Imatges de pÓgina

XETAT. 67.



stronger claim to the father's estate, than if that legitimate brother had only the same father, from whom alone the estate descends.

Mr. Lloyd joined us in the street; and in a little while we met friend Hector, as Mr. Lloyd called him. It gave me pleasure to observe the joy which Johnson and he expressed on seeing each other again. Mr. Lloyd and I left them together, while he obligingly showed me some of the manufactures of this very curious assemblage of artificers. We all met at dinner at Mr. Lloyd's, where we were entertained with great hospitality. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd had been married the same year with their majesties, and, like them, had been blessed with a numerous family of fine children, their numbers being exactly the same. Johnson said, “ Marriage is the best state for man in general; and every man is a worse man, in proportion as he is unfit for the married state.”

I have always loved the simplicity of manners, and the spiritual-mindedness, of the quakers; and talking with Mr. Lloyd, I observed, that the essential part of religion was piety, a devout intercourse with the Divinity; and that many a man was a quaker without knowing it.

As Dr. Johnson had said to me in the morning, while we walked together, that he liked individuals among the quakers, but not the sect; when we were at Mr. Lloyd's, I kept clear of introducing any questions concerning the peculiarities of their faith. But I having asked to look at Baskerville's edition of “ Barclay's Apology," Johnson laid hold of it; and the chapter on baptism happening to open, Johnson remarked, “ He says there is neither precept nor practice for baptism in the scriptures ; that is false.” Here he was the aggressor, by no means in a gentle manner; and the good quakers had the advantage of him; for he had read negligently, and had not observed that Barclay speaks of infant baptism; which they calmly made him perceive. Mr. Lloyd, however, was in a great mistake; for when insisting that the rite of baptism by water was to cease, when the spiritual administration of Christ began, he maintained that John the Baptist said, “ My baptism shall decrease, but his shall increase.” Whereas the words are, “ He must increase, but I must decrease" (ch. iii. v. 30].

One of them having objected to the “observance of days, and months, and years," Johnson answered, “ The church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birth of our Saviour, because there is danger that what may be done on any day will be neglected.”

He said to me at another time, “Sir, the holidays observed by our church are of great use in religion.” There can be no doubt of this in a limited sense, I mean if the number of such consecrated portions of time be not too extensive. The excellent Mr. Nelson's “ Festivals and Fasts," which has, I understand, the greatest sale of any book ever printed in England, except the Bible, is a most valuable help

ÆTAT. 67.




to devotion: and in addition to it I would recommend two sermons on the same subject, by Mr.Pott, Archdeacon of St. Alban's, equally distinguished for piety and elegance. I am sorry to have it to say, that Scotland is the only Christian country, catholic or protestant, where the great events of our religion are not solemnly commemorated by its ecclesiastical establishment, on days set apart for the purpose.

Mr. Hector was so good as to accompany me to see the great works of Mr. Boulton, at a place which he has called Soho, about two miles from Birmingham, which the very ingenious proprietor showed me himself to the best advantage. I wished Johnson had been with us : for it was a scene which I should have been glad to contemplate by his light. The vastness and the contrivance of some of the machinery would have “ matched his mighty mind." I shall never forget Mr. Boulton's expression to me, “I sell here, Sir, what all the world desires to have Power.” He had about seven hundred people at work. I contemplated him as an iron chieftain, and he seemed to be a father to his tribe. One of them came to him, complaining grievously of his landlord for having distrained his goods.

« Your , landlord is in the right, Smith (said Boulton). But I'll tell you what: find you a friend who will lay down one half of your rent, and I'll lay down the other half; and you shall have your goods again.”

From Mr. Hector I now learnt many particulars of Dr. Johnson's early life, which, with others that


he gave me at different times since, have contributed to the formation of this work.

Dr. Johnson said to me in the morning, “ You will see, Sir, at Mr. Hector's, his sister, Mrs. Careless, a clergyman's widow. She was the first woman with whom I was in love. It dropped out of my

head imperceptibly; but she and I shall always have a kindness for each other.” He laughed at the notion that a man can never be really in love but once, and considered it as a mere romantic fancy.

On our return from Mr. Boulton's, Mr. Hector took me to his house, where we found Johnson sitting placidly at tea, with his first love; who, though now advanced in years, was a genteel woman, very agreeable and well-bred.

Johnson lamented to Mr. Hector the state of one of their schoolfellows, Mr. Charles Congreve, à clergyman, which he thus described : “ He obtained, I believe, considerable preferment in Ireland, but now lives in London, quite as a valetudinarian, afraid to go into any house but his own. He takes a short airing in his postchaise every day. He has an elderly woman, whom he calls cousin, who lives with him, and jogs his elbow when his glass has stood too long empty, and encourages him in drinking, in which he is very willing to be encouraged; not that he gets drunk, for he is a very pious man, but he is always muddy. He confesses to one bottle of port every day, and he probably drinks

He is quite unsocial; his conversation is quite monosyllabical; and when, at my last visit, I asked him what o'clock it was ? that signal of my


ÆTAT. 67.



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departure had so pleasing an effect on him, that he sprung up to look at his watch, like a greyhound bounding at a hare.” When Johnson took leave of Mr. Hector, he said, “Don't grow like Congreve; nor let me grow like him, when you are near me.”

When he again talked of Mrs. Careless to-night, he seemed to have his affection revived; for he said, “ If I had married her, it might have been as happy for me.” Boswell. “ Pray, Sir, do


not suppose that there are fifty women in the world, with any one of whom a man may be as happy, as with any one woman in particular?” Johnson. * Ay, Sir, fifty thousand.” BOSWELL. “ Then, Sir, you are not of opinion with some who imagine that certain men and certain women are made for each other; and that they cannot be happy if they miss their counterparts." JOHNSON. “ To be sure not, Sir. I believe marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the lord chancellor, upon a due consideration of the characters and circumstances, without the parties having any choice in the matter." (1)

I wished to have staid at Birmingham to-night, to have talked more with Mr. Hector; but


friend impatient to reach his native city; so we drove on that stage in the dark, and were long pensive and silent. When we came within the focus of the Lichfield lamps, “ Now," said he, “we are getting out of a state of death.” We put up at the Three Crowns, not one of the great inns, but a good old-fashioned


(1) Yet see antè, Vol. III. p. 119.-C.

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