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I walked till I was very weary, and next morning felt my feet battered, and with pains in the toes.
"Nov. 3. Friday. We came to Compiegne, a very large town, with a royal palace built round a pentagonal court. The court is raised upon vaults, and has, I fuppofe an entry on one fide by a gentle rife.-Talk of painting.The church is not very large, but very elegant and fplendid.—I had at first great difficulty to walk, but motion grew continually eafier.-At night we came to Noyon, an epifcopal city.-The cathedral is very beautiful, the pillars alternately Gothick and Corinthian.-We entered a very noble parochial church. Noyon is walled, and is faid to be three miles round.
"Nov. 4. Saturday. We rofe very early, and came through St. Quintin to Cambray, not long after three.-We went to an English nunnery, to give a letter to Father Welch, the confeffor, who came to vifit us in the evening.. "Nov. 5. Sunday. We faw the cathedral.-It is very beautiful, with chapels on each fide. The choir fplendid.-The balustrade in one part brafs.-The Neff very high and grand.-The altar filver as far as it is feen.The vestments very fplendid.-At the Benedictines church—
Here his journal ends abruptly. Whether he wrote any more after this time, I know not; but probably not much, as he arrived in England about the 12th of November. These fhort notes of his tour, though they may seem minute taken fingly, make together a confiderable mafs of information, and exhibit fuch an ardour of enquiry and acuteness of examination, as, I believe, are found in but few travellers, especially at an advanced age. They completely refute the idle notion which has been propagated, that he could not fee; and, if he had taken the trouble to revife and digeft them, he undoubtedly could have expanded them into a very entertaining narrative.
When I met him in London the following year, the account which he gave me of his French tour, was, "Sir, I have feen all the vifibilities of Paris, and around it; but to have formed an acquaintance with the people there, would have required more time than I could stay. I was just beginning to creep into acquaintance by means of Colonel Drumgould, a very high man, Sir, head of L'Ecole Militaire, a most complete character, for he had first been a professor of rhetorick, and then became a foldier. And, Sir, I was very kindly treated by the English Benedictines, and have a cell appropriated to me in their convent."
7 My worthy and ingenious friend, Mr. Andrew Lumifdaine, by his accurate acquaintance with France, enabled me to make out many proper names, which Dr. Johnfon had written indiftinctly, and fometimes fpelt erroneously.
He obferved, "The great in France live very magnificently, but the reft Atat. 66. very miferably. There is no happy middle ftate as in England. The fhops of Paris are mean; the meat in the markets is fuch as would be fent to a gaol in England and Mr. Thrale juftly obferved, that the cookery of the French was forced upon them by neceflity; for they could not eat their meat, unless they added fome tafte to it. The French are an indelicate people; they will fpit upon any place. At Madame 's, a literary lady of rank, the footman took the fugar in his fingers, and threw it into my coffee. I was going to put it afide; but hearing it was made on purpofe for me, I e'en tafted Tom's fingers. The fame lady would needs make tea á l'Angloife. The fpout of the tea-pot did not pour freely: fhe bade the footman blow into it. France is worfe than Scotland in every thing but climate. Nature has done more for the French; but they have done lefs for themselves than the Scotch have done."
It happened that Foote was at Paris at the fame time with Dr. Johnfon, and his defcription of my friend while there was abundantly ludicrous. He told me, that the French were quite astonished at his figure and manner, and at his dress, which he obftinately continued exactly as in London ;-his brown clothes, black ftockings, and plain fhirt. He mentioned, that an Irish gentleman faid to Johnfon, "Sir, you have not feen the best French players." JOHNSON. "Players, Sir! I look on them as no better than creatures fet upon tables and joint-ftools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs."—" But, Sir, you will allow that fome players are better than others ?” JOHNSON. "Yes, Sir, as fome dogs dance better than others."
While Johnfon was in France, he was generally very refolute in speaking Latin. It was a maxim with him that a man fhould not let himself down, by speaking a language which he speaks imperfectly. Indeed, we must have often obferved how inferiour, how much like a child a man appears, who fpeaks a broken tongue. When Sir Joshua Reynolds, at one of the dinners of the Royal Academy, prefented him to a Frenchman of great diftinction, he would not deign to speak French, but talked Latin, though his Excellency did not understand it, owing, perhaps, to Johnfon's English pronunciation: yet upon another occafion he was observed to speak French to a Frenchman of high rank, who spoke English; and being asked the reafon, with Tome expreflion of furprize,—he answered, "Because I think my French is as good as his English." Though Johnson understood French perfectly, he could not speak it readily, as I have obferved at his firft interview with General Paoli, in 1769; yet he wrote it, I imagine, very well, as appears from fome of his letters in Mrs. Piozzi's collection, of which I fhall transcribe one.
THE LIFE OF DR. JOHNSON.
A Madame La Comteffe de
July 16, 1771.
"OUI, Madame, le moment eft arrivé, et il faut que je parte. Mais pourquoi faut il partir? Eft ce que je m'ennuye? Je m'ennuyerai alleurs. Eft ce que je cherche ou quelque plaifir, ou quelque foulagement? Je ne cherche rien, je n'efpere rien. Aller voir ce que jai vi, etre un peu rejoué, un peu degouté, ne refouvenir que la vie fe paffe, et qu'elle fe paffe en vain, me plaindre de moi, m'endurcir aux debors; voici le tout de ce qu'on compte pour les delices de l'anné. Que Dieu vous donne, Madame, tous les agrémens de la vie, avec un efpri. qui peut en jouir fans s'y livrer trop.'
Here let me not forget a curious anecdote, as related to me by Mr. Beauclerk, which I fhall endeavour to exhibit as well as I can in that gentleman's lively manner; and in justice to him it is proper to add, that Dr. Johnfon told me, I might rely both on the correctnefs of his memory, and the fidelity of his narrative. "When Madame de Boufflers was first in England, (faid Beauclerk,) fhe was defirous to fee Johnson. I accordingly went with her to his chambers in the Temple, where she was entertained with his converfation for fome time. When our visit was over, she and I left him, and were got into Inner Temple-lane, when all at once I heard a noise like thunder. This was occafioned by Johnson, who it seems upon a little recollection, had taken it into his head that he ought to have done the honours of his literary refidence to a foreign lady of quality, and eager to fhew himself a man of gallantry, was hurrying down the staircafe in violent agitation. He overtook us before we reached the Templegate, and brufhing in between me and Madame de Boufflers, feifed her hand, and conducted her to her coach. His drefs was a rusty brown morning fuit, a pair of old fhoes by way of flippers, a little fhrivelled wig fticking on the top of his head, and the fleeves of his fhirt and the knees of his breeches hanging loofe. A confiderable crowd of people gathered round, and were not a little ftruck by this fingular appearance."
at Sir Joshua
He spoke Latin with wonderful fluency and elegance. When Pere
: 1775. Etat. 66.
"MY DEAR SIR,
To Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON.
Edinburgh, Dec. 5, 1775. "MR. ALEXANDER MACLEAN, the prefent young Laird of Col, being to fet out to-morrow for London, I give him this letter to introduce him to your acquaintance. The kindness which you and I experienced from his brother, whofe unfortunate death we fincerely lament, will make us always defirous to fhew attention to any branch of the family. Indeed, you have fo much of the true Highland cordiality, that I am fure you would have thought me to blame if I had neglected to recommend to you this Hebridean prince, in whofe ifland we were hofpitably entertained. I ever am with refpectful attachment, my dear Sir,
"Your most obliged
"And moft humble Servant,
Mr. Maclean returned with the most agreeable accounts of the polite attention with which he was received by Dr. Johnson.
In the course of this year Dr. Burney informs me, that "he very frequently met Dr. Johnson at Mr. Thrale's, at Streatham, where they had many long converfations, often fitting up as long as the fire and candles lafted, and much longer than the patience of the fervants fubfifted."
A few of Johnson's sayings, which that gentleman recollects, shall here be inferted.
"I never take a nap after dinner but when I have had a bad night, and then the nap takes me."
"The writer of an epitaph should not be confidered as saying nothing but what is strictly true. Allowance must be made for fome degree of exaggerated praife. In lapidary inferiptions a man is not upon oath."
"There is now lefs flogging in our great schools than formerly, but then. lefs is learned there; fo that what the boys get at one end, they lose at the other." “More is learned in publick than in private schools, from emulation; there is the collifion of mind with mind, or the radiation of many minds pointing to one center. Though few boys make their own exercifes, yet if a good exercife is given up, out of a great number of boys, it is made by somebody.” "I hate bye-roads in education. Education is as well known, and has. long been as well known, as ever it can be. Endeavouring to make children. 5 prematurely
prematurely wife is useless labour. Suppose they have more knowledge at five or fix years old than other children, what use can be made of it? It Etat. 66. will be loft before it is wanted, and the wafte of fo much time and labour of the teacher can never be repaid. Too much is expected from precocity, and too little performed. Mifs was an inftance of early cultivation, but in what did it terminate? In marrying a little Prefbyterian parfon, who keeps an infant boarding-school, fo that all her employment now is, 'to fuckle fools and chronicle finall beer.' She tells the children, This is a cat, and that is a dog, with four legs and a tail; fee there! you are much better than a cat or a dog, for you can fpeak.' If I had bestowed fuch an education on a daughter, and had difcovered that he thought of marrying fuch a fellow, I would have fent her to the Congress."
After having talked flightingly of mufick, he was obferved to liften very attentively while Mifs Thrale played on the harpfichord, and with eagerness he called to her, " Why don't you dafh away like Burney?" Dr. Burney upon this faid to him, "I believe, Sir, we fhall make a musician of you at last." Johnfon with candid complacency replied, "Sir, I fhall be glad to have a new fenfe given to me.”
He had come down one morning to the breakfast-room, and been a confiderable time by himself before any body appeared. When on a fubfequent day, he was twitted by Mrs. Thrale for being very late, which he generally was, he defended himself by alluding to the extraordinary morning, when he had been too early, "Madam, I do not like to come down to vacuity."
Dr. Burney having remarked that Mr. Garrick was beginning to look old, he said, " Why, Sir, you are not to wonder at that; no man's face has
had more wear and tear."
Not having heard from him for a longer time than I fuppofed he would be filent, I wrote to him December 18, not in good spirits, "Sometimes I have been afraid that the cold which has gone over Europe this year like a fort of peftilence, has feifed you feverely; fometimes my imagination, which is upon occafions prolifick of evil, hath figured that you may have somehow taken offence at fome part of my conduct."
To JAMES BOSWELL, Efq.
"NEVER dream of any offence, how fhould you offend me? I confider your friendship as a poffeffion, which I intend to hold till you take it from me, and to lament if ever by my fault I fhould lose it. However,