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and learned society, 'Sir, (said he,) the conversation overflowed and drowned him.'
“ His philosophy, though austere and solemn, was by no means morose and cynical, and never blunted the laudable sensibilities of his character, or exempted him from the influence of the tender passions. Want of tenderness, he always alledged, was want of parts, and was no less a proof of stupidity than depravity.
“ Speaking of Mr. Hanway, who published A Six Weeks Tour through the South of England,' Jonas, (said he,) acquired some reputation by travelling abroad, but lost it all by travelling at home.'
“Of the passion of love he remarked, that its violence and ill effects were much exaggerated; for who has known any real sufferings on that head, more than from the exorbitancy of any other passion ?
“He much commended · Law's Serious Call,' which he said was the finest piece of hortatory theology in any language. •Law (said he,) fell latterly into the reveries of Jacob Behmen, whom Law alledged to have been somewhat in the same state with St. Paul, and to have seen unutterable things. Were it even so, (said Johnson) Jacob would have resembled St. Paul still more, by not attempting to utter them.'
“He observed, that the established clergy in general did not preach plain enough; and that polished periods and glittering sentences flew over the heads of the common people, without any impression upon their hearts. Something might be necessary, he observed, to excite the affections of the common people, who were sunk in languor and lethargy, and therefore he supposed that the
concomitants of methodism might probably produce so desirable an effect. The mind, like the body, he observed, delighted in change and novelty, and even in religion itself, courted new appearances and modifications. Whatever might be thought of some methodist teachers, he said he could scarcely doubt the sincerity of that man, who travelled nine hundred miles in a month, and preached twelve times a week; for no adequate reward, merely temporal, could be given for such indefatigable labour.
“Of Dr. Priestly's theological works, he remarked, that they tended to unsettle every thing, and yet settled nothing.
“ He was much affected by the death of his mother, and wrote to me to come and assist him to compose his mind, which indeed I found extremely agitated. He lamented that all serious and religious conversation was banished from the society of men, and yet great advantages might be derived from it. All acknowledged, he said, what hardly any body practised, the obligation we were under of making the concerns of eternity the governing principles of our lives. Every man, he observed, at last wishes for retreat : he sees his expectations frustrated in the world, and begins to wean himself from it, and to prepare for everlasting separation.
“ He observed, that the influence of London now extended every where, and that from all manner of communication being opened, there shortly would be no remains of the ancient simplicity, or places of cheap retreat to be found.
“He was no admirer of blank-verse, and said it always failed, unless sustained by the dignity of the subject. In blank-verse, he said, the language suffered more distortion, to keep it out of prose, than any inconvenience or limitation to be apprehended from the shackles and circumscription of rhyme.
“ He reproved me once for saying grace without mention of the name of our Lord Jesus CHRIST, and hoped in future I would be more mindful of the apostolical injunction.
“He refused to go out of a room before me at Mr. Langton's house, saying, he hoped he knew his rank better than to presume to take place of a Doctor in Divinity. I mention such little anecdotes, merely to shew the peculiar turn and habit of his mind.
“ He used frequently to observe, that there was more to be endured than enjoyed, in the general condition of human life; and frequently quoted those lines of Dryden :
Strange cozenage ! none would live past years again,
Yet all hope pleasure from what still remain.' For his part, he said, he never passed that week in his life which he would wish to repeat, were an angel to make the proposal to him.
“ He was of opinion, that the English nation cultivated both their soil and their reason better than any other people; but admitted that the French, though not the highest, perhaps, in any department of literature, yet in every department were very high. Intellectual pre-eminence, he observed, was the highest superiority; and that every nation derived their highest reputation from the splendour and dignity of their writers. Voltaire, he said, was a good narrator, and that his principal merit consisted in a happy selection and arrangement of circumstances.
“ Speaking of the French novels, compared with Richardson's, he said they might be pretty baubles, but a wren was not an eagle.
“ In a Latin conversation with the Pere Boscovitz, at the house of Mrs. Cholmondeley, I heard him maintain the superiority of Sir
Cor. et Ad.-Line 8: For “or” read “nor."
Isaac Newton over all foreign philosophers, with a dignity and eloquence that surprized that learned foreigner. It being observed to him, that a rage for every thing English prevailed much in France after Lord Chatham's glorious war, he said, he did not wonder at it, for that we had drubbed those fellows into a proper reverence for us, and that their national petulance required periodical chastisement.
“Lord Lyttelton's Dialogues, he deemed a nugatory performance. • That man, (said he,) sat down to write a book, to tell the world what the world had all his life been telling him.'
“Somebody observing that the Scotch Highlanders in the year 1745, had made surprizing efforts, considering their numerous wants and disadvantages : 'Yes, Sir, (said he,) their wants were numerous, but you have not mentioned the greatest of them all,the want of law.'
“Speaking of the inward light, to which some methodists pretended, he said, it was a principle utterly incompatible with social or civil security. If a man, (said he,) pretends to a principle of action of which I can know nothing, nay, not so much as that he has it, but only that he pretends to it; how can I tell what that person may be prompted to do? When a person professes to be governed by a written ascertained law, I can then know where to find him.'
“ The poem of Fingal, he said, was a mere unconnected rhap sody, a tiresome repetition of the same images. •In vain shall we look for the lucidus ordo, where there is neither end or object, design or moral, nec certa recurrit imago.'
Being asked by a young nobleman what was become of the gallantry and military spirit of the old English nobility, he replied,
Why, my Lord, I'll tell you what is become of it; it is gone into the city to look for a fortune.'
Speaking of a dull, tiresome fellow, whom he chanced to meet, he said, “That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one.'
“Much inquiry having been made concerning a gentleman who had quitted a company where Johnson was, and no information being obtained ; at last Johnson observed, that he did not care to speak ill of any man behind his back, but he believed the gentleman was an attorney.'
“ He spoke with much contempt of the notice taken of Wood house, the poetical shoemaker.1 He said, it was all vanity and
· As a pendant for this prodigy, there patronized by Hannah More. was the poetical milkwoman at Bath,
childishness; and that such objects were, to those who patronized them, mere mirrors of their own superiority. • They had better, (said he,) furnish the man with good implements for his trade, than raise subscriptions for his poems. He may make an excellent shoemaker, but can never make a good poet. A school-boy's exercise may be a pretty thing for a school-boy, but is no treat for a man.'
“Speaking of Boetius, who was the favourite writer of the middle ages, he said it was very surprizing, that upon such a subject, and in such a situation, he should be magis philosophus quàm Christianus.
“ Speaking of Arthur Murphy, whom he very much loved, I don't know, (said he,) that Arthur can be classed with the very first dramatic writers ; yet at present I doubt much whether we have any thing superiour to Arthur.'
Speaking of the national debt, he said, it was an idle dream to suppose that the country could sink under it. Let the public creditors be ever so clamorous, the interest of millions must ever prevail over that of thousands.
“Of Dr. Kennicott's Collations, he observed, that though the text should not be much mended thereby, yet it was no small advantage to know, that we had as good a text as the most consummate industry and diligence could procure.
“ Johnson observed, that so many objections might be made to everything, that nothing could overcome them but the necessity of doing something. No man would be of any profession, as simply opposed to not being of it: but every one must do something.
“ He remarked that a London parish was a very comfortless thing, for the clergyman seldom knew the face of one out of ten of his parishioners.
“Of the late Mr. Mallet he spoke with no great respect : said, he was ready for any dirty job: that he had wrote against Byng at the instigation of the ministry, and was equally ready to write for him, provided he found his account in it.
*A gentleman who had been very unhappy in marriage, married immediately after his wife died : Johnson said, it was the triumph of hope over experience.
“He observed, that a man of sense and education should meet a suitable companion in a wife. It was a miserable thing when the conversation could only be such as, whether the mutton should be boiled or roasted, and probably a dispute about that.
“ He did not approve of late marriages, observing, that more was lost in point of time, than compensated for by any possible advan.
tages. Even ill assorted marriages were preferable to cheerless celibacy.
“Of old Sheridan he remarked, that he neither wanted parts or literature, but that his vanity and Quixotism obscured his merits.
“ He said, foppery was never cured; it was the bad stamina of the mind, which, like those of the body, were never rectified : once a coxcomb, and always a coxcomb.
“ Being told that Gilbert Cowper called him the Caliban of literature; Well, (said he,) I must dub him the Punchinello.'
“ Speaking of the old Earl of Corke and Orrery, he said, “that man spent his life in catching at an object [literary eminence,] which he had not power to grasp.'
“He often used to quote, with great pathos, those fine lines of Virgil :
• Optima quæque dies miseris mortalibus ævi
Et labor, et duræ rapit inclementia mortis.' “ To find a substitution for violated morality, he said, was the leading feature in all perversions of religion.”
In 1771 he published another political pamphlet, entitled “Thoughts
(Second edition)—"The Rev. Dr. Maxwell's Additional Communications." Cor. et Ad.-After line 19, read, " Speaking of Homer," whom he venerated as the prince of poets, Johnson remarked that the advice given to Diomed by his father, when he sent him to the Trojan war, was the noblest exhortation that could be instanced in any heathen writer, and comprised in a single line :
Αιεν αριστευειν, και υπειροχον εμμεναι αλλων: which, if I recollect well, is translated by Dr. Clarke thus : semper appetere prestantissima, et omnibus aliis antecellere,
“He observed, it was a most mortifying reflection for any man to consider, what he had done, compared with what he might have done.'
“He said few people had intellectual resources sufficient to forego the pleasures of wine. They could not otherwise contrive how to fill the interval between dinner
“He went with me, one Sunday, to hear my old master, Gregory Sharpe, preach at the Temple.-In the prefatory prayer, Sharpe ranted about Liberty, as a blessing most fervently to be implored, and its continuance prayed for. Johnson observed that our liberty was in no sort of danger :-he would have done much better, to pray against our licentiousness.
• One evening at Mrs. Montagu's, where a splendid company was assembled, consisting of the most eminent literary characters, I thought he seemed highly pleased with the respect and attention that were shewn to him, and asked him, on our return home, if he was not highly gratified by his visit : «No, Sir, (said he) not highly gratified; yet I do not recollect to have passed many evenings with fewer objections.'
Though Boswell praises Mr. Baldwin printed carelessly. In the second the for his printing, the two editions were numbers of the pages are sometimas