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I spoke of Allan Ramfay'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 pleafing fentiments, but being 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 fhall retain your fuperiority by my not knowing it.'

This brought on a queftion whether one man is leffened by another's acquiring an equal degree of knowledge with him. Johnfon afferted the. affirmative. I maintained that the pofition might be true in thofe kinds of knowledge which produce wifdom, power, and force, fo as to enable one man to have the government of others; but that a man is not in any degree leffened by others knowing as well as he what ends in mere pleasure :-eating fine fruits, drinking delicious wines, reading exquifite poetry.

The General obferved, that Martinelli was a Whig. JOHNSON. "I am forry for it. It fhews the spirit of the times: he is obliged to temporife.” BOSWELL. "I rather think, Sir, that Toryifm prevails in this reign." JOHNSON. "I know not why you should think so, Sir. You fee your friend Lord Lyttelton, a nobleman, is obliged in his Hiftory to write the most vulgar Whiggism.”

An animated debate took place whether Martinelli fhould continue his Hiftory of England to the prefent day. GOLDSMITH. "To be fure he fhould." 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 neceffary for a native to be more cautious; but a foreigner who comes among us without prejudice, may be confidered as holding the place of a Judge, and may speak his mind freely." JOHNSON.. "Sir, a foreigner, when he fends a work from the prefs, ought to be on his guard against catching the errour and mistaken enthufiafm of the people among whom he happens to be." GOLDSMITH. "Sir, he wants only to fell his history, and tell truth; one an honeft, the other a laudable motive." JOHNSON. "Sir, they are both laudable motives. It is laudable in a man to wish to live by his labours; but he should write so as he may live by them, not so as he may be knocked on the head. I would advise him to be at Camis before he publishes his hiftory of the prefent age. A foreigner who attaches himself to a political party in this country, is in the worft ftate that can be imagined he is looked upon as a mere intermeddler. A native may do it from interest." BOSWELL. " Or principle." GOLDSMITH, "There are people who tell a hundred political lies every day, and are not hurt by it. Surely,



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then, one may tell truth with fafety." JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, in the first place, he who tells a hundred lies has difarmed the force of his lies. But befides; a man had rather have a hundred lies told of him, than one truth which he does not wish should be told." GOLDSMITH. "For my part, I'd tell truth, and shame the devil." JOHNSON. "Yes, Sir; but the devil will be angry. I wifh to fhame the devil as much as you do; but I fhould choose to be out of the reach of his claws." GOLDSMITH. "His claws can do you no harm, when you have the fhield of truth."

It having been obferved that there was little hospitality in London; JOHNSON.

Nay, Sir, any man who has a name, or who has the power of pleafing, will be very generally invited in London. The man, Sterne, I have been told, has had engagements for three months." GOLDSMITH. GOLDSMITH." And a very dull fellow." JOHNSON. "Why no, Sir."

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Martinelli told us, that for feveral years he lived much with Charles Townshend, and that he ventured to tell him he was a bad joker. JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, thus much I can fay upon the subject. One day he and a few more agreed to go and dine in the country, and each of them was to bring a a friend in his carriage with him. Charles Townshend afked Fitzherbert to go with him, but told him, You must find somebody to bring you back: I can only carry you there.' Fitzherbert did not much like this arrangement. He however confented, obferving farcaftically, It will do very well; for then the fame jokes will ferve you in returning as in going."


An eminent publick character being mentioned;-JOHNSON. "I remember being prefent when he fhewed himself to be fo corrupted, or at leaft fomething fo different from what I think right, as to maintain, that a member of parliament fhould go along with his party right or wrong. Now, Sir, this is fo remote from native virtue, from fcholaftick virtue, that a good man must have undergone a great change before he can reconcile himself to fuch 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. wrong, or the reverse. A friend of ours, who is too much an echo of that gentleman, obferved, that a man who does not ftick uniformly to a party, is only waiting to be bought. Why then, faid I, he is only waiting to be what that gentleman is already."

We talked of the King's coming to fee Goldfmith's new play." I wish he would," faid Goldsmith; adding, however, with an affected indifference, "Not that it would do me the least good." JOHNSON. "Well then, Sir, let us fay it would do him good, (laughing.) No, Sir, this affectation will not pafs; it is mighty idle. In fuch a ftate as ours, who would not wish to


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pleafe the chief magiftrate?" 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 reverfed." JOHNSON. "Nay, there are finer lines in Dryden.
on this fubject:

• For colleges on bounteous Kings depend,
And never rebel was to arts a friend."

General Paoli observed, that fuccessful rebels might. MARTINELLI." Happy
rebellions." GOLDSMITH. "We have no fuch phrafe." GENERAL Paoli.
"But have you not the thing?" GOLDSMITH. "Yes; all our happy revo-
lutions. They have hurt our conftitution, and will hurt it, till we mend it by
another HAPPY REVOLUTION."-I never before discovered that my friend
Goldsmith had fo much of the old prejudice in him.

General Paoli, talking of Goldsmith's new play, faid, " Il a fait un com-
pliment très gracieux à une certaine grande dame;" meaning a Duchess of the
firft rank.

I expreffed 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 confeffion, as he might not wish to avow pofitively his taking part against the Court. He fmiled and hesitated. The General at once relieved him, by this beautiful image: "Monfieur Goldsmith eft comme la mer qui jette des perles et beaucoup d'autres belles chofes, fans s'en appercevoir." GOLDSMITH." Très bien dit, et très élégamment."

A perfon was mentioned, who it was faid could take down in fhort hand the fpeeches in parliament with perfect exactnefs. JOHNSON. "Sir, it is impoffible. I remember one Angel, who came to me to write for him a Preface or Dedication to a book upon fhort hand, and he profeffed 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 ufual. I had proceeded but a very little way, when he begged I would defift, for he could not follow me." Hearing now for the first time of this Preface or Dedication,. I faid, "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 fay, to the laft generation of the Royal Family." GOLDSMITH." And perhaps, Sir, not one fentence of wit


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in a whole Dedication." JOHNSON. "Perhaps not, Sir." BOSWELL. "What then is the reafon 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 fure of that. His friends give him out as fuch, 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 mufical performers have but fmall emoluments. Giardini, I am told, does not get above feven hundred a year." JOHNSON. "That is, indeed, but little for a man to get, who does beft that which fo 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 fomething at first. Any man will forge a bar of iron, if you give him a hammer; not fo well as a smith, but tolerably. A man will faw a piece of wood, and make a box, though a clumfy 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 Kenfington. A printer having acquired a fortune fufficient to keep his coach, was a good topick for the credit of literature. Mrs. Williams faid, that another printer, Mr. Hamilton, had not waited fo long as Mr. Strahan, but had kept his coach feveral years fooner. JOHNSON. "He was in the right. Life is fhort. The fooner 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 (faid Elphinston,) have you not read it through?" Johnson, offended at being thus preffed, and fo obliged to own his curfory mode of reading, anfwered tartly," No, Sir; do you read books through?"

He this day again defended duelling, and put his argument upon what I have ever thought the moft folid bafis; that if publick war be allowed to be confiftent with morality, private war must be equally fo. Indeed we may obferve what ftrained arguments are used, to reconcile war with the Chriftian religion. But, in my opinion, it is exceedingly clear that duelling having better reafons for its barbarous violence, is more juftifiable than war, in

which thousands go forth without any caufe of perfonal quarrel, and maffacre

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 fuch bellows too. Lord Mansfield with his cheeks like to burft: Lord Chatham like an Æolus. I have read fuch notes from them to him as were enough to turn his head." JOHNSON. "True. When he whom every body elfe flatters, flatters me, I then am truly happy." MRS. THRALE. "The fentiment is in Congreve, I think." JOHNSON. "Yes, Madam, in The Way of the World :'


If there's delight in love, 'tis when I fee

‹ That heart which others bleed for, bleed for me.'

No, Sir, I fhould not be furprized though Garrick chained the ocean, and lafhed the winds." BOSWELL. "Should it not be, Sir, lashed the ocean and chained the winds?" JOHNSON. "No, Sir; recollect the original:

In Corum atque Eurum folitus fævire flagellis

• Barbarus, Æolio nunquam hoc in carcere paffos,


Ipfum compedibus qui vinxerat Eunofig.æum."

This does very well, when both the winds and the fea are perfonified, and mentioned by their mythological names, as in Juvenal; but when they are mentioned in plain language, the application of the epithets fuggefted by me, is the most obvious; and accordingly my friend himself, in his imitation of the paffage which defcribes Xerxes, has

"The waves he lafhes, and enchains the wind.”

The modes of living in different countries, and the various views with which men travel in queft of new fcenes, having been talked of, a learned gentleman who holds a confiderable office in the law, expatiated on the happiness of a savage life; and mentioned an inftance of an officer who had actually lived for fome 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 philofophical: "Here am I, free and unreftrained, amidst the rude magnificence of Nature, with this Indian woman by my fide, and this gun, with which I can



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Etat. 64.

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