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silence of the biographer permitted Mr. Madden to suppose dyspepsia. In Johnson's case, unluckily, there was not only no evidence of dyspepsia, but there was the clear admission of a well-known disease—hypochondria. What is to be done? hosv is the gigantic frame and not less gigantic mind of the 'Ursa Afajar' of literature to be brought into the same category with the frail form and mental elegance of the ' little nightingale?' Mr. Madden, though not often entitled to the praise of ingenuity, is here very subtile :—

'The symptoms of hypochondria are generally preceded by those of indigestion, though not in very many cases accompanied by them, and not unfrequently do those of hypochondria degenerate into one form or other of partial insanity; in short, hypochondria is the middle state between the vapours of dyspepsia and the delusions of monomania.'—vol. i., p. 210.

Excellent! If we at all understand this kind of reasoning, it would prove, that Johnson was dyspeptic bemuse he had a disease which lies half-way between dyspepsia and insanity. It would just as well prove that the doctor resided all his life in Grosvenor-square, because he did reside about half-way between Grosvenor-square and the Tower. Emboldened by this vigorous jump towards his 'foregone conclusion,' Mr. Madden soon after settles the matter by statmg that' there is great reason to regard hypochondria in no other light than as an aggravated form of dyspepsia.'—(vol. i. p. 213.) And this he determines in the face of the known fact (repeated by himself) that Johnson inherited hypochondria from his father. Dyspepsia may perhaps also be hereditary, but at least Mr. Madden should have established that point before he assumed that Johnson's case was dyspeptic. But he pursues this theory so blindly that, strange to say, he wholly overlooks a disease which Johnson notoriously had, and which was probably closely connected with his hypochondriacal symptoms—the scrofula. Yet he might have found in Mr. Croker's edition of Boswell more than one suggestion which should have led him to a consideration of the effects of that disease. Mr. Croker, in a short but very pithy note, observes,

'that Johnson probably inherited scrofula from his father, together with that " morbid melancholy," (hypochondria) which is so common an attendant on scrofulous habits'Croker's Boswell, vol. i. p. 15. We have ourselves little doubt that Mr. Croker's conjecture is the true one, and we are satisfied that all Mr. Madden's dyspeptic argument is as unfounded in fact, as it is obscure and illogical.

There occur in this part of his work a couple of pages so exceedingly absurd, and so exemplary of the gossiping and mendacious style in which he collects and applies what he calls his facts, that we shall venture to extract them at length:— 'The

'The indefatigable Burton has ransacked all medical authorities, ancient and modern, for the symptoms of hypochondria; and amongst those he has enumerated there is not one of Johnson's miscalled peculiarities, which is not to be found.'—vol. i., p. 243. So that nil the symptoms that the indefatigable Burton had found in all men in all ages and nations, Mr. Madden finds in poor Doctor Johnson alone.

'" Many of these melancholy men," says Burton, "are sad, and

not fearful—some fearful and not sad." (Johnson, for instance,

groaning in his chamber, as Dr. Adams found him, and at anoilter period knocking down a bookseller in his own shop.'—vol. i., p. 244. Mr. Madden misunderstands Burton, and taking 'fearful' in the sense of formidable (the very reverse of his real meaning), he introduces Johnson's chastisement of Osborne—but even that he cannot state correctly: ( the simple truth,' says Johnson himself, 'was, that he was impertinent to me and I beat him, but it was not in his shop; it was in my own chamber.'—Croker's Bosicell, i. p. 129.

'" Some fear death, and yet, in a contrary humour, make away with themselves.'"—(Johnson,indeed, did not commit suicide, but his fear of death was never surpassed.) 'Ibid.

Here again Mr. Madden does not understand Burton—who does not mean that the fear of death is a token of hypochondria, for that would be to make all mankind hypochondriacs—the mark of hypochondria is when one makes away with himself for fear of death—but as Mr. Madden kindly admits that Dr. Johnson did not commit suicide, he does not fall under Burton's description.

'" One durst not walk alone from home for fear he should swoon or die."—(The terror of such an occurrence probably contributed to confine the great moralist for so many years to Ids beloved Fleet-street.) 'Ibid.

Excellent!—Johnson durst not walk alone out of Bolt-court, Fleet-street, for many years, for fear he should swoon or die! He never went to Lichfield, nor Brighton, nor Streatham, nor dined out! It may be doubted whether any literary man ever lived so little at home as Johnson did after he had a house in the neighbourhood of Fleet-street.

'" A second fears all old women as witches, and every black dog or cat he sees be suspecteth to be a devil."—( Whether hebelieved in the tcitchery of old women, or young, toe know not, but he was unwilling however, to deny their power, and the black dog that worried him at home was the demon of hypochondria.) 'Ibid.

Mr. Madden cannot, it seems, distinguish a metaphor from a act—the witchery of Molly Aston from that of her of Euord—and

the the black-dog that used to worry Mr. Thrale's imagination from the living quadruped. As to Dr. Johnson being unwilling to deny the power of witches, in the serious sense of the word, hear himself, in his dialogue with Mr. Crosbie :—

[graphic]

'" Crosbie. An act of parliament put an end to witchcraft.—Johnson. No, Sir, witchcraft had ceased, and an act of parliament was passed to prevent persecution for what was not witchcraft.'''—Croker's Boswsll, vol. ii. p. 281.

'"A third dares not go over a bridge, or come near a pool, rock, or steep hill."—{Johnson dared not pass a particular alley in Leicestersquare.) 'Madden, vol. i., p. 245.

Burton alludes to the fear of an external accident; Madden misapplies it to a mental superstition. And here we must mark the progress of a misrepresentation. Boswell says,— 'Sir J. Reynolds observed him go a good way about rather than cross a particular alley in Leicester-fields.'

butes it to fear—' he dared not;' and this, although Boswell adds lhat «

'Sir Joshua attributed it to some disagreeable recollection associated with the place.'—Croker's Boswell, vol. i. p. 497.

'"The terror of some particular death troubles others—they are troubled in mind as if they had committed a murder."—{The constant dread of insanity we have already noticed, and the construction put on his expressions of remorse by Sir John Hawkins.')'Madden, vol. i. p. 845.

Boswell, from whose reproaches against Hawkins Mr. Madden has fabricated this malignant insinuation of murder, proves that Johnson's supposed remorse referred to youthful and very venial errors,—and after all, in fact, Hawkins makes no such insinuation.

* " Some look as if they had just come out of the den of Trophonius, and though they laugh many times, and look extraordinary merry, yet are they extremely lumpish again in a minute; dull and heavy, semcl el simul, sad and merry, but most part sad."—{The den of Troplwnius was his gloomy abode in Bolt-court, whence he sallied forth at nightfall, on his visit to the Mitre, and the gaiety and gloom have a parallel in the state of his spirits when at the university, such as extorted the melancholy denial to Dr. Adams of having been " a gay and frolicsome fellow" at college—" O, sir, I was mad, and violent, but it was bitterness which they mistook for frolic.'')'—pp. 245, 246.

Now Bolt Court may resemble, for aught we know, the cave of Trophonius, but certainly Boswell thought that Johnson preferred that neighbourhood for its cheerfulness and its bustle. [Croker's Boswell, vol. iii., p. 213.) He accommodated Boswell wilh ' a handsome apartment in it'—and ' his drawing-room was

This Mr. Madden first renders

[graphic]

very very genteelly fitted up'—and even when he lived in a less commodious house in Johnson's Court, ' he-had fitted up as a study an upper room, which had the advantages of good light and free air, where he was in a situation and circumstances that enabled him to enjoy the visits of his friends, and to receive them in a manner suitable to the rank and condition of many of them.' (Croker's Boswell, vol. ii., p. 4.) Very like the den of Trophonius! Long before he removed to Bolt Court he had given up habitual visits to the Mitre;—and as to the state of his spirits, the reply to Dr. Adams is garbled to suit Mr. Madden's purpose, by the omission of the very words which explain the whole:—' It was bitterness which they mistook for frolic—I was miserably poor, and I thought to fight my way by my literature and my wit.' (Croker's Boswell, vol. i., p. 43.)

There is hardly an instance amongst his innumerable larcenies from Boswell, in which Mr. Madden does not in this manner misquote and misapply—and indeed these alterations of the authors he quotes, and these distortions of their meanings, are almost the only exertion of his own mind which we can discover in the whole work. And, after all, what is the object of the threescore pages in which Mr. Madden has caricatured Dr. Johnson? why, to prove that he was hypochondriac—a fact which Boswell distinctly states in the very first pages of his work—adding, what we wish Mr. Madden had remembered :—' Let not little men triumph upon knowing that Dr. Johnson was an Hypochondriac!' Croker's Boswell, vol. i., p. 3(i. So that instead of quoting and misquoting so many passages, which really prove nothing, he might have adduced the clear admission of the fact. Aye, but then how should he have filled up the threescore pages of his catch-penny 1

The next victim to sedentary habits and the pernicious indolence of the study, is Burns—Burns! Yes, his faults and errors (which Mr. Madden much exaggerates)—as well we suppose as his genius—arose from dyspepsia—or dyspepsia from his genius.

'In early life he laboured under a disorder of the stomach, accompanied by palpitations of the heart, depression of the spirits, and nervous pains in the head, the nature of which he never appears to have understood, but which evidently arose from dyspepsia. These sufferings, be it remembered, are complained of in his letters years before he had committed any excess; and so far from being the consequence of intemperance, as they are generally considered to have been, the exhaustion they produced was probably the cause which drove him, in his moments of hypochondria, to the excitement of the bottle for a temporary palliation of his symptoms.'—vol. i., p. 276.

Thus, we find that similar causes have produced two such

similar

similar characters as Johnson and Burns; and because Johnson subdued, and Burns indulged a propensity which seems common to all mankind in all ages and countries, and particularly in those which approach nearest to unrestrained nature, Mr. Madden traces the abstinence and indulgence to the same cause, and that cause dyspepsia, or, what Mr. Madden seems to think identical, hypochondria.

After such examples of extravagant absurdity, we shall decline pursuing Mr. Madden through his long and desultory account of the infirmities of Cowper and Byron, which he has, with no amiable industry, selected from their various biographers, adding nothing of his own but the coarseness of his expression, and the confusion and contradiction of his deductions. But as to Sir Walter Scott, so long our friend and fellow-labourer, we must say a few reluctant words :—We were at first at a loss to know how he was to be made an example of the infirmities of genius, and for what purpose Mr. Madden could have introduced him. We are now satisfied that we have discovered his reason—and, for him, a very good reason too—to help to sell his book! So blameless a character—a death so recent—the undried tears of children—the still bleeding sorrovrof friends—might have appeared to most men sufficient reasons for excluding Sir Walter Scott from so early and so cruel an examination—even if he had legitimately fallen within the general scope of the work; but Mr. Madden seems to have felt no such compunctious visitings of nature—at least they vanished before the spirit of book-making; and the recent death, the grief of children and friends, and the regrets of the world at large, have no doubt appeared to the worthy author fortunate and opportune circumstances, well-fitted to extend—the sale of his work! We must however confess that the grounds he assigns for exhibiting Sir Walter Scott are quite as logical and as sound as all his other reasoning.

'The history of a well-ordered mind, like that of Scott, is not without its lesson; and perhaps, by the encouragement of the example it offers for imitation, exhibits the advantage and the reward of mental management, of moderated enthusiasm, and of the government of imagination, as powerfully as the calamities of Cowper and the errors of Lord Byron tend to persuade their followers to avoid their errors.' —vol. ii., p. 204.

But if the calamities of Cowper and the errors of Byron proceeded from scrofula and epilepsy, as Mr. Madden insinuates, we do not see how these bodily disorders are likely to be cured in other men by the mental contemplation of the more orderly conduct and better-regulated minds of those who are not disturbed by similar diseases. Mr. Madden seems to think that literary men

are

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