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cannot persuade a man into a belief of transubstantiation. Able men, indeed, have said they believed it."
This was an awful subject. I did not then press Dr. Johnson upon it; nor shall I now enter upon a disquisition concerning the import of those words uttered by our Saviour,1 which had such an effect upon many of his disciples, that they "went back, and walked no more with him." The catechism and solemn ofliee for communion, in the Church of England, maintain a mysterious belief in more than a mere commemoration of the death of Christ, by partaking of the elements of bread and wine.
Dr. Johnson put me in mind, that at St. Andrew's I had defended my profession very well, when the question had again been started, Whether a lawyer might honestly engage with the first side that offers him a fee. "Sir," said I, " it was with your arguments against Sir William Forbes; but it was much that I could wield the arms of Goliath."
He said, our judges had not gone deep in the question concerning literary property. I mentioned Lord Monboddo's opinion, that if a man could get a work by heart, he might print it, as by such an act the mind is exercised. Johnson. "No, Sir; a man's repeating it no more makes it his property, than a man may sell a cow which he drives home." I said, printing an abridgment of a work was allowed, which was only cutting the horns and tail off the cow. Johnson. "No, Sir ; 'tis making the cow have a calf."
About eleven at night we arrived at Montrose. We found but a sorry inn, where I myself saw another waiter put a lump of sugar with his fingers into Dr. Johnson's lemonade, for which he called him " rascal!' It put me in great glee that our landlord was an Englishman. I rallied the Doctor upon this, and he grew quiet. Both Sir John Hawkins's and Dr. Barney's "History of Music" had then been advertised.2 I asked if this was not unlucky: would they not hurt one another? Johnson. "No, Sir. They
1 "Then Jesus said unto them. Verily, verily, I say unto yon, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of .Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."—Sec St. John's Gospel, chap. vi. 53, and following verses.
2 [Hawkins: General History of the Science and Practice of Music, 5 vols. 4to., 1776: Burney: History of Music from the Earliest Ages to the Present Period. 4 vols. 4to.. l'776-89.]
will do good to one another. Some will buy the one, some the other, and compare them; and so a talk is made about a thing, and the books are sold."
He was angry at me for proposing to carry lemons with us to Sky, that he might be sure to have his lemonade. "Sir," said he, "I do not wish to be thought that feeble man who cannot do without any thing. Sir, it is very had manners to carry provisions to any man's house, as if he could not entertain you. To an inferior, it is oppressive j to a superior, it is insolent." ,
Having taken the liberty, this evening, to remark to Dr. Johnson, that he very often sat quite silent for a long time, even when in company with only a single friend, which I myself had sometimes sadly experienced, he smiled and said, "It is true, Sir. Tom Tyers (for so he familiarly called our ingenious friend, who, since his death, has paid a biographical tribute to his memory), Tom Tyers described me the best. He once said to me, 'Sir, you are like a ghost: you never speak till you are spoken to.' "'
Montrose, Saturday, Aug. 21st.—Neither the Rev. Mr. Nisbet, the established minister, nor the Rev. Mr. Spooner, the episcopal minister, were in town. Before breakfast, we went and saw the town-hall, where is a good dancing room, and other rooms for tea-drinking. The appearance of the town from it is very well; but many of the houses are built with their ends to the street, which looks awkward. When we came down from it, I met Mr. Gleig, a merchant here. He went with us to see the English chapel. It is situated on a pretty dry spot, and there is a fine walk to it. It is really an elegant building, both within and without. The organ is adorned with green and gold. Dr. Johnson gave a shilling extraordinary to the clerk, saying, "He belongs to an honest church." I put him in mind, that episcopals were but dissenters here; they were only tolerated. "Sir," said he, "we are here, as Christians in Turkey." He afterwards went into an apothecary's shop, and ordered some medicine for himself, and wrote the prescription in technical characters. The boy took him for a physician.
1 This description of Dr. Johnson appears to have been borrowed from Tom Jones, book xi. chap. 2 : " The other, who, like a ghost, only wanted to be spoke to, readily answered," &c.
I doubted much which road to take, whether to go by the coast, or by Lawrence Kirk and Monboddo. I knew Lord Monboddo and Dr. Johnson did not love each other; yet I was unwilling not to visit his lordship; and was also curious to see them together.1 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, 21st August. "mt 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 1 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, &c.
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 Gardenston,1 one of our judges, collected money to raise a monument to him at this place, which I hope will bo well executed. I know my father gave five guineas towards it. Lord Gardenston 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.
1 There were several points of similarity lietween them; learning, 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 " an Elzevir edition of Johnson." It has been shrewdly observed, that Foote must have meant a diminutive or pocket edition.
Johnson himself thus describes Lord Monboddo to Mrs Thrale: "He is a Scotch judge, who has lately written a strange book about the origin of language, in which he traces monkeys up to men, and says that in some countries the human species have tails like other beasts. He inquired for these long-tailed men from Banks, and was not pleased that they had not been found in all his peregrinations. He talked nothing of this to me."—Letters, vol. i., p. 114.—Croker.
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 Lord Gardenston had furnished it with a collection of books, that travellers might have entertainment for the mind as well as the body. He praised the design, but
1 Francis Garden, a Scotch Lord of Session, under the designation of Lord Gardenston, was burn at Edinburgh, June 24, 1721. He acquired considerable distinction, as a pleader, in the famous Douglas cause. Was raised to the Bench, 1764 ; but succeeding, on the death of hiselder brother, to the valuable estate of Troup, he resigned his judicial duties, and passed much of his time in travelling on the Continent and the improvement of his estate. He died at Morningside, near Edinburgh, July 22, 1793. He published Travelling Memorandums, made in a Tour upon the Continent of Europe, 1786-8. Edin., 2 vols., 1791-2. After his death a third volume, 1793, with sketch of his life, was added. He also published Miscellanies in Prose and Verse. Edin., 1792. He deserves to be remembered also for erecting the temple over St. Bernard's Well, on the banks of the water of Leith.—Editor,
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.1 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,2 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 every thing 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."
Monboddo is a wretched place, wild and naked, with a poor old house, though, if I recollect right, there are two turrets, which mark an old 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 great-grandmother 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; "we are as strong as they, and a great deal wiser." This was an assault upon one of Lord Monboddo'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,"
1 This. I find, is considered 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. (Note added in second and third editions.)
'Boswell was elected April 30, 1773. See Life, vol. ii., p. '224.— Editor.