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"It may be questioned, whether there is not some mistake as to the methods of employing the poor, seemingly on a supposition that there is a certain portion of work left undone for want of persons to do it; but if that is otherwise, and all the materials we have are actually worked up, or all the manufactures we can use or dispose of are already executed, then what is given to the poor, who are to be set at work, must be taken from some who now have it; as time must be taken for learning (according to Sir William Petty's observation), a certain part of those very materials that, as it is, are properly worked up, must be spoiled by the unskilfulness of novices. We may apply to well-meaning, but misjudging persons in particulars of this nature, what Giannone said to a monk, who wanted what he called to convert him: Tu sei santo ma tu non sei filosopho.' It is an unhappy circumstance that one might give away five hundred pounds a year to those that importune in the streets, and not do any good.
"There is nothing more likely to betray a man into absurdity than condescension, when he seems to suppose his understanding too powerful for his company.
"Having asked Mr. Langton if his father and mother had sat for their pictures, which he thought it right for each generation of a family to do, and being told they had opposed it, he said, 'Sir, among the anfractuosities of the human mind, I know not if it may not be one, that there is a superstitious reluctance to sit for a picture.'
"John Gilbert Cooper related, that soon after the publication of his Dictionary, Garrick being asked by Johnson what people said of it, told him, that among other animadversions, it was objected that he cited authorities which were beneath the dignity of such a work, and mentioned Richardson. 'Nay,' said Johnson, 'I have done worse than that; I have cited thee, David.'
"Talking of expense, he observed, with what munificence a great merchant will spend his money, both from his having it at command, and from his enlarged views by calculation of a good effect upon the whole. Whereas,' said be, 'you will hardly ever find a country gentleman, who is not a good deal disconcerted at an unexpected occasion for his being obliged to lay out ten pounds.'
"When in good humour, he would talk of his own writings with a wonderful frankness and candour, and would even criticise them with the closest severity. One day, having read over one of his Ramblers, Mr. Langton asked him, how he liked that paper; he shook his head, and answered, 'too wordy.' At another time, when one was reading his tragedy of Irene,' to a company at a house in the country, he left the room; and somebody having asked him the reason of this, he replied, 'Sir, I thought it had been better.
"Talking of a point of delicate scrupulosity of moral conduct, he said to Mr. Langton, 'Men of harder minds than ours will do many things from which you and I would shrink; yet, Sir, they will, perhaps, do more good in life than we.
But let us try to help one another. If there be a wrong twist, it may be set right. It is not probable that two people can be wrong the same way.'
"Of the preface to Capel's Shakspeare, he said, 'If the man would have come to me, I would have endeavoured to “endow his purposes with words;" for as it is, he doth "gabble monstrously."'1
"He related that he had once in a dream a contest of wit with some other person, and that he was very much mortified by imagining that his opponent had the better of him. 'Now,' said he, 'one may mark here the effect of sleep in weakening the power of reflection; for had not my judgment failed me, I should have seen, that the wit of this supposed antagonist, by whose superiority I felt myself depressed, was as much furnished by me, as that which I thought I had been uttering in my own character.'
"One evening in company, an ingenious and learned gentleman read to him a letter of compliment which he had received from one of the professors of a foreign university. Johnson, in an irritable fit, thinking there was too much ostentation, said, 'I never receive any of these tributes of applause from abroad. One instance I recollect of a foreign publication, in which mention is made of l'illustre Lockman'
“Of Sir Joshua Reynolds, he said, 'Sir, I know no man who has passed through life with more observation than Reynolds.'
"He repeated to Mr. Langton, with great energy, in the Greek, our Saviour's gracious expression concerning the forgiveness of Mary Magdalene,' 'H TIOTIS, σε σέσωκέ σε· πορεύου εἰς εἰρήγην. ‘Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.’ (Luke, vii. 50.) He said, "The manner of this dismission is exceedingly affecting.'
"He thus defined the difference between physical and moral truth: 'Physical truth is, when you tell a thing as it actually is. Moral truth is, when you tell a thing sincerely and precisely as it appears to you. I say such a one walked across the street; if he really did so, I told a physical truth. `If I thought so, though I should have been mistaken, I told a moral truth.*
Huggins, the translater of Ariosto, and Mr. Thomas Warton, in the early part of his literary life, had a dispute concerning that poet, of whom Mr. Warton, in his 'Observations on Spenser's Fairy Queen,' gave some account which Huggins attempted to answer with violence, and said, 'I will militate no longer against his nescience.' Huggins was master of the subject, but wanted
1 "When thou wouldst gabble like a thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes with words."-Tempest, act i. sc. 2.-C.
2 Secretary to the British Herring Fishery, remarkable for an extraordinary number of occasional verses, not of eminent merit.-B. He was an indefatigable translator for the booksellers, "having acquired a knowledge of the languages, as Dr. Johnson told Sir J. Hawkins, by living at coffee-houses frequented by foreigners."— C.
$ It does not appear that the woman forgiven was Mary Magdalene.-KEARNEY.
4 This account of the difference between moral and physical truth is in Locke's "Essay on Human Understanding," and many other books. -KEARNEY.
expression. Mr. Warton's knowledge of it was then imperfect, but his manner lively and elegant. Johnson said, 'It appears to me, that Huggins has ballwithout powder, and Warton powder without ball.'
66 Talking of the farce of 'High Life below Stairs,' he said, 'Here is a farce which is really very diverting when you see it acted, and yet one may read it and not know that one has been reading anything at all.'
"He used at one time to go occasionally to the green-room of Drury-lane Theatre, where he was much regarded by the players, and was very easy and facetious with them. He had a very high opinion of Mrs. Clive's comic powers, and conversed more with her than with any of them. He said, 'Clive, Sir, is a good thing to sit by; she always understands what you say.' And she said of him, 'I love to sit by Dr. Johnson; he always entertains me.' One night, when 'The Recruiting Officer' was acted, he said to Mr. Holland, who had been expressing an apprehension that Dr. Johnson would disdain the works of Farquhar, 'No, Sir, I think Farquhar a man whose writings have considerable merit.'
"His friend Garrick was so busy in conducting the drama, that they could not have so much intercourse as Mr. Garrrck used to profess an anxious wish that there should be. There might indeed be something in the contemptuous severity as to the merit of acting, which his old preceptor nourished in himself, that would mortify Garrick after the great applause which he received from the audience. For though Johnson said of him, 'Sir, a man who has a nation to admire him every night may well be expected to be somewhat elated;' yet he would treat theatrical matters with a ludicrous slight. He mentioned one evening, 'I met David coming off the stage, dressed in a woman's riding-hood, when he acted in The Wonder; I came full upon him, and I believe he was not pleased.'
"Once he asked Tom Davies, whom he saw dressed in a fine suit of clothes, 'And what art thou to-night?' Tom answered, 'The Thane of Ross;' which it will be recollected is a very inconsiderable character. 'O, brave!' said Johnson.
"Of Mr. Longley,' at Rochester, a gentleman of considerable learning, whom Dr. Johnson met there, he said, 'My heart warms towards him. I was sursurprised to find in him such a nice acquaintance with the metre in the learned languages; though I was somewhat mortified that I had it not so much to myself as I should have thought.'
'Talking of the minuteness with which people will record the sayings of sminent persons, a story was told, that when Pope was on a visit to Spence at Oxford, as they looked from the window they saw a gentleman commoner, who
In a letter written by Johnson to à friend in Jan. 1742-8, he says, “I never see Garrick."-M.
2 A barrister-Recorder of Rochester, father of the present Master of Harrow. He died in 1.822.-C.
was just come in from riding, amusing himself with whipping at a post. Pope took occasion to say, 'That young gentleman seems to have little to do.' Mr. Beauclerk observed, 'Then, to be sure, Spence turned round and wrote that down;' and went on to say to Dr. Johnson, 'Pope, Sir, would have said the same of you, if he had seen you distilling.' JOHNSON. 'Sir, if Pope had told me of my distilling, I would have told him of his grotto."1
"He would allow no settled indulgence of idleness upon principle, always repelled every attempt to urge excuses for it. A friend one day sug. gested, that it was not wholesome to study soon after dinner. JOHNSON. 'Ah, Sir, don't give way to such a fancy. At one time of my life I had taken it intc my head that it was not wholesome to study between breakfast and din
"Mr. Beauclerk one day repeated to Dr. Johnson Pope's lines,
'Let modest Foster, if he will, excel
then asked the doctor, 'Why did Pope say this?' JOHNSON. 'Sir he hoped it would vex somebody,' 2
"Dr. Goldsmith, upon occasion of Mrs. Lennox's bringing out a play,' said to Dr. Johnson at the club, that a person had advised him to go and hiss it, because she had attacked Shakspeare in her book called 'Shakspeare Illustrated.' JOHNSON. And did not you tell him that he was a rascal?' GOLDSMITH. 'No Sir, I did not. Perhaps he might not mean what he said.' JOHNSON. 'Nay, Sir, if he lied, it is a different thing.' Colman slily said (but it is believed Dr. Johnson did not hear him), “Then the proper expression should have been,-Sir, if you don't lie, you're a rascal.'
"His affection for Topham Beauclerk was so great, that when Beauclerk was labouring under that severe illness which at last occasioned his death,
1 This would have been a very inadequate retort, for Johnson's chemistry was a mere pastime, while Pope's grotto was, although ornamented, a useful, and even necessary work. Johnson has explained his views of this point very copiously in his Life of Pope: where he says, " that being under the necessity of making a subterraneous passage to a garden on the other side of the road, Pope adorned it with fossil bodies, and dignified it with the title of a grotto-a
ace of silence and retreat from which he endeavoured to persuade his friends and himself nat care and passions could be excluded. A grotto is not often the wish or pleasure of an Englishman, who has more frequent need to solicit than to exclude the sun; Put Pope's excavation was requisite as an entrance to his garden; and as some men try to be proud of their defects, he extracted an ornament from an inconvenience, and vanity produced a grotto where necessity enforced a passage."-C.
2 Dr. James Foster was an eminent preacher among the dissenters: and Pope professes to prefer his merit in so humble a station to the more splendid ministry of the metropolitans. Pope's object certainly was to vex the clergy; but Mr. Beauclerk probably meant to ask— what is by no means so clear-how these two lines bear on the general design and argu ment.-C.
Probably "The Sisters," a comedy performed one night only, at Covent Garden, in 1769 Dr. Goldsmith wrote an excellent epilogue to it.-M.
Johnson said (with a voice faltering with emotion), 'Sir, I would walk the extent of the diameter of the earth to save Beauclerk.'
"One night at the club he produced a translation of an epitaph which Lord Elibank had written in English for his lady, and requested of Johnson to turn it into Latin for him. Having read Domina de North et Gray, he said tc Dyer, 'You see, Sir, what barbarisms we are compelled to make use of, when modern titles are to be specifically mentioned in Latin inscriptions.' When he had read it once aloud, and there had been a general approbation expressed by the company, he addressed himself to Mr. Dyer in particular, and said, 'Sir, I beg to have your judgment, for I know your nicety.' Dyer then very properly desired to read it over again; which having done, he pointed out an incongruity in one of the sentences. Johnson immediately assented to the observation, and said, 'Sir, this is owing to an alteration of a part of the sentence from the form in which I had first written it; and I believe, Sir, you may have remarked, that the making a partial change, without a due regard to the general structure of the sentence, is a very frequent cause of error in composition.'
"Johnson was well acquainted with Mr. Dossie, author of a Treatise on Agriculture; and said of him, 'Sir, of the objects which the Society of Arts have chiefly in view, the chymical effects of bodies operating upon other bodies, he knows more than almost any man.' Johnson in order to give Mr. Dossie his vote to be a member of this society, paid up an arrear which had run on for two years. On this occasion he mentioned a circumstance, as characteristic of the Scotch. 'One of that nation,' said he, 'who had been a candidate, against whom I had voted, came up to me with a civil salutation. Now, Sir, this is their way. An Englishman would have stomached it and been sulky, and never have taken further notice of you; but a Scotchman, Sir, though you vote nineteen times against him, will accost you with equal complaisance after each time, and the twentieth time, Sir, he will get your vote.'
"Talking on the subject of toleration, one day when some friends were with him in his study, he made his usual remark, that the state has a right to regulate the religion of the people, who are the children of the state. clergyman having readily acquiesced in this, Johnson, who loved discussion, observed, 'But, Sir, you must go round to other states than our own. You do not know what a Bramin has to say for himself. In short, Sir, I have got
1 Lord Elibank married a Dutch lady, Maria Margaret de Yonge, the widow of Lord North and Gray. Mr. Langton mistook the phrase, which is, in the epitaph, applied to the husband, Domino North et Gray, and not to the lady, Domina de North et Gray.-C.
Dossie also published, in two vols. 8vo., what was then a very useful work, entitled "The Handmaid to the Arts," dedicated to the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, &C.-HALL.
Here Lord Macartney remarks, "A Bramin, or any caste of the Hindoos, will neither admit you to be of their religion, nor be converted to yours:-a thing which struck the Po tuguese with the greatest astonishment when they first discovered the East Indies."