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"Yet Shore> could tell
And Valiere2 cursed —

"The first was a penitent by compulsion, the second by sentiment; though the truth is, Mademoiselle de la Valiere threw herself (but still from sentiment) in the king's way.

"Our friend chose Vane who was far from being well-looked; and Sedley,' who was so ugly that Charles II. said his brother had her by way of penance." *

Mr. Maclaurin's5 learning and talents enabled him to do his part very well in Dr. Johnson's company. He produced two epitaphs upon his father, the celebrated mathematician. One was in English, of which Dr. Johnson did not change one word. In the other, which was in Latin, he made several alterations. In place of the very words of Virgil, "Ubi luctus et pavor et plurima mortis imago," he wrote "Ubi luctus regnant et pavor." He introduced the word prorsus into the line "Mortalibus prorsus non absit solatium :" and after "Hujus enim scripta evolve," he added, "Mentemque tantarum rerum capacem corpori caduco superstitem crede;" which is quite applicable to Dr. Johnson himself.'

'Mistress of Edward IV. * Mistress of Louis XIV.

3 Catherine Sedley, created Countess of D.irchester for life. Her father. Sir Charles, resenting the seduction of his daughter, joined in the Whig measures of the Revolution, and excused his revolt from James under an ironical profession of gratitude. "His Majesty," said he, " having done me the unlooked-for honour of making my daughter a countess, I cannot do less in return than endeavour to make his daughter a queen."Croker:

* Lord Hailes was hypercritical. Vane was handsome, or, what is more to our purpose, appeared so to her royal lover; and Sedley, whatever others may have thought of her, had the " charms which pleased a king." So that Johnson's illustrations are morally just. His lordship's proposed substitution of a fabulous (or at least apocryphal) beauty like Jane Shore, whose story, even if true, was obsolete; or that of a foreigner, like Mile, de la Valiere, little known and less cared for amongst us, is not only tasteless but inaccurate; for Mile, de la Valiere's beauty was quite as much questioned by her contemporaries as Miss Sedley's. Bussy Kabutin was exiled for sneering at Louis's admiration of her mouth, which he calls

- un bee amoureux,

Qui d'une oreille a l'autre va."

And Madame du Plessis Bellievre writes to Fouquet, " Mile, de la Valliere a fait la capable envers moi. Je l'ay encense'e par sa beaute qui n'est pourtant pas grande." And finally, after Lord Hailes had clipped down the name into Valiere, his ear might have told him that it did not fit the metre.—Croker.

5 Mi-. Maclaurin, advocate, son of the great mathematician, and afterwards a judge of session by the title of Lord Dreghorn. He wrote some indifferent English poems; but was a good Latin scholar, and a man of wit and accomplishment. His quotations from the classics were particularly apposite. In the famous case of Knight, which determined the right of a slave to freedom if he landed in Scotland, Maclaurin pleaded the cause of the negro. The counsel opposite was the celebrated Wight, an excellent lawyer, but of a very homely appearance, with heavy

T. D

Mr. Murray, advocate, who married a niece of Lord Mansfield's, and is now one of the judges of Scotland, by tiie title of Lord Henderland, sat with us a part of the evening; but did not venture to say any thing that I remember, though he is certainly possessed of talents which would have enabled him to have shown himself to ad vantage if too great anxiety had not prevented him.

features, a blind eye, which projected from the socket, a swag belly, and a limp. To him Maclaurin applied the lines of Virgil.*

"Quamvis ille niger, quamvis tn candidus esses,
O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori."

Mr. Maclaurin wrote an essay against the Homeric tale of " Troy divine," I believe, for the sole purpose of introducing a happy motto,—

"Non anni domuere decern, non mille carinse." t

Walter Scott.

1 Mr. Maclaurin's epitaph, as engraved on a marble tombstone, in the Grayfriar's churchyard, Edinburgh:—

Infra situs est


Mathes. olim in Acad. Kdin. Prof.

Electus ipso Newtono suadente.

H. L. P. F.

Non ut nomini paterno consulat,

Nam tali auxilio nil eget;

Sed ut in hoc infelici campo,

Ubi luctus regnant et pavor,

Mortalibus prorsus non absit solatium:

Hujus enim scripta evolve,

Mentemque tantarum rerum capacem

Corpori caduco superstitem crede.

* This account differs from Boswell's as Boswell's differs also from the statement of Maclaurin's evidently well-informed biographer, in his sketch of Maclaurin's life, p. xxv., prefixed to the edition of his works, 2 vols. 8vo., Edin., 1798. See also Life, vol. Hi., Nov., 1777.—Editor.

.f- A remark hardly worthy of Sir Walter Scott. The motto prefixed to Maclaurin's Dissertation to prove that Troy was not taken by the Greeks was the very familiar lines {JEn. ii. 197)—

"Quos neque Tydides, nee Larissaeus Achilles,
Non anni domuere decern, non mille carinae."—Editor.

At supper we had Dr. Alexander Webster,1 who, though not learned, had such a knowledge of mankind, such a fund of information and entertainment, so clear a head, and such accommodating manners, that Dr. Johnson found him a very agreeable companion.

When Dr. Johnson and I were left by ourselves, I read to him my notes of the opinions of our judges upon the questions of literary property. He did not like them; and said, "they make me think of your judges not with that respect which I should wish to do." To the argument of one of them, that there can be no property in blasphemy or nonsense, he answered, "then your rotten sheep are mine! —By that rule, when a man's house falls into decay, he must lose it."2 I mentioned an argument of mine, that literary performances are not taxed. As Churchill says,

"No statesman yet has thought it worth his pains
To tax our labours, or excise our brains;"

1 Dr. Webster was remarkable for the talent with which ho at once supported his place in convivial society, and a high character as a leader of the strict and rigid presbytcrian party in the church of Scotland. He was ever gay amid the gayest: when it once occurred to some one present to ask, what one of his elders would think, should he see his pastor in such a merry mood.—" Think!" replied the Doctor; "why he would not believe his own eyes."—Walter Scott.

2 Dr. Johnson's illustration is sophistical, and might have been retorted upon him; for if a man's sheep are so rotten as to render the meat unwholesome, or if his house be so decayed as to threaten mischief to passengers, the law will confiscate the mutton and abate the house, without any regard to property, which the owner thus abuses. Moreover Johnson should have discriminated between a criminal offence and a civil right. Blasphemy is a crime; would it not be in the highest degree ahsurd, that there should be a right of property in a crime, or that the law should be called upon to protect that which is illegal? If this be true in law, it is much more so in equity, as he who applies for the extraordinary assistance of a court of equity should have a right, consistent at least with equity and morals; and a late question (that as to the Cain of Lord Byron) was so decided, and upon that principle, by the greatest judge of modern times, Lord Eldon.—Croker.

and therefore they are not property. "Yet," said he, "we hang a man for stealing a horse, and horses are not taxed." Mr. Pitt has since put an end to that argument.

Wednesday, Aug. 18.—On this day we set out from Edinburgh. We should gladly have had Mr. Scott to go with us, but he was obliged to return to England.

I have given a sketch of Dr. Johnson: my readers may wish to know a little of his fellow-traveller. Think, then, of a gentleman of ancient blood, the pride of which was his predominant passion. He was then in his thirty-third year, and had been about four years happily married. His inclination was to be a soldier, but his father, a respectable judge, had pressed him into the profession of the law. He had travelled a good deal, and seen many varieties of human life. He had thought more than any body had supposed, and had a pretty good stock of general learning and knowledge. He had all Dr. Johnson's principles, with some degree of relaxation. He had rather too little than too much prudence; and, hie imagination being lively, he often said things of which the effect was very different from the intention. He resembled sometimes

"The best good man, with the worst-natured muse."'

He cannot deny himself the vanity of finishing with the encominm of Dr. Johnson, whose friendly partiality to the companion of his tour represents him as one, "whose acuteness would help my inquiry, and whose gaiety of conversation, and civility of manners, are sufficient to counteract the inconveniences of travel, in countries less hospitable than we have passed." 2

1 Lonl Rochester of Lord Dorset.—Croker,

2 Previous to this public enlogiam of his travelling companion, Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale, 3rd Nov., 1773, Letters, vol. i., p. 198: "Boswell will praise my resolution and perseverance, and I shall in return celebrate his good humour and perpetual cheerfulness. He has better faculties than I had imagined; more justice of discernment, and more fecundity of images. It is very convenient to travel with him; for there is no house where he is not received with kindness and respect.''

I asked Lord Stowell in what estimation he found Boswell amongst his countrymen. "Generally liked as a good-natured jnllv fellow," replied his lordship. "But was he respected?" "Why I think he had about the proportion of respect that you might guess would be shown

Dr. Johnson thought it unnecessary to put himself to the additional expense of bringing with him Francis Barber, his faithful black servant; so we were attended only by my man, Joseph Hitter,1 a Bohemian, a fine stately fellow above sis feet high, who had been over a great part of Europe, and spoke many languages. He was the best servant I ever saw. Let not my readers disdain his introduction; for Dr. Johnson gave him this character: "Sir, he is a civil man and a wise man."

From an erroneous apprehension of violence, Dr. Johnson had provided a pair of pistols, some gunpowder, and a quantity of bullets; but upon being assured we should run 110 risk of meeting any robbers, he left his arms and ammunition in an open drawer, of which he gave my wife the charge. He also left in that drawer one volume of a pretty full and curious Diary of his Life, of which I have a few fragments; but the book has been destroyed. I wish female curiosity had been strong enough to have had it all transcribed, which might easily have been done, and I should think the theft, being pro bono publico, might have been forgiven. But I may be wrong. My wife told me she never once looked into it. She did not seem quite easy when we left her: but away we went!

Mr. Nairne,2 advocate, was to go with us as far as St. Andrew's. It gives me pleasure that, by mentioning his name, I connect his title to the just and handsome compliment paid him by Dr. Johnson, in his book:3 "A gentleman who could stay with us only long enough to make us know how much we lost by his leaving us." When we

to a jolly fellow." His lordship thought there was more regard than respect.—Croker.

1 See Lite, vol. ii., p. 104. Joseph Ritter afterwards undertook the management of the large inn at Paisley, called the Abercorn Arms, but .did not succeed in that concern.— Walter Scott.

2 Mr. William Nairne, afterwards Sir William, and a judge of the court of session, by the title, made classical by Shakespeare, of Loid Dunsinnan. He was a man of scrupulous integrity. When sheriff depute of Perthshire, he found upon reflection, that he had decided a poor man's case erroneously; and as the only remedy, supplied the litigant privately with money to carry the suit to the supreme court, where his judgment was reversed. Sir William was of the old school ol manners, somewhat formal, but punctiliously well bred.—Walter Scott.

3 Journey to the Western Islands, p. 2.

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