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From the Hebrides Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale :
'I have a desire to instruct myself in the whole system of pastoral life; but I know not whether I shall be able to perfect the idea. However, I have many pictures in my mind, which I could not have had without this journey; and should have passed it with great pleasure had you, and Master, and Queeney been in the party. We should have excited the attention and enlarged the observation of each other, and obtained many pleasing topicks of future conversation.' Piozzi Letters, i. 159. 'We travelled with very little light in a storm of wind and rain; we passed about fifty-five streams that crossed our way, and fell into a river that, for a very great part of our road, foamed and roared beside us; all the rougher powers of nature except thunder were in motion, but there was no danger. I should have been sorry to have missed any of the inconveniencies, to have had more light or less rain, for their co-operation crowded the scene and filled the mind.' Ib. p. 177.
See post, v. 334 for the splendid passage in which, describing the emotions raised in his mind by the sight of Iona, he says:
'Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses, whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. . . . That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plains of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.'
Macaulay seems to have had the echo of these lines still in his ear, when he described imagination as 'that noble faculty whereby man is able to live in the past and in the future, in the distant and in the unreal.' Essays, ed. 1853, iii. 167.
1774. When he saw some copper and iron works in Wales he
'I have enlarged my notions.' Post, v. 442. See also ante, iii. 164.
His letter to Warren Hastings shows his curiosity about India. Ante, iv. 68.
1775. The Thrales had just received a sum of £14,000. Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale :
'If I had money enough, what would I do? Perhaps, if you and master did not hold me, I might go to Cairo, and down the Red Sea to Bengal, and take a ramble to India. Would this be better than building and planting? It would surely give more variety to the eye, and more amplitude to the mind. Half fourteen thousand would send me out to see other forms of existence, and bring me back to describe them.' Piozzi Letters, i. 266.
'Regions mountainous and wild, thinly inhabited and little cultivated, make a great part of the earth, and he that has never seen them must live unacquainted with much of the face of nature, and with one of the great scenes of human existence.' Johnson's Works, ix. 36. All travel has its advantages. If the traveller visits better countries he may learn to improve his own; and if fortune carries him to worse he may learn to enjoy it.' Ib. p. 136.
To Dr. Taylor he wrote :
Is not mine a kind of life
'I came back last Tuesday from France. turned upside down? Fixed to a spot when I was young, and roving the world when others are contriving to sit still, I am wholly unsettled. I am a kind of ship with a wide sail, and without an anchor.' Ante, ii. 387,
1776. In the spring of this year everything was settled for his journey to Italy with the Thrales. Hannah More wrote (Memoirs, i. 74):—
'Johnson and Mr. Boswell have this day set out for Oxford, Lichfield, &c., that the Doctor may take leave of all his old friends previous to his great expedition across the Alps. I lament his undertaking such a journey at his time of life, with beginning infirmities. I hope he will not leave his bones on classic grounds.'
Boswell tells how
'Speaking wit a tone of animation Johnson said, "We must, to be sure, see Rome, Naples, Florence, and Venice, and as much more as we can." Ante, iii. 19.
When the journey was put off by the sudden death of Mr. Thrale's son, Boswell wrote:
'I perceived that he had so warmly cherished the hope of enjoying classical scenes, that he could not easily part with the scheme; for he said, "I shall probably contrive to get to Italy some other way." Ib. p. 28.
A day later Boswell wrote :
'A journey to Italy was still in his thoughts. He said, "A man who has not been in Italy is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see. The grand object of travelling iş to see the shores of the Mediterranean."' Ib. p. 36. 'Johnson's desire to go abroad, particularly to see Italy, was very great; and he had a longing wish, too, to leave some Latin verses at the Grand Chartreux. He loved indeed the very act of travelling.... He was in some respects an admirable companion on the road, as he piqued himself upon feeling no inconvenience, and on despising no accommodations.' Piozzi's Anec. p. 168.
Johnson, this same year, speaking of a friend who had gone to the East Indies, said :—
'I had some intention of accompanying him. Had I thought then as I do now, I should have gone.' Ante, iii. 20. According to Mr. Tyers he once offered to attend another friend to India. Moreover he talked much of travelling into Poland to observe the life of the Palatines, the account of which struck his curiosity very much.' Johnsoniana, ed. 1836, p. 157.
1777. Boswell wrote to Johnson this year (ante, iii. 107):
'You have, I believe, seen all the cathedrals in England except that of Carlisle.'
This was not the case, yet most of them he had already seen or lived to see. With Lichfield, Oxford, and London he was familiar.
Winchester and Exeter he had seen in 1762 on his tour to Devonshire (ante, i. 377), Peterborough, Ely, Lincoln, York, and Durham he no doubt saw in 1773 on his way to Scotland. The first three he might also have seen in 1764 on his visit to Langton (ante, i. 476). Chester, St. Asaph, Bangor, and Worcester he visited in 1774 in his journey to Wales (post, v. 435, 436, 448, 456). Through Canterbury he almost certainly passed in 1775 on his way to France (ante, ii. 384). Bristol he saw in 1776 (ante, iii. 51). - To Chichester he drove from Brighton in 1782 (post, iv. 160). Rochester and Salisbury he visited in the summer of 1783 (post, iv. 233). Wells he might easily have seen when he was at Bath in 1776 (ante, iii. 44), and possibly Gloucester. Through Norwich he perhaps came on his return from Lincolnshire in 1764 (ante, i. 476). Hereford, I think, he could not have visited.
When in the September of this year Johnson and Boswell were driving in Dr. Taylor's chaise to Derby, 'Johnson strongly expressed his love of driving fast in a post-chaise. "If," said he, "I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman; but she should be one who could understand me, and would add something to the conversation"' (ante, iii. 162). He had previously said (ante, ii. 453), as he was' driven rapidly along in a post-chaise, 'Life has not many things better than this.'
1778. Boswell wrote to Johnson :
'My wife is so different from you and me that she dislikes travelling.' Ante, iii. 219.
Later on in the year Boswell records :-
'Dr. Johnson expressed a particular enthusiasm with respect to visiting the wall of China. I catched it for the moment, and said I really believed I should go and see the wall of China had I not children, of whom it was my duty to take care. "Sir, (said he,) by doing so you would do what would be of importance in raising your children to eminence. There would be a lustre reflected upon them from your spirit and curiosity. They would be at all times regarded as the children of a man who had gone to view the wall of China. I am serious, Sir."' Ante, iii. 269.
1780. In August he wrote to Boswell :
'I know not whether I shall get a ramble this summer.... I hope you and I may yet shew ourselves on some part of Europe, Asia, or Africa. Ante, iii. 435.
In the same year Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale :
'I hope you have no design of stealing away to Italy before the election, nor of leaving me behind you; though I am not only seventy, but seventyone.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 177.
On Oct. 17 he wrote:
'The summer has been foolishly lost, like many other of my summers and winters. I hardly saw a green field, but staid in town to work, without working much.' Ante, iii. 441.
1784. Johnson's wish to go to Italy in the last year of his life was caused by the hope that it might be good for his health. 'I do not,' he wrote, 'travel for pleasure or curiosity; yet if I should recover,' he added, 'curiosity would revive.' Post, iv. 348.
Mrs. Piozzi, without however giving the year, records :
'Dr. Johnson was very angry with a gentleman at our house for not being better company, and urged that he had travelled into Bohemia and seen Prague. "Surely," added he, "the man who has seen Prague might tell us something new and something strange, and not sit silent for want of matter to put his lips in motion."' Piozzi's Journey, ii. 3 . 317.
All these passages shew, what indeed is evident enough from the text, that it was not travelling in general but travelling between the ages of nineteen and twenty-four, with a character unformed, a memory unstored, and a judgment untrained, that Johnson attacked. It was a common habit in his day to send young men of fortune to make the tour of Europe, as it was called, at an age when they would now be sent to either Oxford or Cambridge. Lord Charlemont was but eighteen when he left England. Locke, at the end of his work on Education, said in 1692 much the same as Johnson said in 1778.
'The ordinary time of travel,' he wrote, 'is from sixteen to one and twenty.' He would send any one either at a younger age than sixteen under a tutor, or at an older age than twenty-one without a tutor; 'when he is of age to govern himself, and make observations of what he finds in other countries worthy his notice, ... and when, too, being thoroughly acquainted with the laws and fashions, the natural and moral advantages and defects of his own country, he has something to exchange with those abroad, from whose conversation he hoped to reap any knowledge.'
Goldsmith, in his Present State of Polite Learning, ch. xiii, wrote in
'We see more of the world by travel, but more of human nature by remaining at home. . . . A youth just landed at the Brille resembles a clown at a puppet-show; carries his amazement from one miracle to another; from this cabinet of curiosities to that collection of pictures; but wondering is not the way to grow wise. . . . The greatest advantages which result to youth from travel are an easy address, the shaking off national prejudices, and the finding nothing ridiculous in national peculiarities. The time spent in these acquisitions could have been more usefully employed at home.' Gibbon (Misc. Works, i. 197) says that 'the previous and indispensable requisites of foreign travel are age, judgment, a competent knowledge of men and books, and a freedom from domestic prejudices.'
When he was only eighteen years old he saw the evils of early travelling :
'I never liked young travellers; they go too raw to make any great remarks, and they lose a time which is (in my opinion) the most precious part of a man's life.' Ib. p. 98.
Cowper, in his Progress of Error (ed. 1782, i. 60), describes how
'His stock, a few French phrases got by heart,
With much to learn and nothing to impart,
Returning he proclaims by many a grace,
ELECTION OF LORD MAYORS OF LONDON.
IN the years 1751-2-3, the Lord Mayor was not appointed by rotation; Sir G. Champion, the senior Alderman, being accused of a leaning towards Spain. From 1754 to 1765 (inclusive) if there was in any year a contest, yet in each case the senior Alderman nominated was chosen. From 1766 to 1775 (inclusive) there was in every year a departure from the order of seniority. In 1776-8 the order of seniority was again observed; so that two years before Johnson made his remark the irregularity had come to an end. This information I owe to the kindness of Mr. Scott, the excellent Chamberlain of the City. Sir George Champion had been passed over in the year 1739 also. In an address to the Liverymen he says that 'the disorders and great disturbance to the peace of the city, which in former times had been occasioned by the over-eagerness of some, too ambitious and impatient to obtain this great honour, had been quieted' by the adoption of the order of seniority. Gent. Mag. 1739, P. 595. Among the Lord Mayors from 1769-1775 (inclusive) we find Beckford, Trecothick, Crosby, Townshend, Bull, Wilkes, and Sawbridge. 'Where did Beckford and Trecothick learn English?' asked Johnson (ante, iii. 76). Crosby, in the year of his mayoralty (1770-1), was committed to the