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virtue, from scholastick virtue, that a good man must have undergone a great change before he can reconcile himself to such a doctrine. It is maintaining, that you may lie to the publick; for you lie when you call that right which you think wrong, or the reverse. A friend of ours, who is too much an echo of that gentleman, observed, that a man who does not stick uniformly to a party, is only waiting to be bought. Why then, said I, he is only waiting to be what that gentleman is already."
We talked of the King's coming to see Goldsmith's new play.“I wish he would,"l said Goldsmith; adding, however, with an affected indifference, “Not that it would do me the least good.” JOHNSON. “Well then, Sir, let us say it would do him good, (laughing.) No, Sir, this affectation will not pass;—it is mighty idle. In such a state as ours, who would not wish to please the chief magistrate ?” GOLDSMITH. “I do wish to please him. I remember a line in Dryden,
· And ev'ry poet is the Monarch's friend.' It ought to be reversed.” JOHNSON. “ Nay, there are finer lines in Dryden on this subject :
For colleges on bounteous Kings depend,
And never rebel was to arts a friend."" General Paoli observed, that successful rebels might. MARTINELLI. “ Happy rebellions.” GOLDSMITH. “We have no such phrase.” GENERAL Paoli. “But have you not the thing?" GOLDSMITH. “ Yes; all our happy revolutions. They have hurt our constitution, and will hurt it, till we mend it by another HAPPY REVOLUTION.”—I never before discovered that my friend Goldsmith had so much of the old prejudice in him.
General Paoli, talking of Goldsmith's new play, said, “Il a fait un compliment très gracieux à une certaine grande dame;" meaning a Duchess of the first rank.”
I expressed a doubt whether Goldsmith intended it, in order that I might hear the truth from himself. It, perhaps, was not quite fair to endeavour to bring him to a confession, as he might not wish
1 The king did visit the theatre later.
2 “ We'll go to France,” Hastings says in the second act, " for there, even among slaves, the laws of marriage are respected.” The Royal Marriage Act had just been passed, the Dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland having married subjects, much to the king's displeasure.
The Duke of Gloucester had received an ovation on the first night of the play, when the actor repeated the lines, and the “ très grande dame” was Lady Wal. degrave, not Mrs. Horton, as Mr. Croker supposes. See Mr. Forster's Goldsmith, ii. 358.
to avow positively his taking part against the Court. He smiled and hesitated. The General at once relieved him, by this beautiful image: “Monsieur Goldsmith est comme la mer qui jette des perles et beaucoup d'autres belles choses, sans s'en appercevoir.” Goldsmith. “Très bien dit, et très élégamment.” A person was mentioned, who it was said could take down in short hand the speeches in parliament with perfect exactness. Johnson. “Sir, it is impossible. I remember one Angel, who came to me to write for him a Preface or Dedication to a book upon short hand, and he professed to write as fast as a man could speak. In order to try him, I took down a book, and read while he wrote; and I favoured him, for I read more deliberately than usual. I had proceeded but a very little way, when he begged I would desist, for he could not follow me.” Hearing now for the first time of this Preface or Dedication, I said, “What an expence, Sir, do you put us to in buying books, to which you have written Prefaces or Dedications.” Johnson. “Why I have dedicated to the Royal Family all round; that is to say, to the last generation of the Royal Family.” Golds MITH. “And perhaps, Sir, not one sentence of wit in a whole Dedication.” Johnson. “Perhaps not, Sir.” Boswell. “What then is the reason for applying to a particular person to do that which any one may do as well ?” JoHNsoN. “Why, Sir, one man has greater readiness at doing it than another.” I spoke of Mr. Harris, of Salisbury, as being a very learned man, and in particular an eminent Grecian. Johnson. “I am not sure of that. His friends give him out as such, but I know not who of his friends are able to judge of it.” GoldsMITH. “He is what is much better: he is a worthy humane man.” JoHNson. “Nay, Sir, that is not to the purpose of our argument: that will as much prove that he can play upon the fiddle as well as Giardini, as that he is an eminent Grecian.” GoLDSMITH. “The greatest musical performers have but small emoluments. Giardini, I am told, does not get above seven hundred a year.” Johnson. “That is, indeed, but little for a man to get, who does best that which so many endeavour to do. There is nothing, I think, in which the power of art is shewn so much as in playing on the fiddle. In all other things we can do something at first. Any man will forge a bar of iron, if you give him a hammer; not so well as a smith, but tolerably. A man will saw a piece of wood, and make a box, though a clumsy one ; but give him a fiddle and a fiddle-stick, and he can do nothing.” On Monday, April 19, he called on me with Mrs. Williams, in Mr. Strahan's coach, and carried me out to dine with Mr. Elphinston, at his academy at Kensington. A printer having acquired a fortune sufficient to keep his coach, was a good topick for the credit of literature. Mrs. Williams said, that another printer, Mr. Hamilton, had not waited so long as Mr. Strahan, but had kept his coach several years sooner. Johnson. “He was in the right. Life is short. The sooner that a man begins to enjoy his wealth the better.” Mr. Elphinston talked of a new book that was much admired, and asked Dr. Johnson if he had read it. Johnson. “I have looked into it.” “What (said Elphinston,) have you not read it through?” Johnson, offended at being thus pressed, and so obliged to own his cursory mode of reading, answered tartly, “No, Sir; do you read books through P” He this day again defended duelling, and put his argument upon what I have ever thought the most solid basis; that if publick war be allowed to be consistent with morality, private war must be equally so. Indeed we may observe what strained arguments are used, to reconcile war with the Christian religion. But, in my opinion, it is exceedingly clear that duelling having better reasons for its barbarous violence, is more justifiable than war, in which thousands go forth without any cause of personal quarrel, and massacre each other. On Wednesday, April 21, I dined with him at Mr. Thrale's. A gentleman attacked Garrick for being vain. Johnson. “No wonder, Sir, that he is vain; a man who is perpetually flattered in every mode that can be conceived. So many bellows have blown the fire, that one wonders he is not by this time become a cinder.” Boswell. “And such fellows too. Lord Mansfield with his cheeks like to burst : Lord Chatham like an AEolus." I have read such notes from them to him as were enough to turn his head.” Johnson. “True. When he whom every body else flatters, flatters me, I then am truly happy.” MRs. THRALE. “The sentiment is in Congreve, I think.” Johnson. “Yes, Madam, in ‘The Way of the World :'
“If there's delight in love, ’tis when I see
* There is a letter of Lord Mansfield's
refusing the actor a favour, but which shows as sincere a respect and regard as though he had granted it.—(Gar. Cor., i. 294.) Lord Chatham was more effusive: and addressed to him some graceful lines, beginning—
“Leave, Garrick, leave the landscape proudly gay,”
in return for some verses which cele
brated the retired statesman rather inap-
“Inimitable Shakespeare, but more matchless Garrick ' " wrote Lord Chatham in his “AEolus" vein; “always deep in nature, as the poet, but never (which the poet is too often) out of it.” No wonder the gratified actor endorsed the letter “Rich and exquisite flattery.” No, Sir, I should not be surprized though Garrick chained the ocean and lashed the winds.” Boswell. “Should it not be, Sir, lashed the ocean and chained the winds 2" Johnson. “No, Sir; recollect the original :
“In Corum atque Eurum solitus savire flagellis
This does very well when both the winds and the sea are personified, and mentioned by their mythological names, as in Juvenal; but when they are mentioned in plain language, the application of the epithets suggested by me, is the most obvious; and accordingly my friend himself, in his imitation of the passage which describes Xerxes, has
“The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind.”
The modes of living in different countries, and the various views with which men travel in quest of new scenes, having been talked of, a learned gentleman who holds a considerable office in the law, expatiated on the happiness of a savage life; and mentioned an instance of an officer who had actually lived for some time in the wilds of America, of whom, when in that state, he quoted this reflection with an air of admiration, as if it had been deeply philosophical : “Here am I, free and unrestrained, amidst the rude magnificence of Nature, with this Indian woman by my side, and this gun, with which I can procure food when I want it: what more can be desired for human happiness 2" It did not require much sagacity to foresee that such a sentiment would not be permitted to pass without due animadversion. JoHNsoN. “Do not allow yourself, Sir, to be imposed upon by such gross absurdity. It is sad stuff; it is brutish. If a bull could speak, he might as well exclaim—Here am I with this cow and this grass; what being can enjoy greater felicity ?”
We talked of the melancholy end of a gentleman who had destroyed himself." Johnson. “It was owing to imaginary difficulties in his affairs, which, had he talked with any friend, would soon have vanished.” Boswell. “Do you think, Sir, that all who commit suicide are mad?” JoHNson. “Sir, they are often not universally disordered in their intellects, but one passion presses so upon them that they yield to it, and commit suicide, as a passionate man will stab another.” He added, “I have often thought, that
* Mr. Fitzherbert, who was described in the papers as having “died suddenly.”
after a man has taken the resolution to kill himself, it is not courage in him to do anything, however desperate, because he has nothing to fear.” GOLDSMITH. “ I don't see that.” JOHNSON. Nay but, my dear Sir, why should not you see what every one else sees ?" GOLDSMITH. “ It is for fear of something that he has resolved to kill himself; and will not that timid disposition restrain him ?" JOHNSON. “ It does not signify that the fear of something made him resolve ; it is upon the state of his mind after the resolution is taken, that I argue. Suppose a man, either from fear, or pride, or conscience, or whatever motive, has resolved to kill himself; when once the resolution is taken he has nothing to fear. He may then go and take the King of Prussia by the nose at the head of his army. He cannot fear the rack, who is resolved to kill himself. When Eustace Budgel was walking down to the Thames, determined to drown himself, he might, if he pleased, without any apprehension of danger, have turned aside, and first set fire to St. James's palace."
On Tuesday, April 27, Mr. Beauclerk and I called on him in the morning. As we walked up Johnson's-court, I said, “I have a veneration for this court;" and was glad to find that Beauclerk had the same reverential enthusiasm. We found him alone. We talked of Mr. Andrew Stuart's elegant and plausible Letters to Lord Mansfield ;a copy of which had been sent by the authour to Dr. Johnson. JOHNSON. “ They have not answered the end. They have not been talked of. I have never heard of them. This is owing to their not being sold. People seldom read a book which is given to them, and few are given. The way to spread a work is to sell it at a low price. No man will send to buy a thing that costs even sixpence, without an intention to read it.” Boswell.
May it not be doubted, Sir, whether it be proper to publish letters, arraigning the ultimate decision of an important cause by the supreme judicature of the nation?" JOHNSON. “No, Sir, I do not think it was wrong to publish these letters. If they are thought to do harm, why not answer them ? But they will do no harm. If Mr. Douglas be indeed the son of Lady Jane, he cannot be hurt: if he be not her son, and yet has the great estate of the family of Douglas, he may well submit to have a pamphlet against him by Andrew Stuart. Sir, I think such a publication does good, as it does good to shew us the possibilities of human life. And, Sir, you will not say that the Douglas cause was a cause of easy decision,
1 Budgell drowned himself, harassed by pecuniary difficulties. Johnson used to fix « the era of his removal to London"
by its being within a day or two of this