Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/97

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fattest of Epicurus's hogs " he failed to visit. " You tell me," wrote the great Gibbon to a friend who was at Edinburgh just at the time of Johnson's arrival, "you tell me of a long list of Dukes, Lords, and Chieftains of renown to whom you are introduced ; were I with you I should prefer one. David to them all." 1 Boswell could easily have brought the two men together, intimate as he was with both. Early in his life he was able to boast that one of them had visited him in the forenoon and the other in the afternoon of the same day." Hume's conversation perhaps was not after the fashion which Johnson liked. It certainly would not have come recommended to him by his broad Scotch accent. Nevertheless there was that about it which endeared it to his friends. For innocent mirth and agreeable raillery he was thought to be unmatched/' Adam Smith has celebrated his constant pleasantry. In his wit there was not the slightest tincture of malignity. 1 But Johnson would have nothing to do with him/' In Boswell's house in James's Court, that Sunday he spent there in Dr. Robertson's company, he said "something much too rough both as to Mr. Hume's head and heart," which Boswell thought well to suppress. In the quiet still- ness of that summer sabbath day in Edinburgh, the strong loud voice might almost have been carried across the narrow valley to St. Andrew's Square, and startled the philosopher in his retire- ment.

Neither did Johnson see Adam Smith, who in Hume's house had his room whenever he chose to occupy it. To meet a famous stranger he would, we may well believe, have willingly crossed the Firth from his house in Kirkaldy. But the two men had once met in London, and " we did not take to each other," said Johnson. Had he been more tolerant, and sought the society of these two great Scotchmen, he would have seen in Scotland the best which Scotland had to show. Even as it was, in his visit to the capital and the seats of the other universities, in his tour through Lowlands, Highlands and Isles, he saw perhaps as great a variety of men and manners as had been seen in that country by any Englishman up to his time.

' Gibbon's Miscellaneous Works, ii. 1 10. Puttick and Simpson's catalogue for July 30,

2 Letters of Boswell to Temple, p. 151. 1886, Johnson was once Hume's guest. The

3 Dr. Carlyle's Autobiography, p. 276. compilers of auction catalogues, however, aie

4 Hume's Letters to Stralian, p. xl. not infallible as editors, and often make strange ' If we can trust the description of one of mistakes.

Hume's autograph letters (No. 1105) in Messrs.

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