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1773. readers may perhaps be desirous to know our bill of fare. Foote, I remember, Ætat. 64. in allusion to Francis, the negro, was willing to suppose that our repast was
black broth. But the fact was, that we had a very good soup, a boiled leg of lamb and spinach, a veal pye, and a rice pudding.
. Of Dr. John Campbell, the authour, he said, “ He is a very inquisitive and a very able man, and a man of good religious principles, though I am afraid he has been deficient in practice. Campbell is radically right; and we may hope, that in time there will be good practice.”
He owned that he thought Hawkesworth was one of his imitators, but he did not think Goldsmith was. Goldsmith, he said, had great merit. Boswell. “But, Sir, he is much indebted to you for his getting so high in the publick estimation.” Johnson. “ Why, Sir, he has, perhaps, got sooner to it by his intimacy with me.”
Goldsmith, though his vanity often excited him to occasional competition, had a very high regard for Johnson, which he at this time expressed in the strongest manner in the Dedication of his comedy, entitled, “She stoops to conquer 4.”
Johnson observed, that there were very few books printed in Scotland before the Union. He had seen a complete collection of them in the possession of the Honourable Archibald Campbell, a nonjuring Bishop 4. I wish this collection had been kept entire. Many of them are in the library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh. I told Dr. Johnson that I had some intention to write the life of the learned and worthy Thomas Ruddiman. He said, “I should take pleasure in helping you to do honour to him. But his farewell letter to the Faculty of Advocates, when he resigned the office of their Librarian, should have been in Latin."
I put a question to him upon a fact in common life, which he could not answer, nor have I found any one else who could. What is the reason that women servants, though obliged to be at the expence of purchasing their own clothes, have much lower wages than men servants, to whom a great proportion of that article is furnished, and when in fact our female house servants work much harder than the male ?
4 ~ By infcribing this flight performance to you, I do not mean so much to compliment you, as myself. It may do me some honour to inform the publick, that I have lived many years in intimacy with you. It may serve the interests of mankind also to inform them, that the greatest wit may be found in a character, without impairing the most unaffected piety.”
s See an account of this learned and respectable gentleman, and of his curious work on the Middle State, “ Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides," 3d edit. p. 371,
He told me, that he had twelve or fourteen times attempted to keep a journal of his life, but never could persevere. He advised me to do it. “The Ærat. 74. great thing to be recorded, (said he,) is the state of your own mind; and you should write down every thing that you remember, for you cannot judge at first what is good or bad ; and write immediately while the impression is fresh, for it will not be the same a week afterwards.”
I again solicited him to communicate to me the particulars of his early years. He said, “ You shall have them all for two-pence. I hope you shall know a great deal more of me before you write my Life.” He mentioned to me this day many circumstances, which I wrote down when I went home, and have interwoven in the former part of this narrative.
On Tuesday, April 13, he and Dr. Goldsmith and I dined at General Oglethorpe's. Goldsmith expatiated on the common topick, that the race of our people was degenerated, and that this was owing to luxury. Johnson. “Sir, in the first place, I doubt the fact. I believe there are as many tall men in England now, as ever there were. But, secondly, supposing the stature of our people to be diminished, that is not owing to luxury; for, Sir, consider to how very small a proportion of our people luxury can reach. Our soldiery, surely, are not luxurious, who live on six-pence a day; and the same remark will apply to almost all the other classes. Luxury, so far as it reaches the poor, will do good to the race of people : it will strengthen and multiply them. Sir, no nation was ever hurt by luxury; for, as I said before, it can reach but to a very few. I admit that the great increase of commerce and manufactures hurts the military spirit of a people ; because it produces a competition for something else than martial honours,—a competition for riches. It also hurts the bodies of the people ; for you will observe, there is no man who works at any particular trade, but you may know him from his appearance to do so. One part or other of his body being more used than the rest, he is in some degree deformed: but, Sir, that is not luxury. A tailor fits cross-legged; but that is not luxury.” Goldsmith. “Come, you're just going to the fame place by another road.” Johnson. “Nay, Sir, I say that is not luxury. Let us take a walk from Charing-cross to Whitechapel, through, I suppose, the greatest series of shops in the world, what is there in any of these shops, (if you except gin-shops,) that can do any human being any harm ?” Goldsmith.
Well, Sir, I'll accept your challenge. The very next shop to Northumberland-house is a pickle-shop.” Johnson. “ Well, Sir : do we not know that a maid can in one afternoon make pickles fufficient to serve a whole family for a year? nay, that five pickle-shops can serve all the kingdom ? Besides, Eee 2
1773. Sir, there is no harm done to any body by the making of pickles, or the eatÆtat. 64. ing of pickles.”
We drank tea with the ladies; and Goldsmith sung Tony Lumpkin's song in his comedy, " She stoops to conquer,” and a very pretty one, to an Irish tune, which he had designed for Miss Hardcastle; but as Mrs. Bulkeley, who played the part, could not sing, it was left out. He afterwards wrote it down for me, by which means it was preserved, and now appears amongst his poems. Dr. Johnson, in his way home, stopt at my lodgings in Piccadilly, and fat with me, drinking tea a second time, till a late hour.
I told him that Mrs. Macaulay faid, she wondered how he could reconcile his political principles with his moral ; his notions of inequality and subordination with wishing well to the happiness of all mankind, who might live so agreeably, had they all their portions of land, and none to domineer over another. Johnson. “Why, Sir, I reconcile my principles very well, because . mankind are happier in a state of inequality and subordination. Were they to be in this pretty state of equality, they would foon degenerate into brutes ;they would become Monboddo's nation ;-their tails would grow. Sir, all; would be losers, were all to work to all :—they would have no intellectual improvement. All intellectual improvement arises from leisure: all leisure. arises from one working for another.”
Talking of the family of Stuart, he said, “ It should seem that the family at present on the throne has now established as good a right as the former. family, by the long consent of the people; and that to disturb this right might be considered as culpable. At the same time I own, that it is a very difficult question, when considered with respect to the house of Stuart. "To oblige. people to take oaths as to the disputed right, is wrong. I know not whether. I could take them: but I do not blame those who do.” So conscientious and so delicate was he upon this subject, which has occasioned so much clamour. against him.
Talking of law cafes, he said, “ The English reports, in general, are very poor : only the half of what has been said is taken down; and of that half, much is mistaken. Whereas, in Scotland, the arguments on each side are deliberately put in writing, to be considered by the Court.. I think a collection of your cases upon subjects of importance, with the opinions of the Judges upon them, would be valuable.”
On Thursday, April 15, I dined with him and Dr. Goldsmith at General Paoli's. We found here, Signor Martinelli, of Florence, authour of a History: of England in Italian, printed at London,
I spoke of Allan Ramsay's “ Gentle Shepherd,” in the Scottish dialect, as the best pastoral that had ever been written ; not only abounding with beauti- Ætat. Ex. ful rural imagery, and just and pleasing sentiments, but being a real picture of manners; and I offered to teach Dr. Johnson to understand it. “No, Sir, , (said he,) I won't learn it. You shall retain your superiority by my not
This brought on a question whether one man is lessened by another's acquiring an equal degree of knowledge with him. Johnson asserted the affirmative. I maintained that the position might be true in those kinds of knowledge which produce wisdom, power, and force, so as to enable one man to have the government of others; but that a man is not in any degree leffened by others knowing as well as he what ends in mere pleasure :-eating fine fruits, drinking delicious wines, reading exquisite poetry.
The General observed, that Martinelli was a Whig. Johnson. “ I am sorry for it. It shews the spirit of the times : he is obliged to temporise.” BosweLL. “ I rather think, Sir, that Toryism prevails in this reign." Johnson. “I know not why you should think so, Sir. You see
friend Lord Lyttelton, a nobleman, is obliged in his History to write the most vulgar Whiggism.”
An animated debate took place whether Martinelli should continue his History of England to the present day. GOLDSMITH. “ To be sure he should.” Johnson. “ No, Sir; he would give great offence. He would have to tell of almost all the living great what they do not wish told.” GOLDSMITH. “ It may, perhaps, be necessary for a native to be more cautious; but a foreigner who comes among us without prejudice, may be considered as holding the place of a Judge, and may fpeak his mind freely.” Johnson. “Sir, a foreigner, when he sends a work from the press, ought to be on his guard against catching the errour and mistaken enthusiasm of the people among whom he happens to be.” GOLDSMITH. “Sir, he wants only to sell. his hiltory, and tell truth; one an honest, the other a laudable motive.”. Johnson. “Sir, they are both laudable motives. It is laudable in a man to wish to live by his labours ; but he should write so as he may live by them, not so as he may be knocked on the head. I would advise him to be at Calais . before he publishes his history of the present age. A foreigner who attaches himself to a political party in this country, is in the worst state that can be imagined: he is looked upon as a mere intermeddler. A native may do it from interest.” Boswell. “Or principle.” GOLDSMITH.“ There are people who tell a hundred political lies every day, and are not hurt by it. Surely
then, one may tell truth with safety.” Johnson. “Why, Sir, in the first place, he who tells a hundred lies has disarmed the force of his lies. But besides; a man had rather have a hundred lies told of him, than one truth which he does not with should be told.” GOLDSMITH. “ For my part, I'd tell truth, and shame the devil.” Johnson. “ Yes, Sir; but the devil will be angry. I wish to shame the devil as much as you do ; but I should choose to be out of the reach of his claws.” GOLDSMITH, “ His claws can do you no harm, when you have the shield of truth."
It having been observed that there was little hospitality in London; Johnson. « Nay, Sir, any man who has a name, or who has the power of pleasing, will be very generally invited in London. The man, Sterne, I have been told, has had engagements for three months.” GOLDSMITH. “ And a very dull fellow.” Johnson. “Why no, Sir."
Martinelli told us, that for several years he lived much with Charles Townshend, and that he ventured to tell him he was a bad joker. Johnson.
Why, Sir, thus much I can say upon the subject. One day he and a few more agreed to go and dine in the country, and each of them was to bring a a friend in his carriage with him. Charles Townshend asked Fitzherbert to go
with him, but told him, “You must find somebody to bring you back: I can only carry you there.' Fitzherbert did not much like this arrangement. He however consented, observing sarcastically, “It will do very well; for then the same jokes will serve you in returning as in going.”
An eminent publick character being mentioned ;-Johnson. “ I remember being present when he shewed himself to be so corrupted, or at least something so different from what I think right, as to maintain, that a member of parliament should go along with his party right or wrong. Now, Sir, this is so remote from native virtue, from scholastick virtue, that a good man must have undergone a great change before he can reconcile himself to such a doctrine. It is maintaining, that you may lie to the publick; for lie when you call that right which you think wrong, or the reverse. A friend of ours, who is too much an echo of that gentleman, observed, that a man who does not stick uniformly to a party, is only waiting to be bought. Why then, said I, he is only waiting to be what that gentleman is already.”
We talked of the King's coming to fee Goldsmith's new play.-" I wish he would,” said Goldsmith ; adding, however, with an affected indifference, “Not that it would do me the least good.” Johnson.“ Well then, Sir, let us say it would do him good, (laughing.) No, Sir, this affectation will not pass ;-—it is mighty idle. In such a state as ours, who would not wish to