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cat. 63

founder of a new sect, which he wished much should be called Elwallians. He held, that every thing in the Old Testament that was not typical, was to be of perpetual observance; and so he wore a ribband in the plaits of his coat, and he also wore a beard. I remember I had the honour of dining in company with Mr. Elwal. There was one Barter, a miller, who wrote against him ; and so you had · The Controversy between Mr. Elwal and Mr. Barter. To try to make himself distinguished, he wrote a letter to King George the Second, challenging him to dispute with him, in which he said, « George, if you be afraid to come by yourself, to dispute with a poor old man, you may bring a thousand of your black-guards with you; and if

you should still be afraid, you may bring a thousand of your red-guards. The letter had something of the impudence of Junius to our present King. But the men of Wolverhampton were not so inflammable as the Common Council of London ; so Mr. Elwal failed in his scheme of making himself a man of great consequence.”

On Tuesday, March 31, he and I dined at General Paoli's. A question was started, whether the state of marriage was natural to man. Johnson.

Sir, it is so far from being natural for a man and woman to live in a state of marriage, that we find all the motives which they have for remaining in that connection, and the restraints which civilised fociety imposes to prevent separation, are hardly sufficient to keep them together.” The General faid, that in a state of nature a man and woman uniting together would form a strong and constant affection, by the mutual pleasure each would receive; and that the same causes of diffention would not arise between them, as occur between husband and wife in a civilised state. Johnson. “Sir, they would have dissentions enough, though of another kind. One would choose to go a hunting in this wood, the other in that; one would choose to go a fishing in this lake, the other in that ; or, perhaps, one would choose to go a hunting, when the other would choose to go a fishing; and so they would part. Besides, Sir, a savage man and a savage woman meet by chance; and when the man fees another woman that pleases him better, he will leave the first.”

We then fell into a disquisition whether there is any beauty independent of utility. The General maintained there was not. Dr. Johnson maintained that there was; and he instanced a coffee-cup which he held in his hand, the painting of which was of no real use, as the cup would hold the coffee equally well if plain; yet the painting was beautiful.

We talked of the strange custom of swearing in conversation. The General faid, that all barbarous nations swore from a certain violence of temper, that


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could not be confined to earth, but was always reaching at the powers 1772. above. He said, too, that there was greater variety of swearing, in propor- Ærat. 63. tion as there was a greater variety of religious ceremonies.

Dr. Johnson went home with me to my lodgings in Conduit-street and
drank tea, previous to our going to the Pantheon, which neither of us had seen

He said, “ Goldsmith's Life of Parnell is poor ; not that it is poorly written,
but that he had poor materials : for nobody can write the life of a man, but
those who have eat and drunk and lived in focial intercourse with him."

I said, that if it was not troublesome and presuming too much, I would
request him to tell me all the little circumstances of his life ; what schools he
attended, when he came to Oxford, when he came to London, &c. &c. He
did not disapprove of my curiosity as to these particulars; but said, “ They'll
come out by degrees as we talk together.”

He censured Ruffhead's Life of Pope; and said, “ he knew nothing of Pope,
and nothing of poetry.” He praised Dr. Joseph Warton's Essay on Pope ; but
faid, he supposed we should have no more of it, as the authour had not been
able to persuade the world to think of Pope as he did. Boswell. “ Why,
Sir, should that prevent him from continuing his work ?

He is an ingenious
Counsel, who has made the most of his cause: he is not obliged to gain it.”
Johnson. “But, Sir, there is a difference when the cause is of a man's own

We talked of the proper use of riches. Johnson. “ If I were a man of
a great estate, I would drive all the rascals whom I did not like out of the
county at an election.”

I asked him how far he thought wealth hould be employed in hospitality. Johnson. “ You are to consider that ancient hospitality, of which we hear so much, was in an uncommercial country, when men being idle, were glad to be entertained at rich men's tables. But in a commercial country, a busy country, time becomes precious, and therefore hospitality is not so much valued. No doubt there is still room for a certain degree of it; and a man has a satisfaction in seeing his friends eating and drinking around him. But promiscuous hospitality is not the way to gain real influence. You must help some people at table before others; you must ask some people how they like. their wine oftener than others. You therefore offend more people than you please. You are like the French statesman, who said, when he granted a favour, “ J'ai fait dix mécontens et un ingrat. Besides, Sir, being entertained ever so well at a man's table, impresses no lasting regard or esteem. No,

7772. Sir, the way to make sure of power and influence is, by lending money Ætat. 63. confidentially to your neighbours at a small interest, or, perhaps, at no interest

at all, and having their bonds in your possession.” Boswell. “ May not a man, Sir, employ his riches to advantage in educating young men of merit?” Johnson. “ Yes, Sir, if they fall in your way; but if it is understood that you patronise young men of merit, you will be harrassed with folicitations. You will have numbers forced upon you who have no merit; fome will force them upon you from inistaken partiality; and some from downright interested motives, without scruple; and you will be disgraced.

“ Were I a rich man, I would propagate all kinds of trees that will grow in the open air. A green-house is childish. I would introduce foreign animals into the country; for instance, the rein-deer?.

The conversation now turned on critical subjects. Johnson. “ Bayes, in « The Rehearsal,' is a mighty silly character. If it was intended to be like a particular man, it could only be diverting while that man was remembered. But I question whether it was meant for Dryden, ás has been reported; for we know some of the passages faid to be ridiculed, were written since the Rehearsal; at least a passage mentioned in the Preface is of a later date.” I maintained that it had merit as a general fatire on the felf-importance of dramatick authours. But even in this light he held it very cheap.

We then walked to the Pantheon. The first view of it did not strike us fo much as Ranelagh, of which he said, the coup d'oeil was the finest thing he had ever seen. The truth is, Ranelagh is of a more beautiful form; more of it, or rather indeed the whole rotunda, appears at once, and it is better lighted. However, as Johnson observed, we saw the Pantheon in time of mourning, when there was a dull uniformity; whereas we had seen Ranelagh when the view was enlivened with a gay profusion of colours. Mrs. Bofville, of Gunthwait, in Yorkshire, joined us, and entered into conversation with us. Johnson faid to me afterwards, “Sir, this is a mighty. intelligent lady.”

I said there was not half a guinea's worth of pleasure in seeing this place. Johnson. “ But, Sir, there is half a guinea's worth of inferiority to other people in not having seen it.” Boswell. “I doubt, Sir, whether there are many happy people here.” Johnson. “ Yes, Sir, there are many happy people here. There are many people here who are watching hundreds, and who think hundreds are watching them.”

? This project has since been realised. Sir Henry Liddel, who made a spirited tour into Lapland, brought two rein-deer to his estate in Northumberland, where they bred; but the race has unfortunately perished.

Happening Happening to meet Sir Adam Fergusson, I presented him to Dr. Johnson. 1772. Sir Adam expressed some apprehension that the Pantheon would encourage Ætat. 63. luxury. “Sir, (said Johnson,) I am a great friend to publick amusements ; for they keep people from vice. You now (addressing himself to me,) would have been with a wench, had you not been here. O! I forgot you were married.”

Sir Adam suggested, that luxury corrupts a people, and destroys the spirit of liberty. Johnson. “ Sir, that is all visionary. I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government rather than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual. Sir, the danger of the abuse of power is nothing to a private man. What Frenchman is prevented from passing his life as he pleases ?” Sir Adam. “ But, Sir, in the British constitution it is surely of importance to keep up a spirit in the people, so as to preserve a balance against the crown.” Johnson. “Sir, I perceive you are a vile Whig.-Why all this childish jealousy of the power of the crown? The crown has not power enough. When I say that all governments are alike, I consider that in no government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it. If a sovereign oppresses his people to a great degree, they will rise and cut off his head. There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us safe under every form of government. Had not the people of France thought themselves honoured as sharing in the brilliant actions of the reign of Lewis XIV. they would not have endured him; and we may say the same of the King of Prussia's people.” Sir Adam introduced the ancient Greeks and Romans. JOHNSON

Johnson. “ Sir, the mass of both of them were barbarians. The mass of every people must be barbarous where there is no printing, and consequently knowledge is not generally diffused. Knowledge is diffused among our people by the newspapers.” Sir Adam mentioned the orators, poets, and artists of Greece. Johnson. “Sir, I am talking of the mass of the people. We see even what the boasted Athenians were. The little effect which Demosthenes's orations had upon them, shews that they were barbarians.”

Sir Adam was unlucky in his topicks; for he suggested a doubt of the propriety of Bishops having seats in the House of Lords. Johnson. “How so, Sir? Who is more proper for having the dignity of a peer, than a Bishop, provided a Bishop be what he ought to be; and if improper Bishops be made, that is not the fault of the Bishops, but of those who make them.”

On Sunday, April 5, after attending divine service at St. Paul's church, I found him alone. Of a schoolmaster of his acquaintance, a native of Scot



Ætat, 63.

land, he said, “ He has a great deal of good about him; but he is also very defective in some respects. His inner part is good, but his outer part is mighty aukward. You in Scotland do not attain that nice critical skill in languages, which we get in our schools in England. I would not put a boy to him, whom I intended for a man of learning. But for the sons of citizens, who are to learn a little, get good morals, and then go to trade, he may do

very well.”

I mentioned a cause in which I had appeared as counsel at the bar of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, where a Probationer, (as one licensed to preach, but not yet ordained, is called,) was opposed in his application to be inducted, because it was alledged that he had been guilty of fornication five years before. Johnson. “ Why, Sir, if he has repented, it is not a fufficient objection. A man who is good enough to go to heaven, is good enough to be a clergyman." This was a humane and liberal sentiment. But the character of a clergyman is more sacred than that of an ordinary Christian. As he is to instruct with authority, he should be regarded with reverence, as one upon whom divine truth has had the effect to set him above such transgressions, as men less exalted by fpiritual habits, and yet upon the whole not to be excluded from heaven, have been betrayed into by the predominance of passion. That clergymen may be considered as sinners in general, as all men are, cannot be denied; but this reflection will not counteract their good precepts so much, as the absolute knowledge of their having been guilty of certain specifick immoral acts. I told him, that by the rules of the Church of Scotland, in their “Book of Discipline,” if a scandal, as it is called, is not prosecuted for five years, it cannot afterwards be proceeded upon, “ unless it be of a heinous nature, or again become flagrant;” and that hence a question arose, whether fornication was a sin of a heinous nature ; and that I had maintained, that it did not deserve that epithet, in as much as it was not one of those sins which argue very great depravity of heart : in short, was not, in the general acceptation of mankind, a heinous sin. Johnson. “ No, Sir, it is not a heinous fin. A heinous sin is that for which a man is punished with death or banishment.” Boswell. “ But, Sir, after I had argued that it was not a heinous sin, an old clergyman rose up, and repeating the text of fcripture denouncing judgement against whoremongers, asked, whether, conlidering this, there could be any doubt of fornication being a heinous sin. Johnson. “ Why, Sir, observe the word whoremonger. Every sin, if perlisted in, will become heinous. Whoremonger is a dealer in whores, as ironmonger is a dealer in iron. But as you don't call a man an ironmonger for

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