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his lordship, and was also curious to see them together. * I mentioned my doubts to Dr. Johnson, who said he would go two miles out of his way to see Lord Monboddo. I therefore sent Joseph forward with the following note.
Montrose, August 21. MY DEAR LORD, -Thus far I am come with Mr. Samuel Johnson. We must be at Aberdeen to-night. I know you do not admire him so much as I do; but I cannot be in this country without making you a bow at your old place, as I do not know if I may again have an opportunity of seeing Monboddo. Besides, Mr. Johnson says he would go two miles out of his way to see Lord Monboddo. I have sent forward my servant that we may know if your lordship be at home.
I am ever, my dear lord,
JAMES BOSWELL. As we travelled onwards from Montrose we had the Grampian hills in our view, and some good land around us, but void of trees and hedges. Dr. Johnson has said ludicrously, in his “ Journey,” that the hedges were of stone; for instead of the verdant thorn to refresh the eye, we found the bare wall or dike intersecting the prospect. He observed that it was wonderful to see a country so divested, so denuded of trees.
We stopped at Lawrence Kirk, where our great grammarian, Ruddiman, was once schoolmaster. We respectfully remembered that excellent man and eminent scholar, by whose labours a knowledge of the Latin language will be preserved in Scotland, if it shall be preserved at all. Lord Gardenstone, one of our judges, collected money to raise a monument to him at this place, which I hope will
• There were several points of similarity between them; lcarning, clearness of head, precision of speech, and a love of research on many subjects which people in general do not investigate. Foote paid Lord Monboddo the compliment of saying, that he was Elzevir edition of Johnson.” It has been shrewdly observed that Foote must have meant a diminutive, or pocket edition.-BOSWELL.
[The Elzevir edition of the classics is of a diminutive, or pocket size, and Foote's meaning was obvious enough. But it may be questioned whether, as a scholar or as a member of society ever anxious to do good, Monboddo should be considered an Elzevir edition of Johnson. The eccentricities of the learned lord arose mostly out of his classical predilections. He gave suppers in imitation of the ancients, more successful than the ludicrous satire in “ Peregrine Pickle;" he strewed his table and garlanded his wineflasks with roses; he anointed himself after coming from the bath ; and he never would enter a carriage, because such effeminate conveyances were not in com on use among the ancients, and because he considered it to be degrading to the dignity of human nature to be dragged at the tail of a horse instead of mounting his back. Hence his journeys to London were all equestrian, and he continued them beyond the age of eighty. The death of the old judge's daughter, so eminent for her beauty and her devotedness to her father, shook his stoical philosophy. A relation living in his house at the time covered the portrait of Miss Burnet with a cloth. “Right,” said the old judge, stifting his emotion, “Right; and now let us turn up Herodotus !" Lord Monboddo was born in 1714, raised to the bench in 1767, and died in 1799.-ED.]
be well executed.* I know my father gave five guineas towards it. Lord Gardenstone is the proprietor of Lawrence Kirk, and has encouraged the building of a manufacturing village, of which he is exceedingly fond, and has written a pamphlet upon it, as if he had founded Thebes; in which, however, there are many useful precepts strongly expressed. The village seemed to be irregularly built, some of the houses being of clay, some of brick, and some of brick and stone. Dr. Johnson observed they thatched well here.t
I was a little acquainted with Mr. Forbes, the minister of the parish. I sent to inform him that a gentleman desired to see him. He returned for answer " that he would not come to a stranger." I then gave my name, and he came. I remonstrated to him for not coming to a stranger; and by presenting him to Dr. Johnson proved to him what a stranger might sometimes be. His Bible inculcates, Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, and mentions the same motive. He defended himself by saying, “He had once come to a stranger who sent for him, and he found him a little worth person !"}
Dr. Johnson insisted on stopping at the inn, as I told him that Lord Gardenstone had furnished it with a collection of books, that
* This design does not appear to have been carried into execution; but in 1806 a relative of the great grammarian, Dr. William Ruddiman, erected a tablet to his memory in the Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh. The inscription states that the “celebrated scholar and worthy man" was keeper of the Advocates' Library for nearly fifty years; was born October 1674, within three miles of the town of Banff (at the farm of Raggel, parish of Boyndie), and died at Edinburgh 19th January, 1757, in his eighty-third year. He was parochial schoolmaster of Lawrence Kirk from 1695 to 1700. It is related of this accomplished and indefatigable scholar that at the age of sixteen he proceeded on foot from his father's house to Aberdeen to compete for the annual prize given by King's College for proficiency in classical literature. Doubtful of the issue, he had not informed his parents of his intention, but his sister, to whom he had confided the secret, gave him a guinea to defray his charges. He was robbed of his money by the way, being overtaken by a band of gypsies, but the young enthusiast was not to be daunted; he made out the journey, carried off the prize or scholarship, and was thus enabled to prosecute his studies.-ED.
† Francis Garden, Lord Gardenstone, was a man of learning and accomplishments. Succeeding to the patrimonial estate of Troup in Banffshire in 1785, he gave up his seat on the bench and travelled on the Continent. The result of his tour was a work in two volumes, entitled “Travelling Memorandums.” The burgh of Lawrence Kirk, founded by Lord Gardenstone, contained 500 inhabitants before his death in 1793; the population is now about 1,500. The learned lord had built and endowed an Episeopal chapel in his burgh, a circumstance which should have conciliated the favour of Johnson and Boswell. He was also, as a Scottish judge, on the same side as Boswell in the Douglas cause. His lordship, however, was a Whig in politics, which may account for the coldness of the above notice. Dr. Beattie, author of “The Minstrel," was a native of the parish of Lawrence Kirk.-ED.
$ This punctilious minister (who must have been grievously annoyed at being thus publicly gibbeted by Boswell) died at the Manse of Lawrence Kirk April 27th, 1795, having been thirty-four years incumbent there.-ED.
travellers inight have entertainment for the mind as well as the body He praised the design, but wished there had been more books, and those better chosen.
About a mile from Monboddo, where you turn off the road, Joseph was waiting to tell us my lord expected us to dinner. We drove over a wild moor. It rained, and the scene was somewhat dreary. Dr Johnson repeated, with solemn emphasis, Macbeth's speech on meeting the witches. As we travelled on he told me, “Sir, you got into our club by doing what a man can do.* Several of the members wished to keep you out. Burke told me he doubted if you were fit for it; but now you are in none of them are sorry. Burke says
that you have so much good-humour naturally, it is scarce a virtue."-BosWELL: “ They were afraid of you, sir, as it was you who proposed me.” -JOHNSON: “ Sir, they knew that if they refused you they'd probably never have got in another. I'd have kept them all out. Beauclerk was very earnest for you.”—BOSWELL: “Beauclerk has a keenness of mind which is very uncommon.”—JOHNSON: “ Yes, sir ; and everything comes from him so easily. It appears to me that I labour when I say a good thing." —BOSWELL: “You are loud, sir; but it is not an effort of mind."
Mopboddo is a wretched place, wild and naked, with a poor old house; though, if I recollect right, there are two turrets which mark baron's residence. Lord Monboddo received us at his gate most courteously ; pointed to the Douglas arms upon his house, and told us that his greatgrandmother was of that family
In such houses," said he,“ our ancestors lived, who were better men than we.” “No, no, my lord,” said Dr. Johnson, are as strong as they, and a great deal wiser.” This was an assault upon one of Lord Mon.
LORD MON BODDO.
* This, I find, is considered as obscure. I suppose Dr. Johnson meant, that I assiduously and earnestly recommended myself to some of the members, as in a canvass for an election into Parliament.-BOSWELL.
† The property has since been much improved and now boasts a thriving plantation of wood. It should be recollected that the estate was small, producing only about 3001,
boddo's capital dogmas, and I was afraid there would have been a violent altercation in the very close, before we got into the house. But his lordship is distinguished not only for ancient metaphysics, but for ancient politesse, “la vieille cour," and he made no reply.
His lordship was dressed in a rustic suit, and wore a little round hat; he told us we now saw him as Farmer Burnet, and we should have his family dinner, a farmer's dinner. He said, “I should not have forgiven Mr. Boswell had he not brought you here, Dr. Johnson." He produced a very long stalk of corn, as a specimen of his crop, and said, “ You see here the lætas segetes :" he added that Virgil seemed to be as enthusiastic a farmer as he, and was certainly a practical one.-JOHNSON: “It does not always follow, my lord, that a man who has written a good poem on an art has practised it. Philip Miller told me, that in Philips's Cyder,' a poem, all the precepts were just, and indeed better than in books written for the purpose of instructing; yet Philips had never made cyder."
I started the subject of emigration.—JOHNSON: “To a man of mere animal life you can urge no argument against going to America, but that it will be some time before he will get the earth to produce But a man of any intellectual enjoyment will not easily go and im merse himself and his posterity for ages in barbarism.”
He and my lord spoke highly of Homer.-JOHNSON: He had all the learning of his age. The shield of Achilles shows a nation in war, a nation in peace; harvest-sport, nay, stealing."*—MONBODDO: 'Ay, and what we looking to me) would call a Parliament-house scene; a cause pleaded.”—JOHNSON: “That is part of the life of a nation in peace. And there are in Homer such characters of heroes, and combinations of qualities of heroes, that the united powers of mankind ever since have not produced any but what are to be found there.”—MONBODDO: “Yet no character is described." -Johnson: “No; they all develope themselves. Agamemnon is always a gentleman-like character ; he has always Baoidıxov Tl. That the ancients held so, is plain from this; that Euripides, in his Hecuba, makes
a-year; yet Lord Monboddo was a most liberal landlord, and one of the first to set an example of agricultural improvement.-ED.
My note of this is much too short. Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio. Yet as I have resolved that the very Journal which Dr. Johnson read shall be presented to the public, I will not expand the text in any considerable degree, though I may occasionally supply a word to complete the sense, as I fill up the blanks of abbreviation in the writing; neither of which can be said to change the genuine Journal. One of the best critics of our age conjectures that the imperfect passage above was probably as follows: “In his book we have an accurate display of a nation in war, and a nation in peace; the peasant is delineated as truly as the general; nay, even harvest-sport and the modes of ancient theft are described.”- BOSWELL.
him the person to interpose."*~MONBODDO: “The history of manners is the most valuable. I never set a high value on any other history.” -JOHNSON: “Nor I; and therefore I esteem biography, as giving us what comes near to ourselves, what we can turn to use."-BOSWELL: • But in the course of general history we find manners. we see the dispositions of people, their degrees of humanity, and other particulars.”—JOHNSON: Yes; but then you must take all the facts to get this; and it is but a little you get.”—MONBODDO: “ And it is that little which makes history valuable.” Bravo! thought I; they agree like two brothers.—MONBODDO: "I am sorry, Dr. Johnson, you were not longer at Edinburgh to receive the homage of our men of learning.”—JOHNSON: “My lord, I received great respect and great kindness.”—BOSWELL: “ He goes back to Edinburgh after our tour." We talked of the decrease of learning in Scotland, and of the “Muses' Welcome.”—JOHNSON: " Learning is much decreased in England, in my remembrance.”—MONBODDO: You, sir, have lived to see its decrease in England, I its extinction in Scotland.” However, I brought him to confess that the High School of Edinburgh did well.—JOHNSON: “Learning has decreased in England, because learning will not do so much for a man as formerly. There are other ways of getting preferment. Few bishops are now made for their learning. To be a bishop, a man must be learned in a learned age -factious in a factious age; but always of eminence. Warburton is an exception, though his learning alone did not raise him. He was first an antagonist to Pope, and helped Theobald to publish his Shakspeare; but, seeing Pope the rising man, when Crousaz attacked his . Essay on Man,' for some faults which it has, and some which it has not, Warburton defended it in the Review of that time. This brought him acquainted with Pope, and he gained his friendship. Pope introduced him to Allen; Allen married him to his niece; so, by Allen's interest and his own, he was made a bishop. But then his learning was the sine quâ non. He knew how to make the most of it; but I do not find by any dishonest means.”—MONBODDO: “He is a great man.”—JOHNSON: “ Yes, he has great knowledge, great power of mind. Hardly any man brings greater variety of learning to bear
upon his point.”—MONBODDO : He is one of the greatest lights of your Church."-JOHNSON : Why, we are not so sure of his being
* Dr. Johnson modestly said he had not read Homer so much as he wished he had done. But this conversation shows how well he was acquainted with the Mæonian bard, and he has shown it still more in his criticism upon Pope's Homer, in his Life of that poet. My excellent friend, Mr. Langton, told me he was once present at a dispute between Dr. Johnson and Mr. Burke, on the comparative merits of Homer and Virgil, which was carried on with extraordinary abilities on both sides. Dr. Johnson maintained the superiority of Homer.-BOSWELL.