The Life Of Johnson, Volume 3 of 6
by Boswell
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[982] See ante, ii. 247, where Boswell says that 'no man was more scrupulously inquisitive in order to discover the truth;' and iii. 188, 229.

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

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

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

[986] See ante, ii. 63.

[987] See ante, ii. 84

[988] See ante, p. 3.

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

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

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

[992] Hume wrote to Millar:—'Hamilton and Balfour have offered Robertson [for his Scotland] a very unusual price; no less than 500 for one edition of 2000.' Ib. ii. 42. As Robertson did not accept this offer, no doubt he got a better one. Even if he got no more, it would not have seemed 'a moderate price' to a man whose preferment hitherto had been only 100 a year. (See Dugald Stewart's Robertson, p. 161.) Stewart adds (ib. p. 169):—'It was published on Feb. 1, 1759. Before the end of the month the author was desired by his bookseller to prepare for a second edition.' By 1793 it was in its fourteenth edition. Ib. p. 326. The publisher was Millar; the price two guineas. Gent. Mag. xxix. 84.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1001] See ante, p. 191.

[1002] See ante, p. 54.

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

[1004] See ante, ii. 109.

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

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

[1007] See ante, iii. 97.

[1008] Acts, X. 1 and 2.

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

[1010] See ante, ii. 256.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[1014] See ante, ii. 470.

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

[1016] See ante, i. 294.

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

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

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

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

[1021] See ante, i. 154.

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

[1023] See post, May 1, 1779.

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

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

[1026] In the original me.

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

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

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

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

[1028] 'Antoine Arnauld, surnomm le grand Arnauld, thologien et philosophe, n Paris le 6 fvrier 1612, mort le 6 aot 1694 Bruxelles.' Nouv. Biog. Gn. iii. 282.

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

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

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

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

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

[1034] See ante, i. 49.

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

[1036] Beauclerk.

[1037] Bolingbroke. Ante, ii. 246.

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

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

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

[1041] See ante, p. 340.

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

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

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

[1045] See Appendix B.

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

[1047] See ante, ii. 194.

[1048] See ante, iii. 178.

[1049] See ante, ii. 153.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1057] See ante, i. 342.

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

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

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

[1061] See ante, ii. 468.

[1062] See Appendix C.

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

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

See ante, ii. 21.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1071] See ante, ii. 64.

[1072] See ante, ii. 278.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1079] No doubt his house at Langton.

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

[1081] Langton.


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

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

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

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

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

[1086] On Oct. 15 Johnson wrote:—'Is my master [i.e. Mr. Thrale, ante, i. 494, note 3] come to himself? Does he talk, and walk, and look about him, as if there were yet something in the world for which it is worth while to live? Or does he yet sit and say nothing? To grieve for evils is often wrong; but it is much more wrong to grieve without them.' Piozzi Letters. ii. 22. Nine days later he wrote:—'You appear to me to be now floating on the spring-tide of prosperity. I think it very probably in your power to lay up 8000 a-year for every year to come, increasing all the time, what needs not be increased, the splendour of all external appearance. And surely such a state is not to be put into yearly hazard for the pleasure of keeping the house full, or the ambition of out-brewing Whitbread? Piozzi Letters, p. 24.

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

'Philada., July 5, 1775.

'Mr. Strahan,

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

'I am, yours,


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

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

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

[1090] President of the Royal Society.

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

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

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

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

[1095] Ib. Nov. 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1102] Miss Carmichael. BOSWELL.

[1103] See Appendix D.

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

[1105] See ante, i. 446.

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

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

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

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

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

[1111] See ante, ii. 272.

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

[1113] See ante, ii. 107.

[1114] See ante, iii. 126.

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

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

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

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

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

[1118] See ante, i. 456.

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

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

[1121] See ante, i. 211.

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

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

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

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

[1126] Johnson wrote on Nov. 21, 1778:—'Baretti has told his musical scheme to B—— and B—— will neither grant the question nor deny. He is of opinion that if it does not fail, it will succeed, but if it does not succeed he conceives it must fail.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 41. Baretti, in a marginal note on his copy, says that B—— is Dr. Burney. He adds:—'The musical scheme was the Carmen Seculare. That brought me 150 in three nights, and three times as much to Philidor. It would have benefited us both greatly more, if Philidor had not proved a scoundrel.' 'The complaisant Italian,' says the Gent Mag. (xlix. 361), 'in compliment to our island chooses "to drive destructive war and pestilence" ad Mauros, Seras et Indos, instead of ad Persas atque Britannos.' Mr. Tasker, the clergyman, went a step further. 'I,' he says in his version of the Carmen,

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

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

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

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

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

Ib. 1781, p. 227.

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

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


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

* * * * *

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

Ode, p. 8.

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

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

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

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

[1137] See ante, ii. 135.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1146] See ante, i. 82.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Pope. Satires, Epilogue, ii. 208.

[1153] Page 173. BOSWELL.

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

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

[1156] See ante ii 249.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

[1176] See ante, p. 70.

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

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

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

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

[1181] In the original impoverished.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1198] See ante, p. 297.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1209] Afterwards Mr. Stuart Wortley. He was the father of the first Lord Wharncliffe. CROKER.

[1210] Horace Walpole, in April 1778, wrote:—'It was very remarkable that on the militia being ordered out, two of Lord Bute's younger sons offered, as Bedfordshire gentlemen, to take any rank in the militia in that county. I warned Lord Ossory, the Lord Lieutenant, against so dangerous a precedent as admitting Scots in the militia. A militia can only be safe by being officered by men of property in each county.' Journal of the Reign of George III, ii. 252.

[1211] Walpole wrote in Dec. 1778:—'His Majesty complained of the difficulty of recruiting. General Keppel replied aloud, "It is owing to the Scots, who raise their clans in and about London." This was very true; the Master of Lovat had received a Royal gift of 6000 to raise a regiment of his clan, and had literally picked up boys of fifteen in London and Westminster.' Ib. p. 316.

[1212] He made his will in his wife's life-time, and appointed her and Sir William Forbes, or the survivor of them, 'tutors and curators' to his children. Boswelliana, p. 186.

[1213] Head gardener at Stowe, and afterwards at Hampton Court and Windsor. He got his nickname from his habit of saying that grounds which he was asked to lay out had capabilities. Lord Chatham wrote of him:—'He writes Lancelot Brown Esquire, en titre d'office: please to consider, he shares the private hours of—[the King], dines familiarly with his neighbour of Sion [the Duke of Northumberland], and sits down at the tables of all the House of Lords, &c.' Chatham Corres. iv. 178, 430.

[1214] See ante, pp. 334, 350. Clive, before the Committee of the House of Commons, exclaimed:—'By God, Mr. Chairman, at this moment I stand astonished at my own moderation.' Macaulay's Essays, iii. 198.

[1215] See ante, p. 216.

[1216] Yet, according to Johnson, 'the poor in England were better provided for than in any other country of the same extent.' Ante, ii. 130.

[1217] See ante, ii. 119.

[1218] See ante, i. 67, note 2.

[1219] The Rev. Dr. Law, Bishop of Carlisle, in the Preface to his valuable edition of Archbishop King's Essay on the Origin of Evil [ed. 1781, p. xvii], mentions that the principles maintained in it had been adopted by Pope in his Essay on Man; and adds, 'The fact, notwithstanding such denial (Bishop Warburton's), might have been strictly verified by an unexceptionable testimony, viz that of the late Lord Bathurst, who saw the very same system of the [Greek: to beltion] (taken from the Archbishop) in Lord Bolingbroke's own hand, lying before Mr. Pope, while he was composing his Essay.' This is respectable evidence; but that of Dr. Blair is more direct from the fountain-head, as well as more full. Let me add to it that of Dr. Joseph Warton; 'The late Lord Bathurst repeatedly assured me that he had read the whole scheme of The Essay on Man, in the hand-writing of Bolingbroke, and drawn up in a series of propositions, which Pope was to versify and illustrate.' Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope, vol. ii. p. 62. BOSWELL. In the above short quotation from Law are two parentheses. According to Paley, the Bishop was once impatient at the slowness of his Carlisle printer. '"Why does not my book make its appearance?" said he to the printer. "My Lord, I am extremely sorry; but we have been obliged to send to Glasgow for a pound of parentheses."' Best's Memorials, p. 196.

[1220] Johnson, defining ascertain in its first meaning as establish, quotes from Hooker: 'The divine law ascertaineth the truth of other laws.'

[1221] 'To those who censured his politicks were added enemies yet more dangerous, who called in question his knowledge of Greek, and his qualifications for a translator of Homer. To these he made no publick opposition; but in one of his letters escapes from them as well as he can. At an age like his, for he was not more than twenty-five, with an irregular education, and a course of life of which much seems to have passed in conversation, it is not very likely that he overflowed with Greek. But when he felt himself deficient he sought assistance; and what man of learning would refuse to help him?' Johnson's Works, viii. 252. Johnson refers, I think, to Pope's letter to Addison of Jan. 30, 1713-14.

[1222] 'That those communications had been consolidated into a scheme regularly drawn and delivered to Pope, from whom it returned only transformed from prose to verse, has been reported but can hardly be true. The Essay plainly appears the fabrick of a poet; what Bolingbroke supplied could be only the first principles; the order, illustration and embellishments must all be Pope's.' Works, viii. 287. Dr. Warton (Essay on Pope, ii. 58) says that he had repeatedly heard from Lord Bathurst the statement recorded by Dr. Blair.

[1223] 'In defiance of censure and contempt truth is frequently violated; and scarcely the most vigilant and unremitted circumspection will secure him that mixes with mankind from being hourly deceived by men, of whom it can scarcely be imagined that they mean any injury to him or profit to themselves.' Works, iv. 22.

[1224] See ante, pp. 226, 243.

[1225] Gibbon wrote of Lord Hailes:—'In his Annals of Scotland he has shewn himself a diligent collector and an accurate critic.' Gibbon's Misc. Works, i. 233.

[1226] See ante, ii. 237.

[1227] See ante, ii. 79.


'Versate diu quid ferre recusent, Quid valeant humeri.' 'Weigh with care What suits your genius, what your strength can bear.'

FRANCIS. Horace, Ars Poet. 1. 39.

[1229] Boswell seems to be afraid of having his head made to ache again, by the sense that Johnson should put into it. See ante, p. 381.

[1230] The Spleen, a Poem. BOSWELL. The author was Matthew Green. Dodsley's Collection, i. 145. See ante, p. 38.

[1231] See ante, i. 182.

[1232] Of Dryden he wrote (Works, vii. 250):—'He began even now to exercise the domination of conscious genius by recommending his own performance.'

[1233] See ante, i. 297.

[1234] Johnson's Works, vii. 95. See ante, i. 111.


1. Exeter-street, off Catherine-street, Strand. [March 1737, ante, i. 103.] 2. Greenwich. [July 1737, ante, i. 107.] 3. Woodstock-street, near Hanover-square. [End of 1737, ante, i. III.] 4. Castle-street, Cavendish-square, No. 6. [Spring and October 1738; ante, i. 120, and 135, note 1. Castle-street is now called Castle-street East.] 5. Strand. 6. Boswell-Court. 7. Strand, again. [In Croker's Boswell, p. 44, is a letter dated, 'At the Black Boy, over against Durham Yard, Strand, March 31, 1741.'] 8. Bow-street. 9. Holborn. 10. Fetter-lane. [Johnson mentions in Pr. and Med. p. 73, 'A good night's rest I once had in Fetter-Lane.'] 11. Holborn, again. 12. Gough-square. [In Croker's Boswell, p. 62, is a letter dated 'Goff-square, July 12, 1749.' He moved to Staple Inn on March 23, 1759. Rasselas was written when he was living in Gough-square, and not in Staple Inn, as has been asserted. Ante, i. 516.] 13. Staple Inn. 14. Gray's Inn. [In Croker's Boswell, p. 118, is a letter dated 'Gray's Inn, Dec. 17, 1759.'] 15. Inner Temple-lane, No. 1. [He was here in June 1760, ante, i. 350, note 1; and on Jan. 13, 1761, as is shewn by a letter in Croker's Boswell, p. 122. Johnson Buildings now stand where his house stood.] 16. Johnson's-court, No. 7. [See i. 518 for a letter dated 'Johnson's-court, Oct. 17, 1765.'] 17. Bolt-court, No. 8. [He was here on March 15, 1776 (ante, ii. 427). From about 1765 (ante, i. 493) to Oct. 7, 1782 (post), he had moreover 'an apartment' at Streatham, and from about 1765 to about the end of 1780, one at Southwark (ante, i. 493). From about the beginning of 1781 to the spring of 1783 he had a room either in Grosvenor-square or Argyll-street (post, March 20, 1781 and March 21, 1783.)]

[1236] See ante, ii. 55.

[1237] If, as seems to be meant, the 'gentleman supposed the case' on this occasion, he must have been Boswell, for no one else was present with Johnson.

[1238] A crime that he would have restrained by 'severe laws steadily enforced.' Ante, iii. 18.

[1239] See ante, ii. 105.

[1240] Lord Newhaven was one of a creation of eighteen Irish peers in 1776. 'It was a mob of nobility,' wrote Horace Walpole. 'The King in private laughed much at the eagerness for such insignificant honours.' Journal of the Reign of George III, ii. 58.

[1241] Now the Lady of Sir Henry Dashwood, Bart. BOSWELL.

[1242] See ante, ii. 111.

[1243] The False Alarm. See ante, ii. 111.

[1244] See Collins's Peerage, i. 636, and Hume's England, ed. 1802, iv. 451, for an account, how Henry VIII. once threatened to cut off the head of Edward Montagu, one of the members (not the Speaker as Mr. Croker says), if he did not get a money bill passed by the next day. The bill, according to the story, was passed. Mr. P. Cunningham informed Mr. Croker that Johnson was here guilty of an anachronism, for that heads were first placed on Temple Bar in William III's time.

[1245] Horace Walpole thus describes public affairs in February of this year:—'The navy disgusted, insurrections in Scotland, Wales mutinous, a rebellion ready to break out in Ireland where 15,000 Protestants were in arms, without authority, for their own defence, many of them well-wishers to the Americans, and all so ruined that they insisted on relief from Parliament, or were ready to throw off subjection; Holland pressed by France to refuse us assistance, and demanding whether we would or not protect them: uncertainty of the fate of the West Indian Islands; and dread at least that Spain might take part with France; Lord North at the same time perplexed to raise money on the loan but at eight per cent., which was demanded—such a position and such a prospect might have shaken the stoutest king and the ablest administration. Yet the king was insensible to his danger. He had attained what pleased him most —his own will at home. His ministers were nothing but his tools— everybody called them so, and they proclaimed it themselves.' Walpole's Journal of the Reign of George III, ii. 339. In this melancholy enumeration he passes over the American War.

[1246] See ante, i. 78, note 2.

[1247] Wesley himself recorded in 1739 (Journal, i. 177):—'I have been all my life (till very lately) so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order, that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin if it had not been done in a church.'

[1248] Horace Walpole (Letters, viii. 131) talks of some one 'riding on three elephants at once like Astley.' On p. 406 he says:—'I can almost believe that I could dance a minuet on a horse galloping full speed, like young Astley.'

[1249] See ante, i. 458.

[1250] A friend of Wilkes, as Boswell was, might well be supposed to have got over such scruples.

[1251] Mr. Croker says that the '"celebrated friend" was no doubt Burke.' Burke, however, is generally described by Boswell as 'eminent.' Moreover Burke was not in the habit of getting drunk, as seems to have been the case with 'the celebrated friend.' Boswell (ante, p. 245, note 1) calls Hamilton 'celebrated,' but then Boswell and Hamilton were not friends, as is shewn, post, Nov. 1783.

[1252] Corinthians. xv, 33.

[1253] See ante, ii. 121.

[1254] 'Prince Gonzaga di Castiglione, when dining in company with Dr. Johnson, thinking it was a polite as well as gay thing to drink the Doctor's health with some proof that he had read his works, called out from the top of the table to the bottom.—At your health, Mr. Vagabond.' Piozzi's Synonymy, ii. 358. Mme. D'Arblay (Memoirs of Dr. Burney, ii. 258) says,—'General Paoli diverted us all very much by begging leave of Mrs. Thrale to give one toast, and then, with smiling pomposity, pronouncing "The great Vagabond."'

[1255] 'Very near to admiration is the wish to admire. Every man willingly gives value to the praise which he receives, and considers the sentence passed in his favour as the sentence of discernment.' Johnson's Works, vii. 396.

[1256] See ante, ii. 461.

[1257] See ante, ii. 465.

[1258] See ante, ib. p. 466

[1259] See ante, ib. p. 467.

[1260] See ante, ib. p. 470.

[1261] See ante, ib. p. 469.

[1262] See ante_, p. 405.

[1263] Bishop Porteus. See ante, p. 279.

[1264] Miss Letitia Barnston. BOSWELL.

[1265] 'At Chester I passed a fortnight in mortal felicity. I had from my earliest years a love for the military life, and there is in it an animation and relish of existence which I have never found amongst any other set of men, except players, with whom you know I once lived a great deal. At the mess of Colonel Stuart's regiment I was quite the great man, as we used to say; and I was at the same time all joyous and gay ... I never found myself so well received anywhere. The young ladies there were delightful, and many of them with capital fortunes. Had I been a bachelor, I should have certainly paid my addresses to a Chester lady.' Letters of Boswell, p. 247.

[1266] Mrs. Thrale wrote to Johnson from Brighton in 1778:—'I have lost what made my happiness in all seasons of the year; but the black dog shall not make prey of both my master and myself. My master swims now, and forgets the black dog.' Johnson replied:—'I shall easily forgive my master his long stay, if he leaves the dog behind him. We will watch, as well as we can, that the dog shall never be let in again, for when he comes the first thing he does is to worry my master.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 32, 37.

[1267] See ante, ii. 202.

[1268] I have a valuable collection made by my Father, which, with some additions and illustrations of my own, I intend to publish. I have some hereditary claim to be an Antiquary; not only from my Father, but as being descended, by the mother's side, from the able and learned Sir John Skene, whose merit bids defiance to all the attempts which have been made to lessen his fame. BOSWELL. See ante, i. 225, note 2, for an imperfect list of Boswell's projected publications, and Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 23, for a fuller one.

[1269] See ante, iii. 162, and Boswell's Hebrides, Nov. 11.

[1270] In the first two editions, we.

[1271] In chaps, xxiv. and xxv. of his Sicle de Louis XV. See ante, i. 498, note 4, for Voltaire's 'catching greedily at wonders.'

[1272] Burton in the last lines of The Anatomy of Melancholy, says:— 'Only take this for a corollary and conclusion; as thou tenderest thine own welfare in this and all other melancholy, thy good health of body and mind, observe this short precept, give not way to solitariness and idleness. "Be not solitary, be not idle."'

[1273] Johnson was in better spirits than usual. The following day he wrote:—'I fancy that I grow light and airy. A man that does not begin to grow light and airy at seventy is certainly losing time if he intends ever to be light and airy.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 73.

[1274] Crescit amor nummi quantum ipsa pecunia crescit. Juvenal, xiv. 139.

[1275] He had seen it on his Tour in Wales on July 26, 1774. See post, vol. v.

[1276] Dean Percy, ante, p. 365.

[1277] Another son was the first Lord Ellenborough.

[1278] His regiment was afterwards ordered to Jamaica, where he accompanied it, and almost lost his life by the climate. This impartial order I should think a sufficient refutation of the idle rumour that 'there was still something behind the throne greater than the throne itself.' BOSWELL. Lord Shelburne, about the year 1803, likening the growth of the power of the Crown to a strong building that had been raised up, said:—'The Earl of Bute had contrived such a lock to it as a succession of the ablest men have not been able to pick, nor has he ever let the key be so much as seen by which he has held it.' Fitzmaurice's Shelburne, i. 68.

[1279] Boswell, on Jan. 4, wrote to Temple:—'How inconsiderable are both you and I, in comparison with what we used to hope we should be! Yet your learning and your memoirs set you far above the common run of educated men. And Son pittore anche io. I too, in several respects, have attained to superiority. But we both want solidity and force of mind, such as we observe in those who rise in active life.' Letters of Boswell, p. 249.


'For in the mind alone our follies lie, The mind that never from itself can fly.'

FRANCIS. Horace, Epistles, i. 14. 13.

[1281] Requesting me to inquire concerning the family of a gentleman who was then paying his addresses to Miss Doxy. BOSWELL.

[1282] It is little more than half that distance.

[1283] Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale on Nov. 7:—'My master, I hope, hunts and walks, and courts the belles, and shakes Brighthelmston. When he comes back, frolick and active, we will make a feast, and drink his health, and have a noble day.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 79.

[1284] See page 368. BOSWELL. On Nov. 16 he wrote:—'At home we do not much quarrel; but perhaps the less we quarrel, the more we hate. There is as much malignity amongst us as can well subsist without any thought of daggers or poisons.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 93.

[1285] See ante, i. 187.

[1286] See post, p. 421, and Feb. 27, 1784.

[1287] See ante, i. 260, and post, June 4. 1781.

[1288] He wrote to Mrs. Thrale on April 11—'You are at all places of high resort, and bring home hearts by dozens; while I am seeking for something to say about men of whom I know nothing but their verses, and sometimes very little of them. Now I have begun, however, I do not despair of making an end.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 100.

[1289] See ante, ii. 5.

[1290] A writer in Notes and Queries (3rd S., viii. 197) points out that Johnson, writing to a doctor, uses a doctor's language. 'Until very lately solution of continuity was a favourite phrase with English surgeons; where a bone was broken, or the flesh, &c. cut or lacerated, there was a solution of continuity.' See ante, ii. 106, for laceration.

[1291] He died March 11, 1780, aged 40. Gent. Mag. 1780, p. 155.


'Animula, vagula, blandula, Hospes comesque corporis, Qu nunc abibis in loca, Pallidula, rigida, nudula? Nec, ut soles, dabis joca.'

Adriani morientis ad animam suam.

'Poor little, pretty, fluttering thing, Must we no longer live together? And dost thou prune thy trembling wing, To take thy flight thou know'st not whither? Thy humorous vein, thy pleasing folly Lies all neglected, all forgot; And pensive, wavering, melancholy, Thou dread'st and hop'st thou know'st not what.' Prior.

In The Spectator, No. 532, is a letter from Pope to Steele on these 'famous verses which the Emperor Adrian spoke on his death-bed.' See in Pope's Correspondence (Elwin's Pope, vi. 394), this letter to Steele of Nov. 7, 1712, for his version of these lines.

[1293] See ante, ii. 246, note 1.

[1294] Mr. Beauclerk's library was sold by publick auction in April and May 1781, for 5011. MALONE. See post, May 8, 1781.

[1295] By a fire in Northumberland-house, where he had an apartment, in which I have passed many an agreeable hour. BOSWELL.

[1296] See post, iv. 31.

[1297] In 1768, on his birthday, Johnson recorded, 'This day it came into my mind to write the history of my melancholy.' Ante, ii. 45, note 1.

[1298] Johnson had dated his letter, 'London, April 25, 1780,' and added, 'now there is a date; look at it.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 109. In his reply he wrote:—'London, May 1, 1780. Mark that—you did not put the year to your last.' Ib. p. 112.

[1299] An Address to the Electors of Southwark. Ib. p. 106. See post, p. 440.

[1300] The author of the Fitzosborne Letters (post, May 5, 1784, note). Miss Burney thus describes this evening:—'We were appointed to meet the Bishop of Chester at Mrs. Montagu's. This proved a very gloomy kind of grandeur; the Bishop waited for Mrs. Thrale to speak, Mrs. Thrale for the Bishop; so neither of them spoke at all. Mrs. Montagu cared not a fig, as long as she spoke herself, and so she harangued away. Meanwhile Mr. Melmoth, the Pliny Melmoth, as he is called, was of the party, and seemed to think nobody half so great as himself. He seems intolerably self-sufficient—appears to look upon himself as the first man in Bath, and has a proud conceit in look and manner, mighty forbidding.' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 348.

[1301] Dr. John Hinchliffe. BOSWELL.

[1302] A kind of nick-name given to Mrs. Thrale's eldest daughter, whose name being Esther, she might be assimilated to a Queen. BOSWELL.

[1303] Mr. Thrale. BOSWELL.

[1304] In Johnson's Dictionary is neither dawling nor dawdling. He uses dawdle, post, June 3, 1781.

[1305] Miss Burney shews how luxurious a table Mr. Thrale kept. 'We had,' she records, in May 1779, 'a very grand dinner to-day, though nothing to a Streatham dinner, at the Ship Tavern [Brighton], where the officers mess, to which we were invited by the major and the captain.' As the major was a man of at least 8,000 a-year, and the captain of 4,000 or 5,000, the dinner was likely to be grand enough. Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 211. Yet when Mr. Thrale had his first stroke in 1779, Johnson wrote:—'I am the more alarmed by this violent seizure, as I can impute it to no wrong practices, or intemperance of any kind.... What can he reform? or what can he add to his regularity and temperance? He can only sleep less.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 49, 51. Baretti, in a MS. note on p. 51, says:—'Dr. Johnson knew that Thrale would eat like four, let physicians preach.... May be he did not know it, so little did he mind what people were doing. Though he sat by Thrale at dinner, he never noticed whether he eat much or little. A strange man!' Yet in a note on p. 49, Baretti had said that Thrale's seizure was caused by 'the mere grief he could not overcome of his only son's loss. Johnson knew it, but would not tell it.' See post, iv. 84, note 4.

[1306] Miss Burney.

[1307] I have taken the liberty to leave out a few lines. BOSWELL. Lines about diet and physic.

[1308] See ante, ii. 61, note 4.

[1309] The author of Fables for the Female Sex, and of the tragedy of The Gamester, and editor of The World. Goldsmith, in his Present State of Polite Learning (ch. x.), after describing the sufferings of authors, continues:—'Let us not then aggravate those natural inconveniences by neglect; we have had sufficient instances of this kind already. Sale and Moore will suffice for one age at least. But they are dead and their sorrows are over.' Mr. Foster (Life of Goldsmith, ed. 1871, ii, 484) strangely confounds Edward Moore the fabulist, with Dr. John More the author of Zeluco.

[1310] Line of a song in The Spectator, No. 470. CROKER.

[1311] Hannah More, in 1783 (Memoirs, i. 286), describes 'Mrs. Vesey's pleasant parties. It is a select society which meets at her house every other Tuesday, on the day on which the Turk's Head Club dine together. In the evening they all meet at Mrs. Vesey's, with the addition of such other company as it is difficult to find elsewhere.'

[1312] Second Earl Spencer; the First Lord of the Admiralty under Pitt, and father of Lord Althorp who was leader of the House of Commons under Earl Grey.

[1313] see ante p. 390.

[1314] Her childhood was celebrated by Prior in the lines beginning:— 'My noble, lovely little Peggy.' CROKER.

[1315] Horace Walpole (Letters, vii. 510) wrote on Feb. 5, 1781:—'I saw Dr. Johnson last night at Lady Lucan's, who had assembled a blue stocking meeting in imitation of Mrs. Vesey's Babels. It was so blue, it was quite Mazarine-blue. Mrs. Montagu kept aloof from Johnson, like the west from the east.' In his letter of Jan. 14 (ib. p. 497), the allusion to Mrs. Vesey's Babels is explained: 'Mrs. Montagu is one of my principal entertainments at Mrs. Vesey's, who collects all the graduates and candidates for fame, where they vie with one another, till they are as unintelligible as the good folks at Babel.' 'Lady Spencer,' said Samuel Rogers, 'recollected Johnson well, as she used to see him often in her girlhood. Her mother, Lady Lucan, would say, "Nobody dines with us to-day; therefore, child, we'll go and get Dr. Johnson." So they would drive to Bolt Court and bring the doctor home with them.' Rogers's Table Talk, p. 10. 'I told Lady Lucan,' wrote Johnson on April 25, 1780, 'how long it was since she sent to me; but she said I must consider how the world rolls about her. She seemed pleased that we met again.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 107.

[1316] 'I have seen,' wrote Wraxall, 'the Duchess of Devonshire, then in the first bloom of youth, hanging on the sentences that fell from Johnson's lips, and contending for the nearest place to his chair. All the cynic moroseness of the philosopher and the moralist seemed to dissolve under so flattering an approach.' Wraxall's Memoirs, ed. 1815, i. 158.

[1317] In Nichols's Lit. Anec. viii. 548, 9, Dr. Barnard is thus described:—'In powers of conversation I never yet knew his equal. He saw infinite variety of characters, and like Shakespeare adopted them all by turns for comic effect. He carried me to London in a hired chaise; we rose from our seat, and put our heads out of the windows, while the postboy removed something under us. He supposed himself in the pillory, and addressed the populace against the government with all the cant of No. 45 and Co. He once told me a little anecdote of the original Parson Adams, whom he knew. "Oh, Sir!" said he to Barnard, almost in a whisper, and with a look of horror, "would you believe it, Sir, he was wicked from a boy;" then going up close to him, "You will be shocked—you will not believe it,—he wrote God with a little g, when he was ten years old!"'

[1318] In Mr. Croker's editions, 'had taken a chair' is changed into 'had taken the chair,' and additional emphasis is given by printing these four words in italics.

[1319] The hostess must have suffered, for, according to Miss Burney, 'Lord Harcourt said, "Mrs. Vesey's fear of ceremony is really troublesome; for her eagerness to break a circle is such that she insists upon everybody's sitting with their backs one to another; that is, the chairs are drawn into little parties of three together, in a confused manner all over the room."' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 184. Miss Burney thus describes her:—'She has the most wrinkled, sallow, time-beaten face I ever saw. She is an exceeding well-bred woman, and of agreeable manners; but all her name in the world must, I think, have been acquired by her dexterity and skill in selecting parties, and by her address in rendering them easy with one another.' Ib. p. 244. She heard her say of a gentleman who had lately died:—'It's a very disagreeable thing, I think, when one has just made acquaintance with anybody and likes them, to have them die.' Ib. ii. 290.

[1320] Johnson passed over this scene very lightly. 'On Sunday evening I was at Mrs. Vesey's, and there was inquiry about my master, but I told them all good. There was Dr. Barnard of Eton, and we made a noise all the evening; and there was Pepys, and Wraxall till I drove him away.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 98. Wraxall was perhaps thinking of this evening when he wrote (Memoirs, ed. 1815, i. 147):—'Those whom he could not always vanquish by the force of his intellect, by the depth and range of his arguments, and by the compass of his gigantic faculties, he silenced by rudeness; and I have myself more than once stood in the predicament which I here describe. Yet no sooner was he withdrawn, and with him had disappeared these personal imperfections, than the sublime attainments of his mind left their full effect on the audience: such the whole assembly might be in some measure esteemed while he was present.'

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