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go on as to the propitiation being the chief object of our most holy faith. He then dictated this one other paragraph.
“ The peculiar doctrine of Christianity is, that of an universal sacrifice and perpetual propitiation. Other prophets only proclaimed the will and the threatenings of God. Christ satisfied his justice.”
The Reverend Mr. Palmer, fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, dined with us. He expressed a wish that a better provision were made for parish-clerks. Johnson. “Yes, Sir, a parish-clerk should be a man who is able to make a will or write a letter for any body in the parish.”
I mentioned Lord Monboddo's notion ; that the ancient Egyptians, with all their learning and all their arts, were not only black, but woolly-haired. Mr. Palmer asked how did it appear upon examining the mummies ? Dr. Johnson approved of this test. 3
Although upon most occasions I never heard a more strenuous advocate for the advantages of wealth than Dr.
This unfortunate person, whose full name was Thomas Fysche Palmer, afterwards went to Dundee, in Scotland, where he officiated as minister to a congregation of the sect who call themselves Unitarians, from a notion that they distinctly worship one God, because they deny the mysterious doctrine of the Trinity. They do not advert that the great body of the Christian church in maintaining that mystery maintain also the unity of the Godhead : “ the Trinity in Unity-three persons and one God” The church humbly adores the Divinty as exhibited in the holy Scriptures. The Unitarian sect vainly presumes to comprehend and define the Almighty. Mr. Palmer, having heated his mind with political speculations, became so much dissatisfied with our excellent constitution as to compose, publish, and circulate writings, which were found to be so seditious and dangerous, that upon being found guilty by a jury, the court of justiciary in Scotland sentenced him to transportation for fourteen years. A loud clamour against this sentence was made by some members of both houses of parliament; but both houses approved of it by a great majority, and he was conveyed to the settlemeni for convicts in New South Wales.
Note in Third Edition, vol. iv. p. 129.- Editor.
Mr. T. F. Palmer was of Queen's College in Cambridge, where he took the degree of master of arts in 1772, and that of S. T. B. in 1781. He died on his return from Botany Bay in 1803.-Malone.
2 Taken from Herodotus.
3 It appears from every kind of evidence, that the Egyptians had long hair, and sharp and handsome features. At all events, they were not negroes.- Croker.
Johnson, he this day, I know not from what caprice, took the other side. “I have not observed,” said he, “ that men of very large fortunes enjoy any thing extraordinary that makes happiness. What has the Duke of Bedford ? What has the Duke of Devonshire? The only great instance that I have ever known of the enjoyment of wealth was that of Jamaica Dawkins, who going to visit Palmyra, and hearing that the way was infested by robbers, hired a troop of Turkish horse to guard him.'
Dr. Gibbons, the dissenting minister, being mentioned, he said, “I took to Dr. Gibbons." And addressing himself to Mr. Charles Dilly added, “I shall be glad to see him. Tell him, if he'll call on me, and dawdle over a dish of tea in an afternoon, I shall take it kind.”
The Reverend Mr. Smith, vicar of Southill, a very respectable man, with a very agreeable family, sent an invitation to us to drink tea. I remarked Dr. Johnson's very respectful politeness. Though always fond of changing the scene, he said, “We must have Mr. Dilly's leave. We cannot go from your house, Sir, without your permission.” We all went, and were well satisfied with our visit. I, however, remember nothing particular, except a nice distinction which Dr. Johnson made with respect to the power of memory, maintaining that forgetfulness was a man's own fault.“ To remember and to recollect," said he, “are different things. A man has not the power to recollect what is not in his mind, but when a thing is in his mind he may remember it.” 3
1 Henry Dawkins, Esq., the companion of Wood and Bouverie in their travels, and the patron of Athenian Stuart.— Croker.
2 Born May 31, 1720, died February 22, 1785. In 1743 he was “ called” to the pastoral charge of the Indeperdent Congregation at Haberdashers' Hall, and continued in it, till his death. He wrote a life of Isaac Watts (1780), and assisted Jobnson with materials for his life of Watts.-Editor.
3 Mr. Boswell's note was, I suspect, imperfect. A thing to be either remembered or recollected must equally have been in the mind. In his Dictionary, Johnson defines “ Remember—to bear in mind, to recollect, to call to mind." This would seem to imply that he considered the words as nearly synonymous; but in his definition of “ Recollect-to recover memory, to gather what is scattered,” he makes the true distinction. When the words are to be contradistinguished, it may be said that remembrance is spontaneous, and recollection an effort ; and this, I think, is what Johnson meant.-- Croker
· The remark was occasioned by my leaning back on a chair, which a little before I had perceived to be broken, and pleading forgetfulness as an excuse. “Sir,” said he, “its being broken was certainly in your mind.”
When I observed that a housebreaker was in general very timorous ;-JOHNSON. “No wonder, Sir; he is afraid of being shot getting into a house, or hanged when he has got out of it.”
He told us, that he had in one day written six sheets of a translation from the French; adding, “I should be glad to see it now. I wish that I had copies of all the pamphlets written against me, as it is said Pope had. Had I known that I should make so much noise in the world, I should have been at pains to collect them. I believe there is hardly a day in which there is not something about me in the newspapers.”
On Monday, June 4, we all went to Luton-Hoe, to see Lord Bute's magnificent seat, for which I had obtained a ticket. As we entered the park, I talked in a high style of my old friendship with Lord Mountstuart, and said, “I shall probably be much at this place.” The sage, aware of human vicissitudes, gently checked me: “Don't you be too sure of that.” He made two or three peculiar observations; as, when shown the botanical garden, “ Is not every garden a botanical garden?” When told that there was a shrubbery to the extent of several miles ;—“That is making a very foolish use of the ground; a little of it is very well.” When it was proposed that we should walk on the pleasureground; “Don't let us fatigue ourselves. Why should we walk there? Here's a fine tree, let's get to the top of it." But upon the whole, he was very much pleased. He said, “ This is one of the places I do not regret having come to see. It is a very stately place, indeed ; in the house, magnificence is not sacrificed to convepience, nor convenience to magnificence. The library is very splendid ; the dignity of the rooms is very great; and the quantity of pictures is beyond expectation, beyond hope.”
It happened without any previous concert that we visited the seat of Lord Bute upon the king's birthday; we dined and drank his majesty's health at an inn in the village of Luton.
In the evening I put him in mind of his promise to favour me with a copy of his celebrated Letter to the Earl of Chesterfield, and he was at last pleased to comply with this earnest request, by dictating it to me from his memory ; for he believed that he himself had no copy. There was an animated glow in his countenance while be thus recalled his high-minded indignation.
He laughed heartily at a ludicrous action in the court of session, in which I was counsel. The society of procurators, or attornies, entitled to practise in the inferior courts at Edinburgh, had obtained a royal charter, in which they had taken care to have their ancient designation of Procurators changed into that of Solicitors, from a notion, as they supposed, that it was more genteel ; and this new title they displayed by a public advertisement for a general meeting at their hall.
It has been said that the Scottish nation is not distinguished for humour; and, indeed, what happened on this occasion may, in some degree, justify the remark; for although this society had contrived to make themselves a very prominent object for the ridicule of such as might stoop to it, the only joke to which it gave rise was the following paragraph, sent to the newspaper called “The Caledonian Mercury.”
“A correspondent informs us, the Worshipful Society of Chaldeans, Cadies, or Running-Stationers of this city are resolved, in imitation, and encouraged by the singular success of their brethren, of an equally respectable Society, to apply for a Charter of their Privileges, particularly of the sole privilege of PROCURING, in the most extensive sense of the word, exclusive of chairmen, porters, penny-post men, and other inferior ranks; their brethren, the R-Y-LS-L- RS, alias P-0 R s, before the INFERIOR Courts of this City, always excepted.
“Should the Worshipful Society be successful, they are further resolved not to be puffed up thereby, but to demean themselves with more equanimity and decency than their r-y-l, learned, and very modest brethren above mentioned have done, upon their late dignification' and exaltation.”
A majority of the members of the society prosecuted Mr. Robertson, the publisher of the paper, for damages ; and the first judgment of the whole court very wisely dismissed the action: Solventur risu tabulæ, tu missus abibis. But a new trial or review was granted upon a petition, according to the forms in Scotland. This petition I was engaged to answer, and Dr. Johnson, with great alacrity, furnished me this evening with what follows.
“ All injury is either of the person, the fortune, or the fame. Now it is a certain thing, it is proverbially known, that a jest breaks no bones. They never have gained half-a-crown less in the whole profession since this mischievous paragraph has appeared; and, as to their reputation, what is their reputation but an instrument of getting money? If, therefore, they have lost no money, the question upon reputation may be answered by a very old position,—De minimis non curat prætor.
" Whether there was, or was not, an animus injuriandi is not worth inquiring, if no injuria can be proved. But the truth is, there was no animus injuriandi. It was only an animus irritandi,1 which, happening to be exercised upon a genus irritabile, produced unexpected violence of resentment. Their irritability arose only from an opinion of their own importance, and their delight in their new exaltation. What might have been borne by a procurator, could not be borne by a solicitor. Your lordships well know, that honores mutant mores. Titles and dignities play strongly on the fancy. As a madman is apt to think himself grown suddenly great, so he that grows suddenly great is apt to borrow a little from the madman. To co-operate with their resentment would be to promote their frenzy; nor is it possible to guess to wbat they might proceed, if to the new title of Solicitor should be added the elation of victory and triumph.
“We consider your lordships, as the protectors of our rights, and the guardians of our virtues; but believe it not included in your high office, that you should flatter our vices, or solace our vanity; and, as vanity only dictates this prosecution, it is humbly hoped your lordships will dismiss it.
" If every attempt, however light or ludicrous, to lessen another's reputation, is to be punished by a judicial sentence, what punishment can be sufficiently severe for him who attempts to diminish the reputation of the supreme court of justice, by
* Mr. Robertson altered this word to jocandi, he having found in Blackstone that to irritate is actionable.