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way to the tables, the levees, and almost the bedchambers of the great. Then, sir, Garrick had under him a numerous body of people; who, from fear of his power, and hopes of his favour, and admiration of his talents, were constantly submissive to him. And here is a man who has advanced the dignity of his profession. Garrick has made a player a higher character.” Scott. “And he is a very sprightly writer too." JOHNSON. “ Yes, sir ; and all this supported by great wealth of his own acquisition. If all this had happened to me, I should have had a couple of fellows with long poles walking before me, to knock down every body that stood in the way. Consider, if all this had happened to Cibber or Quin, they'd have jumped over the moon.-Yet Garrick speaks to us," (smiling.) Boswell. “And Garrick is a very good man, a charitable man.” Johnson. " Sir, a liberal man. He has given away more money than any man in England. There may be a little vanity mixed; but he has shown that money is not his first object." Boswell." Yet Foote used to say of him, that he walked out with an intention to do a generous action; but, turning the corner of a street, he met with the ghost of a halfpenny, which frightened him.” Johnson. “Why, sir, that is very true, too; for I never knew a man of whom it could be said with less certainty to-day, what he will do to-morrow, than Garrick; it depends so much on his humour at the time.” Scott.“ I am glad to hear of his liberality. He has been represented as very saving." JOHNSON. “ With his domestic saving we have nothing to do. I remember drinking tea with him long ago, when Peg Woffington made it, and he grumbled at her for making it too strong e. He had then began to feel money in his purse, and did not know when he should have enough of it.”
On the subject of wealth, the proper use of it, and the effects of that art which is called economy, he observed, “ It is wonderful to think how men of very large estates not only spend their yearly incomes, but are often actually in want of money. It is clear they have not value for what they spend. Lord Shelburne told me, that a man of high rank, who looks into his own affairs, may have all that he ought to have, all that can be of any use, or appear with any advantage, for five thousand pounds a year. Therefore a great proportion must go in waste; and indeed this is the case with most people, whatever their fortune is.” BOSWELL. “ I have no doubt, sir, of this. But how is it? What is waste?” JOHNSON. “Why, sir, breaking bottles, and a thousand other things. Waste cannot be accurately told, though we are sensible how destructive it is. Economy on the one hand, by which a certain income is made to maintain a man genteelly, and waste on the other, by which, on the same income, another man lives shabbily, cannot be defined. It is a very nice thing: as one man wears his coat out much sooner than another, we cannot tell how," We talked of war. JOHNSON.
d When Johnson told this little anecdote to sir Joshua Reynolds, he men. tioned a circumstance which he omitted to-day :-" Why,” said Garrick, “it is as red as blood.”-BosweLL.
Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.” BOSWELL. “ Lord Mansfield does not.” JOHNSON. “Sir, if lord Mansfield were in a company of general officers and admirals who have been in service, he would shrink; he'd wish to creep under the table.” BOSWELL. “No; he'd think he could try them all.” JOHNSON. “Yes, if he could catch them; but they'd try him much sooner. No, sir; were Socrates and Charles the twelfth of Sweden both present in any company, and Socrates to say, 'Follow me, and hear a lecture in philosophy;' and Charles, laying his hand on his sword, to say, ' Follow me, and dethrone the czar;' a man would be ashamed to follow Socrates. Sir, the impression is universal : : yet it is strange. As to the sailor, when you look down from the quarter-deck to the space below, you see the utmost extremity of human misery: such crowding, such filth, such stench !" BOSWELL. “Yet sailors are happy.” Johnson. “ They are happy as brutes are
happy, with a piece of fresh meat, -with the grossest sensuality. But, sir, the profession of soldiers and sailors has the dignity of danger. Mankind reverence those who have got over fear, which is so general a weakness." Scott. “But is not courage mechanical, and to be acquired ?" JOHNSON. “ Why yes, sir, in a collective
Soldiers consider themselves only as part of a great machine.” Scott. “We find people fond of being sailors.” JOHNSON. I cannot account for that, any more than I can account for other strange perversions of imagination.”
His abhorrence of the profession of a sailor was uniformly violent; but in conversation he always exalted the profession of a soldier. And yet I have, in my large and various collection of his writings, a letter to an eminent friend, in which he expresses himself thus: “My godson called on me lately. He is weary, and rationally weary, of a military life. If you can place him in some other state, I think you may increase his happiness, and secure his virtue. A soldier's time is passed in distress and danger, or in idleness and corruption.” Such was his cool reflection in his study; but whenever he was warmed and animated by the presence of company, he, like other philosophers whose minds are impregnated with poetical fancy, caught the common enthusiasm for splendid renown.
He talked of Mr. Charles Fox, of whose abilities he thought highly, but observed, that he did not talk much at our club. I have heard Mr. Gibbon remark, " that Mr. Fox could not be afraid of Dr. Johnson; yet he certainly was very shy of saying any thing in Dr. Johnson's presence.” Mr. Scott now quoted what was said of Alcibiades by a Greek poet, to which Johnson assentede.
Wishing to discover the ancient observation here referred to, I applied to sir William Scott on the subject; but he had no recollection of it.—My old and very learned friend, Dr. Michael Kearney, formerly senior fellow of Trinity college, Dublin, and now archdeacon of Raphoe in Ireland, has, however, most happily elucidated this passage. He remarks to me, that " Mr. Boswell's memory must here have deceived him; and that Mr. Scott's observation must have He told us, that he had given Mrs. Montague a catalogue of all Daniel Defoe's works of imagination; most, if not all of which, as well as of his other works, he now enumerated, allowing a considerable share of merit to a man, who, bred a tradesman, had written so variously and so well. Indeed his Robinson Crusoe is enough of itself to establish bis reputation.
He expressed great indignation at the imposture of the Cock-lane ghost, and related, with much satisfaction, how he had assisted in detecting the cheat, and bad published an account of it in the newspapers. Upon this subject I incautiously offended him, by pressing him with too many questions; and he showed his displeasure. I apologised, saying that “ I asked questions in order to be instructed and entertained: I repaired eagerly to the fountain; but that the moment he gave me a hint, the moment he put a lock upon the well, I desisted.”—“But, sir,” said he, “ that is forcing one to do a disagreeable thing:" and he continued to rate me. “Nay, sir,” said I, “when you have put a lock upon the well, so that I can no longer drink, do not make the fountain of your wit play upon me and wet me."
He sometimes could not bear being teased with questions. I was once present when a gentleman asked so many, as, “ What did you do, sir ?” “What did you say, sir?" that he at last grew enraged, and said, “ I will not be put to the question. Don't you consider, sir, that these are not the manners of a gentleman? I will not be baited with what and why; what is this? what is that? why is a cow's tail long ? why is a fox's tail bushy ?" The gentleman, who was a good deal out of countenance, said, “Why, sir, you are so good, that I venture to trouble you.” JOHNSON. “Sir, my being so good is no reason why you should be so ill.”
been, that Mr. Fox, in the instance mentioned, might be considered as the reverse of Phæax, of whom, as Plutarch relates in the life of Alcibiades, Eupolis the tragedian said : It is true he can talk, and yet he is no speaker.""
If this discovery had been made by a scholiast on an ancient author, with what ardour and exuberant praise would Bentley or Taylor have spoken of it ! -Sir William Scott, to whom I communicated Dr. Kearney's remark, is perfectly satisfied that it is correct. A few other observations have been communicated by the same gentleman. Every classical reader will lament that they are not
Talking of the Justitia hulk at Woolwich, in which criminals were punished by being confined to labour, he said, "I do not see that they are punished by this: they must have worked equally, had they never been guilty of stealing. They now only work; so, after all, they have gained: what they stole is clear gain to them; the confinement is nothing. Every man who works is confined: the smith to his shop, the tailor to his garret.” BoSWELL. “ And lord Mansfield to his court.” JOHNSON. “ Yes, sir. You know the notion of confinement may be extended, as in the song. Every island is a prison. There is in Dodsley's collection a copy of verses to the author of that song f."
Smith's Latin verses on Pococke, the great traveller, were mentioned. He repeated some of them, and said they were Smith's best verses.
He talked with an uncommon animation of travelling into distant countries; that the mind was enlarged by it, and that an acquisition of dignity of character was derived from it. He expressed a particular enthusiasm with respect to visiting the wall of China. I catched it for the moment, and said I really believed I should go and see the wall of China, bad I not children, of whom it was my duty to take care.
“Sir,” said he, “by doing so, you would do what would be of importance in raising your children to eminence. There would be a lustre reflected upon them from your spirit and curiosity. They would be
f I have in vain examined Dodsley's collection for the verses here referred to; nor has the name of the author been ascertained. The song alluded to begins with the words,
Welcome, welcome, brother debtorIt consists of several stanzas, in one of which it is said, that every island is a prison.-MALONE.
& Smith's verses are on Edward Pococke, the great oriental linguist : he travelled, it is true; but Dr. Richard Pococke, late bishop of Ossory, who published Travels through the East, is usually called the great traveller.-KEARNEY.