Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Ætat. 63.

they could not, as they had not the idem velle atque 1772. idem nollo--the same likings and the same aversions. Johnson. “Why, Sir, you must shun the subject as to which you disagree. For instance, I can live very well with Burke: I love his knowledge, his genius, his diffusion, and affluence of conversation ; but I would not talk to him of the Rockingham party. GOLDSMITH. “But, Sir, when people live together who have something as to which they disagree, and which they want to shun, they will be in the situation mentioned in the story of Bluebeard: “ You may look into all the chambers but one.' But we should have the greatest inclination to look into that chamber, to talk of that subject.” Johnson. (with a loud voice) “ Sir, I am not saying that you could live in friendship with a man from whom you differ as to some point: I am only saying that I could do it. You put me in mind of Sappho in Ovid.”*

Goldsmith told us, that he was now busy in writing a Natural History; and, that he might have full leisure for it, he had taken lodgings, at a farmer's house, near to the six mile-stone, on the Edgewareroad, and had carried down his books in two returned post-chaises. He said, he believed the farmer's family thought him an odd character, similar to that

* (Mr. Boswell's note here being rather short, as taken at the time, (with a view perhaps to future revision,) Johnson's remark is obscure, and requires to be a little opened. What he said, probably was, “ You seem to think that two friends, to live well together, must be in perfect harmony with each other; that each should be to the other, what Sappho boasts she was to her lover, and uniformly agree in every particular: but this is by no means necessary,” &c. The words of Sappho alludied to, are, -" nique in parte placebum” Ovid. Epist. Sapp. ad Pl aonem. I. 45.

M.]

1772. in which the Spectator appeared to his landlady and

her children: he was The Gentleman. Mr. Mickle, Ætat. 63.

the translator of “ The Lusiad," and I, went to visit him at this place a few days afterwards. He was not at home; but having a curiosity to see his apartment, we went in, and found curious scraps of descriptions of animals, scrawled upon the wall with a black lead pencil.

The subject of ghosts being introduced, Johnson repeated what he had told me of a friend of his, an honest man, and a man of sense, having asserted to him, that he had seen an apparition. Goldsmith told us, he was assured by his brother, the Reverend Mr. Goldsmith, that he also had seen one. General Oglethorpe told us, that Prendergast, 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 Prendergast was still alive, his brother officers, while they were yet in the field, jestingly asked him, where was his prophecy now. Prendergast gravely answered, “I shall die, notwithstanding what you

Soon afterwards, there came a shot from a French battery, to which the orders for a cessation of arms had not yet reached, and he was killed upon the spot. Colonel Cecil, who took possession of his effects, found in his pocket-book the following so

see."

lemn entry:

[Here the date.] Dreamt-or

[blocks in formation]

8 Here was a blank, which

may
be filled

up

thus: :-" was told by an apparition ;"—the writer being probably uncertain whether he was aleep or awake, when his mind was impressed with the solemo presentiment with which the fact afierwards happened so wooder!ully to correspond.

John Friend meets me:" .(here the very day on 1772. which he was killed was mentioned.) Prendergast Etat. 63. had been connected with Sir John Friend, who was executed for high treason. General Oglethorpe said, he was with Colonel Cecil, whén Pope came and enquired into the truth of this story, which made a great noice 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 should be at leisure to give me some assistance for the defence of Hastie, the schoolmaster of Campbelltown, for whom I was to appear in the House of Lords. When I came, I found him unwilling to exert himself. I pressed him to write down his thoughts upon the subject, He said, “ There's no occasion 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 iminoderate 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 inconsistent with parental tenderness. It is the duty of a master, who is in his highest exaltation when he is loco parentis. Yet, as good things become evil by excess, correction, by being immoderate, may become cruel. But when is correction immoderate ? When it is more frequent or more severe than is required ad monendum ei docendum, for reformation and instruction. No severity is cruel which obstinacy makes necessary; for the greatest cruelty, would be, to desist, and leave the scholar too

1772. careless for instruction, and too much hardened for. Atat. 63. reproof. Locke, in his treatise of Education, men

tions a mother, with applause, who whipped an infant eight times before she had subdued it; for had she stopped at the seventh act of correction, her daughter, says he, would have been ruined. The degrees of obstinacy in young minds, are very different ; as different must be the degrees of persevering severity. A stubborn scholar must be corrected till he is subdued. The discipline of a school is military. There must be either unbounded licence or absolute authority. The master, who punishes, not only consults the future happiness of him who is the immediate subject of correction, but he propagates obedience through the whole school; and establishes regularity by exeinplary justice. The victorious obstinacy of a single boy would make his future endeavours of reformation or instruction totally ineffectual. Obstinacy, therefore, must never be victorious. Yet, it is well known, that there sometimes occurs a sullen and hardy resolution, that laughs at all common punishment, and bids defiance to all common degrees of pain. Correction must be proportioned to occasions. The flexible will be reformed by gentle discipline, and the refractory must be subdued by harsher methods. The degrees of scholastick, as of military punishment, no stated rules can ascertain. It must be enforced till it overpowers temptation ; till stubboroness becomes flexible, and perverseness regular, Custom and reason have, indeed, set some bounds to scholastick penalties. The schoolmaster inflicts no capital punishments ; nor enforces his edicts by either death or mutilation. The civil law has wisely determined, that a master who strikes at a scholar's eye

shall be considered as criminal. But punishments, 1772. however' severe, that produce no lasting evil, may be

Ætat. 63. just and reasonable, because they may be necessary. Such have been the punishments used by the respondent. 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 obstinate, and he enforced his punishment. But however provoked, he never exceeded the limits of moderation, for he inflicted nothing beyond present pain: and how much of that was required, no man is so little able to determine as those who have determined against him ;-the parents of the offenders. It has been said, that he used unprecedented and improper instruments of correction. Of this accusation the meaning is not very easy to be found. No instrument of correction is more proper than another, but as it is better adapted to produce present pain without lasting mischief. Whatever were his instruments, no lasting mischief has ensued; and therefore, however unusual, in hands so cautious they were proper. It has been objected, that the respondent admits the charge of cruelty, by producing no evidence to confute it, Let it be considered, that his scholars are either dispersed at large in the world, or continue to inhabit the place in which they were bred. Those who are dispersed cannot be found; those who remain are the sons of his persecutors, and are not likely to support a man to whom their fathers are enemies. If it be supposed that the enmity of their fathers proves the justness of the charge, it must be considered how often experience shews us, that men who are angry on one ground will accuse on an.

« AnteriorContinuar »