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much petitioning would hardly be praying thus fervently for the King."
Mr. Boswell one day asked, “ Was not Dr. John Campbell a very inaccurate man in his narrative, Şir? He once told me, that he drank thirteen bottles of port at a sitting.”-JOHNSON. “ Why, Sir, I do not know that Campbell ever lied with pen and ink; but you could not' entirely depend on any thing he told you in conversation, if there was fact mixed with it. However, I loved Campbell: he was a solid orthodox man; he had a reverence for religion. Though defective in practice, he was religious in principle; and he did nothing grossly wrong that I have heard."
Mr. Boswell had lent Johnson, ' An Account of Scotland, in 1702,' written by a man of various enquiry, an English Chaplain to a regiment stationed there." It is sad stuff, Sir (said the Doctor), miserably written, as books in general then were. There is now an elegance of style universally diffused. No man now writes so ill as Martin's Account of the Hebrides is written. A man could not write so ill, if the should try. Set a merchant's clerk now to write, and he'll do better.”
“ Thomas à Kempis (he observed) must be a good book, as the world has opened its arms to receive it. It is said to have been printed; 'in
one language or other, as many times as there have been months since it first came out. I always was struck with this sentence in it:- Be
that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”
He said, the critics had done too much honour to Sir Richard Blackmore, by writing so much against him. In his ( Creation' he had been belped by various wits, a line by Phillips and a line by Tickell; so that by their aid, and that of others, the poem had been made out.
“ Lord Chesterfield's ' Letters to his Son' (he thought) might be made a very pretty book. Take out the immorality, and it should be put into the hands of every young gentleman. An elegant manner and easiness of behaviour are acquired gradually and imperceptibly. No man can say I'll be genteel.'. There are ten genteel women for one genteel man, because they are more restrained. A man without some degree of restraint is insufferable ; but we are all less restrained than women. Were a woman sitting in . company to put out her legs before her as most men do, we should be tempted to kick them in."
“I read (said he) · Sharpe's Letters on Italy' over again when I was at Bath. There is a great deal of matter in them.”
Johnson usually spoke with contempt of Col.
ley Cibber. “It is wonderful (said he) that a man who for forty years had lived with the great and the witty should have acquired so ill the talents of conversation: and he had but half to furnish; for one half of what he said was oaths.” He, however, allowed considerable merit to some of his comedies, and said, there was no reason to believe that the "Careless Husband' was not written by himself.-Mr. Davies said, he was the first dramatic writer who introduced genteel ladies upon the stage. Johnson refuted his observation by instancing several such characters in comedies before his time. Davies. (trying to defend himself from a charge of ignorance) mean genteel moral characters.”" I think (said Mr. Hicky), gentility and morality are inseparable."--BOSWELL.“ By no means, Sir. The genteelest characters are often the most immoral. Does not Lord Chesterfield give precepts for uniting wickedness and the graces? A man indeed is not genteel when he gets drunk; but most vices may be committed very genteelly: & man may debauch his friend's wife genteelly; he may cheat at cards genteelly."--Hicky.“ I de not think that is genteel.”_B. “ Sir, it may not be like a gentleman; but it may be genteel.”—J, “You are meaning two different things. One means exterior grace; the other honour. It is
certain that å man may be very immoral with exterior grace. Lovelace, in “Clarissa,' is a very genteel and a very wicked character. Tom Hervey, who died t'other day, though a vicious man, was one of the genteelest men that ever lived."--B. “ Cibber was a man of observation?".
J. “I think not."-B. “ You will allow bis Apology' to be well done."-J. “Very well done, to be sure, Sir.—That book is a striking proof of the justice of Pope's remark:
“ Each might his several province well command,
-B. “ And his plays are good."-J. “Yes; but that was his trade; l'esprit du corps; he had been all his life among players and play-writers. I wonder that he had so little to say in conversaa tion, for he had kept the best company, and learnt all thiat be got by the ear. He abused Pindar to me, and then shewed me an Ode of his own, with an absurd couplet, making a linnet soar on an eagle's wings. I told him that when the ancients made a simile, they always made it like something real.”
Of old Sheridan he remarked, that he neither wanted parts nor literature; but that his vanity and Quixotism obscured his merits. He said, foppery was never cured; it was the bad staminai
of the mind, which, like those of the body, were never rectified: once a coxcomb, and always a coxcomb,
When the Rev. Mr. Horne (now Horno Tooke, Esq.) published his “ Letter to Mr. Dunning on the English Particle, Johnson read it; and, though not treated in it with sufficient respect, he had candour enough to say to Mr. Seward, “ Were I to make a new edition of my Dictionary, I would adopt several of Mr. Horne's etymologies; I hope they did not put the dog into the pillory for his libels, he has too much literature for that."
He said, that Bacon was a favourite author with him; but he had never read his works till he was compiling the English Dictionary, in which, he said, we might see Bacon very often quoted. He observed, that a Dictionary of the English language might be compiled from Bacon's writings alone, and that he had once an intention of giving an edition of Bacon, at least of his English works, and writing the Life of that great
Had he executed this intention, there can be no doubt that he would have done it in a most másterly manner.
Of his fellow-collegian, the celebrated Mr George Whitefield, he said “ Whitefield never drew so much attention as a mountebank does he did not draw attention by doing better than