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considerable in his native place; and I was pleased with the dignity conferred by such a testimony of your regard.

"Be pleased, therefore, to accept the thanks of, Sir, your most obliged, "And most humble sergant,

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"The bearer of this, Mr. Beattie, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Aberdeen, is desirous of being introduced to your acquaintance. His genius and learning, and labours in the service of virtue and religion, render him very worthy of it: and as he has a high esteem of your character, I hope you will give him a favourable reception. I ever am, &c, "JAMES BOSWELL."




"I am lately returned from Staffordshire and Derbyshire. The last letter mentions two others which you have written to me since you received my pamphlet. Of these two I never had but one, in which you mentioned a design of visiting Scotland, and by consequence, put my journey to Langton out of my thoughts. My summer wanderings are now over, and I am engaging in a very great work, the revision of my Dictionary; from which I know not, at present, how to get loose.

"If you have observed, or been told, many errors or omissious, you will do me a great favour by letting me know them.

"Lady Rothes, I find, has disappointed you and herself. Ladies will have these tricks. The Queen and Mrs. Thrale, both ladies of experience, yet both missed their reckoning this summer. I hope a few months will recompense your uneasiness.

"Please to tell Lady Rothes how highly I value the honour of her invitation, which it is my purpose to obey as soon as I have disengaged myself. In the mean time I shall hope to hear often of her Ladyship, and every day better news and better, till I hear that you have both the happiness, which to both is very sincerely wished by, Sir, "Your most affectionate, and "Most humble servant, "SAM. JOHNSON."

"August 29, 1771.

In October I again wrote to him, thanking him for his last letter, and his obliging reception of Mr. Beattie; informing that I had been at Alnwick lately, and had good accounts of him from Dr. Percy.

In his religious record of this year we observe that he was better than usual, both in body and mind, and better satisfied with the regularity of his conduct. But he is still "trying his ways" too rigorously. He charges himself with not rising early enough; yet he mentions what was surely a sufficient excuse for this, supposing it to be a duty seriously

required, as he all his life appears to have thought. "One great hindrance is want of rest; my nocturnal complaints grow less troublesome towards morning; and I am tempted to repair the deficiencies of the night." Alas! how hard would it be, if this indulgence were to be imputed to a sick man as a crime. In his retrospect on the following Easter-eve, he says, "When I review the last year, I am able to recollect so little done, that shame and sorrow, though perhaps too weakly, come upon me." Had he been judging of any one else in the same circumstance, how clear would he have been on the favourable side. How very difficult, and in my opinion almost constitutionally impossible it was for him to be raised early, even by the strongest resolutions, appears from a note in one of his little paper-books, (containing words arranged for his Dictionary,) written, I suppose, about 1753; "I do not remember that since I left Oxford, I ever rose early by mere choice, but once or twice at Edial, and two or three times for the Rambler." I think he had fair ground enough to have quieted his mind on the subject, by concluding that he was physically incapable of what is at best but a commodious regulation.

In 1772 he was altogether quiescent as an author; but it will be found, from the various evidences which I shall bring together, that his mind was acute, lively, and vigorous.



"BE pleased to send to Mr. Banks, whose place of residence I do not know, this note, which I have sent open, that, if you please, you may read it.

"When you send it, do not use your own seal. I am, Sir, "Your most humble servant,

"Feb. 27, 1772.




Prepetua ambitâ bis terrâ præmia lactis

Hæc habet altrici Capra secunda Jovis."||

"I RETURN thanks to you and to Dr. Solander for the pleasure which I received in yesterday's conversation. I could not recollect a motto for your Goat, but have given her one. You, Sir, may perhaps have an epick poem from some happier pen than, Sir, "Your most humble servant,

"Johnson's-court, Fleet-street,


February 27, 1772.

Prayers and meditations, p. 101.

Thus translated by a friend:

No. 4.

"In fame scarce second to the nurse of Jove

"This Goat, who twice the world had traversed round, "Deserving both her master's care and love,

"Ease and perpetual pasture now has found."

2 R



"IT is hard that I cannot prevail on you to write to me oftener. But I am convinced that it is in vain to expect from you a private correspondence with any regularity. I must, therefore, look upon you as a fountain of wisdom, from whence few rills are communicated to a distance, and which must be approached at its source, to partake fully of its virtues.

"I am coming to London soon, and am to appear in an appeal from the Court of Session in the House of Lords. A schoolmaster in Scotland was, by a court of inferior jurisdiction, deprived of his office, for being somewhat severe in his chastisement of his scholars. The Court of Session considering it to be dangerous to the interest of learning and education, to lessen the dignity of teachers, and make them afraid of too indulgent parents, instigated by the complaints of their children, restored him. His enemies have appealed to the House of Lords, though the salary is only twenty pounds a year. I was Counsel for him here. I hope there will be little fear of a reversal; but I must beg to have your aid in my plan of supporting the decree. It is a general question, and not a point of particular law.

"I am, &c.




"THAT you are coming so soon to town I am very glad; and still more glad that you are coming as an advocate. I think nothing more likely to make your life pass happily away, than that consciousness of your own value, which eminence in your profession will certainly confer. If I can give you any collateral help, I hope you do not suspect that it will be wanting. My kindness for you has neither the merit of singular virtue, nor the reproach of singular prejudice. Whether to love you be right or wrong, I have many on my side: Mrs. Thrale loves you, and Mrs. Williams loves you, and what would have inclined me to love you, if I had been neutral before, you are a great favourite of Dr. Beattie.

"Of Dr. Beattie I should have thought much, but that his lady puts him out of my head; she is a very lovely woman.

"The ejection which you come hither to oppose, appears very cruel, unreasonable, and oppressive. I should think there could not be much doubt of your success.

"My health grows better, yet I am not fully recovered. I believe it is held, that men do not recover very fast after threescore. I hope yet to see Beattie's College: and have not given up the western voyage. But however all this may be or not, let us try to make each other happy when we meet, and not refer our pleasure to distant times or distant places.

"How comes it that you tell me nothing of your lady? I hope to see her some time, and till then shall be glad to hear of her. "I am, dear Sir, &c.

"March 15, 1772.



"I congratulate you and Lady Rothes on your little man, and hope you will be many years happy together.

"Poor Miss Langton can have little part in the joy of her family. She this day called her aunt Langton to receive the sacrament with her; and made me talk yesterday on such subjects as suit her condition. It will probably be her viaticum. I surely need not mention again that she wishes to see her mother.

"March 14, 1772.

1 am, Sir,

"Your most humble servant,


On the 21st of March, I was happy to find myself again in my friend's study, and was glad to see my old acquaintance, Mr. Francis Barber, who was now returned bome. Dr. Johnson received me with a hearty welcome; saying, "I am glad you are come, and glad you are come upon such an errand:" (alluding to the cause of the schoolmaster.") BOSWELL. "I hope, Sir, he will be in no danger. It is a very delicate matter to interfere between a master and his scholars: nor do I see how you can fix the degree of severity that a master may use." JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, till you fix the degree of obstinacy and negligence of the scholars, you cannot fix the degree of severity of the master. Severity must be continued until obstinacy be subdued, and negligence be cured."

He mentioned the severity of Hunter, his own master. “Sir, (said I,) Hunter is a Scotch name: so it should seem this school-master who beat you so severely, was a Scotchman. I can now account for your prejudice against the Scotch." JOHNSON. "Sir, he was not Scotch; and abating his brutality, he was a very good master."


We talked of his two political pamphlets, "The False Alarm," and "Thoughts concerning Falkland's Island." JOHNSON. "Well, Sir, which of them did you like the best?" BosWELL. "I liked the second best." JOHNSON. " Why, Sir, I liked the first best; and Beattie liked the first best. Sir, there is a subtlety of disquisition in the first, that is worth all the fire of the second." BOSWELL. " Pray, Sir, is it true that Lord North paid you a visit, and that you got two hundred a year in addition to your pension ?" JOHNSON. " No, Sir. Except what I had from the bookseller, I did not get a farthing by them. And, between you and me, I believe Lord North is no friend to me." BosWELL. "How so, Sir?" JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, you cannot account for the fancies of men.-Well, how does Lord Elibank? and how does Lord Monboddo?" BOSWELL. "Very well, Sir. Lord Monboddo still maintains the superiority of the savage life." JOHNSON. "What strange narrowness of mind now is that, to think the things we have not known, are

better than the things which we have known." BoSWELL. "Why, Sir, that is a common prejudice." JOHNSON. "Yes, Sir, but a common prejudice should not be found in one whose trade it is to rectify error."

A gentleman having come in who was to go as a mate in the ship along with Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, Dr. Johnson asked what were the names of the ships destined for the expedition. The gentleman answered, they were once to be called the Drake and the Ralegh, but now they were to be called the Resolution and the Adventurer. JOHNSON. "Much better; for had the Ralegh returned without going round the word, it would have been ridiculous. To give them the uames of the Drake and the Ralegh was laying a trap for satire." BOSWELL. "Had not you some desire to go upon this expedition, Sir?" JOHNSON.“ "Why yes, but I soon laid it aside. Sir, there is very little of intellectual, in the course. Besides, I see but at a small distance. So it was not worth my while to go to see birds fly, which I should not have seen fly; and fishes swim, which I should not have seen swim."

The gentleman being gone, and Dr. Johnson having left the room for some time, a debate arose between the Reverend Mr. Stockdale and Mrs. Desmoulins, whether Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander were entitled to any share of glory from their expedition. When Dr. Johnson returned to

us, I told him the subject of their dispute. JOHNSON." Why, Sir, it was properly for botany that they went out: I believe they thought only of culling simples."

I thanked him for shewing civilities to Beattie, "Sir, (said he,) I should thank you. We all love Beattie. Mrs. Thrale says, if ever she has another husband, she'll have Beattie. He sunk upon us that he was married; else we would have shown his lady more civilities. She is a very fine woman. But how can you show civilities to a non-entity? I did not think he had been married. Nay, I did not think about it one way or other; but he did not tell us of his lady till late."

He then spoke of St. Kilda, the most remote of the Hebrides. I told him, I thought of buying it. JOHNSON. " Pray do, Sir. We will go and pass a winter amidst the blasts there. We shall have fine fish, and we will take some dried tongues with us, and some books. We will have a strong built vessel, and some Orkney men to navigate her. We must build a tolerable house: but we may carry with us a wooden house ready made, and requiring nothing but to be put up. Consider, Sir, by buying St. Kilda, you may keep the people from falling into worse hands. We must give them a clergyman, and he shall be one of Beattie's choosing. He shall be educated at Marischal College. I'll be your Lord Chancellor, or what you please." BOSWELL. "Are you serious, Sir, in advising me to buy St. Kilda? for if you should advise me to go to Japan, I believe I should do it." JOHNSON. "Why, yes, Sir, I am serious." BOSWELL. "Why then I'll see what can be done."

I gave him an account of the two parties in the church of Scotland. Those for supporting the rights of patrons, independent of the people, and those against it. JOHNSON. "It should be settled one way or other.

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