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people. Whether those nine tenths were right or wrong, it is not our business now to inquire. But such being the situation of the royal family, they were glad to encourage all who would be their friends. Now you know every bad man is a Whig; every man who has loose notions. The church was all against this family. They were, as I say, glad to encourage any friends; and, therefore, since their accession, there is no instance of any man being kept back on account of his bad principles; and hence this inundation of impiety." I observed that Mr. Hume, some of whose writings were very unfavourable to religion, was, however, a Tory. Johnson. "Sir, Hume is a Tory by chance, as being a Scotchman; but not upon a principle of duty, for he has no principle. If he is any thing, he is a Hobbist."
There was something not quite serene in his humour tonight, after supper; for he spoke of hastening away to London, without stopping much at Edinburgh. I reminded him that he had General Oughton, and many others, to see. Johnson. "Nay, I shall neither go in jest, nor stay in jest. I shall do what is fit." Boswell. "Ay, Sir, but all I desire is, that you will let me tell you when it is fit." Johnson. "Sir, I shall not consult you." Boswell. "If you are to run away from us, as soon as you get loose, we will keep you confined in an island." He was, however, on the whole, very good company. Mr. Donald Macleod expressed very well the gradual impression made by Dr. Johnson on those who are so fortunate as to obtain his acquaintance. "When you see him first, you are struck with awful reverence; then you admire him; and then you love him cordially."
I read this evening some part of Voltaire's "History of the War in 1741," and of Lord Karnes against" Hereditary Indefeasible Right." This is a very slight circumstance, with which I should not trouble my reader, but for the sake of observing, that every man should keep minutes of whatever he reads. Every circumstance of his studies should be recorded; what books he has consulted; how much of them he has read; at what times; how often the same authors; and what opinions he formed of them, at different periods of his life. Such an account would much illustrate the history of his mind.
Friday, Oct. 1. I showed to Dr. Johnson verses in a Magazine, on his Dictionary, composed of uncommon words taken from it;
"Little of Anthropopathy has he," &c.
He read a few of them, and said, " I am not answerable for all the words in my Dictionary." I told him, that Garrick kept a book of all who had either praised or abused him. On the subject of his own reputation, he said, "Now that I see it has been so current a topic, I wish I had done so too; but it could not well be done now, as so many things are scattered in newspapers." He said he was angry at a boy of Oxford,1 who wrote in his defence against Kenrick; because it was doing him hurt to answer Kenrick. He was told afterwards, the boy was to come to him to ask a favour. He first thought to treat him rudely on account of his meddling in that business; but then he considered he had meant to do him all the service in his power, and he took another resolution: he told him he would do what he could for him, and did so; and the boy was satisfied. He said, he did not know how his pamphlet was done, as he had read very little of it. The boy made a good figure at Oxford, but died. He remarked, that attacks on authors did them much service. "A'man who tells me my play is very bad, is less my enemy than he who lets it die in silence. A man, whose business is to be talked of, is much helped by being attacked." Garrick, I observed, had often been so helped. Johnson. "Yes, Sir; though Garrick had more opportunities than almost any man, to keep the public in mind of him, by exhibiting himself to such numbers, he would not have had so much reputation, had he not been so much attacked. Every attack produces a defence; and so attention is engaged. There is no sport in mere praise, when people are all of a mind." Boswell. "Then Hume is not the worse for Beattie's attack?" Johnson. "He is, because Beattie has confuted him.2 I do not say but that there may be some attacks which will hurt an author. Though Hume suffered from Beattie, he was the better for
1 Mr. Barclay. See Life, vol. ii., p. 19.—Editor.
2 Dr. Beattie's Kssay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth appeared in May, 1770.—Croker.
other attacks." (He certainly could not include in that number those of Dr. Adams and Mr. Tytler.) Boswell. "Goldsmith is the better for attacks." Johnson. "Yes, Sir; but he does not think so yet. When Goldsmith and I published, each of us something, at the same time, we were given to understand that we might review each other. Goldsmith was for accepting the offer. I said, no; set reviewers at defiance. It was said to old Bentley, upon the attacks against him, ' Why, they'll write you down.' 'No, Sir,' he replied; 'depend upon it, no man was ever written down but by himself.'" He observed to me afterwards, that the advantages authors derived from attacks were chiefly in subjects of taste, where you cannot confute, as so much may be said on either side. He told me he did not know who was the author of the "Adventures of a Guinea;"' but that the bookseller had sent the first volume to him in manuscript, to have his opinion if it should be printed; and he thought it should.
The weather being now somewhat better, Mr. James M'Donald, factor to Sir Alexander M'Donald, in Slate, insisted that all the company at Ostig should go to the house at Armidale, which Sir Alexander had left, having gone with his lady to Edinburgh, and be his guests, till we had an opportunity of sailing to Mull. We accordingly got there to dinner; and passed our day very cheerfully, being no less than fourteen in number.
Saturday, Oct. 2.—Dr. Johnson said, that "a chief and his lady should make their house like a court. They should have a certain number of the gentlemen's daughters to receive their education in the family, to learn pastry and such things from the housekeeper, and manners from my lady. That was the way in the great families in Wales; at Lady Salusbury's, Mrs. Thrale's grandmother, and at Lady Philips's. I distinguish the families by the ladies, as I speak of what was properly their province. There were always six young ladies at Sir John Philips's; when one was married, her place was filled up. There was a large school-room, where they learnt needlework and other things." I observed, that, at some courts in Germany, there were academies for the pages, who are the sons of gentlemen, and receive their education without expense to their parents. Dr. Johnson said, that manners were best learnt at those courts. "You are admitted with great facility to the prince's company, and yet must treat him with much respect. At a great court, you are at such a distance that you get no good." I said, "Very true: a man sees the court of Versailles, as if he saw it on a theatre." He said, "The best book that ever was written upon good breeding, 'II Cortegiano,' by Castiglione, grew up at the little court of Urbino, and you should read it." I am glad always to have his opinion of books. At Mr. Macpherson's he commended "Whitby's Commentary," * and said, he had heard him called rather lax; but he did not perceive it. He had looked at a novel, called " The Alan of the World," at Kasay, but thought there was nothing in it.2 He said to-day, while reading my Journal, "This will be a great treasure to us some years hence."
'It is strange that Johnson should not have known that the Adventures of a Guinea was written by a namesake of his own, Charles John son. Being disqualified for the bar, which was his profession, by a supervening deafness, he went to India, and made some fortune, and died thereabout 1800.—Waller Scott.
Talking of a very penurious gentleman of our acquaintance,2 he observed, that he exceeded L'Avare in the play. I concurred with him, and remarked that he would do well, if introduced in one of Foote's farces; that the best way to get it done would be to bring Foote to be entertained at his house for a week, and then it would be facit indignatio. Johnson. "Sir, I wish he had him. I, who have eaten his bread, will not give him to him; but I should be glad he came honestly by him."
He said he was angry at Thrale, for Bitting at General Oglethorpe's without speaking. He censured a man for degrading himself to a non-entity. I observed, that Gold
1 Dr. Daniel Whitby, borr. 1638, died 1726. His celebrated Paraphrase and Commentary on the New Testament was first published iu 1703— Wright.
* By Henry Mackenzie. Though not, perhaps, so popular as the'Man of Feeling by the same amiable author, the Man of the World is a very pathetic tale.—Waller Scott.
The Man of the World was published in 1773, without the name of (he author.—Croker.
3 Sir Alexander Mordnnnhl.—Croker.
smith was on the other extreme; for he spoke at ventures. Johnson. "Yes, Sir; Goldsmith, rather than not speak, will talk of what he knows himself to be ignorant, which can only end in exposing him." "I wonder," said I, "if he feels that he exposes himself. If he was with two tailors" "Or with two founders," said Dr. Johnson, interrupting me, " he would fall a talking on the method of making cannon, though both of them would soon see that he did not know what metal a cannon is made of." We were very social and merry in his room this forenoon. In the evening the company danced as usual. We performed, with much activity, a dance which, I suppose, the emigration from Sky has occasioned. They call it America. Each of the couples, after the common involutions and evolutions, successively whirls round in a circle, till all are in motion; and the dance seems intended to show how emigration catches, till a whole neighbourhood is set afloat. Mrs. M'Kinnon told me, that last year, when a ship sailed from Portree for America, the people on shore were almost distracted when they saw their relations go off; they lay down on the ground, tumbled, and tore the grass with their teeth. This year there was not a tear shed. The people on the shore seemed to think that they would soon follow. This indifference is a mortal sign for the country.
We danced to-night to the music of the bagpipe, which made us beat the ground with prodigious force. I thought it better to endeavour to conciliate the kindness of the people of Sky, by joining heartily in their amusements, than to play the abstract scholar. I looked on this tour to the Hebrides as a co-partnership between Dr. Johnson and me. Each was to do all he could to promote its success; and I have some reason to flatter myself, that my gayer exertions were of service to us. Dr. Johnson's immense fund of knowledge and wit was a wonderful source of admiration and delight to them; but they had it only at times; and they required to have the intervals agreeably rilled up, and even little elucidations of his learned text. I was also fortunate enough frequently to draw him forth to talk, when he would otherwise have been silent. The fountain was at times locked up, till I opened the spring. It was curious to hear the Hebrideans, when any dispute