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L I F E
SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
AN ACCOUNT OF HIS STUDIES,
AND NUMEROUS WORKS,
IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER;
AND CONVERSATIONS WITH MANY EMINENT PERSONS ;
Various Original Pieces of his Composition,
NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED:
THE WHOLE EXHIBITING A VIEW OF LITERATURE AND LITERARY
DURING WHICH HE FLOURISHED.
BY JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
Quo fit ut omnis
A NEW EDITION.
COPIOUS NOTES AND BIOGRAPHICAL ILLUSTRATIONS,
IN FIVE VOLUMES.
PRINTED FOR J. RICHARDSON AND CO.; G. OFFOR; J. SHARPE AND
SON; ROBINSONS AND CO.; G. WALKER; J. EVANS AND SONS ;
SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL. D.
FRIDAY, September 19, after breakfast, Dr.Johnson and I set out in Dr. Taylor's chaise to go to Derby. The day was fine, and we resolved to go by Keddlestone, the seat of Lord Scarsdale, that I might see his Lordship's fine house.
I was struck with the magnificence of the building; and the extensive park, with the finest verdure, covered with deer, and cattle
, and sheep, delighted me. The number of old oaks, of an immense size, filled me with a sort of respectful admiration : for one of them sixty pounds was offered. The excellent smooth gravel roads; the large piece of water formed by his Lordship from some small brooks, with a handsome barge upon it; the venerable Gothick church, now the family chapel, just by the house; in short, the grand group of objects agitated and distended my mind in a most agreeable manner. “One should think (said I) that the proprietor of all this must be happy."-"Nay,
sir (said Johnson), all this excludes but one evilpoverty."
Our names were sent up, and a well-drest elderly housekeeper, a most distinct articulator, shewed us the house; which I need not describe, as there is an account of it published in “ Adams's Works in Architecture." Dr. Johnson thought better of it to-day, than when he saw it before ; for he had lately attacked it violently, saying, “ It would do excellently for a town-hall. The large room with the pillars (said he) would do for the Judges to sit in at the assizes; the circular room for a jury-chamber; and the room above for prisoners.” Still he thought the large room ill lighted, and of no use but for dancing in ; and the bed-chambers but indifferent rooms; and that the immense sum which it cost was injudiciously laid out. Dr. Taylor had put him in mind of his appearing pleased with the house. “ But (said he) that was when Lord Scarsdale was present. Politeness obliges us to appear pleased with a man's works when he is present. No man will be so ill bred as to question you. You may therefore pay compliments without saying what is not true. I should say to Lord Scarsdale of his large room, ‘My Lord, this is the most costly room that I ever saw;' which is true.”
Dr. Manningham, physician in London, who was visiting at Lord Scarsdale's, accompanied us through many of the rooms, and soon afterwards my Lord
i When I mentioned Dr. Johnson's remark to a lady of admirable good sense and quickness of understanding, she observed, “ It is true, all this excludes only one evil; but how much good does it let in ?" -To this observation much praise has been justly given. Let me then now do myself the honour to mention that the lady who made it was the late Margaret Montgomerie, my very valuable wife, and the very affectionate mother of my children, who, if they inherit her good qualities, will have no reason to complain of their lot. Dos magna parentum virtus.