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Sir, the way to make fure of power and influence is, by lending money Etat. 63. confidentially to your neighbours at. a finall intereft, or, perhaps, at no intereft at all, and having their bonds in your poffeffion." BOSWELL. "May not a man, Sir, employ his riches to advantage in educating young men of merit ?" JOHNSON. "Yes, Sir, if they fall in your way; but if it is understood that you patronise young men of merit, you will be harraffed with folicitations. You will have numbers forced upon you who have no merit; fome will force them upon you from mistaken partiality; and fome from downright interested motives, without fcruple; and you will be difgraced.

"Were I a rich man, I would propagate all kinds of trees that will grow in the open air. A green-houfe is childish. I would introduce foreign animals into the country; for inftance, the rein-deer"."

The converfation now turned on critical fubjects. JOHNSON. Bayes, in The Rehearsal,' is a mighty filly character. If it was intended to be like a particular man, it could only be diverting while that man was remembered. But I question whether it was meant for Dryden, as has been reported; for we know fome of the paffages said to be ridiculed, were written since the Rehearsal; at least a paffage mentioned in the Preface is of a later date." I maintained that it had merit as a general fatire on the felf-importance of dramatick authours. But even in this light he held it very cheap.

We then walked to the Pantheon. The firft view of it did not ftrike us fo much as Ranelagh, of which he faid, the coup d'oeil was the finest thing he had ever seen. The truth is, Ranelagh is of a more beautiful form; more of it, or rather indeed the whole rotunda, appears at once, and it is better lighted. However, as Johnson obferved, we faw the Pantheon in time of mourning, when there was a dull uniformity; whereas we had feen Ranelagh when the view was enlivened with a gay profufion of colours. Mrs. Bofville, of Gunthwait, in Yorkshire, joined us, and entered into converfation with us. Johnson faid to me afterwards, "Sir, this is a mighty intelligent lady."

I faid there was not half a guinea's worth of pleasure in feeing this place. JOHNSON. "But, Sir, there is half a guinea's worth of inferiority to other people in not having feen it." BOSWELL. "I doubt, Sir, whether there are many happy people here." JOHNSON. "Yes, Sir, there are many happy people here. There are many people here who are watching hundreds, and who think hundreds are watching them."

2 This project has fince been realised. Sir Henry Liddel, who made a fpirited tour into Lapland, brought two rein-deer to his eftate in Northumberland, where they bred; but the race has unfortunately perished.



Happening to meet Sir Adam Ferguffon, I prefented him to Dr. Johnson. Sir Adam expreffed fome apprehenfion that the Pantheon would encourage tat. 63. luxury. "Sir, (faid Johnson,) I am a great friend to publick amusements; for they keep people from vice. You now (addreffing himself to me,) would have been with a wench, had you not been here. O! I forgot you were married.",

Sir Adam fuggested, that luxury corrupts a people, and destroys the spirit of liberty. JOHNSON. "Sir, that is all vifionary. I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government rather than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual. Sir, the danger of the abuse of power is nothing to a private man. What Frenchman is prevented from paffing his life as he pleases?" SIR ADAM. "But, Sir, in the British conftitution it is furely of importance to keep up a spirit in the people, fso as to preserve a balance against the crown." JOHNSON. "Sir, I perceive you are a vile Whig-Why all this childish jealoufy of the power of the crown? The crown has not power enough. When I say that all governments are alike, I confider that in no government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it. If a fovereign oppreffes his people to a great degree, they will rife and cut off his head. There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us fafe under every form of government. Had not the people of France thought themselves honoured as fharing in the brilliant actions of the reign of Lewis XIV. they would not have endured him; and we may fay the fame of the King of Pruffia's people." Sir Adam introduced the ancient Greeks and Romans. JOHNSON. "Sir, the mass of both of them were barbarians. The mass of every people, must be barbarous where there is no printing, and confequently knowledge is not generally diffused. Knowledge is diffufed among our people by the newspapers." Sir Adam mentioned the orators, poets, and artists of Greece. JOHNSON. "Sir, I am talking of the mafs of the people. We fee even what the boafted Athenians were. The little effect which Demofthenes's orations had upon them, fhews that they were barbarians."

Sir Adam was unlucky in his topicks; for he fuggested a doubt of the propriety of Bishops having feats in the House of Lords. JOHNSON. "How fo, Sir? Who is more proper for having the dignity of a peer, than a Bishop, provided a Bishop be what he ought to be; and if improper Bishops be made, that is not the fault of the Bishops, but of those who make them."

On Sunday, April 5, after attending divine fervice at St. Paul's church, I found him alone. Of a schoolmaster of his acquaintance, a native of Scot



Etat. 63.

land, he faid, "He has a great deal of good about him; but he is also very defective in fome refpects. His inner part is good, but his outer part is mighty aukward. You in Scotland do not attain that nice critical fkill in languages, which we get in our schools in England. I would not put a boy to him, whom I intended for a man of learning. But for the fons of citizens, who are to learn a little, get good morals, and then go to trade, he may do very well."

I mentioned a cause in which I had appeared as counsel at the bar of the General Affembly of the Church of Scotland, where a Probationer, (as one licensed to preach, but not yet ordained, is called,) was oppofed in his application to be inducted, because it was alledged that he had been guilty of fornication five years before. JOHNSON. Why, Sir, if he has repented, it is not a fufficient objection. A man who is good enough to go to heaven, is good enough to be a clergyman." This was a humane and liberal fentiment. But the character of a clergyman is more facred than that of an ordinary Christian. As he is to inftruct with authority, he should be regarded with reverence, as one upon whom divine truth has had the effect to fet him above fuch tranfgreffions, as men lefs exalted by spiritual habits, and yet upon the whole not to be excluded from heaven, have been betrayed into by the predominance of paffion. That clergymen may be confidered as finners in general, as all men are, cannot be denied; but this reflection will not counteract their good precepts fo much, as the abfolute knowledge of their having been guilty of certain fpecifick immoral acts. I told him, that by the rules of the Church of Scotland, in their "Book of Discipline," if a scandal, as it is called, is not profecuted for five years, it cannot afterwards be proceeded upon, "unless it be of a heinous nature, or again become flagrant;" and that hence a question arofe, whether fornication was a fin of a heinous nature; and that I had maintained, that it did not deserve that epithet, in as much as it was not one of thofe fins which argue very great depravity of heart: in fhort, was not, in the general acceptation of mankind, a heinous fin. JOHNSON. JOHNSON. "No, Sir, it is not a heinous fin. A heinous fin is that for which a man is punished with death or banishment." BOSWELL. "But, Sir, after I had argued that it was not a heinous fin, an old clergyman rofe up, and repeating the text of fcripture denouncing judgement against whoremongers, asked, whether, confidering this, there could be any doubt of fornication being a heinous fin. JOHNSON. " "Why, Sir, obferve the word whoremonger. Every fin, if perfifted in, will become heinous. Whoremonger is a dealer in whores, as ironmonger is a dealer in iron. But as you don't call a man an ironmonger for

buying and felling a pen-knife; so you don't call a man a whoremonger for getting one wench with child."

I fpoke of the inequality of the livings of the clergy in England, and the fcanty provifions of fome of the Curates. JOHNSON. "Why, yes, Sir; but it cannot be helped. You muft confider, that the revenues of the clergy are not at the difpofal of the ftate, like the pay of the army. Different men have founded different churches; and fome are better endowed, fome worse. The State cannot interfere and make an equal divifion of what has been particularly appropriated. Now when a clergyman has but a fmall living, or even two small livings, he can afford very little to a Curate."

He said, he went more frequently to church when there were prayers only, than when there was alfo a fermon, as the people required more an example for the one than the other; it being much easier for them to hear a fermon, than to fix their minds on prayer.

On Monday, April 6, I dined with him at Sir Alexander Macdonald's, where was a young officer in the regimentals of the Scots Royal, who talked with a vivacity, fluency, and precifion fo uncommon, that he attracted particular attention. He proved to be the Honourable Thomas Erskine, youngest brother to the Earl of Buchan, who has fince rifen into fuch brilliant reputation at the bar in Westminster-hall.

Fielding being mentioned, Johnson exclaimed," he was a blockhead;" and upon my exprefling my aftonishment at fo ftrange an affertion, he faid, "What I mean by his being a blockhead is, that he was a barren rafcal." BOSWELL. "Will you not allow, Sir, that he draws very natural pictures of human life?" JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, it is of very low life. Richardfon used to say, that had he not known who Fielding was, he fhould have believed he was an oftler. Sir, there is more knowledge of the heart in one letter of Richardson's, than in all 'Tom Jones.' I, indeed, never read Jofeph Andrews." ERSKINE. Surely, Sir, Richardson is very tedious." JOHNSON.“ "Why, Sir, if you were to read Richardfon for the ftory, your impatience would be fo much fretted, that you would hang yourself. But you must read him for the fentiment, and confider the ftory as only giving occafion to the fentiment.”—I have already given my opinion of Fielding; but I cannot refrain from repeating here my wonder at Johnson's exceffive and unaccountable depreciation of one of the best writers that England has produced. "Tom Jones" has stood the teft of publick opinion with fuch fuccefs, as to have established its great merit, both for the ftory, the fentiments, and the manners, and also the varieties of diction, fo as to leave no doubt of its having an animated truth of execution throughout.

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A book of travels, lately published under the title of Coriat Junior, and written by Mr. Paterfon, the auctioneer, was mentioned. Johnson faid, this book was an imitation of Sterne, and not of Coriat, whofe name Paterson had chofen as a whimfical one. "Tom Coriat, (faid he,) was a humourist about the court of James the First. He had a mixture of learning, of wit, and of buffoonery. He firft travelled through Europe, and published his travels. He afterwards travelled on foot through Afia, and had made many remarks; but he died at Mandoa, and his remarks were loft."

We talked of gaming, and animadverted on it with feverity. JOHNSON. "Nay, gentlemen, let us not aggravate the matter. It is not roguery to play with a man who is ignorant of the game, while you are master of it, and fo win his money; for he thinks he can play better than you, as you̟ think you can play better than he; and the fuperiour skill carries it." ERSKINE. "He is a fool, but you are not a rogue." JOHNSON. "That's much about the truth, Sir. It must be confidered, that a man who only does what every one of the fociety to which he belongs would do, is not a difhoneft man. In the republick of Sparta it was agreed, that stealing was not dishonourable, if not discovered. I do not commend a society where there is an agreement that what would not otherwise be fair, fhall be fair; but I maintain, that an individual of any fociety, who practises what is allowed, is not a difhoneft man.” BOSWELL." So then, Sir, you do not think ill of a man who wins perhaps forty thousand pounds in a winter?" JOHNSON. "Sir, I do not call a gamester a dishonest man; but I call him an unfocial man, an unprofitable man. Gaming is a mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good. Trade gives employment to numbers, and fo produces intermediate good."

Mr. Erskine told us, that when he was in the island of Minorca, he not only read prayers, but preached two fermons to the regiment. He feemed to object to the paffage in fcripture where we are told that the angel of the Lord fmote in one night forty thousand Affyrians. "Sir, (faid Johnson,) you should recollect that there was a fupernatural interpofition; they were deftroyed by peftilence. You are not to fuppofe that the angel of the Lord went about and stabbed each of them with a dagger, or knocked them on the head, man by man."

After Mr. Erskine was gone, a difcuffion took place, whether the prefent Earl of Buchan, when Lord Cardross, did right to refuse to go Secretary of the Embaffy to Spain, when Sir James Gray, a man of inferiour rank, went Ambassadour. Dr. Johnson faid, that perhaps in point of intereft


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