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of high birth, learning, travel, and elegant manners, an exemplary parish priest in every respect.

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After some compliments on both sides, the tour which Johnson and I had made to the Hebrides was mentioned.-JOHNSON: "I got an acquisition of more ideas by it than by anything that I remember. I saw quite a different system of life." BosWELL: You would not like to make the same journey again?" JOHNSON: "Why no, Sir, not the same: it is a tale told. Gravina, an Italian critic, observes, that every man desires to see that of which he has read; but no man desires to read an account of what he has seen so much does description fall short of reality, Description only excites curiosity: seeing satisfies it. Other people may go and see the Hebrides." BOSWELL: "I should wish to go and see some country totally different from what I have been used to; such as Turkey, where religion and every thing else are different." JOHNSON: "Yes, Sir; there are two subjects of curiosity, the Christian world, and the Mahometan world. All the rest may be considered as barbarous." BOSWELL: "Pray, Sir, is the Turkish Spy' a genuine book?" JOHNSON: "No, Sir. Mrs. Manley, in her Life,' says, that her father wrote the first two volumes: and in another book, 'Dunton's Life and Errors,' we find that the rest was written by one Sault, at two guineas a sheet, under the direction of Dr. Midgeley." 1

BOSWELL: “This has been a very factious reign, owing to the too great indulgence of Government." JOHNSON: "I think so, Sir. What at first was lenity, grew timidity. Yet this is reasoning à posteriori, and may not be just. Supposing a few had at first been punished, I believe faction would have been crushed; but it might have been said, that it was

1 The Turkish Spy was pretended to have

been written originally in Arabic; from Arabic translated into Italian, and thence into English. The real author of the work, which was in fact originally written in Italian, was I. P. Marana, a Genoese, who died at Paris in 1693. John Dunton in his life says, that "Mr. William Bradshaw received from Mr. Midgeley forty shillings a sheet for writing part of the Turkish Spy; but I do not find that he any where mentions Sault as engaged in that work. Malone.

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On Saturday, April 12, I visited him, in company with Mr. Windham of Norfolk, whom, though a Whig, he highly valued. One of the best things he ever said was to this gentleman; who before he set out for Ireland as Secretary to Lord Northington, when Lord Lieutenant, expressed to the sage some modest and virtuous doubts, whether he could bring himself to practise those arts which it is supposed a person in that situation has occasion to employ. "Don't be afraid, Sir," said Johnson, with a pleasant smile, "you will soon make a very pretty rascal."

He talked to-day a good deal of the wonderful extent and variety of London, and observed, that men of curious inquiry might see in it such modes of life as very few could even imagine. He in particular recommended to us to explore Wapping, which we resolved to do.2

Mr. Lowe, the painter, who was with him, was very much distressed that a large picture which he had painted was refused to be received into the Exhibition of the Royal Academy. Mrs. Thrale knew Johnson's character so superficially, as to represent him as unwilling to do small acts of benevolence; and mentions, in particular, that he would hardly take the trouble to write a letter in favour of his friends. The truth, however, is, that he was remarkable, in an extraordinary degree, for what she denies to him; and,

2 We accordingly carried our scheme into execution, in October, 1792; but whether from that uniformity which has in modern times, in a great degree, spread through every part of the metropolis, or from our want of sufficient exertion, we were disappointed. B. Windham notes i his Diary, how annoyed he was at being "foolish ly drawn by Boswell" into this exploration, and thereby missing a prize-fight "which turned out a very good one." Napier.


above all, for this very sort of kindness, writing letters for those to whom his solicitations might be of service. He now gave Mr. Lowe the following, of which I was diligent enough, with his permission, to take copies at the next coffee-house while Mr. Windham was so good as to stay by




"MR. LOWE considers himself as cut off from all credit and all hope, by the rejection of his picture from the Exhibition. Upon this work he has exhausted all his powers, and suspended all his expectations and, certainly, to be refused an opportunity of taking the opinion of the public, is in itself a very great hardship. It is to be condemned without a trial.

"If you could procure the revocation of this incapacitating edict, you would deliver an unhappy man from great affliction. The Council

has sometimes reversed its own determination;

and I hope, that by your interposition this luck less picture may be got admitted. I am, &c. "SAM. JOHNSON.

"April 12, 1783."



"MR. LOWE'S exclusion from the exhibition gives him more trouble than you and the other gentlemen of the Council could imagine or intend. He considers disgrace and ruin as the inevitable consequence of your determination.

"He says that some pictures have been received after rejection; and if there be any such precedent, I earnestly entreat that you will use your interest in his favour. Of his work I can say nothing; I pretend not to judge of painting; and this picture I never saw: but I conceive it extremely hard to shut out any man from the possibility of success; and therefore I repeat my request that you will propose the re-consideration of Mr. Lowe's case; and if there be any among the Council with whom my name can have any weight, be pleased to communicate to them the desire of, Sir, your most humble servant, "April 12, 1783."



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Such intercession was too powerful to be resisted; and Mr. Lowe's performance was admitted at Somerset Place. The subject, as I recollect, was the Deluge, at that point of time when the water was verging to the top of the last uncovered mountain. Near to the spot was seen the last of the antediluvian race, exclusive of those who were saved in the ark of Noah. This was one of those giants, then the inhabitants of the earth, who had still strength to swim, and with

On April 18 (being Good Friday), I found him at breakfast, in his usual manner upon that day, drinking tea without milk, and eating a cross-bun to prevent faintness; we went to St. Clement's Church, as formerly. When we came home from church, he placed himself on one of the stone seats at his garden door, and I took the other, and thus in the open air, and in a placid frame of mind, he talked away very easily. JOHNSON: "Were I a country gentleman, I should not be very hospitable, I should not have crowds in my house." BOSWELL: "Sir Alexander Dick tells me, that he remembers having a thousand people in a year to dine at his house; that is, reckoning each person as one each time that he dined there." JOHNSON: "That, Sir, is about three a day.' BOSWELL: "How JOHNyour statement lessens the idea." SON: "That, Sir, is the good of counting. It brings everything to a certainty, which before floated in the mind indefinitely." BOSWELL: "But omne ignotum pro magnifico est: one is sorry to have this diminished." JOHNSON: "Sir, you should not allow yourself to be delighted with error." BOSWELL: "Three

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a day seem but few." JOHNSON: "Nay, Sir, he who entertains three a day, does very liberally. And if there is a large family, the poor entertain those three, for they eat what the poor would get there must be superfluous meat; it must be given to the poor, or thrown out.' BOSWELL: "I observe in London, that the poor go about and gather bones, which I understand are manufactured.' JOHNSON: "Yes, Sir; they boil them, and extract a grease from them for greasing wheels and other purposes. Of the best pieces they make a mock ivory, which is used for hafts to knives and various other things; the coarser pieces they burn and pound, and sell the ashes.' BOSWELL: "For what purpose, Sir?" JOHNSON: Why, Sir, for making a furnace for the chemists for melting iron. A paste made of burnt bones will stand a stronger heat than any thing else. Consider, Sir; if you are to melt iron, you cannot line your pot with brass, because it is softer than iron, and would melt sooner; nor with iron, for though malleable iron is harder than cast iron, yet it would not do; but a paste of burnt bones will not melt." BOSWELL: "Do you know, Sir, I have discovered a manufacture to a great extent, of what you only piddle at,-scraping and drying the peel of oranges.1 At a place in Newgate Street, there is a prodigious quantity prepared, which they sell to the distillers." JOHNSON: Sir, I believe they make a higher thing out of them than a spirit; they make what is called orangebutter, the oil of the orange inspissated, which they mix perhaps with common pomatum, and make it fragrant. The oil does not fly off in the drying." BOSWELL: “I wish to have a good walled garden.' JOHNSON: "I don't think it would be worth the expense to We compute in England, a parkwall at a thousand pounds a mile; now a garden-wall must cost at least as much. 1 It is suggested to me by an annotator on my work, that the reason why Dr. Johnson collected the peels of squeezed oranges, may be found, in the 358th letter in Mrs. Piozzi's Collection, where it appears that he recommended dried orange-peel, finely powdered," as a medicine. B.


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You intend your trees should grow higher than a deer will leap. Now let us see; for a hundred pounds you could only have forty-four square yards, which is very little; for two hundred pounds, you may have eighty-four square yards, which is very well.2 But when will you get the value of two hundred pounds of walls, in fruit, in your climate? No, Sir, such contention with Nature is not worth while. I would plant an orchard, and have plenty of such fruit as ripen well in your country. My friend, Dr. Madden, of Ireland, said that, 'In an orchard there should be enough to eat, enough to lay up, enough to be stolen, and enough to rot upon the ground.' Cherries are an early fruit, you may have them; and you may have the early apples and pears." BOSWELL: "We cannot have nonpareils. JOHNSON : Sir, you can no more have nonpareils than you can have grapes. BOSWELL: "We have them, Sir; but they are very bad.” JOHNSON: "Nay, Sir, never try to have a thing merely to shew that you cannet have it. From ground that would le: for forty shillings you may have a large orchard; and you see it costs you only forty shillings. Nay, you may graze the ground when the trees are grown up; you cannot, while they are young. BOSWELL: "Is not a good garden a very common thing in England, Sir?” JOHNSON: "Not so common, Sir, as you imagine. In Lincolnshire there is hardly an orchard; in Staffordshire very little

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fruit." BOSWELL: "Has Langton ne orchard?" JOHNSON: "No, Sir." BosWELL: "How so, Sir? JOHNSON: "Why, Sir, from the general negligence of the county. He has it not, because nobody else has it." BOSWELL: hot-house is a certain thing; I may have that." JOHNSON: "A hot-house is pretty certain; but you must first build it, then you must keep fires in it, and you must have a gardener t take care of it." BOSWELL:

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2 The Bishop of Ferns observes that Boswe here mistakes forty-four square yards for forty four yards square, and thus makes Johnson ta nonsense. Croker. Dr. Hill has also points out the mistake of eighty-four for eighty-eight



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if I have a gardener, at any rate?" children could not invent a language. JOHNSON : Why, yes.' Bos- While the organs are pliable, there is not WELL: "I'd have it near my house; understanding enough to form a language; there is no need to have it in the orchard." by the time that there is understanding JOHNSON: "Yes, I'd have it near my enough, the organs are become stiff. -We house. I would plant a great many know that after a certain age we cannot currants; the fruit is good, and they learn to pronounce a new language. No make a pretty sweetmeat.' foreigner, who comes to England when advanced in life, ever pronounces English tolerably well; at least such instances are very rare. When I maintain that language must have come by inspiration, I do not mean that inspiration is required for rhetoric, and all the beauties of language; for when once man has language, we can conceive that he may gradually form modifications of it. I mean only that inspiration seems to me to be necessary to give man the faculty of speech; to inform him that he may have speech; which I think he could no more find out without inspiration, than COWS or hogs would think of such a faculty.” WALKER: 'Do you think, Sir, that there are any perfect synonyms in any language?" JOHNSON : "Originally there were not; but by using words negligently, or in poetry, one word comes to be confounded with another."

I record this minute detail, which some may think trifling, in order to show clearly how this great man, whose mind could grasp such large and extensive subjects, as he has shewn in his literary labours, was yet well-informed in the common affairs of life, and loved to illustrate them. Mr. Walker, the celebrated master of elocution, came in, and then we went up stairs into the study. I asked him if he had taught many clergymen. JOHNSON: "I hope not.' WALKER: "I have taught only one, and he is the best reader I ever heard, not by my teaching, but by his own natural talents. JOHNSON: "Were he the best reader in the world, I would not have it told that he was taught." Here was one of his peculiar prejudices. Could it be any disadvantage to the clergyman to have it known that he was taught an easy and graceful delivery? BOSWELL: "Will you not allow, Sir, that a man may be taught to read well?" JOHNSON : 'Why, Sir, so far as to read better than he might do without being taught, yes.-Formerly it was supposed that there was no difference in reading, but that one read as well as another. BOSWELL: "It is wonderful to see old Sheridan as enthusiastic about oratory as WALKER: "His enthusiasm as to what oratory will do, may be too great but he reads well." JOHNSON "He reads well, but he reads low; and you know it is much easier to read low than to read high, for when you read high you are much more limited, your loudest note can be but one, and so the variety is less in proportion to the loudness. Now some people have occasion to speak to an extensive audience, and must speak loud to be heard.' WALKER: "The art is to read strong, though low." Talking of the origin of language ;— JOHNSON: "It must have come by inspiration. A thousand, nay, a million of





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He talked of Dr. Dodd. "A friend of mine," said he, "came to me and told me, that a lady wished to have Dr. Dodd's picture in a bracelet, and asked me for a motto. I said, I could think of no better than Currat Lex. I was very willing to have him pardoned, that is, to have the sentence changed to transportation; but, when he was once hanged, I did not wish he should be made a saint."

Mrs. Burney, wife of his friend Dr. Burney, came in, and he seemed to be entertained with her conversation.

Garrick's funeral was talked of as extravagantly expensive. Johnson, from his dislike to exaggeration, would not allow that it was distinguished by any extraordinary pomp. "Were there not six horses to each coach?" said Mrs. Burney. JOHNSON: Madam, there were no more six horses than six phoenixes.” 1


1 There certainly were coaches and six, and Johnson himself went in one of them. Croker. The ridiculous ostentation of Garrick's funeral


Mrs. Burney wondered that some very beautiful new buildings should be erected in Moorfields, in so shocking a situation between Bedlam and St. Luke's Hospital; and said she could not live there. JOHNSON: "Nay, Madam, you see nothing there to hurt you. You no more think of madness by having windows that look to Bedlam, than you think of death by having windows that look to a churchyard. MRS. BURNEY: "We may look to a churchyard, Sir; for it is right that we should be kept in mind of death." JOHNSON: "Nay, Madam, if you go to that, it is right that we should be kept in mind of madness, which is occasioned by too much indulgence of imagination. I think a very moral use may be made of these new buildings I would have those who have heated imaginations live there, and take warning.' MRS. BURNEY: "But, Sir, many of the poor people that are mad, have become so from disease, or from distressing events. It is, therefore, not their fault, but their misfortune; and, therefore, to think of them is a melancholy consideration."

Time passed on in conversation till it was too late for the service of the church at three o'clock. I took a walk, and left | him alone for some time; then returned, and we had coffee and conversation again by ourselves.

I stated the character of a noble friend of mine, as a curious case for his opinion: "He is the most inexplicable man to me that I ever knew. Can you explain him, Sir? He is, I really believe, nobleminded, generous, and princely. But his most intimate friends may be separated from him for years, without his ever asking a question concerning them. He will meet them with a formality, a coldness, a stately indifference; but when they come close to him, and fairly engage him in conversation, they find him as easy, pleasant, and kind, as they could wish. One then supposes that what is so agreeable will soon be renewed; but

was common talk at the time. Three years later Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale that the undertaker had not yet been paid and was ruined. Dr. Hill.

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stay away from him for half a year, and he will neither call on you, nor send to inquire about you.' JOHNSON: "Why, Sir, I cannot ascertain his character exactly, as I do not know him; but I should not like to have such a man for my friend. He may love study, and wish not to be interrupted by his friends; Amici fures temporis. He may be a frivolous man, and be so much occupied with petty pursuits, that he may not want friends. Or he may have a notion that there is a dignity in appearing indifferent, while he in fact may not be more indifferent at his heart than another."

We went to evening prayers at St. Clement's, at seven, and then parted.

On Sunday, April 20, being Easter Day, after attending solemn service at St. Paul's, I came to Dr. Johnson, and found Mr. Lowe, the painter, sitting with him. Mr. Lowe mentioned the great number of new buildings of late in London, yet that Dr. Johnson had observed that the number of inhabitants was not increased. JOHNSON: "Why, Sir, the bills of mortality prove that no more people die now than formerly; so it is plain no more live. The register of births proves nothing, for not one-tenth of the people of London are born there.` BOSWELL: “I believe, Sir, a great many of the children born in London die early." JOHNSON: "Why, yes, Sir. BosWELL: "But those who do live, are as stout and strong people as any: Dr. Price says, they must be naturally strong to get through." JOHNSON : That is system, Sir. A great traveller observes that it is said there are no weak of deformed people among the Indians; but he with much sagacity assigns the reason of this, which is, that the hardship of their life, as hunters and fishers, does not allow weak or diseased childre to grow up. Now had I been an Indiar, I must have died early; my eyes woul! not have served me to get food. indeed now could fish, give me English tackle; but had I been an Indian I must have starved, or they would have knocke me on the head, when they saw I could do nothing." BOSWELL: "Perhaps

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