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Sir, these are objects which are not seen at the same time nor in the same place.' Bozz. "I think, Sir, that old women in general are used to see ghosts." Pozz." Yes, Sir, and their conversation is full of the subject: I would have an old woman to record such conversations; their loquacity tends to minuteness.
We talked of a person who had a very bad character. Pozz." Sir, he is a scoundrel." Bozz. "I hate a scoundrel." Pozz. "There you are wrong: don't hate scoundrels. Scoundrels, Sir, are useful. There are many things we cannot do without scoundrels. I would not choose to keep company with scoundrels, but something may be got from them." Bozz. "Are not scoundrels generally fools?" Pozz. "No, Sir, they are not. A scoundrel must be a clever fellow; he must know many things of which a fool is ignorant. Any man may be a fool. I think a good book might be made out of scoundrels. I would have a Biographia Flagitiosa, the Lives of Eminent Scoundrels, from the earliest accounts to the present day." I mentioned hanging: I thought it a very awkward situation. Pozz. "No, Sir, hanging is not an awkward situation; it is proper, Sir, that a man whose actions tend towards flagitious obliquity should appear perpendicular at last." I told him that I had lately been in company with some gentlemen, every one of whom could recollect some friend or other who had been hanged. Pozz. "Yes, Sir, that is the easiest way. We know those who have been hanged; we can recollect that: but we cannot number those who deserve it; it would not be decorous, Sir, in a mixed company. No, Sir, that is one of the few things which we are compelled to think."
Our regard for literary property (') prevents our making a larger extract from the above important work. We have, however, we hope, given such passages as will tend to impress our readers with a high idea of this vast undertaking.-Note by the Author.
(1) [This alludes to the jealousy about copyright, which Mr. Boswell carried so far that he actually printed separately, and entered at Stationers' Hall, Johnson's Letter to Lord Chesterfield, and the account of Johnson's Conversation with George III. at Buckingham House, to prevent his rivals making use of them.-C.]
No. IV. A POETICAL AND CONGRATULATORY EPISTLE TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
On his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, with the celebrated Doctor Johnson.
BY PETER PINDAR, ESQ. (1)
—Τρώεσσιν ἐβούλετο κυδος ὀρέξαι.
O BOSWELL, Bozzy, Bruce, whate'er thy name,
Is amply gratified — a thousand eyes
Survey thy books with rapture and surprise!
(1) [Dr. Walcot, published in 1787.]