sic) he intended to drink to, then had the bell filled, drunk it off to his Majesty's health; then asked me for the clapper, put it in, turned down the bell, and rung it out to shew he had played fair and left nothing in it; took out the clapper, desired me to give it to whom I pleased, then gave his bell to be filled again, and brought it to me. I that never used to drink, and seldom would try, had commonly some gentlemen with me that served for that purpose when it was necessary.' Temple's Works, ed. 1757, i. 266.

[980] See ante, ii. 450, note 1, and iii. 79.

[981] The passages are in the Jerusalem, canto i. st. 3, and in Lucretius, i. 935, and again iv. 12. CROKER.

[982] See ante, ii. 247, where Boswell says that 'no man was more scrupulously inquisitive in order to discover the truth;' and iii. 188, 229.

[983] See post, under May 8, 1781.

[984] 'Sir,' said Johnson, 'I love Robertson, and I won't talk of his book.' Ante, ii. 53.

[985] 'I was once in company with Smith,' said Johnson in 1763, 'and we did not take to each other.' Ante, i. 427. See Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 29.

[986] See ante, ii. 63.

[987] See ante, ii. 84

[988] See ante, p. 3.

[989] This experiment which Madame Dacier made in vain, has since been tried in our own language, by the editor of Ossian, and we must either think very meanly of his abilities, or allow that Dr. Johnson was in the right. And Mr. Cowper, a man of real genius, has miserably failed in his blank verse translation. BOSWELL. Johnson, in his Life of Pope (Works, viii. 253), says:—'I have read of a man, who being by his ignorance of Greek compelled to gratify his curiosity with the Latin printed on the opposite page, declared that from the rude simplicity of the lines literally rendered he formed nobler ideas of the Homeric majesty, than from the laboured elegance of polished versions,' Though Johnson nowhere speaks of Cowper, yet his writings were not altogether unknown to him. 'Dr. Johnson,' wrote Cowper, 'read and recommended my first volume.' Southey's Cowper, v. 171.

[990] 'I bought the first volume of Manchester, but could not read it; it was much too learned for me, and seemed rather an account of Babel than Manchester, I mean in point of antiquity.' Walpole's Letters, vi. 207.

[991] Henry was injured by Gilbert Stuart, the malignant editor of the Edinburgh Magazine and Review, who 'had vowed that he would crush his work,' and who found confederates to help him. He asked Hume to review it, thinking no doubt that one historian would attack another; when he received from him a highly favourable review he would not publish it. It contained a curious passage, where Hume points out that Henry and Robertson were clergymen, and continues:—'These illustrious examples, if any thing, must make the infidel abashed of his vain cavils.' J.H. Burton's Hume, ii. 469.

[992] Hume wrote to Millar:—'Hamilton and Balfour have offered Robertson [for his Scotland] a very unusual price; no less than L500 for one edition of 2000.' Ib. ii. 42. As Robertson did not accept this offer, no doubt he got a better one. Even if he got no more, it would not have seemed 'a moderate price' to a man whose preferment hitherto had been only L100 a year. (See Dugald Stewart's Robertson, p. 161.) Stewart adds (ib. p. 169):—'It was published on Feb. 1, 1759. Before the end of the month the author was desired by his bookseller to prepare for a second edition.' By 1793 it was in its fourteenth edition. Ib. p. 326. The publisher was Millar; the price two guineas. Gent. Mag. xxix. 84.

[993] Lord Clive. See post, p. 350, and Oct. 10, 1779.

[994] Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto. p. 286) gives an instance of this 'romantick humour.' 'Robertson was very much a master of conversation, and very desirous to lead it, and to raise theories that sometimes provoked the laugh against him. He went a jaunt into England with Dundas, Cockburn and Sinclair; who, seeing a gallows on a neighbouring hillock, rode round to have a nearer view of the felon on the gallows. When they met in the inn, Robertson began a dissertation on the character of nations, and how much the English, like the Romans, were hardened by their cruel diversions of cock-fighting, bull-baiting, &c.; for had they not observed three Englishmen on horseback do what no Scotchman or—. Here Dundas interrupted him, and said, "What! did you not know, Principal, that it was Cockburn and Sinclair and me?" This put an end to theories, &c., for that day.'

[995] This was a favourite word with Johnson and Mrs. Thrale. 'Long live Mrs. G. that downs my mistress,' he wrote (Piozzi Letters, ii. 26). 'Did you quite down her?' he asked of another lady (Ib. p. 100). Miss Burney caught up the word: 'I won't be downed,' she wrote. Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 252.

[996] See ante, iii. 41, 327.

[997] Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto. p. 474) tells how Robertson, with one of his pupils, and he, visited at a house where some excellent claret flowed freely. 'After four days Robertson took me into a window before dinner, and with some solemnity proposed to make a motion to shorten the drinking, if I would second him—"Because," added he, "although you and I may go through it, I am averse to it on my pupil's account." I answered that I was afraid it would not do, as our toastmaster might throw ridicule upon us, as we were to leave the island the day after the next, and that we had not proposed any abridgement till the old claret was all done, the last of which we had drunk yesterday. "Well, well," replied the Doctor, "be it so then, and let us end as we began."'

[998] Johnson, when asked to hear Robertson preach, said:—'I will hear him if he will get up into a tree and preach; but I will not give a sanction by my presence to a Presbyterian assembly.' Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 27. See also Ib. Nov. 7.

[999] Mrs. Piozzi confidently mentions this as having passed in Scotland, Anecdotes, p. 62. BOSWELL. She adds:—'I was shocked to think how he [Johnson] must have disgusted him [Robertson].' She, we may well believe, felt no more shock than Robertson felt disgust.

[1000] See Voltaire's Siecle de Louis XIV, ch. xiv.

[1001] See ante, p. 191.

[1002] See ante, p. 54.

[1003] It was on this day that Johnson dictated to Boswell his Latin translation of Dryden's lines on Milton. Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 22.

[1004] See ante, ii. 109.

[1005] '"Well, Sir," said he, "we had good talk." BOSWELL. "Yes Sir; you tossed and gored several persons."' Ante, ii. 66.

[1006] Very likely their host. See ante, iii. 48.

[1007] See ante, iii. 97.

[1008] Acts, X. 1 and 2.

[1009] Mr. Croker says, 'no doubt Dr. Robertson;' see post, under June 16, 1784, where Johnson says much the same of 'an authour of considerable eminence.' In this case Mr. Croker says, 'probably Dr. Robertson.' I have little doubt that Dr. Beattie was there meant. He may be meant also here, for the description of the conversation does not agree with what we are told of Robertson. See ante, p. 335. note 1. Perhaps, however, Dr. Blair was the eminent author. It is in Boswell's manner to introduce the same person in consecutive paragraphs as if there were two persons.

[1010] See ante, ii. 256.

[1011] Chappe D'Auteroche writes:—'La douceur de sa physionomie et sa vivacite annoncaient plutot quelque indiscretion que l'ombre d'un crime. Tous ceux que j'ai consultes par la suite m'ont cependant assure qu'elle etait coupable.' Voyage en Siberie, i. 227. Lord Kames says:—'Of whatever indiscretion she might have been guilty, the sweetness of her countenance and her composure left not in the spectators the slightest suspicion of guilt.' She was cruelly knouted, her tongue was cut out, and she was banished to Siberia. Kames's Sketches, i. 363.

[1012] Mr. Croker says:—'Here I think the censure is quite unjust. Lord Kames gives in the clearest terms the same explanation.' Kames made many corrections in the later editions. On turning to the first, I found, as I expected, that Johnson's censure was quite just. Kames says (i. 76):—'Whatever be the cause of high or low interest, I am certain that the quantity of circulating coin can have no influence. Supposing the half of our money to be withdrawn, a hundred pounds lent ought still to afford but five pounds as interest; because if the principal be doubled in value, so is also the interest.' This passage was struck out in later editions.

[1013] 'Johnson had an extraordinary admiration of this lady, notwithstanding she was a violent Whig. In answer to her high-flown speeches for Liberty, he addressed to her the following Epigram, of which I presume to offer a translation:—

'Liber ut esse velim suasiti pulchra Maria Ut maneam liber pulchra Maria vale,' Adieu, Maria! since you'd have me free; For, who beholds thy charms a slave must be.

A correspondent of The Gentleman's Magazine, who subscribes himself SCIOLUS, to whom I am indebted for several excellent remarks, observes, 'The turn of Dr. Johnson's lines to Miss Aston, whose Whig principles he had been combating, appears to me to be taken from an ingenious epigram in the Menagiana [vol. iii. p. 376, edit. 1716] on a young lady who appeared at a masquerade, habillee en Jesuite, during the fierce contentions of the followers of Molinos and Jansenius concerning free-will:—

"On s'etonne ici que Caliste Ait pris l'habit de Moliniste. Puisque cette jeune beaute Ote a chacun sa liberte, N'est-ce pas une Janseniste?"


Johnson, in his Criticism upon Pope's Epitaphs (Works, viii. 355), quotes the opinion of a 'lady of great beauty and excellence.' She was, says Mrs. Piozzi (Anec. p. 162), Molly Aston. Mrs. Piozzi, in her Letters (ii. 383), writes:—'Nobody has ever mentioned what became of Miss Aston's letters, though he once told me they should be the last papers he would destroy.' See ante, i. 83.

[1014] See ante, ii. 470.

[1015] Pope's Essay on Man, iv. 380.

[1016] See ante, i. 294.

[1017] 'March 4, 1745. You say you expect much information about Belleisle, but there has not (in the style of the newspapers) the least particular transpired.' Horace Walpole's Letters, i. 344. 'Jan. 26, 1748. You will not let one word of it transpire.' Chesterfield's Misc. Works, iv. 35. 'It would be next to a miracle that a fact of this kind should be known to a whole parish, and not transpire any farther.' Fielding's Tom Jones, bk. ii. c. 5. Tom Jones was published before the Dictionary, but not so Walpole's Letters and Chesterfield's Misc. Works. I have not found a passage in which Bolingbroke uses the word, but I have not read all his works.

[1018] 'The words which our authors have introduced by their knowledge of foreign languages, or ignorance of their own ... I have registered as they occurred, though commonly only to censure them, and warn others against the folly of naturalising useless foreigners to the injury of the natives.' Johnson's Works, v. 31. 'If an academy should be established for the cultivation of our style, which I, who can never wish to see dependance multiplied, hope the spirit of English liberty will hinder or destroy, let them, instead of compiling grammars and dictionaries, endeavour with all their influence to stop the license of translators, whose idleness and ignorance, if it be suffered to proceed, will reduce us to babble a dialect of France.' Ib. p. 49. 'I have rarely admitted any words not authorised by former writers; for I believe that whoever knows the English tongue in its present extent will be able to express his thoughts without further help from other nations.' The Rambler, No. 208.

[1019] Boswell on one occasion used it came out where a lover of fine words would have said it transpired. See Boswell's Hebrides, November 1.

[1020] The record no doubt was destroyed with the other papers that Boswell left to his literary executors (ante, p. 301, note 1).

[1021] See ante, i. 154.

[1022] 'Of Johnson's pride I have heard Reynolds observe, that if any man drew him into a state of obligation without his own consent, that man was the first he would affront by way of clearing off the account.' Northcote's Reynolds, i. 71.

[1023] See post, May 1, 1779.

[1024] This had happened the day before (May 11) in the writ of error in Horne's case (ante, p. 314). Ann. Reg. xii. 181.

[1025] 'To enucleate. To solve; to clear.' Johnson's Dictionary.

[1026] In the original me.

[1027] Pope himself (Moral Essays, iii. 25) attacks the sentiment contained in this stanza. He says:—

'What nature wants (a phrase I must distrust) Extends to luxury, extends to lust.'

Mr. Elwin (Pope's Works, ii. 462) doubts the genuineness of this suppressed stanza. Montezuma, in Dryden's Indian Emperour, act ii. sc. 2, says:—

'That lust of power we from your Godheads have, You're bound to please those appetites you gave.'

[1028] 'Antoine Arnauld, surnomme le grand Arnauld, theologien et philosophe, ne a Paris le 6 fevrier 1612, mort le 6 aout 1694 a Bruxelles.' Nouv. Biog. Gen. iii. 282.

[1029] 'It may be discovered that when Pope thinks himself concealed he indulges the common vanity of common men, and triumphs in those distinctions which he had affected to despise. He is proud that his book was presented to the King and Queen by the right honourable Sir Robert Walpole; he is proud that they had read it before; he is proud that the edition was taken off by the nobility and persons of the first distinction.' Johnson's Works, viii. 278.

[1030] Othello, act iii. sc. 3.

[1031] Mr. Langton, I have little doubt. Not only does that which Johnson says of sluggishness fit his character, but the fact that he is spoken of in the next paragraph points to him.

[1032] Mr. Langton. See ante, iii. 48.

[1033] We may wonder whether pasted is strictly used. It seems likely that the wealthy brewer, who had a taste for the fine arts, afforded Hogarth at least a frame.

[1034] See ante, i. 49.

[1035] Baths are called Hummums in the East, and thence these hotels in Covent Garden, where there were baths, were called by that name. CROKER.

[1036] Beauclerk.

[1037] Bolingbroke. Ante, ii. 246.

[1038] Lord Clive. Ante, p. 334.

[1039] Hamlet, act i. sc. 2.

[1040] Johnson, or Boswell in reporting him, here falls into an error. The editor of Chesterfield's Works says (ii. 3l9), 'that being desirous of giving a specimen of his Lordship's eloquence he has made choice of the three following speeches; the first in the strong nervous style of Demosthenes; the two latter in the witty, ironical manner of Tully.' Now the first of these speeches is not Johnson's, for it was reported in The Gent. Mag. for July, 1737, p. 409, nine months before his first contribution to that paper. In spite of great differences this report and that in Chesterfield's Works are substantially the same. If Johnson had any hand in the authorised version he merely revised the report already published. Nor did he always improve it, as will be seen by comparing with Chesterfield's Works, ii. 336, the following passage from the Gent. Mag. p. 411:—'My Lords, we ought in all points to be tender of property. Wit is the property of those who are possessed of it, and very often the only property they have. Thank God, my Lords, this is not our case; we are otherwise provided for.' The other two speeches are his. In the collected works (xi. 420, 489) they are wrongly assigned to Lord Carteret. See ante, i. Appendix A.

[1041] See ante, p. 340.

[1042] These words are quoted by Kames, iii. 267. In his abbreviation he perhaps passed over by accident the words that Johnson next quotes. If Clarendon did not believe the story, he wished his readers to believe it. He gives more than five pages to it, and he ends by saying:— 'Whatever there was of all this, it is a notorious truth, that when the news of the duke's murder (which happened within few months after) was brought to his mother, she seemed not in the least degree surprised; but received it as if she had foreseen it.' According to the story, he had told her of the warning which had come to him through his father's ghost. Clarendon's History, ed. 1826, i. 74.

[1043] Kames maintains (iii. 95) that schools are not needful for the children of the labouring poor. They would be needful, 'if without regular education we could have no knowledge of the principles of religion and of morality. But Providence has not left man in a state so imperfect: religion and morality are stamped on his heart; and none can be ignorant of them, who attend to their own perceptions.'

[1044] 'Oct. 5, 1764. Mr. Elliot brings us woeful accounts of the French ladies, of the decency of their conversation, and the nastiness of their behaviour.' Walpole's Letters, iv. 277. Walpole wrote from Paris on Nov. 19, 1765, 'Paris is the ugliest, beastliest town in the universe,' and describes the nastiness of the talk of French women of the first rank. Ib. p. 435. Mrs. Piozzi, nearly twenty years later, places among 'the contradictions one meets with every moment' at Paris, 'A Countess in a morning, her hair dressed, with diamonds too perhaps, and a dirty black handkerchief about her neck.' Piozzi's Journey, i. 17. See ante, ii. 403, and post, under Aug. 29, 1783.

[1045] See Appendix B.

[1046] His lordship was, to the last, in the habit of telling this story rather too often. CROKER.

[1047] See ante, ii. 194.

[1048] See ante, iii. 178.

[1049] See ante, ii. 153.

[1050] 'Our eyes and ears may convince us,' wrote Wesley, 'there is not a less happy body of men in all England than the country farmers. In general their life is supremely dull; and it is usually unhappy too; for of all people in the kingdom, they are the most discontented, seldom satisfied either with God or man.' Southey's Wesley, i. 420. He did not hold with Johnson as to the upper classes. 'Oh! how hard it is,' he said, 'to be shallow enough for a polite audience.' Ib. p. 419.

[1051] Horne says:—'Even S. Johnson, though mistakenly, has attempted AND, and would find no difficulty with THEREFORE' (ed. 1778, p. 21). However, in a note on p. 56 he says:—'I could never read his preface [to his Dictionary] without shedding a tear.' See ante, i. 297, note 2.

[1052] In Mr. Horne Tooke's enlargement of that Letter, which he has since published with the title of [Greek: Epea pteroenta]; or, the Diversions of Purley; he mentions this compliment, as if Dr. Johnson instead of several of his etymologies had said all. His recollection having thus magnified it, shews how ambitious he was of the approbation of so great a man. BOSWELL. Horne Tooke says (ed. 1798, part i, p. 156) 'immediately after the publication of my Letter to Mr. Dunning I was informed by Mr. S. [Seward], an intimate friend of Dr. Johnson, that he had declared that, if he lived to give a new edition of his Dictionary, he should certainly adopt my derivations.' Boswell and Horne Tooke, says Stephens (Life of Tooke, ii. 438), had an altercation. 'Happening to meet at a gentleman's house, Mr. Boswell proposed to make up the breach, on the express condition, however, that they should drink a bottle of wine each between the toasts. But Mr. Tooke would not give his assent unless the liquor should be brandy. By the time a quart had been quaffed Boswell was left sprawling on the floor.'

[1053] See ante, iii. 314. Thurlow, the Attorney-General, pressed that Horne should be set in the pillory, 'observing that imprisonment would be "a slight inconvenience to one of sedentary habits."' It was during his imprisonment that he wrote his Letter to Mr. Dunning. Campbell's Chancellors, ed. 1846, v. 517. Horace Walpole says that 'Lord Mansfield was afraid, and would not venture the pillory.' Journal of the Reign of George III, ii. 167.

[1054] 'Bulse, a certain quantity of diamonds' (India). Webster's Dictionary.

[1055] 'He raised,' says Hawkins (Life, p. 236), 'the medical character to such a height of dignity as was never seen in this or any other country. I have heard it said that when he began to practise, he was a frequenter of the meeting at Stepney where his father preached; and that when he was sent for out of the assembly, his father would in his prayer insert a petition in behalf of the sick person. I once mentioned this to Johnson, who said it was too gross for belief; but it was not so at Batson's [a coffee-house frequented by physicians]; it passed there as a current belief.' See ante, i. 159. Young has introduced him in the second of his Night Thoughts

'That time is mine, O Mead, to thee I owe; Fain would I pay thee with eternity.'

Horace Walpole (Letters, viii. 260) says 'that he had nothing but pretensions.'

[1056] On Oct. 17, 1777, Burgoyne's army surrendered to the Americans at Saratoga. One of the articles of the Convention was 'that the army should march out of the camp with all the honours of war to a fixed place where they were to deposit their arms. It is said that General Gates [the American Commander] paid so nice and delicate an attention to the British military honour that he kept his army close within their lines, and did not suffer an American soldier to be a witness to the degrading spectacle of piling their arms.' Ann. Reg. xx. 173, 174. Horace Walpole, on Lord Cornwallis's capitulation in 1781, wrote:—'The newspapers on the Court side had been crammed with paragraphs for a fortnight, saying that Lord Cornwallis had declared he would never pile up his arms like Burgoyne; that is, he would rather die sword in hand.' Walpole's Journal of the Reign of George III, ii. 475.

[1057] See ante, i. 342.

[1058] There was a Colonel Fullarton who took an important part in the war against Tippoo in 1783. Mill's British India, ed. 1840, iv. 276.

[1059] 'To count is a modern practice, the ancient method was to guess; and when numbers are guessed, they are always magnified.' Johnson's Works, ix. 95.

[1060] He published in 1714 An Account of Switzerland.

[1061] See ante, ii. 468.

[1062] See Appendix C.

[1063] 'All unnecessary vows are folly, because they suppose a prescience of the future which has not been given us. They are, I think, a crime, because they resign that life to chance which God has given us to be regulated by reason; and superinduce a kind of fatality, from which it is the great privilege of our nature to be free.' Piozzi Letters, i. 83. Johnson (Works, vii. 52) praises the 'just and noble thoughts' in Cowley's lines which begin:—

'Where honour or where conscience does not bind, No other law shall shackle me; Slave to myself I ne'er will be; Nor shall my future actions be confined By my own present mind.'

See ante, ii. 21.

[1064] Juvenal, Sat. iii. 78. Imitated by Johnson in London.

[1065] See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 16, and Johnson's Tour into Wales, Aug. 1, 1774.

[1066] The slip of paper on which he made the correction, is deposited by me in the noble library to which it relates, and to which I have presented other pieces of his hand-writing. BOSWELL. In substituting burns he resumes the reading of the first edition, in which the former of the two couplets ran:—

'Resistless burns the fever of renown, Caught from the strong contagion of the gown.'

'The slip of paper and the other pieces of Johnson's hand-writing' have been lost. At all events they are not in the Bodleian.

[1067] Johnson (Works, vii. 76), criticising Milton's scheme of education, says:—'Those authors therefore are to be read at schools that supply most axioms of prudence, most principles of moral truth, and most materials for conversation; and these purposes are best served by poets, orators, and historians. Let me not be censured for this digression as pedantic or paradoxical; for if I have Milton against me, I have Socrates on my side. It was his labour to turn philosophy from the study of nature to speculations upon life; but the innovators whom I oppose are turning off attention from life to nature. They seem to think that we are placed here to watch the growth of plants, or the motions of the stars. Socrates was rather of opinion that what we had to learn was how to do good and avoid evil. "[Greek: hotti toi en megaroisi kakon t agathon te tetuktai]."'

[1068] 'His ear was well-tuned, and his diction was elegant and copious, but his devotional poetry is, like that of others, unsatisfactory. The paucity of its topicks enforces perpetual repetition, and the sanctity of the matter rejects the ornaments of figurative diction. It is sufficient for Watts to have done better than others what no man has done well.' Ib. viii. 386. See ante, i. 312. Mrs. Piozzi (Anec. p. 200) says that when 'Johnson would inveigh against devotional poetry, and protest that all religious verses were cold and feeble,' she reminded him how 'when he would try to repeat the Dies irae, dies illa, he could never pass the stanza ending thus, Tantus labor non sit cassus, without bursting into a flood of tears.'

[1069] See ante, ii. 169, note 2.

[1070] Dr. Johnson was by no means attentive to minute accuracy in his Lives of the Poets; for notwithstanding my having detected this mistake, he has continued it. BOSWELL. See post, iv. 51, note 2 for a like instance of neglect.

[1071] See ante, ii. 64.

[1072] See ante, ii. 278.

[1073] 'May 31, 1778. We shall at least not doze, as we are used to do, in summer. The Parliament is to have only short adjournments; and our senators, instead of retiring to horseraces (their plough), are all turned soldiers, and disciplining militia. Camps everywhere.' Horace Walpole's Letters, vii. 75. It was a threat of invasion by the united forces of France and Spain, at the time that we were at war with America, that caused the alarm. Dr. J.H. Burton (Dr. A. Carlyle's Auto. p. 399) points out, that while the militia of England was placed nearly in its present position by the act of 1757, yet 'when a proposal for extending the system to Scotland was suggested (sic), ministers were afraid to arm the people.' 'It is curious,' he continues, 'that for a reason almost identical Ireland has been excepted from the Volunteer organisation of a century later. It was not until 1793 that the Militia Acts were extended to Scotland.'

[1074] 'Before dinner,' wrote Miss Burney in September of this year, 'to my great joy Dr. Johnson returned home from Warley Common.' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 114. He wrote to Mrs. Thrale on Oct. 15:—'A camp, however familiarly we may speak of it, is one of the great scenes of human life. War and peace divide the business of the world. Camps are the habitations of those who conquer kingdoms, or defend them.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 22.

[1075] Third Edition, p. 111 [Aug. 28]. BOSWELL. It was at Fort George. 'He made a very good figure upon these topicks. He said to me afterwards that "he had talked ostentatiously."'

[1076] When I one day at Court expressed to General Hall my sense of the honour he had done my friend, he politely answered, 'Sir, I did myself honour.' BOSWELL.

[1077] According to Malone, 'Mr. Burke said of Mr. Boswell that good nature was so natural to him that he had no merit in possessing it, and that a man might as well assume to himself merit in possessing an excellent constitution.' European Mag. 1798, p. 376. See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 21.

[1078] Langton. See ante, iii. 48.

[1079] No doubt his house at Langton.

[1080] The Wey Canal. See ante, ii. 136. From navigation, i.e. a canal for internal navigation, we have navvy. A canal was the common term for an ornamental pool, and for a time it seemed that navigation and not canal might be the term applied to artificial rivers.

[1081] Langton.


'He plunging downward shot his radiant head: Dispelled the breathing air that broke his flight; Shorn of his beams, a man to mortal sight.'

Dryden, quoted in Johnson's Dictionary under shorn. The phrase first appears in Paradise Lost, i. 596.

[1083] Mrs. Thrale, this same summer, 'asked whether Mr. Langton took any better care of his affairs. "No, madam," cried the doctor, "and never will. He complains of the ill-effects of habit, and rests contentedly upon a confessed indolence. He told his father himself that he had no turn to economy, but a thief might as well plead that he had no turn to honesty!"' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 75.

[1084] Locke, in his last words to Collins, said:—'This world affords no solid satisfaction but the consciousness of well-doing, and the hopes of another life.' Warburton's Divine Legation, i. xxvi.

[1085] Not the young brewer who was hoped for (ante, iii. 210); therefore she is called 'poor thing.' One of Mr. Thrale's daughters lived to Nov. 5, 1858.

[1086] On Oct. 15 Johnson wrote:—'Is my master [i.e. Mr. Thrale, ante, i. 494, note 3] come to himself? Does he talk, and walk, and look about him, as if there were yet something in the world for which it is worth while to live? Or does he yet sit and say nothing? To grieve for evils is often wrong; but it is much more wrong to grieve without them.' Piozzi Letters. ii. 22. Nine days later he wrote:—'You appear to me to be now floating on the spring-tide of prosperity. I think it very probably in your power to lay up L8000 a-year for every year to come, increasing all the time, what needs not be increased, the splendour of all external appearance. And surely such a state is not to be put into yearly hazard for the pleasure of keeping the house full, or the ambition of out-brewing Whitbread? Piozzi Letters, p. 24.

[1087] See ante, ii. 136. The following letter, of which a fac-simile is given at the beginning of vol. iii. of Dr. Franklin's Memoirs, ed. 1818, tells of 'a difference' between the famous printer of Philadelphia and the King's Printer of London.

'Philada., July 5, 1775.

'Mr. Strahan,

'You are a Member of Parliament, and one of that Majority which has doomed my Country to Destruction.—You have begun to burn our Towns, and murder our People.—Look upon your Hands!—They are stained with the Blood of your Relations! You and I were long friends:—You are now my Enemy,—and

'I am, yours,


When peace was made between the two countries the old friendship was renewed. Ib. iii. 147.

[1088] On this day he wrote a touching letter to Mr. Elphinston, who had lost his wife (Croker's Boswell, p. 66, note). Perhaps the thoughts thus raised in him led him to this act of reconciliation.

[1089] Dr. Johnson here addresses his worthy friend, Bennet Langton, Esq., by his title as Captain of the Lincolnshire militia, in which he has since been most deservedly raised to the rank of Major. BOSWELL.

[1090] President of the Royal Society.

[1091] The King visited Warley Camp on Oct. 20. Ann. Reg. xxi. 237.

[1092] He visited Coxheath Camp on Nov. 23. Ib. Horace Walpole, writing of April of this year when, in the alarm of a French invasion, the militia were called out, says:—'The King's behaviour was childish and absurd. He ordered the camp equipage, and said he would command the army himself.' Walpole continues:—'It is reported, that in a few days will be published in two volumes, folio, an accurate account of His Majesty's Journeys to Chatham and Portsmouth, together with a minute Description of his numerous Fatigues, Dangers, and hair-breadth Escapes; to which will be added the Royal Bon-mots. And the following week will be published an History of all the Campaigns of the King of Prussia, in one volume duodecimo.' Journal of the Reign of George III, ii. 262, 264.

[1093] Boswell, eleven years later, wrote of him:—'My second son is an extraordinary boy; he is much of his father (vanity of vanities). He is of a delicate constitution, but not unhealthy, and his spirit never fails him. He is still in the house with me; indeed he is quite my companion, though only eleven in September.' Letters of Boswell, p. 315. Mr. Croker, who knew him, says that 'he was very convivial, and in other respects like his father—though altogether on a smaller scale.' He edited a new edition of Malone's Shakespeare. He died in 1822. Croker's Boswell, p. 620.

[1094] See Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 30, 1773.

[1095] Ib. Nov. 1.

[1096] Regius Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church. Johnson wrote in 1783:—'At home I see almost all my companions dead or dying. At Oxford I have just left [lost] Wheeler, the man with whom I most delighted to converse.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 302. See post, Aug. 30, 1780.

[1097] Johnson, in 1784, wrote about a visit to Oxford:—'Since I was there my convivial friend Dr. Edwards and my learned friend Dr. Wheeler are both dead, and my probabilities of pleasure are very much diminished.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 371.

[1098] Dr. Edwards was preparing an edition of Xenophon's Memorabilia. CROKER.

[1099] Johnson wrote on the 14th:—'Dr. Burney had the luck to go to Oxford the only week in the year when the library is shut up. He was, however, very kindly treated; as one man is translating Arabick and another Welsh for his service.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 38.

[1100] Johnson three years later, hearing that one of Dr. Burney's sons had got the command of a ship, wrote:—'I question if any ship upon the ocean goes out attended with more good wishes than that which carries the fate of Burney. I love all of that breed whom I can be said to know, and one or two whom I hardly know I love upon credit, and love them because they love each other.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 225. See post, Nov. 16, 1784.

[1101] Vol. ii. p. 38. BOSWELL.

[1102] Miss Carmichael. BOSWELL.

[1103] See Appendix D.

[1104] See ante, ii. 382, note 1.

[1105] See ante, i. 446.

[1106] See ante, iii. 99, note 4.

[1107] It was the collected edition containing the first seven Discourses, which had each year been published separately. 'I was present,' said Samuel Rogers (Table-Talk, p. 18), 'when Sir Joshua Reynolds delivered his last lecture at the Royal Academy. On entering the room, I found that a semicircle of chairs immediately in front of the pulpit was reserved for persons of distinction, being labelled "Mr. Burke," "Mr. Boswell," &c.'

[1108] In an unfinished sketch for a Discourse, Reynolds said of those already delivered:—'Whatever merit they may have must be imputed, in a great measure, to the education which I may be said to have had under Dr. Johnson. I do not mean to say, though it certainly would be to the credit of these Discourses if I could say it with truth, that he contributed even a single sentiment to them; but he qualified my mind to think justly.' Northcote's Reynolds, ii. 282. See ante, i. 245.

[1109] The error in grammar is no doubt Boswell's. He was so proud of his knowledge of languages that when he was appointed Secretary for Foreign Correspondence to the Royal Academy (ante, ii. 67, note 1), 'he wrote his acceptance of the honour in three separate letters, still preserved in the Academy archives, in English, French, and Italian.' The Athenaeum, No. 3041.

[1110] The remaining six volumes came out, not in 1780, but in 1781. See post, 1781. He also wrote this year the preface to a translation of Oedipus Tyrannus, by Thomas Maurice, in Poems and Miscellaneous Pieces. (See preface to Westminster Abbey with other Poems, 1813.)

[1111] See ante, ii. 272.

[1112] Life of Watts [Works, viii. 380]. BOSWELL.

[1113] See ante, ii. 107.

[1114] See ante, iii. 126.

[1115] 'Perhaps no composition in our language has been oftener perused than Pomfret's Choice.' Johnson's Works, vii. 222.

[1116] Johnson, in his Life of Yalden (Ib. viii. 83), calls the following stanza from his Hymn to Darkness 'exquisitely beautiful':—

'Thou dost thy smiles impartially bestow, And know'st no difference here below: All things appear the same by thee, Though Light distinction makes, thou giv'st equality.'

It is strange that Churchill was left out of the collection.

[1117] Murphy says, though certainly with exaggeration, that 'after Garrick's death Johnson never talked of him without a tear in his eyes. He offered,' he adds, 'if Mrs. Garrick would desire it of him, to be the editor of his works and the historian of his life.' Murphy's Johnson, p. 145. Cumberland (Memoirs, ii. 210) said of Garrick's funeral:—'I saw old Samuel Johnson standing beside his grave, at the foot of Shakespeare's monument, and bathed in tears.' Sir William Forbes was told that Johnson, in going to the funeral, said to William Jones:—'Mr. Garrick and his profession have been equally indebted to each other. His profession made him rich, and he made his profession respectable.' Forbes's Beattie, Appendix CC.

[1118] See ante, i. 456.

[1119] See Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 23.

[1120] The anniversary of the death of Charles I.

[1121] See ante, i. 211.

[1122] He sent a set elegantly bound and gilt, which was received as a very handsome present. BOSWELL.

[1123] On March 10 he wrote:—'I got my Lives, not yet quite printed, put neatly together, and sent them to the King; what he says of them I know not. If the king is a Whig, he will not like them; but is any king a Whig?' Piozzi Letters, ii. 43.

[1124] 'He was always ready to assist any authors in correcting their works, and selling them to booksellers. "I have done writing," said he, "myself, and should assist those that do write."' Johnson's Works (1787), xi. 202. See ante, ii. 195.

[1125] In The Rehearsal. See ante, ii. 168.

[1126] Johnson wrote on Nov. 21, 1778:—'Baretti has told his musical scheme to B—— and B—— will neither grant the question nor deny. He is of opinion that if it does not fail, it will succeed, but if it does not succeed he conceives it must fail.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 41. Baretti, in a marginal note on his copy, says that B—— is Dr. Burney. He adds:—'The musical scheme was the Carmen Seculare. That brought me L150 in three nights, and three times as much to Philidor. It would have benefited us both greatly more, if Philidor had not proved a scoundrel.' 'The complaisant Italian,' says the Gent Mag. (xlix. 361), 'in compliment to our island chooses "to drive destructive war and pestilence" ad Mauros, Seras et Indos, instead of ad Persas atque Britannos.' Mr. Tasker, the clergyman, went a step further. 'I,' he says in his version of the Carmen,

'Honour and fame prognosticate To free-born Britain's naval state And to her Patriot-King.' Ib.

[1127] We may compare with this the scene in Le Misanthrope (Act i. sc. 2), where Oronte reads his sonnet to Alceste; who thrice answers: —'Je ne dis pas cela, mais—.' See ante, iii. 320.

[1128] This was a Mr. Tasker. Mr. D'Israeli informed me that this portrait is so accurately drawn, that being, some years after the publication of this work, at a watering-place on the coast of Devon, he was visited by Mr. Tasker, whose name, however, he did not then know, but was so struck with his resemblance to Boswell's picture, that he asked him whether he had not had an interview with Dr. Johnson, and it appeared that he was indeed the author of The Warlike Genius of Britain. CROKER.

[1129] The poet was preparing a second edition of his Ode. 'This animated Pindaric made its first appearance the latter end of last year (1778). It is well calculated to rouse the martial spirit of the nation, and is now reprinted with considerable additions.' Gent. Mag. July, 1779, p. 357. In 1781 he published another volume of his poems with a poetical preface, in which he thus attacks his brother-in-law:—

'To suits litigious, ignorant and raw, Compell'd by an unletter'd brother-in-law.'

Ib. 1781, p. 227.

[1130] Boswell must have misheard what Johnson said. It was not Anson, but Amherst whom the bard praised. Ode, p. 7.

[1131] Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale on Foote's death:—'Now, will any of his contemporaries bewail him? Will Genius change his sex to weep?' Piozzi Letters, i. 396.


'Genius of Britain! to thy office true, On Cox-Heath reared the waving banners view.

* * * * *

In martial vest By Venus and the Graces drest, To yonder tent, who leads the way? Art thou Britannia's Genius? say.'

Ode, p. 8.

[1133] Twenty-nine years earlier he wrote:—'There is nothing more dreadful to an author than neglect; compared with which reproach, hatred, and opposition are names of happiness.' The Rambler, No. 2. In The Vicar of Wakefield, ch. xx, George says of his book:—'The learned world said nothing to my paradoxes, nothing at all, Sir.... I suffered the cruellest mortification, neglect.' See ante, ii. 61, 335. Hume said:—'The misfortune of a book, says Boileau, is not the being ill spoke [sic] of, but the not being spoken of at all.' J.H. Burton's Hume, i. 412

[1134] The account given in Northcote's Reynolds (ii. 94-97) renders it likely that Sir Joshua is 'the friend of ours.' Northcote, quoting Mr. Courtenay, writes:—'His table was frequented by men of the first talents. Politics and party were never introduced. Temporal and spiritual peers, physicians, lawyers, actors, and musicians composed the motley group.' At one of these dinners Mr. Dunning, afterwards Lord Ashburton, was the first who came. 'On entering, he said, "Well, Sir Joshua, and who [sic] have you got to dine with you to-day? for the last time I dined with you the assembly was of such a sort, that, by G—, I believe all the rest of the world were at peace, for that afternoon at least."' See post, under June 16, 1784, note. Boswell, in his Letter to the People of Scotland (p. 95), boasts that he too is 'a very universal man.' 'I can drink, I can laugh, I can converse in perfect humour with Whigs, with republicans, with dissenters, with Independents, with Quakers, with Moravians, with Jews. But I would vote with Tories and pray with a Dean and Chapter.'

[1135] 'Finding that the best things remained to be said on the wrong side, I resolved to write a book that should be wholly new. I therefore drest up three paradoxes with some ingenuity. They were false, indeed, but they were new.' Vicar of Wakefield, ch. xx. See ante, i. 441, where Johnson says:—'When I was a boy, I used always to choose the wrong side of a debate, because most ingenious things, that is to say, most new things, could be said upon it.' In the Present State of Polite Learning (ch. vii.), Goldsmith says:—'Nothing can be a more certain sign that genius is in the wane than its being obliged to fly to paradox for support, and attempting to be erroneously agreeable.'

[1136] The whole night spent in playing at cards (see next page) may account for part of his negligence. He was perhaps unusually dissipated this visit.

[1137] See ante, ii. 135.

[1138] 'Three men,' writes Horace Walpole, 'were especially suspected, Wilkes, Edmund Burke, and W. G. Hamilton. Hamilton was most generally suspected.' Memoirs of George III, iii. 401. According to Dr. T. Campbell (Diary, p. 35) Johnson in 1775 'said that he looked upon Burke to be the author of Junius, and that though he would not take him contra mundum, yet he would take him against any man.'

[1139] Sargeant Bettersworth, enraged at Swift's lines on him, 'demanded whether he was the author of that poem. "Mr. Bettesworth," answered he, "I was in my youth acquainted with great lawyers, who knowing my disposition to satire advised me that if any scoundrel or blockhead whom I had lampooned should ask, Are you the author of this paper? I should tell him that I was not the author; and therefore I tell you, Mr. Bettesworth, that I am not the author of these lines."' Johnson's Works, viii. 216. See post, June 13, 1784.

[1140] Mr. S. Whyte (Miscellanea Nova, p. 27) says that Johnson mistook the nature of the compliment. Sheridan had fled to France from his debtors. In 1766 an Insolvent Debtors' Relief Bill was brought into the House in his absence. Mr. Whyte, one of his creditors, petitioned the House to have Sheridan's name included. A very unusual motion was made, 'that petitioner shall not be put to his oath; but the facts set forth in his petition be admitted simply on his word.' The motion was seconded by an instantaneous Ay! Ay! without a dissenting voice. Sheridan wrote to Mr. Whyte:—'As the thing has passed with so much credit to me, the whole honour and merit of it is yours'.

[1141] In The Rambler, No. 39, he wrote of this kind of control:—'It may be urged in extenuation of this crime which parents, not in any other respect to be numbered with robbers and assassins, frequently commit, that, in their estimation, riches and happiness are equivalent terms.' He wrote to Mrs. Thrale:—'There wanders about the world a wild notion which extends over marriage more than over any transaction. If Miss —— followed a trade, would it be said that she was bound in conscience to give or refuse credit at her father's choice? ... The parent's moral right can arise only from his kindness, and his civil right only from his money.' Piozzi Letters, i. 83. See ante, i. 346.

[1142] See p. 186 of this volume. BOSWELL.

[1143] He refers to Johnson's letter of July 3, 1778, ante, p. 363.

[1144] See ante, iii. 5, 178.

[1145] 'By seeing London,' said Johnson, 'I have seen as much of life as the world can show.' Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 11. 'London,' wrote Hume in 1765, 'never pleased me much. Letters are there held in no honour; Scotmen are hated; superstition and ignorance gain ground daily.' J.H. Burton's Hume, ii. 292.

[1146] See ante, i. 82.

[1147] 'I found in Cairo a mixture of all nations ... many brought thither by the desire of living after their own manner without observation, and of lying hid in the obscurity of multitudes; for in a city populous as Cairo it is possible to obtain at the same time the gratifications of society and the secrecy of solitude.' Rasselas, ch. xii. Gibbon wrote of London (Misc. Works, ii. 291):—'La liberte d'un simple particulier se fortifie par l'immensite de la ville.'

[1148] Perhaps Mr. Elphinston, of whom he said (ante, ii. 171), 'His inner part is good, but his outer part is mighty awkward.'

[1149] Worthy is generally applied to Langton. His foibles were a common subject of their talk. Ante, iii. 48.

[1150] By the Author of The Whole Duty of Man. See ante, ii. 239, note 4. Johnson often quotes it in his Dictionary.

[1151] 'The things done in his body.' 2 Corinthians, v. 10.


'Yes I am proud: I must be proud to see Men not afraid of God, afraid of me: Safe from the bar, the pulpit, and the throne, Yet touched and shamed by ridicule alone. O sacred weapon! left for truth's defence, Sole dread of folly, vice, and insolence!'

Pope. Satires, Epilogue, ii. 208.

[1153] Page 173. BOSWELL.

[1154] At eleven o'clock that night Johnson recorded:—'I am now to review the last year, and find little but dismal vacuity, neither business nor pleasure; much intended and little done. My health is much broken, my nights afford me little rest.... Last week I published the Lives of the Poets, written, I hope, in such a manner as may tend to the promotion of piety. In this last year I have made little acquisition. I have scarcely read anything. I maintain Mrs. —— [Desmoulins] and her daughter. Other good of myself I know not where to find, except a little charity.' Ib. p. 175.

[1155] Mauritius Lowe, the painter. Ante, p. 324.

[1156] See ante ii 249.

[1157] 'Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels when she put 'em i' the paste alive; she knapped 'em o' the coxcombs with a stick, and cried, "Down wantons, down!"' King Lear, act ii. sc. 4.

[1158] See Boswell's Hebrides, Sept. 23, where Johnson, speaking of claret, said that 'there were people who died of dropsies, which they contracted in trying to get drunk.'

[1159] 'If,' wrote Johnson in one of his Debates (Works xi. 392), 'the felicity of drunkenness can be more cheaply obtained by buying spirits than ale, it is easy to see which will be preferred.' See post, March 30, 1781.

[1160] Dempster, to whom Boswell complained that his nerves were affected, replied:—'One had better be palsied at eighteen than not keep company with such a man.' Ante, i. 434.

[1161] Marquis of Graham, afterwards third Duke of Montrose. In The Rolliad (ed. 1795) he is thus attacked:—

'Superior to abuse He nobly glories in the name of Goose; Such Geese at Rome from the perfidious Gaul Preserved the Treas'ry-Bench and Capitol.'

He was one of the Lords of the Treasury. See also The Rolliad, p. 60

[1162] Johnson, however, when telling Mrs. Thrale that, in case of her husband's death, she ought to carry on his business, said:—'Do not be frighted; trade could not be managed by those who manage it if it had much difficulty. Their great books are soon understood, and their language,

"If speech it may be called, that speech is none Distinguishable in number, mood, or tense,"

is understood with no very laborious application.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 91. See Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 18.

[1163] See Boswell's Hebrides, Sept. 26.

[1164] See ante, iii. 88, note 1.

[1165] The Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, with whom she lived seventeen years, and by whom she had nine children. Ann. Reg. xxii. 206. The Duke of Richmond attacked her in the House of Lords as one 'who was supposed to sell favours in the Admiralty for money.' Walpole's Journal of the Reign of George III, ii. 248, and Parl. Hist. xix. 993. It so happened that on the day on which Hackman was hanged 'Fox moved for the removal of Lord Sandwich [from office] but was beaten by a large majority.' Walpole's Letters, vii. 194. One of her children was Basil Montague, the editor of Bacon. Carlyle writes of him:—'On going to Hinchinbrook, I found he was strikingly like the dissolute, questionable Earl of Sandwich; who, indeed, had been father of him in a highly tragic way.' Carlyle's Reminiscences, i. 224. Hackman, who was a clergyman of the Church, had once been in the army. Cradock's Memoirs, i. 140.

[1166] On the following Monday Boswell was present at Hackman's execution, riding to Tyburn with him in a mourning coach. London Mag. for 1779, p. 189.

[1167] At the Club. CROKER. See ante, ii. 345, note 5.

[1168] See ante, p. 281, for a previous slight altercation, and p. 195 for a possible cause of unfriendly feeling between the two men. If such a feeling existed, it passed away, at all events on Johnson's side, before Beauclerk's death. See post, iv. 10.

[1169] This gentleman who loved buttered muffins reappears in Pickwick (ch. 44), as 'the man who killed himself on principle,' after eating three-shillings' worth of crumpets. Mr. Croker says that Mr. Fitzherbert is meant; but he hanged himself. Ante, ii. 228, note 3.

[1170] 'It is not impossible that this restless desire of novelty, which gives so much trouble to the teacher, may be often the struggle of the understanding starting from that to which it is not by nature adapted, and travelling in search of something on which it may fix with greater satisfaction. For, without supposing each man particularly marked out by his genius for particular performances, it may be easily conceived that when a numerous class of boys is confined indiscriminately to the same forms of composition, the repetition of the same words, or the explication of the same sentiments, the employment must, either by nature or accident, be less suitable to some than others.... Weariness looks out for relief, and leisure for employment, and surely it is rational to indulge the wanderings of both.' Johnson's Works, v. 232. See post, iv. 21.

[1171] 'See Boswell's Hebrides, Sept 10, and Johnson's Works, viii. 466. Mallet had the impudence to write to Hume that the book was ready for the press; 'which,' adds Hume, 'is more than I or most people expected.' J.H. Burton's Hume, ii. 139.

[1172] The name is not given in the first two editions. See ante, i. 82.

[1173] See p. 289 of this vol., and vol. i. p. 207. BOSWELL. The saying is from Diogenes Laertius, bk. v. ch. I, and is attributed to Aristotle —[Greek: ho philoi oudeis philos.]


'Love, the most generous passion of the mind, The softest refuge innocence can find; The safe director of unguided youth, Fraught with kind wishes, and secured by truth; That cordial drop Heaven in our cup has thrown, To make the nauseous draught of life go down.'

Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, A Letter from Artemisia, Chalmers's Poets, viii. 242. Pope (Imitations of Horace, Epist. I. vi. 126) refers to these lines:—

'If, after all, we must with Wilmot own, The cordial drop of life is love alone.'

[1175] Garrick wrote in 1776:—'Gout, stone, and sore throat! Yet I am in spirits.' Garrick Corres, ii. 138.

[1176] See ante, p. 70.

[1177] In The Life of Edmund Smith (Works, vii. 380). See ante, i. 81.

[1178] Johnson wrote of Foote's death:—'The world is really impoverished by his sinking glories.' Piozzi Letters, i. 396. See ante, p. 185, note 1.

[1179] 'Allowance must be made for some degree of exaggerated praise,' he said in speaking of epitaphs. 'In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.' Ante, ii. 407.

[1180] Garrick retired in January 1776, three years before his death. He visited Ireland in 1742, and again in 1743. Davies's Garrick, i. 57, 91.

[1181] In the original impoverished.

[1182] Certainly not Horace Walpole, as had been suggested to Mr. Croker. He and Johnson can scarcely be said to have known each other (post, under June 19, 1784, note). A sentence in one of Walpole's Letters (iv. 407) shews that he was very unlike the French wit. On Sept. 22, 1765, he wrote from Paris:—'The French affect philosophy, literature, and free-thinking: the first never did, and never will possess me; of the two others I have long been tired. Free-thinking is for one's self, surely not for society.' Perhaps Richard Fitzpatrick is meant, who later on joined in writing The Rolliad, and who was the cousin and 'sworn brother' of Charles Fox. Walpole describes him as 'an agreeable young man of parts,' and mentions his 'genteel irony and badinage.' Journal of the Reign of George III, i. 167 and ii. 560. He was Lord Shelburne's brother-in-law, at whose house Johnson might have met him, as well as in Fox's company. There are one or two lines in The Rolliad which border on profanity. Rogers (Table-Talk, p. 104) said that 'Fitzpatrick was at one time nearly as famous for his wit as Hare.' Tickell in his Epistle from the Hon. Charles Fox to the Hon. John Townshend, p. 13, writes:—

'Oft shall Fitzpatrick's wit and Stanhope's ease, And Burgoyne's manly sense unite to please.'

[1183] See ante, i. 379, note 2.

[1184] According to Mr. Wright (Croker's Boswell, p. 630), this physician was Dr. James. I have examined, however, the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th editions of his Dissertation on Fevers, but can find no mention of this. In the 7th edition, published in 1770, he complains (p. 111) of 'the virulence and rancour with which the fever-powder and its inventor have been traduced and persecuted by the vendors of medicines and their abettors.'

[1185] According to Mr. Croker this was Andrew Millar, but I doubt it. See ante, i. 287, note 3.

[1186] 'The Chevalier Taylor, Ophthalmiator Pontifical, Imperial, and Royal,' as he styled himself. Gent. Mag. xxxi. 226. Lord Eldon said that—'Taylor, dining with the barristers upon the Oxford circuit, having related many wonderful things which he had done, was asked by Bearcroft, "Pray, Chevalier, as you have told us of a great many things which you have done and can do, will you be so good as to try to tell us anything which you cannot do?" "Nothing so easy," replied Taylor, "I cannot pay my share of the dinner bill: and that, Sir, I must beg of you to do."' Twiss's Eldon, i 321.

[1187] Pope mentions Ward in the Imitations of Horace_, 2 Epistle, i. 180:—

'He serv'd a 'prenticeship who sets up shop; Ward try'd on puppies, and the poor, his drop.'

Fielding, in Tom Jones, bk. viii. ch. 9, says that 'interest is indeed a most excellent medicine, and, like Ward's pill, flies at once to the particular part of the body on which you desire to operate.' In the introduction to the Voyage to Lisbon he speaks very highly of Ward's remedies and of Ward himself, who 'endeavoured, he says, 'to serve me without any expectation or desire of fee or reward.'

[1188] 'Every thing,' said Johnson, 'comes from Beauclerk so easily. It appears to me that I labour, when I say a good thing.' Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 21. See post, under May 2, 1780. Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto. p. 219) mentions another great-grandson of Charles II. (Commissioner Cardonnel) who was 'the most agreeable companion that ever was. He excelled in story-telling, like his great-grandfather, Charles II., but he seldom or ever repeated them.'

[1189] No doubt Burke. Ante, ii. 222, note 4.

[1190] General Paoli's house, where for some years Boswell was 'a constant guest while he was in London.' Ante, p. 35

[1191] Allan Ramsay's residence: No. 67, Harley-street. P. CUNNINGHAM.

[1192] It is strange that he does not mention their visit in a letter in which he tells Temple that he is lame, and that his 'spirits sank to dreary dejection;' and utters what the editor justly calls an ambiguous prayer:—'Let us hope for gleams of joy here, and a blaze hereafter.' This letter, by the way, and the one that follows it, are both wrongly dated. Letters of Boswell, p. 237.

[1193] See p. 344 of this Volume. BOSWELL.

[1194] 'Johnson's first question was, "What kind of a man was Mr. Pope in his conversation?" His Lordship answered, that if the conversation did not take something of a lively or epigrammatic turn, he fell asleep, or perhaps pretended to do so.' Johnson's Works (1787), xi. 200. Johnson in his Life of Pope (Works, viii. 309) says that 'when he wanted to sleep he "nodded in company."'

[1195] Boswell wrote to Temple late on this day, 'Let us not dispute any more about political notions. It is now night. Dr. Johnson has dined, drunk tea, and supped with only Mr. Charles Dilly and me, and I am confirmed in my Toryism.' Letters of Boswell, p. 238.

[1196] In the original or. Boswell quotes the line correctly, ante, p. 220.

[1197] 'I do not (says Mr. Malone) see any difficulty in this passage, and wonder that Dr. Johnson should have acknowledged it to be inaccurate. The Hermit, it should be observed, had no actual experience of the world whatsoever: all his knowledge concerning it had been obtained in two ways; from books, and from the relations of those country swains, who had seen a little of it. The plain meaning, therefore, is, "To clear his doubts concerning Providence, and to obtain some knowledge of the world by actual experience; to see whether the accounts furnished by books, or by the oral communications of swains, were just representations of it; [I say, swains,] for his oral or viva voce information had been obtained from that part of mankind alone, &c." The word alone here does not relate to the whole of the preceding line, as has been supposed, but, by a common licence, to the words,—of all mankind, which are understood, and of which it is restrictive.'

Mr. Malone, it must be owned, has shewn much critical ingenuity in the explanation of this passage. His interpretation, however, seems to me much too recondite. The meaning of the passage may be certain enough; but surely the expression is confused, and one part of it contradictory to the other. BOSWELL. This note is first given in the third edition.

[1198] See ante, p. 297.

[1199] State is used for statement. 'He sate down to examine Mr. Owen's states.' Rob Roy, ed. 1860, viii. 101.

[1200] Johnson started for Lichfield and Ashbourne about May 20, and returned to London towards the end of June. Piozzi Letters, ii. 44, 55. 'It is good,' he wrote, 'to wander a little, lest one should dream that all the world was Streatham, of which one may venture to say, none but itself can be its parallel.' Ib. p. 47. 'None but thyself can be thy parallel' is from Theobald's Double Falsehood. Pope calls it 'a marvellous line,' and thus introduces it in The Dunciad, first edition, iii. 271:—'For works like these let deathless Journals tell, "None but thyself can be thy parallel."'

[1201] See post, Boswell's letter of Aug. 24, 1780, and Johnson's letter of Dec. 7, 1782.

[1202] Boswell, on his way to Scotland, wrote to Temple from this house:—'I am now at Southill, to which place Mr. Charles Dilly has accompanied; it is the house of Squire John Dilly, his elder brother. The family of Dilly have been land-proprietors in this county for two hundred years.... I am quite the great man here, and am to go forward on the North road to-morrow morning. Poor Mr. Edward Dilly is fast a-dying; he cried with affection at seeing me here; he is in as agreeable a frame as any Christian can be.... I am edified here.' Letters of Boswell, p. 239.

[1203] On June 18 in the following year he recorded:—'In the morning of this day last year I perceived the remission of those convulsions in my breast, which had distressed me for more than twenty years. I returned thanks at church for the mercy granted me, which has now continued a year.' Pr. and Med. p. 183. Three days later he wrote:—'It was a twelvemonth last Sunday since the convulsions in my breast left me. I hope I was thankful when I recollected it; by removing that disorder a great improvement was made in the enjoyment of life. I am now as well as men at my age can expect to be, and I yet think I shall be better.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 163.

[1204] From a stroke of apoplexy. Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale:—'You really do not use me well in thinking that I am in less pain on this occasion than I ought to be. There is nobody left for me to care about but you and my master, and I have now for many years known the value of his friendship, and the importance of his life, too well not to have him very near my heart.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 56. To him he wrote shortly after the attack, no doubt with a view to give the sick man confidence:—'To shew you how well I think of your health, I have sent you an hundred pounds to keep for me.' Ib. p. 54. Miss Burney wrote very soon after the attack:—'At dinner everybody tried to be cheerful, but a dark and gloomy cloud hangs over the head of poor Mr. Thrale which no flashes of merriment or beams of wit can pierce through; yet he seems pleased that everybody should be gay.' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 220. The attack was in June. Piozzi Letters, ii. 47. On Aug. 3, Johnson wrote to Dr. Taylor:—'Mr. Thrale has perfectly recovered all his faculties and all his vigour.' Notes and Queries, 6th S. v. 461.

[1205] Which I communicated to him from his Lordship, but it has not yet been published. I have a copy of it. BOSWELL. The few notices concerning Dryden, which Lord Hailes had collected, the authour afterwards gave to Mr. Malone. MALONE. Malone published a Life of Dryden.

[1206] He recorded of his birth-day this year:—'On the 17th Mr. Chamier (ante, i. 478) took me away with him from Streatham. I left the servants a guinea for my health, and was content enough to escape into a house where my birth-day not being known could not be mentioned. I sat up till midnight was past, and the day of a new year, a very awful day, began.' Pr. and Med. pp. 181, 225.

[1207] See ante, ii. 427, note 1.

[1208] In one of his manuscript Diaries, there is the following entry, which marks his curious minute attention: 'July 26, 1768. I shaved my nail by accident in whetting the knife, about an eighth of an inch from the bottom, and about a fourth from the top. This I measure that I may know the growth of nails; the whole is about five eighths of an inch.'

Another of the same kind appears, 'Aug. 7, 1779, Partem brachii dextri carpo proximam et cutem pectoris circa mamillam dextram rasi, ut notum fieret quanta temporis pili renovarentur.'

And, 'Aug. 15, 1773. I cut from the vine 41 leaves, which weighed five oz. and a half, and eight scruples:—I lay them upon my book-case, to see what weight they will lose by drying.' BOSWELL.

In The Idler, No. 31, we have in Mr. Sober a portrait of Johnson drawn by himself. He writes:—'The art is to fill the day with petty business, to have always something in hand which may raise curiosity, but not solicitude, and keep the mind in a state of action, but not of labour. This art has for many years been practised by my old friend Sober with wonderful success.... His chief pleasure is conversation; there is no end of his talk or his attention; to speak or to hear is equally pleasing; for he still fancies that he is teaching or learning something, and is free for the time from his own reproaches. But there is one time at night when he must go home that his friends may sleep; and another time in the morning when all the world agrees to shut out interruption. These are the moments of which poor Sober trembles at the thought. But the misery of these tiresome intervals he has many means of alleviating.... His daily amusement is chymistry. He has a small furnace which he employs in distillation, and which has long been the solace of his life. He draws oils and waters, and essences and spirits, which he knows to be of no use; sits and counts the drops as they come from his retort, and forgets that whilst a drop is falling a moment flies away.' Mrs. Piozzi says (Anec. p. 236):—'We made up a sort of laboratory at Streatham one summer, and diverted ourselves with drawing essences and colouring liquors. But the danger Mr. Thrale found his friend in one day, when he got the children and servants round him to see some experiments performed, put an end to all our entertainment.'

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