scarce a virtue." BOSWELL." They were afraid of you, Sir, as it was you who proposed me." JOHNSON. "Sir, they knew, that if they refused you, they'd probably never have got in another. I'd have kept them all out. Beauclerk was very earnest for you." BOSWELL. "Beauclerk has a keenness of mind which is very uncommon." JOHNSON. "Yes, Sir; and every thing comes from him so easily. It appears to me that I labour, when I say a good thing." BOSWELL. "You are loud, Sir, but it is not an effort of mind."

Monboddo is a wretched place, wild and naked, with a poor old house, though, if I recollect right, there are two turrets, which mark an old baron's residence. Lord Monboddo received us at his gate most courteously; pointed to the Douglas arms upon his house, and told us that his great-grandmother was of that family. "In such houses," said he, 66 our ancestors lived, who were better men than we." "No, no, my lord," said Dr. Johnson; are as strong as they, and a great deal wiser." This was an assault upon one of Lord Monboddo's capital dogmas, and I was afraid there would have been a violent altercation in the very close, before we got into the house. But his lordship is distinguished not only for "ancient metaphysics," but for ancient politesse, "la vieille cour," and he made no reply.


His lordship was drest in a rustic suit, and wore a little round hat; he told us, we now saw him as Farmer Burnet, and we should have his family dinner, a farmer's dinner. He said, "I should not have forgiven Mr. Boswell, had he not brought you

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here, Dr. Johnson." He produced a very long stalk of corn, as a specimen of his crop, and said, " You see here the latas segetes:" he added, that Virgil seemed to be as enthusiastic a farmer as he, and was certainly a practical one. JOHNSON. "It does not always follow, my lord, that a man, who has written a good poem on an art, has practised it. Philip Miller (1) told me, that in Philips's "Cyder," a poem, all the precepts were just, and indeed better than in books written for the purpose of instructing; yet Philips had never made cyder.” (2)

I started the subject of emigration. JOHNSON. "To a man of mere animal life, you can urge no argument against going to America, but that it will be some time before he will get the earth to produce. But a man of any intellectual enjoyment will not easily go and immerse himself and his posterity for ages in barbarism."

He and my lord spoke highly of Homer. JOHNson. "He had all the learning of his age. The shield of Achilles shows a nation in war, a nation in peace: harvest sport, nay stealing." (3) MON

(1) [Philip Miller, author of the "Gardener's Dictionary," He was born at Chelsea in 1691, and died in 1771.]

(2) ["To the poem of " Cyder" may be given this peculiar praise, that it is grounded in truth; that the precepts which it contains are exact and just; and that it is therefore, at once a book of entertainment and science."-JOHNSON, Life of Philips.]

(3) My note of this is much too short. Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio. Yet as I have resolved, that the very Journal which Dr. Johnson read shall be presented to the public, I will not expand the text in any considerable degree, though I may occasionally supply a word to complete the sense, as I fill up the blanks of abbreviation in the writing, neither of which can be said to change the genuine Journal. One of the best critics of our age conjectures that the imperfect passage above has probably been as follows:-" In his book we have an accurate


BODDO. Ay, and what we (looking to me) would call a parliament-house scene; a cause pleaded." JOHNSON. "That is part of the life of a nation in peace. And there are in Homer such characters of heroes, and combinations of qualities of heroes, that the united powers of mankind ever since have not produced any but what are to be found there." MONBODDO. Yet no character is described." JOHNSON. "No; they all develope themselves. Agamemnon is always a gentleman-like character; he has always Baσiλinoy T. (1) That the ancients held so, is plain from this; that Euripides, in his Hecuba, makes him the person to interpose." (2) MONBODDO." The history of manners is the most valuable. I never set a high value on any other history." JOHNSON." Nor I; and therefore I esteem biography, as giving us what comes near to ourselves, what we can turn to use." BOSWELL. "But in the course of general history we find manners. In wars, we see the dispositions of people, their degrees of humanity, and other particulars." JOHNSON. "Yes; but then you must take all the

display of a nation in war, and a nation in peace; the peasant is delineated as truly as the general; nay, even harvest sport, and the modes of ancient theft, are described."

(1) Something royal. — C.

(2) Dr. Johnson modestly said, he had not read Homer so much as he wished he had done. But this conversation shows how well he was acquainted with the Moonian bard; and he has shown it still more in his criticism upon Pope's Homer, in his life of that poet. My excellent friend, Dr. Langton, told me, he was once present at a dispute between Dr. Johnson and Mr. Burke, on the comparative merits of Homer and Virgil, which was carried on with extraordinary abilities on both sides. Dr. Johnson maintained the superiority of Homer.


facts to get this, and it is but a little you get." MONBODDO." And it is that little which makes history valuable." Bravo! thought I; they agree like two brothers. MONBODDO. "I am sorry, Dr. Johnson, you were not longer at Edinburgh, to receive the homage of our men of learning." JOHNSON. My lord, I received great respect and great kindness." BOSWELL. "He goes back to Edinburgh after our tour." We talked of the decrease of learning in Scotland, and of the "Muses' Welcome." JOHNSON. "Learning is much decreased in England, in my remembrance." MONBODDO. “You, Sir, have lived to see its decrease in England, I its extinction in Scotland." However, I brought him to confess that the high school of Edinburgh did well. JOHNSON. "Learning has decreased in England, because learning will not do so much for a man as formerly. There are other ways of getting preferment. Few bishops are now made for their learning. To be a bishop, a man must be learned in a learned age, factious in a factious age, but always of eminence. Warburton is an exception, though his learning alone did not raise him. He was first an antagonist to Pope, and helped Theobald to publish his Shakspeare; but, seeing Pope the rising man, when Crousaz attacked his 'Essay on Man,' for some faults which it has, and some which it has not, Warburton defended it in the Review of that time. This brought him acquainted with Pope, and he gained his friendship. Pope introduced him to Allen, Allen married him to his niece; so, by Allen's interest and his own,

he was made a bishop. (1) But then his learning was the sine quâ non. He knew how to make the most of it, but I do not find by any dishonest means." MONBODDO. "He is a great man." JOHNSON. "Yes, he has great knowledge, great power of mind. Hardly any man brings greater variety of learning to bear upon his point." MONBODdo. "He is one of the greatest lights of your Church.” JOHNSON. "Why, we are not so sure of his being very friendly to us. He blazes, if you will, but that is not always the steadiest light. Lowth is another bishop who has risen by his learning."

Dr. Johnson examined young Arthur, Lord Monboddo's son, in Latin. He answered very well; upon which he said, with complacency, "Get you gone! When King James comes back (2), you shall be in the Muses' Welcome!'" My lord and Dr. Johnson disputed a little, whether the savage or the London shopkeeper had the best existence. His lordship, as usual, preferring the savage. My lord was extremely hospitable, and I saw both Dr. Johnson and him liking each other better every hour.

Dr. Johnson having retired for a short time, his lordship spoke of his conversation as I could have wished. Dr. Johnson had said, "I have done greater feats with my knife than this;" though he had eaten

(1) [See antè, Vol. III. p. 23.]

(2) I find some doubt has been entertained concerning Dr. Johnson's meaning here. It is to be supposed that he meant, "when a king shall again be entertained in Scotland."-B.-Dr. Johnson meant, probably, a little touch of Jacobite pleasantry.

C.-[He was, perhaps, thinking of one of the addresses in the Muses' Welcome," which was spoken by a very young boy, the son of the Earl of Winton.-CHAMBERS.]

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