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1778. stoop to such sport. After he had been some time
in the shop, he sent for me to come out of the coach, Ætat. 69.
and help him to choose a pair of silver buckles, as those he had were too small. Probably this alteration in dress had been suggested by Mrs. Thrale, by associating with whom, his external appearance was much improved. He got better cloaths; and the dark colour, from which he never deviated, was enlivened by metal buttons. His wigs, too, were much better ; and during their travels in France, he was furnished with a Paris-made wig, of handsome construction. This choosing of silver buckles was a negociation : “Sir, (said he,) I will not have the ridiculous large ones now in fashion; and I will give no more than a guinea for a pair. Such were the principles of the business; and, after some examination he was fitted. As we drove along, I found him in a talking humour, of which I availed myself. Boswell.“ I was this morning in Ridley's shop, Sir ; and was told, that the collection called Johnsoniana' has sold very much.” Johnson. “ Yet the • Journey to the Hebrides' has not had a great sale." Boswell. “That is strange. JOHNSON. “ Yes, Sir; for in that book I have told the world a great deal that they did not know before.”
Boswell.“ I drank chocolate, Sir, this morning
• Here he either was mistaken, or had a different notion of an extensive sale from what is generally entertained: for the fact is, that four thousand copies of that excellent work were sold very quickly. A new edition has been printed since his death, besides that in the collection of his works.
[Another edition has been printed since Mr. Boswell wrote thie above, besides repeated editions in the general collection of his works during the last twenty years. Malone.]
with Mr. Eld; and, to my no small surprize, found 1778. him to be a Staffordshire Whig, a being which I did
Ætat. 69. not believe had existed.” JOHNSON. “ Sir, there are rascals in all countries.” BOSWELL. “ Eld said, a Tory was a creature generated between a non-juring parson and one's grandmother.” JOHNSON. “ And I have always said, the first Whig was the Devil.” Boswell. “ He certainly was, Sir. The Devil was impatient of subordination ; he was the first who resisted power :
“ Better to reign in Hell, than serye in Heaven."
At General Paoli's were Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mr. Langton, Marchese Gherardi of Lombardy, and Mr. John Spottiswoode the younger, of Spottiswoode, 9 the solicitor. At this time fears of an invasion were circulated ; to obviate which, Mr. Spottiswoode observed, that Mr. Fraser the engineer, who had lately come from Dunkirk, said, that the French had the same fears of us. JOHNSON. “It is thus that mutual cowardice keeps us in peace. Were one half of mankind brave, and one half cowards, the brave would be always beating the cowards. Were all brave, they would lead a very uneasy life; all would be continually fighting : but being all cowards, we go on very well.”
We talked of drinking wine. JOHNSON. “I re
In the phraseology of Scotland, I should have said, “ Mr. John Spottiswoode the younger, of that ilk.” Johnson knew that senso of the word very well, and has thus explained it in his Dictionary, voce IlK_“It also signifies the same; as, Mackintosh of thunt ilk, denotes a gentleman whose surname and the title of his estate are the same.” VOL. III.
1778. quire wine, only when I am alone. I have then
often wished for it, and often taken it." SPOTTISEtat. 69.
“ What, by way of a companion, Sir ? " JOHNSON. “ To get rid of myself, to send myself away. Wine gives great pleasure, and every pleasure is of itself a good. It is a good, unless counterbalanced by evil. A man may
A man may have a strong reason not to drink wine; and that
greater than the pleasure. Wine makes a man better pleased with himself. I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others. Sometimes it does. But the danger is, that while a man grows better pleased with himself, he may be growing less pleasing to others. Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit; it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread of the company has repressed. It only puts in motion what has been locked up in frost. But this may
be good, or it may be bad.” SPOTTISWOODE. “So, Sir, wine is a key which opens a box; but this box may be either full or empty?" JOHNSON. “ Nay, Şir, conversation is the key: wine is a pick-lock, which forces open the box, and injures it. A man should cultivate his mind so as to have that confidence and readiness without wine, which wine gives.” Boswell. “The great difficulty of resisting wine is from benevolence. For instance, a good worthy man asks you to taste his wine, which he has had 1778. twenty years in his cellar.” JOHNSON. “Sir, all this
1 It is observed in Waller's Life, in the Biographia Britannica, that he drank only water ; and that while he sat in a company who were drinking wine, “ he had the dexterity to accommodate his discourse to the pitch of theirs as it sunk.” If excess in drinking be meant, the remark is acutely just. But surely, a moderate use of wine gives a gaiety of spirits which water-drinkers know not.
Ætat. 69. notion about benevolence arises from a man's imagining himself to be of more importance to others, than he really is. They don't care a farthing whether he drinks wine or not." SIR JOSHUA REY. NOLDS. “ Yes, they do for the time.” JOHNSON. “ For the time !-If they care this minute, they forget it the next. And as for the good worthy man ; how do
you know he is good and worthy? No good and worthy man will insist upon another man's drinking wine. As to the wine twenty years in the cellar,—of ten men, three say this, merely because they must say something ; three are telling a lie, when they say they have had the wine twenty years ; -three would rather save the wine ;-one, perhaps,
I allow it is something to please one's company; and people are always pleased with those who partake pleasure with them. But after a man has brought himself to relinquish the great personal pleasure which arises from drinking wine, any other consideration is a trifle. To please others by drinking wine, is something only, if there be nothing against it. I should, however, be sorry to offend worthy men :
“Curst be the verse, how well so e'er it flow,
“ That tends to make one worthy man my foe.” BOSWELL. “Curst be the spring, the water.” JOHN
« But let us consider what a sad thing it would be, if we were obliged to drink or do any thing else that may happen to be agreeable to the company where we are.” LANGTON. “ By the same rule you must join with a gang of cut-purses.” JOHNSON.
1778. “Yes, Sir : but yet we must do justice to wine ; we
must allow it the power it possesses. To make a Ætat. 69.
man pleased with himself, let me tell you, is doing a very great thing;
Si patriæ volumus, si NOBIS vivere cari.' I was at this time myself a water-drinker, upon trial, by Johnson's recommendation. JOHNSON. “ Boswell is a bolder combatant than Sir Joshua ; he argues for wine without the help of wine ; but Sir Joshua with it.” Sir Joshua Reynolds. “ But to please one's company is a strong motive." JOHNSON. (who, from drinking only water, supposed every body who drank wine to be elevated,)“ I won't argue any more with you, Sir. You are too far gone.” SIR Joshua. “I should have thought so indeed, Sir, had I made such a speech as you have now done." Johnson. (drawing himself in, and, I really thought blushing,) “ Nay, don't be angry. I did not mean to offend you.” Six Joshua. “At first the taste of wine was disagreeable to me; but I brought myself to drink it, that I might be like other people. The pleasure of drinking wine is so connected with pleasing your company, that altogether there is something of social goodness in it.” JOHNSON. “Sir, this is only saying the same thing over again.” SIR JOSHUA, “ No, this is new." JOHNSON.
JOHNSON. “You put it in new words, but it is an old thought. This is one of the disadvantages of wine, it makes a man mistake words for thoughts." Boswell. “ I think it is a new thought; at least, it is in a new attitude." Johnson. “Nay, Sir, it is only in a new coat; or an old coat with a new facing. (Then laughing heartily) It is the old dog in a new doublet.-An extraordinary