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way of joke, talking of their nationality, he said they were not singular : the Negros and Jews being so too. Boswell lamented there was no good map of Scotland. 66 There never can be a good (map) of Scotland," says the Doctor sententiously. This excited Boswell to ask wherefore. “Why Sir, to measure land, a man must go over it ; but who could think of going over Scotland.” 1 When Dr. Goldsmith was mentioned, and Dr. Percy's intention of writing his life, he expressed his approbation strongly, adding that Goldsmith was the best writer he ever knew, upon every subject he wrote upon. He said that Kendric had borrowed all his dictionary from him. Why,” says Boswell, “ every man who writes a dictionary must borrow.” “No Sir,” says Johnson, “ that is not necessary.” Why,” says Boswell, “ have not you a great deal in common with those who wrote before you,” “Yes Sir,” says Johnson, “I have the words, but my business was not to make words but to explain them.” Talking of Garrick and Barry, he said he always abused Garrick himself, but when anybody else did so, he fought for the dog like a tiger; as to Barry, he said he supposed he could not read. “ And how does he get his part ? ” says one, “ Why, somebody reads it to him, and yet I know,” says he, “ that he is very much admired.” Mrs. Thrale then took him by repeating a repartee of Murphy, the setting Barry up in competition with Garrick, is what irritates the English Criticks, and Murphy standing up for Barry. Johnson said that he was fit for nothing but to stand at an auction room door with his pole. Murphy said that Garrick would do the business as well, and pick the people's pockets at the same time. Johnson admitted the fact, but said, Murphy spoke nonsense, for that people's pockets were not picked at the door, but in the room; then said I, he was worse than the pick-pockets, forasmuch as he was Pandar to them, this went off with a laugh. Vive la bagatelle. It was a case decided here, that there was no harm, and much pleasure in laughing at our absent friends, and I own, if the character is not damaged, I can see no injury done.
APRIL 9th. A fair day, went to St. Clements to hear Mr. Burrows, so cried up by Lord Dartrey, preach, but I was wofully disappointed; his matter is cold, his manner hot, his voice weak, and his action affected. Indeed I thought he preached from a printed book, a book it certainly was, and it seemed at my distance,
which was the perpendicular to the side of the pulpit, to have a broad margin like print, and he did not seem master of it, yet he affected much emphasis and action. Dined with Mr. Combe, and spent the evening with Dr. Campbell.
APRIL 10th. Rain, but not enough to soften the asperity of the weather. Dined with General Oglethorpe,' who was in lieu of Aid-de-Camp, (for he had no such officer about him) to Prince Eugene, and celebrated by Mr. Pope. Dr. Johnson pressed him to write his life; adding, that no life in Europe was so well worth recording. The old man excused himself, saying the life of a private man was not worthy public notice. He however desired Boswell to bring him some good Almanack, that he might recollect dates, and seemed to excuse himself also on the article of incapacity, but Boswell desired him only to furnish the skeleton, and that Dr. Johnson would supply bones and sinews. “ He would be a good Doctor," says the General,“ who would do that." Well,” says I, “ he is a good Doctor,” at which he, the Doctor, laughed very heartily. Talking of America, it was observed that his works would not be admired there. No,” says Boswell, we shall soon hear of his being hung in effigy." “ I should be glad of that,” says the Doctor,
66 that would be a new source of fame; ” alluding to some conversation on the fulness of his fame which had gone before. And says Boswell, “ I wonder he has not been hung in effigy from the Hebrides to England.” 'I shall suffer them to do it corporeally,” says the Doctor, “if they can find me a tree to do it upon."
The Poem of the Graces became the topic; Boswell asked if he had never been under the hands of a dancing master. “Aye, and a dancing mistress too,” says the Doctor, “ but I own to you I never took a lesson but one or two, my blind eyes showed me I could never make a proficiency.” Boswell led him to give his opinion of Gray, he said there were but two good stanzas in all his works, viz., the elegy. Boswell desirous of eliciting his opinion upon too many subjects, as he thought, he rose up and took his hat. This was not noticed by anybody as it was nine o'clock, but after we got into Mr. Langton's coach, who gave us a set down, he said, “ Boswell's conversation consists entirely in asking questions, and it is extremely offensive,” we defended it upon Boswell's eagerness to hear the Doctor speak.3 | Life, vol. ii., p. 319.
2 Life, vol. ii., p. 321. 3 Boswell concludes his account of this dinner party with “ He
Talking of suicide, Boswell took up the defence for argument's sake, and the Doctor said that some cases were more excusable than others, but if it were excusable, it should be the last resource; “ for instance," says he, “ if a man is distressed in circumstances, (as in the case I mentioned of Denny) he ought to fly his country.” “ How can he fly,” says Boswell, “ if he has wife and children ? " “ What Sir," says the Doctor, shaking his head as if to promote the fermentation of his wit, “ doth not a man fly from his wife and children if he murders himself?"
APRIL llth. Fair from ten, bought &c. Supped with Mr. Crawford at the Adelphi, where, except a Dr. Wilkinson, the company was all Irish, and with the burning zeal of their country, violent patriots in their own opinion.
April 12th. Fair. ; went to Kensington, where the ground is in many places so bad, that the trees were stunted and ranpiked, as they call it in Ireland. Dined with Mosse and Rose at the Exchange Coffee House, where things were dear and bad.
13th. Fair and cold. Went to see the King proceed from St. James's, to give the Royal Assent to the Restraining Bill." Strolled with Mosse.
14th. Fair. Good Friday; went to hear Dr. Dodd, who is cryed up as the first preacher in London, at his own Chapel. He reads better than he preaches; for in the pulpit he leans too mueh upon his notes, his eyes are seldom off them, yet he uses the action of an extempore delivery, which makes a jarring jumble. His manner is infinitely superior to his matter, which was a poor and unsuccessful attempt upon the passions. He said the merits of Christ were applied to us, just as a man's paying a money debt for another was deemed a discharge for the debt, and he said that as the merits of Christ extended from the rising up of the sun to the going down of the same, so they extended equally a parte ante et post since creation, to those who never heard the name; i.e., Jesus Christ was a vicarious sacrifice as well for those who lived before him, as those who have lived
(Johnson) was not much in the humour of talking.” Vol. ii., p. 321.Editor.
? This was the bill to restrain the trade and commerce of the colonies of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina to any part of Great Britain, Ireland, and the West India Islands, April 13th, 1775. Annual Register, p. 107.--Editor.
since; and as well for those who never heard of him, as those who have faith in his name.
N.B. The shops were not shut up to-day, farther than that some of them had a single board standing up. The paviours went on as all other workmen did, and the ladies went to their exercise in Hyde Park as usual. N.B. Dodd did not read the Communion service rubrically, for he kneeled at the beginning, and tho' it was a fast day, he and his coadjutors wore surplices. Supped with Jack Day, and a set of Irish.
APRIL 15th. Heavy rain till twelve, yet without softening the asperity of the weather.
APRIL 16th. Rain till nine. The weather softer, but boisterous still.
Went to hear Harrison, at Brompton Chapel, his discourse incoherent, and delivered in the gout of a spouter. It is ridiculous in these fellows, whose eyes are scarce ever off their book, to affect the animation of extemporaneous warmth, yet this man's composition inclined to vehemence. Talking of the corruption of the present times he said Christians professed a creed indeed, but acted as if they had no belief, they offered a public sacrifice as on this day, yet they lived as if they sacrificed to the Devil. His text was Romans vi., 5. Dined with Archdeacon Congreve, my Lord Primate came there in the evening. He asked me sneeringly if I had seen the lions. I told him I had neither seen thein nor the crown, nor the jewels, nor the whispering gallery at St. Paul's. The conversation turned upon other things, and came round to his picture by Reynolds, which led on talk of Sir Joshua and other great artists, and without any force, I introduced something of Johnson. What,” says he,“ do you know him? “ Yes my Lord I do, and Baretti, and several others, whom I have been fortunate enough to find willing to extend my acquaintance among their friends, for these, my Lord, were the lions I came to see in London.” “ Aye,” says he, 5 these indeed are lions worth seeing, and the sight of them may be of use to you.” He soon after talked to me if my
brother were not curate to Dr. Bissett, and whether he was not contemporary with Scott, whom he looked upon, he said, as a friend to the Clergy. He asked me if somebody else had not spoke to him about my brother. I mentioned Lord Chief Justice Patterson. He spoke in such a way, that I take it in my head, he will do something for him out of this living of DonaghApril 17th. Showery, yet the air not yet softened. Disappointed of a ticket for the Lord Mayor's Ball.
18th. Went in one of the Brentford coaches to Kew Bridge, walked from thence along the Thames, (N.B.-A smart shower then) to Richmond, near which I met the King with a single gentleman, and two of the Princes. I did not know him till I was cheek for jowl with him, (jowl here I apply to his Majesty) and then I took off my hat; sometime before I met the King I overtook a boy of fifteen or sixteen, dressed in flannel, or something of that sort. I asked him several questions, to all which he answered with English curtness, he was however glad of a penny for carrying my coat. After passing the King I asked him if he knew who that was, he answered in the negative. I then told him, that is the king; he showed no emotion, but turned round and said leisurely, “ Is that the King ?” An Irish boy would have dogged him at the heels as long as he could. It would be heresy here to deny that Richmond Hill afforded the finest prospect in the world, and it would be false to deny that it afforded a rich one, yet it has nothing picturesque to be seen from it, for it wants the second and third distances. Wales is the fertile mother of landscapes. N.B.-Richmond Hill is very coarse ground, covered with furze and rushes.
APRIL 19th. Tho' it rained heavily last night the cold nothing abated, but rather increased. Shower in the forenoon, and a most severe fall of hail at two o'clock; dined at Boyd's.
APRIL 20th. Fair, and somewhat softened by the fall of hail yesterday. Dined at Thrale's, with Dr. Johnson, Barreti, and a Dean Wetherall of Oxford, who is soliciting for a riding house at Oxford. When I mentioned to the Doctor another answer, entitled “Resistance no Rebellion,” coming out, he said, “ that is the seventh, the author finds the other six will not do, and I foresee that the title is the best part of the book.” He desired that I should visit him. N.B.—Talking after dinner of the measures he would pursue with the Americans, he said the first thing he would do, would be to quarter the army on the citys, and if any refused free quarters, he would pull down that person's house, if it was joyned to other houses, but would burn it if it stood alone. This and other schemes he proposed in the manuscript of “ Taxation no Tyranny,” but these, he said, the Ministry expunged.
APRIL 21st. Fair, but cold; went with Mosse and Weld to