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wished that. The Senate by its usurpation controlled both the Emperor and the people. And don't you think that we see too much of that in our own Parliament ? ”
Dr. Johnson endeavoured to trace the etymology of Maccaronic verses, which he thought were of Italian invention, from Macca
but on being informed that this would infer that they were the most common and
easy verses, maccaroni being the most ordinary and simple food, he was at a loss; for he said, “He rather should have supposed it to import, in its primitive signification, a composition of
of several things ; * for Maccaronic verses are verses made out of a mixture of different languages, that is, of one language with the termination of another." I suppose we scarcely know of a language in any country where there is any learning, in which that motley ludicrous species
of composition may not be found.
It is particularly droll in Low Dutch. The “ Polemomiddinia" of Drummond
Photo copyright by William Morrison, Lichfield of Hawthornden, in which there is a jumble of many
DR. JOHNSON'S CHAIR
now in the Johnson House Museum, to which institution it was presented languages moulded, as if
by the Messrs. Hoole. it were all in Latin, is well known. Mr. Langton made us laugh heartily at one in the Grecian mould, by Joshua Barnes, in which are to be found such comical Anglo-hellenisms as KXúßBolow Bávyoev : they were banged with clubs.
* [Dr. Johnson was right in supposing that this kind of poetry derived its name from maccherone, “Ars ista poetica (says Merlin Coccaie, whose true name was Theophilo Folengo; he died in 1544) nuncupatur ARS MACARONICA, a macaronibus derivata : qui macarones sunt quoddam pulmentum, farina, caseo, butyro compaginatum, grossum, rude et rusticanum. Ideo MACARONICA nil nisi grossedinem, Tuditatem, et VOCABULAZZOS debet in se continere.” Warton's Hist. of Eng. Poet. ii. 357. M.]
Johnson's Method of Reading-His Knowledge of Cookery—The Duke of Berwick's Memoirs-Mrs.
Knowles-Quakerism-Dr. Mayo—Luxury-Miss Hannah More-Flattery-Thoughts on DeathJohn Wesley's Talk-Miss Jane Harry-Good Friday Fare-Johnson Encounters is old FellowCollegian, Mr. Oliver Edwards-Early Recollections—Thomas Tyers- Johnson's Knowledge of Law-Goldsmith and Lord Camden-George Psalmanazar-Hon. Daines Barrington-Horne
Tooke-Dr. Shebbeare. On Wednesday, April 15, I dined with Dr. Johnson at Mr. Dilly's, and was in high spirits, for I had been a good part of the morning with Mr. Orme, the able and eloquent historian of Hindostan, who expressed a great admiration of Johnson. “I do not care (said he) on what subject Johnson talks ; but I love better to hear him talk than anybody. He either gives you new thoughts, or a new colouring. It is a shame to the nation that he has not been more liberally rewarded. Had I been George the Third, and thought as he did about America, I would have given Johnson three hundred a year for his ‘Taxation no Tyranny,' alone." I repeated this, and Johnson was much pleased with such praise from such a man as Orme.
At Mr. Dilly's to-day were Mrs. Knowles, the ingenious Quaker lady,* Miss Seward, the poetess of Lichfield, the Reverend Dr. Mayo, and the Rev. Mr. Beresford, tutor to the Duke of Bedford. Before dinner, Dr. Johnson seized upon Mr. Charles Sheridan's † “Account of the late Revolution in Sweden," and seemed to read it ravenously, as if he devoured it, which was to all appearance his method of studying. “He knows how to read better than any one (said Mrs. Knowles); he gets at the substance of a book directly ; he tears out the heart of it.” He kept it wrapt up in the tablecloth in his lap during the time of dinner, from an avidity to have one entertainment in readiness, when he should have finished another ; resembling (if I may use so coarse a simile) a dog who holds a bone in his paws in reserve, while he eats something else which has been thrown to him.
The subject of cookery having been very naturally introduced at a table where Johnson, who boasted of the niceness of his palate, owned that “ he always found a good dinner,” he said, “I could write a better book of cookery than has ever yet been written ; it should be a book upon philosophical principles. Pharmacy is now made much more simple. Cookery may be made so too. A prescription which is now compounded of five ingredients, had formerly fifty in it. So in cookery, if the nature of the ingredients be well known, much fewer will do. Then, as you cannot make bad meat good, I would tell what is the best butcher's meat, the best beef, the best pieces; how to choose young fowls; the proper seasons of different vegetables; and then how to roast, and boil, and compound.” DILLY : " Mrs.
* Dr. Johnson, describing her needlework in one of his letters to Mrs. Thrale, uses the learned word sutile ; which Mrs. Thrale has mistaken, and made the phrase injurious by writing " futile pictures. † [The elder brother of R. B. Sheridan, Esq. He died in 1806. M.]
MRS. GLASSE'S “COOKERY"
Glasse's 'Cookery,' which is the best, was written by Dr. Hill. Half the trade * know this.” JOHNSON : “Well, Sir. This shows how much better the subject of cookery may be treated by a philosopher. I doubt if the book be written by Dr. Hill; for, in Mrs. Glasse's 'Cookery, which I have looked into, saltpetre and sal-prunella are spoken of as different substances, whereas sal-prunella is only saltpetre burnt on charcoal ; and Hill could not be ignorant of this. However, as the greatest part of such a book is made by transcription, this mistake may have been carelessly adopted. But you shall see what a book of cookery I shall make. I shall agree with Mr. Dilly for the copyright.” Miss SEWARD : “ That would be Hercules with the distaff indeed.” Johnson : “No, Madam.
“No, Madam. Women can spin very well ; but they cannot make a good book of cookery.”
JOHNSON : “O! Mr. Dilly—you must know that an English Benedictine Monk at Paris has translated “ The Duke of Berwick's Memoirs,'t from the original French, and has sent them to me to sell. I offered them to Strahan, who sent them back with this answer :-'That the first book he had published was the Duke of Berwick's "Life," by which he had lost : and he hated the name.'—Now I honestly tell you that Strahan has refused them; but I also honestly tell you that he did it upon no principle, for he never looked into them." DILLY : “ Are they well translated, Sir?” JOHNSON : “Why, Sir, very well-in a style very current and very clear. I have written to the Benedictine to give me an answer upon two points :What evidence is there that the letters are authentic ? (for if they are not authentic they are nothing); and how long will it be before the original French is published ? For if the French edition is not to appear for a considerable time, the translation will be almost valuable as an original book. They will make two volumes in octavo ; and I have undertaken to correct every sheet as it comes from the press.” Mr. Dilly desired to see them, and said he would send for them. He asked Dr. Johnson if he would write a Preface for them. JOHNSON : “ No, Sir. The Benedictines were
As Physicians are called the Faculty, and Counselors at Law the Profession, the Booksellers of London are denominated the Trade.
From an engraving by Mackensie Johnson disapproved of these denominations. + [The Abbé Hook. They were published
MRS. MARY KNOWLES (b. 1733, d. 1807) in 1779 by Cadell.—Mackintosh. The Memoires a Quaker lady whose maiden name was Morris. She du Marichal de Berwick (written in the third married a physician: and was remarkable for her person) had been published by the Abbé de pictures in needlework. These pictures Johnson Margon, in 1737 : those mentioned in the text
Called sutile pictures, which is misprinted in Mrs.
Thrale's letters as futile. Boswell talks of “the are written in the first person, as by Berwick
charms of the fair Quaker," but Croker says that lumseli, but were revised by the Abbé Hook,
contemporaries describe her as having a sharp and published in Paris by Berwick's grandson, masculine countenance with somewhat a Puritan the Duc de Fitzjames, 1778-80.-Croker.]
expression by no means attractive.”
very kind to me, and I'll do what I undertook to do: but I will not mingle my name with them. I am to gain nothing by them.
I am to gain nothing by them. “I'll turn them loose upon the world, and let them take their chance." DR. MAYO : “Pray, Sir, are Ganganelli's letters * authentic ? " JOHNSON : “No, Sir. Voltaire put the same question to the editor of them that I did to Macpherson- Where are the originals ?'"
Mrs. Knowles affected to complain that men had much more liberty allowed them than women. JOHNSON : "Why, Madam, women have all the liberty they should wish to have. We have all the labour and the danger, and the women all the advantage. We go to sea, we build houses, we do everything, in short, to pay our court to the women." Mrs. KNOWLES : The Doctor reasons very wittily, but not convincingly. Now, take the instance of building; the mason's wife, if she is ever seen in liquor, is ruined ; the mason may get himself drunk as often as he pleases, with little loss of character ; nay, may let his wife and children starve." JOHNSON : "Madam, you must consider, if the mason does get himself drunk, and let his wife and children starve, the parish will oblige him to find security for their maintenance. We have different modes of restraining evil. Stocks for the men, a ducking-stool for women, and a pound for beasts. If we require more perfection from women than from ourselves, it is doing them honour. And women have not the same temptations that we have; they may always live in virtuous company: men must mix in the world indiscriminately. If a woman has no inclination to do what is wrong, being secured from it is no restraint to her. I am at liberty to walk into the Thames ; but if I were to try it, my friends would restrain me in Bedlam, and I should be obliged to them.” Mrs. KNOWLES: “ Still, Doctor, I cannot help thinking it a hardship that more indulgence is allowed to men than to women. It gives a superiority to men, to which I do not see how they are entitled.” JOHNSON : “ It is plain, Madam, one or other must have the superiority. As Shakspeare says, “If two men ride on a horse, one must ride behind.'' DILLY : “I suppose, Sir, Mrs. Knowles would have them ride in panniers, one on each side." JOHNSON: “ Then, Sir, the horse would throw them both.” MRS. KNOWLES: “Well, I hope that in another world the sexes will be equal." BOSWELL : “ That is being too ambitious, Madam. We might as well desire to be equal with the angels. We shall all, I hope, be happy in a future state, but we must not expect to be all happy in the same degree. It is enough, if we be happy according to our several capacities. A worthy carman will get to heaven as well as Sir Isaac Newton. Yet, though equally good, they will not have the same degrees of happiness.” JOHNSON : “ Probably not." +
Upon this subject I had once before sounded him, by mentioning the late Reverend Mr. Brown, of Utrecht's image: that a great and small glass, though equally full, did not hold an equal quantity; which he threw out to refute David Hume's saying, that a little miss, going to dance at a ball, in a fine new dress, was as happy as a great orator, after having made an eloquent and applauded speech. After some thought, Johnson said, “I come over to the parson.” As an instance of coincidence of thinking, Mr. Dilly told me that Dr. King, a late dissenting minister in London, said to him, upon the happiness in a future state of good men, of different capacities, “ A pail does not hold so much as a tub; but, if it be equally full, it has
* [These pretended letters of Pope Clement XIV, Ganganelli, were written and published by the Marquis Caraciolli, first in French, in 1775, and afterwards Italian, in 1777.--Croker.]
+ [See on this question Bishop Hall's Epistles, Dec. ii. Epist. 6, “ Of the different degrees of heavenlı glory, and of our mutual knowledge of each other above." M.]
no reason to complain. Every saint in heaven will have as much happiness as he can hold.” Mr. Dilly thought this a clear, though a familiar, illustration of the phrase, “One star differeth from another in brightness.”
Dr. Mayo having asked Johnson's opinion of Soame Jenyns's “ View of the Internal Evidence of the Christian Religion ; ” — JOHNSON : "I think it a pretty book; not very theological, indeed; and there seems to be an affectation of ease and carelessness, as if it were not suitable to his character to be very serious about the matter.” BosWELL : “He may have intended this to introduce his book the better among genteel people, who might be unwilling to read too grave a treatise.
There is a general levity in the age. We have
From an engraving physicians, now, with bag-wigs ;
SOAME JENYNS (6. 1704, d. 1787) may we not have airy divines, at
the son of Sir Roger Jenyns, M.P. He went to St. least somewhat less solemn in their John's College, Cambridge; in 1742 was elected M.P.
for Cambridgeshire ; in 1754 was returned for Dunwich, appearance than they used to be?”
and in the following year became a commissioner of JOHNSON : “Jenyns might mean as
the Board of Trade. His “Inquiry into the Origin of
Evil,” 1757, was refuted by Johnson. Jenyns revenged you say.” BOSWELL: “ You should himself for this criticism by publishing after Johnson's like his book, Mrs. Knowles, as it
death in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1786, the following
epitaph :maintains, as you friends do, that
“Here lies poor Johnson. Reader, have a care, courage is not a Christian virtue.”'
Tread lightly, lest you rouse a sleeping bear; MRS. KNOWLES: “Yes, indeed, I
Religious, moral, generous, and humane
He was-but self-sufficient, rude, and vain ; like him there ; but I cannot agree
Ill-bred, and over bearing in dispute,
A scholar and a Christian-yet a brute. with him that friendship is not a
Would you know all his wisdom and his folly,
His actions, sayings, mirth, and melancholv, Christian virtue.” JOHNSON: Boswell and Thrale, retailers of his wit,
Will tell you how he wrote, and talk'd, and cough'd, and spit." " Why, Madam, strictly speaking, he is right. All friendship is Boswell's reply is printed on p. 186. In 1776 Jenyns
published his “ View of the Evidence of the Christian preferring the interest of a
Religion,” which by some is regarded as an attack upon, inend to the neglect, or, perhaps,
and by others as an apology for established faith. against the interest of others; so that an old Greek said, 'He that has friends has no friend. Now Christianity Técommends universal benevolence—to consider all men as our brethren ; which is contrary to the virtue of friendship, as described by the ancient philosophers. Surely, Madam, your sect must approve of this ; for, you call all men friends.” Mrs. KNOWLES: “We are commanded to do good to all men, “but especially to them who are of the household of Faith.'” JOHNSON : “Well, Madam. The household of Faith is wide enough.” Mrs. KNOWLES: “But, Doctor, our Saviour had twelve Apostles, yet there was one whom he loved. John was called the disciple whom Jesus loved.'” JOHNSON (with eyes sparkling benignantly): “Very well,