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day, when Johnson was at dinner with him, seized for debt, and carried to prison; that Johnson sat still undisturbed, and went on eating and drinking ; upon which the gentleman's sister, who was present, could not suppress her indignation : “What, sir,” said she, “are you so unfeeling as not even to offer to go to my brother in his distress; you, who have been so much obliged to him ?" And that Johnson answered, “ Madam, I owe him no obligation : what he did for me he would have done for a dog."

Johnson assured me, that the story was absolutely false: but like a man conscious of being in the right, and desirous of completely vindicating himself from such a charge, he did not arrogantly rest on a mere denial, and on his general character, but proceeded thus :“Sir, I was very intimate with that gentleman, and was once relieved by him from an arrest; but I never was present when he was arrested, never knew that he was arrested, and I believe he never was in difficulties after the time when he relieved me. I loved him much; yet, in talking of his general character, I may have said, though I do not remember that I ever did say so, that as his generosity proceeded from no principle, but was a part of his profusion, he would do for a dog what he would do for a friend: but I never applied this remark to any particular instance, and certainly not to his kindness to me. If a profuse man, who does not value his money, and gives a large sum to a whore, gives half as much, or an equally large sum to relieve a friend, it cannot be esteemed as virtue. This was all that I could say of that gentleman; and, if said at all, it must have been said after his death. Sir, I would have gone to the world's end to relieve him. The remark about the dog, if made by me, was such a sally as might escape one when painting a man highly."

On Tuesday, September 23rd, Johnson was remarkably cordial to me.

It being necessary for me to return to Scotland soon, I had fixed on the next day for my setting out, and I felt a tender concern at the thought of parting with him. He had at this time frankly communicated to me many particulars, which are inserted in this work in their proper places; and once, when I happened to mention that the expense of my jaunt would come to much more than I had computed, he said, “Why, sir, if the expense were to be an inconvenience, you would have reason to regret it; but, if you have had the money to spend, I know not that you could have purchased as much pleasure with it in any other way."

During this interview at Ashbourne, Johnson and I frequently talked with wonderful pleasure of mere trifles which had occurred in our tour to the Hebrides; for it had left a most agreeable and lasting impression upon his mind.

He found fault with me for using the phrase to make money. “Don't you see,” said he, “ the impropriety of it? To make money is to coin it: you should say get money.” The phrase, however, is, I think, pretty current, But Johnson was at all times jealous of infractions upon the genuine English language, and prompt to repress colloquial barbarisms; such as pledging myself, for undertaking ; line, for department or branch, as, the civil line, the banking line. He was particularly indignant against the almost universal use of the word idea in the sense of notion or opinion, when it is clear that idea can only signify something of which an image can be formed in the mind. We may have an idea or image of a mountain, a tree, a building; but we cannot surely have an idea or image of an argument or proposition. Yet we hear the sages of the law "delivering their ideas upon the question under consideration;" and the first speakers in parliament

entirely, coinciding in the idea which has been ably stated by an honourable member;"—or “reprobating an idea unconstitutional, and fraught with the most dangerous consequences to a great and free country." Johnson called this “modern cant."

I perceived that he pronounced the word heard, as if spelt with a double e, heerd, instead of sounding it herd,

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as is most usually done'. He said his reason was, that if it were pronounced herd, there would be a single exception from the English pronunciation of the syllable ear, and he thought it better not to have that exception.

He praised Grainger's Ode on Solitude, in Dodsley's collection, and repeated, with great energy, the exordium:

O Solitude, romantick maid,
Whether by nodding towers you tread ;
Or haunt the desart's trackless gloom,
Or hover o'er the yawning tomb;
Or climb the Andes' clifted side,
Or by the Nile's coy source abide ;
Or, starting from your half-year's sleep,
From Hecla view the thawing deep ;
Or, at the purple dawn of day,

Tadmor's marble waste survey. observing, “This, sir, is very noble.”

In the evening our gentleman farmer, and two others, entertained themselves and the company with a great number of tunes on the fiddle. Johnson desired to have “ Let ambition fire thy mind," played over again, and appeared to give a patient attention to it; though he owned to me that he was very insensible to the power of musick. I told him that it affected me to such a degree, as often to agitate my nerves painfully, producing in my mind alternate sensations of pathetick dejection, so that I was ready to shed tears; and of daring resolution, so that I was inclined to rush into the thickest part of the battle.

Sir,” said he, I should never hear it, if it made me such a fool.”

Much of the effect of musick, I am satisfied, is owing to the association of ideas. That air which instantly and irresistibly excites in the Swiss, when in a foreign land, the “ maladie du païs,” has, I am told, no intrinsick power

1 In the age of queen Elizabeth, this word was frequently written, as doubtless it was pronounced, hard.-Malone.

John Kemble made many efforts to introduce on the stage what he conceived to be the pronunciation of the Elizabethan age.--Ed.



of sound m. And I know, from my own experience, that Scotch reels, though brisk, make me melancholy, because I used to hear them in my early years, at a time when Mr. Pitt called for soldiers from the mountains of the north," and numbers of brave highlanders were going abroad, never to return. Whereas the airs in the Beggar's Opera, many of which are very soft, never fail to render me gay, because they are associated with the warm sensations and high spirits of London.—This evening, while some of the tunes of ordinary composition were played with no great skill, my frame was agitated, and I was conscious of a generous attachment to Dr. Johnson as my preceptor and friend, mixed with an affectionate regret that he was an old man, whom I should probably lose in a short time. I thought I could defend him at the point of my sword. My reverence and affection for him were in full glow. I said to him, “ My dear sir, we must meet every year, if you don't quarrel with me." JOHNSON. “Nay, sir, you are more likely to quarrel with me than I with you. My regard for you is greater almost than I have words to express; but I do not choose to be always repeating it: write it down in the first leaf of your pocket-book, and never doubt of it again."

I talked to him of misery being “ the doom of man" in this life, as displayed in his Vanity of Human Wishes. Yet I observed that things were done upon the supposition of happiness; grand houses were built, fine gardens were made, splendid places of publick amusement were contrived, and crowded with company. Johnson. “Alas, sir, these are only struggles for happiness. When I first entered Ranelagh, it gave an expansion and gay sensation to my mind, such as I never experienced anywhere else. But, as Xerxes wept when he viewed his immense army, and considered that not one of that great multitude would be alive a hundred years afterwards "; so it went to my heart to consider that there was not one in all that brilliant circle that was not afraid to go home and think, but that the thoughts of each individual there would be distressing when alone.” This reflection was experimentally just. The feeling of languoro, which succeeds the animation of gaiety, is itself a very severe pain; and when the mind is then vacant, a thousand disappointments and vexations rush in and excruciate. Will not many even of my fair readers allow this to be true ?

m Polybius informs us that the Arcadians and other inhabitants of the mountains of Peloponnesus were similarly affected by their national musick.-Ed.

# There is certainly every thing in the sight of a large assemblage of our fel.

I suggested, that being in love and flattered with hopes of success, or having some favourite scheme in view for the next day, might prevent that wretchedness of which we had been talking. Johnson. “ Why, sir, it may sometimes be so as you suppose; but my conclusion is in general but too true.”

While Johnson and I stood in calm conference by ourselves in Dr. Taylor's garden, at a pretty late hour in a serene autumn night, looking up to the heavens, I directed the discourse to the subject of a future state. My friend was in a placid and most benignant frame of mind. “Sir,” said he, “I do not imagine that all things will be made clear to us immediately after death, but that the ways of Providence will be explained to us very, gradually." I ventured to ask him whether, although the words of some texts of scripture seemed strong in support of the dreadful doctrine of an eternity of punishment, we might not hope that the denunciation was figurative, and would not literally be executed. JOHNSON. “ Sir, you are to

low creatures to interest our feelings, and to call forth our joys and sorrows in sympathy with the multitude of our species, as their circumstances of happiness or calamity may respectively seem to demand. lle in whoin, for our example, were displayed all the best affections of which our nature is capable, “ when he saw the multitudes, was moved with compassion on them.”—Ev. • Pope mentions,

Stretch'd on the rack of a too easy chair.
But I recollect a couplet quite apposite to my subject in Virtue, an Ethick
Epistle, a beautiful and instructive poem, by an anonymous writer, in 1758;
who, treating of pleasure in excess, says,

Till languor, suffering on the rack of bliss,
Confess that man was never made for this. Boswell.

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