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is a worse man, in proportion as he is unfit for the 1776. married state.”
Ætat. 67. I have always loved the simplicity of manners, and the spiritual-mindedness of the Quakers ; and talking with Mr. Lloyd, I observed, that the essential part of religion was piety, a devout intercourse with the Divinity; and that many a man was a Quaker without knowing it.
As Dr. Johnson had said to me in the rnorning, while we walked together, that he liked individuals among the Quakers, but not the sect; when we were at Mr. Lloyd's, I kept clear of introducing any questions concerning the peculiarities of their faith. But I having asked to look at Baskerville's edition of “ Barclay's Apology,” Johnson laid hold of it; and the chapter on baptism happening to open, Johnson remarked, “ He says there is neither precept nor practice for baptism, in the scriptures ; that is false." Here he was the aggressor, by no means in a gentle manner; and the good Quakers had the advantage of him; for he had read negligently, and had not observed that Barclay speaks of infant baptism ; which they calmly made him perceive. Mr. Lloyd, however, was in a great mistake ; for when insisting that the rite of baptism by water was to cease,
when the spiritual administration of Christ began, he maintained, that John the Baptist said, “ My baptism shall decrease, but his shall increase. Whereas the words are,
" He must increase, but I must decrease.
One of them having cbjected to the "observance of days, and months, and years,” Johnson answered,
John iii, 30.
1776. “The Church does not superstitiously observe days,
merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Ætat. 67.'
Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another ; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birth of our Saviour, because there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected."
He said to me at another time,“ Sir, the holidays observed by our church are of great use in religion." There can be no doubt of this, in a linited sense, I mean if the number of such consecrated portions of time be not too extensive. The excellent Mr. Nel. son's “ Festivals and Fasts," which has, I under. stand, the greatest sale of any book ever printed in England, except the Bible, is a most valuable help to devotion; and in addition to it I would recommend two sermons on the same subject, by Mr. Pott, Archdeacon of St. Alban's, equally distinguished for piety and elegance. I am sorry to have it to say, that Scotland is the only Christian country, Catholic or Protestant, where the great events of our religion are not solemnly commemorated by its ecclesiastical establishment, on days set apart for the purpose.
Mr. Hector was so good as to accompany me to see the great works of Mr. Bolton, at a place which he has called Soho, about two miles from Birminghain, which the very ingenious proprietor shewed me himself to the best advantage. I wished Johnson had been with us : for it was a scene which I should have been glad to contemplate by his light. The vastness and the contrivance of some of the machinery would have “ matched his mighty mind." I shall never forget Mr. Bolton's expression to me
* I sell here, Sir, what all the world desires to have. 1776. Power.” He had about seven hundred people at Ætat. 7. work. I contemplated him as an iron chieftain, and he seemed to be a father to his tribe. One of them came to him, complaining grievously of his landlord for having distrained his goods.” “ Your landlord is in the right, Smith, (said Bolton). But I'll tell you what : find you a friend who will lay down one half of
your rent, and I'll lay down the other half; and you shall have your goods again."
From Mr. Hector I now learnt many particulars of Dr. Johnson's early life, which, with others that he
gave me at different times since, have contributed to the formation of this work.
Dr. Johnson said to me in the morning, “ You will see, Sir, at Mr. Hector's, his sister, Mrs. Careless, a clergyman's widow. She was the first woman with whom I was in love. It dropt out of my head imperceptibly; but she and I shall always have a kindness for each other.” He laughed at the notion that a man can never be really in love but once, ar.d considered it as a mere romantick fancy.
On our return from Mr. Bolton's, Mr. Hector took me to his house, where we found Johnson sitting placidly at tea, with his first love ; who though now advanced in years, was a genteel woman, very agreeable and well bred.
Johnson lamented to Mr. Hector the state of one of their school-fellows, Mr. Charles Congreve, a clergyman, which he thus described : “He obtained, I believe, considerable preferment in Ireland, but now lives in London, quite as a valetudinarian, afraid to go into any house but his own. He takes a short airing in his post-chaise every day. He has an
1776. elderly woman, whom he calls cousin, who lives with
him, and jogs his elbow, when his glass has stood too Ætat. 67.
‘long empty, and encourages him in drinking, in which he is very willing to be encouraged; not that he gets drunk, for he is a very pious man, but he is always muddy. He confesses to one bottle of port every day, and he probably drinks more. He is quite unsocial ; his conversation is quite monosyllabical ; and when, at my last visit, I asked him what a clock it was that signal of my departure had so pleasing an effect on him, that he sprung up to look at his watch, like a greyhound bounding at a hare.” When Johnson took leave of Mr. Hector, he said, “ Don't grow like Congreve ; nor let me grow like him, when you are near me."
When he again talked of Mrs. Careless to-night, he seemed to have had his affection revived; for he said, “ If I had married her, it might have been as happy for me." BOSWELL.
Boswell.“ Pray, Sir, do you not suppose that there are fifty women in the world, with any one of whom a man may be as happy, as with any one woman in particular.” Johnson. Ay, Sir, fifty thousand.” BOSWELL. “ Then, Sir, you are not of opinion with some who imagine that certain men and certain women are made for each other; and that they cannot be happy if they miss their counterparts.” Johnson. “ To be sure not, Sir. I believe marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the Lord Chancellor, upon a due consideration of the characters and circumstances, without the parties having any in the matter."
I wished to have staid at Birmingham to-night, to have talked more with Mr. Hector ; but my was impatient to reach his native city; so we
on that stage in the dark, and were long pensive and 1776. silent. When we came within the focus of the
Ætat. 67. Lichfield lamps, “ Now (said he,) we are getting out of a state of death."
We put up at the Three Crowns, not one of the great inns, but a good old fashioned one, which was kept by Mr. Wilkins, and was the very next house to that in which Johnson was born and brought up, and which was still his own property. We had a comfortable supper, and got into high spirits. I felt all my Toryism glow in this old capital of Staffordshire. I could have offered incense genio loci ; and I indulged in libations of that ale, which Boniface, in “ The Beaux Stratagem, recommends with such an eloquent jollity.
Next morning he introduced me to Mrs. Lucy Porter, his step-daughter. She was now an old maid, with much simplicity of manner. She had never been in London. Her brother, a Captain in the navy, had left her a fortune of ten thousand pounds ; about a third of which she had laid out in building a stately house, and making a handsome garden, in an elevated situation in Lichfield. Johnson, when here by himself, used to live at her house. She reverenced him, and he had a parental tenderness for her.
We then visited Mr. Peter Garrick, who had that morning received a letter from his brother David, announcing our coming to Lichfield. He was engaged to dinner, but asked us to tea, and to sleep at his house. Johnson, however, would not quit his
3 I went through the house where my illustrious friend was boro, with a reverence with which it doubtless will long be visit- . ed. An engraved view of it, with the adjacent buildings, is in « The Gentleman's Magazine" for February, 1785 VOL. II.