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FANCY AND REASON
shipping once a year in a certain place, in imitation of the Jews, is but a comparison; and simile non est idem; if the annual resort to Jerusalem was a duty to the Jews, it was a duty because it was commanded; and you have no such command, therefore no such duty. It may be dangerous to receive too readily, and indulge too fondly, opinions, from which, perhaps, no pious mind is wholly disengaged, of local sanctity and local devotion. You know what strange effects they have produced over a great part of the Christian world. I am now writing, and you, when you read this, are reading under the Eye of Omnipresence.
'To what degree fancy is to be admitted into religious offices, it would require much deliberation to determine. I am far from intending totally to exclude it. Fancy is a faculty bestowed by our Creator, and it is reasonable that all His gifts should be used to His glory, that all our faculties should co-operate in His worship; but they are to co-operate according to the will of Him that gave them, according to the order which His wisdom has established. As ceremonies prudential or convenient are less obligatory than positive ordinances, as bodily worship is only the token to others or ourselves of mental adoration, so Fancy is always to act in subordination to Reason. We may take Fancy for a companion, but must follow Reason as our guide. We may allow Fancy to suggest certain ideas in certain places; but Reason must always be heard, when she tells us, that those ideas and those places have no natural or necessary relation. When we enter a church we habitually recall to mind the duty of adoration, but we must not omit adoration for want of a temple; because we know, and ought to remember, that the Universal Lord is every where present; and that, therefore, to come to Jona1, or to Jerusalem, though it may be useful, cannot be necessary.
Thus I have answered your letter, and have not answered it negligently. I love you too well to be careless when you are serious.
'I think I shall be very diligent next week about our travels, which I have too long neglected. I am, dear Sir, your most, &c.,
Compliments to Madam and Miss.'
1774] LORD HAILES'S ANNALS OF SCOTLAND 533
TO THE SAME.
‘DEAR SIR,—The lady who delivers this has a lawsuit, in which she desires to make use of your skill and eloquence, and she seems to think that she shall have something more of both for a recommendation from me; which, though I know how little you want any external incitement to your duty, I could not refuse her, because I know that at least it will not hurt her, to tell you that I wish her well. I am, Sir, your most humble servant,
'May 10, 1774.'
'MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
'Edinburgh, May 12, 1774. 'Lord Hailes has begged of me to offer you his best respects, and to transmit to you specimens of Annals of Scotland, from the Accession of Malcolm Kenmore to the Death of James V, in drawing up which, his Lordship has been engaged for some time. His Lordship writes to me thus: "If I could procure Dr. Johnson's criticisms, they would be of great use to me in the prosecution of my work, as they would be judicious and true. I have no right to ask that favour of him. If you could, it would highly oblige me."
Dr. Blair requests you may be assured that he did not write to London what you said to him, and that neither by word nor letter has he made the least complaint of you; but, on the contrary, has a high respect for you, and loves you much more since he saw you in Scotland. It would both divert and please you to see his eagerness about this matter.'
"To JAMES BOSWELL, Esq.
'Streatham, June 21, 1774.
'Yesterday I put the first sheets of the Journey to the Hebrides to the press. I have endeavoured to do you some justice in the first paragraph. It will be one volume in octavo, not thick.
It will be proper to make some presents in Scotland. You shall tell me to whom I shall give; and I have stipulated twenty-five for you to give in your own name. Some will take the present better from me, others better from you.
In this, you who are to live in the place ought to direct. Consider it. Whatever you can get for my purpose send me ; and make my compliments to your lady and both the young ones. I am, Sir, your, &c., SAM. JOHNSON.'
'MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
'Edinburgh, June 24, 1774. 'You do not acknowledge the receipt of the various packets which I have sent to you. Neither can I prevail with you to answer my letters, though you honour me with returns. You have said nothing to me about poor Goldsmith, nothing about Langton.
'I have received for you, from the Society for propagating Christian Knowledge in Scotland, the following Erse books: -The New Testament; Baxter's Call; The Confession of Faith of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster; The Mother's Catechism; A Gaelick and English Vocabulary 2.
'To JAMES BOSWELL, Esq.
'DEAR SIR,—I wish you could have looked over my book before the printer, but it could not easily be. I suspect some mistakes; but as deal, perhaps, more in notions than in facts, the matter is not great, and the second edition will be mended, if any such there be. The press will go on slowly for a time, because I am going into Wales to-morrow.
'I should be very sorry if I appeared to treat such a character as Lord Hailes otherwise than with high respect. I return the sheets, to which I have done what mischief I could; and finding it so little, thought not much of sending them. The narrative is clear, lively, and short.
'I have done worse to Lord Hailes than by neglecting his sheets: I have run him in debt. Dr. Horne, the President of Magdalen College in Oxford, wrote to me about three months ago, that he purposed to reprint Walton's Lives, and desired me to contribute to the work: my answer was, that Lord Hailes intended the same publication; and Dr. Horne
1 Dr. Goldsmith died April 4, this year.
2 These books Dr. Johnson presented to the Bodleian Library.
3 On the cover enclosing them, Dr. Johnson wrote, 'If my delay has given any reason for supposing that I have not a very deep sense of the honour done me by asking my judgement, I am very sorry.'
has resigned it to him. His Lordship must now think seriously about it.
Of poor dear Dr. Goldsmith there is little to be told, more than the papers have made publick. He died of a fever, made, I am afraid, more violent by uneasiness of mind. His debts began to be heavy, and all his resources were exhausted. Sir Joshua is of opinion that he owed not less than two thousand po ds. Was ever poet so trusted before?
You may, if you please, put the inscription thus:"Maria Scotorum Regina nata 15—, a suis in exilium acta 15—, ab hospitâ neci data 15-." You must find the years.
'Of your second daughter you certainly gave the account yourself, though you have forgotten it. While Mrs. Boswell is well, never doubt of a boy. Mrs. Thrale brought, I think, five girls running, but while I was with you she had a boy.
I am obliged to you for all your pamphlets, and of the last I hope to make some use. I made some of the former. I am, dear Sir, your most affectionate servant,
'July 4, 1774.'
My compliments to all the three ladies.'
'TO BENNET LANGTON, ESQ., AT LANGTON, NEAR
'DEAR SIR,-You have reason to reproach me that I have left your last letter so long unanswered, but I had nothing particular to say. Chambers, you find, is gone far, and poor Goldsmith is gone much further. He died of a fever, exasperated, as I believe, by the fear of distress. He had raised money and squandered it, by every artifice of acquisition, and folly of expence. But let not his frailties be remembered; he was a very great man.
'I have just begun to print my Journey to the Hebrides, and am leaving the press to take another journey into Wales, whither Mr. Thrale is going, to take possession of, at least, five hundred a year, fallen to his lady. All at Streatham, that are alive, are well.
'I have never recovered from the last dreadful illness, but flatter myself that I grow gradually better; much, however, yet remains to mend. Κύριε ἐλέησον.
If you have the Latin version of Busy, curious, thirsty fly, be so kind as to transcribe and send it; but you need not be
HIS GREEK EPITAPH ON GOLDSMITH [1774
in haste, for I shall be I know not where, for at least five weeks. Iwrote the following tetastrick on poor Goldsmith:Τὸν τάφον εἰσοράας τὸν ̓Ολιβάροιο. κονίην Αφροσι μὴ σεμνὴν, Ξεῖνε, πόδεσσι πάτει· Οἶσι μέμηλε φύσις, μέτρων χάρις, ἔργα παλαιῶν, Κλαίετε ποιητὴν, ἱστορικὸν, φυσικόν.
'Please to make my most respectful compliments to all the ladies, and remember me to young George and his sisters. I reckon George begins to shew a pair of heels.
'Do not be sullen now, but let me find a letter when I come back. I am, dear Sir, your affectionate, humble servant, 'July 5, 1774.' SAM. JOHNSON.'
'TO MR. ROBERT LEVET.
'Llewenny, in Denbighshire, Aug. 16, 1774.
'DEAR SIR, Mr. Thrale's affairs have kept him here a great while, nor do I know exactly when we shall come hence. I have sent you a bill upon Mr. Strahan.
'I have made nothing of the Ipecacuanha, but have taken abundance of pills, and hope that they have done me good.
'Wales, so far as I have yet seen of it, is a very beautiful and rich country, all enclosed, and planted. Denbigh is not a mean town. Make my compliments to all my friends, and tell Frank I hope he remembers my advice. When his money is out, let him have more. I am, Sir, your humble
C SAM. JOHNSON.'
'MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
'Edinburgh, Aug. 30, 1774.
'You have given me an inscription for a portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, in which you, in a short and striking manner, point out her hard fate. But you will be pleased to keep in mind, that my picture is a representation of a particular scene in her history; her being forced to resign her crown, while she was imprisoned in the castle of Lochlevin. I must, therefore, beg that you will be kind enough to give me an inscription suited to that particular scene; or determine which of the two formerly transmitted to you is the best; and, at any rate, favour me with an English translation.