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have them all for twopence. I hope you shall know a great deal more of me before
life.” He mentioned to me this day many circumstances, which I wrote down when I went home, and have interwoven in the former part of this narrative.
[The following is his own minute, but not uninteresting memorandum of this day:
“ April 11, 1773. I had more disturbance in the night than Prayers has been customary for some weeks past. I rose before nine in & Med. the morning, and prayed and drank tea. I came, I think, to 126. church in the beginning of the prayers. I did not distinctly hear the Psalms, and found that I had been reading the Psalms for Good Friday. I went through the Litany, after a short disturbance, with tolerable attention.
“ After sermon, I perused my prayer in the pew, then went nearer the altar, and being introduced into another pew, used my prayer again, and recommended my relations, with Bathurst and [Miss] Boothby, then my wife again by herself. Then I went nearer the altar, and read the collects chosen for meditation. I prayed for Salisbury', and, I think, the Thrales. I then communicated with calmness, used the collect for Easter Day, and returning to the first pew, prayed my prayer the third time. I came home again ; used my prayer and the Easter Collect. Then went into the study to Boswell, and read the Greek Testament. Then dined, and when Boswell went away, ended the four first chapters of St. Matthew, and the Beatitudes of the fifth.
“ I then went to Evening Prayers, and was composed.
On Tuesday, April 13, he and Dr. Goldsmith and I dined at General Oglethorpe's. Goldsmith expatiated on the common topick, that the race of our people was degenerated, and that this was owing to luxury. JOHNSON. “Sir, in the first place, I doubt the fact”. I believe there are as many tall men in
' [Mrs. Salisbury, Mrs. Thrale's mother, then languishing with an illness, of which she died in a few weeks.-ED.)
• (There seems no reason whatever to believe the fact: old coffins and old armour do not designate a taller race of men. Pope tells us, that Colley Cibber obtained King Edward's armour from the Tower, and wore it in a
England now, as ever there were. But, secondly, supposing the stature of our people to be diminished, that is not owing to luxury; for, sir, consider to how very small a proportion of our people luxury can reach. Our soldiery, surely, are not luxurious, who live on sixpence a day; and the same remark will apply to almost all the other classes. Luxury, so far as it reaches the poor, will do good to the race of people; it will strengthen and multiply them. Sir, no nation was ever hurt by luxury; for, as I said before, it can reach but to a very few. I admit that the great increase of commerce and manufactures hurts the military spirit of a people; because it produces a competition for something else than martial honours—a competition for riches. It also hurts the bodies of the people; for you will observe, there is no man who works at any particular trade, but you may know him from his appearance to do so. or the other of his body being more used than the rest, he is in some degree deformed : but, sir, that is not luxury. A tailor sits cross-legged; but that is not luxury.” GOLDSMITH. “Come, you're just going to the same place by another road.” JOHNSON. “Nay, sir, I say that is not luxury. Let us take a walk from Charing-cross to Whitechapel, through, I suppose, the greatest series of shops in the world : what is there in any of these shops (if you except gin shops) that can do any human being any harm?” GOLDSMITH. “ Well, sir, I'll accept your challenge. The very next shop to Northumberlandhouse is a pickle shop.” JOHNSON. “Well, sir : do we not know that a maid can in one afternoon make
theatrical procession. The doors, windows, and ceilings of old houses are not loftier than those of modern days. Other animals, too, cannot have dege. nerated in size by the lnrury of man; and they seem, by all evidence, to have borne in old times the same proportion to the human figure that they now bear. -Ed.]
pickles sufficient to serve a whole family for a year ? nay, that five pickle shops can serve all the kingdom ? Besides, sir, there is no harm done to any body by the making of pickles, or the eating of pickles.”
We drank tea with the ladies; and Goldsmith sung Toney Lumpkin's song in his comedy, “She Stoops to Conquer,” and a very pretty one, to an Irish tune , which he had designed for Miss Hardcastle; but as Mrs. Bulkeley, who played the part, could not sing, it was left out. He afterwards wrote it down for me, by which means it was preserved, and now appears amongst his poems. Dr. Johnson, in his way home, stopped at my lodgings in Piccadilly, and sat with me, drinking tea a second time, till a late hour.
I told him that Mrs. Macaulay said, she wondered how he could reconcile his political principles with his moral : his notions of inequality and subordination with wishing well to the happiness of all mankind, who might live so agreeably, had they all their portions of land, and none to domineer over another. Johnson. “Why, sir, I reconcile my principles very well, because mankind are happier in a state of inequality and subordination. Were they to be in this pretty state of equality, they would soon degenerate into brutes ; they would become Monboddo's nation; their tails would grow. Sir, all would be losers, were all to work for all: they would have no intellectual improvement. All intellectual improvement arises from leisure; all leisure arises from one working for another."
Talking of the family of Stuart, he said, “ It should seem that the family at present on the throne has
1 The humours of Ballamagairy.—Boswell. (This air was not long since revived and vulgarized in a song sung by the late Mr. Johnstone, in a farce called “ The Wags of Windsor.” Mr. Moore has endeavoured to bring it back into good company; it is to be found in the ninth number of his Irish Melodies, p. 48.-Ed.]
now established as good a right as the former family, by the long consent of the people; and that to disturb this right might be considered as culpable. At the same time I own, that it is a very difficult question, when considered with respect to the house of Stuart. To oblige people to take oaths as to the disputed right is wrong
I know not whether I could take them: but I do not blame those who do.” So conscientious and so delicate was he upon this subject, which has occasioned so much clamour against him.
Talking of law cases, he said, “ The English reports, in general, are very poor: only the half of what has been said is taken down; and of that half, much is mistaken. Whereas, in Scotland, the arguments on each side are deliberately put in writing, to be considered by the court. I think a collection of your cases upon subjects of importance, with the opinions of the judges upon them, would be valuable.”
On Thursday, April 15, I dined with him and Dr. Goldsmith at General Paoli's. We found here Signor Martinelli', of Florence, authour of a History of Eng. land in Italian, printed at London.
I spoke of Allan Ramsay's “Gentle Shepherd,” in the Scottish dialect, as the best pastoral that had ever been written; not only abounding with beautiful rural imagery, and just and pleasing sentiments, but being
· (Vincenzio Martinelli. He was an Italian, living chiefly among our no. bility, many of whom he instructed in his native idiom. He is the author of several works in Italian. His History of England, in two quarto volumes, is a mere compilation from Rapin. Two volumes of moral philosophy on La Vita Civile, &c. An octavo volume of his “Lettere Familiare” is rather amusing, for the complacency of the writer respecting his own importance, and the narratives of his visits to various noblemen, whose names spangle his pages. Having prefixed his portrait to his works, Badini, another Italian scribbler, well known in his day, mortified at the success of his more fashionable rival, published a quarto pamphlet, entitled, I think, “La Bilancia.” He also presented the portrait of Martinelli to the world, in a manner then perhaps novel. In a pair of scales, the head of Martinelli, weighed against a single feather, flies into the air. Martinelli disdained to reply to the scurrilities of his desperate compatriot, and to designate his low rank, and with an allusion to the well known grievance of the Lazzaroni of Naples, causticly observed, that he left his assailant to be tormented by another race of critics—Lo lascio á i suoi pidochi.-D'ISRAELI.]
a real picture of manners; and I offered to teach Dr. Johnson to understand it. “No, sir,” said he, “I won't learn it. You shall retain your superiority by my not knowing it.”
This brought on a question whether one man is lessened by another's acquiring an equal degree of knowledge with him. Johnson asserted the affirmative. I maintained that the position might be true in those kinds of knowledge which produce wisdom, power, and force, so as to enable one man to have the government of others; but that a man is not in any degree lessened by others knowing as well as he what ends in mere pleasure :-“ eating fine fruits, drinking delicious wines, reading exquisite poetry.”
The general observed, that Martinelli was a whig. JOHNSON. “I am sorry for it. It shows the spirit of the times; he is obliged to temporise.” BOSWELL. “I rather think, sir, that toryism prevails in this reign.” JOHNSON. “I know not why you should think so, sir. You see your friend Lord Lyttelton, a nobleman, is obliged in his history to write the most vulgar whiggism.”
An animated debate took place whether Martinelli should continue his “History of England” to the present day. GOLDSMITH. “To be sure he should.” Johnson. “No, sir; he would give great offence. He would have to tell of almost all the living great what they do not wish told.” GOLDSMITH. “It may, perhaps, be necessary for a native to be more cautious; but a foreigner who comes among us without prejudice may be considered as holding the place of a judge, and may speak his mind freely.” JOHNSON. “Sir, a foreigner, when he sends a work from the press, ought to be on his guard against catching the errour and mistaken enthusiasm of the people among whom he happens to be.” GOLDSMITH,