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wonders he has not by this time become a cinder.” BOSWELL: “ And such bellows, too. Lord Mansfield with his cheeks like to burst. Lord Chatham like an Æolus. I have read such notes from them to him as were enough to turn his head.” JOHNSON : “ True. When he whom everybody else ftatters, flatters me, I then am truly happy.” Mrs. THRALE: “ The sentiment is in Congreve, I think,” JOHNSON : “ Yes, Madam, in " The Way of the World':

• If there's delight in love, 'tis when I see

That heart which others bleed for, bleed for me.' No, Sir, I should not be surprised though Garrick chained the ocean and lashed the winds.” BOSWELL : “ Should it not be, Sir, lashed the ocean and chained the winds ?” JOHNSON : “ No, Sir, recollect the original

'In Corum atque Eurum solitus savire flagellis
Barbarus, Æolio nunquam hoc in carcere passos,

Ipsum compedibus qui vinxerat Ennosigæum.'”] This does very well when both the winds and the sea are personified, and mentioned by their mythological names, as in Juvenal; but when they are mentioned in plain language, the application of the epithets suggested by me is the most obvious ; and accordingly, my friend himself in his imitation of the passage which describes Xerxes, has

“ The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind.”2 The modes of living in different countries, and the various views with which men travel in quest of new scenes, having been talked of, a learned gentleman who holds a considerable office in the law, expatiated on the happiness of a savage life, and mentioned an instance of an officer who had actually lived for some time in the wilds of America, of whom, when in that state, he quoted this reflection, with an air of admiration, as if it had been deeply philosophical: “Here am I, free and unrestrained, amidst the rude magnificence of Nature, with this Indian woman by my side, and this gun, with which I can procure food when I want it : what more can be desired for human happiness ?” . It did not require much sagacity to foresee that such a sentiment would not be permitted to pass without due animadversion. JOHNSON : “Do not allow yourself, Sir, to be imposed upon by such gross absurdity. It is sad stuff ; it is brutish. If a bull could speak, he might as vell exclaim,--Here am I with this cow and this grass ; what being can enjoy greater felioity ?


“ The proud barbarian, whose impatient ire

Chastised the winds that disobeyed his nod,
With stripes ne'er suffered from the Æolian God,

Fetter'd the Shaker of the sea and land."-Juv. x. 182.-GIFFORD 3 So also Butler, Hudibras, p. ii. c. i. v. 845.

“A Persian Emperor whipt his grannam,
The sea his mother Venus came on." -MALONE.

army. He

We talked of the melancholy end of a gentleman who had destroyed himself. JOHNSON: “ It was owing to imaginary difficulties in his affairs, which, had he talked of with any friend, would soon have vanished.” BOSWELL: “ Do you think, Sir, that all who commit suicide are mad?” JOHNSON : Sir, they are often not universally disordered in their intellects, but one passion presses so upon them, that they yield to it, and commit suicide, as a passionate man will stab another.” He added, “I have often thought, that after a man has taken the resolution to kill himself, it is not courage in him to do anything, however desperate, because he has nothing to fear.” GOLDSMITH: “I don't see that.” JOHNSON : “Nay, but my dear Sir, why should not you see what every one else sees?” GOLDSMITH : “ It is for fear of something that he has resolved to kill himself; and will not that timid disposition restrain him ?” JOHNSON : “It does not signify that the fear of something made him resolve ; it is upon the state

of his mind after the resolution is taken that I argue. Suppose a man, either from fear, or pride, or conscience, or whatever motive, has resolved to kill himself ; when once the resolution is taken, he has nothing to fear. He may then go and take the King of Prussia by the nose, at the head of his cannot fear the rack, who is resolved to kill himself. When Eustace Budgel was walking down to the Thames, determined to drown himself, he might, if he pleased, without any apprehension of danger, have turned aside, and first set fire to St. James's Palace.”

On Tuesday, April 27, Mr. Beauclerk and I called on him in the morning. As we walked up Johnson's-court, I said, “I have a veneration for this court ;” and was glad to find that Beauclerk had the same reverential enthusiasm. We found him alone. We talked of Sir Andrew Stuart's elegant and plausible letters to Lord Mansfield ; a copy of which had been sent by the author to Dr. Johnson. JOHNSON :

They have not answered the end. They have not been talked of; I have never heard of them. This is owing to their not being sold. People seldom read a book which is given to them ; and few are given. The way to spread a work is to sell it at a low price. No man will send to buy a thing that costs even sixpence without an intention to read it." BOSWELL: "May it not be doubted, Sir, whether it be proper to publish letters, arraigning the ultimate decision of an important cause by the supreme judicature of the nation ?” JOHNSON : “ No, Sir, I do not think it was wrong to publish these letters. If they are thought to do harm, why not answer them? But they will do no harm, if Mr. Douglas be indeed the son of Lady Jane he cannot be hurt ; if he be not her son, and yet has the great estate of the family of Douglas, he may well submit to have a pamphlet against him by Andrew Stuart. Sir, I think such a publication does good, as it does good to show us the possibilities of human life. And, Sir, you will not say that the Douglas cause was a cause of easy decision, when it divided your court as much as it could

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do, to be determined at all. When your judges are seven and seven, the casting vote of the president must be given on one side or other no matter, for my argument, on which ; one or the other must be taken; as when I am to move, there is no matter which leg I move first. And then, Sir, it was otherwise determined here. No, Sir, a more dubious determination of any question cannot be imagined.” 1

He said, “Goldsmith should not be for ever attempting to shine in conversation : he has not temper for it, he is so much mortified when he fails. Sir, a game of jokes is composed partly of skill, partly of chance, a man may be beat at times by one who has not the tenth part of his wit. Now Goldsmith’s putting himself against another, is like a man laying a hundred to one who cannot spare the hundred. It is not worth a man's while. A man should not lay a hundred to one, unless he can easily spare it, though he has a hundred chances for him : he can get but a guinea, and he may lose a hundred. Goldsmith is in this state. When he contends, if he gets the better, it is a very little addition to a man of his literary reputation : if he does not get the better, he is miserably vexed.”

Johnson's own superlative powers of wit set him above any risk of such uneasiness. Garrick had remarked to me of him, a few days before, “Rabelais and all other wits are nothing compared with him. You may be diverted by them ; but Johnson gives you a forcible hug, and shakes laughter out of you whether you will or no.

Goldsmith, however, was often very fortunate in his witty contests, even when he entered the lists with Johnson himself. Sir Joshua Reynolds was in company with them one day, when Goldsmith said, that he thought he could write a good fab mentioned the simplicity which that kind of composition requires, and observed, that in most fables the animals introduced seldom talk in character. “For instance,” said he, “ the fable of the little fishes, who saw birds fly over their heads, and envying them, petitioned Jupiter to be changed into birds. The skill," continued he, “consists in making them talk like little fishes." While he indulged himself in this fanciful reverie, he observed Johnson shaking his sides, and laughing. Upon which he smartly proceeded, “Why, Dr. Johnson, this is not so easy as you seem to think ; for if you were to make little fishes talk, they would talk like WHALES."

Johnson, though remarkable for his great variety of composition, never exercised his talents in fable, except we allow his beautiful tale published in Mrs. Williams’s Miscellanies to be of that species. I have,

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1 I regretted that Dr. Johnson never took the trouble to study a question which interested nations. He would not even read a pamphlet which I wrote upon it, entitled “The Essence of the Douglas Cause;" which, I have reason to flatter myself, had considerable effect in favour of Mr. Douglas; of whose legitimate filiation I was then, and am still, firmly convinced. Let me add, that no fact can be more respectably ascertained than by the judgment of the most august tribunal in the world; a judgment in which Lord Mansfield and Lord Camden united in 1769, and from which only five of a numerous body entered a protest.-BOSWELL

however, found among his manuscript collections the following sketch of one:

“ Glow-worm lying in the garden saw a candle in a neighbouring palace, and complained of the littleness of his own light. Another observed-Wait a little-soon dark-have outlasted roar (many) of these glaring lights which are only brighter as they haste to nothing."

On Thursday, April 29, I dined with him at General Oglethorpe's, where were Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mr. Langton, Dr. Goldsmith, and Mr. Thrale. I was very desirous to get Dr. Johnson absolutely fixed in his resolution to go with me to the Hebrides this year; and I told him that I had received a letter from Dr. Robertson, the historian, upon the subject, with which he was much pleased, and now talked in such a manner of his long intended tour, that I was satisfied he meant to fulfil his engagement.

The custom of eating dogs at Otaheite being mentioned, Goldsmith observed, that this was also a custom in China : that a dog-butcher is as common there as any other butcher; and that when he walks abroad all the dogs fall on him. JOHNSON : “ That is not owing to his killing dogs, Sir. I remember a butcher at Lichfield, whom a dog that was in the house where I lived, always attacked. It is the smell of carnage which provokes this, let the animals he has killed be what they may." GOLDSMITH : “ Yes, there is a general abhorrence in animals at the signs of massacre. If you put a tub full of blood into a stable, the horses are like to go mad.” JOHNSON : I doubt that." GOLDSMITH : “ Nay, Sir, it is a fact well authenticated." THRALE: “You had better prove it before you put it into your book on natural history. You may do it in

you will." JOHNSON: “Nay, Sir, I would not have him prove it. If he is content to take his information from others, he may get through his book with little trouble, and without much endangering his reputation. But if he makes experiments for so comprehensive a book as his, there would be no end to them ; his erroneous assertions would then fall upon himself; and he might be blamed for not having made experiments as to every particular."

The character of Mallet having been introduced, and spoken of slightingly by Goldsmith. JOHNSON : “Why, Sir, Mallet had talent enough to keep his literary reputation alive as long as he himself lived ; and that, let me tell you, is a good deal.” GOLDSMITH : " But I cannot agree that it was so. His literary reputation was dead long before his natural death. I consider an author's literary reputation to be alive only while his name will ensure a good price for his copy from the booksellers. I will get you (to Johnson), a hundred guineas for anything whatever that you shall write, if you put your name to it.”

my stable if

1 It has already been observed, that one of his first essays was a Latin poem on a glowworm; but whether it be anywhere extant has not been ascertained.-MALONE.

Dr. Goldsmith's new play, “ She Stoops to Conquer," being mentioned—JOHNSON : “I know of no comedy for many years that has so much exhilarated an audience, that has answered so much the great end of comedy-making an audience merry.”

Goldsmith having said, that Garrick's compliment to the Queen, which he introduced into the play of “ The Chances,” which he had altered and revised this year, was mean and gross flattery. Johnson : “Why, Sir, I would not write, I would not give solemnly under my hand, a character beyond what I thought really true ; but a speech on the stage, let it flatter ever so extravagantly, is formuşar. It has always been formular to flatter kings and queens ; so much so, that even in our church-service we have our most religious king,' used indiscriminately, whoever is king. Nay, they even flatter themselves-"we have been graciously pleased to grant. No modern flattery, however, is so gross as that of the Augustan age, where the emperor was deified. 'Præsens Divus habebitur Augustus.' And as to meanness (rising into warmth), how is it mean in a player--a showman—a fellow who exhibits himself for a shilling, to flatter his queen ? The attempt, indeed, was dangerous ; for if it had missed, what became of Garrick, and what became of the queen ? As Sir William Temple says of a great general, it is necessary not only that his designs be formed in a masterly manner, but that they should be attended with success. Sir, it is right, at a time when the royal family is not generally liked, to let it be seen that the people like at least one of them.” Sir Joshua. REYNOLDS : “I do not perceive why the profession of a player should be despised; for the great and ultimate end of all the employments of mankind is to produce amusement. Garrick produces more amusement than any body.” BOSWELL: “ You say, Dr. Johnson, that Garrick exhibits himself for a shilling. In this respect he is only on a footing with a lawyer who exhibits himself for his fee, and even will maintain any nonsense or absurdity, if the case require it. Garrick refuses a play or a part which he does not like: a lawyer never refuses.” John

Why Sir, what does this prove ? only that a lawyer is worse. Boswell is now like Jack in the Tale of a Tub;' who, when he is puzzled by an argument, hangs himself. He thinks I shall cut him down, but I'll let him hang” (laughing vociferously). Sir Joshua REYNOLDS : “Mr. Boswell thinks that the profession of a lawyer being unquestionably honourable, if he can show the profession of a player to be more honourable, he proves his argument.”



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