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ligion, was, however, a Tory. JOHNSON. 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 any thing, 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, Oct. 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 (1), 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
(1) Mr. Barclay. See antè, Vol. II. p. 300. Johnson's desire to express his contempt of Kenrick is shown by his perseverance in representing this young gentleman as a boy; as if to say, it was too much honour for Kenrick that even a boy should answer him. · C.
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 often been 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 ot 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 Hume is not the worse for Beattie's attack?" JOHNSON. "He is, because Beattie has confuted him. (1) 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.) (2) is the better for attacks."
When Goldsmith and
but he does not think so yet. 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
(1) [Dr. Beattie's "Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth" appeared in 1770.]
(2) Mr. Boswell adds this parenthesis, probably, because the gentlemen alluded to were friends of his; but if Dr. Johnson "did not mean to include them," whom did he mean? for they were certainly (after Beattie) Hume's most prominent antagonists.-C.
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 McDonald, factor to Sir Alexander M'Donald, 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, Oct. 2. Dr. Johnson said, that " 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
(1) It is strange that Johnson should not have known that the "Adventures of a Guinea" was written by a namesake of his own, Charles Johnson. Being disqualified for the bar, which was his profession, by a supervening deafness, he went to India and made some fortune. WALTER SCOTT. [See also Scott's Lives of the Novelists. The Biog. Dict. says he died in Bengal about 1800.]
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 a large school-room, where they learnt needlework and other things." I observed, that, at some courts in Germany, there were academies for the pages, who are the sons of gentlemen, and reeive their education without any expense to their parents. Dr. Johnson said, that manners were best learnt 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 Cortegiano," by Castiglione, grew up at the little. court of Urbino, and you should read it." (1) I am glad always to have his opinion of books. At Mr. Macpherson's, he commended "Whitby's Commentary (2)," 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,
(1) [Count Castiglione was born at Mantua in 1478, and died in 1529, after having been employed by Ludovico Sforza, both as a soldier and a statesman.]
(2) [Dr. Daniel Whitby, born 1638, died 1726. His celebrated Paraphrase and Commentary on the New Testament was first published in 1703.]