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WELL:

standing on tip-toe, “Lord Camden has this moment left me. We have had a long walk together.” JOHNSON: “Well, Sir, Garrick talked very properly. Lord Camden was a little lawyer to be associated so familiarly with a player.”

Sir Joshua Reynolds observed, with great truth, that Johnson considered Garrick to be as it were his property. He would allow no man either to blame or to praise Garrick in his presence, without contradicting him.

Having fallen into a very serious frame of mind, in which mutual expressions of kindness passed between us, such as would be thought too vain in me to repeat, I talked with regret of the sad inevitable certainty that one of us must survive the other. JOHNSON : “Yes, Sir, that is an affecting consideration. I remember Swift, in one of his letters to Pope, says, 'I intend to come over, that we may meet once more ; and when we must part, it is what happens to all human beings.' BOSWELL: The hope that we shall see our departed friends again must support the mind.” JOHNSON : “Why yes, Sir.”1 Bos

“ There is a strange unwillingness to part with life, independent of serious fears as to futurity. A reverend friend of ours [Dr. Percy] tells me, that he feels an uneasiness at the thoughts of leaving his house, his study, his books.” JOHNSON : “This is foolish in [Percy]. A man need not be uneasy on these grounds ; for, as he will retain his consciousness, he may say with the philosopher, Omnia mea mecum porto.” BOSWELL : “True, Sir ; we may carry our books in our heads ; but still there is something painful in the thought of leaving for ever what has given us pleasure. I remember, many years ago, when my imagination was warm, and I happened to be in a melancholy mood, it distressed me to think of going into a state of being in which Shakspeare's poetry did not exist. A lady whom I then much admired, a very amiable woman, humoured my fancy, and relieved me by saying, 'The first thing you will meet in the other world will be an elegant copy of Shakspeare's works presented to you.”' Dr. Johnson smiled benignantly at this, and did not appear to disapprove of the notion.

We went to St. Clement's church again in the afternoon, and then returned and drank tea and coffee in Mrs. Williams's room, Mrs. Desmoulins doing the honours of the tea-table. I observed that he would not even look at a proof-sheet of his “Life of Waller” on Good Friday.

Mr. Allen, the printer, brought a book on Agriculture,? which was printed, and was soon to be published. It was a very strange performance, the author having mixed in it his own thoughts upon various topics, along with his remarks on ploughing, sowing, and other farming operations. He seemed to be an absurd, profane fellow, and had intro

See, on the same subject, vol. ii. p. 108, &c.—MALONE.
Marshall's "Minutes of Agriculture."-CHALMERS.

duced in his book many sneers at religion, with equal ignorance and conceit. Dr. Johnson permitted me to read some passages aloud. One was, that he resolved to work on Sunday, and did work, but he owned he felt some weak compunction : and he had this very curious reflection:-“I was born in the wilds of Christianity, and the briars and thorns still hang about me.” Dr. Johnson could not help laughing at this ridiculous image, yet was very angry at the fellow's impiety. “However,” said he,“ the reviewers will make him hang himself.” He, however, observed, “ that formerly there might have been a dispensation obtained for working on Sunday in the time of harvest.” Indeed, in ritual observances, were all the ministers of religion what they should be, and what many of them are, such a power might be wisely and safely lodged with the Church.

On Saturday, April 14, I drank tea with him. He praised the lato Mr. Duncombe," of Canterbury, as a pleasing man.

“He used to come tu me; I did not seek much after him. Indeed, I never sought much after anybody.” BOSWELL: “Lord rrery, I suppose.” JOHNSON : “No, Sir; I never went to him but when he sent for me.” BOSWELL: “Richardson.” JOHNSON : “Yes, Sir; but I sought after George Psalmanazar the most. I used to go and sit with him at an alehouse in the City.”

I am happy to mention another instance which I discovered of his seeking after a man of merit. Soon after the Honourable Daines Barrington had published his excellent “Observations on the Statutes, Johnson waited on that worthy and learned gentleman: and having told him his name, courteously said, “ I have read your book, Sir, with great pleasure, and wish to be better known to you.” Thus began an acquaintance, which was continued with mutual regard as long as Johnson lived.

Talking of a recent seditious delinquent,he said, “They should set him in the pillory, that he may be punished in a way that would disgrace him." I observed, that the pillory does not always disgrace. And I mentioned an instance of a gentleman, who I thought was not dishonoured by it. JOHNSON : “Ay, but he was, Sir. He could not mouth and strut as he used to do, after having been there. People are not willing to ask a man to their tables who has stood in the pillory.

The gentleman who had dined with us at Dr. Percy's came in Johnson attacked the Americans with intemperate vehemence of abuse. I said something in their favour ; and added that I was always sorry when he talked on that subject. This, it seems, exasperated him,

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· William Duncombe, Esq. He married the sister of John Hughes, the poet; was the author of two tragedies, and other ingenious productions; and died Feb. 26, 1769, aged 79 -MALONE.

2 4to. 1766. The worthy author died many years after Johnson, March 13, 1800, aged about 74.-MALOXE.

3 Horne Tooke

though he said nothing at the time. The cloud was charged with sulphureous vapour, which was afterwards to burst in thunder. We talked of a gentleman who was running out his fortune in London ; and I said, “We must get him out of it. All his friends must quarrel with him, and that will soon drive him away.” JOHNSON : “Nay, Sir, we'll send you to him. If your company does not drive a man out of his house, nothing will.” This was a horrible shock, for which there was no visible cause. I afterwards asked him, why he had said so harsh a thing. JOHNSON : “Because, Sir, you made me angry about the Americans.” BOSWELL: “But why did you not take your revenge directly ?" JOHNSON (smiling): “Because, Sir, I had nothing ready. A man cannot strike till he has weapons.” This was a candid and pleasant confession.

He showed me to-night his drawing-room, very genteelly fitted up ; and said, “Mrs. Thrale sneered, when I talked of my having asked you and your lady to live at my house. I was obliged to tell her, that you would be in as respectable a situation in my house as in hers. Sir, the insolence of wealth will creep out.” BOSWELL: “She has a little both of the insolence of wealth, and the conceit of parts." JOHNSON: “The insolence of wealth is a wretched thing ; but the conceit of parts has some foundation. To be sure it should not be. But who is without it?" BOSWELL : Yourself, Sir.” JOHNSON: “Why, I play no tricks : I lay no traps.” BOSWELL: “No, Sir. You are six feet high, and you only do not stoop.”

We talked of the numbers of people that sometimes have composed the household of great families. I mentioned that there were a hundred in the fainily of the present Earl of Eglintoune's father. Dr. Johnson seeming to doubt it, I began to enumerate. “Let us see: my Lord and my Lady, two.” JOHNSON : “Nay, Sir, if you are to count by twos, you may be long enough.” BOSWELL: “But now I add two sons and seven daughters, and a servant for each, that will make twenty : so we have the fifth part already.” JOHNSON : “Very true. You get at twenty pretty readily ; but you will not so readily get farther on. We grow to five feet pretty readily ; but it is not so easy to grow to seven.'

On Sunday, April 19, being Easter day, after the solemnities of the festival in St. Paul's church, I visited him but could not stay to dinner. I expressed a wish to have the arguments for Christianity always in readiness, that my religious faith might be as firm and clear as any proposition whatever, so that I need not be under the least uneasiness, when it should be attacked. JOHNSON : “Sir, you cannot answer all objections. You have demonstration for a First Cause : you see He must be good as well as powerful, because there is nothing to make Him otherwise, and goodness of itself is preferable. Yet you have against this, what is very certain, the unhappiness of human life. This, how

Were

ever, gives us reason to hope for a future state of compensation, that there may be a perfect system. But of that we are not sure, till we had a positive revelation.” I told him that his “Rasselas ” had often made me unhappy; for it represented the misery of human life so well, and so convincingly to a thinking mind, that if at any time the impression wore off, and I felt myself easy, I began to suspect some delusion.

On Monday, April 20, I found him at home in the morning. We talked of a gentleman who we apprehended was gradually involving his circumstances by bad management. JOHNSON : “Wasting a fortune is evaporation by a thousand imperceptible means. If it were a stream, they'd stop it. You must speak to him. It is really miserable. he a gamester, it could be said he had hopes of winning. Were he a bankrupt in trade, he might have grown rich ;, but he has neither spirit to spend, nor resolution to spare. He does not spend fast enough to have pleasure from it. He has the crime of prodigality, and the wretchedness of parsimony. If a man is killed in a duel, he is killed as many a one has been killed ; but it is a sad thing for a man to lie down and die; to bleed to death, because he has not fortitude enough to sear the wound, or even to stitch it up.”—I cannot but pause a moment to admire the fecundity of fancy, and choice of language, which in this instance, and indeed on almost all occasions, he displayed. It was well observed by Dr. Percy, now Bishop of Dromore, “ The conversation of Johnson is strong and clear, and may be compared to an antique statue, where every vein and muscle is distinct and bold. Ordinary conversation resembles an inferior cast.”

On Saturday, April 25, I dined with him at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, with the learned Dr. Musgrave ;' Counsellor Leland of Ireland, son to the historian ; Mrs. Cholmondeley, and some more ladies. “ The Project,” a new poem, was read to the company by Dr. Musgrave. JohnSON : “Sir, it has no power. Were it not for the well-known names with which it is filled, it would be nothing : the names carry the poet, not the poet the names.” MUSGRAVE: “A temporary poem always entertains us.” JOHNSON: “So does an account of the criminals hanged yesterday entertain us."

He proceeded :—“Demosthenes Taylor, as he was called (that is, the editor of Demosthenes), was the most silent man, the merest statue of a man that I had ever seen. I once dined in company with him, and all he said during the whole time was no more than Richard. How a man should say only Richard, it is not easy to imagine. But it was thus : Dr. Douglas? was talking of Dr. Zachary Grey, and was ascribing to him something that was written by Dr. Richard Grey. So, to correct him, Taylor said (imitating his affected sententious emphasis and nod), · Richard.""

1 Samuel Musgrave, M.D., editor of “ Euripides," and author of " Dissertations on the Grecian Mythology," &c.; published in 1782, after his death, by Mr. Tyrwhitt.-MALONE.

2 This was Thomas Taylor, the learned Grecian, commonly termed “The Platonist." His translations from the Greek are very numerous; but the most important are the work of Aristotle, Plato, and Pausanias. He died in 1835.-ED.

Mrs. Cholmondeley, in a high flow of spirits, exhibited some lively sallies of hyperbolical compliment to Johnson, with whom she had been long acquainted, and was very easy. He was quick in catching the manner at the moment, and answered her somewhat in the style of the hero of a romance, “Madam, you crown me with unfading laurels.”

I'aappened, I know not how, to say that a pamphlet meant a prose piece. JOHNSON: “No, Sir. A few sheets of poetry unbound are a pamphlet, as much as a few sheets of prose." MUSGRAVE: “A pamphlet may be understood to mean a poetical piece in Westminster Hall, that is, in formal language ; but in common language it is understood to mean prose.” JOHNSON (and here was one of the many instances of his knowing clearly and telling exactly how a thing is): “A pamphlet is understood in common language to mean prose, only from this, that there is so much more prose written than poetry; as when we say a book, prose is understood for the same reason, though a book may as well be in poetry as in prose. We understand what is most general, and we name what is less frequent."

We talked of a lady's verses on Ireland. Miss REYNOLDS : “Have you seen them, Sir ?" JOHNSON: “No, Madam ; I have seen a translation from Horace, by one of her daughters. She showed it me.” Miss REYNOLDS : “And how was it, Sir ?" JOHNSON: well for a young Miss's verses ; that is to say, compared with excellence, nothing ; but very well for the person who wrote them. I am vexed at being shown verses in that manner.” Miss REYNOLDS : “ But if they should be good, why not give them hearty praise ?" JOHNSON : “Why, Madam, because I have not then got the better of my bad humour from having been shown them. You must consider,

“ Why, very

. Dr. Douglas had been travelling tutor to Lord Pulteney, and afterwards obtained the Deanery of Windsor. In 1787 he was raised to the see of Carlisle, and in 1792 to that of Salisbury. He was the vindicator of Milton against the charges of plagiarism, and entered the lists against David Hume, by publishing “The Criterion; or, a Discourse on Miracles." He was born at Pittenweem, Fifeshire, in 1721, and died in 1807.-ED.

2 They were contemporaries, and both Doctors of Divinity. Dr. Zachary Grey is well known for his edition of “ Hudibras,” his “ Notes on Shakspeare," and his “ Answer to Neale's History of the Puritans." He died in 1766, aged 79.-Dr. Richard Grey was the author of “Memoria Technica," " A System of Ecclesiastical Law," and "A New and Easy Method of Learning Hebrew without Points." He was born in 1693, and died in 1771. Thus it was easy to confound the name of the one with the other.-ED.

3 Dr. Johnson is here perfectly correct, and is supported by the usage of preceding writers. So in ŇUSARUM DELICIÆ, a collection of poems, 8vo. 1656 (the writer is speaking of Suckling's play entitled AGLAURA, printed in folio) :

"This great voluminous pamphlet may be said,

To be like one that hath more hair than head."-MALOXE.

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