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Pouring a little wine upon the table, both of body and mind, distempered, described every thing with a wet fin- nervous, and irritable : always open on ger : “ Here were we; here were the the side of that vanity which the club Turks,” &c. &c. Johnson listened of admirers with whom he lived tenwith the closest attention."
ded so much to strengthen and inFrom this conversation, which we crease, and unrestrained by the nicer have selected merely from its being of decorums of society, which early good a marageable length, our readers company alone can teach, his weakmay form a pretty fair idea both nelles had every incitement to their of the execution of this work, and of growth, and were not repressed like that sort of picture which it exhibits those of other men, by the fear of of of its subject.
fending, or the desire of conciliating Bu- they would liardly suppose, those around him. without our telling them, that amongft In the life of Johnson there is anothe memorabilia of Johnson in these ther circumstance which renders this vols. are several papers written by mode of relating it rather unfair to ohim, in causes depending before the thers as well as to him. His converCourt of Session in Scotland, in fation was almost alwavs polemical; which Mr Boswell was counsel. For he and his friends met in their sympoJohnson was a writing machine, fum, like gladiators of old in the Arewhose powers could act on any given na ; not for an amicable communicasubject, without being at all disturbed tion of sentiment, but to exercise their ty want either of the knowledge or wit and their eloquence in perpetual inclination which other people might contest. The victory was almost al. think necessary for treating it. Most ways Johnson's; but, in relating his readers, we believe, will be of the victories, Mr B. mult, at the lame same mind, with regard to those le time, record the defeats of his oppogal arguments of the Dr's, with our nents, which to some of them may not good Judges of the Court of Sellion, be a pleasant recollection. one of whom, Mr Boswell says, told Mr Boswell, however, to do him him, that giving in such papers to them juftice, is perfectly disinterested and was“casting pearls before swine.” 'Tis impartial.' He relates with equal fiwith a peculiar naiveté that Mr Bof- delity the bufferings and chastisements well introduces this story, by saying, he received himself, as those which that he tells it from his regard for the were inflicted on any of the o: her good law precept “ suum cuique tri. gentlemen and ladies who shared in buito,” Give every one his due. The delights of Johnson's company and
This dramatic method of writing conversation. In their various jourmay easily account for the size of the nies and adventures in England and book, and the many unneceffary and Scotland, poor Mr B. experienced anim; ortant pages which it contains. fomewhat of the fate of another equalNor do we think a view of a charac. ly facetious fquire and companion. ter thus exhibited a favourable or a Ile received stripes like Sancho, but fair one. Who is so blameless in con- they were not laid on by himself; like duci, fu equal in temper, fo guarded Sancho's, however, they were to have in expression, as not to do and say their reward ; they were to be record many little things which are faulty ed in a book, and to be transmitted, (as and ludicrous ? Or all men, perhaps, Don Quixote fays, for a confolation Johnson was the most unfit for this to his faithful attendant), along with over-curious exposure of his life and the fame of his illustrious maiter, to. conversation. With a conftitution, disant pofterity,
Mr Boswell does not seem always friends opinion, qualified with a deto perceive the effect which his natra. claration of his own dissent from it; tive will be likely to produce on its following the model of the amiable readers; in his comimendations of Mrs Gandour in the School for ScanJohofon, either as an author or a man. dal, · Every body says fo, to be fure; For we do when he quotes the following example, on't'. Po l Tuspect him of irony but for my part I don't believe a word
. (p. 162.) • of that wonderful peripi
To all these criticisms on the precuity with which Johnson has expref- fent perfurmance, there is, however, a sed abstract scientific notions.? When sort and easy answer: Mr Boswell the radical idea branches out into pa. had kept a journal of Dr Johns n's rallel ramifications, how can a conse. conversation, and he gives it to the cutive series be formed of fenses in world, with all its imperfections on their own nature collateral.' Hé čer. its head.' He mentions a very proper sainly is serious when he tells us; that advice which Mr Colman gave him on it has been of late the fashion to de- his introducing the subject of belief in preciate the stile of Addison in compa- the second fight. Di Johnson, said his
Dr i fon with that of Johnson, What i. biographer, is only willing to believe, dea does Mr Boswell annex to the I do believe. The evidence is enough word Fåfhion? In this inttance, 'he for me, though not for his great mind. probably means by it the opinion of What will not fill a quart bottle will three or four of Dr Johnson's London fill a pint bottle. I am filled with encomiasts. During the life of the Doc. belief.' — Then cork it,' replied Col. tor the word Fashion probably meant man. Bat Mr Boswell is no curl of in Mr Boswell's Vocabulary the opi. his liquor, such as it is; he pours it nion of that
man alone. At that out, froth and dregs a:d all; and whoperiod, he might have said it was the ever has money, and inclination for fashion to prefer Goldsmith as an histo- the purchase, may procure these two sian to Robertson, to hold Gráy a dull large bottles of it. Double bottles, poet, who had only written eight good Mr Boswell somewhere informs his lines in his life, Swift a filly and com- readers, are in Scotland called Magmon-place writer; and Fielding a num Bonams. The Magnum, in the blockhead and a barrén fellow. That present case, every bouły muft allow';. vanity which, in the beginning of this the Bonum some faftidious readers may account, we observed to be the leading be inclined to dispute. weakness in Johnson's character, produced, in one of its worst modifica. tions, this absurdity in his criticisms. A Toer 'throägh Italy; containing fuli He could allow mediocrity its proportionate praise ; but excellence, in what
directions for travelling in trat in
teresting country; with ample cata. ever department of literature; seldom
logues of every thing that is curisüs had his willing fuffrage. Eveo Mis in architecture, paintino, sculpture, Montague, who had done mych to
&c. By T. Martyn, F. R. S.conciliate the favour of literary, imen, Kearsley, London, 1791. because her ~ Effay on Shakespeare" was a popular performance, did not The title of this book expreffes fufescape him; and Mr Boswell, who de- ficiently its contents.
It does not clares himfelf one of the admirers of profess to describe the manners or cu. that effay, faithfully records all the itoms of the inhabitants of Italy, but contemptuous abufe which Johoson to give a distinct and accurate account poured out against it. In this manner, of the objects which are beft worth the indeed, he often gives his illustrious traveller's attention,
The Hirschberg Tailor ; a Tdles
extracted from the “ Popular Tales of the whence he would lose all opportunity of
him to his inn, that he might know where
the lofty pinnacle of the rock the spires of mountain, thinking all the while upon the churches and cloisters rising from the bofom means of gratifying his revenge. On the of many a city;,“ thou still crawlest, I see, road he chanced to meet a rich Israelite, train the vale below. Thy craft and cunning velling also towards Hirschberg; whom he has once made mock of me : now thou shalt immediately deterniined to employ as the pay for thy triumph; I will pinch and plague instrument of his vengeance. He there. thee, till thou quake at the mention of the fore joined the Jew in the ihape of the wanmountain (pirit.”
ton spark that had infulted him. Numbera He had scarce uttered these words, when Nip entered into a friendly conversation his ear was ftruck with the found of liuman with the stranger; and, in the mean time, voices at a distance. Three young compa- took an opportunity to lead him insensibly hions were chatting as they crossed the out of the way.' When they found them. mountain; the boldest of them crying out selves entangled among the thickets, the ince Mantly, “ Number-Nip, come down! Jew was alarmed at feeling himself seized Number-Nip, thou thief, that stealest help. by the beard, which the ruffian piteously less girls!” The scandalous chronicle had core, threw him on the ground, tied his faithfully preferved the love-affair of the hands and feet, and robbed him of a purse fpirit; and as it had passed from mouth to full of gold and jewels. The foot-pad have mouth, it had gained, as is usually the case, ing moreover, by way of a farewell benea number of false additions : every travel. dičtion, bestowed a shower of blows and ler that passed the mountain entertained his kicks apon him, went his way, leaving the fellow with the particulars, A thousand poor plundered Jew in utter despair of his stories of apparitions had been invented, to life, and actually half dead among the The great terror and dismay of the faint- brambles. hearted wanderer, though they were totally When Aaron had a little recovered from groundless; and the free-thinkers, wits, and his fright, and perceived that there was yet philosophers, who in broad day-light, and life remaining in him, he began to whine in a large company, have no faith in ghosts, and to call aloud for help, for he was afraid and even presume to make merry at their 'of being starved to death in that remote expence, were accustomed, either from the wilderness. His outcries foon brought to desire of fhewing their courage, or in mere the spot where he lay a respectable gravewantonness, to invoke the Gnome by his looking personage, in appearance a burgess. nick-name, and make very free with his of some of the neighbouring towns. Have conduct. It had never been known that ing enquired into the cause of his distress, any of these insults had been revenged by and how he came to lie bound fo far out of the patient and long-suffering spirit ; and no the road, he kindly took the cords from his wonder, for he could not hear a word of hands and feet, and performed all the ofthem in the depths of the earth where he fices of humanity which the good Samaritan, held his residence. He was now so much in the gospel, shexved to the man who had the more struck at hearing the whole rę- fallen among thieves. He recruited his fpiproachful tale fo comprehensively repeated ; rits with an exhilarating cordial, which he, and down he came roaring like a whirlwind by good luck, happened to have in his poca through the gloomy forest of firs, with a ket, accompanied him back to the highway full intention to strangle the poor wretch asi obligingly as the angel did young Toon the spot, for making so free with his his- bias, till he had brought him to the door of tory, though it was entirely without any the inn at Hirschberg ; where, after giving design to give offence : but he seasonably him a piece of money for his immediate nebethought himself, that fo exemplary and cessities, he took his leave. How was the open a correction would raise a great alarm Jew thunder-struck at feeing, on his en, and out-cry in the country, which might des trance, the very ruffian who had robbed
and bound him fitting at table in the kit- Bencdick's sundries, they drew forth an chen, as cool and unconcerned as if his con- 'heavy purse, which the overjoyed Jew im. science had been burthened with no crime! mediately claimed as his property, after the He had before him a pint of the country dues of justice understand
should be der wine, and was cracking his jokes with a fet ducted. The poor culprit was thunderstruck of jovial companions : beside him lay the at the difcovery: he was ready to drop down very wallet in which he had seen his purse with fear; he turned pale about the nose; ftowed. The astonished descendant of Abra, his lips quivered, his knees trembled, and ham was doubtful at first, whether he should he was unable to utter å word in his defence. trust his eyes; he therefore flipped into a The magistrate's brow lowered more and corner, and held a counsel with himself in more ; and the darkness of his countenance what manner he should proceed to recover prognosticated a severe fentence. his rightful property. He thought he could « How now, villain! hait thou still connot poslibly have mistaken the person; fo fidence to deny the robbery?" he paffed out unobserved at the door, and “ Mercy! good Mr Bailiff," cried the carried his information straight to the bai. weeping criminal, as he dropped on his knee, liff of the town,
and lifted up his hands; “ I call all the faints The Hirschberg corporation had, in those in heaven to witnefs that I am innocent of days, the character of administering justice the robbery : God knows how the jew's speedily-whenever there was a prospect purse came into my wallet--God above only of the fees being well and duly paid. But knows it.” whenever it was a case of mere duty and “ All denial is now in vain, thou art clear. conscience, then dame suitice went herly convicted,” proceeded the bailiff; the snail's pace at Hirfchberg as at other places. purse is a sufficient proof of thy guilt : there The experienced Israelite was well apprised fore give satisfaction to God and the magi. of both her paces : he therefore bent the stracy, and freely confefs, before the racks magistrate's attention, who hefitated to comes to extort an acknowledgment of thy take the information, towards the shining crime." corpus delicti ; the golden prospect very soon Benedick, quite overpowered by thefe fufworked out a warrant of apprehension. picious circumstances, could only make proThe beadles having well armed themselves testations of his innocence : but he piped to with prongs and clubs, surrounded the inn, the deaf; he was put down for an hardened seized the innocent culprit, and carried him ragamuffin, that wanted but to fwear his before the rails of the council-chamber, neck out of the halter. The inquisitorial where the fapient fathers of the borough machinery was called in to persuade him, by had, in the mean time, affembled. " Who the rhetoric of iron arguments, to do bonour art thou ?” demanded the grave bailiff as to God and the magistracy, by confefling the criminal entered ; " and whence comest away his own life. At the terrible appeare thou?” He answered openly and unterri- ance of the new orator, the calmness profied, “ I am an honest tailor by trade; my ceeding from his purity of conscience des name is Benedick : I come from Liebenaw, ferted the poor tailor: he started back at the and work journey-work here with my ma- idea of the sufferings that awaited him. Ac Ater."
the officer was going to fix the thumb-screws, 5 Haít thou not fallen upon this Jew in having considered that the operation would the wood, with a design to murder him; render him ever afterwards unfit to brandis didit thou not maltreat him, and take his the needle with credit, he thought it better purse?"
to slip the pain altogether, rather than be a “ I never beheld this Jew with my eyes ruined man for life : fo he fathered the crime before ; I have neither itruck, nor bound, of which his heart was innocent. The trial nor robbed him of his purse; I am an was brought to a speedy issue, the convict honest handicraftsman, and no highway was unanimously fentenced, without prororobber."
gation of the court, to be hanged; and, to “ How canst thou prove thy honesty ?" keep up the credit of a speedy adininistration
“ By the contents of my wallet, and the of justice, as well as for the fake of faving testimony of my clear conscience.”
the coit of maintenance, the sentence was “ Open thy wallet, and let us see what ordered to be executed early next morning. it contains.”
The crowd of spectators, whom a trial for Benedick set about opening his package in life and death had assembled, all applauded great confidence, being well assured that it the sentence of the court as juit and upright; contained nothing but his own honestly-ac- yet none were observed to commend the inquired property. But as he was turning tegrity of the judges so loudly as the tenderover his linen, behold fomething jingled hearted Samaritan, who had forced his way lixe gold amongst the things that were emp- among the rest into court. He could not tied out. The beadles snatched at it with sufficiently express his admiration of the love Fa: eagerness; and after poring among of justice, which diftinguished the worlhin.
“ Say on.
ful council of Hirschberg. In fact, no one melt an heart of steel. In each a bright was more nearly interested in the iflue of tear drop sparkled like a diamond; the the affair than this same philanthropist, for whole of the damsel's lovely face was deepit was he whose invisible hand fuffed the ly expressive of affliction, which served but Jew's purse into the tailor's knapsack, and to heighten the soft charms of her Madonhe was in fact no other than Number-Nip na features
. Seeing that it was a respectable himself. Early next morning he perched in looking person who addressed her, the the form of a raven on the gallows, in ex- opened her rosy mouth, and said, “ Why, pectation of the cart that was to convey thi. fhould you trouble yourself to enquire about ther the victim of his vengeance ; he already my sorrow, good Sir, since there is no help felt a raven's desire ro pick out the eyes of for me? I am an unhappy guilty girl, no the convišbut for this time he waited for better than a' murderefs : for have I not his prey in vain. A picus brother, who set a murdered the man of my heart ?. But I will very different value on the efficacy of a death- never cease to rue my fault : fighs and tears bed repentance from some of our modern fhall be my portion, till my bursting heart divines, and who was zealous to embalm put an end to my grief." every malefactor he prepared for death with The grave personage looked amazement. the spice of holiness, found in the uninstruct “ Thou a murderefs! with that heavenly ed Benedick fo rough and unhewn a log, face, dost thou carry hell in thy heart? inthat he thought it imposible, in the short poflible Mankind are indeed capable of space allotted for the business of prayer and all deceit and wickedness, that I well know; and admonition, to carve a decent faint out but here I am puzzled.” of it. He therefore solicited a refpite of “I will solve the riddle," returned the three days, and obtained it, though not with- aflided maiden, “ if you have any desire out great difficulty, by appealing to the piety to have an explanation. of the magistracy, and holding forth severe denunciations of the displeasure of mother « I had for a play-fellow, from my-youthchurch, if it should be resused. Number: up, the son of a virtuous widow, my neighNip, hearing of this delay, flew away to his bour. He chose me for his sweetheart as mountain, there to abide the term of thię he grew older he was so good and kind, Tespite.
fo honest and faithful, loyed me so constantDuring the interval, he amused himself by ly and dearly, that he ftole away my heart, traversing his woods according to custom ; and I vowed everlasting fidelity to him: in one of his excursions he espied a youthful Alas, like a snake,'t have poisoned the bodamsel sitting under a spreading beech. Her som of the dear youth! I have made him chin was funk in melancholy on her bofum, forget the good lessons of his virtuous moand the supported her head with her snow. ther, and put him upon a deed, for which white arm : her dress was not costly, but it he has forfeited his life to the law!" was clean, and the čut was in the town fa- « Thou !" cried the Grome emphatiThion. From time to time she wiped away cally, a tear that stole down her cheek, and deep Yes, Sir, I am his murderess! I insti. fighs issued from her heaving bosom. The gated him to commit an highway robbery : Gnome had formerly felt the powerful influ- he plundered a knavish Jew; the gentleence of a virgin's tears: he was again so men of Hirschberg have apprehčnded, contouched with them, as to make the first de- victed, and condemned him; and to-morviation from the rule he had laid down to fow, aļas! he is to suffer.". himself, viz. to plague and pinch every de- “ And hast thou been guilty of this fcendant of Adam, whom iļl fortune should crime?". cried the astonished sprite. lead to cross the mountain : he even acknow- “ Yes! Sir, I feel his young blood lying ledged the sentiment of compassion to be a upon my conscience.. kindly feeling, and was irresistibly bent up
« How so?”? on consoling the affiliated beauty. He put « He went upon the tramp beyond the on the appearance 'of a reputable burgher, mountain; at setting out, as he had his arms and advancing towards her, enquired, ciasped round my neck, and was bidding “ Why art thou fitting here alone, ny girl, me farewell, My deareft girl, he said, re. in this melancholy mood? Do not hide member and be true to me : when the the occasion of thy sorrow from me, that I apples are in bloffom the third season from may consider if there be any, niethod of re- this, and the swallow is loaded with a burļieving it.”
den of straws for her nek, expect me The maiden, who had been quite absorbe back to fetch thee home, that I may make ed in grief, started on hearing a voice so thee my youthful bride and such i pronear her, and lifted up her downcast face. mised him to be by a folemn oath. Now Ah! what a languishing pair of blue eyes when the apples were in blossom, and the peeped that moment from under her hat! swallow was building her nest the third truly their mild dewy light was enough to time, back came Benedick, remirided me of