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Cave, the printer at St. John's Gate. He faid, Mr. Cave did not like to talk of it, but feemed to be in great horrour whenever it was mentioned. BOSWELL. "Pray, Sir, what did he fay was the appearance?" JOHNSON. "Why, Sir,. fomething of a fhadowy being."
I mentioned witches, and afked him what they properly meant. JOHNSON.. Why, Sir, they properly mean those who make use of the aid of evil spirits.” BOSWELL. "There is no doubt, Sir, a general report and belief of their having exifted," JOHNSON. "Sir, you have not only the general report and belief, but you have many voluntary folemn confeffions." He did not affirm any thing pofitively upon a fubject which it is the fashion of the times to laugh. at as a matter of abfurd credulity. He only feemed willing, as a candid enquirer after truth, however ftrange and inexplicable, to fhew that he underftood what might be urged for it 3.
On Friday, April 10, I dined with him at General Oglethorpe's, where we found Dr. Goldfinith.
Armorial bearings having been mentioned, Johnfon faid, they were as ancient as the fiege of Thebes, which he proved by a paffage in one of the tragedies of Euripides.
I ftarted the question whether duelling was confiftent with moral duty. The brave old General fired at this, and faid, with a lofty air, "Undoubtedly a man has a right to defend his honour." GOLDSMITH, (turning to me.) "I ask you firft, Sir, what you would do if you were affronted?" I answered I should think it neceffary to fight. "Why then (replied Goldfinith,) that folves the queftion." JOHNSON. "No, Sir, it does not folve the question. It does not follow that what a man would do is therefore right." I faid, I wished to have it fettled, whether duelling was contrary to the laws of Chriftianity. Johnfor immediately entered on the fubject, and treated it in a masterly manner; and fo far as I have been able to recollect, his thoughts were thefe: "Sir, as men become in a high degree refined, various caufes of offence arife; which are confidered to be of fuch importance, that life must be ftaked to atone for them, though in reality they are not fo. A body that has received a very fine polifh may be easily hurt. Before men arrive at this artificial refinement, if one tells his neighbour he lies, his neighbour tells him he lies; if one gives his neighbour a blow, his neighbour gives him a blow: but in a state of highly polished fociety, an affront is held to be a ferious injury. It must,
3 See this curious queftion treated by him with moft acute ability," Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides," 3d edit. p. 33. therefore,
therefore, be refented, or rather a duel must be fought upon it; as men have agreed to banish from their fociety one who puts up with an affront without at. 63. fighting a duel. Now, Sir, it is never unlawful to fight in felf-defence. He, then, who fights a duel, does not fight from paffion against his antagonist, but out of felf-defence; to avert the ftigma of the world, and to prevent himself from being driven out of fociety. I could wish that there was not that fuperfluity of refinement; but while fuch notions prevail, no doubt a man may lawfully fight a duel.”
Let it be remembered, that this juftification is applicable only to the perfon who receives an affront. All mankind must condemn the aggreffor. The General told us, that when he was a very young man, I think only fifteen, ferving under Prince Eugene of Savoy, he was fitting in a company at table with a Prince of Wirtemberg. The Prince took up a glafs of wine, and, by a fillip, made fome of it fly in Oglethorpe's face. Here was a nice. dilemma. To have challenged him inftantly, might have fixed a quarrelfome character upon the young foldier: to have taken no notice of it might have been confidered as cowardice. Oglethorpe, therefore, keeping his eye upon the Prince, and fmiling all the time, as if he took what his Highnefs had done in jest, faid, “Mon Prince,-" (I forget the French words he used, the purport however was,) "That's a good joke; but we do it much better in England;" and threw a whole glass of wine in the Prince's face. An old General who fat by, faid, "Il a bien fait, mon Prince, vous l'avez commencé ;" and thus all ended in good humour.
Dr. Johnson faid, "Pray, General, give us an account of the fiege of Bender." Upon which the General, pouring a little wine upon the table, defcribed every thing with a wet finger: "Here were we, here were the Turks," &c. &c. Johnfon liftened with the clofeft attention.
A question was started, how far people who difagree in any capital point can live in friendship together. Johnfon faid they might. Goldfinith faid they could not, as they had not the idem velle atque idem nolle-the fame likings and the fame averfions. JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, you must fhun the fubject as to which you disagree. For instance, I can live very well with Burke: I love his knowledge, his genius, his diffufion, and affluence of converfation; but I would not talk to him of the Rockingham party." GOLDSMITH. "But, Sir, when people live together who have fomething as to which they difagree, and which they want to fhun, they will be in the situation mentioned in the story of Bluebeard;
You may look into all the chambers but one.' But we fhould have the greatest inclination to look into that chamber, to talk of that subject." JOHNSON,
(with a loud voice.) "Sir, I am not faying that you could live in friendship with a man from whom you differ as to fome point: I am only faying that I could do it. You put me in mind of Sappho in Ovid."
Goldsmith told us, that he was now bufy in writing a natural history, and, that he might have full leifure for it, he had taken lodgings at a farmer's houfe, near to the fix mile-ftone, on the Edgeware-road, and had carried down his books in two returned post-chaifes. He faid, he believed the farmer's family thought him an odd character, fimilar to that in which the Spectator appeared to his landlady and children: he was The Gentleman. Mr. Mickle, the tranflator of "The Lufiad," and I, went to vifit him at this place a few days afterwards. He was not at home; but having a curiofity to fee his apartment, we went in and found curious fcraps of defcriptions of animals, fcrawled upon the walls with a black lead pencil.
The fubject of ghofts having been introduced, Johnfon repeated what he had told me of a friend of his, an honest man and a man of sense, having afferted to him that he had feen an apparition. Goldfmith told us, he was affured by his brother, the Reverend Mr. Goldsmith, that he also had seen one. General Oglethorpe told us, that Pendergraft, an officer in the Duke of Marlborough's army, had mentioned to many of his friends that he should die on a particular day. That upon that day a battle took place with the French; that after it was over, and Pendergraft was ftill alive, his brother officers, while they were yet in the field, jeftingly afked him where was his prophecy now. Pendergraft gravely answered, "I fhall die, notwithstanding what you fee." Soon afterwards there came a fhot from a French battery, to which the orders for a ceffation of arms had not yet reached, and he was killed upon the fpot. Colonel Cecil, who took poffeffion of his effects, found in his pocketbook the following folemn entry :
[Here the date.] "Dreamt-or
- Sir John Friend meets me:" (here the very day on which he was killed was mentioned.) Pendergraft had been a witness against Sir John Friend, who was executed for high treafon. General Oglethorpe faid, he was in company with Colonel Cecil when Pope came and enquired into the truth of this story, which made a great noise at the time, and was then confirmed by the Colonel.
On Saturday, April 11, he appointed me to come to him in the evening, when he said he should be at leifure to give me fome affiftance for the defence
Here was a blank, which may be filled up thus :-" was told by an apparition ;”—the writer being probably uncertain whether he was afleep or awake when his mind was impreffed with the folemn prefentiment with which the fact afterwards happened fo wonderfully to correfpond.
of Haftie, the schoolmaster of Campbelltown, for whom I was to appear in the Houfe of Lords. When I came, I found him unwilling to exert himself. I preffed him to write down his thoughts upon the fubject. He faid, "There's no occafion for my writing. I'll talk to you." He was, however, at last prevailed on to dictate to me, while I wrote as follows:
"The charge is, that he has used immoderate and cruel correction. Correction, in itself, is not cruel; children, being not reasonable, can be governed only by fear. To impress this fear, is therefore one of the first duties of those who have the care of children. It is the duty of a parent; and has never been thought inconfiftent with parental tenderness. It is the duty of a mafter, who is in his higheft exaltation when he is loco parentis. Yet, as good things become evil by excefs, correction, by being immoderate, may become cruel. But when is correction immoderate? When it is more frequent or more fevere than is required ad monendum et docendum, for reformation and instruction. No feverity is cruel which obftinacy makes neceffary; for the greatest cruelty would be to defift, and leave the scholar too carelefs for inftruction, and too much hardened for reproof. Locke, in his treatife of Education, mentions a mother, with applause, who whipped an infant eight times before fhe had fubdued it; for had fhe ftopped at the feventh act of correction, her daughter, fays he, would have been ruined. The degrees of obstinacy in young minds are very different; as different muft be the degrees of perfevering feverity. A stubborn scholar must be corrected till he is fubdued. The difcipline of a fchool is military. There must be either unbounded licence or abfolute authority. The mafter who punishes, not only confults the future happiness of him who is the immediate fubject of correction; but he propagates obedience through the whole school, and establishes regularity by exemplary justice. The victorious obftinacy of a fingle boy would make his future endeavours of reformation or inftruction totally ineffectual. Obftinacy, therefore, must never be victorious. Yet, it is well known, that there fometimes occurs a fullen and hardy refolution, that laughs at all common punishment, and bids defiance to all common degrees of pain. Correction must be proportioned to occafions. The flexible will be reformed by gentle difcipline, and the refractory must be fubdued by harfher methods. The degrees of fcholaftick, as of military punishment, no ftated rules can afcertain. It must be enforced till it overpowers temptation; till ftubbornness becomes flexible, and perverfenefs regular. Custom and reason have, indeed, set fome bounds to fcholastick penalties. The fchoolmafter inflicts no capital punishments; nor enforces his edicts by either death or mutilation. The civil law has wifely determined,
that a mafter who ftrikes at a fcholar's eye fhall be confidered as criminal But punishments, however fevere, that produce no lafting evil, may be just and reasonable, because they may be neceffary. Such have been the punishments used by the refpondent. No scholar has gone from him either blind or lame, or with any of his limbs or powers injured or impaired. They were irregular, and he punished them: they were obftinate, and he enforced his punishment. But, however provoked, he never exceeded the limits of moderation, for he inflicted nothing beyond prefent pain; and how much of that was required, no man is fo little able to determine as thofe who have determined against him;-the parents of the offenders.-It has been faid, that he ufed unprecedented and improper inftruments of correction. Of this accufation the meaning is not very eafy to be found. No inftrument of correction is more proper than another, but as it is better adapted to produce present pain without lafting mifchief. Whatever were his inftruments, no lasting mifchief has enfued; and therefore, however unusual, in hands fo cautious they were proper. It has been objected, that the refpondent admits the charge of cruelty, by producing no evidence to confute it. Let it be confidered, that his scholars are either dispersed at large in the world, or continue to inhabit the place in which they were bred. Thofe who are dispersed cannot be found: those who remain are the fons of his perfecutors, and are not likely to fupport a man to whom their fathers are enemies. If it be fuppofed that the enmity of their fathers proves the juftice of the charge, it must be confidered how often experience fhews us, that men who are angry on one ground will accufe on another; with how little kindness, in a town of low trade, a man who lives by learning is regarded; and how implicitly, where the inhabitants are not very rich, a rich man is hearkened to and followed. In a place like Campbelltown it is easy for one of the principal inhabitants to make a party. It is eafy for that party to heat themselves with imaginary grievances. It is eafy for them to opprefs a man poorer than themselves; and natural to affert the dignity of riches, by perfifting in oppreffion. The argument which attempts to prove the impropriety of restoring him to his fchool, by alledging that he has loft the confidence of the people, is not the fubject of juridical confideration; for he is to fuffer, if he must suffer, not for their judgement, but for his own actions. It may be convenient for them to have another master; but it is a convenience of their own making. It would be likewife convenient for him to find another school; but this convenience he cannot obtain.-The queftion is not what is now convenient, but what is generally right. If the