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come from Scotland," which I used in the sense of being of that country; and as if I had said I had come away from it or left it, retorted, 'That, sir, I find, is what a very great many of your countrymen cannot help.' This stroke stunned me a good deal; and when we had sat down I felt myself not a little embarrassed, and apprehensive of what might come next. He then addressed himself to Davies: 'What do you think of Garrick? He has refused me an order for the play for Miss Williams, because he knows the house will be full, and that an order would be worth three shillings.' Eager to take any opening to get into conversation with him, I ventured to say, 'Oh, sir, I cannot think Mr. Garrick would grudge such a trifle to you.' 'Sir,' said he, with a stern look, 'I have known David Garrick longer than you have done, and I know no right you have to talk to me on this subject.' Perhaps I deserved this check; for it was rather presumptuous in me, an entire stranger, to express any doubt of the justice of his animadversion upon his old acquaintance and pupil. I now felt myself much mortified, and began to think that the hope which I had long indulged of obtaining his acquaintance was blasted. And in truth, had not my ardour been uncommonly strong, and my resolution uncommonly persevering, so rough a reception might have deterred me for ever from making any further attempts. Fortunately, however, I remained upon the field not wholly discomfited, and was soon rewarded by hearing some of his conversation." Boswell closes his narrative thus:-"I had. for a part of the evening been left alone with him, and had ventured to make an observation now and then, which he received very civilly, so that I was satisfied that though there was a roughness in his manner, there was no ill-nature in his disposition. Davies followed me to the door, and when I complained to him a little of the hard blows which the great

man had given me, he kindly took upon him to console me by saying,' Don't be uneasy. I can see he likes you very well.'"

Dr. Johnson regarded Boswell as an adventurer, who had come to London in quest of literary employment. Davies perceiving this, privately explained to him that Boswell was the son of a Scottish judge and heir to a good estate. "A few days afterwards," writes Boswell, "I called on Davies, and asked him if he thought I might take the liberty of waiting on Mr. Johnson at his chambers in the Temple. He said I certainly might, and that Mr. Johnson would take it as a compliment. So upon Tuesday, the 24th of May, after having been enlivened by the witty sallies of Messieurs Thornton, Wilkes, Churchill, and Lloyd, with whom I had passed the morning, I boldly repaired to Johnson. His chambers were on the first floor of No. 1, Inner Temple Lane, and I entered them with an impression given me by the Rev. Dr. Blair, of Edinburgh, who had been introduced to me not long before and described his having 'found the giant in his den,' an expression which, when I came to be pretty well acquainted with Johnson, I repeated to him, and he was diverted at this picturesque account of himself. He received me very courteously; but it must be confessed that his apartment and furniture and morning dress were sufficiently uncouth. His brown suit of clothes looked very rusty; he had on a little old shrivelled unpowdered wig, which was too small for his head; his shirt-neck and knees of his breeches were loose; his black worsted stockings ill drawn up, and he had a pair of unbuckled shoes by way of slippers. But all these slovenly particularities were forgotten the moment that he began to talk. Some gentlemen, whom I do not recollect, were sitting with him; and when they went away I also rose, but he said to me, 'Nay, don't go.' 'Sir,' said I, 'I am afraid that I intrude upon you. It is benevolent to allow me to sit and


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hear you.' He seemed pleased with this compliment, which I sincerely paid him, and answered, 'Sir, I am obliged to any man who visits me.' * * * Before we parted he was so good as to promise to favour me with his company one evening at my lodgings; and as I took my leave, shook me cordially by the hand. It is almost needless to add that I felt no little elation at having now so happily established an acquaintance of which I had been so long ambitious."

The evident sincerity of Boswell's respect pleased and flattered Dr. Johnson. He listened to details of literary life in Edinburgh, and was gratified to learn that certain Scotsmen appreciated his learning. He visited Boswell in his chambers, and invited him. to the Mitre Tavern, where afterwards they frequently supped, and drank port till long after midnight. At one of these festive meetings Boswell related the story of the post-chaise, and expatiated on the merits of Sir David Dalrymple with the ardour of a hero worshipper. Dr. Johnson toasted Sir David in a bumper as a man of worth, a scholar, and a wit." He added, "I have, however, never heard of him except from you; but let him know my opinion of him, for as he does not show himself much in the world, he should know the praise of the few who hear of him." On the 2nd of July, Boswell communicated with Sir David Dalrymple in these terms: *

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I am now upon a very good footing with Mr. Johnson. His conversation is instructive and entertaining. He has a most extensive fund of knowledge, a very clear expression, and much strong humour. I am often with him. Some nights ago we supped by ourselves at the Mitre Tavern, and sat over a sober bottle till between one and two in the morning. We talked a good deal of you. We drank your health, and he desired me to tell you so. When I am in his company I am rationally happy,

* Boswell's letter at New Hailes.

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I am attentive and eager to learn, and I would hope that I may receive advantage from such society."

To Boswell's letter, in its allusion to Dr. Johnson, Sir David Dalrymple made the following answer:


"It gives me pleasure to think that you have obtained the friendship of Mr. Samuel Johnson. He is one of the best moral writers which England has produced. At the same time I envy you the free and undisguised converse with such a man. May I beg you to present my best respects to him, and to assure him of the veneration which I entertain for the author of the Rambler' and of Rasselas.''

On the 15th July Boswell thus communicated with Mr. Temple :

"I had the honour of supping tête-à-tête with Mr. Johnson last night; by-the-bye, I need not have used a French phrase. We sat till between two and three. He took me by the hand cordially, and said, 'My dear Boswell, I love you very much.' Now, Temple, can I help indulging vanity?"

After quoting a portion of Sir David Dalrymple's letter, he proceeds :

"Mr. Johnson was in vast good humour, and we had much conversation. I mentioned Fresnoy to him, but he advised me not to follow a plan, and he declared that he himself never followed one above two days. He advised me to read just as inclination prompted me, which alone, he said, would do me any good; for I had better go into company than read a set task. Let us study ever so much, we must still be ignorant of a good deal. Therefore the question is, what parts of science do we want to know? He said, too, that idleness was a distemper which I ought to combat against, and that I should prescribe to myself five hours a day, and in these hours gratify whatever literary desires may spring up. He is to give me his advice as

*Boswell's "Life of Johnson."

to what books I should take with me from England. I told him that the Rambler shall accompany me round Europe, and so be a Rambler indeed. He gave me a smile of complacency."

The tête-à-tête with Dr. Johnson on the 14th of July, so described to Mr. Temple, also forms the subject of a letter to Sir David Dalrymple. That letter proceeds thus :-*


On Wednesday evening, Mr. Johnson and I had another tête-à-tête at the 'Mitre.' Would you believe that we sat from half an hour after eight till between two and three! He took me cordially by the hand and said, 'My dear Boswell! I love you very much.' Can I help being somewhat vain? * * He advises me to combat idleness as a distemper, to read five hours every day, but to let inclination direct me what to read. He is a great enemy to a stated plan of study. He advises mes when abroad to go to places where there is most to be seen and learnt. He is not very fond of the notion of spending a whole winter in a Dutch town. He thinks I may do much more by private study than by attending lectures. He would have me to perambulate (a word in his own style) Spain. He says a man might see a good deal by visiting their inland towns and universities. He also advises me to visit the northern kingdoms, where more that is new is to be seen than in France and Italy, but he is not against my seeing these warmer regions."

These allusions to foreign travel refer to a proposal by Lord Auchinleck that his son should study civil law at Utrecht, and in which Boswell was disposed to acquiesce, believing that in thus gratifying his father's wishes he might be permitted before returning home to visit the principal countries of the Continent.•

On Wednesday, the 21st July, Johnson supped at Boswell's chambers, when were also present Mr. George Dempster, M.P., and the host's paternal uncle, Dr. John Boswell, from Edinburgh. The occasion was one of the most memorable in the course of

* Original letter at New Hailes.

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