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pressed it as much as I could. I mentioned that Mr. Beauclerk had said, that Baretti, whom they were to carry with them, would keep them so long in the little towns of his own district, that they would not have time to see Rome. I mentioned this to put them on their guard. JOHNSON: "Sir, we do not thank Mr. Beauclerk for supposing that we are to be directed by Baretti. No, Sir; Mr. Thrale is to go by my advice, to Mr. Jackson' (the all-knowing), and get from him a plan for seeing the most that can be seen in the time that we have to travel. We must, to be sure, see Rome, Naples, Florence, and Venice, and as much more as we can.' (Speaking with a tone of animation.)
When I expressed an earnest wish for his remarks on Italy, he said, I do not see that I could make a book upon Italy; yet I should be glad to get 2007. or 500l. by such a work." This showed both that a journal of his Tour upon the Continent was not wholly out of his contemplation, and that he uniformly adhered to that strange opinion which his indolent disposition made him utter: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Numerous instances to refute this will occur to all who are versed in the history of literature.
He gave us one of the many sketches of character which were treasured in his mind, and which he was wont to produce quite unexpectedly in a very entertaining manner. "I lately," said he, "received a letter from the East Indies, from a gentleman whom I formerly knew very well; he had returned from that country with a handsome fortune, as it was reckoned, before means were found to acquire those immense sums which have been brought from thence of late; he was a scholar, and an agreeable man, and lived very prettily in London, till his wife died. After her death, he took to dissipation and gaming, and lost all he had. One evening he lost 1000l. to a gentleman whose name I am sorry I have forgotten. Next morning he sent the gentleman 500l., with an apology that it was all he had in the world. The gentleman sent the money back to him, declaring he would not accept of it; and adding, that if Mr. had occasion for 500l. more, he would lend it to him. He resolved to go out again to the East Indies, and make his fortune anew. He got a considerable appointment, and I had some intention of accompanying him. Had I thought then as I do now, I should have gone: but at that time I had objections to quitting England."
It was a very remarkable circumstance about Johnson, whom shallow observers have supposed to have been ignorant of the world, that very few men had seen greater variety of characters; and none could observe them better, as was evident from the strong yet nice portraits which he
1 A gentleman who, from his extraordinary stores of knowledge, has been styled omniscient. Johnson, I think very properly, altered it to all-knowing, as it is a verbum solenne, appropriated to the Supreme Being.-Boswell.
often drew. I have frequently thought that if he had made out what the French call une catalogue raisonnée of all the people who had passed under his observation, it would have afforded a very rich fund of instruction and entertainment. The suddenness with which his accounts of some of them started out in conversation, was not less pleasing than surprising. I remember he once observed to me, "It is wonderful, Sir, what is to be found in London. The most literary conversation that I ever enjoyed was at the table of Jack Ellis, a moneyscrivener behind the Royal Exchange, with whom I at one period used to dine generally once a week."1
Volumes would be required to contain a list of his numerous and various acquaintance, none of whom he ever forgot; and could describe and discriminate them all with precision and vivacity. He associated with persons the most widely different in manners, abilities, rank, and accomplishments. He was at once the companion of the brilliant Colonel Forrester of the Guards, who wrote "The Polite Philosopher," and of the awkward and uncouth Robert Levett; of Lord Thurlow, and Mr. Sastres, the Italian master; and has dined one day with the beautiful, gay, and fascinating Lady Craven, and the next with good Mrs. Gardiner, the tallowchandler, on Snow-hill.
On my expressing my wonder at his discovering so much of the knowledge peculiar to different professions, he told me, "I learnt what
1 This Mr. Ellis was, I believe, the last of that profession called Scriveners, which is one of the London companies, but of which the business is no longer carried on separately, but is transacted by attorneys and others. He was a man of literature and talents. He was the author of a Hudibrastic version of Maphæus's Canto, in addition to the Eneid; of some poems in Dodsley's Collections: and various other small pieces; but being a very modest man, never put his name to anything. He showed me a translation which he had made of Ovid's Epistles, very prettily done. There is a good engraved portrait of him by Pether, from a picture by Fry, which hangs in the hall of the Scriveners' Company. I visited him October 4, 1790, in his ninety-third year, and found his judgment distinct and clear, and his memory, though faded so as to fail him occasionally, yet, as he assured me, and I indeed perceived, able to serve him very well, after a little recollection. It was agreeable to observe that he was free from the discontent and fretfulness which too often molest old age. He, in the summer of that year, walked to Rotherhithe, where he dined and walked home in the evening. He died on the 31st of December, 1791.- BOSWELL.
2 Lord Macartney, who, with other distinguished qualities, is remarkable also for an elegant pleasantry, told me that he met Johnson at Lady Craven's, and that he seemed jealous of any interference. "So," said his lordship, smiling, "I kept back."-BoSWELL.
DR. PORTEUS, FROM A PAINTING BY H. BURCH
FLEET STREET, FROM A CONTEMPORARY PRINT
SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS'S RESIDENCE, LEICESTER SQUARE, FROM A DRAWING BY SCHNAHELIE 203 SEAT OF THE RIGHT HON. EDMUND BURKE, FROM A CONTEMPORARY PRINT, BY RAVENHILL 209 MISS REYNOLDS, FROM A PAINTING BY SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS
ALLAN RAMSAY, FROM A PRINT
MRS. RUDD, FROM A CONTEMPORARY PRINT IN "THE TOWN AND COUNTRY MAGAZINE 222
BUST OF GARRICK, BY WESTMACOTT, IN LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL, FROM AN ORIGINAL
REV. JOHN WESLEY, FROM A PRINT
LICHFIELD FRIARY, FROM AN ORIGINAL SKETCH, 1851
REV. GEORGE WHITEFIELD, FROM A PRINT
LADY DIANA BEAUCLERK, FROM A PAINTING BY SIR JOSHUA Reynolds
LORD GEORGE GORDON, FROM A CONTEMPORARY DRAWING BY R. BRAW.
JOHNSON RETURNS TO LONDON-DR. BUTTER- MR. WEDDERBURNE-MR. MACKLINJOHNSON'S OPINIONS ON MARRIAGE-DEATH OF DR. JAMES-JOHNSON'S REMEDY FOR MELANCHOLY -BARETTI-LOBO'S "ABYSSINIA"- CAPTAIN COOK-OMAI-THE MITRE TAVERN-LORD CHARLES HAY-PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES-MR. MACLAURIN -LAW OF LIBEL-THE ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIGION-"THE ALL-KNOWING" MR. JACKSON -ANECDOTE OF MR. FOWKE-JACK ELLIS, THE MONEY SCRIVENER-JOHNSON'S IDEAS OF GAMING-ON CONJUGAL INFIDELITY-MR. MACBEAN THE USURY LAWS-DR. CHEYNE -CIBBER'S "LIVES OF THE POETS"-LITERARY REVIEWERS - SMOLLETT-"THE SPECTATOR"-DR. BARRY-GARRICK-GENIUS OF THOMSON-DISPUTE BETWEEN GOLDSMITH AND DODSLEY-MR. CRADOCK-DR. HARWOOD-SUPPER AT THE CROWN AND ANCHOR-WINE-DRINKING-JOHNSON VISITS BATH.
HAVING left Ashbourne in the evening, we stopped to change horses at Derby, and availed ourselves of a moment to enjoy the conversation of my countryman, Dr. Butter, then physician there. He was in great indignation because Lord Mountstuart's bill for a Scotch militia had been lost. Dr. Johnson was as violent against it. "I am glad," said he, "that Parliament has had the spirit to throw it out. You wanted to take advantage of the timidity of our scoundrels," (meaning, I suppose, the ministry.) It may be observed that he used the epithet scoundrel very commonly-not quite in the sense in which
it is generally understood, but as a strong term of disapprobation; as, when he abruptly answered Mrs. Thrale, who had asked him how he did, "Ready to become a scoundrel, Madam; with a little more spoiling you will, I think, make me a complete rascal." He meant, easy to become a capricious and self-indulgent valetudinarian—a character for which I have heard him express great disgust.
Johnson had with him upon this jaunt "Il Palmerino d'Inghilterra," a romance praised by Cervantes; but did not like it much. He said he read it for the language, by way of preparation for his Italian expedition. We lay this night at Loughborough.
On Thursday, March 28th, we pursued our journey. I mentioned that old Mr. Sheridan complained of the ingratitude of Mr. Wedderburne and General Fraser, who had been much obliged to him when they were young Scotchmen entering upon life in England. JOHNSON: "Why, Sir, a man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him. A man, when he gets into a higher sphere, into other habits of life, cannot keep up all his former connections. Then, Sir, those who knew him formerly upon a level with themselves, may think that they ought still to be treated as on a level, which cannot be; and an acquaintance in a former situation may bring out things which it would be very disagreeable to have mentioned before higher company, though perhaps every body knows of them." He placed this subject in a new light to me, and showed that a man who has risen in the world must not be condemned too harshly for being distant to former acquaintance, even though he may have been much obliged to them. It is, no doubt, to be wished that a proper degree of attention should be shown by great men to their early friends. But if, either from obtuse insensibility to difference of situation, or presumptuous forwardness, which will not submit even to an exterior observance of it, the dignity of high place cannot be preserved when they are admitted into the company of those raised above the state in which they once were, encroachment must be repelled, and the kinder feelings sacrificed. To one of the very fortunate persons whom I have mentioned-namely, Mr. Wedderburne, now Lord Loughborough-I must do the justice to relate, that I have been assured by another early acquaintance of his, old Mr. Macklin,1 who assisted in improving his pronunciation, that he found him very grateful. Macklin, I suppose, had not pressed upon his elevation with so much eagerness as the gentleman who complained of him. Dr. Johnson's remark as to the jealousy entertained of our friends who rise far above us, is certainly very just. By this was withered the early friendship between Charles Townshend and Akenside; and many similar instances might be adduced.
1 Charles Macklin, whose real name was Mac Laughlin, was an actor, and the author of the comedy entitled "The Man of the World," also of the farce called "Love-à-la-Mode." He was born in Westmeath in 1690, and lived to the patriarchal age of 107.-ED