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sation. But I found he had not listened to him with that full confidence, without which there is a little satisfaction in the society of travellers. I was curious to hear what opinion so able a judge as Johnson had formed of his abilities, and I asked if he was not a man of sense. Johnson. Why, Sir, he is not a distinct relater; and I should say, he is neither abounding nor deficient in sense. I did not perceive any superiority of understanding. Boswell. But will you not allow him a nobleness of resolution. in penetrating into distant regions? Johnson. That, Sir, is not to the present purpose: We are talking of sense. A fighting cock has a nobleness of resolution.

"Next day, Sonday April 2, I dined with him at Mr. Hoole's. We talked of Pope. Johnson. He wrote his "Dunciad" for fame. That was his primary motive. Had it not been for that, the dunces might have railed against him till they were weary, without his troubling himself about them. He delighted to vex them, no doubt; but he had more delight in seeing how well he could vex them,"

The "Odes to Obscurity and Oblivion," in ridicule of cool Mason and warm Gray," being mentioned, Johnson said, "They are Colman's best things." Upon its being observed that it was believed these Odes were made by Colman aud Lloyd jointly ;-Johnson. Nay, Sir, how can two people make an Ode? Perhaps one made one of them, and one the other, I observed that two people had made a play, and quoted the anecdote of Beaumont and Fletcher, who were brought under suspicion of treason, because while concerting the plan of a tragedy when sitting together at a tavern, one of them was over-heard saying to the other, "I'll kill the King." Johnson. The first of thsse Odes is the best; but they are both good. They exposed a very bad kind of writing. Boswell. Surely, Sir, Mr. Mason's Elfrida' is a fine poem: at least you will allow there are some good passages in it. Jobnson. There are now and then some good imitations of Milton's bad manner.

I often wondered at his low estimation of the writings of Gray and Masou. Of Gray's poetry, I have, in a former part of this work, expressed my high opinion; and for that of Mr. Mason I have ever entertained a warm admiration. His "Elfrida" is exquisite, both in poetical description and moral sentiment; and his "Caractacus" is a noble drama, Nor can I omit paying my tribute of praise to some of his smaller poems, which I have read with pleasure, and which no criticism shall persuade me not to like. If I wondered at Johnson's not tasting the works of Mason and Gray, still more have I wondered at their not tasting his works: that they should be insensible to the energy of diction, to his splendour of imagery, and comprehension of thonght. Tastes may differ as to the violin, the flute, the hautboy, in short all the lesser instruments: but who can be jasensible to the powerful impressions of the majestic organ. His "Taxation no Tyranny" being mentioned, he said, "I think I have not been attacked enough for it. Attack is the re-action; I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

Boswell. I don't know, Sir,

what you would be at. Five or six shots of small arms in every newspaper, and repeated cannonading in pamphlets, might, I think, satisfy you. But, Sir, you'll never make out this match, of which we have talked, with a certain political lady, since you are so severe against her principles. Johnson. Nay, Sir, I have the better chance for that. She is like the Amazons of old; she must be courted by the sword. But I have not been severe upon her. Boswell, Yes, Sir, you have made her ridiculous. Johnson. That was already done, Sir. To endeavour to make her ridiculous, is like blacking the chimney."

I put him in mind that the landlord at Ellon in Scotland said, that he heard he was the greatest man in England,-next to Lord Mansfield. Ay, Sir, (said he,) the exception defined the idea. A Scotchman could go no farther:

The force of nature could no farther go.'

Lady Miller's collection of verses by fashionable people, which were put into her Vase at Batheaston villa, near Bath, in competition for honorary prizes, being mentioned, he held them very cheap: Bouts rimés (said he), is a mere conceit, and an old conceit now; I wonder how people were persuaded to write in that manner for this lady. I named a gentleman of his acquaintance who wrote for the Vase. Johnson, He was a blockhead for his pains. Boswell. The Duchess of Northumberland wrote. Johnson, Sir, the Duchess of Northumberland may do what she pleases; nobody will say any thing to a lady of her high rank. But I should be apt to throw ******'ş verses in his face,

I talked of the cheerfulness of Fleet-street, owing to the constant quick succession of people which we perceive passing through it. Johnson. Why, Sir, Fleet-Street has a very animated appearance; but I think the full tide of human existence is at Charing-Cross,

He made the common remark on the unhappiness which men who have led a busy life experience, when they retire in expectation of enjoying themselves at ease, and that they generally languish for want of their habitual occupation, and wish to return to it. He mentioned as strong an instance of this as can well be imagined. An eminent tallow-chandler in London, who had acquired a considerable fortune, gave up the trade in favour of his foreman, and went to live at a country-house near town. He soon grew weary, and paid frequent visits to his old shop, where he desired they might let him know their melting-days, and he would come and assist them; which he accordingly did. Here, Sir, was a man, to whom the most disgusting circumstances in the business to which he had been used, was a relief from idleness.

On Wednesday, April 5, I dined with him at Messieurs Dilly's, with Mr. John Scott of Amwell, the Quaker, Mr. Langton, Mr. Miller, (now Sir John,) and Dr. Thomas Campbell, an Irish Clergyman, whom I took the liberty of inviting to Mr. Dilly's table, having seen him at

Mr. Thrale's, and been told that he had come to England chiefly with a view to see Dr. Johnson, for whom he entertained the highest veneration. He has since published "A Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland," a very entertaining book, which has, however, one fault-that it assumes the fictitious character of an Englishman.

We talked of public speaking.-Johnson. We must not estimate a man's powers by his being able, or not able, to deliver his sentiments in public. Isaac Hawkins Browne, one of the first wits of this country, got into Parliament, and never opened his mouth. For my own part, I think it is more disgraceful never to try to speak, than to try it, and fail; as it is more disgraceful not to fight, than to fight and be beaten. This argument appeared to me fallacious; for if a man has not spoken, it may be said that he would have done very well if he had tried; whereas, if he has tried and failed, there is nothing to be said for him. Why then (I asked), is it thought disgraceful for a man not to fight, and not disgraceful not to speak in public? Johnson. "Because there may be other reasons for a man's not speaking in public than want of resolution: he night have nothing to say, (laughing). Whereas, Sir, you know courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other.”

He observed, that "the statutes against bribery were intended to prevent upstarts with money from getting into Parliament;" adding, that "if he were a gentleman of landed property, he would turn out all his tenants who did not vote for the candidate whom he supported." Langton. Would not that, Sir, be checking the freedom of election : Johnson. Sir, the law does not mean that the privilege of voting should be independent of old family interest; of the permanent property of the country.

On Thursday, April 6, I dined with him at Mr. Thomas Davies's with Mr. Hicky the painter, and my old acquaintance Mr, Moody the player.

Dr. Johnson, as usual, spoke contemptuously of Colley Cibber. "It is wonderful that a man, who for forty years had lived with the great and the witty, should have acquired so ill the talents of conversation: and he had but half to furnish; for one half of what he said was oaths." He, however, allowed considerable merit to some of his comedies, and said there was no reason to believe that the "Careless Husband" was not written by himself. Davies said, he was the first dramatic writer who introduced genteel ladies upon the stage. Johnson refuted his observation by instancing several such characters in comedies before his time. Davies. (trying to defend himself from a charge of ignorance), I mean genteel moral characters. "I think (said Hicky), gantility and morality are inseparable. Boswell. By no means, Sir. The genteelest characters are often the most immoral. Does not Lord Chesterfield give precepts for uniting wickedness and the graces? A man, indeed, is not genteel when he gets drunk; but most vices may be committed very genteely a man may debauch his friend's wife genteelly; he may cheat at cards genteelly. Hicky, "I do not think that is genteel. Boswell.

Sir, it may not be like a gentleman, but it may be genteel. Johnson. You are meaning two different things. One means exterior grace; the other honour. It is certain that a man may be very immoral with exterior grace. Lovelace, in Clarissa,' is a very genteel and a very wicked character. Tom Hervey, who died t'other day, though a vicious mau, was one of the genteelest men that ever lived. Tom Davies instanced Charles the Second. Johnson. (taking fire at an attack upon that prince, for whom he had an extraordinary partiality,) Charles the Second was licentious in his practice; but he always had a reverence for what was good. Charles the Second knew his people, and rewarded merit. The Church was at no time better filled than in his reign. He was the best King we have had from his time till the reign of his present Majesty, except James the Second, who was a very good King, but unhappily believed that it was necessary for the salvation of his subjects that they should be Roman Catholics. He had the merit of endeavouring to do what be thought was for the salvation of the souls of his subjects, till he lost a great Empire. We, who thought that we should not be saved if we were Roman Catholics, had the merit of maintaining our religion, at the expense of submitting ourselves to the government of King William, for it could not be done otherwise,-to the government of one of the most worthless scoundrels that ever existed. No; Charles the Second was not such a man as-- (naming another King.) He

did not detroy his father's will. He took money, indeed, from France: but he did not betray those over whom he ruled: He did not let the French fleet pass ours. George the First knew nothing, and desired to know nothing; did nothing, and desired to do nothing; and the only good thing that is told of him, is, that he wished to restore the crown to its hereditary successor. He roared with prodigious violence against George the Second. When he ceased, Moody interjected, in an Irish tone, and with a comic look, "Ah! poor George the Second."

I mentioned that Dr. Thomas Campbell had come from Ireland to London, principally to see Dr. Johnson. He seemed angry at this observation. Davies. Why, you know, Sir, there came a man from Spain to see Livy; and Corelli came to England to see Purcell, and, when he heard he was dead, went directly back again to Italy. Johnson. I should not have wished to be dead to disappoint Campbell, had he been so foolish as you represent him: but I should have wished to have been a hundred miles off. This was apparently perverse; and I do believe it was not his real way of thinking: he could not but like a man who came so far to see him. He laughed with some complacency, when I told him Campbell's odd expression to me concerning him; "That, having seen such a man, was a thing to talk of a century hence,”—as if he could live so long.

We got into an argument whether the Judges, who went to India, might with propriety engage in trade. Johnson warmly maintained, that they might, "For why he urged) should not Judges get riches

as well as those who deserve them less? I said, they should have sufficient salaries, and have nothing to take off their attention from the affairs of the public. Johnson. No Judge, Sir, can give his whole attention to his office; and it is very proper that he should employ what time he has to himself, to his own advantage, in the most profitable manser. Thet, Sir, (said Davies, who enlivened the dispute by making it somewhat dramatic), he may become an insurer; and when he is geing to the bench, he may be stopped,— Your Lordship cannot go yet; here is a bunch of invoices: several ships are about to sail.' Johnson. Sir, you may as well say a Judge should not have a house; for they may come and tell him, 'Your Lordship's house is on fire;' and so instead of minding the business of his Court, he is to be occupied in getting the engine with the greatest speed. There is no end of this. Every Judge who has land, trades to a certain extent in corn or in cattle; and in the land itself; undoubtedly his stewards act for him, and so do clerks for a great merchant. A Judge may be a farmer; but he is not to geld his own pigs. A Judge may play at cards for his amusement; but he is not to play at marbles, or chuck farthing in the Piazza. No, Sir; there is no profession to which a man gives a very great proportion of his time. It is wonderful when a calculation is made, how little the mind is actually employed in the discharge of any profession. No man would be a Judge, upon the condition of being totally a Judge. The best employed lawyer has his mind at work but for a small proportion of his time: a great deal of his occupation is merely mechanical.-I once wrote for a magazine: I made a calculation, that if I should but write a page a day, at the same rate, I should, in ten years, write nine volumes in folio, of an ordinary size and print. Boswell. Such as Carte's History? Johnson. Yes, Sir. When a man writes from his own mind, he writes very rapidly? The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.

I argued warmly against the Judges trading, and mentioned Hale, as an instance of a perfect Judge, who devoted himself entirely to his office. Johnson. Hale, Sir, attended to other things besides law: he left a great estate. Boswell. That was, because what he got, accumulated without any exertion and anxiety on his part.

While the dispute went on, Moody once tried to say something on our side. Tom Davies clapped him on the back, to encourage him. Beauclerk, to whom I mentioned this circumstance, said, that he could not conceive a more humiliating situation thau to be clapped on the back by Tom Davies.

We spoke of Rolt, to whose Dictionary of Commerce, Dr. Johnson wrote the Preface. Johnson. Old Gardner the bookseller employed Rolt and Smart to write a monthly miscellany, called The Universal Visitor.' There was a formal written contract, which Allen the Printer


Gardner thought as you do of the Judge. They were bound to

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