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upon which Dr. Johnson delivered those excellent arguments for a form of prayer which he has introduced into his "Journey." I am myself fully convinced that a form of prayer for public worship is in general most decent and edifying. Solennia verba have a kind of prescriptive sanctity, and make a deeper impression on the mind than extemporaneous effusions, in which, as we know not what they are to be, we cannot readily acquiesce. Yet I would allow also of a certain portion of extempore address, as occasion may require. This is the practice of the French protestant churches. And although the office of forming supplications to the throne of Heaven is, in my mind, too great a trust to be indiscriminately committed to the discretion of every minister, I do not mean to deny that sincere devotion may be experienced when joining in prayer with those who use no Liturgy.
We were favoured with Sir James Colquhoun's coach to convey us in the evening to Cameron, the seat of Commissary Smollett.1 Our satisfaction of finding ourselves again in a comfortable carriage was very great. We had a pleasing conviction of the commodiousness of civilization, and heartily laughed at the ravings of those visionaries who have attempted to persuade us of the superior advantages of a state of nature.
Mr. Smollett was a man of considerable learning, with abundance of animal spirits; so that he was a very good companion for Dr. Johnson, who said to me, "We have had more solid talk here than at any place where we have been."
I remember Dr. Johnson gave us this evening an able and eloquent discourse on the Origin of Evil, and on the consistency of moral evil with the power and goodness of God. He showed us how it arose from our free agency, an extinction of which would be a still greater evil than any we experience. I know not that he said anything absolutely new, but he said a great deal wonderfully well: and perceiving us to be delighted and satisfied, he concluded his harangue .with an air of benevolent triumph over an objection which has distressed many worthy minds; "This then is the answer to the question, ttodiv ru Kukov?" Mrs. Smollett whispered me, that it was the best sermon she had ever heard. Much do I upbraid myself for having neglected to preserve it.
1 Commissary Smollett was the eousin-german of Dr. Smollett: he ilied without issue; and the family estate would have descended to the Doctor hud he been alive, but his sister succeeded to it. Boswell spells the nane Smollet with one t, but I have followed Smollett's own invariable practice.—Croker.
Thursday, Oct. 28.—Mr. Smollett pleased Dr. Johnson by producing a collection of newspapers in the time of the usurpation, from which it appeared that all sorts of crimes were very frequent during that horrible anarchy. By the side of the high road to Glasgow, at some distance from his house, he had erected a pillar to the memory of his ingenious kinsman, Dr. Smollett; and he consulted Dr. Johnson as to an inscription for it. Lord Karnes, who, though he had a great store of knowledge, with much ingenuity, and uncommon activity of mind, was no profound scholar, had, it seems, recommended an English inscription. Dr. Johnson treated this with great contempt, saying, "An English inscription would be a disgrace to Dr. Smollett;" and, in answer to what Lord Karnes had urged, as to the advantage of its being in English, because it would be generally understood, I observed, that all to whom Dr. Smollett's merit could be an object of respect and imitation would understand it as well in Latin; and that surely it was not meant for the Highland drovers, or other such people, who pass and repass that way.
We were then shown a Latin inscription, proposed for this monument. Dr. Johnson sat down with an ardent and liberal earnestness to revise it, and greatly improved it by several additions and variations. I unfortunately did no* take a copy of it, as it originally stood; but I have happily preserved every fragment of what Dr. Johnson wrote:—
Quisquis ades, viator,
Vel mente felix, vel studiis cultus,
Immorare paululum memories
TOBIiE SMOLLETT, M.D.
Viri iis virtutibus
Quas in homine et cive
Et laudes, et imiteris,
Postquam mira * * *
all tantoque viro, suo patrucli,
Ainons, eheu! inane monumentura,
In ipsis Levinise ripis
Quas primis infans vagitibus personuit,
Versiculisque jam fere moriturus illustravit,
1 The epitaph which has been inscribed on the pillar erected on the banks of the Leven. in honour of Dr. Smollett, is as follows. The part which was written by Dr. Johnson, it appears, has been altered ; whether for the better, the reader will judge. The alterations are distinguished by Italics.
Si lepores ingeniique venam benignam,
Si morum callidissimum pictorem,
Vnquam es miratus,
Immorare paululum memorise
TOBI-a: SMOLLETT, M.D.
Viri virtutibus hisce
Quas in homine et cive
Et laudes, et imiteris,
Haud mediocriter ornali:
Qui in Uteris variis versatus,
Postquam felicitate sibi propria
Sese posteris commendaverat,
Morte acerba raptus,
Anno setatis 51.
Eheu! quam procul a patria!
i'rope Liburni portum in Italia,
Tali tantoque viro, patrueli suo,
Cui in decursu lampada
Se potius tradidisse ilecuit,
Amoris, eheu! inane monumentum,
In ipsis Leviniae ripis, quas versiculis sub exitu vita illustratat
Primis infans vagitibus personuit,
Jacobus Smollett de Bonhill.
AU et reminiscere, hoc quidem honore, non modo defuncti memorise,
Verum etiam exemph), prospectum esse;
Aliis enim, si modo digni sint, idem erit virtutis praemium!"
We had this morning a singular proof of Dr. Johnson's quick and retentive memory. Hay's translation of " Martial " ' was lying in a window; I said, I thought it was pretty well done, and showed him a particular epigram, I think of ten, but am certain of eight lines. He read it, and tossed away the book, saying, " No, it is not pretty well." As I persisted in my opinion, he said, "Why, Sir, the original is thus," and he repeated it, "and this man's translation is thus," and then he repeated that also, exactly, though he had never seen it before, and read it over only once, and that, too, without any intention of getting it by heart.
Here a post-chaise, which I had ordered from Glasgow, came for us, and we drove on in high spirits. We stopped at Dumbarton, and though the approach to the castle there is very steep, Dr. Johnson ascended it with alacrity, and surveyed all that was to be seen. During the whole of our Tour he showed uncommon spirit, could not bear to be treated like an old or infirm man, and was very unwilling to accept of any assistance, insomuch that at our landing at Icolmkill, when Sir Allan M'Leau and I submitted to be carried on men's shoulders from the boat to the shore, as it could not be brought quite close to land, he sprang into the sea, and waded vigorously out.
On our arrival at the Saracen's Head inn, at Glasgow, I was made happy by good accounts from home; and Dr. Johnson, who had not received a single letter since we left Aberdeen, found here a great many, the perusal of which entertained him much. He enjoyed in imagination the comforts which we could now command, and seemed to be in high glee. I remember, he put a leg upon each side of the grate, and said, with mock solemnity, by way of soliloquy, but loud enough for me to hear it, " Here am I, an Englishman, sitting by a coal fire."
Friday, Oct. 29.—The professors of the university being informed of our arrival, Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Reid,2 and Mr.
'Select Epigrams of Martial, translated and imitated by William Hay, Esq. 12mo. London, 1755.—Editor.
2 The celebrated metaphysician, born April 26, 1710, died October 7, 1796. His works, with copious notes and illustrations, were edited, 1863, by Sir William Hamilton.—Editor.
Anderson breakfasted with us. Mr. Anderson accompanied us while Dr. Johnson viewed this beautiful citv. He had told me, that one day in London, when Dr. Adam Smith' was boasting of it, he turned to him and said, "Pray, Sir, have you ever seen Brentford?" 'This was surely a strong instance of his impatience and spirit of contradiction. I put him in mind of it to-day, while he expressed his admiration of the elegant buildings, and whispered him, " Don't you feel some remorse?"
We were received in the college by a number of the protessors, who showed all due respect to Dr. Johnson; and then we paid a visit to the principal, Dr. Leechman, at his own house, where Dr. Johnson had the satisfaction of being told that his name had been gratefully celebrated in one of the parochial congregations in the Highlands, as the person to whose influence it was chiefly owing that the New Testament was allowed to be translated into the Erse language. It seems some political members of the Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Knowledge had opposed this pious undertaking, as tending to preserve the distinction between the Highlanders and the Lowlanders. Dr. Johnson wrote a long letter npon the subject to a friend [Mr. Drummond], which being shown to them, made them ashamed, and afraid of being publicly exposed; so they were forced to a compliance. It is now in my possession, and is, perhaps, one of the best productions of his masterly pen."
Professors Reid and Anderson, and the two Messieurs Foulis, the Elzevirs of Glasgow, dined and drank tea with us at our inn, after which the professors went away; and I, having a letter to write, left my fellow-traveller with Messieurs Foulis. Though good and ingenious men, they had that unsettled speculative mode of conversation which is offensive to a man regularly taught at an English school and university. I found that, instead of listening to the dictates of the sage, they had teased him with questions and doubtful disputations. He came in a flutter to me, and desired I might come back again, for he could not bear
1 With regard to the alleged meeting at Glasgow between Johnson and Aciam Smith, see Appendix te this volume.—Editor. "The letter is printed in Life, vol. U., pp. 43-45.—Editor.