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and you will have more people than if there were no emigration. Johnson observed, • there will be more people if there are more breeders. Thirty cows in good pasture will produce more calves than ten cows, provided they have good bulls. Burke answered, there are bulls enough in Ireland.
The club had now received great accessions of genius and literature. Mr. Gibbon, Mr. Sheridan, and Mr. Fox, became members. Fox was generally silent in the company of Johnson. That could not proceed froin fear even of his talents. Who was, or is, the man whose powers Charles Fox need fear? His taciturnity, probably, proceeded from a desire of information and instruction, which a young man, of equal abilites, might reap from the knowledge and experience of the old sage. Gibbon did not distinguish himself in the club: he disliked Johnson, and did not enter freely into conversation when he was present. This dislike was, perhaps, partly owing to the very great difference of their theological tenets; and
as, with all his talents and learning, he had a considerable share of vanity, probably in some degree to mortification at the superiority which, he must have been conscious, Johnson and some more of the members possessed over even a Gibbon. · Johnson, besides, undervalued that species of literary effort in which Gibbon excelled, and had declared in his company that the greater part of what was called history was nothing but conjecture. Boswell says, that Johnson had talked with disgust concerning Gibbon's face, and that the philosopher resented the attack on his beauty; but Boswell seems inclined to impute to him frivolous or bad motives. It is, however, certain that, whatever might be the cause, Gibbon was reserved in the club; and abstained from intellectual contests. What he said was rather epigrammatic and sarcastic than replete with the ability and learning which his great literary monument has displayed.
It was Johnson who proposed Mr. Sheridan to be a member, saying, when he re
commended him, he who has written the best comedies of the age must be a considerable man. Boswell considers the admission to the club as an honour to Sheridan. It certainly was a society in which there were several men of high eminence, and three to whom it would be difficult to find three equals: but it could not be reckoned a high honour to Sheridan to belong to a literary meeting, of which James Boswell was deemed worthy to be a member.
Burke, one evening at the club, speaking of the deanery of Fern, which was then vacant, said it must be barren, and that he believed there would be a contest for it between Dr. HEATH and Dr. Moss. Speaking of livings in general, · by this," he said, that Horace describes a good manor
Est modus in rebus sunt certi denique fines :
Which he translated, · There is a modus in the tythes and fixed fines.. He met, one day, with a young gentleman from Ireland, of better parts and birth than fortune, who
was describing, with no little indignation, the purse-proud arrogance of some Scotch merchant, who had, lie said, made a great deal of money by dealing in kelp, and looked down on gentlemen much his superiors in family and accomplishments. • Ay, ret plied Burke, · he thinks,
Et genus et virtus nisi cum re vilior alga est."
Boswell, who seems to have thought that' the doctrines of imputed merit extended to associates in civil life, as well as to matters of religious faith, and was very anxious to be in parties of distinguished men, formed a plan of bringing Johnson into a company in which Wilkes, whom the Doctor detested as impious and seditious, was to dine. Boswell, after surmounting very formidable obstacles, was successful ; and the polite attentions of Wilkes conciliated Johnson. Boswell details the attentions with his usual minuteness ; he dwells particularly on the assiduity with which the wit helped the sage to roast veal, and the eloquence with which he recommended stuffing, butter,
and lemons, with a peroration on savoury fat and brown. Boswell afterwards narrated to Burke the history preliminary to this dinner, and unfolded his own eiforts and difficulties in effectuating the important interview. He describes the opposition made by the Doctor's housekeeper to his dining abroad ; his own embassy to that personage, and the persuasive oratorý by which he prevailed on her to consent;'his throbbing exultation when the wise man called for a clean shirt; and finally, the completion of his joy, when he got the object of his adoration into a hackney coach. Boswell records that Burke gave him much credit for this very able and successful negociation; and said, that there was nothing equal to it in the whole history of the corps diplomatique. The politeness and benevolence of Burke would not mortify inoffensive vanity, or repress well-meaning officiousness. Boswell thought the remark a very high compliment. Indeed he had a very happy disposition to be pleased with praises which many others would have disliked as ironical.