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talk of a century hence," -as if he could live so 1775. long.
Ætat. 66. We got into an argument whether the Judges who went to India might with propriety engage in trade. Johnson warmly maintained that they might. “For why (he urged) should not Judges get riches, as well as those who deserve them less?” I said, they should have sufficient salaries, and have nothing to take off their attention from the affairs of the publick. Johnson. “ No Judge, Sir, can give his whole attention to his office; and it is very proper that he should employ what time he has to himself, to his own advantage, in the most profitable manner.” “ Then, Sir, (said Davies, who enlivened the dispute by making it somewhat dramatick,) he may become an insurer ; and when he is going to the bench, he may be stopped,- Your Lordship cannot go yet : here is a bunch of invoices : several ships are about to sail.” JOHNSON.“ Sir, you may as well say a Judge should not have a house ; for they may come and tell him, " Your Lordship's house is on fire ;' and so, instead of minding the business of his Court, he is to be occupied in getting the engine with the greatest speed. There is no end of this. Every Judge who has land, trades to a certain extent in corh or in cattle ; and in the land itself undoubtedly his steward acts for him, and so do clerks for a great merchant. A Judge may be a farmer; but he his not to geld his own pigs. A Judge may play a little at cards for his' amusement; but he is not to play at marbles, or at chuck-farthing in the Piazza. No, Sir; there is no profession to which a man gives a very great proportion of his time. It is wonderful when a calculation is made, how little the
1775. mind is actually employed in the discharge of any Ælato profession. No man would be a Judge, upon the
* condition of being totally a Judge. The best employed lawyer has his mind at work but for a small proportion of his time: a great deal of his occupation is merely mechanical.-I once wrote for a magazine: I made a calculation, that if I should write but a page a day, at the same rate, I should, in ten years, write nine volumes in folio, of an ordinary size and print.” BOSWELL.
Boswell. “Such as Carte's History ?" Johnson. “ Yes, Sir, When a man writes from his own mind, he writes very rapidly. The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write : a inan will turn over half a library to make one book.”
I argued warmly against the Judges trading, and mentioned Hale as an instance of a perfect Judge, who devoted himself entirely to his office. JohnSON. “Hale, Sir, attended to other things beside law : he left a great estate." Boswell. “ That was, because what he got, accumulated without
any exertion and anxiety on his part.
While the dispute went on, Moody once tried to say something on our side. Tom Davies clapped him on the back, to encourage him. Beauclerk, to whom I mentioned this circumstance, said, " that he could not conceive a more humiliating situation than to be clapped on the back by Tom Davies.”
We spoke of Rolt, to whose Dictionary of Commerce, Dr. Johnson wrote the Preface. Johnson. « Old Gardner the bookseller employed Rolt and
? Johnson certainly did, who had a mind stored with knowledge, and teeming with imagery: but the observation is not applicable to writers in general.
Smart to write a monthly miscellany, called The 1775. Universal Visitor.' There was a formal written con
Ætat. 66. tract, which Allen the Printer saw. Gardner thought as you do of the Judge. They were bound to write nothing else ; they were to have, I think, a third of the profits of his sixpenny pamphlet; and the contract was for ninety-nine years. I wish I had thought of giving this to Thurlow, in the cause about Literary Property. What an excellent instance would it have been of the oppression of booksellers towards poor authours !"* (smiling)! Davies, zealous for the honour of the Trade, said, Gardner was not properly a bookseller. Johnson. “ “ Nay, Sir; he certainly was a bookseller. He had served his time regularly, was a member of the Stationers' company, kept a shop in the face of mankind, purchased copyright, and was a bibliopole, Sir, in every sense.
I wrote for some months in : The Universal Visitor,' for poor Smart, while he was mad, not then knowing the terms on which he was engaged to write, and thinking I was doing him good. I hoped his wits would soon
return to him. Mine returned to me, and I wrote in - The Universal Visitor' no longer.”
Friday, April 7, I dined with him at a Tavern, with a numerous company. JOHNSON. “ I have been reading • Twiss's Travels in Spain,' which are just come out. They are as good as the first book of
8 There has probably been some mistake as to the terms of this supposed extraordinary contract, the recital of which from hearsay afforded Johnson so much play for his sportive acuteness. Or if it was worded as he supposed, it is so strange that I should conclude it was a joke. Mr. Gardner, I am assured, was a worthy and a liberal man.
1775. travels that
you will take up. They are as good as Ætat. 66.
those of Keysler or Blainville ; nay, as Addison's, * if you except the learning. They are not so good as Brydone's, but they are better than Pococke’s. I have not, indeed, cut the leaves yet; but I have read in them where the pages are open, and I do not suppose that what is in the pages which are closed is worse than what is in the open pages.-It would seem (he added,) that Addison had not acquired much Italian learning, for we do not find it introduced into his writings. The only instance that I recollect, is his quoting Stavo bene; per star meglio, sto qui.'
I mentioned Addison's having borrowed many of his classical remarks from Leandro Alberti. Mr. Beauclerk said, “ It was alledged that he had borrowed also from another Italian authour.” JOHNson. “Why, Sir, all who go to look for what the Classicks have said of Italy, must find the same passages ; fe and I should think it would be one of the first things the Italians would do on the revival of learning, to collect all that the Roman authours have said of their country.
” Ossian being mentioned ;--Johnson. “Supposing
* [Speaking of Addison's Remarks on Italy in " The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides,” (p. 320, 3d edit.) he says, “it is a tedious book, and if it were not attached to Addison's previous reputation, one would not think much of it. Had he written nothing else, his name would not have lived. Addison does not seem to have gone deep in Italian literature: he shews nothing of it in his subsequent writings. He shews a great deal of French learning.” M.]
+ [“ But if you find the same applications in another book, then Addison's learning falls to the ground.” Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, ut supra. M.]
the Irish and Erse languages to be the same, which I 1775. do not believe, yet as there is no reason to suppose Ætat. 66. that the inhabitants of the Highlands and Hebrides ever wrote their native language, it is not to be credited that a long poem was preserved among them. If we had no evidence of the art of writing being practised in one of the counties of England, we should not believe that a long poem was preserved there, though in the neighbouring counties, where the same language was spoken, the inhabitants could write." BEAUCLERK.
BEAUClerk. “ The ballad of Lilliburlero was once in the mouths of all the people of this country, and is said to have had a great effect in bringing about the Revolution. Yet I question whether any body can repeat it now; which shews how improbable it is that much poetry should be preserved by tradition.”
One of the company suggested an internal objection to the antiquity of the poetry said to be Ossian's, that we do not find the wolf in it, which must have been the case had it been of that
age. The mention of the wolf had led Johnson to think of other wild beasts; and while Sir Joshua Reynolds and Mr. Langton were carrying on a dialogue about something which engaged them earnestly, he, in the midst of it, broke out, “ Pennant tells of Bears--" [what he added, I have forgotten.] They went on, which he being dull of hearing, did not perceive, or, if he did, was not willing to break off his talk; so he continued to vociferate his remarks, and Bear (“ like a word in a catch” as Beauclerk said,) was repeatedly heard at intervals, which coming from him who, by those who did not know him, had been so often assimilated to that ferocious animal, while we who