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MRS. MONTAGU'S ESSAY.
Hattering to me, a considerable part of my Journal, containing this paragraph, das read several years ago by Mrs. Thralo herself, who had it for some time in her possession, and returned it to me, without intimating that Dr. Johnson had mistaken her sentimenis.
When the first edition of my Journal was passing through the press, it occurred to me, that a peculiar delicacy was necessary to be observed in reporting tbe opinion of one literary lady concerning the performance of another; and I had such scruples on that head, that, in the proof sheet, I struck out the name of Mrs. Thrale from the above paragraph, and two or three hundred copies of my book were actually printed and published without it; of these Sir Joshua Reynolds's copy happened to be one. But while the sheet was workir:g off, a friend, for whose opinion I have great respect, suggested that I had no right to deprive Mrs. Thral: of the high honour which Dr. Johnson had done her, by stating her opinion along with that of Mr. Beauclerk, as coinciding with, and, as it were, sanctioning his own. The observation appeared to me so weighty and conclusive, that I hastened to the printing-bonuse, and, as a piece of justice, restored Mrs. Thrale to that place from which a too scrupulous delicacy had excluded her. On this simple state of facts I shall wake no observation what Pyer.-B.
Taish-Tanners, But wners-Learning of the Scots-Life of a Sailor-Peter the Great Talisker-Scottish Clergy-French Hunting--Cuchillin's Well-Young Col-Birch-Percy, * Every Island is a Prison "--Corrichatachin-Good Fellowship--and Head-ache-Kings burgh's Song-Lady Margaret Macdonald-Threshing and Thatching-Price of Labour Ostig-Shenstone-Hammond-Sir C. II. Williams-Burke-Young-Doddridge's Family Motto_" Adventures of a Guinea "- Armidale-German Courts—Goldsmith's Love of Talk -St. Kilda.
Last night Dr. Johnson gave us an account of the whole process of tanning, and of the nature of milk, and the various operations upon it, as making whey, &c. His variety of information is surprising ; and it gives one much satisfaction to find such a man bestow. ing his attention on the useful arts of life. Ulinish was much struck with his knowledge; and said, “ He is a great orator, Sir; it is music to hear this man speak.” A strange thought struck me, to try if he knew anything of an art, or whatever it should be called, which is no doubt very useful in life, but which lies far out of the way of a philosopher and poet; I mean the trade of a butcher. I enticed him into the subject, by connecting it with the various researches into the manners and customs of uncivilised nations, that have been made by our late navigators into the South Seas. I began with observing, that Mr. (now Sir Joseph) Banks tells us, that the art of slaughtering animals was not known in Otaheite, for, instead of bleeding to death their dogs (a common food with them), they strangle them.
This he told me himself ; and I supposed that their hogs were killed in the same way. Dr. Johnson said, “This must be owing to their not having knives, though they have sharp stones with which they can cut a carcass in pieces tolerably." By degrees he showed that he knew something even of butchery. “Different animals," said he, "are killed differently. An ox is knocked down, and a calf stunned; but a sheep has its throat cut, without anything
being doue to stupefy it. The butchers have no view to the ease of the animals, but only to make them quiet, for their own safety and convenience. A sheep can give them little trouble. Hales is of opinion that every animal should be blooded, without having any blow given to it, because it bleeds better.” BOSWELL. “That would be cruel." JOHNSON. "No, Sir ; there is not much pain, if the jugular vein be properly cut." Pursuing the subject, he said, the kennels of Southwark ran with blood two or three days in the week; that he was afraid there were slaughter-houses in more streets in London than one supposes (speaking with a kind of horror of butchering); " and yet,” he added, “any of us would kill a cow, rather than not have beef." I said we could not. “Yes," said he,
any one may. The business of a butcher is a trade indeed, that is to say, there is an apprenticeship served to it; but it may be learnt in a month."
I mentioned a club in London, at the Boar's Head in Eastcheap, the very tavern where Falstaff and his joyous companions met ; the members of which all assumed Shakspeare's characters. One is Falstaff, another Prince Henry, another Bardolph, and so on. JOHNSON. “Don't be of it, Sir. Now that you have a name, you must be careful to avoid many things, not bad in themselves, but which will lessen your character.' This every man who has a name must observe. A man who is not publicly known may live in London as he pleases, without any notice being taken of him ; but it is wonderful how a person of any consequence is watched. There was a member of Parliament, who wanted to prepare himself to speak on a question that was to come on in the House ; and he and I were to talk it over together. He did not wish it should be known that he talked with me; so he would not let me come to bis house, but came to mine. Some time after he had made his speech in the House, Mrs. Cholmondeley,' a very airy lady, told me, • Well, you could make nothing of him ! naming the gentleman ; which was a proof that he was watched. I had once some business to do for government, and I went to Lord North’s. Precaution was taken that it should not be known. It was dark before I went; yet a few days after I was told, 'Well, you have been with Lord North. That the door of the prime minister should be watched is not strange; but that a member of Parliament should be watched is wonderful."
1 I do not see why I might not have been of this club without lessening my character. But Dr. Johnson's caution against supposing one's self concealed in London may be very useful to prevent some people from doing many things, not only foolish, but criminal.
2 Mre. Cholmondeley was a younger sister of the celebrated Margaret Woffington. She mar ried the Hon. and Rev. George Cbolmondeley.--.
We set out this morning on our way to Talisker, in Ulinish boat, having taken leave of him and his family. Mr. Donald M'Queen still favoured us with his company, for which we were much obliged to him. As we sailed along, Dr. Johnson got into one of bis fits of railing at the Scots. He owned that they had been a very learned nation for a hundred years, from about 1550 to about 1650; but that they afforded the only instance of a people among whom the arts of civil life did not advance in proportion with learning ; that they had hardly any trade, any money, or any elegance, before the Union; that it was strange that, with all the advantages possessed by other nations, they had not any of those conveniencies and embellishments which are the fruit of industry, till they came in contact with a civilised people. “We have taught you,” said he, “and we'll do the same in time to all barbarous nations, to the Cherokees, and at last to the Ouran-Outangs," laughing with as much glee as if Monboddo had been present. BOSWELL. “We had wine before the Union.” JOHNSON. “No, Sir ; you had some weak stuff, the refuse of France, which would not make you drunk." BOSWELL. “I assure you, Sir, there was a great deal of drunkenness." Johnson.
Johnson. "No, Sir ; there were people who died of dropsies, which they contracted by trying to get drunk.”
I must here glean some of his conversation at Ulinish, which I have omitted. He repeated his remark, that a man in a ship was worse than a man in a jail. “The man in a jail,” said he, “bas more room, better food, and commonly better company, and is in safety.” “Ay, but,” said Mr. M'Queen," the man in the ship has the pleasing hope of getting to shore." JOHNSON. “Sir, I am not talking of a man's getting to shore, but of a man while he is in a ship, and then, I say, he is worse than a man while he is in a jail. A man in a jail may have the pleasing hope' of getting out. A man confined for only a limited time actually has it.” Macleod
mentioned his schemes for carrying on fisheries with spirit, and that he would wish to anderstand the construction of boats. I suggested that he might go to a dock-yard and work, as Peter the Great did. Johnson. “Nay, Sir, he need not work. Peter the Great had not the sense to see that the mere mechanical work may be done by anybody, and that there is the same art in constructing a vessel, whether the boards are well or ill wrought. Sir Christopher Wren might as well have served his time to a bricklayer, and first, indeed, to a brickmaker."
There is a beautiful little island in the Loch of Dunvegan, called Isa. Macleod said, he would give it to Dr. Johnson, on condition of his residing on it three months in the year ; nay, one month. Dr. Johnson was highly amused with the fancy. I have seen him please himself with little things, even with mere ideas like the present. He talked a great deal of this island; how he would build a house there—how he would fortify it-how he would have cannonhow he would plant-how he would sally out, and take the Isle of Muck ; and then he laughed with uncommon glee, and could hardly leave off. I have seen him do so at a small matter that struck him, and was a sport to no one else. Mr. Langton told me, that one night he did so while the company were all grave about him ;-only Garrick, in his significant smart manner, darting his eyes around, exclaimed, “ Very jocose, to be sure !" Macleod encouraged the fancy of Dr. Johnson's becoming owner of an island; told him, that it was the practice in this country to name every man by his lands, and begged leave to drink to him in that mode : “ Island Isa, your health !” Ulinish, Talisker, Mr. M'Queen, and I, all joined in our different manners, while Dr. Johnson bowed to each, with much good humour.
We had good weather, and a fine sail this day. The shore was varied with hills, and rocks, and corn-fields, and bushes, which are here dignified with the name of natural wood. We landed near the house of Ferneley, a farm possessed by another gentleman of the name of Macleod, who, expecting our arrival, was waiting on the shore, with a horse for Dr. Johnson. The rest of us walked. At dinner, I expressed to Macleod the joy which I had in seeing him on such cordial terms with his clan. “ Government,” said he, “bag