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honest man and a sensible man, who told him he had seen a ghost, old Mr. Edward Cave, the printer at St. John's Gate. He said Mr. Cave did not like to talk of it, but seemed to be in great horrour whenever it was mentioned. BoswELL. Pray, Sir, what did he say was the appearance?" JOHNSON. “Why, Sir, something of a shadowy being."
I mentioned witches, and asked him what they properly meant. JOHNSON. “Why, Sir, they properly mean those who make use of the aid of evil spirits." Boswell. “ There is no doubt, Sir, a general report and belief of their having existed." JOHNSON. “Sir, you have not only the general report and belief, but you have many voluntary solemn confessions." He did not affirm any thing positively upon a subject which it is the fashion of the times to laugh at as a matter of absurd credulity. He only seemed willing, as a candid enquirer after truth, however strange and inexplicable, to shew that he understood what might be urged for it."
On Friday, April 10, I dined with him at General Oglethorpe's, where we found Dr. Goldsmith.
Armorial bearings having been mentioned, Johnson said, they were as ancient as the siege of Thebes, which he proved by a passage in one of the tragedies of Euripides.
I started the question whether duelling was consistent with moral duty. The brave old General fired at this, and said, with a lofty air, “ Undoubtedly a man has a right to defend his honour.” GOLDSmith, (turning to me.)“ I ask you first, Sir, what you would do if you were affronted ?” I answered I should think it necessary to fight. “Why then (replied Goldsmith,) that solves the question." JOHNSON. “No, Sir, it does not solve the question. It does not follow that what a man would do is therefore right." I said, I wished to have it settled, whether duelling was contrary to the laws of Christianity. Johnson immediately entered on the subject, and treated it in a masterly manner; and so far as I have been able to recollect, his thoughts were these: “Sir, as men become in a high degree refined, various causes of offence arise; which are considered to be of such importance, that life must be staked to atone for them, though in reality they are not so. A body that has received a very fine polish may be easily hurt. Before men arrive at this artificial refinement, if one tells his neighbour he lies, his neighbour tells him he lies ; if one gives his neighbour a blow, his neighbour gives him a blow; but in a state of highly polished
• See this curious question treated by him with most acute ability, “ Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides," 3d edit. p. 33.
society, an affront is held to be a serious injury. It must, therefore, be resented, or rather a duel must be fought upon it; as men have agreed to banish from their society one who puts up with an affront without fighting a duel. Now, Sir, it is never unlawful to fight in self-defence. He, then, who fights a duel, does not fight from passion against his antagonist, but out of self-defence; to avert the stigma of the world, and to prevent himself from being driven out of society. I could wish that there was not that superfuity of refinement; but while such notions prevail, no doubt a man may lawfully fight a duel."
Let it be remembered, that this justification is applicable only to the person who receives an affront. All mankind must condemn the aggressor.
The General told us, that when he was a very young man, I think only fifteen, serving under Prince Eugene of Savoy, he was sitting in a company at table with a Prince at Wirtemberg. The Prince took up a glass of wine, and, by a fillip, made some of it fly in Oglethorpe's face. Here was a nice dilemma. To have challenged him instantly, might have fixed a quarrelsome character upon the young soldier : to have taken no notice of it might have been considered as cowardice. Oglethorpe, therefore, keeping his eye upon the Prince, and smiling all the time, as if he took what his Highness had done in jest, said, “ Mon Prince," (I forget the French words he used, the purport, however, was,) “That's a good joke; but we do it much better in England;" and threw a whole glass of wine in the Prince's face. An old General who sat by, said, “ I'l a bien fait, mon Prince, vous l'avez commencé ; " and thus all ended in good humour.
Dr. Johnson said, “ Pray, General, give us an account of the siege of Bender." Upon which the General, pouring a little wine upon the table, described everything with a wet finger: “Here were we, here were the Turks,” &c. &c. Johnson listened with the closest attention.
A question was started, how far people who disagree in any capital point can live in friendship together. Johnson said they might. Goldsmith said they could not, as they had not the idem velle atque idem nolle—the same likings and the same aversions. JOHNSON." Why, Sir, you must shun the subject as to which you disagree. For instance, I can live very well with Burke ; I love his knowledge, his genius, his diffusion, and affluence of conversation; but I would not talk to him of the Rockingham party." GOLDSMITH.
Cor. et Ad.-Line 30 : for “Bender" read “Belgrade."
“But, Sir, when people live together who have something as to which they disagree, and which they want to shun, they will be in the situation mentioned in the story of Bluebeard; •You may look into all the chambers but one.' But we should have the greatest inclination to look into that chamber, to talk of that subject.” JOHNSON, (with a loud voice.)“ Sir, I am not saying that you could live in friendship with a man from whom you differ as to some point: I am only saying that I could do it. You put me in mind of Sappho in Ovid.”
Goldsmith told us, that he was now busy in writing a natural history, and, that he might have full leisure for it, he had taken lodgings at a farmer's house, near to the six mile-stone, on the Edgeware-road,' and had carried down his books in two returned post-chaises. He said, he believed the farmer's family thought him an odd character, similar to that in which the Spectator appeared to his landlady and children: he was The Gentleman. Mr. Mickle, the translator of “ The Lusiad,” and I, went to visit him at this place a few days afterwards. He was not at home; but having a curiosity to see his apartment, we went in and found curious scraps of descriptions of animals, scrawled upon the walls with a black lead pencil.
The subject of ghosts having been introduced, Johnson repeated what he had told me of a friend of his, an honest man and a man of sense, having asserted to him that he had seen an apparition. Goldsmith told us, he was assured by his brother, the Reverend Mr. Goldsmith, that he also had seen one. General Oglethorpe told us, that Pendergrast, an officer in the Duke of Marlborough's army, had mentioned to many of his friends that he should die on a particular day. That upon that day a battle took place with the French; that after it was over, and Pendergrast was still alive, his brother officers, while they were yet in the field, jestingly asked him where was his prophecy now. Pendergrast gravely answered, “I shall die, notwithstanding what you see.” Soon afterwards there came a shot from a French battery, to which the orders for a cessation of arms had not yet reached, and he was killed upon the spot. Colonel Cecil, who took possession of his effects, found in his pocket-book the following solemn entry:
[Here the date.] “Dreamt-or- - Sir John Friend meets • Here was a blank, which may be filled up thus :-" zaus told by an apparition;" --the writer being probably uncertain whether he was asleep or awake when his mind was impressed with the solemn presentiment with which the fact afterwards happened so wonderfully to correspond.
1 « The farmhouse still stands on gentle eminence in what is called Hyde.
me:” (here the very day on which he was killed was mentioned.) Pendergrast had been a witness against Sir John Friend, who was executed for high treason. General Oglethorpe said, he was in company with Colonel Cecil when Pope came and enquired into the truth of this story, which made a great noise at the time, and was then confirmed by the Colonel.
On Saturday, April 11, he appointed me to come to him in the evening, when he said he should be at leisure to give me some assistance for the defence of Hastie, the schoolmaster of Campbelltown, for whom I was to appear in the House of Lords. When I came, I found him unwilling to exert himself. I pressed him to write down his thoughts upon the subject. He said, “ There's no occasion for my writing. I'll talk to you." He was, however, at last prevailed on to dictate to me, while I wrote as follows :
“ The charge is, that he has used immoderate and cruel correction. Correction, in itself, is not cruel ; children, being not reasonable, can be governed only by fear. To impress this fear, is therefore one of the first duties of those who have the care of children. It is the duty of a parent; and has never been thought inconsistent with parental tenderness. It is the duty of a master, who is in his highest exaltation when he is loco parentis. Yet, as good things become evil by excess, correction, by being immoderate, may become cruel. But when is correction immoderate ? When it is more frequent or more severe than is required ad monendum et docendum, for reformation and instruction. No severity is cruel which obstinacy makes necessary; for the greatest cruelty would be to desist, and leave the scholar too careless for instruction, and too much hardened for reproof. Locke, in his treatise of Education, mentions a mother, with applause, who whipped an infant eight times before she had subdued it; for had she stopped at the seventh act of correction, her daughter, says he, would have been ruined. The degrees of obstinacy in young minds are very different; as different must be the degrees of persevering severity. A stubborn scholar must be corrected till he is subdued. The discipline of a school is military. There must be either unbounded licence or absolute authority. The master who punishes, not only consults the future happiness of him who is the immediate subject of correction; but he propagates obedience through the whole school,
lane, leading to Kenton, about three hundred yards from the village of Hyde, and looking over a pretty country in the direction of Hendon.”-(Forster's Gold. smith, ü. 281.) Traditions oi the poet
were preserved among the neighbours up to few years back, among which was one that Sir Joshua Reynolds and Chambers had often made expeditions to the place.
and establishes regularity by exemplary justice. The victorious obstinacy of a single boy would make his future endeavours of reformation or instruction totally ineffectual. Obstinacy, therefore, must never be victorious. Yet, it is well known, that there some. times occurs a sullen and hardy resolution, that laughs at all common punishment, and bids defiance to all common degrees of pain. Correction must be proportioned to occasions. The flexible will be reformed by gentle discipline, and the refractory must be subdued by harsher methods. The degrees of scholastick, as of military punishment, no stated rules can ascertain. It must be enforced tili it overpowers temptation ; till stubbornness becomes flexible, and perverseness regular, Custom and reason have, indeed, set some bounds to scholastick penalties. The schoolmaster inflicts no capital punishments; nor enforces his edicts by either death or mutilation. The civil law has wisely determined, that a master who strikes at a scholar's eye shall be considered as criminal. But punishments, however severe, that produce no lasting evil, may be just and reasonable, because they may be necessary. Such have been the punishments used by the respondent. No scholar has gone from him either blind or lame, or with any of his limbs or powers injured or impaired. They were irregular, and he punished them : they were obstinate, and he enforced his punishment. But, however provoked, he never exceeded the limits of moderation, for he inflicted nothing beyond present pain ; and how much of that was required, no man is so little able to determine as those who have determined against him ;—the parents of the offenders. It has been said, that he used unprecedented and improper instruments of correction. Of this accusation the meaning is not very easy to be found. No instrument of correction is more proper than another, but as it is better adapted to produce present pain without lasting mischief. Whatever were his instruments, no lasting mischief has ensued; and therefore, however unusual, in hands so cautious they were proper.-It has been objected, that the respondent admits the charge of cruelty, by producing no evidence to confute it. Let it be considered, that his scholars are either dispersed at large in the world, or continue to inhabit the place in which they were bred. Those who dispersed cannot be found : those who remain are the sons of his persecutors, and are not likely to support a man to whom their fathers are enemies. If it be supposed that the enmity of their fathers proves the justice of the charge, it must be considered how often experience shews us, that men who are angry on one ground will accuse on another; with how little kindness, in a town of low