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had the appearance of listening to him. His motions seemed to her to be intended for her amusement; and when he stopped she fluttered, and made a little infantine noise, and a kind of signal for him to begin again. She would be held close to him, which was a proof, from simple nature, that his figure was not horrid. Her fondness for him endeared her still more to me, and I declared she should have five hundred pounds of additional fortune.
We talked of the practice of the law. Sir William Forbes said, he thought an honest lawyer should never undertake a cause which he was satisfied was not a just one. "Sir," said Mr. Johnson,
a lawyer has no business with the justice or injustice of the cause which he undertakes, unless his client asks his opinion, and then he is bound to give it honestly. The justice or injustice of the cause is to be decided by the judge. Consider, Sir, what is the purpose of courts of justice? It is, that every man may have his cause fairly tried, by men appointed to try causes. A lawyer is not to tell what he knows to be a lie: he is not to produce what he knows to be a false deed; but he is not to
dignity and opulence, and by intermarriages is connected with many other noble families. When I was at the Hague, I was received with all the affection of kindred. The present Sommelsdyck has an important charge in the republic, and is as worthy a man as lives. He has honoured me with his correspondence for these twenty years My great grandfather, the husband of Countess Veronica, was Alexander, Earl of Kincardine, that eminent royalist whose character is given by Burnet in his "History of his own Times." From him the blood of Bruce flows in my veins. Of such ancestry who would not be proud? And as "Nihil est, nisi hoc sciat alter" is peculiarly true of genealogy, who would not be glad to seize a fair oppor tunity to let it be known?
Susurp the province of the jury and of the judge, and determine what shall be the effect of evidence,
what shall be the result of legal argument. As it rarely happens that a man is fit to plead his own cause, lawyers are a class of the community who, by study and experience, have acquired the art and power of arranging evidence, and of applying to the points at issue what the law has settled. A lawyer is to do for his client all that his client might fairly do for himself, if he could. If, by a superiority of attention, of knowledge, of skill, and a better method of communication, he has the advantage of his adversary, it is an advantage to which he is entitled. There must always be some advantage, on one side or other; and it is better that advantage should be had by talents than by chance. If lawyers were to undertake no causes till they were sure they were just, a man might be precluded altogether from a trial of his claim, though, were it judicially examined, it might be found a very just claim." This was sound practical doctrine, and rationally repressed a too refined scrupulosity of conscience. (1)
Emigration was at this time a common topic of discourse. Dr. Johnson regretted it as hurtful to human happiness: "For," said he, "it spreads mankind, which weakens the defence of a nation, and lessens the comfort of living. Men, thinly scattered, make a shift, but a bad shift, without many things. A smith is ten miles off; they'll do without a nail or a staple. A tailor is far from
(1) [See antè, Vol. III. pp. 35. 251.]
them; they'll botch their own clothes. It is being concentrated which produces high convenience."
Sir William Forbes, Mr. Scott, and I, accompanied Mr. Johnson to the chapel, founded by Lord Chief Baron Smith, for the service of the Church of England. The Rev. Mr. Carr, the senior clergyman, preached from these words, "Because the Lord reigneth, let the earth be glad." I was sorry to think Mr. Johnson did not attend to the sermon, Mr. Carr's low voice not being strong enough to reach his hearing. A selection of Mr. Carr's sermons has since his death been published by Sir William Forbes, and the world has acknowledged their uncommon merit. I am well assured Lord Mansfield has pronounced them to be excellent. (1)
Here I obtained a promise from Lord Chief Baron Orde, that he would dine at my house next day. I presented Mr. Johnson to his lordship, who politely said to him, "I have not the honour of knowing you; but I hope for it, and to see you at my house. I am to wait on you to-morrow." This respectable English judge will be long remembered in Scotland, where he built an elegant house, and lived in it magnificently. His own ample fortune, with the addition of his salary, enabled him to be splendidly hospitable. It may be fortunate for an individual amongst ourselves to be Lord Chief Baron, and a most worthy man (2) now has the office; but, in my opinion, it is better for Scotland in general, that
(1) [The Rev. George Carr was born at Newcastle, February 16. 1704, and died suddenly on Sunday, August 18. 1776.]
(2) James Montgomery, created a baronet in 1801, on his resignation of the office of Chief Baron.-C. [He died in 1803.]
some of our public employments should be filled by gentlemen of distinction from the south side of the Tweed, as we have the oenefit of promotion in England. Such an interchange would make a beneficial mixture of manners, and render our union more complete. Lord Chief Baron Orde was on good terms with us all, in a narrow country, filled with jarring interests, and keen parties; and, though I well knew his opinion to be the same with my own, he kept himself aloof at a very critical period indeed, when the Douglas cause shook the sacred security of birthright in Scotland to its foundation; a cause which, had it happened before the Union, when there was no appeal to a British House of Lords, would have left the great fortress of honours and of property in ruins. (1)
When we got home, Dr. Johnson desired to see my books. He took down Ogden's Sermons on Prayer, on which I set a very high value, having been much edified by them, and he retired with them to his room. He did not stay long, but soon joined us in the drawing-room. I presented to him Mr. Robert Arbuthnot (2), a relation of the cele
(1) It must be recollected that Mr. Boswell was not only counsel, but a violent partisan in this cause. There was, in fact, no attempt at "shaking the sacred security of birthright.” question was, The "to whom the birthright belonged;" that is, whether Mr. Douglas was or was not the son of those he called his f
and mother.- C.
(2) Robert Arbuthnot, Esq. was secretary to the Board of Trustees for the Encouragement of the Arts and Manufactures of Scotland; in this office he was succeeded by his son William, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, when King George the Fourth visited Scotland, who was made a baronet on that occasion, and has lately died much lamented. Both father and son were accomplished gentlemen, and elegant scholars. SCOTT. WALTER
brated Dr. Arbuthnot, and a man of literature and taste. To him we were obliged for a previous recommendation, which secured us a very agreeable reception at St. Andrew's, and which Dr. Johnson, in his " Journey," ascribes to "some invisible friend."
Of Dr. Beattie, Mr. Johnson said, "Sir, he has written like a man conscious of the truth, and feeling his own strength. Treating your adversary with respect, is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled. The greatest part of men cannot judge of reasoning, and are impressed by character; so that, if you allow your adversary a respectable character, they will think, that though you differ from him, you may be in the wrong. Sir, treating your adversary with respect, is striking soft in a battle. And as to Hume, a man who has so much conceit as to tell all mankind that they have been bubbled for ages, and he is the wise man who sees better than they man who has so little scrupulosity as to venture to oppose those principles which have been thought necessary to human happiness is he to be surprised if another man comes and laughs at him? If he is the great man he thinks himself, all this cannot hurt him: it is like throwing peas against a rock.” He added "something much too rough," both as to Mr. Hume's head and heart, which I suppress. (1) Violence is, in my opinion, not suitable
(1) It may be supposed that it was somewhat like what Mrs. Piozzi relates that he said of an eminent infidel, whose name she does not give, but who was probably either Hume or Gibbon (Malone thought Gibbon). “You will at least," said some one, "allow him the lumières."-"Just enough," replied the Doctor, "to light him to hell."