Life Of Johnson, Volume 5
by Boswell
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[551] This old Scottish member of parliament, I am informed, is still living (1785). BOSWELL.

[552] I cannot find that this account was ever published. Mr. Lumisden is mentioned ante, ii. 401, note 2.

[553] This word is not in Johnson's Dictionary.

[554] Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto. p. 153) describes him in 1745 as 'a good-looking man of about five feet ten inches; his hair was dark red, and his eyes black. His features were regular, his visage long, much sunburnt and freckled, and his countenance thoughtful and melancholy.' When the Pretender was in London in 1750, 'he came one evening,' writes Dr. W. King (Anec. p. 199) 'to my lodgings, and drank tea with me; my servant, after he was gone, said to me, that he thought my new visitor very like Prince Charles. "Why," said I, "have you ever seen Prince Charles?" "No, Sir," said the fellow, "but this gentleman, whoever he may be, exactly resembles the busts which are sold in Red Lionstreet, and are said to be the busts of Prince Charles." The truth is, these busts were taken in plaster of Paris from his face. He has an handsome face and good eyes.'

[555] Sir Walter Scott, writing of his childhood, mentions 'the stories told in my hearing of the cruelties after the battle of Culloden. One or two of our own distant relations had fallen, and I remember of (sic) detesting the name of Cumberland with more than infant hatred.' Lockhart's Scott, i. 24. 'I was,' writes Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto, p. 190), 'in the coffee-house with Smollett when the news of the battle of Culloden arrived, and when London all over was in a perfect uproar of joy.' On coming out into the street, 'Smollett,' he continues, 'cautioned me against speaking a word, lest the mob should discover my country, and become insolent, "for John Bull," says he; "is as haughty and valiant to-night as he was abject and cowardly on the Black Wednesday when the Highlanders were at Derby." I saw not Smollett again for some time after, when he shewed me his manuscript of his Tears of Scotland. Smollett, though a Tory, was not a Jacobite, but he had the feelings of a Scotch gentleman on the reported cruelties that were said to be exercised after the battle of Culloden.' See ante, ii. 374, for the madman 'beating his straw, supposing it was the Duke of Cumberland, whom he was punishing for his cruelties in Scotland in 1746.'

[556] 'He was obliged to trust his life to the fidelity of above fifty individuals, and many of these were in the lowest paths of fortune. They knew that a price of L30,000 was set upon his head, and that by betraying him they should enjoy wealth and affluence.' Smollett's Hist. of England, iii. 184.

[557] 'Que les hommes prives, qui se plaignent de leurs petites infortunes, jettent les yeux sur ce prince et sur ses ancetres.' Siecle de Louis XV, ch. 25.

[558] 'I never heard him express any noble or benevolent sentiments, or discover any sorrow or compassion for the misfortunes of so many worthy men who had suffered in his cause. But the most odious part of his character is his love of money, a vice which I do not remember to have been imputed by our historians to any of his ancestors, and is the certain index of a base and little mind. I have known this gentleman, with 2000 Louis d'ors in his strong box, pretend he was in great distress, and borrow money from a lady in Paris, who was not in affluent circumstances.' Dr. W. King's Anec. p. 201. 'Lord Marischal,' writes Hume, 'had a very bad opinion of this unfortunate prince; and thought there was no vice so mean or atrocious of which he was not capable; of which he gave me several instances.' J. H. Burton's Hume, ii. 464.

[559] Siecle de Louis XIV, ch. 15. The accentuation of this passage, which was very incorrect as quoted by Boswell, I have corrected.

[560] By banishment he meant, I conjecture, transportation as a convict-slave to the American plantations.

[561] Wesley in his Journal—the reference I have mislaid—seemed from this consideration almost to regret a reprieve that came to a penitent convict.

[562] Hume describes how in 1753 (? 1750) the Pretender, on his secret visit to London, 'came to the house of a lady (who I imagined to be Lady Primrose) without giving her any preparatory information; and entered the room where she had a pretty large company with her, and was herself playing at cards. He was announced by the servant under another name. She thought the cards would have dropped from her hands on seeing him. But she had presence enough of mind to call him by the name he assumed.' J.H. Burton's Hume, ii. 462. Mr. Croker (Croker's Boswell, p. 331) prints an autograph letter from Flora Macdonald which shows that Lady Primrose in 1751 had lodged L627 in a friend's hands for her behoof, and that she had in view to add more.

[563] It seems that the Pretender was only once in London, and that it was in 1750. Ante, i. 279, note 5. I suspect that 1759 is Boswell's mistake or his printer's. From what Johnson goes on to say it is clear that George II. was in Germany at the time of the Prince's secret visit. He was there the greater part of 1750, but not in 1753 or 1759. In 1750, moreover, 'the great army of the King of Prussia overawed Hanover.' Smollett's England, iii. 297. This explains what Johnson says about the King of Prussia stopping the army in Germany.

[564] See ante, iv. 165, 170.

[565] COMMENTARIES on the laws of England, book 1. chap. 3. BOSWELL.

[566] B. VI. chap. 3. Since I have quoted Mr. Archdeacon Paley upon one subject, I cannot but transcribe, from his excellent work, a distinguished passage in support of the Christian Revelation.—After shewing, in decent but strong terms, the unfairness of the indirect attempts of modern infidels to unsettle and perplex religious principles, and particularly the irony, banter, and sneer, of one whom he politely calls 'an eloquent historian,' the archdeacon thus expresses himself:—

'Seriousness is not constraint of thought; nor levity, freedom. Every mind which wishes the advancement of truth and knowledge, in the most important of all human researches, must abhor this licentiousness, as violating no less the laws of reasoning than the rights of decency. There is but one description of men to whose principles it ought to be tolerable. I mean that class of reasoners who can see little in christianity even supposing it to be true. To such adversaries we address this reflection.—Had Jesus Christ delivered no other declaration than the following, "The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth,—they that have done well [good] unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation," [St. John v. 25] he had pronounced a message of inestimable importance, and well worthy of that splendid apparatus of prophecy and miracles with which his mission was introduced and attested:—a message in which the wisest of mankind would rejoice to find an answer to their doubts, and rest to their inquiries. It is idle to say that a future state had been discovered already.—It had been discovered as the Copernican System was;—it was one guess amongst many. He alone discovers who proves, and no man can prove this point but the teacher who testifies by miracles that his doctrine comes from GOD.'—Book V. chap. 9.

If infidelity be disingenuously dispersed in every shape that is likely to allure, surprise, or beguile the imagination,—in a fable, a tale, a novel, a poem,—in books of travels, of philosophy, of natural history,—as Mr. Paley has well observed,—I hope it is fair in me thus to meet such poison with an unexpected antidote, which I cannot doubt will be found powerful. BOSWELL. The 'eloquent historian' was Gibbon. See Paley's Principles, ed. 1786, p. 395.

[567] In The Life of Johnson (ante, iii. 113), Boswell quotes these words, without shewing that they are his own; but italicises not fervour, but loyalty.

[568] 'Whose service is perfect freedom.' Book of Common Prayer.

[569] See ante, i. 353, note 1.

[570] Ovid, Ars Amatoria, iii. 121.


'This facile temper of the beauteous sex Great Agamemnon, brave Pelides proved.'

These two lines follow the four which Boswell quotes. Agis, act iv.

[572] Agis, a tragedy, by John Home. BOSWELL.

[573] See ante, p. 27.

[574] A misprint, I suppose, for designing.

[575] 'Next in dignity to the laird is the tacksman; a large taker or leaseholder of land, of which he keeps part as a domain in his own hand, and lets part to under-tenants. The tacksman is necessarily a man capable of securing to the laird the whole rent, and is commonly a collateral relation.' Johnson's Works, ix. 82.

[576] A lettre de cachet.

[577] Ante, p. 159.

[578] 'It is related that at Dunvegan Lady Macleod, having poured out for Dr. Johnson sixteen cups of tea, asked him if a small basin would not save him trouble, and be more agreeable. "I wonder, Madam," answered he roughly, "why all the ladies ask me such questions. It is to save yourselves trouble, Madam, and not me." The lady was silent and resumed her task.' Northcote's Reynolds, i. 81.

[579] 'In the garden-or rather the orchard which was formerly the garden-is a pretty cascade, divided into two branches, and called Rorie More's Nurse, because he loved to be lulled to sleep by the sound of it.' Lockhart's Scott, iv. 304.

[580] It has been said that she expressed considerable dissatisfaction at Dr. Johnson's rude behaviour at Dunvegan. Her grandson, the present Macleod, assures me that it was not so: 'they were all,' he says emphatically, 'delighted with him.' CROKER. Mr. Croker refers, I think, to a communication from Sir Walter Scott, published in the Croker Corres. ii. 33. Scott writes:—'When wind-bound at Dunvegan, Johnson's temper became most execrable, and beyond all endurance, save that of his guide. The Highlanders, who are very courteous in their way, held him in great contempt for his want of breeding, but had an idea at the same time there was something respectable about him, they could not tell what, and long spoke of him as the Sassenach mohr, or large Saxon.'

[581] 'I long to be again in civilized life.' Ante, p. 183.

[582] See ante, iii. 406.

[583] Johnson refers, I think, to a passage in L'Esprit des Lois, Book xvi. chap. 4, where Montesquieu says:—'J'avoue que si ce que les relations nous disent etait vrai, qu'a Bantam il y a dix femmes pour un homme, ce serait un cas bien particulier de la polygamie. Dans tout ceci je ne justifie pas les usages, mais j'en rends les raisons.'

[584] What my friend treated as so wild a supposition, has actually happened in the Western islands of Scotland, if we may believe Martin, who tells it of the islands of Col and Tyr-yi, and says that it is proved by the parish registers. BOSWELL. 'The Isle of Coll produces more boys than girls, and the Isle of Tire-iy more girls than boys; as if nature intended both these isles for mutual alliances, without being at the trouble of going to the adjacent isles or continent to be matched. The parish-book in which the number of the baptised is to be seen, confirms this observation.' Martin's Western Islands, p. 271.

[585] A Dissertation on the Gout, by W. Cadogan, M.D., 1771. It went through nine editions in its first year.

[586] This was a general reflection against Dr. Cadogan, when his very popular book was first published. It was said, that whatever precepts he might give to others, he himself indulged freely in the bottle. But I have since had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with him, and, if his own testimony may be believed, (and I have never heard it impeached,) his course of life has been conformable to his doctrine. BOSWELL.

[587] 'April 7, 1765. I purpose to rise at eight, because, though I shall not yet rise early, it will be much earlier than I now rise, for I often lie till two.' Pr. and Med. p. 62. 'Sept. 18, 1771. My nocturnal complaints grow less troublesome towards morning; and I am tempted to repair the deficiencies of the night. I think, however, to try to rise every day by eight, and to combat indolence as I shall obtain strength.' Ib. p. 105. 'April 14, 1775. As my life has from my earliest years been wasted in a morning bed, my purpose is from Easter day to rise early, not later than eight.' Ib. p. 139.

[588] See post, Oct. 25.

[589] See ante, iv. under Dec. 2, 1784.

[590] Miss Mulso (Mrs. Chapone) wrote in 1753:—'I had the assurance to dispute with Mr. Johnson on the subject of human malignity, and wondered to hear a man, who by his actions shews so much benevolence, maintain that the human heart is naturally malevolent, and that all the benevolence we see in the few who are good is acquired by reason and religion.' Life of Mrs. Chapone, p.73. See post, p. 214.

[591] This act was passed in 1746.

[592] Isaiah, ii. 4.

[593] Sir Walter Scott, after mentioning Lord Orford's (Horace Walpole) History of His Own Time, continues:—'The Memoirs of our Scots Sir George Mackenzie are of the same class—both immersed in little political detail, and the struggling skirmish of party, seem to have lost sight of the great progressive movements of human affairs.' Lockhart's Scott vii. 12.

[594] 'Illum jura potius ponere quam de jure respondere dixisses; eique appropinquabant clientes tanquam judici potius quam advocato.' Mackenzie's Works, ed. 1716, vol. i. part 2, p. 7.

[595] 'Opposuit ei providentia Nisbetum: qui summa doctrina consummataque eloquentia causas agebat, ut justitiae scalae in aequilibrio essent; nimia tamen arte semper utens artem suam suspectam reddebat. Quoties ergo conflixerunt, penes Gilmorum gloria, penes Nisbetum palma fuit; quoniam in hoc plus artis et cultus, in illo naturae et virium.' Ib.

[596] He often indulged himself in every species of pleasantry and wit. BOSWELL.

[597] But like the hawk, having soared with a lofty flight to a height which the eye could not reach, he was wont to swoop upon his quarry with wonderful rapidity. BOSWELL. These two quotations are part of the same paragraph, and are not even separated by a word. Ib. p. 6.

[598] See ante, i. 453; iii. 323; iv. 276; and v. 32.

[599] Some years later he said that 'when Burke lets himself down to jocularity he is in the kennel.' Ante, iv. 276.

[600] Cicero and Demosthenes, no doubt, were brought in by the passage about Nicholson. Mackenzie continues:—'Hic primus nos a Syllogismorum servitute manumisit et Aristotelem Demostheni potius quam Ciceroni forum concedere coegit.' P. 6.

[601] See ante ii. 435 and iv. 149, note 3.

[602] See ante, i. 103.

[603] See ante ii 436

[604] See ante, i. 65.

[605] On Sept. 13, 1777, Johnson wrote:—'Boswell shrinks from the Baltick expedition, which, I think, is the best scheme in our power.' Ante, iii. 134, note 1.

[606] See ante, ii. 59, note 1.

[607] See ante, iii. 368.

[608] 'Every man wishes to be wise, and they who cannot be wise are almost always cunning ... nor is caution ever so necessary as with associates or opponents of feeble minds.' The Idler, No. 92. In a letter to Dr. Taylor Johnson says:—'To help the ignorant commonly requires much patience, for the ignorant are always trying to be cunning.' Notes and Queries, 6th S. v. 462. Churchill, in The Journey (Poems, ed. 1766, ii. 327), says:—

''Gainst fools be guarded; 'tis a certain rule, Wits are safe things, there's danger in a fool.'

[609] See ante, p. 173.


'For thee we dim the eyes, and stuff the head With all such reading as was never read; For thee explain a thing till all men doubt it, And write about it, goddess, and about it.'

The Dunciad, iv. 249.

[611] Genius is chiefly exerted in historical pictures; and the art of the painter of portraits is often lost in the obscurity of his subject. But it is in painting as in life; what is greatest is not always best. I should grieve to see Reynolds transfer to heroes and to goddesses, to empty splendour and to airy fiction, that art which is now employed in diffusing friendship, in reviving tenderness, in quickening the affections of the absent, and continuing the presence of the dead.' The Idler, No. 45. 'Southey wrote thirty years later:—'I find daily more and more reason to wonder at the miserable ignorance of English historians, and to grieve with a sort of despondency at seeing how much that has been laid up among the stores of knowledge has been neglected and utterly forgotten.' Southey's Life, ii. 264. On another occasion he said of Robertson:—'To write his introduction to Charles V, without reading these Laws [the Laws of Alonso the Wise], is one of the thousand and one omissions for which he ought to be called rogue, as long as his volumes last. Ib. p. 318


'That eagle's fate and mine are one, Which on the shaft that made him die, Espy'd a feather of his own, Wherewith he wont to soar so high.' Epistle to a Lady.

Anderson's Poets, v. 480.

[613] See ante, iii. 271.

[614] 'In England there may be reason for raising the rents (in a certain degree) where the value of lands is increased by accession of commerce, ...but here (contrary to all policy) the great men begin at the wrong end, with squeezing the bag, before they have helped the poor tenant to fill it; by the introduction of manufactures.' Pennant's Scotland, ed. 1772, p. 191.

[615] Boswell refers, not to a passage in Pennant, but to Johnson's admission that in his dispute with Monboddo, 'he might have taken the side of the savage, had anybody else taken the side of the shopkeeper.' Ante, p. 83.

[616] 'Boswell, with some of his troublesome kindness, has informed this family and reminded me that the 18th of September is my birthday. The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape.' Piozzi Letters, i. 134. See ante, iii. 157.

[617] 'At Dunvegan I had tasted lotus, and was in danger of forgetting that I was ever to depart, till Mr. Boswell sagely reproached me with my sluggishness and softness.' Johnson's Works, ix. 67.

[618] Johnson wrote of the ministers:—'I saw not one in the islands whom I had reason to think either deficient in learning, or irregular in life; but found several with whom I could not converse without wishing, as my respect increased, that they had not been Presbyterians.' Ib. p. 102.

[619] See ante, p. 142.

[620] See ante, ii. 28.


'So horses they affirm to be Mere engines made by geometry, And were invented first from engines, As Indian Britons were from penguins.'

Hudibras, part i. canto 2, line 57. Z. Gray, in a note on these lines, quotes Selden's note on Drayton's Polyolbion:—'About the year 1570, Madoc, brother to David Ap Owen, Prince of Wales, made a sea-voyage to Florida; and by probability those names of Capo de Breton in Norimberg, and Penguin in part of the Northern America, for a white rock and a white-headed bird, according to the British, were relicts of this discovery.'

[622] Published in Edinburgh in 1763.

[623] See ante, ii. 76. 'Johnson used to say that in all family disputes the odds were in favour of the husband from his superior knowledge of life and manners.' Johnson's Works (1787), xi. 210.

[624] He wrote to Dr. Taylor:—' Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.' Notes and Queries, 6th S. v. 342.

[625] As I have faithfully recorded so many minute particulars, I hope I shall be pardoned for inserting so flattering an encomium on what is now offered to the publick. BOSWELL.

[626] See ante, iv. 109, note 1.

[627] 'The islanders of all degrees, whether of rank or understanding, universally admit it, except the ministers, who universally deny it, and are suspected to deny it in consequence of a system, against conviction.' Johnson's Works, ix. 106.

[628] The true story of this lady, which happened in this century, is as frightfully romantick as if it had been the fiction of a gloomy fancy. She was the wife of one of the Lords of Session in Scotland, a man of the very first blood of his country. For some mysterious reasons, which have never been discovered, she was seized and carried off in the dark, she knew not by whom, and by nightly journeys was conveyed to the Highland shores, from whence she was transported by sea to the remote rock of St. Kilda, where she remained, amongst its few wild inhabitants, a forlorn prisoner, but had a constant supply of provisions, and a woman to wait on her. No inquiry was made after her, till she at last found means to convey a letter to a confidential friend, by the daughter of a Catechist, who concealed it in a clue of yarn. Information being thus obtained at Edinburgh, a ship was sent to bring her off; but intelligence of this being received, she was conveyed to M'Leod's island of Herries, where she died.

In CARSTARE'S STATE PAPERS we find an authentick narrative of Connor [Conn], a catholick priest, who turned protestant, being seized by some of Lord Seaforth's people, and detained prisoner in the island of Herries several years; he was fed with bread and water, and lodged in a house where he was exposed to the rains and cold. Sir James Ogilvy writes (June 18, 1667 [1697]), that the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Advocate, and himself, were to meet next day, to take effectual methods to have this redressed. Connor was then still detained; p. 310.—This shews what private oppression might in the last century be practised in the Hebrides.

In the same collection [in a letter dated Sept. 15, 1700], the Earl of Argyle gives a picturesque account of an embassy from the great M'Neil of Barra, as that insular Chief used to be denominated:—'I received a letter yesterday from M'Neil of Barra, who lives very far off, sent by a gentleman in all formality, offering his service, which had made you laugh to see his entry. His style of his letter runs as if he were of another kingdom.'—Page 643 [648]. BOSWELL.

Sir Walter Scott says:—'I have seen Lady Grange's Journal. She had become privy to some of the Jacobite intrigues, in which her husband, Lord Grange (an Erskine, brother of the Earl of Mar, and a Lord of Session), and his family were engaged. Being on indifferent terms with her husband, she is said to have thrown out hints that she knew as much as would cost him his life. The judge probably thought with Mrs. Peachum, that it is rather an awkward state of domestic affairs, when the wife has it in her power to hang the husband. Lady Grange was the more to be dreaded, as she came of a vindictive race, being the grandchild [according to Mr. Chambers, the child] of that Chiesley of Dalry, who assassinated Sir George Lockhart, the Lord President. Many persons of importance in the Highlands were concerned in removing her testimony. The notorious Lovat, with a party of his men, were the direct agents in carrying her off; and St. Kilda, belonging then to Macleod, was selected as the place of confinement. The name by which she was spoken or written of was Corpach, an ominous distinction, corresponding to what is called subject in the lecture-room of an anatomist, or shot in the slang of the Westport murderers' [Burke and Hare]. Sir Walter adds that 'it was said of M'Neil of Barra, that when he dined, his bagpipes blew a particular strain, intimating that all the world might go to dinner.' Croker's Boswell, p. 341.

[629] I doubt the justice of my fellow-traveller's remark concerning the French literati, many of whom, I am told, have considerable merit in conversation, as well as in their writings. That of Monsieur de Buffon, in particular, I am well assured, is highly instructive and entertaining. BOSWELL. See ante, iii. 253.

[630] Horace Walpole, writing of 1758, says:—'Prize-fighting, in which we had horribly resembled the most barbarous and most polite nations, was suppressed by the legislature.' Memoirs of the Reign of George II, iii. 99. According to Mrs. Piozzi (Anec. p. 5), Johnson said that his 'father's brother, Andrew, kept the ring in Smithfield (where they wrestled and boxed) for a whole year, and never was thrown or conquered. Mr. Johnson was,' she continues, 'very conversant in the art of boxing.' She had heard him descant upon it 'much to the admiration of those who had no expectation of his skill in such matters.'

[631] See ante, ii. 179, 226, and iv. 211.

[632] See ante, p. 98.

[633] See ante, i, 110.

[634] See ante, i. 398, and ii. 15, 35, 441.

[635] Gibbon, thirteen years later, writing to Lord Sheffield about the commercial treaty with France, said (Misc. Works, ii. 399):—'I hope both nations are gainers; since otherwise it cannot be lasting; and such double mutual gain is surely possible in fair trade, though it could not easily happen in the mischievous amusements of war and gaming.'

[636] Johnson (Works, viii. 139), writing of gratitude and resentment, says:—'Though there are few who will practise a laborious virtue, there will never be wanting multitudes that will indulge an easy vice.'

[637] Aul. Gellius, lib. v. c. xiv. BOSWELL.

[638] 'The difficulties in princes' business are many and great; but the greatest difficulty is often in their own mind. For it is common with princes, saith Tacitus, to will contradictories. Sunt plerumque regum voluntates vehementes, et inter se contrariae. For it is the solecism of power to think to command the end, and yet not to endure the mean.' Bacon's Essays, No. xix.

[639] Yet Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale on Sept. 30:—'I am now no longer pleased with the delay; you can hear from me but seldom, and I cannot at all hear from you. It comes into my mind that some evil may happen.' Piozzi Letters, i. 148. On Oct. 15 he wrote to Mr. Thrale:—'Having for many weeks had no letter, my longings are very great to be informed how all things are at home, as you and mistress allow me to call it.... I beg to have my thoughts set at rest by a letter from you or my mistress.' Ib. p. 166. See ante, iii. 4.

[640] Sir Walter Scott thus describes Dunvegan in 1814:—'The whole castle occupies a precipitous mass of rock overhanging the lake, divided by two or three islands in that place, which form a snug little harbour under the walls. There is a court-yard looking out upon the sea, protected by a battery, at least a succession of embrasures, for only two guns are pointed, and these unfit for service. The ancient entrance rose up a flight of steps cut in the rock, and passed into this court-yard through a portal, but this is now demolished. You land under the castle, and walking round find yourself in front of it. This was originally inaccessible, for a brook coming down on the one side, a chasm of the rocks on the other, and a ditch in front, made it impervious. But the late Macleod built a bridge over the stream, and the present laird is executing an entrance suitable to the character of this remarkable fortalice, by making a portal between two advanced towers, and an outer court, from which he proposes to throw a draw-bridge over to the high rock in front of the castle.' Lockhart's Scott, ed. 1839, iv. 303.


'Bella gerant alii; tu, felix Austria, nube; Quae dat Mars aliis, dat tibi regna Venus.'

[642] Johnson says of this castle:—'It is so nearly entire, that it might have easily been made habitable, were there not an ominous tradition in the family, that the owner shall not long outlive the reparation. The grandfather of the present laird, in defiance of prediction, began the work, but desisted in a little time, and applied his money to worse uses.' Works, ix. 64.

[643] Macaulay (Essays, ed. 1843, i. 365) ends a lively piece of criticism on Mr. Croker by saying:—'It requires no Bentley or Casaubon to perceive that Philarchus is merely a false spelling for Phylarchus, the chief of a tribe.'

[644] See ante, i. 180.

[645] Sir Walter Scott wrote in 1814:—'The monument is now nearly ruinous, and the inscription has fallen down.' Lockhart's Scott, iv. 308.

[646] 'Wheel carriages they have none, but make a frame of timber, which is drawn by one horse, with the two points behind pressing on the ground. On this they sometimes drag home their sheaves, but often convey them home in a kind of open pannier, or frame of sticks, upon the horse's back.' Johnson's Works, ix. 76. 'The young Laird of Col has attempted what no islander perhaps ever thought on. He has begun a road capable of a wheel-carriage. He has carried it about a mile.' Ib. p. 128.

[647] Captain Phipps had sailed in May of this year, and in the neighbourhood of Spitzbergen had reached the latitude of more than 80 deg.. He returned to England in the end of September. Gent. Mag. 1774, p. 420.

[648] Aeneid, vi. II.

[649] 'In the afternoon, an interval of calm sunshine courted us out to see a cave on the shore, famous for its echo. When we went into the boat, one of our companions was asked in Erse by the boatmen, who they were that came with him. He gave us characters, I suppose to our advantage, and was asked, in the spirit of the Highlands, whether I could recite a long series of ancestors. The boatmen said, as I perceived afterwards, that they heard the cry of an English ghost. This, Boswell says, disturbed him.... There was no echo; such is the fidelity of report.' Piozzi Letters, i. 156.

[650] 'Law or low signifies a hill: ex. gr. Wardlaw, guard hill, Houndslow, the dog's hill.' Blackie's Etymological Geography, p. 103.

[651] Pepys often mentions them. At first he praises them highly, but of one of the later ones—Tryphon—he writes:—'The play, though admirable, yet no pleasure almost in it, because just the very same design, and words, and sense, and plot, as every one of his plays have, any one of which would be held admirable, whereas so many of the same design and fancy do but dull one another.' Pepys's Diary, ed. 1851, v. 63.

[652] The second and third earls are passed over by Johnson. It was the fourth earl who, as Charles Boyle, had been Bentley's antagonist. Of this controversy a full account is given in Lord Macaulay's Life of Atterbury.

[653] The fifth earl, John. See ante, i. 185, and iii. 249.

[654] See ante, i. 9, and iii. 154.

[655] See ante, ii. 129, and iii. 183.

[656] The young lord was married on the 8th of May, 1728, and the father's will is dated the 6th of Nov. following. 'Having,' says the testator, 'never observed that my son hath showed much taste or inclination, either for the entertainment or knowledge which study and learning afford, I give and bequeath all my books and mathematical instruments [with certain exceptions] to Christchurch College, in Oxford.' CROKER.

[657] His Life of Swift is written in the form of Letters to his Son, the Hon. Hamilton Boyle. The fifteenth Letter, in which he finishes his criticism of Gulliver's Travels, affords a good instance of this 'studied variety of phrase.' 'I may finish my letter,' he writes, 'especially as the conclusion of it naturally turns my thoughts from Yahoos to one of the dearest pledges I have upon earth, yourself, to whom I am a most

Affectionate Father,


See ante, i. 275-284, for Johnson's letters to Thomas Warton, many of which end 'in studied varieties of phrase.'

[658] The Conquest of Granada was dedicated to the Duke of York. The conclusion is as follows:—'If at any time Almanzor fulfils the parts of personal valour and of conduct, of a soldier and of a general; or, if I could yet give him a character more advantageous that what he has, of the most unshaken friend, the greatest of subjects, and the best of masters; I should then draw all the world a true resemblance of your worth and virtues; at least as far as they are capable of being copied by the mean abilities of,


'Your Royal Highness's

'Most humble, and most

'Obedient servant,


[659] On the day of his coronation he was asked to pardon four young men who had broken the law against carrying arms. 'So long as I live,' he replied, 'every criminal must die.' 'He was inexorable in individual cases; he adhered to his laws with a rigour that amounted to cruelty, while in the framing of general rules we find him mild, yielding, and placable.' Ranke's Popes, ed. 1866, i. 307, 311.

[660] See ante, iii. 239, where he discusses the question of shooting a highwayman.

[661] In The Rambler, No. 78, he says:—'I believe men may be generally observed to grow less tender as they advance in age.'

[662] He passed over his own Life of Savage.

[663] 'When I was a young fellow, I wanted to write the Life of Dryden' Ante, iii. 71.

[664] See ante, p. 117.

[665] 'I asked a very learned minister in Sky, who had used all arts to make me believe the genuineness of the book, whether at last he believed it himself; but he would not answer. He wished me to be deceived for the honour of his country; but would not directly and formally deceive me. Yet has this man's testimony been publickly produced, as of one that held Fingal to be the work of Ossian.' Johnson's Works, ix. 115.

[666] A young lady had sung to him an Erse song. He asked her, 'What is that about? I question if she conceived that I did not understand it. For the entertainment of the company, said she. But, Madam, what is the meaning of it? It is a love song. This was all the intelligence that I could obtain; nor have I been able to procure the translation of a single line of Erse.' Piozzi Letters, i. 146. See post, Oct. 16

[667] This droll quotation, I have since found, was from a song in honour of the Earl of Essex, called Queen Elisabeth's Champion, which is preserved in a collection of Old Ballads, in three volumes, published in London in different years, between 1720 and 1730. The full verse is as follows:—

'Oh! then bespoke the prentices all, Living in London, both proper and tall, In a kind letter sent straight to the Queen, For Essex's sake they would fight all. Raderer too, tandaro te, Raderer, tandorer, tan do re.'


[668] La Condamine describes a tribe called the Tameos, on the north side of the river Tiger in South America, who have a word for three. He continues:—'Happily for those who have transactions with them, their arithmetic goes no farther. The Brazilian tongue, a language spoken by people less savage, is equally barren; the people who speak it, where more than three is to be expressed, are obliged to use the Portuguese.' Pinkerton's Voyages, xiv. 225.

[669] 'It was Addison's practice, when he found any man invincibly wrong, to flatter his opinions by acquiescence, and sink him yet deeper in absurdity. This artifice of mischief was admired by Stella; and Swift seems to approve her admiration.' Johnson's Works, vii. 450. Swift, in his Character of Mrs. Johnson (Stella), says:—'Whether this proceeded from her easiness in general, or from her indifference to persons, or from her despair of mending them, or from the same practice which she much liked in Mr. Addison, I cannot determine; but when she saw any of the company very warm in a wrong opinion, she was more inclined to confirm them in it than oppose them. The excuse she commonly gave, when her friends asked the reason, was, "That it prevented noise and saved time." Swift's Works, xiv. 254.

[670] In the Appendix to Blair's Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian Macqueen is mentioned as one of his authorities for his statements.

[671] See ante, iv. 262, note.

[672] I think it but justice to say, that I believe Dr. Johnson meant to ascribe Mr. M'Queen's conduct to inaccuracy and enthusiasm, and did not mean any severe imputation against him. BOSWELL.

[673] In Baretti's trial (ante, ii. 97, note I) he seems to have given his evidence clearly. What he had to say, however, was not much.

[674] Boswell had spoken before to Johnson about this omission. Ante, ii. 92.

[675] It has been triumphantly asked, 'Had not the plays of Shakspeare lain dormant for many years before the appearance of Mr. Garrick? Did he not exhibit the most excellent of them frequently for thirty years together, and render them extremely popular by his own inimitable performance?' He undoubtedly did. But Dr. Johnson's assertion has been misunderstood. Knowing as well as the objectors what has been just stated, he must necessarily have meant, that 'Mr. Garrick did not as a critick make Shakspeare better known; he did not illustrate any one passage in any of his plays by acuteness of disquisition, or sagacity of conjecture: and what had been done with any degree of excellence in that way was the proper and immediate subject of his preface. I may add in support of this explanation the following anecdote, related to me by one of the ablest commentators on Shakspeare, who knew much of Dr. Johnson: 'Now I have quitted the theatre, cries Garrick, I will sit down and read Shakspeare.' ''Tis time you should, exclaimed Johnson, for I much doubt if you ever examined one of his plays from the first scene to the last.' BOSWELL. According to Davies (Life of Garrick, i. 120) during the twenty years' management of Drury Lane by Booth, Wilks and Cibber (about 1712-1732) not more than eight or nine of Shakspeare's plays were acted, whereas Garrick annually gave the public seventeen or eighteen. Romeo and Juliet had lain neglected near 80 years, when in 1748-9 Garrick brought it out, or rather a hash of it. 'Otway had made some alteration in the catastrophe, which Mr. Garrick greatly improved by the addition of a scene, which was written with a spirit not unworthy of Shakespeare himself.' Ib. p. 125. Murphy (Life of Garrick, p. 100), writing of this alteration, says:—'The catastrophe, as it now stands, is the most affecting in the whole compass of the drama.' Davies says (p. 20) that shortly before Garrick's time 'a taste for Shakespeare had been revived. The ladies had formed themselves into a society under the title of The Shakespeare Club. They bespoke every week some favourite play of his.' This revival was shown in the increasing number of readers of Shakespeare. It was in 1741 that Garrick began to act. In the previous sixteen years there had been published four editions of Pope's Shakespeare and two of Theobald's. In the next ten years were published five editions of Hanmer's Shakespeare, and two of Warburton's, besides Johnson's Observations on Macbeth. Lowndes's Bibl. Man. ed. 1871, p. 2270.

[676] In her foolish Essay on Shakespeare, p. 15. See ante, ii. 88.

[677] No man has less inclination to controversy than I have, particularly with a lady. But as I have claimed, and am conscious of being entitled to credit for the strictest fidelity, my respect for the publick obliges me to take notice of an insinuation which tends to impeach it.

Mrs. Piozzi (late Mrs. Thrale), to her Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson, added the following postscript:—

'Naples, Feb. 10, 1786.

'Since the foregoing went to the press, having seen a passage from Mr. Boswell's Tour to the Hebrides, in which it is said, that I could not get through Mrs. Montague's "Essay on Shakspeare," I do not delay a moment to declare, that, on the contrary, I have always commended it myself, and heard it commended by every one else; and few things would give me more concern than to be thought incapable of tasting, or unwilling to testify my opinion of its excellence.'

It is remarkable that this postscript is so expressed, as not to point out the person who said that Mrs. Thrale could not get through Mrs. Montague's book; and therefore I think it necessary to remind Mrs. Piozzi, that the assertion concerning her was Dr. Johnson's, and not mine. The second observation that I shall make on this postscript is, that it does not deny the fact asserted, though I must acknowledge from the praise it bestows on Mrs. Montague's book, it may have been designed to convey that meaning.

What Mrs. Thrale's opinion is or was, or what she may or may not have said to Dr. Johnson concerning Mrs. Montague's book, it is not necessary for me to enquire. It is only incumbent on me to ascertain what Dr. Johnson said to me. I shall therefore confine myself to a very short state of the fact. The unfavourable opinion of Mrs. Montague's book, which Dr. Johnson, is here reported to have given, is, known to have been that which he uniformly expressed, as many of his friends well remember. So much, for the authenticity of the paragraph, as far as it relates to his own sentiments. The words containing the assertion, to which Mrs. Piozzi objects, are printed from my manuscript Journal, and were taken down at the time. The Journal was read by Dr. Johnson, who pointed out some inaccuracies, which I corrected, but did not mention any inaccuracy in the paragraph in question: and what is still more material, and very flattering to me, a considerable part of my Journal, containing this paragraph, was read several years ago by, Mrs. Thrale herself [see ante, ii. 383], who had it for some time in her possession, and returned it to me, without intimating that Dr. Johnson had mistaken her sentiments.

When the first edition of my Journal was passing through the press, it occurred to me that a peculiar delicacy was necessary to be observed in reporting the opinion of one literary lady concerning the performance of another; and I had such scruples on that head, that in the proof sheet I struck out the name of Mrs. Thrale from the above paragraph, and two or three hundred copies of my book were actually printed and published without it; of these Sir Joshua Reynolds's copy happened to be one. But while the sheet was working off, a friend, for whose opinion I have great respect, suggested that I had no right to deprive Mrs. Thrale of the high honour which Dr. Johnson had done her, by stating her opinion along with that of Mr. Beauclerk, as coinciding with, and, as it were, sanctioning his own. The observation appeared to me so weighty and conclusive, that I hastened to the printing-house, and, as a piece of justice, restored Mrs. Thrale to that place from which a too scrupulous delicacy had excluded her. On this simple state of facts I shall make no observation whatever. BOSWELL. This note was first published in the form of a letter to the Editor of The Gazetteer on April 17, 1786.

[678] See ante, p. 215, for his knowledge of coining and brewing, and post, p. 263, for his knowledge of threshing and thatching. Now and then, no doubt, 'he talked ostentatiously,' as he had at Fort George about Gunpowder (ante, p. 124). In the Gent. Mag. for 1749, p. 55, there is a paper on the Construction of Fireworks, which I have little doubt is his. The following passage is certainly Johnsonian:—'The excellency of a rocket consists in the largeness of the train of fire it emits, the solemnity of its motion (which should be rather slow at first, but augmenting as it rises), the straightness of its flight, and the height to which it ascends.'

[679] Perhaps Johnson refers to Stephen Hales's Statical Essays (London, 1733), in which is an account of experiments made on the blood and blood-vessels of animals.

[680] Evidence was given at the Tichborne Trial to shew that it takes some years to learn the trade.

[681] Not the very tavern, which was burned down in the great fire. P. CUNNINGHAM.

[682] I do not see why I might not have been of this club without lessening my character. But Dr. Johnson's caution against supposing one's self concealed in London, may be very useful to prevent some people from doing many things, not only foolish, but criminal. BOSWELL.

[683] See ante, iii. 318.

[684] Johnson defines airy as gay, sprightly, full of mirth, &c.

[685] 'A man would be drowned by claret before it made him drunk.' Ante, iii. 381.

[686] Ante, p. 137.

[687] See ante ii. 261.

[688] Lord Chesterfield wrote in 1747 (Misc. Works, iv. 231):— Drinking is a most beastly vice in every country, but it is really a ruinous one to Ireland; nine gentlemen in ten in Ireland are impoverished by the great quantity of claret, which from mistaken notions of hospitality and dignity, they think it necessary should be drunk in their houses. This expense leaves them no room to improve their estates by proper indulgence upon proper conditions to their tenants, who must pay them to the full, and upon the very day, that they may pay their wine-merchants.' In 1754 he wrote (ib.p.359):—If it would but please God by his lightning to blast all the vines in the world, and by his thunder to turn all the wines now in Ireland sour, as I most sincerely wish he would, Ireland would enjoy a degree of quiet and plenty that it has never yet known.'

[689] See ante, p. 95.

[690] 'The sea being broken by the multitude of islands does not roar with so much noise, nor beat the storm with such foamy violence as I have remarked on the coast of Sussex. Though, while I was in the Hebrides, the wind was extremely turbulent, I never saw very high billows.' Johnson's Works, ix. 65.

[691] Johnson this day thus wrote of Mr. M'Queen to Mrs. Thrale:—'You find that all the islanders even in these recesses of life are not barbarous. One of the ministers who has adhered to us almost all the time is an excellent scholar.' Piozzi Letters, i. 157.

[692] See post, Nov. 6.

[693] This was a dexterous mode of description, for the purpose of his argument; for what he alluded to was, a Sermon published by the learned Dr. William Wishart, formerly principal of the college at Edinburgh, to warn men against confiding in a death-bed repentance of the inefficacy of which he entertained notions very different from those of Dr. Johnson. BOSWELL.

[694] The Rev. Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto. p. 441) thus writes of the English clergy whom he met at Harrogate in 1763:—'I had never seen so many of them together before, and between this and the following year I was able to form a true judgment of them. They are, in general—I mean the lower order—divided into bucks and prigs; of which the first, though inconceivably ignorant, and sometimes indecent in their morals, yet I held them to be most tolerable, because they were unassuming, and had no other affectation but that of behaving themselves like gentlemen. The other division of them, the prigs, are truly not to be endured, for they are but half learned, are ignorant of the world, narrow-minded, pedantic, and overbearing. And now and then you meet with a rara avis who is accomplished and agreeable, a man of the world without licentiousness, of learning without pedantry, and pious without sanctimony; but this is a rara avis'.

[695] See ante, i. 446, note 1.

[696] Johnson defines manage in this sense to train a horse to graceful action, and quotes Young:—

'They vault from hunters to the managed steed.'

[697] Of Sir William Forbes of a later generation, Lockhart (Life of Scott, ix. 179) writes as follows:—'Sir William Forbes, whose banking-house was one of Messrs. Ballantyne's chief creditors, crowned his generous efforts for Scott's relief by privately paying the whole of Abud's demand (nearly L2000) out of his own pocket.'

[698] This scarcity of cash still exists on the islands, in several of which five shilling notes are necessarily issued to have some circulating medium. If you insist on having change, you must purchase something at a shop. WALTER SCOTT.

[699] 'The payment of rent in kind has been so long disused in England that it is totally forgotten. It was practised very lately in the Hebrides, and probably still continues, not only in St. Kilda, where money is not yet known, but in others of the smaller and remoter islands.' Johnson's Works, ix. 110.

[700] 'A place where the imagination is more amused cannot easily be found. The mountains about it are of great height, with waterfalls succeeding one another so fast, that as one ceases to be heard another begins.' Piozzi Letters, i. 157.

[701] See ante, i. 159.

[702] Johnson seems to be speaking of Hailes's Memorials and Letters relating to the History of Britain in the reign of James I and of Charles I.

[703] See ante, ii. 341.

[704] See ante, iii. 91.

[705] 'In all ages of the world priests have been enemies to liberty, and it is certain that this steady conduct of theirs must have been founded on fixed reasons of interest and ambition. Liberty of thinking and of expressing our thoughts is always fatal to priestly power, and to those pious frauds on which it is commonly founded.... Hence it must happen in such a government as that of Britain, that the established clergy, while things are in their natural situation, will always be of the Court-party; as, on the contrary, dissenters of all kinds will be of the Country-party.' Hume's Essays, Part 1, No. viii.

[706] In the original Every island's but a prison. The song is by a Mr. Coffey, and is given in Ritson's English Songs (1813), ii. 122. It begins:—

'Welcome, welcome, brother debtor, To this poor but merry place, Where no bailiff, dun, nor setter, Dares to show his frightful face.'

See ante, iii. 269.

[707] He wrote to Mrs. Thrale the day before (perhaps it was this day, and the copyist blundered):—' I am still in Sky. Do you remember the song—

We have at one time no boat, and at another may have too much wind; but of our reception here we have no reason to complain.' Piozzi Letters, i. 143.

[708] My ingenuously relating this occasional instance of intemperance has I find been made the subject both of serious criticism and ludicrous banter. With the banterers I shall not trouble myself, but I wonder that those who pretend to the appellation of serious criticks should not have had sagacity enough to perceive that here, as in every other part of the present work, my principal object was to delineate Dr. Johnson's manners and character. In justice to him I would not omit an anecdote, which, though in some degree to my own disadvantage, exhibits in so strong a light the indulgence and good humour with which he could treat those excesses in his friends, of which he highly disapproved.

In some other instances, the criticks have been equally wrong as to the true motive of my recording particulars, the objections to which I saw as clearly as they. But it would be an endless task for an authour to point out upon every occasion the precise object he has in view, Contenting himself with the approbation of readers of discernment and taste, he ought not to complain that some are found who cannot or will not understand him. BOSWELL.

[709] In the original, 'wherein is excess.'

[710] See Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, i. 231.

[711] See ante, iii. 383.

[712] see ante, p. 184.

[713] See ante, ii. 120, where he took upon his knee a young woman who came to consult him on the subject of Methodism.

[714] See ante, pp. 215, 246.

[715] See ante, iv. 176.


'If ev'ry wheel of that unwearied mill That turned ten thousand verses now stands still.'

Imitations of Horace, 2 Epis. ii. 78.

[717] Ante, p. 206.


'Nescio qua natale solum dulcedine captos Ducit.'—Ovid, Ex Pont. i. 3. 35.

[719] Lift up your hearts.

[720] Mr. Croker prints the following letter written to Macleod the day before:—

'Ostig, 28th Sept. 1773.

'DEAR SIR,—We are now on the margin of the sea, waiting for a boat and a wind. Boswell grows impatient; but the kind treatment which I find wherever I go, makes me leave, with some heaviness of heart, an island which I am not very likely to see again. Having now gone as far as horses can carry us, we thankfully return them. My steed will, I hope, be received with kindness;—he has borne me, heavy as I am, over ground both rough and steep, with great fidelity; and for the use of him, as for your other favours, I hope you will believe me thankful, and willing, at whatever distance we may be placed, to shew my sense of your kindness, by any offices of friendship that may fall within my power.

'Lady Macleod and the young ladies have, by their hospitality and politeness, made an impression on my mind, which will not easily be effaced. Be pleased to tell them, that I remember them with great tenderness, and great respect.—I am, Sir, your most obliged and most humble servant,


'P.S.—We passed two days at Talisker very happily, both by the pleasantness of the place and elegance of our reception.'

[721] Johnson (Works, viii. 409), after describing how Shenstone laid out the Leasowes, continues:—'Whether to plant a walk in undulating curves, and to place a bench at every turn where there is an object to catch the view; to make water run where it will be heard, and to stagnate where it will be seen; to leave intervals where the eye will be pleased, and to thicken the plantation where there is something to be hidden, demands any great powers of mind, I will not inquire: perhaps a surly and sullen speculator may think such performances rather the sport than the business of human reason.'

[722] Johnson quotes this and the two preceding stanzas as 'a passage, to which if any mind denies its sympathy, it has no acquaintance with love or nature.' Ib. p. 413.

[723] 'His mind was not very comprehensive, nor his curiosity active; he had no value for those parts of knowledge which he had not himself cultivated.' Ib. p. 411.

[724] In the preface to vol. iii. of Shenstone's Works, ed. 1773, a quotation is given (p. vi) from one of the poet's letters in which he complains of this burning. He writes:—'I look upon my Letters as some of my chef-d'auvres.' On p. 301, after mentioning Rasselas, he continues:—'Did I tell you I had a letter from Johnson, inclosing Vernon's Parish-clerk?'

[725] 'The truth is these elegies have neither passion, nature, nor manners. Where there is fiction, there is no passion: he that describes himself as a shepherd, and his Neaera or Delia as a shepherdess, and talks of goats and lambs, feels no passion. He that courts his mistress with Roman imagery deserves to lose her; for she may with good reason suspect his sincerity.' Johnson's Works, viii. 91. See ante, iv. 17.

[726] His lines on Pulteney, Earl of Bath, still deserve some fame:—

'Leave a blank here and there in each page To enrol the fair deeds of his youth! When you mention the acts of his age, Leave a blank for his honour and truth.'

From The Statesman, H. C. Williams's Odes, p. 47.

[727] Hamlet, act ii. sc. 2.

[728] He did not mention the name of any particular person; but those who are conversant with the political world will probably recollect more persons than one to whom this observation may be applied. BOSWELL. Mr. Croker thinks that Lord North was meant. For his ministry Johnson certainly came to have a great contempt (ante, iv. 139). If Johnson was thinking of him, he differed widely in opinion from Gibbon, who describes North as 'a consummate master of debate, who could wield with equal dexterity the arms of reason and of ridicule.' Gibbon's Misc. Works, i. 221. On May 2, 1775, he wrote:—' If they turned out Lord North to-morrow, they would still leave him one of the best companions in the kingdom.' Ib. ii. 135.

[729] Horace Walpole is speaking of this work, when he wrote on May 16, 1759 (Letters, iii. 227):—'Dr. Young has published a new book, on purpose, he says himself, to have an opportunity of telling a story that he has known these forty years. Mr. Addison sent for the young Lord Warwick, as he was dying, to shew him in what peace a Christian could die—unluckily he died of brandy—nothing makes a Christian die in peace like being maudlin! but don't say this in Gath, where you are.'

[730] 'His [Young's] plan seems to have started in his mind at the present moment; and his thoughts appear the effect of chance, sometimes adverse, and sometimes lucky, with very little operation of judgment.... His verses are formed by no certain model; he is no more like himself in his different productions than he is like others. He seems never to have studied prosody, nor to have had any direction but from his own ear. But with all his defects, he was a man of genius and a poet.' Johnson's Works, viii. 458, 462. Mrs. Piozzi (Synonymy, ii. 371) tells why 'Dr. Johnson despised Young's quantity of common knowledge as comparatively small. 'Twas only because, speaking once upon the subject of metrical composition, he seemed totally ignorant of what are called rhopalick verses, from the Greek word, a club—verses in which each word must be a syllable longer than that which goes before, such as:

Spes deus aeternae stationis conciliator.'

[731] He had said this before. Ante, ii. 96.


'Brunetta's wise in actions great and rare, But scorns on trifles to bestow her care. Thus ev'ry hour Brunetta is to blame, Because th' occasion is beneath her aim. Think nought a trifle, though it small appear; Small sands the mountains, moments make the year, And trifles life. Your care to trifles give, Or you may die before you truly live.'

Love of Fame, Satire vi. Johnson often taught that life is made up of trifles. See ante, i. 433.


"But hold," she cries, "lampooner, have a care; Must I want common sense, because I'm fair?" O no: see Stella; her eyes shine as bright, As if her tongue was never in the right; And yet what real learning, judgment, fire! She seems inspir'd, and can herself inspire: How then (if malice rul'd not all the fair) Could Daphne publish, and could she forbear? We grant that beauty is no bar to sense, Nor is't a sanction for impertinence.

Love of Fame, Satire v.

[734] Johnson called on Young's son at Welwyn in June, 1781. Ante, iv. 119. Croft, in his Life of Young (Johnson's Works, viii. 453), says that 'Young and his housekeeper were ridiculed with more ill-nature than wit in a kind of novel published by Kidgell in 1755, called The Card, under the name of Dr. Elwes and Mrs. Fusby.'

[735] Memoirs of Philip Doddridge, ed. 1766, p. 171.

[736] So late as 1783 he said 'this Hanoverian family is isolee here.' Ante, iv. 165.

[737] See ante, ii. 81, where he hoped that 'this gloom of infidelity was only a transient cloud.'

[738] Boswell has recorded this saying, ante, iv. 194.

[739] In 1755 an English version of this work had been published. Gent. Mag. 1755, p. 574. In the Chronological Catalogue on p. 343 in vol. 66 of Voltaire's Works, ed. 1819, it is entered as 'Histoire de la Guerre de 1741, fondue en partie dans le Precis du siecle de Louis XV.'

[740] Boswell is here merely repeating Johnson's words, who on April 11 of this year, advising him to keep a journal, had said, 'The great thing to be recorded is the state of your own mind.' Ante, ii. 217.

[741] This word is not in his Dictionary.

[742] See ante, i. 498.

[743] See ante, ii. 61, 335; iii. 375, and post, under Nov. 11.

[744] Beattie had attacked Hume in his Essay on Truth (ante, ii. 201 and v. 29). Reynolds this autumn had painted Beattie in his gown of an Oxford Doctor of Civil Law, with his Essay under his arm. 'The angel of Truth is going before him, and beating down the Vices, Envy, Falsehood, &c., which are represented by a group of figures falling at his approach, and the principal head in this group is made an exact likeness of Voltaire. When Dr. Goldsmith saw this picture, he was very indignant at it, and said:—"It very ill becomes a man of your eminence and character, Sir Joshua, to condescend to be a mean flatterer, or to wish to degrade so high a genius as Voltaire before so mean a writer as Dr. Beattie; for Dr. Beattie and his book together will, in the space of ten years, not be known ever to have been in existence, but your allegorical picture and the fame of Voltaire will live for ever to your disgrace as a flatterer."' Northcote's Reynolds, i. 300. Another of the figures was commonly said to be a portrait of Hume; but Forbes (Life of Beattie, ed. 1824, p. 158) says he had reason to believe that Sir Joshua had no thought either of Hume or Voltaire. Beattie's Essay is so much a thing of the past that Dr. J. H. Burton does not, I believe, take the trouble ever to mention it in his Life of Hume. Burns did not hold with Goldsmith, for he took Beattie's side:—

'Hence sweet harmonious Beattie sung His Minstrel lays; Or tore, with noble ardour stung, The Sceptic's bays.'

(The Vision, part ii.)

[745] See ante, ii. 441.

[746] William Tytler published in 1759 an Examination of the Histories of Dr. Robertson and Mr. Hume with respect to Mary Queen of Scots. It was reviewed by Johnson. Ante, i. 354.

[747] Johnson's Rasselas was published in either March or April, and Goldsmith's Polite Learning in April of 1759.I do not find that they published any other works at the same time. If these are the works meant, we have a proof that the two writers knew each other earlier than was otherwise known.

[748] 'A learned prelate accidentally met Bentley in the days of Phalaris; and after having complimented him on that noble piece of criticism (the Answer to the Oxford Writers) he bad him not be discouraged at this run upon him, for tho' they had got the laughers on their side, yet mere wit and raillery could not long hold out against a work of so much merit. To which the other replied, "Indeed Dr. S. [Sprat], I am in no pain about the matter. For I hold it as certain, that no man was ever written out of reputation but by himself."' Warburton on Pope, iv. 159, quoted in Person's Tracts, p. 345. 'Against personal abuse,' says Hawkins (Life, p. 348), 'Johnson was ever armed by a reflection that I have heard him utter:—"Alas! reputation would be of little worth, were it in the power of every concealed enemy to deprive us of it."' He wrote to Baretti:—'A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.' Ante, i. 381. Voltaire in his Essay Sur les inconveniens attaches a la Litterature (Works, ed. 1819, xliii. 173), after describing all that an author does to win the favour of the critics, continues:—'Tous vos soins n'empechent pas que quelque journaliste ne vous dechire. Vous lui repondez; il replique; vous avez un proces par ecrit devant le public, qui condamne les deux parties au ridicule.' See ante, ii. 61, note 4.

[749] However advantageous attacks may be, the feelings with which they are regarded by authors are better described by Fielding when he says:—'Nor shall we conclude the injury done this way to be very slight, when we consider a book as the author's offspring, and indeed as the child of his brain. The reader who hath suffered his muse to continue hitherto in a virgin state can have but a very inadequate idea of this kind of paternal fondness. To such we may parody the tender exclamation of Macduff, "Alas! thou hast written no book."' Tom Jones, bk. xi. ch. 1.

[750] It is strange that Johnson should not have known that the Adventures of a Guinea was written by a namesake of his own, Charles Johnson. Being disqualified for the bar, which was his profession, by a supervening deafness, he went to India, and made some fortune, and died there about 1800. WALTER SCOTT.

[751] Salusbury, not Salisbury.

[752] Horace Walpole (Letters, .ii 57) mentions in 1746 his cousin Sir John Philipps, of Picton Castle; 'a noted Jacobite.'... He thus mentions Lady Philipps in 1788 when she was 'very aged.' 'They have a favourite black, who has lived with them a great many years, and is remarkably sensible. To amuse Lady Philipps under a long illness, they had read to her the account of the Pelew Islands. Somebody happened to say we were sending a ship thither; the black, who was in the room, exclaimed, "Then there is an end of their happiness." What a satire on Europe!' Ib. ix. 157.

Lady Philips was known to Johnson through Miss Williams, to whom, as a note in Croker's Boswell (p. 74) shews, she made a small yearly allowance.

[753] 'To teach the minuter decencies and inferiour duties, to regulate the practice of daily conversation, to correct those depravities which are rather ridiculous than criminal, and remove those grievances which, if they produce no lasting calamities, impress hourly vexation, was first attempted by Casa in his book of Manners, and Castiglione in his Courtier; two books yet celebrated in Italy for purity and elegance.' Johnson's Works, vii. 428. The Courtier was translated into English so early as 1561. Lowndes's Bibl. Man. ed. 1871, p. 386.

[754] Burnet (History of His Own Time, ii. 296) mentions Whitby among the persons who both managed and directed the controversial war' against Popery towards the end of Charles II's reign. 'Popery,' he says, 'was never so well understood by the nation as it came to be upon this occasion.' Whitby's Commentary on the New Testament was published in 1703-9.

[755] By Henry Mackenzie, the author of The Man of Feeling. Ante, i. 360. It had been published anonymously this spring. The play of the same name is by Macklin. It was brought out in 1781.

[756] No doubt Sir A. Macdonald. Ante, p. 148. This 'penurious gentleman' is mentioned again, p. 315.

[757] Moliere's play of L'Avare.


'...facit indignatio versum.'

Juvenal, Sat. i. 79.

[759] See ante, iii. 252.

[760] He was sixty-four.

[761] Still, perhaps, in the Western Isles, 'It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles.' Tennyson's Ulysses.

[762] See ante, ii, 51.

[763] See ante, ii. 150.

[764] Sir Alexander Macdonald.

[765] 'To be or not to be: that is the question.' Hamlet, act iii. sc. 1.

[766] Virgil, Eclogues, iii. III.

[767] 'The stormy Hebrides.' Milton's Lycidas, 1. 156.

[768] Boswell was thinking of the passage (p. xxi.) in which Hawkesworth tells how one of Captain Cook's ships was saved by the wind falling. 'If,' he writes, 'it was a natural event, providence is out of the question; at least we can with no more propriety say that providentially the wind ceased, than that providentially the sun rose in the morning. If it was not,' &c. According to Malone the attacks made on Hawkesworth in the newspapers for this passage 'affected him so much that from low spirits he was seized with a nervous fever, which on account of the high living he had indulged in had the more power on him; and he is supposed to have put an end to his life by intentionally taking an immoderate dose of opium.' Prior's Malone, p. 441. Mme. D'Arblay says that these attacks shortened his life. Memoirs of Dr. Burney, i. 278. He died on Nov. 17 of this year. See ante, i. 252, and ii. 247.

[769] 'After having been detained by storms many days at Sky we left it, as we thought, with a fair wind; but a violent gust, which Bos had a great mind to call a tempest, forced us into Col.' Piozzi Letters, i. 167. 'The wind blew against us in a short time with such violence, that we, being no seasoned sailors, were willing to call it a tempest... The master knew not well whither to go; and our difficulties might, perhaps, have filled a very pathetick page, had not Mr. Maclean of Col... piloted us safe into his own harbour.' Johnson's Works, ix. 117. Sir Walter Scott says, 'Their risque, in a sea full of islands, was very considerable. Indeed, the whole expedition was highly perilous, considering the season of the year, the precarious chance of getting sea-worthy boats, and the ignorance of the Hebrideans, who, notwithstanding the opportunities, I may say the necessities, of their situation, are very careless and unskilful sailors.' Croker's Boswell, p. 362.

[770] For as the tempest drives, I shape my way. FRANCIS. [Horace, Epistles, i. 1. 15.] BOSWELL.


'Imberbus juvenis, tandem custode remoto, Gaudet equis canibusque, et aprici gramine campi.' 'The youth, whose will no froward tutor bounds, Joys in the sunny field, his horse and hounds.'

FRANCIS. Horace, Ars Poet. 1. 161.

[772] Henry VI, act i. sc. 2.

[773] See ante, i. 468, and iii. 306.

[774] Johnson describes him as 'a gentleman who has lived some time in the East Indies, but, having dethroned no nabob, is not too rich to settle in his own country.' Johnson's Works, ix. 117.

[775] This curious exhibition may perhaps remind some of my readers of the ludicrous lines, made, during Sir Robert Walpole's administration, on Mr. George (afterwards Lord) Lyttelton, though the figures of the two personages must be allowed to be very different:—

'But who is this astride the pony; So long, so lean, so lank, so bony? Dat be de great orator, Littletony.'


These lines were beneath a caricature called The Motion, described by Horace Walpole in his letter of March 25, 1741, and said by Mr. Cunningham to be 'the earliest good political caricature that we possess.' Walpole's Letters, i. 66. Mr. Croker says that 'the exact words are:—

bony? O he be de great orator Little-Tony.'

[776] See ante, ii. 213.

[777] In 1673 Burnet, who was then Professor of Theology in Glasgow, dedicated to Lauderdale A Vindication of the Authority, &c., of the Church and State of Scotland. In it he writes of the Duke's 'noble character, and more lasting and inward characters of his princely mind.'

[778] See ante, i. 450.

[779] See ante, p. 250.

[780] 'Others have considered infinite space as the receptacle, or rather the habitation of the Almighty; but the noblest and most exalted way of considering this infinite space, is that of Sir Isaac Newton, who calls it the sensorium of the Godhead. Brutes and men have their sensoriola, or little sensoriums, by which they apprehend the presence, and perceive the actions, of a few objects that lie contiguous to them. Their knowledge and observation turn within a very narrow circle. But as God Almighty cannot but perceive and know everything in which he resides, infinite space gives room to infinite knowledge, and is, as it were, an organ to Omniscience.' Addison, The Spectator, No. 565.

[781] 'Le celebre philosophe Leibnitz ... attaqua ces expressions du philosophe anglais, dans une lettre qu'il ecrivit en 1715 a la feue reine d'Angleterre, epouse de George II. Cette princesse, digne d'etre en commerce avec Leibnitz et Newton, engagea une dispute reglee par lettres entre les deux parties. Mais Newton, ennemi de toute dispute et avare de son temps, laissa le docteur Clarke, son disciple en physique, et pour le moins son egal en metaphysique, entrer pour lui dans la lice. La dispute roula sur presque toutes les idees metaphysiques de Newton, et c'est peut-etre le plus beau monument que nous ayons des combats litteraires.' Voltaire's Works, ed. 1819, xxviii. 44.

[782] See ante, iii. 248.

[783] See ante, iv. 295, where Boswell asked Johnson 'if he would not have done more good if he had been more gentle.' JOHNSON. 'No, Sir; I have done more good as I am. Obscenity and impiety have always been repressed in my company.'

[784] 'Mr. Maclean has the reputation of great learning: he is seventy-seven years old, but not infirm, with a look of venerable dignity, excelling what I remember in any other man. His conversation was not unsuitable to his appearance. I lost some of his good will by treating a heretical writer with more regard than in his opinion a heretick could deserve. I honoured his orthodoxy, and did not much censure his asperity. A man who has settled his opinions does not love to have the tranquillity of his conviction disturbed; and at seventy-seven it is time to be in earnest.' Johnson's Works, ix. 118.

[785] 'Mr. Maclean has no publick edifice for the exercise of his ministry, and can officiate to no greater number than a room can contain; and the room of a hut is not very large... The want of churches is not the only impediment to piety; there is likewise a want of ministers. A parish often contains more islands than one... All the provision made by the present ecclesiastical constitution for the inhabitants of about a hundred square miles is a prayer and sermon in a little room once in three weeks.' Johnson's Works, ix. 118.


'Our Polly is a sad slut, nor heeds what we have taught her. I wonder any man alive will ever rear a daughter. For she must have both hoods and gowns, and hoops to swell her pride, With scarfs and stays, and gloves and lace; and she will have men beside; And when she's drest with care and cost, all-tempting, fine and gay, As men should serve a cucumber, she flings herself away.'

Air vii.

[787] See ante, p. 162.

[788] In 1715.


'When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labours, and the words move slow.'

Pope, Essay on Criticism, l. 370.

[790] Johnson's remark on these stones is curious as shewing that he had not even a glimpse of the discoveries to be made by geology. After saying that 'no account can be given' of the position of one of the stones, he continues:—'There are so many important things of which human knowledge can give no account, that it may be forgiven us if we speculate no longer on two stones in Col.' Works, ix. 122. See ante, ii. 468, for his censure of Brydone's 'anti-mosaical remark.'


'Malo me Galatea petit, lasciva puella.' 'My Phillis me with pelted apples plies.'

DRYDEN. Virgil, Eclogues, iii. 64.


'The helpless traveller, with wild surprise, Sees the dry desert all around him rise, And smother'd in the dusty whirlwind dies.'

Cato act ii. sc. 6.

[793] Johnson seems unwilling to believe this. 'I am not of opinion that by any surveys or land-marks its [the sand's] limits have been ever fixed, or its progression ascertained. If one man has confidence enough to say that it advances, nobody can bring any proof to support him in denying it.' Works, ix. 122. He had seen land in like manner laid waste north of Aberdeen; where 'the owner, when he was required to pay the usual tax, desired rather to resign the ground.' Ib. p. 15.

[794] Box, in this sense, is not in Johnson's Dictionary.

[795] See ante, ii. 100, and iv. 274.

[796] In the original, Rich windows. A Long Story, l. 7.

[797] 'And this according to the philosophers is happiness.' Boswell says of Crabbe's poem The Village, that 'its sentiments as to the false notions of rustick happiness and rustick virtue were quite congenial with Johnson's own.' Ante, iv. 175.

[798] 'This innovation was considered by Mr. Macsweyn as the idle project of a young head, heated with English fancies; but he has now found that turnips will really grow, and that hungry sheep and cows will really eat them.' Johnson's Works, ix. 121. 'The young laird is heir, perhaps, to 300 square miles of land, which, at ten shillings an acre, would bring him L96,000 a year. He is desirous of improving the agriculture of his country; and, in imitation of the Czar, travelled for improvement, and worked with his own hands upon a farm in Hertfordshire.' Piozzi Letters, i. 168.

[799] 'In more fruitful countries the removal of one only makes room for the succession of another; but in the Hebrides the loss of an inhabitant leaves a lasting vacuity; for nobody born in any other parts of the world will choose this country for his residence.' Johnson's Works, ix. 93.

[800] 'In 1628 Daille wrote his celebrated book, De l'usage des Peres, or Of the Use of the Fathers. Dr. Fleetwood, Bishop of Ely, said of it that he thought the author had pretty sufficiently proved they were of no use at all.' Chalmers's Biog. Dict. xi. 209.

[801] Enquiry after Happiness, by Richard Lucas, D.D., 1685.

[802] Divine Dialogues, by Henry More, D.D. See ante, ii. 162, note I.

[803] By David Gregory, the second of the sixteen professors which the family of Gregory gave to the Universities. Ante, p. 48.

[804] 'Johnson's landlord and next neighbour in Bolt-court.' Ante, iii. 141.

[805] 'Cuper's Gardens, near the south bank of the Thames, opposite to Somerset House. The gardens were illuminated, and the company entertained by a band of music and fireworks; but this, with other places of the same kind, has been lately discontinued by an act that has reduced the number of these seats of luxury and dissipation.' Dodsley's London and its Environs, ed. 1761, ii. 209. The Act was the 25th George II, for 'preventing robberies and regulating places of public entertainment.' Parl. Hist. xiv. 1234.

[806] 'Mr. Johnson,' according to Mr. Langton, 'used to laugh at a passage in Carte's Life of the Duke of Ormond, where he gravely observes "that he was always in full dress when he went to court; too many being in the practice of going thither with double lapells."' Boswelliana, p. 274. The following is the passage:—'No severity of weather or condition of health served him for a reason of not observing that decorum of dress which he thought a point of respect to persons and places. In winter time people were allowed to come to court with double-breasted coats, a sort of undress. The duke would never take advantage of that indulgence; but let it be never so cold, he always came in his proper habit, and indeed the king himself always did the same, though too many neglected his example to make use of the liberty he was pleased to allow.' Carte's Life of Ormond, iv. 693. See ante, i. 42. It was originally published in three volumes folio in 1735-6.

[807] Seneca's two epigrams on Corsica are quoted in Boswell's Corsica, first edition, p. 13. Boswell, in one of his Hypochondriacks (London Mag. 1778, p. 173), says:—'For Seneca I have a double reverence, both for his own worth, and because he was the heathen sage whom my grandfather constantly studied.'

[808] 'Very near the house of Maclean stands the castle of Col, which was the mansion of the Laird till the house was built.... On the wall was, not long ago, a stone with an inscription, importing, that if any man of the clan of Maclonich shall appear before this castle, though he come at midnight, with a man's head in his hand, he shall there find safety and protection against all but the king. This is an old Highland treaty made upon a very memorable occasion. Maclean, the son of John Gerves, who recovered Col, and conquered Barra, had obtained, it is said, from James the Second, a grant of the lands of Lochiel, forfeited, I suppose, by some offence against the state. Forfeited estates were not in those days quietly resigned; Maclean, therefore, went with an armed force to seize his new possessions, and, I know not for what reason, took his wife with him. The Camerons rose in defence of their chief, and a battle was fought at Loch Ness, near the place where Fort Augustus now stands, in which Lochiel obtained the victory, and Maclean, with his followers, was defeated and destroyed. The lady fell into the hands of the conquerors, and, being found pregnant, was placed in the custody of Maclonich, one of a tribe or family branched from Cameron, with orders, if she brought a boy, to destroy him, if a girl, to spare her. Maclonich's wife, who was with child likewise, had a girl about the same time at which Lady Maclean brought a boy; and Maclonich, with more generosity to his captive than fidelity to his trust, contrived that the children should be changed. Maclean, being thus preserved from death, in time recovered his original patrimony; and, in gratitude to his friend, made his castle a place of refuge to any of the clan that should think himself in danger; and, as a proof of reciprocal confidence, Maclean took upon himself and his posterity the care of educating the heir of Maclonich.' Johnson's Works, ix. 130.

[809] 'Mr. Croker tells us that the great Marquis of Montrose was beheaded at Edinburgh in 1650. There is not a forward boy at any school in England who does not know that the Marquis was hanged.' Macaulay's Essays, ed. 1843, i. 357

[810] It is observable that men of the first rank spelt very ill in the last century. In the first of these letters I have preserved the original spelling. BOSWELL.

[811] See ante, i., 127.

[812] Muir-fowl is grouse. Ante p. 44.

[813] See ante, p. 162, note 1.

[814] 'In Col only two houses pay the window tax; for only two have six windows, which, I suppose, are the laird's and Mr. Macsweyn's.' Johnson's Works, ix. 125. 'The window tax, as it stands at present (January 1775)...lays a duty upon every window, which in England augments gradually from twopence, the lowest rate upon houses with not more than seven windows, to two shillings, the highest rate upon houses with twenty-five windows and upwards.' Wealth of Nations, v. 2. 2 .1. The tax was first imposed in 1695, as a substitute for hearth money. Macaulay's England, ed. 1874, vii. 271. It was abolished in 1851.

[815] Thomas Carlyle was not fourteen when, one 'dark frosty November morning,' he set off on foot for the University at Edinburgh—a distance of nearly one hundred miles. Froude's Carlyle, i. 22.

[816] Ante, p. 290.

[817] Of the Nature and Use of Lots: a Treatise historicall and theologicall. By Thomas Gataker. London, 1619. The Spirituall Watch, or Christ's Generall Watch-word. By Thomas Gataker. London, 1619.

[818] See ante, p. 264.

[819] He visited it with the Thrales on Sept. 22, 1774, when returning from his tour to Wales, and with Boswell in 1776 (ante, ii. 451).

[820] Mr. Croker says that 'this, no doubt, alludes to Jacob Bryant, the secretary or librarian at Blenheim, with whom Johnson had had perhaps some coolness now forgotten.' The supposition of the coolness seems needless. With so little to go upon, guessing is very hazardous.

[821] Topham Beauclerk, who had married the Duke's sister, after she had been divorced for adultery with him from her first husband Viscount Bolingbroke. Ante, ii. 246, note 1.

[822] See post, Dempster's Letter of Feb. 16, 1775.

[823] See ante, ii. 340, where Johnson said that 'if he were a gentleman of landed property, he would turn out all his tenants who did not vote for the candidate whom he supported.'

[824] See ante, iii. 378.

[825] 'They have opinions which cannot be ranked with superstition, because they regard only natural effects. They expect better crops of grain by sowing their seed in the moon's increase. The moon has great influence in vulgar philosophy. In my memory it was a precept annually given in one of the English almanacks, "to kill hogs when the moon was increasing, and the bacon would prove the better in boiling."' Johnson's Works, ix. 104. Bacon, in his Natural History(No.892) says:—'For the increase of moisture, the opinion received is, that seeds will grow soonest if they be set in the increase of the moon.'

[826] The question which Johnson asked with such unusual warmth might have been answered, 'by sowing the bent, or couch grass.' WALTER SCOTT.

[827] See ante, i. 484.

[828] See ante, i. 483.

[829] It is remarkable, that Dr. Johnson should have read this account of some of his own peculiar habits, without saying any thing on the subject, which I hoped he would have done. BOSWELL. See ante, p. 128, note 2, and iv. 183, where Boswell 'observed he must have been a bold laugher who would have ventured to tell Dr. Johnson of any of his peculiarities.'

[830] In this he was very unlike Swift, who, in his youth, when travelling in England, 'generally chose to dine with waggoners, hostlers, and persons of that rank; and he used to lie at night in houses where he found written of the door Lodgings for a penny. He delighted in scenes of low life.' Lord Orrery's Swift, ed. 1752, p. 33.

[831] This is from the Jests of Hierocles. CROKER.

[832] 'The grave a gay companion shun.' FRANCIS. Horace, 1 Epis. xviii. 89.

[833] Boswell in 1776 found that 'oats were much used as food in Dr. Johnson's own town.' Ante, ii. 463.

[834] Ante, i. 294.

[835] See ante, ii. 258.

[836] 'The richness of the round steep green knolls, clothed with copse, and glancing with cascades, and a pleasant peep at a small fresh-water loch embosomed among them—the view of the bay, surrounded and guarded by the island of Colvay—the gliding of two or three vessels in the more distant Sound—and the row of the gigantic Ardnamurchan mountains closing the scene to the north, almost justify the eulogium of Sacheverell, [post, p. 336] who, in 1688, declared the bay of Tobermory might equal any prospect in Italy.' Lockhart's Scott, iv. 338.

[837] 'The saying of the old philosopher who observes, that he who wants least is most like the gods who want nothing, was a favourite sentence with Dr. Johnson, who, on his own part, required less attendance, sick or well, than ever I saw any human creature. Conversation was all he required to make him happy.' Piozzi's Anec. p. 275.

[838] Remarks on Several Parts of Italy (ante, ii. 346). Johnson (Works, vii. 424) says of these Travels:—'Of many parts it is not a very severe censure to say that they might have been written at home.' He adds that 'the book, though awhile neglected, became in time so much the favourite of the publick, that before it was reprinted it rose to five times its price.'

[839] See ante, iii. 254, and iv. 237.

[840] Johnson (Works, viii. 320) says of Pope that 'he had before him not only what his own meditation suggested, but what he had found in other writers that might be accomodated to his present purpose.' Boswell's use of the word is perhaps derived, as Mr. Croker suggests, from accommoder, in the sense of dressing up or cooking meats. This word occurs in an amusing story that Boswell tells in one of his Hypochondriacks (London Mag. 1779, p. 55):—'A friend of mine told me that he engaged a French cook for Sir B. Keen, when ambassador in Spain, and when he asked the fellow if he had ever dressed any magnificent dinners the answer was:—"Monsieur, j'ai accommode un diner qui faisait trembler toute la France."' Scott, in Guy Mannering (ed. 1860, iii. 138), describes 'Miss Bertram's solicitude to soothe and accommodate her parent.' See ante, iv. 39, note 1, for 'accommodated the ladies.' To sum up, we may say with Justice Shallow:—'Accommodated! it comes of accommodo; very good; a good phrase.' 2 Henry IV, act iii. sc. 2.

[841] 'Louis Moreri, ne en Provence, en 1643. On ne s'attendait pas que l'auteur du Pays d'amour, et le traducteur de Rodriguez, entreprit dans sa jeunesse le premier dictionnaire de faits qu'on eut encore vu. Ce grand travail lui couta la vie... Mort en 1680.' Voltaire's Works, ed. 1819, xvii. 133.

[842] Johnson looked upon Ana as an English word, for he gives it in his Dictionary.

[843] I take leave to enter my strongest protest against this judgement. Bossuet I hold to be one of the first luminaries of religion and literature. If there are who do not read him, it is full time they should begin. BOSWELL.


Just in the gate, and in the jaws of hell, Revengeful cares, and sullen sorrows dwell; And pale diseases, and repining age; Want, fear, and famine's unresisted rage; Here toils and death, and death's half-brother, sleep, Forms terrible to view their sentry keep.

Dryden, Aeneid, vi. 273. BOSWELL. Voltaire, in his Essay Sur les inconveniens attaches a la Litterature (Works, xliii. 173), says:—'Enfin, apres un an de refus et de negociations, votre ouvrage s'imprime; c'est alors qu'il faut ou assoupir les Cerberes de la litterature ou les faire aboyer en votre faveur.' He therefore carries on the resemblance one step further,—

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