« 이전계속 »
Goldsmith in a passion threw down his hat, looking angrily at Johnson, and exclaiming in a bitter tone, 6 Take it.” When Toplady was going to speak, Johnson uttered some sound, which led Goldsmith to think that he was beginning again, and taking the words from Toplady. Upon which, he seized this opportunity of venting his own envy and spleen, under the pretext of supporting another person : “ Sir,” said he to Johnson, “the gentleman has heard you patiently for an hour : pray allow us now to hear him.” Johnson (sternly). “ Sir, I was not interrupting the gentleman. I was only giving him a signal of my attention. Sir, you are impertinent." Goldsmith made no reply, but continued in the company for some time.
A gentleman present (1) ventured to ask Dr. Johnson if there was not a material difference as to toleration of opinions which lead to action, and opinions merely speculative; for instance, would it be wrong in the magistrate to tolerate those who preach against the doctrine of the Trinity ? Johnson was highly offended, and said, “I wonder, Sir, how a gentleman of your piety can introduce this subject in a mixed company.” He told me afterwards, that the impropriety was, that perhaps some of the company might have talked on the subject in such terms as might have shocked him ; or he might have been forced to appear in their eyes a narrow-minded man. The gentleman, with submissive deference, said, he had only hinted at the question from a desire to hear
(1) No doubt Mr. Langton. See post, Aug. 22. 1773.-C, Dr. Johnson's opinion upon it. Johnson. “ Why then, Sir, I think that permitting men to preach any opinion contrary to the doctrine of the established church tends, in a certain degree, to lessen the authority of the church, and, consequently, to lessen the influence of religion.” “It may be considered," said the gentleman, “whether it would not be politic to tolerate in such a case.” Johnson. “ Sir, we have been talking of right : this is another question. I think it is not politic to tolerate in such a case."
Though he did not think it fit that so awful a subject should be introduced in a mixed company, and therefore at this time waved the theological question ; yet his own orthodox belief in the sacred mystery of the Trinity is evinced beyond doubt, by the following passage in his private devotions:
“O Lord, hear my prayer, for Jesus Christ's sake; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, three persons and one God, be all honour and glory, world without end, Amen.” [Pr. and Med., p. 40.]
Boswell. “ Pray, Mr. Dilly, how does Dr. Leland's (1) History of Ireland' sell ? ” JOHNSON (bursting forth with a generous indignation). “ The Irish are in a most unnatural state; for we see there the minority prevailing over the majority. There is no instance, even in the ten persecutions, of such severity as that which the protestants of Ireland have exercised against the Catholics. Did we tell
(1) Dr. Thomas Leland, Senior Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin; born 1722; died 1785. His History of Ireland, in three vols. 4to., was published in 1773.]
Ærat. 64. GOVERNMENT OF IRELAND.'
them we have conquered them, it would be above board : to punish them by confiscation and other penalties, as rebels, was monstrous injustice. King William was not their lawful sovereign : he had not been acknowledged by the parliament of Ireland, when they appeared in arms against him."
I here suggested something favourable of the Roman Catholics. TOPLADY. “ Does not their invocation of saints suppose omnipresence in the saints ?” Johnson. “No, Sir; it supposes only pluri-presence (1); and when spirits are divested of matter, it seems probable that they should see with more extent than when in an embodied state. There is, therefore, no approach to an invasion of any of the divine attributes, in the invocation of saints. But I think it is will-worship, and presumption. I see no command for it, and therefore think it is safer not to practise it.”
He and Mr. Langton and I went together to THE CLUB, where we found Mr. Burke, Mr. Garrick, and some other members, and amongst them our friend Goldsmith, who sat silently brooding over Johnson's reprimand to him after dinner. Johnson perceived this, and said aside to some of us,—“I'll make Goldsmith forgive me;" and then called to him in a loud voice, “Dr. Goldsmith, --something passed to-day where you and I dined: I ask your pardon.” Goldsmith answered placidly, “ It must be much
(1) Surely it implies omnipresence in the same way that prayers to the Deity imply omnipresence. And, after all, what is the difference, to our bounded reason, between pluri-presence and omni-presence? - C.
from you, Sir, that I take ill.” And so at once the difference was over, and they were on as easy terms as ever, and Goldsmith rattled away as usual.
In our way to the club to-night, when I regretted that Goldsmith would, upon every occasion, endeavour to shine, by which he often exposed himself, Mr. Langton observed, that he was not like Addison, who was content with the fame of his writings, and did not aim also at excellency in conversation, for which he found himself unfit: and that he said to a lady who complained of his having talked little in company, “ Madam, I have but ninepence in ready money, but I can draw for a thousand pounds." I observed that Goldsmith had a great deal of gold in his cabinet, but, not content with that, was always taking out his purse. JOHNSON. “ Yes, Sir, and that so often an empty purse !"
Goldsmith's incessant desire of being conspicuous in company was the occasion of his sometimes appearing to such disadvantage as one should hardly have supposed possible in a man of his genius. When his literary reputation had risen deservedly high, and his society was much courted, he became very jealous of the extraordinary attention which was every where paid to Johnson. One evening, in a circle of wits, he found fault with me for talking of Johnson as entitled to the honour of unquestionable superiority. “ Sir," said he, “ you are for making a monarchy of what should be a republic.” (1)
(1) In some late publication it is stated that Buonaparte, repressing the flattery of one of his literary courtiers, said, “ Pour
He was still more mortified, when, talking in a company with fluent vivacity, and, as he flattered himself, to the admiration of all who were present, a German who sat next him, and perceived Johnson rolling himself as if about to speak, suddenly stopped him, saying, “ Stay, stay — Toctor Shonson is going to say something." This was, no doubt, very provoking, especially to one so irritable as Goldsmith, who frequently mentioned it with strong expressions of indignation.
It may also be observed, that Goldsmith was sometimes content to be treated with an easy familiarity, but upon occasions would be consequential and important. An instance of this occurred in a small particular. Johnson had a way of contracting the names of his friends: as, Beauclerk, Beau ; Boswell, Bozzy; Langton, Lanky; Murphy, Mur; Sheridan, Sherry. I remember one day, when Tom Davies was telling that Dr. Johnson said, “ We are all in labour for a name to Goldy's play,” Goldsmith seemed displeased that such a liberty should be taken with his name, and said, “I have often desired him not to call me Goldy.” Tom was remarkably attentive to the most minute circumstance about Johnson. I recollect his telling me once, on my arrival in London, “ Sir, our great friend has made an improvement on his appellation of old Mr. Sheridan: he calls him now Sherry derry.
Dieu, laissez-nous au moins la république des lettres.” It has been also, with more probability, stated, that instead of being said by, it was said of, him. Perhaps, after all, the French story is but a version of this bon mot of Goldsmith's. - C.