Life Of Johnson, Volume 5
by Boswell
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[44] See ante, ii. 403. Johnson, in describing Sir A. Macdonald's house in Sky, said:—'The Lady had not the common decencies of her tea-table; we picked up our sugar with our fingers.' Piozzi Letters, i.138.

[45] Chambers says that 'James's Court, till the building of the New Town, was inhabited by a select set of gentlemen. They kept a clerk to record their names and their proceedings, had a scavenger of their own, and had balls and assemblies among themselves.' Paoli was Boswell's guest there in 1771. Traditions of Edinburgh, i. 219. It was burnt down in 1857. Murray's Guide to Scotland, ed. 1883, p.49. Johnson wrote:—'Boswell has very handsome and spacious rooms, level with the ground on one side of the house, and on the other four stories high.' Piozzi Letters, i. 109. Dr. J.H. Burton says that Hume occupied them just before Boswell. He continues:—'Of the first impression made on a stranger at that period when entering such a house, a vivid description is given by Sir Walter Scott in Guy Mannering; and in Counsellor Pleydell's library, with its collection of books, and the prospect from the window, we have probably an accurate picture of the room in which Hume spent his studious hours.' Life of Hume, ii. 137, 431. At Johnson's visit Hume was living in his new house in the street which was humorously named after him, St. David Street. Ib. p. 436.

[46] The English servant-girl in Humphry Clinker (Letter of July 18), after describing how the filth is thus thrown out, says:—'The maid calls gardy loo to the passengers, which signifies Lord have mercy upon you!'

[47] Wesley, when at Edinburgh in May, 1761, writes:—'How can it be suffered that all manner of filth should still be thrown even into this street [High Street] continually? How long shall the capital city of Scotland, yea, and the chief street of it, stink worse than a common sewer?' Wesley's Journal, iii. 52. Baretti (Journey from London to Genoa, ii.255) says that this was the universal practice in Madrid in 1760. He was driven out of that town earlier than he had intended to leave it by the dreadful stench. A few years after his visit the King made a reform, so that it became 'one of the cleanest towns in Europe.' Ib. p 258. Smollett in Humphry Clinker makes Matthew Bramble say (Letter of July 18):—'The inhabitants of Edinburgh are apt to imagine the disgust that we avow is little better than affectation.'

[48] 'Most of their buildings are very mean; and the whole town bears some resemblance to the old part of Birmingham.' Piozzi Letters, i. 109.

[49] See ante, i. 313.

[50] Miss Burney, describing her first sight of Johnson, says:—'Upon asking my father why he had not prepared us for such uncouth, untoward strangeness, he laughed heartily, and said he had entirely forgotten that the same impression had been at first made upon himself; but had been lost even on the second interview.' Memoirs of Dr. Burney, ii.91.

[51] See post, Aug. 22.

[52] see ante, iii. 216.

[53] Boswell writes, in his Hypochondriacks:—'Naturally somewhat singular, independent of any additions which affectation and vanity may perhaps have made, I resolved to have a more pleasing species of marriage than common, and bargained with my bride that I should not be bound to live with her longer than I really inclined; and that whenever I tired of her domestic society I should be at liberty to give it up. Eleven years have elapsed, and I have never yet wished to take advantage of my stipulated privilege.' London Mag. 1781, p.136. See ante, ii. 140, note 1.

[54] Sir Walter Scott was two years old this day. He was born in a house at the head of the College Wynd. When Johnson and Boswell returned to Edinburgh Jeffrey was a baby there seventeen days old. Some seventeen or eighteen years later 'he had the honour of assisting to carry the biographer of Johnson, in a state of great intoxication, to bed. For this he was rewarded next morning by Mr. Boswell clapping his head, and telling him that he was a very promising lad, and that if "you go on as you've begun, you may live to be a Bozzy yourself yet."' Cockburn's Jeffrey, i. 33.

[55] He was one of Boswell's executors, and as such was in part responsible for the destruction of his manuscripts. Ante, iii. 301, note i. It is to his Life of Dr. Beattie that Scott alludes in the Introduction to the fourth Canto of Marmion:—

'Scarce had lamented Forbes paid The tribute to his Minstrel's shade; The tale of friendship scarce was told, Ere the narrator's heart was cold— Far may we search before we find A heart so manly and so kind.'

It is only of late years that Forbes has generally ceased to be a dissyllable.

[56] The saint's name of Veronica was introduced into our family through my great grandmother Veronica, Countess of Kincardine, a Dutch lady of the noble house of Sommelsdyck, of which there is a full account in Bayle's Dictionary. The family had once a princely right in Surinam. The governour of that settlement was appointed by the States General, the town of Amsterdam, and Sommelsdyck. The States General have acquired Sommelsdyck's right; but the family has still great dignity and opulence, and by intermarriages is connected with many other noble families. When I was at the Hague, I was received with all the affection of kindred. The present Sommelsdyck has an important charge in the Republick, and is as worthy a man as lives. He has honoured me with his correspondence for these twenty years. My great grandfather, the husband of Countess Veronica, was Alexander, Earl of Kincardine, that eminent Royalist whose character is given by Burnet in his History of his own Times. From him the blood of Bruce flows in my veins. Of such ancestry who would not be proud? And, as Nihil est, nisi hoc sciat alter, is peculiarly true of genealogy, who would not be glad to seize a fair opportunity to let it be known. BOSWELL. Boswell visited Holland in 1763. Ante, i. 473. Burnet says that 'the Earl was both the wisest and the worthiest man that belonged to his country, and fit for governing any affairs but his own; which he by a wrong turn, and by his love for the public, neglected to his ruin. His thoughts went slow and his words came much slower; but a deep judgment appeared in everything he said or did. I may be, perhaps, inclined to carry his character too far; for he was the first man that entered into friendship with me.' Burnet's History, ed. 1818, i. III. 'The ninth Earl succeeded as fifth Earl of Elgin and thus united the two dignities.' Burke's Peerage. Boswell's quotation is from Persius, Satires, i. 27: 'Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter.' It is the motto to The Spectator, No. 379.

[57] She died four months after her father. I cannot find that she received this additional fortune.

[58] See ante, ii. 47.

[59] See ante, iv. 5, note 2.

[60] See ante, iii. 231. Johnson (Works, ix. 33) speaks of 'the general dissatisfaction which is now driving the Highlanders into the other hemisphere.' This dissatisfaction chiefly arose from the fact that the chiefs were 'gradually degenerating from patriarchal rulers to rapacious landlords.' Ib. p. 86. 'That the people may not fly from the increase of rent I know not whether the general good does not require that the landlords be, for a time, restrained in their demands, and kept quiet by pensions proportionate to their loss.... It affords a legislator little self-applause to consider, that where there was formerly an insurrection there is now a wilderness.' Ib. p. 94. 'As the world has been let in upon the people, they have heard of happier climates and less arbitrary government.' Ib. p. 128.

[61] 'To a man that ranges the streets of London, where he is tempted to contrive wants for the pleasure of supplying them, a shop affords no image worthy of attention; but in an island it turns the balance of existence between good and evil. To live in perpetual want of little things is a state, not indeed of torture, but of constant vexation. I have in Sky had some difficulty to find ink for a letter; and if a woman breaks her needle, the work is at a stop.' Ib. p. 127.

[62] 'It was demolished in 1822.' Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, i. 215.

[63] 'The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.' Psalms, xcvii.1.

[64] A brief memoir of Mr. Carre is given in Forbes's Life of Beattie, Appendix Z.

[65] It was his daughter who gave the name to the new street in which Hume had taken a house by chalking on his wall ST. DAVID STREET. 'Hume's "lass," judging that it was not meant in honour or reverence, ran into the house much excited, to tell her master how he was made game of. "Never mind, lassie," he said; "many a better man has been made a saint of before."' J.H. Burton's Hume, ii. 436.

[66] The House of Lords reversed the decision of the Court of Session in this cause. See ante, ii.50, 230.

[67] Ogden was Woodwardian Professor at Cambridge. The sermons were published in 1770. Boswell mentions them so often that in Rowlandson's caricatures of the tour he is commonly represented as having them in his hand or pocket. See ante, iii. 248.

[68] 'Talking of the eminent writers in Queen Anne's reign, Johnson observed, "I think Dr. Arbuthnot the first man among them.'" Ante, i. 425.

[69] 'We found that by the interposition of some invisible friend lodgings had been provided for us at the house of one of the professors, whose easy civility quickly made us forget that we were strangers.' Works, ix. 3.

[70] He is referring to Beattie's Essay on Truth. See post, Oct. 1, and ante, ii. 201.

[71] See ante, ii. 443, where Johnson, again speaking of Hume, and perhaps of Gibbon, says:—'When a man voluntarily engages in an important controversy, he is to do all he can to lessen his antagonist, because authority from personal respect has much weight with most people, and often more than reasoning.'

[72] Johnson, in his Dictionary, calls bubble 'a cant [slang] word.'

[73] Boswell wrote to Temple in 1768:—'David [Hume] is really amiable: I always regret to him his unlucky principles, and he smiles at my faith; but I have a hope which he has not, or pretends not to have. So who has the best of it, my reverend friend?' Letters of Boswell, p.151. Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto. pp. 274-5) says:—'Mr. Hume gave both elegant dinners and suppers, and the best claret, and, which was best of all, he furnished the entertainment with the most instructive and pleasing conversation, for he assembled whosoever were most knowing and agreeable among either the laity or clergy. For innocent mirth and agreeable raillery I never knew his match....He took much to the company of the younger clergy, not from a wish to bring them over to his opinions, for he never attempted to overturn any man's principles, but they best understood his notions, and could furnish him with literary conversation.'

[74] No doubt they were destroyed with Boswell's other papers. Ante, iii.301, note 1.

[75] This letter, though shattered by the sharp shot of Dr. Horne of Oxford's wit, in the character of One of the People called Christians, is still prefixed to Mr. Hume's excellent History of England, like a poor invalid on the piquet guard, or like a list of quack medicines sold by the same bookseller, by whom a work of whatever nature is published; for it has no connection with his History, let it have what it may with what are called his Philosophical Works. A worthy friend of mine in London was lately consulted by a lady of quality, of most distinguished merit, what was the best History of England for her son to read. My friend recommended Hume's. But, upon recollecting that its usher was a superlative panegyrick on one, who endeavoured to sap the credit of our holy religion, he revoked his recommendation. I am really sorry for this ostentatious alliance; because I admire The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and value the greatest part of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Why should such a writer be so forgetful of human comfort, as to give any countenance to that dreary infidelity which would make us poor indeed?' ['makes me poor indeed.' Othello, act iii. sc.3]. BOSWELL. Dr. Horne's book is entitled, A Letter to Adam Smith, LL.D., On the Life, Death, and Philosophy of his Friend David Hume, Esq. By one of the People called Christians. Its chief wit is in the Preface. The bookseller mentioned in this note was perhaps Francis Newbery, who succeeded his father, Goldsmith's publisher, as a dealer in quack medicines and books. They dealt in 'over thirty different nostrums,' and published books of every nature. Of the father Johnson said:—'Newbery is an extraordinary man, for I know not whether he has read or written most books.' He is the original of 'Jack Whirler' in The Idler, No. 19. A Bookseller of the Last Century, pp. 22, 73.

[76] Hume says that his first work, his Treatise of Human Nature, 'fell dead-born from the press.' Auto. p.3. His Enquiry concerning Human Understanding 'was entirely overlooked and neglected.' Ib. p.4. His Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals 'came unnoticed and unobserved into the world.' Ib. p.5. The first volume of his History of England certainly met with numerous assailants; but 'after the first ebullitions of their fury were over, what was still more mortifying, the book seemed to sink into oblivion. Mr. Millar told me,' he continues, 'that in a twelvemonth he sold only forty-five copies of it...I was I confess, discouraged, and had not the war at that time been breaking out between France and England, I had certainly retired to some provincial town of the former kingdom, have changed my name, and never more have returned to my native country.' Ib. p.6. Only one of his works, his Political Discourses, was 'successful on the first publication.' Ib. p.5. By the time he was turned fifty, however, his books were selling very well, and he had become 'not only independent but opulent.' Ib. p. 8. A few weeks before he died he wrote: 'I see many symptoms of my literary reputation's breaking out at last with additional lustre.' Ib. p.10.

[77] Psalms, cxix. 99.

[78] We learn, post, Oct. 29, that Robertson was cautious in his talk, though we see here that he had much more courage than the professors of Aberdeen or Glasgow.

[79] This was one of the points upon which Dr. Johnson was strangely heterodox. For, surely, Mr. Burke, with his other remarkable qualities, is also distinguished for his wit, and for wit of all kinds too: not merely that power of language which Pope chooses to denominate wit:—

(True wit is Nature to advantage drest; What oft was thought, but ne'er so well exprest.)

[Pope's Essay on Criticism, ii. 297.] but surprising allusions, brilliant sallies of vivacity, and pleasant conceits. His speeches in parliament are strewed with them. Take, for instance, the variety which he has given in his wide range, yet exact detail, when exhibiting his Reform Bill. And his conversation abounds in wit. Let me put down a specimen. I told him, I had seen, at a Blue stocking assembly, a number of ladies sitting round a worthy and tall friend of ours, listening to his literature. 'Ay, (said he) like maids round a May-pole.' I told him, I had found out a perfect definition of human nature, as distinguished from the animal. An ancient philosopher said, Man was 'a two-legged animal without feathers,' upon which his rival Sage had a Cock plucked bare, and set him down in the school before all the disciples, as a 'Philosophick Man.' Dr. Franklin said, Man was 'a tool-making animal,' which is very well; for no animal but man makes a thing, by means of which he can make another thing. But this applies to very few of the species. My definition of Man is, 'a Cooking animal.' The beasts have memory, judgment, and all the faculties and passions of our mind in a certain degree; but no beast is a cook. The trick of the monkey using the cat's paw to roast a chestnut, is only a piece of shrewd malice in that turpissima bestia, which humbles us so sadly by its similarity to us. Man alone can dress a good dish; and every man whatever is more or less a cook, in seasoning what he himself eats. Your definition is good, said Mr. Burke, and I now see the full force of the common proverb, 'There is reason in roasting of eggs.' When Mr. Wilkes, in his days of tumultuous opposition, was borne upon the shoulders of the mob, Mr. Burke (as Mr. Wilkes told me himself, with classical admiration,) applied to him what Horace says of Pindar,

...numerisque fertur LEGE solutis. [Odes, iv. 2. 11.]

Sir Joshua Reynolds, who agrees with me entirely as to Mr. Burke's. fertility of wit, said, that this was 'dignifying a pun.' He also observed, that he has often heard Burke say, in the course of an evening, ten good things, each of which would have served a noted wit (whom he named) to live upon for a twelvemonth. I find, since the former edition, that some persons have objected to the instances which I have given of Mr. Burke's wit, as not doing justice to my very ingenious friend; the specimens produced having, it is alleged, more of conceit than real wit, and being merely sportive sallies of the moment, not justifying the encomium which, they think with me, he undoubtedly merits. I was well aware, how hazardous it was to exhibit particular instances of wit, which is of so airy and spiritual a nature as often to elude the hand that attempts to grasp it. The excellence and efficacy of a bon mot depend frequently so much on the occasion on which it is spoken, on the particular manner of the speaker, on the person to whom it is applied, the previous introduction, and a thousand minute particulars which cannot be easily enumerated, that it is always dangerous to detach a witty saying from the group to which it belongs, and to set it before the eye of the spectator, divested of those concomitant circumstances, which gave it animation, mellowness, and relief. I ventured, however, at all hazards, to put down the first instances that occurred to me, as proofs of Mr. Burke's lively and brilliant fancy; but am very sensible that his numerous friends could have suggested many of a superior quality. Indeed, the being in company with him, for a single day, is sufficient to shew that what I have asserted is well founded; and it was only necessary to have appealed to all who know him intimately, for a complete refutation of the heterodox opinion entertained by Dr. Johnson on this subject. He allowed Mr. Burke, as the reader will find hereafter [post. Sept.15 and 30], to be a man of consummate and unrivalled abilities in every light except that now under consideration; and the variety of his allusions, and splendour of his imagery, have made such an impression on all the rest of the world, that superficial observers are apt to overlook his other merits, and to suppose that wit is his chief and most prominent excellence; when in fact it is only one of the many talents that he possesses, which are so various and extraordinary, that it is very difficult to ascertain precisely the rank and value of each. BOSWELL. For Malone's share in this note, see ante, iii. 323, note 2. For Burke's Economical Reform Bill, which was brought in on Feb. 11, 1780, see Prior's Burke, p.184. For Blue Stocking, see ante, iv. 108. The 'tall friend of ours' was Mr. Langton (ante, i. 336). For Franklin's definition, see ante, iii. 245, and for Burke's classical pun, ib. p. 323. For Burke's 'talent of wit,' see ante, i. 453, iii. 323, iv. May 15, 1784, and post, Sept. 15.

[80] See ante, iv. 27, where Burke said:—'It is enough for me to have rung the bell to him [Johnson].'

[81] See ante, vol. iv, May 15, 1784.

[82] Prior (Life of Burke, pp.31, 36) says that 'from the first his destination was the Bar.' His name was entered at the Middle Temple in 1747, but he was never called. Why he gave up the profession his biographer cannot tell.

[83] See ante, ii. 437, note 2.

[84] See ante, i. 78, note 2.

[85] That cannot be said now, after the flagrant part which Mr. John Wesley took against our American brethren, when, in his own name, he threw amongst his enthusiastick flock, the very individual combustibles of Dr. Johnson's Taxation no Tyranny; and after the intolerant spirit which he manifested against our fellow-christians of the Roman Catholick Communion, for which that able champion, Father O'Leary, has given him so hearty a drubbing. But I should think myself very unworthy, if I did not at the same time acknowledge Mr. John Wesley's merit, as a veteran 'Soldier of Jesus Christ' [2 Timothy, ii. 3], who has, I do believe, 'turned many from darkness into light, and from the power of Satan to the living GOD' [Acts, xxvi. 18]. BOSWELL. Wesley wrote on Nov. 11, 1775 (Journal, iv. 56), 'I made some additions to the Calm Address to our American Colonies. Need any one ask from what motive this was wrote? Let him look round; England is in a flame! a flame of malice and rage against the King, and almost all that are in authority under him. I labour to put out this flame.' He wrote a few days later:—'As to reviewers, news-writers, London Magazines, and all that kind of gentlemen, they behave just as I expected they would. And let them lick up Mr. Toplady's spittle still; a champion worthy of their cause.' Journal, p. 58. In a letter published in Jan. 1780, he said:—'I insist upon it, that no government, not Roman Catholic, ought to tolerate men of the Roman Catholic persuasion. They ought not to be tolerated by any government, Protestant, Mahometan, or Pagan.' To this the Rev. Arthur O'Leary replied with great wit and force, in a pamphlet entitled, Remarks on the Rev. Mr. Wesley's Letters. Dublin, 1780. Wesley (Journal, iv. 365) mentions meeting O'Leary, and says:—'He seems not to be wanting either in sense or learning.' Johnson wrote to Wesley on Feb. 6, 1776 (Croker's Boswell, p. 475), 'I have thanks to return you for the addition of your important suffrage to my argument on the American question. To have gained such a mind as yours may justly confirm me in my own opinion. What effect my paper has upon the public, I know not; but I have no reason to be discouraged. The lecturer was surely in the right, who, though he saw his audience slinking away, refused to quit the chair while Plato staid.'

[86] 'Powerful preacher as he was,' writes Southey, 'he had neither strength nor acuteness of intellect, and his written compositions are nearly worthless.' Southey's Wesley, i. 323. See ante, ii. 79.

[87] Mr. Burke. See ante, ii. 222, 285, note 3, and iii. 45.

[88] If due attention were paid to this observation, there would be more virtue, even in politicks. What Dr. Johnson justly condemned, has, I am sorry to say, greatly increased in the present reign. At the distance of four years from this conversation, 21st February, 1777, My Lord Archbishop of York, in his 'sermon before the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,' thus indignantly describes the then state of parties:—'Parties once had a principle belonging to them, absurd perhaps, and indefensible, but still carrying a notion of duty, by which honest minds might easily be caught. 'But there are now combinations of individuals, who, instead of being the sons and servants of the community, make a league for advancing their private interests. It is their business to hold high the notion of political honour. I believe and trust, it is not injurious to say, that such a bond is no better than that by which the lowest and wickedest combinations are held together; and that it denotes the last stage of political depravity.' To find a thought, which just shewed itself to us from the mind of Johnson, thus appearing again at such a distance of time, and without any communication between them, enlarged to full growth in the mind of Markham, is a curious object of philosophical contemplation.—That two such great and luminous minds should have been so dark in one corner,—that they should have held it to be 'Wicked rebellion in the British subjects established in America, to resist the abject condition of holding all their property at the mercy of British subjects remaining at home, while their allegiance to our common Lord the King was to be preserved inviolate,—is a striking proof to me, either that 'He who sitteth in Heaven' [Psalms, ii.4] scorns the loftiness of human pride,—or that the evil spirit, whose personal existence I strongly believe, and even in this age am confirmed in that belief by a Fell, nay, by a Hurd, has more power than some choose to allow. BOSWELL. Horace Walpole writing on June 10, 1778, after censuring Robertson for sneering at Las Casas, continues:—'Could Archbishop Markham in a Sermon before the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel by fire and sword paint charity in more contemptuous terms? It is a Christian age.' Letters, vii.81. It was Archbishop Markham to whom Johnson made the famous bow; ante, vol. iv, just before April 10, 1783. John Fell published in 1779 Demoniacs; an Enquiry into the Heathen and Scripture Doctrine of Daemons. For Hurd see ante, under June 9,1784.

[89] See Forster's Essays, ii 304-9. Mr. Forster often quotes Cooke in his Life of Goldsmith. He describes him (i. 58) as 'a young Irish law student who had chambers near Goldsmith in the temple.' Goldsmith did not reside in the temple till 1763 (ib. p.336), and Cooke was old enough to have published his Hesiod in 1728, and to have found a place in The Dunciad (ii. 138). See Elwin and Courthope's Pope, x. 212, for his correspondence with Pope.

[90] It may be observed, that I sometimes call my great friend, Mr. Johnson, sometimes Dr. Johnson: though he had at this time a doctor's degree from Trinity College, Dublin. The University of Oxford afterwards conferred it upon him by a diploma, in very honourable terms. It was some time before I could bring myself to call him Doctor; but, as he has been long known by that title, I shall give it to him in the rest of this Journal. BOSWELL. See ante, i. 488, note 3, and ii. 332, note I.

[91] In The Idler, No. viii, Johnson has the following fling at tragedians. He had mentioned the terror struck into our soldiers by the Indian war-cry, and he continues:—'I am of opinion that by a proper mixture of asses, bulls, turkeys, geese, and tragedians a noise might be procured equally horrid with the war-cry.' See ante, ii.92.

[92] Tom Jones, Bk. xvi. chap. 5. Mme. Necker in a letter to Garrick said:—'Nos acteurs se metamorphosent assez bien, mais Monsieur Garrick fait autre chose; il nous metamorphose tous dans le caractere qu'il a revetu; nous sommes remplis de terreur avec Hamlet,' &c. Garrick Corres. ii. 627.

[93] See ante, i. 432, and ii. 278.

[94] See ante, ii. 11.

[95] Euphan M'Cullan (not Eupham Macallan) is mentioned in Dalrymple's [Lord Hailes] Remarks on the History of Scotland, p. 254. She maintained that 'she seldom ever prayed but she got a positive answer.' The minister of her parish was ill. 'She prayed, and got an answer that for a year's time he should be spared; and after the year's end he fell sick again.' 'I went,' said she, 'to pray yet again for his life; but the Lord left me not an mouse's likeness (a proverbial expression, meaning to reprove with such severity that the person reproved shrinks and becomes abashed), and said, 'Beast that thou art! shall I keep my servant in pain for thy sake?' And when I said, 'Lord, what then shall I do?' He answered me, 'He was but a reed that I spoke through, and I will provide another reed to speak through.' Dalrymple points out that it was a belief in these 'answers from the Lord' that led John Balfour and his comrades to murder Archbishop Sharp.

[96] R. Chambers, in his Traditions, speaking of the time of Johnson's visit, says (i. 21) on the authority of 'an ancient native of Edinburgh that people all knew each other by sight. The appearance of a new face upon the streets was at once remarked, and numbers busied themselves in finding out who and what the stranger was.'

[97] It was on this visit to the parliament-house, that Mr. Henry Erskine (brother of Lord Erskine), after being presented to Dr. Johnson by Mr. Boswell, and having made his bow, slipped a shilling into Boswell's hand, whispering that it was for the sight of his bear. WALTER SCOTT.

[98] This is one of the Libraries entitled to a copy of every new work published in the United Kingdom. Hume held the office of librarian at a salary of L40 a year from 1752 to 1757. J.H. Burton's Hume, i. 367, 373.

[99] The Edinburgh oyster-cellars were called laigh shops. Chambers's Traditions, ii. 268.

[100] This word is commonly used to signify sullenly, gloomily; and in that sense alone it appears in Dr. Johnson's Dictionary. I suppose he meant by it, 'with an obstinate resolution, similar to that of a sullen man.' BOSWELL. Southey wrote to Scott:—'Give me more lays, and correct them at leisure for after editions—not laboriously, but when the amendment comes naturally and unsought for. It never does to sit down doggedly to correct.' Southey's Life, iii. 126. See ante, i. 332, for the influence of seasons on composition.

[101] Boswell, post, Nov. 1, writes of 'old Scottish enthusiasm,' again italicising these two words.

[102] See ante, iii. 410.

[103] See ante, i. 354.

[104] Cockburn (Life of Jeffrey, i. 182) writing of the beginning of this century, describes how the General Assembly 'met in those days, as it had done for about 200 years, in one of the aisles of the then grey and venerable cathedral of St. Giles. That plain, square, galleried apartment was admirably suited for the purpose; and it was more interesting from the men who had acted in it, and the scenes it had witnessed, than any other existing room in Scotland. It had beheld the best exertions of the best men in the kingdom ever since the year 1640. Yet was it obliterated in the year 1830 with as much indifference as if it had been of yesterday; and for no reason except a childish desire for new walls and change.'

[105] I have hitherto called him Dr. William Robertson, to distinguish him from Dr. James Robertson, who is soon to make his appearance. But Principal, from his being the head of our college, is his usual designation, and is shorter: so I shall use it hereafter. BOSWELL.

[106] The dirtiness of the Scotch churches is taken off in The Tale of a Tub, sect. xi:—'Neither was it possible for the united rhetoric of mankind to prevail with Jack to make himself clean again.' In Humphry Clinker (Letter of Aug. 8) we are told that 'the good people of Edinburgh no longer think dirt and cobwebs essential to the house of God.' Bishop Horne (Essays and Thoughts, p. 45) mentioning 'the maxim laid down in a neighbouring kingdom that cleanliness is not essential to devotion,' continues, 'A Church of England lady once offered to attend the Kirk there, if she might be permitted to have the pew swept and lined. "The pew swept and lined!" said Mess John's wife, "my husband would think it downright popery."' In 1787 he wrote that there are country churches in England 'where, perhaps, three or four noble families attend divine service, which are suffered year after year to be in a condition in which not one of those families would suffer the worst room in their house to continue for a week.' Essays and Thoughts, p. 271.

[107] 'Hume recommended Fergusson's friends to prevail on him to suppress the work as likely to be injurious to his reputation.' When it had great success he said that his opinion remained the same. He had heard Helvetius and Saurin say that they had told Montesquieu that he ought to suppress his Esprit des Lois. They were still convinced that their advice was right. J. H. Burton's Hume, ii. 385-7. It was at Fergusson's house thirteen years later that Walter Scott, a lad of fifteen, saw Burns shed tears over a print by Bunbury of a soldier lying dead on the snow. Lockhart's Scott, i. 185. See ib. vii. 61, for an anecdote of Fergusson.

[108] They were pulled down in 1789. Murray's Handbook for Scotland, ed. 1883, p. 60.

[109] See ante, ii. 128.

[110] See ante, iii. 357, and post, Johnson's Tour into Wales, Aug. 1, 1774.


'There where no statesman buys, no bishop sells; A virtuous palace where no monarch dwells.'

An Epitaph. Hamilton's Poems, ed. 1760, p. 260. See ante, iii. 150.

[112] The stanza from which he took this line is,

'But then rose up all Edinburgh, They rose up by thousands three; A cowardly Scot came John behind, And ran him through the fair body!'

[113] Johnson described her as 'an old lady, who talks broad Scotch with a paralytick voice, and is scarce understood by her own countrymen.' Piozzi Letters, i.109. Lord Shelburne says that 'her husband, the last Duke, could neither read nor write without great difficulty.' Fitzmaurice's Shelburne, i. 11. Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto. p. 107) says that in 1745 he heard her say:—'I have sworn to be Duchess of Douglas or never to mount a marriage bed.' She married the Duke in 1758. R. Chambers wrote in 1825:—'It is a curious fact that sixty years ago there was scarcely a close in the High Street but what had as many noble inhabitants as are at this day to be found in the whole town.' Traditions of Edinburgh, ed. 1825, i. 72.

[114] See ante, ii. 154, note 1.

[115] Lord Chesterfield wrote from London on Dec. 16, 1760 (Misc. Works, iv. 291):—'I question whether you will ever see my friend George Faulkner in Ireland again, he is become so great and considerable a man here in the republic of letters; he has a constant table open to all men of wit and learning, and to those sometimes who have neither. I have been able to get him to dine with me but twice.'

[116] Dr. Johnson one evening roundly asserted in his rough way that "Swift was a shallow fellow; a very shallow fellow." Mr. Sheridan replied warmly but modestly, "Pardon me, Sir, for differing from you, but I always thought the Dean a very clear writer." Johnson vociferated "All shallows are clear."' Town and Country Mag. Sept. 1769. Notes and Queries, Jan. 1855, p. 62. See ante, iv. 61.

[117] 'The Memoirs of Scriblerus,' says Johnson (Works, viii. 298), 'seem to be the production of Arbuthnot, with a few touches, perhaps, by Pope.' Swift also was concerned in it. Johnson goes on to shew why 'this joint production of three great writers has never obtained any notice from mankind.' Arbuthnot was the author of John Bull. Swift wrote to Stella on May 10, 1712:—'I hope you read John Bull. It was a Scotch gentleman, a friend of mine, that wrote it; but they put it upon me.' See ante, i. 425.

[118] See ante, i. 452, and ii. 318.

[119] Horace, Satires. I. iii. 19.

[120] See ante, i. 396, and ii. 298.

[121] See ante, ii. 74.

[122] 'At supper there was such conflux of company that I could scarcely support the tumult. I have never been well in the whole journey, and am very easily disordered.' Piozzi Letters, i. 109.

[123] See ante, iv. 17, and under June 9, 1784.

[124] Johnson was thinking of Sir Matthew Hale for one.

[125] 'It is supposed that there were no executions for witchcraft in England subsequently to the year 1682; but the Statute of I James I, c. 12, so minute in its enactments against witches, was not repealed till the 9 Geo. II, c. 5. In Scotland, so late as the year 1722, when the local jurisdictions were still hereditary [see post, Sept. 11], the sheriff of Sutherlandshire condemned a witch to death.' Penny Cyclo. xxvii. 490. In the Bishopric of Wurtzburg, so late as 1750, a nun was burnt for witchcraft: 'Cette malheureuse fille soutint opiniatrement qu'elle etait sorciere.... Elle etait folle, ses juges furent imbecilles et barbares.' Voltaire's Works, ed. 1819, xxvi. 285.

[126] A Dane wrote to Garrick from Copenhagen on Dec. 23, 1769:—'There is some of our retinue who, not understanding a word of your language, mimic your gesture and your action: so great an impression did it make upon their minds, the scene of daggers has been repeated in dumb show a hundred times, and those most ignorant of the English idiom can cry out with rapture, "A horse, a horse; my kingdom for a horse!"' Garrick Corres. i. 375. See ante, vol. iv. under Sept. 30, 1783

[127] See ante, i. 466.

[128] Johnson, in the preface to his Dictionary (Works, v. 43), after stating what he had at first planned, continues:—'But these were the dreams of a poet doomed at last to wake a lexicographer.' See ante, i. 189, note 2, and May I, 1783.

[129] See his letter on this subject in the APPENDIX. BOSWELL. He had been tutor to Hume's nephew and was one of Hume's friends. J.H Burton's Hume, ii. 399.

[130] By the Baron d'Holbach. Voltaire (Works, xii. 212) describes this book as 'Une Philippique contre Dieu.' He wrote to M. Saurin:—'Ce maudit livre du Systeme de la Nature est un peche contre nature. Je vous sais bien bon gre de reprouver l'atheisme et d'aimer ce vers: "Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer." Je suis rarement content de mes vers, mais j'avoue que j'ai une tendresse de pere pour celui-la.' Ib. v. 418.

[131] One of Garrick's correspondents speaks of 'the sneer of one of Johnson's ghastly smiles.' Garrick Corres. i. 334. 'Ghastly smile' is borrowed from Paradise Lost, ii. 846.

[132] See ante, iii. 212. In Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, ii. 158, is given a comic poem entitled The Court of Session Garland, written by Boswell, with the help, it was said, of Maclaurin.

[133] Dr. John Gregory, Professor of Medicine in the University of Edinburgh, died on Feb. 10 of this year. It was his eldest son James who met Johnson. 'This learned family has given sixteen professors to British Universities.' Chalmers's Biog. Dict. xvi. 289.

[134] See ante, i. 257, note 3.

[135] See ante, i. 228.

[136] See ante, ii. 196.

[137] In the original, cursed the form that, &c. Johnson's Works, i. 21.

[138] Mistress of Edward IV. BOSWELL.

[139] Mistress of Louis XIV. BOSWELL. Voltaire, speaking of the King and Mlle. de La Valliere (not Valiere, as Lord Hailes wrote her name), says:—'Il gouta avec elle le bonheur rare d'etre aime uniquement pour lui-meme.' Siecle de Louis XIV, ch. 25. He describes her penitence in a fine passage. Ib. ch. 26.

[140] Malone, in a note on the Life of Boswell under 1749, says that 'this lady was not the celebrated Lady Vane, whose memoirs were given to the public by Dr. Smollett [in Peregrine Pickle], but Anne Vane, who was mistress to Frederick Prince of Wales, and died in 1736, not long before Johnson settled in London.' She is mentioned in a note to Horace Walpole's Letters, 1. cxxxvi.

[141] Catharine Sedley, the mistress of James II, is described by Macaulay, Hist of Eng. ed. 1874, ii. 323.

[142] Dr. A Carlyle (Auto. p. 114) tells how in 1745 he found 'Professor Maclaurin busy on the walls on the south side of Edinburgh, endeavoring to make them more defensible [against the Pretender]. He had even erected some small cannon.' See ante, iii, 15, for a ridiculous story told of him by Goldsmith.


'Crudelis ubique Luctus, ubique pavor, et plurima mortis imago:' 'grim grief on every side, And fear on every side there is, and many-faced is death.'

Morris, Virgil Aeneids, ii. 368.

[144] Mr. Maclaurin's epitaph, as engraved on a marble tomb-stone, in the Grey-Friars church-yard, Edinburgh:—

Infra situs est COLIN MACLAURIN, Mathes. olim in Acad. Edin. Prof. Electus ipso Newtono suadente. H.L.P.F. Non ut nomini paterno consulat, Nam tali auxilio nil eget; Sed ut in hoc infelici campo, Ubi luctus regnant et pavor, Mortalibus prorsus non absit solatium; Hujus enim scripta evolve, Mentemque tantarum rerum capacem Corpori caduco superstitem crede.


[145] See ante, i. 437, and post, p. 72.


'What is't to us, if taxes rise or fall, Thanks to our fortune we pay none at all.

No statesman e'er will find it worth his pains To tax our labours and excise our brains. Burthens like these vile earthly buildings bear, No tribute's laid on Castles in the Air'

Churchill's Poems, Night, ed. 1766, i. 89.

[147] Pitt, in 1784, laid a tax of ten shillings a year on every horse 'kept for the saddle, or to be put in carriages used solely for pleasure.'Parl. Hist. xxiv. 1028.

[148] In 1763 he published the following description of himself in his Correspondence with Erskine, ed. 1879, p.36. 'The author of the Ode to Tragedy is a most excellent man; he is of an ancient family in the west of Scotland, upon which he values himself not a little. At his nativity there appeared omens of his future greatness. His parts are bright; and his education has been good. He has travelled in post-chaises miles without number. He is fond of seeing much of the world. He eats of every good dish, especially apple-pie. He drinks old hock. He has a very fine temper. He is somewhat of an humorist, and a little tinctured with pride. He has a good manly countenance, and he owns himself to be amorous. He has infinite vivacity, yet is observed at times to have a melancholy cast. He is rather fat than lean, rather short than tall, rather young than old.' He is oddly enough described in Arighi's Histoire de Pascal Paoli, i. 231, 'En traversant la Mediterranee sur de freles navires pour venir s'asseoir au foyer de la nationalite Corse, des hommes graves tels que Boswel et Volney obeissaient sans doute a un sentiment bien plus eleve qu'au besoin vulgaire d'une puerile curiosite'

[149] See ante, i. 400.

[150] For respectable, see ante, iii. 241, note 2.

[151] Boswell, in the last of his Hypochondriacks, says:—'I perceive that my essays are not so lively as I expected they would be, but they are more learned. And I beg I may not be charged with excessive arrogance when I venture to say that they contain a considerable portion of original thinking.'London Mag. 1783, p. 124.

[152] Burns, in The Author's Earnest Cry and Prayer, says:—

'But could I like Montgomeries fight, Or gab like Boswell.'

Boswell and Burns were born within a few miles of each other, Boswell being the elder by eighteen years.

[153] 'For pointed satire I would Buckhurst choose, The best good man, with the worst-natured muse.'

Rochester's Imitations of Horace, Sat. i. 10.

[154] Johnson's Works, ix. i. See ante, ii. 278, where he wrote to Boswell:—'I have endeavoured to do you some justice in the first paragraph [of the Journey].' The day before he started for Scotland he wrote to Dr. Taylor:—'Mr. Boswell, an active lively fellow, is to conduct me round the country.' Notes and Queries, 6th S. v. 422. 'His inquisitiveness,' he said, 'is seconded by great activity.' Works, ix. 8. On Oct. 7 he wrote from Skye:—'Boswell will praise my resolution and perseverance; and I shall in return celebrate his good humour and perpetual cheerfulness.... It is very convenient to travel with him, for there is no house where he is not received with kindness and respect.' Piozzi Letters, i. 198. He told Mrs. Knowles that 'Boswell was the best travelling companion in the world.' Ante, iii. 294. Mr. Croker says (Croker's Boswell, p. 280):—'I asked Lord Stowell in what estimation he found Boswell amongst his countrymen. "Generally liked as a good-natured jolly fellow," replied his lordship. "But was he respected?" "Well, I think he had about the proportion of respect that you might guess would be shown to a jolly fellow." His lordship thought there was more regard than respect.' Hebrides, p. 40.

[155] See ante, ii. 103, 411.

[156] There were two quarto volumes of this Diary; perhaps one of them Johnson took with him. Boswell had 'accidently seen them and had read a great deal in them,' as he owned to Johnson (ante, under Dec. 9, 1784), and moreover had, it should seem, copied from them (ante, i. 251). The 'few fragments' he had received from Francis Barber (ante, i. 27).

[157] In the original 'how much we lost at separation' Johnson's Works, ix. I. Mr. William Nairne was afterwards a Judge of the Court of Sessions by the title of Lord Dunsinnan. Sir Walter Scott wrote of him:—'He was a man of scrupulous integrity. When sheriff depute of Perthshire, he found upon reflection, that he had decided a poor man's case erroneously; and as the only remedy, supplied the litigant privately with money to carry the suit to the supreme court, where his judgment was reversed.' Croker's Boswell, p. 280.


'Non illic urbes, non tu mirabere silvas: Una est injusti caerula forma maris.

Ovid. Amor. L. II. El. xi.

Nor groves nor towns the ruthless ocean shows; Unvaried still its azure surface flows.


[159] See ante. ii. 229.

[160] My friend, General Campbell, Governour of Madras, tells me, that they made speldings in the East-Indies, particularly at Bombay, where they call them Bambaloes. BOSWELL. Johnson had told Boswell that he was 'the most unscottified of his countrymen.'Ante, ii. 242.

[161] 'A small island, which neither of my companions had ever visited, though, lying within their view, it had all their lives solicited their notice.' Johnson's Works, ix. 1.

[162] 'The remains of the fort have been removed to assist in constructing a very useful lighthouse upon the island. WALTER SCOTT.


'Unhappy queen! Unwilling I forsook your friendly state.'

Dryden. [Aeneid, vi. 460.] BOSWELL.

[164] Dr. A. Carlyle (Auto. p. 331) says of his journey to London in 1758:—'It is to be noted that we could get no four-wheeled chaise till we came to Durham, those conveyances being then only in their infancy. Turnpike roads were only in their commencement in the north.' 'It affords a southern stranger,' wrote Johnson (Works ix. 2), 'a new kind of pleasure to travel so commodiously without the interruption of toll-gates.'

[165] See ante, iii. 265, for Lord Shelburne's statement on this subject.

[166] See ante, ii. 339, and iii. 205, note 4.

[167] See ante, iii. 46.

[168] The passage quoted by Dr. Johnson is in the Character of the Assembly-man; Butler's Remains, p. 232, edit. 1754:—'He preaches, indeed, both in season and out of season; for he rails at Popery, when the land is almost lost in Presbytery; and would cry Fire! Fire! in Noah's flood.'

There is reason to believe that this piece was not written by Butler, but by Sir John Birkenhead; for Wood, in his Athenae Oxonienses, vol. ii. p. 640, enumerates it among that gentleman's works, and gives the following account of it:

'The Assembly-man (or the character of an assembly-man) written 1647, Lond. 1662-3, in three sheets in qu. The copy of it was taken from the author by those who said they could not rob, because all was theirs; so excised what they liked not; and so mangled and reformed it, that it was no character of an Assembly, but of themselves. At length, after it had slept several years, the author published it to avoid false copies. It is also reprinted in a book entit. Wit and Loyalty revived, in a collection of some smart satyrs in verse and prose on the late times. Lond. 1682, qu. said to be written by Abr. Cowley, Sir John Birkenhead, and Hudibras, alias Sam. Butler.'—For this information I am indebted to Mr. Reed, of Staple Inn. BOSWELL. This tract is in the Harleian Misc., ed. 1810, vi. 57. Mr. Reed's quotation differs somewhat from it.

[169] 'When a Scotchman was talking against Warburton, Johnson said he had more literature than had been imported from Scotland since the days of Buchanan. Upon the other's mentioning other eminent writers of the Scotch; "These will not do," said Johnson, "Let us have some more of your northern lights; these are mere farthing candles."' Johnson's Works (1787), xi. 208. Dr. T. Campbell records (Diary, p. 61) that at the dinner at Mr. Dilly's, described ante, ii. 338, 'Dr. Johnson compared England and Scotland to two lions, the one saturated with his belly full, and the other prowling for prey. He defied any one to produce a classical book written in Scotland since Buchanan. Robertson, he said, used pretty words, but he liked Hume better; and neither of them would he allow to be more to Clarendon than a rat to a cat. "A Scotch surgeon may have more learning than an English one, and all Scotland could not muster learning enough for Lowth's Prelections."' See ante, ii. 363, and March 30, 1783.

[170] The poem is entitled Gualterus Danistonus ad Amicos. It begins:—

'Dum studeo fungi fallentis munere vitae'

Which Prior imitates:—

'Studious the busy moments to deceive.'

Sir Walter Scott thought that the poem praised by Johnson was 'more likely the fine epitaph on John, Viscount of Dundee, translated by Dryden, and beginning Ultime Scotoruml' Archibald Pitcairne, M.D., was born in 1652, and died in 1713.

[171] My Journal, from this day inclusive, was read by Dr. Johnson. BOSWELL. It was read by Johnson up to the second paragraph of Oct. 26. Boswell, it should seem, once at least shewed Johnson a part of the Journal from which he formed his Life. See ante, iii. 260, where he says:—'It delighted him on a review to find that his conversation teemed with point and imagery.'

[172] See ante, ii. 20, note 4.

[173] Goldsmith, in his Present State of Polite Learning, published in 1759, says, (ch. x):—'When the great Somers was at the helm, patronage was fashionable among our nobility ... Since the days of a certain prime minister of inglorious memory [Sir Robert Walpole] the learned have been kept pretty much at a distance. ... The author, when unpatronised by the Great, has naturally recourse to the bookseller. There cannot be perhaps imagined a combination more prejudicial to taste than this. It is the interest of the one to allow as little for writing, and of the other to write as much as possible; accordingly tedious compilations and periodical magazines are the result of their joint endeavours.'

[174] In the first number of The Rambler, Johnson shews how attractive to an author is the form of publication which he was himself then adopting:—'It heightens his alacrity to think in how many places he shall have what he is now writing read with ecstacies to-morrow.'

[175] Yet he said 'the inhabitants of Lichfield were the most sober, decent people in England.' Ante, ii. 463.

[176] At the beginning of the eighteenth century, says Goldsmith, 'smoking in the rooms [at Bath] was permitted.' When Nash became King of Bath he put it down. Goldsmith's Works, ed. 1854, iv. 51. 'Johnson,' says Boswell (ante, i. 317), 'had a high opinion of the sedative influence of smoking.'

[177] Dr. Johnson used to practise this himself very much. BOSWELL.

[178] In The Tatler, for May 24, 1709, we are told that 'rural esquires wear shirts half a week, and are drunk twice a day.' In the year 1720, Fenton urged Gay 'to sell as much South Sea stock as would purchase a hundred a year for life, "which will make you sure of a clean shirt and a shoulder of mutton every day."' Johnson's Works, viii. 65. In Tristram Shandy, ii. ch. 4, published in 1759, we read:—'It was in this year [about 1700] that my uncle began to break in upon the daily regularity of a clean shirt.' In the Spiritual Quixote, published in 1773 (i. 51), Tugwell says to his master:—'Your Worship belike has been used to shift you twice a week.' Mrs. Piozzi (Journey, i. 105, date of 1789) says that she heard in Milan 'a travelled gentleman telling his auditors how all the men in London, that were noble, put on a clean shirt every day.' Johnson himself owned that he had 'no passion for clean linen.' Ante, i. 397.

[179] Scott, in Old Mortality, ed. 1860, ix. 352, says:—'It was a universal custom in Scotland, that, when the family was at dinner, the outer-gate of the court-yard, if there was one, and if not, the door of the house itself, was always shut and locked.' In a note on this he says:—'The custom of keeping the door of a house or chateau locked during the time of dinner probably arose from the family being anciently assembled in the hall at that meal, and liable to surprise.'

[180] Johnson, writing of 'the chapel of the alienated college,' says:—'I was always by some civil excuse hindered from entering it.' Works, ix. 4.

[181] George Marline's Reliquiae divi Andreae was published in 1797.

[182] See ante, ii. 171, and iv. 75.

[183] Mr. Chambers says that Knox was buried in a place which soon after became, and ever since has been, a high-way; namely, the old church-yard of St. Giles in Edinburgh. Croker's Boswell, p. 283.

[184] In The Rambler, No. 82, Johnson makes a virtuoso write:—'I often lamented that I was not one of that happy generation who demolished the convents and monasteries, and broke windows by law.' He had in 1754 'viewed with indignation the ruins of the Abbeys of Oseney and Rewley near Oxford.' Ante, i. 273. Smollett, in Humphry Clinker (Letrer of Aug. 8), describes St. Andrews as 'the skeleton of a venerable city.'

[185] 'Some talked of the right of society to the labour of individuals, and considered retirement as a desertion of duty. Others readily allowed that there was a time when the claims of the publick were satisfied, and when a man might properly sequester himself to review his life and purify his heart.' Rasselas, ch. 22.

[186] See ante, ii. 423.

[187] See ante, iv. 5, note 2, and v. 27.

[188] 'He that lives well in the world is better than he that lives well in a monastery. But, perhaps, every one is not able to stem the temptations of publick life, and, if he cannot conquer, he may properly retreat.' Rasselas, ch. 47. See ante, ii. 435.

[189] 'A youthful passion for abstracted devotion should not be encouraged.' Ante, ii. 10. The hermit in Rasselas (ch. 21) says:—'The life of a solitary man will be certainly miserable, but not certainly devout.' In Johnson's Works (1787), xi. 203, we read that 'Johnson thought worse of the vices of retirement than of those of society.' Southey (Life of Wesley, i. 39) writes:—'Some time before John Wesley's return to the University, he had travelled many miles to see what is called "a serious man." This person said to him, "Sir, you wish to serve God and go to heaven. Remember, you cannot serve Him alone; you must therefore find companions or make them; the Bible knows nothing of solitary religion." Wesley never forgot these words.'

[190] [Erga neon, boulai de meson euchai de gerunton. Hesiodi Fragmenta, Lipsiae 1840, p. 371]

Let youth in deeds, in counsel man engage; Prayer is the proper duty of old age.


[191] One 'sorrowful scene' Johnson was perhaps too late in the year to see. Wesley, who visited St. Andrews on May 27, 1776, during the vacation, writes (Journal, iv. 75):—'What is left of St. Leonard's College is only a heap of ruins. Two colleges remain. One of them has a tolerable square; but all the windows are broke, like those of a brothel. We were informed the students do this before they leave the college.'

[192] 'He was murdered by the ruffians of reformation, in the manner of which Knox has given what he himself calls a merry narrative.' Johnson's Works, ix. 3. In May 1546 the Cardinal had Wishart the Reformer killed, and at the end of the same month he got killed himself.

[193] Johnson says (Works, ix. 5):—'The doctor, by whom it was shown, hoped to irritate or subdue my English vanity by telling me that we had no such repository of books in England.' He wrote to Mrs. Thrale (Piozzi Letters, i. 113):—'For luminousness and elegance it may vie at least with the new edifice at Streatham.' 'The new edifice' was, no doubt, the library of which he took the touching farewell. Ante, iv. 158.

[194] 'Sorrow is properly that state of the mind in which our desires are fixed upon the past, without looking forward to the future, an incessant wish that something were otherwise than it has been, a tormenting and harassing want of some enjoyment or possession which we have lost, and which no endeavours can possibly regain.' The Rambler, No. 47. He wrote to Mrs. Thrale on the death of her son:—'Do not indulge your sorrow; try to drive it away by either pleasure or pain; for, opposed to what you are feeling, many pains will become pleasures.' Piozzi Letters, i. 310.

[195] See ante, ii. 151.

[196] The Pembroke College grace was written by Camden. It was as follows:—'Gratias tibi agimus, Deus misericors, pro acceptis a tua bonitate alimentis; enixe comprecantes ut serenissimum nostrum Regem Georgium, totam regiam familiam, populumque tuum universum tuta in pace semper custodies.'

[197] Sharp was murdered on May 3, 1679, in a moor near St. Andrews. Burnet's History of his Own time, ed. 1818, ii. 82, and Scott's Old Mortality, ed, 1860, ix. 297, and x. 203.

[198] 'One of its streets is now lost; and in those that remain there is the silence and solitude of inactive indigence and gloomy depopulation.... St. Andrews seems to be a place eminently adapted to study and education.... The students, however, are represented as, at this time, not exceeding a hundred. I saw no reason for imputing their paucity to the present professors.' Johnson's Works, ix. 4. A student, he adds, of lower rank could get his board, lodging, and instruction for less than ten pounds for the seven months of residence. Stockdale says (Memoirs, i. 238) that 'in St. Andrews, in 1756, for a good bedroom, coals, and the attendance of a servant I paid one shilling a week.'

[199] The Compleat Fencing-Master, by Sir William Hope. London, 1691.

[200] 'In the whole time of our stay we were gratified by every mode of kindness, and entertained with all the elegance of lettered hospitality' Johnson's Works, ix. 3.

[201] Dugald Stewart (Life of Adam Smith, p. 107) writes:—'Mr. Smith observed to me not long before his death, that after all his practice in writing he composed as slowly, and with as great difficulty as at first. He added at the same time that Mr. Hume had acquired so great a facility in this respect, that the last volumes of his History were printed from his original copy, with a few marginal corrections.' See ante, iii. 437 and iv. 12.

[202] Of these only twenty-five have been published: Johnson's Works, ix. 289-525. See ante, iii. 19, note 3, and 181. Johnson wrote on April 20, 1778:—'I have made sermons, perhaps as readily as formerly.' Pr. and Med. p. 170. 'I should think,' said Lord Eldon, 'that no clergyman ever wrote as many sermons as Lord Stowell. I advised him to burn all his manuscripts of that kind. It is not fair to the clergymen to have it known he wrote them.' Twiss's Eldon, iii. 286. Johnson, we may be sure, had no copy of any of his sermons. That none of them should be known but those he wrote for Taylor is strange.

[203] He made the same statement on June 3, 1781 (ante, iv. 127), adding, 'I should be glad to see it [the translation] now.' This shows that he was not speaking of his translation of Lobo, as Mr. Croker maintains in a note on this passage. I believe he was speaking of his translation of Courayer's Life of Paul Sarpi. Ante, i. 135.

[204] 'As far as I am acquainted with modern architecture, I am aware of no streets which, in simplicity and manliness of style, or general breadth and brightness of effect, equal those of the New Town of Edinburgh. But, etc.' Ruskin's Lectures on Architecture and Painting, p. 2.

[205] Horace, Odes, ii. 14. 1.

[206] John Abernethy, a Presbyterian divine. His works in 7 vols. 8vo. were published in 1740-51.

[207] Leechman was principal of Glasgow University (post, Oct. 29). On his appointment to the Chair of Theology he had been prosecuted for heresy for having, in his Sermon on Prayer, omitted to state the obligation to pray in the name of Christ. Dr. A. Carlyle's Auto. p. 69. One of his sermons was placed in Hume's hands, apparently that the author might have his suggestions in preparing a second edition. Hume says:—'First the addressing of our virtuous withes and desires to the Deity, since the address has no influence on him, is only a kind of rhetorical figure, in order to render these wishes more ardent and passionate. This is Mr. Leechman's doctrine. Now the use of any figure of speech can never be a duty. Secondly, this figure, like most figures of rhetoric, has an evident impropriety in it, for we can make use of no expression, or even thought, in prayers and entreaties, which does not imply that these prayers have an influence. Thirdly, this figure is very dangerous, and leads directly, and even unavoidably, to impiety and blasphemy,' etc. J.H. Burton's Hume, i. 161.

[208] Nichols (Lit. Anec. ii. 555) records:—'During the whole of my intimacy with Dr. Johnson he rarely permitted me to depart without some sententious advice.... His words at parting were, "Take care of your eternal salvation. Remember to observe the Sabbath. Let it never be a day of business, nor wholly a day of dissipation." He concluded his solemn farewell with, "Let my words have their due weight. They are the words of a dying man." I never saw him more.'

[209] See ante, ii. 72.

[210] 'From the bank of the Tweed to St. Andrews I had never seen a single tree which I did not believe to have grown up far within the present century.... The variety of sun and shade is here utterly unknown.... A tree might be a show in Scotland as a horse in Venice. At St. Andrews Mr. Boswell found only one, and recommended it to my notice: I told him that it was rough and low, or looked as if I thought so. "This," said he, "is nothing to another a few miles off." I was still less delighted to hear that another tree was not to be seen nearer. "Nay," said a gentleman that stood by, "I know but of this and that tree in the county."' Johnson's Works, ix. 7 'In all this journey [so far as Slains Castle] I have not travelled an hundred yards between hedges, or seen five trees fit for the carpenter.' Piozzi Letters, i.120. See ante, ii. 301.

[211] One of the Boswells of this branch was, in 1798, raised to the bench under the title of Lord Balmuto. It was his sister who was Boswell's step-mother. Rogers's Boswelliana, pp. 4, 82.

[212] 'The colony of Leuchars is a vain imagination concerning a certain fleet of Danes wrecked on Sheughy Dikes.' WALTER SCOTT. 'The fishing people on that coast have, however, all the appearance of being a different race from the inland population, and their dialect has many peculiarities.' LOCKHART. Croker's Boswell, p. 286.

[213] 'I should scarcely have regretted my journey, had it afforded nothing more than the sight of Aberbrothick.' Works, ix. 9.

[214] Johnson referred, I believe, to the last of Tillotson's Sermons preached upon Several Occasions, ed. 1673, p. 316, where the preacher says:—'Supposing the Scripture to be a Divine Revelation, and that these words (This is My Body), if they be in Scripture, must necessarily be taken in the strict and literal sense, I ask now, What greater evidence any man has that these words (This is My Body) are in the Bible than every man has that the bread is not changed in the sacrament? Nay, no man has so much, for we have only the evidence of one sense that these words are in the Bible, but that the bread is not changed we have the concurring testimony of several of our senses.'

[215] This also is Tillotson's argument. 'There is no more certain foundation for it [transubstantiation] in Scripture than for our Saviour's being substantially changed into all those things which are said of him, as that he is a rock, a vine, a door, and a hundred other things.' Ib. p. 313.

[216] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. See St. John's Gospel, chap. vi. 53, and following verses. BOSWELL.

[217] See ante, p. 26.

[218] See ante, i. 140, note 5, and v. 50.

[219] Johnson, after saying that the inn was not so good as they expected, continues:—'But Mr. Boswell desired me to observe that the innkeeper was an Englishman, and I then defended him as well as I could.' Works, ix. 9.

[220] Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale on July 29, 1775 (Piozzi Letters, i. 292):—' I hope I shall quickly come to Streatham...and catch a little gaiety among you.' On this Baretti noted in his copy:—'That he never caught. He thought and mused at Streatham as he did habitually everywhere, and seldom or never minded what was doing about him.' On the margin of i. 315 Baretti has written:—'Johnson mused as much on the road to Paris as he did in his garret in London as much at a French opera as in his room at Streatham.'

[221] A Biographical Sketch of Dr. Samuel Johnson, by Thomas Tyers, Esq. See ante, iii. 308.

[222] This description of Dr. Johnson appears to have been borrowed from Tom Jones, bk. xi. ch. ii. 'The other who, like a ghost, only wanted to be spoke to, readily answered, '&c. BOSWELL.

[223] Perhaps he gave the 'shilling extraordinary' because he 'found a church,' as he says, 'clean to a degree unknown in any other part of Scotland.' Works, ix. 9.

[224] See ante, iii. 22.

[225] See ante, May 9, 1784. Yet Johnson says (Works, ix. 10):—'The magnetism of Lord Monboddo's conversation easily drew us out of our way.'

[226] There were several points of similarity between them; learning, clearness of head, precision of speech, and a love of research on many subjects which people in general do not investigate. Foote paid Lord Monboddo the compliment of saying, that he was an Elzevir edition of Johnson.

It has been shrewdly observed that Foote must have meant a diminutive, or pocket edition. BOSWELL. The latter part of this note is not in the first edition.

[227] Lord Elibank (post, Sept. 12) said that he would go five hundred miles to see Dr. Johnson; but Johnson never said more than he meant.

[228] Works, ix. 10. Of the road to Montrose he remarks:—'When I had proceeded thus far I had opportunities of observing, what I had never heard, that there were many beggars in Scotland. In Edinburgh the the proportion is, I think, not less than in London, and in the smaller places it is far greater than in English towns of the same extent. It must, however, be allowed that they are not importunate, nor clamorous. They solicit silently, or very modestly.' Ib. p. 9. See post, p. 116, note 2.

[229] James Mill was born on April 6, 1773, at Northwater Bridge, parish of Logie Pert, Forfar. The bridge was 'on the great central line of communication from the north of Scotland. The hamlet is right and left of the high road.' Bain's Life of James Mill, p. 1. Boswell and Johnson, on their road to Laurence Kirk, must have passed close to the cottage in which he was lying, a baby not five months old.

[230] See ante, i. 211.

[231] There is some account of him in Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, ed. 1825, ii. 173, and in Dr. A. Carlyle's Auto. p. 136.

[232] G. Chalmers (Life of Ruddiman, p. 270) says:—'In May, 1790, Lord Gardenston declared that he still intended to erect a proper monument in his village to the memory of the late learned and worthy Mr. Ruddiman.' In 1792 Gardenston, in his Miscellanies, p. 257, attacked Ruddiman. 'It has of late become fashionable,' he wrote, 'to speak of Ruddiman in terms of the highest respect.' The monument was never raised.

[233] A Letter to the Inhabitants of Laurence Kirk, by F. Garden.

[234] 'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.' Hebrews xiii, 2.

[235] This, I find, is considered as obscure. I suppose Dr. Johnson meant, that I assiduously and earnestly recommended myself to some of the members, as in a canvass for an election into parliament. BOSWELL. See ante, ii, 235.

[236] Goldsmith in Retaliation, a few months later, wrote of William Burke:—'Would you ask for his merits? alas! he had none; What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his own.' See ante, iii 362, note 2.

[237] See ante, iii. 260, 390, 425.

[238] Hannah More (Memoirs, i. 252) wrote of Monboddo in 1782:—'He is such an extravagant adorer of the ancients, that he scarcely allows the English language to be capable of any excellence, still less the French. He said we moderns are entirely degenerated. I asked in what? "In everything," was his answer. He loves slavery upon principle. I asked him how he could vindicate such an enormity. He owned it was because Plutarch justified it. He is so wedded to system that, as Lord Barrington said to me the other day, rather than sacrifice his favourite opinion that men were born with tails, he would be contented to wear one himself.'

[239] Scott, in a note on Guy Mannering, ed. 1860, iv. 267, writes of Monboddo:—'The conversation of the excellent old man, his high, gentleman-like, chivalrous spirit, the learning and wit with which he defended his fanciful paradoxes, the kind and liberal spirit of his hospitality, must render these noctes coenaeque dear to all who, like the author (though then young), had the honour of sitting at his board.'

[240] Lord Cockburn, writing of the title that Jeffrey took when he was raised to the Bench in 1834, said:—'The Scotch Judges are styled Lords; a title to which long usage has associated feelings of reverence in the minds of the people, who could not now be soon made to respect or understand Mr. Justice. During its strongly feudalised condition, the landholders of Scotland, who were almost the sole judges, were really known only by the names of their estates. It was an insult, and in some parts of the country it is so still, to call a laird by his personal, instead of his territorial, title. But this assumption of two names, one official and one personal, and being addressed by the one and subscribing by the other, is wearing out, and will soon disappear entirely.' Cockburn's Jeffrey, i. 365. See post, p. 111, note 1.

[241] Georgics, i. 1.

[242] Walter Scott used to tell an instance of Lord Monboddo's agricultural enthusiasm, that returning home one night after an absence (I think) on circuit, he went out with a candle to look at a field of turnips, then a novelty in Scotland. CROKER.

[243] Johnson says the same in his Life of John Philips, and adds:— 'This I was told by Miller, the great gardener and botanist, whose experience was, that "there were many books written on the same subject in prose, which do not contain so much truth as that poem."' Works, vii. 234. Miller is mentioned in Walpole's Letters, ii. 352:—'There is extreme taste in the park [Hagley]: the seats are not the best, but there is not one absurdity. There is a ruined castle built by Miller, that would get him his freedom, even of Strawberry: it has the true rust of the Barons' Wars.'

[244] See ante, p. 27.

[245] My note of this is much too short. Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio. ['I strive to be concise, I prove obscure.' FRANCIS. Horace, Ars Poet. l. 25.] Yet as I have resolved that the very Journal which Dr. Johnson read, shall be presented to the publick, I will not expand the text in any considerable degree, though I may occasionally supply a word to complete the sense, as I fill up the blanks of abbreviation, in the writing; neither of which can be said to change the genuine Journal. One of the best criticks of our age conjectures that the imperfect passage above was probably as follows: 'In his book we have an accurate display of a nation in war, and a nation in peace; the peasant is delineated as truly as the general; nay, even harvest-sport, and the modes of ancient theft are described.' BOSWELL. 'One of the best criticks is, I believe, Malone, who had 'perused the original manuscript.' See ante, p. 1; and post, Oct. 26, and under Nov. 11.

[246] It was in the Parliament-house that 'the ordinary Lords of Session,' the Scotch Judges, that is to say, held their courts. Ante, p. 39.

[247] Dr. Johnson modestly said, he had not read Homer so much as he wished he had done. But this conversation shews how well he was acquainted with the Maeonian bard; and he has shewn it still more in his criticism upon Pope's Homer, in his Life of that Poet. My excellent friend, Mr. Langton, told me, he was once present at a dispute between Dr. Johnson and Mr. Burke, on the comparative merits of Homer and Virgil, which was carried on with extraordinary abilities on both sides. Dr. Johnson maintained the superiority of Homer. BOSWELL. Johnson told Windham that he had never read through the Odyssey in the original. Windham's Diary, p. 17. See ante, iii. 193, and May 1, 1783.

[248] Johnson ten years earlier told Boswell that he loved most 'the biographical part of literature.' Ante, i. 425. Goldsmith said of biography:—'It furnishes us with an opportunity of giving advice freely and without offence.... Counsels as well as compliments are best conveyed in an indirect and oblique manner, and this renders biography as well as fable a most convenient vehicle for instruction. An ingenious gentleman was asked what was the best lesson for youth; he answered, "The life of a good man." Being again asked what was the next best, he replied, "The life of a bad one."' Prior's Goldsmith, i. 395.

[249] See ante, p. 57.

[250] Ten years later he said:—'There is now a great deal more learning in the world than there was formerly; for it is universally diffused.' Ante, April 29,1783. Windham (Diary, p. 17) records 'Johnson's opinion that I could not name above five of my college acquaintances who read Latin with sufficient ease to make it pleasurable.'

[251] See ante, ii. 352.

[252] 'Warburton, whatever was his motive, undertook without solicitation to rescue Pope from the talons of Crousaz, by freeing him from the imputation of favouring fatality, or rejecting revelation; and from month to month continued a vindication of the Essay on Man in the literary journal of that time, called the Republick of Letters' Johnson's Works, viii. 289. Pope wrote to Warburton of the Essay on Man:—'You understand my work better than I do myself.' Pope's Works, ed. 1886, ix. 211.

[253] See ante, ii. 37, note I, and Pope's Works, ed. 1886, ix. 220. Allen was Ralph Allen of Prior Park near Bath, to whom Fielding dedicated Amelia, and who is said to have been the original of Allworthy in Tom Jones. It was he of whom Pope wrote:—

'Let low-born Allen, with an awkward shame, Do good by stealth and blush to find it fame.'

Epilogue to the Satires, i. 135.

Low-born in later editions was changed to humble. Warburton not only married his niece, but, on his death, became in her right owner of Prior Park.

[254] Mr. Mark Pattison (Satires of Pope, p. 158) points out Warburton's 'want of penetration in that subject [metaphysics] which he considered more peculiarly his own.' He said of 'the late Mr. Baxter' (Andrew Baxter, not Richard Baxter), that 'a few pages of his reasoning have not only more sense and substance than all the elegant discourses of Dr. Berkeley, but infinitely better entitle him to the character of a great genius.'

[255] It is of Warburton that Churchill wrote in The Duellist (Poems, ed. 1766, ii. 82):—

'To prove his faith which all admit Is at least equal to his wit, And make himself a man of note, He in defence of Scripture wrote; So long he wrote, and long about it, That e'en believers 'gan to doubt it.'

[256] I find some doubt has been entertained concerning Dr. Johnson's meaning here. It is to be supposed that he meant, 'when a king shall again be entertained in Scotland.' BOSWELL.

[257] Perhaps among these ladies was the Miss Burnet of Monboddo, on whom Burns wrote an elegy.

[258] In the Rambler, No. 98, entitled The Necessity of Cultivating Politeness, Johnson says:—'The universal axiom in which all complaisance is included, and from which flow all the formalities which custom has established in civilized nations, is, That no man shall give any preference to himself.' In the same paper, he says that 'unnecessarily to obtrude unpleasing ideas is a species of oppression.'

[259] Act ii. sc. 5.

[260] Perhaps he was referring to Polyphemus's club, which was

'Of height and bulk so vast The largest ship might claim it for a mast.'

Pope's Odyssey, ix. 382.

Or to Agamemnon's sceptre:—

'Which never more shall leaves or blossoms bear.'

Iliad, i. 310.

[261] 'We agreed pretty well, only we disputed in adjusting the claims of merit between a shopkeeper of London and a savage of the American wildernesses. Our opinions were, I think, maintained on both sides without full conviction; Monboddo declared boldly for the savage, and I, perhaps for that reason, sided with the citizen.' Piozzi Letters, i. 115.


'Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed, From Macedonia's madman to the Swede; The whole strange purpose of their lives to find, Or make, an enemy of all mankind! Not one looks backward, onward still he goes, Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose.'

Essay on Man, iv. 219.

[263] Maccaroni is not in Johnson's Dictionary. Horace Walpole (Letters, iv. 178) on Feb. 6, 1764, mentions 'the Maccaroni Club, which is composed of all the travelled young men who wear long curls and spying-glasses.' On the following Dec. 16 he says:—'The Maccaroni Club has quite absorbed Arthur's; for, you know, old fools will hobble after young ones.' Ib. p. 302. See post, Sept. 12, for buck.

[264] 'We came late to Aberdeen, where I found my dear mistress's letter, and learned that all our little people were happily recovered of the measles. Every part of your letter was pleasing.' Piozzi Letters, i. 115. For Johnson's use of the word mistress in speaking of Mrs. Thrale see ante, i. 494.

[265] See ante, ii. 455. 'They taught us,' said one of the Professors, 'to raise cabbage and make shoes, How they lived without shoes may yet be seen; but in the passage through villages it seems to him that surveys their gardens, that when they had not cabbage they had nothing.' Piozzi Letters, i. 116. Johnson in the same letter says that 'New Aberdeen is built of that granite which is used for the new pavement in London.'

[266] 'In Aberdeen I first saw the women in plaids.' Piozzi Letters, i. 116.

[267] Seven years later Mackintosh, on entering King's College, found there the son of Johnson's old friend, 'the learned Dr. Charles Burney, finishing his term at Aberdeen.' Among his fellow-students were also some English Dissenters, among them Robert Hall. Mackintosh's Life, i. 10, 13. In Forbes's Life of Beattie (ed. 1824, p. 169) is a letter by Beattie, dated Oct. 15, 1773, in which the English and Scotch Universities are compared. Colman, in his Random Records, ii. 85, gives an account of his life at Aberdeen as a student.

[268] Lord Bolingbroke (Works, iii. 347) in 1735 speaks of 'the little care that is taken in the training up our youth,' and adds, 'surely it is impossible to take less.' See ante, ii. 407, and iii. 12.

[269] London, 2d May, 1778. Dr. Johnson acknowledged that he was himself the authour of the translation above alluded to, and dictated it to me as follows:—

Quos laudet vates Graius Romanus et Anglus Tres tria temporibus secla dedere suis. Sublime ingenium Graius; Romanus habebat Carmen grande sonans; Anglus utrumque tulit. Nil majus Natura capit: clarare priores Quae potuere duos tertius unus habet. BOSWELL.

It was on May 2, 1778, that Johnson attacked Boswell with such rudeness that he kept away from him for a week. Ante, iii. 337.

[270] 'We were on both sides glad of the interview, having not seen nor perhaps thought on one another for many years; but we had no emulation, nor had either of us risen to the other's envy, and our old kindness was easily renewed.' Piozzi Letters, i. 117.

[271] Johnson wrote on Sept. 30:—'Barley-broth is a constant dish, and is made well in every house. A stranger, if he is prudent, will secure his share, for it is not certain that he will be able to eat anything else.' Piozzi Letters, i. p. 160.

[272] See ante. p. 24.

[273] Genesis, ix. 6.

[274] My worthy, intelligent, and candid friend, Dr. Kippis, informs me, that several divines have thus explained the mediation of our Saviour. What Dr. Johnson now delivered, was but a temporary opinion; for he afterwards was fully convinced of the propitiatory sacrifice, as I shall shew at large in my future work, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. BOSWELL. For Dr. Kippis see ante, iii. 174, and for Johnson on the propitiatory sacrifice, iv. 124.

[275] Malachi, iv. 2.

[276] St. Luke, ii 32.

[277] 'Healing in his wings,'Malachi, iv. 2.

[278] 'He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.' St. Mark, xvi. 16.

[279] Mr. Langton. See ante, ii. 254, 265.

[280] Spedding's Bacon, vii. 271. The poem is also given in The Golden Treasury, p. 37; where, however, 'limns the water' is changed into 'limns on water.'

[281] 'Addison now returned to his vocation, and began to plan literary occupations for his future life. He purposed a tragedy on the death of Socrates... He engaged in a nobler work, a defence of the Christian religion, of which part was published after his death.' Johnson's Works, vii. 441, and Addison's Works, ed. 1856, v. 103.

[282] Dr. Beattie was so kindly entertained in England, that he had not yet returned home. BOSWELL. Beattie was staying in London till his pension got settled. Early in July he had been told that he was to have a pension of L200 a year (ante, ii. 264, note 2). It was not till Aug. 20 that it was conferred. On July 9, he, in company with Sir Joshua Reynolds, received the degree of D.C.L. at Oxford. On Aug. 24, he had a long interview with the King; 'who asked,' Beattie records, 'whether we had any good preachers at Aberdeen. I said "Yes," and named Campbell and Gerard, with whose names, however, I did not find that he was acquainted.' It was this same summer that Reynolds painted him in 'the allegorical picture representing the triumph of truth over scepticism and infidelity' (post, Oct. 1, note). Forbes's Beattie, ed. 1824, pp. 151-6, 167.

[283] Dr. Johnson's burgess-ticket was in these words:—'Aberdoniae, vigesimo tertio die mensis Augusti, anno Domini millesimo septingentesimo septuagesimo tertio, in presentia honorabilium virorum, Jacobi Jopp, armigeri, praepositi, Adami Duff, Gulielmi Young, Georgii Marr, et Gulielmi Forbes, Balivorum, Gulielmi Rainie Decani guildae, et Joannis Nicoll Thesaurarii dicti burgi. 'Quo die vir generosus et doctrina clarus, Samuel Johnson, LL.D. receptus et admissus fuit in municipes et fratres guildae: praefati burgi de Aberdeen. In deditissimi amoris et affectus ac eximiae observantiae tesseram, quibus dicti Magistratus eum amplectuntur. Extractum per me, ALEX. CARNEGIE.' BOSWELL. 'I was presented with the freedom of the city, not in a gold box, but in good Latin. Let me pay Scotland one just praise; there was no officer gaping for a fee; this could have been said of no city on the English side of the Tweed.' Piozzi Letters, i. 117. Baretti, in a MS. note on this passage, says:—'Throughout England nothing is done for nothing. Stop a moment to look at the rusticks mowing a field, and they will presently quit their work to come to you, and ask something to drink.' Aberdeen conferred its freedom so liberally about this time that it is surprising that Boswell was passed over. George Colman the younger, when a youth of eighteen, was sent to King's College. He says in his worthless Random Records, ii. 99:—'I had scarcely been a week in Old Aberdeen, when the Lord Provost of the New Town invited me to drink wine with him one evening in the Town Hall; there I found a numerous company assembled. The object of this meeting was soon declared to me by the Lord Provost, who drank my health, and presented me with the freedom of the City.' Two of his English fellow-students, of a little older standing, had, he said, received the same honour. His statement seemed to me incredible; but by the politeness of the Town-clerk, W. Gordon, Esq., I have found out that in the main it is correct. Colman, with one of the two, was admitted as an Honorary Burgess on Oct. 8, 1781, being described as vir generosus; the other had been admitted earlier. The population of Aberdeen and its suburbs in 1769 was, according to Pennant, 16,000. Pennant's Tour, p. 117.

[284] 'King's College in Aberdeen was an exact model of the University of Paris. Its founder, Bishop [not Archbishop] Elphinstone, had been a Professor at Paris and at Orleans.' Burton's Scotland, ed. 1873, iii. 404. On p. 20, Dr. Burton describes him as 'the rich accomplished scholar and French courtier Elphinstone, munificently endowing a University after the model of the University of Paris.'

[285] Boswell projected the following works:—1. An edition of Johnson's Poems. Ante, i. 16. 2. A work in which the merit of Addison's poetry shall be maintained, ib. p. 225. 3. A History of Sweden, ii. 156. 4. A Life of Thomas Ruddiman, ib. p. 216. 5. An edition of Walton's Lives iii. 107. 6. A History of the Civil War in Great Britain in 1745 and 1746, ib., p. 162.

7. A Life of Sir Robert Sibbald, ib. p. 227. 8 An account of his own Travels, ib. p. 300. 9. A Collection, with notes, of old tenures and charters of Scotland, ib. p. 414, note 3. 10. A History of James IV. 11. 'A quarto volume to be embellished with fine plates, on the subject of the controversy (ante, ii. 367) occasioned by the Beggar's Opera.' Murray's Johnsoniana, ed. 1836, p. 502.

Thomas Boswell received from James IV. the estate of Auchinleck. Ante, ii. 413. See post, Nov. 4.

[286] Mackintosh says, in his Life, i. 9:—'In October, 1780, I was admitted into the Greek class, then taught by Mr. Leslie, who did not aspire beyond teaching us the first rudiments of the language; more would, I believe, have been useless to his scholars.'

[287] 'Boswell was very angry that the Aberdeen professors would not talk.' Piozzi Letters, i. 118. Dr. Robertson and Dr. Blair, whom Boswell, five years earlier, invited to meet Johnson at supper, 'with an excess of prudence hardly opened their lips' (ante, ii. 63). At Glasgow the professors did not dare to talk much (post, Oct. 29). On another occasion when Johnson came in, the company 'were all as quiet as a school upon the entrance of the headmaster.' Ante, iii. 332.

[288] Dr. Beattie says that this printer was Strahan. He had seen the letter mentioned by Gerard, and many other letters too from the Bishop to Strahan. 'They were,' he continues, 'very particularly acquainted.' He adds that 'Strahan was eminently skilled in composition, and had corrected (as he told me himself) the phraseology of both Mr. Hume and Dr. Robertson.' Forbes's Beattie, ed. 1824, p. 341.

[289] An instance of this is given in Johnson's Works, viii. 288:—'Warburton had in the early part of his life pleased himself with the notice of inferior wits, and corresponded with the enemies of Pope. A letter was produced, when he had perhaps himself forgotten it, in which he tells Concanen, "Dryden, I observe, borrows for want of leisure, and Pope for want of genius; Milton out of pride, and Addison out of modesty."'

[290] 'Goldsmith asserted that Warburton was a weak writer. "Warburton," said Johnson, "may be absurd, but he will never be weak; he flounders well."' Stockdale's Memoirs, ii. 64. See Appendix A.

[291] The Doctrine of Grace; or the Office and Operations of the Holy Spirit vindicated from the Insults of Infidelity and the Abuses of Fanaticism, 1762.

[292] A Letter to the Bishop of Gloucester, occasioned by his Tract on the Office and Operations of the Holy Spirit, by John Wesley, 1762.

[293] Malone records:—'I could not find from Mr. Walpole that his father [Sir Robert] read any other book but Sydenham in his retirement.' To his admiration of Sydenham his death was attributed; for it led him to treat himself wrongly when he was suffering from the stone. Prior's Malone, p. 387. Johnson wrote a Life of Sydenham. In it he ridicules the notion that 'a man eminent for integrity practised Medicine by chance, and grew wise only by murder.' Works, vi. 409.

[294] All this, as Dr. Johnson suspected at the time, was the immediate invention of his own lively imagination; for there is not one word of it in Mr. Locke's complimentary performance. My readers will, I have no doubt, like to be satisfied, by comparing them; and, at any rate, it may entertain them to read verses composed by our great metaphysician, when a Bachelor in Physick.


Febriles aestus, victumque ardoribus orbem Flevit, non tantis par Medicina malis. Nam post mille artes, medicae tentamina curae, Ardet adhuc Febris; nec velit arte regi. Praeda sumus flammis; solum hoc speramus ab igne, Ut restet paucus, quem capit urna, cinis. Dum quaerit medicus febris caussamque, modumque, Flammarum & tenebras, & sine luce faces; Quas tractat patitur flammas, & febre calescens, Corruit ipse suis victima rapta focis. Qui tardos potuit morbos, artusque trementes, Sistere, febrili se videt igne rapi. Sic faber exesos fulsit tibicine muros; Dum trahit antiquas lenta ruina domos. Sed si flamma vorax miseras incenderit aedes, Unica flagrantes tunc sepelire salus. Fit fuga, tectonicas nemo tunc invocat artes; Cum perit artificis non minus usta domus. Se tandem Sydenham febrisque Scholaeque furori Opponens, morbi quaerit, & artis opem. Non temere incusat tectae putedinis [putredinis] ignes; Nec fictus, febres qui fovet, humor erit. Non bilem ille movet, nulla hic pituita; Salutis Quae spes, si fallax ardeat intus aqua? Nec doctas magno rixas ostentat hiatu, Quis ipsis major febribus ardor inest. Innocuas placide corpus jubet urere flammas, Et justo rapidos temperat igne focos. Quid febrim exstinguat, varius quid postulet usus, Solari aegrotos, qua potes arte, docet, Hactenus ipsa suum timuit Natura calorem, Dum saepe incerto, quo calet, igne perit: Dum reparat tacitos male provida sanguinis ignes, Praslusit busto, fit calor iste rogus. Jam secura suas foveant praecordia flammas, Quem Natura negat, dat Medicina modum. Nec solum faciles compescit sanguinis aestus, Dum dubia est inter spemque metumque salus; Sed fatale malum domuit, quodque astra malignum Credimus, iratam vel genuisse Stygem. Extorsit Lachesi cultros, Pestique venenum Abstulit, & tantos non sinit esse metus. Quis tandem arte nova domitam mitescere Pestem Credat, & antiquas ponere posse minas? Post tot mille neces, cumulataque funera busto, Victa jacet parvo vulnere dira Lues. Aetheriae quanquam spargunt contagia flammae, Quicquid inest istis ignibus, ignis erit. Delapsae coelo flammae licet acrius urant Has gelida exstingui non nisi morte putas? Tu meliora paras victrix Medicina; tuusque, Pestis quae superat cuncta, triumphus eris [erit]. Vive liber, victis febrilibus ignibus; unus Te simul & mundum qui manet, ignis erit.

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