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he was, I advised him against publishing. Why, his translation is more difficult to understand than the original. I thought him a man of some talents ; but he seems crazy in this.” JOHNSON: "Sir, you have done what I had not courage to do. But he did not ask my advice, and I did not force it upon him to make him angry with me.” GARRICK: “But as a friend, Sir." JOHNSON: “Why, such a friend as I am with him-no.” GARRICK : “But if you see a friend going to tumble over a precipice?" JOHNSON: “That is an extravagant case, Sir. You are sure a friend will thank you for hindering him from tumbling over a precipice; but, in the other case, I should hurt his vanity, and do him no good. He would not take my advice. His brother-in-law, Strahan, sent him a subscription of 501., and said he would send him 50l. more, if he would not publish.” GARRICK : " What! eh ! is Strahan a good judge of an epigram ? Is not he rather an obtuse man, eh ?" JOHNSON : “Why, Sir, he may not be a judge of an epigram ; but you see he is a judge of what is not an epigram." BOSWELL : “It is easy for you, Mr. Garrick, to talk to an author as you talked to Elphinston ; you, who have been so long the manager of a theatre, rejecting the plays of poor authors. You are an old judge, who have often pronounced sentence of death. You are a practised surgeon, who have often amputated limbs : and though this may have been for the good of your patients, they cannot like you. Those who have undergone a dreadful operation are not very fond of seeing the operator again.” GARRICK : “Yes, I know enough of that. There was a reverend gentleman (Mr. Hawkins), who wrote a tragedy, the SIEGE of something, which I refused.” HARRIS : “So the siege was raised.” JOHNSON: “Ay, he came to me and complained ; and told me that Garrick said his play was wrong in the concoction. Now, what is the concoction of a play ?” (Here Garrick started, and twisted himself, and seemed sorely vexed; for Johnson told me he believed the story was true.) GARRICK : "I-I-I-said, first concoction.” JOHNSON (smiling) : “Well, he left out first. And Rich, he said, refused him in false English : he could show it under his hand.” GARRICK : “He wrote to me in violent wrath, for having refused his play: 'Sir, this is growing a very serious and terrible affair. I am resolved to publish my play. I will appeal to the world; and how will your judgment appear!' I answered, “Sir, notwitstanding all the seriousness, and all the terrors, I have no objection to your publishing your play ; and as you live at a great distance (Devonshire, I believe), if
will send it to me, I will convey it to the press.' I never heard more of it, -ha! ha! ha!”
1 It was called “The Siege of Aleppo.” Mr. Hawkins, the author of it, was formerly Professor of Poetry at Oxford. It is printed in his “Miscellanies,” 3 vols. octavo.-BOSWELE.
2 Garrick had high authority for this expression. Dryden uses it in one of his critical essays.--MALONE,
On Friday, April 10, I found Johnson at home in the morning. We resumed the conversation of yesterday. He put me in mind of some of it which escaped my memory, and enabled me to record it more perfectly than I otherwise could have done. He was much pleased with my paying so great attention to his recommendation in 1763, the period when our acquaintance began, that I should keep a journal; and I could perceive he was secretly pleased to find so much of the fruit of his mind preserved ; and as he had been used to imagine and say that he always laboured when he said a good thing, it delighted him, on a review, to find that his conversation teemed with point and imagery.
I said to him, “You were yesterday, Sir, in remarkably good humour ; but there was nothing to offend you, nothing to produce irritation or violence. There was no bold offender. There was not one capital conviction. It was a maiden assize. You had on your white gloves.”
He found fault with our friend Langton for having been too siicnt. “Sir,” said I, “ you will recollect that he very properly took up Sir Joshua for being glad that Charles Fox had praised Goldsmith's • Traveller,' and you joined him.” JOHNSON : “ Yes, Sir, I knocked Fox on the head, without ceremony. Reynolds is too much under Fox and Burke at present. He is under the Fox star, and the Irish constellation. He is always under some planet.” BOSWELL: “There is no Fox Star.” JOHNSON : “But there is a Dog star.” BOSWELL: “They say, indeed, a fox and a dog are the same animal.”
I reminded him of a gentleman, who, Mrs. Cholmondeley said, was first talkative from affectation, and then silent from the same cause ; that he first thought,“ I shall be celebrated as the liveliest man in every company ;” and then, all at once, “Oh! it is much more respectable to be grave, and look wise.” “He has reversed the Pythagorean discipline, by being first talkative, and then silent. He reverses the course of nature too; he was first the gay butterfly, and then the creeping worm. Johnson laughed loud and long at this expansion and illustration of what he himself had told me.
We dined together with Mr. Scott (now Sir William Scott, his Majesty's Advocate-General),' at his chambers in the Temple ; nobody else there. The company being small, Johnson was not in such spirits as he had been the preceding day, and for a considerable time little was said. At last he burst forth : “Subordination is sadly broken down in this age. No man, now, has the same authority which his father had,except a gaoler. No master has it over his servants; it is diminished in our colleges; nay, in our grammar schools.” BOSWELL: “What is the cause of this, Sir ?” JOHNSON : “Why the coming in of the Scotch.” (laughing sarcastically). BOSWELL: “That is to say, things have been
I Now (1804) Judge of the Court of Admiralty, and Master of the Faculties.-Maloxe.
turned topsy-turvy. But your serious cause." JOHNSON: “Why, Sir, there are many causes, the chief of which is, I think, the great increase of money. No man now depends upon the Lord of a Manor, when he can send to another country, and fetch provisions. The shoe-black at the entry of my court does not depend on me. I can deprive him but of a penny a day, which he hopes somebody else will bring him ; and that penny I must carry to another shoe-black ; so the trade suffers nothing. I have explained, in my ‘Journey to the Hebrides,' how gold and silver destroy feudal subordination. But, besides, there is a general relaxation of reverence. No son now depends upon his father, as in former times. Paternity used to be considered as of itself a great thing, which had a right to many claims. That is, in general, reduced to very small bounds. My hope, is, that as anarchy produces tyranny, this extreme relaxation will produce freni strictio."
Talking of fame, for which there is so great a desire, I observed how little there is of it in reality, compared with the other objects of human attention. “Let every man recollect, and he will be sensible how small a part of his time is employed in talking or thinking of Shakspeare, Voltaire, or any of the most celebrated men that have ever lived, or are now supposed to occupy the attention and admiration of the world. Let this be extracted and compressed ; into what a narrow space will it go!" I then slily introduced Mr. Garrick's fame, and his assuming the airs of a great man. JOHNSON : "Sir, it is wonderful how little Garrick assumes. No, Sir, Garrick fortunam reverenter habet. Consider, Sir,celebrated men, such as you have mentioned, have had their applause at a distance; but Garrick had it dashed in his face, sounded in his ears, and went home every night with the plaudits of a thousand in his cranium. Then, Sir, Garrick did not find, but made his way to the tables, the levees, and almost the bed-chambers of the great. Then, Sir, Garrick had under him a numerous body of people; who, from fear of his power and hopes of his favour, and admiration of his talents, were constantly submissive to him. And here is a man who has advanced the dignity of his profession. Garrick has made a player a higher character.”
SCOTT: “And he is a very sprightly writer too." “JOHNSON : “ Yes, Sir; and all this supported by great wealth of his own acquisition. If all this had happened to me, I should have had a couple of fellows with long poles walking before me, to knock down everybody that stood in the way. Consider, if all this had happened to Cibber or Quin, they'd have jumped over the moon. Yet Garrick speaks to us” (smiling). BOSWELL: “ And Garrick is a very good man, a charitable man. JOHNSON: “Sir, a liberal man. He has given away more money than any man in England. There may be a little vanity mixed; but he has shown that money is not his first object.” BOSWELL : “ Yet Foote used to say of him, that he walked out with an intention to do a generous action ; but turning the corner of a street, he met with the ghost of a halfpenny, which frightened
him.” JOHNSON : “Why, Sir, that is very true, too; for I never knew a man of whom it could be said with less certainty to-day, what he will do to-morrow, than Garrick; it depends so much on his humour at the time.” Scott: "I am glad to hear of his liberality. He has been represented as very saving." JOHNSON : “With his domestic saving we have nothing to do. I remember drinking tea with him long ago, when Peg Woffington 'made it, and he grumbled at her for making it too strong. He had then begun to feel money in his purse, and did not know when he should have enough of it.
On the subject of wealth, the proper use of it, and the effects of that art which is called economy, he observed, “It is wonderful to think how men of very large estates not only spend their yearly incomes, but are often actually in want of money. It is clear they have not value for what they spend. Lord Shelburne told me, that a man of high rank, who looks into his own affairs, may have all that he ought to have, all that can be of any use, or appear with any advantage, for 5,0001. a-year. Therefore a great proportion must go in waste ; and, indeed, this is the case with most people, whatever their fortune is.” BOSWELL: “I have no doubt, Sir, of this. But how is it? What is waste ?" JOHNSON: “Why, Sir, breaking bottles, and a thousand other things. Waste cannot be accurately told, though we are sensible how destructive it is. Economy on the one hand, by which a certain income is made to maintain a man genteelly, and waste on the other, by which, on the same income another man lives shabbily, cannot be defined. It is very nice thing ; as one man wears his coat out much sooner than another, we cannot tell how."
We talked of war. JOHNSON: “Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.” BOSWELL: “Lord Mansfield does not." JOHNSON : “Sir, if Lord Mansfield were in a company of General Officers and Admirals who have been in service, he would shrink; he'd wish to creep under the table.” BOSWELL: “No; he'd think he could try them all.” JOHNSON : “Yes, if he could catch them; but they'd try him much sooner. No, Sir; were Socrates and Charles the Twelfth of Sweden both present in any company, and Socrates to say, 'Follow me, and hear a lecture in philosophy;' and Charles, laying bis hand on his sword, to say, Follow me, and dethrone the Czar ;' a man would be ashamed to follow Socrates. Sir, the impression is universal : yet it is strange As to the sailor, when you look down from the quarter-deck to the space below, you see the utmost extremity of human misery : such crowding, such filth, such stench !” BOSWELL: “Yet sailors are happy.” JOHNSON: “ They are happy as brutes are happy, with a piece of fresh meat,—with the grossest sensuality. But, Sir, the profession of soldiers and sailors has the dignity of danger. Mankind reverence those who have got over fear, which is so general a weakness." Scott: " But is not courage mechanical, and to be acquired ?" JOHNSON : “Why yes, Sir, in a collective sense. Soldiers consider themselves only as a part of a great machine.” Scott: “We find people fond of being sailors.” JOHNSON: “I cannot account for that, any more than I can account for other strange perversions of imagination."
1 Margaret Woffington was the elder sister of Mrs. Cholmondeley, wife of the Hon. and Rev. George Cholmondeley, and an actress of some celebrity. She was born in Dublin in 1718, and her first appearance in London, was at Covent-garden Theatre, in 1738, in the character of “Sir Harry Wildair," in which she was eminently successful. Her society was extensively sought by persons of rank and talent. She died in 1760.
2 When Johnson told this little anecdote to Sir Joshua Reynolds, he mentioned & circumstance which he omitted to-day :-"Why," said Garrick, “it is as red as blood."BOSWELL.
His abhorrence of the profession of a sailor was uniformly violent; but in conversation he always exalted the profession of soldier. And yet I have, in my large and various collection of his writings, a letter to an eminent friend, in which he expresses himself thus : “My godson called on me lately. He is weary, and rationally weary, of a military life. If you can place him in some other state, I think you may increase his happiness, and secure his virtue. A soldier's time is passed in distress and danger, or in idleness and corruption.” Such was his cool reflection in his study; but whenever he was warmed and animated by the presence of company, he, like other philosophers, whose minds are impregnated with poetical fancy, caught the common enthusiasm for splendid renown.
He talked of Mr. Charles Fox, of whose abilities he thought highly, but observed, that he did not talk much at our CLUB. I have heard Mr. Gibbon remark,“ that Mr. Fox could not be afraid of Dr. Johnson ; yet he certainly was very shy of saying anything in Dr. Johnson's presence.” Mr. Scott now quoted what was said of Alcibiades by a Greek poet, to which Johnson assented.
i Wishing to discover the ancient observation here referred to, I applied to Sir William Scott on the subject, but he had no recollection of it. My old and very learned friend, Dr. Michael Kearney, formerly senior fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and now Archdeacon of Raphoe in Ireland, bas, however, most happily elucidated this passage. He remarks to me, that “Mr. Boswell's memory must here have deceived him, and that Mr. Scott's observation must have been, that Mr. Fox, in the instance mentioned, might be considered as the reverse of Phæax, of whom, as Plutarch relates in the Life of Alcibiades, Eupolis the tragedian said, 'It is true he can talk, and yet he is no speaker.'” If this discovery had been made by a scholiast on an ancient author, with what ardour and