« ZurückWeiter »
our final sentence, then prayers for the dead, be- | pease melancholy reflections, Johnson took her ing visibly fruitless, can be regarded only as the home to his house in Gough-square. In 1755, vain oblations of superstition. But of all super- Garrick gave her a benefit-play, which produced stitions this, perhaps, is one of the least unamia- two hundred pounds. In 1766, she published, ble, and most incident to a good mind. If our by subscription, a quarto volume of Miscellasensations of kindness be intense, those, whom nies, and increased her little stock to three hunwe have revered and loved, death cannot wholly dred pounds. That fund, with Johnson's proseclude from our concern. It is true, for the rea- tection, supported her through the remainder of son just mentioned, such evidences of our sur- her life. viving affection may be thought ill-judged; but During the two years in which the Rambler surely they are generous, and some natural ten- was carried on, the Dictionary proceeded by slow derness is due even to a superstition, which thus degrees. In May 1752, having composed a originates in piety and benevolence." These prayer preparatory to his return from tears and sentences, extracted from the Rev. Mr. Strahan's sorrow to the duties of life, he resumed his grand preface, if they are not a full justification, are, design, and went on with vigour, giving, howat least, a beautiful apology. It will not be im- ever, occasional assistance to his friend Dr. proper to add what Johnson himself has said on Hawkesworth in the Adventurer, which began the subject. Being asked by Mr. Boswell, * soon after the Rambler was laid aside. Some what he thought of purgatory as believed by the of the most valuable essays in that collection Roman Catholics?" His answer was, “It is a were from the pen of Johnson. The Dictionary very harmless doctrine. They are of opinion, was completed towards the end of 1754; and, that the generality of mankind are neither so ob-Cave being then no more, it was a mortification stinately wicked as to deserve everlasting pu- to the author of that noble addition to our lannishment; nor so good as to merit being admit-guage, that his old friend did not live to see the ted into the society of blessed spirits ; and, there triumph of his labours. In May 1755, that fore, that God is graciously pleased to allow a great work was published. Johnson was demiddle state, where they may be purified by cer- sirous that it should come from one who had obtain degrees of suffering. You see there is no- tained academical honours; and for that purthing unreasonable in this; and if it be once es- pose his friend, the Rev. Thomas Wharton, obtablished that there are souls in purgatory, it is tained for him, in the preceding month of Febas proper to pray for them, as for our brethren ruary, a diploma for a master's degree from the of mankind who are yet in this life.” This was University of Oxford. Garrick, on the publiDr. Johnson's guess into futurity; and to guess cation of the Dictionary, wrote the following is the utmost that man can do. “Shadows, lines; clouds, and darkness, rest upon it.” Mrs. Johnson left a daughter, Lucy Porter, That one English soldier
can beat ten of France,
“ Talk of war with a Briton, he'll boldly advance, by her first husband. She had contracted a Would we alter the boast, from the sword to the pen, friendship with Mrs. Anne Williams, the daugh- Our odds are still greater, still greater our men. ter of Zachary Williams, a physician of emi- In the deep mines of science, thougla Frenclunen may, nence in South Wales, who had devoted more Can their strength he compared to Locke, Newton, or than thirty years of a long life to the study of the Let them rally their heroes, send forth all their powers, longitude, and was thonght to have made great Their versemen and prosemen, then match them with advances towards that important discovery: First Shakspeare and Milton, like gods in the fight, His letters to Lord Halifax, and the Lords of Have put their whole drama and epic to flight. the Admiralty, partly corrected and partly writ. In satires, epistles, and odes would they cope 1 ten by Dr. Johnson, are still extant in the hands Their numbers retreat before Dryden and Pope. of Mr. Nichols. We there find Dr. Williams, Has beat forty French, and will beut forty more." in the eighty-third year of his age, stating, that he had prepared an instrument, which might be called an epitome or miniature of the terraque- It is, perhaps, needless to mention, that Forty ous globe, showing, with the assistance of tables was the number of the French academy, at the constructed by himself
, the variations of the time when their Dictionary was published to set magnetic needle, and ascertaining the longitude tle their language. for the safety of navigation. It appears that
In the course of the winter preceding this grand this scheme had been referred to Sir Isaac New- publication, the late Earl of Chesterfield gave ton; but that great philosopher excusing himself two essays in the periodical paper called The on account of his advanced age, all applications World, dated November 28, and December 5, were useless till 1751, when the subject was re
1754, to prepare the public for so important a ferred, by order of Lord Anson, to Ďr. Bradley, work. The original plan, addressed to his the celebrated professor of astronomy. His re" Lordship in the year 1747, is there mentioned in port was unfavourable, though it allows that a terms of the highest praise; and this was underconsiderable progress had been made.
stood, at the time, to be a courtly way of soliWilliams, after all his labour and expense, died citing a dedication
of the Dictionary to himself. in a short time after, a melancholy instance of Johnson treated this civility with disdain. He unrewarded merit. His daughter possessed un- said to Garrick and others, “I have sailed a common talents, and, though blind, had an ala- long and painful voyage round the world of the crity of mind that made her conversation agree- English language, and does he now send out two able, and even desirable. To relieve and ap- said, in the last number of the Rambler, that
cock-boats to tow me into harbour ?" He had
“having laboured to maintain the dignity of • Life of Johnson, vol. i. p. 328. 4to edition, See Gentleman's Magazine for Nov. and Dec. 1787.
virtue, I will not now degrade it by the mean1 See Gentleman's Magazine for 1787, p. 1042. ness of dedication.” Such a man, when he had
finished his Dictionary, “not," as he says him- It is said, upon good authority, that Johnson self, “in the soft obscurities of retirement, or once received from Lord Chesterfield the sum under the shelter of academic bowers, but amidst of ten pounds. It were to be wished that the inconvenience and distraction, in sickness and secret had never transpired. It was mean to rein sorrow, and without the patronage of the ceive it, and meaner to give it. It may be imaGreat,” was not likely to be caught by the lure gined, that for Johnson's ferocity, as it has been thrown out by Lord Chesterfield. He had in called, there was some foundation in his finances; vain sought the patronage of that nobleman; and, as his Dictionary was brought to a concluand his pride, exasperated by disappointment, sion, that money was now to flow in upon him. drew from him the following letter, dated in the The reverse was the case. For his subsistence, month of February, 1755.
during the progress of the work, he had received
at different times the amount of his contract; and * To the Right Hon. the Earl of CHESTERFIELD. when his receipts were produced to him at a ta“ MY LORD,
vern dinner, given by the booksellers, it appeared "I have been lately informed, by the proprie- that he had been paid a hundred pounds and uptors of The World, that two papers, in which wards more than his due. The author of a my Dictionary is recommended to the public, book, called Lexiphanes* written by a Mr. were written by your Lordship. To be so dis- Campbell, a Scotchman, and purser of a man tinguished, is an honour which, being very little of war, endeavoured to blast his laurels, but in accustomed to favours from the great, I know vain. The world applauded, and Johnson nenot well how to receive, or in what terms to ac- ver replied. “Abuse,” he said, “is often of knowledge.
service : there is nothing so dangerous to an “When, upon some slight encouragement, I author as silence ; his name, like a shuttlecock, first visited your Lordship, I was overpowered, must be beat backward and forward, or it falls like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of to the ground.” Lexiphanes professed to be an your address, and could not forbear to wish, imitation of the pleasant manner of Lucian; but that I might boast myself le vainqueur du vain- humour was not the talent of the writer of Lexiqueur de la terre ; that I might obtain that regard phanes. As Dryden says, “He had too much for which I saw the world contending. But I horse-play in his raillery." found my attendance so little encouraged, that It was in the summer of 1754, that the preneither pride nor modesty would suffer me to sent writer became acquainted with Dr. Johncontinue it. When I had once addressed your son. The cause of his first visit is related by Lordship in public, I had exhausted all the art Mrs. Piozzi nearly in the following manner: of pleasing, which a retired and uncourtly scho-1“Mr. Murphy being engaged in a periodical lar can possess. I had done all that I could; paper, the Gray's-Inn Journal, was at a friend's and no man is well pleased to have his all ne- house in the country, and not being disposed to glected, be it ever so little.
lose pleasure for business, wished to content his “Seven years, my Lord, have now passed bookseller by some unstudied essay. He theresince I waited in your outward room, or was re- fore took up a French Journal Littéraire, and pulsed from your door; during which time I have translating something he liked, sent it away to been pushing on my work through difficulties of town. Time, however discovered that he transwhich it is useless to complain, and have brought lated from the French a Rambler, which had it at last to the verge of publication, without one been taken from the English without acknowact of assistance, one word of encouragement, ledgment. Upon this discovery, Mr, Murphy or one smile of favour. Such treatment I did thought it right to make his excuses to Dr, John. not expect, for I never had a patron before.
He went next day, and found him covered “The Shepherd in Virgil grew acquainted with soot, like a chimney-sweeper, in a little with Love, and found him a native of the rocks. room, as if he had been acting Lungs in the Al
"Is not a patron, my Lord, one who looks chymist, making ather. This being told by Mr. with unconcern on a man struggling for life in Murphy in company, 'Come, come,' said Dr. the water, and, when he has reached ground, Johnson, 'the story is black enough ; but it was encumbers him with help? The notice which a happy day that brought you first to my house."" you have been pleased to take of my labours, After this first visit, the author of this narrative had it been early, had been kind: but it has by degrees grew intimate with Dr. Johnson. been delayed till i am indifferent, and cannot The first striking sentence, that he heard from enjoy it ; till I am solitary, and cannot impart him, was in a few days after the publication of it ; till I am known, and do not want it. hope Lord Bolingbroke's posthumous works. Mr. it is no very cynical asperity not to confess ob-Garrick asked him, “If he had seen them ?” ligations where no benefit has been received; or “Yes, I have seen them.”
“What do you to be unwilling that the public should consider think of them ?” “ Think of them!” He made me as owing that to a patron, which Providence a long pause, and then replied: “Think of has enabled me to do for myself.
them! A scoundrel and a coward! A scoun"Having carried on my work thus far with drel, who spent his life in charging a gun against so little obligation to any favourer of learning, I Christianity; and a coward, who was afraid of shall not be disappointed, though I should con- hearing the report of his own gun; but left halfclude it, if less be possible, with less; for I have a-crown to a hungry Scotchman to draw the been long wakened from that dream of hope, in trigger after his death.” His mind, at this time which I once boasted myself with so much ex- strained and over-laboured by constant exertion, altation, My Lord, your Lordship’s most humble, And most obedient servant,
* This work was not published until the year 1767,
when Dr. Johnson's Dictionary was fully established in SAMUEL JOHNSON.”
called for an interval of repose and indolence. To learn whate'er the Sage, with virtue fraught, But indolence was the time of danger; it was
Whate'er the Muse of moral wisdom taught. then that his spirits, not employed abroad, turn- And the world's ample volume was your own.
These were your quarry; these to you were knows ed with inward hostility against himself. His reflections on his own life and conduct were al- Yet warn'd by me, ye pigmy Wits, beware, ways severe : and, wishing to be immaculate, Nor with immortal Scaliger compare. he destroyed his own peace by unnecessary Oh! not for me his footsteps to pursue,
For me, though his example strike my view scruples. He tells us, that when he surveyed Whether first Nature, unpropitious, cold, his past life, he discovered nothing but a barren This clay compounded in a ruder mould'; waste of time, with some disorders of body, and Or the slow current, loitering at my heart, disturbances of mind, very near to madness. Whate'er the cause, from me no vumbers flow His life, he says, from his earliest youth, was No visions warm me, and no raptures glow. wasted in a morning bed; and his reigning sin A mind like Scaliger's, superior still, was a general sluggishness, to which he was al- No grief could conquer, no misfortunes chill. ways inclined, and in part of his life, almost He seem'd to quit, 'twas but again to rise ;
Though for the maze of words his native skies compelled, by morbid melancholy, and weari. To mount once more to the bright source of day, ness of mind. This was his constitutional ma- And view the wonders of th' ethereal way. lady; derived, perhaps, from his father, who The love of Fame his generous bosom fired; was, at times, overcast with a gloom that bor- For him the Sons of Learning trimm'd the bays,
Each Science hail'd hin, and cach Muse inspired. dered on insanity. When to this it is added, And Nations grew harmonious in luis praise. that Johnson, about the age of twenty, drew up a description of his infirmities, for Dr. Swinfen,
My task perform'd, and all my labours o'er, at that time an eminent physician in Stafford" For me what lot has fortune now in store ?
The listless will succeeds, that worst disease, shire ; and received an answer to his letter, im- The rack of indolence, the sluggish ease. porting, that the symptoms indicated a future Care grows on care, and o'er my aching brain privation of reason; who can wonder that he Black melancholy pours her morbid train. was troubled with melancholy and dejection of I scek at midnight clubs the social band. spirit? An apprehension of the worst calamity But midnight clubs, where wit with noise conspires, that can befall human nature hung over him all Where Comus revels, and where wine inspires, the rest of his life, like the sword of the tyrant And call on Sleep to soothe my languid head. suspended over his guest. In his sixtieth year But Sleep from these sad lids flies far away; he had a mind to write the history of his melan- I mourn all night, and dread the coming day, choly; but he desisted, not knowing, whether Exhausted, tired, I throw my eyes around, it would not too much disturb him. In a Latin And soon, vain
hope ! 1 form a grand design;
To find some vacant spot on classic ground; Poem, however, to which he has prefixed as a Languor succeeds, and all my powers deeline. title, rN2OI CEAYTON, he has left a picture of If Science open not her richest vein, himself, drawn with as much truth, and as firm Without materials all our toil is vain. a hand, as can be seen in the portraits of Ho- Beneath his touch a new creation lives.
A form to rugged stone when Phidias gives, garth or Sir Joshua Reynolds. The learned Remove his marble, and his genius dies ; reader will find the original Poem in this vo- With nature, then, no breathing statue vies. lume, and it is hoped that a translation, or rather imitation, of so curious a piece will not be im- By Fortune's frown and penury of mind.
Whate'er ) plan, I feel my powers confined proper in this place.
I boast no knowledge glean'd with toil and strife,
That bright reward of a well-acted life.
I view myself, while Reason's feeble light
Shoots a pale glimmer through the gloom of night, (AFTER REVISING AND ENLARGING THE ENGLISH
Whilc passions, error, pliantoms of the brain,
And vain opinions, fill the dark domain ;
A dreary void, where fears with grief combined
Waste all within, and desolate the mind.
What then remains ? Must I in slow declino
To mute inglorious ease old age resign? Saw from words piled on words a fabric rise,
Or, bold Ambition kindling in my breast, He cursed the industry, inertly strong,
Attempt some arduous task? Or, were it best, In creeping toil that could persist so long,
Brooding o'er Lexicons to pass the day,
And in that labour drudge my life away ?
Such is the picture for which Dr. Johnson sat Yes, you had caise, great Genius, to repent;
to himself. He gives the prominent features "You lost good days that might be better spent ;"
of his character; his lassitude, his morbid meYou well might grudge the hours of ling’ring pain, lancholy, his love of fame, his dejection, his taAnd view your learned labours with disdain.
vern parties, and his wandering reveries, Vacuu To you were given the large expanded mind,
mala somnia mentis, about which so much has The flame of geuius, and the taste refined "Twas yours on eagle wings aluft to soar,
been written ; all are painted in miniature, but And anidst rolling worlds the Great First Cause ex- in vivid colours, by his own hand. His idea of plore;
writing more dictionaries was not merely said To fix the eras of recorded time, And live in every age and every clime,
in verse. Mr. Hamiltonry who was at that time Record the Chiets, who propt their Country's cause; an eminent printer, and well acquainted with Who founded Empires, and establishcil Laws;
Dr. Johnson, remembers that he engaged in a
Commercial Dictionary, and, as appears by the * Soe Scaliger's Epigram on this subject, communi- receipts in his possession, was paid his price for ented without doube by Dr. Johnson, Gent. Mag. 1748, several sheets; but he soon relinquished the un
dertaking. It is probable that he found himsel
not sufficiently versed in that branch of know- The proposal for a new edition of Shakspeara, ledge.
which had formerly miscarried, was resumed in He was again reduced to the expedient of the year 1756. The booksellers readily agreed short compositions for the supply of the day. to his terms; and subscription-tickets were is.
The writer of this narrative has now before him sued out. For undertaking this work, money, a letter in Dr. Johnson's hand-writing, which he confessed was the inciting motive. His friends shows the distress and melancholy situation of exerted themselves to promote his interest; and, the man who had written the Rambler, and in the mean time, he engaged in a new periodifinished the great work of his Dictionary. The cal production called “ The Idler.”. The first letter is directed to Mr. Richardson (the author number appeared on Saturday, April 15, 1758; of Clarissa,) and is as follows:
and the last, April 5, 1760. The profits of this
work, and the subscriptions for the new edition “SIR,
of Shakspeare, were the means by which he "I am obliged to entreat your assistance. I supported himself for four or five years. In am now under an arrest for five pounds eigh- 1759 was published “Rasselas, Prince of Abys teen shillings. Mr. Strahan, from whom I should sinia." His translation of Lobo's voyage to have received the neccessary help in this case, is Abyssinia seems to have pointed out that counnot at home; and I am afraid of not finding Mr. try for the scene of action; and Rassila Christos, Millar. If you will be so good as to send me the General of Srilan Segued, mentioned in that this sum, I will very gratefully repay you, and work, most probably suggested the name of the add it to all former obligations.
prince. The author wanted to set out on a jour“I am, Sir,
ney to Litchfield, in order to pay the last offices “Your most obedient,
of filial piety to his mother, who, at the age of "and most humble servant, ninety, was then near her dissolution ; but mo“ SAMUEL JOHNSON."
ney was necessary. Mr. Johnston, a book sel“Gough-Square, 16 March.”
ler, who has long since left off business, gave
one hundred pounds for the copy. With this In the margin of this letter there is a memo- supply Johnson set out for Litchfield; but did randum in these words: “March 16, 1756, not arrive in time to close the eyes of a parent Sent six guineas. Witness, Wm. Richardson." whom he loved. He attended the funeral, For the honour of an admired writer it is to be which, as appears among his memorandums, regretted, that we do not find a more liberal en- was on the 23d of January, 1759. try. To his friend in distress he sent eight sbil- Johnson now found it necessary to retrench lings more than was wanted. Had an incident his expenses. He gave up his house in Goughof this kind occurred in one of his Romances, square. Mrs. Williams' went into lodgings. Richardson would have known how to grace He retired to Gray's-Inn, and soon removed to his hero; but in fictitious scenes, generosity costs chambers in the Inner-Temple-lane, where he the writer nothing
lived in poverty, total idleness, and the pride ot About this time Johnson contributed several literature. Magni stat nominis umbra. Mr. papers to a periodical Miscellany, called “The Fitzherbert (the father of Lord St. Helens, the VISITOR," from motives which are highly ho- present minister at Madrid,) a man distin. nourable to him, a compassionate regard for the guished through life for his benevolence and late Mr. Christopher Smart. The Criticism on other amiable qualities, used to say, that he paid Pope's Epitaphs appeared in that work. In a a morning visit to Johnson, intending from his short time after he became a reviewer in the chambers to send a letter into the City; but, to Literary Magazine, under the auspices of the his great surprise, he found an author by prolate Mr. Newberry, a man of a projecting head, fession without pen, ink, or paper. The late good taste, and great industry. This employ- Dr. Douglas, bishop of Salisbury, was also ment engrossed but little of Johnson's time among those who endeavoured, by constant atHe resigned himself to indolence, took no exer- tention, to soothe the cares of a mind which he cise, rose about two, and then received the visits knew to be afflicted with gloomy apprehensions. of his friends. Authors long since forgotten, At one of the parties made at his house, Boscowaited on him as their oracle, and he gave re- vich, the Jesuit, who had then lately introduced sponses in the chair of criticism. He listened the Newtonian philosophy at Rome, and, after to the complaints, the schemes, and the hopes publishing an elegant Latin poem on the suband fears, of a crowd of inferior writers," who.”ject, was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, he said, in the words of Roger Ascham,“ lived, was one of the company invited to meet Dr. men knero not horo, and died obscure, men marked Johnson. The conversation at first was mostly not when.” He believed that he could give a in French. Johnson, though thoroughly versed better history of Grub-street than any man live in that language, and a professed admirer of ing. His house was filled with a succession of Boileau and La Bruyere, did not understand its visitors till four or five in the evening. During pronunciation, nor could he speak it himself the whole time he presided at his tea-table. Tea with propriety. For the rest of the evening the was his favourite beverage; and, when the late talk was in Latin. Boscovich had a ready Jonas Hanway pronounced his anathema against current flow of that flimsy phraseology with the use of tea, Johnson rose in defence of his ha- which a priest may travel through Italy, Spain, bitual practice, declaring himself" in that article and Germany. Johnson scorned what he called a hardened sinner, who had for years diluted his colloquial barbarisms. It was his pride to speak meals with the infusion of that fascinating plant; his best. He went on, after a little practice, whose tea-kettle had no time to cool: who with with as much facility as if it was his native tea solaced the midnicht hour, and with tea wel tongue. One sentence his writer well rememcomed the morning."
bers. Observing that Fontenelle at first op posed the Newtonian philosophy, and embraced Being now in the possession of a regular init afterwards, his words were: Fontenellus, ni come, Johnson left his chambers in the Temple, fallor in extrem senectute, fuit transfuga ad and once more became master of a house in castra Newtoniana.
Johnson's-court, Fleet-street. Dr. Levet, his We have now travelled through that part of friend and physician in ordinary,* paid his daily Dr. Johnson's life which was a perpetual strug- visits with assiduity; made tea all the morning, gle with difficulties. Halcyon days are now to talked what he had to say, and did not expect open upon him. In the month of May 1762, an answer. Mrs. Williams had her apartment his Majesty, to reward literary merit, signified in the house, and entertained her benefactor his pleasure to grant to Johnson a pension of with more enlarged conversation. Chemistry three hundred pounds a year. The Earl of was part of Johnson's amusement. For this Bute was minister. Lord Loughborough, who, love of experimental philosophy, Sir John perhaps, was originally a mover in the business, Hawkins thinks an apology necessary. He had authority to mention it. He was well ac- tells us, with great gravity, that curiosity was quainted with Johnson; but, having heard the only object in view ; not an intention to much of his independent spirit, and of the grow suddenly rich by the philosopher's stone, downfall of Osborne the bookseller, he did not or the transmutation of metals. To enlarge his know but his benevolence might be rewarded circle, Johnson
once more had recourse to a with a folio on his head. He desired the au- literary club. This was at the Turk's Head, thor of these memoirs to undertake the task. in Gerard-street, Soho, on every Tuesday This writer thought the opportunity of doing so evening through the year. The members much good the most happy incident in his life. were, besides himself, the Right Hon. Edmund He went, without delay, to the chambers in Burke, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Dr. Nugent, Dr. the Inner Temple-lane, which, in fact, were the Goldsmith, the late Mr. Topham Beauclerk, abode of wretchedness. By slow and studied Mr. Langton, Mr. Chamier, Sir John Hawapproaches the message was disclosed. Johnson kins, and some others. Johnson's affection for made a long pause : he asked if it was seriously Sir Joshua was founded on a long acquaintance, intended ? He fell into a profound meditation, and a thorough knowledge of the virtues and and his own definition of a pensioner occurred amiable qualities of that excellent artist. He to him. He was told, “That he, at least, did delighted in the conversation of Mr. Burke. not come within the definition.” He desired to He met him for the first time at Mr. Garrick's, meet next day and dine at the Mitre Tavern. several years ago. On the next day he said, “I At that meeting he gave up all his scruples. On suppose, Murphy, you are proud of your counthe following day Lord Loughborough conduct tryman. Cum TALIS sit UTINAM NOSTER ESed him to the Earl of Bute. The conversation set ?" From that time his constant observation that passed was in the evening related to this was, "That a man of sense could not meet Mr. writer by Dr. Johnson. He expressed his Burke by accident, under a gateway to avoid a sense of his Majesty's bounty, and thought shower, without being convinced that he was himself the more highly honoured, as the favour the first man in England.” Johnson felt not was not bestowed on him for having dipped his only kindness, but zeal and ardour for his pen in faction. “No, Sir," said Lord Bute, friends. He did every thing in his power to is it is not offered to you for having dipped your advance the reputation of Dr. Goldsmith. Hle pen in faction, nor with a design that you ever loved him, though he knew luis failings, and should.” Sir John Hawkins will have it, that particularly the leaven of envy, which corroded after this interview, Johnson was often pressed the mind of that elegant writer, and made him to wait on Lord Bute: but with a sullen spirit impatient, without disguise, of the praises berefused to comply. However that be, Johnson stowed on any person whatever. Of this inwas never heard to utter a disrespectful word of firmity, which marked Goldsmith's character, that nobleman. The writer of this essay re- Johnson gave a remarkable instance. It hapmembers a circumstance which may throw some pened that he went with Sir Joshua Reynolds light on this subject. The late Dr. Rose, of and Goldsmith to see the Fantoccini, which Chiswick, whom Johnson loved and respected, were exhibited some years ago in or near the contended for the pre-eminence of the Scotch Haymarket. They admired the curious mewriters; and Ferguson's book on Civil Society, chanism by which the puppets were made to then on the eve of publication, he said, would walk the stage, draw a chair to the table, sit give the laurel to North Britain. “Alas! what down, write a letter, and perform a variety of can he do upon that subject ?” said Johnson : other actions, with such dexterity, that “though “Aristotle, Polybius, Grotius, Puffendorf, and Nature's journeymen made the men, they imiBurlemaqui, have reaped in that field before tated humanity" to the astonishment of the him." "He will treat it,” said Dr. Rose, “in spectator. The entertainment being over, the a new mannner.” “A new manner! Buck three friends retired to a tavern. Johnson and inger had no hands, and he wrote his name Sir Joshua talked with pleasure of what they with his toes at Charing-cross, for half-a-crown- had seen; and says Johnson, in a tone of ada-piece; that was a new manner of writing!” miration, “How the little fellow brandished Dr. Rose replied, “ If that will not, satisfy you, his spontoon !". “ There is nothing in it," I will name a writer, whom you must allow to replied Goldsmith, starting up with impatience ; be the best in the kingdom.” “Who is that ?"| "give me a spontoon; I can do it as well my“ The Earl of Bute, when he wrote an order for self.” your pension.”. “ There, Sir,” said Johnson, Enjoying his amusements at his weekly club,
you have me in the toil: to Lord Bute I must and happy in a state of independence, Johnson allow whatever praise you may claim for him.” Ingratitude was no part of Johnson's character.
* See Johnson's Epitaph on him, (c)