« 이전계속 »
Men go to sea, before they know the unhappiness of that way of life; and when they have come to know it, they cannot escape from it, because it is then too late to choose another profession; as indeed is generally the case with men, when they have once engaged in any particular way of life.
On Tuesday, March 19, which was fixed for our proposed jaunt, we met in the morning at the Somerset coffee-house in the Strand, where we were taken up by the Oxford coach. He was accompanied by Mr. Gwin the architect; and a gentleman of Merton College, whom he did not know, had the fourth seat. We soon got into conversation ; for it was very remarkable of Johnson, that the presence of a stranger had no restraint upon his talk. l observed that Garrick, who was about to quit the stage, would soon have an easier life. Johnson. I doubt that, Sir. Boswell. Why, Sir, he will be Atlas with the burthen off his back. Johnson. But I know not, Sir, if he will be so steady without his load. However, he should never play any more, but be entirely the gentleman, and not partly the player : he should no longer subject himself to be hissed by a mob, or to be insolently treated by performers, whom he used to rule with a high hand, and who would gladly retaliate. Boswell. I think he should play once a year, for the benefit of decayed actors, as it has been said he means to do. Johnson. Alas, Sir! he will soon be a decayed actor bimiself.
Johnson expressed his disapprobation of ornamental architecture, such as magoificent columns supporting a portico, or expensive pilasters supporting merely their own capitals, “ because it consumes labour disproportionate to its utility.” For the same reason he satyrised statuary,' Painting (said he) consumes labour not disproportionate to its effect; but a fellow will hack half a year at a block of marble, to make something in stone, that hardly resembles a man. The value of statuary is owing to its difficulty. You would not value the finest head cut upon a carrot. Here he seemed to me to be strangely deficient in taste; for surely statuary is a noble art of imitation, and preserves a wonderful expression of the varieties of the human frame; and although it must be allowed that the circumstances of difficulty enhance the value of a marble bead, we should consider, that if it requires a long tine in the performance, it has a proportionate value in durability.
Gwyn was a fine lively rattling fellow. Dr. Johnson kept him in subjection, but with a kindly authority. The spirit of the artist, however, rose against what he thought a Gothic attack, and he made a brisk de fence. What, Sir, you will allow no value to beauty in architecture or in statuary? Why should we allow it then in writing? Why do you take the trouble to give us so many fine allusions, and bright images, and elegant phrases ? You might convey all your instruction without these oruameuts. Johnson smiled with complacency; but said, Why, Sir, all these ornaments are useful, because they obtain on easier reception for truth; but a building is not at all more convenient for being decorated with superfluous carved work.
Gwyn at last was lucky enough to make one reply to Dr. Johnson, which he allowed to be excellent. Johnson censured him for taking down a church, which might have stood many years, and buildivg a new one at a different place, for no other reason but that there might be a direct road to a new bridge; and his expression was, You are taking a church out of the way, that the people may go in a straight line to the bridge.-No, Sir, (said Gwyn), I am putting the church in the way, that the people may not go out of the way. Johnson. (with a hearty loud laugh of approbation,) Speak no more. Rest your colloquial fame
Upon our arrival at Oxford, Dr. Johnson and I went directly to Uvie versity College, but were disappointed on finding that one of the fellows, his friend Mr. Scott, who accompanied him from Newcastle to Edin. burgh, was gone to the country. We put up at the Angel Inn, and passed the evening by ourselves in easy and familiar conversation. Talka ing of constitutional melancholy, he observed, A man so afflicted, Sir, must divert distressing thoughts, and not combat with them. Boswell. May not he think them down, Sir Johnson. No, Sir.
To attempt to think them down is madness. He should have a lamp constantly burning in his bed-chamber during the night, and if wakefully disturbed, take a book, and read, and compose himself to rest. To have the management of the mind is a great art, and it may be attained in a considerable degree by experience and habitual exercise. Boswell. Should not he provide amusements for himself? Would it not, for instance, be right for him to take a course of chymistry? Johnson. Let bim take a course of chymistry, or a course of rope-dancing, or a course of any thing to which he is inclined at the time. Let him contrive to have as many retreats for his mind as he can, as many things to which it can fly from itself. Burtou's Anatomy of Melancholy' is a valuable work. It is, perhaps, overloaded with quotation. But there is a great spirit and great power in what Burton suys, when he writes from his own mind.
Next morning we visited Dr. Wetherell, Master of University College, with whom Dr. Johnson conferred on the most advantageous mode of disposing of the books printed at the Clarendon press, on which subject his letter has been inserted in a former page. I often had occasion to remark, Jobpson loved business, loved 10 have bis wisdom actually operate on real life. Dr. Wetherell and I talked of him without reserve in his own presence. Wetherell. I would have given him a hundred yuineas if he would have written a preface to his · Political Tracts' by way of a discourse on the British Constitution. Boswell. Dr. Johnson, though in his writings, and upon all occasions, a great friend to the constitution, both in church and state, has never written expressly in support of either. There is really a claim upon him for both. I am sure he could give a volume of no great bulk upon each, wbich would comprise all the substance, and with his spirit would effectuslly maintain them. He should
erect a fort on the confines of each. I could perceire that he was disa pleased with this dialogue. He burst out, Why should I be always writing? I hope he was conscious that the debt was just, and meant to discharge it, though he disliked being dunned.
We then went to Pembroke College, and waited on his old friend Dr. Adams, the inaster of it, whom I found to be a most polite, pleasing, communicative man. Before his advancement to the headship of his college, I had intended to go and visit him at Shrewsbury, where he was reetor of St. Chad's, in order to get from him what particulars he could recollect of Johnson's academical life. He now obligiogly gave me part of that authentic information, which, with what I afterwards owed to kindness, will be found incorporated in its proper place in this work.
Dr. Adams had distinguished himself by an able answer to David Home's “ Essay on Miracles." He told me he had once dined in company with Hume in London; that Hume shook hands with bim, and said, “You have treated me much better than I deserve ;” and that they exchanged visiis. I took the liberty to object to treating an infidel writer with smooth civility. Where there is a controversy concerning a passage in a classic author, or concerning a question in antiquities, or any other subject in which human happiness is not deeply interested, a man may treat his antagonist with politeness and even respect, But where the controversy is concerning the truth of religion, it is of soch vast importance to him who maintaiņs it, to obtain the victory, that the person of an opponent ought not to be spared. If a man firmly believes that religion is an invaluable treasure, he will consider a writer who endeavours to deprive mankind of it as a robber; he will look upon him as odious, though the infidel might think tinself in the right. A robber who reasons as the gang do in the “ Beggar's Opera," who call themselves practical philosophers, and may have as much sincerity as pernicious speculative philosophers, is not the less an object of just indignation. An abandoned profligate may think that it is not wrong to debauch my wife? but shall I, therefore, not detest him? And if I catch him in making an attempt, shall I treat him with politeness? No, I will kick him down stairs, or run him through the body; that is, if I really love my wife, or have a true rational notion of honour. An infidel then shall not be treated handsomely by a Christian, merely because he endeavours to rob with ingenuity. I do declare, however, that I am exceedingly unwilliog to be provoked to unger, and could I be persuaded that truth would not suffer from a cool moderation in its defenders, I should wish to preserve good humour, at least, in every controversy: dor, indeerl, do I see why a man should lose his temper while he does all be can to refule an opponent. I think ridicule may be fairly used against an infidel; for instance, if be be ao ugly fellow, and yet absurdly vain of his person, we may contrast his appearance with Cicero's beautiful image of Virtue, could she be seen, Johuson coincided with me and said, When a man voluntarily engages in an important controversy, he
is to do all he can to lessen his antagonist, because anthority from personal respect has much weight with most people, and often more than reasoning. If my antagonist writes bad language, though that may not be essential to the question, I will attack him for his bad language. Adams, You would not jostle a chimney-sweeper. Johnson. Yes, Sir, if it were necessary to jostle bim down.
Dr. Adams told us, that in some of the Colleges at Oxford, the fellows had excluded the students from social intercourse with them in the common room. Johnson. They are in the right, Sir: there can be po real conversation, no fair exertion of mind amongst them, if the young men are by; for a man who has a character does not choose to stake it in their presence. Boswell. But, Sir, may there not be very good conversation, without a contest for superiority ? Johnson. No animated conversation, Sir, for it cannot be but one or other will come off superior, I do not mean that the victor must have the better of the argument, for he may take the weak side; but his superiority of parts and knowledge will necessarily appear; and he to whom he thus shews himself superior, is lessened in the eyes of the young men. You know it was said, “ Mallem cum Scaligero errare quam cum Clavio recle sapere.' In the same manner take Bentley's and Jason de Nores' Comments upon Horace, you will admire Bentley more when wrong, than Jason when right.
We walked with Dr. Adams into the master's garden, and into the common room. Johnson. (after a reverie of meditation,) Ay! Here I used to play at draughts with Phil. Jones and Fluyder. Jones loved beer, and did not get very forward in the church. Fluyder turned out a scoundrel, a Whig, and said he was ashamed of having been bred at Oxford. He had a living at Putney, and got under the eye of some retainers to the court at that time, and so became a violent Whig; but he had been a scoundrel all along to be sure. Boswell. Was he a scoundrel, Sir, in any other way than that of being a political scoundrel ? Did he cheat at draughts? Johnson. Sir, we never played for money.
He then carried me to visit Dr. Bentham, Canon of Christ-Church, and Divinity professor, with whose learned and lively conversation we were much pleased. He gave us an invitation to dinner, which Dr. Johnsou told me was a high honour. Sir, it is a great thing to dine with the Canons of Christ Church. We could not accept his invitation, as we were engaged to dine at Universty College. We had an excellent dinner there, with the Masters and Fellows, it being St. Cuthbert's day, which is kept by them as a festival, as he was a saint of Durham, with which this college is much connected.
We drauk tea with Dr. Horne, late President of Magdalen College, and Bishop of Norwich, of whose abilities, in different respects, the public has had eminent proofs, and the esteem annexed to whose character was increased by knowing him personally. He had talked of publishing an edition of Walton's Lives, but had laid aside that desigu, opon Dr. Johnson's telling him, from mistake, that Lord Hailes intended to do it.
I had wished to negociate between Lord' Hailes and him, that one or other should perform so good a work. Johnson. In order to do it well, it will be necessary to collect all the editions of Walton's Lives. By way of adapting the book to the taste of the present age, they have, in a late edition, left out a vision 'which he relates Dr. Donde had, but it should be restored; and there should be a critical catalogue given of the works of the different persons whose lives were written by Walton; and therefore their works must be carefully read by the editor.
We then went to Trinity College, where be introduced me to Mr. Thomas Warton, with whom we passed a part of the evening.
We? talked of biography.Johnson. It is rarely well executed. They only who live with a man, can“write his life with'any genuine exactness and discrimination; and few people who have lived with a man, know'what to; remark about him. The chaplin of a late bishop; whom I was to assist in writing 'some' memoirs of his Lordship, could tell me scarcely any thing.
I said, Mr. Robert Dodsley's life should be written, as he had been so much connected with the wits of his time, and, by his literary merit, had raised himself from the station of a footman. Mr. Warton said, he" had published a little volume under the title of “The Muse in Livery.” Johnson. I doubt whether Dodsley's brother would 'thank a man who should write his life: yet Dodsley himself was not unwilling that his original low condition should be recollected. When Lord Lyttleton's · Dialogues of the Dead' came out, one of which is between 'A picius, an aacient epicure, and Dartineaf, a modern epicure, Dodsley said to me, “I knew Dartineuf well, for I was once his footman.”
Biography led us to speak of Dr. John Campbell, who had written a considerable part of the “ Biographia Brittannica." Johnson, though' he valued him highly, was of opinion that there wai'not so much in his great work, “A Political Survey of Great Britain," as the world had been taught to expect; and had said to me, that he believed Campbell's disappoiotment on account of the bad success of that work, had killed " him. He this evening observed of it, “That'work was his death." Mr. Warton, not adverting to his meaning, answered, I believe so; from the great attention he bestowed on it.' Johnson. Nay, "Sir, he died of want of attention, if he died at all by that book.
We talked of a work much in vogue at that time, written in a very mellifluous style, but which, under pretext of another subject, contained much artful infidelity. I said it was not fair to attack us unexpectedly; he should have warned us of our danger, before we entered his garden of flowery eloquence, by advertising, “Spring-guns and men-traps set here,” The author had been an Oxonian, and was remembered there for having “turved Papist.” I observed, that as he had changed several times—from the Church of England to the Chůrch of Rome-from the Church of Rome to infidelity,- I did not despair yet of seeing him a methodist preacher. Johnson. (laughing.) It is said, that his range No. 6.