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at Edinburgh. His father sent him to Glasgow, where he continued to be idle. He then came to London, where he has been very idle; and now he is going to Utrecht, where he will be as idle as ever.' I asked him privately how he could expose me so. Johnson: Pooh! pooh!' said he; they know nothing about you, and will think of it no more.' day we got to Harwich to dinner; and my passage in the packet-boat to Helvoetsluys being secured, and my baggage put on board, we dined at an inn by ourselves. We went


and looked at the church, and having gone into it, and walked up to the altar, Johnson, whose piety was constant and fervent, sent me to my knees, saying, 'Now that you are going to leave your native country, recommend yourself to the protection of your Creator and Redeemer.' My revered friend

walked down with me to the beach, where we embraced and parted with tenderness, and engaged to correspond by letters. I said, 'I hope, sir, you will not forget me in my absence.' Johnson: 'Nay, sir, it is more likely that you should forget me than that I should forget you.' As the vessel put out to sea I kept my eyes upon him for a considerable time, while he remained rolling his majestic frame in his usual manner; and at last I perceived him walk back into the town, and he disappeared."

On the 8th December Dr. Johnson addressed to Boswell his first letter. He entreated him to study civil law as his father had advised, and the ancient languages, as he had personally resolved upon. He then proceeds to depict his friend's weaknesses in these forcible terms:—

"You know a gentleman, who when first he set his foot in the gay world, as he prepared himself to whirl in the vortex of pleasure, imagined a total indifference and universal negligence to be the most agreeable concomitants of youth, and the strongest indication of an easy temper and a quick apprehension. Vacant to every object, and sensible of every impulse, he thought that an appearance of diligence would deduct something from the reputation of genius, and hoped that he

should appear to attain, amidst all the ease of carelessness, and all the tumult of diversion, that knowledge and those accomplishments which mortals of the common fabric obtain only by mute abstraction and solitary drudgery. He tried this scheme of life awhile, was made weary of it by his sense and his virtue ; he then wished to return to his studies, and finding long habits of idleness and pleasure harder to be cured than he expected, still wishing to retain his claim to some extraordinary prerogatives, resolved the common consequences of irregularity into an unalterable decree of destiny, and concluded that nature had originally formed him incapable of rational enjoyment. Let all such fancies, illusive and destructive, be banished henceforward from your thoughts for ever. Resolve and keep your resolution; choose, and pursue your choice. If you spend this day in study, you will find yourself still more able to study to-morrow; not that you are to expect that you shall at once obtain a complete victory."

Johnson had commended his friend for keeping a journal.* He concludes his letter by expressing a hope that he is "enriching his journal with many observations upon the country” in which he was residing.

At Utrecht Boswell obtained the friendship of M. Trotz, the learned civilian, whose prelections on civil law he attended for some months. He also became intimate with the Rev. William Brown, pastor of the English congregation at Utrecht, subsequently Professor of Church History at St. Andrews. Anecdotes related by M. Trotz and Mr. Brown are preserved in Boswell's Commonplace-book.

* “I could give you pages of strong sense and humour which I have heard from that great man, and which are treasured up in my journal. And here I must inform you that he desired me to keep just the journal that I do; and when I told him that it was already my practice, he said he was glad I was upon so good a plan."-MS. letter from Boswell of 13th July, 1763, preserved at New Hailes.

Lord Auchinleck had designed that his son should prosecute his studies at Utrecht for two years. The proposal was not a hopeful one, and it was not realized. Before his first term was completed, Boswell longed for the pleasures of travel: as the term closed he hastened into the country. He visited Leyden and other noted localities in the Netherlands, and passed into Germany. He reached Berlin in July, where he delivered a letter of introduction to Mr., afterwards Sir Andrew Mitchell, British Ambassador at the Prussian Court. By this accomplished gentleman he was well received and hospitably entertained. From Berlin he wrote a letter to his father, expatiating on the advantages of travel, and entreating that such a remittance might be sent him as would carry him into Switzerland, and from thence into Italy. Pending his father's answer, he visited the duchies of Hanover and Brunswick. Returning to Berlin on the 27th of August he found a letter from his father, strongly disapproving his proposal for a lengthened tour, and allowing him only the indulgence of visiting France before resuming his legal studies at Utrecht. Mortified by his father's decision, and the severely peremptory character of his letter, he thought of waiting on Mr. Mitchell to entreat his aid and intervention. The ambassador was from home; he had gone with his family to Spa, where he was still to remain some weeks. Procuring his address, Boswell sent him a lengthened communication, which owing to its peculiar manner. we present without abridgment:

"You may believe, sir, that I was a good deal surprised to hear, upon my return to Berlin, that onze Gezant * was gone. There was indeed a surmise at Brunswick that you intended to return to England this season. I was asked if it was true, and very innocently affirmed that there was nothing in it. I find

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here a fortnight, after which I intend passing by Mannheim, and one or two more of the German Courts, to Geneva; I am then at the point from which I may either steer to Italy or to France. I shall see Voltaire. I shall also see Switzerland and Rousseau; these two men are to me greater objects than most statues or pictures. I take this opportunity to assure the loved and respected friend of my father that I am serenely happy at having obtained his acquaintance. I would hope that I shall not be found unworthy of his regard, and I wish very honestly for an opportunity of showing my real esteem for such a character as I could draw to any one else but to himself.” *

In a postscript Boswell begged an early reply. His letter, somewhat Johnsonian in style, actually reflected some of Dr. Johnson's sentiments respecting himself, in the letter received at Utrecht. It was sufficiently candid to induce friendship, and not more ambitious than the ardour of youth might have excused or justified. But Mr. Mitchell had no desire to arbitrate between father and son in a matter with which he was personally unconcerned. He contented himself with administering to the young traveller a lecture on filial obedience, and declined all further negotiation. Lord Auchinleck meanwhile relented without further pressure, assented to the Italian project, and sent the necessary funds. To the Ambassador Boswell addressed a letter from Geneva on the 26th December; it commenced in a style sufficiently exultant :

"I thank you for your letter from Spa, although it gave me no great encouragement in my scheme of going to Italy. You tell me gravely to follow the plan which my father prescribed, whatever it may be, and in doing so I shall certainly act most

"Memoirs and Papers of Sir Andrew Mitchell, K.B., Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary from the Court of Great Britain to the Court of Prussia, from 1756 to 1771," edited by Andrew Bisset, Esq., vol. ii., p. 381.

wisely. I forgive you this, for I say just the same to young people when I advise. To enter into detail of the little circumstances which compose the felicity of another, is what a man of any genius can hardly submit to. We therefore give a good, wholesome, general counsel; and he who consults us thinks a little, and then endeavours to take his own way as well as he can. I have, however, the happiness to inform you that my father has consented that I shall go to Italy. Upon my soul, I am grateful to the most worthy of men: it will be hard if we are not well together, for I love him with the strongest affection. If I find that I cannot succeed in my own plans in such a way as to convince my father that I am in the right, I shall do my utmost to fulfil the plan beyond which he cannot think to look. You may suppose what my ideas are, for they are of your old acquaintances. One thing I am sure of, and by the undisguised honour of a man of pro bity I swear,shall chiefly influence me— a regard to the happiness of him to whom I owe so much, Believe me I have a soul."

Had Boswell concluded his letter at this point he might have merited some praise for snubbing the ambassador who had lectured him on filial duty. But he goes on to entreat Mr. Mitchell's influence on behalf of the father and brother of his friend Mr. Temple. The father he describes as formerly an officer in the Customs, who had forfeited his appointment by becoming insolvent. The son, Master Robert, is now a lieutenant on half-pay. Through Mr. Mitchell he desires a Government post for the one, and full pay for the other. He assures the ambassador that excepting his Sovereign he is "the only man in Britain" he would ask a favour of. "If you can aid me,” he adds, "you will most truly oblige a worthy fellow, for such I am." To this second communication the ambassador vouchsafed no answer.

Through a part of Germany Boswell was accompanied by the Earl Marischal, who ordinarily resided at Berlin, and

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