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indignation because Lord Mountstuart's bill for a Scotch militia had been lost. Dr. Johnson was as violent against it. I am glad, (said he,) that Parliament has had the spirit to throw it out. You wanted to take the advantage of the timidity of our scoundrels ; (ineaning, I suppose, the ministry.) It inay be observed, that he used the epithet scoundrel, very commonly, not quite in the sense in which it is generally understoods but as a strong term of disapprobation; as when he abruptly answered Mrs. Thrale, who had asked him how he did, “ Ready to become a scoundrel, Madam ; with a little more spoiling you will, I think, make me a complete rascal :"-he meant, easy to become a capricious and selfindulgent valetudinarian ; a character for which I have heard him express great disgust.
Johnson had with him upon this jaunt, “ Il Palmerino d' Inghilterra," a romance praised by Cervantes; but did not like it much. He said, he read it for the language, by way of preparation for his Italian expedition.-We lay this night at Loughborough.
On Thursday, March 28, we pursued our journey. I mentioned that old Mr. Sheridau coinplained of the ingratitude of Mr. Wedderburne and General Fraser, who had been much obliged to him when they were young Scotchmen entering upon life in England. Johnson. Why, Sir, a man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him. A man when he gets into a higher sphere, into other habits of life, cannot keep up all bis former connections. Then, Sir, those who knew him formerly upon a level with themselves, may think that they ought still to be treated as on a level, which cannot be ; and an acquaintance in a former situation may bring oứt things which it would be very disagreeable to have mentioned before higher company, though, perhaps, every body knows of them. He placed this subject in à new light to me, and showed, that a man who has risen in the world, must not be condemned too harshly, for being distant to former acquaintance, even though he may have been much obliged to them. It is, no doubt, to be wished, that a proper degree of attention should be shewn by great men to their early frievds. But if either from obtuse in-ensia bility to difference of situation, or presumptuous forwardness, which will not subinit even to an exterior observance of it, the dignity of high place cannot be preserved, when they are admitted into the company of those raised above the state in which they once were, encroachment must be repelled, and the kinder feelings sacrificed. To one of the very fortunate persons whom I have meotioned, namely, Mr. Wedderburne, now Lord Loughborough, I must do the justice to relate, that I have been assured by another early acquaintance of his, old Mr. Macklin, who assisted in improving his pronunciation, that he found him very grateful. Macklin, I suppose, had not pressed upon his elevation with so much eagerne:8, as the gentleman who complained of him. Dr. Johnson's remark as to the jealousy entertained of our friends who rise far above us, is certainly very just. By this was withered the early friendship between Charles No. 7.
Townshend and Akenside; and many similar instances might be adduced.
He said It is commonly a weak man, who marries for love. We then talked of marrying women of fortune; and I mentioned a common remark, that a man may be, upon the whole, richer by marrying a woman with a very small portion, because a woman of fortune will be proportivoably expensive; whereas a woman who brings vone will be very moderate in expenses. Johoson. Depend upon it, Sir, this is not true. A woman of fortone being used to the bandling of money, spends it judiciously : but a woman who gets the command of money for the first time upou her marriage, has such a gust in spending it, that she throws it away with great profusion.
He praised the ladies of the present age, insisting that they were more faithful to their busbands, and more virtuous in every respect, than in former times, because their understandings were better cultivated. It was an ondoabted proof of his good sense and good disposition, that he was never querulous, Dever prone to inveigh against the present times, as is so common when superficial minds are on the fret. On the contrary, he was willing to speak favourably of his own age; and, indeed, maiotained its superiority in every respect, except in its reverence for goveriment; the relaxation of which he impoted, as its grand cause, to the shock which our monarchy received at the Revolution, though necessary; and secondly to the timid concessions made to faction by successive administrations in the reign of his present Majesty. I am happy to think, that he lived to see the Crown at last recover its just influence.
At Leicester we read in the news-paper that Dr. James was dead. I thought that the death of an old school-fellow, and one with whom he had lived a good deal in London, would have affected my fellow-traveller much : but he only said, “Ah! poor Jamy.” Afterwards, however, when we were in the chaise, he said, with more tenderness, “ Since I set out on this jaunt, I have lost an old friend and a young one ;-Dr. James, and poor Harry," (meaning Mr. Thrale's son.)
Having lain at St. Alban's, on Thursday, March 28, we breakfasted the next morning at Barpet. I expressed to him a weakness of mind which I could not help; an uneasy apprehension that my wife and chil. dren, who were at a great distance from me, migli, perhaps, be ill. “Sir, (said he,) consider how foolish you would think it in them to be apprehensive that you are ill.' This sudden turo relieved me for the moment; but I afterwards perceived it to be an ingenious fallacy. I might, to be sure, be satisfied that they 'bad no reason to be
appre. hensive about me, because I knew that I myself was well : but we might have a mutual anxiety, without the charge of folly ; because each was, in some degree, uncertain as to the condition of the other.
I enjoyed the luxury of our approach to London, that metropolis which we both loved so much, for the high and varied intellectual pleasure which it furnishes. I experienced immediate happiness while whirled along with such a companion, and said to him, Sir, you observed one day at General Oglethorpe’s, that a man is never happy for the present, but when he is drunk. Will you not add, -or when driving rapidly in a post-chaise? Johnson. No, Sir, you are driving rapidly from something or to something.
Talking of melancholy, he said, “Some men, and very thinking men too, have not those vexing thoughts. Sir Joshua Reynolds is the same all the year round. Beauclerk, except when ill and in pain, is the same. But I believe most men have them in the degree in which they are capable of having them. If I were in the country, and were distressed by that malady, I would force myself to take a book; and every time I did it I should find it the easier. Melancholy, indeed, should be diverted by every means but drinking."
We stopped at Messieurs Dillys, booksellers in the Poultry; from whence he hurried away, in a hackney coach, to Mr. Thrale's in the Bom rough. I called at his house in the evening, having promised to acquaint Mrs. Williams of his safe return; when, to my surprise, I fouud him sitting with her at tea, and, as I thought, not in a very good humour; for, it seems, when he had got to Mr. Thrale's, he found the coach was at the door waiting to carry Mrs. and Miss Thrale, and Signor Baretti, their Italian master, to Bath. This was not shewing the attention which might have been expected to the “Guide, Philosopher, and Friend;" the Imlac who had hastened from the country to console a distressed mother, who he understood was very anxious for his return, They had, I found, without ceremony, proceeded on their intended journey. I was glad to understand from him that it was still resolved that his tour to Italy with Mr. and Mrs. Thrale should take place, of which he had en. tertained some doubt, on account of the loss which they had suffered ; and his doubts afterwards appeared to be well-founded. He observed, indeed, very justly, that “their loss was an additional reason for their going abroad; and if it had not been fixed that he should have been one of the party, he would force them out; but he would not advise them unless his advice was asked, lest they might suspect that he recommended what he wished on his own account.” I was not pleased that his inti. macy with Mr. Thrale's family, though it no doubt contributed much to his comfort and enjoyment, was not without soine degree of restraint: Not, as has been grossly suggested, that it was required of him as a task to talk for the entertainment of them and their company ; but that he was not quite at his ease; which, however, might partly be owing to his own honest pride-that digoity of iniod which is always jealous of appearing
too compliant. On Sunday, March 31, 1 called on him, and shewed him as a curiosity which I had discovered, his “Translation of Lobo's Account of Abyssinia," which Sir Jobn Pringle had lent me, it being then little known as one of his works. He said, Take no notice of it, or don't talk of it. He seemed to think it beneath him, though done at six and twenty. I
said to him, Your style, Sir, is much improved since you translated this. He answered with a sort of triumphant smile, Sir, I hope it is.
On Wednesday, April 3, in the morving, I found him very busy pot. ting his books in order, and as they were generally very old ones, clouds of dust were flying around him. He had on a pair of large gloves such as hedgers use. His present appearance put me in mind of my uncle, Dr. Boswell's description of him, “A robust genius, born to grapple with whole libraries."
I gave him au account of a conversation which had passed between me and Captain Cook, the day before, at dinner at Sir John Pringle's; and he was much pleased with the conscientious accuracy of that celebrated circumnavigator, who set me right as to many of the exaggerated accounts given by Dr. Hawkesworth of his Voyages. I told him that while I was with the Captain, I catched the enthusiasm of curiosity and adventure, and fell a strong inclination to go with hiin on his next voyage. Johusoo. Why, Sir, a man does feel so, till be considers how very little he can learn from such voyages. Boswell. But one is carried away with the general grand and indistinct notion of A VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. Johnson. Yes, Sir, but a man is to guard himself against taking a thing in general. I said I was certain that a great part of what we are told by the travellers to the South Sea rnust be conjectare, because they had not enough of the language of those countries to understand so much as they have related. Objects falling under the observation of the senses might be clearly known; but every thing intellectual, every thing abstract-politics, morals, and religion, must be darkly guessed. Dr. Johuson was of the same opinion. He upon another occasion, when a friend mentioned to bim stveral extraordinary facts, as communicated to him by the circumnavigators, slyly observed, “Sir, I never before knew how much I was respected by these gentlemen ; they told me none of these thiogs.”
He had been in company with Omai, a native of one of the South Sea Islands, after he had been some time in this country. He was struck with the elegance of his behaviour, and accounted for it thus :
Sir, he had passed his time, while in England, only in the best company; so that all he had acquired of our manners was genteel. As a proof of this, Sir, Lord Mulgrave and he dined one day at Streatham ; they sat with their backs to the light fronting me, so that I could not see distinctly; and there was so little of the savage in Omai, that I was afraid to speak to either, lest I should mistake one for the other.”
We agreed to dine to-day at the Mitre tavern, after the rising of the House of Lords, where a branch of the litigation concerning the Douglas estate, in which I was one of the counsel, was to come on. I brought with me Mr. Murray, Solicitor-General of Scotland, now one of the Judges of the Court of Session, with the title of Lord Henderland. I mentioned Mr. Solicitor's relation, Lord Charles Hay, with whom I knew Dr. Johnson had been acquainted. Johnson. I wrote something for
Lord Charles; and I thought he had nothing to fear from a court-martial. I suffered a great loss when he died; he was a mighty pleasing man in conversation, and a reading man. The character of a soldier is high. They who stand forth the foremost in danger, for the community, have the respect of mankind. An officer is much more respected than any other man who has as little money. In a commercial country, money will always purchase respect. But you find, an officer, who has, properly speaking, no money, is every where well received and treated with attention. The character of a soldier always stands him in stead. Boswell. Yet, Sir, I think that common soldiers are worse thought of than other men in the same rank of life; such as labourers. Johnson. Why, Sir, a common soldier is usually a very gross man, and any qua. Jity which procures respect may be overwhelmed by grossness. A man of learning may be so vicious or so ridiculous that you cannot respect him. A common soldier too, generally eats more than he can pay for. But when a common soldier is civil in his quarters, his red coat procures him a degree of respect. The peculiar respect paid to the military character in France was mentioned. Boswell. I should think that where military men are so numerous, they would be less valued, as not being rare. Johnson. Nay, Sir, wherever a particular character or profession is high in the estimation of a people, those who are of it will be valued above other men. We value an Buglishman high in this country, and yet Englishmen are not rare in it,
Mr. Murray praised the ancient philosophers for the candour and good humour with which those of different sects disputed with each other. Johnson. Sir, they disputed with good humour, because they were not in earnest as to religion. Had the ancients been serious in their belief, we should not have had their gods exhibited in the manner we find them represented in the Poets. The people would not have suffered it. They disputed with good humour upon their fanciful theories, because they were not interested in the truth of them : when a man has nothing to lose, he may be in good humour with his opponent. Accordingly you see in Lucian, the Epicurean, who argues only negatively, keeps his temper : the Stoic, who has something positive to preserve, grows angry. Being angry with one who controverts an opinion which you yalye, is a necessary consequence of the uneasiness which you feel. Every man who attacks my belief, diminishes in some degree my confidence in it, and therefore makes me uneasy; and I am aogry with him who makes me uneasy. Those only who believed in revelation have been angry at having their faith called in question; because they only had something upon which they could rest as matter of fact, Murray. It seems to me that we are not angry at a man for controverting an opinion which we believe and value; we rather pity him. Johnson. Why, Sir, to be sure when you wish a man to have that belief which you think is of infinite advantage, you wislı well to him; but your primary considerazion is your own quiet. if a madman were to come into this room with