페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

stances, into any state in which it has ever been; and as I have experienced a state in which rising from bed was not disagreeable, but easy, nay, sometimes agreeable; I suppose that this state may be produced, if we knew by what. We can heat the body, we can cool it; we can give it tension or relaxation"; and surely it is possible to bring it into a state in which rising from bed will not be a pain.

Johnson observed, that “a man should take a sufficient quantity of sleep, which Dr. Mead says is between seven and nine hours. I told him, that Dr. Cullen said to me, that a man should not take more sleep than he can take at once.” JOHNSON. “ This rule, Sir, cannot hold in all cases; for many people have their sleep broken by sickness; and surely, Cullen would not have a man to get up, after having slept but an hour. Such a regimen would soon end in a long sleep." 4 Dr. Taylor remarked I think very justly, that “ a man who does not feel an inclination to sleep at the ordinary times, instead of being stronger than other people, must not be well; for a man in health has all the natural inclinations to eat, drink, and sleep, in a strong degree.”

4 This regimen was, however, practised by Bishop Ken, of whom Hawkins (not Sir John) in his life of that venerable Prelate, page 4, tells us, “ And that neither liis study might be the aggressor on his hours of instruction, or what he judged his duty, prevent his inprovements; or both, his closet addresses to his God; he strictly accustomed himself to but one sleep, which often obliged him to rise at one or two of the clock in the morning, and sometimes sooner; and grew so habitual, that it continued with him almost till his last illness. And so lively and cheerful was his temper, that he would be very facetious and entertaining to his friends in the evening, even when it was perceived that with difficulty he kept his eyes open; and then seemed to go to rest with no other purpose than the refreshing and enabling him with more vigour and cheerfulness to sing his morning hymn, as he then used to do to his lute before he put on his clothes."

66

66 But

Johnson advised me to-night not to refine in the education of my children. Life, (said he) will not bear refinement : you must do as other people do.”

As we drove back to Ashbourne, Dr. Johnson recommended to me, as he had often done, to drink water enly: “ For (said he) you are then sure not to get drunk; whereas, if you drink wine, you are never sure. ”. I said, drinking wine was a pleasure which I was unwilling to give up. “ Why, Sir, (said he) there is no doubt that not to drink wine is a great deduction from kife: but it may be necessary.” He however owned, that in his opinion a free use of wine did not shorten life; and said, he would not give less for the life of a certain Scotch Lord (whom he named) celebrated for hard drinking, than for that of a sober man. stay, (said he, with his usual intelligence, and accuracy of enquiry,) - does it take much wine to make him drunk?" I answered, “ a great deal either of wine or strong punch.”—“ Then, (said he) that is the worse.” I presume to illustrate my friend's observation thus:

; "A fortress which soon surrenders has its walls less shattered, than when a long and obstinate resistance is made.”

I ventured to mention a person who was as violent a Scotchman as he was an Englishman; and literally had the same contempt for an Englishman compared with a Scotchman, that he had for a Scotchman compared with an Englishman; and that he would say of Dr. Johnson, “ Damned rascal! to talk as he does of the Scotch." This seemed, for a moment, “ to give him pause." It, perhaps, presented his extreme prejudice against the Scotch in a point of view somewhat new to him by the effect of contrast.

By the time when we returned to Ashbourne, Dr. Taylor was gone to bed. Johnson and I sat up a long time by ourselves..

He was much diverted with an article which I shewed him in the “ Critical Review” of this year, giving an account of a curious publication, entitled, “ A spiritual Diary and Soliloquies, by John Rutty, M. D."

Dr. Rutty was one of the people called Quakers, a physician of some eminence in Dublin, and authour of several works. This Diary, which was kept from 1753 to 1775, the year in which he died, and was now published in two volumes octavo, exhibited in the simplicity of his heart, a minute and honest register of the state of his mind; which, though frequently laughable enough, was not more so than the history of many men would be, if recorded with equal fairness.

The following specimens were extracted by the Reviewers :

“ Tenth month, 1753.
“ 23. Indulgence in bed an hour too long.

“ Twelfth month, 17. An hypochondriack obnubilation from wind and indigestion.

6 Ninth month, 28. An over-dose of whiskey: “ 29. A dull, cross, cholerick day.

“ First month, 1757-22. A little swinish at dinner and repast.

Dogged on provocation. “ Second month, 5. Very dogged or snappish. 6 14. Snappish on fasting.

6 26. Cursed snappishness to those under me, on a bodily indisposition.

“ Third month, 11. On a provocation, exercised a dumb resentment for two days, instead of scolding:

66 22. Scolded too vehemently.

“ 23. Dogged again.

“ Fourth month, 29. Mechanically and sinfully dogged.”

Johnson laughed heartily at this good Quietist's selfcondemning minutes; particularly at his mentioning, with such a serious regret, occasional instances of swinishness in eating, and doggedness of temper." He thought the observations of the Critical Reviewers upon the importance of a man to himself so ingenious and so well expressed, that I shall here introduce them.

After observing, that “ there are few writers who have gained any reputation by recording their own actions," they say,

“ We may reduce the egotists to four classes. In the first we have Julius Cæsar: he relates his own transactions, but he relates them with peculiar grace and dignity, and his narrative is supported by the greatness of his character and achievements. In the second class we have Marcus Antoninus: this writer has given us a series of reflections on his own life; but his sentiments are so noble, his morality so sublime, that his meditations are universally admired. In the third class we have some others of tolerable credit, who have given importance to their own private history by an intermixture of literary anecdotes, and the occur. rences of their own times: the celebrated Huetius has published an entertaining volume upon this plan, ' De rebus ad eum pertinentibus.' In the fourth class we have the journalists, temporal and spiritual: Elias Ashmole, William Lilly, George Whitefield, John Wesley, and a thousand other old women and fanatick writers of memoirs and meditations."

I mentioned to him that Dr. Hugh Blair, in his lectures on Rhetorick and Belles Lettres, which I heard him deliver at Edinburgh, had animadverted on the John. sonian style as too pompous; and attempted to imitate it, by giving a sentence of Addison in “ The Spectator," No. 411, in the manner of Johnson. When treating of the utility of the pleasures of imagination in preserving us from vice, it is observed of those who know not how to be idle and innocent," that “ their very first step out of business is into vice or folly;" which Dr. Blair supposed would have been expressed in 6 The Rambler," thus: “ their very first step out of the regions of business is into the perturbation of vice, or the vacuity of folly.”5 JOHNSON. “ Sir, these are not the words I should have used. No, Sir; the imitators of my style have not hit it. Miss Aikin has done it the best; for she has imitated the sentiment as well as the diction.”

I intend, before this work is concluded, to exhibit specimens of imitation of my friend's style in various modes; some caricaturing or mimicking it, and some formed upon it, whether intentionally, or with a degree of similarity to it, of which, perhaps, the writers were not conscious.

In Baretti's Review, which he published in Italy, under the title of “ FRUSTA LETTERARIA,” it is ob served, that Dr. Robertson the historian had formed his style upon that of " Il celebre Samuele Johnson. My friend himself was of that opinion; for he once said to me, in a pleasant humour,“ Sir, if Robertson's style be faulty, he owes it to me; that is, having too many words, and those too big ones.”

ܕܪ

5 When Dr. Blair published his “ Lectures,” he was invidiously attacked for having omitted his censure on Johnson's style, and, on the contrary, praising it highly. But before that time Johnson's 66 Lives of the Poets had appeared, in which his style was considerably easier, than when he wrote “ The Rambler."

It would, therefore, have been uncandid in Blair, even supposing his criticism to have been just, to have preserved it.

« 이전계속 »