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your adversary's arguments, and putting better in their place." Wilkes. “ But this does not move the passions.” JOHNSON. “ He must be a weak man, who is to be so moved." Wilkes. (naming a celebrated orator) “ Aindst all the brilliancy of ****'s imagination, and the exuberance of his wit, there is a strange want of taste. It was ob. served of Apelles's Venus, that her flesh seemed as if she had been nourished by roses : his oratory would sometimes make one suspect that he eats potatoes, and drinks whisky."

Johnson and Boswell were conversing of public speaking. Johnson. “ We must not estimate a man's powers by his being able or not able to deliver his sentiments in public. Isaac Hawkins Browne, one of the first wits of this country, got into parliament, and never opened his mouth. For my own part, I think it is more disgraceful never to try to speak, than to try it, and fail; as it is more disgraceful not to fight, than to fight, and be beaten.” This argument appeared to Boswell fallacious ; for if a man has not spoken, it may be said, that he would have done very well if he had tried; whereas, if he has tried and failed, there is nothing to be said for him : he therefore asked, “ Why then is it thought disgraceful for a man not to fight, and not disgraceful not to speak in public ?" Johnson. “ Because there may be other reasons for a mau's not speaking in public, than want of resolution ; he may have nothing to say (laughing) : whereas, sir, you know courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; be. cause, muless a man has that virtue, he has no secu. rity for preserving any other.”

VOL. II.

F

At Mr. Thrale's, one evening, he repeated his usual parodoxical declamation against action in pub: lic speaking. “ Action can have no effect upon reasonable niinds. It may augment noise, but it pever can enforce argument. If you speak to a dog, you use action; you bold up your hand thus, because he is a brute; and, in proportion as men are remored from brutes, action will have the less influence upon then.” Mrs. THRALE.“ What then, sir, becomes of Demosthenes's saying—'Actiou, action, action?'” Johnson.“ Demosthenes, madam, spoke to an as. sembly of brutes ; to a barbarous people.”

No. XII.

POLITICS.

BO well having accompanied Johnson on a visit to Oxford, tells us, among other things, “ In an evening we frequently took long walks from Oxford into the country, returning to supper. Once, in our way home, we viewed the ruins of the abbeys of Oseney and Rewley, near Oxford. After at least half an hour's silence, Johnson said, 'I viewed them with indignation ! We had then a long courersation on Gothic buildings ; and in talking of the form of old halls, he said, “In these halls, the fire-place was anciently always in the middle of the room, till the Whigs removed it on one side.'”-an unquestionable improvement: though Johnson was so desperate a Tory, that it seems he would rather have been smothered with smoke, after the manner of our fore.

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fathers, than owe any obligations to those of oppo. site political principles.

Even this zealous friend of his admits “His introducing his own opivions, and even prejudices, under general definitions of words, while, at the same time, the original meaning of the words is not explained; as his Tory, Whig, Pension, Oats, Excise, and a few more, cannot be fully defended, and must be placed to the account of capricious and humorous indulgence. Talking to me upon this subject when we were at Ashbourne in 1777, he mentioned a still stronger instance of the predominance of his private feelings in the composition of this work, than any now to be found in it. You know, sir, lord Gower forsook the old Jacobite interest. When I came to the word Renegado, after telling that it meant who deserts to the enemy, a revolter," I added, “Sometimes we say a Gower." Thus it went to the press; but the printer had more wit thau I, and struck it out.'”

On another occasion, this gentleman observes, “ The London Chronicle, which was the only news paper he constantly took in, being brought, the office of reading it alond was assigned to me. I was diverted by his impatience. He made me pass over so many parts, that my task was very easy. He would not suffer one of the petitions to the king about the Middlesex election to be read."

“ To such a degree of unrestrained frankness," says Boswell, “had he now accustomed me, that, in the course of this evening, I talked of the numerous reflections which had been thrown out against him ou account of his having a pension from his present majesty. “Why, sir, said he, with a hearty laugh, it is a mighty foolish noise that they make.* I have accepted of a pension as a reward, which has been thought due to my literary merit ; and now that I have this pension, I am the same man in every respect that I have ever been ; I retain the same principles. It is true, that I cannot now curse (smiling) the house of Hanover ; nor would it be decent of me to drink king James's health in the wine that king George gives me money to pay for : but, sir, I think that the pleasure of cursing the house of Han. over, and drinking king James's health, are amply overbalanced by three hundred pounds a year.'

“There was here, most certainly, an affectation of more Jacobitism than he really bad; and indeed, an intention of admitting for the moment, in a much greater extent than it really existed, the charge of disaffection imputed to him by the world, merely for the purpose of showing how dexterously he could repel an attack, even though he were placed in the most disadvantageous position; for I hare heard him declare, that if holding up his right hand would have secured victory at Culloden to prince Charles's army, he was not sure he would have held it up; so little confidence had he in the right claimed by the house of Stuart, and so fearful was he of the consequences of another revolution on the throne of Great Britain ; and Mr. Topham Beauclerk assured me, he had heard him say this before he had his pension. At another time, he said to Mr. Langton, Nothing has ever offered, that has made it worth my while to consider the question fully.' He, how. ever, also said to the same gentleman, talking of king James the Second, · It was become impossible for him to reigo any longer in this country.' He, no doubt, had an early attachment to the house of Stuart; but his zeal had cooled as his reason strength-' ened. Indeed, I heard him once say, that after the death of a violent Whig, with whom he used to coutend with great eagerness, he felt his Toryism much abated. I suppose, he meant Mr. Walmsley.

* " When I mentioned the same idle clamour to him seve. ral years afterwards, he said, with a smile, ‘I wish my pension were twice as large, that they might make twice as much noise.'"

“ Yet, there is no doubt, that at earlier periods, he was wont often to exercise both his pleasantry and ingenuity in talking Jacobitism. My much respected friend, Dr. Douglas, now bishop of Salisbury, has faroured me with the following admi. rable instance, from his lordship's own recollection. One day, when dining at old Mr. Langton's, where Miss Roberts, his viece, was one of the companyJohnson, with his usual complaceut attention to the fair sex, took her by the hand, and said, ! My dear, I hope you are a Jacobite.' Old Mr. Langton, who, though a high and steady Tory, was attached to the present royal family, seemed offended, and asked Johnson, with great warmth, what he could mean by putting such a question to his niece? Why, sir,' said Johnson, I meant no offence to your niece; I meant her a great compliment. A Jacobite, sir, believes in the divine right of kings. He that believes in the divine right of kings believes in a divinity. A Jacobite believes in the divine right of bishops. He that believes in the divine right of bishops, believes in the divine authority of the Christian religion; therefore, sir, a Jacobite is neither an

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