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with whom it was made out; and Johnson, who heard all this, did not contradict it. But when I shewed a copy of this list to him, and inen-. tioned the evidence for its exactness, he laughed and said, I was willing to let them go on as they pleased, and never interfered. l'pon which I read to him, article by article, and got him positively to own or refuse; and then, having obtained certainty so far, I got some other articles confirmed by him directly, and afterwards, from time to time, made additions under his sanction.
His friend, Edward Cave, having been mentioned, he told us, Cave used to sell ten thousand of The Gentleman's Magazine;' yet such was then his minute attention and anxiety that the sale should not suffer the smallest decrease, that he would name a particular person who he heard had talked of leaving off the Magazine, and would say, “Let us have something good next month."
It was observed that avarice was inherent in some dispositions. Johnsori. No man was born a miser, because no man was born to possession, Every man is born cupidus-desirous of getting ; but not avarus-desirous of keeping. Boswell. I have heard old Mr. Sherridan maintain, with much ingenuity, that a complete miser is a happy man: a miser who gives himself wholly to the oue passion of saving. Johnson. That is Aying in the face of all the world, who have called an avaricious man a miser, because he is miserable. No, Sir, a man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoymepts.
The conversation having turned on Bon-Mots, he quoted, from one of Ana, an exquisite instance of flattery in a maid of honour in France, who being asked by the Queen what o'clock it was, answered, “ What your Majesty pleases." He admitted that Mr. Burke's classical pun upon Mr. Wilke's being carried on the shoulders of the mob,
pumerisque fertur “ Lege solutus,"
was admirable; and though he was strangely unwilling to allow to that extraordinary man the talent of wit, he also laughed with approbation at another of his playful conceits; which was, that Horace has in one line given a description of a good desirable manor:
* Est modus io rebus, sunt certi denique fines ;'
that is to say, a modus as to the lithes, and certain fines.
He observed, a man cannot with propriety speak of himself, except he relates simple facts ; as, I was at Richmond:' or what depends on mensuration; as, 'I am six feet high.' He is sure he has been at Richmond; he is sure he is six feet high : but he cannot be sure he is wise, or that he has any other excellence. Then, all censare of a man's self is oblique praises It is in order to show how much he can spare. It has all the in
vidiousness of self-praise, and all the reproach of falsehond. Boswell. Sometimes it may proceed from a man's strong consciousness of his faults being observert. tle knows that others would throw him down, and therto, fore he had better lie down sofily of his own accord.
On Tuesday, April 28, he was engaged to dine at General Paoli's, where, as I have already observed, I was still entertained in elegaut hospitality, and with all the ease and comfort of a home. I called on bim, and accompanied him in a hackney-coach. We stopped first at the bottom of Hedge-lane, into which he went to leave a letter, with good news for a poor man in distress, as he told me. I did not question biin particularly as to this. He himself often resembled Lady Boling broke's lively description of Pope: that he was un politique aux chour el aux raves. He would say, I dine to-day in Grosvenor-squure; this might be with a Duke; or, perhaps, I dine to day at the other end of the town: or a gentleman of great eminence called on ne resterday.--He loved thus to keep things floating in conjecture : Omne ignotum pro magnifico est. I believe I ventured to dissipate the cloud, to veil the mystery, more freely and frequently than any of his friends. We stopped again at Wirgman's the well-known toy-shop, in St. James's-Street, at the corner of St. James's-Place, to which he had been directed, but not clearly, for he searched about some time, and could not find it at first; and said, To direct' one only to a corner shop is toying with one. I suppose he meant this as a play upon the word soy ; it was the first time that I knew him to stoop to such sport. After he bad been some time in the shop, he sent for me to come out of the coach, and help him to choose a pair of silver buckles, as those he had were too small. Probably this alteration in dress had been suggested by Mrs. Thrale, by associating with whom, his external appearance was much improved. He gut better cloaths; and the dark colour, from which he never deviated, was enlivened by metal buttons. His wigs, too, were much better ; and during their travels in France, he was furnished with a Parismade wig, of handsome construction. This choosing of silver buckles was a negociation : Sir, (said he,) I will not have the ridiculous large ones Dow in fashion ; and I will give no more than a guinea for a pair. Such were the principles of the business; and, after some examination, he was fitted. As we drove along, I found him in a talking humour, of which 1 availed inyself. Boswell. I was this moroing in Ridley's shop, Sir; and vas told, that the collection called “ Johnsoniana” has sold very much. Johnson. Yet the “ Journey to the Hebrides” has not had a great sale. Boswell. That is strange. Johnson. Yes, Sir; for in that book I have told the world a great deal that they did not know before.
Boswell. I drank chocolate, Sir, this morning with Mr. Eld; and, to my un small surprize, found him to be a Staffordshire Whig, a being which I did not believe had existed. Johnson. Sir, there are rascals in all countries. Boswell. Eld said, a Tory was a creature generated between e non-juring parson and one's grandmother. Johnson, And I have always No. 9.
said, the first Whig was the Devil. Boswell. He certainly was, Sir. The Devil was impatient of subordination; he was the first who resisted power:
“ Better to reigo in Hell, than serve in Heaven."
At General Paoli's were Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mr. Langton, Marchese Gherardi of Lombardy, and Mr. John Spottiswoode the yognger, of Spottiswoode, the solicitor. At this time fears of an invasion were circulated ; to obviate which, Mr. Spottiswoode observed, that Mr. Fraser the engineer, who had lately come from Dunkirk, said, that the French had the same fears of us. Johoson. It is thus that mutual cowardice keeps us in peace. Were one half of mankind brave, and one half cowards, the brave would be always beating the cowards. Were all brave, , they would lead a very uneasy life; all would be continually fighting : but being all cowards, we go on very well.
We talked of drinking wine. Johnson. I require wine, only when I am alone. I have then often wished for it, and often taken'it, Spottiswoode. What by way of a companion, Sir? Johnson. To get rid of myself, to send myself away. Wine gives great pleasure ; aud every pleasure is of itself a good. It is a good, uoless counterbalanced by evil. A map nay have a strong reason not to drink wine; and that may be greater than the pleasare, Wine makes a man better pleased with himself. I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others. Sometimes it does. But the danger is, that while a man grows better pleased with hinself, the may be growing less pleasing to others. Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit ; it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread of the company has repressed. It only puts in motion what has been locked up in frost. But this may be good, or is may be bad. Spottiswoode. So, Sir, wipe is a key wlich opeos a box : but this box may be either full or empty. Johnson. Nay, Sir, conversation is the key : wine is a picklock, which forces open the box, and injures it. A man should cultivate his mind so as to have that confidence and readiness without wine, which wine gives. Boswell. The great difficulty of resisting wine is from benevolence. For instance, a good worthy man asks you to taste his wine, which be has had twenty years in his cellar. Jobuson. Sir, all this notion about benevolence arises from a man's imagining himself to be of more importance to others, than he really is. They don't care a farthing whether he drinks wine or not. Sir Joshua Reynolds. Yes, they do for the time. Johnson. For the time !-If they care this minute, they forget it the next. And as for the good worthy man; how do you kuow he is good and worthy ? No good and worthy man will insist upou another man's drinking wine. As to the wine twenty years in the cellar,--sof ten men, three say this, merely because they must say something ; three are telling a lie, when they say they have had the wine twenty years ;-three would rather save the wide :--one, per. haps, cares. I allow it is something to please one's company, and people are always pleased with those who partake pleasure with them. But after a man has brought himself to relinquish the great personal pleasure which arises from drinking wine, any other consideration is a trifle. T. please others by drinking wine, is something only, if there be nothing against it. I should, however, be sorry to offend worthy men :
“ Curst be the verse, how well so e'er it Aow,
Boswell. Curst be the spring, the water. Johuson. But let us consider what a sad thing it would be, if we were obliged to drink or do any thing else that insy happen to be agreeable to the company where we are. Langton. By the same rule you must join with a gang of cut-purses. Johnson. Yes, Sir; but yet we must do justice to wine; we must allow it the power it possesses. To make a inan.pleased with himself, let me tell you, is doing a very great thing;
“Si patriæ volumus, si NOBIS vivere cari."
I was at this time myself a water-drinker, upon trial, by Johnson's recommendation. Johnson. Boswell is a bolder combatant than Sir Joshua : he argues for wine without the help of wine; but Sir Joshua with it. Sir Joshua Reynolds. But to please one's company is a strong motive. Johnson. (who, from drinking only water, supposed every body who drank wine to be elevated,) I won't argue any more with you, Sir. You are too far gone. Sir Joshua. I should have thought so indeed Sir, had I made sach a speech as you have now done. Johnson. (drawing himself in, and, I really thought blushing,) Nay, don't be angry. I did not mean to offend you. Sir Joshua. At first the taste of wine was disagreeable to me; but I brought myself to drink it, that I might be like other people. The pleasure of drinking wine is so conDected with pleasing your company, that altogether there is something of social goodness in it. Johnson. Sir, this is only saying the sunie thing over again. Sir Joshua. No, this is new. Johnson. You put it in new words, but it is an old thought. This is one of the disadvantages of wine, it makes a man mistake words for thoughts. Boswell. I thiok it is a new tbought; at least it is in a new attitude. Johnson. Nay, Sir, it is only in a new coat; or an old coat with a new facing. (Then laughing heartily) It is the old dog in a new doublet.-An ese traordinary instance, however, may occur where a man's patron will do nothing for him, upless he will drink: there may be a good reason for drioking.
I mentioned a vobleman, who I believed was really uneasy, if his company would not drink hard. Johnson. 'That is from having had people about him whom he has been accustomed to command. Boswell.
Supposing I should be tete-a-tete with him at table. Johnson. Sir, there is no more reason for your drinking with him, than his being sober with you. Boswell. Why, that is true; for it would do him less hurt to be sober, than it would do me to get drunk. Johnson. Yes, Sir; and from what I have heard of him, one would no: wish to sacrifice himself to such a man. If he must always have somebody to drink with him, he should buy a slave, and then he would be sure to have it. They wło submit to drink as another pleases, make themselves his slaves. Boswell. But, Sir, you will surely make allowance for the duty of hospitality. A gentleman who loves drinking comes to visit me, Johnson, Sir, a man knows whom he visits; he comes to the table of a sober inan. Boswell. But, Sir, you and I should not have been so well received in the Highlands and Hebrides, if I had not druok with our worthy friend.. Had I drunk water only as you did, they would not have been so cordial. Johason. Sir William Temple mentions, that in his travels through the Netherlands he had two or three gentlemen with him; and when a bumper was necessary, he put it to them. Were I to travel again throuyb the islands, I would have Sir Joshua with me to take the bumpers, Boswell. But, Sir, let me put a case. Suppose Sir Joshua should take a jaunt into Scotland; he does me the honour 10 pay me a visit at my house in the country; I am overjoyed at seeing him ; we are quite by ourselves; shall I unsociably and churlishly let hiin sit droking by himself ? No, no, my dear Sir Joshua, you shall not be treated so, I will take a bottle with you.
The celebrated Mrs. Rudd being mentioned. Johnson. Fifteen years ago I should have gone to see her. Spottiswoode. Because she was fifteen years younger ? Johnson. No, Sir; but now they have a trick of putting every thing into the news papers.
He begged of General Paoli to repeat one of the introductory stanzas of the first of Tasso's Jerusalem, which he did, and then Johuson found fault with the simile of sweetening the edges of a cup for a child, being trausferred from Lucretius into an epic poem. The General said, he did not imagine Homer's poetry was so ancient as is supposed, because he ascribes to a Greek colony circumstances of refinement not found in Greece itself at a later period, when Thucydides wrote. Johnson. I recollect but one passage quoted by Thucydides from Homer, which is not to be found in our copies of Homer's works; I am for the antiquity of Homer, and think that a Grecian colony by being nearer Persia inight be more refined than the mother country.
On Wednesday, April 29, 1 dined with him at Mr. Allan Ramsay's, where were Lord Binning, Dr. Robertson the historian, Sir Joshua Reyvolds, and the Honourable Mrs. Boscawen, widow of the Admiral, and mother of the present Viscount Falmouth ; of whom, if it be pot presumptuous io me to praise her, I would say, that her manners are the most agreeable, and her conversatiou the best, of any lady with whom la ever had the happiness to be acquainted. Before Johozon cume we