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not reached, and he was killed upon the of our friend Goldsmith he said, “Sir, spot. Colonel Cecil, who took possession he is so much afraid of being unnoticed, of his effects, found in his pocket-book the that he often talks merely lest you should following solemn entry :
forget that he is in the company.” Bos[Here the date.] « Dreamt-or
“ Yes, hestands forward.” JohnSir John Friend meets me.” (Here the son. " True, sir, but if a man is to stand very day on which he was killed was men- forward, he should wish to do it not in an tioned). Prendergast had been connected awkward posture, not in rags, not so as with Sir John Friend, who was executed that he shall only be exposed to ridicule.” for high treason. General Oglethorpe said, Boswell. “For my part, I like very he was with Colonel Cecil, when Pope came well to hear honest Goldsnuith talk away and inquired into the truth of this story, carelessly.” Johnson. • Why yes, sir; which made a great noise at the time, and but he should not like to hear himself.” was then confirmed by the colonel.
On Tuesday, April 14, the decree of the On Saturday, April 11, he appointed me court of session in the schoolmaster's cause to come to him in the evening, when he was reversed in the house of lords, after a should be at leisure to give me some assist- very eloquent speech by Lord Mansfield, ance for the defence of Hastie, the school- | who showed himself an adept in school dis master of Campbelltown, for whom I was i cipline, but I thought was too rigorous to appear in the house of lords. When I towards my client. On the evening of the came, I found him unwilling to exert him- next day I supped with Dr. Johnson, at self. I pressed him to write down his the Crown and Anchor tavern, in the Strand, thoughts upon the subject. He said, in company with Mr. Langton and his “ There's no occasion for my writing. brother-in-law, Lord Binning 2. I repeated I'll talk to you.” He was, however, at a sentence of Lord Mansfield's speech, of
last prevailed on to dictate to me, which, by the aid of Mr. Longlands, the
while I wrote a (paper, which will solicitor on the other side, who obligingly be found in the appendix.]
allowed me to compare his note with my This, sir,” said he, "you are to turn own, I have a full copy. “My lords, sein your mind, and make the best use of it verity is not the way to govern either boys you can in your speech.”
or men.” Nay,” said Johnson, “it is
the way to govern them. I know not | Here was a blank, which may be filled up whether it be the way to mend them.” thus: “ was told by an apparition;" the writer I talked of the recent 3 expulsion of sis being probably uncertain whether he was asleep or students from the University of Oxford, awake, when his mind was impressed with the sol- who were methodists, and would not desist emn presentiment with which the fact afterwards from publickly praying and exhorting. happened so wonderfully to correspond.-Bos-Johnson. "Sir, that expulsion was exWELL. (My friend, Sir Henry Hardinge, secreta- tremely just and proper. What have they ry at war, is so kind as to inform me that it appears to do åt an university, who are not willing that Colonel Sir Thomas Prendergast, of the twenty-second foot, was killed at Malplaquet, August Where is religion to be learnt, but at an
to be taught, but will presume to teach? 31, 1709, but no trace can be found of Colonel Cecil. There were one or two subalterns, of the name
university? Sir, they were examined, and of Cecil, at that time in the army, but it does not found to be mighty ignorant fellows." appear that they rose to the rank of field-officers. Boswell. "But, was it not hard, sir, to Is it not very strange, if this story made so great expel them, for I am told they were good a noisc, we should read of it nowhere else; and, beings?” Johnson. “ I believe they might as so much curiosity was excited, that the paper be good beings; but they were not fit to should not have been preserved, or, at least, so be in the University of Oxford. A cow is generally shown as to be mentioned by some oth a very good animal in the field ; but we er witness ?—the paper would have been exceed- turn her out of a garden.” Lord Elibank ingly curious; but ihe hearsay that there had used to repeat this as an illustration unbeen such a paper is nothing, and indeed, in point commonly happy. of evidence, worse than nothing; for if a paper Desirous of calling Johnson forth to talk, had existed, thousands must have seen it, and and exercise his wit, though I should mak; Oglethorpe himself does not state that even he self be the object of it, I resolutely ventured saw it. At the time of the battle of Malplaquet, Oglethorpe was only eleven years old. Pope's ? [Charles, Lord Binning, afterwards eighth inquiries were probably made when the story was Earl of Haddington, was the son of Mary Holt
, Is it likely that Oglethorpe at the age of who, by a first marriage with Mr. Lloyd, was the eleven was present at Pope's interview with Col- mother of Lady Rothes, Mr. Langwn's wife.onel Cecil, and even if he were, what credit is to Ed.] be given to the recollections, after the lapse of 3 [Not very recent, if he alluded to six mensixty-three years, of what a boy of eleven had bers of St. Edmond Hall, who were expelled in heard ? Colonel Cecil was probably the well May, 1768. See Gent. Mag. vol. xxxviii. p. known Jacobite of that name.-Ev.]
to undertake the defence of convivial indul- | this opinion. “Tacitus, sir, seems to me gence in wine, though he was not to-night rather to have made notes for an historical in the most genial humour. After urging work, than to have written a history 2.” the common plausible topicks, I at last had At this time it appears from his “ Prayers recourse to the maxim, in vino veritas, a and Meditations,” that he had been more man who is well warmed with wine will than commonly diligent in religious duties, speak truth, Johnson. · Why, sir, that particularly in reading the holy scriptures. may be an argument for drinking, if you sup- It was Passion Week, that solemn season pose men in general to be liars. But, sir, which the Christian world has appropriated I would not keep company with a fellow, to the commemoration of the mysteries of who lies as long as he is sober, and whom our redemption, and during which, whatyou must make drunk before you can get a ever embers of religion are in our breasts, word of truth out of him!."
will be kindled into pious warmth. Mr. Langton told us, he was about to I paid him short visits both on Friday establish a school upon his estate, but it and Saturday, and seeing his large folio had been suggested to him, that it might Greek Testament before him, beheld him have a tendency to make the people less in- with a reverential awe, and would not industrious. Johnson. “No, sir. While trude upon his time. While he was thus learning to read and write is a distinction, employed to such good purpose, and while the few who have that distinction may be his friends in their intercourse with him the less inclined to work; but when every constantly found a vigorous intellect and a body learns to read and write, it is no lively imagination, it is melancholy to read longer a distinction. A man who has a in his private register : laced waistcoat is too fine a man to work; “My mind is unsettled and my memory but if every body had laced waistcoats, we confused. I have of late turned my thoughts should have people working in laced waist- with a very useless earnestness upon past coals. There are no people whatever incidents. I have yet got no command more industrious, none who work more, over my thoughts; an unpleasing incident than our manufacturers; yet they have all is almost certain to hinder my rest.” kart to read and write. Sir, you must What philosophick heroism was it in him Dot neglect doing a thing immediately good, to appear with such manly fortitude to the from fear of remote evil, from fear of its be- world, while he was inwardly so distressing abused. A man who has candles may ed! We may surely believe that the myssit up too late, which he would not do if he terious principle of being “made perfect had not candles; but nobody will deny through suffering," was to be strongly exthat the art of making candles, by which emplified in him. light is continued to us beyond the time On Sunday, 19th April, being Easterthat the sun gives us light, is a valuable day, General Paoli and I paid him a visit art, and ought to be preserved." Bos- before dinner. We talked of the notion WELL. “But, sir, would it not be better that blind persons can distinguish colours to follow nature; and go to bed and rise by the touch. Johnson said, that Profesjust as nature gives us light or withholds sor Sanderson mentions his having at11." Johnson. “ No, sir; for then we tempted to do it, but that he found he was ahould have no kind of equality in the par- aining at an impossibility ; that to be sure titrio of our time between sleeping and a difference in the surface makes the differwahing. It would be very different in dif- ence of colours; but that difference is ferent seasons and in different places. In so fine, that it is not sensible to the touch. Sime of the northern parts of Scotland how The General mentioned jugglers and fraudlittle light is there in the depth of winter!" ulent gamesters, who could know cards by
We talked of Tacitus, and I hazarded the touch. Dr. Johnson said, “the cards an opinion, that with all his merit for pene- used by such persons must be less polished tration, shrewdness of judgment, and terse-than ours commonly are." ness of expression, he was too compact, too We talked of sounds. The general said, tuuch broken into hints, as it were, and there there was no beauty in a simple sound, but lure too difficult to be understood. To my only in an harmonious composition of great satisfaction, Dr. Johnson sanctioned sounds. I presumed to differ from this
opinion, and mentioned the soft and sweet Wa Piozzi, in her ** Anecdotes,” p. 201, has pren an erroneous account of this incident, as of ? It is remarkable that Lord Monboddo, whom many others. She pretends to relate it from rec- on account of his resembling Dr. Johnson in some ollarlion, as if she herself had been present; when particulars, Foote called an Elzevir edition of the fact >> that it was cotnmunicated to her by him, has, by coincidence, made the very same me. She has represented it as a personality, remark.- Origin and Progress of Language, and the true point has escaped her.- Boswell. I vol. iii. 2d edit. p. 219.–BOSWELL,
sound of a fine woman's voice. Johnson. | by himself and in company. I dined with “ No, sir, if a serpent or a toad uttered it, him one day at the Crown and Anchor tavyou would think it ugly.” Boswell. ern, in the Strand, with Lord Elibank, Mr. “So you would think, sir, were a beautiful Langton, and Dr. Vansittart of Oxford.! tune to be uttered by one of those animals." Without specifying each particular day, I Johnson. “No, sir, it would be admired. have preserved the following memorable We have seen fine fiddlers whom we liked things. as little as toads." (laughing):
I regretted the reflection in his preface to Talking on the subject of taste in the Shakspeare against Garrick, to whom we arts, he said, that difference of taste was, cannot but apply the following passage :in truth, difference of skill. Boswell. “ I collated such copies as I could procure, “ But, sir, is there not a quality called taste, and wished for more, but have not found the which consists merely in perception or in collectors of these rarities very communicaliking? for instance, we find people differ tive." I told him, that Garrick had commuch as to what is the best style of Eng- plained to me of it, and had vindicated himlish composition. Some think Swift's the self by assuring me, that Johnson was made best; others prefer a fuller and grander welcome to the full use of his collection, and way of writing." Johnson. “ Sir, you that he left the key of it with a servant, must first define what you mean by style, with orders to have a fire and every convebefore you can judge who has a good taste nience for him. I found Johnson’s notion in style, and who has a bad. The two was, that Garrick wanted to be courted for classes of persons whom you have mention them, and that, on the contrary, Garrick ed, don't differ as to good and bad. They should have courted him, and sent him the both agree that Swist has a good neat plays of his own accord. But, indeed, constyle ; but one loves a neat style, another sidering the slovenly and careless manner loves a style of more splendour. In like in which books were treated by Johnson, it manner, one loves a plain coat, another could not be expected that scarce and valualoves a laced coat; but neither will deny ble editions should have been lent to him. that each is good in its kind.”
A gentleman having to some of the usual [The following meditations, made about arguments for drinking added this:-"You this period, are very interesting sketches know, sir, drinking drives away care, and of his feelings:
makes us forget whatever is disagreeable. " April 26, 1772. I was some way hin- Would not you allow a man to drink for dered from continuing this contemplation that reason? Johnson. “ Yes, sir, if he in the usual manner, and therefore try, at sat next you." the distance of a week, to review the last I expressed a liking for Mr. Francis Os[Easter) Sunday.
borne's 2 works, and asked him what he “ I went to church early, having first, I thought of that writer. He answered, " A think, used my prayer. When I was there, conceited fellow. Were a man to write so I had very little perturbation of mind. During the usual time of meditation, I con 1 [Dr. Robert Vansittart, LL.D., professor of sidered the Christian duties under the three civil law at Oxford, and recorder of Windsor. principles of soberness, righteousness, and He was a senior fellow of All Souls, where, afgodliness; and purposed to forward godli- ter he had given up the profession in London, he ness by the annual perusal of the Bible ; chiefly resided in a set of rooms, formerly the righteousness by settling something for old library, which he had fitted up in the Gothic charity, and soberness by early hours. I style, and where he died about 1794. He was commended as usual, with preface of per- remarkable for his good-huniour and inoffensive mission, and, I think, mentioned Bathurst. wit, and a great favourite on the Osford circuit
. I came home, and found Paoli and Boswell He was tall and very thin; and the bar gave the waiting for me. What devotions I used name of Counsellor Van to a sharp-pointed rock after my return home, I do not distinctly on the Wye, which still retains the name. He remember. I went to prayers in the eve
was the elder brother to Mr. Henry Vansittart
, ning ; and, I think, entered late.
governor of Bengal, father of the present Lord "On Good Friday, I paid Peyton with- Bexley, to whom the editor is indebted for the
above particulars relative to his uncle.—Ed.) out requiring work. “ It is a comfort to me, that at last, in sands, in Bedfordshire. The work by which he
? [Of the family of the Osbornes, of Chickmy sixty-third year, I have attained to is now best known, bis “ Historical Memoirs of know, even thus hastily, confusedly, and the Reign of Queen Elizabeth and King James," imperfectly, what my Bible contains.
written in a very acrimonious spirit. He had atHaving missed church in the morning tached himself to the Pembroke family; and, (April 26), I went this evening, and after- like Earl Philip (whom Walpole designates by wards sat with Southwell."']
the too gentle appellation of memorable SimpleWhile I remained in London this spring, ton), joined the parliamentarians. He died in I was with him at several other times, both | 1659.-Ed.]
now, the boys would throw stones at him." He would not allow Scotland to derive He, however, did not alter my opinion of a any credit from Lord Mansfield; for he was favourite authour, to whom I was first di- educated in England. “Much,” said he, rected by his being quoted in “ The Spec- “ may be made of a Scotchman, if he be tator," and in whom I have found much caught young." shrewd and lively sense, expressed indeed Talking of a modern historian 4, he said, in a style somewhat quaint, which, howev- “ There is more thought in the moralist er, I do not dislike. " His book has an air than in the historian. There is but a shalof originality. We figure to ourselves an low stream of thought in history.” Bosancient gentleman talking to us.
“ But surely, sir, an historian has When one of his friends endeavoured to reflection.” Johnson. “Why yes, sir; maintain that a country gentleman might and so has a cat when she catches a mouse contrive to pass his life very agreeably, for her kitten. But she cannot write like “Sir,” said he, "you cannot give me an in- [Beattie) ; neither can (Robertson).” stance of any man who is permitted to lay He said, "I am very unwilling to read out his own time, contriving not to have te- the manuscripts of authours, and give them dious hours." This observation, however, my opinion. If the authours who apply to is equally applicable to gentlemen who live me have money, I bid them boldly print in cities i, and are of no profession. without a name; if they have written in orHe said, “
“there is no permanent nation- der to get money, I tell them to go to the al character: it varies according to circum- booksellers and make the best bargain they stances. Alexander the Greatswept India?; can." Boswell. “ But, sir, if a bookselle now the Turks sweep Greece.”
er should bring you a manuscript to look at.” A learned gentleman, who, in the course JOHNSON. Why, sir, I would desire the of conversation, wished to inform us of this bookseller to take it away.” simple fact, that the counsel upon the cir- I mentioned a friend 5 of mine who had cuit at Shrewsbury were much bitten by resided long in Spain, and was unwilling to fleas, took, I suppose, seven or eight min- return to Britain. Johnson. “Sir, he is nu-s in relating it circumstantiall He in attached to some woman." Boswell. "I a plenitude of phrase told us, that large bales rather believe, sir, it is the fine climate of woollen cloth were lodged in the town- which keeps him there.” Johnson. “Nay, hal!; that by reason of this, fleas nestled sir, how can you talk so? What is climate t'iere in prodigious numbers; that the lodg- to happiness? Place me in the heart of ings of the counsel were near the town-hall; Asia, should I not be exiled? What proand that those little animals moved from portion does climate bear to the complex place to place with wonderful agility, John- system of human life? You may advise me son sat in great impatience till the gentle- to go to live at Bologna to eat sausages. min had finished his tedious narrative, and The sausages there are the best in the then burst out (playfully however), “ It is world; they lose much by being carried.” a pity, sir, that you have not seen a lion; On Saturday, 9th May, Mr. Dempster for a flea has taken you such a time, that and I had agreed to dine by ourselves at a lion must have served you a twelve- the British coffee-house. Johnson, on whom month 3."
I happened to call in the morning, said, he
would join us, which he did, and we spent (Not quite: men who live in cities have thea- a very agreeable day, though I recollect trex, clubs, and all the variety of public and private but little of what passed. society within reach.-Ed.] ['The force of this illustration is not very ob- by the king to the people: Pitt was a min
He said, “ Walpole was a minister given VIRGE India, so far as regards the natives, is ister given by the people to the king,as pertaps now quite as liable to be swept by an invader ss it was three thousand years ago. All
an adjunct." azathorities seein te be agreed that the people of ladu and China have changed wonderfully little preceding page to Dr. Vansittart, and the mention in the lapse of time.—Ep.)
of the Shrewsbury circuit, which Vansittart went, • Mai Piozzi, to whom I told this anecdote, together with the preceding note, leave no doubt has related it as if the gentleman had given “ the that he was the person alluded to. satural history of the mouse." —Anecdotes, that the inaccuracy of which Boswell accuses p. 191. (The " learned gentleman” was cer- Mrs. Piozzi was (if an inaccuracy at all) sancLunly Dr. Vansittart, as is proved by two pas- tioned by Johnson himself; for we see that he at says in the correspondence between Mrs. Thrale once understood whom she meant by “ the man and Dr. Johnson, July and August, 1773. She that saw the mouse."-Ed.) writes to the Doctor in Scotland, “ I have seen + [This historian and moralist (whose names the man that saw the mouse," &c. Johnson Mr. Boswell left in blank) are Doctors Robertson replies, “ Poor V -, &c; he is a good and Beattic.--Ed.] man, and, when his mind is composed, a man of (Probably Mr. Boswell's brother, David. parte" This, with Boswell's reference in the See post, sub 29th April, 1780.---Ed.)
It also proves
“ The misfortune of Goldsmith in conver- | written; thus confirming the truth of an sation is this: he goes on without knowing observation made lo me by one of their now he is to get off. His genius is great, number, in a merry mood: “My dear sir, but his knowledge is small. As they say give yourself no trouble in the composition of a generous man, it is a pity he is not rich, of the papers you present to us; for, indeed, we may say of Goldsmith, it is a pity he is it is casting pearls before swine 2." not knowing. He would not keep his know I renewed my solicitations that Dr. Johnledge to himself.”
son would this year accomplish his long-inBefore leaving London this year, I con- tended visit to Scotland. sulted him upon a question purely of Scotch law. It was held of old, and continued for
TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. a long period, to be an established princi
“ 13th Aug. 1772. ple in that law, that whoever intermeddled “ Dear Sir,—The regret has not been ivith the effects of a person deceased, with little with which I have missed a journey out the interposition of legal authority to so pregnant with pleasing expectations, as guard against embezzlement, should be sub- that in which I could promise myself not jected to pay all the debts of the deceased, only the gratification of curiosity, both as having been guilty of what was techni- rational and fanciful, but the delight of seecally called vicious intromission. The ing those whom I love and esteem. court of session had gradually relaxed the But such has been the course of things, strictness of this principle, where the inter- that I could not come; and such has been, ference proved had been inconsiderable. In I am afraid, the state of my body, that it a case l 'which came before that court the would not well have seconded my inclinapreceding winter, I had laboured to persuade tion. My body, I think, grows better, and the judge to return to the ancient law. It I refer my hopes to another year; for I am was my own sincere opinion, that they very sincere in my design to pay the visit, ought to adhere to it: but I had exhausted and take the ramble. In the mean time, do all my powers of reasoning in vain. John- not omit any opportunity of keeping up a son thought as I did; and in order to assist favourable opinion of me in the minds of me in my application to the court for a re- any of my friends. Beattie's book 3 is, ! vision and alteration of the judgment, he believe, every day more liked ; at least, I ED.
dictated to me an argument (which like it more, as I look more upon it.
will be found in the Appendix). “I am glad if you got credit by your The reader will see with what compre- cause, and am yet of opinion, that our cause hension of mind, and clearness of penetra- was good, and that the determination ought tion, he treated a subject altogether new to to have been in your favour. Poor Hastie, him, without any other preparation than [the school-master), I think, had but his my having stated to him the arguments deserts. which had been used on each side of the “You promised to get me a little Pindar, question. His intellectual powers appeared you may add to it a little Anacreon. with peculiar lustre, when tried against
“ The leisure which I cannot enjoy, it those of a writer of such fame as Lord will be a pleasure to hear that you employ Kames, and that too in his lordship’s own upon the antiquities of the feudál establishdepartnient.
ment. The whole system of ancient teThis masterly argument, after being pre-nures is gradually passing away; and I wish faced and concluded with some sentences to have the knowledge of it preserved adeof my own, and garnished with the usual quate and complete. For such an instituformularies, was actually printed and laid tion makes a very important part of the before the lords of session, but without suc- history of mankind. Do not forget a decess. My respected friend Lord Hailes, sign so worthy of a scholar who studies the however, one of that honourable body, had law of his country, and of a gentleman who critical sagacity enough to discover a more may naturally be curious to know the conthan ordinary hand in the petition. I told dition of his own ancestors. I am, dear him Dr. Johnson had favoured me with his sir, yours with great affection, pen. His lordship, with wonderful acumen,
“ Sam. Johnson." pointed out exactly where his composition began, and where it ended. But that I
? [The expression was coarse, but the meanmay do impartial justice, and conform to ing was correct; the facts and the law only the great rule of courts, Suum cuique trib- ought to be considered by the judge—the verbal uito, I must add, that their lordships in decorations of style should be of no weight. It general, though they were pleased to call is probable that the judge who made use of this this "a well-drawn paper," preferred the homely phrase was bantering Boswell on some former very inferior petition, which I had pleading in which there was perhaps more orna
ment than substance.—Ep.] 1 Wilson ainst Smith and Armour.-Bos 3 [“ Essay on Truth,” of which a third edition
was published in 1772.-Ed.]