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son made his remarks; and he was surprised to find Young receive as novelties, what he thought very common maxims. He said, he believed Young was not a great scholar, nor had studied regularly the art of writing; that there were very fine things in his "Night Thoughts," though you could not find twenty lines together without some extravagance. He repeated two passages from his "Love of Fame," -the characters of Brunetta and Stella, which he praised highly.* He said Young pressed him much to come to Welwyn. He always intended it, but never went. He was sorry when Young died. The cause of quarrel between Young and his son, he told us, was, that his son insisted Young should turn away a clergyman's widow, who lived with him, and who, having acquired great influence over the father, was saucy to the son. Dr. Johnson said, she could not conceal her resentment at him for saying to Young that "An old man should not resign himself to the management of any body."-I asked him if there was any improper connection between them."No, sir, no more than between two statues. He was past fourscore, and she a very coarse woman. She read to him, and I suppose made his coffee, and frothed his chocolate, and did such things as an old man wishes to have done for him."
Dr. Doddridge being mentioned, he observed that "he was author of one of the finest epigrams in the English language. It is in Orton's Life of him. The subject is his family motto,-Dum vivi
* "Brunetta 's wise in actions great and rare;
But scorns on trifles to bestow her care.
Thus every hour Brunetta is to blame,
Because the occasion is beneath her aim.
Think nought a trifle, though it small appear;
Small sands the mountain, moments make the year;
Or you may die before you truly live.-SATIRE VI.
"Some ladies' judgment in their features lies,
She seems inspired, and can herself inspire."-SATIRE V.
The first of these quotations embodies a sentiment that was a favourite with Johnson, and which he has expressed with peculiar force and beauty in his "Journey to the Hebrides." "It must be remembered that life consists not of a series of illustrious actions or elegant enjoyments; the greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniencies, in the procurement of petty pleasures; and we are well or ill at ease, as the main stream of life glides on smoothly, or is ruffled by small obstacles and frequent interruption. The true state of every nation is the state of common life."-ED.
mus, vivamus; which, in its primary signification, is, to be sure, not very suitable to a Christian divine; but he paraphrased it thus:
Live, while you live, the epicure would say,
Live, while you live, the sacred preacher cries,
I live in pleasure, when I live to thee.””
I asked if it was not strange that government should permit so many infidel writings to pass without censure.-JOHNSON: "Sir, it is mighty foolish. It is for want of knowing their own power. The present family on the throne came to the crown against the will of nine-tenths of the people. Whether those nine-tenths were right or wrong, it is not our business now to inquire. But such being the situation of the royal family, they were glad to encourage all who would be their friends. Now you know every bad man is a Whig ; every man who has loose notions. The church was all against this family. They were, as I say, glad to encourage any friends; and therefore, since their accession, there is no instance of any man being kept back on account of his bad principles; and hence this inundation of impiety."—I observed that Mr. Hume, some of whose writings were very unfavourable to religion, was, however, a Tory."-JOHNSON: "Sir, Hume is a Tory by chance, as being a Scotchman; but not upon a principle of duty; for he has no principle. If he is anything, he is a Hobbist."
There was something not quite serene in his humour to-night, after supper; for he spoke of hastening away to London, without stopping much at Edinburgh. I reminded him that he had General Oughton and many others to see.-JOHNSON: "Nay, I shall neither go in jest, nor stay in jest. I shall do what is fit.”—Boswell: “Ay, sir, but all I desire is, that you will let me tell you when it is fit."JOHNSON: "Sir, I shall not consult you."-BoswELL: "If you are to run away from us as soon as you get loose, we will keep you confined in an island."-He was, however, on the whole, very good company. Mr. Donald Macleod expressed very well the gradual impression made by Dr. Johnson on those who are so fortunate as to obtain his acquaintance.--" When you see him first, you are struck with awful reverence;-then you admire him;—and then you love him cordially."
I read this evening some part of Voltaire's "History of the War in 1741," and of Lord Kames against "Hereditary Indefeasible Right." This is a very slight circumstance, with which I should not trouble my reader, but for the sake of observing, that every man should keep
minutes of whatever he reads. Every circumstance of his studies should be recorded; what books he has consulted; how much of them he has read; at what times; how often the same authors; and what opinions he formed of them, at different periods of his life. Such an account would much illustrate the history of his mind.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1.
I showed to Dr. Johnson verses in a magazine on his Dictionary, composed of uncommon words taken from it:
"Little of Anthropopathy has he," &c.*
He read a few of them, and said, "I am not answerable for all the words in my Dictionary."—I told him that Garrick kept a book of all who had either praised or abused him.-On the subject of his own reputation, he said, "Now that I see it has been so current a topic, I wish I had done so too; but it could not well be done now, as so many things are scattered in newspapers."-He said he was angry at a boy of Oxford, who wrote in his defence against Kenrick; because it was doing him hurt to answer Kenrick. He was told afterwards, the boy was to come to him to ask a favour. He first thought to treat him rudely, on account of his meddling in that business; but then he considered, he had meant to do him all the service in his power, and he took another resolution; he told him he would do what he could for him, and did so; and the boy was satisfied. He said he did not know how his pamphlet was done, as he had read very little of it. The boy made a good figure at Oxford, but died. He remarked, that attacks on authors did them much service. "A man who tells me my play is very bad, is less my enemy than he who lets it die in silence. A man whose business it is to be talked of, is much helped by being attacked.”—Garrick, I observed, had been often so helped.-JOHNSON: "Yes, sir; though Garrick had more opportunities than almost any man, to keep the public in mind of him, by exhibiting himself to such numbers, he would not have had so much reputation, had he not been so much attacked. Every attack produces a defence; and so attention is engaged. There is no sport in mere praise, when people are all of a mind."-BOSWELL: "Then
"Little of anthropopathy has he
This parody was by Maclaurin, Lord Dreghorn, who cumbered the "Scots Maga. zine" and newspapers with much indifferent verse.-ED.
The "boy" was a young student named Barclay, who died early in life. Boswell's Life of Johnson, under date of 1765.-ED.
Hume is not the worse for Beattie's attack?"-JOHNSON: "He is, because Beattie has confuted him. I do not say but that there may be some attacks which will hurt an author. Though Hume suffered from Beattie, he was the better for other attacks." (He certainly could not include in that number those of Dr. Adams and Mr. Tytler.)— BOSWELL: "Goldsmith is the better for attacks."-JOHNSON: "Yes, sir; but he does not think so yet. When Goldsmith and I published, each of us something at the same time, we were given to understand that we might review each other. Goldsmith was for accepting the offer. I said, 'No; set reviewers at defiance.'-It was said to old Bentley, upon the attacks against him, 'Why, they'll write you down.' 'No, sir,' he replied; 'depend upon it, no man was ever written down but by himself.""-He observed to me afterwards, that the advantages authors derived from attacks, were chiefly in subjects of taste, where you cannot confute, as so much may be said on either side. He told me he did not know who was the author of the "Adventures of a Guinea," ," but that the bookseller had sent the first volume to him in manuscript, to have his opinion if it should be printed; and he thought it should.
The weather being now somewhat better, Mr. James Macdonald, factor to Sir Alexander Macdonald in Slate, insisted that all the company at Ostig should go to the house at Armidale, which Sir Alexander had left, having gone with his lady to Edinburgh, and be his guests, till we had an opportunity of sailing to Mull. We accordingly got there to dinner; and passed our day very cheerfully, being no less than fourteen in number.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2.
Dr. Johnson said that "A chief and his lady should make their house like a court. They should have a certain number of the gentlemen's daughters to receive their education in the family, to learn pastry and such things from the housekeeper, and manners from my lady. That was the way in the great families in Wales; at Lady Salusbury's, Mrs. Thrale's grandmother, and at Lady Philips's. I distinguish the families by the ladies, as I speak of what was properly their province. There were always six young ladies at Sir John Philips's: when one was married, her place was filled up. There was
* It was Charles Johnson, or Johnstone, a native of Ireland, whose name will be found in most of the popular biographies. He was educated for the bar, but the infirmity of deafness under which he laboured restricted his practice, and he went to India in the capacity of editor of a newspaper. He died at Bengal, in the year 1800, aged about seventy. Charles Johnson wrote several other novels, but without the talent or success of the first. The "Adventures of a Guinea" is a satirical work-a scandalous chronicle of the times, but it has not maintained its popularity.-ED.
a large school room, where they learnt needle-work and other things." -I observed, that at some courts in Germany, there were academies for the pages, who are the sons of gentlemen, and receive their education without any expense to their parents. Dr. Johnson said that manners were best learned at those courts. "You are admitted with great facility to the prince's company, and yet must treat him with much respect. At a great court, you are at such a distance that you get no good." I said, "Very true: a man sees the court of Versailles as if he saw it on a theatre."-He said, "The best book that ever was written upon good breeding, "Il Corteggiano," by Castiglione, grew up at the little court of Urbino, and you should read it.”—I am glad always to have his opinion of books. At Mr. Macpherson's, he commended "Whitby's Commentary," and said he had heard him called rather lax; but he did not perceive it. He had looked at a novel, called "The Man of the World," at Rasay, but thought there was nothing in it."* He said to-day, while reading my Journal, "This will be a great treasure to us some years hence."
Talking of a very penurious gentleman of our acquaintance, he observed, that he exceeded L'Avare in the play. I concurred with him, and remarked that he would do well, if introduced in one of Foote's farces; that the best way to get it done, would be to bring Foote to be entertained at his house for a week, and then it would be facit indignatio.-JOHNSON: "Sir, I wish he had him. I, who have eaten his bread, will not give him to him; but I should be glad he came honestly by him."
He said, he was angry at Thrale for sitting at General Oglethorpe's without speaking. He censured a man for degrading himself to a nonentity. I observed, that Goldsmith was on the other extreme; for he spoke at all ventures.-JOHNSON: "Yes, sir; Goldsmith, rather than not speak, will talk of what he knows himself to be ignorant, which can only end in exposing him."-"I wonder, (said I,) if he feels that he exposes himself. If he was with two tailors;' Or with two founders, (said Dr. Johnson, interrupting me,) he would fall a talking on the method of making cannon, though both of them would soon see that he did not know what metal a cannon is made of.”—We were very social and merry in his room this forenoon. In the evening the company danced as usual. We performed, with much activity, a dance which, I suppose, the emigration from Sky has occa
* The "Man of the World," like the "Man of Feeling," was published anonymously. Boswell does not seem to have known that the novel was by his countryman, Henry Mackenzie. The want of character would be its great defect with Johnson. It has little or nothing of actual life and manners, but the plot is well arranged and the incidents pathetic. Mackenzie lived to the age of eighty-six; he died January 14th, 1831.-ED.