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1772. you disagree. For instance, I can live very well with Ætat.
Burke: I love his knowledge, his genius, his diffusion, 63. and affluence of conversation ; but I would not talk to
him of the Rockingham party.” GOLDSMITH. “ But, Sir, when people live together who have something as to which they disagree, and which they want to shun, they will be in the situation mentioned in the story of Bluebeard : ' You may look into all the chambers but one.' But we should have the greatest inclination to look into that chamber, to 'talk of that subject." Johnson, (with a loud voice) “Sir, I am not saying that you could live in friendship with a man from whom you differ as to some point : I ain only saying that I could do it. You put me in mind of Sappho, in Ovid.”2
Goldsmith told us, that he was now busy in writing a Natural History ; and, that he might have fu!l leisure for it, he had taken lodgings, at a farmer's house, near to the six mile-stone, on the Edgeware-road, and had carried down his books in two returned post-chaises. He said, he believed the farmer's family thought him an odd character, similar to that in which the Spectator appeared to his landlady and her children : he was The Gentleman. Mr. Mickle, the translator of “ The Lusiad,” and I, went to visit him at this place a few days afterwards. He was not at home ; but having a curiosity to see his apartment, we went in, and found curious scraps of descriptions of animals, scrawled upon the wall with a black lead pencil.
The subject of ghosts being introduced, Johnson repeated what he had told me of a friend of his, an honest man, and a man of sense, having asserted to him, that he had seen an apparition. Goldsmith told us, he was assured by his brother, the Reverend Mr. Goldsmith,
2 (Mr. Boswell's note here being rather short, as taken at the time, (with a view perhaps to future revision,) Johnson's remark is obscure, and requires to be a little opened. What he said, probably was, “ You seem to think that two friends, to live well together, must be in a perfect harmony with each other ; that each should be to the other, what Sappho boasts she was to her lover, and uniformly agree in every particular : but this is by no means necessary," &c. The words of Sapphe alluded to, are ;-"omnique à parte placebam." Ovid. Epist. Sapp. ad Phaonem. X. 45. M.)
that he also had seen one. General Oglethorpe told 1772. us, that Prendergast, an officer in the Duke of Marlbo
Ætat. rough's army, had mentioned to many of his friends, 63. that he should die on a particular day : that upon that day a battle took place with the French ; that after it was over, and Prendergast was still alive, his brother officers, while they were yet in the field, jestingly asked him, where was his prophecy now. Prendergast gravely answered, “ I shall die, notwithstanding what you see.” Soon afterwards, there came a shot from a French battery, to which the orders for a cessation of arms had not yet reached, and he was killed upon the spot. Col. onel Cecil, who took possession of his effects, found in his pocket-book the following solemn entry : [Here the date.] 66 Dreamtor
3 Sir John Friend meets me.” (here the very day on which he was killed was mentioned.) Prendergast had been connected with Sir John Friend, who was executed for high treason. General Oglethorpe said, he was with Colonel Cecil, when Pope came and enquired into the truth of this story, which made a great noise at the time, and was then confirmed by the Colonel.
On Saturday, April 11, he appointed me to come to him in the evening, when he should be at leisure to give me some assistance for the defence of Hastie, the schoolmaster of Campbelltown, for whom I was to appear in the House of Lords. When I came, I found him unwilling to exert himself. I pressed him to write down his thoughts upon the subject. He said, “ There's no occasion for my writing. I'll talk to you." He was, however, at last prevailed on 'to dictate to me, while I wrote as follows :
“ The charge is, that he has used immoderate and cruel correction. Correction, in itself, is not cruel ; children, being not reasonable, can be governed only by fear. To impress this fear, is therefore one of the first duties of those who have the care of children. It is the
? Here was a blank, which may be filled up thus :—" was told by an apparition ;" -the writer being probably uncertain whether he was asleep or awake, when his mind was impressed with the solemn presentiment with which the fact afterwards happened so wonderfully to correspond.
1772. duty of a parent ; and has never been thought inconÆtat.
sistent with parental tenderness. It is the duty of a 63. master, who is in his highest exaltation when he is loco
parentis. Yet, as good things become evil by excess,
death or mutilation. The civil law has wisely deter. 1772. mined, that a master who strikes at a scholar's eye shall
Ætat. be considered as criminal. But punishments, however 63. severe, that produce no lasting evil, may be just and reasonable, because they may be necessary. Such have been the punishments used by the respondent. No scholar has gone from him either blind or lame, or with any of his limbs or powers injured or impaired. They were irregular, and he punished them : they were obstinate, and he enforced his punishment. But however provoked, he never exceeded the limits of moderation, for he inflicted nothing beyond present pain : and how much of that was required, no man is so little able to determine as those who have determined against him :—the parents of the offenders. It has been said, that he used unprecedented and improper instruments of correction. Of this accusation the meaning is not very easy to be found. No instrument of correction is more proper than another, but as it is better adapted to produce present pain without lasting mischief. Whatever were his instruments, no lasting mischief has ensued ; and therefore, however unusual, in hands so cautious they were proper.-It has been objected, that the respondent admits the charge of cruelty, by producing no evidence to confute it. Let it be considered, that his scholars are either dispersed at large in the world, or continue to inhabit the place in which they were bred. Those who are dispersed cannot be found ; those who remain are the sons of his prosecutors, and are not likely to support a man to whom their fathers are enemies. If it be supposed that the enmity of their fathers proves the justness of the charge, it must be considered how often experience shews us, that men who are angry on one ground will accuse on another ; with how little kindness, in a town of low trade, a man who lives by learning is regarded ; and how implicitly, where the inhabitants are not very rich, a rich man is hearkened to and followed. In a place like Campbelltown, it is easy for one of the principal inhabitants to make a party. It is easy for that party to heat themselves with imaginary griev
1772. ances. It is easy for them to oppress a man poorer er than themselves; and natural to assert the dignity of 63. riches, by persisting in oppression.
The argument which attempts to prove the impropriety of restoring him to the school, by alledging that he has lost the confidence of the people, is not the subject of juridical consideration for he is to suffer, if he must suffer, not for their judgement, but for his own actions. It may be convenient for them to have another master; but it is a convenience of their own making. It would be likewise convenient for him to find another school, but this convenience he cannot obtain.-The question is not what is now convenient, but what is generally right. If the people of Campbelltown be distressed by the restoration of the respondent, they are distressed only by their own fault ; by turbulent passions and unreasonable desires ; by tyranny, which law has defeated, and by malice, which virtue has surmounted.”
“ This, Sir, (said he,) you are to turn in your mind, and make the best use of it you can in your speech.”
Of our friend Goldsmith he said, “Sir, he is so much afraid of being unnoticed, that he often talks merely lest you should forget that he is in the company. Boswell. “Yes, he stands forward." JOHN son. “ True, Sir ; but if a man is to stand forward, he should wish to do it not in an aukward posture, not in rags, not so as that he shall only be exposed to ridicule.” BOSWELL. “ For my part, I like very well to hear honest Goldsmith talk away carelessly.”
Why yes, Sir ; but he should not like to hear himself.”
On Tuesday, April 14, the decree of the Court of Session in the Schoolmaster's cause was reversed in the House of Lords, after a very eloquent speech by Lord Mansfield, who shewed himself an adept in school discipline, but I thought was too rigorous towards my client. On the evening of the next day I supped with Dr. Johnson, at the Crown and Anchor tavern, in the Strand, in company with Mr. Langton and his brotherin-law, Lord Binning. I repeated a sentence of Lord Mansfield's speech, of which, by the aid of Mr. Long