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August 23.] The ruplure of old friendships.
principle now laid down, we might explain the difficult and seemingly hard text, “They that believe shall be saved; and they that believe not shall be damned':' They that believe shall have such an impression made upon their minds, as will make them act so that they may be accepted by GOD.
We talked of one of our friends taking ill, for a length of time, a hasty expression of Dr. Johnson's to him, on his at. tempting to prosecute a subject that had a reference to religion, beyond the bounds within which the Doctor thought such topicks should be confined in a mixed company. JOHNSON. “What is to become of society, if a friendship of twenty years is to be broken off for such a cause ?' As Bacon says,
"Who then to frail mortality shall trust,
But limns the water, or but writes in dust'.' I said, he should write expressly in support of Christianity; for that, although a reverence for it shines through his works in several places, that is not enough. You know, (said I, what Grotius has done, and what Addison has done'. -You should do also.' He replied, 'I hope I shall.'
MONDAY, AUGUST 23. Principal Campbell, Sir Alexander Gordon, Professor Gordon, and Professor Ross, visited us in the morning, as did Dr. Gerard, who had come six miles from the country on purpose. We went and saw the Marischal College', and at
1.He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned.' St. Mark, xvi. 16.
* Mr. Langton. See ante, ii. 291, 304.
• Spedding's Bacon, vii. 271. The poem is also given in The Golden Treasury, p. 37 ; where, however, ‘limns the water' is changed into limns on water.'
• Addison now returned to his vocation, and began to plan literary occupations for his future life. He purposed a tragedy on the death of Socrates. ... He engaged in a nobler work, a defence of the Christian religion, of which part was published after his death.' Johnson's Works, vii. 441, and Addison's Works, ed. 1856, v. 103. • Dr. Beattie was so kindly entertained in England, that he had not
Johnson a burgess of Aberdeen. (August 23.
one o'clock we waited on the magistrates in the town-hall, as they had invited us in order to present Dr. Johnson with the freedom of the town, which Provost Jopp did with a very good grace. Dr. Johnson was much pleased with this mark of attention, and received it very politely. There was a pretty numerous company assembled. It was striking to hear all of them drinking ‘Dr. Johnson! Dr. Johnson ! in the town hall of Aberdeen, and then to see him with his burgess-ticket, or diploma', in his hat, which he wore as he
yet returned home. BOSWELL. Beattie was staying in London till his pension got settled. Early in July he had been told that he was to have a pension of £200 a year (ante, ii. 303, note 2). It was not till Aug. 20 that it was conferred. On July 9, he, in company with Sir Joshua Reynolds, received the degree of D.C.L. at Oxford. On Aug. 24, he had a long interview with the King; ‘who asked,' Beattie records, 'whether we had any good preachers at Aberdeen. I said “Yes,” and named Campbell and Gerard, with whose names, however, I did not find that he was acquainted.' It was this same summer that Reynolds painted him in the allegorical picture representing the triumph of truth over scepticism and infidelity' (post, Oct. I, note). Forbes's Beattie, ed. 1824, pp. 151-6, 167.
' Dr. Johnson's burgess-ticket was in these words :
* Aberdoniæ, vigesimo tertio die mensis Augusti, anno Domini millesimo septingentesimo septuagesimo tertio, in presentia honorabilium virorum, Jacobi Jopp, armigeri, præpositi, Adami Duff, Gulielmi Young, Georgii Marr, et Gulielmi Forbes, Balivorum, Gulielmi Rainie Decani guildæ, et Joannis Nicoll Thesaurarii dicti burgi.
Quo die vir generosus et doctrina clarus, Samuel Johnson, LL.D. receptus et admissus fuit in municipes et fratres guildæ præfati burgi de Aberdeen. In deditissimi amoris et affectus ac eximiæ observantiæ tesseram, quibus dicti Magistratus eum amplectuntur. Extractum per me, ALEX. CARNEGIE.' BOSWELL. 'I was presented with the freedom of the city, not in a gold box, but in good Latin. Let me pay Scotland one just praise; there was no officer gaping for a fee; this could have been said of no city on the English side of the Tweed.' Piozzi Letters, i. 117. Baretti, in a MS. note on this passage, says :* Throughout England nothing is done for nothing. Stop a moment to look at the rusticks mowing a field, and they will presently quit their work to come to you, and ask something to drink.' Aberdeen conferred its freedom so liberaily about this time that it is surprising that Boswell was passed over. George Colman the younger, when a
Boswell's projected works.
walked along the street, according to the usual custom. It gave me great satisfaction to observe the regard, and indeed fondness too, which every body here had for my father.
While Sir Alexander Gordon conducted Dr. Johnson to old Aberdeen, Professor Gordon and I called on Mr. Riddoch, whom I found to be a grave worthy clergyman. He observed, that, whatever might be said of Dr. Johnson while he was alive, he would, after he was dead, be looked upon by the world with regard and astonishment, on account of his Dictionary.
Professor Gordon and I walked over to the Old College, which Dr. Johnson had seen by this time. I stepped into the chapel, and looked at the tomb of the founder, Archbishop Elphinston', of whom I shall have occasion to write in my History of fames IV. of Scotland, the patron of my family:
youth of eighteen, was sent to King's College. He says in his worthless Random Records, ii.99:—I had scarcely been a week in Old Aberdeen, when the Lord Provost of the New Town invited me to drink wine with him one evening in the Town Hall; there I found a numerous company assembled. The object of this meeting was soon declared to me by the Lord Provost, who drank my health, and presented me with the freedom of the City.' Two of his English fellow-students, of a little older standing, had, he said, received the same honour. His statement seemed to me incredible; but by the politeness of the Town-clerk, W. Gordon, Esq., I have found out that in the main it is correct. Colman, with one of the two, was admitted as an Honorary Burgess on Oct. 8, 1781, being described as vir generosus; the other had been admitted earlier. The population of Aberdeen and its suburbs in 1769 was, according to Pennant, 16,000. Pennant's Tour, p. 117.
1. King's College in Aberdeen was an exact model of the University of Paris. Its founder, Bishop (not Archbishop) Elphinstone, had been a Professor at Paris and at Orleans. Burton's Scotland, ed. 1873, iii. 404. On p. 20, Dr. Burton describes him as 'the rich accomplished scholar and French courtier Elphinstone, munificently endowing a University after the model of the University of Paris.'
* Boswell projected the following works :-
2. A work in which the merit of Addison's poetry shall be maintained, ib. p. 261.
Timidity of Aberdeen Professors. [August 23.
We dined at Sir Alexander Gordon's. The Provost, Professor Ross, Professor Dunbar, Professor Thomas Gordon, were there. After dinner came in Dr. Gerard, Professor Leslie', Professor Macleod. We had little or no conversation in the morning; now we were but barren. The professors seemed afraid to speak'.
Dr. Gerard told us that an eminent printer' was very intimate with Warburton. JOHNSON. “Why, Sir, he has printed
3. A History of Sweden, ii. 179. 4. A Life of Thomas Ruddiman, ib. p. 248. 5. An edition of Walton's Lives, iii. 122. 6. A History of the Civil Ilar in Great Britain in 1745 and 1746, ib.
7. A Life of Sir Robert Sibbald, ib. p. 257.
9. A Collection, with notes, of old tenures and charters of Scotland, ib. p. 471, note 2.
10. A History of Fames IV.
11. 'A quarto volume to be embellished with fine plates, on the subject of the controversy (ante, ii. 421) occasioned by the Beggar's Opera.' Murray's Johnsoniana, ed. 1836, p. 502.
Thomas Boswell received from James IV. the estate of Auchinleck. Ante, ii. 473. See post, Nov. 4.
'Mackintosh says, in his Life, i.9:- In October, 1780, I was admitted into the Greek class, then taught by Mr. Leslie, who did not aspire beyond teaching us the first rudiments of the language; more would, I believe, have been useless to his scholars.'
Boswell was very angry that the Aberdeen professors would not talk.' Piozzi Letters, i. 118. Dr. Robertson and Dr. Blair, whom Boswell, five years earlier, invited to meet Johnson at supper, 'with an excess of prudence hardly opened their lips ' (ante, ii. 72). At Glasgow the professors did not dare to talk much (post, Oct. 29). On another occasion when Johnson came in, the company were all as quiet as a school upon the entrance of the head-master.' Ante, iii. 378.
• Dr. Beattie says that this printer was Strahan. He had seen the letter mentioned by Gerard, and many other letters too from the Bishop to Strahan. They were,' he continues, ‘very particularly acquainted.' He adds that ‘Strahan was eminently skilled in composition, and had corrected (as he told me himself) the phraseology of both Mr. Hume and Dr. Robertson.' Forbes's Beattie, ed. 1824, p. 341.
Bishop Warburton's abuse.
some of his works, and perhaps bought the property of some of them. The intimacy is such as one of the professors here may have with one of the carpenters who is repairing the college.' •But, (said Gerard,)I saw a letter from him to this printer, in which he says, that the one half of the clergy of the church of Scotland are fanaticks, and the other half infidels.' JOHNSON. "Warburton has accustomed himself to write letters just as he speaks, without thinking any more of what he throws out. When I read Warburton first, and observed his force, and his contempt of mankind, I thought he had driven the world before him ; but I soon found that was not the case ; for Warburton, by extending his abuse, rendered it ineffectual?.'
He told me, when we were by ourselves, that he thought it very wrong in the printer to shew Warburton's letter, as it was raising a body of enemies against him. He thought it foolish in Warburton to write so to the printer; and added, 'Sir, the worst way of being intimate, is by scribbling. He called Warburton's Doctrine of Grace a poor performance, and so he said was Wesley's Answer'. Warburton, (he observed,) had laid himself very open. In particular, he was weak enough to say, that, in some disorders of the imagination, people had spoken with tongues, had spoken languages which they never knew before; a thing as absurd as to say,
' An instance of this is given in Johnson's Works, viii. 288 :—Warburton had in the early part of his life pleased himself with the notice of inferior wits, and corresponded with the enemies of Pope. A letter was produced, when he had perhaps himself forgotten it, in which he tells Concanen,“ Dryden, I observe, borrows for want of leisure, and Pope for want of genius; Milton out of pride, and Addison out of modesty."
'Goldsmith asserted that Warburton was a weak writer. “Warburton,” said Johnson, “may be absurd, but he will never be weak; he flounders well." ' Stockdale's Memoirs, ii. 64. See Appendix A.
The Doctrine of Grace; or the Office and Operations of the Holy Spirit vindicated from the Insults of Infidelity and the Abuses of Fanaticism, 1762.
* A Letter to the Bishop of Gloucester, occasioned by his Tract on the Office and Operations of the Holy Spirit, by John Wesley, 1762.