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was an abstainer, got very drunk. Mr. Temple entreated him, when he became sober, to abandon his intemperate habits. As they talked together under an aged yew, Boswell vowed that he should henceforth avoid excess and cherish moderation. In a letter to Mr. Temple, dated the 10th May, he remarked that Dr. Johnson was now discouraging his proposal to add a supplement to his "Journey." This proceeding he attributes to Dr. Johnson's unwillingness that any one should share his laurels. "But don't you think," he adds, "I may write out my remarks on Scotland, and send them to be revised by you? and then they may be published freely. Give me your opinion of this."

Good Friday, which fell upon the 14th of April, Boswell spent with Dr. Johnson. They were present at three religious services, and in the evening they sat "a long while together in a serene, undisturbed frame of mind." On Easter Sunday Boswell "attended the solemn service at St. Paul's." Writing next day to Mr. Temple, he informs him that he had "received the holy sacrament, and was exalted in piety." In the same letter he reports that he is enjoying "the metropolis to the full," and that he has had “too much dissipation." He asks his friend not to fear "his Asiatic multiplicity," except when he happens to take too much claret."


Boswell remained in London about two months, and though chiefly engaged in driving out, contrived to pocket forty guineas of professional fees. From Grantham, en route for Scotland, he wrote to Mr. Temple that, much to his disgust, " Henry Dundas,* a coarse, unlettered, unfanciful dog," was to be made Lord Advocate "at thirty-three," and that he had personally resolved to join the English Bar on obtaining his father's consent. He proceeds,

*Afterwards Viscount Melville.

"I passed a delightful day yesterday. After breakfasting with Paoli and worshipping at St. Paul's, I dined tête-à-tête with my charming Mrs. Stuart, of whom you have read in my Journal. She refused to be of a party at Richmond, that she and I might enjoy a farewell interview. We dined in all the elegance of two courses and a dessert, with dumb waiters, except when the second course and the dessert were served. We talked with unreserved freedom, as we had nothing to fear; we were philosophical, upon honour-not deep, but feeling we were pious; we drank tea, and bid each other adieu as purely as romance paints. She is my wife's dearest friend, so you see how beautiful our intimacy is."

Boswell adds that "the handsome chambermaid had gone from the inn," and that he had promised Dr. Johnson to accept a chest of books of the moralist's own selection, and to " read more and drink less." He sums up, "Tell Mrs. Temple that I am a favourite with her, because she knows me better, and that she may be assured that the more she knows me the more allowance will she make for my faults." A postscript is added. "There is," he writes, "a Miss Silverton in the fly with me an amiable creature, who has been in France. I can unite little fondnesses with perfect conjugal love. Remember to put my letters in a book neatly,--see which of us does it first."

From Edinburgh, on the 3rd June, Boswell wrote to Mr. Temple as follows:

"On my arrival here I had the pleasure to find my wife and two little daughters as well as I could wish; but indeed, my worthy friend, it required some philosophy to bear the change from England to Scotland. The unpleasing tone, the rude familiarity, the barren conversation, of those whom I found here, in comparison with what I had left, really hurt my feelings.


The General Assembly is sitting, and I practise at its There is de facto something low and coarse in such

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employment, though on paper it is a Court of Supreme Judicature; but guineas must be had."

"Low and coarse" as Boswell regarded the practice of his profession in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, he acknowledges that he did not perform his part without some misgiving. "Do you know," he proceeds, "it requires more than ordinary spirit to do what I am to do this very morning; I am to go to the General Assembly and arraign a judgment pronounced last year by Dr. Robertson, John Home, and a good many more of them, and they are to appear on the other side. To speak well, when I despise both the cause and the judges, is difficult; but I believe I shall do so wonderfully. I look forward with aversion to the little dull labours of the Court of Session."

Besides being disgusted with the Scottish Lord Advocate, Scottish manners, and Scottish courts, ecclesiastical and civil, Boswell was particularly dissatisfied with his father. He had sent him, he writes, "a conciliatory letter, but he fears he is callous." In dread of the paternal allowance being discon

tinued, he writes,

"If Lord Mountstuart would but give me an independency from the King while my father lives, I should be a fine fellow." He adds, "My promise under the venerable yew has kept me sober."

Boswell's habits were not more pleasing to his father than were his professional diligence and domestic economy. In the belief that his son was an incorrigible idler, Lord Auchinleck seriously meditated a withdrawal of his pension. But for his two children, disinheritance might have followed. To Mr. Temple on the 19th of June he wrote thus:

"My father is most unhappily dissatisfied with me. My wife and I dined with him on Saturday; he did not salute her, though

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he had not seen her for three months; nor did he so much as ask her how she did, though she is advanced in pregnancy. I understand he fancies that if I had married another woman, I might not only have had a better portion with her, but might have been kept from what he thinks idle and extravagant conduct. He harps on my going over Scotland with a brute* (think how shockingly erroneous!), and wandering, or some such phrase, to London. In vain do I defend myself; even the circumstance that my last jaunt to London did not cost me £20— as I got forty-two guineas in London-does not affect him. How hard it is that I am totally excluded from parental comfort! I have a mind to go to Auchinleck next autumn, and try what living in a mixed stupidity of attention to common objects, and restraint from expressing any of my own feelings, can do with him. I always dread his making some bad settlement."


Lord Auchinleck had solid grounds for indignation. allowed his son £300 per annum, besides having provided him with a very expensive education. In the Scottish courts Boswell had abundant employment when he evinced the slightest inclination to attend to it. He had run himself aground; he owed a thousand pounds, which he could not pay, and his creditors were clamorous. Fretting under the unexpected burden which he was expected to sustain, Lord Auchinleck felt disposed to blame his daughter-in-law for encouraging his son's extravagance, and it is not certain that Boswell took the blame solely upon himself. The worthy judge was at length got over, and Boswell recovered his elasticity. To Mr. Temple on the 12th August he writes as follows:

"Tell me, my dear Temple, if a man who receives so many marks of more than ordinary consideration can be satisfied to drudge in an obscure corner, where the manners of the people

* A forcible rendering of what he meant by styling Dr. Johnson “Ursa major.”

are disagreeable to him? You see how soon I revive again. Could I but persuade my father to give me £400 a year, and let me go to the English Bar, I think I should be much better. That, however, seems to be impossible. As he is bound for £1,000 which I owe, he has resolved to lessen his allowance to me of £300 to £200. I must not dispute with him, but he is really a strange man. He is gone to Auchinleck. I intend to pass a little while with him there soon, and sound him; or ther see just what attention can produce.”

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In allusion to the request that his letters might be preserved, Boswell was assured by Mr. Temple that he too contemplated a publication. Boswell pronounces it "à charming thought." He refers exultingly to the attention he had lately received from Paoli. For the last fortnight that I was in London," he writes, I lay at his house, and had the command of his coach. I felt more dignity when I had several servants at my devotion, a large apartment, and the convenience and state of a coach; I recollected that this dignity in London was honourably acquired by my travels abroad, and my pen after I came home, so I could enjoy it with my own approbation; and in the extent and multiplicity of the metropolis other people had not even the materials for finding fault, as my situation was not particularly known."

Referring to his resolution to read more constantly, Boswell informs Mr. Temple, on the 19th June, that he has not yet

begun to read," but that "his resolution is lively." Lord Kames had asked him to become his biographer, a piece of intelligence which does not again crop up. In a conversation. about Dr. Johnson he had disputed with Mr. Hume. The quarrel is thus described:

Mr. Hume said he would give me half a crown for every page of his dictionary in which he would not find an absurdity,

* Letter dated 6th June, 1775.

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