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much ingenuity, and uncommon activity of mind, was no profound scholar, had it seems recommended an English inscription. Dr. Johnson treated this with great contempt, saying, “ An English inscription would be a disgrace to Dr. Smollet (1);” and, in answer to what Lord Kames had urged, as to the advantage of its being in English, because it would be generally understood, I observed, that all to whom Dr. Smollet's merit could be an object of respect and imitation would understand it as well in Latin; and that surely it was not meant for the Highland drovers, or other such people, who pass and repass that way.
We were then shown a Latin inscription, proposed for this monument. Dr. Johnson sat down with an ardent and liberal earnestness to revise it, and greatly improved it by several additions and variations. I unfortunately did not take a copy of it, as it originally stood; but I have happily preserved every fragment of what Dr. Johnson wrote:
In ipsis Leviniæ ripis
.('). We had this morning a singular proof of Dr. Johnson's quick and retentive memory. Hay's translation of “ Martial” was lying in a window; I said, I thought it was pretty well done, and showed him a particular epigram, I think, of ten, but am certain, of eight lines. He read it, and tossed away the book, saying, “ No, it is not pretty well.” As I persisted in my opinion, he said, “ Why, Sir, the original is thus," and he repeated it, “ and this man's translation is thus,” and then he repeated that also, exactly, though he had never seen it before, and read it over only once, and that, too, without any intention of getting it by heart.
Here a post-chaise, which I had ordered from Glasgow, came for us, and we drove on in high spirits. We stopped at Dumbarton, and though the approach to the castle there is very steep, Dr. John
(1) The epitaph which has been inscribed on the pillar erected on the banks of the Leven, in honour of Dr. Smollet, is as follows: - The part which was written by Dr. Johnson, it appears, has been altered; whether for the better, the reader will judge. The alterations are distinguished by italics.
“Siste viator! Si lepores ingeniique venam benignam, si morum callidisimum pictorem, unquam es iniratus, immorare paululum memoria TOBIÆ ŠMOLLET, M. D. Viri virtutibus hisce quas in homine et cive, et laudes et imiteris, haud mediocriter ornati : qui in literis variis versatus, postquam felicitate sibi propria sese posteris commendaverat, morte acerba raptus anno ætatis 51. Eheu! quam procul a patria! Prope Liburni portum in Italia, jacet sepultus. Tali tantoque viro, patrueli suo, cui in decursu lampada se potius tradidisse decuit, hanc Columnam, amoris, eheu! inane monumentum, in ipsis Leviniæ ripis, quas versiculis sub exitu vitæ ilus. tratus primis infans vagitibus personuit, ponendam curavit JACOBUS SMOLLET de Bonhill. Abi et reminiscere, hoc quidem honore, non modo defuncti memoriæ, verum etiam exemplo, prospectum esse ; aliis enim, at modo digni sint, idem erit virtutis præmium!” VOL. V.
* tuorhomes English hou borka
LIFE OF JOHNSON.
son ascended it with alacrity, and surveyed all that was to be seen. During the whole of our Tour he showed uncommon spirit, could not bear to be treated like an old or infirm man, and was very unwilling to accept of any assistance, insomuch that, at our landing at Icolmkill, when Sir Allan M‘Lean and I submitted to be carried on men's shoulders from the boat to the shore, as it could not be brought quite close to land, he sprang into the sea, and waded vigorously out.
On our arrival at the Saracen's-head inn, at Glasgow, I was made happy by good accounts from home; and Dr. Johnson, who had not received a single letter since we left Aberdeen, found here a great many, the perusal of which entertained him much. He enjoyed in imagination the comforts which we could not now command, and seemed to be in high glee. I remember, he put a leg upon each side of the grate, and said, with a mock solemnity, by way of soliloquy, but loud enough for me to hear it, “ Here am I, an Englishman, sitting by a coal fire."
Friday, Oct. 29. — The professors of the university being informed of our arrival, Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Reid, and Mr. Anderson, breakfasted with us. Mr. Anderson accompanied us while Dr. Johnson viewed this beautiful city. He had told me, that one day in London, when Dr. Adam Smith (1) was
(1) Mr. Boswell has chosen to omit, for reasons which will be presently obvious, that Johnson and Adam Smith met at Glasgow; but I have been assured by Professor John Miller that they did so, and that Smith, leaving the party in which he bad met Johnson, happened to come to another company where
boasting of it, he turned to him and said, “ Pray, Sir, have you ever seen Brentford ?” This was surely a strong instance of his impatience, and spirit of contradiction. I put him in mind of it to-day, while he expressed his admiration of the elegant buildings, and whispered him, “ Don't you feel some remorse?”
We were received in the college by a number of the professors, who showed all due respect to Dr. Johnson ; and then we paid a visit to the principal, Dr. Leechman ('), at his own house, where Dr. Johnson had the satisfaction of being told that his
Knowing that Smith had been in Johnson's society, they were anxious to know what had passed, and the more so as Dr. Smith's temper seemed much ruffled. At first Smith would only answer, “ He's a brute-he's a brute;" but on closer examination, it appeared that Johnson no sooner saw Smith than he attacked him for some point of his famous letter on the death of Hume (antè, Vol. III. p. 20. n.). Smith vindicated the truth of his statement. “ What did Johnson say?" was the universal inquiry. “Why, he said,” replied Smith, with the deepest impression of resentment, " he said, you lie !” “And what did you reply?” “I said, you are a son of a -!" On such terms did these two great moralists meet and part, and such was the classical dialogue between two great teachers of philosophy.-WALTER Scott.
[This story is certainly erroneous in the important particulars of the time, place, and subject of the alleged quarrel; for Hume did not die for three years after Dr. Johnson's only visit to Glasgow. Johnson had, previous to his visit to Scotland, indeed, previous to 1763 (see antè, Vol.II. p. 212., and post, April, 29. 1778), had an altercation with Adam Smith at Mr. Strahan's table. This, of which, however, we know neither the subject nor the degree of warmth, may have been the foundation of Professor Miller's strange misrepresentation. If such a scene as the professor described had passed, Dr. Smith could certainly not have afterwards solicited admission to the Club of which Johnson was the leader. I, therefore, disbelieve the whole story; and it is here repeated for the sake of the contradiction, -C. 1835.] (1) See antè, Vol. IV. p. 66.-C
name had been gratefully celebrated in one of the parochial congregations in the Highlands, as the person to whose influence it was chiefly owing, that the New Testament was allowed to be translated into the Erse language. It seems some political members of the Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Knowledge had opposed this pious undertaking, as tending to preserve the distinction between the Highlanders and Lowlanders. Dr. Johnson wrote a long letter upon the subject to a friend [Mr. Drummond], which being shown to them, made them ashamed, and afraid of being publicly exposed ; so they were forced to a compliance. It is now in my possession, and is, perhaps, one of the best productions of his masterly pen. (')
Professors Reid and Anderson, and the two Messieurs Foulis, the Elzevirs of Glasgow, dined and drank tea with us at our inn, after which the professors went away; and I, having a letter to write, left my fellow-traveller with Messieurs Foulis. Though good and ingenious men, they had that unsettled speculative mode of conversation which is offensive to a man regularly taught at an English school and university. I found that, instead of listening to the dictates of the sage, they had teased him with questions and doubtful disputations. He came in a flutter to me, and desired I might come back again, for he could not bear these men. “O ho! Sir," said I, “ you are flying to me for refuge!"
situation, was at a loss for a ready