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he said, “ They should set him in the pillo- | my house. I was obliged to tell her that ry, that he may be punished in a way that you would be in as respectable a situation would disgrace him.” I observed, that the in my house as in her's. “Sir, the insopillory does not always disgrace. And I lence of wealth will creep out.” BOSWELL. mentioned an instance of a gentleman',“ She has a little both of the insolence of who I thought was not dishonoured by it. wealth and the couceit of parts.” JourJohnson. " Ay, but he was, sir.
“ The insolence of wealth is a wretclicould not mouth and strut as he used to do, ed thing; but the conceit of parts lias sonie after having been there. People are not foundation. To be sure, it should not be. willing to ask a man to their tables who But who is without it ? " BOSWELL. has stood in the pillory.”
“ Yoursell, sir.” Johnson. “ Why, I The gentleman who had dined with us at play no tricks: I lay no traps.” BOSWELL. Dr. Percy's 2 came in. Johnson attacked - No, sir. You are six feet high, and you the Americans with intemperate vehemence only do not stoop.” of abuse. I said something in their favour; We talked of the numbers of people that and added, that I was always sorry when sometimes have composed the household of he talked on that subject. This, it seems, great families. I mentioned that there exasperated him; though he said nothing were a hundred in the family of the present at the time. The cloud was charged with Earl of Eglintoune's father. Dr. Johnson sulphureous vapour, which was afterwards seeming to doubt it, I began to enumerate; to burst in thunder. We talked of a gen- “Let us see, my lord and my lady, two." tleman 3 who was running out his fortune Johnson. • Nay, sir, if you are to count in London; and I said, “We must get him by twos, you may be long enough.” Bosout of it. All his friends must quarrel with WELL. “Well, but now I add two sons him, and that will soon drive him away.'
." and seven daughters, and a servant for each, Johnson. “Nay, sir, we'll send you to that will make twenty; so we have the fifth him. If your company does not drive a part already.” Johnson. “Very true. man out of his house, nothing will.” This You get at twenty pretty readily; but you was a horrible shock, for which there was will not so easily get further on. no visible cause. I afterwards asked him to five feet pretty readily; but it is not so why he had said so harsh a thing. JOHN- easy to grow to seven.” SON. “ Because, sir, you made me angry [Yesterday (18th) I rose late, Prayers about the Americans." Boswell. “ But having not slept ill. Having prowhy did you not take your revenge direct-mised a dedication, I thought it ly?" JOHNSON (smiling). “ Because, necessary 4 to write; but for some time neisir, I had nothing ready. A man cannot ther wrote nor read. Langton came in and strike till he has his weapons.” This was talked. After dinner I wrote. At lea Bosa candid and pleasant confession.
well came in. He staid till near twelve.] He showed me to-night his drawing- On Sunday, 19th April, being Easterroom, very genteelly fitted up, and said, day, after the solemnities of the festival in Mrs. Thrale sneered when I talked of my St. Paul's church, I visited him, but could having asked you and your lady to live at not stay to dinner. I expressed a wish to
have the arguments for Christianity always sentence-pronounced in November, 1777—was in readiness, that my religious faith might a year’s imprisonment, and 2001. fine; but it be as firm and clear as any proposition seems strange that Johnson should, in April, 1778, whatever; so that I need not be under the have spoken conjecturally of a sentence passed least uneasiness when it should be attacked. six months before. Perhaps the conversation Johnson. “ Sir, you cannot answer all occurred at Ashbourn in the preceding autumn, objections. You have demonstration for a when the sentence was a subject of much con
first cause: you see he must be good as well jecture and curiosity, and that, by some inistake in arranging his notes, Mr. Boswell bas misplaced make him otherwise, and goodness of itself
as powerful, because there is nothing to it here.—Ed.]
[Probably Dr. Shebbeare. It was Shebbeare's is preferable. Yet you have against this, exposure which suggested the witty allusion of the what is very certain, the unhappiness of Heroick Epistle,
human life. This, however, gives us reason • Does envy doubt? Witness, ye chosen train,
to hope for a future state of compensation, that there may be a perfect system.
But Witness, ye Hills, ye Johnsons, Scotts, Shebbeares, of that we were not sure till we had a posiHark to my call, for some of you have ears !” But his ears were not endangered; indeed he was selas " had often made me unhappy; for it
tive revelation.” I told him that his “ Ras60 favourably treated, being allowed to stand on, represented the misery of human life so well, and not in, the pillory, and to have certain other indulgencies, that the sheriff was afterwards pros- * [He means that if it had not been in perecuted for partiality towards him.-Ed.]
formance of a promise, he would not have done ? Sce p. 162, of this volume.-BosWELL. any worldly business on Easter eve. What the 3 [Mr. Langton.-Ep.]
dedication was does not appear.–Ed.]
Who breathe the sweets of his Saturnian reign ;
and so convincingly to a thinking mind; I land of Ireland, son to the liistorian, Mrs. that if at any time the impression wore ofl, Cholmondeley, and
ladies. and I felt myself easy, I began to suspect "The Project,” a new poem, was read to some delusion.
the company by Dr. Musgrave.' Johnson. [In reviewing my time from Easter, “Sir, it has no power. Were it not for 1777, I found a very melancholy and shame the well-known names with which it is fillful blank. So litile has been done, that ed, it would be nothing: the names carry days and months are without any trace. My the poet, not the poet the names.” Mushealth has, indeed, been very much inter- GRAVE. “A temporary poem always enrupted. My nights have been commonly, tertains us.” Johnson. - So does an acnot only restless, but painful and fatiguing. count of the criminals branged yesterday enMy respiration was once so dillicult, that au tertain us." asthma was suspected. I could not walk, He proceeded;—“Demosthenes Taylor, but with great difficulty, from Stowhill to as he was called (that is, the editor of DeGreenhill. Some relaxation of my breast mosthenes), was the most silent man, the has been procured, I think, by opium, merest statie of a man, that I have ever which, though it never gives me sleep, seen. I once dined in company with him, frees my breast from spasms.
and all he said during the whole time was I have written a little of the Lives of the no more than Richard. How a man should Poets. I think with all my usual vigour. say only Richard, it is not easy to imagine. I have made sermons, perhaps as readily as But it was thus: Dr. Douglas was talking formerly. My memory is less faithful in of Dr. Zachary Grey, and ascribing to him retaining names, and, I am afraid, in retain- something that was written by Dr. Richard ing occurrences. Of this vacillation and Grey. So, to correct him, Taylor said vagrancy of mind, I impute a great part to · Richard.'» a fortuitous and unsettled life, and therefore Mrs. Cholmondeley, in a high flow of purpose to spend my time with more me- spirits, exhibited some lively sallies of hythod.)
perbolical compliment to Johnson, wit On Monday, 20th April, I found him at whom she had been long acquainted, and home in the morning. We talked of a gen- was very easy:
He was quick in catching tleman who we apprehended was gradually the manner of the moment, and answered involving his circumstances by bad man- her somewhat in the style of the hero of a agement. JOHNSON. “Wasting a for- romance, “Madam, you crown me with tune is evaporation by a thousand imper- unfading laurels.” ceptible means. If it were a stream, they 'd (Sitting at table one day with
Murph. stop it. You must speak to him. It is real- Mrs. Cholmondeley, he took hold Essay, ly miserable. Were he a gamester, it could of her hand in the middle of dinbe said he had hopes of winning. Were he ner, and held it close to his eye, wondering a bankrupt in trade, he might have grown at the delicacy and whiteness, till, with a rich; but he has neither spirit to spend, nor smile, she asked, “Will he give it to me resolution to spare. He does not spend again when he has done with it ?"] fast enough to have pleasure from it. He I happened, I know not how, to say that has the crime of prodigality, and the wretch- a pamphlet meant a prose piece. Johnson, edness of parsimony. If a man is killed in “No, sir. A few sheets of poetry unbound a duel, he is killed as many a one has been are a pamphlet 3, as much as a few sheets killed; but it is a sad thing for a man to lie of prose.” MUSGRAVE. “A pamphlet may down and die; to bleed to death, because be understood to mean a poetical piece in he has not fortitude enough to sear the Westminster-hall, that is, in formal lanwound, or even to stitch it up.” I cannot guage; but in common language it is underbut pause a moment to admire the fecundi- stood to mean prose.” Johnson. (And here ty of fancy, and choice of language, which was one of the many instances of his knowing in this instance, and, indeed, on almost all clearly and telling exactly how a thing is), occasions, he displayed. It was well ob
ides, and authour of “ Dissertations on the served by Dr. Percy, (afterwards Bishop Grecian Mythology,” &c. published in 1782, after of Dromore), “The conversation of John- his death, by the learned Mr. Tyrwhitt.—Mason is strong and clear, and may be com
[I suppose this is the same who was pared to an antique statue, where every made Radcliffe's travelling fellow in 1760. He vein and muscle is distinct and bold. Or- was of C. C. C. M. A. 1756. B. and D. M. dinary conversation resembles an inferiour 1775.—Hall.] cast."
3 Dr. Johnson is here perfectly correct, and is On Saturday, 25th April, I dined with supported by the usage of preceding writers. So him at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, with the in Musarum Deliciæ, a collection of poems, 8vo. learned Dr. Musgrave?, Counsellor Le- 1656, (the writer is speaking of Suckling's play
entitled Aglaura, printed in folio):
“ This great voluminous pamphlet may be said, [Mr. Langton.-Ed.]
To be like one, that haili more hair than head.”Samuel Musgrave, M. D. editor of the Eurip
“ A pamphlet is understood in common lan- 1 of Wakefield'I myself did not think would guage to mean prose, only from this, that have had much success. It was written there is so much more prose written than and sold to a bookseller before bis • Travelpoetry; as when we say a book, prose is ler,' but published after; so little expecta understood for the same reason, though a tion had the bookseller' from it. Had it book may as well be in poetry as in prose. been sold after • The Traveller,' he might We understand what is most general, and have had twice as much money for it, we name what is less frequent.'
though sixty guineas was no mean price. We talked of a lady's verses on Ireland. The bookseller had the advantage of GoldMiss REYNOLDS. “ Have you seen them, smith's reputation from The Traveller'in sir ? ” Johnson. “No, madam; I have the sale, though Goldsmith had it not in seen a translation from Horace, by one of selling the copy.” Sir Joshua Reynolds. her daughters. She showed it me.” Miss “ The Beggar's Opera affords a proof how REYNOLDS. " And how was it, sir ?” strangely people will differ in opinion about Johnson.
· Why, very well, for a young a literary performance. Burke thinks it miss's verses; that is to say, compared with has no merit.” Johnson. “ It was retused excellence, nothing; but very well, for the by one of the houses; but I should have person who wrote them. I am vexed at thought it would succeed, not from any being shown verses in that manner.” Miss great excellence in the writing, but from REYNOLDS. “ But if they should be good, the novelty, and the general spirit and why not give them hearty praise ? ” John- gaiety of the piece, which keeps the audison. “Why, madam, because I have not ence always attentive, and dismisses them then got the better of my bad humour from in good humour.” having been shown them. You must con- We went to the drawing-room, where sider, madam, beforehand they may be bad was a considerable increase of company. as well as good. Nobody has a right to put Several of us got round Dr. Johnson, and another under such a difficulty, that he complained that he would not give us an must either hurt the person by telling the exact catalogue of his works, that there truth, or hurt himself by telling what is not might be a complete edition. He smiled, true.” BosweLL. "Å man often shows and evaded our entreaties. That he intendo his writings to people of eminence, to ob-ed to do it, I have no doubt, because I have tain from them, either from their good-na- heard him say so; and I have in my posture, or from their not being able to tell the session an imperfect list, fairly written out, truth firmly, a commendation, of which he which he entitles Historia Studiorum. may afterwards avail himself.” Johnson. I once got from one of his friends a list, “ Very true, sir. Therefore, the man who is which there was pretty good reason to supasked by an authour, what he thinks of his pose was accurate, for it was written down work, is put to the torture, and is not in his presence by this friend, who enumerobliged to speak the truth; so that what he ated each article aloud, and had some of says is not considered as his opinion; yet them mentioned to him by Mr. Levett, in he has said it, and cannot retract it; and concert with whom it was made out; and this authour, when mankind are hunting Johnson, who heard all this, gid not conhim with a canister at his tail, can say, 'I tradict it. But when I showed a copy of would not have published, had not Johnson, this list to him, and mentioned the evidence or Reynolds, or Musgrave, or some other for its exactness, he laughed, and said, “ I good judge commended the work. Yet I was willing to let them go on as they pleas. consider it as a very difficult question in ed, and never interfered.” Upon which I conscience, whether one should advise a read it to him, article by article, and got man not to publish a work, if profit be his him positively to own or refuse; and then, object; for the man may say, 'Had it not having obtained certainty so far, I got some been for you, I should have had the money.' other articles confirmed by him directly, Now you cannot be sure; for you have only and, afterwards, from time to time, made your own opinion, and the publick may additions under his sanction. think very differently.” Sir Joshua Rey- His friend, Edward Cave, having been
« You must upon such an occasion mentioned, he told us, “ Cave used to sell have two judgments; one as to the real ten thousand of The Gentleman's Magavalue of the work, the other as to what may zine;' yet such was then his minute attenplease the general taste at the time.” John- tion and anxiety that the sale should not
“ But you can be sure of neither; suffer the smallest decrease, that he would and therefore I should scruple much to give name a particular person who he heard had a suppressive vote. Both Goldsmith's com- talked of leaving off the Magazine, and edies were once refused; his first by Gar- would say, “Let us have something good rick, his second by Colman, who was pre- next month." vailed on at last by much solicitation, nay, It was observed, that avarice was inhea kind of force, to bring it on. His • Vicar rent in some dispositions. Johnson. “No
man was born a miser, because no man was that is to say, a modus as to the tithes and born to possession. Every man is born certain fines.” cupidus-desirous of getting; but not ava- He observed, “ A man cannot with prorus—desirous of keeping.” BosweLL. "I priely speak of himself, except he relates have heard old Mr. Sheridan maintain, with simple facts; as, ‘I was at Richmond:' or much ingenuity, that a complete miser is a what depends on mensuration; as, 'I am six happy man: a miser who gives himself feet high.'. He is sure he has been at Richwholly to the one passion of saving." mond; he is sure he is six feet high; but Johnson. “ That is Aying in the face of he cannot be sure he is wise, or that he has all the world, who have called an avaricious any other excellence. Then, all censure of man a miser, because he is miserable. No, a man's sedl is oblique praise. It is in orsir; a man who both spends and saves der to show how much he can spare. It money is the happiest man, because he has has all the invidiousness of self-praise and both enjoyments.'
all the reproach of falsehood.” Boswell. The conversation having turned on bon-“ Sometimes it may proceed from a man's mots, he quoted, from one of the Ana, an strong consciousness of his faults being obexquisite instance of flattery in a maid of served. He knows that others would throw honour in France, who being asked by the him down, and therefore he had better lie queen what o'clock it was, answered, | down sostly of his own accord.” “What your majesty pleases (.” He ad- On Tuesday, April 28, he was engaged mitted that Mr. Burke's classical pun ? | to dine at General Paoli's, where, as I have upon Mr. Wilkes's being carried on the already observed, I was still entertained in shoulders of the mob,
elegant hospitality, and with all the ease numerisque fertur and comfort of a home. I called on him, Lege solutis,"
and accompanied him in a hackney-coach. Hor. 4. OD. 2. 25.
We stopped first at the bottom of Hedgewas admirable; and though he was strange lane, into which he went to leave a letter, ly unwilling to allow to that extraordinary “with good news for a poor man in disman the talent of wit3, he also laughed with tress," as he told me. I did not question approbation at another of his playful conceits; | him particularly as to this. He himself otiwhich was, that “Horace has in one line en resembled Lady Bolingbroke's lively degiven a description of a good desirable ma- scription of Pope: that “he was un politi
que aux choux et aux raves." He would • Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines ";' say, “.! dine to-day in Grosvenor-square;
1 Sat. 1. 106.
this might be with a duke; or, perhaps, “ I
dine to-day at the other end of the town;" · [The anecdote is told in “ Menggiana,” or, “A gentleman of great eminence called vol. iii. p. 104, but not of a “maid of honour," on me yesterday.” He loved thus to keep nor as an instance of “ exquisite flattery." “M. things floating in conjecture: Omne ignode Uzès était chevalier d'honneur de la reine. tum pro magnifico est. I believe I ventured Cette princesse lui demanda un jour quelle heure to dissipate the cloud, to unveil the mystery, il était; il répondit, Madame, l'heure qu'il plaira more freely and frequently than any of his à votre majesté.' Menage tells it as a pleas- friends. We stopped again at Wirgman's, antry of M. de Uzès; but M. de la Monnoye says, the well-known toy-shop in St. James'sthat this duke was remarkable for naivetés and street, at the corner of St. James's-place, blunders, and was a kind of butt, to whom the to which he had been directed, but not clearwits of the court used to attribute all manner of ly, for he searched about some time, and absurdities.-E..]
could not find it at first; and said, “ To di2 (See ante, vol. i. p. 330.-Ed.] 3 See this question fully investigated in the notes
rect one only to a corner shop is toying upon the “ Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides," with one.” I supposed he meant this as a ante, v. 1. p. 330, et seq. And here, as a lawyer play upon the word toy; it was the first mindful of the maxim Suum cuique tribuito, 1 time that I knew him stoop to such sport. cannot forbear to mention, that the additional After he had been some time in the shop, note, beginning with “I find since the former he sent for me to come out of the coach, and edition,” is not mine, but was obligingly furnished help him to choose a pair of silver buckles, as by Mr. Malone, who was so kind as to superintend those he had were too small. Probably the press while I was in Scotland, and the first this alteration in dress had been suggested part of the second edition was printing. He would by Mrs. Thrale, by associating with whom, not allow me to ascribe it to its proper authour; his external appearance was much improved. but, as it is exquisitely acute and elegant, I take He got better clothes; and the dark colour, this opportunity, without his knowledge, to do him from which he never deviated, was enlivenjustice.-Boswell.
* This, as both Mr. Bindley and Dr. Kearney cessive Fines,” by Everard Fleetwood, Esq. 8vo. have observed to me, is the motto to “ An Inqui- 1731. But it is, probably, a mere coincidence. ry into Customary Estates and Tenants' Rights, Mr. Burke, perhaps, never saw that pamphlet &c.; with some Considerations for restraining ex- MALONE.
ed by metal buttons. His wigs, too, were | At this time fears of an invasion were cirmuch better; and, during their travels in culated; to obviate which Mr. Spottiswoode France, he was furnished with a Paris-made observed, that Mr. Fraser, the engineer,
wig, of handsome construction. [In who had lately come from Dunkirk, said,
general his wigs were very shabby, that the French had the same fears of us. and their fore parts were burned away by Johnson. “It is thus that mutual cowardthe near approach of the candle, which his ice keeps us in peace. Were one half of short-sightedness rendered necessary in mankind brave, and one half cowards, the reading. At Streatham, Mr. Thrale’s butler brave would be always beating the cowards. had always a better wig ready, and as John-Were all brave, they would lead a very son passed from the drawing-room, when uneasy life; all would be continually fightdinner was announced, the servant would ing: but being all cowards, we go on very remove the ordinary wig, and replace it with well." [One afternoon, wlule all
Piozzi, the newer one, and this ludicrous ceremony the talk was of this apprehended
p. 63, 4. was performed every day.] This choosing invasion, he said most pathetically, of silver buckles was a negotiation: “Sir,” “ Alas ! alas ! how this unmeaning stuff spoils said he, “I will not have the ridiculous all my comfort in my friends' conversation! large ones now in fashion; and I will give Will the people never have done with it; no more than a guinea for a pair.” Such and shall I never hear a sentence again were the principles of the business; and, without the French in it? Here is no inafter some examination, he was fitted. As vasion coming, and you know there is none. we drove along, I found him in a talking Let such vexatious and frivolous talk alone, humour, of which I availed myself. Bos- or suffer it at least to teach you one truth;
“I was this morning in Ridley's and learn by this perpetual echo of even shop, sir; and was told, that the collection unapprehended distress, how historians called Johnsoniangl' had sold very much." magnify events expected, or calamities enJohnson. “Yet the 'Journey to the He- dured; when you know they are at this brides' has not had a great sale 2.” Bos- very moment collecting all the big words WELL. “That is strange.” Johnson. “Yes, they can find, in which to describe a consir; for in that book I have told theworld a sternation never felt, or a missortune which great dea, that they did not know before.” never happened. Among all your lamenta
Boswell. “I drank chocolate, sir, this tions, who eats the less? Who sleeps the morning with Mr. Eld; and, to my no small worse, for one general's ill success, or an. surprise, found him to be a Staffordshire other's capitulation? Oh, pray let us hear whig, a being which I did not believe had no more of it!"] existed.” Johnson. " Sir, there are ras- We talked of drinking wine. Johnson. cals in all countries.” BOSWELL. “Eld" I require wine, only when I am alone. I said, a tory was a creature generated be- have then often wished for it, and often tween a non-juring parson and one's grand- taken it.” SportisWOODE. “What, by mother.” Johnson. “ And I have always way of a companion, sir?" Johnson. said, the first whig was the devil.” Bos-“ To get rid of myself, to send myself WELL. “He certainly was, sir. The de- away. Wine gives great pleasure; and vil was impatient of subordination; he was every pleasure is of itself a good. It is a the first who resisted power:
good, unless counterbalanced by evil. A • Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.""
man may have a strong reason not to drink
wine; and that may be greater than the At General Paoli's were Sir Joshua Rey- pleasure. Wine makes a man better pleased nolds, Mr. Langton, Marchese Gherardi of with himself. I do not say that it makes Lombardy, and Mr. John Spottiswoode the him more pleasing to others. Sometimes younger, of Spottiswoode 3, the solicitor. it does. But the danger is, that while a
man grows better pleased with himself, he [See ante, p. 31.—Ed.]
may be growing less pleasing to others 4 2 Here he either was mistaken, or had a different notion of an extensive sale from what is generally tionary "-voce, Ilk. “ It also signifies the entertained : for the fact is, that four thousand same;' as, Mackintosh of that ilk, denotes a gencopies of that excellent work were sold very quick- tleman whose surname and the title of his estate ly. A new edition has been printed since his are the same."
,”-BoswELL. death, besides that in the collection of his works. * It is observed in “ Waller's Life,” in the -BosWELL. Another edition has been printed “ Biographia Britanuica,” that he drank only since Mr. Boswell wrote the above, besides re- water; and that while he sat in a company who peated editions in the general collection of his were drinking wine, “ he had the dexterity to acworks during the last twenty years.--MALONE. commodate his discourse to the pitch of theirs as
3 In the phraseology of Scotland, I should have it sunk.” If excess in drinking be meant, the said, “ Mr. John Spottiswoode the younger, of remark is acutely just. But surely, a moderate that ilk." Johnson knew that sense of the word use of wine gives a gaiety of spirits which very well, and has thus explained it in his “ Dic-water-drinkers know not.—BÓSWELL.