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news that I have to tell you. Yesterday I dined with Mr. Strahan, and Bos. well was there. We shall be both to-morrow at Mr. Ramsay's.”
On Tuesday, October 12, I dined with him at Mr. Ramsay's, with Lord Newhaven,' and some other company, none of whom I recollect, but a beautiful Miss Graham,' a relation [niece) of his Lordship’s, who asked Dr. Johnson to hob or nob with her.
He was flattered by such pleasing attention, and politely told her, he never drank wine ; bat if she would drink a glass of water, he was much at her service. She accepted. “Oho, Sir !” said Lord Newhaven, "you are caught.” Johnson. "Nay, I do not see how I am caught ; but if I am caught, I don't want to get free again. If I am caught, I hope to be kept.” Then when the two glasses of water were brought, smiling placidly to the young lady, he said, “Madam, let us reciprocate."
Lord Newhaven and Johnson carried on an argument for sometime concerning the Middlesex election. Johnson said, “Parliament may be considered as bound by law, as a man is bound where there is nobody to tie the knot. As it is clear that the House of Commons may expel, and expel again and again, why not allow of the power to incapacitate for that parliament, rather than have a perpetual contest kept up between parliament and the people.” Lord Newhaven took the opposite side ; but respectfully said, "I speak with great deference to you, Dr. Johnson ; I speak to be instructed.” This had its full effect on my friend. He bowed his head almost as low as the table to a complimenting nobleman, and called out, “My lord, my lord, I do not desire all this ceremony ; let us tell our minds to one another quietly." After the debate was over, “I bave got lights on the subject to-day, which I had not before." This was a great deal from him, especially as he had written a pamphlet upon it.
He observed “The House of Commons was originally not a privilege of the people, but a check, for the crown, on the House of
1 William Mayne, Esq. was created a Baronet in 1763; a privy counsellor in Ireland in 1766; and in 1776 advanced to the Irish peerage by the title of Baron Newhaven. He took a busy part in the intrigues, jc bs, and squabbles which constituted the Trish politics of his day.-C.
Now the lady of Sir Henry Dashwood, Bart –" O whom she was married in July, 1780.-0.
Lords. I remember, Henry VIII. wanted them to do something ; they hesitated in the morning, but did it in the afternoon. He told them, 'It is well you did ; or half your heads should have been upon Temple Bar.' But the House of Commons is now no longer under the power of the crown, and therefore must be bribed.” He added, “I have no delight in talking of public affairs."
Of his fellow collegian,' the celebrated Mr. George Whitefield, he said, “Whitefield never drew as much attention as a mountebank does : he did not draw attention by doing better than others, but by doing what was strange. Were Astley to preach a sermon standing upon his head on a horse's back, he would collect a multitude to hear him ; but no wise man would say he had made a better sermon for that. I never treated Whitefield's ministry with contempt ; I believe he did good. He had devoted himself to the lower classes of mankind, and among them he was of use. But when familiarity and noise claim the praise due to knowledge, art, and elegance, we must beat down such pretensions."
What I have preserved of his conversation during the remainder of my stay in London at this time is only what follows :- I told him that when I objected to keeping company with a notorious infidel, a celebrated friend of ours said to me, “I do not think that men who live laxly in the world, as you and I do, can with propriety assume such an authority ; Dr. Johnson may, who is uniformly exemplary in his conduct. But it is not very consistent to shun an infidel today, and get drunk to-morrow.” Johnson. “ Nay, Sir, this is sad reasoning. Because a man cannot be right in all things, is he to be right in nothing ? Because a man sometimes gets drunk, is he therefore to steal ?: This doctrine would very soon bring a man to the gallows."
1 George Whitfield, or Whitefield, did not enter at Pembroke College before November, 1732, more than twelve months after Johnson's name was off the books, and nearly three years after he had ceased to be resident at Oxford; so that, strictly speaking, they were not fellow collegians, though they were both of the same college.—HALL.
2 Philip Astley, a celebrated horse-rider, who first exhibited equestrian pantomimes, in which his son (who survived his father but a short time) rode with great grace and agility. Astley had at once theatres in Paris, London, and Dublin, and migrated with his actors, biped and quadruped, from one to the other.-C. The remains of both father and son aru deposited in the cemetery of Père la Chaise.
$ Surely this is not a fair statement of the question. The celebrated friend (Mr. Burke is
After all, however, it is a difficult question how far sincere Christians should associate with the avowed enemies of religion ; for, in the first place, almost every man's mind may be more or less “ rupted by evil communications ;" secondly, the world may very naturally suppose that they are not really in earnest in religion, who can easily bear its opponents; and thirdly, if the profane find themselves quite well received by the pious, one of the checks upon an open declaration of their infidelity, and one of the probable chances of obliging them seriously to reflect, which their being shunned would do, is removed.
He, I know not why, showed upon all occasions an aversion to go to Ireland, where I proposed to him that we should make a tour. Johnson. “ It is the last place that I should wish to travel.” Bos
“Should you not like to see Dublin, Sir ?” Johnson. “No, Sir ; Dublin is only a worse capital.” BOSWELL. “Is not the Giant's Causeway worth seeing ?" Johnson. " Worth seeing? yes; but not worth going to see.”
Yet he had a kindness for the Irish nation; and thus generously expressed himself to a gentleman from that country, on the subject of an union which artful politicians have often had in view : "Do not make an union with us, Sir. We should unite with you only to rob you. We should have robbed the Scotch, if they had anything of which we could have robbed them."
Of an acquaintance of ours, whose manners and everything about him, though expensive, were coarse, he said, “Sir, you see in him vulgar prosperity."
A foreign minister of no very high talents, who had been in his company for a considerable time quite overlooked, happened luckily to mention that he had read some of his “ Rambler” in Italian, and admired it much. This pleased him greatly; he observed that
the person usually so designated in these volumes) only modestly said, that none but a person uniformly exemplary, and above all possibility of reproach for arrogance or inconsistency, could venture to assume such an authority over society as to attempt to exclude a person for theoretical opinions. Johnson himself never did so: the strongest expression of his feeling on this point that I remember, was his refusing to be introduced to (Hannah More says to shake hands with) the Abbé Raynal; and we know that when Boswell consulted him about refusing to do law business of a Sunday, Johnson advised him to comply with the practice of the world, till he should become so considerable as to be authorised to set au example.-0. 1885.
the title had been translated Il Genio errante, though I have been told it was rendered more ludicrously Il Vagabondo; and finding that this minister gave such a proof of his taste, he was all attention to him, and on the first remark which he made, however simple, exclaimed, “The ambassador says well; his Excellency ob
-;" and then he expanded and enriched the little that had been said in so strong a manner, that it appeared something of consequence. This was exceedingly entertaining to the company who were present, and many a time afterwards it furnished a pleasant topic of merriment. “ The ambassador says well” became a laughable term of applause when no mighty matter had been expressed
“ Oct. 16, 1779. “My foot gives me very little trouble ; but it is not yet well. I have dined, since you saw me, not so often as once in two days. But I am told how well I look; and I really think I get more mobility. I dined on Tuesday with Ramsay, and on Thursday with Paoli, who talked of coming to see you, till I told him of your migration.
“Mrs. Williams is not yet returned; but discord and discontent reign in my humble habitation as in the palaces of monarchs. Mr. Levet and Mrs. Desmoulins have vowed eternal hate. Levet is the more insidious, and wants me to turn her out. Poor Williams writes word that she is no better, and has left off her physic. Mr. Levet has seen Dr. Lewis, who declares himself hopeless of doing her any good. Lawrence desponded some time ago. I thought I had a little fever some time, but it seems to be starved away. Bozzy says he never saw me so well.”
“ Oct. 19, 1779. “DEAREST MADAM,-You are extremely kind in taking so much trouble. My foot is almost well; and one of my first visits will certainly be to Dover Street.' You will do me a great favour if you will buy for me the prints of Mr. Burke, Mr. Dyer, and Dr. Goldsmith, as you know good impressions. If any of your own pictures are engraved, buy them for me.
I am fitting up a little room with prints. I am, dear Madam, your most humble servant,
I left London on Monday, October 18, and accompanied Colonel Stuart to Chester, where his regiment was to lie for some time,
Where Miss Reynolds lived. -0,
Chester, Oct. 20, 1779. “My dear Sir, -It was not till one o'clock on Monday morning that Colonel Stuart and I left London ; for we chose to bid a cordial adieu to Lord Mountstuart, who was to set out on that day on his embassy to Turin. drove on excellently and reached Lichfield in good time enough that night. The colonel had heard so preferable a character of the George, that he would not put up at the Three Crowns, so that I did not see our host, Wilkins. We found at the George as good accommodation as we could wish to have, and I fully enjoyed the comfortable thought that I was in Lichfield again. Next morning it rained very hard ; and as I had much to do in a little time, I ordered a post-chaise, and between eight and nine sallied forth to make a round of visits. I first went to Mr. Green, hoping to have had him to accompany me to all my other friends; but he was engaged to attend the Bishop of Sodor and Man, who was then lying at Lichfield very ill of the gout. Having taken a hasty glance at the additions to Green's museum, from which it was not easy to break away, I next went to the Friary, where I at first occasioned some tumult in the ladies, who were not prepared to receive company so early; but my name, which has by wonderful felicity come to be closely associated with yours, soon made all easy; and Mrs. Cobb? and Miss Adey re-assumed their seats at the breakfast-table, which they had quitted with some precipitation. They received me with the kindness of an old acquaintance: and, after we had joined in a cordial chorus to your praise, Mrs. Cobb gave me the high satisfaction of hearing that you said, 'Boswell is a man who I believe never left a house without leaving a wish for his return.' And she afterwards added, that she bid you tell me, that if ever I came to Lichfield, she hoped I would take a bed at the Friary. From thence I drove to Peter Garrick's,where I also found a very flattering welcome. He appeared to me to enjoy his usual cheerfulness; and he very kindly asked me to come when I could, and pass a week with him. From Mr. Garrick's I went to the Palace to wait on Mr. Seward. I was first entertained by his lady and daughter, he himself being in bed with a cold, according to his valetudinary
But he desired to see me; and I found him dressed in his black gown, with a white flannel night-gown above it; so that he looked like a Dominican friar. He was good-humoured and polite; and under his roof too my reception was very pleasing. I then proceeded to Stowhill, and first paid my respects to Mrs. Gastrell, whose conversation I was not willing to quit. But my sand-glass was now beginning to run low, as I could not trespass too
1 Mrs. Cobb was the daughter of Mr. Hammond, an apothecary, and the widow of a mer cer, who had retired from business, and resided at the Friary. Miss Adey was her niece, daugh ter of the town.clerk of Lichfield: she married William Sneyd, Esq. of Belmont House, near Cheadle, and died 1829, æt. 87.-HARWOOD.
% Peter Garrick died at Lichfield, December 12, 1795, at the age of eighty-six.