be obliged to be so much upon my good behaviour." In London, a man may live in splendid society at one time, and in frugal retirement at another, without animadversion. There, and there alone, a man's own house is truly his castle, in which he can be in perfec safety from intrusion whenever he pleases. I never shall forget how well this was expressed to me one day by Mr. Meynell: "The chief advantage of London," said he, "is, that a man is always so near his burrow."

He said of one of his old acquaintances, "He is very fit for a travelling governor. He knows French very well. He is a man of good principles; and there would be no danger that a young gentleman should catch his manner; for it is so very bad, that it must be avoided. In that respect he would be like the drunken Helot."

A gentleman has informed me, that Johnson said of the same person, Sir, he has the most inverted understanding of any man whom I have ever known."


On Friday, April 2, being Good Friday, I visited him in the morning as usual; and finding that we insensibly fell into a train of ridicule upon the foibles of one of our friends, a very worthy man, I, by way of a check, quoted some good admonition from "The Government of the Tongue," that very pious book. It happened also remarkably enough, that the subject of the sermon preached to us to-day by Dr. Burrows, the rector of St. Clement Danes, was the certainty that at the last day we must give an account of “the deeds done in the body;" and amongst various acts of culpability he mentioned evil-speaking. As we were moving slowly along in the crowd from church, Johnson jogged my elbow, and said, "Did you attend to the sermon ?" "Yes, Sir," said I; "it was very applica ble to us." He, however, stood upon the defensive. "Why, Sir, the sense of ridicule is given us, and may be lawfully used. The author of "The Government of the Tongue' would have us treat all men alike."

In the interval between morning and evening service, he endeavoured to employ himself earnestly in devotional exercise; and, as he has mentioned in his "Prayers and Meditations," gave me, "Les Prasées de Paschal," that I might not interrupt him I preserve

the book with reverence. His presenting it to me is marked upon it with his own hand, and I have found in it a truly divine unction. We went to church again in the afternoon.


On Saturday, April 3, I visited him at night, and found him sitting in Mrs. Williams's room, with her, and one who he afterwards told me was a natural son' of the second Lord Southwell. The table had a singular appearance, being covered with a heterogeneous assemblage of oysters and porter for his company, and tea for himself. mentioned my having heard an eminent physician, who was himself a Christian, argue in favour of universal toleration, and maintain, that no man can be hurt by another man's differing from him in opinion. JOHNSON. "Sir you are to a certain degree hurt by knowing that even one man does not believe."

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2 'April 2.-Good Friday.—I am now to review the last year, and find little but dismal vacuity, neither business nor pleasure; much intended, ad little done. My health is much broken; my nights afford me little rest. 1 ave tried opium, but its help is counterbalanced with great disturbance; it prevents the spasms, but it hinders sleep. O God, have mercy on me!

“Last week I published (the first part of) the Lives of the Poets, written, I hope, in such a mauner as may tend to the promotion of piety.

"In this last year I have made very little acquisition; I have scarcely read anything. I maintain Mrs. - and her daughter. Other good of myself I know not where to find, except a little charity. But I am now in my seventieth year; what can be done, ought not to be delayed.


'April 3, 1779, 11 P.M.-Easter-eve.-This is the time of my annual review, and annual resolution. The review is comfortless; little done. Part of the Life of Dryden and the Life of Milton have been written; but my mind has neither been improved nor enlarged. I have read little, almost nothing. And I am not conscious that I have gained any good, or quitted any evil habits.


'April 4, 1779, Easter-day.-I rose about half an hour after nine, tran scribed the prayer written last night; and by neglecting to count time sat too long at breakfast, so that I came to church at the first lesson. I attended the Litany pretty well; but in the pew could not hear the communion service, and missed the prayer for the church militant. Before I went to the altar I prayed

1 Mauritius Lowe, a painter, in whose favour Johnson, some years after, wrote a kind etter to Sir Joshua Reynolds.-M.

2 Dr. Johnson's annual review of his conduct appears to have been this year more detailed and severe than usual-C.

*No doubt Mrs. Desmoulins and her daughter.-C.

the occasional prayer. At the altar I commended my ,' and again prayed the prayer; I then prayed the collects, and again my own prayer by memory. I left out a clause. I then received, I hope with earnestness; and while others received, sat down; but thinking that posture, though usual, improper, I rose and stood. I prayed again, in the pew, but with what prayer I have forgotten. When I used the occasional prayer at the altar, I added to the general purpose,-To avoid idleness. I gave two shillings to the plate.

"Before I went I used, I think my prayer, and endeavoured to calm my mind. After my return I used it again, and the collect for the day. Lord have mercy upon me! I have for some nights called Francis to prayers, and last night discoursed with him on the sacrament." (Pr. & Med., p. 171–175.)

On Easter day, after solemn service at St. Paul's, I dined with him. Mr. Allen, the printer, was also his guest. He was uncommonly silent; and I have not written down anything, except a single curious fact, which, having the sanction of his inflexible veracity, may be received as a striking instance of human insensibility and inconsideration. As he was passing by a fishmonger who was skinning an eel alive, he heard him "curse it, because it would not lie still."


On Wednesday, April 7, I dined with him at Sir Joshua Reynolds's. I have not marked what company was there. Johnson harangued upon the qualities of different liquors; and spoke with great contempt of claret, as so weak that a man would be drowned by it before it made him drunk." He was persuaded to drink one glass of it, that he might judge, not from recollection, which might be dim, but from immediate sensation. He shook his head, and said, "Poor stuff! No, Sir, claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero (smiling) must drink brandy. In the first place the flavour of brandy is most grateful to the palate; and then brandy will do soonest for a man what drinking can do for him. There are, indeed, few who are able to drink brandy. That is a power rather to be wished for than attained. And yet," proceeded he, "as in all pleasure hope is a considerable part, I know not but fruition comes too quick by brandy. Florence wine I think the worst; it is wine only to the

1 These letters (which Dr Strahan seems not to have understood, p. 192), probably means, OYNTOL DIλol, “departed friends "-. Some critics have objected to evṛro in this sense but it is so used in Euripides. See Supp. v. 275. --C. 1835,

eye; it is wine neither while you are drinking it, nor after you have drank it; it neither pleases the taste, nor exhilarates the spirits." I reminded him how heartily he and I used to drink wine together, when we were first acquainted; and how I used to have the headache after sitting up with him. He did not like to have this recalled; or, perhaps, thinking that I boasted improperly, resolved to have a witty stroke at me: "Nay, Sir, it was not the wine that made your head ache, but the sense that I put into it." BOSWELL. What, Sir! will sense make the head ache?" JOHNSON. "Yes, Sir (with a smile), when it is not used to it." No man who has a true relish of pleasantry could be offended at this; especially if Johnson in a long intimacy had given him repeated proofs of his regard and good estimation. I used to say that as he had given me a thousand pounds in praise, he had a good right now and then to take a guinea from me.


On Thursday, April 8, I dined with him at Mr. Allan Ramsay's, with Lord Graham and some other company. We talked of Shakspeare's witches. JOHNSON. "They are beings of his own creation; they are a compound of malignity and meanness, without any abilities; and are quite different from the Italian magician. King James says in his 'Dæmonology,' 'Magicians command the devils; witches are their servants.' The Italian magicians are elegant beings." RAMSAY. "Opera witches, not Drury Lane witches." Johnson observed that abilities might be employed in a narrow sphere, as in getting money, which he said he believed no man could do without vigourous parts, though concentrated to a point. RAMSAY. "Yes, like a strong horse in a mill; he pulls better."

Lord Graham, while he praised the beauty of Lochlomond, on the banks of which is his family seat, complained of the climate, and said he could not bear it. JOHNSON. "Nay, my lord, don't talk so you may bear it well enough. Your ancestors have borne it more years than I can tell." This was a handsome compliment to the antiquity of the house of Montrose. His lordship told me afterwards that he only affected to complain of the climate, lest, if

The present (third) Duke of Montrose, born in 1755. He succeeded to the duvedor n 1790.-C.


he had spoken as favourably of his country as he really thought, Dr. Johnson might have attacked it. Johnson was very courteou, to Lady Margaret Macdonald. 'Madam," said he, "when I was in the Isle of Skye, I heard of the people running to take the stones off the road lest Lady Margaret's horse should stumble."

Lord Graham commended Dr. Drummond at Naples as a man of extraordinary talents; and added, that he had a great love of liberty. JOHNSON. "He is young,' my lord (looking to his lordship with an arch smile); all boys love liberty, till experience convinces them they are not so fit to govern themselves as they imagined. We are all agreed as to our own liberty; we would have as much of it as we can get; but we are not agreed as to the liberty of others for in proportion as we take, others must lose. I believe we hardly wish that the mob should have liberty to govern us. When that was the case some time ago, no man was at liberty not to have candles in his windows." RAMSAY. The result is, that order is better than confusion." JOHNSON. "The result is, that order cannot be had but by subordination."



On Friday, April 16, I had been present at the trial of the un fortunate Mr. Hackman, who, in a fit of frantic jealous love, had shot Miss Ray, the favourite of a nobleman.' Johnson, in whose company I dined to-day with some other friends, was much interested by my account of what passed, and particularly with his prayer for the mercy of Heaven. He said, in a solemn fervid tone, "I hope he shall find mercy."

This day a violent altercation arose between Johnson and Beanclerk, which having made much noise at the time, I think it proper, in order to prevent any future misrepresentation, to give a minute account of it.

In talking of Hackman, Johnson argued, as Judge Blackstone had done, that his being furnished with two pistols was a proof that he meant to shoot two persons. Mr. Beauclerk said, "No; for that every wise man who intended to shoot himself took two pistols that he might be sure of doing it at once. Lord

- His lordship was twenty-four.-C.

"John, sixth Earl of Sandwich.-O.

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