페이지 이미지

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 (1), who died t’ other day, though a vicious man, 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 our 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 he 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

(1) See antè, Vol. III. p. 17.-C.

(2) AU this seems so contrary to historical truth and common sense, that no explanation can be given of it; but it excites a lively curiosity to know more of Dr. Johnson's

personal history during the years 1745 and 1746, during which Boswell could find no trace of him. See antè, Vol. I. p. 204. - C.

scoundrels that ever existed. (1) No. Charles the Second was not such a man as

(2), (naming another king). He did not destroy 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.“

may do."

(1) A gentleman who dined at a nobleman's table in his company and that of Mr. Thrale, to whom I was obliged for the anecdote, was willing to enter the lists in defence of King William's character, and, having opposed and contradicted Johnson two or three times petulantly enough, the master of the house began to feel uneasy, and expect disagreeable consequences: to avoid which he said, loud enough for the Doctor to hear, “Our friend here has no meaning now in all this, except just to relate at club to-morrow how he teased Johnson at dinner to-day- this is all to do himself honour.

“ No, upon my word,” replied the other, “I see no honour in it, whatever you

Well, Sir," returned Dr. Johnson sternly, “ if you do not see the honour, I am sure I feel the disgrace.". Piozzi.

(2) George the Second. - The story of the will is told by Horace Walpole, in his very amusing (but often inaccurate) Reminiscences : -“At the first council held by the new sovereign, Dr. Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury, produced the will of the late king, and delivered it to the successor, expecting it would be opened and read in council. On the contrary, his Majesty put it into his pocket and stalked out of the room, without uttering a word on the subject. As the king never mentioned the will more, whispers, only by degrees, informed the public that the will was burnt, at least that its injunctions were never fulfilled.” —C.

* Where journal of this visit has result keer je inhed. See 810.2 0.Coon.

ATAT. 66.




I mentioned that Dr. Thomas Campbell had come
from Ireland to London, principally to see Dr.
Johnson. He seemed angry at this observation.
DAVIES. 66 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 com-
placency, 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,"
if he could live so long (3)

We got into an argument whether the judges who
went to India might with propriety engage in trade.


(1) Plin. Epist. Lib. ii. Ep. 3.
(2) Mr. Davies was here mistaken. Corelli never was in
England. - BURNEY.

(3) Mrs. Thrale gives, in her lively style, a sketch of this
gentleman ;X“ We have a flashy friend here (at Bath) already,
who is much your adorer. I wonder how you will like him?
An Irishman he is; very handsome, very hot-headed, loud and
lively, and sure to be a favourite with you, he tells us, for he
can live with a man of ever so odd a temper. My master laughs,
but likes him, and it diverts me to think what you will do when
he professes that he would clean shoes for you; that he would
shed his blood for you; with twenty more extravagant flights;
and you say I flatter! Upon my honour, Sir, and indeed now,
es Dr. Campbell's phrase is, I am but a twitter to him.”.
- Leiters, May 16. 1776. — C.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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 manner.” “ Then, Sir,” said Davies, who enlivened the dispute by making it somewhat dramatic, “ he may become an insurer; and when he is going 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 steward acts 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 a little 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

[ocr errors]

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 write but 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. (1) The greatest part of a writer's time is spent 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.

6. 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 than 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 Gardener the bookseller, employed Rolt and

(1) Johnson certainly did, who had a mind stored with knowledge, and teeming with imagery; but the observation is not applicable to writers in general.

« 이전계속 »