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“ Mr. Beauclerk one day repeated to Dr. Johnson, 1780. Pope's lines,
Ætat. 71. Let modest Foster, if he will, excel • Ten metropolitans in preaching well :
Then asked the Doctor, “Why did Pope say this?'
“ Dr. Goldsmith, upon occasion of Mrs. Lennox's bringing out a play, said to Dr. Johnson at the CLUB, that a person had advised him to go and hiss it, because she had attacked Shakspeare in her book called - Shakspeare Illustrated.' Johnson. • And did not you tell him that he was a rascal ?' GOLDSMITH. "No, Sir, I did not. Perhaps he might not mean what he said.' JOHNSON. “Nay, Sir, if he lied, it is a different thing. Colman slily said, (but it is believed Dr. Johnson did not hear him,) · Then the proper expression should have been,-Sir, if you don't lie, you're a rascal.”
" His affection for Topham Beauclerk was so great, that when Beauclerk was labouring under that severe illness which at last occasioned his death, Johnson said, (with a voice faultering with emotion,) 'Sir, I would walk to the extent of the diameter of the earth to save Beauclerk.”
“ One night at the Club he produced a translation of an Epitaph which Lord Elibauk had written in English, for his Lady, and requested of Johnson to turn it into Latin for him. Having read Domina de
• [Probably “ The Sisters," a comedy performed one night only, at Covent Garden, in 1769. Dr. Goldsmith wrote an excellent epilogue to it.-Mrs. Lennox, whose maiden name was Ramsay, died in London in distressed circumstances, in her eighty-fourth year, January 4, 1804. M.]
1786. North et Gray, he said to Dyer, “You see, Sir, what r . barbarism we are compelled to make use of, when
modern titles are to be specifically mentioned in
? [See Vol. ii. p. 15. M.]
you vote nineteen times against him, will accost you 1780. with equal complaisance after each time, and the
De Æțat. 71, twentieth time, Sir, he will get your vote.”
“ Talking on the subject of toleration, one day when some friends were with him in his study, he made his usual remark, that the State has a right to regulate the religion of the people, who are the children of the State. A clergyman having readily acquiesced in this, Johnson, who loved discussion, observed, · But, Sir, you must go round to other States than our own. You do not know what a Bramin has to say for himself. In short, Sir, I have got no further than this: Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test.”
"A man, he observed, should begin to write soon; for, if he waits till his judgement is matured, his inability, through want of practice to express his conceptions, will make the disproportion 'so great between what he sees, and what he can attain, that he will probably be discouraged from writing at all. As a proof of the justness of this remark, we may instance what is related of the great Lord Granville;' that after he had written his letter giving an account of the battle of Dettingen, he said, “Here is a letter, expressed in terms not good enough for a tallowchandler to have used.”
* Here Lord Macartney remarks, "A Bramin or any cast of the Hindoos will neither admit you to be of their religion, nor be converted to yours:-a thing which struck the Portuguese with the greatest astonishinent, when they first discovered the East Indies." . 9 [John, the first Earl Granville, who died, January 2, 1763. M.]
1780. 6 Talking of a Court-martial that was sitting upon
a very momentous publick occasion, he expressed Ætat, 71.
much doubt of an enlightened decision; and said, that perhaps there was not a member of it, who in the whole course of his life, had ever spent an hour by himself in balancing probabilites.”
« Goldsmith one day brought to the Club a printed Ode, which he, with others, had been hearing read by its authour in a publick room, at the rate of five shillings each for admission. One of the company having read it aloud, Dr. Johnson said, • Bolder words and more timorous meaning, I think never were brought together." : “ Talking of Gray's Odes, he said, “They are forced plants, raised in a hot-bed; and they are poor plants; they are but cucumbers after all.' A gentleman present, who had been running down Ode-writing in general, as a bad species of poetry, unluckily said, “Had they been literally cucumbers, they had been better things than Odes.'— Yes, Sir, (said Johnson,) for a hog."
" His distinction of the different degrees of attainment of learning was thus marked upon two occasions. Of Queen Elizabeth he said, She had learning enough to have given dignity to a bishop;' and of Mr. Thomas Davies he said, “Sir, Davies has learning enough to give credit to a clergymán."
“ He used to quote, with great warmth, the saying of Aristotle recorded by Diogenes Laertius ; that there was the same difference between one learned and unlearned, as between the living and the dead."
" It is very remarkable, that he retained in his memory very slight and trivial, as well as importan
things. As an instance of this, it seems that an in- 1780. ferior domestick of the Duke of Leeds had attempted to celebrate his Grace's marriage in such homely rhymes as he could make; and this curious composition having been sung to Dr. Johnson, he got it by heart, and used to repeat it in a very pleasant manner. Two of the stanzas were these:
When the Duke of Leeds shall married be “To a fine young lady of high quality, • How happy will that gentlewoman be In his Grace of Leeds's good company.
• She shall have all that's fine and fair,
* The correspondent of the Gentleman's Magazine who subscribes himself Sciolus, furnishes the following supplement :
“A lady of my acquaintance remembers to have heard her uncle sing those homely stanzas more than forty-five years ago. He repeated the second thus ;
She shall breed young lords and ladies fair,
And remembered a third which seems to have been the introduca tory one, and is believed to have been the only remaining one:
When the Duke of Leeds shall have made his choice
It is with pleasure I add that this stanza could never be more truly applied than at this present time (1792.]