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rents on the other side, that ran in contrary direc- 1 part before they are men; they carry with them tions as they fell to the north or south of the little fundamental knowledge, and therefore the summit. Being, by the favour of the duke, well superstructure cannot be lotty. The grammarmounted, I went up and lown the hill with great schools are not generally well supplied; for the convenience.
character of a schoolmaster being there less hoFrom Glencroe we passed through a pleasant nourable than in England, is seldom accepted by country to the banks of Loch Lomond, and were men who are capable to adorn it, and where the received at the house of Sir James Colquhoun, school has been deficient, the college can effect who is owner of almost all the thirty islands of little. the loch, which we went in a boat next morning Men bred in the universities of Scotland, canto survey. The heaviness of the rain shortened not be expected to be often decorated with the our voyage, but we landed on one island planted splendours of ornamental erudition, but they obwith yew, and stocked with deer, and on another tain a mediocrity of knowledge, between learncontaining perhaps not more than half an acre, ing and ignorance, not inadequate to the purremarkable for the ruins of an old castle, on poses of common life, which is, I believe, very which the osprey builds her annual nest. Had widely diffused among them, and which counteLoch Lomond been in a happier clin it nanced in general by a national combination so would have been the boast of wealth and vanity invidious, that their friends cannot defend it, and to own one of the little spots which it incloses, actuated in particulars by a spirit of enterprise so and to have employed upon it all the arts of em- vigorous, that their enemies are constrained to bellishment. But as is, the islets, which court praise it, enables them to find, or to make the gazer, at a distance, disgust him at his ap- their way, to employment, riches, and distinc proach, when he finds, instead of soft lawns and tion. shady thickets, nothing more than uncultivated From Glasgow we directed our ruggedness.
Auchinleck, an estate devolved, through a long Where the loch discharges itself into a river series of ancestors, to Mr. Boswell's father, the called the Leven, we passed a night with Mr. present possessor. In our way we found several Smollett, a relation of Dr. Smollett, to whose places remarkable enough in themselves, but memory he has raised an obelisk on the bank already described by those who viewed them at near the house in which he was born. The civi- more leisure, or with much more skill; and lity and respect which we found at every place, stopped two days at Mr. Campbell's, a gentleit is ungrateful to omit
, and tedious to repeat man married to Mr. Boswell's sister. Here we were met by a post-chaise, that con Auchinleck, which signifies a stony field, seems veyed us to Glasgow.
not now to have any particular claim to its denoTo describe a city so much frequented as Glas- mination. It is a district generally level, and gow, is unnecessary. The prosperity of its com- sufficiently fertile, but, like all the western side merce appears by the greatness of many private of Scotland, incommoded by very frequent rain. houses, and a general appearance of wealth. It It was, with the rest of the country, generally is the only episcopal city whose cathedral was naked, till the present possessor finding, by the left standing in the rage of reformation. It is growth of some stately trees near his old castle, now divided into many separate places of wor- that the ground was favourable enough to timber, ship, which, taken all together, compose a great adorned it very diligently with annual plantapile, that had been some centuries in building, tions. but was never finished; for the change of reli Lord Auchinleck, who is one of the judges of gion intercepted its progress, before the cross Scotland, and therefore not wholly at leisure for aisle was added, which seems essential to a domestic business or pleasure, has yet found Gothic cathedral.
time to make improvements in his patrimony. The college has not had a sufficient share of He has built a house of hewn stone, very stately the increasing magnificence of the place. The and durable, and has advanced the value of his session was begun; for it commences on the lands with great tenderness to his tenants. tenth of October, and continues to the tenth of I was, however, less delighted with the eleJune, but the students appeared not numerous, gance of the modern mansion, than with the being, I suppose, not yet returned from their sullen dignity of the old castle. I clambered several homes. The division of the academical with Mr. Boswell among the ruins, which afford year into one session, and one recess, seems to striking images of ancient life. It is, like other me better accommodated to the present state of castles, built upon a point of rock, and was, I life, than that variegation of time by terms and believe, anciently surrounded with a moat. There vocations, derived from distant centuries, in is another rock near it, to which the drawbridge, which it was probably convenient, and still con- when it was let down, is said to have reached. tinued in the English universities. So many Here, in the ages of tumult and rapine, the laird solid months as the Scotch scheme of education was surprised and killed by the neighbouring joins together, allow and encourage a plan for chief, who perhaps might have extinguished the each part of the year: but with us, he that has family, had he not in a few days been seized settled himself to study in the college, is soon and hanged, together with his sons, by Dougtempted into the country; and he that has ad- las, who came with his forces to the relief of justed his life in the country, is summoned back Auchinleck. io his college.
At no great distance from the house runs a Yet when I have allowed to the universities pleasing brook, by a red rock, out of which has of Scotland a more rational distribution of time, been hewn a very agreeable and commodious I have given them, so far as my inquiries have summer-house, at less expense, as Lord Auchininformed me, all that they can claim. The stu- leck told me, than would have been required to dents for the most part, go thither boys, and de- I build a room of the same dimensions. The rock
seems to have no more dampness than any other word, or a short sentence, I think, may possibly wall. Such opportunities of variety it is judi- be so distinguished. cious not to neglect.
It will be readily supposed by those that conWe now returned to Edinburgh, where I sider this subject, that Mr. Braidwood's scholars passed some days with men of learning, whose spell accurately. Orthography is vitiated among names want no advancement from my comme- such as learn first to speak and then to write, by moration, or with women of elegance, which per- imperfect notions of the relation between leiters haps disclaims a pedant's praise.
and vocal utterance; but to those students every The conversation of the Scots grows every character is of cqual importance ; for letters are day less unpleasing to the English: their pecu- to them not symbols of names, but of things; liarities wear fast away; their dialect is likely to when they write, they do not represent a sound, become in half a century provincial and rustic, but delineate a form. even to themselves. The great, the learned, the This school I visited, and found some of the ambitious, and the vain, all cultivate the English scholars waiting for their master, whom they are phrase, and the English pronunciation, and in said to receive at his entrance with smiling cour splendid companies Scotch is not much heard, tenances and sparkling eyes, delighted with the except now and then from an old lady.
hope of new ideas. One of the young ladies had There is one subject of philosophical curiosity her slate before her, on which I wrote a question to be found in Edinburgh, which no other city consisting of three figures, to be multiplied by has to show; a college of the deaf and dumb, two figures. She looked upon it, and quivering who are taught to speak, to read, to write, and her fingers in a manner which I thought very to practise arithmetic, by a gentleman, whose pretty, but of which I knew not whether it was name is Braidwood. The number which attends art or play, multiplied the sum regularly in two him is, I think, about twelve, which he brings lines, observing the decimal place; but did not together into a little school, and instructs accord- add the two lines together, probably disdaining ing to their several degrees of proficiency. so easy an operation. I pointed at the place
I do not mean to mention the instruction of where the sum total should stand, and she noted the deaf as new. Having been first practised it with such expedition as seemed to show that upon the son of a constable of Spain, it was she had it only to write. afterwards cultivated with much emulation in It was pleasing to sec one of the most despe England by Wallis and Holder, and was lately rate of human calamities capable of so much professed by Mr. Baker, who once flattered me help; whatever enlarges hope, will exalt courage; with hopes of seeing his method published. How after having seen the deaf taught arithmetic
, far any former teachers have succeeded, it is not who would be afraid to cultivate the Hebrides ! easy to know; the improvement of Mr. Braid Such are the things which this joumey has wood's pupils is wonderful. They not only speak, given me an opportunity of seeing, and such are write, and understand what is written, but if he the reflections which that sight has raised. Har. that speaks looks towards them, and modifies his ing passed my time almost wholly in cities, I organs by distinct and full utterance, they know may have been surprised by modes of life and af, so well what is spoken, that it is an expression pearances of nature, that are familiar to men of scarcely figurative to say they hear with the eye. wider survey and more varied conversation. No That any have attained to the power mentioned velty and ignorance must always be reciprocal
, by Burnet, of feeling sounds by laying a hand on and I cannot but be conscious that my thoughts the speaker's mouth, I know not; but I have on national manners are the thoughts of one who scon so much, that I can believe more; a single) has seen tus little.
PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION IN 1785.
These Posthumous Devotions of Dr. Johnson That the authenticity of this work may never will be, no doubt, welcomed by the public, with be called in question, the original manuscript a distinction similar to that which has been al- will be deposited in the library of Pembroke ready paid to his other Works.
College, in Oxford. Dr. Bray's associates are During many years of his life, he statedly to receive the profits of the first edition, by the observed certain days * with a religious solem- author's appointment; and any further advan nity; on which, and others occasions, it was his tages that accrue, will be distributed among his custom to compose suitable Prayers and Medita- relations.* tions; committing them to writing for his own I have now discharged the trust reposed in use, and, as he assured me, without any view to me by that friend, whose labours entitle him to their publication. But being last summer on a lasting gratitude and veneration from the litevisit at Oxford to the Reverend Dr. Adams, trary, and still more from the Christian world. and that gentleman urging him repeatedly to His Lives of the English Poets “are writ. engage in some work of this kind, he then first ten,” as he justly hopes, “in such a manner conceived a design to revise these pious effu- as may tend to the promotion of piety.” This sions, and bequeathed them, with enlargements, merit may be ascribed, with equal truth, to to the use and benefit of others.
most of his other works, and doubtless to his Infirmities, however, now growing fast upon Sermons, none of which indeed have yet been him, he at length changed this design, and de- made public, nor is it known where they are extermined to give the manuscripts, without revi- tant; though it be certain, from his own acsion, in charge to me, as I had long shared his knowledgment, both in conversation and writintimacy, and was at this time his daily attending, that he composed many.
As he seems ant. Accordingly, one morning, on my visiting to have turned his thoughts with peculiar earhim by desire at an early hour, he put these pa- nestness to the study of religious subjects, we pers into my hands, with instructions for com- may presume these remains would deserve to mitting them to the press, and with a promise be numbered among his happiest productions. to prepare a sketch of his own life to accompany It is therefore hoped they have fallen into the them. But the performance of this promise hands of those, who will not withhold them in also was prevented, partly by his hasty destruc- obscurity, but consider them as deposits, the setion of some private memoirs, which he after- clusion of which, from general use, would be an wards lamented, and partly by that incurable injurious diminution of their author's fame, sickness, which soon ended in his dissolution. and retrenchment from the common stock of se
As a biographer, he is allowed to have ex- rious instruction. celled without a rival; and we may justly But the integrity of his mind was not only regret that he who had so advantageously speculatively shadowed in his writings, but subtransmitted to posterity the memories of other stantially exemplified in his life. His prayers eminent men, should have been thus prevented and his alms, like those of the good Cornelius, doing equal honour to his own. But the parti- went up for an incessant memorial; and always, culars of this venerable man's personal history from a heart deeply impressed with piety, never may, still, in great measure, be preserved ; and insensible to the calls of friendship or compasthe public are authorized to expect them from sion, and prone to melt in effusions of tendersome of his many friends, who are zealous to ness on the slightest incitement. augment the monument of his fame by the When, among other articles in his Dictionary, detail of his private virtues. I
Litchfield presents itself to his notice, he salutes
that place of his nativity in these words of Vir* Viz. New-Year's Day; March 28, the day on which his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson, died ; Good-Friday; * The profits of the first edition were accordingly paid Easter-Day; and September the 18th, his own birthday. to Dr. Bray's associates ; and those of the second have
| Master of Pembroke College, al 'which Dr. Johnson been distributed among Dr. Johnson's poor relations and roceived part of his education.
connexions, all of whom are since dead, excepe Hum. Since this Preface was written the following publica phrey Hely, who married Ford, sister to ihe Rev. dons have appeared, viz.
Cornelius Ford, and first cousin to our author. This poor Anecdotes of the late Dr. Johnson, during the last man, who has seen better days, is now a tenant of Twenty Years of his life, by Hester Lynch Piozzi. 3d Whicher's Almshouses, Chapel-street, Westminster. edit. 1786, small 8vo.
In 1788, appeared one volume, and in 1789, a second, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. published with or Sermons on different subjects, left for publication by his Works, by Sir John Hawkins, 8vo. 1787.
John Taylor, LL.D, late Prebendary of Westminster, &c. The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. by James Bos. published by the Rev. Samuel Hayes, A.M, Usher of well, Esq. first published in 2 vols. 410. afterwards (1793) Westminster School. To the second volume is added a in 3, and finally in 4 vols. 8vo.
Sermon avowedly written by Dr. Johnson, for the funeral An Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson, of his wife : and from internal and other evidence, the LL.D. published with the ad edicion of his Works, by whole contents of both volumes are now generally as Arthur Murphy, Esq. Svo. 1792
cribed to the same author.
gil, Salve, magna parens. Nor was the saluta- true, for the reason just mentioned, such evje tion adopted without reason ; for well might he dences of our surviving affection may be thought denominate his parent city great, who, by the ill-judged ; but surely they are generous; and celebrity of his name, hath for ever made it so some natural tenderness is due even to a soper
Salve, magna parens frugum, Staffordia tellus stition, which thus originates in piety and be Magna virum.
nevolence. Virg. Georg. lib. ii. 173.
We see our author, in one place, purposing More decisive testimonies of his affectionate with seriousness to remember his brother's sensibility are exhibited in the following work, dream; in another, owning his embarrassment where he bewails the successive depredations of from needless stipulations; and, on many occadeath on his relations and friends ;, whose vir- sions, noting, with a circumstantial minuteness, tues, thus mournfully suggested to his recollec- the process of his religious fasts. But these petion, he seldom omits to recite, with ardent culiarities, if they betray some tincture of ihe wishes for their acquittal at the throne of mercy. propensity already observed, prove, for the most In praying, however, with restriction, for I pari, the pious tenor of his thoughts. They these regretted tenants of the grave, he indeed indicate a mind ardently zealous to please God, conformed to a practice, wbich though it has and anxious to evince its alacrity in his service, been retained by other learned members of our by a scrupulous observance of more than enjoin church, her Liturgy, no longer admits, and ed duties." many, who adhere to her communion, avowedly But however the soundness of his principles disapprove. That such prayers are, or may be, might, in general, be apparent, he seems to have efficacious, they who sincerely offer them must lived with a perpetual conviction that his conbelieve. But
not a belief in their efficacy, duct was defective; lamenting past neglects, so far as it prevails, be attended with danger to forming purposes of future diligence, and conthose who entertain it? May it not incline stantly acknowledging their failure in the event. them to carelessness; and promote a neglect of It was natural for him, who possessed such repentance, by inducing a persuasion, that with powers of usefulness, to consider the waste of out it, pardon may be obtained through these his time as a peculiar delinquency; with which, vicarious intercessions ? Indeed the doctrine (I however, he appears to have been far less frespeak with deference to the great names that quently, and less culpably chargeable, than his have espoused it) seems inconsistent with some own tender sense of duty disposed bim to appreprinciples generally allowed among us. If, hend. That he meritoriously redeemed many where the tree falleth, there it shall be; if, as Pro- days and years from indolence, is evinced by testants maintain, our state at the close of life the number and excellence of his works; noi is to be the measure of our final sentence; then can we doubt that his literary exertions would prayers for the dead, being visibly fruitless, can have been still more frequent, had not morbid be regarded only as the vain oblations of super- melancholy, which, as he informs us, was the stition. But of all superstitions, this perhaps infirmity of his life, repressed them. To the is one of the least unamiable, and most incident prevalence of this infirmity, we may certainly to a good mind. If our sensations of kindness ascribe that anxious fear, which seized him on be intense, those whom we have revered and the approach of his dissolution, and which his loved during life, death which removes them friends, who knew his integrity, observed with from sight, cannot wholly exclude from our con- equal astonishment and concem. But the
The fondness, kindled by intercourse, strength of religion at length prevailed against will still glow from memory, and prompt us to the frailty of nature ; and his foreboding dread wish, perhaps to pray, that the valued dead, to of the Divine Justice by degrees subsided into a whose felicity our friendship can no longer mi- pious trust and humble hope in the Divine nister, may find acceptance with Him, who giv- Mercy.
and them, richly all things to enjoy. It is He is now gone to await his eternal sentence; Our author informs us that his prayers for deceased and as his life exhibited an illustrious example, friends were offered up, on several occasions, as far as so his death suggests an interesting admonition. might be lowful for him : and once with Prejace of It concerns us to reflect, that however many doube concerning the lawfulness of such prayers, though may find it impossible to rival his intellectual it does not appear that he ever discontinued the use of excellence, yet to imitate his virtues is both posthem. It is also observable, that in his reflections on sible and necessary to all; that the current of the death of his Wife, and again of Mr. Thrale, he time now hastens to plunge us in that gulf of wishes that the Almighty not may have, but may have Death, where we have so lately seen him abto have been already passed in the Divine Mind. This sorbed, where there is no more place of repentsupposition, indeed, may seem not very consistent with ance, and whence, according to our innocence It proves, however that he had no belief in a state or or guilt, we shall rise to an immortality of bliss Purgatory, and consequently no reason for praying for or torment. the dead, that could impeach the sincerity of his profes.
GEORGE STRAXAN. Llington, August 6th 1786.
sion as a Protestant.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FOURTH EDITION.
To this Edition is added (at p. 647) a Prayer, than those that are common; because their ocnow in my possession in Dr. Johnson's own currence having been less frequent, their existhandwriting, in which he expressly supposes ence has been verified in fewer instances by that Providence may permit him to enjoy the experience. And, upon the same principle, the good effects of his Wife's attention and minis- more remote any reported phenomenon appears tration by appearance, impulses, or dreams. It to be from what we ordinarily observe in nais well known that he admitted the credibility ture, the greater, antecedently to its authenticaof apparitions : and in his Rasselas," he main. tion by evidence, is its improbability. tains is, in the person of Imlac, by the follow But improbability arising from rarity of ocing acute train of reasoning :
currence, or singularity of nature, amounts to “That the dead are seen no more, said Imlac, no disproof; it is a presumptive reason of doubt I will not undertake to maintain, against the too feeble to withstand the conviction induced concurrent and unvaried testimony of all ages by positive and credible testimony ; such as that and of all nations. There is no people, rude or which has been borne to shadowy reappearlearned, among whom apparitions of the dead ances of the dead. These, as our author intiarc not related and believed. This opinion, mates, have been uniformly attested in every which perhaps prevails as far as human nature age and country by persons, who had no comis diffused, could become universal only by its munication or knowledge of each other, and truth ; those that never heard of one another, whose concurrence of testimony in this case can would not have agreed in a tale which nothing be accounted for only by a supposition of its but experience can make credible. That it is truth. It is evidently a far greater improbabidoubted by single cavillers, can very little weaken lity, that witnesses só numerous, so dispersed, the general evidence; and some who deny it and unconnected, should concur in forging so with their tongues confess it by their fears.” extraordinary a relation, than that such a rela
Cavillers have indeed doubted the credibility tion, extraordinary as it'is, should be true. For of this tale, rejecting it in every instance as the though the several objects we meet in the world dream of delusion, or the fiction of imposture. be in general formed according to observably
That many tales of apparitions have originated stated laws; yet anomalies in nature may ccin delusion, and many in imposture, cannot be cur, and their occurrence has been occasionally denied; and the whole question to be considered asserted and believed on less accumulated attesin this case is, how far we have authority for tation. We now at length have ceased to quesbelieving that any are founded in truth or pro- tion the supernatural stature of the Patagobability.
nians; why, then, are we so unwilling to admit Some have thought all such reported appear- the more amply witnessed existence of appariances liable to suspicion, because in general they tions? Because the degree of prodigiousness seem called forth by no exigency, and calculated implied in the supposition of a visible spirit to administer to no end or purpose. This cir- strikes the imagination as too stupendous for becumstance, so far as it may be observed, will lief. This is the effect of measuring the crediauthorize a presumption that they are not the bility of the attested achievements of nature by fabrications of imposture ; which has always our own narrow experience, not by the power some end, commonly a discoverable end, to pro- of Him, who is the author of nature, and to mote by its illusions. At any rate, our igno- whom all things, even the investing spirits with rance of the purpose or end can be no disproof visibility, are possible. We have constant assur of the fact : and the purposes of Providence, in ance of other natural processes not less difficult the events most obvious to our notice, observ- to account for than this, which we contemplate ably often elude our scrutiny.
with such indignant mistrust. Nor can it on Still the acknowledged millions of the dead reflection appear more surprising or incomprethat are seen no more induce a reluctance to be hensible, that a spirit should assume a visible lieve in the reappearance of any, however at- shape, than that it should animate and move a tested. Common incidents, though often not material body. The wonders we see may soften less inexplicable than those which are unusual, our incredulity to patience of those which we have become familiar to our observation, and soon not seen, but which all tradition attests. Nothing cease to excite our wonder. But rare and pre- possible in itself, and proved by suffic'ent eviternatural occurrences astonish and shock belief dence, can be too prodigious for rational belief. by their novelty ; and apparitions are by many
But even the evidence of our own senses is accounted things so improbable in themselves, as dispused by some reasoners, who pronounce not to be rendered credible by any external tes- every believed view of these unsubstantial forms timony. The same charge of insuperable incre- to be a mere illusion of the fancy, engendered dibility has been urged against miracles ; and in by disease, indigestion, and other bodily affecboth cases proceeds upon a supposition, evident- tions. Bodily affections, it is certain, have been ly erroneous, that the improbable nature of any known to bewilder the views of the Mind; and alleged event is a stronger evidence of its fal instances enough may be produced of men not sity, than the best approved testimony can be of generally supposed insane, who have been deits truth.
luded and possessed with the most extravagant It is confessed that extraordinary events, conceptions, by the vapours of distempered when rumoured, are, till proved, less probable health. But by what token do these philoso
phers discover, that the witnesses of the fact in Chap. III
question, whom they never saw, and of whose