« 이전계속 »
"Sir, a man has no more right to say an uncivil thing, than to act one; no more right to say a rude thing to another than to knock him down."
“ My dear friend Dr. Bathurst,' said he, with a warmth of approba. tion, declared, he was glad that his father, who was a West Indian planter, had left his affairs in total ruin, because having no estate he was not under the temptation of having slaves.'
“Richardson had little conversation, except about his own works, of which Sir Joshua Reynolds said he was always willing to talk, and glad to have them introduced. Johnson, when he carried Mr. Langton to see him, professed that he could bring him out into conversation, and used this illusive expression, "Sir, I can make him rear.' But he failed ; for in that interview Richardson said little else than that there lay in the room a translation of his . Clarissa' into German.'
“Once when somebody produced a newspaper, in which there was a letter of stupid abuse of Sir Joshua Reynolds, of which Johnson himself came in for a share, Pray,' said he, let us have it read aloud from beginning to end ;' which being done, he with a ludicrous earnestness, and not directing his look to any particular person, called out, ' Are we alive after all this satire ?'”
“ He had a strong prejudice against the political character of Secker, one instance of which appeared at Oxford, where he expressed great dissatisfaction at his varying the old established toast, *Church and King. The Archbishop of Canterbury,' said he (with an affected smooth smiling grimace), drinks Constitution in Church and State.' Being asked what difference there was between the two toasts, he said, " Why, Sir, you may be sure he meant something.' Yet when the life of that prelate, prefixed to his sermons by Dr. Porteus and Dr. Stinton, his chaplains, first came out, he read it with the
1 A literary lady has favoured me with a characteristic anecdote of Richardson. One day at his country house at Northend, where a large company was assembled at dinner, a gentleman who was just returned from Paris, willing to please Mr. Richardson, mentioned to him a very flattering circumstance,--that he had seen his Clarissa lying on the king's brother's table. Richardson observing that part of the company were engaged in talking to each other, affected then not to attend to it. But by and by, when there was a general silence, and he thought that the flattery might be fully heard, he addressed himself to the gentleman, “I think, Sir, you were saying something about" pausing in a high futter of expectation. The gentleman, provoked at his inordinate vanity, resolved not 'to indulge it, and with an exquisitely sly air of indifference answered, “A mere trifle, Sir, not worth repeating." The mortification of Richardson was visible, and he did not speak ten words more the whole day. Dr. Johnson was present, and appeared to enjoy it much.- BosWELL.
2 Secker, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was originaliy educated with the view of becoming a dissenting minister,--his family and connexions being Dissenters; but from conscientious scruples he eventually conformed to the Church of England, took orders, and obtained rapid preferment. He was successively elevated to the Sees of Bristol in 1785, Oxford in 1737, and Canterbury in 1758, in which last situation he conducted himself with great dignity and munificence. He was born at Sibthorpe, in Nottingham. shire, in 1693, and died in 1768. His Sermons, Charges, and other works have been published in 12 vols.-Ed.
utmost avidity, and said, 'It is a life well written, and that well deserves to be recorded.'”
“Of a certain noble lord, he said, ' Respect him you could not ; for he had no mind of his own. Love him you could not; for that which you could do with him, every one else could.'
“Of Dr. Goldsmith, he said, “No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had.'
“He told, in his lively manner, the following literary anecdote :Green and Guthrie, an Irishman and a Scotchman, undertook a translation of Duhalde's History of China. Green said of Guthrie, that he knew no English, and Guthrie of Green, that he knew no French ; and these two undertook to translate Duhalde's History of China. In this translation there was found “ the twenty-sixth day of the new moon.” Now, as the whole age of the moon is but twenty-eight days, the moon, instead of being new, was nearly as old as it could be. The blunder arose from their mistaking the word neuvième (ninth) for nouvelle or neuve (new).'"
“ Talking of Dr. Blagden's copiousness and precision of communication, Dr. Johnson said, 'Blagden, Sir, is a delightful fellow.'”
“ On occasion of Dr. Johnson's publishing his pamphlet of 'The False Alarm,' there came out a very angry answer (by many supposed to be by Mr. Wilkes). Dr. Johnson determined on not answering it ; but, in conversation with Mr. Langton, mentioned a particular or two, which, if he had replied to it, he might perhaps have inserted. In the answerer's pamphlet, it had been said with solemnity, • Do you consider, Sir, that a House of Commons is to the people as a creature is to its Creator ?' • To this question,' said Dr. Johnson, I could have replied that, in the first place, the idea of a Creator must be such as that he has a power to unmake or annihilate his creature.
“Then it cannot be conceived that a creature can make laws for its Creator.'"1
". Depend upon it,' said he,' that if a man talks of his misfortunes, there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him; for where there is nothing but pure misery, there never is any recourse to the mention of it.'
“A man must be a poor beast, that should read no more in quantity than he could utter aloud.
"Imlac in ‘Rasselas,' I spelt with a c at the end, because it is less like English, which should always have the Saxon k added to the c."
"Many a man is mad in certain instances, and goes through life
1 His profound adoration of the GREAT First CAUSE was such as to set him above that " Philosophy and vain deceit," with which men of narrow conceptions have been infected. I have heard him strongly maintain that “what is right is not so from any natural fitness, but because God wills it to be right;" and it is certainly so, because he has predisposed the relations of things so as that which he wills must be right.--BOSWELI..
without having it perceived ; for example, a madness has seized a person of supposing himself obliged literally to pray continually ; had the madness turned the opposite way, and the person thought it a crime ever to pray, it might not improbably have continued unobserved.”
“He apprehended that the delineation of characters in the end of the first book of The Retreat of the Ten Thousand,' was the first instance of the kind that was known.”
“ • Supposing,' said he,' a wife to be of a studious or argumentative turn, it would be very troublesome ; for instance, if a woman should continually dwell upon the subject of the Arian heresy.'
“No man speaks concerning another, even suppose it be in his praise, if he thinks he does not hear him, exactly as he would if he thought he was within hearing.
“The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.' This he said to me with great earnestness of manner, very near the time of his decease, on occasion of having desired me to read a letter addressed to him from some person in the north of England, which, when I had done, and he asked me what the contents were, as I thought being particular upon it might fatigue him, it being of great length, I only told him in general that it was highly in his praise; and then he expressed himself as above.”
“He mentioned with an air of satisfaction what Baretti had told him, that, meeting in the course of his studying English, with an ex cellent paper in The Spectator,' one of four that were written by the respectable dissenting minister, Mr. Grove, of Taunton, and observing the genius and energy of mind that it exhibits, it greatly quickened his curiosity to visit our country ; as he thought, if such were the lighter periodical essays of our authors, their productions on more weighty occasions must be wonderful indeed.”
“He observed once, at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, that a beggar in the street will more readily ask alms from a man, though there should be no marks of wealth in his afregrance, than from even a well-dressed woman ;1 which he accounted for from the great degree of carefulness as to money that is to be found in women ; saying farther upon it, that the opportunities in general that they possess of improving their condition are much fewer than men have; and adding, as he looked round the company, which consisted of men only, “There is not one of us who does not think he might be richer, if he would use his endeavour.'
“He thus characterised an ingenious writer of his acquaintance: “Sir, he is an enthusiast by rule.'
“He may hold up that SHIELD against all his enemies,' was an observation on Homer, in reference to his description of the shield of Achilles, made by Mrs. Fitzherbert, wife to his friend Mr. Fitzherbert,
1 Sterne is of a direct contrary opinion. See his “ Sentimental Journey," Article, The Mystery. Boswell.
of Derbyshire, and respected by Dr. Johnson as a very fine one. He had in general a very high opinion of that lady's understanding.”
“An observation of Bathurst's may be mentioned, which Johnson repeated, appearing to acknowledge it to be well founded, namely, it was somewhat remarkable how seldom, on occasion of coming into the company
of any new person, one felt any wish or inclinatian to see him again.”
This year the Rev. Dr. Francklin, having published a translation of “ Lucian,” inscribed to him the Demonax thus :
“To Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON, the Demonax of the present age, this piece is inscribed by a sincere admirer of his respectable talents.
" THE TRANSLATOR." Though upon a particular comparison of Demonax and Johnson, there does not seem to be a great deal of similarity between them, this dedication is a just compliment from the general character given by Lucian of the ancient Sage-« άριστον ων οίδα εγώ φιλοσόφων γενόμενον, (the best philosopher whom I have ever seen or known).,
JOHNSON S “LIVES OF THE Poets" COMPLETED-John Nichols—THE VARIOUS READINGS IN “The Lives" COWLEY-WALLER-MILTON—DR. TOWERS' RE. MARKS ON THE WRITINGS OF JOHNSON-Dryden-PopE-BISHOP. WARBURTONDR. BROOME — LORD SOMERVILLE — ADDISON-PARNELL-BLACKMORE—AMBROSE PHILIPS — CONGREVE-TICKELL-AKENSIDE--LYTTELTON—Miss BOOTH BY-HERBERT CROFT-Young's "NIGH'T THOUGHTS"-SWIFT-REV JOSEPH SPENCE-ATTACKS ON “TAE LIVES OF THE POETS."
IN 1781, Johnson at last completed his Lives of the Poets," of
-“ Some time in March I finished •The Lives of the Poets,' which I wrote in my usual way, dilatorily and hastily, unwilling to work, and working with "vigour and haste.” In a memorandum previous to this, he says of them :-“ Written, I hope, in such a manner as may tend to the promotion of piety."
This is the work which, of all Dr. Johnson's writings, will perhaps be read most generally, and with most pleasure. Philology and biography were his favourite pursuits, and those who lived most in intimacy with him, heard him upon all occasions, when there was a proper opportunity, take delight in expatiating upon the various merits of the English Poets ; upon the niceties of their characters, and the events of their
progress through the world which they contribute to illuininate.