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Bosiuell's London Journal, 1762-1763 

Boswell in Holland, 1 763-1 7^4 

Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 1764 
Boswell on the Grand Tour: Italy, Corsica, and France, 1 765- 



4765- 1766 






Boswell on the Grand Tour: Italy, Corsica, and France, 1765-1766. Copyright 1955 by 
Yale University. Copyright, 1928, 1929, 1930, by Yale University. All rights in this book 
are reserved. It may not be used for dramatic, motion-, or talking-picture purposes without 
written authorization from the holder of these rights. Nor may the book or parts thereof be 
reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission in writing, except in the case of 
brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information, address the 
McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Trade Department, 330 West 4%d Street^ New York 36, 
New York. Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 55-7270 



FREDERICK A. POTTLE, PH.D., UTT.D., LL.D., Sterling Professor of English, Yale University; 


FREDERICK W. HILLES, PH.D., O.B.E., Bodman Professor of English Literature, Yale 

HERMAN W. LIEBERT, Assistant to the Librarian and Research Associate, Yale University 

EDWARD C, ASWELL, Vice-president, McGraw-Hill Book Company 

ROBERT F. METZDORF, PH.D., Curator of Manuscripts and Research Associate, Yale Uni- 


C. COLLEER ABBOTT, M.A., PH.D., Emeritus Professor of English Language and Literature in 

the University of Durham 
JAMES T. BABB, M.A., Librarian of Yale University 
WILLIAM BEATTIE, M.A,, Librarian, National Library of Scotland 
THOMAS G. BERGIN, PH.D., O.B.E., Benjamin F. Barge Professor of Romance Languages 

and Literature, and Master of Timothy Dwight College, Yale University 
CLEANTH BROOKS, B.A., B.LITT. (OXON.), Professor of English, Yale University 
PAUL S. BREUNING, UTT.D., Deputy Librarian of the University of Utrecht 
R. W. CHAPMAN, D.LTTT, LL.D., F.B.A., Sometime Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford 
JAMES L. CLIFFORD, PH.D., Professor of English, Columbia University 
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD CLINTON, P.O., G.C.V.O., Fettercairn House, Fettercairn, 


LL.D., Chairman of the Board of Trustees, National Library of Scotland 
L. P. CURTIS, PH.D., Associate Professor of History, Yale University 
SIR JAMES FERGUSSON OF KILKERRAN, BT., Keeper of the Records of Scotland 
ARTHUR A. HOUGHTON, JR., LITT.D., L.H.D., LL.D., New York City 
DONALD F, HYDE, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey 


W. S. LEWIS, LITT.D,, L.H.D., Fellow of Yale University and Editor of the Yale Edition 

of Horace Walpole's Correspondence 
C. A. MALCOLM, M.A., PH,D., O.B.E., Librarian to the Society of Writers to the Signet, 


HENRI PEYRE, DR.S L., Sterling Professor of French, Yale University 

L. F. POWELL, M.A., D.LITT., F.R.S.L., F.L.A., Sometime Librarian of the Taylor Institution, 

Reviser of Hill's Edition of BoswelTs "Life of Johnson" 
S. C. ROBERTS, M.A., LL.D., Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge 
L. W. SHARP, M.A., PH.D., Librarian to the University of Edinburgh 
D. NICHOL SMITH, LITT.D,, LL.D., F.B.A., Emeritus Professor of English Literature in the 

University of Oxford 
CHAUNCET B. TINKER, PH.D., LITT.D., L.H.D., Sterling Professor of English Literature 

Emeritus, and Keeper of Rare Books in the University Library, Yale University 

The Yale Editions of the Private Papers of James Boswell will consist of two in- 
dependent but parallel series planned and executed for different types of readers. One, 
the <e research" edition, will give a complete text of BoswelVs journals, diaries, and 
memoranda; of his correspondence; and of "The Life of Johnson, 9 ' from the original 
manuscript: the whole running to at least thirty volumes. It will preserve the spelling 
and capitalization of the original documents, and will be provided with extensive 
scholarly annotation. A large group of editors and a permanent office staff are engaged 
in this comprehensive undertaking, the first volume of which may appear by 1956. The 
other, the reading or "trade" edition, will select from the total mass of papers those 
portions that appear likely to interest the general reading public, and will present them 
in modern spelling and with annotation of a popular cast. The publishers may also issue 
limited de luxe printings of the trade volumes, with extra illustrations and special 
editorial matter, but in no case will the trade volumes or the de luxe printings include 
matter from BoswelVs archives that will not also appear in the research edition. 
The present volume is the fifth of the trade edition. 


INTRODUCTION by Frank Brady ix 

TEXT OF Boswell in Italy, 1765 i 

TEXT OF The Journal of a Tour to Corsica and Memoirs of Pascal 

Paoli 141 

TEXT OF The Voyage Home, 765-1766 205 

APPENDIX A. Correspondence with Girolama Piccolomini (Moma), 

1766-1769 303 

APPENDIX B. Letters of Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur 317 

APPENDIX c. Discarded Portion of Letter from Boswell to Rousseau 32 1 

APPENDIX D. Paragraphs from "The London Chronicle" concerning 

Corsica and Boswell 322 

INDEX 329 


The Campo Vaccino, or Forum, engraved by Giovanni Battista Piranesi; 
from a print in the collection of Warren H. Lowenhaupt 


John Wilkes (1725-1797), from an original pencil sketch by Richard 
Earlom, in the National Portrait Gallery, London Facing page 52 

Andrew Lumisden (1720-1801), from the medallion by James Tassie; 
copyright by the National Galleries of Scotland, and reproduced by 
permission Facing page 84 

Oil painting in the collection of Sir Gilbert Eliott of Stobs, Bt, assumed to 
be a portrait of John Stuart, Lord Mountstuart, later ist Marquess 
of Bute ( 1 744-1 8 14) , by William Hoare of Bath Facing page 1 08 

Boswell's journal for 1776 shows that he had seen and admired a portrait 
of Mountstuart "by Mr. Hoare," and that Mountstuart made him a 

viii List of Illustrations 

present of it. We conclude that the picture here reproduced, which has 
come down among the Boswell family pictures without identification, is 
the portrait in question. Professor Ellis K. Waterhouse of the Barber 
Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, who kindly examined 
the picture at our request, reports that the sitter does bear a convincing 
resemblance to Mountstuart as represented in authenticated portraits, and 
that the ascription to Hoare seems to him reasonable. 

Boswell's Corsican passport, issued 18 October 1765, from the original 

in the Yale University Library Facing page i 60 

Pasquale de Paoli (1725-1807), engraved by John Raphael Smith from 
the original painting commissioned by Boswell from Henry Ben- 
bridge; from a print presented to the Yale Art Gallery by Chauncey 
Brewster Tinker Facing page 90 

The Maison Carree at Nimes, engraved by Louis Pierre Baltard; from 
Charles Louis Clerisseau, Antiquites de la France, Paris, 1804 

Facing page 252 

William Pitt, later ist Earl of Chatham (1708-1778), from a painting by 
William Hoare of Bath, in the National Portrait Gallery, London 

Facing page 294 

Maps of Italy, Corsica, and France at the time of Boswell's tour, locating 
many of the places mentioned by him. Redrawn by Harold KL. Faye 

Endpapers; also following page 328 



James Boswell's main concerns during the period of his life covered 
by this volume were sex, religion, and politics the three subjects 
of conversation forbidden in polite society. To be sure, these essential 
interests occupied his mind a great deal throughout his life, as they 
do most men's; where he differed from others was in the determina- 
tion with which he explored them both in words and in action, and 
in the frankness and relish for detail with which he set down not 
only conversations, but also his feelings and his experiences in gen- 
eral. This is not a polite book, because Boswell insisted on asking 
fundamental questions both of himself and of others a trait that 
some have found indelicate, but which accounts in part for the warm 
response he evoked from such varied and distinguished men as Rous- 
seau, Paoli, and Dr. Johnson. 

Boswell's personal writings also reflect the intense concern with 
which he searched for a balance between the claims of principle and 
desire in the major areas of experience. In writing down what he 
thought, felt, and did, he fixed in relative clarity his impressions of a 
confused existence; momentarily he arrested the onrush of daily life 
in a search for its direction and significance. At this point in his life 
he wanted to discover whether he was fundamentally a libertine, a 
faithful lover, or would be satisfied with the respectable permanence 
of marriage. He wanted to decide whether the comforting deism of 
Rousseau, the solid support of an historic church either Roman Cath- 
olic or Anglican, or the stern worship of his Presbyterian ancestors 
provided a true and enduring faith. Finally, he hoped to find in poli- 
tics both an acceptable escape from, and reconciliation with, his pro- 
jected destiny as a Scottish lawyer. Perhaps as a foreign envoy, or as 
Ayrshire's representative in the House of Commons, he could pursue 
a respected and profitable career which would not limit him to the 
provincial round of Auchinleck and Edinburgh. Boswell knew that 
the grand tour was his father's last concession; it was a final and glo- 


x Introduction 

rious opportunity to explore his own character and capacities, and to 
enjoy himself, before he assumed the dull duties which awaited him 
in Scotland, Just how deeply the tour was to affect him did not be- 
come apparent until after his trip to Corsica and his meeting with 
Pascal Paoli, an event which was to colour his entire life. 1 

By the time Boswell crossed the Alps into Italy, he was already 
set apart from the average young Englishman on his travels, since he 
came straight from a triumphal survey of Voltaire and Rousseau. 2 Of 
the two, Rousseau had affected him far more strongly: his emphasis 
on self-expression had led Boswell to choose him as his mentor for 
life in general and for his conduct in Italy in particular. Under his 
influence Boswell resolved to behave well, to spend his time profit- 
ably, and to return to Scotland a wiser and more cultivated man. Yet 
like poor Jack Falstaff, Boswell felt also that if Adam fell in days of 
innocency, what could he do in days of villainy? Italy was not simply 
a great religious and cultural center; it was noted for the beauty and 
reputed availability of its women, and he headed for Turin, in Geof- 
frey Scott's phrase, "with mingled feelings of awe and adulterous 

The opening Italian love scene is one of the great comic interludes 
in BoswelPs life, a pendant in its shining hopes and drab results to 
his later affair with Rousseau's mistress, Therese Le Vasseur. 3 He saw 
himself as a leading tenor in the land of opera, Don Giovanni among 
the great ladies and their cicisbei. In rapid succession he approached 
three countesses, interpreting any casual response they made as cal- 
culated, and moving impatiently from one to the next at the first 
signs of resistance. His letters reflect his technique with some accu- 

1 This Introduction deals with BoswelTs life until his departure for Corsica in 
October 1765. Subsequent events are covered in separate introductions, pp. 143 
and 207. 

2 A number of ideas and phrases in this section are taken from Geoffrey Scott's 
perceptive Introduction to the fifth volume of Colonel Isham's privately printed 
Private Papers of James BoswelL 

8 For BoswelTs affair with Therese, see p. 277. 

Introduction xi 

racy: he is twenty-four and impetuous, his heart is at their mercy, 
and time is short. Over all lies the pervasive hint that any favours 
granted are not solely on one side, since women of fifty, like Mme. de 
St. Gilles, cannot be choosers. The results of these efforts could easily 
have been predicted. Women who were perhaps attracted at first to 
this singular stranger found his precipitate behaviour uncompli- 
mentary, even in a country where love was often taken lightly; they 
repulsed him with laughter and contempt, and Boswell was reduced 
to more quickly procurable game. 

These simple conquests, ranging from "charming girls" to "mon- 
sters," provided the staple of BoswelTs sexual experience throughout 
Italy, although he pursued an opera singer in Naples and a Mme. 
Michieli, a woman of some social standing, in Venice. But such affairs 
failed to satisfy him, for they lacked the aura of true though easy 
passion which Boswell felt was indispensable to a successful fulfill- 
ment of the role of gallant he had ordained for himself. It was with a 
feeling of urgency, then, that he arrived at Siena, near the end of his 
Italian trip, with a letter of introduction to Porzia Sansedoni, once 
mistress of his friend, Lord Mountstuart. This letter was comple- 
mented by the odd and characteristic "romantic idea" that an affair 
with Porzia would unite the three of them in an enduring if puz- 
zling relationship. His object was thirty-five, wife of a prominent 
Sienese official of the Holy Roman Emperor, and the mother of three 
children. Porzia's personality does not emerge very distinctly from 
BoswelTs records, but as well as can be determined she was clever, 
well-bred, flirtatious, and never seriously interested in his proposal. 

To reduce Porzia to acquiescence, Boswell threatened her with a 
rival, Girolama Piccolomini, or Moma for short. Moma was two 
years older than Porzia; at twenty she had married a man thirteen 
years her senior, and now had four children. Her husband, Orazio 
Piccolomini, was Capitano di Popolo of Siena, a position roughly 
equivalent to mayor. Though Boswell, in his concentration on 
Porzia, had done no more, he thought, than to allot Moma his ordi- 
nary casual though pressing compliments, he soon became involved 
in an affair of serious proportions. He intended no more than a brief 
and essentially unsentimental interlude conducted according to the 
ground rules of gallantry, but he discovered that Moma played for 

xii Introduction 

keeps. Her passionate devotion touched him; he regarded her folly 
with complacent fondness, but a permanent relationship was out of 
the question. His father was angrily demanding that he return to 
Scotland, and would not long be satisfied with the explanation that 
Siena, as the seat of the purest Tuscan, was the best place to study 
Italian, though Boswell had avoided the embarrassment of a per- 
emptory recall by failing to provide his address. The real reason, 
however, for the uneasiness Boswell exhibited in this situation may 
have lain deeper. Though one can hardly more than guess at his 
feelings, his numerous matrimonial speculations, delays, and flights, 
as well as his extensive promiscuity, suggest that Boswell found it 
difficult to adjust to any enduring sexual relationship. Though he 
parted from Moma with genuine regret, it is hard to imagine that he 
really believed in the possibility of the "eternal friendship" which 
he swore. Her response as he recorded it seems far more sincere: 
"You go to greater and greater happiness, but you leave me here to go 
continually from bad to worse; for after a few years my youth will 
be gone, &c., and I am among people for whom I care nothing." 

Moma's character, mainly revealed through the letters she wrote 
to him after his departure, is striking in the candour and freedom of 
its expression. In turn passionate, angry, scornful, and sad, she never 
permitted Boswell to forget that he meant more to her than any one 
she had ever known, that their love was the most intense experience 
of her life. Love did not make her judgment of him more kind, how- 
ever; she called him inconstant, hypocritical, petty, and selfish. And, 
for all that, he was possessed of "all the qualities necessary for being 
loved and to make another's happiness." "The good in you," she re- 
marked over two years after his departure, "amazes me as much 
as the bad." Measured by this standard of love, BoswelTs reaction 
seems explicable but trivial; he could fully admire his "Italian 
angel" only from the safety of Scotland. He had indeed found love 
in Italy, but he could not or dared not permit himself to love in 

Confused, contradictory, and almost as spectacular if of less im- 
mediate interest than his amatory wanderings, BoswelTs search for 

Introduction xiii 

a solid religious foundation was of fundamental importance in his 
development. In violent reaction to his Presbyterian background, he 
had turned Roman Catholic and sceptic in quick succession, and in 
Holland had settled on the Church of England. But since he was 
further affected by the "agreeable ideas" of Christianity with which 
Rousseau's "Creed of a Savoyard Vicar" had furnished him, his views 
could scarcely have reached equilibrium. Italy impressed him spirit- 
ually in two different ways. Catholic worship stimulated his love for 
devotion and ritual, while Cicero's Tusculum inspired him to view 
Christianity as only one of the "three or four great systems said to be 
sent from heaven," all of which, he felt, were true to some extent. 

It would be pleasant to report that Boswell found spiritual cer- 
tainty in Italy, but his constant f ormulations and reformulations of 
religious and moral attitudes suggest that he had reached no satis- 
factory conclusions. To set himself rather liberal limits in theory was 
one thing; to justify his conduct to his uneasy conscience was an- 
other. Anxiety for Boswell, as for many others in the eighteenth cen- 
tury, often defined itself in the form of metaphysical problems: he 
fought a foreboding that he was helpless and damned. Rousseau saw 
BoswelTs situation clearly, and for this reason advised his friend in 
Italy, Alexandre Deleyre, "to present him with moral objects only 
under such aspects as are consoling and tender. He is a convalescent 
whom the least relapse will infallibly destroy." 


Boswell's political relationships were as diverse as his religious 
interests, but in this field his goal was far more concrete. He wished 
to acquire a position of influence, which meant that he needed to 
meet and impress the great and near-great in England. No prudent 
considerations of interest, however, could prevent him from associat- 
ing with interesting people, whatever their political connections, 
and he actually delighted in the social versatility these friendships 
sometimes involved. 

His most dangerous political friend was John Wilkes, fifteen 
years his senior, who had been elected in 1757 to the House of Com- 
mons from Aylesbury. At first a quiet and neglected follower of Pitt, 

xiv Introduction 

Wilkes began to make himself known when the Earl of Bute, George 
Ill's favourite, came to power in May 1762. In collaboration with 
the poet, Charles Churchill, Wilkes founded a periodical, The North 
Briton, in which he not only attacked Bute's political policies but 
also insinuated that the King's mother was Bute's mistress. The 
King's natural resentment at this aspersion grew to fury when 
Wilkes, in the famous No. 45 of The North Briton, declared that the 
Speech from the Throne which had opened Parliament four days 
previously was "the most abandoned instance of ministerial effron- 
tery ever attempted to be imposed on mankind," and that "the 
honour of the Crown" was "sunk even to prostitution." Jailed in the 
Tower on charges of seditious libel, Wilkes quickly gained his free- 
dom when the general warrant on which he had been arrested was 
declared illegal, and on his release was greeted with cries of "Wilkes 
and Liberty" by the London mob, who saw in general warrants an 
infringement of their civil rights. 

The House of Commons agreed with the King, however, that 
Wilkes deserved punishment. In November 1763 it voted the No. 45 
"a false, scandalous, and seditious" libel, and deprived Wilkes of 
his Parliamentary immunity from prosecution in the courts. At the 
same time, the House of Lords condemned an obscene poem called 
"An Essay on Woman," whose printing Wilkes had arranged for, 
and of which he was probably co-author. Characterized by Pitt as 
"the blasphemer of his God and the libeller of his King," and in gen- 
eral lacking respectable support, Wilkes crossed over to Paris. Plead- 
ing a real illness, he refused to return in January 1 764 to take his 
seat in the Commons, and was expelled. He was convicted of libel on 
both of the charges raised against him in Parliament, and when he 
failed to return for sentence was declared an outlaw on i November 
1764. Another blow fell three days later, when Churchill, whom he 
had gone to meet in Boulogne, died there of fever, leaving Wilkes as 
his literary executor. Shortly thereafter, Wilkes followed his mis- 
tress, Gertrude Maria Corradini, to Italy, arriving in Turin at the 
same time as Boswell. 

Certainly here was a man whom any respectable and ambitious 
young Scot should have avoided. Wilkes was not only an outlaw, he 
was notorious for his abuse of the Scots; and as a member of the 

Introduction xv 

monks of Medmenham Abbey, a club devoted to the celebration of 
the black mass and associated orgies, he had acquired the reputation 
of being one of the most licentious men of his age. But Boswell, who 
had met him casually in London in 1763, was fascinated by the wit 
and spirit of a man who in addition to his other traits was a fine 
classical scholar and a devoted father. Though he carefully defended 
his warm Tory soul against Wilkes's irreverent attitude towards mon- 
archy, Boswell found his admiration for him growing rather than 
lessening in Italy as he observed Wilkes's serene gaiety in the face of 
extraordinary difficulties. 

By coincidence, Boswell's other great political friend in Italy 
was John, Lord Mountstuart, eldest son of Wilkes's bitter opponent, 
Lord Bute. Mountstuart was also making the grand tour, although 
in a somewhat more elegant manner than Boswell, when the two 
met in Rome. At twenty, he was handsome, conventional, and indo- 
lent, proud of his royal Stuart blood and his father's eminence. 
Mountstuart, as the son of a man of wealth and power, falls into a 
category recognizable in any century. The grand tour was of little 
importance to him; it was merely an optional part of his prepara- 
tion for an outstanding career. Alexander Pope harshly anticipated 
him in his description of the young Grand Tourist in The Dunciad. 
Led by his governor 

... he sauntered Europe round, 
And gathered every vice on Christian ground . . . 
The stews and palace equally explored, 
Intrigued with glory, and with spirit whored. 

Highly conscious of his unassailable social position, Mountstuart was 
certain that all his mistakes would be readily excused they always 
had been. With few problems of his own, he minimized or avoided 
the difficulties of others. Mountstuart would never face a final 
reckoning, though he might be caught in middle age by the feeling 
that some especially great future, once confidently foreseen, had 
somehow never materialized. He lived, in the fullest sense, on the 
initiative and accomplishments of his ancestors. Yet in his youth he 
was a charming person, with a self-confidence alternately attractive 
and offensive. 

xvi Introduction 

Dazzled by Mountstuart's prestige and ministerial interest, and 
envisioning him as a future political Maecenas, Boswell quickly ac- 
cepted his invitation to join him and his entourage for the rest of 
their tour of Italy. The two other members of the party were men of 
distinct character. Col. James Edmondstone, Mountstuart's "gov- 
ernor" or overseer for the trip, was a veteran soldier who was con- 
tent to give Mountstuart his way most of the time, but who asserted 
himself firmly when the occasion demanded; he treated Boswell, to 
whom he was vaguely related, with a coarse familiarity that Boswell 
found characteristic of his countrymen and detested. Paul Henri 
Mallet, Mountstuart's tutor, was a Genevan who achieved eminence 
as an historian. He had been preceptor to the heir to the Danish 
throne, and had turned down an offer to supervise the education of 
the future Czar Paul I in order to accompany Mountstuart in the 
pleasanter climate of Italy. Mallet was a conscious intellectual, 
hypersensitive, melancholy, exacerbated by his position and mode 
of life; he considered himself BoswelTs social equal and intellectual 
superior, to Boswell's open annoyance. 

A third political faction with which Boswell mingled during his 
stay in Italy was the small and pathetic band of Jacobites which clus- 
tered about the Roman court of the Old Pretender (James III to his 
adherents) . Though the possibility of a Jacobite uprising had van- 
ished, the Hanoverians through Sir Horace Mann, the British Envoy 
in Florence, still watched their rivals carefully. Boswell knew that it 
was not wise to become identified with this group, but so long as he 
kept his distance from the Old Pretender himself, and was discreet 
about his friends in his letters home, he ran little real danger of com- 
promising himself. Among the Jacobites, Andrew Lumisden, secre- 
tary to the Pretender, became his closest friend. Lumisden's position 
was unpleasant: his master was no longer mentally capable of trans- 
acting business; the demands of the poverty-stricken Jacobites were 
incessant; and, above all, the cause was hopeless. Yet he remained 
faithfully at his post, and Boswell found his loyalty and "old-fash- 
ioned principles" as admirable as his cheerful and friendly atti- 
tude towards all well-intentioned visiting counttymen. Principally 
through Lumisden, Boswell was introduced into the hospitable Ja- 
cobite circle, which included such people as the Pretender's physician 

Introduction xvii 

Dr. James Murray, and Abbe Peter Grant of the Scots College at 
Rome. His Roman friends in turn arranged for him to meet other 
Jacobites in France: the Earl of Dunbar in Avignon, Boswell's rela- 
tive John Nairne in Sens, and various members of the colony of exiles 
grouped around the Scots College and its Principal, John Gordon, in 
Paris. After meeting Mountstuart, Boswell saw less of his Jacobite 
friends in Rome, but he disclaimed neither them nor Wilkes. Acquir- 
ing a patron did not mean to Boswell that he must give up his inde- 
pendence, and it was this firm opinion to a large extent which was to 
prevent him from ever making effectual use of Mountstuart and his 
connections. 4 

The effect of new surroundings and new acquaintances must be 
considered in the delineation of any traveller, and especially of 
Boswell. Italy and Rome attracted the eighteenth-century English- 
man as France and Paris drew the American traveller between the 
two World Wars, and for some of the same reasons: it offered a 
release from the conventions of his own society, and a chance to be- 
come acquainted with a culture certainly older and supposedly more 
profound than his own. Two great traditions, classical and Christian, 
mingled here to fascinate the English traveller who had learned his 
Horace and Virgil by heart as a schoolboy (Boswell knew forty 
Horatian odes), and whose sturdy Protestant mistrust of the Pope 
was soothed by the magnificence of St. Peter's. Italy, corrupt and 
mean as it seemed to many of its visitors, was still the mother of 
civilization and the greatest repository of its visible monuments. If 
Boswell's response to its wonders seems occasionally the product of 
exaggerated sensibility, it may be compared to the reaction of 
Edward Gibbon, who had visited Rome for the first time the previous 
year. Gibbon, a man whose dislike for enthusiasm was itself almost 
immoderate, later wrote: "At the distance of twenty-five years I can 
neither forget nor express the strong emotions which agitated my 
mind as I first approached and entered the Eternal City. After a 

* Paoli was to affect Boswell's political life and thought enormously, but a dis- 
cussion of this influence belongs to a subsequent volume. 

xviii Introduction 

sleepless night, I trod with a lofty step the ruins of the Forum; each 
memorable spot where Romulus stood, or Tully spoke, or Caesar fell, 
was at once present to my eye; and several days of intoxication were 
lost or enjoyed before I could descend to a cool and minute investi- 
gation." 6 

The Italy that Boswell visited was divided into petty states and 
dominated by foreign powers. The Kingdom of Naples and the 
Duchy of Parma were governed by branches of the Spanish Bourbons; 
the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a direct fief of the Holy Roman 
Emperor Francis I, and the Duchy of Milan part of the Austrian 
dominions of his wife, Maria Theresa. The republics of Venice, 
Genoa, and Lucca, the Duchy of Modena, and the Papal States were 
in various stages of decline, and only the King of Sardinia, the ruler 
of Savoy and Piedmont, was strong enough to act as an independent 

Boswell was well suited to the role of tourist: he was adaptable, 
he loved to travel and to meet people. As a gentleman of position, 
he was presented at the courts of Italy's rulers, and at Parma intro- 
duced into the fine literary group that Duke Philip had gathered to 
instruct his son. Otherwise Italy offered few famous men, although 
he met Batoni the painter, Winckelmann the great art critic, and a 
number of minor scholars and artists in his travels. He had two 
main sources of introduction, the Dominicans who handed him from 
monastery to monastery, and England's diplomatic representatives. 
And his English and Scottish compatriots were everywhere, some 
having settled permanently and others being in transit 

Nor did he neglect Italy's monuments. Boswell toured the art 
galleries, the churches, and the classical shrines, stood lost in ad- 
miration before the falls at Terni, scrambled up Vesuvius and over 
the ruins of Pompeii. Much of the journal and memoranda of the 
period are devoted, not surprisingly, to conscientious note-taking on 
these expeditions, most of which the present volume omits. Boswell's 
remarks on the arts are ordinarily conventional, although when he 
allowed himself to perceive directly and not through the eyes of the 
guide-book, his comments are amusing and sometimes shrewd. But 
it is the glimpses of the manners and conversations of his acquaint- 
6 Autobiographies, ed. John Murray, 1896, p. 267. 

Introduction xix 

ances that provide probably the most immediately engaging sections 
of this volume. 


The appeal to the modern reader of BoswelTs personal writings 
has been partly prepared for by developments in contemporary 
literature. In his work, as in that of a novelist like Joyce, the major 
figures are delineated by a mass of apparently unselected detail, 
although the selection is actually controlled by BoswelTs own range 
of perception and characteristic reactions. Also, the vast quantity 
of modern autobiographical analysis has prepared the contemporary 
reader to understand BoswelTs self-exploration, and to appreciate 
how his treatment of himself is heightened by his own awareness of 
his dual role as observer and participant. 

This volume is unique so far among the present series in present- 
ing BoswelTs work in its three major stages of selectivity and ar- 
rangement: the rough notes or memoranda, the letters and fully 
written journals, and part of his book on Corsica published in 1768. 
Of these three stages the memoranda are in many ways the most 
interesting, though the most difficult to follow. They are a catch-all: 
conversations, sight-seeing notes, observations on love and politics, 
religion and melancholy are jumbled together. Though an indis- 
creet detail or two was inked out later and a few pages are missing, 
they remain largely as Boswell wrote them, unrevised and unex- 
purgated. Boswell could not describe everything that happened to 
him, of course, but what he did jot down in the memoranda has the 
freshness and impact of immediate observation. 

The letters and journals clarify and expand the rough notes at 
the expense of a necessary suppression of detail; they also order 
events to bring out their essential significance. Boswell had the 
courage not to hide what he was like from himself, but like every 
man he had an image of his own character and position which 
coloured his version of experience. Yet the journals are remarkable 
for the extent to which he kept this manipulation, unavoidable in 
any connected account, to a minimum. 6 

6 BoswelTs fashioning of the Journal of a TOUT to Corsica is discussed briefly 
on p. 145. 

xx Introduction 


The principal manuscripts from which this book has been com- 
piled are the following: 

1. Journal in Switzerland and Italy, 1-30 January 1765: 50 
quarto pages, numbered by Boswell 857-906, continuous and com- 
plete; roughly 8 by 7^ inches, unbound. Some of this journal is 
written in French. 

2. Memoranda and Notes for Journal in Switzerland and Italy, i 
January to 11 October 1765: 90 unpaged octavo leaves, nearly all 
written on both sides; ranging in size from 8 by 5f to 7^ by 4^ 
inches, unbound. The entries until 30 January are expanded in the 
full journal (see item i above) ; thereafter they constitute our main 
record of BoswelTs tour of Italy. They contain many passages in 
French, Italian, and Latin, and a few English words transcribed 
in Greek characters. Some leaves are missing, particularly for 
August where the entries fail after the 25th, and September which 
has entries only for the gth, loth, 2gth, and 3Oth. 

3. "Course of Antiquities and Arts at Rome," 25-30 March 
1765: 4 quarto leaves, written on both sides, numbered by Boswell 
1-8, continuous; ending in the middle of a sentence but perhaps 
carried no further; roughly 10 by 7$ inches, unbound. In French. 

4. Journal with Lord Mountstuart, 14-22 June 1765: 4 unpaged 
quarto leaves, written on 4 sides; roughly 8f by 7$ inches, unbound. 
In Italian. 

5. "Reflections Written in Siena, 1765": 12 unpaged quarto 
leaves, written on both sides; roughly 9 by 7$ inches, unbound. In 

6. Memoranda and Notes for Journal in Capraja and Genoa, 22 
November to 10 December 1765; 8 unpaged octavo leaves, all but 
the last written on both sides; ranging in size from 7! by 5^ to 7^ 
by 5^ inches, unbound. 

7. Journal in Italy and France, 10 December 1765 to 6 January 
1766: 48 unpaged quarto leaves, all written on both sides; ranging 
in size from 8J by 6 to 7! by 5f inches, unbound. This journal is 
enclosed in a wrapper which Boswell endorsed, "Tour in France." 

8. Memoranda from Paris and England, 12 January to 23 Febru- 

Introduction xxi 

ary 1766: 37 unpaged octavo leaves, nearly all written on both sides; 
ranging in size from 7^ by 4^ to 6A by 3 \ inches, unbound. The 
leaves containing the entries for 1-1 i February are missing. These 
memoranda are enclosed in a wrapper endorsed by Boswell, "Mems. 
From Paris, and so forth. Some of Dr. Johnson after my return from 
abroad in 1766." 

9. Ten-Lines-a-Day Verses. Dated from 22 January to 10 March, 
11-13 April 1765: 9 unpaged quarto leaves, all but the last written 
on both sides; roughly g by 7^ inches, unbound. The verses for 13 
February, 2, 5, and 6 March are unfinished; those for 11-13 April 
are placed in this series conjecturally. 

10. Expense Accounts: "Expenses after Geneva," 7 January to 9 
February 1765; "Expenses in Italy," 15 February to 26 July 1765; 
"Expenses at Siena," 1-27 September 1765. 7 quarto and 2 folio un- 
paged leaves, written on both sides; ranging in size from 7^ by 9 
to 7^ by 12^ inches, unbound. In French and Italian. 

11. Upwards of 210 letters sent or received by Boswell between 
i January 1 765 and 23 February 1 766, and 5 letters of later date to or 
from Girolama Piccolomini. All but 21 of these letters are at Yale, 
and of these 21, 13 are represented at Yale by drafts. The letters to 
Boswell in the Yale collection are originals, as are BoswelTs letters 
to John Johnston and W. J. Temple. (He retrieved his letters to 
Johnston after the latter's death from his executor, and Temple re- 
turned BoswelTs letters written to him from the Continent because 
Boswell intended to use them for a book of travels.) Almost all the 
other letters by Boswell at Yale are drafts. Many of these letters are 
in French or Italian. BoswelTs Register of Letters, now at Yale, cov- 
ers this period: while neither complete nor entirely accurate, it is 
often useful for fixing dates and for proving the existence of lost 

12. Miscellaneous Documents, i January 1765 to 23 February 
1766. These include such items as isolated journal entries for i 
August and 11 October 1765, travel notes, detached essays, and lists 
of various sorts. 

The Journal of a Tour to Corsica is taken from the third edition 
(1769) of BoswelTs An Account of Corsica; The Journal of a Tour to 
that Island, and Memoirs of Pascal Paoli, which was originally pub- 

xxii Introduction 

lished the previous year. The journal for 1-30 January 1765, 11 Oc- 
tober 1765, and 10 December 1765-23 February 1766 was published 
in 1928-1930 by the late Geoffrey Scott and Frederick A. Pottle in 
Private Papers of James Boswell from Malahide Castle, in the Collec- 
tion of Lt.-Colonel Ralph Hey ward Isham, an expensive limited edi- 
tion of which only 570 copies were printed. Some forty of the seventy- 
five letters included in the present volume have also previously ap- 
peared, most of them in the Private Papers or in Professor Chaun- 
cey B. Tinker's Letters of James Boswell, Clarendon Press, 1924. A 
group of newspaper paragraphs composed by Boswell, describing in 
mysterious terms his activities in Corsica and events there, has been 
collected from The London Chronicle, 1766. This leaves much that 
now appears in print for the first time, notably the extracts from Bos- 
well's Italian diary, the letters from Wilkes and Girolama Piccolo- 
mini, and the long and brilliant letter from Boswell to Rousseau with 
which the volume opens. The fully written journal is printed with- 
out cuts, but other documents have been abridged whenever it lias 
seemed desirable. Notes saying that certain letters have not been re- 
covered should not be taken as indicating a policy of including all the 
letters we have for the period, or even all the letters we have that are 
mentioned in the journal. Such notes are intended to explain why let- 
ters that sound important enough to be included in this edition do not 
appear here. 

The spelling, capitalization, and punctuation of both manu- 
scripts and previously printed material have been reduced to ac- 
cepted modern norms, and abbreviations and contractions have been 
expanded at will. All quotations have been standardized in the same 
fashion. The standard of spelling for all but proper names is The 
Concise Oxford Dictionary (1951) . For place names the English edi- 
tions of Baedeker's Italy (1928), Southern France (1914), and Paris 
(1932) have been followed. Personal names, when the persons are 
certainly identified, are spelled as in the standard biographical dic- 
tionaries, or as they appear in authoritative documents in the local 
archives. Typographical errors in the Journal of a Tour to Corsica 
have been silently corrected by collation with the first edition. The 
texts have been broken into paragraphs where such breaks make for 
easier reading. Where names of speakers are supplied in conversa- 

Introduction xxiii 

tions cast dramatically, they are put in small capitals. A few clear 
inadvertencies have been put right without notice. Square brackets 
indicate words added where the manuscript shows no defect, and 
where there is no reason to suspect a slip on the part of the writer; 
angular brackets indicate reconstructions of words lost through de- 
fects in the manuscript, where the reconstruction is not entirely 

Documents in foreign languages have generally been given in 
English translation only. Boswell wrote his journal for the most part 
in English, but he often used French for names of officials, buildings, 
and the like. Much of his conversation was conducted in French and 
Italian, and he recorded it in the original language. Most of this has 
been put into English, but certain occasional detached words and 
phrases have been left in the original to suggest as much as possible 
the foreign flavour of the manuscripts. The French and Italian re- 
tained has been standardized and modernized, and when written in 
contracted or abbreviated form has been silently expanded in some 
places in translation. 

Those who wish to examine the unnormalized and unmodified 
text of the journal are reminded that it is available in Colonel 
Isham's Private Papers. The French of BoswelTs letters to Rousseau 
can be consulted in Professor Tinker's Letters of James Boswell. The 
projected research edition of the Boswell papers will, of course, give 
all these documents in the language in which they are written. 

The annotation and editorial notes to this volume have been 
designed for the general reader, though it is never easy to estimate 
how much the general reader knows or wants to know. We have at- 
tempted to provide essential information when it is available, and 
occasionally sidelights which are intended to characterize a person 
or event more firmly, but complete annotation such as the name 
of Paoli's cook has been reserved for the research edition. The in- 
dexes of this series are not mere finding tools, but supplement the 
annotation. In particular, we usually reserve for the index the func- 
tion of supplying Christian names of persons mentioned. 

An edition such as the present one is based very heavily on pre- 
vious published and unpublished work; it is, in fact, a highly col- 
lective and cooperative enterprise, which draws on the minute and 

xxiv Introduction 

multiple accumulations of facts, inferences, and guesses of at least a 
generation of scholarship. As has been mentioned above, the late 
Geoffrey Scott and F. A. Pottle published a text of BoswelTs Italian, 
French, and English journals for this period in the fourth, fifth, and 
seventh volumes of Colonel Isham's privately printed Private Papers 
of James BoswelL In the fifth volume, Mr. Scott provided texts and 
translations of BoswelTs letters to the Countesses Burgaretta and 
Skarnavis, and Porzia Sansedoni. We have made grateful use of his 
translations and portions of his introduction. 

The basic annotation for this volume has been furnished by the 
following sources. The Italian memoranda were edited by Professor 
Robert Warnock in his unpublished Yale dissertation, "Boswell in 
Italy, 1765" (1933). Professor Warnock has published an instruc- 
tive survey of this material in his article, "Boswell on the Grand 
Tour," Studies in Philology, xxxix (1942). 650-661. BoswelTs Cor- 
sica was edited by Professor Joseph Foladare in his unpublished 
Yale dissertation, "James Boswell and Corsica" (2 vols., 1936). The 
text of the Italian journal from 1-30 January 1765 was reviewed 
and annotated by Dean Helen S. Randall as a class exercise in the 
Yale Graduate School, and a similar service was performed for the 
journal for 10 December 1765 to 23 February 1766 by Professor Syl- 
vester H. Bingham. Dr. Charles H. Bennett reviewed the text of the 
journal and memoranda for the period, and made additions to the 
annotation, especially for the journal from 22 November 1765 to 
23 February 1766. He also translated the French dialogue in the 
journal, and drafted annotation for a trade or reading edition. Using 
these materials and others resulting from his own researches, Profes- 
sor Pottle completed a text for a trade edition over fifteen years ago. 
The subsequent recovery from Malahide Castle of BoswelTs Euro- 
pean correspondence and of other papers of the first importance ne- 
cessitated the planning of a quite different volume and extensive 
revisions of and additions to the annotation. In this project we have 
extracted much useful information from the work of Professor War- 
nock, who has traversed the libraries and archives of Italy, Corsica, 
and France in preparation for the forthcoming research edition of 
Boswell's journal. 

The general plan of this volume, worked out by the editors, has 

Introduction xxv 

benefited considerably from the advice of the Editorial Committee. 
As well, Mr. Liebert provided the artist with materials for the maps, 
and Dr. Metzdorf, who has been of assistance at every stage, assumed 
responsibility for collecting the illustrations. Both they and Professor 
Hilles read the proofs. Of the larger Advisory Committee, Dr. Chap- 
man, Mr. Hyde, Mr. Lewis, and Professor Peyre read the proofs and 
provided corrections and suggestions for the notes. Dr. Bennett, Pro- 
fessor Curt von Faber du Faur, Professor Konstantin Reichardt, and 
Professor Warnock were also kind enough to perform these services. 
We are further indebted to Professor Bergin for assistance with the 
Italian sections of this volume, and to Professor Edmund T. Silk for 
his aid with classical references and BoswelTs own Latin. Professor 
A- Guelf o Frulla transcribed the difficult originals of the Piccolomini 
letters for us. 

In addition to the persons mentioned specifically in the notes, we 
gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the following: Frederick B. 
Adams, Jr., Jean Boorsch, Philip Daghlian, Sergio Dolfi, Sir James 
Fergusson, Robert L. Haig, Robert Halsband, Mrs. Donald F. Hyde, 
Robert S. Lopez, Albert K. Ludy, Miss Sibyl Marcuse, Sir Owen 
Morshead, Paul Pickrel, Miss Barbara D. Simison, Miss Annemarie 
Spahn, Domenico Vittorini, Marshall Waingrow, Ralph S. Walker, 
A. Dayle Wallace, and Miss Lydia H. Wentworth. Our next-door 
neighbours in the Walpole Office, George L. Lam and Warren H. 
Smith, have often taken time from their own pursuits to help with 
one of our problems. Finally we heartily thank all members of the 
office staff of the Yale Editions of the Private Papers of James Boswell 
during the last two years: Mrs. Jane H. Carroll, Miss Harriet Chides- 
ter, Mrs. Dorothy B. Moravcik, and Mrs. Marion S. Pottle. Mrs. 
Hope G. Waingrow is mainly responsible for the index. 


Yale University, New Haven 
i January 1955 


I swear to you that I seriously think it my truest philos- 
ophy to be content with the powers which my Maker 
has assigned me, and not to torment myself by ineffec- 
tual struggles to change my nature. 1 find myself an 
amiable, pretty man of moderate abilities, but a soul 
truly noble, a soul which in reality sets me higher in 
the scale of being than if I had attained to the first hon- 
ours which superior talents procure and been without 
such a soul. [BOSWELL TO JOHN JOHNSTON, a MAY 1765} 

in QStafo, 1766 

born in Edinburgh on 29 October 1 740, the eldest son of Alexander 
Boswell, whose title, Lord Auchinleck, indicated his position as a 
judge of the supreme courts of Scotland. Of an old family and an im- 
portant landowner in his home county, Ayrshire, Lord Auchinleck 
imparted his strong sense of tradition and family pride to his son. Bos- 
well studied law at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, fre- 
quenting the theatre in his spare time, until in the spring of 1760 he 
ran away to London and became a Roman Catholic for a brief period. 
From this dangerous lapse (in a practical sense) , he was reclaimed 
by his father's Ayrshire neighbour, the Earl of Eglinton, who intro- 
duced him "into the circles of the great, the gay, and the ingenious." 
Loving everything about London, Boswell tried to persuade his father 
to secure a commission in the Foot Guards there for "hrm, but Lord 
Auchinleck kept him in Edinburgh, and at least nominally at his 
studies, until he passed the examination in civil law in June 1762. 
Then, although refusing to purchase a commission in the Guards, his 
father permitted him to return to London to see if he could obtain 
one through influence. 

Bos well's following year in London had two solid results: he 
wrote the first long stretch of his great journal, 1 and near the end of 
his stay he met Samuel Johnson. The journal records the wide range of 
his activities from parties at Northumberland House to his affair 
with the actress Louisa and encounters with street walkers in the 
Strand. Johnson was to become a permanent stabilizing influence on 
his life. Having failed to secure a commission, Boswell agreed to be- 

1 The journal for this year was discovered by Professor C. Colleer Abbott at 
Fettercairn House in 1930, and published in 1950 under the title of Boswell's 
London Journal, 17^2-17^3, by the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. (New 
York) and William Heinemann, Ltd. (London). 

2 Sketch of EosiveWs Life to January 1 765 

come a lawyer as his father wished, and crossed over to Holland in 
August 1763 to continue his study of civil law at Utrecht. His year 
in Holland was not a happy one: he was lonely in this strange country 
whose inhabitants he found gross and stodgy. As well, he worked 
very hard at a subject he detested, and remained uncustomarily 
chaste. The result of his efforts to reform was a profound depression 
which centered on gloomy thoughts of predestination. These were 
partly relieved towards the end of this year by a relaxation of his 
religious and moral standards, and by his attraction to Belle de Zuy- 
len (Zelide), a Dutch girl of noble family. 2 

In June 1764 Boswell started off on a tour of the German courts 
with revived spirits. In Berlin and Potsdam he saw but failed to meet 
Frederick the Great; in Brunswick he danced a minuet with the Prin- 
cess Augusta, sister to George III; in Karlsruhe he became close 
friends with the Margrave of Baden-Durlach. But his greatest suc- 
cesses were reserved for Switzerland. First, having prepared himself 
by reading Rousseau's works, he approached the "wild philosopher" 
at his refuge in Motiers with a mingling of enthusiasm, naivete, and 
persistence which Rousseau was unable to resist, though he was ill 
and disliked visitors. Boswell wanted a father-confessor and guide, 
someone to tell him how to deal with hypochondria, Zelide, the prob- 
lems of metaphysics, his father, and his desire for a harem. Rousseau 
was naturally unwilling to assume total responsibility for Boswell's 
career, but he did encourage and reassure him. Next, Boswell visited 
Voltaire at Ferney, and wangled an invitation to spend a couple of 
days with him in which he tried to ascertain Voltaire's true religious 
sentiments. 8 Having made the two great, antithetical spirits of the 
age conscious of his existence, Boswell headed happily from Geneva 
for Italy, where he had his father's permission to spend four months. 

2 See Boswell in Holland, 1765-^764, 1952, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 
(New York) and William Heinemann, Ltd. (London). 

8 See Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 1764, 1953, Mc- 
Graw-Hill Book Company, Inc. (New York) and William Heinemann, Ltd. 

Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 3 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Boswell wrote the following resume of his tour 
of Italy in the form of a letter to Rousseau which was apparently 
never sent. It is placed at the beginning of this volume so that, as 
BoswelTs own summary of his tour, it may serve as an over-all sketch 
of and guide to the events which are detailed in chronological order 
hereafter. The letter exists 'in three states: remnants of a first draft, 
which Boswell preserved because they comprise material which he 
may have decided not to include, or had not finished copying into 
the letter in its final state; and a first and second fair copy. The second 
fair copy, a very slight revision of the first, is, so far as it goes, the 
basis of the printed text. The first fair copy is followed thereafter, and 
finally the draft to its conclusion. Annotation has been supplied only 
when matters are not explained elsewhere in this volume. For further 
remarks on this letter, see p. 5 n. 4 and p. 140.] 

[Boswell to Jean Jacques Rousseau. Original in French] 

Lucca, 3 October 1765 


without that respect which hinders the imagination by introducing a 
degree of fear, I should flatter myself that I could entertain you with 
an account of my tour of Italy. I shall do my best; and if I am not 
successful you will know what to ascribe my failure to. 

You were indeed right to congratulate me when my father gave 
me permission to travel in Italy. Nine months in this delicious coun- 
try have done more for me than all the sage lessons which books, or 
men formed by books, could have taught me. It was my imagination 
that needed correction, and nothing but travel could have produced 
this effect. 

I carried over the Alps ideas of the most rigorous morality. I 
thought of myself as a penitent who must expiate the sins which he 
had confessed to you in your sacred retreat; I felt like a hero of aus- 
terity in a dissolute age. But the ladies of Turin were very beautiful, 
and I thought that I might allow myself one intrigue in Italy, in 
order to increase my knowledge of the world and give me a contempt 
for shameless women. So I made myself into a gallant; but I was too 
modest a gallant to succeed with ladies who scorned the detours of 

4 Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 

delicacy, and who thought anyone a peasant or an imbecile who did 
not head straight for the main chance. Moreover, I had a heart. I was 
seized by passion, I could not hide it; and that was not reconcilable 
with the decorum which had to be maintained in public. In short, I 
had no success at all with the ladies of Piedmont. A French officer 
who was my instructor in gallantry, mortified by finding me so 
young, consoled me by procuring willing girls. 

Thus, Sir, did I carry out the good resolutions I had made at 
Motiers. I wrote on a piece of paper, "O Rousseau! How am I fallen 
since I left you!" Yet my principles remained firm. I considered that 
I had done wrong. I summoned my inclinations back to virtue, and at 
Parma M. Deleyre strengthened me in my resolutions. I was charmed 
by the fine mind and the finer soul of that amiable Frenchman; and 
the sincere evidence which he gave of his attachment to me brought 
me back again to the opinion that I was something above the crowd 
of mankind. You told me when I was about to leave you, "Sir, all you 
lack is a knowledge of your own worth." Believe me, illustrious 
philosopher! there is a great deal in that remark. I know my worth 
sometimes, and I think and act nobly. But then melancholy attacks 
me, I despise myself, and it seems to me a waste of time to try to im- 
prove so petty a thing. 

I was well enough on my trip from Turin to Rome. I interrupted 
it often to stop in places where there was something to see. I was very 
curious, and because I moved from one scene to another, melancholy 
never had time to weigh me down greatly. I was struck with every- 
thing. I had the agreeable sensation that derives from a half-knowl- 
edge of things to many minds perhaps as great a pleasure as know- 
ing them thoroughly. 

I had recommendations to the Dominican fathers, and under their 
protection I covered the whole of Italy. I visited many monasteries, 
including those of the strictest orders. I shall never forget an hour 
that I spent in conversation with the Prior and other reverend fathers 
of a Carthusian convent near Bologna. I encouraged in myself a 
sceptical but reverent superstition, which by a mysterious an in- 
explicable mixture of feelings, calmed my uneasy mind. 

I entered Rome with full classical enthusiasm, but when I arrived 
at my inn and found myself surrounded by the landlord, by valets de 

Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 5 

place, by scoundrels, my fantastic sensibility was wounded, and at 
first I was in a bad humour. I had an odd thought which now makes 
me laugh heartily. As I was walking along the streets of Rome, which 
are very little different from those of any other city, I said to myself, 
"Was the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans written to the inhabitants 
of this city? And did I use to be so terrified by it?" At once the Epistle 
of St. Paul seemed to me to be just an ancient writing by some ecclesi- 
astical zealot. The word of God was no longer in it. Great chemist of 
human nature! you see how a mind can be changed. Ah, we must 
analyse with the most delicate nicety. 4 

Within a few days I set out for Naples, where I was richly enter- 
tained with the variety of interesting things to be seen there, espe- 
cially in the environs. I found the famous Mr. Wilkes in his exile, 
and despite his sharp attacks on the Scots, we got along very well to- 
gether. All theories of human nature are confounded by the resilient 
spirit of that singular f actionary, who has experienced all the vicissi- 
tudes of pleasure and politics without ever having suffered a moment 
of uneasiness. He is a man who has thought much without being 
gloomy, a man who has done much evil without being a scoundrel. 
His lively and energetic sallies on moral questions gave to my spirit a 
not unpleasant agitation, and enlarged the scope of my views by con- 
vincing me that God could create a soul completely serene and gay 
notwithstanding the alarming reflection that we all must die. Wilkes 
pretended to be angry with you for having referred to him in so un- 
compromising a style in a note to one of your Letters from the Moun- 
tain? He even said boldly that he would write a public letter to you 
on this subject, which would be entitled, A Letter from the Other 
Man of the Mountain. 

I went little into company at Naples, and remember solely that 
the Neapolitan ladies resembled country chamber-maids. I was there 
during Lent when there are no public entertainments. During my 

4 At this point the draft contains three pages which are not reproduced in the 
fair copies. These pages are printed in Appendix C. 

5 In the ninth of his Lettres ecrites de la montagne, Rousseau cited Wilkes's 
acquittal after his arrest for printing No. 45 of The North Briton as an example 
of the just government of laws in England, in contrast to the autocratic govern- 
ment of Geneva. 

6 Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 

stay at Naples I was truly libertine. I ran after girls without restraint. 
My blood was inflamed by the burning climate, and my passions were 
violent. I indulged them; my mind had almost nothing to do with it. 
I found some very pretty girls. I escaped all danger. I have nothing 
to say about this period; I merely describe it for you as it occurred. 

I returned to Rome for Holy Week. I grew calm. The solemn serv- 
ices of the Roman Catholic Church made a serious impression on me. 
I began to be a little melancholy and I recalled with religious regret 
how I had once been, like you, in the bosom of the faithful. But your 
Savoyard doctrines came to my aid and made me see a church even 
more catholic than that which I revered: the entire Universe, all souls 
being emanations of the Eternal Being. On Easter I was in St. Peter's, 
and in that superb temple I saw noble and mystical adorations of- 
fered to the Supreme Being. I was penetrated with devotion. I was 
sure that the revelation given by Jesus was true; and when I saw the 
Christian High Priest with venerable magnificence elevate before the 
Eternal Justice a Sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, I fell to my 
knees among the throng of my fellow men who remained fixed in re- 
spectful silence; I struck my breast, and with all the ardour of which 
my soul was capable, I prostrated myself at the feet of my Father 
"who is in Heaven," convinced that, by varied ways of which we 
know nothing clearly, he would one day lead all his creatures to hap- 
piness. Let cold beings sneer; I was never more nobly happy than on 
that day. 

The study of antiquities, of pictures, of architecture, and of the 
other arts which are found in such great perfection at Rome occupied 
me in a wise and elegant manner. You must know that I have a great 
taste for virtu. It entertains me agreeably during many hours when 
without it my mind would be a prey to ennui. I shall say no more on 
that head, because I do not know whether you like virtu or not. More- 
over, you have a more sublime taste, and it is more sensible to ac- 
quaint you with traits of character from which you can derive some 
philosophical reflections useful to him who has supplied them, and 
perhaps to others. 

I must admit that in the midst of my Roman studies I indulged in 
sensual relaxations. I sallied forth of an evening like an imperious 
lion, and I had a little French painter, a young academician, always 

Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 7 

vain, always alert, always gay, who served as my jackal. 6 I remem- 
bered the rakish deeds of Horace and other amorous Roman poets, 
and I thought that one might well allow one's self a little indulgence 
in a city where there are prostitutes licensed by the Cardinal Vicar. 
Thus does an ill-regulated mind assemble scattered ideas and com- 
pose from them a principle for action. I was, however, brought to a 
halt by an unpleasant occurrence which all libertines have to reckon 
with. When we walked in your room, disputing about the commerce 
of the sexes, you said to me with a smile, "Watch out for Italian girls 
for several reasons." I discovered at Rome that your advice was 
very sound. 

In all the vicissitudes that I experienced, and which you are well 
qualified to imagine from what you have just read, I always pre- 
served a certain external decency of character. But I suffered cruelly 
from hypochondria, whose pains are unimaginable to those who have 
not felt them. It is a certain truth, Sir, that I am afflicted by a malady 
which can make me see all things as either insipid or sad, which can 
take away all desire for enjoyment, which can make me lose taste 
even for virtue; and what is the darkest and the most inexplicable of 
all, it is a malady which can so destroy my spirit that I scarcely even 
wish to be cured. The variations of this malady are infinite. I write 
to you now when I am completely healthy, clear, happy. I am sure 
that to find myself existing after death will not be a more powerful 
sensation than that which I have in feeling myself the man I now am, 
after the state of prostration and despair in which I have been 
plunged. Can you believe that there are moments in my life when 
M. Rousseau appears to me a poor wretch who had tried to distinguish 
himself a little among his unfortunate fellows, and who will soon be 
lost like them in the darkness of the [grave] ? 7 In such moments it is 
impossible to enjoy those feelings of admiration for your genius and 
your character which give me such great pleasure when I am well. 
But what can be done about it? My judgment tries in vain to free me 

e "Jackal" is in English in the original. Boswell annotated it in French: "So we 
call in English the animal who runs before the lion to find him his prey. I have 
no French dictionary to consult at the moment.'* The memoranda show that 
the painter was named Martin, but he has not been further identified. 
T Boswell left a blank here for "grave" in both copies, . 

8 Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 

from the grasp of a troubled imagination. It is hard to suffer so much. 
Kindly philosopher! keep me in your thoughts. I sustain myself by a 
firm trust in God. 

Until Holy Week, I had seen little of my countrymen in Italy. I 
was looked upon as an odd creature who studied a great deal and was 
very proud. I was presented to the Pope. I went to conversazioni in the 
palaces of Roman nobles, where there was a great deal of formality 
and also a certain air of pleasing richness and grandeur. At Rome 
everything is external. They have scarcely any real society. A prince 
makes a point of having his dinner sent in for half a crown, and does 
not know the number of his carriages or of his servants. The parties 
are also formal, being generally given their tone by two or three 
cardinals. I went to the levee of Cardinal Orsini, the present Protector 
of France. I had been highly recommended to him, but he did not 
once invite me to dine with him. I had opportunity there to see the 
gross flattery, the obvious scheming, the discontents, and the univer- 
sal ambition of ecclesiastical politicians. 

I do not know that I did well in avoiding my compatriots so com- 
pletely. I had good reason to devote myself entirely to learning the 
language, studying the genius, and absorbing the thought of the 
Italian people. But in doing this I almost isolated myself. I formed 
exaggerated ideas of myself, and when I fell in with Englishmen was 
raw and irritable, and by too great a sensitivity I was inferior in 
social life to mediocre young men who were accustomed to live in 
general society. 

I could not think of placing myself so soon on the footing of a 
philosopher who wishes to retire from the world. I had to accustom 
myself to being with my equals. I had to think of establishing some 
political connection. 

I found all these advantages happily combined. I formed a close 
connection with Lord Mountstuart, eldest son of the worthy Lord 
Bute, intimate friend of our King. My Lord Mountstuart is a young 
nobleman who merits his being of the blood of the ancient kings of 
Scotland. He deserves my drawing his portrait for you. He is hand- 
some, has elegant manners, and a tempestuously noble soul. He has 
never applied himself earnestly to anything, but he is not without 
knowledge and has an excellent mind. He has, though to a lesser 

Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 9 

degree, the same defect that I have, weak nerves; but he does not 
suffer from them, for although he is no metaphysician, he is a prac- 
tical philosopher. He finds himself placed in an elevated rank. He 
enjoys his real advantages without worrying about imaginary ills. 
His money is for him in civilized society what physical strength is to a 
savage. His servants are his arms, his horses his legs, and he can count 
as surely on them as the savage on the parts of his body more, 
even, for he can replace them when they fail, which savages cannot 
do. He calmly follows his inclinations: when he wishes to study, he 
reads; when he is indolent, he lies on a sofa. Sometimes he speaks in 
company, sometimes he says nothing. Sometimes his passion for 
women is very strong, and he pursues them with the greatest liveli- 
ness. He has even had several affairs, although rather from vanity 
than from genuine feeling. Sometimes he cares nothing for any kind 
of love; then he enjoys talking about his adventures, and wonders 
most gravely how he could have been so carried away by his inclina- 
tions. He is never out of sorts with himself, because he never disputes 
with himself. He made me a great deal more sociable. He often said 
to me, "Boswell, I will teach you how to live," and really he did me 
good. When I saw my countrymen, I became more and more com- 
posed, and the good side of my mind was made better. My social 
affections had an opportunity to expand. I did not disquiet myself so 
much by thinking of myself, when I was also thinking of others. 
From each character of our nation of originals, I always drew some- 
thing which I could turn to profit, and I formed friendships with one 
or two worthy men that will last for the rest of my life. 

My Lord Mountstuart insisted that I accompany him on the re- 
mainder of his tour of Italy, and I consented. He was already accom- 
panied by a Scottish colonel, a very worthy man, and by M. Mallet, 
sometime professor from Geneva, who had been given a good pension 
in return for giving my Lord lessons in history. It would have been 
impossible to conceive of a more prudent or more agreeable project 
than ours. My Lord and I counted on profiting together from M. Mal- 
let's instructions. The Colonel was the discreet governor, and I had 
the honour to be regarded by my Lord as a friend who would be very 
useful to him, since I should prevent him from being tempted by bad 
company to renew his dissipations. But matters did not go well. I 

i o Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 

found myself in my Lord's suite, and when I heard him hold forth on 
the pleasures of grandeur I began to wish for employment at Court. 
I thought of his great interest. Insensibly I tried to please him and 
was afraid of offending him. He soon noticed it, and could not keep 
from profiting a little from it. I realized it too. I was highly shocked 
by it. What! Boswell, the man of singular merit! The friend of Rous- 
seau! Is Boswell so far overcome by vile interest as to depend on the 
moods of a young Lord? I recollected myself. I made my Lord realize 
that I was as proud as ever. I did it too emphatically. We began to 
dispute about our characters, and each stated bluntly all the other's 
defects and all his own merits. You can imagine that between two 
young men, both of whom have a good deal of temperamental 
warmth, such a dispute, so conducted, could not but occasion many 
disagreeable moments. Finally our spirits subsided, and we were 
sometimes on a basis of puerile familiarity, and sometimes in the 
vilest humour possible, even to the point of not speaking to each other. 
I always had a great advantage, for I was four years older than my 
Lord, and was possessed of a little philosophy. The Colonel and Mal- 
let suffered from the fatigues of the trip, and were vexed to see the 
differences between my Lord and me. The worthy Colonel rallied us 
roughly through mere clumsiness. Mallet, from whom we had taken 
hardly any lessons since we left Rome, became irritated with me 
because I never ceased attacking his opinions and discovering his 
tricks; and to tell you the truth, there were never four men who 
travelled so ill together. It was indeed ridiculous, and my Lord and I 
in our hours of good humour were sometimes ready to burst with 

We went to Venice. For the first week I was charmed by the 
novelty and beauty of so singular a city, but I soon wearied of travel- 
ling continually by water, shut up in those lugubrious gondolas. 
Almost all the nobility was at Padua, where we had seen them for 
several days in passing through. There were buildings and paintings 
to see at Venice. 

I paid court to a noble lady, a little advanced in years. She told 
me that she would not wish to take on a good cook that she could keep 
only a fortnight, for fear of suffering too much when she lost him. 
It was an affair of pure vanity, so I gave myself little concern over it. 

Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 1 1 

My fancy was stirred by the brilliant stories I had heard of Venetian 
courtesans. I went to see them, et militaui non sine gloria* but the 
wounds of my Roman wars were scarcely healed before I received 
fresh ones in Venice. What is worse, my Lord Mountstuart was of the 
party. He saw that I was agitated, and demanded to know what I 
was intending to do. I told him I was going out to look for girls, to 
taste the pleasures of Venice and learn the fashion; but I begged him 
not to go. You can well imagine that we went together. A pretty 
dancer was our common flame, and my Lord was taken in as I was. 
A fine piece of thoughtlessness. M. Mallet had fine sport with me 
then; the Colonel took me seriously to task. When a man is in any 
way the cause of a misfortune, even though it is entirely uninten- 
tional, he is nevertheless always regarded as guilty. Thus I felt on 
this occasion, and was mortified by it. Behold now your philosopher, 
the steady young man who was to help Lord Mountstuart to improve 

We were staying at Venice with General Graeme, Commander- 
in-Chief of the forces of the Republic, a worthy Scotsman, an old 
friend of Lord Bute. Sometimes he was angered and sometimes 
amused by our quarrels. We went to his country-house to take a quiet 
cure. M. Mallet and I quarrelled more than ever. He discovered how 
little I had studied either of science or of history, and he said to me, 
"If I were as ignorant as you are, I should be ashamed to show my 
face." The truth is that because of the hypochondria I told you of, and 
which I inherit from my mother, my mind has been so restless and 
so distracted that I have never been capable of genuine application. 
I have studied languages and belles lettres^ and because of the 
strength and vivacity of my mind in its lucid moments I have picked 
up enough philosophy to make me appear much better instructed 
than I really am. I maintained against M. Mallet that I had as many 
ideas as he had, and I give you my word that during the greater part 
of the time that we were together, I felt myself his superior. It is the 
soul, Sir, it is the celestial fire that gives a man his worth. One idea 
possessed by me has more value than a throng of ideas possessed by 
the majority of men. Yet M. Mallet is intelligent, and he is a fellow 
8 "And I fought, not without glory" (Horace, Odes, HI. xxvi. 2). 

1 2 Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 

During that period I felt more discontented than I had been since 
I began my travels. In my black moments when I judged myself by 
the opinions of others, I was a libertine and an ignoramus. I was bash- 
ful, and distrustful of my ability to distinguish myself in my own 
country. I foresaw differences of opinion between me and my father. 
I needed relief, and according to the state of my circulation, I was 
servile or proud with Lord Mountstuart. I experienced a fluctuation 
of conduct which was very disagreeable for a man who has an idea of 
uniform dignity of character. Here, Sir, are very subtle shades of 

During my stay with General Graeme, my Lord Mountstuart was 
recalled to England. We took time, however, to see the Venetian 
states. On this last tour, my Lord and I got on better together. We ad- 
mitted each other's virtues. My Lord said to me, "I have great esteem 
for you. I shall always be your friend in London. But you have a ter- 
rible disposition." I accompanied him as far as Milan. There the 
Colonel, M. Mallet, and I drank good burgundy and resolved to for- 
get our little misunderstandings. My Lord and I grew somewhat 
tender when we finally had to part. I felt an enthusiastic attachment 
for his ancient family. I loved him from my heart, and I said to him 
as we embraced, "My Lord, if you do not have a lasting affection for 
me, you will never have it for anybody." I was very sorry to lose him. 
Our inclinations often agreed, and he helped me greatly to under- 
stand the people we saw on our travels, for he has a singular talent 
for understanding character up to a certain point. 

So there I was back in my old state of solitude. I reflected on my 
conduct, and although I did not think I had done any great wrong, 
I saw myself fallen into a vile state of brutishness. I was completely 
discouraged. I hardly dared think of virtue. I had written to M. 
Deleyre that I should be again at Parma. I went there as to a con- 
solatory refuge. Our friend received me with the same warmth that 
he had shown me the first time I had visited him. He was pleased to 
discover that my mind had been so much strengthened by travel. He 
declared his philosophic tenets to me without evasion. I was con- 
founded by them. It was, however, in some way agreeable to be with 
the most amiable of men and to realize that he was at the same time 
a pure atheist. I considered his ideas. I admitted them momentarily 
as real, and caught from them a certain astonishing delirium which 

Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 13 

gave me pleasure. But I immediately returned with adoration to the 
Source of all spirit, and defended my exalted faith warmly, while ad- 
mitting my deviations in practice. M. Deleyre said to me with his 
gentle and serious air, "It would be well, Sir, if you had my habits 
with your principles, and I your principles with my habits." I spent 
a week at Parma. M. Deleyre had me continually in his home. We 
spoke of you more than you could believe. That week did me appreci- 
able good. 

From Parma I went to Florence, where I remained a fortnight, to 
see the curiosities and a little of the society, which I did not find very 
agreeable. The Florentines (especially the Florentine women) are 
very proud and very mercenary. I shall not give you a detailed report 
on all the cities where I passed some time and in which I saw the 
nobility. I found in Florence one of the best teachers of the flute in 
Europe, Dothel, a Lorrainer. He gave me several lessons, and started 
me on a good plan of study. 

From Florence I went to Siena, where I passed a portion of my 
existence in perfect felicity. The nobility there form a society of the 
most amiable sort. They have a simplicity, an openness, a gaiety 
which you cannot imagine without having been there. They have no 
society manners, none of that affected air which to the philosopher 
betrays artificial beings. You, Sir, as delicate as you are, could live in 
the society of Siena. Since there is no Court there and the nobles think 
only of living within their moderate incomes, you never see in Siena 
those gentlemen with great interest who spoil every company in a 
city where it is thought that something may be gained by paying 
court. The Sienese are independent, equal, and content to be so, and 
when a great prince comes among them he is politely received, but 
they do not put themselves out for him. While I was at Siena, the 
Constable Colonna spent several days there, and I, with my mo- 
narchical ideas, was scandalized to see him treated in so easy a fash- 
ion. "Come! II Conestabile Colonna!" They laughingly replied to me, 
"Ma che fa a noi il Conestabile Colonna?" 9 Never have I seen so 
much of what I should call true humanity as at Siena. People there 
do not embarrass a stranger by giving him a studied reception. He 

9 "What! Constable Colonna!" . . . "But what's Constable Colonna to us?" Lo- 
renzo Colonna was Great Constable of the Kingdom of Naples. His brother, 
Marcantonio Colonna, was the Cardinal Vicar of Rome mentioned on p. 7. 

14 Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian 1 our 

comes recommended by some person of distinction, as I was by my 
Lord Mountstuart. They greet him naturally. An easy conversation 
immediately ensues. He forgets that he is a stranger, and no longer 
is one. 

I had excellent apartments at Siena. I ate well. The wine of the 
district was very good, and on holidays I regaled myself with de- 
licious Montepulciano. The air is fresh, and the weather is always 
fine. My health was very quickly restored. An Abbe of talent and 
obliging disposition dined with me every day, and accommodated 
himself perfectly to the little variations of my temperament. He 
helped me as teacher in Italian. Every morning for two hours I read 
the divine Ariosto, and you can imagine the effect which that pro- 
duced on my romantic soul. I also wrote in Italian with equal regu- 
larity, and as I used no other language in conversation, I made rapid 
progress. The Sienese dialect is the most agreeable in all of Italy. For 
me it was a continual melody. I had lively sensations of pleasure 
when I heard people merely discussing the good weather. A "profes- 
sor" of music, who had very fine taste, came to me every afternoon, 
and we sang and played fine airs on the flute. Little by little I shall 
come to know something of music. I can already amuse myself with 
it tolerably, I lack application, but that will come. I have not for- 
gotten you in a land where I have heard six different operas. 1 1 am 
sorry not to have some of your music with me. I remember only 
"Quand on sait aimer et plaire" 2 and a little air with which you 
amused a lady of Neuchatel: 

Nous habitons une maison, 

Ou les biens pleuvent a f oison . . . 8 

1 Rousseau was well known for his operetta, Le Devin du village, and had sug- 
gested to Boswell that he send him a few operatic tunes from Italy (Boswell on 
the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 15 December 1764). 

2 "When one knows how to love and please" (Le Devin du village, scene 5). 

3 The song continues in another manuscript of Boswell' s: 

Bonbon sucre*, mets d&icats, 
Propos charmants, jeunes appas, 
Et la maitresse avec un mot 
De tout billet fait un bon lot. 

It may be translated: "We live in a house where good things are found in 

Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 5 

Ariosto, music, and pleasant company occupied my days at Siena. 
The circumstances were most precious to my imagination. I was in 
a provincial city in the heart of beautiful Tuscany; a city completely 
at peace where not a single soldier was to be seen, not even a pen- 
sioner. I was the only foreigner there. I was as though in the most 
remote of countries, the most hidden of retreats. My mind was 
healthy, easy, and joyful. Neither past nor future entered my 
thoughts. I thanked God for my present existence. It is an extraordi- 
nary mind which can do so. 

But, Sir, I must tell you of more interesting things. Your Scot was 
very attentive to the ladies at Siena. I found that people lived there in 
a completely natural fashion, making love as their inclinations sug- 
gested. It was the custom of the society in which I lived. I yielded to 
custom. I allowed myself to become all sensation and immediate feel- 
ing. I did not wish to extend my mind to encompass a series of pru- 
dent considerations. I did not wish to be more profound than the 
others. To enjoy was the thing. Intoxicated by that sweet delirium, 
I gave myself up, without self-reproach and in complete serenity, to 
the charms of irregular love. 

I paid court to a lady who had lived much in Florence, and whose 
noble manners incited my vanity; and through vanity I so heated my 
imagination with a desire to obtain that lady that I thought myself 
madly in love with her. As a matter of fact, I did suffer from her se- 
verity. She saw me frequently,, showed a genteel esteem for me, called 
me her friend, wrote me tender letters, but assured me that she had 
really loved my Lord Mountstuart, and that he would be her last 

plenty: a sugared bon-bon, delicate food, delightful talk, and alluring young 
feminine charms. And the hostess with a word makes every lottery ticket a 
winning one." On a visit to Mme. de Luze at Bied, near Neuchatel, 3-5 July 
1764, Rousseau said he would like to play at lottery, meaning presumably the 
card game so called. Mme. de Luze replied that she did not play for money, but 
that she would provide a lottery. Various trifles were set out for all those 
present and lots were drawn. Mme. de Luze so arranged matters that Rousseau 
drew a snuff-box in which was a slip of paper bearing certain of her verses 
praising him. When asked to do so, he read them out to the company, but sub- 
stituted tihe name of another guest for his own. He then sang his reply to Mme. 
de Luze. Another and probably earlier version of this song is printed in the 
Annales de la societe /.-/. Rousseau, v (1909). 241-242. 

1 6 Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 

lover. I wrote her the most curious of letters on that subject. It was a 
delicate question whether to try the constancy of a friend's mistress, 
but as my Lord had given me permission to adore a goddess whom 
he scarcely gave a thought to any more, and as I was quite sure that 

Signora * had considerable inclination to be persuaded to change 

her mind, I continued to press her with great eagerness. 

I was wicked enough to wait at the same time on a very amiable 
little woman to whom I made declarations of the most sincere pas- 
sion, as can be easily done when one feels only a slight inclination. 
I fancied that she had no heart, and as I believed everything fair in 
the war of gallantry, I lied to her certainly no fewer than a hundred 
times a day. Behold me, then, very busy indeed, with two affairs go- 
ing at the same time. It required an unparalleled dexterity, and I had 
it. Then nothing was difficult for me. I drifted pleasantly between 
my two loves, and my valet de place, a lout who could neither read 
nor write, was dispatched with his face turned towards the east to 
carry a letter for Signora A. in his right-hand pocket and a letter for 
Signora B. in his left. 

In a fortnight Signora B., who was the most trusting of persons, 
and with whom I had used the full force of my reasoning powers to 
prove that in me she would have the most faithful of lovers, but that 
my sufferings were so excruciating that if she did not soon assure me 
of her affection, I feared so much the sad effects of a strong passion on 
a melancholy mind that I was determined to set out at once and 
what a pity it would be to miss in this short life so fine an occasion for 
mutual happiness. 5 This amiable person, whose heart was already 
touched, listened to me kindly and granted me all, saying, "Ebbene, 
mi fido a voi com' a un galantuomo." 6 My conscience reproached me. 
It happened that Signora A. revealed her character to me. I saw that 
she conducted intrigues strictly according to the rules, without being 
touched by love. I abandoned my design upon her. I attached myself 
completely to my dear little mistress, through a principle of true 

4 Dash in manuscript. Signora A. is Porzia Sansedoni, and Signora B. is Moma 
(Girolama Piccolomini) . See Introduction, p. xi. 

5 The translation of this sentence reproduces the confused construction of the 

6 "Good enough, I trust myself with you as a man of honour." 

Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 1 7 

I studied her character. I found many good qualities in her. I even 
found charms in her which the dissipation of my spirit had caused 
me to overlook previously; and with extraordinary joy I found myself 
truly in love with her. I opened my heart to her, made a full confes- 
sion of the deceit I had practiced on her, while assuring her that she 
had gained my love. I enjoyed with her the exquisite pleasure of 
Italian gallantry, whose enchantments I had heard so much of; and 
I swear to you that experiencing them measured up to my ideas. She 
was struck with what I had told her. She reproached me tenderly for 
my treachery. But from that time on she had complete confidence 
in me. I was utterly happy and I risked nothing. 

The times, Sir, are much changed in Italy. No longer does one 
have to fear the stiletto of a jealous husband. But as the dispositions 
of a people always persist under one form or another, and as the lively 
wit of the loose-living Romans is displayed in sonnets, in songs, and 
in ecclesiastical intrigues, so Italian jealousy survives feebly in the 
hearts of cavalieri serventi^ of whom every lady has one or two. A 
cavaliere servente is a being whom I regard as illustrating the last 
stage of human degradation. A lover without love, a soldier without 
pay, 7 a being who is more a drudge 8 than is a valet de ckambre, who 
does continual duty, and enjoys only appearances! Since Signora B. 
had to keep some of these gentlemen in her train, we had to manage 
them, and we were sometimes a little embarrassed how to do it. 

I loved her more and more. She had a natural allegria which never 
changed and which so alleviated my sombre humour that it buoyed 
me up until I was quite free of melancholy. I found her a woman 
made for a life of virtue. When I explained to her the sweet and dur- 
able bonds of the conjugal union, she was enchanted and regretted 
infinitely that she could not experience them, insisting strongly on 
the advantage which a virtuous mother of a family must enjoy in old 
age. But said she, "They took me out of the convent and married me 
at sixteen, when I did not have the slightest idea what marriage 
meant. Ero totalmente senza malizia. Quando ero messa in letto col 
mio marito, trovava roba intorno di me, e pensava ch'era una bestia." 9 

7 The French "un soldat sans solde" has a verbal parallelism which cannot be 
preserved in English. 8 The second fair copy ends here. 
9 Because roba (approximately "stuff") is a vague word, and three of the verb 
forms are ambiguous as to person, the precise meaning is uncertain. Perhaps, "I 

1 8 Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 

The naivete with which she made that remark and the laughable 
word roba diverted me infinitely. "I am married," she continued, 
"to a man considerably older than myself; a man whom I not only 
cannot love but whom I cannot even respect, for to tell the truth he 
has no liveliness of mind at all, and he is very coarse." 

Hear me, illustrious philosopher! I dare ask you to tell me 
honestly without prejudice whether that woman was really married, 
whether she had made a true contract, whether she was obliged to 
remain faithful to a man to whom her parents had bound her; 
whether it was her duty to sacrifice her finest inclinations to the 
hard circumstances in which she found herself. I could not answer 
her arguments, but in my moments of virtue and piety I warmly 
repeated to her the common sentiments against adultery. She was 
very fond of your works. I read to her with a grave and serious air the 
beautiful and affecting words of Julie 1 on that terrible vice. I was so 
moved by them that she could not but feel something. But an onrush 
of passion overcame me. I embraced her with a kind of frenzy and 
repeated our criminal ecstasies. She said, "Voi siete precisamente quel 
Rousseau. Tale quale. Parlate moltissimo della virtu, e pero fate il 
male." 2 1 was stirred by a pride of sentiment. 3 She confessed to me all 
the love affairs in which she had engaged. She told me the names of 
her lovers, one of whom was always at our conversazioni. I wished 
him dead many and many a time. My extreme jealousy was tor- 
mented even by what no longer existed. 

My Signora was sorry that I felt so. She assured me that I was the 
first for whom she had felt a true passion, because it was the first 
time that love had made her uneasy. The same thing, indeed, has 
happened to women of intrigue many times. I wished to believe her. 
But I could not endure the thought that she had been the mistress 
of others. Ah, I groaned from the heart. Signora B. made a rather 
subtle observation on that. She told me that a man is wrong to boast 

was entirely innocent. When I was put to bed with my husband, I found things 
around me, and thought it was an animal." The first fair copy ends with intorno. 

1 The heroine of Rousseau's La Nouvelle Helolse. 

2 "You are yourself precisely that Rousseau. Just like him. You talk a great deal 
about virtue, and yet you do wrong.*' 

3 Boswell deleted this sentence. 

Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 1 9 

that he possesses the affections of a girl, because the poor ignorant 
being knows no better, never having had opportunity to know the 
merits of lovers. But when a woman has had a little experience and 
knows men, then her attachment is truly flattering. I believed that 
also. But do not call me a dupe. Do not say that I fell into very good 
hands. Have no suspicions of the sincerity of my charming Signora. 
No, Sir, although not from the richest of families, she was completely 
generous, completely disinterested. Although she could not doubt 
that I would lay everything at her feet that she might demand from 
me, she never made me play, 4 never told me that she wanted the least 
thing; and, take my word for it, such a character is very rare among 
the ladies of Italy, especially those of Tuscany where they make a 
regular business of English "milords," as they call us British gentle- 
men in general. She was a careful manager and advised me how to 
bargain so as not to be taken in, so as to spend my money wisely. I 
felt as though I were really married, so well did she play the part of 
an excellent wife. Never was vice so sanctified by virtue. She made 
me go to mass with her, and I dare say that while we were there we 
were as pious as if our conduct had been completely innocent. 

Thus my life slipped away in a delicious dream, while my prin- 
ciples of systematic morality were melted down by the fire of a heated 
imagination. But time was fleeing. My father was in momentary 
expectation of news of my arrival in France, and before going there 
I had secretly resolved to make a tour of Corsica. How was I to decide? 
My inclination, and, according to the principles of true gallantry, 
my duty for vice, when it is social, has its principles also 5 de- 
manded that I remain with a woman who had made me happy and to 
whom I owed so much. I thought also that a being who has had so 
sad an existence as mine would do badly not to profit as much as 
possible from happiness which he had finally found if he did not 
drink from the stream of pleasure as long as Heaven caused it to flow. 
I was utterly happy. Everything seemed agreeable to me. Even God 
took on for me the most agreeable aspect, as he will appear to us when 
at the end our souls will be all purified and exalted into the divine 

* That is, never made him lose money to her at cards. 

5 The draft here is confused by interlinear corrections which need some adjust- 
ment to make sense. 

2o Boswell to Rousseau on His Italian Tour 

perfection. O dear St. Preux! 6 Yes, my soul is bound to yours. I have 
loved like you, I am pious like you. If we have committed crimes, we 
have also expiated them. 

I resolved to leave Siena, and I told Signora a week before- 
hand. I was firm though sad. Her good sense was such that she ad- 
mitted that my reasons for leaving were irrefutable. But she could not 
but complain of her lot, which had made her taste real happiness only 
to feel its loss. When we enjoyed those delicious murmurs which 
your divine delicacy prefers to the moment of ecstasy itself, she said, 
"Ah, io piangero questi momenti." 7 Her sighs pierced my heart. I was 
gentle in moments of. . . . 8 

love, passionate fever of the soul, meteor of joy whose essence it 
is to be brief, how dearly we buy your transports! I tried to console 
us both for the sadness of parting by depicting the beautiful prospect 
of an eternal friendship. But the Signora insisted absolutely that she 
must see me again . . . 9 

TUESDAY i JANUARY 1 765 [Geneva]. ... I set out at eleven in a 
chaise mounted so high before that I was thrown back like a bishop in 
his studying-chair. All the chaises for passing the Alps are hung in 
this way. I jogged on, mighty deliberate. 

WEDNESDAY 2 JANUARY. I was very drowsy and slept almost all 
day. 1 

THURSDAY 3 JANUARY. I can record nothing but that Jacob, 2 
who observes me writing much, said, "Sir, I think you are making 
books like M. Rousseau." 

FRIDAY 4 JANUARY. I now began to be really among the Alps. 

6 Rousseau himself, of course, is equated with the hero of La Nouvelle Hdlo'ise. 

7 "Ah, I shall lament these moments." 

8 Boswell has deleted the next line of the manuscript with repeated scribblings. 

9 The draft breaks off here, ending Boswell's resume. The journal follows. 

1 The memoranda show that Boswell stopped that night at Marignier. 

2 Jacob Hanni, a Swiss from Berne, was Boswell's faithful and sarcastic servant. 
His remark, as well as much of the conversation in this volume, is in French in 
the original. For an explanation of the editorial method used, see p. xxiii. 

Savoy, 4 January 1 765 2 1 

Jacob said, "If one were to transport these mountains to Holland, 
they wouldn't stay there. The watery earth could not support them. 
They would sink at once." I was now amused to see the Savoyards, 
whose minuet I have so often danced. I had this night for my com- 
panion at supper the Marquis d'Ais of Turin, a young Sardinian 
officer. 3 

SATURDAY 5 JANUARY. A poor piemontois, or Italian of some 
kind, who had been a Spanish officer (as he said) and was now going 
to see his friends, had lost his money upon the road by gaming, and 
was obliged to walk to Turin. He begged leave to put his cloak-bag 
behind my chaise, which I granted, although this might have been a 
trick of some rogue who wanted a snug opportunity to rob me. He 
trudged along till he was quite knocked up, although I now and then 
walked and let him into the chaise. Today I gave him a horse till the 
stage of dinner. 

This morning, as the maid was lighting me to my chaise, the 
candle went out. I gravely said, "Bring it along just as it is," as if its 
going out had made little odds. She did so for some time and would 
have continued had not I burst out a-laughing at her amazing sim- 

I find in Savoy the windows in the villages of oiled paper. I must 
not forget to remark a strong instance of the gloomy sentiments an- 
nexed to a church, which Christians endeavour to render as hideous 
as may be. I met with a church in Savoy which had the outside of its 
walls adorned with real dead skulls. 

This evening I was a good way advanced on the Alps, and lay at 
Landau (I think) 4 by the foot of Mount Cenis. I was in firm frame 
and wrote a good letter to Mr. Love. 6 

3 According to the memoranda the Marquis told Boswell that Mme. de St. Gilles, 
whom he was to meet at Turin, had had various lovers. Boswell notes: "Resolve 
to be firm and have dignity of Rousseau, nor yield to a creature whom many 
have had, if not very charming. Be grave and swear run no risk. Be master of 
self in Italy." 

4 Boswell was mistaken in this name, as he suspected. Possibly he meant 

5 James Dance, actor, playwright, and manager of the theatre at Edinburgh, 
performed professionally under the name of Love. An early friend of Boswell's, 
he figures prominently in Boswell's London journal of 1762-1763. 

22 Mont Cenis, 6 January 1 765 

SUNDAY 6 JANUARY. I was this day to cross Mount Cenis and 
wished to set out betimes. Last night the men who were to carry me 
sent me word that as it was le jour de la fete des trois rozV they could 
not go till they had heard a mass. But if I would send to the cure and 
buy them an early mass, they would go when I pleased. I sent accord- 
ingly (my voiturier 7 being the messenger, and calling me an officer 
in the French service) and agreed for about two and twenty pence 
British. And this morning away I went at four o'clock most decently 
with my men to mass. For several nights I have been very late up; 
and, being rendered weak and sickly, I grew bad during service, and 
endeavouring to get away, I fell fairly down in a faint at the church 
door. A good peasant helped me up and brought me to my inn, where 
Jacob did not fail to scold me for irregular living. I went to bed an 
hour, sipped a little brandy, and was well enough. 

At six I mounted the Alps machine, which consisted of two trees 
between which were twisted some cords on which I sat. There was 
also a kind of back and arms, and a board hung before on which I put 
my feet. In this machine did four fellows (six I should say) , changing 
two and two, carry me over the saevas Alpes? I drank some of the 
snow, that I might say, "I have climbed the rudest heigths and 
drunk the Alpine snow." 9 The prospect was horridly grand. The 
snow was sometimes six foot deep, but the road had been well hard- 
ened by passengers. I saw the chamois at a distance, of whose skins 
is made the shambo or shammy leather. I then came to the plain 
which is upon the mountain, and to the Hopital de Pelerins, 1 which 
the worthy King of Sardinia maintains. There is here a church with 
a good bold bell, and a priest, who lives as a kind of hermit, takes care 
of the pilgrims and says mass. I heard part of the service with a good 

6 Three Kings' Day, the popular designation of the Feast of the Epiphany on 
the Continent. 

7 Carrier. The voiturier, or vetturino, to give him his Italian name, provided a 
chaise and paid for most of the expenses on the road in return for a fixed sum. 
Travelling by vetturino was cheaper but slower than travelling post, 

8 Juvenal, Satires, x. 166: "I demens et saevas curre per Alpes" (On, madman, 
and cross the savage Alps). The reference is to Hannibal. 

9 Boswell here seems to echo Virgil's Eclogues, x. 47-49, and Dryden's trans- 
lation: "And climb the frozen Alps, and tread the eternal snow." 

1 The Pilgrims' Hostel. 

Mont CeniSy 6 January 1 765 23 

deal of devotion. After which the priest and I went and sat down in 
his kitchen, where I found a very comfortable fire and a no less com- 
fortable pot a-boiling. My reverend father had a kind of resemblance 
of my old friend Johnston. 2 He gave me a glass of excellent wine, 
good bread, cold capon, and pie made of white partridges which are 
found on the Alps. I gave the maid something. I afterwards was told 
that the priest would not have been displeased had I made him an 
offering. He was immensely ignorant. I loved the idea of crossing 
this immense mountain of a Sunday. 

MONDAY 7 JANUARY. I arrived in the evening at Turin, which 
made me think of Lord Eglinton, who passed some time here and 
advised me to do the same. 3 I put up at the Bonne Femme, a most 
magnificent auberge* I went dirty to the opera. The superb theatre 
struck me much, and the boxes full of ladies and gallants talking to 
each other, quite Italy. So fatigued was I that I fell asleep. When 

1 got home and tumbled into a fine bed, it was most luxurious. 

TUESDAY 8 JANUARY. I got up very fretful, but drove off the 
fiend. I got my coach and valet de louage 5 and went to M. Torraz, my 
banker, a good, brisk, civil fellow. I received a letter from my dear 
mother, which gave me great comfort, for I had not heard from her 
since I left England and had formed to myself dreary ideas of her 
being dead, or sick, or offended with me, which it had been thought 

2 John Johnston of Grange was an obscure "writer'* (that is, solicitor or attor- 
ney) in Edinburgh. His mild, melancholy, affectionate nature made him very . 
sympathetic to Boswell, whose closest Scottish friend he was. 

8 For Alexander Montgomerie, tenth Earl of Eglinton, see p. i. He had made 
the foreign tour a little over twenty years before. 

*A Dr. McKinlay had sent Boswell, through Lord Auchinleck, an extensive 
set of directions for a five or six months' tour of Italy. He begins with the follow- 
ing prudent comments: "Upon your arrival at Turin from Geneva, put up at 
the sign of the Bonne Femme. You must begin here to make strict bargains for 
everything in respect to diet, lodging, &c., before you fix in your quarters, and 
observe this caution through all Italy." 

5 As was customary, Boswell hired a local servant in each town in which he 
spent any time. Dr. McKinlay remarks in connection with these valets: "Let 
me recommend it to you to trust nothing to them, I mean of your linen, wearing 
apparel, &c. Some honest fellows you may meet with, but in general they are 
rogues. You give here and over all Italy to your servant three paolis (eighteen 
pence sterling) a day without eating or anything else." 

24 Turin, 8 January 1 765 

prudent to conceal from me. I had also an exceedingly good letter 
from my brother David, in which he very sensibly and genteelly 
reproved me for yielding so much to the attacks of melancholy. 6 

I sent a letter of recommendation from Colonel Chaillet to the 
Comtesse de St. Gilles. 7 She received me at four o'clock. She was past 
fifty and had long been hackneyed in the ways of men* but, being 
strong, was still well enough. She talked of Duke Hamilton who had 
been a great gallant of hers. 9 She had animal spirits and talked in- 
cessantly. She carried me out in her coach to take the air. I was al- 
ready then quite in the Italian mode. We returned to her house, 
where was a stupid conversazione, all men. After this we all went to 
a public ball at the Theatre de Carignan. It was very handsome and 
gay. I danced a minuet with the Spanish Ambassadress. There was 
here many fine women. The counts and other pretty gentlemen told 
me whenever I admired a lady, "Sir, you can have her. It would not 
be difficult." I thought at first they were joking and waggishly 
amusing themselves with a stranger. But I at last discovered that they 
were really in earnest and that the manners here were so openly 
debauched that adultery was carried on without the least disguise. 
I asked them, "But why then do you marry?" "Oh, it's the custom; it 
perpetuates families." I met here a Capitaine Billon to whom I had 

6 Brother David was a serious young man of sixteen apprenticed to a banking- 
house in Edinburgh. Their mother, Euphemia, was devoted to her children, but 
she was absorbed in her household duties and her devotions, and almost never 
wrote to them or to anyone else. 

7 Caterina Maria Theresa di San Gillio (Boswell used the French equivalents 
of Italian names where French was the medium of communication, as here) 
occupied a commanding position in the society of Turin, partly through her 
husband, who was a natural son of the late King of Sardinia, Victor Amadeus II, 
partly through her own considerable social gifts. She figures largely in the 
records of travellers to Turin for many years. Casanova says that she superin- 
tended all the intrigues in town. Dutens (whom Boswell met the next day) 
says that she had "a great predilection for young Englishmen, and when she 
was almost fifty inspired a violent passion in Lord Charles Spencer [same age as 
Boswell] and Mr. [that is, Sir Brooke] Boothby" (Memoires d'un vayageur qui 
se repose, 1806, i. 154). This makes Boswell's pretended passion seem somewhat 
less grotesque. Boswell had met Colonel Jean Frederic Chaillet at Neuchatel. 

8 i Henry TV, III. ii. 40 ("ways" for "eyes"). 

9 James, the sixth Duke, who died in 1758 at the age of thirty-three. 

Turin, 8 January 1 765 25 

a letter from M. de Froment. He was a blunt Frenchman, very oblig- 
ing. I also met here young Gray, son to my Lord, a good, brisk little 

WEDNESDAY 9 JANUARY. There was at present no minister here 
from our Court. But M. Dutens, who acted in his place, carried me 
to wait on the Comte de Viry, the Prime Minister. 1 The Court was in 
mourning, so I could not be presented till I had a black coat. 2 1 trifled 
away the morning. I heard Wilkes was come. 8 1 was very curious to 
see him in his misfortunes. I sent him this note: 4 

Turin, 9 January 1765 

SIR: I am told that Mr. Wilkes is now in Turin. As a politician, 
my monarchical soul abhors him. As a Scotsman I smile at him. As a 
friend I know him not. As a companion I love him. I believe it is not 
decent for me to wait upon him. Yet I wish much to see him. I shall 
be alone and have a tolerable dinner upon my table at one o'clock. If 
Mr. Wilkes chooses to be my guest, I shall by no means oppose it. I 
may venture to say he shall be very welcome, and do promise him a 
feast of most singular and choice conversation. 


He was not at home, but in the afternoon when I was abroad he 
left a card for me: "Monsieur Wilkes pour Monsieur Boswell." 

1 Louis Dutens, a Frenchman, served under three English envoys at Turin, in- 
cluding Lord Mountstuart in later years. Tutor, secretary, and dramatist, he is 
best remembered for his anecdotal autobiography, Memoires d'un voyageur qui 
se repose. As Sardinian Ambassador to Great Britain a few years earlier, the 
Comte de Viry had established an enviable reputation for himself as a go- 
between in British politics. Sir Lewis Namier has described him as "a peculiar 
intriguer, an ample talker, assiduous, inscrutable, secretive, and yet plausible, 
who carried information or tales from Newcastle to Pitt, from Pitt to Bute, from 
Bute to Newcastle ..." (England in the Age of the American Revolution, Mac- 
millan & Company, Ltd., London, 1930, p. 91). 

2 The mourning had been ordered for the Princess Hedwig Sophia of Holstein, 
sister of the King of Sweden. 

3 For John Wilkes, see Introduction, p. xiii. Professor Chauncey B. Tinker has a 
charming and illuminating chapter on BoswelTs relations with Wilkes in his 
Young Boswell (1922). 

4 The original of this letter, preserved among the Wilkes papers in the British 
Museum, is actually dated 10 January. 

26 Turin, g January 1 765 

At three Billon went with me and saw some of the Turin churches. 
At the Bernardines' is a little place railed in like a particular burying- 
place, on the floor of which is recorded a miracle, which, as it is the 
first I have met with in Italy, I shall here relate. Some sacrilegious 
villains had broken into a church and stolen away the sacred calix 
with the Body of Jesus Christ. As he 5 was driving his beast laden with 
his impious spoils, it fell down of a sudden, and the holy transub- 
stantiated wafer rose into the air and hovered there in the sight of 
thousands. The Archbishop of Turin came out with a train of his 
clergy and kneeled in solemn adoration holding the calix in his 
hands, when lo! the host gently descended into the calix. In com- 
memoration of this miracle an annual feast is observed at Turin in 
this church which was erected upon the spot. The inscription is as 
follows: "Hie Divini Corporis Avector Jumentum Procubuit. Hie 
Sacra Sese Hostia Sarcinis Emancipata in Auras Extulit. Hie Sup- 
plices in Taurinensium Manus Clemens Descendit. Hie Ergo Sanctum 
Prodigio Locum, Memor, Supplex, Pronus, Venerare aut Verere. Die 
VI Junii, Anno Dni 1453."" This is a very remarkable story. It is said 
to be supported by very strong proofs. 

I went at five to Mme. de St. Gilles', where I tired to death. Her 
husband was an old shrewd fellow, who had killed his man in Po- 
land. 7 The room was full of young rakes, mighty stupid, and old 
worn-out miscreants in whom impotence and stupidity were united. 
I attended her to the opera, as one of her cicisbays. 8 She had two of us. 

5 Boswell apparently forgot that he spoke of several "villains." 
8 "Here fell the mule that was carrying off the Divine Body. Here the sacred host 
freed itself from the pack and rose into the air. Here it descended compassion- 
ately into the suppliant hands of the people of Turin. Here, therefore, mindful, 
suppliant, prostrate, venerate in awe a place made holy by a miracle. 6 June, 
A.D. 1453." 

7 In 1726 Vittorio Francesco, ninth Comte de St. Gilles, while in the military 
service of Augustus the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, quarrelled 
at gambling with Count Vitzthum von Eckstadt, a man much older than him- 
self, and as a consequence was condemned to three months' imprisonment in 
the fortress at Leipzig. He escaped to Poland and sent a challenge to Vitzthum. 
The duel was fought at Warsaw on horseback, Vitzthum being killed at the first 
stroke. St. Gilles took refuge in a monastery at Warsaw, which the King's troops 
burned; however, he escaped to France. 

s That is, cicisbeL It was the privilege of the cicisbeo to accompany a married 

-Yvnantc naxrinfr Vipr small attentions with assiduity, 

Turin, 9 January 1 765 27 

One held her gloves or her muff, and another her fan. After being 
heartily wearied in her box, I went down to the parterre, from whence 
I saw, in a high box, Mr. Wilkes. To see a man whom I have so often 
thought of since I left England, filled me with romantic agitation. 
I considered he might have been dead as well as Churchill, 9 and 
methought I viewed him in the Elysian fields. When I got home I 
sent him another note: 1 

I AM SORRY you could not dine with me. I find you have taken my 
card as I intended it. I would wait upon you, were I not an old laird 
and a steady royalist. Since Churchill's death, I have had a serious 
sympathy with you. Has it not made you pause and reflect a little? 
Might we not have an interview, and continue the conversation on 
the immateriality of the soul which you had with my countryman 
Baxter many years ago at Brussels? 2 To men of philosophical minds 
there are surely moments when they set aside their nation, their rank, 
their character, all that they have done and all that they have suf- 
fered in this jumbling world. Such moments may be most philo- 
sophical, as they are clear of all prejudices, good as well as bad. John 
Wilkes, the fiery Whig, would despise this sentiment. John Wilkes, 
the gay profligate, would laugh at it. But John Wilkes, the philos- 
opher, will feel it, and will love it. You have no objection to sitting 
up a little late. Perhaps you may come to me tonight. I hope at any 
rate you will dine with me tomorrow. 

He was gone to bed. 

THURSDAY io JANUARY. I tried to write this morning, but could 
do nothing. I drove about in the environs. At three I called on M. 

and returning her to her husband at the end of the evening. The word originally 
meant "whisperer." Smollett wrote: "For my part, I would rather be condemned 
for life to the galleys than exercise the office of a cicisbeo, exposed to the intoler- 
able caprices and dangerous resentment of an Italian virago" (Travels through 
France and Italy, 2nd ed., 1766, ii. 55). 
9 For Charles Churchill, see Introduction, p. xiv. 

1 The original is preserved among the Wilkes papers in the British Museum. 

2 Andrew Baxter, a Scottish philosopher who died in 1750, dedicated one of his 
works to Wilkes, describing it as the substance of a conversation they had held at 
Spa in 1745. Baxter's proof for the existence of God is based on the supposed 
inertness of matter, which thus implied the constant action of an immaterial 

28 Turin, 10 January 1765 

Bartoli, the King's Antiquary, whom M. Schmidt at Karlsruhe had 
advised me to see. I was courteously received. I found him confusedly 
learned and lively. He improved the more I talked with him. I gave 
him anecdotes of Voltaire and Rousseau. He did not approve of the 
writings of either of the two, for he was a man attached to the Catholic 
religion. I told him that Rousseau said, "I live in a world of chimeras." 
He replied, "Then let him keep his books there, and not be sending 
them out into the real world." He offered me his services while I re- 
mained at Turin. 

I then went to Mme. St. Gilles'. The whim seized me of having an 
intrigue with an Italian countess, and, as I had resolved to stay very 
little time here, I thought an oldish lady most proper, as I should 
have an easy attack. I began throwing out hints at the opera. I sat 
vis-a-vis to her and pressed her legs with mine, which she took very 
graciously. I began to lose command of myself. I became quite im- 
prudent. I said, "Surely there will be another world, if only for 
getting the King of Prussia flogged"; against whom I raged while 
the Imperial Minister sat by us. 3 Billon carried me to the box of the 
Countess Burgaretta, and introduced me to her. She was a most beauti- 
ful woman. 4 Billon told me I might have her. My mind was now 
quite in fermentation. I was a sceptic, but my devotion and love of 
decency remained. My desire to know the world made me resolve to 
intrigue a little while in Italy, where the women are so debauched 
that they are hardly to be considered as moral agents, but as inferior 
beings. I shall just mark little sketches of my attempts in that way. 
This night (the third of our acquaintance) I made plain addresses to 
Mme. St. Gilles, who refused me like one who wished to have me. 
But thinking me more simple than I really was, feared to trust me. 
I was too easy about the matter to take any pains. 

FRIDAY 11 JANUARY. I had now my black clothes. My valet de 
louage told me my hair must be dressed "in a horse-tail." I was in 
droll bad humour and abused the fellow, saying, "Then you must get 
me shod too. Have you a good blacksmith at Turin? Send for him." 

3 Boswell had been annoyed by his failure to secure a presentation to Frederick 
the Great. The Imperial Minister was Johann Sigismund, Count of Khevenhul- 
ler-Metsch. An Austrian and consequently the subject of Frederick's bitterest 
enemy, Maria Theresa, he would not have been displeased by such attacks. 
4 Vittoria Enrichetta, wife of Pietro Giuseppe Bistorti, Count of Borgaretto. 

Turin, 1 1 January 1 765 29 

However, I did comply with the courtly mode. I waited on Dutens, 
who was about publishing a complete edition of the works of Leibnitz 
with notes and I know not what more. Opus magnum et ponderosum. 
Will men still be plodding in this manner? Let them alone. It is as 
good as playing at cards. 5 I was presented to the Kong of Sardinia, 
who, after all his Italian wars, was just a little quiet man. He only 
asked me whence? and whither? I looked at him as a kind of heir to 
the British Crown. 6 There was a numerous Court, mostly military. I 
went to mass in the King's chapel, which he attends regularly every 

This morning I was quite in love with Mme. Burgaretta. Billon 
certainly officiated for me as a genteel pimp. To show how corruption 
may prevail without shame, thus in gross flattery did I write to him 
this morning: 

MY DEAR SIR, If you are a man worthy of respect, an obliging 
man whom one must love; in short, if you have any noble virtue in 

your soul, arrange for me to see Mme. B today. You told me 

yesterday that it will be possible for me to enjoy the favours of that 
goddess in a very little time. Oh, how adorable she is! I beg of you to 
be at the coffee-house after the Court. I shall have the honour of find- 
ing you there. 7 

Was not this real rascality to prostitute the praises of merit in 
such a manner? But when a man gives himself up to gross gallantry 
he must lose much of his delicacy of principle. Billon told me with 
great simplicity, "It's a low game." I shall only talk in general of my 
Turin deviations. I had Billon to dine with me, after which Bartoli 

and I went and saw a church. I was madly in love with Mme. B 

I called on her thrice this afternoon, but did not find admittance. 

At four Dutens presented me at the French Ambassador's to his 

5 This hardly sounds like the Boswell who a few months earlier was planning 
to produce both a Scots dictionary and a Latin translation of a book of law. But 
as Geoffrey Scott said, Boswell was "pedantic in Holland, princely in Germany, 
philosophic in Switzerland, and amorous in Italy." 

6 Charles Emmanuel III, who took his title from Sardinia but whose principal 
domain was Savoy, was a great-grandson of Charles I of England, and, in the 
Jacobite succession, next heir to the British throne after Prince Charles Edward 
and Cardinal York. 

7 Original in French. 

30 Turin, 11 January 1765 

Excellency's lady. I had the honour to hand her to her coach. About 
the middle of the stair we were met by a marquise, who of course was 
to turn back. But the great question was, who should be led first to 
her coach? Madame la marquise! Madame I'ambassadrice!* I was 
simple enough to be tossed from the one to the other, as I did just 
what I was bid; while the rogue Dutens enjoyed my perplexity and 
probably studied from it something to insert among his notes on Leib- 
nitz on determining motives. At last her Excellency of France took 
the pas. I was deeply hipped, 9 and knew not what to make of myself. 
I went and lounged some time at Mme. St. Gilles'; then I returned to 
the drawing-room of the French Ambassadress, where I was pre- 
sented to M. Chauvelin himself. I was quite loaded with gloom and 
stood at the back of the chairs of those who were playing, to whom I 
hardly gave any attention but was fixed in proud and sullen silence. 
This was a most sad evening. 

SATURDAY 12 JANUARY. I called this morning on Gray, who 
lived at the Academy. I found there Mr. Needham of the Royal So- 
ciety, whose acquaintance I much wished for. 1 When I hear of such 
a man's being in a place where I arrive at, I go immediately and make 
him the first visit, although I stand upon the very pinnacle of punc- 
tilios with the British in general. I found him a learned, accurate, 
easy man. He said he followed just the study which pleased him at 
the time, and went on calm and moderate, finding every part of 
knowledge add to the general stock. We talked of vanity, which I de- 
fended, and owned I felt a good deal. "Yes," said he, smiling, "you 
never hear of a great man but you would wish to be him. I am not so, 
for I have observed the condition of such men. I love fame only as an 
ingredient in happiness." This idea pleased me much. I then went to 
the King's museum where Signor Bartoli showed me a very curious 
collection of antiquities and natural curiosities. He then showed me 
His Majesty's library, which is truly noble. 

8 Agnes Th6rese de Chauvelin, later a marquise herself. 

9 Or "hyp'd" as Boswell often spells it, a contraction of "hypochondriacal." 

1 John Turberville Needham, Roman Catholic priest and man of science, was at 
this time serving as governor to the eldest son of Viscount Dillon. He pro- 
pounded a theory of spontaneous generation, and his microscopic observations 
of animalcula roused great excitement at the time. He was a friend of Buffon, 
who described his work in the Natural History. 

Turin, 12 January 1765 31 

I dined with Billon at the Auberge d'Angleterre. My landlord at 
the Bonne Femme had endeavoured to impose upon me. I was en- 
raged at the rogue, and determined to change him. I called up the 
landlord of this inn, who hates the other fellow. "Sir, are you a friend 
or relative of the landlord of the Bonne Femme?" "No, Sir." "Dare I 
speak iU of him to you?" "Yes, Sir," "Well, then, he's a rascal, and I 
should like to come to your house." The fellow was confounded and 
pleased, and having been lectured by Billon, he made a reasonable 
price with me. 2 We had another French officer with us, a lively young 
fellow. We were mighty gay. But I was in feverish spirits. 

At night I sat a long time in the box of Mme. B., of whom I was 
now violently enamoured. I made my declarations, and was amazed 
to find such a proposal received with the most pleasing politeness. 
She however told me, "It is impossible. I have a lover" (showing 
him) , "and I do not wish to deceive him." Her lover was the Neapoli- 
tan Minister, Comte Pignatelli, in whose box she sat. He was a gen- 
teel, amiable man. He went away, and then I pursued my purpose. 
Never did I see such dissimulation, for she talked aloud that I should 
think no more of my passion, and the piemontcds around us heard this 
and said without the least delicacy, "A traveller expects to accom- 
plish in ten days as much as another will do in a year." I was quite 
gone. She then said to me, "Whisper in my ear," and told me, "We 
must make arrangements," assuring me that she had talked severely 
to persuade people that there was nothing between us. She bid me 
call upon her next day at three. This was advancing with rapidity. 
I saw she was no very wise personage, so flattered her finely. "Ah, 
Madame, I understand you well. This country is not worthy of you. 
That is true" (like a mere fool) . "You are not loved here as you ought 
to be." Billon came and repeated gross bawdy. This was disgusting. 
When I got home I was so full of my next day's bliss that I sat up 
all night. 

SUNDAY 13 JANUARY. By want of sleep and agitation of mind, 

1 was quite feverish. At seven I received a letter from Mme tell- 
ing me that people talked of us, and forbidding me to come to her or 
to think more of the "plus malheureuse de femmes." This tore my 

2 Boswell's Accounts show that six days' food and lodging at the Bonne Femme 
cost him about 3, and nine days at the Auberge d'Angleterre about 3.6. 

3?, Turin, 1 3 January 1 765 

very heart. I wrote to her like a madman, conjuring her to pity me. 
Billon came and went out with me in my coach. He told me I had lost 
her merely by being an imprudent and discovering my attachment to 
all the world. I had wrought myself up to a passion which I was not 
master of. I saw he looked upon me as a very simple young man; for 
amongst the thorough-bred libertines of Turin to have sentiment is 
to be a child. I changed my lodgings. She wrote to me again. I wrote 
to her an answer more mad than my former one. I was quite gone. 
At night I saw her at the opera. We were reserved. But I told her my 
misery. She said, "C'est impossible." I was distracted. I forgot to 
mention that I have paid her one visit. 

[Boswell to the Countess Burgaretta. Original in French] 3 

[Turin] Sunday [13 January 1765] 

I HAVE NO WORDS, MADAME, to tell you how your letter has pierced 
my heart. I have been so agitated by that passion you have inspired 
in me that I have not slept half an hour all night. The thought never 
left me of the happiness which was to be mine today at "a quarter past 
three.' 9 And now comes your cruel letter, forbidding me to come to- 
day to your house. 

Madame, I am wholly yours. You may dispose of me as it shall 
please you, but consider that a worthy man's happiness should be a 
matter of consequence to a woman such as I have the honour to con- 
ceive you to be. Your conduct has roused hopes which it will cost me 
the bitterest regret to abandon. O Madame, you are generous! Think, 
I entreat you, of your unhappy lover who is tortured by his passion 
for you and dares to ask your pity as his due. 

Madame, with your brilliance, with your knowledge of the world, 
you can find means to console this lacerated heart. Grant me, I en- 
treat you, an assignation this evening at any hour when you can be 
alone. Reflect. Let your humanity speak. I am unwilling to see you 
in company: I cannot do so without confusion and torment. Dear 
Madame, adieu. Answer me unless you wish to kill me. 
3 This and the following letters to Mme. Burgaretta and Mme. Skarnavis were 
first printed, together with Geoffrey Scott's translations, in the fifth volume of 
Colonel Isham's privately printed Private Papers of James Boswell. Scott's ver- 
sions are used here with slight changes. The letters to these two ladies are 
printed from BoswelTs copies. 

Turin, 1 3 January^ 1 765 33 

[Boswell to the Countess Burgaretta. Original in French] 

[Turin, 13 January 1765] 

FORGIVE ME, MADAME, if the pain and stupefaction caused by the 
blow of your first letter prevented me from paying attention to your 
commands for its return. Here are both your letters. 4 I have kissed 
them a thousand times, laden though they are with so much cruelty. 
They come from you: that is enough. Torments, from your hand, are 
to me precious. Baneful and delicious madness! O Love! Most ador- 
able of women, my heart and my soul exist but for you. 

You call yourself unhappy. Great Heavens! What can I do? Com- 
mand me, Madame: you will see whether I am attached to you or not. 

Yesterday evening we came to an explanation. I made you an 
unreserved avowal of my passion for you. You were good enough to 
tell me that your situation is a delicate one and that "the most careful 
arrangements would be necessary." I can be blamed for nothing but 
an excess of passion which almost deprives me of power to conceal it; 
and I believe, Madame, that this is why you hesitate to display your 
generosity to an unhappy foreigner who throws himself at your feet 
and pleads for pity. 

But, Madame, if the utmost deference and discretion of conduct 
may yet earn some reward of gratitude, I shall not cease to flatter 
myself with hopes of your favour. My happiness, my life, depend on 
you. Persist in your cruelty, and I cannot answer for the consequences 
of the most violent passion man ever felt. You do not refuse me your 
friendship. O Madame! Dear and kind Countess! Give me a proof of 
your compassion. In granting that, you will grant all that my un- 
happy stars permit me to obtain. I shall do what I can to calm myself. 
I shall leave Turin full of sadness, but also full of gratitude. We shall 
correspond; and I, wherever I am, shall remain yours. Once more, 
my dear Madame, I beseech you think seriously. Write me a word or 
two before the opera; calm me as much as you can. I shall have the 
honour to be in your opera box for as brief a time as you command. 
I shall be all obedience; and always, always yours. 

MONDAY 1 4 JANUARY. Night before last I plainly proposed mat- 
ters to Mme. St. Gilles. "I am young, strong, vigorous. I offer my 
services as a duty, and I think that the Comtesse de St. Gilles will do 
* Boswell does not seem to have kept copies of them. 

34 Turin, 14 January 1 765 

very well to accept them." "But I am not that kind of woman." "Very 

well, Madame, I shall believe you." I thought to take her en passant. 

But she was cunning and saw my passion for Mme. B , so would 

not hazard with me. 

This morning I waited on Mr. Needham, who read me a defence 
of the Trinity which was most ingenious and really silenced me. I 
said, "Sir, this defence is very good; but pray what did you do before 
you thought of it?" He replied that he submitted to it as a mystery. 
He said the Catholic religion was proved as a general system, like 
the Newtonian philosophy, and, although we may be perplexed with 
partial difficulties, they are not to shake our general belief. He said 
the world would very soon be divided into Catholics and Deists. He 
threw my ideas into the orthodox channel. But still I recalled Rous- 
seau's liberal views of the benevolent Divinity, and so was more free. 
Needham said that a man whose melancholy hurt his rational powers 
could hardly be accountable for his moral conduct. He consoled me. 

After dinner I called on Norton and Heath, two English gentle- 
men. I did not know what to say to them. I liked the opera much 
tonight, and my passion was already gone. Honest Billon said, "If 
you want to make love, I can find you a girl." I agreed to this by way 
of cooling my raging disposition to fall in love. At night Mme. St. 
Gilles seemed piqued that I pursued her no longer, and, suspecting 

that I was enchained by Mme. B , she said, "Really, you are a 

little mad. You get notions, and your head turns. I'll tell you: I think 
you have studied a great deal. You ought to go back to your books. 
You should not follow the profession of gallant or you will be terribly 
taken in. Be careful of your health and of your purse. For you don't 
know the world." Although my former love-adventures are proof 
enough that it is not impossible for me to succeed with the ladies, yet 
this abominable woman spoke very true upon the whole. I have too 
much warmth ever to have the cunning necessary for a general com- 
merce with the corrupted human race. 

Turin, 14 January 1 765 35 

[Boswell to the Countess Burgaretta. Original in French] 

[Turin] Monday [14 January 1765] 

I ENTREAT YOU, MADAME, to return me the two letters which I 
have had the honour to write you. Act towards me with the same 
generosity that I have shown you. Today I feel better. My passion 
abates; and for that reason I still have hopes that you will make the 
arrangements of which you spoke. 

TUESDAY 15 JANUARY. Wrote all the morning. After dinner 
saw the King's palace, where are a number of very excellent pictures. 
I was shown the Bong's own apartment. I took up his hat and cane, 
but found them neither lighter than silk nor heavier than gold. In 
short, they could not be distinguished from the hat and stick of un- 
crowned mortals. I was much pleased with his closet, where he had a 
prie-dieu and a good many books of devotion. His Majesty is truly 

I then went to Billon's, who had a very pretty girl for me with 
whom I amused myself. I then went to another ball at the Theatre de 
Carignan. I tired much. Billon had promised to have a girl to sleep 
with me all night at his lodgings. I went there at eleven but did not 
find her. I was vexed and angry. 

WEDNESDAY 16 JANUARY. Billon and another French officer 
dined with me. We were well. I then called on Needham, who ex- 
plained his philosophical opinion of transubstantiation, by which I 
was convinced that it was not absurd. He and I then went and waited 
on the French Ambassadress. After which I went to Mme. St. Gilles', 
where I was quite disgusted. I went home very dull. What a strange 
day have I had of it! 5 

THURSDAY 1 7 JANUARY. All the forenoon I wrote. After dinner 
I took Bartoli to air in my coach. We went and saw the Bernardines' 
library. I was gloomy but patient. At night I was again at a ball. I was 
calm, pensive, and virtuous. Sabbati, 6 Secretary to the French Am- 
bassador, talked a good deal with me, and said, "You are a man from 

5 The memorandum covering this day adds: "This day pause; swear solemn 
behaviour. Madness is no excuse, as you can restrain it. No girls or you're poxed. 
Swear this, and no more imaginary enjoying; it weakens. Be calm." 

6 Honore* Auguste Sabatier de Cabre. 

36 Turin, 1 7 January 1 765 

another century." I had eyed a singular lady some time. She was very 

debauched. But I took a fancy to her. Sabbati presented me to her. I 

said, u Mme. S , 7 this is the fifth evening that I have tried to make 

your acquaintance." She seemed gay and pleased. 8 

FRIDAY 18 JANUARY. I passed the morning at home, but was 
so sadly dissipated that I could do no good. While I was at dinner, an 
Augustine monk came and asked charity. He said he had been twenty- 
seven years religiosus et semper contentus. 

I then went to Billon's, where I had a pretty girl. I was disgusted 
with low pleasure. Billon talked of women in the most indelicate 
manner. I then went to Mme. Burgaretta's, where I found two more 
swains. She grumbled and complained of a headache; and she dressed 
before us, changing even her shirt. We indeed saw no harm; but this 
scene entirely cured my passion for her. Her femme de chambre was 
very clever, and when the Countess was dressed, carried away her 
morning clothes in a little barrel. At the opera I sat in the box of 
Mme. S , who was soft and gentle, and seemed to like my compli- 
ments. I was at Mme. St. Gilles' in good spirits, and went home pretty 
much content. 

[Boswell to the Countess Burgaretta. Original in French] 

[Turin, 18 January 1765] 

PRAY, MADAME, allow me to tell how grateful I am to you for all 
the kindnesses you have extended to a stranger. You have, I trust, no 
fault to find with my conduct ever since I pledged myself to the 
strictest discretion. You do not know the value of your Scotsman. 
There is no suffering he will not endure for the lady he worships. 

7 Maria Anna Theresa Skarnavis (BoswelTs spelling of Scaraafis, the Pied- 
montese version of the name) was the wife of Filippo Ottone Ponte, Count of 
Scarnafigi, who was appointed on 27 January Minister to Portugal from Sar- 
dinia. He was later Ambassador to France. Mme. Skarnavis was about seven 
years older than Boswell. 

8 The memorandum elaborates a little here: "Gave her arm going out. Asked 
you, 'Do you live close by?' 'Auberge d'Angleterre.' Perhaps she'll send." 

9 Scott dated this letter 12 January 1765 and placed it first in the series. However, 
the memorandum covering this day reads: "Short card to Burgaretta; thank and 
say it injuste to Pignatelli." 

Turin, 18 January 1 765 37 

Madame, you will forgive me if my sincere passion compels me to ask 
you, with all deference, to tell me, yes or no, whether you will be 
able to receive me before I leave. 

I will confess, Madame, that I find myself so much indebted to 

M. P that I should have scruples against doing him an offence. 

But I believe, Madame, that you have no ties with him which pre- 
clude generosity to another. If that is indeed so, I entreat you to make 
me the happiest of mortals, and I shall cherish an undying memory 
of the goodness of your heart. Of my discretion you have already 
made proof. Reflect on this, and answer me. 

Your brother is my friend. 1 

SATURDAY 1 9 JANUARY. Here have I stayed a week longer than 
I intended, partly from love, partly to see a grand opera which is to 
be performed tomorrow. After dinner I sat some time with Needham, 
who told me he was in orders as a Catholic priest and had always 
lived with conscientious strictness. He said he had many severe 
struggles to preserve his chastity, but had done so, and was now quite 
serene and happy. He had also been distressed with a lowness of 
spirits which impedes devotion. Thomas a Kempis complains of a 
siccitas animi. 2 1 was amazed to find a man who had such parts and 
had seen so much of the world, and yet so strict as worthy Needham. 
I talked of the eternity of hell's torments, which he defended as the 
continual shade which must be in the universe, which wicked beings 
ought justly to form. He said too that the pains would be in propor- 
tion to the offences, and that perhaps to exist with a certain degree of 
pain was better than to be annihilated. 

At the opera I sat in Mme. S ' box, and fairly told her my 

love, saying that I could not leave Turin, being^ entirely captivated by 
her. She seemed propitious. 3 Mme. St. Gilles, deservedly balked of my 
services, was not a little angry. She was impudent enough to tell 

1 Mme. Burgaretta's brother has not been identified, 

2 A dryness of the souL 

8 In the memoranda Boswell records the conversation (in French) : "BOSWELL. 
'I cannot go away. Why leave what is most dear to me?' MME. SKARNAVIS. 'I 
cannot make up my mind.' BOSWELL. 'I shall tell you without flattery, the 
women here have neither taste nor sentiment. I saw you. I tried to make your 
acquaintance, &c. Will you allow me a visit?' MME. SKARNAVIS. 'Yes. You may 
command me,' &c. She was truly kind. 9 ' 

38 Turin,, 1 9 January 1 765 

about that I had made a bold attack upon her. I did not like to hear 

this joke. 

SUNDAY 20 JANUARY. The Comte Pignatelli, Envoy from 
Naples, had given me some letters of recommendation for different 
places. I was struck with this piece of politeness, and waited upon 
him this morning. He was indisposed, and abed, where he had a neat 
little desk on which he wrote. We chatted very agreeably, and agreed 
in abusing the piemontais, who are indeed a good-for-nothing mon- 
grel race, ignorant and trifling. I said a man of genius made such a 
figure here as Voltaire would do in a society of people that valued 
themselves upon cutting pens, and despised those who cut worse than 

they did. At the opera I again sat by Mme. S She advised me to 

go, and rather to think of such a scheme when I should return. She 
would not allow me any the least liberty. 

Last night the new opera was played, called The Conquest of 
Mexico. The decorations were superb, and some of the music very 
good, but not so well as the last opera, which was by old Sassone. 4 

Sabbati and I talked again tonight. He said everything great and 
spirited was carried on by prejudices early implanted. He said a 
jealous man was most easily deceived. Last night I had taken conge 
of Mme. St. Gilles, so went no more near her. This evening I went to 
a ball given by some bourgeois at my inn. I danced one or two min- 
uets, and thought to do them honour. But the good bourgeois gave me 
broad hints not to keep them from the floor. 

MONDAY 21 JANUARY. Never was mind so formed as that of him 
who now recordeth his own transactions. I was now in a fever of love 
for an abandoned being whom multitudes had often treated like a 
very woman of the town. I hesitated if I should not pass the winter 
here and gravely write to my father that really a melancholy man 
like myself so seldom found anything to attach him that he might 
be indulged in snatching a transient pleasure, and thus would I in- 
form him that an Italian Countess made me remain at Turin. Was 
there ever such madness? Rousseau, how am I fallen since I was 
with thee! I wrote a long letter to Mme. S , entreating her pity 

4 The "new opera," Montezuma, was composed by Francesco di Majo; the "last 
opera," probably UOlimpiade, by Johann Adolph Hasse, generally known as 
II Sassone (the Saxon). 

Turin, 21 January 1765 39 

and all that. 5 Her answer was that if she had known my letter was 
of such a nature, she would not have opened it. She had told me 
plainly her mind at the opera. Pedro, my stupid valet de place, 6 
brought me this shocking word-of-mouth message. I saw that 
amongst profligate wretches a man of sentiment could only expose 

After dinner I went to Needham, and was consoled with learned 
and solid conversation. We went to the opera together, and sat in the 
middle of the parterre, from whence I never stirred but was quite in- 
dependent. I enjoyed fully the entertainment. Needham talked of the 
religious orders, particularly of the Trappe, and explained them in 
so philosophical a manner that I had much solemn satisfaction. 

After the opera Norton and Heath insisted I should go home with 
them and sup. I went, like a simpleton. They carried me into a low 
room of their inn, where they romped with two girls and gave me a 
most pitiful supper. This, now, was true English. I had now and then 

looked from the parterre to Mme. S , but did not go to her box. 

I determined to set out next morning for Milan. 

[Boswell to the Countess Skarnavis. Original in French] 

[Turin] Auberge d'Angleterre, 21 January 1765 
PERMIT ME, MADAME, to write to you, for it is thus that I can best 
express to you the nature of my feelings towards you. I shall express 
them very briefly, without timidity and without restraint. 

You are already aware that I feel for you the strongest of passions. 
I glory in it, and make no complaint of all I suffer. I shall not again 
repeat my ardent professions. You have no doubts on that head; if 
you have, it is from an excess of suspicion. I have heard many tales 
of you. I believe none. I am determined to believe none. No, Madame, 
I adore you, and nothing could avail to weaken that adoration. 

Yesterday evening I told you I was consoling myself with hopes 
of your goodness. Your answer, both tender and cruel, was, "It is far 
better to go away." You gave me the most cautious advice. But you 

5 One of the stock phrases of Bayes in the Duke of Bucldngham's Rehearsal. 

6 In a descriptive list which Boswell kept of his valets de place, he characterizes 
Pedro as "old, small, and feeble." 

40 Turin, 21 January 1765 

refrained from telling me it would be impossible to win your favour. 
I implore you, Madame, to reflect seriously, and to use no evasions 
with a romantic lover who deserves quite other consideration than 
one gives to the kind who may be had any day. Madame, I venture 
to affirm that never have your charms been more worthily felt than 
by me. If you accord me the supreme happiness, you will be showing 
yourself generous to an excellent man who would be attached by 
gratitude to you for the rest of his life. You are in perfect safety with 
me. You can rely on my honour in every respect. Our characters, 
Madame, are alike. Yes, I am sure of it. We have the liveliest ideas, 
which we express only by our glances. We have a modesty which 
nothing can destroy. Assuredly we are not novices in love. Never- 
theless, with exquisite delicacy you prevent my touching your hand; 
and I, if I hear mention of Mme. Skarnavis, find myself blushing. 
Ah! when we abandon ourselves to pleasures under the veil of dark- 
ness, what transports, what ecstasy will be ours! Pardon me, Mad- 
ame, I am greatly agitated. I place myself under your protection: 
dispose of me as you see fit. If you tell me, "Sir, think no more of that 
happiness; 'tis impossible," if you say that, I shall hear you with 
distress, I shall tear myself away from Turin, I shall leave on the 

But if I am not disagreeable to you, if your generous heart prompts 
you to say, "Stay: I am one who can value a true passion at its worth," 
you cannot conceive, Madame, how keenly I shall be touched. love! 
baneful and delicious madness, 7 1 feel you, and am your slave. 

I well know, Madame, that I ought to remain long here to earn 
the great boon which I entreat. But just now I am not my own master. 
For the rest of my stay, I shall be entirely yours. I shall mix no more 
with the world. For all save you I shall have left Turin. I have tried 
to explain myself, Madame; it is for you to reflect and decide. It is a 
singular case. Have a care. Dear and amiable Countess, let your hu- 
manity speak. Let us see if you can rise superior to low prejudices and 
tell your true thoughts. 

7 "O Amour! Folie funeste et delicieuse!" Boswell was thrifty of his fine phrases: 
he had used this a week before in his second letter to Mme. Burgaretta. Seven 
months later he used the thought expressed in the opening sentences of this let- 
ter to Mme. Skarnavis to begin one to Mme. Sansedoni. 

Turin, 21 January 1765 41 

It shall be between ourselves. Oh, you have nothing to fear! 
Reflect and in a few hours' time give me your reply. I shall 
send to get it. You have told me what you would do in my case; I well 
know what I should do in yours. Have a care, Madame, there is here 
something important at stake. I tremble, but I have hopes. Heaven 
bless you. 

TUESDAY 22 JANUARY. Needham and Gray breakfasted with 

me. I was quite easy and genteel. I sent to Mme. S and begged 

she would return me my letter. She bid the valet say that she had 
thrown it in the fire. Here was the extreme of mortification for me. I 
was quite sunk. Worthy Needham bid me continue to lay up knowl- 
edge, and took an affectionate leave of me, hoping we should meet 

I set out at eleven. As I went out at one of the ports, I saw a crowd 
running to the execution of a thief. I jumped out of my chaise and 
went close to the gallows. The criminal stood on a ladder, and a priest 
held a crucifix before his face. He was tossed over, and hung with his 
face uncovered, which was hideous. I stood fixed in attention to this 
spectacle, thinking that the feelings of horror might destroy those 
of chagrin. But so thoroughly was my mind possessed by the feverish 
agitation that I did not feel in the smallest degree from the execution. 
The hangman put his feet on the criminal's head and neck and had 
him strangled in a minute. I then went into a church and kneeled 
with great devotion before an altar splendidly lighted up. Here then 
I felt three successive scenes: raging love gloomy horror grand 
devotion. The horror indeed I only should have felt. I jogged on 
slowly with my vetturino, and had a grievous inn at night. 

WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY. I set out by four o'clock. It was cold 
and wet. I slept all day. My blood stagnated and I was a deplorable 
being. My inn was again wretched. 

THURSDAY 24 JANUARY. Still bad weather. I was much out of 
humour. I had only my servant to talk to. It was just living in a 
kitchen. My ideas were all mean. I despised myself. This is sad work, 
upon my honour. 

FRIDAY 25 JANUARY. I arrived this morning at Milan. I drank 
chocolate, and got into spirits. This was the first town I saw men- 
tioned by a classic. Often did I repeat, "Et Mediolani mira omnia, 

42 Milan, 25 January 1765 

copia rerum," 8 &c. I got a valet de louage and went to the famous 
great church. It is debased by little shops like the Cathedral at Stras- 
bourg. I saw a vast number of people still at work preparing marble 
ornaments for it. It is disputed whether the administrators of the fund 
for building this church keep it back designedly to have the money 
longer in their hands, or if they really advance so slowly by reason 
of the immense work. On entering this church I felt the most solemn 
admiration. The statue of St. Bartholomew and the rich shrine of St. 
Charles Borromeo have been enough described by others. I mounted 
up to the top of the church by the inside stair so far, and then got out 
upon part of the roof, and from thence mounted by different stairs 
till I got to the highest part of this immense edifice. The number of 
the statues with which it is adorned is almost incredible. Many of 
them are very small, and many "entirely out of sight," and "there- 
fore well placed on account of their deformity" (says Needham, who 
has been kind enough to give me a paper of directions for my journey 
through Italy) . I went and saw a good many churches and convents. 9 
At the Bernardines' I saw a spacious convent, and had the full ideas 
of such a sacred and studious retirement in Italy as I have often 
imagined to myself. I walked here peaceful and solemn, and thought 
perhaps I saw the lodging of my age. My hypochondria was quite re- 
moved. Over the door of the refectory of this convent is the following 
inscription, "Caenaculum Hoc Solertia Completum et Ornatum 
Anno 1712, Elizabetha Christiana Imperatrix Augusta Majestas Sua 
Presentia Illustrius Reddidit, Anno Insequente Kalendis Maii." 1 The 
reverend fathers seem not a little proud of having had an imperial 
guest. Their library is guarded by a tremendous anathema of the 
Pope: "Utere Hie Libris. Nam Abstrahere Anathemate Ferit de- 
mentis Noni Diploma, MDCLXVIIL" 2 So is the inscription above the 
door of it. 

8 The first line of the stanza on Milan in Ausonius' Ord o nobilium urbium: "At 
Milan also are all things remarkable, abundant wealth." 

9 In the memoranda Boswell mentions seeing Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper 
in the refectory of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. 

1 "This refectory, which was skilfully completed and adorned in the year 1712, 
was rendered more illustrious by a visit of Her August Majesty the Empress 
Elizabeth Christine on the first of May of the year following." 

2 "Use the books here. For an edict of Clement IX, 1668, puts a curse on anyone 
who carries them off." 

Milan, 26 January 1 765 43 

SATURDAY 26 JANUARY. I walked out a league to where is the 
famous echo. It is at a palace which was not finished on account of 
the dampness of the soil. It has three tier of pillars in front, and 
would have made a noble thing. I fired a pistol from the window of 
an upper story opposite to a wall; the sound was repeated fifty-eight 
times. 3 1 then returned and saw the Ambrosian Library. I shall not 
be particular in describing it, after what Mr. Addison has said. Of 
English heads, besides that of Fisher, there are those of Sir Thomas 
More and Cardinal Pole. 4 I saw some of the volumes of the famous 
drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. The following inscription with 
regard to them is curious. "Leonardi Vincii Manu et Ingenio Cele- 
berrimi Lucubrationum Volumina XII Habes, O Civis. Galeaz. Ar- 
conatus Inter Optimates Tuos Bonarum Artium Cultor Optimus, 
Repudiatis Regio Animo Quos Angliae Rex pro Uno [Tantum] Of- 
f erebat Aureis Ter Mille Hispanicis, ne Tibi Tanti Viri Deesset Orna- 
mentum, Bibliothecae Ambrosianae Consecravit. Ne Tanti Largitoris 
Deesset Memoria, Quern Sanguis, Quern Mores, Magno Federico 
Fundatori Adstringunt, Bibliothecae Conservatores Posuere Anno 
MDCXXXVII." 5 1 saw several more churches. 

After dinner I waited on Padre Allegranza, a Dominican friar, to 

8 Boswell, in making this trip, was following in the footsteps of Addison, whose 
book he used as a guide throughout Italy. Addison says, "At two miles distance 
from Milan there stands a building that would have been a masterpiece in its 
kind, had the architect designed it for an artificial echo. We discharged a 
pistol, and had the sound returned upon us above fifty-six times, though the air 
was very foggy" (Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, 1711, p. 36). 
* Addison had said that Bishop Fisher was the only Englishman represented. 
5 "You have here, citizen, twelve volumes of notes by the ingenious hand of the 
famous Leonardo da Vinci. Galeazzo Arconati, the best patron of the fine arts 
among your nobles, having with regal spirit refused the three thousand Spanish 
gold-pieces which the King of England offered for but one volume, gave them 
to the Ambrosian Library, so that you might not lose the distinguished work 
of so great a man. And lest so generous a donor be forgotten a donor allied in 
blood and virtues to the great Federico [Borromeo] our Founder the Trustees 
of the Library have put up this inscription in the year 1637." John Evelyn, who 
saw the inscription in 1646 and thought it "glorious" (that is, boasting) says 
that the Earl of Arundel had tried to buy the volumes for himself. Napoleon 
carried them off in 1796; in 1815 the largest and most important (the famous 
Codice Atlantico) was restored, but the smaller still remain at the Institut de 

44 Milan, 26 January 1 765 

whom I had a letter from M. Bartoli at Turin. The convent was large 
and agreeable. My reverend Father received me very politely. He 
was quite a man of the world, decent and composed. He said he knew 
a Scots gentleman at Malta. This set me a-thinking. In short, by one 
question and another I found out that I was now sitting with the 
very man who had converted Sir Alexander Jardine, of whom I have 
thought so very much. 6 M. Allegranza told me, "That conversion oc- 
curred after a dispute lasting ten months and a half. He was a Cal- 
vinist, he was a Lutheran, he was a philosopher, he was nothing. He 
said, C I am determined to find the truth.' He found it. He leads a very 
holy life." Padre a Porta, another friar, was with us. He had got an 
English letter from Mr. Kennicott at Oxford. 7 I translated it to him. 
I disputed a little with these two reverend fathers, but found myself 
too philosophical to feel the force of ecclesiastical reasoning. I told 
them, "Niger haereticus sum. 'Hie niger est, hunc tu, Romane, 
caveto.' " 8 Both of them made me presents of books which they had 
written. Padre Allegranza recommended me by a letter to a father of 
his order at Bologna. 

I then went to the opera. The house was very large; the audience 
so-so. Rough dogs often roared out "Brava." The singers seemed 
slovenly. Blackguard boys held the sweeping female trains and often 
let them go to scratch their head or blow their nose with their finger. 
I wished to have had gingerbread or liquorice to give them. 

SUNDAY 2 7 JANUARY. I left Milan betimes. I heard mass by an 
aged priest at a little village. The church I suppose was dedicated to 
the Virgin. Over the altar was "Nullum Donum Deus Dat Nisi 
Matris Intercessione." 9 1 was drowsy all day. At night I was baddish. 

MONDAY 28 JANUARY. I arrived at noon at Placentia. 1 In cross- 

6 Sir Alexander Jardine of Applegarth had not only become a convert to Roman 
Catholicism, but had also joined the Knights of Malta, a celibate order. His ex- 
ample may have been in BoswelTs mind at the time that he himself thought of 
retiring to a monastery. 

7 Enrico a Porta, a distinguished Orientalist, was assisting Kennicott in the 
preparation of his critical text of the Old Testament. 

8 "I am a black heretic. 'He is a dangerous man. Therefore, Roman, watch 
him.' " Boswell is applying very loosely a line from Horace (Sat ires, I. iv. 85) to 
his own religious position. 

9 "God grants no gift without the intercession of his Mother." 
1 That is, Piacenza. 

Piacenza, 28 January 1 765 45 

ing the river here I got my trunk sadly wet, so that I was stopped 
some time to get my things that had suffered dried. I resolved to stay 
all night. I saw in the market-place two equestrian statues of dukes 
of Parma. On the fiercest of them some sparrows sat and chirped. It 
had a singular effect. I saw one fine street, a new elegant church by 
Vignola, and the Cathedral, in which I found many good pictures. I 
wished to get to Parma next day, so I sent to the commander of the 
town begging a permission to have the gates opened at three in the 
morning. He was obliging enough to order that I might get out at 
any hour I pleased. I went at night to the opera bouffon, which was 
really not very bad. I sent my respects to the commander, and begged 
leave to wait upon him in his box. He received me very politely. They 
had told me he was un hollandcds. After I had made my bows and 
thanked him for his civility, I said, "You are Dutch, Sir?" He gave 
me a broad look and replied, "God forbid, Sir, that I should be of that 
tribe." (Poor Dutch, is your heavy race so despised?) "I am Irish." 
Upon this I spoke English to him, and very happy we were. He had 
been an officer in the Spanish service and had known my Lord Mari- 
schal. 2 His name was Griffith, a good, jolly, sensible man. He was 
quite a prince here. The performers of the opera came and paid him 
their duty, and the fair singers kissed his Excellency's hand. He intro- 
duced me to a Spaniard, an officer here. I promised to wait upon his 
Excellency as I returned to Genoa. 

TUESDAY 29 JANUARY. After sitting up all night I set out 
drowsy and slumbered along. I got to Parma at night. I sent to M. 
Deleyre, bibliothecaire du jeune prince? a letter which M. Rousseau 

2 George Keith, tenth Earl Marischal of Scotland, an old Jacobite hero and friend 
of Frederick the Great, was BoswelFs travelling-companion from Utrecht to 
Berlin, and furnished him with letters of introduction to various people in 
Neuchatel, including Rousseau. He wrote Rousseau on 18 January 1765 that 
Boswell was "a very worthy man, very full of hypochondriacal and visionary 
ideas; he has often seen ghosts" (Correspondence generate de /.-/. Rousseau, ed. 
Th6ophile Dufour, 1924-1934, xii. 228). For a summary of Lord Marischal's life 
and character, see the opening remarks to Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany 
and Switzerland. 

3 Ferdinand, son of Philip, Duke of Parma, was grandson both to Louis XV of 
France and Philip V of Spain. His librarian, Alexandre Deleyre, was a French 
philosophe and a loyal and enthusiastic disciple of Rousseau. Boswell was very 
much attracted by his bland and serene personality, and Deleyre's comparative 

46 Parma, 2 9 January 1765 

had given me for him, in which the illustrious philosopher praised 
me and at the same time painted my melancholy disposition. 4 M. 
Deleyre came to me immediately. I found him a genteel amiable 
Frenchman with a simplicity of manners that charmed me. We were 
at once acquainted, and talked with unreserved gaiety. He said M. 
Rousseau was ever the same in private life that he professes himself 
in his writings. He said he hardly slept any, for he had passed part 
of a summer with him and heard him almost every hour in the night 
give signs of being awake. Perhaps I have taken up this anecdote 
wrong, for Deleyre must have slept as ill as Rousseau to have heard 
him awake. M. Deleyre said that M. Rousseau had now and then an 
inclination to reassemble the Jews, and make a flourishing people of 
them. What a vigorous mind must he have, and how much ambition! 
WEDNESDAY 30 JANUARY. M. Deleyre came and drank choco- 
late with me. I presented him a genteel copy of English verses, which 
pleased him. 5 1 was hipped and lazy, which vexed me. But his agree- 
able company revived me. He carried me to wait on the Abbe de Con- 
dillac, preceptor to the young prince. He was a composed, sensible 
Frenchman, which is perhaps the character that pleases the most of 
any; for the vivacity of the nation has still a certain effect in every 
character. A Frenchman may be grave, but is never sulky. Condillac 
is a second Mr. Locke. His books on sensations and the origin of hu- 
man knowledge are much esteemed. 6 After talking a little metaphys- 
ically, I joked and said, "If I have gloomy chimeras, I also have agree- 

intellectual mediocrity created a much more comfortable atmosphere for him 
than Rousseau's demanding brilliance. 

4 This letter is printed in the original French and in translation in Boswell 
on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 22 December 1764 and Ap- 
pendix II. Boswell, finding the letter open, supposed that Rousseau was 
taking him into his confidence. But in a later letter to Deleyre, Rousseau ex- 
plained that it had been an accident, and Deleyre, probably to deflate BoswelTs 
vanity, told him so. 

5 These couplets, BoswelTs ten-line verses for 29 January, were later enclosed 
in a letter to Rousseau. See p. 54 n. 2 and p. 80. 

6 The Duke of Parma had gathered together a remarkable group of men, of 
whom Condillac was the most famous, to provide the best possible education 
for his son Ferdinand, then a boy of fourteen. Condillac wrote his comprehen- 
sive Cours tfftudes in thirteen volumes for the young prince. 

Parma, 30 January 1765 47 

able ones. When I lie down at night I think that perhaps I shall wake 
up a Locke. You cannot demonstrate the contrary to me." M. Deleyre 
then carried me to see young Ravenet, son to Ravenet in London. He 
is engraver to Don Philip, works welL, and is a good-humoured, oblig- 
ing man, a composition of French and English. We then went and 
saw the sculptor, M. Boudard, a Frenchman who is extremely in- 
genious in his art. He was then doing the story of Silenus with the 
boys and the nymph Aegle. He showed me the bust and the medal 
done for Dr. Tronchin, 7 and one or two French medals. I observed 
that the French struck many medals on their successes and the British 
very seldom. Boudard, whose tongue was ingenious as his chisel, re- 
plied, "You remember, Sir, the story of the man. . . . " 

[EDITOKIAL NOTE: The manuscript of the journal ends here. The 
memoranda show that the "story" was the old fable of the sculptor 
and the lion: the sculptor represented the lion being vanquished by 
a man; the lion replied, "But if lions could make statues!" 

On 18 February Deleyre wrote to Rousseau: "I thank you for hav- 
ing introduced me to Mr. Boswell We spent two days together 

talking about you and looking at the few curiosities of Parma. I saw 
him go with the more regret because he has only himself for com- 
pany: his oddness, his youth, and his melancholy being likely to keep 
him from gathering from his tour the fruits which he promises him- 
self and which he badly needs. I am afraid that on his journey he will 
fall in with people who will set him a bad example or give him per- 
nicious views on religion. He has already experienced many changes 
under that head, because he is seeking for the truth a thing ex- 
tremely difficult to discover in that heap of error in which the sects 
have buried it. Yet I ventured to promise him that at the age of thirty 
he would no longer be uneasy on that score, provided that in the five- 
or six-year interval he lead such a life as to keep himself free from 
remorse. . . . 

"It is not hard to discern the source of a part of the troubles and 

7 On the occasion of the successful inoculation of Prince Ferdinand, the pre- 
vious October. Theodore Tronchin, an eminent physician of Geneva, knew both 
Rousseau and Voltaire well. He had furnished Boswell with startling informa- 
tion about Rousseau just before Boswell crossed the Alps. See Boswell on the 
Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, i January 1765. 

48 3 1 January to 13 February 1 765 

vacillations of our Scots patient. He told me enough so that I could 
see the physical and moral causes of the painful state in which his 
soul now is. But I hope that as the heat of youth subsides, the tumult 
of his blood will subside too. Then, if he will make up his mind to do 
all the good deeds which fall in his way, I have hopes that his English 
humour will evaporate by degrees, that he will form a virtuous at- 
tachment, and that as its bonds strengthen, he will acquire a taste 
for life. I hope so sincerely, for I conceived for him an immediate and 
lasting affection." 8 

From this time until he embarked for Corsica, we are mainly de- 
pendent on BoswelTs memoranda to carry his story. It is unlikely 
that he kept up his journal during this period, though he mentioned 
it several times. He wrote his memoranda either early in the morn- 
ing of the day of their date, or, more probably, late the previous 
night. They review the events of the day before, and outline a course 
of action for the day to come. Since these memoranda are extremely 
condensed and require a forbidding amount of annotation to make 
them intelligible, in this edition only the most central are printed, 
mainly those which deal with BoswelTs impressions of himself or of 
other people. The selection therefore is somewhat misleading, since 
it omits most of BoswelTs dutiful but uninspired notes on the visible 
wonders of Italy, its art and architecture. More representative speci- 
mens of this sort of record are provided in extended form in his 
"Course in Antiquities and Arts" in Rome, and in t his journal from 
Genoa to Lyons. The memoranda are supplemented by letters, espe- 
cially a series of fifty-one which he addressed (but did not post) to 
John Johnston, keeping them to deliver on his return to Scotland. 
Since his rule was to write to Johnston from each new town he visited, 
these letters form a valuable connected account of his tour. Separate 
short journals, miscellaneous documents, and editorial notes are used 
to complete the picture. 

From Parma, Boswell started for Rome, travelling by way of 
Reggio, Modena, Bologna, Rimini, and Ancona. The memoranda 

8 A transcript of the portion concerning Boswell, in Deleyre's hand, is preserved 
among the Boswell papers at Yale, and is the basis for the translation given 
above. The original letter is published in the Correspondence generate de /.-/. 
Rousseau, xiii. 18-24. 

31 January to 13 February 1 765 49 

record a number of brave resolutions to avoid risks with women so 
that he might preserve his health for the sake of his future family. 
He allows himself "one a month." 9 But his mind had higher reaches; 
impressed by the shrine at Loretto, he wrote to Johnston on 10 Feb- 
ruary: " . . . I am in a most pleasing solemn frame, and upon my soul 
I cannot refuse some devotion to this miraculous habitation without 
giving up my faith in human testimony. Such is the cloud of evi- 
dences for this history of the holy house. Who fcnoweth the ways of 
God: or who can say what may be the interposition of his supreme 
power. I am a sceptic. But a devout one. The grandeur of the high 
mass, the crowd of pilgrims, and the various sacred appearances now 
around me have made a strong impression upon my mind and fill me 
with a serious awe which I greatly prefer to all the levity of 
mirth." 1 ] 

THURSDAY 14 FEBRUARY. Yesterday came to Terni. Took 
horses and rode to Cascade of Velino. Prodigious wild. Read Virgil's 
description thrice; was quite in Aeneid. . . . 2 

9 So he wrote on 4 February, but his resolutions varied from day to day. On a 
separate undated piece of paper, he wrote: "No sheets till Rome, and then one 
a week girl if not fine Roman. . . . Prepare mind by discipline for Scotland so 
as to fill the post Providence gives you at Auchinleck. Be patient; try this." 
"Sheets" seems to be a metaphor for intercourse. Compare Hamlet: "Post with 
such dexterity to incestuous sheets" (I. ii. 156-157). 

1 No. 20 of the series to John Johnston. 

2 Dr. McKinlay advised Boswell to "spend half a day here in viewing this stu- 
pendous natural curiosity. Be sure to view it from its fall above, and likewise 
from the opposite side. It will afford you wonder and astonishment." The pas- 
sage from Virgil is Aeneid, vii. 563-571: 

In midst of Italy, well known to fame, 
There lies a lake (Amsanctus is the name) 
Below the lofty mounts: on either side 
Thick forests the forbidden entrance hide. 
Full in the center of the sacred wood, 
An arm arises from the Stygian flood, 
Which, breaking from beneath with bellowing sound, 
Whirls the black waves and rattling stones around. 
Here Pluto pants for breath from out his cell, 
And opens wide the grinning jaws of hell. 


50 CastelnuovOy 1 6 February 1 765 

SATURDAY 1 6 FEBRUARY. Yesterday rose fine, but sunk soon. 
Campagna charming. Approached Rome; not such feelings as [when 
approaching] London. Entered; some enthusiasm. At douane^ 

Wilkes. Seized him; embraced Gloomy cafe; Wilkes lively. 

WILKES. "Write so well in such a cause. Christian religion not 
Giant two toes, but is giant." 3 . . . You resemble Johnson; imitate him. 
Swear this, and read Rambler. 

SUNDAY 17 FEBRUARY. Yesterday Dance came and break- 
fasted, 4 and then you went to St. Peter's. Approached grand area, 
piazza, &c. Not struck enough, but increased. Entered church; warm. 
Ah! noble, immense; quite rapt. Dance pleased to see you [so]. 
Walked around. At last, kneeled and adored. . . . This day, clear up. 
. . . Learn Italian. Lose not a day in Italy. . . . 

MONDAY 18 FEBRUARY. Yesterday awaked vastly bad. In- 
dulged hypochondria. Lay till eleven. Then up, dressed and walked. 
Dance dined. Good conversation. Then Mile. Kauffmann: paintress, 
singer; modest, amiable. Quite in love. 5 Home, bad. Asked to visit 
Wilkes. He came. WILKES. "Want your letters at Naples. You must go 
on. Publish what you have by you. You could have best written for 
Scots, but would not trouble with politics." Such compliments. 6 . . . 

3 As the rest of the memorandum indicates, Wilkes and Boswell, after meeting 
at the customs, agreed to meet later in the day at a cafe. Boswell apparently 
mentioned Needham and his defense of the Athanasian Creed, and evoked this 
obscure remark of Wilkes about Giant two toes. Many of Boswell's conversa- 
tions with Wilkes, which are difficult to reconstruct accurately, are well put to- 
gether in Robert Warnock's "Boswell and Wilkes in Italy," ELH, iii (1936). 

4 Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland), brother of James 
Dance. Nathaniel Dance became one of the better-known portrait painters of 
his day. 

5 Angelica Kauffmann, the famous Swiss painter, commemorated her divided 
ambitions by her picture, "A Female Figure Allured by Music and Painting." 
A year younger than Boswell, she was completing her art studies in Italy, The 
following year she went to London where she was much admired by Reynolds, 
and was elected one of the original members of the Royal Academy on its foun- 
dation in 1769. In her later years at Rome, she numbered Goethe and Klopstock 
among her friends. The high contemporary opinion of her painting may well 
have been influenced by her beauty. Dance was apparently in love with her. 

6 Wilkes, on his way to Naples, urges Boswell to write to him, and to continue 
with his journal, which Boswell thought of making into a book. Wilkes also 

Rome, 1 8 February 1 765 51 

BOSWELL. "But is he 7 not a worthy man?" WILKES. "He has all the pri- 
vate virtues, all the Christian virtues, but he wants to encroach on 
our liberties. He is laying the foundation of the ruin of his family." 
BOSWELL. "Do you think he is really a Stuart?" WILKES. "Ay, every 
bit of him." BOSWELL. "Then I fall down and worship the image that 
he has set up. I reason not. Tis my taste." . . . 

WEDNESDAY 2O FEBRUARY. Yesterday morning called on Ham- 
ilton. Saw some fine pieces: Hector dragging. Superb. 8 Got into 
humour, but grew too lively. . . . Then to girl near Cardinal Protector 
of France; charming. 9 Sister, a nun. Mother, who sells daughters, 
talked of "vocation." Much enjoyment. Home. This day resolve 
clear [up] money. Nothing debases mind like narrowness. See Car- 
dinal. Be Spaniard: girl every day. 1 

MONDAY 25 FEBRUARY. Yesterday in lazy humour. In bed 
twelve hours. Rose at ten. . , . Morison with you. 2 Saw he relished 
stories. Then Colonel Edmondstone came, and you three walked to 
San [Pietro] in Monte and saw famous "Transfiguration" of Raph- 
ael: quite rich. Then Lord Mountstuart's. He in bed. Quite English- 
flatters him by saying that Boswell could best have defended the Scots and Scot- 
land against his attacks in The North Briton. 

7 George III. 

8 Gavin Hamilton, a Scottish painter and excavator of antiquities, spent most of 
his life in Rome. His "Achilles Dragging the Body of Hector at His Chariot 
Wheels" was painted for the fourth Duke of Bedford, who later sold it because 
it reminded him too forcibly that his own son, the Marquis of Tavistock, had 
been dragged to death at his horse's stirrup. 

9 The Cardinal Protector of France was Prospero Cardinal Colonna, who died 
in April of this year, and was succeeded in the post by Domenico Cardinal Or- 
sini (see p. 8). The girl is listed in BoswelTs Accounts as "fille charmante," 
and cost him about seven shillings. 

1 Boswell was fascinated by his own conception of the typical Spanish gentle- 
man, whom he imagined as proud, gloomy, and passionate. "Des filles" in the 
next three days ran to thirteen shillings. 

2 Colin Morison, a Jacobite refugee, was an antiquary and guide. Boswell de- 
scribed him in a letter to Gavin Hamilton (15 December 1765) as an "honest 
Aberdeenshire man" who had "such a prodigious quantity of body that it would 
require at least two souls to animate it; and therefore instead of saying, 'Such 
a man has more spirit than Mr. Morison,' we ought to say he has less matter." 
Morison had been recommended to Boswell by Dr. McKinlay. 

52 Rome, 25 February 1 765 

man. O Stuart! Old race, where art thou? Well, no Jacobitism. 3 
Old woman; few words, business done. Quite brutish. . . .* 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Boswell set out on 25 February for Naples as 
he had originally planned, and also in pursuit of Wilkes. The trip 
over the Appian Way, which took five days, was disagreeably rough, 
but he was pleased by "swarming, intense" Naples. He called on 
William Hamilton, British Envoy to the Court of Naples (later the 
husband of Emma Hamilton, Nelson's mistress), who was a scholar 
and collector of art objects. Boswell, eager to learn, reminds himself 
to "cultivate great Hamilton's acquaintance" while guarding against 
too great a taste for "expensive virtu." He spent much of his three 
weeks' stay in Naples visiting various points of interest in the en- 
virons: the Royal Palace at Portici with its porcelain-panelled room, 
a grotto that passed for Virgil's tomb, the ruins at Herculaneum and 
Pompeii, where very little was yet excavated, and the usual churches. 
But the high light of his trip was his growing friendship with Wilkes, 
to whom on his arrival he had written in Latin, in deference to 
Wilkes's strong classical interests.] 

[BosweU to Wilkes] 5 

[Naples] Die 2 Martii, Anno 1765 

thenopen hanc attigi, membra fere fractus dura ista Appia, quamvis 

3 For Edmondstone and Mountstuart, see Introduction, p. xv. Mountstuart was a 
descendant of Robert II of Scotland, but his mother was English, daughter of the 
famous Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and grand-daughter of the first Duke of 
Kingston. BoswelTs warning to himself not to show any Jacobite sympathies 
was dictated, of course, by a realization of the close ties between Bute (Mount- 
stuart's father) and George III. 

4 The old woman is itemized in the Accounts simply as monstre costing about 
five shillings. 

5 This letter to Wilkes and all those quoted hereafter to him, unless otherwise 
stated, are reprinted from the Letters of James Boswell, 2 vols., 1924, with the 
kind permission of the editor, Professor Chauncey B. Tinker, and of the Claren- 
don Press. The originals are in the British Museum. The text of the present one 
is corrected in two places from Boswell's draft, now at Yale. A translation fol- 

"The avenger of Caesar greets Brutus in exile. Last night I reached Naples, 

John Wilkes (1725-1797), from an original pencil sketch by Richard 
Earlom, in the National Portrait Gallery, London. 

Naples, 2 March 1 765 53 

tardissimus et etiam quodammodo serpens processus sum. 6 

Egregium sane tempus invenio Bails; caelum luridum, procellam 
fortem, pluvium continuum. Tali tempore non mirandum si Anglus 
Antiquus fune se suspenderet; sed pauper Scotus, si victum tantum 
habet, omni tempore contentus vivit. 

Precor mihi scire facias quando consortio tuo frui possim. Non 
interest quo praebente domum, nam apud te vel apud me vinum et 
hilaritas erunt. Ne obliviscaris promissi quod mihi Romae dedisti, nos 
multum simul fore Napoli. Summam spero voluptatem legendo notas 
tuas acres in poemata acria Churchilli, qui nunc cum Juvenale est. 
Musis amicus politica jurgia tradam ventis. Latinam linguam 
scribere haud assuetus, tamen in hac regione classica experiri volui. 
Excuses et valeas. 

WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH. Yesterday ... visits of English and 
Wilkes. WILKES. "I wish I could write in any language as well as 
you." 7 BOSWELL. "[Such complaisance is] not in character." WILKES. 
"Yes. [I] always tell truth for which I'm here." BOSWELL. "Had 

my bones almost broken by that rough Appian Way, although I travelled at 
the slowest of rates, in almost snake-like fashion. 

"The weather at Baiae is certainly fine: a lurid sky, a violent wind, and con- 
tinuous rain. In weather like this it would not be surprising if an old English- 
man should hang himself; but a poor Scot, so long as he eats, lives happy in all 
kinds of weather. 

"I beg you to let me know when I can enjoy your company. It makes no dif- 
ference at whose lodging we meet, for either at yours or mine we shall have 
wine and laughter. Do not forget the promise you made me at Rome, that we 
should be much together at Naples. I hope for the very great pleasure of reading 
your biting notes on the biting poems of Churchill, who is now with Juvenal. 
As a friend to the Muses, I shall throw political quarrels to the winds. Though 
little accustomed to writing in Latin, I still wished to make the attempt in this 
classical region. Pardon me, and farewell." 

Wilkes was engaged in preparing an edition of Churchill's poems which he 
subsequently abandoned, and in writing a History of England of which only the 
introduction was completed. 

6 Boswell here seems to recall Horace's advice in Satires, L v. 6: "Minus est 
gravis Appia tardis" (the Appian way is less rough for those who travel slowly 
over it). 

7 A short word here remains undeciphered. The division of speeches in the entire 
conversation is conjectural. 

54 Naples, 6 March 1 765 

you told such [flattering] truths to Government, [you] had not been 
here." . , . WILKES. "I make it a rule to abuse him who is against me or 
any of my friends point-blank. If I find two or three faults, he's good 
for nothing." BOSWELL. "But Johnson, a respectable character in the 
world of literature." WILKES. "Oh, I abuse Johnson as an impudent 
pretender to literature, which I don't think, but 'tis all one. So is my 
plan. 8 . . . At school and college [I] never read; always among women 
at Leyden. 9 My father gave me as much money as I pleased. Three or 
four whores; drunk every night. Sore head morning, then read. I'm 
capable to sit thirty hours over a table to study. Plan for North Briton: 
grave revolutionary paper seasoned each time with a character from 
the Court list." . . .* 


Why curse fair Naples-, strangers, wherefore swear 

That all the human race are worthless there? 

Henceforth no more of this, unless your plan 

Be ordered so that I must kill my man 

Or fall myself, for if you still pretend 

That you say true, death must the quarrel end. 

At Naples lives the woman I adore, 

Oh, had I seen her ere she turned a whore! 

But whore or not I love her with my soul, 

And to her health will drink a brimming bowl. 3 

8 Johnson and Wilkes differed violently not only in politics but in their basic 
views of life. Wilkes had attacked Johnson in The North Briton for accepting a 
pension, and Johnson replied in The False Alarm (1770) by calling him a "re- 
tailer of sedition and obscenity*' (p. 35). 

9 Wilkes had studied at the University of Leyden in 1744-1746. 

1 Wilkes goes on to explain, in a passage too confused to reproduce, that he hated 
his wife but had been a civil husband to her. He loved his present mistress 
Gertrude Corradini, so he was "not hurt by her follies" or her stupidity. How- 
ever, he could not stand her relatives whom she had brought to live with them; 
his eyes were open to them and his pockets shut. 

2 One of BoswelTs Ten-Lines-a-Day verses, an exercise in self-improvement 
which he had begun at Utrecht. His object was to write ten lines of heroic verse 
as rapidly as possible on the first topic that came into his head. They are poor 
poetry, but sometimes, as here, supply interesting biographical details. 

3 This woman is perhaps the opera singer (chanteuse) mentioned in the entries 

Naples, 1 3 March 1 765 55 

WEDNESDAY 13 MARCH. Yesterday morning at home, and wrote 
a little. Wilkes came, gay, and excused himself for tomorrow, and 
asked you. You agreed, as he's an extraordinary. He said he did not 
mind if his friends don't like his wife, as 'tis not for them he has her, 
but for self. WILKES. "After Lord Talbot's duel, Mother talked grave: 
'Rush into presence of Maker.' 'I've been always in it.' 'And into 
eternity.' 'Where have I been all this time?' 4 Never think on 
futurity, as not data enough." . . . This day Vesuvius. . . . 

THURSDAY 14 MARCH. Yesterday morning in chaise to Portici. 
Then on foot to Vesuvius. Monstrous mounting. Smoke; saw hardly 
anything. 5 Dined Wilkes, gay. WILKES. "Never a moment in my life 
low-spirited." BOSWELL. "What shall I do to get life over?" WILKES. 
"While there's all ancient and modern learning and all arts and 
sciences, enough for life if three thousand years." BOSWELL. "Fate and 
free will?" WILKES. "Let 'em alone." . . . BOSWELL. "Why keep com- 
pany with me?" WILKES. "[You're an] original genius. But they'll 
spoil you [in] Paris; lop luxuriances from you. Talked to Baxter of 
soul; two quarto volumes and never since." . . . 6 

FRIDAY 1 5 MARCH. Yesterday early, fine morn. Wilkes at door. 

for 17 and 18 March. 

4 Wilkes had fought a duel with Earl Talbot in 1762 after Talbot had been of- 
fended by an article in which Wilkes satirized his horsemanship. By the time 
the duel took place, their feelings had cooled; no one was hurt, and a reconcilia- 
tion followed immediately. 

5 Wilkes describes an ascent of Vesuvius to his daughter Polly, which he says 
took place on March 16, possibly again in the company of Boswell: "I had five 
men to get me up: two before, whose girdles I laid hold of; and three behind, 
who pushed me by the back. I approached quite to the opening from whence 
issues the sulphureous smoke; I guess it to be about a mile in circumference. 
I lay on my belly against the side on the edge and looked down, but could see 
very little; only now and then when the wind blew the smoke much on one 
side, I could see several ragged mountains of yellow (sulphur, I suppose). I 
endeavoured to go quite round, but was almost suffocated by the smoke, and 
obliged hastily to retire. You descend with great difficulty, sometimes almost 
up to the knees in ashes" (Correspondence of John Wilkes, ed, John Almon, 
1805, ii. 146-147). 

6 Wilkes adds that he always took the sacrament, however. He also mentions 
that dissipation and profligacy renew the mind, citing as an example that he 
wrote his best North Briton in bed with Betsy Green. 

56 Naples, 1 5 March 1 765 

. . . Asses, Wilkes so mounted, excellent. Men to help; sad fatigue; oft 
rested. 7 WILKES, "I'm always happy. I thank God for good health, 
good spirits, and the love of books. I'll live here retired, not go down 
to Naples; 'tis hell. 'He descended into hell' shall not be said of me. 
Imitatio Christi there; I'll not be a Thomas a Kempis. Quin said of 
Francis: 'Damn the fellow; he's but a curate in Norfolk and he has all 
the vices of a cardinal.' 8 When I was colonel of militia, wrote epitaphs 
on all my officers. Some [were] engraved at Winchester. Gardener 

died: 'Here lies , gardener, &c. Hunc etiam flebant lauri* &c. 

Minister angry at Virgil's being in churchyard, a heathen poet. But 
I said he prophesied of Christ and made all easy." 9 BOSWELL. "If we 
were to die here, how they'd write of us!" WILKES. "If I died and you 
lived, by the L d a Middlesex jury would bring you in guilty of 
my murder." 1 ... A man who has not money to gratify passions 
[does] right to govern [them] . He who can indulge, better. Thank 
heaven for having given me the love of women. To many she gives 
hot the noble passion of lust." , . . 2 

SUNDAY 17 MARCH. Yesterday hipped, but drove about and saw 
several churches (vide Cochin) , 3 Called Colonel Edmondstone. 4 
Talked of Scots families and love of younger brothers to elder. One 
of his kept account of all his father had given him, with a firm reso- 
lution to restore it to the family. Noble, great affection; great spirit. 
Had Wilkes to dine. WILKES. "After Rambler, liked Johnson more, 

7 Boswell and Wilkes were going to inspect the Villa Pietracatella at Vomero, 
where Wilkes was to settle the next month. See p. 72. 

8 A remark of James Quin, the actor and wit. The Rev. Philip Francis preferred 
the social life of London to his parish in Norfolk, and supported himself by 
political hack-writing for Henry Fox. He had recently attacked Wilkes. 

* Wilkes had quoted from Virgil, Eclogues, x. 13: "Ilium etiam lauri, etiam 
Severe myricae" (the laurel and the myrtle wept for him). In the Middle 
Ages, Virgil's Fourth Eclogue was believed to prophesy the coming of Christ. 

1 Since Boswell was a monarchical Scot, and Wilkes a hero to the London mob. 

2 One of Wilkes's favorite thoughts, to judge from what he later said about Cor- 
radini: "She possessed the divine gift of lewdness, but nature had not given 
her strength adequate to the force of her desires" (John Wilkes, Patriot: An Un- 
finished Autobiography, ed. R. des Habits, 1888, p. 15). 

3 Boswell was using C. N. Cochin's Voyage tfltalie, 1758, as a guide-book. 

4 Edmondstone and Mountstuart were staying at an inn on the shore called 
Stephano's, as was Wilkes, but the two parties never spoke. 

Naples, 1 7 March 1765 57 

but not abuse by halves. Churchill kissed Flexney's wife, and he 
did it cheaper for him." 5 . . . Read some Zelide [to him] .* WILKES. 
"[You've] been topped. Go home by Holland and roger her. You 
might be in her." . . . BOSWELL. "A Presbyterian kirk makes me 
tremble." WILKES. "That's the strength of your imagination. Dr. 
Hayes, when hipped, said cross things; Armstrong only held his 
tongue. Lord Eglinton a good-humoured, laughing fellow, but never 
suspected him of parts. Nature would not have given him that lank 
yellow hair. An advantage to be in this fine climate; after thirty, 
though your mind strong, your body may be easily hurt. By the Lord, 
a fever makes you a Johnnie Home, and what will you do then?" 7 , . . 
Then opera singer, 8 &c. 

[Boswell to Wilkes] 

[Naples] Saturday [16 March 1765] 

IF YOU DINE at home tomorrow, I hope you'll let me come to 
"your genial board," &c., as Armstrong says. 9 1 would carpe diem as 

5 William Flexney was Churchill's publisher. 

6 Belle de Zuylen, or "Zelide," was the attractive, intelligent, and unconven- 
tional daughter of a noble Dutch family with which Boswell had become 
friendly in Holland. Alternately fascinated and repelled by her, he was cor- 
responding with both her and her father, and evidently read some of her letters 
to Wilkes. His Register of Letters shows that he had received her most recent 
letter on 15 March. On 19 March he wrote to Temple that Zelide "has more 
genius than any woman I ever saw, and more acquired perfections. I shall cor- 
respond with her as a bel esprit, but I think it would be madness to marry her. 
She has weak nerves. I know the misery of that distemper, and will therefore 
choose a wife of a sound constitution that my children may at least inherit 

7 The Rev. John Home, Scottish author of the currently esteemed neo-classical 
tragedy, Douglas, had been Lord Bute's private secretary. Wilkes in an ironical 
dedication to Bute of Mountfort's Fall of Mortimer, referred to Home as a 
preacher who "was at the beginning looked upon as a prodigy of genius and 
learning merely from being thought to have, at an early age, produced one tol- 
erable piece. He went on, and it was soon seen how mean and contemptible his 
talents were" (Correspondence of John Wilkes, i. 76 n.). 

8 Perhaps the woman mentioned by Boswell in his verses of 7 March. 

9 John Armstrong, Scottish physician and poet, had complimented Wilkes in 
A Day: An Epistle to John Wilkes: 

58 Naples, 1 6 March 1 765 

much as I can while you and I are near each other. I go for certain on 
Wednesday. Pray don't grudge a little paper and ink and wax upon 
an old Scotsman who loves you as much as any Englishman whatever. 

MONDAY 1 8 MARCH. Yesterday . . . dined Wilkes Then 

chanteuse; ventured. Swore no more here. . . . Wilkes talked of wife; 
Tierney, surprised: "Have you a wife?" WILKES. "Yes, Sir; very much 
at your service." 

[Boswell to Wilkes] 

[Naples] Tuesday [19 March 1765] 

DEAR SIR: I shall certainly go tomorrow morning. I have a 
favour to ask of you. Pray come to me between eight and nine and let 
us pass this evening together. Perhaps it may be our last. I don't like 
to think so. Order your supper. I shall value highly some years hence 
the hours which we have enjoyed at Naples. Your Addison shall not 
be lifted. Pray don't refuse me, for I wish much to take leave of you 
on friendly terms. You say you have two or three souls. May that 
which I have found so congenial to mine live for ever, while the spirit 
of the Whig goeth downwards. Yours very much, 


WEDNESDAY 20 MARCH. Yesterday. . .Wilkes lowish: disliked 
his poor girl. 1 Said he'd pay you compliment: "I shall never forget 
your civilities to me. You are engraved on my heart." Up all night, &c. 

When dinner comes, amid the various feast 

That crowns your genial board, where every guest, 

Or grave or gay, is happy and at home, 

And none e'er sighed for the mind's elbow-room . . . 

Armstrong and Wilkes quarreled in 1763 over which had been responsible for 
the publication of this poem, and over Wilkes's attacks on the Scots and Scot- 

1 Wilkes later described Corradini as "a perfect Grecian figure, cast in the 
mould of the Florentine Venus, excepting that she was rather taller, and more 

flat about the breasts Impartial heaven had not bestowed on her a common 

share of understanding or wit, and of consequence her whole life had been 

sacrificed to the interests of others Her two prevailing passions were jealousy 

and a fondness of being admired. By these she tormented herself and all about 
her" (John Wilkes: Patriot, pp. 15-16). 

Naples, 1 9 March 1 765 59 

[Boswell to John Johnston] 

Naples, 19 March 1765 

MY DEAR JOHNSTON, If a man's mind never failed to catch the 
spirit of the climate in which he breathes, I ought now to write you a 
most delicious letter, for Naples is indeed a delicious spot; praeter 
omnes ridet. 2 1 have been near three weeks here and have been con- 
stantly employed in seeing the classical places all around. Is it pos- 
sible to conceive a richer scene than the finest bay diversified with 
islands and bordered by fields where Virgil's Muses charmed the 
creation, where the renowned of ancient Rome enjoyed the luxury of 
glorious retreat and the true flow of soul 3 which they valued as much 
as triumphs? But, my dear friend, modern Naples has nothing of the 
ancient Parthenope except its heat and its idleness. The people are the 
most shocking race: eaters of garlic and catchers of vermin, an exer- 
cise which they scruple not to perform on the public streets. . . . 

The warmth of the air here has extracted the vicious humours 
from my blood and covered my chin and neck with a prodigious 
scurvy which plagues me much. But as it probably has saved me a 
fever, I do not complain, though almost certain that no woman under 
fifty would give me a kiss without being paid for it, as you have been 
paid for being the doer of some old lady. Go on and prosper. Ever 


[EDITORIAL NOTE: Boswell arrived back in Rome on 24 March, 
and immediately started on a six-day "Course in Antiquities and 
Arts," that McKinlay had recommended and which was customary 
for tourists. He kept a separate journal in French of this tour, which is 
given in part below.] 

2 "Which smiles beyond all others" (Horace, Odes, II. vi. 13-14). 

3 "The feast of reason and the flow of soul" (Pope, The First Satire of the Second 
Book of Horace Imitated, 1. 128). 

60 Rome, 25 March 1 765 

[Course in Antiquities and Arts in Rome, 1765. 
Original in French] 

MONDAY 25 MARCH.* Mr. Morison, a Scottish antiquary, began 
to show me the most remarkable sights of Rome. We went out in the 
morning, as we intended to do every day. We saw the Pope go by 
in procession through one of the principal streets on his way to the 
Minerva. 5 It was thus I saw for the first time a dignitary who was 
so important in former times, and who still remains a prince of extra- 
ordinary power. We saw the ceremony at the Minerva, where his 
Holiness was carried on a magnificent chair decorated with a figure 
of the Holy Ghost. He made the round of the church and gave his 
blessing to the whole congregation, who knelt before his Holiness. 
Then he took his place on a sort of throne, where, after he had per- 
formed certain sacred rites of which I understood nothing,, people 
kissed his slipper. After this there was a procession of Roman girls 
who had received dowries from a public foundation, some to be mar- 
ried and others to become nuns. They marched in separate groups, the 
nuns coming last and wearing crowns. Only a few of them were 
pretty, and most of the pretty ones were nuns. It was a curious enough 

Then we went to the Capitoline hill. We climbed on the roof of 
the modern Senate, from which Mr. Morison pointed out ancient 
Rome on its seven hills. He showed me a little map of it, and read me 
a clear summary of the growth of this famous city to its present extent. 

TUESDAY 2 6 MARCH . We viewed the celebrated Forum. I experi- 
enced sublime and melancholy emotions as I thought of all the great 
affairs which had taken place there, and saw the place now all in 
ruins, with the wretched huts of carpenters and other artisans occupy- 
ing the site of that rostrum from which Cicero had flung forth his 
stunning eloquence. I saw there the remains of the magnificent por- 
tico that once adorned the Forunx, whose three remaining columns 
give us a superb idea of what it was. 6 . . . We entered the famous 

4 Events now belong to the date under which they are entered. 

5 Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Its feast day is 25 March, the Annunciation of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary. The Pope was Clement XIII. 

6 The area of the Forum, which has been extensively restored since the eight- 

Rome, 26 March 1 765 61 

Colosseum, which certainly presents a vast and sublime idea of the 
grandeur of the ancient Romans. It is hard to tell whether the aston- 
ishing massiveness or the exquisite taste of this superb building 
should be more admired. A hermit has a little apartment inside. We 
passed through his hermitage to climb to where the seats and corri- 
dors of the theatre once were; Mr. Morison gave me a clear picture of 
all this. It was shocking to discover several portions of this theatre full 
of dung. It is rented to people who use it in this fashion. 7 

WEDNESDAY 2 7 MARCH. We went out in the afternoon We 

climbed the Palatine hill, where the magnificent Palace of the em- 
perors stood. Since it has suffered many changes, we must believe 
that the ruins we now see date from the time of Domitian. 8 . . . We 

eenth century, was then known as the Campo Vaccino, or beast market. In the 
omitted passage Boswell describes various other classical remains, such as the. 
Arch of Titus. 

7 That is, as sheds or pens for their animals. The memorandum for 27 March 
adds: "Yesterday wanted to find subject in Robertson's History for Hamilton. 
Morison proposed Lumisden. In palace. Not treason. No. Up stairs solemn. He 

overjoyed quite. True worthy Scotsman; genteel man, too. No politics " 

That is, earlier in this same day, Boswell, who was looking for a suitable sub- 
ject for a large historical painting which he had commissioned from Gavin 
Hamilton, had gone to the Palazzo Muti-Papazzurri, the residence of the Old 
Pretender, to seek help from Andrew Lumisden, the Pretender's secretary. (See 
Introduction, p. xvi.) The memorandum reveals his fear that his act might be 
construed as treason, and shows him assuring himself that no treason was in- 
volved so long as he did not talk politics and did not meet the Pretender him- 
self. He encountered no difficulties whatever. The titular James III, who was 
old and suffered from convulsions, saw very few people in any case. Lumisden 
was the soul of tact. He never mentioned current politics, and he and Boswell 
soon became firm friends. For a study of their relationship, see Robert Warnock, 
"Boswell and Andrew Lumisden," Modern Language Quarterly, ii. (1941). 601- 

8 Actually a group of palaces built by various emperors from Augustus to Septi- 
mius Severus. The striking effect of the Palatine ruins was commemorated fifty 
years later by Byron in Childe Harold: 

Cypress and ivy, weed and wallflower grown 
Matted and massed together, hillocks heaped 
On what were chambers, arch crushed, column strown 
In fragments, choked up vaults, and frescos steeped 
In subterranean damps, where the owl peeped, 

62 Rome, 2 7 March 1 765 

saw a superb hall from which one can judge the grandeur of this 
imperial mansion, and we went down to see the baths, where one can 
yet see on the ceiling fragments of stucco-work painted and gilded in 
a very elegant manner. We walked to where the house of Cicero had 
stood. A statue there resembles him a great deal. Struck by these 
famous places, I was seized with enthusiasm. I began to speak Latin. 
Mr. Morison replied. He laughed a bit at the beginning. But we made 
a resolution to speak Latin continually during this course of an- 
tiquities. We have persisted, and every day we speak with greater 
facility, so that we have harangued on Roman antiquities in the lan- 
guage of the Romans themselves. 

THURSDAY 28 MARCH. We climbed to the Palace again, where 
the cypresses seem to mourn for the ruin of the grandeur of the 
Roman emperors. The view from here is magnificent. . . . We went 
to the Capitoline hill. We saw a fragment of the temple of Jupiter 
Tonans, which was architecturally very handsome. We saw in a 
church the famous Tullia prison, of which Sallust gives so hideous a 
picture and where Paul and Silas were imprisoned. 9 Catholics say 
Peter and Paul. They show a stone against which the head of the 
Prince of the Apostles was dashed. The mark remains very distinct. 
We saw the hole down which criminals were thrown, the stone to 
which the two apostles were chained, a well which sprang up by mir- 
acle to furnish them with water to baptize the x The water has 

a taste like milk. It's only a little [impregnated with] sulphur. . . . 2 

SATURDAY 30 MARCH. We saw the Baths of Diocletian, whose 

Deeming it midnight: temples, baths, or halls? 
Pronounce who can; for all that learning reaped 
From her research hath been, that these are walls 
Behold the Imperial Mount! 'tis thus the mighty falls. 

(Canto IV, stanza 107.) 

9 San Pietro in Carcere is built over the Career Mamertinus where Jugurtha 
and Vercingetorix were imprisoned. Sallust records the execution there of 
Catiline's confederates. 

1 Blank in manuscript. Boswell probably forgot the French word for "jailer." 

2 Various legends were attached to this prison, but Boswell seems to have com- 
pounded the confusion by his recollection of the imprisonment of Paul and 
Silas at Philippi (Acts 16). Boswell remarks in the memorandum that he 
had spoken nothing but Latin for four and a half hours. He also mentions a 
comment by Dance, that the English said he spent all his time with Wilkes and 
despised his own countrymen. 

Rome, 30 March 1 765 63 

plan was explained to me by my antiquary. In the Carthusian church 
we saw also a fresco by Pompeo Batoni depicting Simon Magus 
carried in the air by demons to show that he could perform miracles 
as well as Peter. 3 The Saint worships God, and points with his finger 
to the place where Simon Magus will fall. A group watches this event. 
The composition of this painting is excellent. But Peter appears too 
uneasy, as if he were afraid that his prayers would not be effective. 
The colouring is false and unnatural, as if Peter had not only caused 
Simon to fall but had discoloured the flesh of all those around him. 
In Santa Maria Maggiore we saw some fine columns of oriental 
marble. I must not forget to add in passing that we saw a strange 
fellow sitting in the sun reading Tasso to a group of others in rags 
like himself. . . . 

MONDAY i APRIL. 4 Yesterday morning saw in Pope's chapel 
function of palms given. . . . Disputed on religion with Morison. Low, 
this; no more. 5 This day swear retenue with Jacob, and not a word 
[about] religion with Morison, but antiquities. See to be somewhat 
Marischal. Home at one and dress, blue and silver. Only burgundy. 
Be calm and make Lumisden speak Swear again behaviour. . . . 

WEDNESDAY 3 APRIL. Yesterday saw ... "Moses" by Michel- 
angelo. Beard too long; horns, though sacred, yet ludicrous as like 
satyr; rest of the figure superb. . . . Night, Hamilton with you. Read 
Queen Mary; seized it fully. . . . e 

THURSDAY 4 APRIL. Yesterday called on Lumisden, who 
promised miniature of Queen Mary. Saw him with English and 
French gazettes; quite a Secretary of State. Then antiquities of Cam- 
pus Martius. After dinner, at Hamilton's. Sketch of the picture done; 
at first confused, but by explanation understood it clearly and ap- 
proved it much. HAMILTON. "But are you really to have this picture?" 
BOSWELL. "Indeed, am I. Am I to have it?" (taking him by the hand) . 
HAMILTON. "Yes, if you please." BOSWELL. "Make it full size and 

3 The Carthusian church is Santa Maria degli Angeli, into which part of the 
Baths had been converted by Michelangelo. Pompeo Batoni was one of the most 
famous of contemporary Italian painters. 

4 The text now returns to the memoranda. 30 March was Palm Sunday. 

5 Presumably Morison was a Roman Catholic. 

6 Boswell refers to a passage in William Robertson's History of Scotland 
(i- 375) which describes the abdication of Mary Queen of Scots. This was to be 
the subiect of the Dicture he had commissioned from Hamilton. 

64 Rome, 4 April 1 765 

neglect nothing. As I'm to have a picture, don't mind price. I shall 
not stand for 100 more or less." HAMILTON. "Don't talk of price. I 
don't intend to make you pay much money for this picture. I shall 
make a great deal by the print. I like your spirit in bespeaking a pic- 
ture. In our country it is only men of the greatest fortunes, as Lord 
Hopetoun, who do so." BOSWELL. "No, Sir, I could not be satisfied if 
you did it a farthing cheaper for me than for another. Were I in a 
certain rank of life, I would ask you to make me a present of it. But 
I am rich enough." HAMILTON. "I shall do it for 150." BOSWELL. "No, 
200." HAMILTON. "You may pay me as you can, by degrees." BOS- 
WELL. "In Scotland they'll talk against me: 'What, is he bespeaking 
history pictures?' 7 ..." Letter from Father: somewhat disagreeable. 8 
Ideas jumbled. Night, wrote much. 

FRIDAY 5 APRIL. Yesterday morning went with Colonel Gordon 
to St. Peter's; Abbe Grant, conductor. 9 Gordon said, though as heretic 
[he was] sure to be damned, was glad to see so many other people 
going to heaven. Chapel of Vatican. High mass; quite solemn. Then 
procession. Then Pope from window, malediction and benediction, 
&c. The whole atrium filled with people on knees. Then saw cere- 
mony of washing feet of twelve priests of various nations. Did it with 
great decency. Then table. Pope said grace; served on knee with a 
dish, and presented it to each priest. Mingled grandeur and modesty: 
Peter and Servus Servorum; looked [like] jolly landlord, and smiled 
when he gave to drink x 

7 Boswell saw the completed picture for the first time in London in March 1776, 
and both he and Sir Joshua Reynolds were disappointed by it. 

8 This letter and the one mentioned on 18 April are missing, but to judge from 
Lord Auchinleck's later letters he may have had some sharp things to say about 
BoswelTs expenditures. 

9 Abbe Peter Grant was a member of the Scots College in Rome, a Catholic 
seminary, and host to many distinguished British travellers of the period. Colo- 
nel Gordon is unidentified. 

1 Boswell is describing the ceremonies of Maundy Thursday. After mass cele- 
brated by a cardinal deacon in the Sistine Chapel, the Pope carried the sacra- 
ment in procession from the Sistine to the Pauline Chapel. He then pronounced 
the benediction from the external loggia of St. Peter's, which was followed by 
the mandatum, or washing of the feet. Finally the Pope served the representative 
priests with food and drink, blessed them, and left. 

Rome, 6 April 1 765 65 

SATURDAY 6 APRIL. Yesterday far out for antiquities. Morison, 
ill-humoured Scot, disputed matter. 2 He near impertinent, but kept 
him right. Then owned [you were] Catholic once, as Rousseau [had 
been] . He quite stony. Dined late; called Gordon a little. Found self 
just as you could wish: reserved, and when you spoke, ingenious. 
This day Gordon to dine. ... Be well but retenu, and say you study 
hard and shun English. Be content to be known as Armstrong, and 
often silent but when business calls. 3 . . . Read all Virgil and Horace 
in Italy. Come, be active. Consult Deleyre how he could make you 
clever. . . . 

SUNDAY 7 APRIL. Yesterday waited on Lumisden in his study. 
Found him quite a learned, pretty, honourable man. Got Queen 
Mary: quite royal. Went to Hamilton's; saw him paint. ... Be de- 
vout sans melancholic. Fine with Lumisden. Tell Morison no more 
ill manners. 

MONDAY 8 APRIL. Yesterday morning went to St. Peter's. Im- 
mense crowd; fine day. Superb high mass/ Cardinal Alexander 
Albani; most grave and pious. Quite sure there must be some truth 

beyond skies Pope knelt and prayed. Whole crowd on knees. 

Universal silence; perfect devotion. Was quite in frame; thought it 
one way of adoring the Father of the universe, and was certain no 
hell for ever. Then up. Stood just by Pope's chair when he gave bless- 
ing. Grand. The whole place crowded with people 

FRIDAY 12 APRIL. Yesterday walked to Genzano. 5 . . . Morison 
quite sulky; low to dispute with him. You have seen how vain, how 
impossible to make others as you. So from hence, never dispute. Be 
firm. Night, new girl. Swear no women for week. Labour hard. 

SATURDAY 13 APRIL. Yesterday . . . Dance dined with you; too 
rude. Why so free with him? Why own wildness at Naples? . . . Cold 
night and fire. Quite bad ideas; relaxed and hipped. This day dress 
immediately, and do so always. Order twice as much milk a day 

2 That is, disputed the existence of matter. 

3 Like Dr. Armstrong; see p. 57 n. 9. 

* The solemn papal mass, celebrated on Easter, Christmas, and St. Peter's day 
(June 29). 

5 Boswell had gone on a jaunt for a few days to Frascati with Hamilton and 
Morison. Genzano is nearby. 

66 Rome, 1 8 April 1 765 

THURSDAY 1 8 APRIL. Yesterday morning saw Baton! draw Gord. 

drapery. 6 . . . Reproved Morison and made him better Lumisden 

dined, tete-a-tete. LUMISDEN. "For some time, all uneasy things con- 
cealed from old man. Two weeks after Edward [Duke of] York at 
Florence, Cardinal [York] conducted by same people." 7 . . . Supped 

light. Quite happy. Letter from Father; solid and kind Learn du 

monde. Write French every day, or you're gone. 

SATURDAY 2O APRIL. . . . This day, up betimes, to work against 
laziness which every man has if he neglects. Maintain Utrecht char- 
acter. Never mind Jacob. . . . 

SUNDAY 2 1 APRIL. Yesterday . . . dined tete-a-tete with Gordon. 
[He said, "My life was] sad work till set on self; then gay, never 
sick or splenetic one moment. Well when waked; rise at any hour 
by self. Put out of way by nothing." Adultery. Said you, "Such people 
do it as child breaks a mirror: for want of reason." Night, letters, fine. 
Up all night. 

MONDAY 22 APRIL. Yesterday, after up all night, in braced 
nerves. Borghese Palace. . . . Then St. Peter's in grand frame. Prayed 
fervent to the unchangeable Father of all to drive away melancholy 
and keep clouds of Presbyterian Sundays from rendering mind 
gloomy. Hoped this, sure as God lives, and so to behave calm and 
decent, and at last die a worthy old laird, full of hopes. This is a 
solemn period for life. Only be retenu. Dined Lumisden. Talked 
much, but well and with grave force. . . . 

TUESDAY 23 APRIL. Yesterday morning, Palais de Strozzi. . . . 
Then Vatican library, superb. . . . Clarke fine fellow; kept in order 
Colonel. Then Belvedere. "Meleager" well enough. "Laocoon" su- 

6 It is not clear what Boswell saw Batoni drawing. 

7 Edward Augustus, Duke of York, was George Ill's brother; Henry Cardinal 
York, the Old Pretender's second son. Lumisden's remark is clarified by a letter 
(22 September 1764) from Sir Horace Mann, British Envoy at Florence, to 
Horace Walpole. Cardinal York had complained of "the manner in which the 
Duke of York was received at Rome, but [the Cardinal] said his only concern 
had been to conceal it from his father who would have been much hurt, and 
that he had succeeded. I was forced to make a little complaint of the military 
people here for showing certain honours to the Cardinal that could only con- 
vene [to] the Duke of York, and they were reprimanded" (from the unpub- 
lished manuscript, by kind permission of the owner, Wilmarth S. Lewis). 

Rome, 23 April 1 765 67 

preme; equal to all ideas. Nerves contracted by it, so that beautiful 
"Apollo" could not be felt. 8 . . . Had walked with Clarke in Medici. 
He fine country gentleman; quite restored by him. All old ideas re- 
vived. CLARKE. "The English royalists did not join, because [they 
were] not [organized in] clans; so could not have a thousand men, 
but go out themselves and lose all. Gave money; thus cleared up." 9 . . . 
This day, up active. . . . Speak little of Jacobitism for Father's sake. 

[Boswell to William Johnson Temple] 1 

Rome, 22 April 1765 

MY DEAR TEMPLE, When I concluded my letter at Naples, I 
promised to write you soon from this illustrious capital, and if I re- 
member right, gave some hints as if I intended to entertain you with 
learning and taste. By what means I proposed to myself to execute 
this design, I really cannot recollect. Perhaps it is better that I have 
forgotten, for I am now in a better frame of mind than when relaxed 
by the warm soft air of gentle Parthenope. As I have delayed it so 
long, I shall not now fill up the large pages of my epistle with an ac- 
count of my travels from Geneva to Rome. You will read it fully in 
my journal, which I continue with an assiduity and liberal humour 
peculiar to myself. I must only tell you that I have felt many a 
change of sentiment since I crossed the Alps, and have not been so 
uniformly strict in my conduct as when my blood was thickened in 
the fogs of Holland. Naples is now the retreat of Mr. Wilkes. He and 
I lived much together. Many a social repast did we partake of and 

8 The Belvedere court in the Vatican, according to J. J. de Lalande, "is perhaps 
the most remarkable place for art in all Italy, or perhaps in the whole uni- 
verse" (Voyage (Tun frangais en Italie fait dans les annees 17^5 & 1766, 1769, 
iii. 184). The "Meleager" mentioned by Boswell is the statue which was ordi- 
narily called the "Belvedere Antinous," and is now thought to be of Mercury. 

9 Godfrey Bagnal Clarke, a close friend of Edward Gibbon, and later M.P. for 
Derbyshire. Clarke refers to the failure of the supporters of the Stuarts to rise 
as expected when Prince Charles Edward invaded England in 1745. 

1 William Johnson Temple, BoswelTs old classmate at the University of Edin- 
burgh and closest English friend. At this time he was studying for the ministry 
at Cambridge, and was ordained in September 1766. Temple shared BoswelTs 
enthusiasm for politics and literature, but their intimacy was based on an un- 
derstanding and acceptance of each other's temperament. 

68 Rome, 22 April 1 765 

much classical gaiety we enjoyed, notwithstanding of our direct op- 
position of sentiment on every important subject. He is an exception 
to all general rules, and his constant felicity shakes my solid specula- 
tions on human woe. He has an elasticity of mind that nothing can 

I am now wrapped up in the study of antiquities and fine arts. I 
have already surveyed most of the monuments of ancient grandeur, 
and have felt the true, venerable enthusiasm. What would I not give, 
Temple, to have you here with me. How would we recall the days 
when we used to climb Arthur Seat, when our minds were fresh to 
all the charms of Roman poetry, and our bosoms glowed with a de- 
sire to visit the sacred shades. I have had many hours of rich enjoy- 
ment. But you must be sensible that a letter can give you but very 
imperfect accounts. My journal will be pretty well. But my conver- 
sation will be great. How I anticipate our mutual satisfaction. 

I went lately and passed two days at Frascati, the Tusculum of 
old. The weather was delicious. I felt the genius of the place, and 
was supremely happy. In true philosophical frame I sat down and 
wrote a Tusculan Question on happiness, in which I considered re- 
ligion. I was perfectly impartial, and calmly enquired how much 
more clear light has been imparted to the world during the eighteen 
hundred years that have rolled on since Cicero wrote his famous Tus- 
culan Questions. Of this genuine sketch I may perhaps make a very 
good essay. . . ? 

Really, I am for laying aside the high-flown ideas of ambition 
which we have indulged. Had Nature intended us to execute any 
such schemes, she would have inspired us with ardour sufficient to 
carry us rapidly on, without all this reasoning about the matter. It 
is better to please ourselves with imagining what we would have 
done than to regret our having failed upon trial. My present study 
is pictures. It is delightful. I am very fond of it 2 and I believe I shall 
form a true taste. This study has a fine effect upon my mind. I am 
good humoured and gay, and hardly ever gloomy. 

2 BoswelTs essay, inspired by the spirit of Cicero, survives. In it, he accepts 
Christianity as one of the "three or four great systems said to be sent from 
heaven, all of which contain strong proofs and excellent doctrines but involved 
with mystical ideas, many of which shock." 

Rome, 22 April 1 765 69 

Morris (our old ostler) is not here unless he be actually in some 
stable. I should be glad to meet him and be better acquainted with 
him. I have very little connection with the British, except when I find 
some one from whom I can learn. Farewell, my dear Sir. I ever re- 
main, most sincerely yours, 


[Boswell to Wilkes] 

Rome, 22 April 1765 

DEAR SIR, The many pleasant hours which we passed together 
at Naples shall never be lost. The remembrance of them shall inspirit 
this gloomy mind while I live. Even your compliments were ex- 
cellent, and had full effect. You told me I was "the most liberal man 
you had ever met with, a citizen of the world, free from the prejudices 
of any country, who would be liked in France as much as in Britain." 
You called me "My old Lord of Scotland," and you said I looked as 
if I had a thousand men at my back. Had it been your chief est interest 
to make Boswell satisfied with himself, you could not have done it 
better. But I set a higher value on your parting words, which you 
pronounced with such a tone that I almost believed you: "I shall 
never forget your civilities to me. You are engraven upon my heart." 4 
Was you really in earnest? 

I wish much to hear how you live now you are got into the stately 
castle which we surveyed with so great attention. Yours is indeed a 
nobile exilium. I am afraid the punishment which you stiff er for your 
evil deeds will hardly deter others from doing the like. You may 
think as you please, but I have no small pride in being able to write 
to you with this gay good-humour; for I do in my conscience believe 
you to be an enemy to the true old British Constitution, and to the 
order and happiness of society. That is to say, I believe you to be a 
very Whig and a very libertine. But philosophy can analyse human 
nature, and from every man of parts can extract a certain quantity of 
good. Dare I affirm that I have found cheerfulness, knowledge, wit, 

8 A long postscript concerning both BoswelTs and Temple's matrimonial 
schemes is omitted. 
4 See 20 March 1765. 

7o Rome, 22 April 1 765 

and generosity even in Mr. Wilkes? I suppose few crucibles are so 
happily constructed as mine; and I imagine that I have a particular 
talent for finding the gold in your Honour's composition. Certain it 
is the process must be performed very delicately. Some days ago, 
nothing would serve me but to write you an Heroic Epistle; and thus 
I began: 

To thee, gay Wilkes, though outlawed, still as gay 
As when Dan Armstrong wrote his German Day, 
Another Scot now sends his English rhymes, 
Spite of the Whiggish broils which mark our times, 
Spite of the rude North Briton's factious rage, 
And all the abuse of thy imputed page. 

In magnis voluisse sat est* 

In the Italian gazettes they have thought proper to give you the epi- 
thet of // Bruto Inglese. Erato in Italian may signify either "Brutus" 
or "ugly"; and you must know it is disputed between your friends 
and your enemies whether the epithet ought to be translated "the 
English Brutus" or "the ugly Englishman." "Much may be said on 
both sides." 6 Let Mile. Corradini determine. 

You are no doubt very busy preparing your expected works. At 
your hours of leisure I hope you think of your friends alive and dead. 
Of the first it is difficult to know which are which; of the last I know 
only two. Methinks I see Churchill bouncing into the regions below, 
making even Cerberus dread his brawny force, while poor Lloyd is 
lounging on the fatal shore, for want of a halfpenny to pay his freight. 
He would not want it long, could he who relieved him from the Fleet 
know where to find him. 7 

I have received from our friend Needham some philosophical re- 
marks, which he desires may be communicated to you. 8 1 enclose his 

5 "In great enterprises, it is enough to have made the attempt" (Propertius, 
Elegies, II. x. 6). 

6 Sir Roger de Coverley in Spectator, No. 122, "may" for "might." 

7 Robert Lloyd, the poet, died in the Fleet Prison where he had been jailed for 
debt in 1764. He was an important figure in the London literary world when 
Boswell met Trim in 1763, on the same occasion that he met Wilkes and Church- 
ill. Wilkes had stood by him in prison. 

8 Needham had sent Boswell on 13 March a long defence of the Athanasian 

Rome, 22 April 1 765 71 

letter, but beg you may return it me. I am, dear Sir, as much yours 
as a Scots royalist can be, 

Pray write to me, al Caffe Inglese. I leave this soon. 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: During the next few days Boswell gratefully 
cultivated Lumisden, while reminding himself to be prudent, since 
he might yet hold public office at home. On 29 April he was ill, and 
having called in Dr. James Murray, the Old Pretender's physician, 
discovered that he had a venereal disease. He tells himself to "resign 
to punishment, but be calm." On 30 April, he received a letter from 
Wilkes which "new stirred ideas" and "troubled the pool."] 

[Wilkes to Boswell] 

Naples, 27 April 1765 

DEAR SIR, I thank you very much for your most friendly letter 
of the 22nd from Rome, and still more for the many agreeable hours 
you favoured me with here. You have made me know halcyon days 
in my exile, and you ought not to be surprised at my cheerfulness and 
gaiety, for you inspired them. 

You touch, however, in your letter a string which sounds most 
harsh and discordant to my ear, the death of poor Churchill. I en- 
deavour by every way I can devise to divert my mind from the 
gloomy idea of so irreparable a loss, but your letter brought it back 
full upon me, and left me all yesterday after the arrival of the post 
quite melancholy. I will say no more on this head, but in the words 
of Tully, "Virum bonum et magnum hominem et in summa magni- 
tudine animi multa humanitate temperatum perdidimus nosque 

Creed to be handed on to Wilkes, whose religious scepticism had been publi- 
cized by his connection with certain obscene and blasphemous parodies, espe- 
cially the "Essay on Woman" and the "Veni Creator," which was subtitled 
"The Maid's Prayer." Wilkes had defended himself in his "Letter to the Worthy 
Electors of the Borough of Aylesbury" (his constituency) by saying: "I am not 
the first good Protestant who has amused himself with the egregious nonsense 
and silly conceits of the strange, perplexed, and perplexing mortal . . . Athana- 
sius" (A Complete Collection of the Genuine Papers of John Wilkes, 1769, 
P. 96). 

72 Rome, 30 April 1 765 

malo solatio, sed nonnullo tamen, consolamur, quod ipsius vicem 
minime dolemus, immo hercule quia sic amabat patriam, ut mihi 
aliquo deorum beneficio videatur ex eius incendio esse ereptus." 9 

I thank you for the entertainment of Mr. Needham's letter. I hope 
to talk over those knotty points with that agreeable gentleman here 
at full leisure. To begin -with the Athanasian Creed is taking the bull 
by the horns. I beg you to make my best compliments to him, and 
tell him of my impatience to see him here, 

I took possession of this old crazy castle on the 3rd, and have since 
been only twice in Naples. I am in the bosom of philosophy and Cor- 
radini, calm and pensive, giving myself entirely to the two works I 
have in hand, the edition of my dear friend's Works and my History. 
The introduction will contain many things which I fear you will not 
approve respecting our Tarquins; the Stuarts I mean. I enclose you 
the first proof of the title. 1 

As to my punishment, &c., which you mention, the case is very 
different. I am outlawed, not for smuggling, nor for any crime, but 
that I may not have it in my power to continue my suits in the cause 
of liberty against a Secretary of State, who under a Brunswick has re- 
newed all the arbitrary and illegal acts of a Stuart and by my out- 
lawry has done it with impunity. 2 Nothing but that could have 
stopped the proceedings. It was known that I was undaunted, and 
from the steadiness of my conduct must have succeeded where above 

9 "We have lost an excellent patriot and a great man, a man whose magnanim-- 
ity was tempered by politeness. There is, however, one comfort left us, though a 
melancholy one, which should alleviate our grief at his death; I think that 
some favourable providence of the gods rescued a patriot like him from the 
conflagration of his country." (Slightly altered from Cicero's Letters to Atticus, 
iv. 6. The version given here is essentially that of William Guthrie, an eight- 
eenth-century translator.) Wilkes quoted part of this passage in his fragmentary 
notes on Churchill's Gotham. 

1 The proof is missing. 

2 For Wilkes's successful fight for his release after being arrested under a gen- 
eral warrant, see Introduction, p. xiv. On an action for trespass against Robert 
Wood, Under-Secretary of State, arising from this illegal arrest, he was awarded 
1000 damages on 6 December 1763. The sentence of outlawry, however, made 
it impossible for him to continue with a suit against Lord Halifax, Secretary of 
State, for damages for wrongful arrest. He finally collected 4000 in this suit 
in 1769. 

Rome, 30 April 1 765 73 

two hundred others have failed. In such a cause have I any reason to 
be ashamed of my outlawry? I may triumph in it as a consequence 
of public virtue which has stood unshaken. The cause is the cause 
of all the Commons of England, and I hope they will take it up. You 
find by Clarendon how much they will bear, but at last they take a 
severe vengeance, witness Strafford, Laud, &c. So much for politics, 
to which the stream of your letter carried me. 

I had rather you would tell me of your future schemes, of the 
Dutch vrouw you mentioned, who you may be assured is in love with 
you, of your tour from Rome, &c. If you choose it, you may have me 
for a regular correspondent, as regular as Italian posts will suffer us 
to be. I wish you would go on with your poem to me. It begins very 
spirited. You are an adversary worthy of the Whigs. I do not doubt 
but Rousseau and other champions of liberty will in time pluck out 
of your lairdish breast the black seeds of Stuartism, &c., with which 
you are now so strongly impregnated. 

And do you intend to retire after all your peregrinations to the 
Ulubrae you spoke of with glee? 3 Let me know how you look into 
futurity, and I will give you my ideas on every part of it, if you wish 
to have them. You are a singular man. What you told Rousseau of 
yourself is exactly true, that you were d'un merite singulier. 4 ' I hope 
too you will be d'un boriheur singulier. I am sure your merit de- 
mands it, but good Needham will tell us how unequal is the distribu- 
tion of rewards and punishments here below. 

II Bruto Inglese of the Italian gazettes ought to be construed "the 
ugly Englishman," and not as you do, for what do these people know 
of Brutus? Our enemies are right. You are mistaken. 

E'en I, whom Nature cast in hideous mould, 
Whom, having made, she trembled to behold, 

3 A reference to the motto from Horace which Lord Auchinleck had placed on 
the front of his house at Auchinleck: "Quod petis, hie est, est Ulubris, animus 
si te non deficit aequus" (Epistles, I. xi. 29-30). Freely translated, it reads: "All 
you seek is here, here in the remoteness and quiet of Auchinleck, if you have 
fitted yourself with a good steady mind." Ulubrae, a small village near the 
Pontine marshes, is used by Horace as an example of an unpleasant residence. 
* Boswell had introduced himself to Rousseau with this phrase (see Boswell on 
the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 3 December 1764). 

74 Rome, 30 April 1 765 

Beneath a load of low abuse may groan, 
And find that Nature's errors are my own. 5 

Cura ut valeas, et nos ames, et tibi persuadeas te a me fraterne 
amari. 6 

THURSDAY 2 MAY. Yesterday much better. Discovered beasts. 7 
Shaved; ludicrous distress. . . . Swear conduct. Remember family. See 
Mountstuart often, as [he is a] good lad. 

SATURDAY 4 MAY. Yesterday dined Lord Mountstuart's. He 
quite man of fashion, fine air; true Stuart. Immense crowd. Confused 
and tired and hipped. Honest Colonel mighty good. Then had drive 
with Mallet. 8 , . . Home and better This day at nine, Willison's, 
and sit, a plain, bold, serious attitude. 9 . . . Drive off hypochondria, 
and pray God See often Lord Mountstuart and M. Mallet. 

MONDAY 6 MAY. Yesterday morning called on Colonel Edmond- 
stone. . . . Saw with him Colonna Palace and Falconieri. Was very 
bad but patient . . . This day, Murray immediately. Then Willison, 
or first call Lumisden and talk over scheme, whether head or owl, 
&C. 1 Have Hamilton to dine, and talk to him of it. Talk to Lumisden 
of money affairs and get things settled, or speak to Edmondstone. 
One hundred pounds extraordinary will do all, and so stay less in 
France. . . . 

TUESDAY 7 MAY. Yesterday began half-length at Willison's ear- 
nest desire. . . . Idle day. Durst not sit up for fear of heating blood. . . . 

5 Churchill, Rosciad, 11. 405-408. Line 407 actually reads: "Beneath the load of 
mimicry may groan." 

6 "Take care of yourself, continue to love me, and be assured that I love you as a 
brother." (Where no signature is appended to a letter, it is lacking in the orig- 

7 Crab-lice. 

8 For Mallet and "honest Colonel" (Colonel Edmondstone), see Introduction, 
p. xvi. 

9 Boswell had commissioned a portrait of himself from the young Scottish 
painter, George Willison. The portrait now hangs in the Scottish National Por- 
trait Gallery. See C. B. Tinker and F. A. Pottle, A New Portrait of James Bos- 
well, 1927. 

1 The question at issue was probably whether the portrait was to be a mere head 
or a half-length with a scenic background, including an owl. See the next entry. 

Rome, 7 May 1765 75 


Rome, 7 May 1 765 

DEAR SIR, My rogue of a valet de place has been the occasion 
of your not hearing from me three days sooner. 2 He told me on Friday 
that the Naples post did not go out till Saturday, and on Saturday I 
learnt that it goes out on Tuesdays and Fridays. Were it not that the 
fellow has a numerous family, I would turn him off. 

I embrace you with joy as a regular correspondent, and although 
a certain weekly political tract has rendered you, as it were, hack- 
neyed in punctuality, I doubt not to be as punctual as you. You have 
advised me to think of being a foreign minister. You shall judge how 
far I can be exact in my dispatches. 

I am not displeased to find you can be melancholy. The loss of 
Churchill is no doubt the severest affliction that you could meet with. 
Pray let me be serious and advise you to seek consolation from the 
immortality of the soul, which your departed friend strongly defends 
in his Duellist. The arguments for that noble system which vindi- 
cates the divine justice are surely strong, and it depends on ourselves 
to cultivate elevating hope. It was the prospect of meeting the re- 
nowned and the worthy of former ages that made Cicero say, "Si in 
hoc erro, libenter erro." 8 1 heartily wish that John Wilkes, who has 
his mind so well furnished with classical ideas, had this one in daily 

I am obliged to you for the title page of your History. The first 
motto is excellent for a furious Whig, and the second inimitably 
adapted to the years of our sovereign's reign. 4 1 doubt not but you will 

2 The valet's name was Francesco, and Boswell described him as "small, stupid; 
a rascal." 

3 "If I am mistaken in this, I am willingly mistaken*' (condensed from De 
senectute, xxiii. 85). 

*The two mottoes, slightly altered from Livy's Latin, read: (i) "I shall seek 
in this work an additional reward, that of being able to avoid the contemplation 
of those evils which our age has evidenced for so many years, so long at least 
as I am absorbed by the memory of the brave old days. Thus I shall be free from 
every care which might cause the mind anxiety, even though they could not 
deflect it from the truth" (I, pref. 5). (2) "The Tarquins had grown too accus- 
tomed to rule Their very name was unpleasant and a danger to freedom" 


76 Rome., ^ May 1 765 

make more noise with the four first years of King George the Third 

than Dean Swift has done with the four last years of Queen Anne. 

As to your evil deeds which I mentioned in my last, I beg you 
may not refuse the charge. Without entering into any long discus- 
sion, it is certain that you did all in your power to stir up jealousy 
and hatred between the southern and northern inhabitants of Britain, 
and that you treated with indecent irony our worthy monarch, for 
which I say you deserved to be beaten with many stripes. 5 You are 
now, it is true, connected with the great cause of general warrants. 
But for this you have reason to thank the blundering head of a states- 
man and cannot claim any real merit from it; for to be taken up with- 
out a name was surely no part of your plan. 

Since you praise the lines which I sent you, and wish I would go 
on with the poem, I shall endeavour to do so; but I can tell you when 
my virtuous Tory soul grows warm, it will not be much to your 

In the course of our correspondence you shall have the various 
schemes which I form for getting tolerably through this strange ex- 
istence. If you would think justly of me, you must ever remember 
that I have a melancholy mind. That is the great principle of my 
composition. Farewell, 


THURSDAY 9 MAY. Yesterday . . , Abbe Winckelmann an hour. 6 
Fine and classical taste. Lumisden and Willison at dinner; good. . . . 
Found virtu growing with all its bad passions. 7 Then Lumisden and 
saw prints. Resolved [to keep] busy to drive off gloom. Then Lord 

Mountstuart alone; pretty young man Try to be well with Lord 


FRIDAY i o MAY. Yesterday ... sat much to Willison all day, and 
at night wrote, but baddish. This day finish letters and sit in all 
morning, and think, and see what you want, and prepare. 8 Have Mr. 

5 Lute 12. 47. 

6 Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the most influential art critic of his time. 

7 In his Accounts, the only item of virtu which Boswell mentions having bought 
in the previous week was a "boite de lave de Vesuvius," which cost him three 
sequins, or about thirty shillings. 

8 According to his Register of Letters, Boswell sent off six letters on 11 May, 

Rome, i o May 1 765 77 

Lumisden to consult and fix all plans, and correspond with him sen- 
sibly for life. Think to stay at Durlach or in French province or Ant- 
werp till spring; then London a little. Then home and at Auchinleck 
[for] health and law till June. Swear conduct more and more. But re- 
member God gives us different powers. Marry not yet. Swear no risk 
with women, and drink little wine. 

SATURDAY 1 1 MAY. Yesterday ... at three with Abbe Winckel- 
mann at Cardinal Alexander Albani's villa. 9 . . . Garden like spread 
periwig. Night, Lord Mountstuart's, easy. Wild stories 

SUNDAY 12 MAY. Yesterday . . . after dinner went to Corso like 

one enrage^ and amused for last time. You're never to go back 

Now swear no libertinage, except Florentine lady. Ask Lord Mount- 
stuart for commission to Bob Temple. 1 . . . Little exercise for fear of 
fever. , . . 

[Boswell to John Johnston] 2 

Rome, 11 May 1765 

MY DEAR SIR . . . While I tell you what I have been doing during 
my travels, I must not neglect to give you some account how I have 
been thinking. My natural sensibility and anxiety of mind has ever 
kept me exposed to the attacks of hypochondria; by the great exercise 
and entertainment which I have had, the foul fiend has been often 
chased away, but I have never been able to promise myself any long 
continuance of felicity. I have experienced during this last half year 
such changes of sentiment as would hardly be conceived to arise in 
a mind where judgment was not totally overthrown. I shall not enter 
into particulars, but leave you to imagine all the wild ideas which 

including ones to Rousseau, Johnston, Needham, and the Margrave of Baden- 

Durlach. He had met the Margrave during his tour of Germany. See Boswell 

on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland. 

9 Winckelmann was the Cardinal's librarian, and had helped to furnish the 


1 Boswell had previously tried to get Temple's younger brother, an army officer, 
put back on full pay, but without success. He wished Mountstuart to intercede 
on his behalf with Lord Bute. 

2 This letter is not part of the long series which Boswell was writing to give 
to Johnston on his return, but was actually posted. A two-page review of Bos- 
well's tour is omitted at the beginning. 

78 Rome, 1 1 May 1 765 

your gloomy fancy can suggest on the wettest Sunday, while the 
bell is ringing for the Tolbooth Kirk, 3 and all the gay ideas which 
cheer your mind when the air is pure and the sun is bright, and you 
are lying luxuriously upon Arthur Seat or calmly musing in your 
wood at Grange. 

My great comfort is that I am ever firm in my attachment to the 
old Family of Auchinleck, to my worthy parents, and to my bosom 
friends. Were it not for melancholy, I am one of the most fortunate 
young men alive, for I know none who has more real advantages than 
I have. I must, however, own that I am uneasy when I think of re- 
turning to Scotland. My father is very well satisfied with me at pres- 
ent, but I much fear he will not be so when he finds me at home with 
him. By his way of writing I can discover that he expects me to be a 
solid, steady man, who shall apply to business with persevering as- 
siduity. But, my dear friend, you know that there is hardly any prob- 
ability that I shall ever be such a man. Years, indeed, may render me 
steady, but I despair of having application. God bestows his gifts as 
he thinks fit, and long study of myself has convinced me that my con- 
stitution was never intended for great labour of mind. I can pore over 
books as long as any man. I did so at Utrecht. But the effect was not 
improvement but sickness and perturbation. I swear to you that I se- 
riously think it my truest philosophy to be content with the powers 
which my Maker has assigned me, and not to torment myself by in- 
effectual struggles to change my nature. I find myself an amiable, 
pretty man of moderate abilities, but a soul truly noble, a soul which 
in reality sets me higher in the scale of being than if I had attained 
to the first honours which superior talents procure and been without 
such a soul. 

I would, however, do what I can to promote the happiness of my 
fellow creatures. I shall put on the gown as an advocate, and en- 
deavour to acquit myself faithfully towards those who entrust me 
with their causes. But I shall not lay myself out for very much em- 

8 At that time one section of St. Giles's Church in Edinburgh. The Tolbooth itself 
was the city prison, from which condemned criminals were taken to the Tol- 
booth Kirk for a special sermon on the Sunday before their execution. It was on 
such an occasion that the condemned Robertson escaped at the conclusion of 
the sermon, as told in Scott's Heart of Midlothian. 

Rome, 1 1 May 1 765 79 

ployment. If I can get a seat in the House for a parliament, I shall 
like it much, but shall not absolutely set my heart upon it. I shall at 
all events hope to have a good Exchequer gown, 4 and so enjoy otiian 
cum dignitate^ 5 and have plenty of time to give to the cultivating our 
old estate and following out the studies which please me the most. 
The great point will be to begin properly when I return, and get my 
father to see me as I really am. Come, my good friend, encourage me. 
Who knows but I may yet rejoice my father's heart? I call God to 
witness that I wish most earnestly to do so. His civilities to you in my 
absence touch me sensibly. I hope to show him that I am grateful. 

I am just now quite well and happy, and storing my memory with 
rich ideas which will give much pleasure to us both many years 
hence. To be in illustrious Rome itself and to walk the scenes of clas- 
sical enthusiasm is indeed noble. When I give you my warm account 
of all this, you will enjoy it very near as much as if you had been 
here. I know how to make your soul feel joy. My journal will be a 
treasure to us. Were you but with me this evening, what store of en- 
tertainment would I pour forth! In a letter I can only give you a few 
ideas half-coloured. 

You must know I have travelled through Italy under the protec- 
tion of the Dominican friars. The King of Sardinia's antiquary rec- 
ommended me to a Father of that order at Milan. I found him a 
learned, pretty man, and after having had some conversation with 
him, I discovered a very curious circumstance. This was the Father 
who converted to the Romish faith Sir Alexander Jardine. You may 
be sure I had a full account of that singular affair. This reverend 
monk recommended me to the convent at Bologna, and from thence 
I have had letters from convent to convent, and been treated with 
great distinction. The dress of this order is white with a black gown. 
This, Johnston, is being quite in my own romantic style. I have now 
been more than two months in Rome. I shall stay just a week longer, 
I have been presented to two cardinals, and on Monday I am to kiss 
the Pope's toe. I go from hence to Florence, then to Venice, and after- 
wards come round by Parma to Genoa, where I am to embark for 
France. How long I shall yet be abroad I cannot say. My father will 

4 A judgeship in the Scottish Court of Exchequer, an important position. 
8 "Dignified ease" (altered from Cicero, Pro P. Sestio, xlv. 98). 

8o Rome, 1 1 May 1 765 

no doubt expect to see me before winter. But I am very desirous to 
pass some time in France, the country of gaiety, and afterwards in- 
tend to travel through Flanders, where are a great many places well 
worth seeing, and so return to Holland and see my good Dutch rela- 
tions and friends. . . . 

My dear friend, farewell, 


[Boswell to Jean Jacques Rousseau. Original in French] 6 

Rome, 11 May 1765 

I HOPE, SIR, that you received a letter that I wrote to you from 
Geneva. 7 I have looked forward to the honour of a reply before this 
time, but I am far from imagining that I have the right to complain 
of him who on occasion takes his time in writing to M. Deleyre. I am 
for ever obliged to you for having introduced me to your worthy 
friend. I found in him the intelligence and knowledge which make 
him respected; but his heart, his soul have fascinated me in a way 
which you can well imagine in your gallant and singular Scot. I sent 
him your letter the same evening that I arrived in Parma, and al- 
though it was very late, he came immediately to see me. We poured 
out our hearts in mutual sympathy. We spoke of M. Rousseau with 
warmth. We are linked for ever. The next day I presented him with 
these verses: 

Deleyre, I've seen thee only for an hour, 
But of true worth so rapid is the power 
That I, like Spaniard to determine slow, 
Already own thee worthy of Rousseau. 
Yes, friend of him whose glory Europe fills, 
While he, retired amid Helvetia's hills, 

6 The original of this letter is in the Public Library of Neuchatel. It is printed in 
French in the Correspondance g&nerale de J.-7. Rousseau, xiii. 301303, and in 
the Letters of James Boswell, L 76-78, on which the translation is based. Bos- 
well's draft among the Boswell papers at Yale exhibits only one major variation, 
which is noted below. 

7 This letter and the one from Rousseau to Deleyre mentioned below are printed 
in Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 22 and 31 December 

Rome, 1 1 May 1 765 81 

Can philosophic independence prize, 
And show how far humanity may rise, 
You share his heart, Deleyre come boldly dare 
To join his standard, and his glory share. 

Here is a translation. 8 ... I don't know what he has decided in re- 
gard to your proposal. He could not restrain his own inclinations? He 
revealed his melancholy disposition, and thus endeared himself to 

I have almost finished my tour of Italy. I have viewed with en- 
thusiasm classical sites, and the remains of the grandeur of the an- 
cient Romans. I have made a thorough study of architecture, statues, 
and paintings; and I believe I have acquired taste to a certain degree. 

Dare I admit to you that my conduct has not been as virtuous as 

1 expected when you gave me directions for my life? 1 At the moment 
the fever is past. I am as you would wish to see me. But this change- 
ableness in character disturbs me a great deal. Patience is necessary. 

I have promised M. Deleyre to return to Parma, and to spend sev- 
eral days there with him. I go from there to Genoa to embark for 
France; but I am determined first to go to Corsica, as I told you at 
Metiers. I beg you then to send me at once, in care of Messrs. Vautier 
and Delarue at Genoa, 2 a letter of recommendation; and if you have 
any important orders, rely on me. I cannot restrain myself from pay- 
ing a visit to those brave islanders who have done so much for their in- 
dependence, and who have chosen M. Rousseau as their legislator. 3 
If you do not write to me, I will show them the short letter which I 
received at Geneva from you, with your device, vitam impendere 

8 The verses are in English in the original. Boswell's French translation is 

9 Rousseau had asked Deleyre to write an introduction to a proposed edition of 
his works. Deleyre accepted this offer, but the project seems to have been aban- 
doned. The italicized phrase is from Rousseau's letter to Deleyre introducing 
Boswell. He had counselled Deleyre, in talking to Boswell, to resist his tendency 
to bring up melancholy subjects. 

1 Bosweirs draft adds here a sentence missing from the letter as sent: "But 
this confused world is quite a different affair from your sacred retreat, and in 
truth I am a feeble man." 

2 Boswell's bankers. 

3 See p. 197 72. i. 

82 Rome, 1 1 May 1 765 

vero* and I believe that will obtain a welcome for me. It will be 
singular if they hang me as a spy. If you care for me, Sir, then write 
me immediately. This is too romantic a project for me to forego. I am 
serious. My sincere respects to Mile. Le Vasseur, and I am always 
yours as I was in your sacred retreat. 


MONDAY 1 3 MAY This day, in silk, see Pope. Think old Pres- 
bytery. Be well with Lord Mountstuart, &c. 

TUESDAY 14 MAY. Yesterday morning at ten went with Abbe, 
&c. to Monte Cavallo. 5 Waited. In antechamber, off sword, &c. Then 
in, and kneelings, and kiss of slipper rich with gold. "Signor Baron 
Boswell." 8 1, master of ceremonies. First Sir W., then I, then Clarke, 
then Rich. 7 POPE. "How long have you been away [from England] ?" 
To all: "Very young." [We talked of] Naples, Genoa, grande fete, 
&c. CLARKE. "I have obtained letters, made preparations." Abbe, of 
me: "The Father is his friend." I: "Genoese Father." POPE. "Very 
pleasing manners," &c. I, like an idiot: "Made his acquaintance at 
Cav. SaL" 8 . . . Some more kneelings again. [Pope,] of me: "He be- 
gins to speak Italian." Had full thoughts of old Presbytery. Then Lord 
Mountstuart's; lazy. He and Mallet dined quite easy. . . . Mallet 
owned noire. 9 . . . Then drove in Corso. Supped Lord Mountstuart. . . . 
Bid my Lord be decent with Grant. Fine to be well with Wilkes and 
Lord Mountstuart. 

THURSDAY 16 MAY, Yesterday . . . began Tasso. . . . Talked with 

* "To stake one's life on the truth" (Juvenal, Satires, iv. 91). 

5 A papal palace on the Quirinal, later the residence of the kings of Italy. 

6 The title by which Boswell was presented to the Pope. While travelling in 
Germany, he had assumed the style of Baron as indicating his social status more 
justly in the Continental scale than the plain "Esquire" permitted him by 
British custom. The lands of Auchinleck were a barony, having been granted 
by James IV in 1504 to BoswelTs ancestor, Thomas Boswell. 

T Rich. (Richards or Richardson) is unidentified. Sir W. is probably Sir William 
Farrington, whom Boswell had visited previously. 

8 The conversation was conducted in Italian, with the exception of Clarke's 
remark, which is reported in French. The reconstruction given here is highly 
conjectural. Boswell apparently reproached himself for mentioning an enemy 
of the Pope, 

9 That he suffered from hypochondria. 

Rome, 1 6 May 1 765 83 

Mallet. Told all story of Rousseau and Voltaire. Wrong to be so talka- 
tive; make him say he won't mention it Night, baddish. Supped 

my Lord's. Saw you fawned a little. Tis really better [to be] inde- 
pendent; by merit rise. His interest now and then. 1 Be prudent 

Send for Lumisden to dine, and Murray 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: As the memoranda quoted above show, Bos- 
well was becoming increasingly attached to Mountstuart He ac- 
cepted with pleasure an invitation to accompany Mountstuart to 
Tivoli, the seat of Horace's Sabine farm, where upon seeing the 
famous Fons Bandusiae he spouted Horace's ode on the spot. Mount- 
stuart told him that he found a particular pleasure in his company, 
but the relationship was not all easy going. Mountstuart did not 
think his father would much like BoswelTs association with Wilkes, 
and Boswell thought Mallet "a sad Genevois without subordina- 

WEDNESDAY 22 MAY. Yesterday morning still baddish.... 
Went to Casenove's and had third girl. Resolved no more. Swear it. 

Then Mr. Lumisden's. Saw drawings by Prince Charles Then 

Lord Mountstuart's. Lecture by Mallet on last wars. Then my Lord 
gave full account of his education, &c., and said: "There is not one 
Englishman to whom I could have talked in this way. I find a Scots- 
man better than, &c. Well, I have great hopes of myself. London for 
me; under my father's eyes; right people," &c. Was quite well with 
him. Up too late. This day . . . ask Colonel for lieutenancy to Bob 
Temple. Swear no more up late. 

FRIDAY 24 MAY. Yesterday . . . met Mallet at Dance's; walked 
with him. MALLET. "Laziness is one argument against study; there 
are twenty in its favour. It is never too late but you trifle." . . . My 
Lord and you up till 2 J. Promised Bob Temple. . . . 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: On 24 May, Boswell made another jaunt to 
Tivoli, this time with Lumisden. 2 On 27 May (Whitsunday) he drove 

1 That is, make use of his political influence occasionally. 

2 Boswell expressed his "classical enthusiasm" at seeing the countryside de- 
scribed by Horace in a letter to John Johnston (24 May 1765), and added: "I 
am sharing the classical satisfaction with an exiled countryman, Mr. Andrew 
Lumisden* secretary to the son and heir of Kincr James the Seventh. Let cool T>oli- 

84 Frascati, 2 7 May 1 765 

with Abbe Grant to Frascati where he saw Cardinal York, the Old 
Pretender's second son, preside at mass, and thought him "majestic 
and elegant," with the face of an angel. On returning to Rome, he at- 
tended the burial of an acquaintance of Mountstuart, George An- 
thony Werpup, a Hanoverian baron who had been killed when his 
carriage overturned. He was buried in the Protestant cemetery at 
night, because the prejudice against Protestants was so strong that 
the authorities refused to allow daytime interments there. Mount- 
stuart erected a monument (the first in the cemetery) to him, with 
a long Latin inscription. 3 ] 

TUESDAY 28 MAY. Yesterday better. At eleven, my Lord's, and 
with him &c. to Vatican. Apollo, baddish knees; Laocoon's sons too 
much formed: men in miniature. Dined my Lord. Then had history 
of Spain from him and Mallet. Was too agitated and made outre 

motions Night, my Lord said abjuration oath [like] signing 

"obedient servant," and would not be the first who took it. Would 
not have sworn to old King, but would to this. 4 Saw my Lord too 
feeble; loved him, but resolved to be manly character, worthy to do 
him good. This day . . . call my Lord between nine and ten. Get him 
up without joke, like ancient philosopher. . . . Swear sup no more; 
'tis ruinous to health. 5 So beg my Lord manly, and say you'll show 
otherwise real regard. So be independent. . . . Pay debts. Settle affairs 
these days, or you're worthless. 

ticians dispute as they may, I shall love and esteem the man who is generous, 
who acts from what he believes to be right, who exposed his life in the most 
dangerous civil war to support his prince, and who continues ever faithful to 
his old master. . . . Mr. Lumisden is learned, ingenious, and cheerful. He knows 
your character and wishes to see you." Lumisden found Boswell "a gentleman 
of great talents, and beloved by all his acquaintances" (James Dennistoun, 
Memoirs of Sir Robert Strange and Andrew Lumisden, 1855, ii. 33). 

3 The information about Mountstuart's connection with Werpup has been 
kindly supplied by Captain F. L. Pleadwell, M.D., who has in his possession 
several letters from Mountstuart to William Hamilton, including the one 
quoted below, p. 85 n. 9. 

4 All voters in Britain could be required to take an oath abjuring the Stuarts. 
Mountstuart maintains that it is a matter of form, like signing oneself "your 
obedient servant" at the end of a letter. The old King was George II. 

5 Supper was served about ten at night or later. 

Andrew Lumisden (1720-1801), from the medallion by James 

Tassie; copyright by the National Galleries of Scotland, 

and reproduced by permission. 

Rome, 29 May 1 765 85 

WEDNESDAY 2 Q MAY. Yesterday at ten my Lord abed. Two hours 
ere ready by sleeping and dressing. Mallet said, "A gardener who has 
tilled the soil for a long time knows better than a passer-by. But you 
do not go deep enough." BOSWELL. "I can conceal my complaints, but 
when I find other hypochondriacs, I speak of them." MALLET. "The 
Colonel pays attention neither to time nor money. Has no plan," 

&c. 6 Then my Lord, lesson on Charles V, &c Lumisden bid [you] 

accept of Lord Mountstuart's offer. . . J 

THURSDAY 30 MAY. Yesterday my Lord's at ten, and read his- 
tory of Spain to him. . . . Dined Clarke, pretty well. Then my Lord. 
He read and repeated German constitution. Then drove hour in coach. 
BOSWELL. "My Lord, I'll do well if you take care." He said same: 
"You'll be odd man, very clever, liked by few, too honest; judge too 
by starts." . . . My Lord and Mallet; history. I ignorant; changed 
ideas. After all, Johnson would think you above Mallet. Ask my Lord. 

FRIDAY 31 MAY. Yesterday with my Lord. ... Be firm and tell 
him he must take you in your own way, with prejudices, &c. Fix to 
be well with him; only as independent philosopher. Colonel, good- 
humoured man: reads book as you eat all on plate. This morning 
send to Alves. 8 At nine, my Lord's. If not up, away, to learn to keep 
appointment. . . . 

SUNDAY 2 JUNE. Yesterday . . . my Lord told all to Abbe of his 
amour, &c.; 9 really imprudent and weak. Advise him, and have his 
real regard. Go not with him except pressed, as 'tis better to see little, 

6 This memorandum reveals clearly how Boswell recorded only the "heads" of 
conversations in many instances, trusting to his memory for later reproduction 
of the conversation. The conversation probably began with the question of 
study, shifted to another favourite topic, hypochondria, and finally to Colonel 

7 To travel with him and his party. 

8 James Alves was a Scottish painter whom Boswell had engaged to make a 
miniature of himself from Willison's portrait. 

9 Perhaps of his love for the Duchess of Guadignola, whom he "adored in vain." 
It was not she, but another of whom he wrote to William Hamilton at Naples (7 
May 1765): "I also live with my belle, but a belle no longer so to me; for the 
Colonel, he and I at last have met, made a mutual confession of our grievances 
before a third person, and have agreed to live comfortably together, Lord 
Mountstuart being Lord Mountstuart and master of himself" (Collection of 

86 Rome, 2 June 1 765 

lest [he] tire. You are too fiery with Mallet. 'Tis just bad habit. Swear 

restraint like Temple, Swear, prepare now Swear one week no 

supper; home regular. Try only two nights to come home firm, and 
see. Be serious. 

MONDAY 3 JUNE. Yesterday . . . went with Hamilton to Vatican 
and saw pictures; most rich. In noble spirits, and thoughts of immor- 
tality and seeing Raphael, &c My Lord's, late. He again proposed 

(as before supper) to travel with him. You asked him to be politician 
and manage Father. He will. This day swear to be calm Remem- 
ber you're old gentleman 1 and pretty man. 

TUESDAY 4 JUNE. Yesterday morning sat to Alves, Dined my 
Lord's. Was too slovenly; guard against that. , * , Home, my Lord. 
With pleasure took his promise never to be offended, though you 
push him to history, &c. Talked to Mallet of going with them: "If you 
were in my place, would you not be charmed?" He was very fond of 
it. 2 After supper in room with Colonel; spoke of the affair to him. He 
said he had opposed others [joining], so would not appear just to 
favour Scotsman. He'd write to Lady Bute of a gentleman who had 
studied well but neglected history, whom my Lord lectures. Said this 
friendship might be of great use if King or Lord Bute lives. All 
well. . . . 

WEDNESDAY 5 JUNE. Yesterday morning sat [to] Alves. Dined, 
great company my Lord's. King's birthday. Very well. After they 
went, you and he talked long then on Holland. . . * This day write 
Father, and Mother also 

THURSDAY 6 JUNE. Yesterday morning wrote close, which 

dulled a little My Lord came; read his letter. Short and elegant; 

fine compliments. Yours strong, bold; he admired much 3 

Autograph Letters . . . Formed by Alfred Morrison, Second Series: Hamilton 
and Nelson Papers (1893), i, 4). The text is corrected from a transcript of the 
original supplied by Captain Pleadwell. 

1 Gentleman of an old family. 

2 He was strongly inclined to it. 

8 Presumably Boswell's letter to his father, which has not been recovered. 

Rome, 5 June 1 765 8 7 

[Lord Mountstuart to Baron Mure] 4 

Rome, 5 June 1 765 

DEAR MURE, Though four years and a half may have oblit- 
erated many things in the mind of a young man, yet they have not 
made me forget that I have a true friend in you, and that you would 
do everything in your power to serve me. To be very open with you, 
though I promised to write sometimes, my indolence and aversion 
to it would have always hindered me, had not an occasion presented 
itself of asking the following favour of you. Having got acquainted 
with Mr. Boswell here at Rome, our acquaintance soon grew into a 
strong intimacy so much so, that I have desired him to go on with 
me in my tour through Italy, as long as it would be agreeable to him. 
He liked the scheme much, as well as Colonel Edmondstone, but says 
he is so much pressed by his father to go home that he durst not take 
such a step without his leave; but that you, being a great friend of my 
Lord's, might easily obtain permission. Boswell is an excellent lad, 
full of spirit and noble sentiments; and (as the world goes) it ought 
to be reckoned a f ortunate thing for him going with me, and indeed 
fortunate for myself, as he goes on in the same studies as I do, and, 
if possible, rouses me up whether I will or no. He too has the advan- 
tage of being in company with one of the cleverest men in Europe, 
Mr. Mallet, the professor who attends me. Now, my dear Mure, I 
hope you will tell all this to his father; also that his cousin, the 
Colonel, wishes it much. You may tell him, too, that I am not so wild 
a man as I am generally supposed to be. 

Adieu, dear Mure. I hear I am soon to be with you, when I shall 
endeavour not entirely to disappoint the hopes all my friends enter- 
tain of me, particularly you, being, with more friendship than I can 
express, ever sincerely yours, 


FRIDAY 7 JUNE. Yesterday. . .my Lord at night spoke only 
bawdy, and told story of Colonel at Siena : u My God, I shot my piece," 
and then cunningly saying, "when I was in the army," &c. "She will 

4 The recipient of this letter was William Mure, Baron of Exchequer. The text 
is taken from Selections from the Family Papers Preserved at Ccddwell, ed. 
William Mure, 1854, Part II, vol. ii. pp. 38-39. 

88 Rome, 7 June 1 765 

never pardon you." 5 My Lord said: "You shall have lady in every 

town." Advised him, moderate abroad, and in England, good wife 

Swear no more late to ruin nerves. Swear keep up own firm char- 
acter to surprise Father, &c. 

SATURDAY 8 JUNE. Yesterday morning awaked to determine if 
Jacob should take bark. 6 In all morning and wrote, and dined at 
home. Grew dullish. . . . Then my Lord's. Colonel rough, like Scots- 
man; wants to be easy, [and is] rudely familiar. ... At Clarke's 
be decent, so as never to make people always expect from you odd 
humour. Write what you remember of Mallet's lectures, no matter 
though imperfect. Swear piety. Swear independence and never to 
allow Colonel Edmondstone to be rough. Write plan to my Lord, 7 and 
not to mind fits of spleen. ... Go on. Have retenue. Any man much 
seen loses esteem. 

[ITALIAN JOURNAL] 8 All great men who have written histories 
have begun their works with an introduction giving a brief statement 
of their intentions. I therefore advise my readers that I plan to write 
a concise account of the tour I had the honour to make through Italy 
with his Excellency, my Lord Mountstuart. 

We left Rome on the fourteenth day of June 1 765. The party con- 
sisted of my Lord, who was twenty years old; Colonel Edmondstone, 
who was more than forty; M. Mallet, sometime professor, who was 
more than thirty; and Baron Boswell, who was twenty-four. Thus our 
ages are all given; our characters will be revealed on the road. 

FRIDAY 14 JUNE. My Lord and I were in the same carriage; we 
slept much, but we read some of the Persian Letters? and talked about 
the characters of many men. At dinner, M. Mallet said he felt weak, 
but he ate a great deal and recovered his vigour; he said we would 
soon see a Turkish war. The Colonel was a little taciturn. We stayed 

5 Apparently a comment by Mountstuart. 

6 Quinine. Jacob was ill with a fever. 

7 Either an outline of BoswelTs character and plan for future conduct, or per- 
haps a reference to his "Inviolable Plan" (printed in Boswell in Holland, Ap- 
pendix I). 

*From 14 to 22 June Boswell kept a separate journal in Italian. Events are 
those of the date under which they are entered. 
9 By Montesquieu. 

Terni y 14 June 1 765 89 

at night at Terni, and talked to our innkeeper's son, a young tailor. 
We laughed a great deal. 

In the middle of the night my Lord was troubled in his sleep, and 
he had the most fantastic dreams. He shouted continually at me, 
"Boswell, what are you upsetting your chamber-pot for? Why are 
you playing an air on your little bassoon, and why are you holding 
out your sword?" 1 

SATURDAY 15 JUNE. We arrived by evening at Foligno. The 
Colonel and I walked a little through the town. He promised me a 
good bowl of punch at his country-house in Scotland. My Lord was 
very angry to see us a little late for supper. My Lord told me many 
bawdy stories and we also talked about superstitions. I was afraid 
that ghosts might be able to return to earth, and for a time wished to 
get into bed with my Lord. But I lay quiet. 

[Boswell to Wilkes] 

Terni, 15 June 1765 

DEAR SIR, You was polite enough to say that I might have you 
for a regular correspondent, and I very gladly accepted of your offer, 
I wrote to you several weeks ago, and have not yet had an answer. Am 
I to impute your silence to the dejection of a forlorn swain whom the 
cruel Corradini has left to weep in solitude? 2 Or have you taken amiss 
the strong terms in which I declared my disapprobation of your con- 
duct? As to the first, I suppose it is now pretty much over, and as to 
the second, you know I always talked the same language. I glory in 
being an enthusiast for my king and for my religion, and I scorn the 
least appearance of dissimulation. As the gay John Wilkes you are 
most pleasing to me, and I shall be fond to hear from you often. Let 
serious matters be out of the question and you and I can perfectly 

I have formed a great intimacy with my Lord Mountstuart, who 

1 The memorandum adds: "Beds in same room; always so. Never more read 
memorandums." Evidently Boswell was afraid he would lose caste if he were 
made to share rooms with Mallet or the Colonel. 

2 Corradini, irritated because Wilkes refused to settle 2000 on her, took ad- 
vantage of his temporary absence at the end of May to steal what she could 
carry, and departed with her family for Bologna. 

go Terra, 1 5 June 1 765 

has insisted with me to accompany him in the rest of his tour of Italy. 
He is an amiable young nobleman, and I can tell you wants not the 
spirit of his ancient family. You see me then in my element. My 
liberal disposition will ever remain, should I even live in the very 
heart of a court. Gay WUies, adieu. 

My address is Chez M. Jean Watson a Venise. 


too much of a medicine, which made me very sick. I was a poor com- 
panion, but after dinner I was very well. My Lord was in a childish 
mood, calling me Jamie continually. 3 1 told him that the Stuart fam- 
ily had many weaknesses, one of which was to enjoy childish jokes. 
James I, though a man of learning and of wit, as wit was then under- 
stood, caused himself to be despised by his liking for low jokes. My 
Lord disputed this opinion strongly, and we were really excited. At 
night every one was tired. We stayed at Macerata, where we found a 
very good inn. 

MONDAY 1 7 JUNE. We arrived at Loretto before noon, and the 
English Father Gillibrand came to see us at the inn. After dinner we 
went to look at the sights. We were accompanied by a doctor from 
Ravenna and his wife, a rather well-shaped woman with very beauti- 
ful black hair. There was also a canon from Ravenna, a tall, vigorous 
man, and I don't believe it is contrary to Christian charity to say that 
this canon was the favourite of the doctor's wife. We saw the Holy 
House and the treasure there. My Lord was not much pleased but 
very tired. I made him laugh by showing him the signboard of a 
barber who had the impudence to put outside his shop a very crudely 
drawn, ugly figure standing beside a wig, with the inscription, "Al 
Milordo Inglese." 

TUESDAY 18 JUNE. The Colonel and I were very curious to see 
the Republic of San Marino. My Lord was in a bad humour, and at 
first thought he would wait for the Colonel and me in Rimini, but 
afterwards he changed his mind and wanted to go on to Bologna. I 
was very angry with his Excellency and in fact the whole party was 
divided in the most unpleasant way. We all wore sullen faces, espe- 

3 Boswell hated to be called by this familiar name, anpl later did not permit 
even his wife to use it. 

Pesaro, 1 8 June 1 765 91 

cially Professor Mallet, that so wise, so learned, and now so discon- 
tented man. 4 

WEDNESDAY ig JUNE. We went to San Marino. We found the 
best people in the world. I have written a particular report of this 
expedition, and therefore I do not choose to say anything here. 6 1 need 
only say that it was an exceedingly warm day, and we were very 

[Mountstuart to Boswell] 

Rimini, 19 June 1765 

SIR: I had the honour of receiving your very obliging letter 6 
this morning at Pesaro and instantly set about what you desired, as 
you will soon see by the following lines. To the purpose: John, com- 
monly called Lord Mountstuart, 7 has, after long examination, 
thought, and mature deliberation I say, the same Lord has dis- 
covered James Boswell to be wrong in words, wrong in acts, and 
wrong in deeds; wrong without taste, and wrong in obstinacy, an 
obstinacy mistaken for firmness, an ideal thing with the said Boswell 
till he has got rid of the former. The above-mentioned Lord makes no 
doubt but that the said Boswell will have had the same thoughts 
on his way to San Marino, and that in cursing the stones and craggy 

4 The memorandum dated 18 June adds: "Resolve San Marino, and if his Ex- 
cellency will be obstinate, no help for it. He is as one sick." For 19 June, Bos- 
well goes on to say: "My Lord agreed to San Marino. At Pesaro, doubted. 
Would not go on to Rimini, but stayed after horses were [put] to. Irresolute 
and impolite. You in most sad ill-humour; could not speak. . . . Thought of leav- 
ing him at once, passion so strong. Was silent. He thought of going on [to] 
Bologna. Colonel said: 'It would be the most impertinent thing you could do to 
me.' My Lord, struct, agreed to wait [at] Rimini. Mallet wrong to join with his 

5 Though BoswelTs "particular report" is missing, the memorandum for 20 
June testifies to the striking impression of sturdy independence which San 
Marino made on him. At the inn, for example, he asked the people whether 
they would be willing to give their lives for their republic, and they answered: 
"Yes, we will give our lives, blood, everything." 

6 Not recovered. 

7 This is the way Mountstuart would be designated in official documents, since 
his title was only a courtesy one. Its use is in keeping with the mock pomposity 
of the letter. 

g2 San Marino, 20 June 1 765 

rocks of a free mountain, his monarchical spirit will flow back and 
make him curse himself for going to see so Gothic a thing as a free 
nation, and not following the advice of two unhappy people who take 
care to have no taste on proper occasions. 

These, Sir, are the few dictates of an honest heart. I am sorry to 
have given you so much trouble, but am sure you would forgive me 
if you knew with what an interior satisfaction I have the honour to 
call myself, your most obedient and most humble servant, 


Excepting sickness we set out without fail tomorrow, three o'clock 
in the morning, for Bologna. 


differences were settled. My Lord laughed as usual and talked freely. 

FRIDAY 2 1 JUNE. It was a very hot day. We stayed all morning 
at home, and after dinner we left for Ferrara, where we arrived late. 
We had a violent dispute as to whether it was necessary to stay to look 
at the city. Every one was in a bad temper. Some days before, the 
Colonel had offended M. Mallet by calling him insolent, and our 
Professor was terribly angry at the brave officer. But this evening the 
two were united in saying that I was the cause of all our confusion. 
I laughed at this display of human weakness. 

SATURDAY 22 JUNE. More human weakness. We were all in a 
good mood, though nothing had really been changed. The Colonel, 
the Professor, and I viewed Ferrara as the beautiful remains of a 
great but ruined city. We had a bad day; at night we reached Rovigo. 8 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The memoranda are resumed here as the party 
continued on its quarrelling way through Padua to Venice. Colonel 
Edmondstone told the two young men that they were honoured by 
having a distinguished man like Mallet with them, and that they had 
treated him badly, but Boswell was unable to contain his dislike for 
him. Mallet kept returning to one of Boswell's sore points, his lack 
of extensive learning. "MALLET. c You know no one branch of learn- 

8 A few further details are provided by the memorandum: "Immense journey; 
rainy and dreary and bad roads. Night, joked Mallet too much; wrong. Tis 
below you. 'Tis bad habit. No more of it. Told my Lord of being Catholic. 
Wrong, for he has not studied it, and cannot understand." 

23 June to 28 June 1 765 93 

ing. You never read. I don't say this to offend you, but of young men 
who have studied I have never found one who had so few ideas as you. 
. . You have an eager mind and imagination; you can learn. I shall 
mention among the oddities of my travels that I found a man who had 
studied little and seen little of the world, who thought he knew a 
great deal.' " Boswell admitted, partly at least, the justice of these 
remarks, but they did not lessen his resentment of Mallet's assump- 
tions of equality. 9 In Venice, General Graeme, a Scotsman who com- 
manded the Venetian land forces, put them up, and Mallet, accord- 
ing to Boswell, had the "impudence to think of competing" with him 
for one of the better bedrooms. 

Among the people whom Boswell met in Venice were Lady 
Bridget Wentworth, whose second husband John Murray was British 
resident (minister) at Venice, 1 and John Udney, the British Consul. 
The Corradini had been Udney's mistress and had contributed to his 
going into bankruptcy, before she met Wilkes.] 

SATURDAY 29 JUNE. Yesterday morning out in gondola with 
Udney to his house. He showed me some pictures of the Venetian 
school. Also the letter which Corradini wrote Wilkes, and his answer. 
Thought him now worthless in private life; agreeable, to be sure, or 
he could not be so vicious, but in moral balance really good for 
nothing. Then went to island San Giorgio. Excellent place; fine 
superb convent by Palladio; large gardens. Benedictines here live 
like princes. In their refectory, "Marriage of Cana"; noble. 2 Dined 
General's; superb. Evening, Lady Wentworth's a little. Then home. 

9 In ironic contrast to Boswell, Mallet actually was a Baron, having been en- 
nobled by the King of Denmark. 

1 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who got along very badly with Murray, de- 
scribed him in a letter (30 May 1757) to her daughter, Mountstuart's mother, 
as "such a scandalous fellow in every sense of that word, he is not to be trusted 
to change a sequin despised by this government for his smuggling, which was 
his original profession, and always surrounded with pimps and brokers who 
are his privy councillors" (Letters, ed. Lord Wharncliffe and W. Moy Thomas, 
[1861], ii. 307). According to Casanova, who relates a repulsive anecdote about 
him, he looked like a handsome Bacchus painted by Rubens. 

2 Boswell is describing the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, begun by Palladio 
in 1565, and the old Benedictine monastery (now an artillery barracks) on the 
island. Veronese's famous picture is now in the Louvre. 

94 Venice, 29 June 1 765 

My Lord and you on couch till two. He said you was a most odd char- 
acter. All the English disliked you. Quite changeable: "Shall I put 
out that candle? 'No!' In two minutes. 'Yes!' " Pushing. Mallet said 
Rousseau had laughed at you. Voltaire writes to any young man well- 
recommended and of fire; then forgets him, "that English bugger." 
. . . MOUNTSTUART. "You are very honest, very honourable. I would 
do anything to serve you, and in a case of importance, entrust you. 
Yet you may be disagreeable. [You will be an] imperious husband 
and father." 

TUESDAY 2 JULY. Yesterday morning went with my Lord, &c. to 
St. Mark's church. Old mosaic. Luckily., a solemn service. Saw also 
Doge's palace and in halls some good pictures. In council room roared 
out, "Cursed be your senate!" &c. 8 Had sad headache. After dinner 
agreed with Mallet no raillery for a week. He owned he could never 
be happy; knew its physical causes, which people ridiculously made 
moral. Madness [is] being struck with objects out of proportion to 

their distance of time, place, or connection with us . Found tennis 

court; played a little. Home; sad distress of headache. Lay down, slept 
hour; better. Went to Lady Wentworth's; played whist ill. Home and 
had soup. Comfortable; better. 

WEDNESDAY 3 JULY. Yesterday morning Mallet said, "We are 
four odd men." . , . Mme. Micheli dined; gay, lively, appetissante. 
Marked her.* Afternoon, called on her. Long alone; immediate 
amour. Chevalier and lady came in. This day, out immediately. 
See Dominican's friend and Johnson's translator, 5 and at twelve, 
Mme. Micheli. Be easy and bold, and try fairly, and say you'll 
stay while you can, at any rate. She'll excuse, &c. See this fairly. . . . 
8 From Thomas Otway's Venice Preserved: 

Cursed be your senate, cursed your constitution, 
The curse of growing factions and division 
Still vex your councils, shake your public safety, 
And make the robes of government you wear 
Hateful to you, as these base chains to me. 

(IV. ii. 184-188.) 

4 Chiara Michieli, nee Bragadini. She was a friend of Lady Mary Wortley Mon- 
tagu. BoswelTs conversations with her are recorded mainly in French. 

5 Giuseppe Baretti, a noted literary critic, who had translated Johnson's Has- 
selas into French. 

Venice, 3 July 1 765 95 

Be dressed in brown silk. Retenu, and try gondolas and all expedients 
with Madame. 

THURSDAY 4 JULY. Yesterday morning strolled in gondola till 
twelve. Then Madame's alone. By her on couch. Talked of religion, 
philosophy. BOSWELL. "[I would wish] to enjoy everything possible 
without causing harm to others." She said: "Libertines do not even 
get so much enjoyment out of well, anything you choose. They 
are like drunkards who want merely to get brutally drunk. And 
do you know, Sir, I believe that all the exquisite notions which 
Aretino has left to us in writing and in pictures were invented by 
people who restrained their desires." Kissed hand often. She, half 
coy, said debauchery to yield before long time. Going away, [I] 
said, "I hope that your long time becomes short." . . . Mallet said, "I 
will describe your character as the greatest oddity to my children: a 
man with no system, and with false ideas. You have no attachments, 
no friends of long standing. They were your toadies not your friends." 
Shocked with wonder that a wretch could think so of you. Told him: 
"I have a very bad opinion of you. I have never lived quietly with a 
man of whom I had so bad an opinion. Perhaps I am wrong." At 
night, Madame's. Old noble there. Supped, and to bed late. 

[Received 4 July, Wilkes to Boswell] 

Naples, 22 June 1765 

MY DEAR SIR, I had yesterday the favour of your obliging letter 
from Terni. I regret that you have not yet received my last, which 
was serious enough for so solemn a soul as you call yours, and you 
know I am seldom in that mood. I therefore seized the opportunity, 
and I trust that curious letter will soon come to your hands, for I think 
it is wrote ad hominem* 

As to my dejection as a forlorn swain for the absence of Corradini, 
I will only say with Virgil, O passi gravioraJ She had, like all the 
Italians, some points to carry for a father, a brother, and an uncle. 
The mother was already with me. I am not too fond of whole families. 

Q Boswell apparently never received this letter. 

7 Virgil, Aeneid, i. 199. The line from which it is taken reads: "Having endured 

heavier misfortunes," [we shall survive these also] . 

96 Venice, 4 July 1 765 

If there is one handsome or good in each, it is as much as we can 
expect in these latter times. You will see my firmness. I shall not stir 
one inch after her, and I have no reason to be pleased with some 
things which happened. I am however a laughing philosopher, and 
though I have a tolerable share of Gullibility, it is only a sinking fund, 
which you may draw upon till it is exhausted. Mile. Corradini has 
found this. Families and settlements are no favourite points with me, 
and though the gay Wilkes, as you and Armstrong call him, would 
exert himself in many ways for so pleasing, so elegant a form as hers 
was, yet there are lengths I will never go. Even in my amours you 
shall admire my firmness and strength of mind. Udney with whom 
she lived three years, our Consul at Venice, a most amiable man as I 
am told, called Corradini a true fury. I never regarded her temper, 
which indeed was not gentle, but I liked the delicacy and elegance of 
her Madonna figure. This is a great deal on such a subject to such a 
man as you, though you too like the thing almost as well as I do, but 
you dislike the talk and laugh about it, of which I am perhaps too 

My History and the edition of Churchill advance still the faster 
from my suffering no interruption whatever, except a few voluntary 
engagements with my old friend, Sir William Stanhope, &c. I wish 
you were here. I would give you some specimens would set your 
virtuous Tory soul in a rage, and how I should enjoy the noble storm! 
I was very glad to hear that you had formed a great intimacy with 
Lord Mountstuart. He is by all accounts a most amiable young noble- 
man. I regretted exceedingly that political connections prevented my 
paying my respects to his Lordship both at Rome and here, for fame 
reports everything favourable of him. I congratulate you on that 
connection, which I hope will be advantageous to you, and particu- 
larly in the scheme which will make you the most happy in my opin- 
ion, that of being a foreign minister. 

I wish to know all your schemes, and how happy should I be could 
I be of service to you in any of them! You see how punctual a cor- 
respondent I am, and I shall not be discouraged by the delay or loss 
of a letter or two. Hope shall always be my motto, and I continue to 
look forwards, though not quite so far as so good a Christian as Mr. 
Boswell. Posterity shall do justice to him as an excellent author, and 

Venice^ 4 July 1 765 97 

to his friend Mr. Wilkes as a steady patriot, who bore the utmost ef- 
forts of ministerial rage even without peevishness. 

I am so far from being disgusted at your freedom with me that it 
quite charms me. I regretted your last letter was so short. I beg you 
to write often and fully. Nothing can oblige me more. You are an 
enthusiast in your way for your king, as you say, and your religion. 
The French always called me an enthusiast for liberty. We have both 
the vivida vis? which marks us. 

I do not find that the mind is at all enervated even in this luxurious 
country, though the body is so much relaxed. I will prove likewise 
that it is not otiosa Neapolis? and so Corradini knew while she was 
here. When I am ready for the greater of my two works, the History, I 
mean to go to Lausanne or Geneva, for I can only print here title- 
pages and specimens. No licence could be obtained for the entire 

Poor Churchill often gives me that pleasing melancholy which I 
know not whether to call pleasure or pain. I indulge it sometimes for 
hours together, and I am sure I have not wrote one note he would 
disapprove, except indeed for the poorness of the matter or the badness 
of the style. I dwell upon his idea, which is the favourite one of my 
soul. (Why) do you not send me more lines of the epistle in verse, 
which you had begun (so well? I) hope it is finished before this. 
Vale et me ama. 

My address is only Monsieur Wilkes, a Naples. 

SATURDAY 6 JULY. Yesterday morning with her. 1 Pulled up 
petticoat and showed whole knees, &c. Said wretched. Cook only ten 
days no. 2 Afternoon Lady Wentworth's till late. Then Cavaliera's. 
All shut. Angry. Away to Cort. Colon. Old woman alone in. [She 
called] my Lord "coglione briccone." 3 Ludicrous. My Lord valet, 

8 "Lively force" (Lucretius, De rerum nature^ i. 72). 

9 "Idle Naples" (Horace, Epodes, v. 43). 
1 Mme. Michieli. 

2 That is, she said she would be wretched if she yielded to him; it would be like 
having a good cook for only ten days. See p. 10. 

3 An archaic approximation is "cullion knave." Cort. Colon, is perhaps an ab- 
breviation for Corte delle Colonne, a street near St. Mark's. "Cavaliera" is pre- 
sumably Mme. Michieli. 

98 Venice, 6 July 1 765 

put you to bed; likes you, old Scots ideas. Take rhubarb and nitre, 

and never up at nights. 

SUNDAY 7 JULY. Yesterday disputed plan. He changed to Milan 
by Mallet's advice, who with selfish cunning and impertinence op- 
posed you. You was quite in rage and thought to go away. Evening 
Mme. Micheli's. She had sat up, &c. At supper my Lord and you told 
all whoring. Weak; can keep nothing. Resolve retenu This morn- 
ing, up early and to work like Wilkes. Then Mallet and apologies. No 
more disputes ever. Twelve. Cavaliera. Take her on it fair, and ask to 
do her with hand. Settle papers or you're gone. Swear new conduct 
and try, &c. 

MONDAY 8 JULY. Yesterday morning came Baretti, Johnson's 
friend; curious Italian. Copy. 4 At breakfast, disputed with Mallet, 
[with] Father's grand eloquence. Mallet said: "My valet will write 
like that. No miracles since the second century." Low joke. BOSWELL. 
"When you see him, 5 you will get down on your knees. David Hume a 
child in comparison to him. His Dictionary [is] great philosophy: all 
the axiomatical knowledge of the language; clear ideas." Hot dispute. 
BOSWELL. "M. Mallet, if you annoy me, I shall have to crush you." . . . 
Night, Madame; all lengths. MME. MICHELI. "I admit that I'm old- 
fashioned, but I would be wretched. 8 Never in my life. Once I was in 
danger, but escaped." Touched with her goodness. All other liberties 
exquisite. Quite bold, This day, letter to Father, &c. Determine 
composure. Go to Mallet, and tell him once for all no more attacks. 
You're to let him alone, but remember you will not suffer one joke 
from him. Say it is impossible you could live easy with a man so 
totally different, and so little disposed to show you these egards which 
perhaps you are too fond of having, but 'tis your disposition. In his- 
tory, you'll be glad to learn from him; that's all. Be firm and keep 
to this and be calm, and you'll see how he'll be ill with my Lord. Just 
till Florence, see. Ask my Lord to let you enclose a letter to Lord Bute; 
if [he does] not [agree] at once, say no more. See more things here. 

* Baretti had promised Boswell a copy of a letter he was writing to Johnson, 
which may be the "copy" referred to here. Boswell received it on 18 July. 
5 Johnson. 

ft Presumably the conversation continued, "If I yielded to your desires." BOS- 
"Have you never had a lover?" 

Venice, 8 July 1 765 99 

Swear generous attention to Madame. Fond still, and if shell give 
you hand, proof [all is] well. 

TUESDAY 9 JULY. Yesterday . . . Baretti's, who showed you some 
letters of Johnson's; rich. Gave books. Was quite miserable, and said 
Devil had created us: "Why not die like dog?" &c., &c. r Pitied him. 
Home with Mallet a little, who said Fontenelle was insensible: "He 
used to dine twice a week with a friend. One took asparagus with 
butter, the other with oil and vinegar. One day the friend died. 
[Fontenelle said] Tut all the asparagus in oil,' " &c 

FRIDAY 1 2 JULY. Yesterday morning up betimes. Quite hipped. 
. . . Grand dinner; my Lord [had come] of age. Begged him new con- 
duct, &c. This day . . . swear care some weeks. See Mme. Micheli 
and give book. . . . 

SATURDAY 13 JULY. Yesterday. . . resolved [to] alter conduct. 
Home and made speech: "We have lived as enemies, wrangling like 
children. From this time, I swear no more so." Quite happy with good 
resolve. Up late, but quite gone. 

SUNDAY 14 JULY. Yesterday morning sick with being late up, 
but kept out. Told Mallet too resolution: no more jangling. MALLET. 
"We shall see how long that lasts." Set out at two. At Mestria, on 
coach alone, &c. To Smith's. . . . Pretty house and garden; elegant 
villa. Quite well. Curious old man, past eighty, resisted all attempts 
to dispute.* Colonel, worthy man, still at it. Arrived General's coun- 
try-house. 9 . . . This day up; clear head. . . . Swear no more jangling. 
Retenu, and show firmness and so like Marischal, calm. Let alone 
my Lord; he'll come right, &c. Return to grand devotion. So proud, 
noble, and calm. Let us see how well you can execute plan and so be 
minister in London. 

7 See p. 281, where Baretti's remark is expanded. 

8 Joseph Smith, retired British Consul at Venice, was eighty-two when he mar- 
ried Murray's sister, a virgin of forty. Murray was supposed to have virtually 
sold his sister to Smith for an interest in the latter's fine collection of books and 
art objects. George HI purchased this collection in 1763 for twenty thousand 
pounds. Smith, "a most lively and entertaining companion" according to Dr. 
McKinlay, was ninety-one when Boswell visited him. 

9 General Graeme's. 

i oo Venice, 1 3 July 1 765 

[Boswell to Wilkes] 

Venice, 13 July 1765 

DEAR SIR, I am very glad to find you have not been in the 
wrong to me, which I must own I could not help suspecting till your 
last agreeable letter arrived. 

Your solemn epistle has not yet reached me, but I hope it is not 
lost. I suppose it has been delivered to my servant whom I left at 
Rome to recover of a fever. He is to meet me at Florence, and there 
I promise myself a singular pleasure in the perusal of a production 
whose rarity alone might entitle it to a place in the British Museum. 
You are seldom in a solemn humour. But you must be so sometimes; 
for without being in all humours it is impossible to know human 
nature. Would I had one half of your good humour, which is fresh 
at all hours, and cannot be hurt either by outlawry or by the loss of 
a mistress. I do admire your strength of mind, and look upon you as 
one of the vigorous few who keep up the true manly character in this 
effeminate age. With what a philosophical patience do you bear the 
flight of your beautiful Bolognese! Yet I can suppose you sometimes 
plaintive, and sometimes a little angry. If one may joke upon an old 
theme, I would ask if you have never exclaimed with the Mantuan 
swain, "Nee sum adeo informis, nuper me in litore vidi." 1 Since you 
must have a concubine, I am sorry that Gorradini and you have dif- 
fered, and I shall not be displeased to hear that you have made it up 
again. There was an idle report that she had robbed you. I cannot 
believe it; and if you think as I do, you will surely be generous 
enough to contradict it. After all, marriage is the real state of happi- 
ness. Felices ter et amplius, &c., 2 can apply to nothing else. What we 
lawyers call the consortium ornnis vitae? is the most comfortable of 
all ideas, and I hope I shall one day tell you so from experience. I 
mean not to triumph over you. Marriage is an excellent fruit when 
ripe. You have been unlucky enough to eat it green. 

Your works must advance very fast. You will like Lausanne 
much, as the society there is very easy and agreeable. At Geneva you 

1 The complaint of the shepherd Corydon to the scornful Alexis: "Nor am I 
so very ugly; lately I saw myself down by the shore" (Virgil, Eclogues, ii. 25). 

2 "Thrice happy and more are those who are bound indissolubly together" 
(Horace, Odes, I. xiii. 1718). 

3 Partnership for a lifetime. 

Venice, 1 3 July 1 765 101 

will be very well received. The malcontents will flock around you, 
and borrow some of that fire which has blazed with such violence. As 
far as I can judge, the Geneva opposition is better founded than that 
in a certain great kingdom. I own to you, I love to see those repub- 
lican dogs at variance among themselves. This, I fear, you will call 
a plume of the wing of Johnson. It may be so. My veneration and love 
for that illustrious philosopher is so great that I cannot promise to be 
always free from some imitation of him. Could my feeble mind pre- 
serve but a faint impression of Johnson, it would be a glory to myself 
and a benefit to mankind. O John Wilkes, thou gay, learned, and in- 
genious private gentleman, thou passionate politician, thou thought- 
less infidel, good without principle and wicked without malevolence, 
let Johnson teach thee the road to rational virtue and noble felicity! 

I have not made two verses these last two months. I have the most 
inconstant mind in the world. At times I can hardly help believing 
myself a man of considerable parts, but at other times I insensibly 
fall into a state little better than that of a blockhead. You have 
praised the beginning of my epistle to you, and I think with justice. 
I am afraid to go on with it for fear of the fumum ex fulgore* How- 
ever, if you insist upon it, I shall run all risks to entertain you with 
the completion of my small design. 

I continue to like Lord Mountstuart My intimacy with him has 
brought me acquainted with the character of Lord Bute, whom I 
shall ever admire. His letters to his son prove him to be a man of the 
most generous soul and most tender heart. I am sure he is one of the 
best friends and best fathers that ever lived. As a statesman, I am 
sure his intentions were grand and honourable. What his administra- 
tion has been, upon my honour, I have not yet knowledge nor abilities 
enough to judge. He writes with an eloquence which would charm 

Since you are willing enough to bear my honest freedom, our 
correspondence shall be as frequent as you please. Let us correspond, 
not as politicians but as men of wit and humour; and let us mingle 
about as much politics in our letters as politicians do wit and humour 
in theirs. Adieu, dear Sir, 

JAMES BoswEi/L. 5 

4 "Fire first and then smoke" (Horace, Ars poetica, 1. 143). 

5 The postscript that follows was written on a small scrap of paper which has 

1 02 Venice, 1 3 July 1 765 

I have two favours to beg of you: one that your letters may be 
signed John Wilkes; another, that they may be sealed in such a man- 
ner that I may not tear a word in opening them. 

My address is now Locanda di Carlo^ Firenz0. 

Write soon. 

MONDAY 15 JULY. Yesterday morning just Sunday in country 

without one Calvinist idea. Wrote well Afternoon, bowls. 

Plagued with jokes. Evening even General said, "By G , the 

Baron thinks of nobody but himself." Mallet said, "Mentally, you 
are extraordinarily lazy. Write about Venice.' 5 Did so. MALLET. "But 
you have many more ideas than that, if you knew how to uncover 
them. Do you know them better than before you started to express 
them?" BOSWELL. "Yes." MALLET. "That's how one should study." 
This day . . . get my Lord to write for Bob. Joke no more. Just let him 
live, and be not obstinate in impoliteness. With menagement, profit 
by Mallet. Swear cure gleet. 

TUESDAY 1 6 JULY. Yesterday morning my Lord went to Venice. 
You stayed fine and sung ballad and wrote. True Italy. Murray came 
and dined. Letters arrived. My Lord recalled; thunderstruck. 6 . . . 
Was really cast down, but so agitated as to feel it little. Night, whist. 
This day, up. Swear manners. Get letters from my Lord to Sir 
Horace Mann, and to Siena. Prepare aU. Take physic, and be as well 
as possible. Form in France, and after at home, be uniform. You re- 
member your absurd prejudices against the French, and how you ex- 
posed yourself at Brunswick. 7 For these three days be quiet, and make 

now become separated from the letter in which it was inserted. It seems to fit 
here better than anywhere else. 

* On 22 May 1765 the Grenville Ministry forced George III to promise that he 
would no longer consult Bute on public affairs. This event, combined with the 
prospect of Grenville's imminent fall from power (which came on 16 July), ap- 
parently caused Bute to recall Mountstuart to the scene while he could still 
do something for him. Mountstuart was brought into the Commons in 1766 for 
Bossiney, a family pocket borough, but his father was not able to advance his 
career materially. 

* Boswell presumably means Berlin, where he narrowly escaped a duel with a 
French captain over some insulting remarks he had made about the French 
(see Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 15 September 

Monigo, 1 6 July 1765 1 03 

true friendship with amiable Lord, and get him to give you full ac- 
counts from London. Try to get companion from Parma. Consult all 

with Deleyre, &c. Restrain weak openness, &c 

THURSDAY 18 JULY. Yesterday after twelve hours abed, up. 
Fine morning. Had taken rhubarb. Drank bouillon. This air and 

reflection quite enough My Lord bad. Evening [he] said: "Sir, 

you behave ill to me. One day proud, one day flattering. Not to be 
depended on [to?] give little finger. Not told many things. From 
this day, no more to do with you." This day, [be] self. Let him come 
right. Prepare to go. Swear (all) day no jokes. 

[Boswell to John Johnston] * 

Monigo, 19 July 1765 

MY DEAR JOHNSTON ... I intended to have left Rome before the 
middle of May, but I formed a great intimacy with Lord Mount- 
stuart, who kept me on from week to week and at last insisted with 
me to accompany him in the rest of his tour of Italy. He removed the 
objections which I made on my father's account by assuring me that 
he would take care to have my conduct represented to him in such a 
manner that instead of being offended he should be highly satisfied 
with me. You may be sure this made me very happy, and on the four- 
teenth of June I set out with pride and pleasure as the distinguished 
friend of an amiable young nobleman, son to the favourite of our 
Sovereign. I promised myself a sure interest for life, and I felt my 
heart warm with affection to a branch of the royal house of Stuart 
My Lord Mountstuart has with him Colonel Edmondstone, a worthy 
Scotsman who has attended him from the time that he left England, 
and M. Mallet of Geneva, who was preceptor to the Prince Royal of 
Denmark, and has a handsome pension from my Lord Bute for in- 
structing his son in history. My dear friend, can you conceive any- 
thing more agreeable? We had a good journey to Venice, where we 
passed a fortnight. We lived at the house of General Graeme, brother 
to Bucklyvie. He is Commander-in-Chief of the troops of this Repub- 
lic, and being an old friend of Lord Bute's and a very sensible polite 

8 This letter was not part of the series Boswell was to give Johnston on his re- 
turn, but was actually posted. 

1 04 Monigo, 1 9 July 1 765 

man, we have been entertained by Mm with the greatest cordiality 

and ease. 

We are now at his seat in the country, where fine air, regular liv- 
ing, and moderate amusement keep us in a state like what you have 
proved in your simple summer days at Shaw. 9 This is a new strong 
proof to me that a man ought never to despair; for after all my toss- 
ings in the variety of life, after all my dismal days of horrid gloom, 
I am now clear as when my mind was rural, young, and undisturbed 
except one day in seven. And yet, Johnston, I have reason to be un- 
happy, for my conduct of late has not been that of a sage. At Rome 
I ran about among the prostitutes till I was interrupted by that dis- 
temper which scourges vice in this world. When I got to Venice I 
had still some small remains of disease, but strange, gay ideas which 
I had formed of the Venetian courtesans turned my head, and away 
I went to an opera dancer and took Lord Mountstuart with me. We 
both had her; and we both found ourselves taken in for the punish- 
ment which I had met with at Rome. Pretty doings! Our evil has been 
recompensed but moderately but we are as much to blame as if we 
had suffered most sadly. I have blamed myself so much, and repented 
so sincerely, that I am now no more distressed. Besides I do assure you 
the climate of Italy affects me much. It inflamed my hot desires, and 
now it keeps my blood so warm that I have all day long such spirits 
as a man has after having taken a cheerful glass 

I leave this in a day or two, and after going with my Lord as far 
as Verona, I shall separate from him and go to Parma, where I have 
an amiable French acquaintance, a man of knowledge and taste and 
sensibility to whom I was recommended by M. Rousseau. I may per- 
haps [spend] a little time at the Court of Parma and then go straight 
to Florence, and after seeing the curiosities there, jaunt through the 
rest of Tuscany, embark at Leghorn and sail to Genoa, where I shall 
embark for France. You must know I (have) been longer in Italy 
than my father intended and have spent 440 since the month of 
January. I hope my worthy father will not be uneasy; for I am de- 
termined (to) do what he inclines as far as may lie in my power. 

I think, Johnston, you have here a pretty full account of me. Let 

Shaw in Hutton parish, Dumfriesshire, the home of the Grahams of Shaw, 
who were family friends of Johnston. 

Monigo, 1 9 July 1 765 1 05 

me add that my regard and affection for you is just as when we 
walked upon Arthur Seat, and that I will convince you of when we 
meet. Pray see Davie from time to time. My heart is bound up in him. 
He is the flower of the flock. I am uneasy to think that I am not yet 
master of myself, but I always hope to be better. Remember me 
kindly to all friends, and pray write soon. Adieu, my dear friend. I 
am ever yours, 

My address is now Chez Messrs. Vautier et Delarue a Genes. 

[Boswell to Deleyre. Original in French] 

Monigo, 19 July 1765 

DEAR SIR . . . Your letter, my dear Sir, affected me deeply. 1 The 
elevation and delicacy of your sentiments moved me greatly. Believe 
me, I have never forgotten you, and in my most pleasant moments I 
have felt with enthusiasm all the worth of M. Deleyre. But the sin- 
cere compliments that you pay me are like reproaches when I ex- 
amine myself impartially. Yes, Sir, I do not deserve your good 
opinion of me, since I have plunged into gross libertinism. Do not 
expect me to talk in sanctimonious fashion about repentance, but is 
it not humiliating to find myself a slave to sensual pleasures, and 
convinced that my 2 love of virtue is no more than a visionary admira- 
tion which one ardent desire or flash of ridicule can destroy? 

Ah, Sir, what would you have me think? My misanthropy is only 
too well founded. Men are such feeble and changeable beings that 
all the merit which they can possess is insignificant in the eyes of a 

1 Deleyre's letter (dated 16 April 1765) was a long rhapsodic flight about the 
decadence of civilization, and the importance of "pure and modest virtue, which 
exhales her fragrance in obscurity like the violet hidden in the grass." Some 
shrewd comments about BoswelTs character similar to those expressed in his 
letter of 18 February to Rousseau are interspersed among the platitudes, as well 
as the observant remark that "we suffer on all sides in trying to satisfy both 
duty and inclination, and become at the same time victims of remorse and self- 

2 Boswell wrote "son" for "mon," a fault resulting from hasty revision of his 
original sentence: "N'est-ce pas humiliant de me trouver un vil esclave de 
plaisirs sensuels, un homme convaincu que son amour " 

i 06 Monigo, 1 9 July 1 765 

metaphysician. Virtues that dwell in bodies like ours can scarcely be 
respected. Perhaps I am wrong; perhaps my troubled imagination 
ascribes to others what I experience in myself. I hope that is the case. 
I hope God has created great souls that are firm, constant, and su- 
perior to the physical. He was a noble Roman who rejoiced when 
three hundred of his fellow citizens were found more worthy than he. 
I would rejoice if thousands of men were found to be more worthy 
than I. I am coming to visit you in hopes of being consoled and 
strengthened. It is very probable that you will find me the same as 
him who pleased you so much last winter. I change for the better at 
least as often as I change for the worse. But, my dear Sir, I wish never 
to content myself with being intermittently good, or only so when I 
am with good men. The virtuous man must be always so. 

Your ideas on the corruption of Italy have recurred to me many 
times. The worst is that in travelling there one becomes used to see- 
ing people who think no more about the virtues of sensitive souls than 
an American savage thinks of the pleasures of civilized nations. The 
Italians as well as the savages appear to pass their time very agree- 
ably. Why then reproach the former for not possessing elegant and 
sublime virtues, when we do not blame the savages for having neither 
brilliant ballets nor serious operas? Virtue may be regarded as a 
luxury which all the world need not possess. Leave others to live in 
peace according to their fancies and let us live according to ours, 
happy if we can find ways to pass without boredom or sadness this 
earthly existence of which we understand nothing. You see, my 
amiable philosopher, what sophisms present themselves when the 
heart is not warmed with sacred fire. You will answer all my dif- 
ficulties and you will show me the road to the temple of constancy. 
. . . Adieu, 


TUESDAY 23 JULY. Yesterday morning in fine, warm spirits 
Took good breakfast and leave of worthy General, and again in 
chaise. My Lord sung much. My Lord was fine and said: "I shall miss 
you much on the road, Baron." Came to Vicenza; fine town. 

WEDNESDAY 24 JULY. Yesterday relaxed. Pissed fine in chaise 
Talked only of a few English characters. Found conversation empty 
Came to Verona. . . . Fine town here. 

Verona, 25 July 1 765 107 

THURSDAY 25 JULY. Yesterday good journey. One post from 
Verona. Saw what the Republic prepares for Prince and Princess, 
&c. Just stop "to drink lemonade," [but had] four hundred cold 
dishes besides hot turkeys, &c. 3 . . . Rooms of wood new made; all 
elegant. Joked my Lord; curious to see confections more than an- 
tiquities. BOSWELL. "We'll make you a sugar Colosseum, ice Cara- 
calla's Baths," &c. . . . Arrived Brescia. Saw fine walk. Ramparts. 
Dome. Full streets. MOUNTSTUART. "Lord Bute always [has] people 
below him with him, to keep up his dignity. Never familiar with any 
man. This great, but one loses much pleasure." My Lord said this 
well, and resolved to be great self. Talked of sheep and cows. What 
farm? Strange time this; over soon. This day Milan; all well. 

FRIDAY 26 JULY, Yesterday my Lord waked you boldly and 
showed erect and tall. Quite ludicrous this, but diverting. Drove 
briskly. Dined at Bergamo. . . . Disputes with my Lord. He said, "I 
shall always esteem you, but you're most disagreeable to live with. 
Sad temper," &c. Smiled to hear this. Was in strong spirits and afraid 
of nothing. Before dinner Mallet said, "The defect of hypochon- 
driacs is that they seize upon an object so strongly from one aspect 
that they see none of the others. One must accustom one's self to cor- 
rect that by reason I mean, to keep one's self from always being 
convinced by each side of an argument in turn. Your logic is poor. It 
is more difficult to govern a hypochondriac than a kingdom, because 
one must be always starting again. You should have employment at 
Court, write verses, and not marry." ... At night, Milan; curious 
sensations. Again dispute with Mallet. . . . This morning up im- 
mediately. Rinse well. Then wash feet and hands with warm water 
and soap, and all private parts with milk and water. Then have illus- 
trious barber. . . . Have long conference with my Lord and own being 
in wrong, not for obstinacy but loose conduct. Say sorry, and you'll 
be on guard. Bid him be prudent not to say follies of you, as you've 
been free with him. Get Mallet to make you out character as he 
promised, neither keeping back bad nor good 4 

8 The Infanta Maria Louisa of Spain and her escort were on their way to Inns- 
bruck, where she was to be married to the Archduke Leopold of Austria, later 
Grand Duke of Tuscany. The party was welcomed by the Venetians at Castel- 
nuovo on 29 July. 
4 A character sketch. 

i o8 Milan, 2 7 July 1 765 

SATURDAY 27 JULY. Yesterday morning waked my Lord, quite 
happy. Strange. Loitered morning. Then great church, &c.; ideas 
changed. Then home. BOSWELL. "You have behaved ill to me. I'm 
sorry I did not put a stop to it at first. I'm glad we now quarrel. I 
wished it." Pretty this: afraid too sorry. Dinner; Colonel rough. 
COLONEL. "I intend it." Honest, homely man. 5 Resumed 6 your ill 
behaviour. You owned it partly. Leave. 7 MY LORD. "If you don't like 
me, you'll never anybody. Baron, are you sorry?" BOSWELL. "More 
than you thought." COLONEL. "You're geek 8 man. If you wanted 
to make friendship, [you should] not [have been] so familiar." 
BOSWELL. "True, for so you may destroy any man." . . , BOSWELL. 
"Draw my character." MALLET. "Yes, I promise you, if it's possible." 
BOSWELL. "To show you bear no malice?" MALLET. "No, I assure you. 
I shall never speak ill of you, and if I am asked about you, I shall say, 
*But what do you expect from a lively mind?' " 9 After [they had] 
gone, dull an hour; weak. . . 

[BosweU to Wilkes] 1 

Mantua, 31 July 1765 

DEAR SIR, I must indulge myself in writing you a letter extra- 
ordinary from this consecrated seat of the Muses which I have come 
forty miles out of my road 2 to see. I know perfectly well how much 
most people laugh at the sort of enthusiasm which I now feel; but I 
also know that I am proud enough not to be affected by sentiments 
which I consider as the offspring of frivolous or of cold minds. Mr. 
Wilkes will probably smile at my having so much of the Pierian rage, 
but I am sure he will relish a few lines written on the spot where 
Virgil lived. I am at the village where he was born, and my vivr ious 
fancy sees him sporting in the gay innocence of youth with the bees 
5 John Ramsay reported that on his return to Scotland Edmondstone com- 
mended BosweU to Lord Auchinleck for having undertaken his expedition to 
Corsica, but thought him in general "a mischief-making lad, vain, and penuri- 
ous" (Scotland and Scotsmen, 1888, i. 172 n. 2). 
9 Summarized, T Xh e mom ent of leave-taking. Scots for "foolish." 

* The distribution of these speeches is uncertain. 

1 This letter is printed from BoswelFs draft. The original is not among the 
Wilkes papers in the British Museum. 

* From Milan to Florence. 

Oil painting in the collection of Sir Gilbert Eliott of Stobs, Bt., assumed 

to be a portrait of John Stuart, Lord Mountstuart, later ist Marquess of 

Bute (1744-1814), by William Hoare of Bath. 

Pietole, 31 July 1 765 109 

flying around him in pleasing melody. 3 1 date my letter from Mantua 
because he has been always called from it the Mantuan Bard, though 
his little native village is two Italian miles from the chief town of the 
territory. I don't know how this village, from being called Andes, 
has now got the name of Pietole. 

I am happy enough to have as fine a day as Italy can give me. 
I set out when primus eqids Oriens adflavit anhelis* and sailed softly 
down the Mincius who still viridis tenera praetexit harundine ripas* 
I really see nothing improbable in supposing that beings of finer sub- 
stance than we inhabit such delicious scenes as I now behold. Till 
you prove me the contrary, I shall believe this agreeable mythology. 
I do assure you that when I am at Auchinleck in a sweet summer 
season, my imagination is fully persuaded that the rocks and woods 
of my ancestors abound in rural genii. There is hardly a classical spot 
which I have not upon our own estate, and even after having travelled 
the enchanted land itself, I shall not be deprived of my romantic 
dreams. My having seen the realities shall not undeceive me. I have 
sought about here for the shade of the patulae fagi,* but could not 
find it. I am however sitting sub umbra, and fronde super viridiS I 
look around me with delight, and I think I can trace the lands of 


qua se subducere colles 

Incipiunt mollique iugum demittere clivo, 

Usque ad aquam et veteris, iam fracta cacumina, f agi. 8 

3 The Fourth of Virgil's Georgics deals with bee-keeping. According to Donatus, 

Virgil's father was a bee-keeper; and according to the versified biography of 

Virgil by Phocas, bees settled on Virgil's lips as a portent of the sweetness of his 


* "First Aurora, with panting horses, breathes on us" (Virgil, Georgics, i. 250). 

5 Virgil, Eclogues, vii. 12-13: 

Here wanton Mincius winds along the meads, 
And shades his happy banks with bending reeds. 


6 "Spreading beech." 

7 "In the shade" . . . "on the green foliage." These phrases as well as the one in 
the preceding note are reminiscences of Virgil's First Eclogue. 

8 Virgil, Eclogues, ix. 7-9: "Where the hills begin to rise from the plain, and 
then descend in gentle slope to the waterside and the old beech with its battered 

no Pietole, 3 1 July 1 765 

If you can suppose an old mulberry tree to be the beech here men- 
tioned, you have a perfect picture. 

Gay Wilkes, congratulate with me; an hour of felicity is invalu- 
able to a man whom melancholy clouds so much. Here as I sit I am 
perfectly well. Time rolls back his volume. I am really existing in the 
age of Virgil, when man had organs framed for manly enjoyment 
and a mind unbroken by dreary speculation when he lived happy 
and died in hope. Will you tell me, is humanity really the same now 
that it was then? And is it only our own faults that we are not as 
happy as the old Romans? Is it possible for us to regain those clear and 
keen sensations, that bright and elegant fancy, that firm and exalted 
soul which they certainly had? Bountiful Nature seems as kind as 
ever. Man alone is degenerated. Dear Wilkes, it is difficult to get you 
to think philosophically. Your active mind is so busy with what is, 
that you can hardly retire to think of what might be. But pray forget 
yourself; forget those elastic nerves, that free circulation, that re- 
solved and daring spirit, and look upon the feeble, dull, and timid 
race of men whom you may see filling up the same age with yourself; 
and if you are a patriot, try to rouse them. I know it is too late for me 
to hope for great happiness. I may perhaps attain to a comfortable 
tranquillity. But did I think it possible to educate Romans, I would 
devote my life to a woman of beauty and worth, and give to other 
beings such an existence as I cannot have for myself. But I forget your 
being so wild a man. In serious truth I wish from my soul that you 
were a man of morality and religion. You have strength of mind to 
support both with dignity. I wonder what you will turn out at last 
when the heat of your youth is over. 

Thus do I meditate on the Mantuan plains, and while I find no 
restraint upon my fancy, I rove with poetical licence in the bounds of 
conjecture. My prose is beginning to run mad, 9 and yet I feel no in- 
clination to write verses. I will therefore get into my boat, and if any 
lines worthy of this scene present themselves, you shaU have them 
as a postscript. Gay Wilkes, adieu. 


RS. I have tried in vain to rhyme. No Muse would come, al- 
though I begged very earnestly. Perhaps the divine sisters think that 
* Pope, Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, L 188. 

Pietole, 3 1 July 1765 in 

they have already done enough for Mantua. Perhaps they refuse to 
inspire a bard who during his stay in the profligate Venice did not pre- 
serve a perfect purity. Perhaps winter is now the season of their visits; 
for then only the swans are found at Mantua. Lord Mountstuart is 
suddenly called home, I cannot say why. It seems the ministerial 
band is somewhat in confusion. I am now pursuing my journey as 
solitary as ever. I go to Parma on purpose to pass some days with M. 
Deleyre who, though one of our worst enemies the French, is my 
very accomplished and amiable friend. 

THURSDAY i AUGUST. 1 1 set out early and had a flow of spirits, 
repeating Johnson's noble lines, "What gave great Villiers to th* as- 
sassin's knife?" &c., 2 and again being persuaded that there are some 
productions of humanity truly valuable. I got to Parma about one. It 
was curious to recollect my having left it just six months before. Don 
Philip's death threw a gloom on my mind, but a very slight one, for 
the sun shone warm and bright. 8 1 dressed quite free and gay and saw 
Antonio as a genteel Tuscan, and casting back an eye to my boyish 
days, felt how I ought to be pleased at having an Italian servant. 4 
After having dined lightly, I sent to the house of M. Deleyre to get 
notice if he was in town that I might go and wait upon him; but he 
heard I was arrived, and immediately came to my inn, where we 
embraced each other with affection. He was still the same amiable 
man; still melancholy, still delicate. 

I disputed against Rousseau's notion that the savage life is the 
least unhappy, for the savages have none of the elegant pleasures of 
polished society to counterbalance their pains, and the quantity of 
enjoyment in an Indian tribe is hardly worthy existing for. Besides, 
the savages are torn with the fiercer passions, and are even tormented 
with ennui, for we are told by travellers that when the savage has 
killed his prey, roasted it, and eat it, and having no appetites to rouse 
him sees half a sun which he knows not how to employ, he sits down 

1 Two somewhat varying drafts of a fully written journal entry for i August 
survive, and are combined here. 2 The Vanity of Human Wishes, 1. 129. 

8 The Duke of Parma had died of smallpox on 18 July. 

* Antonio had been Mountstuart's servant. He accompanied Boswell from Milan 
to Florence. 

1 1 2 Parma, i August 1 765 

pensive and sad by the seashore, and with a gloomy attention eyes the 

rolling of the waves. 

M. Deleyre argued very justly against the system of Wilkes, in- 
sisting that morals were always necessary to preserve society in 
vigour, and that it could be proved geometrically that a virtuous 
nation must be happy. 6 We then went and waited on Mme. Deleyre, 
who was just the same good-tempered, well-bred woman as when I 
saw her last. It hurt me somewhat to be conscious of a total change of 
ideas. We called on an Irish Augustinian friar. His awkward, coarse 
manner hurt me so much that I sat quite uneasy, as if I had heard one 
sawing marble or scraping with a knife on a china trencher. My 
sensibility is so delicate that I must fairly own it to be weak and un- 
manly. It prevents me from having a decent and even conduct in the 
course of ordinary life. I would hope to be more firm as I grow older, 
though the ingenious Mr. Adam Smith is at the age of forty as tender 
as ever. 6 

Leaving the honest monk, who was really a very good sort of man, 
we went and walked in the Prince's garden. I soon started the in- 
teresting subject of God and immortality. M. Deleyre said that to 
think the world has been composed by a fortuitous concourse of ma- 
terial substances in continual motion from all eternity did not seem 
more improbable than to suppose a Being who created matter. All the 
arguments which I could recollect could not make M. Deleyre believe 
the existence of a Creator. I paused and thought with wonder, here is 
an atheist, the most virtuous and amiable of men. An atheist, whom 
I have always regarded with the horror which the multitude impute 
to that character. And have I an atheist for my friend? How much 
does the mind enlarge itself with years and experience! I was taught 
to think an atheist the most wicked of beings, a daring rebel against 
the Lord of the universe. But what is M. Deleyre? A candid philos- 
opher whose mind is not convinced of the one eternal cause. I felt a 
strange sensation of doubt by no means unpleasing, as it filled me 
with a suite of ideas totally new to me. I however soon returned from 
this unbounded wandering. I thought that a bad education had given 

5 Alternately: "M. Deleyre convinced me that Wilkes was a bad politician in 
being a profligate man." 

Author of The Wealth of Nations. Boswell had attended his classes in moral 
philosophy and rhetoric at the University of Glasgow. 

Parma, i August 1 765 113 

M. Deleyre so hideous a view of God that it was his interest to think 
there was none; and I am convinced that the inclination of philos- 
ophers for or against any truth makes the same arguments seem as 
different to them as the same colours seem to different eyes. I returned 
again to a calm persuasion of the existence of the glorious fountain of 
all mind, and I exulted in the hope of meeting M. Deleyre in a better 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: In the "consolatory refuge" of Parma Boswell 
opened his soul to Deleyre, as the following extracts show. "Owned 
sad faults. He said, 'You were made to be unhappy. I would like to 
have your principles with my behaviour, and you my behaviour with 
your principles.' . . . BOSWELL. 'I wish people desired to overwhelm 
me with honours.' DELEYRE. 'You must have a rational pride. If you 
were constantly like this, it would be necessary to have you confined.' 
Showed journal. DELEYRE. 'When you are calm, you will get great 
pleasure and profit from reading this. Montaigne did likewise. He 
studied himself.' Told all history with Father. DELEYRE. 'You must 
tell him all your faults boldly, and begin as you are able to continue. 
. . . Take on yourself as much as you can without tormenting your- 
self.' " They parted "tender and sad" on 5 August, and Boswell then 
journeyed through Modena and Bologna to Florence, where he re- 
ceived the following letters from George Dempster and Rousseau.] 

[Received 10 August, George Dempster to Boswell] 7 

London, i July 1765 

MY DEAR FRIEND . . . Now, Sir, as to the reprehensions with which 
your epistle opens, and which I called the overture of the opera, upon 
account of its blustering and noise with which very pretty songs, 
andantes, minuets, and jigs were introduced. Why not sign my name? 
Why sign it? It is as if after an hour's or a day's or a week's joyous 
chat, or as if in the midst of a period I should start all at once to my 
feet, make a low bow, and inform you that the gentleman with whom 
you had laughed, rampaged, and periodized was called George 
Dempster from Scotland; and then as if you should enquire how all 

7 George Dempster, M.P. for the Perth burghs, was a close friend of Boswell. 
Some time early in 1765 he had sent Boswell an undated, unsigned letter which 
concluded, "Adieu, you bitch." 

114 Florence, i o August 1 765 

my friends did, observe it was a fine day, and ask if you could be of 
any service to me. It is as if I was ashamed of my name, and as if you 
wished my letters to end as the Irish song begins, "My name's Paddy 
Grady, I care not who knows it." 8 Then you proceed to censure with 
more wit than justice the conclusion of my letter, or as we orators call 
it, the peroration: "Farewell, you bitch," which I thought both pa- 
thetic and laconic. Your ideas of intimacy and familiarity I perceive 
are quite absorbed in German ceremony and Italian finesse. Mr, 
James Boswell, Sir, when you have again crossed the narrow seas and 
my humble threshold, when I have contemplated you from head to 
foot, when I have been dazzled with your lace and embroidery, and 
have made the proper observations on the elevation of your chin, the 
stiffness of your neck, and the dignity of your character, perhaps I 
may vary the conclusion of my letter. But if I vary the end, tremble 
for the beginning and middle. No client ever approached his patron, 
Wauchope never address [ed] Lord Bute, in terms more full of respect 
than I shall do Mr. Boswell. When I visit you, I shall come in my 
chair and wait in your antechamber; when you repay the visit, I shall 
receive you with hat and sword. You shall be treated with all the 
respect and thought of with all the contempt due to pompous char- 
acters. In the mean time I'll continue bitching you and roguing you 
all over Europe. Whatever alteration your ideas may have under- 
gone, mine are still the same. I still fancy myself admitted by Terry's 
maid, clambering up two pair of stairs, sitting on a rush chair drink- 
ing tea out of a tin kettle; I figure you in your greasy nightcap taking 
physic, or perhaps strutting in plain pompadour like an officer of the 
Horse Guards, or perhaps just returned with a week's provisions from 
the chandler's shop, or lampooning Michael Ramsay, or begging 
franks for Johnston or James Bruce, or waltering in my floor with 
Fingal, or or or, blanks to be filled with circumstances ten 
times more ludicrous if ever I hear a word more in your head upon 
the subject of dignity or decorum. 9 . . . Adieu, I will not sign my 
name, so farewell, you bitch. 

Above "Paddy Grady" Dempster has written "Bare Bosom," presumably the 
name of the melody. Neither words nor melody have been traced 
Thomas Terry was Boswell's landlord in Downing Street, Westminster See 
London Journal, 1762-1763. - "Waltering" is an obsolete form of 

Florence, 1 1 August 1 765 115 

[Received 1 1 August, Rousseau to Boswell. Original in French] 1 

Motiers, 30 May 1 765 

THE STORMY CRISIS in which I have found myself since your de- 
parture from this 2 has not allowed me any leisure to answer your first 
letter, and hardly allows me leisure to reply in a few words to your 
second. 3 To confine myself to what is immediately pressing, the 
recommendation which you ask for Corsica; since you have a desire 
to visit those brave islanders, you may inquire at Bastia for M. Butta- 
f oco, Captain of the Royal Italian Regiment; his house is at Vescovato, 
where he resides pretty often. He is a very worthy man, and has both 
knowledge and genius; it will be sufficient to show him this letter and 
I am sure he will receive you well, and will contribute to let you see 
the island and its inhabitants with satisfaction. If you do not find 
M. Buttafoco, and will go directly to M. Pascal Paoli, General of the 
nation, you may in the same manner show him this letter, and as I 
know the nobleness of his character I am sure you will be very well 
pleased at your reception. You may even tell him that you are liked 
by my Lord Marischal of Scotland, and that my Lord Marischal is 
one of the most zealous partisans of the Corsican nation. You need 
no other recommendations to these gentlemen but your own merit, 
the Corsicans being naturally so courteous and hospitable that all 
strangers who come among them are made welcome and caressed. 

I have Mile. Le Vasseur's thanks to give to you, and my own re- 
proaches; 4 but I will await your return from Italy, when I hope you 
will come to receive both. 

Do me the kindness, Sir, to deliver this letter for the Comte de 
Zinzendorf to the French Envoy (I cannot remember his name) ; I 

1 Boswell printed the greater part of this letter both in French and in English 
translation, at the beginning of his Journal of a Tour to Corsica. His translation 
is given here. Certain portions which he omitted are supplied from the original 
letter, which is among the Boswell papers at Yale. 

2 For Rousseau's troubles, see p. 259. 

8 See p. 80, and Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 31 De- 
cember 1764. 

4 Boswell had sent Mile. Le Vasseur a garnet necklace. Rousseau may be re- 
proaching Boswell for having given her such an expensive gift, or perhaps for 
his loose conduct in Italy. 

1 1 6 Florence, 1 1 August 1765 

am sure he will be willing to see that the Count gets it. I wish you 
agreeable and fortunate travels, health, gaiety, and a speedy return. 
I embrace you, Sir, with all my heart. 


P.S. Since it may happen that you will not be at Genoa when you 
receive this letter, I have decided to send the one for M. de Zinzendorf 
by another hand. 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: At Florence, Boswell fell in with a group of 
Englishmen, including Col. Isaac Barre, the famous politician (and 
the second half of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), Lords Beauchamp 
and Tylney, and the Scottish chaplain to Lord Hertford, James Trail, 
who was made Bishop of Down and Connor in this year. With Trail, 
Boswell discussed those metaphysical and psychological problems 
which fascinated him. 5 He also met John Dick, the British Consul at 
Leghorn, who was to become a lifelong friend and an active partner 
in his later schemes for assisting Paoli and the Corsican rebels. 

Despite his immersion in society, Boswell was often unhappy in 
Florence. The goal he set for himself was a high, heroic one; he wrote, 
"I'm determined to try all experiments with a soul and body." But 
Boswell was too human to make a hero; his life at Florence was a 
mingling of comedy and pathos. His venereal disease recurred, and he 
reminded himself to "ask condoms for Siena." Among the English 
he found himself "just weak and young" or "awkward merely from 
vapours in head." He resumed his study of the flute, which alleviated 
his depression, but despite being pressed to stay he set out for Siena 
without great reluctance on the evening of 24 August. 

The memoranda for 26 August to 8 September are missing an 
unfortunate gap since they must have recorded the inception of two 
striking romantic adventures. To some extent, however, their story 
can be reconstructed from the materials printed below. Boswell ar- 
rived in Siena on 25 or 26 August (the thirty-six mile trip took nine 
and a half hours by post coach) . He had asked Mountstuart for letters 
of recommendation, and had obtained one directed to Mountstuart's 
former mistress, Porzia Sansedoni. Though details are lacking, Bos- 

. BosweU's notes of his conversations with Trail have been expanded by Robert 
Warnock in Notes & Queries, clxxiv (1938). 44-45. 

Siena, 25 August to 3 1 August 1 765 117 

well's approach to Porzia and to his other and more enduring object 
of affection, Girolama Piccolomini (or Moma), seems to have been 
as direct as it was to the ladies of Turin. As his letters to Porzia show, 
he got right to the point. BoswelTs account of his Sienese adventures 
in his letter to Rousseau (p. 16) might well be used as a guide to this 
stage of his travels, since it summarizes and supplements the mate- 
rial printed below. His relations with Porzia and Moma are also dis- 
cussed in the Introduction, p. xi.] 

[Boswell to Porzia Sansedoni. Original in French] 6 

[Siena, ? August 1765] 

PERMIT ME, MY DEAR MADAME, to write to you. In a matter I have 
much at heart, you will judge better by quietly reading my letter 
than you can when we talk of it. 

You are aware that I feel for you the strongest of passions, and one 
which is securely founded, since I foresaw it even before I came here 
when my Lord Mountstuart drew me a picture of your character. I 
found in you the very person my romantic soul had imagined; and 
that soul has begun to indulge in hopes that the time is come, at last, 
to enjoy the felicity of which it believed itself worthy. 

But I see I am not born to be happy. I have declared my feelings 
towards you, and have learned that you are unable to reciprocate 
them. It is true, I have the honour to be not distasteful to you. You 
have displayed for me an esteem I would even say a sort of tender- 
ness by which I am deeply flattered. But you insist that the deli- 
cacy of your attachment to my Lord precludes you from giving 
thought to any other man. I have told you, in all sincerity, how much 
I admired this romantic sentiment. But I have ventured to recall to 
you that it was a little too extravagant. My Lord is so formed that he 
is incapable of fidelity himself, and does not expect it from you; and 
believe me, Madame, did I imagine that my Lord would be vexed by 

6 All the letters to Porzia Sansedoni were published in the original French and 
in Geoffrey Scott's translations in the fifth volume of Colonel Isham's privately 
printed Private Papers of James Boswell. Scott's translations, slightly modified, 
are used here. The sequence of the first four letters to Porzia is optional, as Scott 
noted, but his arrangement has been followed. 

1 1 8 Siena, 25 August to 31 August 1 765 

your according me your friendship, there is nothing I would not en- 
dure sooner than to obtain it at the cost of a delicate point of honour. 
But I believe, on the contrary, my Lord would be generous enough to 
desire that his friend should possess the happiness he sighs for. It 
appears to me natural that you should be able to accord me a share of 
that love you have for my Lord, since, like yourself, I am a part of 
him. Ah, if that could happen, how much closer would be the bonds 
which knit me to my amiable friend, penetrated, as we should both 
be, with the same sentiments for yourself; beloved, as we should both 
be, by la cara Porzia! How beautiful would be the mixture of tender 
feeling between the three of us! Ah, Madame! When, in this brief 
existence, I see the possibility of such deep happiness, I pity myself 
greatly that it is scarce probable. 

I entreat your advice, as my sincere friend; and, since your heart 
is untouched by passion, your judgment can be impartial. There is a 
lady here who has allowed me to see that she would gladly welcome 
me. Would you have me force myself into a gradual attachment to 
this lady, who, perhaps, would be able to distract me and help me to 
banish the memory of a passion by which, otherwise, I shall be tor- 
mented for my temperament is sensitive, impatient, and prone to 
melancholy, and the consequences of uncertainty in an affair like this 
might be disastrous. 

Or would you, rather, give me your assurance that you are not 
indifferent to me, that your affection for me is more lively than you 
imagined, and that you would be sorry to forego the opportunity of 
giving happiness to a gallant man my Lord's friend and one as 
romantic as yourself? 

I know well that love is not in our control; if you tell me that I 
have nothing to hope from your heart, I shall not esteem you the less, 
and we shall be on the footing of friends, without passion. Only, I 
entreat you to tell me your feelings before it is too late; for I am 
philosopher enough to know that a passion which is still brief-rooted 
m the heart can be conquered. Whatever the event, I shall be, my 
very dear Madame, your eternal friend, 


Siena, 25 August to 31 August 1765 119 

[Boswell to Porzia SansedonL Original in French] 

[Siena, ? August 1765] 

MY DEAR MADAME, Allow me two or three words. In spite of 
all the anxieties I have suffered, I have some intelligence left to me. 
Your conduct persuades me that you are much interested in me. 
Madame, it is worth your while to stop and consider whether there 
is not something more in that interest than a cold friendship. I beg 
you to examine your heart, and I claim the right to know all in confi- 
dence. Believe me, I shall admire you more for generosity and a noble 
frankness than for any nicely calculated reserve. The romantic man 
really worthy of you is at Siena. Do not lose him. Time passes. A 
moment of despair may remove me for ever. Think seriously. I adore 
you. Be quite frank. Ah, Madame I dare say no more. 

[c. 2 SEPTEMBER. SIENESE REFLECTIONS] 7 It seems to me that 
men have been much mistaken in their search for happiness, and I be- 
lieve I see clearly the reason why. They have wished to establish the 
same general system of living for every one, without realizing that 
men differ as much in inclination as in appearance. It is not surpris- 
ing that men who have devoted themselves to thought and who are 
honoured with the great name of philosopher it is not surprising, I 
say, that their pride and ambition should make them wish that they 
could lay down the law to all their fellows and thus be almost kings of 
mankind. And it is not even surprising that the majority of men have 
submitted to this intellectual domination, since a great part of man- 
kind are timid and lazy when it comes to thinking for themselves. As 
for me, who have found myself in every possible frame of mind and 
have experienced life in great variety, I think that the general rules 
are very badly conceived and hold men in a tiresome dependence, 
with no other advantage than to aggrandize certain famous names 
which have almost become oracles. 

It is true that a society cannot exist without general rules. I agree. 

7 These reflections written in Italian are a counterpart of the French themes 
Boswell composed in Utrecht (see Boswell in Holland). They were written 
rapidly as linguistic exercises on any subject which came into his mind. Since 
they carry no dates, they have to be ordered on internal evidence and on the 
type of paper and ink used. 

120 Siena, 2 September 1 765 

Let us therefore have laws, and let those laws be the general rules. 
But I want no others. The laws which are really necessary for public 
happiness are beyond all question very few. Men have many unwrit- 
ten laws, and this is exactly the evil against which I am trying to 
argue. These are the laws of fashion, of custom, and of so many other 
particular sorts, that those who live "in the world," as the phrase goes, 
are little better than slaves. I wish every one to live naturally, as he 
himself pleases, and then possibly we might not hear so many people 
complaining of this evil world. To me these lamentations seem like 
the cries of animals in chains or in cages. 

So I think when I live retired from the world and my spirit has 
complete liberty. So I think here at Siena, where I find myself in a 
pleasant Tuscan city in the midst of a simple and gay society; and if 
the moralist would judge some persons living here to be dissolute, 
then it must be said that the libertinism of Siena is like St. Paul's 
charity: it thinketh no evil. Marriage here is tacitly considered a 
different compact from that of civil law, for the consortium omnis 
vitae between married couples is never presumed. And really gentle- 
men and ladies here do nothing against their consciences, for their 
consciences are of quite another sort than those of people who live in 
a country where rigid morality is observed. So I can say philosophi- 
cally that I have lived among very good people. 

So I wish every man to live precisely according to his own inclina- 
tion, without minding those of other people. I am living in this fash- 
ion now. I have been a week in Siena and have not as yet seen any 
maraviglia? as the Italians say. I should not be able to say why to 
any one who demanded a proper reason, but I can explain it very 
well to myself: it is because I have been so busy with women that I 
have felt no curiosity about inanimate objects. I have resumed the 
study of Italian; I have read Ariosto with a fire worthy of that sublime 
author, and as I am making clear perhaps at this moment I have been 
trying to write a little in la bella lingua. I feel peaceful and happy, 
and though there may be more estimable people, I am sure there are 
none happier than I am. My philosophy aims no higher. 
8 "Sights," literally "marveL" 

Siena, 4 September 1 765 121 

'[Boswell to PPorzia Sansedoni. Original in French] 9 

[Siena] Wednesday [?4 September 1765] 

I FEEL ALREADY that I am wholly yours. I am distressed by your 
absence this afternoon; for yesterday evening you said to me, "You 
must not be so melancholy," and from these words I drew some con- 
solation. I am anxious to know if my hopes are merely vain. I shall 
wait on you this evening, for I cannot live a single day without the 
sight of you. If you return too late to talk with me, I shall at least 
have one moment of pleasure. Tomorrow morning I shall call upon 
you at the hour you appoint. I have still some difficulty in reading 
your handwriting. I hope to know it better. Adieu, my dear Madame, 


[Boswell to Porzia Sansedoni. Original in French] 

[Siena, ?5 September 1765] 

GOOD MORNING, DEAR MME. SANSEDONI, I am very well and gay. 
And although I have some suspicions that you like me better when 
I am a melancholy cavalier, I refuse to dissimulate, even with a view 
Jo recommending myself to you. I refuse to feign a sadness I do not 
feel. If your heart declares itself for me, I shall be the happiest of 
mortals; and I shall think of you all my life with transport. If that 
cannot be, I have enough sense to be able to acquiesce in having 
failed to achieve the impossible. I shall, none the less, be your friend. 
I shall think of you all my life with tender esteem. 

Judge, then, dear Madame. Be sincere. My resolution is fixed. 
I am myself. I am the proud Boswell. I am no wretched suppliant for 
your pity. No, Madame. I am a man who adores you and lays claim 
to your attachment. If you cannot love me, do nothing. I go. 

The little favours which you granted me last evening ravished 
me. Ah, Madame, you have never seemed so beautiful to me as when 
you took off your glove and extended me your hand to kiss with ro- 
mantic ardour. You said that I had accustomed you to think you 

9 The absence of any superscription makes it possible that this letter was not 
addressed to Porzia, but the watermark and quality of paper are identical with 
Boswell's letter of 9 September to her. 

122 Siena, 5 September 1 765 

would not tell me what thoughts. Think on, dear Madame; think 
those thoughts, and perhaps you will come to think more strongly. 
I will be with you between eleven o'clock and noon to talk of my 
Lord. Thank Heaven I am so well. Adieu. 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Boswell preserved in Italian the following ac- 
count of a characteristic conversazione without indicating its place or 
date. Mention of Francis Fs funeral, however, which occurred in 
Vienna on 28 August would seem to date it within ten days there- 
after. The speakers are Giroloma (Moma) Piccolomini, Abbe Lo- 
renzo Placidi, Placido Placidi, Giacomo BoswelL, Tiburzio Span- 
nocchi, Antonio Testa, Silvio Gori-Pannilini (Porzia's brother), and 
Bernardino (Bino) Ghini-Bandinelli.] 


MOMA. Good day, gentlemen. Good day, Tiburzio. You didn't go 
to the country? Sor 1 Silvio, another fan. That will do nicely. Bino, 
please wind this watch. 

LORENZO. I saw a letter from Florence today that says flatly that 
there will be a detailed order for mourning, and that until it is pub- 
lished, no one should get any new clothes made. And that sounds 
reasonable, because it would surely be stupid to get a suit made today 
and be obliged to have it changed tomorrow. Then, too, it seems to 
me that there is no need of being in a hurry to get started on mourn- 
ing that is going to be worn so long a time. Better, certainly, to take 
time to get it right 

PLACIDO. Certainly. 

MOMA. Does your head ache, Placido? 

PLACIDO. A little. I have not been sleeping well. But it's better to- 
day. It's rather cold. 

TIBURZIO. You are always working at something, Signora Giro- 
lama. You never seem to get tired. 

MOMA. As a matter of fact, I enjoy knitting a few pairs of stock- 
ings; so I work and talk. It isn't hard, it doesn't tire me, it doesn't hurt 
my eyes. 

GIACOMO. I wish I had a wife like you. 

1 Sor, an untranslatable familiar form like "marse" in Negro speech. 

Siena, 5 September 1 765 1 23 

TIBURZIO. Bravo, Signer Giacomo. You are right A most excellent 

MOM A. Good day, Tonino. 2 Have you been walking? 

ANTONIO. No. I went to the cafe to pick up the news from Rome. 
The Pope is better. My brother is very busy, but it is not his under- 
standing that there are many people there. Visitors from abroad pre- 
fer to stay in Florence. 

SILVIO. The Mayor 3 told me that you are dining today at the Town 
Hall. If you feel sleepy afterwards, there's a good bed there. 

MOM A. For shame, Silvio! You think of nothing but beds and 
sleeping. I want to go home at once. 

GIACOMO. I shall go tomorrow to pay my respects to the Mayor. 

MOMA. For shame! Come see me instead. 

GIACOMO. Oh, no, Madame. I visit you a great deal. I must some- 
times go call on Signor Orazio. You are jealous of your husband. I 
really enjoy being with him. We have argued with the most spirited 
keenness, and made the Town Hall ring. "Poh!" said he, "you are 
young." He was right. 

MOMA. Well, tell us what you argued about. 

GIACOMO. Ah, that's a secret. 

BINO. I got today from Modena a gazette that contains a detailed 
account of all the ceremonial at the Emperor's funeral. 

MOMA. It was magnificent? 

BINO. Magnificent in the extreme. 

LORENZO. There's no doubt of it Who can expect magnificence if 
not a prince of such fame as the Emperor of Germany, our sovereign? 

[c. 6 SEPTEMBER. SIENESE REFLECTIONS] It is true that Siena 
does not have great variety and may appear a little tedious to an ac- 
tive mind. The nobility is very ignorant, or if they have knowledge, 
they make very little use of it in conversation. I have often wondered 
how it is possible for human beings to live from day to day without 
cultivating the mind, without progressing in knowledge, without any 
increase in intellectual enjoyment. The philosophical systems which 
assert man to be an animal who is continuously improving are con- 
tradicted by this city. 

2 A Tuscan nickname for Antonio. 
8 Moma's husband. 

1 24 Siena, 6 September 1 765 

The Emperor's death has been a great source of conversation for 
our ladies and gentlemen. The mourning which will have to be worn 
has been conceived of in a thousand different fashions, and the lively, 
fantastical imagination of the Italians has shown itself all in its splen- 
dour. . . . 

I am naturally of a timid disposition, and my education has in- 
creased this timidity. Philosophy has cured this weakness somewhat, 
but occasionally it recurs and makes me feel ridiculous and miser- 
able as before. The circulation of the blood is certainly what makes 
a man lively or sluggish, and yesterday my blood was circulating 
very badly. I sat then by Signora Girolama and looked at some ladies 
whom I saw for the first time, and I had an absurd but real anxiety. I 
could not escape this feeling, and I suffered like a man who has never 
been in company. . . . 4 

I am now in a beautiful town in Tuscany. I am well thought of by 
all the nobility. I enjoy the honest friendship of some pleasant ladies. 
I am studying the beautiful Italian language and making good prog- 
ress. I am also studying music with an excellent teacher; I play my 
flute and sing with real enjoyment. I am enjoying good health. The 
weather is clear and agreeable. I can do everything I wish. I am in 
a situation which I imagined in my most delicious moments. And yet 
I cannot say I am happy. I am surprised at this. I don't know what to 
think. I don't know what to look for. Undoubtedly, in this world no 
man can be completely happy. Oh, no sad thought! Abbe Crocchi, 
my esteemed instructor, advises me to consider this lack of happiness 
as a strong proof of the immortality of the soul, and of a better life 
in another world. 

[Boswell to Porzia Sansedoni. Original in French] 

[Siena] Friday 6 September 1765 

DEAR, DEAR MME. SANSEDONI, After a night of apprehension, 
of sorrow, of tears during which I have not closed my eyes except 
to think of you, and to be troubled by ideas more keenly melancholy 
than those which occupy my mind on the day succeeding such a night 

* What follows may well have been written on a later day. 

Siena, 6 September 1 765 125 

dear, dear object of my celestial love, you will permit me to unlock 
to you, a little more, my afflicted heart. 

My situation is indeed dolorosa, as you well said. I suffer bitter 
torments by a cruel fatality. For you are not cruel. No. You are sorry 
to see me so unhappy. Other women would look on me with triumph. 
You, with regret. Oh, my dear friend, give a thought on my behalf. 
I see myself sacrificed to a visionary idea; and yet I admire you the 
more for that idea. I feel all the force of your thoughts on fidelity, 
even to a faithless lover. It is such sentiments as these that ravish me, 
that cause me to adore La Porzia as a divinity. Ah sad, sad fate, that 
this admiration should cost me so many tears! I console myself with 
the certainty of your affection for me; but that disastrous passion, 
which can never be explained, leaves me no peace. Think for me, I 
entreat, as best you can. I still see a possibility. Perhaps, you said, in 
some moment of pity Ah! Madame, do not forget that sentiment; 
it is from your pity alone that I have hopes. 

You have told me, in that case, I should not be satisfied. Madame, 
I will tell that it is impossible for me to be wholly satisfied as long 
as I see that the woman who is the sole object of my desires is not 
wholly mine. So much I confess to you. But grant me the great proof 
I seek of your affection for me, and I shall retain all my life a grateful 
recollection, a sweet felicity mingled with a regret which, however, 
will be powerless to sadden me. It is not my wish to argue against 
your resolution of romantic fidelity; but I could desire that some 
angel should inspire you with another sentiment as romantic as that 
resolution. I should like to hear you say, "I have kept for my Lord an 
inviolate fidelity: I have only bestowed my pity on his worthy friend, 
who was in the saddest situation and will bless me the rest of his days. 
In so acting I have done my Lord no offence. Rather, I have proved 
the real strength of my serious attachment to him in thus contradict- 
ing my own fancy to save his friend." 

My dear, dear friend, I am incapable of explaining my senti- 
ments, but you can understand my way of thinking. Never have there 
been found circumstances more singular than ours. I ought to be con- 
tent with your friendship, but I cannot be. I am in torment until I 
have that proof of your goodness towards me and I swear to you 
that I desire it only as a proof. 

126 Siena, 6 September 1 765 

I wish it were over. What a romantic idea! Yes, I could wish it 
were in the past; for it is not the ecstasy of a moment but the delicious 
memory of a whole lifetime that I so ardently desire. O dear, dear 
Madame, excuse, I entreat you, these extravagant ideas. I have entire 
confidence in you. I yield myself completely to you. Dispose of me as 
you will. I am nothing, independently of you; thus you are com- 
pletely mistress of an honest Scot whose heart and soul breathe noth- 
ing but adoration for you. 

Permit me to add one word more. To show you the delicacy of my 
ideas as to the proof which I desire from you, I should like to be with 
you late at night, and, in a modest darkness, to receive a tender pledge 
of your favour for an eternal friend. And, Madame, on the word of a 
man of honour, I shall never ask another. There you have the true 
romantic. I swear by everything that is sacred that after that single 
proof, no friend will be more respectful than I, or more chaste. I shall 
regard you with the liveliest gratitude. I shall adore you as my benef- 
icent goddess and you will have in me the noblest of friends. 

I entreat you, dear, dear Madame, think seriously of this, for 
never again will you find yourself in such circumstances as these. 
Consider well the nature of my passion. Consider well the generosity 
of my ideas. Your act, which it fills me with transport to picture, will 
but interrupt for a moment your romantic fidelity to my Lord, to 
grant a sublime and eternal happiness to his worthy friend. 

Adieu, most adorable of women. I am wholly yours, 


P.S. If you do not forbid it, I shall wait upon you a moment at 
five. You ought to see me like that, for a moment, every day. 

P.P.S. Read this letter with care. It contains very, very romantic 

[Boswell to Porzia Sansedoni. Original in French] 

[Siena] Friday midnight [6 September 1765] 

I CANNOT GO TO BED without first writing a word to you. I have 

been happier this evening than ever. I thought you more tender. You 

have understood my romantic idea. That is a great deal. You are the 

only woman in the world who has sufficient delicacy and imagina- 

Siena, 6 September 1 765 127 

tion to understand it. Yes, I shall be content. I swear to you, by all 
that is holy, I shall never ask for more: only for that extraordinary 
proof of your pity, of your real eagerness to make me happy, and to 
win my gratitude for life. 

When I was saying to you, "How if there be no other way of sav- 
ing me from a state of bitter torment?" you replied, "Well, you must 
wait." And when I called out with transport, "Is it then possible?" 
your reply was, "You want to know too much." my dear Madame, 
those are precious words. They have lit my heart with a joy which I 
hope you will not be cruel enough to extinguish. As I was telling you 
yesterday evening, I see that you are ready to judge for me. You are 
willing to take charge of a sick heart. I surrender myself to your 
gentle authority. My friend, protectress, goddess, remember that the 
eternal happiness of a worthy man is at stake. Consider that your 
slave, your subject, your romantic lover is truly so different from 
other men that his delicacy would not suffer him even to desire more 
than that one sacred night, and that his honour holds a far higher 
place than his desires. Heaven bless you! I repeat, dear Madame, I 
wish that it were over. 

You feel a real esteem, a real friendship, for me: I am convinced 
of it. Take thought, O take thought, on your friend's behalf, and do 
not check the relenting impulse of your heart. Do not repress any 
gesture of tenderness. 

[Boswell to Porzia Sansedoni. Original in French] 

[Siena] Sunday 8 September [1765] 

EVERY MORNING A LETTER! It is thus I say my orisons to my soul's 
goddess. Last evening's conversation was the most tender I have ever 
had with you. I flatter myself you begin to feel the worth of my ro- 
mantic attachment. So you are embarrassed! Dear, dear Madame, I 
thank you a thousand times for the word. Yes, I am determined to put 
my interpretation on it: I am determined to hope. I am worthy of 
you. I can say no more. I have had a much better night than I have 
passed for some time. Gleams of joy flashed upon me, and filled me 
with transport; but perhaps they were deceitful. I dare not yet put 
my trust in them. 

128 Siena, 8 September 1 765 

I seek relief in reading Ariosto. I am created to read that divine 
poet I respond to all the force of his enthusiasm. At this moment my 
eyes fall on, 

Gli sdegni, le repulse, e finalmente 
Tutti i martir' d'Amor, tutte le pene, 
Fan per lor rimembranza, che si sente 
Con miglior gusto un piacer quando viene. 6 

Gli sdegni e le repulse have no application to us, for, dear Mad- 
ame, you do not disdain me. I mcortir* are the result of circumstances 
which will not, I hope, be long lasting. I ask your pardon for having 
burdened you with the reading of so many of my distracted thoughts. 
I shall be at your feet between noon and one o'clock. I shall show the 
utmost possible discretion. I am eternally yours, 


P.S. Adorable Porzia, do not fear the violence of my passion. Do 
not fear that it will grow cold if you show yourself tender to me. No; 
the heart of your brave Scot of ancient line has as much firmness as it 
has fire. You are the lady destined for his eternal constancy. His 
grateful soul will always be yours. It will be uplifted by a link with 
yours. Everywhere, and at all times, Boswell will be proud, and will 
have a dignity of character as the friend of Madame Sansedoni. Once 
more, good-bye. 

MONDAY 9 SEPTEMBER. Yesterday dissipated morning. At 
iaj, Porzia. Music. She was pretty. Then toilet. Spoke French. She 
was indifferent ... After dinner, billet from Moma: BandineUi 
threatens; "protect me from him." 6 Short answer: "We shall talk 
about what is worrying you." Was embarrassed. . . . Then strolled 
and tired. Then lizza. 7 Porzia in coach; came to her. BOSWELL. "I am 
worse. I don't know what to do. I see you as one who torments me. I 
am generous." PORZIA. "No, for you want things your own way, and 

* Orlando Furzoso, xxxi. 4: "The recollection of the scornings and the repulses 

- in short of all the tortures of love, all its pains - causes pleasure, when it 
comes, to be felt with keener delight" 

Presumably Bernardino (Bino) Ghini-Bandinelli. Perhaps he was a cavaliere 
servente of Moma's, and threatened to reveal her love for Boswell to her husband 
7 A promenade. 

Siena, g September 1 765 129 

if you can't have them, you are angry." You was quite in gloomy 
passion. She said: "Come, don't fall into your melancholy fit. Be 
gay." BOSWELL. "You detest my gaiety." She was quite indifferent, 
and said, "I think now as I thought at first." Then home, quite sunk. 
Then thought: "This is a fine passion. Let us take all methods to pre- 
serve it, either by indulgence or restraint." Thought to go and have 
promise that if you was constant two years, [you should] return and 
enjoy. Conversazione, Casa Tai. Moma said, "Truly in love." Shun- 
ned talking; appointed tomorrow. Mme. Tai 8 at window with you, 
very gay. MME. TAI. "When a man has good manners, he needs no 
other recommendation." i. "I see that animals and mankind in gen- 
eral have material love. I want something superior." MME. TAI. "Do 
it little, and do it only in a frenzy, not thinking." Delicious this 
idea, to do it quite in ecstasy. Told her, "I shall think about this." 
Was gladdened by this mark of liking, and had heard from Moma 
how my Lord had said that Porzia after so many children would be 
gouffre and bourreux? and that she had many intrigues and much 
art, and was growing old. You got great force and away to her. . . . 
Bowed. She turned away Abbe, but you approached not. A marchese 
whispered her. Then little dance. You felt spirited. Resolved to be 
free, and tell her so tomorrow. She came near you. You just talked in- 
different subjects, and went away with rest. Bravo. You are now 
growing a man. 

[Boswell to Porzia Sansedoni. Original in French] 

[Siena] Monday 9 September [1765] 

MADAME, I have reflected as a philosopher. I have regained 
that strength of mind which is my pride. I rejoice to know myself 
once more. Your pity will give place to admiration, for you shall see 

8 BoswelTs form for the Italian Taja, the name of a prominent Sienese family. 
Mme. Agnese del Taj a was about four years older than Boswell. 

9 Greedy and fat; literally, as bottomless as a whirlpool and stuffed like a sofa. 
Bounreux, which does not appear in modern French dictionaries, is equivalent 
to rembourre. Gouffre as an adjective is most unusual, and Boswell certainly 
should have used the feminine form bourreuse. His "so many" probably means 
"a certain number," not "a great many." Porzia had had only three children by 
the time he visited Siena, the last having been born in August 1764. 

1 30 Siena, 9 September i 765 

how much I am master of myself. I shall have the honour to wait on 
you a moment before dinner, or at six o'clock this evening. You will 
do me the favour of returning me those extravagant billets which I 
have taken the freedom to write you, and never shall you hear me 
speak another word of that passion which has caused me so many tor- 
ments and kindled in me the hope of so much joy. I shall indulge my- 
self no more in vain interpretations. I shall no longer flatter myself 
to win, from your generosity of feeling, a noble and romantic happi- 
ness. I shall be, always, your sincere and respectful friend, 


TUESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER. Yesterday morning sent bold, spir- 
ited, noble letter to Porzia. At loj, Girolama. Alone; kind, con- 
certed. You went away. . . . Then Porzia at harpsichord. Was free. 
Got billets. Went out bold. Then Girolama. Quite agitated. Put on 
condom; entered. Heart beat; fell. Quite sorry, but said, "A sign of 
true passion." Dined full to have courage; was feverish after it and 
did little all day. Before five, Moma; father with her. Had near called 
him fou. Then fond with her. . . . She said: "I want to give myself up 
to you, and I would lose 1 all the others for your sake." You swore pas- 
sion, but she laughed when you said, "But he has no inclination." 
Was unquiet. At conversazione, Porzia came on purpose to talk with 
you. Said she had been surprised and "angry"; my "mistrust," &c. 
You assured her [you] had not thought a word of that; only resolu- 
tion. She feared evil tongues. BOSWELL. "No, Madame." Seemed in- 
different She went to other room; you followed and assured no more 
passion. She said, "I am sorry," and made many advances. Saw her 
clever woman of world, and (amazing!) had great coolness. You 
talked with excellent address of eternal esteem, but regret not "grati- 
tude for a romantic happiness," and seemed moved. 2 

[Boswell to Porzia Sansedoni. Original in French] 

[Siena, Sunday ?5 September 1765] 

ADIEU, MY DEAR MADAME. Sunday is a lucky day for me. That 
firmness of soul which I enjoyed a week ago is mine again today. I 
1 Perdercti, but possibly Boswell wrote penderai, hang. 
1 The memoranda for 11-28 September are missing. 

Siena, 1 5 September 1 765 131 

shall speak clearly. I am almost sure, Madame, that you deceive 
yourself in imagining that your cruelty towards me is occasioned by 
your love for my Lord. No, Madame, it is caused by that same proud 
hardness with which you tortured my Lord in the days when at the 
bottom of your heart you loved him. 

But, my dear Madame, all men have not the same character. The 
cruelty which piques the fancy of a light lover pierces the heart of one 
who is in earnest. Although you do not know my merit, I dare assure 
you that I have a great deal. I confess, Madame, that at present you 
have the triumph of completely destroying it. You have the triumph 
of troubling a noble and romantic soul, and of embittering the life of 
a worthy stranger. 

Obdurate friend, give me the letter for Lucca! 8 Give it, I implore 
you, without delay. Repeat to me one last time your cruel resolutions, 
and I will force myself, by the most solemn oath, to leave you for ever. 
I am vain enough to believe that, could I remain here a few months 
longer, your arrogance would be sated, and you would make a formal 
and complete surrender. 

But your brave Scot is not a professional gallant. He is all natural, 
all tender. His passions are genuine and strong. I adore you, Mad- 
ame. Resolve once for all. By my immortal soul I swear to you that 
at last I am determined. 

[Received 15 September, Mallet to Boswell. Original in French] 

Geneva, 14 August 1765 


would write to you, and further that I would send your character 
sketch. Although I have perhaps promised you this and although I 
have sufficient respect for my promise, I shall not be able to fulfill 
more than half of it this time. You will have a letter and no portrait, 
and moreover what a letter! I arrived here completely harassed, 
completely heated; since I have been here I have been so distracted 
and wearied by paying and receiving calls and other petty miseries 
that I can truly say this time that I am beaten down and prostrated. It 

8 This letter is probably the one for Anna Pallerini mentioned in the memo- 
randum for 30 September. 

Siena, 1 5 September 1 765 
is not in such a moment that I shall take up my pencils to make even 
the most feeble sketch. It is a great deal that I can hold a pen and 
write flat prose on the most common subjects. 

We left each other, my Lord Mountstuart, the Colonel, and L, sev- 
eral days ago with a promise to see one another soon in England. Be- 
fore this separation and especially during the rest of our journey, we 
agreed, and I above all, that we had sometimes treated you too se- 
verely. I admit that a nervous man like myself should enter more 
fully than I often do into the various states of mind of his companions, 
but unfortunately the same frailty that puts one in need of indulgence 
is often the cause why one is little disposed to grant it to others. Ex- 
treme sensitivity to our own state of mind prevents us from consider- 
ing that of others, and people get along better if they do not resemble 
each other. 

M. de Voltaire is more the same man than ever. He works un- 
ceasingly to further the reign of reason. He wants to see its beginning 
before his death. Lately a young lady of quality from Savoy who pas- 
sionately wanted to see him was brought to his place. He sent out to 
ask her if she were religious. The young lady having admitted her 
guilt, he sent her word that recently he had shut his door to more than 
twenty deists, and that he would certainly not open it to a Chris- 
tian. . . . 

Return by way of Geneva if it is possible. I dare promise you that 
we shall be able to amuse you for a few days at least, and you may be 
assured that I shall not spare myself in any matter that depends on 
me. You will see that despite my former complaints I find in you 
something to justify and inspire a great deal of esteem and friend- 
ship 4 

I cannot beg you too strongly to rely on me on all occasions as on 
some one truly devoted to you. You are too philosophical not to prefer 
this sincere and heartfelt assurance to the insipid compliments which 
are usual at the end of letters. 


* A long paragraph is omitted here in which Mallet implores Boswell to try to 
track down a chest of important papers which he has lost. 

Siena, 1 5 September 1 765 133 

[Boswell to Mallet. Original in French] 5 

[Siena, 15 September 1765] 

LITTE BY LITTLE we shall get upon an excellent footing, in spite 
of all that has happened. In our letters there will be no room either 
for my tyrannical pride or for your gloomy moods and touchy sensi- 
bility. If you write much to me, you will be showing me an attention 
by which I shall be more flattered than you can imagine. Besides, you 
can do me good; for you have experienced all the varieties of hypo- 
chondria, and nevertheless preserved your judgment and reasonable 
tastes. Help me, I entreat you; for I cannot tell how I shall find my- 
self able patiently to support the endless wretchedness to which I 
shall be exposed by my extreme sensibility. Those petty miseries of 
which you speak are like poisonous insects that gnaw a delicate soul. 
I have seen you unhappier at one of our dinners than if you had been 
in the galleys. My future life holds out a prospect of dinners, eve- 
nings, sermons, and tedious conversations without number. What 
is to be done? Est mihi namque pater domi* It is both my duty and 
inclination to make him happy. But it is utterly impossible for me to 
succeed. He is a healthy, sound, hard-working man, who has never 
experienced one moment of hypochondria, and who regards the com- 
plaints of men like us as so much affectation. Conceive, then, what 
hours are in store for me. My plan will be to avoid being too much 
in his society, for trivial things are the great source of our suffering. 
His Highness 7 must procure me some employment in London where 
I shall pass the winter; my estate in Scotland will provide a romantic 
retreat for the summer months. I must enter Parliament. Whatever 
may be your present opinion, I shall make my mark there. 

This morning I received an unexpected letter from our worthy 
General Graeme. He displays great esteem for me and affection also 
(in spite of all my faults) , and desires to have my correspondence. 

5 This draft, probably an extract, was superscribed at a later date by Boswell, 
'To M. Mallet, from Siena, 1765.'* The original and Geoffrey Scott's translation, 
which is followed here, were published in the fifth volume of Colonel Isham's 
Private Papers of James BoswelL 

6 "I have a father at home" (Virgil, Eclogues, iii, 33, domi pater). 

7 Mountstuart. 

1 34 Siena, 1 5 September 1 765 

Long live the Baron! Oh! all you my fellow creatures of every de- 
gree you cannot do other than love me! 

[Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell. Original in Italian] 8 

[Siena, ?i8 September 1765] 

ALLOW ME to indemnify myself to some extent for your absence 
by explaining the feelings I have about you. They ought to make you 
very happy if what you told me last night is true. My eyes cannot fol- 
low you in your little jaunt, but my longings can, and they are depu- 
ties more zealous than their principals. I saw you yesterday: morn- 
ing, afternoon, and evening, and in spite of all that I long more than 
ever to see you again. God, what shall I do when you are no longer 
here, if so short an absence is unendurable? But courage is always 
needed to conquer oneself; and instead of thinking of your good 
qualities I shall remind myself that you are a deceiver and a faithless 
lover, and then I shall laugh at you. But in the mean time I see you as 
lovable and, I would almost dare say, tender towards me. Were you 
playing a part even last night? If you are capable of carrying treach- 
ery to such a point, I must still love you because you are so good at 
the business. 

You ordered me to think of you tonight, and I have obeyed you 
perfectly; you would have been quite satisfied with my docility if 
you had been here. If you return in time today I shall wait for you at 
home; otherwise we shall meet at the conversazione, where I beg you 
to talk to me with great discretion and on very general subjects, be- 
cause every one is staying clear of me on your account and I should 
be the theme of all the gossip besides being deserted, which in this 
city is of some consequence. Put this letter in your pocket, so that you 
can give it back to me when we meet. 

[SIENESE REFLECTIONS] I must say that I am very happy today, 
for my soul is serene, my heart filled with gentle sweetness, my 
spirit bold, my imagination vivid. All that I lack is my native soil for 

8 Under 17 September in his Accounts Boswell records paying five sequins for 
"travelling expenses to Monte Oliveto," a Benedictine monastery about twenty- 
five miles south of Siena. The trip must have taken two days, and probably is 
the "little jaunt" mentioned in this letter, which is without address or signature. 

Siena, September 1 765 135 

which, as Virgil says, one always entertains loving thoughts. If I were 
now in the romantic woods of Auchinleck my happiness would be 
complete. I would see myself in the very place where Providence has 
established my residence, where I can honour the memory of my 
worthy ancestors, live happily cultivating my lands, doing good to 
my tenants, and showing a cordial hospitality to my neighbours. 
This is how I wish to live when my travels are over. In winter I shall 
go to London or Edinburgh, and in the summer I shall stay at my 
country-house and think many, many times of beautiful Italy. . . . 

I am here in a room ornamented with a great number of paintings 
of all sorts: there are landscapes, fruit pieces, seascapes, pictures of 
buildings, of battles, of love. The portrait of a lady, hanging over my 
bedroom door, looks like my lady-in-waiting, for she stands with a 
majestic air and gestures with her hand as if to say, "There the gentle- 
man sleeps." There are also some Biblical pictures cheaply engraved 
and horribly coloured. There is a large mirror and six small ones. 
And in my bedroom there are five mirrors, arranged with admirable 
skill over my bed. It is not an improbable supposition that these mir- 
rors were placed here for his Excellency, my Lord Mountstuart, who 
loved to look at himself, like another Narcissus. ... 

Last night I paid a visit to the General Auditor-, 9 with whom I 
stayed almost two hours. He showed me the French translation of 
Robertson's History* I read some passages with pleasure, and won- 
dered how I could have lived a great part of my life without enjoy- 
ing liberal studies. But there is time for everything, and our inclina- 
tions must be followed as long as they are fresh, because the years of 
our youth pass so quickly. I see that I am falling back on the hack- 
neyed sentiments of a hundred thousand men who have passed their 
lives before me. I dislike being a servile imitator, and I should like 
to flatter my pride of being original, but to be original is given to very- 
few. Many pretend to enjoy this distinction, which is certainly some- 
thing that infinitely increases one's self-regard. It seems as though 
a man possessing originality of mind is a better work of God, almost 
as though God bestowed particular pains on his creation 

Love seems to me the most singular thing in this world, in this 

9 The principal minister of state in Siena. His name was Stefano BertolinL 
1 Robertson's History of Scotland. 

136 Siena, September 1 765 

round of cause and effect. I am not talking about that pleasant in- 
stinct which the two sexes have to unite, but of that love which is 
called passion, which carries within itself a transport of spirit, anxi- 
ety, a delicate refinement, jealousy, in short all those feelings which 
have truly tormented poor mortals. I do not know whether animals 
make any discrimination among their females, nor do I know whether 
beauty exists among cows, hens, and bitches. I think rather that 
brutes aim directly at the grand finale without thinking much about 
the object of their desires. It is true I have seen brute males fighting 
for a female, but it was as if they were fighting for their food. 

[Boswell to PPorzia Sansedoni. Original in French] 2 

[Siena, ?2O September 1765] 

I HAVE THE HONOUR, MADAME, to give you back the billets which 
I had from you while we were treating of matters of which we think 
no longer. You have already returned some of my letters. I beg you 
will give back those which remain. Henceforth we shall write in a 
better style than when (in your words) my imagination was over- 
heated. You shall find in me always a reasonable friend who admires 
you much. 

I shall keep my own letters, and I shall read them with pleasure. 
They will recall to me an affair in which I gained some honour; for, 
although I was not victorious, I can boast at least of having made a 
brave attack. 

Farewell, my dear Madame. 


* Doubtfully assigned, both as to person and as to date. The mention of a con- 
siderable number of letters, however, points to Porzia. The date is based on the 
possibility that Porzia's letter which follows, if it is Porzia's, is a reply to this 

Siena, 2 1 September 1 765 137 

[PPorzia Sansedoni to Boswell. Original in Italian] 8 

[Siena] Saturday 21 [September 1765] 

YOUR VERY KIND NOTE gave me great pleasure, and I am grateful 
for this attention of yours. I esteem your friendship very much, but 
it would give me still greater pleasure if I could assume that it was 
joined with a confidence that I have reason to fear [is lacking] . This 
is the reason why I shall be cautious, until I know how you feel about 
me at the moment. In some form or other, I hope to remain always 
your true servant and friend. 

[Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell. Original in Italian] 4 

[Siena, September 1765] 

UP TO NOW I have flattered myself that the justice of my cause 
would have won your verdict for my manner of tihinking, but I see 
that you are capricious and do not listen to the compelling arguments 
of justice. With you, the last advocate to speak always departs believ- 
ing that he has won his case. Then, I am not pleased with a person who 
makes declarations to every woman he meets; and I would rather not 
have you at all than see you parcelled out; in a word, I prefer infidel- 
ity to the silly vanity that shows a person to be fickle and proud of his 
own parts. I beg you not to work up a feeling of repentance over your 
bad behaviour, for your relapses are so frequent that error must be be- 
coming a habit with you, leaving no place for remorse. And mean- 
while I shall try to alleviate my pain by thinking that I have erred 
in my choice of a lover, but not in that of a friend. 

[Boswell to Girolama Piccolomini. Original in French] 

[Siena] Friday [27 September 1765] 

I AM STILL IN SIENA. I am leaving neither today nor tomorrow. 
Let us enjoy in peace the time remaining to us. Never in my life have 

3 Addressed to Boswell, but without signature. The handwriting is not Moma's, 
and the coy tone suggests Porzia. 

4 There is no way of dating this letter, but since it is addressed "A Monsieur, 
Monsieur Boswell" without any city specified, Boswell presumably received it 
while he was still in Siena. 

138 Siena, 2 7 September 1 765 

I spent a more delicious day than yesterday. Yes, we are married. My 
heart and my soul cry out against unjust laws, and a sweet and gen- 
erous emotion unites us for ever. I do not expect a reply. I simply wish 
to greet you. 

SUNDAY 29 SEPTEMBER. Yesterday morning rose by eight. Was 
firm and philosophical and calm; put all in order. At ten, Momina. 
She was quite tendered down for she had not slept. You told her you 
was resolved. She said: "You go to greater and greater happiness, but 
you leave me here to go continually from bad to worse; for after a few 
years my youth will be gone, &c., and I am among people for whom 
I care nothing." His Excellency came. 5 You said, "I must be a Capi- 
tano di Popolo in my country." You was well with Orazio. They 
went. You took her to bed, and with mild courage did it fine. Both 
happy. She begged return from Leghorn, but you was reserved. She 
shed tears without affectation and promised fidelity. Her allegria* re- 
turned by fits. You was like Spanish cavalier and promised eternal 
friendship. You had been in Cathedral first. Leave quite in confusion. 
At twelve, found chaise at Porta. Half well, half ill all day. Night, 
bad inn. 

MONDAY 30 SEPTEMBER. Yesterday had travelled all night. At 
seven, it rained heavy. You was all relaxed and slumbered sadly, and 
saw bad visions of Moma. Before twelve, arrived Lucca. Was quite 
sunk. Was just fit for falling into a melancholy as at Utrecht, had you 
been alone and had the same circumstances. Went to function and 
heard mass; then home and dined. Found the real advantage of an 
increase of ideas. Wrote Moma sickly and uncertain. At eight, opera: 

Bastardina/ delicious Went to Anna Pallerini; gave letter and 

saw her. Home, quite tired 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Despite his sadness at abandoning Moma, Bos- 
well enjoyed his brief stay in Lucca. The memoranda demonstrate 
his talent for getting to know people quickly; his openness encour- 
aged others to reveal their ideas frankly. Here Romano Garzoni, "a 

5 Orazio, Mozna's husband. 

* Gaiety. 

T Lucrezia Agujari, otherwise known as La Bastardina. She was highly praised 

by Dr. Bumey in his History of Music. 

i October to to October 1 765 
very sensible, civil man," became his friend, and soon they were dis- 
cussing hypochondria and other topics of intense concern to Boswell. 
For 3 October he notes, "Romano came; you went to coffee-house 

with him. Always hipped in coffee-house Romano came home 

with you, and over burgundy said he had not the prejudice of jeal- 
ousy, but if it was not known would give wife full liberty." Two days 
later, they were on the subject of ambition: "He said he had nothing 
of that prejudice which obliges every man to have an employment. 
Said it was unphilosophical, and that he would be like to kill himself 
if he thought he was bound to any constant employment, which was 
worse than galley-slave, who had only hands forced but mind free." 

After viewing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, where he "with great 
modesty proposed doubt if the wind had not bowed it," Boswell ar- 
rived in Leghorn on 6 October. Here he made arrangements to sail to 
Corsica on a "merchant bark," and visited H.M.S. Centurion, on 
which Anson twenty years before had sailed on his famous expedi- 
tion around the world. The commander of the British squadron in the 
Mediterranean, Commodore Harrison, who was also British Minister 
to Genoa, furnished him with what Boswell called a "passport," an 
elaborate document of identification in case his vessel was captured 
by Barbary corsairs. Count Antonio Rivarola, Sardinian Consul at 
Leghorn, but a Corsican by birth and son of a famous Corsican gen- 
eral, gave him four letters of recommendation. On 1 1 October Bos- 
well started off.] 

FRIDAY 1 1 OCTOBER. 8 After a few hours of sleep, was called at 
six by Signor Giuliano and another Corsican, who beat at my door. 
Was confused a little, but recollecting grand expedition, blood re- 
covered bold circulation. Wrote Rousseau and Dempster; left also let- 
ters for Mme. de Spaen 9 and my dear Italian lady at Siena. At eight 
the little boat carried me to the bark, and we set sail. The good people 
had waited all night for me when the wind was so good that we 
should have been in Corsica ere morning. This day there was little 
wind. I was sick a very short while and threw up a little, but felt firm 

8 Only this one leaf, in the style of the fully -written journal, survives from Bos- 
well's trip to Corsica. It seems likely that most of his Corsican notes were written 
as extended memoranda and not in journal form. 

9 The Baroness von Spaen was one of Boswell's Dutch friends. 

140 At Sea, 1 1 October 1 765 

nerves in comparison of myself on the passage to Holland. A Corsi- 
can played a sort of guitar or lute, and I played my flute, and so did 
Jacob. The bark belonged to a Corsican of Pino. He carried wine to 
Leghorn. He spoke English. To save himself, he had the Tuscan flag 
(the Emperor's), and a Leghorn shipmaster, Ignazio Gentili. I lay 
down in the cabin bed, but was eat up by mosquitoes and other 
vermin. I eat cold tongue and bread and some of the crew's rice. 
There were ten aboard: two poor Corsican merchants, six Corsican 
sailors, the master, and a boy from Leghorn. I tried to read a little 
the disputes of Corsica, but could give no attention. Thought hardly 
any, and was content to be so. Jacob was firm and felt no sickness but 
wished to have a long voyage, and at night was delighted to see noth- 
ing but the sky and the sea. They laid a mattress on the provision 
chest, and hung a sail on the side of the bark and on four chairs, and 
under this tent you slept. At the Ave Maria they all kneeled, and with 
great fervency said their evening orisons to the Queen of Heaven. It 
affected you a good deal. 

[Boswell to Rousseau. Original in French] 

Leghorn, 11 October 1765 


that you do not forget me. Some time ago I started to write a very long 
letter to you entirely about myself. 1 At present, I account myself, my 
petty pleasures and petty anxieties, as nothing. In half an hour I'em- 
bark for Corsica. I am going directly to the territories of Paoli. The 
worthy Count Rivarola has given me recommendations in plenty. I 
am all vigour, aU nobility. If I perish on this expedition, think of your 
Spanish Scot with affection, and we shaU meet in the paradise of 
imaginative souls. If I return safely, you will have a valuable ac- 
count. I cannot write. I shall be able to speak. Death is nothing to me. 
1 Boswell refers to the letter printed above, p. 3. 


Olim meminisse juvabit. VIRGIL 

["One day you will rejoice to 
remember" (Aeneid, i. 203) ] 


ournat of a ^Jour to 
a i^^s/Lemoirs of tsascai tsaoli 

BOSWELL AND CORSICA. One of the constant dreams of civilized man 
is to alter the state in which he lives, either by re-establishing a 
natural, harmonious society whose existence he discerns at one point 
or another in the past, or by working towards an ideal common- 
wealth of the future. Our own age looks forward more often than 
back, but the eighteenth century, which was also possessed by this 
dream, was still concerned with extending the Renaissance explora- 
tions of the spatial present and the temporal past. It tended to view 
its future in terms of the classical republicanism of the ancients 
more than one Jacobin lived in the pleasing delusion that he was 
Cicero revived or in the innocence of the savage state as reported 
by travellers. And in 1 765, the imagination of Europe was aroused 
by an apparent fusion of these two concepts which was emergent in 
Corsica. 2 

At this time Corsica was under the rale of the Republic of Genoa, 
as it had been since the fourteenth century. Genoese domination, ex- 
acting and unpopular, was continually threatened by native revolts, 
and in 1 738 the Genoese were obliged to import a French expedition- 
ary force to subdue the island. On its withdrawal the Corsicans rose 
again and drove the Genoese back to the fortified towns on the coast, 
which proved difficult to capture without artillery and naval support. 
Yet even these towns might have fallen if the French in 1 764 had not 
agreed to garrison them for four years in payment of a debt to Genoa. 
The French and Corsicans maintained reserved but friendly relations 

2 Chauncey B. Tinker's Natures Simple Plan, 1922, offers a fine introduction 
to eighteenth-century interest in primitivisni and in Corsica. 


144 Boswell and Corsica 

during this period, while the Genoese, now powerless, were despised 

and hated by their enemy. 

European curiosity about this anomalous situation was increased 
by vague reports of the society and government of the Corsican rebels 
or, in practical terms, the Corsican nation. In theory, Corsica was 
a republic governed by a nine-man Council and a General, life Pres- 
ident of the Council, whose position was comparable to the Stadthold- 
er's in Holland; in fact, as Boswell said, it was governed by "a species 
of despotism founded ... on the affection of love," 3 a manifestation 
of the ability and prestige of its General, Pasquale de Paoli. 

Paoli, whose father and brother had been leaders of the nation be- 
fore him, assumed the position of General in 1755 at the age of thirty. 
He was a tall, heavy, imposing man with reddish-blond hair and 
piercing blue eyes, whose personal ambition was swallowed up in an 
intense conviction that he was an instrument of God in Corsica's 
struggle for liberty. Energetic, pious, incorruptible, impatient with 
talkers and triflers, he never confused a firm regard for the dignity 
of his position with a sense of personal self-importance. His real 
achievement lay not in his victories over the Genoese, but in the es- 
tablishment of order among the Corsicans themselves (a task which 
involved the suppression of the feudal lords and the vendetta) , and 
in the encouragement of agriculture and commerce. In short he was 
the father of his country the comparison to Washington is an easy 
and justifiable one. and, in Pitt's words, a hero out of Plutarch. So 
Boswell was to describe him, with just enough distinguishing traits 
to make an individual rather than a statue of him. 

As a society, the Corsicans were as attractive as their leader. They 
were reputed to be hardy, brave, quick-tempered, and "uncorrupted" 
by civilization. What Europe saw was probably an uncomplicated 
feudal society; what it admired was a nation which seemed to em- 
body in many ways Rousseau's ideal of political and social liberty, a 
nation to which Rousseau himself had referred approvingly in his 
Social Contract. 4 

* Account of Corsica, p. 190 (all page references to the Account are to the third 
edition). Boswell's striking phrase was lifted from Andrew Burnaby's Corsican 
journal. See p. 195 n. 4. 

4 Rousseau's statement is quoted on p. 195, and his connection with Corsica is 
discussed below, p. 197 n. i. 

Bos well and Corsica 1 45 

Rousseau's reference had unexpected consequences, for it elicited 
an invitation from Matteo Buttaf oco, a Corsican officer in the French 
service, to help prepare a constitution for the new republic, an invita- 
tion he was considering when Boswell arrived at Motiers in Decem- 
ber 1764. On hearing of it, Boswell jokingly proposed himself as 
Rousseau's Ambassador Extraordinary to Corsica, but the joke had se- 
rious overtones. The Corsican state was almost unknown, and al- 
though the British had traded with the island for many years, ap- 
parently no British gentleman had ever penetrated the interior. Such 
a trip would be a unique embellishment of his grand tour. But his 
project of visiting Corsica also arose from his serious interest in the 
political and social patterns of the new state. His journal (see, for 
example, the entry of i August) attests repeatedly to the uneasy at- 
traction that Rousseau's theories of primitive man and the state of 
nature, in BoswelTs simplified version, exerted upon him; Corsica 
might serve as a proving ground for these theories. In the excitement 
of the Italian tour his project disappears from view for some time 
after his visit to Rousseau, but his notation for 5 August 1765, "You 
must see Corsica," indicates that his determination to make the jour- 
ney crystallized about then. He solved the problem of his father's 
assured displeasure at a further extension of his travels by simply 
failing to inform him of it. 

BoswelTs tour of Corsica is clearly outlined in the published 
Journal and needs only brief comment. By expanding and amalga- 
mating his original condensed but extensive notes (only five pages of 
which appear to have survived), he made the week he spent with 
Paoli the focus of his six weeks' jaunt; other people and events are 
largely discussed in relation to Paoli and the political situation. The 
generous attentions paid him in Sollacaro demonstrated not only 
Paoli's genuine regard, but also a partly successful attempt to give 
substance to the rumour that he was an agent of the British govern- 
ment, an impression which BosweU confirmed in Genoa by smiling 
denials. As a tourist's record, the Journal is striking today because of 
its concentration on people rather than on the beauties and discom- 
forts of the Corsican landscape. One would hardly be aware in read- 
ing this account that Corsica is impressively mountainous and that 
large sections of it are covered by the maquis, a dense undergrowth. 

146 Boswell and Corsica 

This shift in emphasis reflects in part the usual eighteenth-century 
indifference to romantic scenery, a point of view which Boswell fully 
shared. Human and not physical nature was his object; his assump- 
tion that the extensive observation of the traveller should primarily 
survey mankind and not his surroundings lay so deep that he would 
hardly have been able to conceive that it could be challenged. But in 
part the subject matter of the Journal was dictated by BoswelTs pur- 
pose at the time of its publication in 1 768. 

A full history of the writing of Corsica, or to give its complete 
title, An Account of Corsica; The Journal of a Tour to That Island^ 
and Memoirs of Pascal Paoli^ would extend beyond the scope of this 
volume, but a few remarks on its nature and inception may help to 
put it in perspective. The first part, the Account, is a largely unorig- 
inal survey of the history, geography, climate, and natural resources 
of Corsica, informative for contemporary readers but uninteresting 
in comparison to the second part, reprinted here. Johnson put the dif- 
ference exactly: "Your History [Account'] is like other histories, but 
your Journal is in a very high degree curious and delightful. There is 
between the History and the Journal that difference which will al- 
ways be found between notions borrowed from without and notions 
generated within. Your History was copied from books; your Journal 
rose out of your own experience and observation. You express images 
which operated strongly upon yourself, and you have impressed 
them with great force upon your readers. I know not whether I could 
name any narrative by which curiosity is better excited, or better 
gratified." 5 

BoswelTs notions were indeed generated within, but they were 
subjected to that process of moulding and revision, already evident in 
his private journal, which was to make his first important published 
work a finished piece of propaganda. Immediately upon leaving 
Corsica, he had started a newspaper campaign in which he hoped to 
arouse sympathy for the Corsicans, and to influence the British gov- 
ernment to repeal its proclamation of 1763 in which the Corsicans 
were called rebels whom British subjects were forbidden to aid. 6 
This declaration virtually prohibited trade between England and the 
5 Life of Johnson, 9 September 1769. 
e See pp. 176 and 244. 

Boswell and Corsica 147 

Corsicans. In 1 767, when Corsica was being written as the climax to 
this campaign, the situation had grown worse: the French had begun 
to make demands on Paoli and Genoa which hinted at their intention 
of taking over the island, and it seemed probable that Corsica would 
need official assistance if it was to survive as a nation. Boswell wanted 
to portray the Corsicans and their chief as democratic patriots strug- 
gling against Genoese oppression backed by the threat of French in- 
tervention; as a gallant, honest, simple people unjustly deprived of 
their independence. The model for his sketch was Sparta, Sparta 
under the actual rule of Lycurgus. The Genoese are treated with 
contempt, but the French with some delicacy since there was still a 
chance that they would come to terms with Paoli; Boswell also felt 
personally grateful for the care their commander, the Comte de Mar- 
beuf, had taken of him during an illness. But the Corsicans were his 
subject; here was a people who hardly knew where England was, yet 
instinctively responded to Scottish airs and "Hearts of Oak" with 
cries of "Bravo Inglese!" He softened or suppressed details which 
would have blurred this image, and emphasized the quasi-idyllic 
primitivism of an unspoiled race. 

Boswell's projection of himself against this background inspired 
the dislike of some of his contemporaries who saw in him a mixture 
of vanity, simple-mindedness, and self-importance, but they missed 
the point. Vanity there is, and a natural, rather innocent desire to 
exploit his considerable achievement in penetrating to the heart of 
Corsica and the Court of Paoli. But Thomas Gray's famous disparage- 
ment of Corsica as "a dialogue between a green-goose and a hero" 7 
actually compliments Boswell's dexterity. He knew what he was 
about; he portrays himself as the young, ingenuous British traveller 
in the camp of a distinguished leader, and his awed respect mixed 
with a modest naivete not only threw the stern and active virtues of 

7 In a letter to Horace Walpole, 25 February 1768, Gray also says: "Mr. Bos- 
well's book . . . has pleased and moved me strangely, all (I mean) that relates 
to Paoli. He is a man born two thousand years after his time! The pamphlet 
proves what I have always maintained, that any fool may write a most valuable 
book by chance, if he will only tell us what he heard and saw with veracity. Of 
Mr. Boswell's truth I have not the least suspicion, because I am sure he could 
invent nothing of this kind" (Horace Walpole's Correspondence, ed. W. S, Lewis 
and others, 1937- ? x*** 1 74)- 

148 Boswell and Corsica 

Paoli into relief, but it established a character which permitted Bos- 
well to wonder simply and passionately at the policy of his own gov- 
ernment. With the strong incentives of idealism and commercial and 
military advantage, how can the British not come to the rescue of 
so promising a young state? More timid and, in retrospect, perhaps 
less practical heads prevailed, however; as Lord Holland said, "We 
cannot be so foolish as to go to war because Mr. Boswell has been in 
Corsica." 8 The French overwhelmed an isolated Paoli, and in June 
1 769 he boarded an English ship to begin his long exile. 


Having resolved to pass some years abroad for my instruction and 
entertainment, I conceived a design of visiting the island of Corsica. 
I wished for something more than just the common course of what 
is called the tour of Europe; and Corsica occurred to me as a place 
which nobody else had seen, and where I should find what was to be 
seen nowhere else, a people actually fighting for liberty and forming 
themselves from a poor, inconsiderable, oppressed nation into a flour- 
ishing and independent state. 

When I got into Switzerland, I went to see M. Rousseau. He was 
then living in romantic retirement, from whence, perhaps, it had 
been better for him never to have descended. While he was at a dis- 
tance, his singular eloquence filled our minds with high ideas of the 
wild philosopher. When he came into the walks of men, we know 
alas! how much these ideas suffered. 9 

He entertained me very courteously, for I was recommended to 
him by my honoured friend the Earl Marischal, with whom I had the 
happiness of travelling through a part of Germany. I had heard that 
M. Rousseau had some correspondence with the Corsicans, and had 
been desired to assist them in forming their laws. I told him my 
scheme of going to visit them after I had completed my tour of Italy, 
* Quoted iii J. H. Jesse, George Seltvyn and His Contemporaries, 1882, ii. 333. 
9 For BoswelFs attitude towards Rousseau at the time Corsica was being written, 
see p. 297. 

Preliminaries of the Tour 149 

and I insisted that he should give me a letter of introduction. He im- 
mediately agreed to do so whenever I should acquaint him of my time 
of going thither, for he saw that my enthusiasm for the brave island- 
ers was as warm as his own. 

I accordingly wrote to him from Rome, in April 1765, that I had 
fixed the month of September for my Corsican expedition, 1 and there- 
fore begged of him to send me the letter of introduction, which if he 
refused I should certainly go without it and probably be hanged as 
a spy. So let him answer for the consequences. 

The wild philosopher was a man of his word, and on my arrival 
at Florence in August I received the following letter. . . . 2 

Furnished with these credentials, I was impatient to be with the 
illustrious chief. The charms of sweet Siena detained me longer than 
they should have done. I required the hardy air of Corsica to brace 
me after the delights of Tuscany. 

I recollect with astonishment how little the real state of Corsica 
was known, even by those who had good access to know it. An officer 
of rank in the British navy, 8 who had been in several ports of the is- 
land, told me that I run the risk of my life in going among these bar- 
barians; for that his surgeon's mate went ashore to take the diversion 
of shooting and every moment was alarmed by some of the natives 
who started from the bushes with loaded guns and, if he had not been 
protected by Corsican guides, would have certainly blown out his 

Nay at Leghorn, which is within a day's sailing of Corsica and has 
a constant intercourse with it, I found people who dissuaded me from 
going thither because it might be dangerous. 

I was, however, under no apprehension in going to Corsica. Count 
Rivarola, the Sardinian Consul, who is himself a Corsican, assuring 
me that the island was then in a very civilized state; and besides that 
in the rudest times no Corsican would ever attack a stranger. The 
Count was so good as to give me most obliging letters to many people 

1 Boswell makes two errors here. His letter to Rousseau (printed on p. 80) was 
written in May 1765, and in it he says nothing about fixing September as the 
month for his expedition. 

2 Printed on p. 1 15. 

3 Keith Stewart, sixth son of the sixth Earl of Galloway, and Captain in the 
British navy. He had given Boswell this advice in Florence. 

1 50 Leghorn, 6-1 1 October 1 765 

in the island. 4 I had now been in several foreign countries. I had 
found that I was able to accommodate myself to my fellow creatures 
of different languages and sentiments. I did not fear that it would be 
a difficult task for me to make myself easy with the plain and gen- 
erous Corsicans. 

The only danger I saw was that I might be taken by some of the 
Barbary corsairs, and have a trial of slavery among the Turks at 
Algiers. I spoke of it to Commodore Harrison, who commanded the 
British squadron in the Mediterranean and was then lying with his 
ship, the Centurion, in the bay of Leghorn. He assured me that if the 
Turks did take me they should not keep me long, but in order to pre- 
vent it he was so good as to grant me a very ample and particular 
passport; and as it could be of no use if I did not meet the corsairs, he 
said very pleasantly when he gave it me, "I hope, Sir, it shall be of 
no use to you." 

Before I left Leghorn, I could observe that my tour was looked 
upon by the Italian politicians in a very serious light, as if truly I had 
a commission from my Court to negotiate a treaty with the Corsicans. 
The more I disclaimed any such thing the more they persevered in 
affirming it, and I was considered as a very close young man. I there- 
fore just allowed them to make a minister of me till time should un- 
deceive them. 5 

I sailed from Leghorn in a Tuscan vessel which was going, over to 
Capo Corso for wine. I preferred this to a vessel going to Bastia, be- 
cause as I did not know how the French General was affected towards 
the Corsicans I was afraid that he might not permit me to go forward 
to Paoli. I therefore resolved to land on the territories of the nation, 
and after I had been with the illustrious chief to pay my respects to 
the French if I should find it safe. 

Though from Leghorn to Corsica is usually but one day's sailing, 
there was so dead a calm that it took us two days. The first day was the 
most tedious. However, there were two or three Corsicans aboard, and 

4 Professor Warnock has discovered from the correspondence of Rivarola, now 
in the State Archives in Turin, that he faithfully reported every move of Boswell 
to his masters. 

5 Boswell probably cultivated this impression himself, and he certainly took ad- 
vantage of it See p. 245. 

Leghorn to Centuri, 1 1-1 2 October 1 765 151 

one of them played on the cetra? which amused me a good deal. At 
sunset all the people in the ship sung the Ave Maria with great de- 
votion and some melody. It was pleasing to enter into the spirit of 
their religion, and hear them offering up their evening orisons. 7 

The second day we became better acquainted, and more lively 
and cheerful. The worthy Corsicans thought it was proper to give a 
moral lesson to a young traveller just come from Italy. They told me 
that in their country I should be treated with the greatest hospitality, 
but if I attempted to debauch any of their women I might expect in- 
stant death. 

I employed myself several hours in rowing, which gave me great 
spirits. I relished fully my approach to the island, which had ac- 
quired an unusual grandeur in my imagination. As long as I can re- 
member anything I have heard of "the malcontents of Corsica, with 
Paoli at their head." It was a curious thought that I was just going 
to see them. 

About seven o'clock at night we landed safely in the harbour of 
Centuri. I learnt that Signor Giacomini of this place, to whom I was 
recommended by Count Rivarola, was just dead. He had made a 
handsome fortune in the East Indies; and having had a remarkable 
warmth in the cause of liberty during his whole life he showed it in 
the strongest manner in his last will. He bequeathed a considerable 
sum of money and some pieces of ordnance to the nation. He also left 
it in charge to his heir to live in Corsica, and be firm in the patriotic 
interest; and if ever the island should again be reduced under the 
power of the Genoese, he ordered him to retire with all his effects to 
Leghorn. Upon these conditions only could his heir enjoy his estate. 

I was directed to the house of Signor Giacominfs cousin, Signor 
Antonio Antonetti at Morsiglia, about a mile up the country. The 
prospect of the mountains covered with vines and olives was ex- 
tremely agreeable, and the odour of the myrtle and other aromatic 

6 An instrument comparable to the zither. 

7 This paragraph when compared to the journal entry for 11 October provides a 
minor but interesting illustration of Boswell's tendency in this book to gen- 
eralize and tone down his first impressions when he came to publish them. 
Professor Warnock also suggests that what Boswell actually heard was the 
Corsican battle "Hymn of the Virgin Mary, the nation having been placed under 
her protection. 

! 52 Morsiglia, 1 2 October 1 765 

shrubs and flowers that grew all around me was very refreshing. As 
I walked along, I often saw Corsican peasants come suddenly out from 
the covert; and as they were all armed, I saw how the frightened 
imagination of the surgeon's mate had raised up so many assassins. 
Even the man who carried my baggage was armed and, had I been 
timorous, might have alarmed me. But he and I were very good com- 
pany to each other. As it grew dusky, I repeated to myself these lines 
from a fine passage in Ariosto: 

E pur per selve oscure e calli obliqui 
Insieme van senza sospetto aversi. 8 

I delivered Signor Antonetti the letter for his deceased cousin. 
He read it, and received me with unaffected cordiality, making an 
apology for my frugal entertainment but assuring me of a hearty 
welcome. His true kindly hospitality was also shown in taking care of 
my servant, an honest Swiss who loved to eat and drink well. 

I had formed a strange notion that I should see everything in 
Corsica totally different from what I had seen in any other country. 
I was therefore much surprised to find Signor Antonetti's house quite 
an Italian one, with very good furniture, prints, and copies of some 
of the famous pictures. In particular, I was struck to find here a small 
copy from Raphael of St. Michael and the Dragon. There was no 
necessity for its being well done. To see the thing at all was what 
surprised me. 

Signor Antonetti gave me an excellent light repast and a very 
good bed. He spoke with great strength of the patriotic cause, and 
with great veneration of the General. I was quite easy, and liked 
much the opening of my Corsican tour. 

The next day^ being Sunday, it rained very hard; and I must ob- 

8 Orlando Ficrioso, i. 22: 

Together through dark woods and winding ways 
They walk, nor on their hearts suspicion preys. 


BoswelTs general practice in Corsica was to print both originals and translations 
of foreign passages in the text itself; in this edition one or the other has been 
eliminated or removed to a footnote. Where BoswelTs own footnotes involve 
more than the identification of sources, they are marked with his name. 

1 3 \jciooer 1705 153 

serve that the Corsicans with all their resolution are afraid of bad 
weather to a degree of effeminacy. I got indeed a droll but a just 
enough account of this from one of them: "Sir," said he, "if you were 
as poor as a Corsican and had but one coat, so as that after being wet 
you could not put on dry clothes, you would be afraid too." Signor 
Antonetti would not allow me to set out while it rained, for, said he, 
"If a man finds himself abroad, there is no help for it. But to go de- 
liberately out is too much." 

When the day grew a little better, I accompanied Signor Anto- 
netti and his family to hear mass in the parish church, a very pretty 
little building about half a quarter of a mile off. 

" Signor Antonetti's parish priest was to preach to us, at which I 
was much pleased, being very curious to hear a Corsican sermon. 
Our priest did very well. His text was in the Psalms: "Descendunt ad 
infernum viventes." 9 After endeavouring to move our passions with 
a description of the horrors of hell, he told us, "Saint Catherine of 
Siena wished to be laid on the mouth of this dreadful pit that she 
might stop it up, so as no more unhappy souls should fall into it. I 
confess, my brethren, I have not the zeal of holy Saint Catherine. But 
I do what I can; I warn you how to avoid it." He then gave us some 
good practical advice, and concluded. 

The weather being now cleared up, I took leave of the worthy 
gentleman to whom I had been a guest. He gave me a letter to Signor 
Damiano Tomasi, Padre del Commune at Pino, the next village. I got 
a man with an ass to carry my baggage. But such a road I never saw. 
It was absolutely scrambling along the face of a rock overhanging the 
sea, upon a path sometimes not above a foot broad. I thought the ass 
rather retarded me, so I prevailed with the man to take my portman- 
teau and other things on his back. 

Had I formed my opinion of Corsica from what I saw this morn- 
ing, I might have been in as bad humour with it as Seneca was, whose 
reflections in prose are not inferior to his epigrams: "What can be 
found so bare, what so rugged all around as this rock? what more bar- 
ren of provisions? what more rude as to its inhabitants? what in the 
very situation of the place more horrible? what in climate more in- 
temperate? Yet there are more foreigners than natives here. So far 
9 "They go down alive into the pit." See Psalms 55. 15. 

1 54 Morsiglia to Pino, 1 3 October 1 765 

then is a change of place from being disagreeable, that even this place 

hath brought some people away from their country." 1 

At Pino I was surprised to find myself met by some brisk young 
fellows dressed like English sailors and speaking English tolerably 
well. They had been often with cargoes of wine at Leghorn, where 
they had picked up what they knew of our language, and taken 
clothes in part of payment for some of their merchandise. 

I was cordially entertained at Signor Tomasi's. Throughout all 
Corsica, except in garrison towns, there is hardly an inn. I met with 
a single one about eight miles from Corte. Before I was accustomed 
to the Corsican hospitality, I sometimes forgot myself, and imagining 
I was in a public house called for what I wanted with the tone which 
one uses in calling to the waiters at a tavern. I did so at Pino, asking 
for a variety of things at once; when Signora Tomasi perceiving my 
mistake looked in my face and smiled, saying with much calmness 
and good nature, "One thing after another, Sir." 

In writing this Journal, I shall not tire my readers with relating 
the occurrences of each particular day. It will be much more agree- 
able to them to have a free and continued account of what I saw or 
heard most worthy of observation. 2 

For some time I had very curious travelling, mostly on foot, and 
attended by a couple of stout women who carried my baggage upon 
their heads. Every time that I prepared to set out from a village, I 
could not help laughing to see the good people eager to have my 
equipage in order and roaring out, "The women, the women." 

I had full leisure and the best opportunities to observe everything 
in my progress through the island. I was lodged sometimes in private 
houses, sometimes in convents, being always well recommended from 
place to place. The first convent in which I lay was at Canari. It ap- 
peared a little odd at first. But I soon learnt to repair to my dormitory 
as naturally as if I had been a friar for seven years. 

The convents were small, decent buildings, suited to the sober 
ideas of their pious inhabitants. The religious who devoutly en- 
deavour to "walk with God" are often treated with raillery by those 
whom pleasure or business prevents from thinking of future and 

1 Seneca, Ad Helvicon de Consolatione, vi. 5-6. 

* Also by this method Boswell is able to give readers the impression that he had 

spent a long time with Paoli. Actually he spent only about a week with 

Canari, 13-14 October 1765 155 

more exalted objects. A little experience of the serenity and peace of 
mind to be found in convents would be of use to temper the fire of 
men of the world. 

At Patrimonio I found the seat of a provincial magistracy. The 
chief judge was there, and entertained me very well. Upon my ar- 
rival, the captain of the guard came out and demanded who I was. I 
replied "English." He looked at me seriously, and then said in a tone 
between regret and upbraiding, "The English they were once our 
friends, but they are so no more." I felt for my country, and was 
abashed before this honest soldier. 

At Oletta I visited Count Nicholas Rivarola, brother to my friend 
at Leghorn. He received me with great kindness, and did everything 
in his power to make me easy. I found here a Corsican who thought 
better of the British than the captain of the guard at Patrimonio. He 
talked of our bombarding San Fiorenzo in favour of the patriots, 3 and 
willingly gave me his horse for the afternoon, which he said he would 
not have done to a man of any other nation. 

When I came to Murato/ I had the pleasure of being made ac- 
quainted with Signor Barbaggi, who is married to the niece of Paoli. 
I found him to be a sensible, intelligent, well-bred man. The mint of 
Corsica was in his house. I got specimens of their different kinds of 
money in silver and copper, and was told that they hoped in a year or 
two to strike some gold coins. 5 Signor Barbaggi's house was repairing, 
so I was lodged in the convent. But in the morning returned to break- 
fast and had chocolate, and at dinner we had no less than twelve well- 
dressed dishes, served on Dresden china, with a dessert, different sorts 
of wine, and a liqueur, all the produce of Corsica. Signor Barbaggi 
was frequently repeating to me that the Corsicans inhabited a rude, 

3 Acting as allies of the King of Sardinia, the English bombarded Bastia and 
San Fiorenzo in 1745, thus enabling the Corsicans to seize these towns from 
the Genoese. Count Domenico Rivarola, at that time a Colonel in the Sardinian 
service, accompanied the English on this expedition, and was shortly thereafter 
proclaimed Generalissimo of Corsica by the rebels. It is hardly surprising that 
his son should have been partial to the English. 

* Seven miles south of Oletta. Boswell apparently arrived at Murato on 15 

5 Boswell wrote while at Gotha: "I am somewhat of a virtuoso. Wherever I am, 
I make a collection of the silver specie struck the year in which I have been in 
the country" (Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 20 Oc- 
tober 1764). 

156 Murato, 15-16 October 1 765 

uncultivated country and that they lived like Spartans. I begged 
leave to ask him in what country he could show me greater luxury 
than I had seen in his house; and I said I should certainly tell wher- 
ever I went what tables the Corsicans kept, notwithstanding their 
pretensions to poverty and temperance. A good deal of pleasantry 
passed upon this. His lady was a genteel woman, and appeared to be 
agreeable though very reserved. 

From Murato to Corte, I travelled through a wild, mountainous, 
rocky country, diversified with some large valleys. I got little beasts 
for me and my servant, sometimes horses but oftener mules or asses. 
We had no bridles but cords fixed round their necks, with which we 
managed them as well as we could. 

At Corte I waited upon the Supreme Council, to one of whom, 
Signor Boccheciampe, I had a letter from Signor Barbaggi. I was 
very politely received, and was conducted to the Franciscan convent 
where I got the apartment of Paoli, who was then some days' journey 
beyond the mountains, holding a court of sindacato 6 at a village called 

As the General resided for some time in this convent, the fathers 
made a better appearance than any I saw in the island. I was prin- 
cipally attended by the Prior, a resolute divine who had formerly 
been in the army, and by Padre Giulio, a man of much address who 
still favours me with his correspondence. 

These fathers have a good vineyard and an excellent garden. They 
have between thirty and forty beehives in long wooden cases or trunks 
of trees, with a covering of the bark of the cork tree. "When they want 
honey they burn a little juniper-wood, the smoke of which makes the 
bees retire. They then take an iron instrument with a sharp-edged 
crook at one end of it and bring out the greatest part of the honey- 
comb, leaving only a little for the bees, who work the case full again. 
By taking the honey in this way they never kill a bee. They seemed 
much at their ease, living in peace and plenty. I often joked with them 
on the text which is applied to their order: "Nihil habentes et omnia 
possidentes." 7 

I went to the choir with them. The service was conducted with 
e The sindacatori were circuit judges. 
7 "Having nothing, and yet possessing all things 11 (II Corinthians 6. 10). 

Corte, 1 7 October 1 765 157 

propriety, and Padre Giulio playedton the organ. On the great altar 
of their church is a tabernacle carved in wood by a religious. It is a 
piece of exquisite workmanship. A Genoese gentleman offered to give 
them one in silver for it, but they would not make the exchange. 

These fathers have no library worth mentioning, but their con- 
vent is large and well built. I looked about with great attention to see 
if I could find any inscriptions, but the only one I found was upon a 
certain useful edifice: 

Sine necessitate hue non intrate, 
Quia necessaria sumus. 8 

A studied, rhyming Latin conceit marked upon such a place was truly 

I chose to stop a while at Corte to repose myself after my fatigues, 
and to see everything about the capital of Corsica. The morning after 
my arrival here, three French deserters desired to speak with me. The 
foolish fellows had taken it into their heads that I was come to raise 
recruits for Scotland, and so they begged to have the honour of going 
along with me; I suppose with intention to have the honour of run- 
ning off from me as they had done from their own regiments. 

I received many civilities at Corte from Signor Boccheciampe and 
from Signor Massesi, the Great Chancellor, whose son Signor Luigi, a 
young gentleman of much vivacity and natural politeness, was so 
good as to attend me constantly as my conductor. I used to call him 
my governor. I liked him much, for as he had never been out of the 
island his ideas were entirely Corsican. 

Such of the members of the Supreme Council as were in residence 
during my stay at Corte I found to be solid and sagacious, men of 
penetration and ability well calculated to assist the General in form- 
ing his political plans and in turning to the best advantage the vio- 
lence and enterprise of the people. 

The University was not then sitting, so I could only see the rooms, 
which were shown me by the Abbe Valentini, Procurator of the Uni- 
versity. 9 The professors were all absent except one Capuchin father 

8 "Do not enter here except in case of necessity, for we are the necessary 

9 In 1766 the University consisted of about twelve professors and one hundred 
fifty students. 

158 Corte, 1 8 October 1765 

whom I visited at his convent. It is a tolerable building with a pretty 
large collection of books. There is in the church here a tabernacle 
carved in wood, in the manner of that at the Franciscans', but much 
inferior to it. 

I went up to the Castle of Corte. The Commandant very civilly 
showed me every part of it. As I wished to see all things in Corsica, I 
desired to see even the unhappy criminals. There were then three in 
the Castle: a man for the murder of his wife, a married lady who had 
hired one of her servants to strangle a woman of whom she was 
jealous, and the servant who had actually perpetrated this barbarous 
action. They were brought out from their cells that I might talk with 
them. The murderer of his wife had a stupid, hardened appearance, 
and told me he did it at the instigation of the devil. The servant was 
a poor despicable wretch. He had at first accused his mistress but was 
afterwards prevailed with to deny his accusation, upon which he was 
put to the torture by having lighted matches held between his fingers. 
This made him return to what he had formerly said, so as to be a 
strong evidence against his mistress. His hands were so miserably 
scorched that he was a piteous object. I asked him why he had com- 
mitted such a crime; he said, "Because I was without understanding." 
The lady seemed of a bold and resolute spirit. She spoke to me with 
great firmness and denied her guilt, saying with a contemptuous 
smile as she pointed to her servant, "They can force that creature to 
say what they please." 

The hangman of Corsica was a great curiosity. Being held in the 
utmost detestation, he durst not live like another inhabitant of the 
island. He was obliged to take refuge in the Castle, and there he was 
kept in a little corner turret, where he had just room for a miserable 
bed and a little bit of fire to dress such victuals for himself as were 
sufficient to keep him alive; for nobody would have any intercourse 
with him, but all turned their backs upon him. I went up and looked 
at him. And a more dirty, rueful spectacle I never beheld. He seemed 
sensible of his situation and held down his head like an abhorred 

It was a long time before they could get a hangman in Corsica, so 
that the punishment of the gallows was hardly known, all their crim- 
inals being shot. At last this creature whom I saw, who is a Sicilian, 

Corte, 1 8 October 1 765 159 

came with a message to Paoli. The General, who has a wonderful 
talent for physiognomy, on seeing the man said immediately to some 
of the people about him, "Behold our hangman." He gave orders to 
ask the man if he would accept of the office, and his answer was, "My 
grandfather was a hangman, my father was a hangman. I have been 
a hangman myself and am willing to continue so." He was therefore 
immediately put into office, and the ignominious death dispensed by 
his hands hath had more effect than twenty executions by firearms. 

It is remarkable that no Corsican would upon any account consent 
to be a hangman. Not the greatest criminals, who might have had 
their lives upon that condition. Even the wretch who for a paltry hire 
had strangled a woman would rather submit to death than do the 
same action as the executioner of the law. 

When I had seen everything about Corte, I prepared for my 
journey over the mountains, that I might be with Paoli. The night 
before I set out I recollected that I had forgotten to get a passport, 
which in the present situation of Corsica is still a necessary precau- 
tion. After supper, therefore, the Prior walked with me to Corte to the 
house of the Great Chancellor, who ordered the passport to be made 
out immediately, and, while his secretary was writing it, entertained 
me by reading to me some of the minutes of the General Consulta. 
When the passport was finished and ready to have the seal put to it, 
I was much pleased with a beautiful, simple incident. The Chancellor 
desired a little boy who was playing in the room by us to run to his 
mother and bring the great seal of the kingdom. I thought myself 
sitting in the house of a Cincinnatus. 

Next morning 1 I set out in very good order, having excellent 
mules and active, clever Corsican guides. My worthy fathers of the 
convent, who treated me in the kindest manner while I was their 
guest, would also give me some provisions for my journey, so they 
put up a gourd of their best wine and some delicious pomegranates. 
My Corsican guides appeared so hearty that I often got down and 
walked along with them, doing just what I saw them do; When we 
grew hungry, we threw stones among the thick branches of the chest- 
nut trees which overshadowed us, and in that manner we brought 

1 Saturday, 19 October, since the passport, reproduced facing p. 160, is dated 18 
October. Boswell had probably arrived in Corte on the evening of 1 7 October. 

1 60 Corte to Bocognano, 1 9 October 1 765 

down a shower of chestnuts with which we filled our pockets, and 
went on eating them with great relish; and when this made us thirsty, 
we lay down by the side of the first brook, put our mouths to the 
stream and drank sufficiently. It was just being for a little while one 
of the "prisca gens mortalium," 2 who ran about in the woods eating 
acorns and drinking water. 

While I stopped to refresh my mules at a little village, the in- 
habitants came crowding about me as an ambassador going to their 
General. When they were informed of my country, a strong, black 
fellow among them said, "English! they are barbarians; they don't 
believe in the great God." I told him, "Excuse me, Sir. We do believe 
in God, and in Jesus Christ too.*' "Urn," said he, "and in the Pope?" 
"No." "And why?" This was a puzzling question in these circum- 
stances, for there was a great audience to the controversy. I thought 

1 would try a method of my own, and very gravely replied, "Because 
we are too far off." A very new argument against the universal in- 
fallibility of the Pope. It took, however, for my opponent mused a 
while, and then said, "Too far off! Why, Sicily is as far off as Eng- 
land. Yet in Sicily they believe in the Pope." "Oh," said I, "we are ten 
times farther off than Sicily." "Aha!" said he, and seemed quite sat- 
isfied. In this manner I got off very well. I question whether any of 
the learned reasonings of our Protestant divines would have had so 
good an effect. 

My journey over the mountains was very entertaining. I passed 
some immense ridges and vast woods. I was in great health and spirits, 
and fully able to enter into the ideas of the brave, rude men whom I 
found in all quarters. 

At Bastelica, where there is a stately spirited race of people, I had 
a large company to attend me in the convent. I liked to see their 
natural frankness and ease, for why should men be afraid of their 
own species? They just came in, making an easy bow, placed them- 
selves round the room where I was sitting, rested themselves on their 
muskets, and immediately entered into conversation with me. They 
talked very feelingly of the miseries that their country had endured, 
and complained that they were still but in a state of poverty. I hap- 
pened at that time to have an unusual flow of spirits, and as one who 

2 "The primitive race of men'* (Horace, Epodes, ii. 2). 

Boswell's Corsican passport, issued 18 October 1765, from the 
original in the Yale University Library. 

Bastelica, 20 October 1 765 161 

finds himself amongst utter strangers in a distant country has no 
timidity, I harangued the men of Bastelica with great fluency. I ex- 
patiated on the bravery of the Corsicans by which they had purchased 
liberty, the most valuable of all possessions, and rendered themselves 
glorious over all Europe. Their poverty, I told them, might be 
remedied by a proper cultivation of their island and by engaging a 
little in commerce. But I bid them remember that they were much 
happier in their present state than in a state of refinement and vice, 
and that therefore they should beware of luxury. 

What I said had the good fortune to touch them, and several of 
them repeated the same sentiments much better than I could do. They 
all expressed their strong attachment to Paoli, and called out in one 
voice that they were all at his command. I could with pleasure have 
passed a long time here. 

At Ornano I saw the ruins of the seat where the great Sampiero 3 
had his residence. They were a pretty droll society of monks in the 
convent at Ornano. When I told them that I was an Englishman, "Ay, 
ay," said one of them, "as was well observed by a reverend bishop, 
when talking of your pretended reformation, 'Angli olim angeli 
mine diaboli.' "* I looked upon this as an honest effusion of spiritual 
zeal. The fathers took good care of me in temporals. 

When I at last came within sight of Sollacaro, where Paoli was, I 
could not help being under considerable anxiety. My ideas of him 
had been greatly heightened by the conversations I had held with all 
sorts of people in the island, they having represented him to me as 
something above humanity. I had the strongest desire to see so exalted 
a character, but I feared that I should be unable to give a proper ac- 
count why I had presumed to trouble him with a visit, and that I 
should sink to nothing before him. I almost wished yet to go back 
without seeing him. These workings of sensibility employed my mind 
till I rode through the village and came up to the house where he 
was lodged. 

Leaving my servant with my guides, I passed through the guards 
and was met by some of the General's people, who conducted me into 

8 Sampiero di Ornano, a sixteenth-century Corsican hero who fought against the 


4 "The English, formerly angels now devils." 

1 62 Sollacardy 2 1 October 1 765 

an antechamber where were several gentlemen in waiting. Signer 
Boccheciampe had notified my arrival, and I was shown into Paoli's 
room. I found him alone, and was struck with his appearance. He is 
tall, strong, and well made; of a fair complexion, a sensible, free, and 
open countenance, and a manly and noble carriage. He was then in 
his fortieth year. He was dressed in green and gold. He used to wear 
the common Corsican habit, but on the arrival of the French he 
thought a little external elegance might be of use to make the govern- 
ment appear in a more respectable light. 

He asked me what were my commands for him. I presented him 
a letter from Count Rivarola, and when he had read it I showed him 
my letter from Rousseau. He was polite but very reserved. I had stood 
in the presence of many a prince, but I never had such a trial as in the 
presence of Paoli. I have already said that he is a great physiognomist. 
In consequence of his being in continual danger from treachery and 
assassination, he has formed a habit of studiously observing every 
new face. For ten minutes we walked backwards and forwards 
through the room hardly saying a word, while he looked at me with a 
steadfast, keen, and penetrating eye, as if he searched my very soul. 5 

This interview was for a while very severe upon me. I was much 
relieved when his reserve wore off and he began to speak more. I then 
ventured to address him with this compliment to the Corsicans: "Sir, 
I am upon my travels, and have lately visited Rome. I am come from 
seeing the ruins of one brave and free people; I now see the rise of 

He received my compliment very graciously, but observed that 
the Corsicans had no chance of being like the Romans, a great con- 
quering nation who should extend its empire over half the globe. 
Their situation, and the modern political systems, rendered this im- 
possible. "But," said he, "Corsica may be a very happy country." 

5 Fanny Burney, several years later, recorded Paoli's version of this first meet- 
ing: u He came to my country, and he fetched me some letters of recommending 
him, but I was of the belief he might be an impostor, and I supposed in my 
minte he was an espy; for I look away froni him, and in a moment I look to him 
again and I behold his tablets. Oh! he was to the work of writing down all I 
say! Indeed I was angry. But soon I discover he was no impostor and no espy, 
and I only find I was myself the monster he had come to discern" (Diary and 
Letters of Mme. UArblay, ed. Austin Dobson, 1904-1905, ii. 100). 

Sollacaro, 21 October 1765 163 

He expressed a high admiration of M, Rousseau, whom Signor 
Buttaf oco had invited to Corsica to aid the nation in forming its laws. 
It seems M. de Voltaire had reported, in his rallying manner, that the 
invitation was merely a trick which he had put upon Rousseau. Paoli 
told me that when he understood this, he himself wrote to Rousseau 
enforcing the invitation. Of this affair I shall give a full account in an 
after part of my Journal. 

Some of the nobles who attended him came into the room, and in 
a little we were told that dinner was served up. The General did me 
the honour to place me next him. He had a table of fifteen or sixteen 
covers, having always a good many of the principal men of the island 
with him. He had an Italian cook who had been long in France, but 
he chose to have a few plain substantial dishes, avoiding every kind of 
luxury and drinking no foreign wine. 

I felt myself under some constraint in such a circle of heroes. The 
General talked a great deal on history and on literature. I soon per- 
ceived that he was a fine classical scholar, that his mind was enriched 
with a variety of knowledge, and that his conversation at meals was 
instructive and entertaining. Before dinner he had spoken French. 
He now spoke Italian, in which he is very eloquent. 

We retired to another room to drink coffee. My timidity wore off. 
I no longer anxiously thought of myself; my whole attention was 
employed in listening to the illustrious commander of a nation. 

He recommended me to the care of the Abbe Rostini, 6 who had 
lived many years in France, Signor Colonna, 7 the lord of the manor 
here, being from home, his house was assigned for me to live in. I 
was left by myself till near supper time when I returned to the Gen- 
eral, whose conversation improved upon me as did the society of those 
about him, with whom I gradually formed an acquaintance. 

Every day I felt myself happier. Particular marks of attention 
were shown me as a subject of Great Britain, the report of which went 
over to Italy and confirmed the conjectures that I was really an envoy. 

6 The Abbe* Carlo Rostini later furnished Boswell with some information for the 
historical part of the Account of Corsica from his considerable collection of 
historical materials. 

7 Pier Andrea Colonna d'Istria is described by Boswell in the Account of Cornea 
as "a worthy, sensible man, and very zealous in the great cause 7 ' (p. 99). 

1 64 Sollacaro, 2 2-2 7 October 1 765 

In the morning I had my chocolate served up upon a silver salver 
adorned with the arms of Corsica. I dined and supped constantly with 
the General. I was visited by all the nobility, and whenever I chose 
to make a little tour I was attended by a party of guards. I begged of 
the General not to treat me with so much ceremony, but he insisted 
upon it. 

One day when I rode out, I was mounted on Paoli's own horse 
with rich furniture of crimson velvet, with broad gold lace, and had 
my guards marching along with me. I allowed myself to indulge a 
momentary pride in this parade, as I was curious to experience what 
could really be the pleasure of state and distinction with which man- 
kind are so strangely intoxicated. When I returned to the Continent 
after all this greatness, I used to joke with my acquaintance and tell 
them that I could not bear to live with them, for they did not treat 
me with a proper respect. 

My time passed here in the most agreeable manner. I enjoyed a 
sort of luxury of noble sentiment. Paoli became more affable with 
me. I made myself known to him. I forgot the great distance between 
us, and had every day some hours of private conversation with him. 

From my first setting out on this tour, I wrote down every night 
what I had observed during the day, throwing together a great deal 
that I might afterwards make a selection at leisure. 

Of these particulars, the most valuable to my readers, as well as 
to myself, must surely be the memoirs and remarkable sayings of 
Paoli, which I am proud to record. 

Talking of the Corsican war, "Sir," said he, "if the event prove 
we sh all be called great defenders of liberty. If the event shall 
prove unhappy, we shall be called unfortunate rebels." 

The French objected to him that the Corsican nation had no regu- 
lar troops. "We would not have them," said Paoli. "We should then 
have the bravery of this and the other regiment. At present every 
single man is as a regiment himself. Should the Corsicans be formed 
into regular troops, we should lose that personal bravery which has 
produced such actions among us as in another country would have 
rendered famous even a marshal." 

I asked him how he could possibly have a soul so superior to in- 
terest. "It is not superior," said he; "my interest is to gain a name. 

Sollacaro, 2 2-2 7 October 1 765 1 65 

I know well that he who does good to his country will gain that, and 

I expect it. Yet could I render this people happy, I would be content 
to be forgotten. I have an unspeakable pride. The approbation of my 
own heart is enough." 

He said he would have great pleasure in seeing the world and 
enjoying the society of the learned and the accomplished in every 
country. I asked him how with these dispositions he could bear to be 
confined to an island yet in a rude uncivilized state, and instead of 
participating Attic evenings, "noctes coenaeque Deum," 8 be in a con- 
tinual course of care and of danger. He replied in one line of Virgil: 
"Vincet amor patriae laudumque immensa cupido." 9 This, uttered 
with the fine open Italian pronunciation, and the graceful dignity of 
his manner, was very noble. I wished to have a statue of him taken at 
that moment. 

I asked him if he understood English. He immediately began and 
spoke it, which he did tolerably well. When at Naples, he had known 
several Irish gentlemen who were officers in that service. Having 
a great facility in acquiring languages, he learnt English from them. 
But as he had been now ten years without ever speaking it, he spoke 
very slow. One could see that he was possessed of the words, but for 
want of what I may call mechanical practice he had a difficulty in 
expressing himself. 

I was diverted with his English library. It consisted of some 
broken volumes of the Spectator and Toiler, Pope's Essay on Man, 
Gulliver's Travels, a History of France in old English, and Barclay's 
Apology for the Quakers. I promised to send him some English books. 1 

8 "The nights and banquets of the gods" (Horace, Satires, II. vi. 65). 

9 "The love of country will prevail, and the overwhelming desire for praise" 
(Aeneid, vi. 823). 

I 1 have sent him the works of Harrington, of Sidney, of Addison, of Trenchard, 
of Gordon, and of other writers in favour of liberty. I have also sent him some 
of our best books of morality and entertainment, in particular the works of Mr. 
Samuel Johnson, with a complete set of the Spectator, Tatler, and Guardian; 
and to the University of Corte, I have sent a few of the Greek and Roman 
classics, of the beautiful editions of the Messrs. Foulis at Glasgow. BOSWELL. 
Boswell must have altered his opinion of Algernon Sidney, since he had previ- 
ously condemned his works (Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzer- 
land, 30 November 1764). 

166 Sollacard, 22-27 October 1765 

He convinced me how well he understood our language, for I 
took the liberty to show him a memorial which I had drawn up on 
the advantages to Great Britain from an alliance with Corsica, and he 
translated this memorial into Italian with the greatest facility. 2 He 
has since given me more proofs of his knowledge of our tongue by his 
answers to the letters which I have had the honour to write to him in 
English, and in particular by a very judicious and ingenious criticism 
on some of Swift's works. 3 

He was well acquainted with the history of Britain. He had read 
many of the Parliamentary debates, and had even seen a number of 
The North Briton. He showed a considerable knowledge of this coun- 
try, and often introduced anecdotes and drew comparisons and allu- 
sions from Britain. 

He said his great object was to form the Corsicans in such a man- 
ner that they might have a firm constitution, and might be able to 
subsist without him. "Our state," said he, "is young, and still requires 
the leading strings. I am desirous that the Corsicans should be taught 
to walk of themselves. Therefore when they come to me to ask whom 
they should choose for their Padre del Commune or other magistrate, 

1 tell them, 'You know better than I do the able and honest men 
among your neighbours. Consider the consequence of your choice, 
not only to yourselves in particular but to the island in general.' In 
this manner I accustom them to feel their own importance as mem- 
bers of the state." 

After representing the severe and melancholy state of oppression 
under which Corsica had so long groaned, he said, "We are now to 
our country like the prophet Elisha stretched over the dead child of 
the Shunammite, eye to eye, nose to nose, mouth to mouth. It begins 
to recover warmth and to revive. I hope it shall yet regain full health 
and vigour." 

I said that things would make a rapid progress, and that we should 
soon see all the arts and sciences flourish in Corsica. "Patience, Sir," 
said he. "If you saw a man who had fought a hard battle, who was 
much wounded, who was beaten to the ground, and who with diffi- 

2 Neither memorial nor translation has been recovered. 

s No letters from Paoli to Boswell during the period 1765-1768 have been re- 
covered, but Boswell printed the text of one (p. 203). 

Sollacard, 22-2 7 October 1 765 167 

culty could lift himself up, it would not be reasonable to ask him to 
get his hair well dressed and to put on embroidered clothes. Corsica 
has fought a hard battle, has been much wounded, has been beaten 
to the ground, and with difficulty can lift herself up. The arts and 
sciences are like dress and ornament. You cannot expect them from 
us for some time. But come back twenty or thirty years hence, and 
we'll show you arts and sciences, and concerts and assemblies, and 
fine ladies, and we'll make you fall in love among us, Sir." 

He smiled a good deal when I told him that I was much surprised 
to find him so amiable, accomplished, and polite; for although I 
knew I was to see a great man, I expected to find a rude character, 
an Attila King of the Goths, or a Luitprand King of the Lombards. 

I observed that although he had often a placid smile upon his 
countenance, he hardly ever laughed. Whether loud laughter in gen- 
eral society be a sign of weakness or rusticity I cannot say; but I have 
remarked that real great men, and men of finished behaviour, seldcfcpa 
fall into it. 

The variety, and I may say versatility, of the mind of this great 
man is amazing. One day when I came to pay my respects to him 
before dinner, I found him in much agitation, with a circle of his 
nobles around him and a Corsican standing before him like a criminal 
before his judge. Paoli immediately turned to me, "I am glad you are 
come, Sir. You Protestants talk much against our doctrine of transub- 
stantiation. Behold here the miracle of transubstantiation, a Corsi- 
can transubstantiated into a Genoese. That unworthy man who now 
stands before me is a Corsican, who has been long a lieutenant under 
the Genoese in Capo Corso. Andrew Doria and all their greatest 
heroes could not be more violent for the Republic than he has been, 
and all against his country." Then turning to the man, "Sir," said he, 
"Corsica makes it a rule to pardon the most unworthy of her children 
when they surrender themselves, even when they are forced to do so 
as is your case. You have now escaped. But take care. I shall have a 
strict eye upon you, and if ever you make the least attempt to re- 
turn to your traitorous practices, you know I can be avenged of you." 
He spoke this with the fierceness of a lion, and from the awful dark- 
ness of his brow one could see that his thoughts of vengeance were 
terrible. Yet when it was over he all at once resumed his usual ap- 

168 Sollacaro, 22-27 October 765 

pearance, called out "Come along," went to dinner, and was as cheer- 
ful and gay as if nothing had happened. 

His notions of morality are high and refined, such as become the 
father of a nation. Were he a libertine his influence would soon van- 
ish, for men will never trust the important concerns of society to one 
they know will do what is hurtful to society for his own pleasures. He 
told me that his father had brought him up with great strictness, and 
that he had very seldom deviated from the paths of virtue. That this 
was not from a defect of feeling and passion, but that his mind being 
filled with important objects, his passions were employed in more 
noble pursuits than those of licentious pleasure. I saw from Paoli's 
example the great art of preserving young men of spirit from the con- 
tagion of vice, in which there is often a species of sentiment, ingenu- 
ity, and enterprise nearly allied to virtuous qualities. Show a young 
man that there is more real spirit in virtue than in vice, and you have 
a surer hold of him during his years of impetuosity and passion than 
by convincing his judgment of all the rectitude of ethics. 

One day at dinner he gave us the principal arguments for the 
being and attributes of God. To hear these arguments repeated with 
graceful energy by the illustrious Paoli in the midst of his heroic 
nobles was admirable. I never felt my mind more elevated. 

I took occasion to mention the King of Prussia's infidel writings, 
and in particular his Epistle to Marshal Keith. Paoli, who often 
talks with admiration of the greatness of that monarch, instead of 
uttering any direct censure of what he saw to be wrong in so distin- 
guished a hero, paused a little, and then said with a grave and most 
expressive look, "It is fine consolation for an old general when dying, 
*In a little while you shall be no more.' " 4 

He observed that the Epicurean philosophy had produced but one 
exalted character, whereas Stoicism had been the seminary of great 
men. What he now said put me in mind of these noble lines of Lucan: 

... Hi mores, haec duri inmota Catonis 
Secta fuit, servare modum finemque tenere, 

4 Frederick the Great's tpitre au Marechal Keith is subtitled in French, "an 
imitation of the third book of Lucretius." Paoli summarized it accurately. 

Sollacaro, 2 2-2 7 October 1 765 1 69 

Naturamque sequi patriaeque inpendere vitam, 
Nee sibi sed toti genitum se credere mundo. 5 

When he was asked If he would quit the island of which he had 
undertaken the protection, supposing a foreign power should create 
him a marshal and make him governor of a province, he replied, "I 
hope they will believe I am more honest, or more ambitious; for," 
said he, "to accept of the highest offices under a foreign power would 
be to serve." 

"To have been a colonel, a general, or a marshal," said he, "would 
have been sufficient for my table, for my taste in dress, for the beauty 
whom my rank would have entitled me to attend. But it would not 
have been sufficient for this spirit, for this imagination" putting 
his hand upon his bosom. 

He reasoned one day in the midst of his nobles whether the com- 
mander of a nation should be married or not. "If he is married," said 
he, "there is a risk that he may be distracted by private affairs and 
swayed too much by a concern for his family. If he is unmarried, 
there is a risk that not having the tender attachments of a wife and 
children, he may sacrifice all to his own ambition." When I said he 
ought to marry and have a son to succeed him; "Sir," said he, "what 
security can I have that my son will think and act as I do? What sort 
of a son had Cicero, and what had Marcus Aurelius?" 

He said to me one day when we were alone, "I never will marry, 
I have not the conjugal virtues. Nothing would tempt me to marry 
but a woman who should bring me an immense dowry, with which I 
might assist my country." 

But he spoke much in praise of marriage, as an institution which 

5 Lucan, Pharsalia, ii. 380-383: 

These were the stricter manners of the man, 
And this the stubborn course in which they ran; 
The golden mean unchanging to pursue, 
Constant to keep the purposed end in view; 
Religiously to follow Nature's laws, 
And die with pleasure in his country's cause. 
To think he was not for himself designed, 
But born to be of use to all mankind. 

Nicholas Rowe. 

1 7O Sollacaro, 2 2-2 7 October 1 765 

the experience of ages had found to be the best calculated for the hap- 
piness of individuals and for the good of society. Had he been a pri- 
vate gentleman, he probably would have married, and I am sure 
would have made as good a husband and father as he does a supreme 
magistrate and a general. But his arduous and critical situation would 
not allow him to enjoy domestic felicity. He is wedded to his country, 
and the Corsicans are his children. 

He often talked to me of marriage, told me licentious pleasures 
were delusive and transient, that I should never be truly happy till I 
was married, and that he hoped to have a letter from me soon after my 
return home, acquainting him that I had followed his advice and was 
convinced from experience that he was in the right. With such an 
engaging condescension did this great man behave to me. If I could 
but paint his manner, all my readers would be charmed with him. 

He has a mind fitted for philosophical speculations as well as for 
affairs of state. One evening at supper he entertained us for some 
time with some curious reveries and conjectures as to the nature of 
the intelligence of beasts, with regard to which he observed human 
knowledge was as yet very imperfect. He in particular seemed fond 
of inquiring into the language of the brute creation. He observed that 
beasts fully communicate their ideas to each other, and that some of 
them, such as dogs, can form several articulate sounds. In different 
ages there have been people who pretended to understand the lan- 
guage of birds and beasts. "Perhaps," said Paoli, "in a thousand years 
we may know this as well as we know things which appeared much 
more difficult to be known." I have often since this conversation in- 
dulged myself in such reveries. If it were not liable to ridicule, I 
would say that an acquaintance with the language of beasts would 
be a most agreeable acquisition to man, as it would enlarge the circle 
of his social intercourse. 

On my return to Britain, I was disappointed to find nothing upon 
this subject in Dr. Gregory's Comparative View of the State and 
Faculties of Man with Those of the Animal World, which was then 
just published. My disappointment, however, was in a good measure 
made up by a picture of society, drawn by that ingenious and worthy 
author, which may be well applied to the Corsicans: "There is a cer- 
tain period in the progress of society in which mankind appear to the 

Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1765 171 

greatest advantage. In this period, they have the bodily powers and 
all the animal functions remaining in full vigour. They are bold, 
active, steady, ardent in the love of liberty and their native country. 
Their manners are simple, their social affections warm, and though 
they are greatly influenced by the ties of blood, yet they are generous 
and hospitable to strangers. Religion is universally regarded among 
them, disguised by a variety of superstitions." 

Paoli was very desirous that I should study the character of the 
Corsicans. "Go among them," said he, "the more you talk with them, 
you will do me the greater pleasure. Forget the meanness of their ap- 
parel. Hear their sentiments. You will find honour and sense and 
abilities among these poor men." 

His heart grew big when he spoke of his countrymen. His own 
great qualities appeared to unusual advantage while he described 
the virtues of those for whose happiness his whole life was employed. 
"If," said he, "I should lead into the field an army of Corsicans 
against an army double their number, let me speak a few words to the 
Corsicans to remind them of the honour of their country and of their 
brave forefathers I do not say that they would conquer, but I am 
sure that not a man of them would give way. The Corsicans," said 
he, "have a steady resolution that would amaze you. I wish you could 
see one of them die. It is a proverb among the Genoese, 'The Corsi- 
cans deserve the gallows, and they fear not to meet it.' There is a real 
compliment to us in this saying." 

He told me that in Corsica criminals are put to death four and 
twenty hours after sentence is pronounced against them. "This," said 
he, "may not be over-catholic, but it is humane." 

He went on and gave me several instances of the Corsican spirit: 

"A sergeant," said he, "who fell in one of our desperate actions, 
when just a-dying, wrote to me thus: C I salute you. Take care of my 
aged father. In two hours I shall be with the rest who have bravely 
died for their country.' 

"A Corsican gentleman who had been taken prisoner by the 
Genoese was thrown into a dark dungeon, where he was chained to 
the ground. While he was in this dismal situation, the Genoese sent 
a message to him that if he would accept of a commission in then- 
service, he might have it. 'No,' said he. 'Were I to accept of your offer, 

1 72 Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1 765 

it would be with a determined purpose to take the first opportunity 
of returning to the service of my country. But I will not accept of it. 
For I would not have my countrymen even suspect that I could be one 
moment unfaithful.' And he remained in his dungeon." Paoli went 
on: "I defy Rome, Sparta, or Thebes to show me thirty years of such 
patriotism as Corsica can boast. Though the affection between rela- 
tions is exceedingly strong in the Corsicans, they will give up their 
nearest relations for the good of their country, and sacrifice such as 
have deserted to the Genoese." 

He gave me a noble instance of a Corsican's feeling and greatness 
of mind. "A criminal," said he, "was condemned to die. His nephew 
came to me with a lady of distinction, that she might solicit his par- 
don. The nephew's anxiety made him think that the lady did not 
speak with sufficient force and earnestness. He therefore advanced, 
and addressed himself to me: *Sir, is it proper for me to speak?' as if 
he felt that it was unlawful to make such an application. I bid him go 
on. c Sir, } said he, with the deepest concern, 'may I beg the life of my 
uncle? If it is granted, his relations will make a gift to the state of a 
thousand zechins. We will furnish fifty soldiers in pay during the 
siege of Furiani. We will agree that my uncle shall be banished, and 
will engage that he shall never return to the island." I knew the 
nephew to be a man of worth, and I answered him, 4 You are ac- 
quainted with the circumstances of this case. Such is my confidence 
in you, that if you will say that giving your uncle a pardon would be 
just, useful, or honourable for Corsica, I promise you it shall be 
granted.' He turned about, burst into tears, and left me, saying, 4 I 
would not have the honour of our country sold for a thousand zechins.' 
And his uncle suffered." 

Although the General was one of the constituent members of the 
court of sindacato, he seldom took his chair. He remained in his own 
apartment, and if any of those whose suits were determined by the 
sindacato were not pleased with the sentence they had an audience 
of Paoli, who never failed to convince them that justice had been done 
them. This appeared to me a necessary indulgence in the infancy of 
government. The Corsicans, having been so long in a state of anarchy, 
could not all at once submit their minds to the regular authority of 
justice. They would submit implicitly to Paoli, because they love and 
venerate him. But such a submission is in reality being governed by 

Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1765 173 

their passions. They submit to one for whom they have a personal 
regard. They cannot be said to be perfectly civilized till they submit 
to the determinations of their magistrates as officers of the state en- 
trusted with the administration of justice. By convincing them that 
the magistrates judge with abilities and uprightness, Paoli accustoms 
the Corsicans to have that salutary confidence in their rulers which is 
necessary for securing respect and stability to the government. 

After having said much in praise of the Corsicans, "Come," said 
he, "y u shall have a proof of what I tell you. There is a crowd in the 
next room waiting for admittance to me. I will call in the first I see, 
and you shall hear him." He who chanced to present himself was a 
venerable old man. The General shook him by the hand and bid him 
good day, with an easy kindness that gave the aged peasant full en- 
couragement to talk to his Excellency with freedom. Paoli bid him 
not mind me, but say on. The old man then told him that there had 
been an unlucky tumult in the village where he lived, and that two of 
his sons were killed. That looking upon this as a heavy misfortune, 
but without malice on the part of those who deprived him of his sons, 
he was willing to have allowed it to pass without enquiry. But his 
wife, anxious for revenge, had made an application to have them ap- 
prehended and punished. That he gave his Excellency this trouble 
to entreat that the greatest care might be taken, lest in the heat of 
enmity among his neighbours anybody should be punished as guilty 
of the blood of his sons who was really innocent of it. There was some- 
thing so generous in this sentiment, while at the same time the old 
man seemed full of grief for the loss of his children, that it touched 
my heart in the most sensible manner. Paoli looked at me with com- 
placency and a kind of amiable triumph on the behaviour of the old 
man, who had a flow of words and a vivacity of gesture which fully 
justified what Petrus Cyrnaeus hath said of the Corsican eloquence: 
"Diceres omnes esse bonos causidicos." 8 

I found Paoli had reason to wish that I should talk much with 
his countrymen, as it gave me a higher opinion both of him and of 
them. Thuanus has justly said, "Sunt mobilia Corsorum ingenia." 7 
e "You would say they are all good pleaders." BOSWELL. Petrus, a priest, wrote 
a history of Corsica in the early sixteenth century. 

7 "The dispositions of the Corsicans are changeable.*' BOSWEUU Thuanus 
(Jacques Auguste de Thou) published a history of his own times in the early 
seventeenth century. 

1 74 Sollacaro, 2 2-2 7 October 1765 

Yet after ten years, their attachment to Paoli is as strong as at the 
first Nay, they have an enthusiastic admiration of him. "This great 
man whom God hath sent to free our country," was the manner in 
which they expressed themselves to me concerning him. 

Those who attended on Paoli were all men of sense and abilities 
in their different departments. Some of them had been in foreign 
service. One of them, Signer Suzzoni, had been long in Germany. 
He spoke German to me, and recalled to my mind the happy days 
which I have passed among that plain, honest, brave people, who of 
all nations in the world receive strangers with the greatest cordiality. 
Signer Gian Quilico Casabianca, of the most ancient Corsican no- 
bility, was much my friend. He instructed me fully with regard to 
the Corsican government. He had even the patience to sit by me while 
I wrote down an account of it, which from conversations with Paoli 
I afterwards enlarged and improved. I received many civilities from 
the Abbe Rostini, a man of literature, and distinguished no less for 
the excellency of his heart. His saying of Paoli deserves to be re- 
membered: "We are not afraid that our General will deceive us, nor 
that he will let himself be deceived." 

I also received civilities from Father Guelfucci of the order of 
Servites, a man whose talents and virtues, united with a singular 
decency and sweetness of manners, have raised him to the honourable 
station of secretary to the General. Indeed all the gentlemen here 
behaved to me in the most obliging manner. We walked, rode, and 
went a-shooting together. 

The peasants and soldiers were all frank, open, lively, and bold, 
with a certain roughness of manner which agrees well with their 
character and is far from being displeasing. The General gave me an 
admirable instance of their plain and natural solid good sense. A 
young French marquis, very rich and very vain, came over to Corsica. 
He had a sovereign contempt for the barbarous inhabitants, and 
strutted about with prodigious airs of consequence. The Corsicans 
beheld him with a smile of ridicule and said, "Let him alone, he is 

The Corsican peasants and soldiers are very fond of baiting cattle 
with the large mountain dogs. This keeps up a ferocity among them 
which totally extinguishes fear. I have seen a Corsican in the very 

Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1765 175 

heat of a baiting, run in, drive off the dogs, seize the half-frantic 
animal by the horns, and lead it away. The common people did not 
seem much given to diversions. I observed some of them in the great 
hall of the house of Colonna where I was lodged amusing themselves 
with playing at a sort of draughts in a very curious manner. They 
drew upon the floor with chalk a sufficient number of squares, chalk- 
ing one all over and leaving one open alternately; and instead of 
black men and white, they had bits of stone and bits of wood. It was 
an admirable burlesque on gaming. 

The chief satisfaction of these islanders, when not engaged in war 
or in hunting, seemed to be that of lying at their ease in the open 
air, recounting tales of the bravery of their countrymen, and singing 
songs in honour of the Corsicans and against the Genoese. Even in the 
night they will continue this pastime in the open air, unless rain 
forces them to retire into their houses. 

The arnbasciatore inglese, as the good peasants and soldiers used 
to call me, became a great favourite among them. I got a Corsican 
dress made, in which I walked about with an air of true satisfaction. 
The General did me the honour to present me with his own pistols, 
made in the island, all of Corsican wood and iron and of excellent 
workmanship. I had every other accoutrement. I even got one of the 
shells which had often sounded the alarm to liberty. I preserve them 
all with great care. 

The Corsican peasants and soldiers were quite free and easy with 
me. Numbers of them used to come and see me of a morning, and just 
go out and in as they pleased. I did everything in my power to make 
them fond of the British, and bid them hope for an alliance with us. 
They asked me a thousand questions about my country, all which I 
cheerfully answered as well as I could. 

One day they would needs hear me play upon my German flute. 
To have told my honest natural visitants, "Really, gentlemen, I play 
very ill," and put on such airs as we do in our genteel companies, 
would have been highly ridiculous. I therefore immediately com- 
plied with their request. I gave them one or two Italian airs, and then 
some of our beautiful old Scots tunes: Gilder oy, The Lass of Patie's 
Mill, "Corn rigs are bonny." The pathetic simplicity and pastoral 
gaiety of the Scots music will always please those who have the gen- 

1 76 Sollacaro, 2 2-2 7 October 1 765 

uine feelings of nature. The Corsicans were charmed with the speci- 
mens I gave them, though I may now say that they were very indiffer- 
ently performed. 

My good friends insisted also to have an English song from me. 
I endeavoured to please them in this too, and was very lucky in that 
which occurred to me. I sung them "Hearts of oak are our ships, 
Hearts of oak are our men." 8 1 translated it into Italian for them, and 
never did I see men so delighted with a song as the Corsicans were 
with the Hearts of Oak. "Cuore di quercia," cried they, "bravo In- 
glese!" It was quite a joyous riot. I fancied myself to be a recruiting 
sea officer. I fancied all my chorus of Corsicans aboard the British fleet. 

Paoli talked very highly on preserving the independency of Cor- 
sica. "We may," said he, "have foreign powers for our friends, but 
they must be friends at arm's length. We may make an alliance, but 
we will not submit ourselves to the dominion of the greatest nation 
in Europe. This people who have done so much for liberty would be 
hewn in pieces man by man rather than allow Corsica to be sunk into 
the territories of another country. Some years ago, when a false 
rumour was spread that I had a design to yield up Corsica to the 
Emperor, a Corsican came to me and addressed me in great agitation: 
'What! shall the blood of so many heroes, who have sacrificed their 
lives for the freedom of Corsica, serve only to tinge the purple of a 
foreign prince!' " 

I mentioned to him the scheme of an alliance between Great 
Britain and Corsica. Paoli with politeness and dignity waived the 
subject by saying, "The less assistance we have from allies, the 
greater our glory." He seemed hurt by our treatment of his country. 
He mentioned the severe proclamation at the last peace, in which the 
brave islanders were called the rebels of Corsica. He said with a con- 
scious pride and proper feeling, "Rebels! I did not expect that from 
Great Britain." 

He however showed his great respect for the British nation, and I 
could see he wished much to be in friendship with us. When I asked 
him what I could possibly do in return for all his goodness to me, he 
replied, "Only undeceive your Court. Tell them what you have seen 
here. They will be curious to ask you. A man come from Corsica will 
be like a man come from the Antipodes." 
8 The words of this song are by David Garricfc, the music by William Boyc 


Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1765 177 

I expressed such hopes as a man of sensibility would in my situa- 
tion naturally form. He saw at least one Briton devoted to his cause. I 
threw out many flattering ideas of future political events, imaged the 
British and the Corsicans strictly united both in commerce and in 
war, and described the blunt kindness and admiration with which the 
hearty, generous common people of England would treat the brave 

I insensibly got the better of his reserve upon this head. My flow 
of gay ideas relaxed his severity and brightened up his humour. "Do 
you remember," said he, "the little people in Asia who were in danger 
of being oppressed by the great king of Assyria, till they addressed 
themselves to the Romans; and the Romans, with the noble spirit of 
a great and free nation, stood forth and would not suffer the great 
king to destroy the little people, but made an alliance with them?" 
He made no observations upon this beautiful piece of history. It was 
easy to see his allusion to his own nation and ours. 

When the General related this piece of history to me, I was negli- 
gent enough not to ask him what little people he meant. As the story 
made a strong impression upon me, upon my return to Britain I 
searched a variety of books to try if I could find it, but in vain. I 
therefore took the liberty in one of my letters to Paoli to beg he would 
let me know it. He told me the little people was the Jews, that the 
story was related by several ancient authors, but that I would find 
it told with most precision and energy in the eighth chapter of the 
first book of the Maccabees. 

The first book of the Maccabees, though not received into the 
Protestant canon, is allowed by all the learned to be an authentic 
history. I have read Paoli's favourite story with much satisfaction, 
and as in several circumstances it very well applies to Great Britain 
and Corsica, is told with great eloquence, and furnishes a fine model 
for an alliance, I shall make no apology for transcribing the most 
interesting verses. . . . 9 

I will venture to ask whether the Romans appear in any one in- 
stance of their history more truly great than they do here. 

Paoli said, "If a man would preserve the generous glow of patriot- 
ism, he must not reason too much. Marshal Saxe reasoned, and carried 
9 BoswelPs extended quotation, comprising most of the eighth chapter of I Mac- 
cabees, is omitted. 

1 78 Sollacarb, 2 2-2 7 October 1 765 

the arms of France into the heart of Germany, his own country. 1 1 

act from sentiment, not from reasonings. 

"Virtuous sentiments and habits," said he, "are beyond philo- 
sophical reasonings, which are not so strong, and are continually 
varying. If all the professors in Europe were formed into one society, 
it would no doubt be a society very respectable and we should there 
be entertained with the best moral lessons. Yet I believe I should find 
more real virtue in a society of good peasants in some little village in 
the heart of your island. It might be said of these two societies, as was 
said of Demosthenes and Themistocles, 'Illius dicta, huius facta 
magis valebant.' " 2 

This kind of conversation led me to tell him how much I had 
suffered from anxious speculations. With a mind naturally inclined 
to melancholy, and a keen desire of enquiry, I had intensely applied 
myself to metaphysical researches, and reasoned beyond my depth 
on such subjects as it is not given to man to know. I told him I had 
rendered my mind a camera obscura, that in the very heat of youth 
I felt the non est tanti, the omnia vanitas* of one who has exhausted 
all the sweets of his being and is weary with dull repetition. I told him 
that I had almost become for ever incapable of taking a part in active 

"All this," said Paoli, "is melancholy. I have also studied meta- 
physics. I know the arguments for fate and free will, for the ma- 
teriality and immateriality of the soul, and even the subtle argu- 
ments for and against the existence of matter. But let us leave these 
disputes to the idle. I hold always firm one great object. I never feel a 
moment of despondency." 

The contemplation of such a character really existing was of more 
service to me than all I had been able to draw from books, from con- 
versation, or from the exertions of my own mind. I had often enough 
formed the idea of a man continually such as I could conceive in my 
best moments. But this idea appeared like the ideas we are taught 

1 Hermann Maurice, Comte de Saxe, was a natural son of Augustus II of Saxony. 
Having served in his youth under Marlborough and Prince Eugene, he later 
became a marshal of France and was the victorious general at Fontenoy in 1745. 
3 'The one was powerful in words, but the other in deeds.'* BOSWELL. 

8 "It is not worth while All is vanity." The first phrase is proverbial; the 

second is from Ecclesiastes i. 2. 

Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1 765 1 79 

in the schools to form of things which may exist, but do not: of seas 
of milk and ships of amber. But I saw my highest idea realized in 
Paoli. It was impossible for me, speculate as I pleased, to have a little 
opinion of human nature in him. 

One morning I remember I came in upon him without ceremony 
while he was dressing. I was glad to have an opportunity of seeing 
him in those teasing moments when according to the Due de La 
Rochefoucauld no man is a hero to his valet de chambre* That lively 
nobleman, who has a malicious pleasure in endeavouring to divest 
human nature of its dignity by exhibiting partial views and ex- 
aggerating faults, would have owned that Paoli was every moment 
of his life a hero. 

Paoli told me that from his earliest years he had in view the im- 
portant station which he now holds, so that his sentiments must ever 
have been great. I asked him how one of such elevated thoughts could 
submit with any degree of patience to the unmeaning ceremonies and 
poor discourse of genteel society, which he certainly was obliged to do 
while an officer at Naples. "Oh," said he, "I managed it very easily. 
I was known to be a singular man. I talked and joked and was merry, 
but I never sat down to play; I went and came as I pleased. The mirth 
I like is what is easy and unaffected. I cannot endure long the sayers 
of good things." 

How much superior is this great man's idea of agreeable conver- 
sation to that of professed wits, who are continually straining for 
smart remarks and lively repartees. They put themselves to much 
pain in order to please, and yet please less than if they would just 
appear as they naturally feel themselves. A company of professed 
wits has always appeared to me like a company of artificers employed 
in some very nice and difficult work which they are under a necessity 
of performing. 

Though calm and fully master of himself, Paoli is animated with 
an extraordinary degree of vivacity. Except when indisposed or 
greatly fatigued, he never sits down but at meals. He is perpetually 
in motion, walking briskly backwards and forwards. Mr. Samuel 
Johnson, whose comprehensive and vigorous understanding has by 

4 The Maxims of La Rochefoucauld do not contain this saying. It is sometimes 
attributed to Mme. Cornuel, sometimes to Mme, de Sevigne, 

1 8o Sollacaro, 2 2-2 7 October 1765 

long observation attained to a perfect knowledge of human nature, 
when treating of biography has this reflection: "There are many in- 
visible circumstances which, whether we read as enquirers after 
natural or moral knowledge, whether we intend to enlarge our 
science or increase our virtue, are more important than public occur- 
rences. Thus Sallust, the great master of nature, has not forgotten in 
his account of Catiline to remark that c his walk was now quick, and 
again slow,' as an indication of a mind revolving something with 
violent commotion." 5 Ever mindful of the wisdom of the Rambler, I 
have accustomed myself to mark the small peculiarities of character. 
Paoli's being perpetually in motion, nay his being so agitated that as 
the same Sallust also says of Catiline, "Neque vigiliis, neque quietibus 
sedari poterat," 6 are indications of his being as active and indefati- 
gable as Catiline, but from a very different cause: the conspirator 
from schemes of ruin and destruction to Rome, the patriot from 
schemes of liberty and felicity to Corsica. 

Paoli told me that the vivacity of his mind was such that he could 
not study above ten minutes at a time. "My head is like to break," 
said he. "I can never write my lively ideas with my own hand. In 
writing, they escape from my mind. I call the Abbe Guelfucci, 'Come 
quickly, take my thoughts,' and he writes them." 

Paoli has a memory like that of Themistocles, for I was assured 
that he knows the names of almost all the people in the island, their 
characters, and their connections. His memory as a man of learning 
is no less uncommon. He has the best part of the classics by heart, and 
he has a happy talent in applying them with propriety, which is 
rarely to be found. This talent is not always to be reckoned pedantry. 
The instances in which Paoli is shown to display it are a proof to the 

I have heard Paoli recount the revolutions of one of the ancient 
states with an energy and a rapidity which showed him to be master 
of the subject, to be perfectly acquainted with every spring and move- 
ment of the various events. I have heard him give what the French 

5 Rambler, No. 60. Boswell enlarged on this quotation, which he took as a basis 
for his own biographical method, in his opening remarks to The Life of Johnson. 
The quotation from Sallust is from the Bellum Catilinae, xv. 
* "He could not be quieted either by watching or by repose." BOSWELL. See 
Bellum Catilinae, xxvii. 

Sollacardy 22-27 October 1765 181 

call un catalogue raisorme of the most distinguished men in an- 
tiquity. His characters of them were concise, nervous, and just. I 
regret that the fire with which he spoke upon such occasions so 
dazzled me that I could not recollect his sayings so as to write them 
down when I retired from his presence. He just lives in the times of 
antiquity. He said to me, "A young man who would form his mind 
to glory must not read modern memoirs, but Plutarch and Titus 

I have seen him fall into a sort of reverie, and break out into sallies 
of the grandest and noblest enthusiasm. I recollect two instances of 
this. "What a thought: that thousands owe their happiness to you!" 
And throwmg'himself into an attitude as if he saw the lofty mountain 
of fame before him: "There is my object! (pointing to the summit) . 
If I fall, I fall at least there (pointing a good way up) ; magnis tamen 
excidit ausis" 7 

I ventured to reason like a libertine, that I might be confirmed in 
virtuous principles by so illustrious a preceptor. I made light of moral 
feelings. I argued that conscience was vague and uncertain, that 
there was hardly any vice but what men might be found who have 
been guilty of it without remorse. "But," said he, "there is no man 
who has not a horror at some vice. Different vices and different virtues 
have the strongest impression on different men, but virtue in the 
abstract is the food of our hearts." 

Talking of Providence, he said to me with that earnestness with 
which a man speaks who is anxious to be believed: "I tell you on the 
word of an honest man, it is impossible for me not to be persuaded 
that God interposes to give freedom to Corsica. A people oppressed 
like the Corsicans are certainly worthy of divine assistance. When 
we were in the most desperate circumstances I never lost courage, 
trusting as I did in Providence." I ventured to object; "But why has 
not Providence interposed sooner?" He replied with a noble, serious, 
and devout air, "Because His ways are unsearchable. I adore Him 
for what He hath done. I revere Him in what He hath not done." 

I gave Paoli the character of my revered friend Mr. Samuel John- 
son. I have often regretted that illustrious men, such as humanity 
produces a few times in the revolution of many ages, should not see 

7 "It was, however, in a great venture that he failed" (Ovid, Metamorphoses, 

182 Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1765 

each other; and when such arise in the same age, though at the dis- 
tance of half the globe, I have been astonished how they could forbear 

to meet. 

"As steel sharpeneth steel, so doth a man the countenance of his 
friend," 8 says the wise monarch. What an idea may we not form of 
an interview between such a scholar and philosopher as Mr. Johnson 
and such a legislator and general as Paoli! 9 

I repeated to Paoli several of Mr. Johnson's sayings, so remarkable 
for strong sense and original humour. I now recollect these two. 
When I told Mr. Johnson that a certain author 1 affected in conversa- 
tion to maintain that there was no distinction between virtue and 
vice, he said, "Why, Sir, if the fellow does not think as he speaks, he is 
lying; and I see not what honour he can propose to himself from 
having the character of a liar. But if he does really think that there 
is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, Sir, when he leaves 
our houses let us count our spoons." Of modern infidels and innova- 
tors, he said, "Sir, these are all vain men, and will gratify themselves 
at any expense. Truth will not afford sufficient food to their vanity, 
so they have betaken themselves to error. Truth, Sir, is a cow which 
will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the 
bull." 2 1 felt an elation of mind to see Paoli delighted with the sayings 
of Mr. Johnson, and to hear him translate them with Italian energy 
to the Corsican heroes. 

I repeated Mr. Johnson's sayings as nearly as I could in his own 
peculiar forcible language, for which prejudiced or little critics have 
taken upon them to find fault with him. He is above making any 
answer to them, but I have found a sufficient answer in a general 
remark in one of his excellent papers: "Difference of thoughts will 
produce difference of language. He that thinks with more extent than 
another will want words of larger meaning." 8 

8 See Proverbs 27. 17. 

* Paoli and Johnson took to each other when Boswell introduced them in 1769. 
In The Life of Johnson, Johnson is reported as saying that Paoli had "the loftiest 
port of any man he had ever seen* 7 (10 October 1769). 

1 James Macpherson, the "translator" of Ossian. 

* Johnson made this remark apropos of David Hume and "all other sceptical 
innovators" (BosweWs London Journal, 1762-1763, 22 July 1763). 

* Idler, No. 70. 

Sollacaro, 2 2-2 7 October 1765 1 83 

I hope to be pardoned for this digression, wherein I pay a just 
tribute of veneration and gratitude to one from whose writings and 
conversation I have received instructions of which I experience the 
value in every scene of my life. 

During Paoli's administration there have been few laws made in 
Corsica. He mentioned one which he has found very efficacious in 
curbing that vindictive spirit of the Corsicans of which I have said a 
good deal in a former part of this work. 4 There was among the Cor- 
sicans a most dreadful species of revenge, called vendetta trasversaf 
which Petrus Cyrnaeus candidly acknowledges. It was this: if a man 
had received an injury and could not find a proper opportunity to be 
revenged on his enemy personally, he revenged himself on one of his 
enemy's relations. So barbarous a practice was the source of innumer- 
able assassinations. Paoli, knowing that the point of honour was 
everything to the Corsicans, opposed it to the progress of the blackest 
of crimes fortified by long habits. He made a law by which it was 
provided that this collateral revenge should not only be punished 
with death, as ordinary murder, but the memory of the offender 
should be disgraced for ever by a pillar of infamy. He also had it 
enacted that the same statute should extend to the violators of an oath 
of reconciliation once made. 

By thus combating a vice so destructive he has by a kind of shock 
of opposite passions reduced the fiery Corsicans to a state of mildness, 
and he assured me that they were now fully sensible of the equity 
of that law. 

While I was at Sollacaro, information was received that the poor 
wretch who strangled the woman at the instigation of his mistress 
had consented to accept of his life upon condition of becoming hang- 
man. This made a great noise among the Corsicans, who were en- 
raged at the creature and said their nation was now disgraced. Paoli 
did not think so. He said to me, "I am glad of this. It will be of service. 
It will contribute to form us to a just subordination. We have as yet 
too great an equality among us. As we must have Corsican tailors and 
Corsican shoemakers, we must also have a Corsican hangman." 

I could not help being of a different opinion. The occupations of a 

* In the Account of Corsica. 

5 Collateral revenge. BOSWELL. 

1 84 Sollacaro, 22-2 7 October 1 765 

tailor and a shoemaker, though mean, are not odious. When I after- 
wards met M. Rousseau in England and made him a report of my 
Corsican expedition, he agreed with me in thinking that it would be 
something noble for the brave islanders to be able to say that there 
was not a Corsican but who would rather suffer death than become a 
hangman; and he also agreed with me that it might have a good 
effect to have always a Genoese for the hangman of Corsica. 

I must, however, do the Genoese the justice to observe that Paoli 
told me that even one of them had suffered death in Corsica rather 
than consent to become hangman. When I, from a keenness natural 
enough in a Briton born with an abhorrence at tyranny, talked with 
violence against the Genoese, Paoli said with a moderation and can- 
dour which ought to do him honour even with the Republic, "It is 
true the Genoese are our enemies, but let us not forget that they are 
the descendants of those worthies who carried their arms beyond the 

There is one circumstance in Paoli's character which I present to 
my readers with caution, knowing how much it may be ridiculed in 
an age when mankind are so fond of incredulity that they seem to 
pique themselves in contracting their circle of belief as much as pos- 
sible. But I consider this infidel rage as but a temporary mode of the 
human understanding, and am well persuaded that ere long we shall 
return to a more calm philosophy. 

I own I cannot help thinking that though we may boast some im- 
provements in science and, in short, superior degrees of knowledge 
in things where our faculties can fully reach, yet we should not as- 
sume to ourselves sounder judgments than those of our fathers. I will 
therefore venture to relate that Paoli has at times extraordinary im- 
pressions of distant and future events. 

The way in which I discovered it was this. Being very desirous of 
studying so exalted a character, I so far presumed upon his goodness 
to me as to take the liberty of asking him a thousand questions with 
regard to the most minute and private circumstances of his life. 
Having asked him one day when some of his nobles were present 
whether a mind so active as his was not employed even in sleep, and 
if he used to dream much, Signer Casablanca said with an air and 
tone which implied something of importance, "Yes, he dreams." And 
upon my asking him to explain his meaning, he told me that the 

Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1 765 185 

General had often seen in his dreams what afterwards came to pass. 
Paoli confirmed this by several instances. Said he, "I can give you no 
clear explanation of it. I only tell you facts. Sometimes I have been 
mistaken, but in general these visions have proved true. I cannot say 
what may be the agency of invisible spirits. They certainly must 
know more than we do, and there is nothing absurd in supposing that 
God should permit them to communicate their knowledge to us." 

He went into a most curious and pleasing disquisition, on a sub- 
ject which the late ingenious Mr. Baxter had treated in a very philo- 
sophical manner in his Inquiry into the Nature of the Human Soul^ a 
book which may be read with as much delight and surely with more 
advantage than the works of those who endeavour to destroy our 
belief. Belief is favourable to the human mind, were it for nothing 
else but to furnish it entertainment. An infidel I should think must 
frequently suffer from ennui. 

It was perhaps affectation in Socrates to say that all he had learned 
to know was that he knew nothing. But surely it is a mark of wisdom 
to be sensible of the limited extent of human knowledge, to examine 
with reverence the ways of God, nor presumptuously reject any opin- 
ion which has been held by the judicious and the learned because it 
has been made a cloak for artifice or had a variety of fictions raised 
upon it by credulity. 

Old Felltham says, "Every dream is not to be counted of; nor yet 
are all to be cast away with contempt. I would neither be a stoic, 
superstitious in all; nor yet an epicure, considerate of none." And 
after observing how much the ancients attended to the interpretation 
of dreams, he adds, "Were it not for the power of the Gospel in crying 
down the vains 6 of men, it would appear a wonder how a science so 
pleasing to humanity should fall so quite to ruin." 7 

The mysterious circumstance in Paoli's character which I have 
ventured to relate is universally believed in Corsica. The inhabitants 
of that island, like the Italians, express themselves much by signs. 
When I asked one of them if there had been many instances of the 
General's foreseeing future events, he grasped a large bunch of his 
hair and replied, "So many, Sir." 

It may be said that the General has industriously propagated this 

6 He means vanity. BOSWELL. 

7 Owen Felltham, Resolves, cento i, resolution 52. 

1 86 Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1 765 

opinion in order that he might have more authority in civilizing a 
rude and ferocious people, as Lycurgus pretended to have the sanction 
of the oracle at Delphos, as Numa gave it out that he had frequent 
interviews with the nymph Egeria, or as Marius persuaded the 
Romans that he received divine communications from a hind. But 
I cannot allow myself to suppose that Paoli ever required the aid of 
pious frauds. 

Paoli, though never familiar, has the most perfect ease of be- 
haviour. This is a mark of a real great character. The distance and 
reserve which some of our modern nobility affect is because nobility 
is now little else than a name in comparison of what it was in ancient 
times. In ancient times noblemen lived at their country seats, like 
princes, in hospitable grandeur. They were men of power, and every- 
one of them could bring hundreds of followers into the field. They 
were then open and affable. Some of our modern nobility are so 
anxious to preserve an appearance of dignity which they are sensible 
cannot bear an examination that they are afraid to let you come near 
them. 8 Paoli is not so. Those about him come into his apartment at 
all hours, wake him, help him on with his clothes, are perfectly free 
from restraint; yet they know their distance and, awed by his real 
greatness, never lose their respect for him. 

Though thus easy of access, particular care is taken against such 
attempts upon the life of the illustrious chief as he has good reason 
to apprehend from the Genoese, who have so often employed assas- 
sination merely in a political view and who would gain so much by 
assassinating Paoli. A certain number of soldiers are continually on 
guard upon him, and as still closer guards he has some faithful Corsi- 
can dogs. Of these five or six sleep, some in his chamber, and some at 
the outside of the chamber door. He treats them with great kindness, 
and they are strongly attached to him. They are extremely sagacious, 
and know all his friends and attendants. Were any person to approach 
the General during the darkness of the night, they would instantly 
tear him in pieces. Having dogs for his attendants is another circum- 
stance about Paoli similar to the heroes of antiquity. Homer repre- 

* In an outline, or summary of materials, which Boswell made in preparing The 
Journal of a Tour to Corsica for the press, this observation on the decline of the 
nobility is credited to Adam Smith. 

Sollacaro, 22-27 October 1765 187 

sents Telemachus so attended: dvu /c6m dp7oi iirovro? But the de- 
scription given of the family of Patroclus applies better to Paoli: 
bfvia T$ 7* az/a/crt rpaTr^^cs KUJ>CS ycrav* 1 ' 

Mr. Pope in his notes on the second book of the Odyssey is much 
pleased with dogs being introduced, as it furnishes an agreeable in- 
stance of ancient simplicity. He observes that Virgil thought this 
circumstance worthy of his imitation, in describing old Evander. So 
we read of Syphax, General of the Numidians, "Syphax inter duos 
canes stans, Scipionem appellavit." 2 

Talking of courage, he made a very just distinction between con- 
stitutional courage and courage from reflection. "Sir Thomas More," 
said he, "would not probably have mounted a breach so well as a 
sergeant who had never thought of death. But a sergeant would not 
on a scaffold have shown the calm resolution of Sir Thomas More." 

On this subject he told me a very remarkable anecdote, which 
happened during the last war in Italy. At the siege of Tortona, the 
commander of the army which lay before the town ordered Carew, an 
Irish officer in the service of Naples, to advance with a detachment to 
a particular post. Having given his orders, he whispered to Carew, 
"Sir, I know you to be a gallant man. I have therefore put you upon 
this duty. I tell you in confidence, it is certain death for you all. I 
place you there to make the enemy spring a mine below you." Carew 
made a bow to the general, and led on his men in silence to the dread- 
ful post. He there stood with an undaunted countenance, and having 
called to one of the soldiers for a draught of wine, "Here," said he, 
"I drink to all those who bravely fall in battle." Fortunately at that 
instant Tortona capitulated, and Carew escaped. But he had thus a 
full opportunity of displaying a rare instance of determined in- 
trepidity. It is with pleasure that I record an anecdote so much to the 
honour of a gentleman of that nation on which illiberal reflections 
are too often thrown by those of whom it little deserves them. What- 

9 Odyssey, ii. 11: "Two dogs, a faithful guard, attend behind" (Pope). 

1 Iliad, xxiii. 173: "Nine large dogs domestic at his board" (Pope). 

2 "Syphax standing between two dogs called to Scipio." I mention this on the 
authority of an excellent scholar and one of our best writers, Mr. Joseph War- 
ton, in his notes on the Aeneid [viii. 461-462] ; for I have not been able to find 
the passage in Livy which he quotes. BOSWELL. The passage is not in Livy, 
and its source is still unknown. Warton later deleted the note. 

1 88 Sollacaro, 2 2-2 7 October 1765 

ever may be the rough jokes of wealthy insolence or the envious 
sarcasms of needy jealousy, the Irish have ever been and will con- 
tinue to be highly regarded upon the Continent. 

Paoli's personal authority among the Corsicans struck me much. 
I have seen a crowd of them with eagerness and impetuosity en- 
deavouring to approach him, as if they would have burst into his 
apartment by force. In vain did the guards attempt to restrain them, 
but when he called to them in a tone of firmness, "No audience now," 
they were hushed at once. 

He one afternoon gave us an entertaining dissertation on the 
ancient art of war. He observed that the ancients allowed of little 
baggage, which they very properly called "impedimenta"; whereas 
the moderns burden themselves with it to such a degree that fifty 
thousand of our present soldiers are allowed as much baggage as was 
formerly thought sufficient for all the armies of the Roman empire. 
He said it was good for soldiers to be heavy-armed as it renders them 
proportionably robust, and he remarked that when the Romans light- 
ened their arms, the troops became enfeebled. He made a very curious 
observation with regard to the towers full of armed men which we 
are told were borne on the backs of their elephants. He said it must be 
a mistake, for if the towers were broad, there would not be room for 
them on the backs of elephants; for he and a friend who was an able 
calculator had measured a very large elephant at Naples, and made 
a computation of the space necessary to hold the number of men said 
to be contained in those towers, and they found that the back of the 
broadest elephant would not be sufficient, after making the fullest 
allowance for what might be hung by balance on either side of the 
animal. If again the towers were high, they would fall; for he did not 
think it at all probable that the Romans had the art of tying on such 
monstrous machines at a time when they had not learned the use even 
of girths to their saddles. He said he did not give too much credit to 
the figures on Trajan's pillar, many of which were undoubtedly false. 
He said it was his opinion that those towers were only drawn by the 
elephants; an opinion founded in probability and free from the diffi- 
culties of that which has been commonly received. 

Talking of various schemes of life fit for a man of spirit and edu- 
cation, I mentioned to him that of being a foreign minister. He said he 

Sollacaro, 22-2 7 October 1 765 1 89 

thought it a very agreeable employment for a man of parts and ad- 
dress during some years of his life. "In that situation," said he, "a 
man will insensibly attain to a greater knowledge of men and man- 
ners and a more perfect acquaintance with the politics of Europe. He 
will be promoted according to the returns which he makes to his 
court. They must be accurate, distinct, without fire or ornament. He 
may subjoin his own opinion, but he must do it with great modesty. 
The ministry at home are proud." 

He said the greatest happiness was not in glory but in goodness, 
and that Perm in his American colony where he had established a 
people in quiet and contentment, was happier than Alexander the 
Great after destroying multitudes at the conquest of Thebes. He ob- 
served that the history of Alexander is obscure and dubious, for his 
captains who divided his kingdom were too busy to record his life 
and actions, and would at any rate wish to render him odious to 

Never was I so thoroughly sensible of my own defects as while I 
was in Corsica. I felt how small were my abilities and how little I 
knew. Ambitious to be the companion of Paoli and to understand a 
country and a people which roused me so much, I wished to be a Sir 
James Macdonald. 3 

The last day which I spent with Paoli appeared of inestimable 
value. I thought him more than usually great and amiable when I 
was upon the eve of parting from him. The night before my departure 
a little incident happened which showed him in a most agreeable 
light. When the servants were bringing in the dessert after supper, 
one of them chanced to let fall a plate of walnuts. Instead of flying 
into a passion at what the man could not help, Paoli said with a smile, 
"No matter"; and turning to me, "It is a good sign for you, Sir. 
Tempus est spargere nuces* It is a matrimonial omen; you must go 

3 Sir James Macdonald, Baronet, of the Isle of Skye, who at the age of one and 
twenty had the learning and abilities of a professor and a statesman, with the 
accomplishments of a man of the world. Eton and Oxford will ever remember 
him as one of their greatest ornaments. He was well known to the most dis- 
tinguished* in Europe, but was carried off from all their expectations. He died 
at Frascati, near Rome, in 1765 [1766]. Had lie lived a little longer, I believe 
I should have prevailed with him to visit Corsica. BOSWEIX. 

4 "It is time to scatter walnuts." BOSWELL. 

i go Sollacaro, 28 October 1 765 

home to your own country and marry some fine woman whom you 

really like. I shall rejoice to hear of it." 

This was a pretty allusion to the Roman ceremony at weddings, 
of scattering walnuts. So Virgil's Damon says, 

Mopse, novas incide faces: tibi ducitur uxor. 
Sparge, marite, nuces: tibi deserit Hesperus Oetam. 5 

When I again asked Paoli if it was possible for me in any way to 
show him my great respect and attachment, he replied, "Remember 
that I am your friend, and write to me." I said I hoped that when he 
honoured me with a letter, he would write not only as a commander 
but as a philosopher and a man of letters. He took me by the hand 
and said, "As a friend." I dare not transcribe from my private notes 
the feelings which I had at this interview. I should perhaps appear 
too enthusiastic. I took leave of Paoli with regret and agitation, not 
without some hopes of seeing him again. From having known inti- 
mately so exalted a character, my sentiments of human nature were 
raised; while by a sort of contagion I felt an honest ardour to dis- 
tinguish myself, and be useful as far as my situation and abilities 
would allow; and I was, for the rest of my life, set free from a slavish 
timidity in the presence of great men, for where shall I find a man 
greater than Paoli? 

When I set out from Sollacaro, I felt myself a good deal indis- 
posed. The old house of Colonna, like the family of its master, was 
much decayed, so that both wind and rain found their way into my 
bedchamber. From this I contracted a severe cold, which ended in a 
tertian ague. 6 There was no help for it. I might well submit to some 
inconveniences where I had enjoyed so much happiness. 

I was accompanied a part of the road by a great swarthy priest 
who had never been out of Corsica. He was a very Hercules for 
strength and resolution. He and two other Corsicans took a castle gar- 
5 Eclogues, viiL 29-30: 

Thy bride comes forth! begin the festal rites. 
The walnuts strew! prepare the nuptial lights! 
O envied husband, now thy bliss is nigh, 
Behold for thee bright Hesper mounts the sky! 

Joseph Warton. 
e Malaria. 

Pasquale de Paoli (1725-1807), engraved by John Raphael Smith from the 

original painting commissioned by Boswell from Henry Benbridge- from a 

print presented to the Yale Art Gallery by Chauncey Brewster Tinker 

Sollacaro to Cauro, 29 October 1 765 191 

risoned by no less than fifteen Genoese. Indeed, the Corsicans have 
such a contempt for their enemies that I have heard them say, "Our 
women would be enough against the Genoese." This priest was a 
bluff, hearty, roaring fellow, troubled neither with knowledge nor 
care. He was ever and anon showing me how stoutly his nag could 
caper. He always rode some paces before me, and sat in an attitude 
half turned round with his hand clapped upon the crupper. Then he 
would burst out with comical songs about the devil, and the Genoese, 
and I don't know what all. In short, notwithstanding my feverish- 
ness, he kept me laughing whether I would or no. 

I was returning to Corte, but I varied my road a little from the 
way I had come, going more upon the low country and nearer the 
western shore. At Cauro I had a fine view of Ajaccio and its environs. 
My ague was some time of forming, so I had frequent intervals of 
ease, which I employed in observing whatever occurred, I was lodged 
at Cauro in the house of Signer Peraldi of Ajaccio, who received me 
with great politeness. I found here another provincial magistracy. 
Before supper, Signor Peraldi and a young abbe of Ajaccio enter- 
tained me with some airs on the violin. After they had shown me their 
taste in fine improved music, they gave me some original Corsican 
airs, and at my desire they brought up four of the guards of the 
magistracy and made them show me a Corsican dance. It was truly 
savage. They thumped with their heels, sprung upon their toes, bran- 
dished their arms, wheeled and leaped with the most violent gesticu- 
lations. It gave me the idea of an admirable war dance. 

During this journey I had very bad weather. I cannot forget the 
worthy Rector of Cuttoli, whose house afforded me a hospitable re- 
treat when wet to the skin and quite overcome by the severity of the 
storm, which my sickness made me little able to resist. He was di- 
rectly such a venerable hermit as we read of in the old romances. His 
figure and manner interested me at first sight. I found he was a man 
well respected in the island, and that the General did him the honour 
to correspond with him. He gave me a simple collation of eggs, chest- 
nuts, and wine, and was very liberal of his ham and other more sub- 
stantial victuals to my servant. The honest Swiss was by this time 
very well pleased to have his face turned towards the Continent. He 
was heartily tired of seeing foreign parts, and meeting with scanty 

1 92 Cuttoli, 30 October 1 765 

meals and hard beds in an island which he could not comprehend the 
pleasure of visiting. He said to me, "If I were once more at home in 
my own country, among those mountains of Switzerland on which 
you have had so many jokes, I will see who shall prevail with me to 
quit them." 

The General, out of his great politeness, would not allow me to 
travel without a couple of chosen guards to attend me in case of any 
accidents. I made them my companions to relieve the tediousness of 
my journey. One of them called Ambrosio was a strange iron- 
coloured, fearless creature. He had been much in war; careless of 
wounds, he was coolly intent on destroying the enemy. He told me, 
as a good anecdote, that having been so lucky as to get a view of two 
Genoese exactly in a line, he took his aim and shot them both through 
the head at once. He talked of this just as one would talk of shooting a 
couple of crows. I was sure I needed be under no apprehension; but I 
don't know how, I desired Ambrosio to march before me that I might 
see him. 

I was upon my guard how I treated him. But as sickness frets one's 
temper, I sometimes forgot myself and called him "blockhead"; and 
once when he was at a loss which way to go, at a wild woody part of 
the country, I fell into a passion and called to him, "I am amazed that 
so brave a man can be so stupid." However, by afterwards calling him 
friend and speaking softly to him I soon made him forget my ill 
humour, and we proceeded as before. 

Paoli had also been so good as to make me a present of one of his 
dogs, a strong and fierce animal. But he was too old to take an attach- 
ment to me, and I lost him between Lyons and Paris. The General has 
promised me a young one to be a guard at Auchinleck. 7 

At Bocognano I came upon the same road I had formerly trav- 
elled from Corte, where I arrived safe after all my fatigues. My good 
fathers of the Franciscan convent received me like an old acquaint- 
ance, and showed a kind concern at my illness. I sent my respects 
to the Great Chancellor, who returned me a note of which I insert a 
translation as a specimen of the hearty civility to be found among the 
highest in Corsica. 

"Many congratulations to Mr. Boswell on his return from beyond 

T The younger dog had no sooner arrived in London in March 1768 than it ran 
away. Apparently it was recovered. 

Corte, 31 October 1765 193 

the mountains from his servant Massesi, who is at the same time very 
sorry for his indisposition, which he is persuaded has been occasioned 
by his severe journey. He however flatters himself that when Mr. 
Boswell has reposed himself a little, he will recover his usual health. 
In the mean time he has taken the liberty to send him [by the mes- 
senger] a couple of fowls, which he hopes he will honour with his ac- 
ceptance, as he will need some refreshment this evening. He wishes 
him a good night, as does his little servant Luigi, who will attend 
him tomorrow to discharge his duty." 8 

My ague distressed me so much that I was confined to the convent 
for several days. I did not, however, find myself weary. I was visited 
by the Great Chancellor and several others of the civil magistrates, 
and by Padre Mariani, Rector of the University, a man of learning 
and abilities, as a proof of which he had been three years at Madrid 
in the character of secretary to the General of the Franciscans. I re- 
member a very eloquent expression of his, on the state of his country. 
"Corsica," said he, "has for many years past been bleeding at all her 
veins. They are now closed. But after being so severely exhausted, it 
will take some time before she can recover perfect strength." I was 
also visited by Padre Leonardo, of whose animating discourse I have 
made mention in a former part of this book. 9 

Indeed I should not have been at a loss though my very reverend 
fathers had been all my society. I was not in the least looked upon as 
a heretic. Difference of faith was forgotten in hospitality. I went about 
the convent as if I had been in my own house, and the fathers without 
any impropriety of mirth were yet as cheerful as I could desire. 

I had two surgeons to attend me at Corte, a Corsican and a Pied- 
montese; and I got a little Jesuit's bark from the spezeria or apothe- 
cary's shop of the Capuchin convent. I did not, however, expect to be 
effectually cured till I should get to Bastia, I found it was perfectly 
safe for me to go thither. There was a kind of truce between the Corsi- 

8 The original of this letter has survived, and is dated 31 October, so Boswell 
probably left Sollacaro, ninety miles away, on the morning of 29 October. He 
was scheduled to depart on 27 October, according to a letter from Paoli to Mas- 
sesi which Professor Warnock has discovered in the Corsican archives in Ajaccio. 
The words in brackets translate a phrase in MassesTs letter which Boswell 

9 Padre Leonardo Grimaldi da Campoloro was professor of philosophy and math- 
ematics at the University of Corte. See Account, p. 205. 

194 Corte, 1-6 November 1 765 

cans and the French. Paoli had held two different amicable confer- 
ences with M. de Marbeuf, their Commander-in-Chief, and was so 
well with him that he gave me a letter of recommendation to him. 

On one of the days that my ague disturbed me least, I walked 
from the convent to Corte purposely to write a letter to Mr. Samuel 
Johnson. I told my revered friend that from a kind of superstition 
agreeable in a certain degree to him as well as to myself, I had during 
my travels written to him from loca sollenrtia, places in some measure 
sacred. That as I had written to him from the tomb of Melanchthon, 1 
sacred to learning and piety, I now wrote to him from the palace of 
Pascal Paoli, sacred to wisdom and liberty, knowing that however 
his political principles may have been represented, he had always a 
generous zeal for the common rights of humanity. I gave him a sketch 
of the great things I had seen in Corsica, and promised him a more 
ample relation. 2 

Mr. Johnson was pleased with what I wrote here, for I received at 
Paris an answer from him which I keep as a valuable charter. "When 
you return, you will return to an unaltered, and I hope unalterable, 
friend. All that you have to fear from me is the vexation of disappoint- 
ing me. No man loves to frustrate expectations which have been 
formed in his favour; and the pleasure which I promise myself from 
your journals and remarks is so great that perhaps no degree of at- 
tention or discernment will be sufficient to afford it. Come home, 
however, and take your chance. I long to see you and to hear you, 
and hope that we shall not be so long separated again. Come home, 
and expect such a welcome as is due to him whom a wise and noble 
curiosity has led where perhaps no native of this country ever was 
before." 8 

1 Boswell decided that this letter was * e at once too superstitious and too enthusi- 
astic'* and did not send it to Johnson until 1777 (see Boswell on the Grand Tour: 
Germany and Switzerland, 30 September 1764). 

2 The original has not been recovered, but Boswell describes it in The Life of 
Johnson (14 January 1766) as "full of generous enthusiasm." He continues: 
"After giving a sketch of what I had seen and heard in that island, it proceeded 
thus: *I dare call this a spirited tour. I dare to challenge your approbation.' " 

3 Johnson's entire letter is published in The Life of Johnson (14 January 1766). 
Boswell published this paragraph here without Johnson's permission, but John- 
son, though displeased, soon forgave him. 

Corte to Rostino, 7 November 1 765 195 

I at length set out for Bastia. I went the first night to Rostino, 
hoping to have found there Signer Clemente de Paoli. But unluckily 
he had gone upon a visit to his daughter, so that I had not an oppor- 
tunity of seeing this extraordinary personage of whom I have given 
so full an account, for a great part of which I am indebted to Mr. 
Burnaby. 4 

Next day I reached Vescovato, where I was received by Signor 
Buttafoco, Colonel of the Royal Corsicans in the service of France, 
with whom I passed some days. 5 

As various discourses have been held in Europe concerning an 
invitation given to M. Rousseau to come to Corsica, and as that affair 
was conducted by Signor Buttafoco, who showed me the whole cor- 
respondence between him and M. Rousseau, I am enabled to give a 
distinct account of it. 

M. Rousseau, in his political treatise entitled Du Contrat social, 
has the following observation: "There is yet one country in Europe 
capable of legislation, and that is the island of Corsica. The valour 
and the constancy with which that brave people hath recovered and 
defended its liberty would well deserve that some wise man should 
teach them how to preserve it. I have some presentiment that one day 
that little island will astonish Europe." 6 

Signor Buttafoco, upon this, wrote to M. Rousseau, returning him 

4 Clemente de Paoli, Pasquale's elder brother, was noted both for his extraordi- 
nary religious zeal and his bravery in battle. BoswelTs description of hi in the 
Account of Corsica (pp. 247-250) is taken from the unpublished journal of a 
tour to Corsica made in 1766 by the Rev. Andrew Burnaby, who lent a copy of 
his manuscript to Boswell for his use. This journal, supplemented by letters 
from Pasquale de Paoli to Burnaby, was published in 1804. 

5 The first two editions of the Journal contain at this point some sentences in 
which Buttafoco is highly praised. These were deleted in the third edition, and 
the following footnote added to that portion of Rousseau's letter (p. 115) 
which mentions Buttafoco: "This man's plausibility imposed upon M. Rousseau 
and me. But he has shown himself to be mean and treacherous, having betrayed 
Casinca to the French, for which his memory will ever be infamous. They who 
are possessed of the former editions of this book are entreated to erase what I 
have said of him." In Buttafoco's defence, it must be pointed out that he had 
served most of his life in the French army and believed in French control of 
Corsica, so he can hardly be called a traitor. 

6 Book 2, chapter 10. 

196 Vescovato, 8-9 November 1765 

thanks for the honour he had done to the Corsican nation, and 
strongly inviting him to come over and be that wise man who should 
illuminate their minds. 

I was allowed to take a copy of the wild philosopher's answer to 
this invitation; it is written with his usual eloquence. "It is super- 
fluous, Sir, to endeavour to excite my zeal for the undertaking which 
you propose to me. The very idea of it elevates my soul and transports 
me. I should esteem the rest of my days very nobly, very virtuously, 
and very happily employed. I should even think that I well redeemed 
the inutility of many of my days that are past if I could render these 
sad remains of any advantage to your brave countrymen; if by any 
useful advice I could concur in the views of your worthy chief, and 
in yours. So far then you may be sure of me. My life and my heart 
are devoted to you." 7 

Such were the first effusions of Rousseau. Yet before he concluded 
even this first letter, he made a great many complaints of his adversi- 
ties and persecutions, and started a variety of difficulties as to the 
proposed enterprise. The correspondence was kept up for some time, 
but the enthusiasm of the paradoxical philosopher gradually sub- 
siding, the scheme came to nothing. 

As I have formerly observed, M. de Voltaire thought proper to 
exercise his pleasantry upon occasion of this proposal, in order to vex 
the grave Rousseau, whom he never could bear. 8 I remember he used 
to talk of him with a satirical smile, and call him "ce gargon"; I find 
this among my notes of M. de Voltaire's conversations when I was 
with him at his Chateau de Ferney, where he entertains with the 
elegance rather of a real prince than of a poetical one. 9 To have Vol- 
taire's assertion contradicted by a letter under Paoli's own hand was 
no doubt a sufficient satisfaction to Rousseau. 

From the account which I have attempted to give of the present 
constitution of Corsica and of its illustrious legislator and General, it 
may well be conceived that the scheme of bringing M. Rousseau into 
that island was magnified to an extravagant degree by the reports of 

T This letter is printed in its entirety in the Correspondence generate de J.-J. 
Rousseau, xi. 297-299, where most perhaps all of the letters that passed 
between Rousseau and Buttafoco may be found. 

8 See p. 163. 

9 His notes of Voltaire's conversations, now at Yale, do not contain any refer- 
ences to Rousseau, but it is known that some pages are missing. 

VescovatOy 89 November 1765 197 

the Continent. It was said that Rousseau was to be made no less than 
a Solon by the Corsicans, who were implicitly to receive from him a 
code of laws. 

This was by no means the scheme. Paoli was too able a man to 
submit the legislation of his country to one who was an entire stranger 
to the people, the manners, and in short to everything in the island. 
Nay, I know well that Paoli pays more regard to what has been tried 
by the experience of ages than to the most beautiful ideal systems. 
Besides, the Corsicans were not all at once to be moulded at will. They 
were to be gradually prepared, and by one law laying the foundation 
for another, a complete fabric of jurisprudence was to be formed. 

Paoli's intention was to grant a generous asylum to Rousseau; to 
avail himself of the shining talents which appeared in his writings 
by consulting with him and catching the lights of his rich imagina- 
tion, from many of which he might derive improvements to those 
plans which his own wisdom had laid down. 

But what he had principally in view was to employ the pen of 
Rousseau in recording the heroic actions of the brave islanders. It is to 
be regretted that this project did not take place. The father of the 
present Colonel Buttaf oco made large collections for many years back. 
These are carefully preserved, and when joined to those made by the 
Abbe Rostini would furnish ample materials for a history of Corsica. 
This, adorned with the genius of Rousseau, would have been one of 
the noblest monuments of modern times. 1 

1 The whole question of Rousseau's relations with Buttafoco and Paoli is extra- 
ordinarily complicated. It is discussed in detail in Ernestine Dedeck-H6ry, 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau et le projet de constitution pour la Corse, 1932, and in 
Joseph Foladare's unpublished dissertation, "James Boswell and Corsica" (Yale, 
1936). Buttafoco, apparently without consulting Paoli, suggested to Rousseau 
that he become the legislator of Corsica. Rousseau was hesitant from the start, 
but eventually asked for shelter in Corsica, and in return offered to attempt a 
history of Corsica. Shortly thereafter, Rousseau changed his mind about going 
to Corsica according to David Hume, at the insistence of Therese. Rousseau, 
in his Confessions, gives a number of reasons emphasizing the difficulties in- 
volved in making the trip. Paoli does not seem to have had any part in this pro- 
posal until after the original offer was made. Since with one possible exception 
no letter from him to Rousseau has survived, we cannot be sure what Paoli had 
in mind, but from BoswelTs account (which he got mostly from Burnaby) it 
may perhaps be assumed that Paoli restricted himself to politely seconding 
Buttafoco's offer of hospitality. 

1 98 Vescovato to Bastia, 9 November 1 765 

Signor Buttafoco accompanied me to Bastia. It was comfortable 
to enter a good warm town after my fatigues. We went to the house 
of Signor Morelli, a counsellor-at-law here, with whom we supped. 
I was lodged for that night by a friend of Signor Buttafoco in another 
part of the town. 

Next morning I waited on M. de Marbeuf . Signor Buttafoco in- 
troduced me to him, and I presented him the letter of recommenda- 
tion from Paoli. He gave me a most polite reception. The brilliancy 
of his levee pleased me; it was a scene so different from those which 

1 had been for some time accustomed to see. It was like passing at 
once from a rude and early age to a polished modern age, from the 
mountains of Corsica to the banks of the Seine. 

My ague was now become so violent that it got the better of me 
altogether. I was obliged to ask the French General's permission to 
have a chair set for me in the circle. When M. de Marbeuf was in- 
formed of my being ill, he had the goodness to ask me to stay in his 
house till I should recover. "I insist upon it," said he; "I have a warm 
room for you. My servants will get you bouillons and everything 
proper for a sick man, and we have an excellent physician." I men- 
tion all these circumstances to show the goodness of M. de Marbeuf, 
to whom I shall ever consider myself as under great obligations. His 
invitation was given in so kind and cordial a manner that I willingly 
accepted of it. 

I found M. de Marbeuf a worthy, open-hearted Frenchman. It is 
a common and a very just remark that one of the most agreeable 
characters in the world is a Frenchman who has served long in the 
army and has arrived at that age when the fire of youth is properly 
tempered. Such a character is gay without levity and judicious with- 
out severity. Such a character was the Count de Marbeuf, of an an- 
cient family in Brittany, where there is more plainness of character 
than among the other French. He had been gentilhomme de la 
chambre to the worthy King Stanislas. 2 

He took a charge of me as if he had been my near relation. He 

2 Stanislas I was King of Poland (1704-17099 1733-1735)- His son-in-law, Louis 
XV, Helped to restore him to the throne in 1733, but he was driven out by 
Augustus III of Saxony. Louis XV arranged that he be given the duchies of 
Lorraine and Bar in 1737, while Francis, Duke of Lorraine, received the Grand 
Duchy of Tuscany in exchange* 

Bastia, 9-20 November 1765 1 99 

furnished me with books and everything he could think of to amuse 
me. While the physician ordered me to be kept very quiet, M. de 
Marbeuf would allow nobody to go near me, but paid me a friendly 
visit alone. As I grew better he gradually increased my society, bring- 
ing with him more and more of his officers; so that I had at last the 
honour of very large companies in my apartment. The officers were 
polite, agreeable men; some of them had been prisoners in England 
during the last war. One of them was a Chevalier de St. Louis of the 
name of Douglas, a descendant of the illustrious house of Douglas 
in Scotland by a branch settled near to Lyons. This gentleman often 
came and sat with me. The idea of our being in some sort country- 
men was pleasing to us both. 

I found here an Englishwoman of Penrith in Cumberland. When 
the Highlanders marched through that country in the year of 1 745, 
she had married a soldier of the French picquets in the very midst of 
all the confusion and danger, and when she could hardly understand 
one word he said. Such freaks will love sometimes take. 

Sic visum Veneri, cui placet inpares 
Formas atque animos sub iuga aenea 
Saevo mittere cum ioco. 3 

M. de La Chapelle was the physician who attended me. He had 
been several years physician to the array at Minorca, and had now 
the same office in Corsica. I called him the physician of the isles. He 
was indeed an excellent one. That gaiete de coeur which the French 
enjoy runs through all their professions. I remember the phrase of an 
English common soldier who told me that at the Battle of Fontenoy 
his captain received a shot in the breast "and fell," said the soldier, 
"with his spontoon in his hand, as prettily killed as ever I see'd a 
gentleman." The soldier's phrase might be used in talking of almost 
everything which the French do. I may say I was prettily cured by 
M. de La Chapelle. 

8 Horace, Odes, I. xxxiii. 10-12: 

So Venus wills, whose power controls 
The fond affection of our souls; 
With sportive cruelty she binds 
Unequal forms, unequal minds. 

Philip Francis. 

200 Bastia, 9-20 November 1 765 

But I think myself bound to relate a circumstance which shows 
him and his nation in the genteelest light. Though he attended me 
with the greatest assiduity, yet, when I was going away, he would not 
accept of a single louis d'or. "No, Sir," said he, "I am nobly paid by 
my King. I am physician to his army here. If I can at the same time 
be of service to the people of the country or to any gentleman who 
may come among us, I am happy. But I must be excused from taking 
money." M. Brion, the surgeon-major, behaved in the same manner. 

As soon as I had gathered a little strength, I walked about as well 
as I could, and saw what was to be seen at Bastia. Signor Morelli was 
remarkably obliging. He made me presents of books and antiques, 
and of every other curiosity relating to Corsica. I never saw a more 
generous man. Signor Caraffa, a Corsican officer in the service of 
France, with the order of St. Louis, was also very obliging. Having 
made a longer stay in Corsica than I intended, my finances were 
exhausted, and he let me have as much money as I pleased. M. Barlet, 
secretary to M. de Marbeuf, was also very obliging. In short, I know 
not how to express my thankfulness to all the good people whom I saw 
at Bastia. 

The French seemed to agree very well with the Corsicans. Of old 
those islanders were much indebted to the interposition of France in 
their favour. But since the days of Sampiero, there have been many 
variances between them. A singular one happened in the reign of 
Louis XIV. The Pope's Corsican guards in some fit of passion insulted 
the French Ambassador at Rome. The superb monarch resolved to 
revenge this outrage. But Pope Alexander VII, foreseeing the con- 
sequences, agreed to the conditions required by France, which were 
that the Corsican guards should be obliged to depart the Ecclesiastical 
State, that the nation should be declared incapable ever to serve the 
Holy See, and that opposite to their ancient guardhouse should be 
erected a pyramid inscribed with their disgrace. 

Le Brim, whose royal genius could magnify and enrich every cir- 
cumstance in honour of his sovereign, has given this story as a medcdl- 
Ion on one of the compartments of the great gallery at Versailles. 
France appears with a stately air, showing to Rome the design of the 
pyramid; and Rome, though bearing a shield marked S.P.Q.R., re- 
ceives the design with most submissive humility. 

Bastia, 9-20 November 1 765 20 1 

I wish that France had never done the Corsicans greater harm 
than depriving them of the honour of being the Pope's guards. Bois- 
sieux and Maillebois cannot easily be forgotten; 4 nor can the brave 
islanders be blamed for complaining that a powerful nation should 
interpose to retard their obtaining entire possession of their country 
and of undisturbed freedom. 

M. de Marbeuf appeared to conduct himself with the greatest pru- 
dence and moderation. He told me that he wished to preserve peace in 
Corsica. He had entered into a convention with Paoli mutually to 
give up such criminals as should fly into each other's territories. For- 
merly not one criminal in a hundred was punished. There was no 
communication between the Corsicans and the Genoese, and if a 
criminal could but escape from the one jurisdiction to the other he 
was safe. This was very easily done, so that crimes from impunity 
were very frequent. By this equitable convention justice has been 
fully administered. 

Perhaps indeed the residence of the French in Corsica has, upon 
the whole, been an advantage to the patriots. There have been mar- 
kets twice a week at the frontiers of each garrison town, where the 
Corsican peasants have sold all sorts of provisions and brought in a 
good many French crowns which have been melted down into Corsi- 
can money. A cessation of arms for a few years has been a breathing 
time to the nation to prepare itself for one great effort, which will 
probably end in the total expulsion of the Genoese. A little leisure has 
been given for attending to civil improvements, towards which the 
example of the French has in no small degree contributed. Many of 
the soldiers were excellent handicraftsmen, and could instruct the 
natives in various arts. 

M. de Marbeuf entertained himself by laying out several elegant 
pieces of pleasure-ground; and such were the humane and amicable 
dispositions of this respectable officer that he was at pains to observe 
what things were most wanted in Corsica, and then imported them 
from France in order to show an example to the inhabitants. He in- 
troduced in particular the culture of potatoes, of which there were 
none in the island upon his arrival. This root will be of considerable 

* The Comte de Boissieux and the Marquis de Maillebois were the two French 
generals responsible for subduing Corsica for the Genoese in 1738-1740. 

202 Bastia, 9-20 November 1 765 

service to the Corsicans; it will make a wholesome variety in their 
food, and as there will thereby of consequence be less home consump- 
tion of chestnuts, they will be able to export a greater quantity of 

M. de Marbeuf made merry upon the reports which had been 
circulated that I was no less than a minister from the British Court. 
The Avignon Gazette brought us one day information that the Eng- 
lish were going to establish un bureau de commerce in Corsica. "0 
Sir," said he, "the secret is out. I see now the motive of your destina- 
tion to these parts. It is you who are to establish this bureau de com- 

Idle as these rumours were, it is a fact that when I was at Genoa, 
Signor Gherardi, one of their secretaries of state, very seriously told 
me, "Sir, you have made me tremble, although I never saw you be- 
fore." And when I smiled and assured him that I was just a simple 
traveller, he shook his head, but said he had very authentic informa- 
tion concerning me. He then told me with great gravity, "That while 
I travelled in Corsica, I was dressed in scarlet and gold, but when I 
paid my respects to the Supreme Council at Corte, I appeared in a full 
suit of black." These important truths I fairly owned to him, and he 
seemed to exult over me. 

I was more and more obliged to M. de Marbeuf. When I was al- 
lowed by my physician to go to his Excellency's table, where we had 
always a large company and everything in great magnificence, he 
was so careful of me that he would not suffer me to eat anything or 
taste a glass of wine more than was prescribed for me. He used to say, 
"I am here both physician and Commander-in-Chief, so you must 
submit." He very politely pressed me to make some stay with him, 
saying, "We have taken care of you when sick; I think we have a 
claim to you for a while when in health." His kindness followed me 
after I left him. It procured me an agreeable reception from M. 
Michel, the French charge d'affaires at Genoa, and was the occa- 
sion of my being honoured with great civilities at Paris by M. 1' Abbe 
de Marbeuf, conseiller d'etat, brother of the Count, and possessing 
similar virtues in private life. 

I quitted Corsica with reluctance when I thought of the illustrious 
Paoli. I wrote to him from Bastia informing him of my illness, which 
I said was owing to his having made a man of so much consequence 

Bastia, 9-20 November 1 765 203 

that instead of putting me into a snug little room, he had lodged me 
in the magnificent old palace where the wind and rain entered. 

His answer to my first letter is written with so much spirit that I 
begged his permission to publish it, which he granted in the genteel- 
est manner, saying, "I do not remember the contents of the letter, but 
I have such a confidence in Mr. Boswell that I am sure he would not 
publish it if there was anything in it improper for public view; so 
he has my permission." I am thus enabled to present my readers with 
an original letter from Paoli.* 

Patrimonio, 23 December 1765 

MUCH ESTEEMED MR. BOSWELL, I received the letter which you 
wrote to me from Bastia, and am much comforted by hearing that 
you are restored to perfect health. It is lucky for you that you fell into 
the hands of an able physician. When you shall again be seized with 
a disgust at improved and agreeable countries, and shall return to 
this ill-fated land, I will take care to have you lodged in warmer and 
better-finished apartments than those of the house of Colonna at 
Sollacaro. But you again should be satisfied not to travel when the 
weather and the season require one to keep within doors, and wait for 
a fair day. I expect with impatience the letter which you promised 
to write to me from Genoa, where I much suspect that the delicacy of 
the ladies will have obliged you to perform some days of quarantine 
for purifying you from every the least infection which you may have 
carried with you from the air of this country ; and still more so, if you 
have taken the whim to show that suit of Corsican velvet 6 and that 
bonnet of which the Corsicans will have the origin to be from the an- 
cient helmets, whereas the Genoese say it was invented by those who 
rob on the highway in order to disguise themselves as if during 
the Genoese government public robbers needed to fear punishment, I 
am sure, however, that you will have taken the proper method with 
these amiable and delicate persons, insinuating to them that the 
hearts of beauties are formed for compassion and not for disdain and 
tyranny, and so you will have been easily restored to their good 

Immediately on my return to Corte, I received information of the 

5 Original in Italian. The translation is by Boswell. 

6 By Corsican velvet he means that coarse stuff made in the island, which is all 
that the Corsicans have instead of the fine velvet of Genoa. BOSWELL. 

204 Paoli to Boswett 

secret landing of Abbatucci/ on the coast of Solenzara. AU appear- 
ances make us believe that he is come with designs contrary to the 
public quiet. He has, however, surrendered himself a prisoner at the 
Castle, and protests his repentance. As I passed by Bocognano, I 
learned that a disbanded Genoese officer was seeking associates to 
assassinate me. He could not succeed, and finding that he was discov- 
ered, he betook himself to the woods where he has been slain by the 
party detached by the magistrates of the provinces on the other side 
of the mountains in order to intercept him. These ambuscades do not 
seem to be good preliminaries towards our accommodation with the 
Republic of Genoa. I am now holding the sindacato in this province 
of Nebbio. About the loth of next month I shall go for the same object 
into the province of Capo Corso, and during the month of February 
I shall probably fix my residence in Balagna. I shall return to Gorte 
in the spring to prepare myself for the opening of the General Con- 
sulta. Wherever I am, your friendship will be present to my mind, 
and I shall be desirous to continue a correspondence with you. Mean- 
while, believe me to be your most affectionate friend, 


Can anything be more condescending and at the same time show 
more the firmness of an heroic mind than this letter? With what a 
gallant pleasantry does the Corsican chief talk of his enemies! One 
would think that the queens of Genoa should become Rival Queens 
for Paoli. If they saw him, I am sure they would. 

I take the liberty to repeat an observation made to me by that 
illustrious minister whom Paoli calls the Pericles of Great Britain: 8 
"It may be said of Paoli, as the Cardinal de Retz said of the great 
Montrose, 'He is one of those men who are no longer to be found but 
in the Lives of Plutarch.' " 

7 Abbatucci, a Corsican of a very suspicious character. BOSWEIX. Giacomo 
Pietro Abbatucci opposed Paoli, but later fought with him against France, and 
resisted even after Paoli's departure. After the French victory he joined the 
French arfny, and eventually was general of a division in Italy under Napoleon, 
who said he was not fit to command fifty men. 

8 William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. 



uage *J?o?ne, 1765-1766 

THE VOYAGE HOME. Many years after the completion of his grand 
tour, Boswell remarked to Paoli that it was wonderful what Corsica 
had done for him: "I had got upon a rock in Corsica, and jumped into 
the middle of life." 1 This remark epitomizes what every student of 
Boswell knows, that his experiences in Corsica affected him in a pro- 
found and vital manner, and that they were a turning-point in his 
life. Paoli's acceptance of him gave him confidence and a cause, and 
the success of Corsica identified him as "Corsica Boswell" throughout 
his life. 

Yet changes of character take time to manifest themselves, and 
the Boswell who sailed and walked and rode back to England was not 
much different superficially from the Boswell who, like Hannibal 
anticipating conquest, had crossed into Italy a year before. On the 
road to Paris domestic Boswell was to the fore: he was variously tor- 
tured by ingrown toe-nails; by Jachone, the mastiff given him by 
Paoli; and by Jacob, his Swiss servant. The last of these trials he saw 
depart at Lyons with some relief; to his own annoyance, Boswell had 
never really absorbed the convention that masters have places as well 
as servants, and Jacob in his republican obstinacy returned with 
persistence to this point. Gentlemen who are gentlemen, he informed 
Boswell, are not stingy, behave in a dignified manner, and do not con- 
verse in a familiar fashion with their servants. From Jachone, whom 
he seems to have disliked from the start, Boswell apparently expected 
the responses of a human. When the dog failed to exhibit super- 
natural intelligence, he treated him with a cruelty that was probably 
not uncommon in his age, but which he later found so excessive that 
he inked out its details, one of the relatively few expurgations which 
he himself ever made in his journal. It is hardly surprising that 

1 Boswelliana, ed. Charles Rogers, 1874, p. 328. 


208 The Voyage Home 

Jachone ran away near Auxerre. The ingrown toe-nails, which were 
probably acquired by walking along the mountainous trails of Cor- 
sica in riding-boots, slowed his progress and recurred to trouble him 
in later years. 

Once in Paris, his interest in Zelide, the belle of his Dutch student 
days, revived with great intensity, and he forwarded a very tentative 
proposal to her through her father with the intention of following 
the matter up by returning home through Flanders and Holland. 2 But 
one day on a visit to Wilkes, of whom he saw a great deal in Paris, he 
read in a London newspaper that his mother had died, and he pre- 
pared instead to set out directly for England and home. His com- 
panion on the trip was Therese Le Vasseur, who was following Rous- 
seau to London; the story of their relationship is a fitting flourish 
to the end of his tour. 

Boswell's revaluation of people in London demonstrates his de- 
velopment during the two and a half years he had spent on the Conti- 
nent. The apprehensive boy to whom Johnson had waved good-bye 
at Harwich returned a man of poise and some consequence. He had 
acquired a knowledge of the world and men that reduced his heroes 
to more normal proportions: Rousseau had diminished in his eyes, 
and even Johnson momentarily appeared "not so immense as before." 
After having known Paoli, as Boswell wrote in Corsica, "I was, for 
the rest of my life, set free from a slavish timidity in the presence of 
great men, for where shall I find a man greater?" These brave words 
contained a substantial if not complete truth. Yet if Corsica was the 
central factor in his new attitude towards himself and others, his 
journey as a whole had contributed to this change. It had been not 
only a tour of Europe but an exploration of his own capacities, and 
he was gratified at their extent. The great conversations with Johnson 
and especially with Pitt at the end of this volume show that, with due 
allowance for differences in ability and rank, Boswell now felt him- 
self any man's equal. 

2 RoswelTs letter and M. de Zuylen's reply are printed in Boswell in Holland, 
Correspondence, Nos. 19, 20. 

Capraja, 2 1-28 November 1 765 209 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Boswell set sail for Genoa and home on 20 No- 
vember, but his ship was immediately forced by violent contrary 
winds to take harbour at the small, rocky island of Capraja, about 
eighteen miles east of the northern tip of Corsica. During the six days 
that he was detained there, he lodged in a friary of Franciscans, who 
obligingly took him in after he had declined the "one inconvenient 
bed" that the inn in the village afforded. The fathers he found "hos- 
pitable without cunning," a "new race of men," but very simple, so 
much so that the Father Superior professed himself unable to under- 
stand the Rousseauistic "universal creed" that Boswell expounded to 
him. Apart from their simplicity and kindness, he was chiefly im- 
pressed by the extreme frugality of their living, which stood out even 
on this almost soilless rock where everybody was poor. To keep off the 
ennui, he wrote a minute account of the island, picking up his in- 
formation with as much care, he said, as he would have if he had been 
treating of an empire. Even so, he was not able to preserve serenity. 
He argued hotly with the fathers in favour of the Corsicans (Capraja 
was entirely controlled by the Genoese), and wrangled with Jacob, 
who had scolded him for being so stingy. He finally worked himself 
up to a magnificent outburst. Two Genoese officers, marooned like 
himself in Capraja, had promised him a place in their felucca. The 
master, one Ruggero Semedei, after various postponements, an- 
nounced that they must all come aboard on the night of the 2/th, and 
that he would sail when the moon rose. "Evening took leave of good 
convent, and thought how soon one is accustomed to a place. Ruggero 
sent he did not go till four. Down you went in fury called him to 
l an d trembled with passion. BOSWELL. 'You stupid bugger, I won't 
be baUocksed around any more. I want absolutely to leave this eve- 
ning. I'll write to M. de Marbeuf . Damn! If it wasn't a sin to tie a 
man in a sack and drown him, I'd do it to you this instant!' " a He then 
went aboard and in five minutes was so sick he had to beat a retreat 
to the guardroom on shore. The wind changed at four, as Ruggero 
had predicted, and BosweU, retching and terrified ("Vastly sick; 
afraid too when sails lashed sea") , finally escaped from Capraja.] 
8 The unusual coarseness of Boswell' s invective is due to the fact that he is speak- 
ing Italian: "Bestia bugerone! Non voglio esser piu coglionato; voglio partire 
assolutamente questa sera. lo scrivero a M. de Marbeuf. Cospetto! Si non fosse 
un peccato di mazzare un uomo, vi mazzarei in questo momento!" 

2io Capraja to Genoa, 30 November 1 765 

SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER. At two in morning, with clear moon, 

saw noble gulf fit for ships of war. Pretty good wind; coasted 

away. Still sick. Four last hours on deck. Saw views from river: 4 vil- 
lages extending, then Genoa, most delicious show. Land, overjoyed. 
To inn. Sent to consul and bankers. Letters: Father, ill, seriously re- 
calling [you]. Hipped with old ideas. [From] Dick, kind; Signora, 
all love. What variety! Dined with immense pleasure. 

[Lord Auchinleck to Boswell] 5 

Edinburgh, 10 August 1765 

MY DEAR SON, I received a letter from you dated from Rome 
the 4th of June, and your mother received another from the same 
place dated the 12th of that month; and these are the last letters we 
have had from you. This is really an inexcusable neglect. For after I 
had condescended to allow you to travel a little longer in Italy to at- 
tend Lord Mountstuart, you must be sensible it was highly proper to 
inform me of your progress and intended route, not only to give me 
a reasonable satisfaction, but also to let me know what and where 
credit I should order for you. And what adds to the fault is that I 
got communicated to me this day a letter from Herries & Cochrane at 
London, to Coutts & Company here, acquainting that they had got a 
letter from you dated from Venice, the 17 of July, in which you 
wrote to them that, besides the 100 from Rome, you had drawn for 
60 from Venice, and desired them to send you a credit upon Lyons 
and upon Paris. And as these gentlemen, you might be sure, would 
furnish no credit without my ordering it, and have wrote to Coutts & 
Company here to know what my directions are, by this strange con- 
duct of yours I am not in condition to say anything with judgment 
for want of information. This much I can say, that you have spent a 

4 Along the east coast or littoral, translating Italian la riviera di Genoa. 

5 Three letters from Lord Auchinleck, recalling his son to Scotland, form, with 
their hard Northern irony, a perfect contrast to BoswelTs essays in Italian 
warmth. They require no introduction and tell their own story; being at once 
classic examples in the paternal style any father to any son and replete 
with individual comedy. No documents in the collection shed a clearer light on 
that contrariety between the pair which is an essential element in BoswelFs 
biography. GEOFFRET SCOTT. 

Genoa, 30 November i 765 211 

vast deal of money, for since you left Geneva in January last you have 
got no less than 460 sterling, which is much beyond what my in- 
come can afford, and much beyond what the sons of gentlemen near 
double my estate have spent on such a tour; and that makes it quite 
necessary now to put an end to peregrination. You have had full op- 
portunity to be satisfied that pageantry, civil and ecclesiastic, gives 
no entertainment to thinking men, and that there is no end nor use 
of strolling through the world to see sights before unseen, whether of 
men, beasts, birds, or things, and I hope are, with the poet, saying 
"Utinam remeare liceret ad veteres casas," 6 and will return with a 
proper taste and relish for your own country. For if that were not to 
be your disposition, I should most heartily repent that ever I agreed 
to your going abroad, and shall consider the money spent in the tour 
you have made as much worse than thrown away. But I choose to 
banish all such gloomy suspicions, and hope to my infinite satisfac- 
tion to see you on your return a man of knowledge, of gravity and 
modesty, intent upon being useful in life. If this be so, your travelling 
will be a little embellishment to the more essential talents, and en- 
able you to make a better figure in your own country, which is the 
scene of action Providence has pointed out for you. 

And now to return to what route you are now to follow. I said I 
was quite at a loss how to write. I don't know whether you are still 
with Lord Mountstuart or not; I have been informed that Lord was 
to come straight home from Italy. If so, I think you should return 
with him. If, again, his Lordship is to make a tour through France, 
you must make your excuse to him and come off by yourself. There 
is nothing to be learned by travelling in France. I can say this from 
my own experience. So what I propose and insist on is that you come 
directly from Lyons to Paris, which as the metropolis of France is 
worth while to say you have seen, and which you may see fully in 
three or four days; and you should see Versailles, Marly, and Trianon 
the King's three palaces all very near Paris, which won't take 
up above three or four days more. In short, stay at Paris and the en- 
virons of it ten days or a fortnight at farthest, and then set out for 
Calais and so come over to London-, from which, after staying eight or 

6 "I wish I could go back to the old dwelling" (Claudian, De bello Gildonico, 
11. 108 109, casas for fines) . 

212 Genoa, 30 November 1 765 

ten days, set out for Scotland. This is the plan which I propose and 
expect is to be exactly followed with all expedition; and in order to 
it, as you have yet 40 remaining of your last credit on Italy, that 
should do well, with that you'll have of your 60, to execute it; but 
lest you should run short, I have ordered a credit for you on Lyons 
for 50. And when you come to London, you shall have a credit there 
for answering your expenses home, where I long to see you, and 
where, as I hope, you are to set up on a decent, sensible footing. I dare 
say you shall be very happy, and may expect all encouragement that 
I can give you. 

On Monday comes on the trial of Mrs. Ogilvy and Lieutenant 
Ogilvy for incest and poisoning her husband, his brother, of which 
I wrote you in my last. I suppose it will last thirty or forty hours. 

Your mother and David are both well and remember you with af- 
fection. We propose to set out for Auchinleck on Wednesday first; 
there's a good deal of new work carried on there since you left us. I 
have some little buildings to make for some kind of offices near the 
house, and have got home a good many stones for them, but you shall 
assist in fixing the plan and situation of them, so will have an oppor- 
tunity of showing your Italian taste; for, though the buildings are 
small, ex ungue leonemJ If you still are with Lord Mountstuart, pre- 
sent my most respectful compliments to his Lordship and Colonel Ed- 

Edinburgh, 14 August 1765 

What is above was wrote on Saturday, but delayed to be sent off in 
expectation yet of a letter from you, but there is none. The trial I 
mentioned came on Monday at seven in the morning and did not end 
till this morning at one o'clock. The jury by a great plurality of voices 
found the panels guilty both of the incest and of the murder by poi- 
son, which they returned as their verdict to us this afternoon. 

Edinburgh, 15 August 

This day we resumed the consideration of this melancholy affair 
and repelled sundry pleas for arrest of judgment, and thereafter ad- 
judged the Lieutenant to be hanged the 25 of September and his body 
to be delivered to the surgeons to be anatomized. This we preferred to 

7 "From the daw of a lion one can imagine what the whole beast would look 

Genoa, 30 November 1 765 213 

the hanging in chains, as we wished to have no memorial of such 
shocking crimes. Mrs. Ogilvy pleaded she is with child, so a jury of 
midwives is to examine and report tomorrow, and if it is true, we 
shall delay sentence till November. 8 I have only to add that I hope 
we shall have the pleasure of meeting soon. I am your affectionate 


[Lord Auchinleck to Boswell] 

Glasgow, 16 September 1765 

MY DEAR SON, I have received yours from Parma, which sur- 
prised me greatly, for I expected you had got to Paris, and would be 
home directly; and never imagined that you would have been return- 
ing to places where you had formerly been. It is no great wonder 
therefore that you have received none of my letters these several 
months; for though I wrote severals 1 and sent them off, I could not di- 
vine where to find you, so left it to Herries, Cochrane & Company, 
bankers, and it seems they have been equally uncertain with me. I 

8 This was one of the most notorious Scots trials of the century. Katharine Nairn, 
nineteen-year-old daughter of Sir Thomas Nairn of Dunsinane, married on 30 
January 1765 Thomas Ogilvy, the laird of Eastmiln, a bachelor of forty. Accord- 
ing to the verdict of the jury (which appears to have been quite just) she began 
almost immediately a guilty intrigue with the laird's younger brother, Patrick, 
an officer on half-pay, and in the following June, with Patrick's connivance, 
poisoned her husband with arsenic. Patrick was hanged in a bungling but 
effective manner on 13 November. Mrs. Ogilvy having proved pregnancy, her 
sentence was deferred to the following March, but on 15 March (about two 
weeks after the birth of a daughter, who died within the month) she escaped 
from the Tolbooth and got to France. It was generally believed that her escape 
was arranged by her uncle, William Nairn, advocate, later Sir William and a 
judge in the very court whose sentence he helped to cheat. For a full and au- 
thoritative account of the Ogilvy case see The Trial of Katharine Nairn, ed. 
William Roughead, 1926. During the examination of the principal witness 
for the prosecution in this trial, Lord Auchinleck sat nine hours without rising 
from his seat. This was believed to have brought on the serious ailment which 
he reports in his next letter, and from which he suffered all the rest of his life. 

9 "Boswel" was Lord Auchinleck's spelling of his own name. James followed 
the general practice of his family in using two 1's. 

1 Obsolete for "a number." 

214 Genoa, 30 November 1 765 

have some hopes, however, that the last I wrote you would come to 
your hand, as it was sent to them in consequence of a letter they wrote 
transmitting one from you to them desiring a further credit, and in- 
quiring if or not I would agree to give the further credit. In that letter 

1 let you know I had ordered a small credit for bringing you to Lon- 
don by the way of Paris, and that you were to make dispatch and 
spend but about a fortnight at Paris and its environs, which is suf- 
ficient for all the purpose. 

Since that letter, I came to Auchinleck, where I was taken danger- 
ously ill and was a' death's door; indeed, for a day or two I expected 
every hour would have been my last. My distemper was a total sup- 
pression or obstruction of urine. At length by the assistance of Mr. 
Parlane, a surgeon of this place, I got the water drawn off. He stayed 
with me there about eight days but could not stay longer, and there- 
fore as the operation required to be repeated twice a day, I came in 
with him here eight days ago. I bless God that I enjoy now a great 
deal of ease except during the operation; but as the distemper re- 
mains, God only knows what may be the event. This my state, I 
should think, will make you incline to accelerate your return; be- 
cause I hope you have impressions of filial duty, besides knowing of 
what consequence it is to you in after life that I, before I die, come 
to be satisfied, from what I see of your conduct, that you are become 
a man such as I and your other friends could wish you to be. 2 

Your mother, who is here with me, is troubled with rheumatisms. 
She remembers you with affection. David is well. I had a letter from 
him since I came here. He is careful and I hope will do well. As for 
John, 3 he is still in England, full of pride and ill nature, and disposed 
to follow no sort of business that he is capable for, so to be an idle load 
upon the earth and discontented with the station, place, and people 
that he happens to be in and with; which is the necessary conse- 
quence of having no business nor settled way of employing time. I 
am your affectionate father, 


2 Lord Auchinleck talked of disinheriting Boswell, but he actually did not have 
the power to do so, since his marriage contract had settled the estate on his eldest 
son (see BosweWs London Journal, Introduction) . 

3 Lord Auchinleck's second son. He had been injured by a fall on a flight of 
stairs in 1762, and suffered periodically from insanity for the rest of his life. 

Genoa, 30 November 1 765 215 

[Lord Auchinleck to Boswell] 

Edinburgh, i October 1 765 

DEAR SON, Your conduct astonishes and amazes me. You so- 
licited liberty to go for f our months to Italy. I opposed it as altogether 
useless; but upon your pressing importunity, contrary to rny own 
opinion, I agreed to it, and thereafter allowed you one month more. 
You went there January last. Upon your writing that Lord Mount- 
stuart was anxious you should stay some time with him in Italy, and 
upon his Lordship's desiring that I might agree to it, by a letter to 
Baron Mure, as you noticed the advantages might attend a friendship 
with that Lord and the benefit of having Colonel Edmondstone and 
M. Mallet's counsel, I agreed readily to the thing. But when I heard 
of Lord Mountstuart's coming over, how surprised was I that you had 
not come along with him, but stayed in a country where you had 
nothing to do, and where all you could learn could be of no use in 
after life. I flattered myself, however, you would haste away, take a 
passing view of France, and be home about this time or before it. I 
have wrote letters on the back of letters to you, telling you to come 
home. Whether any of them have reached you I cannot say. It is pos- 
sible not, for one thing is most extraordinary in your conduct; you 
give me no notice where you will be when any letter I can write may 
reach you, but leave me to guess. I have this day got a letter of yours 
which had the London postmark on it, so that I hoped you had got 
there. But when I came to open it, I found it was from Siena; and you 
tell me you were to stay there three weeks or a month, and this in 
order, as you write, to learn the Italian language. As you don't say 
where you are to go after this, or what your scheme is, I must suppose 
you intend fixing in Italy, where that language can only be of use to 
you; for in this country it is no better than Arabic. If you have any 
view of returning home, I desire, as I did in my former letters, you 
may do so speedily; that you don't stop in France, except about ten 
days or a fortnight about Paris and its environs, that you may say 
you have been there, which is all the benefit travellers have over 
others. I wrote in my last I have been, and still am, under great dis- 
tress with a stoppage of urine, that has forced us to come in to Edin- 
burgh for the aid of physicians. Your mother, who is equally aston- 

2 1 6 Genoa, 30 November 1 765 

ished at your conduct with me, remembers you. So does your brother 

David; which is all from your affectionate father, 

A.B. 4 

[Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell. Original in Italian] 

Siena, 3 October 1 765 

I WAITED AND WAITED for the hour and the moment of the arrival 
of the mail from Lucca, expecting your dear letter. 5 1 had it at last, 

and in transports of joy I printed a thousand k s on it without 

knowing its contents. Then I sat down to read it; and as I read the first 
pages I thought you felt a little of the love I feel for you. But the 
page written on Monday shows no more than that you feel friendship 
for me, since you tell me you have enjoyed peace of mind and have 
slept well at night. Happy you who can make such changes so read- 
ily; I prove the contrary only too well. I have not had a moment of 
peace since you left Siena. I try to assume an air of ease, and I feel all 
the burden of having to compel myself; I give way to melancholy, 
and I realize the necessity of arousing myself from this state. I read 
your letter over and over, and I find in it sentiments which a man in 
love would not utter; I think of how you wanted to deceive me, and it 
horrifies me. I remember that you left me in the depths of despair 

4 Lord Auchinleck's attitude towards Continental jaunts seems much the same 
as that expressed in Burns's "The Twa Dogs," where the laird goes off 

To mak a tour an' tak a whirl, 
To learn bon ton, an' see the worl'. 

There, at Vienna or Versailles, 

He rives his father's auld entails; 

Or by Madrid he taks the rout, 

To thrum guitars an' fecht wi' nowt; [fight with cattle] 

Or down Italian vista startles, 

Whore-hunting amang groves o' myrtles. 

Then howses drumlie German-water [drinks muddy] 

To mak himsel look fair an' fatter, 

An' clear the consequential sorrows, 

Love-gifts of Carnival signoras. 

5 This letter is missing, as are all the subsequent letters except one from Boswell 
to Moma. He may have been moved by prudence to make no copies. In his 
Register of Letters, she is listed simply as "Signora " 

Genoa, 30 November 1 765 217 

mthout being willing to promise that you would return; I flattered 
myself that I had won your heart at the moment when I was losing 

All these considerations leave me not a moment of calm, and your 
mind is at rest? Does my condition give you no uneasiness? You slept 
well Monday night? Perhaps at this very moment some other woman 
is mating an impression on your heart? And you call that philos- 

I shall answer in particular certain points in your letter. You tell 
me that your constitutional melancholy is subject to fluctuations, to 
which I reply that a melancholy nature when it has truly been im- 
pressed, is not as likely to be impressed again so easily as is a cheer- 
ful temperament which wastes itself in every trifle. I say rather that 
you are inconstant, and are carried away by novel objects; but do not 
attribute this weakness to a melancholy temperament which is by its 
very nature steady and firm in all its resolutions. 

Let us turn to another of your statements: that the frankness with 
which you tell me everything ought to convince me that you are tell- 
ing the truth. But do you not remember having told me many times 
that in order to deceive well one must show a certain ingenuousness? 
And how did you behave with me for two weeks? 

At another point of your letter, you exclaim, "Happy night." 
What did you mean? For my part, since your departure I have been 
happy neither by night nor day, and what is worse, I despair of ever 
being able to recover my peace of mind, for your memory will al- 
ways be before me, and the knowledge of how lovable you are will 
make me look with disdain on others, seeing them much inferior to 
you in good qualities as in bad. 

As to what Signor Muzio told you about Bino and Placido, I am 
not at all surprised, since they are two young men who are attentive 
to me, and the whole town must believe that there is gallantry be- 
tween us. I am only surprised that you can doubt my truthfulness; 
ask for whatever evidence you please on this point and I will do all 
I can to convince you of the truth, but do not do me the injustice of 
believing that I am a hypocrite, and of judging my conduct by your 

You advise me to rest during the day on the sofa, in the dark, but 

2 1 8 Genoa, 30 November 1 765 

this is the one thing in which I cannot obey you. I try to avoid those 
places where I have been with you in order to escape gloomy ideas, 
for there is no greater sorrow than to remember happiness in a time 
of misery. 6 So forgive me if I do not do as you ask. 

My health holds up, and is sufficient to combat the turmoil in my 
soul. At night I follow the usual round. I play tressetti? and the re- 
maining time seems very long to me. Days I pass alone, and I am 
spending today in writing to you. Mornings all the abbes are here; 
they generally play tressetti, with Pietro, Tiburzio, and Tono. Audi- 
tor Arrighi comes very often. I would not tell you about these little 
trifles if you had not asked me to tell you everything. Your asking it 
makes me believe that you are enough my friend to be interested in 
everything concerning me; and writing to you is like talking to my 
most faithful bosom friend. At the moment, I can give you no more 
news about myself. You are my sweetest and entire occupation, the 
sole good that I desire; I am indifferent to everything else, and if I 
reach out for anything, it is only for a distraction necessary to remain 

I dare not say what passion I feel for you, and how dear you are 
to me, and how much I fear you do not love me in return. God, that 
doubt harrows me! And a word from you that my doubts are justified 
would reduce me to utter despair. 

Tell me frankly whether you clearly understand this letter, and 
the one I wrote to you while you were at Lucca. 8 1 understand your 
letter wonderfully; and if it is practice for you to write in Italian, 
do it by all means, though for other reasons it might be better to write 
in French. Letters can be lost, and if they were in French it would 
not be so easy to read them. But the important thing is to write to me 
often and tell me exactly what you do and everything you do. I shall 
never fail to keep you informed of what is happening to me, not 
merely for your sake, but also to console myself with the pleasure of 
writing. Dearest, continue to be my friend. I deserve it. 

6 "Non vi e maggior dolore che ricordarsi delle felicit& in tempo di miserie." 
Moma has reworded Francesca's touching remark in the Divine Comedy (I. v. 

7 A Tuscan card game, still current. 

8 This earlier letter to Boswell has not survived, and perhaps never reached him. 

Genoa, 30 November 1765 219 

If I have no letter from you by Monday, I shall not write again, 
because I do not know how long you plan to stay at Leghorn. There- 
fore always tell me where I am to direct my letters so that they may 
not fall into the wrong hands. Remember that I am yours with all my 

There are two Germans here at Siena. Charlottina has a high 
fever, which is believed to be smallpox. Good-bye. I long for you. 

[Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell. Original in Italian] 

Siena, 7 October 1 765 

IN MY LETTER TO YOU of last Friday, 9 which I addressed to Leg- 
horn, I told you that I was not going to write to you this morning un- 
less I had first received a letter from you telling me how long you 
were to stay in Leghorn, and where I should direct my letters. But I 
flattered myself that this morning I would certainly have found word 
from you at the post-office a single line might have been enough 
to calm my anxiety. After such neglect, I ought to persuade myself 
that twenty years from now I shall still be receiving letters from you? 
And you had the effrontery to assure me of that? And you said that I 
should grow satisfied with you, because your continued friendship 
would have indemnified me for all my sufferings? I must say that I 
am experiencing the effects of all that friendship you told me about. 
If you were good-hearted, you would not leave me in this uncer- 
tainty. But what a thought that you might have a heart! As 
though I could not recall all the jealousy you caused me to suffer 
when you were here and if I complained about it then, face to face, 
I could obtain no satisfaction. And now you are far away should I 
think of you as faithful, and eager to calm the violence of my passion? 
Should I weigh my feelings against your cruelty, and give you credit 
for any part of them you are not responsible for, since the name of 
Boswell and inconstancy are one and the same thing? Continue on 
this system, and I shall be convinced at last that a constant though 
disagreeable man is worth more than one who is inconstant and lov- 

9 3 October was a Thursday, but Moma's long letter may well have been written 
partly on the next day. 

220 Genoa., 30 November 1 765 

I do not know whether this letter will reach you, so I dare not tell 
you the details of my misery. Even if you find it at the Leghorn post- 
office, where I am directing it, I do not know how it will be received 
by a man who knows nothing of real passion, who at this very mo- 
ment is laughing at me with some coquette or other, with women 
who are scheming to increase their triumphs at my expense. Ah, if 
they knew you better they would not be proud of their conquest, but 
would see their ruin as I see mine. Let me know, for my peace of 
mind, if you have received one letter at Lucca and two at Leghorn, 
including this one. 

Bianconi arrived Saturday, to place two little girls at the convent, 
and he will stay here for the whole month, I believe. I sometimes see 
him but he is not much pleased with me, as he found me very melan- 
choly, and because I receive him very seldom. 

Have a good time, and do not be afflicted by remorse for having 
brought unhappiness to a woman who did not deserve it. 

Charlottina has a very mild case of smallpox, and her mother is 

Write me a line only, but tell me whether you sympathize with 
my wretchedness, and then go visit the barbarians, which is just the 
right place for you. In spite of your treatment of me, it distressed me 
that you are undertaking this voyage. 1 

I forgot to tell you that you can spare yourself the trouble of writ- 
ing ostensible letters, for I have announced freely that I have received 
a letter from you. So write rather with complete intimacy, since it is 
unnecessary to show any letter. 

Tell me whether women's silk stockings can be had in Leghorn, 
and at what shop. 

Remember me, for I am truly unhappy, and remind yourself in 
the midst of your diversions that you have left one who loves you in 
a deplorable state. If I find no consolation in what you write, my con- 
dition is irremediable. I cannot live in this manner. 

*The following paragraphs, which are on a separate piece of paper, may belong 
to this letter. 

Genoa, 30 November 1 765 221 

[Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell. Original in Italian] 

Siena, 21 October 1765 

received only one letter, and because I knew you had written one to 
Porzia in which you offered to come back to Siena if she would have 
pity on you in that turmoil of spirit I finally received your dear, 
dear letter 2 telling me that you have not received mine. I cannot un- 
derstand how such a thing can have happened, for I wrote three let- 
ters, one of which you should have received at Lucca at the same time 
that I received yours, and the other two at Leghorn, at the address 
you gave me. 

After these, I dared not write anywhere else because I did not 
know whether you welcomed them, or whether you might not have 
left for Corsica. Do inquire about these letters through some of your 
friends, because, aside from my wish to show you my good faith, I 
should not like them to fall into the wrong hands, for they revealed 
my feelings to you without sufficient disguise. I was afraid that my 
servant, in order to avoid paying the postage, had not taken them to 
the post-office, but I made inquiry and was assured that the post-office 
had forwarded them to their destination. So please hunt for them dili- 
gently if an evil fate does not keep you from getting this one, too. 

Dear Boswell, if you knew with what anxiety I waited for the 
mail from Lucca or Leghorn (since I did not know where you were), 
saw it come without bringing me the news of you I wished for, did 
not know what to think, dared not blame you for fear of being unjust! 
To torment myself, to become enraged was all I could do. I was afraid 
that some accident had occurred, that you were ill, or that you no 
longer loved me. However terrible that thought might be, I unhesi- 
tatingly preferred it to the former. 

To give you news of myself as to my health, today I have a little 
fever but it will come to nothing; as to my heart, I love you more than 
ever, if that were possible. My sole consolation since your departure 
from Siena has been to read over and over the letter that you sent me 
from Lucca; and the thought that you once told me you loved me 
makes my sorrows dearer to me. Of all the faculties of the mind I find 
2 According to his Register of Letters, Boswell wrote to Moma on 10 October. 

222 Genoa, 30 November 1 765 

at present that imagination is the most useful and the most necessary. 

God, what an immense difference there is between imagination 
and reality! Yet imagination at present furnishes the only pasture 
where my pleasures can feed, and is the only consolation left to me. 

1 enchant myself with your doubtful promise to return to me again 
within a few weeks; in the name of charity I beg you to come back 
if you have any human feelings. 

The thought of your departure for Corsica still distresses me and 
makes me envisage all the dangers that such a fantastic voyage in- 
volves. I believe I suffer more, fixed here on my sofa, than you at sea 
in the midst of a raging storm. 

I shall say no more, since I do not know what will happen to this 
letter. The bad luck that dogs me says that it will meet the same fate 
as the other three. I am directing it to the Consul of His Britannic 
Majesty, as you told me to. Good-bye. I am expected by a number of 
people whom in any other circumstances I should like to see, but 
whom I now feel like sending to the devil. 

Answer this letter, and believe that neither time nor space will 
change my feelings for you, not till death itself. Can you promise as 

[Boswell to Wilkes] 

Genoa, i December 1 765 

DEAR SIR, You are a very sad man indeed. I wrote you a long 
letter from Venice, and a most classical one from Mantua. I directed 
them both a M. Wilkes a Naples, according to your desire, and am 
sure that I did not neglect to give you my address at this place. After 
making a very singular tour to the island of Corsica, I arrived at 
Genoa in full hopes of finding a packet of your wit and gaiety, but 
to my great disappointment there is not a line from you. If you have 
received the letters I mention, 3 I must be very angry with you; for 
although I have heard that you have been running over the world, 
and trying the keenness of your wit with that of Voltaire, I cannot ex- 
cuse your forgetting an ancient laird. 

I have had a flow of spirits, and have written above a hundred and 
fifty lines of my Epistle to you. 4 I am in hopes it will be a piece that 
may do us both some honour. 

8 Wilkes had sailed from Naples for Marseilles on 27 June. 
* About 220 lines of Boswell's "Epistle to Wilkes" survive among the Boswell 

Genoa., i December 1 765 223 

I set out for Paris in a week hence. My father is ill and anxious to 
see me. If I do not hear that he is better, my stay in France at this 
time must be very short. Pray write to me immediately at Lyons, by 
the address which you will find on the opposite page. 5 It will please 
me to be thus met by you on my road to Paris. Adieu, dear Sir, 


[EDITORIAL NOTE: Boswell landed in Genoa in the sustaining glow 
of a unique experience. Other men made Continental tours, other 
men scribbled and published, other men boasted of familiar inter- 
course with Samuel Johnson and Jean Jacques Rousseau. But nobody 
else had been over the mountains to Paoli; nobody else could talk 
with authority of the little isle that was to astonish Europe. On the 
morning after his arrival, he called on the British consul, James Holl- 
ford, and set him right ("Talked of Corsican affairs plainly") ; then 
waited on the French charge <Faffcdres and was invited to dinner. It 
was here that he met the Genoese secretary of state whom he had 
caused to shake in his shoes, and learned, with considerable increase 
in his self-esteem, that Genoese spies had had him under surveillance 
all the time he was in Corsica. "Do you know," he wrote delightedly 
to John Johnston on 9 December, "I have had my own fears at Genoa, 
for, being just arrived from Corsica, where I was very intimate with 
their terrible enemy, Paoli, I am pretty certain that the noble mer- 
chants of this despicable republic would have been well pleased to 
have had a stiletto slipped into my back, or to have got me into prison 
and very quietly given me a little poison. But the British flag makes 
them tremble, and good Captain Robinson of the Vulture rides at an- 
chor in their port." The dagger, the chain, and the poisoned bowl 
are a bit romantic, but there is no doubt that he had caused a great 
flurry in the foreign offices. Michel, the French charge d'affaires, 

papers. It is not known whether Boswell ever showed Wilkes this poem except 
for the first six lines, which were enclosed in his letter of 22 April (p. 70). 
Curiously enough the two stanzas of a poem by Boswell which are among the 
Wilkes papers in the British Museum, and which were printed as Appendix II 
in Chauncey B. Tinker's Letters of James Boswell, are not from this poem but 
from the earlier "Parliament: A Poem" which Boswell wrote for George Demps- 
ter (see Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 6 August 1764). 
5 U A Monsieur, Monsieur Boswell, Gentilhomrne Ecossais, Chez Messrs. Con- 
dere, Pere et Fils, et Passavant, a Lyons." 

224 Genoa, 1-9 December 1765 

was probably forwarding to Paris reports which had been sent over 
from Corsica by Ms spies; Count Antonio Rivarola in Leghorn was 
certainly having Boswell shadowed and was reporting all his move- 
ments to Turin for the King of Sardinia had designs on Corsica 
too. These newly recovered reports of Rivarola voluminous and 
very accurate so far as they can be tested say in fact that the Doge 
of Genoa had Boswell in for questioning. It seems odd that Boswell 
should have recorded so important an event only obliquely, but his 
notes say nothing about the interview, and merely record his uneasi- 
ness later when he was told that he had kept the Doge waiting. 

His remarks on pictures and buildings seem to show a new self- 
confidence, as for example this comment on a picture in the Palazzo 
Durazzo: "Rubens's Juno putting Argus's eyes into peacock's tail 6 
Juno all dignity, but action bad. Girl picking out eyes with a thing 
like skiver, 7 as a cookmaid, and Juno holding them like mussels to 
dap into [peacock's] tail. Mean. Should have been done by a wand 
a sudden transmigration." 

He seems while in Genoa to have been best pleased with the so- 
ciety of a group of now obscure British "captains" Captain Robin- 
son of the Vulture, a young artillery officer named Duncan Drum- 
mond, and others unnamed but he had his usual luck in meeting 
men whose names can easily be turned up in modern biographical 
dictionaries. The French astronomer Joseph Jerome Lalande, to 
whom he had secured a letter of introduction, had the misfortune to 
observe the planet Neptune and to record it as a star; 8 John Symonds 
was Thomas Gray's successor in the chair of Modern History at Cam- 
bridge; Count Hessenstein was an illegitimate son of King Frederick I 
of Sweden; Henry Ellis, explorer of Hudson Bay, was successively 
Governor of Georgia and of Nova Scotia; the ambiguous Frederick 
Augustus Hervey, son of Pope's "Sporus," later became both Bishop 

6 Rubens's "Juno and Argus,** now in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne. 
T A variant of skewer, now dialectal. 

8 He made two observations of the planet on the 8th and loth of May, 1795. 
When he found that the observations did not agree, he rejected one as probably 
in error. If only he had taken one more look with the telescope to see which ob- 
servation was wrong, he would have found that his "star" really was moving, 
and thus would have been put in the way of discovering the planet more than 
fifty years before it was actually recognized. 

Genoa, 1-9 December 1765 225 

of Derry and Earl of Bristol. Hervey and Symonds were so roused by 
BoswelTs accounts of Corsica that they made visits there themselves. 
Boswell had resolved in Capraja to discharge Jacob as soon as they 
got to Genoa, but instead he only went on wrangling with him. Se- 
rious thoughts of Belle de Zuylen recurred ("Thought to offer mar- 
riage to Zelide mad") . He read The Rambler, and "after long in- 
termission felt all the force and fancy of illustrious Johnson. 1 ' He had 
his sore toe attended to ("Yesterday morning valet de place brought 
surgeon who cut down nail above, and by cutting and pulling got 
him out. Was much relieved") . The Genoese notes end with an ac- 
count of his going to see a young lady take the veil.] 

TUESDAY 10 DECEMBER. Yesterday morning Prince 9 politely in- 
sisted to take you with him to ceremony. You was quite at ease with 
him. You went and saw beautiful lady of first family (nineteen) 
richly dressed. Old Dominican preached, [called her] a "valiant 
maiden." Then at gate with crown and nuns a-singing. Then church 
and before altar deshabilled and hair cut, &c. Cameriere? neat one 
and young. Ladies all looked at you; [heard one say] "I've seen 
him." Strutted by Grimaldi proud, and looked full 2 . . . Took Jacob. 

Found self poor. Viewed conduct bad. Rouse. 

TUESDAY 10 DECEMBER/ After a tolerable night's sleep, I was 
called at seven by the sailors and went with them to the port, but the 
courier was not yet come; so I strolled about a little in the city, and 
went into a church and paid my devotions to Him who rules the sea. 
At eight we sailed. The felucca was a very good, well-built vessel. It 
had a railing of wood to cover it in, over which might be thrown can- 
vas to defend the passengers from the sun or from rain, and from the 
night air when they choose to sleep aboard. It had twelve sailors: the 
master and boy and ten rowers. The courier de France, with whom I 
embarked, was a young, round, lively little fellow. He had the com- 
Count Hessenstein. Boswell says he was a "sweet, lively young man." 

1 Properly cameriere: the lady's maids who helped "deshabille" the "valiant 


2 Grimaldi was one of the Genoese officers who had helped him escape from 


3 With this entry Boswell began again to keep a fully written journal and con- 
tinued it with some exceptions through 6 January 1766. Events belong to the 
date under which they are entered. 

226 Genoa to Vado, 10 December 1765 

mon cant: "There is no country like France." He told me that Prince 
Charles was expected at Rome every day, and that apartments were 
prepared for him in his father's palace. He told me, "The Queen is 
very beautiful." I asked him if she was still alive. 4 "Oh, yes, Sir," said 
he, and told me her picture was in St. Peter's. By this he meant the 
bust of the Queen which is upon her monument, and from which I 
suppose he has concluded her to be very beautiful. We had a fine 
calm sea, and for an hour and a half we had a brisk gale directly for 
us; the motion of the felucca was sound and smooth and I was not 
sick, but had a very good appetite and eat a bit with great pleasure. 
Between three and four the wind changed against us, so we were 
obliged to put ashore at Vado, ten leagues from Genoa. My dog began 
to grow sick, so I threw him into the sea, thinking that when he had 
swum ashore he would follow the boat; but instead of that he ran off 
like a criminal back to Savona. The courier went off by land, and I 
was left to manage as I could with the master of the felucca. 

I found a very tolerable inn at Vado and got some fresh fish. A 
poor young fellow, a stocking weaver of Nimes, who told me there 
were not many curiosities in his town, was with us in the felucca. He 
said at the inn he had no inclination to eat, and though I pressed him 
to taste my fish, he would not. Upon being asked a livre for his bed, 
he threatened going back to the felucca. But the landlady lodged 
him for twelve sols. 5 1 sent an express to Savona who brought me for 
answer that my dog had been seen at the butchers' stalls; but it was 
too late to find him. However, as the gates were shut, he could not be 
gone out of the town, and therefore I might have him by sending next 
morning before the gates could be opened. Jacob slept in the same 
room with me. He told me he had bought malaga at two livres, four 
sols a bottle. I was in a great passion with him and said, "It makes 
me angry to have a servant who spends money in such a fashion." 
Upon this he told me he had bought a capon which cost him two 
livres, and said, "All the other gentlemen buy provisions. They are 

4 Maria Clementina Sobieski, wife of the Old Pretender, died in 1735. 

5 The value of currencies varied from one Italian state to another. Usually a sol 
or sou was worth about an English halfpenny. Twenty sols made a livre, six 
Evres an ecu, and twenty-four livres a louis d'or, which was worth about a 
pound. A franc and a livre were the same. 

y i o December 1 765 227 

right-thinking people. I shall always preserve my health, since I see 
that I am to be given nothing to pay the doctors." (This was a hint to 
me that I had not paid for the curing of his fever at Rome; however, 
as he has made enough by me, I took no notice of what he said.) I 
found myself so fortified by agitation that, although I was conscious 
that I had neither a genteel nor rational conduct in being thus lev- 
elled with my own servant, who really thought with more justness 
than I did, it gave me no concern, and I fell asleep in most easy in- 

WEDNESDAY ii DECEMBER, Early this morning I dispatched 
my servant with a guide to Savona. I had here (at Vado) as good a 
clean bed as I could wish; so I lay comfortably till near nine, when 
my envoys returned without the dog, who had not been heard of since 
last night. I composed myself, thinking that Mr. Hollf ord would get 
him for me and send him by sea to England. The sea was so rough 
that the felucca could not go. I inclined to go by land; but, as I heard 
the roads were so bad that I could not get to Antibes in less than four 
days, I thought it better to wait a day for the chance of going by sea in 
four and twenty hours. The master and I had some dispute about 
what I should pay. It was at last agreed that I should give six sequins 6 
(one less than the courier), and, if bad weather stopped us, I should 
pay only as far as I went with him. At eleven came three men from 
Savona bringing my dog along with them. The principal person 
among them said he had bought my dog for six francs from a butcher. 
I, overjoyed to have him again, gave the money without considering 
that the fellow had no right to sell a dog which was not his own. Thus 
was I cheated by a crafty ligurian. I considered, however, that if I 
had made him be sent after me, it would have cost more. I was in rage 
against the brute for running away and plaguing me, and I resolved 
to punish him sufficiently, so I took him to the inn, tied him to a bed- 
stead, and beat him without mercy. 7 

I went out and walked in the village. The church took my eye. It 
had a light, airy steeple, and was painted with different colours in the 
Genoese taste, which I own I cannot help being pleased with. No mat- 
ter why; I am pleased and want no more. I know it is against prin- 

6 About three pounds. 

7 Boswell later crossed out this sentence. 

228 Vado, 1 1 December 1 765 

ciple; I know Lord Kames and other cool analysers of feeling could 
tell me, "Pray, Sir, what should a building be? Strong, to be sure, and 
therefore* of stone. What colour has stone? Surely never green and 
blue, and certainly it is never diversified with figures of the Roman 
emperors, with St. George and the dragon, with the whimsical, fan- 
tastical zigzags which adorn the panels of a drawing-room, with ter- 
rible arms, or with elegant flowerpots; therefore this plastering and 
painting system is absurd, as it would make a thing appear what it 
never was nor never can be/' "Very well argued, master metaphysi- 
cian. But I cannot feel by reason^ and therefore, when an object ex- 
cites pleasure in me, I call it pleasing, be it a dance at Sadler's Wells, 
a ballad sung by porters against the ministry, a roasted apple from a 
stand at Temple Bar, a Methodist sermon, or a print of the world 
turned upside down." Thus I philosophize. 

I called upon the curate, who very obligingly showed me the in- 
side of the church. I spoke to him in Italian and he answered me, 
"Monsieur, je ne vous comprends pas." I then talked to him as a 
Frenchman. But he told me he was not of that country, but Italian. 
I asked him why he could not understand me. He said, "Je parle 
Genois, le patois d'ici." I entered a garden which pleased me much. 
The gardener, who was gathering olives, came up to me and asked me 
if I would have milk "latte," added he. "Ho venduto molto di 
questo alle bardie inglesi e hanno detto sempre milk." 8 I was de- 
lighted to have thus by chance my most agreeable regale. I went 
home with him and his wife, and had bread and three large vessels of 
fine, sweet milk and enjoyed life. The gardener showed me his little 
cow-house where the cows were constantly kept and fed, without ever 
being taken out except to the bull. He said they were so accustomed 
to this life that, take them to the meadow and they would not know 
how to eat. 

Jacob was very rude in talking of my severity to Jachone: "If my 
brother did a thing like that, I would thrash him." Thus talked with 
rough manner my Swiss peasant. I made him hold his tongue, but 
was really fretted. I continued to beat Jachone from time to time, and 
gave him nothing to eat, so that I humbled him very well. 

I thought a religious life is difficult only because it is a constant 
8 "I have sold much of this to English boats, and they have always said milk." 

Vado, 1 1 December 1765 229 

conformity to a regulated system, to fulfil which one is anxious. The 
life of a toast, or a perfect coquette, is as difficult, and so is that of a 
man who insists on being respected every moment of his existence. 
I considered how very pleasant my life now was when I followed 
purely the inclination of each moment without any manner of re- 
straint. I thought, however, this could not last. Scotland stared me full 
in the face, but seemed comfortable. I wished to be home. I had Er- 
skine's Institutes with me and read him clearly and soundly; I rejoiced 
to find that as I acquired strength of mind, I could take in even law as 
an object of philosophy. I dreaded my worthy father's death, and 
thought how hard it would be if I should become a man that could 
rejoice his heart, and he not live to see it, to be consoled after all that 
my miserable sallies of hypochondria have made him suffer. 

Thinking of Jacob's republican obstinacy, I was of opinion that, 
lest stubborn nature should rebel, that a gentleman may by natural 
as well as civil right exercise despotism over his domestics. He ought 
never to engage a servant without having beat him at a fair boxing- 
match or at hard cudgels. I also thought that in my Scots Diction- 
ary it might not be amiss to give little cuts of particular words, as 

quaich ^i ^^ , luggie f*ff|| . 9 At night I had from my 

gardener fresh butter and charming buttermilk. 

THURSDAY 1 2 DECEMBER. Early this morning the sailors called 
me. The master told me it was good wind, and I, eager to go, agreed 
to pay him six sequins passage, and, if we could not advance, four. 
The rogue took me in; for the wind fell as we advanced and then was 
contrary, and this he must have known. 

We went up three leagues and put in at Noli. I still starved 
Jachone, and discharged 1 Jacob to give him any victuals. I stepped 
down on shore (after being drawn to land by the sailors, which I 
called [the] best manner of going in [a] boat), and when I returned 

9 Boswell had started to gather material for a dictionary of Scots English while 
in Holland. It was never completed. A quaich (or quaigh) is a kind of shallow 
drinking-cup, formerly common in Scotland, usually made of wooden staves 
hooped together, but sometimes of silver. A luggie is a small wooden vessel 
with a "lug" or handle. 
1 Scots for "forbade." 

230 Noliy 1 2 December 1 765 

1 found Jacob feeding my dog. I called to him, "How dare you give 
anything to that dog when I forbade it?" He replied, "Yes, I have 
given him something, sacre dieu!" as if he had been speaking to a 
brother peasant. I said, "Upon my word, you are a fine man!" "Well," 
said he, "I can a man. I am not a fool." You said, "You are the most 
impertinent rascal I have ever known." He said, "Sir, you knew that 
long ago. You should not have taken me with you." Such changling 
passed between a master and his servant. Shameful! I could do noth- 
ing as I owed the fellow thirty louis, but I resolved if possible to bor- 
row money at Antibes and turn him off from thence. 

I determined to go by land, so left Jacob and my baggage in the 
felucca, and desired the master to call in at Razzi 2 and Monaco and 
one or two of the other ports, if I should make him a sign from any of 
them. I took Jachone with me, pulling him along with a good cord, 
and, whenever he was rebellious, beating him sorely. I even hung 
him fairly up twice upon trees for half a minute, but he grasped them 
with his feet and saved his neck. 8 1 walked five miles to Finale (the 
first post, which a punster would say should be the last) . 

Here I saw a sort of Genoese triumphal arch erected on I don't 
know what occasion. There was a Latin inscription upon it, as how 
thunder had set the sand on fire, which did not pass the arch, and this 
happened during the magistracy of Signor somebody. The same 
meaning was put into verse below, and the poet took the license of 
paying a compliment to the magistrate by hinting that it was owing 
to him that the kindled sand went no farther. I began to copy this 
inscription, but the Commandant, a suspicious fool, came up and told 
me that he could not allow me to do it without an order from the 
Governor, and very gravely did he write to his Excellency desiring to 
know if it should be permitted to a stranger to copy the inscription on 
the triumphal arch. When he had done, I told him that as I must 
wait half an hour for the answer it was not worth while, for indeed I 
would not wait ten minutes for it. I wished to have copied out my 
inscription by force, or have made a riot. I should have done so in any 
other state, where I was sure that the government would take to task 

2 Probably Alassio. 

3 Boswell later crossed out this sentence and the preceding one from "pulling 
"him along." 

Finale, 1 2 December 1 765 231 

a foolish commandant, but I considered that the Genoese would 
hardly do me the justice which I had a right to expect. 

I eat a bit and then got a horse and a postilion to run afoot with 
me to Pietra. Here the post would oblige me to take two horses. I went 
to a little inn where the people seemed civil and got me a quiet fellow 
who agreed to go with me cheap, but insisted on taking two horses as 
there was much water on the road. I set out at ten. It was very dark. 
I began to ruminate on Italian robberies and assassinations and was 
vastly uneasy. I took my louis and put them loose in my pocket, leav- 
ing two in my purse for the rogues if they should come. I rode in 
most disagreeable anxiety, but was three or four times comforted by 
passing snug, smoky towns. 

At last I arrived at Razzi at one in the morning, and knocked up 
the landlord and landlady of a little inn. I found I had let my purse 
with two louis drop by the way, so I dispatched the landlord's two 
sons with a lantern to seek it for me, their father having charged 
them to pray to the Virgin that it might be f ound. I did not much like 
this Genoese inn. My room had two doors, one of which opened on a 
room where I saw one or two stout fellows. That door I bolted very- 
well; the other, which opened on my landlord's room, I attempted to 
shut. He called to me that I had locked it, while I heard the sound of 
a lock, but I knew I had not turned the key, and discovered that he 
had bolted it on his side and would make me believe that I had locked 
it. This looked ugly. The sequel, however, proved that he had no other 
intention but merely to humour my resolution to have my door 
locked, for I was obliged to content myself with matters as they were. 
It was three o'clock before I got to bed. I did not throw off my clothes, 
but laid Jachone on the foot of my bed and took my couteau de ckasse 
and laid it at my side. 

FRIDAY 1 3 DECEMBER. At six some of the stout fellows I had seen 
set out with mules on their intended plan for the day and made a 
terrible noise. I was waked suddenly, and in a fright I started up with 
my couteau de chasse in my hand and ran to the window, where I 
found I had no reason to be apprehensive, so went and slumbered 
disagreeably enough till nine, when I got up and walked out to the 
shore from whence I saw my felucca pass in full sail, so that she could 
not come to land to take me up. I walked to the next village, where I 

232 Porto Maurizio, 1 3 December 1 765 

got a horse to the first post-town, and from thence took a post-horse to 
Porto Maurizio, passing in my way through several villages very well 
built and remarkably well paved, with generally half a dozen lines 
of larger stones cutting the street into pretty sections from end to end. 
At Porto Maurizio the postmaster told me that my horse and 
guide were ready; so that I supped at my ease on fried eggs, without 
care. But when I was ready to set out, he came and told me that there 
was another postmaster besides himself who would not consent to 
give me one horse, as the night was dark and there were rivers in the 
way which in the day-time could be passed in boats, but in the night 
there was no getting over but ahorseback. He therefore insisted on my 
taking two horses, or waiting till it should be light. I took him to be 
lying and demanded my horse and guide afoot. He refused, and I in 
a great passion groped my way some gunshots to the town and got a 
man to show me to Signor Sicardi, the British Vice-consul. I told him 
my story and imagined he could force the postmaster to give me what 
I wanted, but he knew nothing of the matter, and his stupidity en- 
raged me. He offered to lodge me in his house, but I could not bear to 
stay with him. The other postmaster had been sent for, and came and 
talked with us. I had seen him indeed before; but he also refused me 
one horse. He lighted me along the street, and showed me to two dif- 
ferent inns, the outside of which I disliked. I was quite fretted and 
did not know what I would be at. At last I thought of the Vice-consul 
of France, as M. Michel had given me a circular letter to all of them. 
I was informed he was a Frenchman, and that was enough. I went to 
him, followed by the second postmaster. I found him just the obliging 
second-rate Frenchman. He told me that I really would do wrong to 
travel in the night, and that I could not force a single horse. Our post- 
master talked reasonably. I said, "Si dice una mezza dama. Lei e un 
mezzo galantuomo ma giunto con un briccone." 4 The Vice-consul 
assured me that the other was a drunken rascal and had been com- 
plained of to him often and often. I talked of writing against him to 
Commodore Harrison and Mr. Hollford and M. Michel, but the Vice- 
consul said I had better have no more of it, and he was right. 

I agreed to wait till six next morning and then set out with one 

4 "People use the expression, mezza dama (almost a lady). I should call you 
almost an honest man, though you are in league with a scoundrel." 

Porto Maurizio, 1 3 December 1765 233 

horse. The Vice-consul said frankly, "You will do me the kindness to 
eat a little supper here and accept a bed which will be better than 
what you will find at the inn." I gladly accepted his offer. His name 
was M. de La Selle, a native of Orleans. He lived here in a large house 
with two Genoese and their sister, all oldish, fat people. He himself 
was plump and hearty and had a daughter well married at Paris, 
where his wife was gone for some time. 

We had a neat little supper, and talked well. All the villages in 
this neighbourhood are supported by the commerce of oil. At Porto 
Maurizio they export in a good year one hundred thousand barrels of 
oil at two louis a barrel* There are here many good houses and a num- 
ber of people who have tolerable good fortunes. Their figs are the 
best I ever eat. I drank here a wine little inferior to madeira, and my 
landlord assured me that, by corking close the fermenting juice, he 
made what could not be known from true champagne. I got an excel- 
lent bed here. I was ill-dressed but quite the man of fashion. M. de 
La Selle was quite occupied in showing me des politesses. There are 
people who from good habits delight in serving others. I have little 
of this, and therefore view with admiration the obliging attention, 
the alert civility, of others. I thought it would be no bad life to go 
about profiting by this happy disposition of mankind. 

SATURDAY 14 DECEMBER. I mounted early and went briskly on 
and was convinced that a foot-guide could not have passed in the 
night. About a league before I came to San Remo, I saw a curious 
grotto, a cave just by the side of the road. It is now a chapel dedicated 
to the Madonna Annunziata. It is fifty foot in length from the great 
altar (there being three) to the door in front (having also a side 
door) , and thirty-three foot broad. A poor hermit lives on the brow of 
the declivity which overhangs this chapel, which he shows to such as 
are curious, though my guide told me I was the first he had seen 
examine it with attention. The hermit lighted me with a torch up a 
little stair cut in the rock till we got above the great altar. We ad- 
vanced along a passage in the rock four or five foot broad, but di- 
minishing as we advanced both in breadth and heigth. We were 
above a hundred foot from the front door. The hermit told me the 
passage had no end, and indeed I saw a vast way beyond where we 
were, but advanced no farther, as we were obliged to creep upon all 

234 Porto Maurizio to San Remo, 14 December 1765 
four and I began to want fresh air. There is from the roof of this 
chapel and the passage a continual dropping of water, which it seems 
is looked upon as a kind of miracle. I inquired of the hermit and of 
my guide how this curious grotto had been made, supposing that 
there would certainly be some singular tradition with regard to it; 
but all the information they could give me was that the Madonna had 
made it herself. I gave the hermit some money. He very seriously 
asked me if I intended it for the Madonna or for him, a piece of 
scrupulous honesty, this, which I am afraid is not to be found in the 
greatest number of the mendicant religious, nor in those ragged lay- 
men who in white iron boxes collect from passengers their charity 
for the souls in purgatory. As I considered the hermit to have more 
need of money than the Virgin had of masses, I told him what I gave 
was for himself. 

I found San Remo to be, as Mr. Addison remarks, a "pretty little 
town/' 5 The noble family of Borea has a very large palace there, the 
size of which struck me much, but I saw nothing remarkable in the 
architecture. Nothing is more agreeable in travelling up the river of 
Genoa than to find oneself gradually transported from a cold air to 
an agreeable warmth. By the time I got to San Remo I had entirely 
changed climate. At Genoa we were shivering over large fires, and at 
San Remo I sat with the windows open in a room without fire and 
basked in the rays of a benign sun. This town is remarkable for the 
immense quantity of oranges and lemons which grow in its territories. 
I went with the postmaster to his garden and had the pleasure of 
pulling in December sweet oranges to eat and lemons to squeeze in 
my wine. I was just at Naples. I liked San Remo so much I regretted 
its being in the Genoese dominions. On the other side of it, on the 
brow of a pleasant hill, is a college of Jesuits, very genteel, and, as 
Thomson says, "embosomed soft in trees." 6 

Walking in the streets of San Remo, I observed a barber's sign, 
Alia Perrucca Trionfante; a hand held aloft a periwig, and three or 
four fleurs-de-lis marked the master French. It made me laugh so 
much that I sent for the master and made him shave me. I asked him 
how he durst enter a foreign state in that manner, with periwig 

5 Remarks, p. 15. The poor are lucky, Addison felt, to live in this climate. 

6 James Thomson, Spring, 1. 953. 

San Remo, 14 December 1 765 235 

triumphant, and if he was not afraid of drawing upon himself the 
vengeance of the Republic. I plagued the fellow so much that he at 
last denied its being his sign, calling himself the barber vis-a-vis. 7 

At night I arrived at Ventimiglia, an old town situated on a steep 
hill. They frightened me here so much with robbers being on the 
frontiers, and assured me besides that the gates of Mentone were 
never opened in the night-time, that I lay at the post-house, where 
the landlord and landlady were Spaniards; and vastly courteous was 
mine host, a fine young fellow. I slept in my clothes with Jachone in 
my arms. 

SUNDAY 15 DECEMBER. I set out before six. My guide bid me 
hold high the bridle, saying that the horse was "like a vessel" that 
when the sails were hoised up went well. The frontiers of the Genoese 
state are very rocky and seem most proper fastnesses for banditti. 
They have placed a tower with forty soldiers for security. I had some 
very bad road, particularly the steep Passo di Teodoro. I made my 
guide tell me when I stepped into the territories of Monaco. I felt most 
comfortable to have escaped safe from the rascally Genoese. Mentone 
made me think myself in France, my landlord talking French and 
treating with the address which the lively nation is remarkable for. 

I went out of my road a few miles to see the little town of Monaco, 
or rather indeed the Prince's palace, where Mr. Addison had been. I 
mounted an immense steep mountain to get up to it, but I had an 
excellent road made in the reign of Antonius I, 8 as an inscription bore. 
The French have a garrison here, as it is of consequence for them to 
take care of the frontiers of Italy. The Commandant, to whom I was 
carried, gave me permission to walk about freely. The court of the 
palace pleased me. The outside of this building is not good, but I saw 
some very good apartments and the pictures that Mr. Addison talks 
of. They made me think of old Scots families. The present Prince of 
Monaco lives almost always at Paris, so that the palace looked deso- 
late, like the house of a Scots laird who lives in England. 

I passed a prodigious mountain and then went on to Nice, where 
I walked about a little but saw nothing but a procession. I called on 
Jullien, the French Consul, taking him to be one of my circular vice- 

7 The barber across the street 

8 Antoine I, Prince of Monaco from 1701 to 1731. 

236 Nice, 1 5 December 1 765 

consuls. He undeceived me and was stiffly civil, being a formal 
Frenchman, which is horrid. I heard Lord Breadalbane and Lord and 
Lady Glenorchy were here. With true Scots excellent ceremony I sent 
them a polite card excusing myself for not waiting on them, having 
no clothes and being in a great hurry. They sent me a polite answer, 
and Dr. Ramsay of Edinburgh, who was of their party, came and sat 
an hour with me. We talked away very well. He quite revived my 
Scots ideas. 

MONDAY 16 DECEMBER. I took a phaeton and post-horses for 
Antibes. A little way out of Nice I saw a marble cross erected on the 
place where the Pope [Paul III] stopped. 9 

For these two days I let Jachone run loose, and he followed me 
very well. I got to Antibes at noon, and found that my servant and 
baggage had been there two days before me. I put up at St. Jacques 
sur la Place, where I was pretty well. After dinner I called on M. Vial, 
procureurdu roial'anriraute, to whom M. Michel had recommended 
me. He engaged a chaise to carry me to Marseilles, being a very ex- 
pert little man in those matters. I called on Capitaine Bellini, a Corsi- 
can who was recruiting, or rather receiving recruits, for the Royal 
Corsicans. 1 He was a good, talkative little man. I also called on M. 
Campion, controleur des fermes. He painted and engraved prettily 
and read English. Caraffa had recommended me to both these last- 
named gentlemen. I was surprised to find Antibes so small and so 
poor-looking a place. Jacob was very civil. I reminded him of his 
strange behaviour at Noli. He asked pardon, saying that he was 
always sorry after such sallies. 

TUESDAY 1 7 DECEMBER. Julien La Fleur, my voiturin, made me 
set out betimes. I expected that French carriages could never go slow, 
but I found the vivacity of the airy nation did not appear in its 
voiturins, for he walked me along more slowly than my Italian vet- 
turinos, and very discontented I was. Jachone went back to the inn 
where I dined, for which I beat him till his nose bled, and then letting 

9 Boswell left a blank for the name of the Pope. Paul HI concluded a truce there 
in 1538 between the Emperor Charles V and Francis I of France. The cross seen 
by Boswell was torn down in 1796. 

1 The French Royal-Corse regiment, of which Buttafoco had just been made 

Antibes to Frejus, 1 7 December 1 765 237 

him loose, he run off from me before the chaise. A sergeant of the 
Regiment de Languedoc, who had just come from Bastia for his 
health, walked along with us. He informed Jacob that the honest 
fellow, the frotteur* chez M. de Marbeuf who served me so carefully 
during my fever, had been turned off because he would not divide 
with the others the two gros ecus which I left him. On my arrival at 
Frejus, Jachone was f ound waiting at the gate of the town. I found a 
most excellent inn here, a good table d'hote, and a bedroom as if in a 
private house in Britain. 

WEDNESDAY 1 8 DECEMBER. Jogged most sluggishly along. Dis- 
puted with Jacob, who said he knew me perfectly and that it was im- 
possible for servants to live well with me, as I was not, like other 
gentlemen, content with external acquiescence, but would always 
show them clearly that they were wrong. He is very right. I am al- 
ways studying human nature and making experiments on the lowest 
characters, so that I am too much in the secret with regard to the 
weakness of man in reality, and my honest, impetuous disposition 
cannot take up with that eternal repetition of fictitious minutiae by 
which unthinking men of fashion preserve a great distinction be- 
tween master and servant. By having Jacob so free with me, I have felt 
as servants do, and been convinced that the greatest part of them 
laugh in their sleeve very heartily at the parade of their lords, know- 
ing well that eating, drinking, sleeping, and other offices of nature 
are common to all. Jacob said, "I believe, Sir, that you have been 
badly brought up. You have not the manners of a nobleman. Your 
heart is too open." I confessed to him that I was two and twenty be- 
fore I had a servant. Said he, 'The son of a gentleman ought to be 
accustomed early to command a servant, but reasonably, and never 
to joke with them; because each must live in his state according to 
his quality. You, Sir, would live just like a peasant. And you force a 
servant to speak in a way he shouldn't, because you torment him with 
questions. You want to get to the bottom of things. Sir, I do not think 
you should marry. At least, if you marry, you should not live in the 
same house with your wife; otherwise, ma foil there will shortly be 
disputes, and a quarrel which cannot be made up. Sir, this is what 
you should do: marry a lady, give her a certain allowance, and let her 

2 Apparently a bootblack. 

238 Frefus to Le Luc, 1 8 December 1 765 

have her house where you can go when you find it agreeable and not 
be inconvenienced; and you must never see your children, or other- 
wise they will be as badly brought up as you. I hope, Sir, you will 
not take this in bad part." The fellow talked thus with so much good 
sense, so much truth, and with so natural an air, that upon my word 
I admired him; I however hoped that a few years more would temper 
all that impetuosity and remove all that weakness which now render 
me inconstant and capricious. At any rate, I have a singular kind of 
philosophy which will make me content to be whatever I shall turn 

I came at night to a tolerable inn. 3 1 sat up too late writing, and I 
suppose astonished the people of the house, who are used to see their 
guests tumble into bed immediately after supper. By the by, the 
French soft feather beds are destroying me by relaxing my nerves. 
The inns of this light-headed nation are very seldom good, for the 
rooms are cold and comfortless and dirty, the sheets damp, and 
snuffers difficult to be found. Old England live for ever, for thy inns 
are more excellent than are palaces anywhere else. 

THURSDAYigDECEMBER. The noble highway which leads from 
the country near Antibes to Toulon is admirable, like what is in the 
Scots Highlands. This evening I arrived at Toulon. At the gate a 
soldier made me come out of my chaise and conducted me to the 
Marquis de Coincy, the Commandant, to be examined, as all strangers 
are. He very politely asked me a few questions. When I was found no 
fault with, I presented him a letter from M. de Marbeuf begging him 
to show me civilities, and if possible to get me a sight of the arsenal, 
but this he told me could not be done; but he would try. 

I put up at the Croix de Malte and was tolerably well. Three posts 
before I arrived, Jachone was a-missing. I enquired of all passengers 
before us on the road, but he had not advanced. I was quite uneasy, 
quite feverish with anxiety about him. Jacob said, "Sir, you are get- 
ting yourself in a fever over a wretched cur/ 5 1 sent an express for him 
three posts. 

FRIDAY 20 DECEMBER. Before I got up, my express returned 
with Jachone. The voracious brute had returned to where I dined and 
had eat a whole hare which was hung up before a window. I insisted 
8 At Le Luc, from which Boswell wrote to Johnston. 

Toulon, 20 December 1 765 239 

with Jacob that Jachone had laid a plan for this,, and that his inclina- 
tion was to dine at the tables d'hote at thirty-five sous peer repas. The 
sergeant from Corsica said I should give Jachone so much a week, as 
I did to my servant. I saw that it was to no purpose to beat the brute 
as he did not understand what I meant, being very stupid. I there- 
fore resolved to carry him along with me just like a trunk or a packet 
that could move of itself. 

I found at the inn here Captain Keith Stewart, who had frightened 
me so much with regard to my Corsican expedition. 4 He joked me 
very heartily and really did not enter into the spirit of my singular 
tour. He conducted me to see the harbour. I made my valet de place 
follow. "Sir," said Stewart, "you are so much accustomed to guards in 
Corsica that you cannot walk out except you have several attend- 
ants." I saw here Captain Elliot who had brought Mr. Grenville, the 
Ambassador, from Constantinople. 5 How manly these captains 
looked, while I was conscious of having no firm hold of any plan. 
Upon my word it is owing to my philosophy, which sees too clearly 
the vanity of all the pursuits of mortals. Yet, had I that noble force 
which Johnson has, I might embrace life firmly although I am con- 
vinced of its vanity, for there is still reality. I set out at noon and went 
a few leagues to a poor inn. 6 

SATURDAY 21 DECEMBER. I arrived at Marseilles about eleven. 
A little way before you come to it, on the Toulon road, is the best vin 
cidt in France. This is a particular sort of wine, which, after having 
been boiled is excellent to drink a glass of with a crust of bread, by 
way of breakfast. At Marseilles I put up at the Nouvelle Rose, a very 
bad inn; the table d'hote was dirty, and through the room where it 
was held were some of us obliged to pass to our rooms. The service was 
bad and the master impertinent. Some honest Irish gentlemen dined 
with me at the table d'hote and then we went all and drank coffee. 
Before dinner I went and saw Mr. Pennant, who had taken an apart- 

4 See p. 149. 

5 Captain Elliot's ship, the Thames, on which the Hon. Henry Grenville was 
returning, was laid up for repairs in Toulon. Since they had been there for two 
months, the French were afraid that they wanted to find out too much about 
the arsenal, to which they were forbidden admittance. The English claimed 
that the reason for their stay was to perfect themselves in the French language. 
6 At Cuges. 

240 Marseilles, 2 1 December 1 765 

ment here and had his cook and lived comfortably. 7 Antonio, Lord 
Mountstuart's volante, my travelling companion from Milan to Flor- 
ence, whom I had recommended to Pennant, was now advanced to be 
valet de chambre, and a very genteel one he made. I had neither 
money nor credit, but trusted to Pennant, an ancient Welshman of 
very large fortune. I asked him to answer for me for fifty louis, which 
he most readily agreed to. Nothing is to be had in this world as one 
would have it. By making Pennant answer for my fifty louis, I de- 
prived myself of one excellent subject of my satire, for he is indeed a 
most absurd mortal; and now it would be shocking in me to portray 
him as I well could. Oh, no matter; sure one need not regret being 
forbidden to laugh at one absurdity in a world where there are so 
many, unless one had the perversity of Adam who eat of the one for- 
bidden tree. 

At five Pennant introduced me to Mr. Osborn (Sir George's 
brother) , and to a Major Langham; genteel men. Osborn had been an 
Oxonian of Sir J. Macdonald's time. We went to the theatre, which 
at Marseilles is a very handsome one and generally has very good 
comedians. Let me here ask myself how, in the name of all that is 
strange, was I, when nineteen and more, so enthusiastic an admirer 
of plays and players? I can explain it. My education had been the 
most narrow. I had a scanty share of ideas; I had no freedom of 
thought. The stage of Marseilles is always crowded with gentlemen, 
a sad abuse which destroys the very essence of a dramatic entertain- 
ment: the reality. I met here Colonel Ross (of Inverchasley) whom 
I had known a little in Scotland. He served me as a proof how much 
I must be improved since I came abroad, for I used to look sheepish 
before him like a poor schplar at a country school, and now I was 
rather superior to him, at least in assurance. I could not attend to the 
comedy. There was a little piece after it where was some singing, 
which without affectation tortured me. The French squeaking and 
grimaces were insufferable to a man just come from the operas of 
Italy. O Italy! Land of felicity! True seat of all elegant delight! My 
mind shall ever soothe itself with the image of thy charms. Thy 
divine music has harmonized my soul. That nature, that sweet sim- 

7 Not Thomas Pennant, the famous traveller, but Edward Pennant, whom Bos- 
well had met in Florence. 

Marseilles, 2 1 December 1765 241 

plicity, that easy grace which has pleased me so often in thy theatres, 
shall never fade from my memory. 

The gallant Duncan Drummond had told me at Genoa of a very 
good girl whom he kept a long time, and had with him eight months 
at Minorca. Since I arrived at five and twenty-, 8 I have determined 
never again to risk my constitution with women. But Drummond 
having assured me that Mile. Susette was honest, safe, and disin- 
terested, and counselled me to put in at that port, I went to her after 
the comedy. My valet de place was a German who spoke French and 
English, a tall and decent pimp. He showed me her lodgings. I found 
her a fine little lively girl, with hardly any of the vile cant of prosti- 
tutes. After examining me very shrewdly if I was really a friend 
of Drummond's, she agreed to let me pass the night with her. I went 
home and supped, and returned to her. She had a handsome bed- 
room prettily furnished. She was so little that I had an idea as if she 
was a child, and had not much inclination for her. I recalled my 
charming Signora at Siena, and was disgusted at all women but her, 
and angry at myself for being in the arms of another. Susette chatted 
neatly and diverted me. I sacrificed to the graces. I think I did no 

SUNDAY 2 2 DECEMBER. I found I was now above being taken in 
by whores. I viewed with pity the irregularities of humanity. I went 
to hear mass, but was too late. I looked at the front of the Maison de 
Ville, on which is some carving by Puget. I went and sat half an 
hour with Colonel Ross. I had been in the morning to visit Mr. Gren- 
ville, who was stately but affable. He pleased me. I have attained such 
a happy frame of mind that envy never disturbs me, and I can calmly 
admire a man of merit just as I admire a fine picture. It is merit which 
engages me, be it in myself or in others. 

I dined with Pennant, who entertained me well. He had a genteel 
young Frenchman who lived in the house, and, as Pennant said, 
charged himself with the detail of his menage. I could see that the 
young rogue lived upon him and laughed in his sleeve. Ross came in, 
and he and I went to wait on Mrs. Grenville. 9 She was gay and easy 

8 On 29 October 1765, the day of his parting from Paoli. 

9 Peggy Banks, a celebrated beauty, mentioned frequently in the correspondence 
of Horace Walpole. 

242 Marseilles, 22 December 1 765 

as a foreign woman, and said I had seen nothing, as I had not seen 
Turkey, the true paradise on earth. She was very fond to hear my 
anecdotes from Corsica. * 

At the comedie I maintained to Ross the influence of spirits on us, 
as we have a power to affect other animals who know not how we do 
it (just Baxter's doctrine) . I ridiculed the reasonings of the modern 
minute philosophers: a lobster thrown by a cook into a kettle of boil- 
ing water concludes probably that Nature is in convulsions, views his 
dreadful fate as occasioned by some tremendous accident in the jum- 
ble of things; and, at a petit souper of French lobsters, Crebillon le fils 
and other vivacious disputants would laugh at all suppositions of a 
superior agent. 1 But our confined knowledge is no argument against 
any reasonable conjecture. Thinking of the Duke of Cumberland's 
death, I said to myself, "He was too sad a barbarian to have the privi- 
lege of dying, and, by that solemn change, to be protected from satire. 
He ought to have lived in everlasting infamy, detested by all humane 
men." 2 The comedie did not amuse me a bit. 

Birkbeck, our Consul here, or a merchant at least, made difficulty 
to find me louis to set off with next morning, I made Ross give me 
what he had, saying, "Every man give me his purse. Collect for the 
poor." That happy facility which Mr. Adam Smith allows me to pos- 
sess is of vast value.* I was anxious to get off in order to pass my Christ- 
mas at Avignon. I went to Pennant and desired him to supply me 
with what louis he could. He looked wild and seemed to suspect I was 
in some disagreeable circumstance which obliged me to fly. He joked 
and asked me if I had murdered anybody in Corsica. He however of- 
fered to go to SolicofEre, another merchant, and raise me the louis I 
desired if I insisted on going off instantly. I chose to wait. 

MONDAY 23 DECEMBER. I returned Ross his money. He had been 
this morning at his banker's and had got more gold to give me. This 
will do him honour while I live. Birkbeck furnished me twenty louis, 
which made me easy. I breakfasted with Pennant. I heard that my 

1 A reference to the dinners of the "Caveau," of which Boswell had no doubt 
heard from Wilkes, who had attended as Crebillon's guest. 

2 George Ill's uncle, who died on 31 October 1765. As commander of the gov- 
ernment forces in the Rebellion of 1745, he earned the nickname of the 
"Butcher" for his severity. 

3 Boswell treasured Smith's compliment that he was "happily possessed of a fa- 
cility of manners." 

Marseilles., 23 December 1 765 243 

cousin Willy Cochrane lived in the same stair. I went up to him and 
found him very bad of a consumption. I am grown hard. I regret the 
distress of a relation, but do not feel it much. I was sorry not to have 
heard of him sooner. I used rather to dislike his manner. Sickness had 
softened and bettered it. I liked him. All is changes, and odd ones too. 4 

Pennant made me dine with him. But first I went and saw the gal- 
leys. It was curious to see a row of little booths, with signs, all occu- 
pied by slaves, many of whom looked as plump and contented as any 
decent tradesman whatever. I went into one of the galleys where the 
slaves were mostly working in different ways in order to gain some 
little thing. I was told that many of them make rich, as they are al- 
lowed a great deal of time for themselves when lying in the har- 
bours. 5 I talked with one who had been in the galleys twenty years. 
I insisted with him that after so long a time custom must have made 
even the galleys easy. They came about me, several of 'em, and dis- 
puted my proposition. I maintained that custom made all things easy, 
and that people who had been long in prison did not choose to come 
out. "Ah," said the slaves, "it is otherwise here. It is two prisons. If 
we could escape, we should certainly do it. A bird shut up in a cage 
desires freedom, and so much the more should a man desire it. At first 
we shed tears, we groaned, but all our tears and groans availed us 
nothing." I was touched with the misery of these wretches, but ap- 
peared firm, which made them not show much grief. Mallet, who 
used to joke me on being an eternal disputer, might now say, "Baron, 
you dispute even with galley-slaves." One of them gave me a very 
full account of their manner of life. When he would tell me of their 
being out at sea, he said "Quand nous sommes en campagne." 6 This it 
seems is a galley phrase. I could not but smile at it. They said, "Nous 
aimerons mieux les campagnes des bois." 7 I was much satisfied with 
having seen a galley. I gave the slaves something to drink. 

I went to Pennant's in my fur coat. He introduced me as the Rus- 

* Cochrane, who was a second cousin of BoswelTs mother, died in Marseilles at 
the age of twenty-six about a month later, and was buried in the Cemetery for 
Foreigners of the Pretended Reformed Religion. 

5 Actually they now "lay in harbour" almost permanently. Since 1748 the gal- 
leys at Marseilles had been no more than prison-ships for convicts at hard 
labour, which is no doubt what Boswell means by "slaves.** 

6 "When we are in the field," or "on cruise." 

7 "We shall like the real fields better." 

244 Marseilles, 23 December 1 765 

sian Ambassador. Between four and five I set out for Aix. I now found 
it proper to part with Jacob. I desired him to go by voiturin to Lyons, 
where I should meet him. I was now prepared to go post ahorseback, 
but I got a chaise as cheap to carry me to Aix, where I arrived just in 
time to sup at the table d'hote, where was a French sea officer who had 
been aboard of Thurot. 8 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: An entry in BoswelTs Register of Letters for 
this date marks the beginning of one of the most elaborate and ex- 
tended campaigns of puffing and propaganda ever to engage the at- 
tention of a man of letters. The entry is "Mr. Wilkie," and it is re- 
peated just a month later, when Boswell was in Paris. John Wilkie 
was the editor of an English newspaper of wide circulation, The Lon- 
don Chronicle; and what Boswell was sending him was a series of 
news paragraphs which were to be "released" separately in successive 
issues of the paper. They began to appear on 7 January 1 766, more 
than a month before Boswell landed in England, and were to use 
the terminology which Boswell himself later employed in indexing 
his contributions in his own file of the Chronicle a medley of "fact" 
and "invention." The serious, persisting object of this campaign 
was to work up so much public sympathy for the Corsican cause in 
England that the Government would be forced to reverse its policy of 
non-intervention; the immediate object was to puff the book on Cor- 
sica which Boswell already planned to write, and to make England 
and Europe aware of the existence of James Boswell, Esq. We are here 
concerned only with that phase of the campaign which ended when 
Boswell arrived in London in February 1 766. 

Since the Peace of 1 763, in which Great Britain had agreed to con- 
sider the Corsicans as malcontents and rebels, very little concerning 
Corsica had appeared in the English newspapers. Boswell's strategy, 
therefore, was to start with a letter, unsigned but purporting to have 
been sent in by a correspondent in England, briefly summarizing the 
political situation in Corsica, and pointing out the importance of the 
island in a military way. Then a narrative of intrigue and dramatic 
suspense was to be developed in a series of letters purportedly sent 

8 That is, had served under Captain Frangois Thurot, the intrepid French pri- 
vateer who harried the coasts of Scotland and Ireland, and was killed in 1760. 

Boswell His Own Press Agent 245 

rom various Italian cities, all actually originating in the fertile brain 
>f James Boswell, Esq., and written from Marseilles and Paris. The 
'inventions" would become more and more romantic and interesting 
is Boswell drew near home, and then would be blown away as base- 
.ess rumours, leaving only the "facts," of which there had actually 
Deen a considerable quantity. So far as Boswell's part in the business 
is concerned, all this has a quite twentieth-century ring, but one is 
shocked to find that a responsible newspaper should have printed 
such paragraphs as news. The fact is that all eighteenth-century 
papers did print such paragraphs, and were glad to get them. "I do 
believe," wrote Boswell later in his Account of Corsica (p. 225), "an 
English newspaper is the most various and extraordinary composi- 
tion that mankind ever produced. An English newspaper, while it in- 
forms the judicious of what is really doing in Europe, can keep pace 
with the wildest fancy in feigned adventures, and amuse the most 
desultory taste with essays on all subjects and in every style." In the 
vulgar idiom of our day, he would know* 

The paragraphs are printed in Appendix D (p. 322) ; the follow- 
ing summarizes the more striking parts of the saga so far as Boswell 
himself is concerned: 

Rome, 5 December (appearing in London on 9 January, Boswell 
on the road from Lyons to Paris). There have been rumours that 
Great Britain was planning to send an embassy to Corsica; well, a 
British subject has actually been there. He is Mr. Boswell, a Scots 
gentleman upon his travels over Europe. He met Paoli, he was treated 
with every mark of distinction. He says he went to Corsica merely out 
of curiosity, but the politicians of Italy think they can see more im- 
portant reasons for his visit. The Genoese are not a little alarmed. 
People in this part of the world are curious to know what will really 
be the consequence of Mr. Boswell's tour to Corsica. 

Florence, 16 December (appearing in London on 23 January, Bos- 
well in Paris) . We know all about the true motives of the late ex- 
pedition into Corsica. It was a scheme to do something for the Young 
Chevalier, Charles Stuart. Mr. B. ? with some of his friends, had 
worked out a plan for getting that unfortunate prince made King of 
Corsica, and Mr. B. went over to sound out Paoli. The Chevalier, we 
are assured, knew nothing of this notable scheme. 

246 Boswell His Own Press Agent 

Genoa, 2 January (appearing in London on 6 February, Boswell 
at Calais) . Our officers, Colonel Matra and Captain Grimaldi, who 
took refuge in Capraja in company with the Sieur Boswell, say they 
could learn nothing from him as to his motives., but he did have a good 
many papers about which he seemed anxious. 

Leghorn, 3 January (appearing in London on 11 February, Bos- 
well on the road from Dover to London) . Nothing could prove the 
weakness of the Genoese more than their present fears about Mr. 
BoswelTs tour. Why must we suppose that Great Britain has any se- 
rious designs on Corsica? Isn't the curiosity of an observing traveller 
reason enough for such a tour? 

Turin, 6 January (appearing in London on 13 February, Boswell 
in London) . There is no truth whatsoever in the rumours that Mr. 
Boswell is a desperate adventurer whose real name is M'Donald. He is 
a gentleman of fortune upon his travels and a friend of the celebrated 
Rousseau. We don't think he had any instructions from his Court to 
treat with Paoli, but all the same we hope he will be able to undeceive 
his countrymen with regard to the Corsican nation. 

London, 15 February. Yesterday [actually on 1 1 February] James 
Boswell, Esquire, arrived in town from his travels. 

This summary has carried us some seven weeks ahead of the nar- 
rative of the journal, to which we now return.] 

TUESDAY 24 DECEMBER. The French officer and I walked about 
a little and saw Aix. I stopped to get my shoes cleaned. He paid I sup- 
pose a denier for me, saying, "As they say in England, I'll pay the 
little expenses and you'll pay the big ones." So we went to a caf, 
where I paid for breakfast. French easy impudence is amazing. 

At ten I mounted with my great jack-boots to courir a franc etrier 
a bidet* as they say. Both the nails of my great toes were now in 
the flesh and made me suffer sadly. The ostlers and postilions were 
impertinent dogs, crying always, "Foutre! sacre dieu!" without 
rhyme or reason. At one stage they gave me small stirrups, which 
hurt me. I insisted with the postilion to give me his, which he refused, 
and galloped off, thinking I would chase him and so end the stage; 
instead of which I very coolly made my horse step along at a slow 
walk. Nothing tortures a Frenchman so much as retarding the cur- 
9 To ride at full speed pony express. 

Aix to Avignon., 24 December 1765 24 7 

rent of his animal spirits. So my postilion turned back and gave me 
his stirrups, and then aliens! I was enlivened and fortified by 
strong exercise, eating now and then bread and cheese and drinking 

At night I came to the ferry where you pass over to the territories 
of Avignon. The man who waited at the bureau des droits would not 
pass me, but would send his son for the patron du vaisseau. I asked 
him if he would pass me if the patron was there. He said yes. Upon 
which I ordered the postilion to mount, and away we went a mile to 
the next village, where was the patron^ for so they call the master in 
Provengal, that detestable corruption of Italian and French. He who 
takes the bark by the year entertained me well with bread and figs 
and almonds baked with honey, as is the custom in the country in the 
Christmas holidays. I carried the master with me; but when I ar- 
rived, my friend of the bureau desired a particular order to pass me. 
I had been informed that he would play that trick, and was prepared 
for him. I talked with a voice like an Indian chief and beat my staff 
upon his floor and asked him, "Did you not say that you would pass 
me if the master were here? Postilion, take note of his words. I will 
see the end of this affair." Thus did I threaten the rogue, though I 
knew well I could do him no manner of harm. He was frightened and 
agreed to pass me, so over I went and paid genteelly. Poor Jachone 
runs along with me, but is sadly covered with mud and greatly fa- 
tigued. The night was very cold. 

I arrived at Avignon about eleven. It was comfortable to enter a 
good warm town, I put up at St. Omer's, the table d'hote excellent, 
but my room was cold and smoky and I was ill off. The want of a ser- 
vant was hard upon me. I however served myself wonderfully well, 
and by doing duty as a valet de chambre learnt to command well as 
a master, just as young officers learn by doing the duty of common 
soldiers. I had some warm wine and bread to comfort me, and then 
went to the Cathedral and heard the midnight mass. This was a most 
perfect satisfaction to me. I recollected how Dr. BoswelP told my 
mother of the splendid solemnity in Roman Catholic countries on 
Christmas Eve. I saw this now in France, and in a town under the 
dominion of the Pope, I was truly devout. 

WEDNESDAY 25 DECEMBER. I rose in good frame to keep the 

1 Dr. John Boswell, his uncle. 

248 Avignon, 25 December 1765 

feast of the Nativity of Jesus, and went and heard mass in the Cathe- 
dral. Yet I examined myself and found that my faith had been for 
some time very feeble. No help for it. I keep my doubts to myself, and, 
as I am very regular in acts of piety, I keep up external decency and 
preserve internal peace. 

I sent to the Earl of Dunbar a respectful card with a letter from 
Mr. Lumisden. He answered me, "I wait with impatience, Sir, for 
the pleasure to embrace you, and am very sincerely your most obedi- 
ent humble servant, Dunbar." I had only my couteau de chasse, so 
was obliged to appear in half dress. I entered his door with great 
pleasure. His first appearance was that of a very elegant man of fash- 
ion. He took me in his arms and kissed me on both sides of the face 
in the old Scots way, and his sister, my Lady Inverness, saluted me 
also with a kiss. I was just in the castle of some respected Scots lord. 
Lord Dunbar was a genteel, middle-sized man, rather thin, with a 
good deal of Lord Mansfield's look. He was a sensible, pretty, worthy 
man, and did honour to him who made him a peer. 2 Lady Inverness 
had been very handsome. She was a lively, clever, agreeable woman. 
Although both the brother and sister were old, they showed no marks 
of age. His Lordship had something of Lord Marischal's manner, and 
something peculiar to Scotland which pleased me mightily. He asked 
me to stay and eat a soup sans jaQon^ which I most willingly agreed 
to do. I gave him an account of my Corsican tour, with which he was 
much entertained, and observed of Paoli's authority over his country- 
men, "That could not be obtained by chance." His Lordship showed 
great curiosity and I had the happiness to give him satisfaction. At 
dinner was with us Mr. Stafford, an Irish gentleman who was of 
Prince Charles's train, a good, blunt, worthy fellow. Lady Inverness, 
helping me to soup, said, "Are you a kail-supper?" 3 just the true 
Scots kindliness. 

His Lordship said, "Lord Marischal was the most inconstant 
man. He differed with King James because he would not follow his 
advice. 'Your reasons, my Lord?' That's what I think, Sir.' And he 

2 James Murray, a Jacobite who took part in the Rebellion of 1715, was created 
Earl of Dunbar by the Old Pretender in 1721. He was a brother of Lord Mans- 
field, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. Lady Inverness was the widow of 
a Jacobite peer. 

3 "Are you fond of brotih?" 

Avignon, 25 December 1 765 249 

would say no more." My lady said he was vastly negligent and had 
many things lost, and going to Paris put Spanish gold pieces into 
chocolate pot which went really to pot. Lord Winton was from his 
youth crazy. When on his travels, had whim not to write name, even 
to draw for money; worked two years at Lyons as blacksmith till Dr. 
Pitcairne sent over money and brought him home. 4 When Prince 
Charles was born, Lord Winton fell upon his knees and remained so 
for an hour by the cradle, swearing fidelity and attachment, &c.^ to 
the Prince of Wales, and would not stir till he should see the King; 
"for," said he, "he may suspect." Lady Inverness was obliged to go 
into his room and say, "Sir, pray come and deliver us from Lord 
Winton." He came, and Lord Winton kissed hand and said although 
he had the greatest attachment for the Prince, yet that did not any 
how prejudice the allegiance to H.M. The King made him a gracious 
speech, which he could well do, for he was the best-bred, amiable 
man; wrote as well as any man. Had now and then vapours. Said, 
"I'm not master [enough of myself] not to think myself dying, but 
[I am] master [enough of myself] to think 'tis equal whether I die 
here or in street, so I can order my coach and go out." Prince never 
could study, except the fine arts, and cannot write well nor spell. Has 
the noble soul of his family; told Lady Inverness, who asked if he 
would marry; "No. Would you have me bring children into the 
world to be as miserable as I am? There is but one thing can make 
me happy; all between that and brown bread is just the same." When 
in favour with Bang of France, the King said, "Sir, you ask a great 
deal for all your friends, but nothing for yourself." PRINCE CHARLES. 
"I should consider it wrong to ask your Majesty; it is for you to think 
of that." Now he says, "I will have nothing to do with them. I despise 
them." Lady Inverness asked him, "Well, how do you like your old 
principality of Lochaber?" which it seems belonged to them be- 
fore they came to the crown. He gave her a hasty look, and said, "It 
is not so bad a country as you imagine. And let me tell you, I have 
walked over more Scots ground than most Scotsmen." In such good 
old conversation did the time pass till late in the evening, when I 

* George Seton, fifth Earl of Winton, was one of the three rebel lords sentenced 
to death for their share in the Rebellion of 1715. He escaped from the Tower to 
France and then to Rome where he died in 1749. Dr. Archibald Pitcairne was 
a famous Edinburgh physician, Jacobite, and wit. 

250 Avignon, 25 December 1 765 

went home to my inn, wrote a little, and then supped at the table 
d'hote, where the company was so disagreeable that I resolved never 
to sup more with them. I forgot that Lord Dunbar said he hoped I was 
come to pass some time with them. I said I was obliged to go next day. 
But in the afternoon, when we had talked cordially, the good old 
man's heart warmed and he said to me, "You're not absolutely 
pressed?" BOSWELL. "No." DUNBAR. "Will you give us another day?" 
BOSWEIX. "Indeed will I, my Lord, with all my heart." 

THURSDAY 26 DECEMBER. I went and looked at one or two 
churches. I was much pleased with that of St. Laurent, which the 
nuns had finely adorned with hangings of elegant lace, like that of 
Brussels. Avignon is a very agreeable place to live at. The air is ex- 
cellent and there are there many nobles. 

I went early to my Lord Dunbar's. There were many servants 
there, quite the old grandeur. He said he had advised Prince Charles 
always to speak to everybody, and by that means he had none of that 
mauvcdse honte which makes many people so awkward. This King 
of Spain could speak well upon all occasions but where it was neces- 
sary for him to speak. (This struck me as being just myself.) He had 
made Prince Charles, when at Naples, a present of two horses with 
handsome rich furniture. Prince Charles next day at Court paid him 
some polite compliments of thanks, to which he could not answer a 
word. But immediately after, talked with great ease of anything else. 

Lord Dunbar said that a man of true ambition fixed betimes a 
great point in view. And this was the case with Lord Mansfield. Lady 
Inverness had him up from Oxford and asked why he would not 
marry the lady that Lord George Murray afterwards did, saying she 
was a fortune. 5 "Fortune!" said he, "I'll make a fortune that you have 
no idea of." 

Lord Dunbar had been this morning to wait on me, but I was gone 
out. He told me one or two curious stories of Peter Stewart, who was 
always called "the Protestant line," because when the stupid Han- 
overians who pressed back on the army were fired upon he called out, 
"Take up the Protestant line"; and to Mungo Smith, brother of 

5 Lord George Murray, sixth son of the first Duke of Atholl, was one of the ablest 
generals under Prince Charles Edward in the Jacobite uprising of 1745. He 
married Amelia, daughter and heir of Dr. James Murray of Glencarse and 

Avignon, 26 December 1 765 25 1 

Letham, who had been a broken silk merchant and of the reversion of 
his sale had bought commission^ "Mungo, ye wad gie an inch to the 
ell to be off"; and when a valet de chambre whom Lord Orkney had 
made officer and aide-de-camp was killed galloping before the lines, 
"My Lord, my Lord! That makes guid the auld proverb, 'Set a beggar 
on horseback and he'll ride to the deil.' " fi We recalled the ancient 
days of Scottish glory. They showed me the Battle of Luncarty done 
by an Italian painter vastly well: Hay and his sons well expressed, 
and the King seeing them, stately. 7 My Lord asked me seriously, "Are 
the greatest part of the people in Scotland reconciled to the Union?" 
BOSWELL. "My Lord, I fear they are; that is to say, they have lost all 
principle and spirit of patriotism." 

Stafford carried me to his lodgings and showed me some papers 
with regard to Scotland, and promised me a copy of them. We re- 
turned to Lord Dunbar's where I sat an hour more. A marquise came 
in. Lady Inverness talked of somebody qui gardait son lit. "Pouf," 
said the Marquise, "quand on a des lits, il faut bien les garder." 8 She 
took quantities of snuff and pulled up her gown and warmed her legs, 
and in short was offensive. The French women may be virtuous, but 
they look like strumpets. The Italian women may be licentious, but 
they look modest. I said to Lord Dunbar and my Lady that Fd make 
their compliments to Lord Mansfield. They made no answer; but 
Lady Inverness said, "You'll see my sister at Edinburgh, and tell her 
you saw us well." 9 They either don't correspond with Lord Mans- 
field, or don't wish it should be known. I took leave of them cordially. 1 

6 Probably events of the battle of Malplaquet in Flanders fought on 11 Septem- 
ber 1709. George Hamilton, Earl of Orkney, was Colonel of the First Foot (Royal 
Scots) in which Stewart and Smith were officers. 

7 According to legend, Hay, a Scottish farmer, with the aid of his two sons, 
routed the Danes at the Battle of Luncarty in the latter half of the tenth century. 
Lady Inverness's late husband, the titular Earl of Inverness, was a Hay. *The 
King" is Kenneth II. 

8 Lady Inverness should have said, "qui gardait le lit" (who was keeping to 
his bed). The Marquise managed to see an indelicate reference in Lady In- 
verness's words and replied, "When one has beds, it's necessary to watch them 

9 Probably Nicolas Helen Murray (the "Miss Nicky Murray" who ruled the 
dancing assemblies of Edinburgh), but Lady Inverness had several other sisters. 
1 Dunbar wrote to Andrew Lumisden on 28 December: "We have at present, 
Sir, very cold weather, which I suspect has retarded the courier, but I have re- 

252 Avignon, 2 7 December 1 765 

FRIDAY 27 DECEMBER. I intended to have set out early, but a 
strong wind hindered the boat to pass the Rhone. I breakfasted on 
coffee and bread and butter with good Stafford. I was shown at Avi- 
gnon the house where the Duke of Ormonde lived. It looked Gothic 
and venerable. Stafford said he was by no means a man formed for 
the important post which he filled. He was much the man of fashion 
and had a great deal of what the French call du monde, but no more. 2 

1 set out before noon and galloped along pretty well. At night I 
reached Nimes where I put up A 1'Orange. 

SATURDAY 28 DECEMBER. Early this morning a brisk little fel- 
low who officiated as antiquary showed me the Baths, which are ele- 
gant, but I could not distinguish what is ancient from what is mod- 
ern. The Temple of Diana, fine remains; the Maison Carree, the most 
beautiful remain in the world; the amphitheatre, most magnificent 
but sadly filled up with smoky houses. It looked large when I viewed 
the space of so many houses. I enjoyed well Nimes. 3 At night I ar- 
rived at Montpellier and put up at Cheval Blanc. 4 

SUNDAY 29 DECEMBER. I had sent a card to Mr. Ray, merchant 
here, to whom Mr. Lumisden had recommended me. He had passed 
some time at Rome, and was so much of the antiquarian that they 
gave him the name of Dr. Ray. He was a free, sensible, good-hu- 
moured man with a variety of agreeable knowledge. After breakfast- 
ing he carried me a-walking. At a corner of one of the streets he 
showed me a singular thing. Not to encroach on the street, the corner 

ceived yours by Mr. Boswell. I am extremely obliged to you for procuring me 
so valuable an acquaintance, having passed two days in his company with great 
pleasure" (Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor Castle) . 

2 James Butler, second Duke of Ormonde, held high appointments under James 
II, William and Mary, and Anne. He was impeached on the accession of George 
I for supposed Jacobite sympathies, fled to France, and joined the Old Pretender. 

3 "Nimes is another Rome in regard of antiquities. I have seen here some as 
magnificent remains of Roman grandeur as are in the world over which these 
noble conquerors ruled. The contemplation of those antiquities banishes from 
my mind every frivolous and mean idea, and gives me a manly and virtuous 
tone which makes me happy in myself, and estimable to others" (Boswell to 
John Johnston, 28 December 1765). 

4 Smollett, who had stopped at this inn two years before, called it "a most 
wretched hovel, the habitation of darkness, dirt, and imposition" (Travels, i. 




2 r C 

"3 ** 





Montpellier, 29 December 1 765 253 

house, instead of having its comer fully built, retires at the bottom 
into the shape of a clam* shell, and supports the weight as an arch. 
Mr. Lumisden could write a dissertation upon this. We also saw a 
statue of the present King of France on horseback, very well done, 
and an aqueduct of very elegant taste, something Roman.* Ray and I 
talked Italian. I dined with him comfortably. I observed how absurd 
it was because a man has written a good book to make a travelling 
governor of him. 7 As well because a man has made a good watch, may 
you give him the command of an expedition. "Certainly," says Ray, 
"if a man has written a good book, encourage him to write another, 
and take him not from what he excels in." At five he carried me to 
see Lady St. John. I was tired with the dull talk of English ordinary 
plain kind of women. Ray and I had visited a Mr. Vives in the morn- 
ing, a very pretty young man. This evening we visited Abemaar and 
Boeterheim, two Dutch young men; stupid enough work, for the 
one was a sort of fine gentleman and talked prettily to be sure, and 
the other was consumptive and coughed most hollowly. Ray and I 
returned to his house and eat eggs and talked on religion vastly well. 
He was full of the great plan of universal felicity at last, and had no 
doubt of his rising in the scale of immortal being. 

MONDAY 30 DECEMBER. You 8 breakfasted with Ray and, I know 
not from what caprice, would defend the system of chance producing 
all things. To oppose his argument of constant uniformity in the pro- 
ductions of nature, I by chance found an orange of a very odd shape, 
with little excrescences on it like claws. I saw this at a fruit stand, 
bought it and held it up to the Doctor. Such sallies can I sometimes 
have. But you had not the least doubt of Supreme Existence, nor even 
appeared to have it; I only would show that the arguments which 
convince most people are not of such force as is the strong sentiment 

5 Scots for "scallop." 

6 The statue was actually of Louis XTV, not Louis XV. The aqueduct, which re- 
sembled a Roman one, had been finished just three weeks before Boswell's ar- 

7 Boswell was probably thinking of Mallet, whose fame was derived from his 
History of Denmark. 

8 Here Boswell slips into the style generally used in the notes and memoranda. 
In most of this entry he originally wrote "yo u >" but later changed it, in all but 
two instances, to "I." 

254 Montpellier, 30 December 1 765 

of conviction that God is, which the mind naturally has impressed 
upon it, and I remember M. Deleyre told me that even the devout 
Rousseau had owned that he believed in the Divinity more from senti- 
ment than from proof. Yet surely Dr. Clarke's argument for one great 
first cause is most noble and convincing. 

I in vain sought at Montpellier the sweet ideas of fine air and 
pleasing amusement which I had associated with it. The frost was so 
intense that I thought myself in Russia. I had great pleasure in being 
able to say that I had felt much severer cold in the south of France 
than I had ever felt in Scotland. Ray begged I would stay longer. "I 
want to get more out of you," said he. "I grudge that you carry away 
anything that I have a right to have from you." I told him he paid 
me a compliment which I did not deserve, for my knowledge was 
very confined. I promised to send him from Scotland now and then 
a good production of his ingenious countrymen. I left this worthy 
fellow cordially. 

The Cheval Blanc was a very dear inn. My valet de place, Pierre, 
had served my Lord Cassillis. He said, "My Lord is gentle as a lamb." 
My nails tormented me. I sent for a good surgeon. There came to me 
a garQon who was as awkward and bouncing a dog as if he had been 
bred a blacksmith* I set him off when I found how he looked at my 

I took the brouette de la poste* for six livres to Mimes where I ar- 
rived about midnight, after having been jumbled to death in a con- 
founded cart in company with a by-post 1 and a little jackanapes who 
in all probability was a travelling packman. I was much tired, and 
rather than go on to , 2 where I could wait for the Marseilles brou- 
ette to carry me on to Lyons, I chose to repose me quietly at the 
Orange, where I had formerly been, and my by-post carried thither 
my portmanteau, for which onerous cause? I made him sup with me 
in the kitchen, and he and I drank our couple of bottles of wine, 

TUESDAY 3 1 DECEMBER. I had a great dispute with the mistress 
of the inn because she charged me too much. I was, however, obliged 

9 The mail wagon. 

1 A man carrying a post subsidiary to the regular mail. 

2 Probably Pont St.-Esprit 

8 A legal term meaning "valuable consideration." 

Nimes, 31 December 1 765 255 

to pay her more than I ought to have done; after which she had the 
impudence to tell me that she heard there was an order for all the 
English to leave the country, and that she would be sorry. "Yes," said 
I, "sorry at not being able to rob them as you have robbed me." The 
ostler was a true Gaul. He asked pour boire. I told him he would 
hardly rise the night before to let me in. He said, "I did not know that 
it was you. If I had known that, I should have hastened to serve you, 7 ' 
What an impudent rascal, when I am sure he did not know me from 
any other. He asked me if I would send him back by the postilion 
pour boire. I joked and said, "Perhaps." He thought I refused him, 
and, from licking the ground beneath my feet, he cried, "I hope to 
God that your horse falls with you." Notorious villain. 

At the first post from Nimes was a little horse, which, when I 
passed before, pleased me so much that I thought of buying him, and 
so riding quietly to Paris; but my toes were so bad that the great post- 
boots hurt me terribly and I suffered severely. Besides, I saw it was 
an idle scheme to buy a French post-horse which had probably many 

faults. At * I found the Marseilles courier arrived. I agreed to go 

with him to Lyons for three louis, he paying for me at the inns. I paid 
for our dinner here. One of my feet was now swelled prodigiously, by 
reason of an inflammation in the toe. The courier was a fine, open, 
hearty fellow, a bourgon* I saw in him what good health can do. His 
brouette was not a bad machine, though it went pretty rough. We 
drew our curtains and had wrappings enough to keep us warm. The 
landlord where we dined fell upon an excellent contrivance for my 
swelled foot. He bought me a hare's skin into which I put it, and so 
kept it as easy and warm as could be. My courier and I talked away 
very well on war and on peace; on his German wife. "For," said he, 
"je trouvais a Strasbourg a peu pres ce qui me faUait" 6 1 gave him 
great praise for his a peu pres, for all that TWUS faut can hardly be 
found in marriage. We supped plentifully on game and drank good 
wine. We drove on all night, 

* Pont St.-Esprit. 

5 Boswell was perhaps confused between bourgogne (Burgundy wine) and bow- 

guignon (Burgundian). 

6 "I found at Strasbourg practically all that was necessary to me." 


WEDNESDAY i JANUARY. We rumbled along, never stopping 
but to devour wild fowl and drink wine. Poor Jachone had sad work 
of it. The icy road hurt his feet and he used to whine most grievously. 
I was hard-hearted enough to let him suffer. We drove along still all 
night. I slept now and then tolerably. 

THURSDAY 2 JANUARY. This morning we came to a very steep 
hill. The horses tried to pull us up, but could not. The courier at- 
tempted to put a stone under one of the wheels, but the wheel went 
back with such rapidity that it cut the point of his forefinger so that 
he was obliged to have a joint cut off. He bore it with great good hu- 
mour and we drove along merrily to Lyons. I went to his house, 
where I saw his German wife, who was very handsome, and was most 
complacent to her husband. I took a fiacre and put my baggage into 
it and drove immediately to the bureau of the Lyons diligence. Find- 
ing that the best places were taken for Saturday, I engaged the first 
place for Monday. I then went to the Auberge au Pare and asked if 
my servant was arrived, as he had agreed to wait there till I should 
come and find him. He was not come. I therefore went to the house 
of Le Blanc, bcdgnew? where I paid three livres a day, for which I 
had my room and wax candles, and was shaved and dressed. I sent 
a note to M. Bertollon, merchant here, a jolly dog whom I had seen 
at Mainz and journeyed with from thence to Mannheim. 8 He came to 
me. A restaurant keeper just by Le Blanc's furnished me dinner and 
half a bottle of wine for three livres, and fitienne, my valet de place, 
was very active and had the name of c Teveille." My feet were so bad 
that I could not walk across my room, so I hopped about as well as 

7 Literally, "bath keeper." 

8 Boswell described tihis "merchant of fine stuffs" as a "great lubberly dog with 
a head like a British tar," who "sang most outrageously" and was given to cry- 
ing, "Damn, but I'm bored!" (Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switz- 
erland, 2-4 November 1764). 


258 Lyons, 2 January 1 766 

my lameness would allow. La Marie, an old maid of the inn, was my 
gouvernante, and I let myself be taken care of by her, and went early 
to sleep in a soft bed with the curtains drawn, and was as much a 
lazy old man as if I had been sixty and never had seen Paoli. Poor 
Jachone had his feet swelled and sore with fatigue. I caused make a 
bed of hay for him in the corner of my room, where he lay very 
snugly. Jacob arrived this very day and came to me in the evening. 
He was just as glad to see me as if he had been with me all his life; 
but he said he would not go to Paris even if I should insist on it, for 
he saw that he should spend what money he had gained. He also told 
me that he had really suffered from seeing my stinginess. I made him 
wait a day here but was well persuaded that it was better to part with 
him at Lyons. 

FRIDAY 3 JANUARY. The surgeon of a charitff here came and 
dressed my feet. He was a fat and an alarming dog, for he very 
gravely advised me to pull out my nail altogether, "because," said he, 
"in so doing, you will have no more risk of ever being troubled with 
it." As well might he have advised me to cut off my hand, had I hurt 
it. He gave me a softening plaster for my toe and bid me wait till I 
got to Paris to have it cured. I sent to a Mme. Boy de la Tour, 1 for 
whom her sister, Mile. Roguin at Yverdon, had given me a recom- 
mendation a year ago. I knew she was a friend of M. Rousseau and 
begged she would inform me where he was. She let me know that he 
was at Paris. This gave me a bounce of joy, for I now saw him just 
before me, and pleased myself with talking to him fully of the noble 
affairs of Corsica. I immediately wrote him a most spirited letter. I 
also wrote to Dr. Pringle begging he would settle my being on an in- 
dependent and genteel footing on my return to Scotland. I enclosed, 
open for his perusal, a letter for my father in which I talked strongly 
of my views and promised to do my best. Jacob came and received all 
that I owed him, and took leave of me. I told him that I regarded him 
as a very worthy man, but that I was, however, glad that he left me; 
for, after having rebelled and been so free, it was impossible he could 
be a good servant for one of my disposition. He seemed angry a little 
at this. He made awkward speeches as how he wished to have served 
9 A religious establishment for the care of the sick. 
1 She was the owner of the house in which Rousseau lived at Motiers. 

Lyons, 3 January 1 766 259 

me better, and was sorry for having ever offended me, and was much 
obliged to me for my goodness to him, &c. Thus was I at last separated 
from my Swiss governor. I wished him sincerely all happiness. 2 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: With the following letter, Boswell tried to es- 
tablish contact again with Rousseau, who had become involved in 
very serious difficulties. His Lettres ecrites de la montagne, an attack 
on the magistrates of Geneva, had been answered in December 1764 
(shortly after BoswelTs visit to him) by Sentiment des citoyens, an 
anonymous pamphlet which maintained that his reputation for strict 
morality was a fraud, and specifically charged that he and Therese 
had had five illegitimate children, who had been deposited in a found- 
ling hospital. This pamphlet, which Rousseau attributed to a Ge- 
nevan minister named Vernes though it was actually by Voltaire, so 
upset him that he had it republished in Paris in January 1765 with 
refutatory notes of his own. His denials were not fully convincing 
and even his haste to defend himself was suspicious; the accusation, 
the truth of which he was later to admit, severely damaged his posi- 
tion as a man of austere virtue. 

A more important consequence was that it brought the author of 
jraz7#, one of the great works on the education of children, face to 
face with a terrible divergence between his theory and practice. He 
was forced to question his own self-estimation, a process which both 
drove him close to madness and engendered that masterpiece of rev- 
elatory defence, the Confessions. 

Rousseau's feelings of persecution were excessive, but they did 
have very practical bases. Forbidden to return to France or Geneva, 
he was safe only for the time being in the Principality of Neu- 
chatel. The local clergy were incensed that the wicked could live 
peacefully in their midst, and one of their number, M. de Montmol- 
lin, by a sermon so aroused the population of Motiers against him in 
September 1765 that his house was stoned. The official protection of 
Frederick the Great, obtained through his friend Lord Marischal, no 
longer sufficed, and Rousseau fled to the little island of Saint-Pierre 
in the neighbouring canton of Berne. After six weeks here, the Ber- 
nese authorities told him to leave, and he hurried off to Strasbourg un- 
2 Boswell furnished Jacob with a letter of reference in which he is described 
as "extremely active, careful, and honest upon all occasions.** 

2 6o Lyons s 4 January 1766 

decided where to settle next and with death in his heart. 3 Finally he 
determined to go to England at the cordial invitation of David Hume; 
the two did not know each other but Hume had long admired him. 
In Paris he joined Hume, who was serving as secretary to the British 
Ambassador, and on 4 January 1 766, the same day on which Boswell 
wrote the letter printed below, they left together for England where 
they arrived nine days later.] 

[Boswell to Rousseau. Original in French] 4 

Lyons, 4 January 1766 

ILLUSTRIOUS PHILOSOPHER! At last the darkness has lifted. For 
several months I have had no idea into what corner you had fled, and 
I did not know how to address a letter to you. Have you received one 
that I wrote to you from Leghorn, before I embarked for Corsica? I 
spent five weeks in the island. I saw a great deal of its people. I ac- 
quired information with an attention which you would not believe 
me capable of. I became intimately acquainted with General Paoli, 
that noble man. I have treasures to communicate to you. If you still 
have as warm feelings for the brave islanders as you had when you 
wrote to the gallant Buttafoco, you will embrace me with enthu- 
siasm. You will forget all your sorrows for many an evening. I am 
under the deepest obligations to you for having sent me to Corsica. 
That voyage has done me a wonderful amount of good. It has affected 
me in the same way that Plutarch's Lives would if they were fused 
into my mind. Paoli has given a temper to my soul which it will never 
lose. I am no longer the tender, anxious being who complained to you 
in your Val de Travers. I am a man. I think for myself. You will see 
with your own eyes. 

I arrived here yesterday, and this evening Mme. Boy de la Tour 
told me that you are in Paris. I would give a great deal if you could 
have seen the joy with which I received this information. I take the 
Monday diligence and shall be in Paris Saturday. I never swear; 

3 See Rousseau's two letters to Therese printed in Appendix B. 

4 Printed from the original, owned by Frederick W. Hilles. BoswelTs copy, 
which has fewer corrections than the original, is in the Yale collection. Since 
the letter was in the collection of Duchesne, Rousseau's Parisian bookseller and 
friend, he may never have received it. 

Lyons, 4 January 1 766 261 

otherwise you would have a volley of those oaths by which the mad 
English express extraordinary satisfaction. 

I am bound to the Corsicans heart and soul. If you, illustrious 
Rousseau, the philosopher whom they have chosen to aid them by 
his insight to conserve and to enjoy the liberty they have won so hero- 
ically if you have grown cold towards these brave islanders, I am 
enough of a man to be able to regard you with pity. But generosity 
constitutes a part of your being, and I am not one of those who believe 
that the noble qualities of the soul can be destroyed. 

I am told that you are going to England. What a wonderful pros- 
pect for me! I am sure there is no man on earth more keenly disposed 
to contribute to your happiness than I, and you will be sure of it too; 
*and in time you will rely on the young friend of my Lord Marischal. 
I propose a perfect satisfaction for myself in introducing Mr. John- 
son to you, about whom I told you so much at Motiers, and of whom 
you said, "I should love that man, I should respect him" and that 
after having heard that he would scarcely respect you. 5 But I know 
you both, and although the one employs his powers to uphold the 
wisdom of the centuries, and the other to feed the fires of his own 
sublime and original spirit, I am sure that your great souls will ac- 
knowledge each other with warmth. And you shall go to Scotland, 
and you shall visit our romantic country-seat; and Rousseau shall 
meditate in the venerable woods of my ancestors, and he shall share 
my belief that nymphs, genii, angels, and all kinds of benevolent and 
happy spirits hold their choirs there. Farewell, my dear Sir. How im- 
patient I am to see you, and to teU you a thousand enchanting anec- 
dotes of Corsica. The moment I arrive in Paris I shall send to Mme. 
Duchesne's, where I hope to find a line from you. I am ever yours, 
as I was at Motiers, 


SATURDAY 4 JANUARY. I regretted being confined to the house 
at Lyons, where are several Roman remains. I had always an idea 
that my father had passed some time here. I know not if it was true. 
But this idea made me look on Lyons with a degree of reverence. The 
son of Mme. Boy de la Tour came and saw me. He was a merchant 
here, young, pock-pitted, and repeating sentences as if he had got 
See Eoswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 15 December 1764. 

2 62 Lyons, 4 January 1 766 

them by heart. At four I went and visited his mother. She was dull 
enough, but her daughter was a fine, healthy, sentimental girl. I 
don't know how, she engaged me to be quite free and open with her. 
I supped there, but the French small talk and made airs irritated me. 

SUNDAY 5 JANUARY. Bertollon dined with me. I called again at 
Mme. Boy de la Tour's. I know not why, I was quite rustic these two 
days, with my hair undressed, I went to bed early as the diligence set 
out next morning. I had been to see it. The coachman took me into the 
yard where it stood. The strength and size of it struck me much. I ex- 
claimed, "Ma foi, c'est une voiture respectable!" 

MONDAY 6 JANUARY. At four I was at the bureau de la diligence. 
The company were a Chevalier de St. Louis who had served in Amer- 
ica, a Chevalier de Malte who had served in Germany, a Norman, a 
Parisian, the French Consul at Barcelona, with his wife, who was 
vapourish and in constant fear of death, and a little daughter of five 
or six years. I cannot mark precisely each day of our journey. I will 
therefore just lump these six days together. We were all very soon 
acquainted. 6 

[Received 12 January 1766, Lumisden to Boswell] 7 

12 October 1765 

As I AM PERSUADED you have left Leghorn, I address this, as I did 
my former letter, to Genoa. You will probably receive both at the 
same time. I need not tell you what an agreeable entertainment your 
letter from Lucca of the soth past gave me. I am indeed at a loss 
which to admire most in it, the stern philosopher or the sprightly 
lover. The latter listened to the siren, but the former soon got the bet- 
ter of the spell. How much labour did it cost Ulysses to get rid of 

6 There are no entries for 7-11 January. From Auxerre, on 9 January, Boswell 
wrote to Johnston that he was enjoying the trip, and had "great vigour and a 
pure absence of thought" He stopped at Sens to see his relative John Nairne, a 

7 The manuscript of this letter in the Boswell papers at Yale is oddly enough a 
copy, though in Lumisden's hand. Lumisden, fearing that the original letter 
sent to Genoa would miscarry, probably enclosed a copy in another letter which 
he sent to Boswell at Paris. A text from Lumisden's letter-book, practically 
identical with the text given here, is printed in Memoirs of Sir Robert Strange, 
L 206-207. 

Paris, 1 2 January 1 766 263 

Circe! In these cases it is dangerous to trust so feeble a counsellor as 
reason. The safest measure is to fly the temptation. I blame you not, 
my dear friend, for what has happened. Youth, passion, even novelty 
apologizes for you. Let me, however, congratulate you on your happy 
escape; for I flatter myself that you have not risked a second separa- 
tion. It is enough you have once tasted Italian gallantry. It will serve 
to embellish your history. Your warm, unsuspicious heart might 
easily feel a real passion. But I know too much of the ladies of this 
country to suppose that your fair one felt the same. Accustomed to 
change, they are strangers to this passion. Amidst variety it never 
can be properly felt. Artful in a science in which art should not 
enter, they can pretend ardours, sighs, and flames when their hearts 
are perfectly at ease. Trust them not. Preserve your vigour for some 
healthful, innocent Scots lass, a stranger to intrigue, who will make 
you a happy father of a family, and continue the race of those 
worthy ancestors, whose memories you so justly esteem 

[Received 12 January 1766, Girolama Piccolomini to BoswelL 
Original in Italian] 

Siena, 12 December 1765 

AFTER YOUR RETURN PROM CORSICA I received your two very 
kind letters, 8 in which you give me an exact account of all that has 
happened to you. You cannot imagine how relieved I felt, especially 
since I had not heard from you for so long. Letters from you will 
always be dear to me, and I thank you a thousand times for having 
sent me these, as reading them is at present the sweetest relief I have 
from the continual vexations that surround me. I swear to you that 
your letters have been the most agreeable pleasure that I have tasted 
since your departure from Siena, and I promise you that they will 
remain my sole pleasure in the future. Although at times the feelings 
you express appear to me more ingenious than sincere, nevertheless I 
abandon myself to all the tender agitation which they arouse in me. I 
cannot think of the time I have spent with you without the strongest 
perturbation; in this very moment in which I write to you, I feel a 
violent resurgence of the strong impression that you made on me, and 
BoswelL wrote to Moma on 31 [sic] November and 6 December 1765 (Register 
of Letters), 

2 64 Paris, 1 2 January 1766 

I experience the effects of that sweet memory. I am sorry that you 
cannot observe the excitement with which I write this letter, and the 
emotions I feel in this very process; but you can imagine them if you 
have ever been in love, as you know the strength of desire, and you 
know what desperate remedies must be taken when lovers are sepa- 

I am glad that you made the tour of Corsica safely and that Signor 
Paoli did justice to your merits, as anyone must do who knows you. 
Though I had strong doubts about your returning to Siena, the 
smallest of hopes sustained me in my distress; so that when I lost it 
(to quote your own unfeeling words) I could not help being overcome 
by a deep melancholy, without hope of ever rousing from it all the 
days of my life. Nevertheless, I would not advise you ever to come to 
Siena with the slightest presumption of my favour, for I wish rather 
to be your friend than your mistress. From that you will know that 
my love is not based on a mere whim, and that I place your happiness 
above my own quiet and repose. 

Tell me all about your tour of France, of your arrival and of your 
stay there. I shall be delighted to hear of your diversions whatever 
they may be. Even if they are enjoyed at the expense of my feelings I 
shall willingly suffer them, provided they make you happy. In short, 
tell me everything that happens to you, especially about your health 
which concerns me very deeply. Take care of yourself which you 
have not done in the past and be moderate in your pleasures, so as 
to enjoy them longer. My concern for you cannot seem suspicious be- 
cause of any personal interest which I may have in participating in 
your pleasures. Though my desires are always directed towards you, 
the great distance between us prevents me from summoning you 
thence, did nothing else stop me. But it gives me the greatest consola- 
tion to hear that you are in a state to enjoy some diversions. 

By way of giving you an exact account of myself, let me tell you 
that after you left I was seized with bad convulsions accompanied by 
fever, which obliged me to keep to my bed for some weeks. I took 
purges, which did me a great deal of good and put my machine in its 
usual state, but my spirits are more disordered than ever. As to my 
amusements, they consist of knitting a stocking, in reading a book, 
and at night, in going the old round. Since your departure Bino 
has not left me, but he is always in a vile humour. Placido comes very 

Paris, 1 2 January 1 766 265 

seldom, and I do not bother myself with winning him back. Bianconi 
stayed here a long time, and I confessed to him my passion for you. 

I gave your compliments to Porzia,, telling her that you were cor- 
responding with me, and that you had seen nothing of any reply to a 
letter you had written to her. She told me that she had thought many 
times of writing to you, since you had favoured her with a most oblig- 
ing letter. As to the revenge that you put in my power to take against 
Porzia, I did not think it right to put it into effect, knowing that you 
had deceived me many times while dealing candidly with her. And 
although at present your kindness for me is greater, yet it is not right 
to laugh at one who trusts you. Therefore, on this point I cannot ap- 
prove your conduct, for an honourable man ought not to say what he 
does not feel in his heart. Does what I say convince you? Or do you 
believe it to be the advice of an interested party who wants always to 
hear from you nothing but the truth? You are right in holding me 
slightly suspect, because of the interest I take in everything you say 
to me about myself, and for the doubt which stirs in me when I hear 
that you are capable of writing to flatter. But all of this aside, I do not 
like a man with that sort of character. If Porzia accepted your pro- 
posal, how would you clear yourself? And do you feel no remorse at 
such proceedings? Do you feel justified in instituting them because 
she was willing to use the same weapons against you? Judge for 

I send a little note with a commission for me, 9 which you do not 
have to execute if it is a bother. In case you are willing to take the 
trouble, you must apply to a lady who is skilled and accurate. The 
bill should run to about thirty sequins. Advise me how to remit the 
money, whether through the courier himself, or through the Astini 

You correct me for an ha which I write in places I should not. In 
return I urge you to scan the sense of my letters, never the word order 
nor the spelling. But in the future, I shall banish all Tz's from my let- 
ters, which shows the importance I attach to your advice. 1 I con- 

9 The "little note" is the enclosure printed below. 

iMoma sometimes added an h, writing ha for a (to), and sometimes dropped 
one, writing anno for hanno (they have). In at least one case she wrote Ho Dio 
for O Dio. This indicates nothing about her pronunciation, for in Italian h is 
always silent. 

266 Paris, 1 2 January 1766 

gratulate you on writing our language very well. If you made no 
mistakes in the tenses, you would be perfect. But since you are so 
clever you need not make fun of a poor woman who lives merely be- 
cause she eats. 

Dear Boswell, give me your friendship as I give you all my love. 
Command me if you wish to oblige me, for neither time nor distance 
shall make me forget you. If you find another who loves you as much 
as I do, I shall be content if you return her love. Farewell, farewell. 2 

[Enclosure:] A pair of ear-rings with three drops of flat pearls. 
Thirty-two ells of cloth of the latest fashion with a watered ground; 
the colour of the ground should be throat-of-pigeon; or if that colour 
cannot be had, the nearest to it. Accessory materials for making up 
the said cloth, according to the fashion, with chemisette, flounces, 
knots on the sleeves, flowers, and sclavage* rather high in the neck. 

A pair of sleeves of silk point-lace, all of one piece, and six ells of 
matching lace to make the pieces surrounding the neck. 

SUNDAY 12 JANUARY/ Yesterday, after being up night with 
Nairne, set out again in old diligence, and rolled comfortable. Passed 
by Fontainebleau; immense numbers of hares and partridges. By bad 
weather, nothing to be seen. Approached Paris, Invalides appeared 
as St. Paul's does, coming to London. Was not affected much. Came 
to bureau, got baggage, and in fiacre to Mme. Duchesne's; Rousseau 
gone. Asked for next bcdgneur*s; [directed to] Le Clerc, Rue de Pierre 
Sarrazin; little, cold, high room. Submitted to fate, hardy. 

MONDAY 13 JANUARY. Awaked tolerable; no change of ideas 
from being in Paris. Had some milk; in fiacre went to Scots College. 5 

2 The remaining correspondence between Morna and Boswell is printed in Ap- 
pendix A. 

3 Presumably this word, whose meaning is uncertain, is related to the French 
esclauage or "choke collar.'* 

4 From this point to 23 February, Boswell kept only a condensed journal, or 
journal notes. BoswelTs news paragraphs in The London Chronicle (see p. 
244) have now begun to appear, and form an amusing counterpoint to his 
private record. 

5 A Catholic seminary for Scots, which developed from a foundation for stu- 
dents established by Bishop David of Moray in 1325. Its purpose was to provide 
priests for the Scottish missions, but because of financial difficulties and its sup- 
posed Jansenist tendencies it was not flourishing at this time. 

Paris, 1 3 January 1766 267 

Felt the good old sentiments. Principal Gordon, a tall, stately man. 
sensible and obliging. 6 Saw many pictures of House of Stuart. Made 
me stay dinner. Had servant for me, Joseph, who had served Hon. 
George Stuart. Dined well; old Mr. Riddoch, Mr. Patullo, [who 
spoke] braid Scots. After dinner Mr. Macdonald, &c. [and had] just 
old ideas. Had heard mass at St. Stephen's. 7 Evening went to* Hotel de 
Dauphin, Rue de Taranne. Was well satisfied. 

TUESDAY 14 JANUABY. Yesterday little surgeon dresses my toes. 
In all day writing; send to De TuylP He comes, and seems genteel. 
You talk of sister. He says, "I am not sure, but I think you will make 
a very good husband for my sister." He said Bellegarde's marriage 
was merely "convenable." He set you a-thinking of old scheme. 

WEDNESDAY 1 5 JANUARY. Yesterday had black suit, and looked 
most lawyer-like. Paid visits; was hipped, however. Saw nobody but 
Tuyll. Resolved to write to father 1 and put confidence in him to pro- 
pose marriage [for you] if she still preferred [you] . You was agitated. 

THURSDAY 16 JANUARY. Yesterday in all day and wrote mag- 
nificent letter to De Zuylen. Was quite etourdi; 2 would set out imme- 
diately. Wrote Father of seeing end of this affair. 8 

6 "I was carried up another pair of large, dirty stairs to the Principal, who was 
a tall, raw-boned man about sixty years of age, seemed to be much broken with 
the gout, who talked a medley of a language between Scotch and French; he 
received me in his chamber, which was hung all round with pictures of the 
unhappy and unfortunate family of Stuart" (William Cole's Journal of My 
Journey to Paris in 1765, ed. F. G. Stokes, 1931, p. 193)- 

7 St.-tienne-du-Mont. 

8 That is, moved to. 

9 Willem Rene van Tuyll, Zelide's eldest brother. Boswell had received a letter 
from Willem Rene's father on 12 January telling him that his son was at Paris, 
and also that Zelide might soon marry the Marquis de Bellegarde, a colonel 
in the Dutch service. The letter is printed in Boswell in Holland, Correspond- 
ence, No. 18. 

* Zelide's father, Diederik Jacob van Tuyll, Lord of Zuylen. Boswell's letter and 
M. de Zuylen's friendly reply of 30 January saying that he could not take up 
Boswell's proposal until M. de BeUegarde's case was settled are printed in Bos- 
well in Holland, Correspondence, Nos. 19, 20. Ultimately, of course, Zelide mar- 
ried neither of them. 

2 Giddy. 

* Boswell's letter to Lord Auchinleck is missing, but he gives its substance in his 
letter to M. de Zuylen. He had received a letter (not recovered) from Lord 

268 Paris, 1 7 January 1 766 

FRIDAY 1 7 JANUARY. Yesterday visited Hon. Alexander Mur- 
ray; heard all his story. Quite Lord Elibank. 4 Was pleased to revive 
such ideas. Surgeon [said cure would be] slow; set in for long process. 

Agreed [fee should be ] louis. Sent letter to De Zuylen; was like 

man of great business. 

SATURDAY 18 JANUARY. Yesterday went to Luxembourg. Not 
day to see gallery. Admired much the fabric in the Tuscan style. Then 
to Palais Royal. Mind was revived at the sight of palace with pictures, 
but it was so dark could see nothing, and the cold was intense. Went 
to an hotel to dine. They asked three livres sans uin; you would not 
stay. Mean. Went to Cafe de Conti; [met] Clarke of London. Home 
and dined with him and his wife. Colonel Gordon came in after dinner 
in his usual spirits. 5 You had plenty of animal spirits, and easily 
showed him how superior you was. Went to Scots College and eat 
bread and cheese. Abernethy, an officer, was there; was at burial of 
Sir William Gordon of Park, 6 on ramparts at Douai, a six and twenty 
pounder at his head and sentry at his foot. John Bain pronounces ora- 
tion: "Pretty man of Scotland. [Let] naemon seek for justice; [he'll] 
gae awa' wi' sair heart. March!" 

SUNDAY 19 JANUARY. Yesterday morning Wilkes, for whom 
you had left card, had the assurance to send his valet de chambre to 
ask you to dine. You sent answer he had not been here. "I must thresh 
him. Say there's a fencing-master with me." Soon after he came, and 
was just the usual courteous man. You felt yourself above him. He 
had the effrontery to tell you Paoli offered him a regiment. You was 

Auchinleck on 12 January saying that his health was better and that Boswell 
had his permission to spend a month in Paris. Boswell in reply asked for per- 
mission to go back to England via Flanders and Holland. Lord Auchinleck re- 
plied on 30 January strongly opposing any match with a bel esprit and foreigner 
like Zelide, but Boswell did not receive this letter until the following July 
(Boswell in Holland, Correspondence, No. 21). 

4 Murray, brother of the fifth Lord Elibank, was an active but cautious Jacobite. 
He retired to France in 1751, and was created Earl of Westminster by the Old 
Pretender in 1759. He was recalled from exile in 1771. 

5 Whether this was the same Colonel Gordon whom Boswell had known in Rome 
is uncertain. 

6 A Jacobite who had gone over to France and died in 1751, after taking part 
in the '45. 

Paris, 1 9 January 1 7 66 269 

struck, but laughed it off: "Come, come, come, don't tell me so. Don't 
play upon me. You have been diverting yourself by telling over 
Switzerland that you had choice of three places to be minister/' He 
looked odd. BOSWELL. "You must know, Sir, that there are no regi- 
ments in Corsica." "Oh," said he, "an equivalent to a regiment, a 

command. Signor offered it me at Naples." BOSWELL. "Oh, he 

has been sounding you." WILKES. "Signor is not a man to sound 

people." Agreed to dine with him. A Burke there. 7 Wilkes talked of 
Corsica: "I wonder you could leave it. As I passed by it in tartane,* 
pulled off hat and drunk his 9 health." "French conversation, light, 1 
not as in English book where you prove clearly Lord Bute the most 
abandoned minister." 2 When he took leave of Voltaire, the old poet 
told him-, "Sir, you must either live in London, or Paris, or Heaven, or 
Hell. You must be in one of these four places no matter which." 
Wilkes chose the last, "Because," said he, "the wittiest poem I ever 
read, the Pucelle d* Orleans* puts there the very best company: most 
of the popes, many cardinals, almost all kings." Wilkes said, "We are 
not only the most brave, but the most generous nation. We have given 
you all [our conquests?] back." VOLTAIRE. "But your generosity 
would be more esteemed were there not some among you that grum- 
ble at it." 4 Wilkes showed you some notes on Churchill. Did not think 
them so clever. 

Had been morning with De Tuyll; made him come to you at 

7 Richard Burke, Edmund Burke's brother. 

8 A small one-masted vessel used in the Mediterranean. 
8 Paoli's. 

1 This word is uncertain. 

2 Probably a remark of Voltaire to Wilkes. The "English book" is apparently a 
reference to the collected edition of The North Briton. Wilkes wrote in The 
North Briton, No. 45, in regard to the King's speech at the opening of Parlia- 
ment: "This week has given the public the most abandoned instance of minis- 
terial effrontery ever attempted to be imposed on mankind." 

3 Voltaire's ribald poem on Joan of Arc. 

4 The Peace of Paris (1763) ending the Seven Years' War had been chiefly man- 
aged for the British by Lord Bute. Current English feeling that certain posses- 
sions had been unnecessarily restored to the French is reflected by Wilkes's 
statement in his notes to Churchill's Gotham, that the Peace of Paris '"proved 
more ruinous to England than all the swords of all our enemies" (Correspond- 
ence of John Wilkes, iii. 16). 

2 jo Paris, 1 9 January 1766 

night. Talked of scheme on Zelide, was hipped a little, afraid to ven- 
ture. Saw all fretful situations. Recalled force; [thought of] variety 
of life. You and Tuyll pleased with this. Thought you'd undertake to 
live well with her on honour. He joked, and bid you be sage: "I am 
concerned in this." His melancholy speculations of Supreme Being 
did not affect you. Curious consciousness. God may make you any 
kind of being. Said to Tuyll, "When one is too delicate, door opening 
offends, and you speculate, 'Why are doors made to give wind?' But 
in health you don't think so. Thus tender mind is hurt by [notions 
of] moral evil." Bid him farewell like father: "Heer Van Zuylen, 
onderdanighste dienaar." 5 

MONDAY 20 JANUARY. Mass, Scots College, Strange. 6 
TUESDAY 2 1 JANUARY. Stayed in all day writing. Received a let- 
ter from Mr. Johnson, treating you with esteem and kindness. 7 Was 
nobly elated by it, and resolved to maintain the dignity of yourself. 
WEDNESDAY 22 JANUARY. Morning went to Wilkes. Sir Harry 
Echlin with him. Wilkes appeared a little sunk by distress, but had 
always Catullus 8 and Pucelle d'Orleans with him. Went and found 
Horace Walpole, whom you had treated with by cards, 9 lean, genteel 
man. Talked to him of Corsica. He said you should give something 
about them, as there are no authentic accounts. You said you intended 
to do so. He had seen Theodore, 1 but, whether from pride or stupidity, 

5 "Most obedient servant." 

6 Robert (later Sir Robert) Strange, the engraver, who was Lumisden's brother- 
in-law. Lumisden had sent Alves's miniature of Boswell to him to forward to 

7 See p. 194. 

8 Wilkes published an edition of Catullus in 1788. 

9 Walpole's evasive card is printed in the seventh volume of Colonel Isham's 
private edition of the Private Papers of James Boswell: 

"Mr. Walpole is extremely thankful to Mr. Boswell for his obliging note, 
and shall be very glad of the honour of his acquaintance, and will endeavour 
to find him at home or hopes to meet him. Is very sorry it has not happened, but 
as Mr. Walpole, from conforming to the French hours while he is here, and liv- 
ing much with the people, rises very late, and is seldom at home afterwards till 
very late too, he has been so unlucky as not to see Mr. Boswell, but flatters him- 
self he shall soon have an opportunity of being acquainted with him." 
1 Theodore, Baron von Neuhoff, was a fantastic adventurer who arrived in Cor- 
sica in 1736 and persuaded the Corsican leaders to proclaim him King. He 

Paris, 2 2 January 1766 271 

he hardly spoke any. Horace has the original writing for getting him 
out of prison, and the great seal of the kingdom. He said the Pre- 
tender had best title [to the British throne,] but not right. He looked 
on Rousseau as mountebank with great parts. 2 Dined with Wilkes and 
Sir Harry. Then Lady Berkeley's. 

THURSDAY 23 JANUARY. Yesterday Principal Gordon and Mr. 
Strange dined with you. All went well. You saw pass by a procession 
of ransomed captives. At five came in Caffarena and talked sensibly 
and sung. But you tired of him. 

FRIDAY 24 JANUARY. You paid visits yesterday morning. Wilkes 
and Caffarena dined. You said Ramsay wickedly said Strange would 
not do pictures as Jacobite. WILKES. "No objection to my Lord Bute."' 
Wilkes was so bad [you was] obliged to go. Drove Caffarena about. 
Found self mean, but your mind was so fortified you stood all. 

SATURDAY 25 JANUARY. Yesterday taken up all day to get trunk 

brought magnificent promises of support with him, but little material aid. After 
a chequered career, he abandoned Corsica and went to England, where he ended 
in debtor's prison. Walpole exerted himself on Theodore's behalf, and after his 
death in 1756, erected a tablet to him in St. Anne's, Soho. 

2 Walpole wrote to Gray on 18 February 1768, "Pray read the new Account of 
Corsica. . . . The author, Boswell, is a strange being, and . . . has a rage of know- 
ing anybody that ever was talked of. He forced himself upon me at Paris in 
spite of my teeth and my doors, and I see has given a foolish account of all he 
could pick up from me about King Theodore [Account of Corsica, pp. 137-138]. 
He then took an antipathy to me on Rousseau's account, abused me in the 
newspapers, and exhorted Rousseau to do so too: but as he came to see me no 
more, I forgave all the rest. I see he now is a little sick of Rousseau himself, but 
I hope it will not cure him of his anger to me. However, his book will I am 
sure entertain you" (The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence, 
xiv. 170-171). For Gray's answer, see p. 147. Boswell sent Walpole a presenta- 
tion copy and letter dated 23 February 1768, in which he politely said that Wal- 
pole's advice to publish something to show the Corsicans in a proper light was 
his first incitement to undertake the Account of Corsica. 

3 In 1759 George HI (then Prince of Wales) offered Strange one hundred 
pounds to engrave his portrait and Lord Bute's. Strange had made other plans, 
and felt as well that the remuneration was inadequate for a possible two years 
of work, so he declined, only to discover that Allan Ramsay, who was involved 
in the affair, was misrepresenting him and saying that Strange had declined 
because of his strong Jacobite principles. Wilkes is suggesting that Bute was a 
Jacobite at heart. 

2 72 Paris, 25 January 1 766 

out of douane, except with Strange, who told James's death. 4 Was dull 
a little. Met there 5 a young fellow who gave you names of good bor- 
dellos. Went to fiacre [and said] "Do you know any of these?" [He 
knew] Mme. Hecquet; went. Mile. Constance, tall, quite French 
lady. Feigned simplicity. [She said,] "I'll show you all the sights." 

SUNDAY 26 JANUARY. Yesterday evening Montigny's; sad 
work. 6 

MONDAY 27 JANUARY. Heard mass at Theatins. Went to Am- 
bassador's Chapel; old ideas of Church of England, in some measure. 
Sermon made you gloomy, or rather tired. At Wilkes's saw in St. 
James's Chronicle, Mother's death. 7 Quite stunned; tried to dissipate 
[grief.] Dined Dutch Ambassador's; much of Corsica. At six Mme. 
Hecquet's as in fever. Constance elegant. 

TUESDAY 28 JANUARY. Yesterday morning sent to Foley; got 
letter from Father, written by David. Too true; Mother gone. Was 
quite stupefied. In all morning. Wept in bursts; prayed to her like 
most solemn Catholic to saint. Roused philosophy; sung Italian gently 
to soothe. But would not have hurt prejudices by doing so before 
others. Called on Principal Gordon, told him privately sad news. Had 
company with him who had said mass for requiem to old James. Lord 
Alford (Sir John Graham) genteel man. Curious feelings; was pru- 
dent, but with true philosophy sustained your distress; was decent. 
Had strong enthusiasm to comfort Father all his life. 

[Lord Auchinleck to Boswell] 

Edinburgh, 1 1 January 1 766 

MY DEAR SON, In my last I acquainted you that your dear 
mother was indisposed, and was to get a vomit that evening on which 

4 The Old Pretender died on i January 1766. Strange had just received a letter 
from Lumisden describing the funeral. 

5 At the customs. 

6 The Hotel Montigny, a well-known brothel, was run by a Mile. Dupuis. Char- 
lotte Genevieve Hecquet, mentioned in the previous entry, ran a couple of es- 

T The notice appeared in The St. James's Chronicle for 18 January 1766: "At 
Edinburgh, Lady Auchinleck, spouse to the Hon. Alexander Boswell of Auchin- 
leck, Esq., one of the Senators of the College of Justice." 

Paris, 2 8 January 1 766 273 

my letter was wrote; I did not then apprehend her to be in any dan- 
ger, but from that time forward she daily turned worse of a slow and 
obstinate fever, which at length put a period to her valuable life this 
morning half an hour after seven. This melancholy event you'll 
easily believe affects me deeply; I have lost my friend, my adviser 
and assistant in everything, and that has made me agree to use your 
brother's hand, which he out of compassion made offer of to me. My 
dear Jamie, had you seen and heard what we have been witnesses to 
these last three weeks, you would have agreed with us that many use- 
ful lessons were to be learned. Your dear mother, who from the be- 
ginning of her illness had a fixed persuasion that she was to die of it, 
and in that view spoke to me seriously on different subjects and par- 
ticularly in relation to you, for whom she had always a great affec- 
tion, and who she hoped would return with proper dispositions I 
say notwithstanding this her persuasion of approaching death, she 
was so far from showing any terror that she expressed a pleasure in 
the thoughts of it; and indeed nothing could be a greater proof of the 
reality and efficacy of true religion than what appeared in her con- 
duct during the whole time of her indisposition; and notwithstanding 
the many medicines, blisterings, and other operations she under- 
went, she never once complained; on the contrary, said that she 
thought she was likely to have an easy passage. This her conduct was 
not owing to insensibility, or to a disbelief or the least doubt of her 
immortality or of a future state, but to her most serious, constant, and 
habituated attention to her duty both to God and to the world, and to 
a full persuasion in and through the merits of our blessed Redeemer 
of attaining endless bliss in the other world. Among her last words, a 
very little time before her death she audibly though with a faltering 
tongue said, "I have fought the good fight of faith, I have finished my 
course, henceforth is prepared for me a crown of glory,'* 8 and when 
she had expressed a longing for death and was asked if she did not 
wish to recover to be a comfort to her family, she answered she 
wished to be with Christ, which is far better. She left us without any 
struggle or even a groan, and as it were fell asleep. She was one who 
all her life long was intent and diligent in doing her duty both to God 
and the world. You know her attachment to devotion and serious re- 

8 See II Timothy 4. 7-8. 

274 Paris, 28 January 1 766 

ligion, and you know that she managed all my private affairs with 
the utmost accuracy, and was anxious to serve all her friends and ac- 
quaintances. I am now reduced to a destitute state; I have lost my 
friend, I have lost my adviser in all things which concerned both 
worlds. You have lost a most affectionate and kind mother, and will 
doubtless be affected deeply with this awful stroke as we and all your 
friends here are; and as upon the back of this, diversions of any kind 
cannot have any relish with one of your sensibility, it will occur to 
you how much I need your assistance, this irreparable breach made 
upon me besides the having my old bodily trouble still hanging 
about me; and therefore, it will be needless to tell you that I expect 
you home with all speed. Your brother remembers you with great 
affection. I am, my dear son, your affectionate father. 


P.S. The contents of this letter are not to be shown, being intended 
for yourself. Since writing this letter I have had the pleasure of yours 
from Marseilles and rejoice to hear of your arrival in France. Do not 
disquiet yourself about the money you have spent; if you turn out in 
the way I expect, I shall never grudge these expenses. You have got 
100 credit on Paris. Farewell, my dear Jamie, may God bless and 
preserve you. 9 

WEDNESDAY 2Q JANUARY. Yesterday felt more the sad news. 
Recalled her kind, affectionate concern. Was deeply touched, but 

9 Lord Auchinleck's attitude was elaborated in a letter to Boswell from his 
brother David. (The letter is dated 3 February 1766, but BosweU has endorsed 
it: "This letter arrived at Paris after I had left it, and lay at Foley's till July 
1766, when I got it over to Scotland.") David warns him against writing their 
father any further in his "gay, volatile, romantic manner," and says that Bos- 
well's letter to Lord Auchinleck of 15 January had "almost ruined your charac- 
ter with him for discretion and good sense." Furthermore, he reports that the 
Edinburgh papers were reprinting items from The London Chronicle about Bos- 
well's Corsican expedition, and this had enraged Lord Auchinleck. The item 
which spoke of BoswelTs "warm and ill-judged zeal" for Prince Charles Edward 
(see p. 325) David had persuaded the Edinburgh papers to omit, but Sir 
David Dalrymple had mentioned it to Lord Auchinleck, for whose strong Whig 
sympathies it had been close to the final straw. Finally David reminds Boswell 
that their mother, who had been his greatest advocate, is now dead, and begs 
him to return quickly. 

Paris, 29 January 1 766 2 75 

thinking of her being in heaven, was easy. Was pious and had manly 
hope. Had heard Mile. Le Vasseur was arrived, and had sent to her; 
went this morning to Hotel de Luxembourg. She was with Mme. de la 
Roche, premiere dame de la Marechale* She was just as at Motiers, 
Told her sad news. She told you her anxiety about journey, and 
[said], "Mon Dieu, Monsieur, if we could go together!" You said you 
came to propose it to her. She showed you Rousseau's letter from 
Paris, where he agrees to her coming, and gives directions to wash his 
new shirts, &c., [adding,] "Do nothing hastily," and another from 
London, [saying,] "Resign yourself to suffering a great deal." Made 
a long story of it. Quackery this. 2 Went to Scots College, and Principal 
showed you, in little cabinet with British arms, many volumes of 
King James's own hand: 8 royal letters, &c., &c., and then showed you 
cartulary of Glasgow, Queen Mary's letters and testament, her 
prayer-book, &c., &c. You was truly pleased, and thrown into reverend 
humour which kept off grief. Wilkinson, a priest, dined. Then paid 
visits to Lord Alf ord, &c. Wilkes said Christian religion gave you 
nothing new but the resurrection of the body. WILKES. "I care no 
more to be raised in the same body than in the same coat, waistcoat, 
and breeches. Incarnation absurd." STRANGE.* "Sir, if [you admit] 
one spirit in body, why not superior one?" Carlotti, Italian Marquis, 
[once said] to Wilkes, "But my soul ." WILKES. "G-d damn your 

THURSDAY 30 JANUARY. Yesterday morning found Strange. 
Picture by Teniers with heads like Paul Veronese. 5 [Took] leave of 

1 First lady-in-waiting to the Mar6chale Duchesse de Luxembourg. Her resi- 
dence, the Hotel de Luxembourg, was in the Rue St-Marc. 

2 These two letters apparently have not survived, but two others from Rousseau 
to Therese are printed in Appendix B. The beginnings of BoswelFs disillusion- 
ment with Rousseau are apparent even before this, as a discarded portion of the 
first draft of his long letter to Rousseau (3 October 1765) shows. This portion is 
printed in Appendix C. 

3 James II. These manuscript memoirs were destroyed during the French Revo- 
lution. B 

4 From a cancelled passage in the manuscript, it seems likely that this speech 

should be attributed to Strange. 

5 Probably "A Man Caressing a Woman" by David Teniers the elder (Robert 
Strange's Catalogue of Pictures, 1769, P- 

2 76 Paris, 30 January 1 766 

him till London. Dined Abbe de Marbeuf . Little man there, lively 
and forward, disputed Corsican affairs. You held them up to glory, 
and forgot distress by heat of argument, but like man in despair. Dis- 
covered little man to be Genoese minister, [son] of father at Ajaccio. 
He maintained to be with Genoa best for Corsica. The island must 
be dependent; [the] smaller [the] state on which it depends the bet- 
ter, and [thus] less liable to be enslaved. New this, and clever, but 
you maintained that Corsica might be free and only protected by an- 
other. HE. "Where is the liberty of a protected state?" You then 
argued for alliance. He asked you whether you admired more those 
who had struggled for liberty (alluding to the noble efforts of Gen- 
oese) , or those who were struggling at the moment. You replied, "Do 
you admire more a woman who was beautiful, or one who is at the 
moment?*' He was put to it, [but said,] "But if she preserves her 
beauty?" Blockhead! Genoa preserves its independency, 'tis true, but 
not the bold spirit as when struggling for it. Comtesse de Marbeuf was 
there. You was vastly well. Told sad news and took leave. Abbe said, 
"When you return, do not forget the Rue St. Dominique." You went 
and paid visit to Principal Gordon. Marshall there. Felt superiority 
over one you had not seen for long time, as Brown said you should. 
Was just as you could wish. Went for third time to Mile. Le Vasseur; 
tired of her complaints. Ordered matters prudently. Went to Wilkes; 
company with him. He asked you, "Have you letters [from home] ? 
I dare not ask you." Took him aside; told him melancholy affliction. 
He was affected, or decently seemed to be so. Bid you write immedi- 
ately from home, and he'd write you regularly. 6 Promised him "Lines 
on Wilkes." [He] said, "Consider how you have avoided the pain of 
seeing mother dying, and how you'll go back and comfort father, and 
amuse him by telling of all you've seen." He said, "You're made for 
active life." You said, "You'll think as I do one day." HE. "You'll prob- 
ably think as I in state, and I as you in church." 7 

6 Boswell wrote to Wilkes from Auchinleck on 6 May 1766 to thank him for his 
kindness in Paris, and added: "I have often thought of you with affection. In- 
deed, I never admired you more than when you tried to alleviate my affliction; 
for whether it be from self-interest or not, I set a higher value on the qualities 
of the heart than on those of the head" (Letters of lames Boswell, i. 90). 

7 A partly undecipherable marginal passage is omitted here. 

Paris, 3 1 January 1 766 277 

FRIDAY 3 1 JANUARY . Yesterday morning after having been up 
all night and written sixteen or seventeen letters.,* and felt spirits 
bound in veins, kept post-horses waiting from six till nine, then was 
still in confusion. Cried, "Is it possible that my mother is dead?" Set 
out, and at Hotel de Luxembourg took up Mademoiselle. Was serious 

and composed. Passed by castle at ,* [asked,] "Whose is that 

chateau?" Due de Fitzjames. 1 [You said,] "God be blessed! The blood 
of the Stuarts has always some distinction. It is the most illustrious 

blood in the world." Dined ; 2 was mild but gloomy, and now and 

then thought Mother alive and gave starts. 3 Night was manly., but 
hurt by Mademoiselle's mean kindness to servants, &c. Talked much 
of Rousseau always. 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The entries for the first eleven days of February 
1766, which are said to have filled some twelve pages of manuscript, 
are now missing from BoswelTs journal, having been destroyed just 
prior to the transference of the papers to Colonel Isham. They nar- 
rated in detail the progress of an amorous episode with which Boswell 
and Therese Le Vasseur occupied the time of their leisurely crossing 
from Paris to London. A small slip of paper, bearing the words 
"Reprehensible Passage" in the hand of Sir William Forbes (one of 
Boswell's literary executors) and signed with his initials, was found 
within the wrapper which enclosed this portion of the journal, and 
must have referred to something in the missing pages. Colonel Isham 
was fortunate enough to have read the whole passage before it was 
destroyed, and from him are gleaned the following notes on one of 
the most extraordinary episodes of Boswell's career. 

It does not appear that before leaving Paris Boswell had formed 
any scheme of seducing Therese, and the day of his departure found 

8 Including letters to Lord Auchinleck, Temple, Dr. Johnson, Rousseau, Moma, 
Deleyre, M. de Zuylen, and Lumisden (Register of Letters). They must have 
been mainly short letters with the news of his mother's death. Only the letter 
to Temple has been recovered. 

9 Blank in manuscript. The place was Clermont (Oise). 

1 Charles Fitzjames, Due de Fitzjames, was the fifth son of the Duke of Berwick, 
an illegitimate son of James II. 

2 Blank in manuscript. 

3 That is, "gave starts" of grief when he recalled that she was dead. 

2 78 Boswell and Therese Le Vasseur 

him tense and harassed by difficulties in getting started, and deeply 
unhappy over his mother's death. But the intimacy of travel and the 
proximity in which the pair found themselves at inns at night precipi- 
tated an intrigue almost immediately. On the second night out they 
shared the same bed; Boswell' s first attempt, as often with him, was 
a fiasco. He was deeply humiliated, the grief he was trying to repress 
came back upon him, and he wept. Therese, with a Frenchwoman's 
tenderness and sympathy, put her arm around him to console him 
and laid his hand on her shoulder. His grief and embarrassment 
waned; as he recorded on another occasion, his powers were excited 
and he felt himself vigorous. Next day he was very proud of himself, 
and in the coach he congratulated Therese (who was almost twenty 
years his senior) on her good fortune in having at last experienced the 
ardours of a Scotch lover. Therese stunned him by denying that she 
had great cause for gratitude: "I allow," she said, "that you are a 
hardy and vigorous lover, but you have no art." Then, with quick per- 
ception seeing him cast down, she went on, "I did not mean to hurt 
you. You are young, you can learn. I myself will give you your first 
lesson in the art of love." 

Since Boswell's success as a lover depended on his maintaining a 
feeling of superiority, this announcement filled him with terror. The 
apartment in which they were lodged that night was in the shape of 
an L: a private dining-room with the bed in an alcove at one end. As 
bedtime approached, he grew more frightened. In the earlier period 
of his life, as the journal printed in the present volume shows, he 
drank little, but on this occasion he secured from the servant a full 
bottle of wine and concealed it in the dining-room. Therese retired; 
Boswell remained reading. Therese called him; he went in clutching 
the wine, but instead of joining her, he paced up and down asking 
questions about Rousseau. At last, when no further diversion would 
avail, he drained the bottle and reluctantly slipped into bed. 

He gave some details of her instruction. He must be gentle though 
ardent; he must not hurry. She asked him, as a man who had travelled 
much, if he had not noticed how many things were achieved by men's 
hands. He made good technical progress, though he was not wholly 
persuaded of her right to set up for a teacher; he said she rode him 
"agitated, like a bad rider galloping downhill." After a while her lee- 

Boswell and Therese Le Vasseur 2 79 

tures bored him, and he brought up the subject of Rousseau., hoping 
at least to gather a few dicta pJulosophi for his journal. Therese in her 
turn found that dull. It was a mistake, he finally reflected, to get in- 
volved with an old man's mistress.* 

The first entry of the journal on the other side of the hiatus not 
only furnishes unequivocal evidence of the liaison, but also vindicates 
BoswelTs claim to vigour.] 

WEDNESDAY 12 FEBRUARY [Dover]. Yesterday morning had 
gone to bed very early, and had done it once: thirteen in all. Was 
really affectionate to her. At two set out in fly; breakfasted Rochester 
on beefsteaks. 5 Mrs. Morrice, a woman who had been married to a 
sergeant, and a bluff, true Englishman sat with you. Mademoiselle 
was much fatigued. Came to London about six, to Swan at Westmin- 
ster Bridge. Was now so firm that London made no impression. You 
was good to her. Sent to Stewart, and then went to his house.* You was 
quite easy. Macpherson was there. 7 You was talked to much of Cor- 
sica, but said nothing but calm account of what you saw, and when 
they said, "Who could send over this intelligence?" you said, "You 
must ask Gazetteer." 8 Carried her to David Hume. Then went to 

4 In a letter to the Comtesse de Boufflers (12 February 1766), Hume anticipated 
BoswelTs relations with Therese on their trip in startlingly accurate fashion, 
though he intended no more than a joke: "A letter has also come to me ... by 
which I learn that Mademoiselle sets out post in company with a friend of 
mine; a young gentleman, very good-humoured, very agreeable, and very mad. 
He visited Rousseau in his mountains, who gave him a recommendation to 
Paoli, the King of Corsica; where this gentleman, whose name is BoswelL, went 
last summer in search of adventures. He has such a rage for literature that I 
dread some event fatal to our friend's honour. You remember the story of Teren- 
tia, who was first married to Cicero, then to Sallust, and at last, in her old age, 
married a young nobleman, who imagined that she must possess some secret 
which would convey to him eloquence and genius" (Letters of David Hume, 
ed. J. Y. T. Grieg, 1932, ii. n). 

Apparently Boswell and Therese landed at Dover very early in the morning of 
11 February, and went straight to bed. They got up in time to catch the fly at 
2 p.m. and ate their first meal of the day ("breakfast") at Rochester. 

Probably John Stewart of Allanbank, a friend of Hume's, who had been in- 
strumental in securing lodgings for Rousseau in London. 

7 Probably James Macpherson, the "translator" of Ossian. 

* Boswell perhaps refers to news items in The Gazetteer and New Daily Adver- 

2 8o London, 1 2 February 1766 

Temple; embraced most cordially in old style. Wine and bread. Were 
too dissipated by innumerable ideas. Both cried, "Hope shall not 
many these women." 9 You was for revolving all deaths. He said, 
"No, it makes [one] callous." Sat till four; went home. Up all night. 

THURSDAY 13 FEBRUARY. Yesterday morning, after having read 
a daily all night, went and rung at Dempster's door, but he was not 
stirring. Then in post-chaise to Dr. Pringle's. He embraced you cor- 
dially, [saying,] "Glad to see you on several accounts." Talked to you 
of letter to Lord Mountstuart. You was a little obstinate; found the 
Doctor very easy with you. 1 Then went to Mile. Le Vasseur, with 
whom was Hume. You breakfasted, and then carried her out to Chis- 
wick. 2 She said Hume had told her you was "melancholique," which 
was in your family. You was too high. You was ready to kill any of- 
fender. You gave her word of honour you'd not mention affaire till 
after her death or that of the philosopher. 8 Went to Rousseau; de- 

t iser, which would have been copied from The London Chronicle. Or he may 

simply mean the "gazetteer" (that is, journalist) responsible for printing these 


9 That is, Zelide and Miss Ann Stow, whom Temple did marry in August 1767. 

1 Sir John Pringle was physician to the King and later President of the Royal 
Society. A great friend of Lord Auchinleck's, Pringle had persuaded Mount- 
stuart to write to Boswell at the end of December 1765 strongly urging him to 
return home for his father's sake. Boswell received this letter on 12 January 
1766, and three days later replied to Mountstuart complaining of his lack of 
sympathy. Boswell's letter is missing, but we know its tenor and some of the 
phrases he used from a letter of Pringle's dated 28 January, in which Pringle 
reveals his share in Mountstuart's letter and advises Boswell to offer Mount- 
stuart an apology immediately; for, he says, "I never knew any letter require 
one more." 

2 Where Rousseau was lodged in the house of a grocer. 

8 Boswell seems to have kept his promise, and even to have deceived Temple. 
On 24 April 1790 Temple wrote to him concerning the second part of Rousseau's 
Confessions, which had just been published: "In what a strange light do those 
last volumes exhibit him! In his flight to England, I suppose we shall have an 
account of you and of your dishonourable attempt on his virtuous friend and 
companion. There was probably as little truth in her accusation of the old 
gentleman." (Rousseau had accused a one-time friend, a man of about sixty, of 
having attempted to seduce Therese by reading to her from a pornographic book 
and showing her illustrations in it. The implication of Temple's remarks prob- 
ably is that Boswell at some time had attributed Rousseau's later falling out 

London, 1 3 February 1 766 28 1 

livered her over. Quanta oscula* &a! He seemed so oldish and weak 
you had no longer your enthusiam for him. Told him all about Cor- 
sica, and he cried, "Pardi! I am sorry not to have gone there." He was 
incited by what he heard. He was to go to Wales. 5 You asked if Scot- 
land had not a claim to him. He said, "I shall act like the kings; I shall 
put my body in one place, and my heart in another." 

Back to London. Immediately to Johnson; received you with open 
arms. You kneeled, and asked blessing. Miss Williams glad of your 
return. When she went out, he hugged you to him like a sack, and 
grumbled, "I hope we shall pass many years of regard."* You for some 
minutes saw him not so immense as before, but it came back. Vol- 
taire's Pope in chaise, and Dryden [in] coach. 7 JOHNSON. "That is 
very well. But the truth is they ride both in coaches^ only Dryden is 
always either galloping or stumbling; Pope [goes on at an] even 
trot." You dined at the Cecil Street Coffee-house (Temple's place), 
and there you met George Redhead, a fat, jolly planter. You and 
Temple had fine chat. He was much easier than formerly. At eight 
you met at Mitre Mr. Johnson. Told him how Baretti was corrupted 
[and had said], "As man dies like dog, let him lie like dog." JOHNSON. 
"Why, Sir, if he dies like dog, let him lie like dog." BOSWELL. "Baretti 
says, fc l hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of 'em, and 
[I] know how bad I am.' " JOHNSON. "Sir, he must be very singular 
in his opinion if he thinks himself one of the best of men, for none of 
Baretti's friends think him one of," &c. He said no honest man could 

with him to a charge by Therese that he had made advances to her a charge 
which he allowed Temple to believe false. See p. 299.) Lord Marischal in- 
nocently wrote to Rousseau in March 1766: "I rejoice with you on the arrival 
of Mile. Le Vasseur, and with Mr. Boswell on the pleasure he has received in 
being able to do you a service; he is a truly honourable man, a perfect gentle- 
man" (Correspondance generate de /.-/. Rousseau,, xv. 82-83). 
4 Such kissing. 

* Rousseau changed his mind, and in March he and Therese went to Wootton, 
Staffordshire, where they remained until May 1767. 

6 The following conversations are repeated, with modifications, in The Life of 
Johnson (February 1766). 

* Voltaire had compared Pope and Dryden for Boswell at Ferney: "Pope drives 
a chaise with a couple of neat trim nags but Dryden a coach and six, with 
postilions and all" (Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 27 
December 1764). 

282 London, 13 February 1 766 

be a deist, for no man could be so after a fair examination of the 
proofs. BOSWELL. "Hume?" 8 JOHNSON. "No, Sir, Hume owned to a 
clergyman in the bishopric of Durham that he had never read the 
New Testament with any attention." 

He said, "Now you have five and twenty years, and you have em- 
ployed 'em well." BOSWELL. "Oh, no! Do I know history, mathematics, 
law, &c.? No." JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, though you may know no sci- 
ence so well as to be able to teach it, and no profession so well as to be 
able to follow it, yet your general mass of knowledge of books and 
men renders you very capable to study any science or follow any pro- 
fession." (This was enough.) I said Wilkes bid me not be a lawyer as I 
should be excelled by plodding blockheads. He said, "Sir, in the for- 
mal and statutory practice of law, a plodding blockhead may succeed, 
but in the equitable part of it, a plodding blockhead can never suc- 
ceed." I said, "I fear I shall not be a good advocate." JOHNSON. "Why, 
Sir, to be sure you will not be a good advocate at first, and, Sir, no 
man is a good advocate at first; and perhaps in seven years you will 
not be so good a lawyer as your father, and perhaps never. But it is 
better to be a tolerable lawyer than no lawyer, and, Sir, you will 
always see multitudes below you." You talked of attending great 
men. "Sir, would you have done it?" JOHNSON. "Sir, I was never near 
enough to them to court them, but I would have done it. You are 
never to do what you think wrong, and you are to calculate and not 
pay too dear for what you get. You must not give a shilling's worth 
of court for sixpence worth of good; but if you can get a shilling's 
worth of good for sixpence worth of court, you are a fool not to pay 

He said, 9 "If convents are allowed at all, they should be numerous. 
But they should only be retreats for those unable to serve public, or 
who have served it, and the religious should never be admitted till of 
a good age. Our first duty is to serve society, and after that we may 
attend wholly to the salvation of our souls. Youthful passions for ab- 
stracted devotion should not be encouraged." You talked of second 
sight and predictions which may happen by chance. JOHNSON. "Yes, 

8 Hume himself denied being a deist. 

9 The following topics of conversations have to do with Corsica, and Boswell's 
perplexities about what he had seen and heard there. 

London, 1 3 February 1 766 283 

Sir; but these have happened so often that mankind have agreed to 
think it real." He was as great as ever. He maintained that, setting 
aside the heat of party, the differences among Christians were very 
small, only about the means to attain the same end. Talking of Corsica 
and your scheme of publishing some account of it, he said, "You can- 
not go to bottom [of the subject] but all you tell us is what we don't 
know. Give us as many anecdotes as you can." You was fine. Home 
and slept sound. 

FRIDAY 14 FEBRUARY. Yesterday morning went and called for 
Dun, 1 and made him go with you to Pero's Bagnio 2 in St. James's 
Street. Temple came to you. Found all genteel and noble. Saw Dun a 
most forward, rude fellow, but as he was obliging and attached to 
your family, bore with him. Felt by comparison with former days in 
London how superior you was. Temple joked, how from your being 
with princes and literati, he was afraid to meet you. You replied, "But 
I make all that easy for you! Don't I?" Dined together at Cecil Street. 
Home with him. He showed you letters from Miss Stow; insisted 
on his having her. Then Dr. Pringle's. He and Sir A. Mitchell insisted 
wrong to Lord Mountstuart. You was outrageous. Clack was at Tem- 
ple's; felt him low. 3 

SATURDAY 15 FEBRUARY. You had consulted Johnson, who bid 
you be independent, though prudently attached to great men.* You 
called at Lord Mountstuart's elegant house (would not call [on] 
Mallet) ; was made wait. He appeared, and was reserved. You said 
you was sorry he had been offended, but could not see you was wrong. 
Asked him freely not to be angry any more. He kept up the prince. 
Sat down by him and asked him how he got cured; so brought him 
down. He said, "Thank God, I know you. Your wife will be quite un- 
happy at first, till she finds you out, and then she'll never mind you, 
but take her work, or go walk in the garden." You with spirit would 

1 Boswell had dealings with this man, who seems to have been a tailor, in 1763, 

2 A bath house and probably also a brothel. 

3 John Claxton, a Cambridge friend of Temple's, a lawyer and antiquary. Bos- 
well had first met him in London in 1763, when he thought him "a very good 
sort of a young man, though reserved at first" (BoswelFs London Journal, 15 
May 1763). 

4 Boswell probably refers to their recent conversation, and introduces it here to 
justify his possible connection with Mountstuart. 

284 London, 1 5 February 1 766 

have him be no more angry. [He finally said,] "I don't care sixpence 
about it." Poor. You called on Lord Eglinton. He received [you] 
with affection. Fine house pleased you, but felt yourself so detached 
from interest and worldly vanities, was like a Johnson in comparison 
of former days. He talked of your father, and bid you affect gravity. 
You told him you now was grave. Saw honest Crookshanks, just the 
old rattling man. Called on Lainshaw. He looked very ill. 5 It was 
not an unpleasing, sad consideration. Mrs. Montgomerie was a good 
woman. You was quite master of yourself. You found that when now 
enlarged and enlightened by travel, even worth could not make you 
often bear uncouth Scots manners, and you are not obliged often to 
bear them. Dined with Dr. Pringle. Called Clack's. Supped [with 
Temple at] Cecil Street. German played on sticks. Young Bosville 
came to you. Was quite easy with him. 6 

SUNDAY 1 6 FEBRUARY. Yesterday at three went to Mr. Bosville's 
in Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, where you was asked to dine, 
though you had disappointed the Captain yesterday to go thither at 
one. 7 Mrs. Bosville, stately sensible woman; Godfrey Bosville, Esq., 
plain-looking man, but a judicious, knowing, worthy gentleman. 
Down to dinner. Miss Bosville, vastly pretty: black hair, charming 
complexion, quite modest; Miss Julie, brisk little girl. Fine to see so 
many Boswells. 8 Miss Annabella Wentworth, sister to Mrs. Bosville, 
genteel town lady. Miss hardly spoke; [perhaps] better. You was 
talked to [by] all of Paoli, and was quite well and as you could wish. 
After dinner Mr. Bosville walked you about and gave you anecdotes 

5 James Montgomerie of Lainshaw, Boswell's first cousin and brother to his 
future wife. Montgomerie died in December of this year. 

6 William Bosville, an ensign in the Guards, and later well known as a bon 
vivant. He is referred to as "Captain" below. Boswell had met him in London 
in 1763. 

7 Perhaps Boswell means that the Captain had made an appointment with him 
which Boswell had broken to go to Godfrey Bosville's house at one o'clock, but 
he had not actually arrived until three. 

8 This was BoswelTs first meeting with the Bosville family. He came to regard 
Godfrey Bosville of Gunthwaite, Yorkshire, as the chief of the Boswell clan and 
established with him one of the most pleasant intimacies of his life. Miss Bos- 
ville, the "Miss" referred to below, was Elizabeth Diana, the eldest daughter 
of the family. In 1768 she married Sir Alexander Macdonald, brother and heir 
to the Sir James Macdonald referred to on p. 189. 

London, 1 6 February 1 766 285 

of family, and showed two pictures of Cromwell.* After dinner Mr. 
Bosville asked you to come at any time and eat his family dinner. You 
drank tea and sat by Miss, and she told of Lord Eglinton. . . . * 

You went to Mitre; had engaged Mr. Johnson. Presented Temple; 
fine to have Magnus Apollo 2 and dearest friend together. Mr. John- 
son had been at Cambridge (a great concession) . 3 You told him he 
looked ten years younger, and that Davies had said he now got up at 
eight. JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, if I were a friend of John James Rousseau 
then everything that concerned me would be of importance. As it is, 
Sir, it concerns nobody but myself." You quoted Wilkes for some- 
thing. JOHNSON. "It seems you have kept very good company abroad 
Wilkes and Rousseau!" BOSWELL. "My dear Sir, you don't call 
Rousseau bad company? Do you really think him a bad man?" JOHN- 
SON. "Sir, if you are to talk jestingly of this, I don't talk with you. 
If you would be serious, I think him one of the worst of men; a rascal 
who ought to be hunted out of society as he has been. Three or four 
nations have expelled him; and it is a shame that he is protected in 
this country." Temple talked like a very courtier of his Creed.* You 
said, "Sir, I don't deny but his novel may do harm, but I cannot think 
his intention was bad." JOHNSON. "Sir, that will not do. We cannot 
prove any man's intention to be bad. You may shoot a man through 
the head, and say you intended to miss him, but the judge will order 
you to be hanged. The want of intention, when evil is committed, will 
not be sustained in a court of justice. If you are no better lawyer than 
that, Bos., we must send you back to Utrecht. Sir, Rousseau is a very 
bad man. I would sooner sign a sentence for his transportation than 
for that of any felon who has gone from the Old Bailey these many 
years. Yes, I should like to have him work in the plantations." BOS- 
WELL. "Sir, do you think him as bad a man as Voltaire?" JOHNSON. 
"Why, it is difficult to settle the proportion of iniquity between 'em." 
(The first day after your arrival he said, "People have nowadays got 
into a strange opinion that everything should be taught by lectures. 
9 The word could be read u Cromwellian(s)." Godfrey Bosville's great-grand- 
father was an officer in the Parliamentary army under Cromwell. 

1 One or more illegible words are omitted here. 

2 Horace, Satires, II. v. 60. 

3 On a visit in 1765. Johnson had been a student at Pembroke College, Oxford. 

4 "The Creed of a Savoyard Vicar." 

286 London, 1 6 February 1766 

Now, I can never see that lectures can do so much good as reading the 
books from whence the lectures are taken. I know nothing that can be 
best taught by lectures, except where experiments are shown. You 
may teach chemistry by lectures. You might teach making of shoes 
by lectures.") 

He talked of subordination, and said, "So far is it from being true 
that men are naturally equal, that no two people can be half an hour 
together but the one shall acquire an evident superiority over the 
other." You mentioned Hume's notion that all were equally happy, 
who were happy. 5 JOHNSON. "Sir, that all are equally happy is not 
true. A peasant and a philosopher may be equally satisfied, but not 
equally happy. Happiness consists in the multiplicity of conscious- 
ness. A peasant has not capacity for having equal happiness with the 
philosopher." You was of his opinion, but to be more fully confirmed 
you was going on. He thought you was going to push him with con- 
trariety, and called out, "My dear Bozzy, let us have no more of this. 
It is extremely disagreeable to me. You are making nothing of this 
argument. I had rather you'd whistle me a Scotch tune." BOSWEIX. 
"But, Sir, philosophers bid us take consolation by thinking of those 
who are worse than we are. But, Sir, this cannot apply to all, for there 
must be some who have none worse than them." JOHNSON. "Why, 
Sir, to be sure there are, &c.; but they don't know it. There is no being 
so poor and so contemptible who does not think he has somebody be- 
low him." 

You said that your Swiss said, "I can never believe [the Scrip- 
tures], for I can never read the books in the original, nor know but 
what they're invented." JOHNSON. "Why, foolish fellow, has he any 
better authority for almost everything that he believes?" BOSWELL. 
"But, Mr. Johnson, the vulgar never can be sure they're right, but 
must submit themselves to the learned." JOHNSON. "To be sure, Sir. 
The vulgar are the children of the state and must be taken care of." 
BOSWELL. "Then, Sir, a poor Turk must be a Mohammedan just as a 
poor man in Europe must be a Christian?" JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, and 
what then? This now is just such stuff as I used to talk to my mother 
when I first began to think myself a clever f ellow, and she ought to 
have whipped me for it." You took this in perfect good humour, and 
said, "You ought then to whip me." 
5 Expressed in his essay, "The Sceptic." 

London, 1 6 February 1 766 287 

He was engaged to go at ten. Temple had said little, but Iwhaved 
very genteelly. You and he sat on together. He said Mr. Johnson was 
monstrously overbearing, and, when you disputed with Temple, he 
would imitate Johnson, and cried, "Come, come, Jamie, let us have 
no more of it. This is children's play." This was the finest humour I 
ever felt. Temple had been hurt by reading Hume and Helvetius and 
other modern philosophers, but you could not be angry, for you 
thought it a weakness. He was, however, much improved. His im- 
plicit veneration for Mr. Gray was lessened, "For," said he, "I like to 
see a man have some weaknesses as others." He maintained that to 
lead an agreeable life was the most important plan, and that if he had 
been born to an estate, he would never have been anything, but en- 
joyed books and the country one half the year and the town the other, 
or been in Parliament; and he would not sacrifice his own happiness 
even to that of father. All this was free and well, but he has done more 
for his father than any man. 6 

He said, "It is long since I have thought either of happiness or 
misery. Boswell, you are more of a philosopher than any man I know, 
really so; but that makes one unhappy." You and he with much good 
humour laughed at your airy, youthful plans of grandeur, when he 
was to be a great man in the state, and you a great statesman and a 
great poet into the bargain. You now formed true, easy, probable 
plans of happiness: to come one to the other every summer, to be now 
and then in London, to go and pass a spring and May at Paris and live 
there perfectly well, and come away when money spent. He was 
happy to find you no longer avaricious, but said he believed you took 
extravagant fits. You had showed him some leaves of your journal, 
which he liked much. You said, "Temple, if I was your son, would 
you be pleased with me?" He replied with real truth, "Entirely 
pleased." Your delicate sentiments were a little hurt that your friend, 
who doubted, should subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles. But (as he 
said) its being just a form ("like declaring King James has no right," 
said you) made it of no moment. 

MONDAY 17 FEBRUARY. Yesterday morning Temple came to 
you. He bid you not leave town till you was acquainted with Miss 
6 Temple's father went into bankruptcy in 1762, and Temple satisfied his credi- 
tors at the expense of nearly half the estate which his mother had left him two 
years previously. 

288 London, 1 7 February 1 766 

Bosville, and bid you try to have her to correspond with you. He had 
got you a servant (Thomas), a good, clever little lad, though not 
elegant, but you could not yet fix. You had meantime a Thomas at 
two shillings a day, a clever, active man. Temple said you wrote in 
too swelling a style; that he had quoted your letters but was obliged 
to leave out the rodomontade. Bid you read a page of Burke's Sublime 1 
before you wrote letter, and so acquire easy simplicity. He and you 
had consulted on writing to Mr. Pitt, and you threw out many bounc- 
ing sallies which Temple repressed. At last you gave him a clean, 
neat, short letter which pleased, and was sent. 8 You and Temple went 
to Lincoln's Inn and saw Claxton a little. He went out, and then you 
looked out your books and papers left in Temple. 9 Had a most curious 
pleasure in revising old ideas. Read Erskinds and BosweWs Letters; 
could not bear your own except one or two. 1 In general mere forced 
extravagance and no real humour. Erskine's will please still, though 
not so greatly as once. You and Temple were now both well. You 
smiled and said, "Come, our happiest days are to come, when we're 
settled men with families," and Temple declared he was still deter- 
mined to be a very learned man. 

We adjourned to the Cecil Street and dined and had our bottle of 
mountain. 2 We both felt that dining at a coffee-house was below us 
and made us feel awkward, so when both should be really in office (he 
parson, I counsellor) , we should have dinner at home brought from 
tavern. With great good humour we owned neither of us knew any 
one science, and Temple said he never could give any account of a 
book he had read, but maintained that upon the whole we reaped as 
much advantage as others, for it had an imperceptible effect upon us. 
After laughing at each other with unlimited freedom, I said, "Tem- 
ple, if our Scots friends were to hear this!" He said, "I would not 

7 Edmund Burke's Of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757. 

8 The dates of BoswelTs letter and Pitt's reply indicate probably that Boswell 
wrote up this section of the journal some time later and forgot on what day this 
conversation had taken place. 

9 Boswell had lived in the Inner Temple during part of the summer of 1763 
in Temple's rooms, during the latter's absence. 

1 Letters between the Honourable Andrew Erskine and James Boswell, Esq., 
1763. It was a youthful bagatelle, full of private references and jokes. 

2 A Malaga wine. 

London, 1 7 February 1 766 2 89 

[have it] for a great deal, for they would despise us both." I con- 
fessed an unhappy want of decision. He said he had a good deal of it 
but I had more, and that last night I wanted him to walk past the 
Turk's Head where he slept in order to have a few minutes more to 
determine how we should pass the next morning. Our minds were 
now surprisingly opened, and, what amazed me, Temple had kept 
pace with me though he had not travelled. He said my father had not 
the proper value for me as a man of agreeable conversation. In short, 
we were as well as men could be. 

We passed the evening at Claxton's, and his diet loaf* was very 
pleasing to us* At ten I went with Temple in a hackney as far as 
Fleet Ditch, as he was going to lie at the inn of the Cambridge coach, 
which he had taken for next day. It is hard that we have met I know 
not how many times, just to be separated. We bid adieu with the 
warmest affection. I went, late as it was, to Dempster's, where I had 
called several times, as he had for me. I found him and Miss 
Dempster, and got over the awkward ceremony of meeting after my 
travels. Dempster had a real ministerial look. Our conversation was 
not at all so free as formerly, and I was not ill pleased at this. But I 
was still too open, talking how my Swiss had governed me, and in 
raptures with my beautiful cousin. I gave here well accounts of 

[Boswell to William Pitt] 4 

St. James's Street, Saturday, 15 February 1766 
SIR: I am just arrived from Corsica, where I had several con- 
versations with Signor de Paoli, who wished much that I could see 
you on my return to Britain. 

If you can give me an audience, I shall be very happy to pay you 
my respects, and to acquaint you with some things which passed be- 
tween Signor de Paoli and me. If not, I have done my duty in comply- 

3 A large sponge-cake. 

* From die original, by kind permission of the owner, C. B. Tinker. Boswell s 
draft is practically identical. Pitt, as he explains in his letter below, held no 
office at this time except for his nominal position as Privy Councillor, but he was 
the most powerful man in politics outside the government. 

2 go London, 1 5 February 1766 

ing with the desire of that great man. I am with the highest esteem, 

Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, 


TUESDAY 18 FEBRUARY. Yesterday at twelve went to Lord Eg- 
linton's. He had said that men only differed from their parts, for rank 
had no effect but when you play at representation. The King jumps 
aside, so, and then my Lord must come so. You maintained, "No, my 
Lord. You know you are my superior, and I am other people's su- 
perior." He carried you to Court and presented you to Lord Denbigh, 
who presented you to King. HIS MAJESTY. "Lately come over?" All he 
said. Was quite easy and not a bit struck, but liked it. Dined Cecil 
Street. Then called Mr. Bosville. He alone; were well together. BOS- 
VILLE. "Well, when will you come and dine?" BOSWELL. "When 
you please." BOSVILLE. "Well, tomorrow and Sunday too. We shall 
have company in the afternoon." You have from time to time called 
at honest Lainshaw's. You supped there tonight. He has a most curi- 
ous life, never reading a word and playing at catch-honours 5 with 
Graeme, his huntsman, who, as Dr. Pringle says-, plays inimitably his 
various offices bringing up coals, giving a plate, or sitting down to 
table. Lord Eglinton was with us, and Stewart-Shaw, who was lively 
and good-natured but really too rattling. Johnson has raised you 
above your fellows. Keep to the dignity he has given you. 

WEDNESDAY 1Q FEBRUARY. Yesterday Major Preston called on 
me, a jolly, agreeable, pretty man. I run about leaving cards. London 
had no longer that fascination which formerly blinded me. I dined 
at Mr. Bosville's, and had nobody there but the family. The Captain 
was determined to go to America to see that country and to rise in his 
profession. He said the Americans believed the Highlanders were 
wild, and that they had been taken by gins. My first night Mrs. Bos- 
ville had set me by her daughter, who talked most genteelly of routs, 
and yet she liked the country, reading and walking. She was as mild 
as before. Yesterday [she] said she never danced or played cards. 
This was comfortable. You told her at table how Lord Eglinton said 
he was afraid to be near her, and you very gallantly praised her ex- 
traordinary beauty without direct flattery. Father and mother would 

5 The Ayrshire name for a card game, known elsewhere as catch-the-long-ten. 

London, 1 9 February 1 766 291 

not seem to encourage this. You have been both times asked to sup, 
but you went and called [on] Lord Advocate, 6 with whom you was 
easy. But you could not bear to hear people say, "I suppose you are 
convinced you judged as well as he." Oh, sad world! Lord Advocate 
had vague ideas of farming, 7 &c. You resolved to be seldom with 
Scots. Mr. Johnson was not at home. In Strand you met a Miss Davies. 
Home with her and performed; good girl, but angry at self, 

THURSDAY 2O FEBRUARY. Yesterday run about all day, and 
dined at Cecil Street. Called Wilkie in St. Paul's Church yard, who 
would put in [notice of your] arrival gratis? Night with Dr. Pringle. 

FRIDAY 2 1 FEBRUARY. You have had answer of three pages from 
Mr. Pitt. Saw self great man to a certain degree. Called at Mr. Bos- 
ville's. Met Clack in Great Russell Street. CLAXTON. "Well, [what 
about] Temple's marriage?" BOSWELL. "He wants to be off; but he 
shan't. Do you watch him there, and I'll watch him here, and I war- 
rant you he shall not escape." 9 High whim! Sat hour and half with 
Mrs. Bosville; talked a great deal of marriage. Her notions were just. 
Saw it was not proper to have Miss's picture. Dined at Lainshaw's, 
hearty. Found self most superior man. Lord Eglinton and Dr. Pringle 
disputed American Stamp Act. 

[Pitt to Boswell] 10 

Hayes, Sunday, 16 February 1766 

SIR: The honour of your letter reached me here, where I have 
been some days detained with a fit of the gout. My present situation 
puts it out of my power to receive the favour you are so good to intend 
me; when I return to London I shall be very proud to see you. In the 
mean time allow me, Sir, to suggest some doubts of the propriety of 

6 Thomas Miller, a neighbour of the Boswells at Auchinleck, The Lord Advo- 
cate's position in Scotland might be compared roughly to the Solicitor General's 
in the United States. 
r A doubtful word. 

8 John Wilkie was the publisher of The London Chronicle. Since the notice of 
BoswelTs arrival had already appeared, "would" probably means "insisted on." 

9 The division of these speeches is arbitrary. 

10 First printed in volume seven of Colonel Isham's privately printed Private 
Papers of James Boswell. 

292 London, 2 1 February 1 766 

a simple individual as I am (in all respects but that of a Privy Coun- 
cillor, which adds to the difficulty) receiving any communication 
from an illustrious personage circumstanced as General de Paoli is. 
Under these considerations, might not a communication to His Maj- 
esty's Secretary of State answer better the views of the able Corsican 

In the mean time, Sir, I desire to assure you that I shall esteem 
myself fortunate in the opportunity of being introduced to your ac- 
quaintance. I have the honour to be with great esteem and considera- 
tion, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, 


[Boswell to Pitt] 1 

St. James's Street, 19 February 1766 

SIR: I have had the honour to receive your most obliging let- 
ter, and can with difficulty restrain myself from paying you compli- 
ments on the very genteel manner in which you are pleased to treat 
me. But I come from a people among whom even the honest arts of 
insinuation are unknown. However you may by political circum- 
stances be in one view "a simple individual," yet, Sir, Mr. Pitt will 
always be the prime minister of the brave, the secretary of freedom 
and of spirit; and I hope that I may with propriety talk to him of 
the views of the illustrious Paoli. 

Be that as it may, I shall very much value the honour of being 
admitted to your acquaintance. I am with the highest esteem, Sir, 
your most obedient and most humble servant, 


SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY. Yesterday I called at Mr. Bosville's at 
three o'clock, and freely took their family dinner. The Squire had bid 
me come in at any time, and Mrs. Bosville said, "We shall make no 

1 This letter has been published in Correspondence of William Pitt, Earl of 
Chatham, ed. W. S. Taylor and J. H. Pringle, 1838-1840, ii. 388, and in Letters 
of James Boswell, i. 87-^88. BoswelTs draft shows only trifling differences from 
the letter as sent. The dating of this letter is not so paradoxical as it looks, since 
Boswell is careful in his entry for 21 February to say "You have had" a letter 
from Mr. Pitt. 

London, 2 2 February 1766 2 93 

stranger of you, Sir." Miss was still quite reserved. You stayed all 
afternoon with the Squire and wrote from his house to Father. He 
showed you a humorous attack on Joseph* and showed you he was no 
orthodox. You supped and Miss opened you some oysters. You was 
just as you could wish to be. 

SUNDAY 23 FEBRUARY. Yesterday at nine called at Mr. Pitt's in 
Bond Street 3 Not up. BOSWELL. "I'll call ten times." Went back at 
eleven; shown into parlour, and but a very plain one. Another serv- 
ant came: "My master will be glad to see you, Sir." Carried upstairs; 
entered room, a very decent one. A gentleman, Mr. DowdeswelL, 
went away. Lord Shelburne and Lord Cardross 4 were with him. He 
was tall man in black clothes, with white nightcap and foot all 
wrapped up in flannel and on gout-stool. 5 He made a genteel rever- 
ence, and said, "Mr. Boswell, I came to town only yesterday, and 
have been engaged with the business of the House; otherwise, I 
should have sent to you and appointed a time when we might have 
met." He talked of English gentlemen of good estates living inde- 
pendent in the country with great dignity. He said he was ashamed 
to say he had never read Rousseau, but would now read him. You told 
him Rousseau's great admiration of him, and how he'd never forget 
the gentleman who gave him a print of Mr. Pitt. 6 You told him Vol- 
taire's saying of there being only a king and a half in Europe King 
[of] Prussia and King [of] Sardinia. Mr. Pitt was mightily pleased 
with it, but said, "If it may be allowed to improve upon M. de Vol- 
taire, I would give both to the King of Prussia, and say, 'He is a king 
and a half,' and let the other kings just be kings." Lord Cardross 

2 Perhaps the story of Joseph in the Bible. 

3 Boswell picked a dramatic moment to call, since the debate on repeal of the 
Stamp Act had lasted until 1:30 the previous morning, at which time the motion 
for leave to bring in the repeal bill was carried by a vote of 275 to 167. Pitt had 
taken a leading part in urging repeal. 

* David Steuart Erskine, later Earl of Buchan, a distant cousin of Boswell's. An 
able but ridiculous creature, he is best remembered for his premature plans for 
the funeral of Sir Walter Scott. In a note on this interview made some time 
after BosweU's death, he says that Boswell came in Corsican costume and pre- 
sented a letter from Paoli, both of which statements appear to be false. 
5 The manuscript can perhaps be read "joint-stool." 
Symonds told Boswell in Genoa that he had given Pitt's picture to Rousseau. 

294 London, 23 February 1 766 

showed away 7 by being at his ease, leaning on knee, and sticking 
switch into boot, [saying,] "Mr. Pitt. Eh?" 8 He talked of material- 
ism: (Good now! Metaphysics here!) Mr. Pitt said, "I did not think 
there would have been so great a majority io8!" 9 You asked if it 
would not have been possible to have forced the Americans. Said he: 
"Abstracting from the equity of the cause, it would not have been 
possible. They are all united." Lord Shelburne showed a list of 
280,000 acting militia that they could spare for war. Mr. Pitt said, "If 
severe measures were ever to be used, it must be done when they are 
divided; but let us use them with indulgence, and they'll always find 
it their interest to be with us." 

The lords went away. He then began in form: "Mr. Boswell, I 
am very happy to make your acquaintance. I had heard of you be- 
fore. I had seen an account in the foreign papers of your being in 
Corsica." (He had indeed asked some questions before the company.) 
"Now, Sir, I will explain to you how I cannot properly receive com- 
munications from General de Paoli, for I am a Privy Councillor, and 
have taken an oath to hear nothing from any foreign power that may 
concern Great Britain without declaring it to the King and Council. 
Now, Sir, it is in your breast to judge whether what you have to say 
is of a nature fit to be told or not. I shall be very happy to hear your 
accounts of the island as a traveller. Some time hence things may 
turn about, and I may be at liberty to receive communications from 
Corsica, and then I shall be very happy to hear all you have to say. 
I am now just a private member of Parliament. I had once, Mr. Bos- 
well, something to do in the affairs of this nation. But when they had 
come to me in distress and in perplexity, 'Think for us, act for us, 
venture for us!* and I had thought, acted, and ventured for 'em 
then to come and tell me, 'Now you must think as we choose!' When 
I had rolled the stone to the top of the hill, then! My Lord Temple 
and I were the only two in the Council that stood firm. We waited to 
see if this would last, and, finding a change of measures, and that I 
could be of no farther use, I resigned; 1 and ever since I have known 

7 That is, showed off. 

8 Or the "Eh" can be read as an exclamation of Pitt's. 

9 See p. 293 n. 3. 

1 On 5 October 1761, when the Cabinet refused to support him in his demand 
for a declaration of war against Spain. 

William Pitt, later ist Earl of Chatham (17081778), from a painting 
by William Hoare of Bath, in the National Portrait Gallery, London. 

London, 23 February 1 766 295 

no more of what has been doing in the Cabinet than the most remote 
man in the Kingdom. I know not what Genoa has been able to obtain 
by means of France. I " BOSWELL. "Sir, that, the General Paoli 
felt severely: to be given into the bargain that poor Corsica should 
be considered as nothing. 7 ' PITT. "Mr. BoswelL, I own it appears 
strange that an island of so great consequence to the navigation in 
the Mediterranean should be neglected. How are their harbours?" 
BOSWELL. "One or two excellent, with some expense." PITT. "Sir, that 
is of great consequence to a fleet on some grand enterprise. We have 
no such place on Italy." BOSWELL. "Sir, General de Paoli said " 
PITT. "Sir, you'll remember my situation." BOSWELL. "Pray, Sir, may 

1 ask you if you never received a letter from General de Paoli?" PITT. 
"Never, Sir." BOSWELL. "Why then, Sir, after the Proclamation, 2 he 
wrote to you, and, as he has the highest admiration of your character, 
he was most sensibly hurt to be neglected by Mr. Pitt," PITT. "Sir, I 
never received his letter. I suppose those next the King have taken 
care it should not be delivered. I could not have answered it could 
not have been in correspondence with General de Paoli, but I should 
have taken care to let him know my regard for him. Sir, I should be 
sorry that in any corner of the world, however distant or however 
small, it should be suspected that I could ever be indifferent to the 
cause of liberty." 

Yesterday dined at Dempster's. Talked too much of Miss Bosville. 
Sandie Duncan, with honest Scots sagacity without sarcasm, said, 
"What, is she so extremely pretty?" BOSWELL. "Yes." DUNCAN. "Then 
we shall have no more of Paoli!" Stewart was there who wrote The 
North Briton Extraordinary? You paid him just compliments on it 
You felt yourself even at Dempster's almost as well as you could wish, 
but found it prudent to be seldom with old dissipated company. 

You met at Mitre Dr. Goldsmith whom you had before called 
upon. You both went to Mr. Johnson's, who was still bad and would 
not come out. "Come then," said Goldie, "we will not go to the Mitre 
tonight, since we can't have the big man with us." But we had sent 
for Davies, and I insisted on going. Goldsmith said, "I think, Mr. 

2 See p. 146. 

This pamphlet, published in 1765, has been attributed both to BosweU and to 
SmoUett. Unfortunately, BosweU does not here completely identify the author. 
He seems not to be the same as the John Stewart previously mentioned. 

296 London, 23 February 1 766 

Johnson, you don't go near the theatres. You give yourself no more 
concern about a new play than if you had never had anything to do 
with the stage." JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, our tastes alter. The lad does 
not care for the child's rattle, and the old man does not care for the 
young man's whore." GOLDSMITH. "Nay, but, Sir, your Muse was not 
a whore." JOHNSON. "Sir, I don't think she was. But as we advance in 
the journey of life, we drop some of the things which have pleased us; 
whether it be that we are fatigued and don't choose to carry so many 
things any farther, or that we find other things which we like better." 
BOSWELL. "But, Sir, why don't you give us something in some other 
way?" GOLDSMITH. "Ay, Sir, we have a claim upon you." JOHNSON. 
"No, Sir, I am not obliged to do any more. No man is obliged to do as 
much as he can do. A man is to have part of his life to himself. If a 
soldier has fought a good many campaigns, he is not to be blamed if 
he retires to ease and tranquillity. Sir, a physician who has long prac- 
tised in a great city may be excused if he retires to a small town and 
takes less practice. Sir, the good I can do by my conversation bears the 
same proportion to the good I can do by my writings that the practice 
of a physician, retired to a small town, does to his practice in a great 
city." BOSWELL. "But I wonder. Sir, you have not more pleasure in 
writing than not." JOHNSON. "Sir, you may wonder." In short, Gold- 
smith and I could make nothing against him. 

He talked of making verses. He said, "The great matter is to 
know when you have made good ones. I generally have 'em in my 
mind, perhaps fifty at a time, walking in my room; and then write 
'em, and often from laziness wrote only the half lines. Sir, I have 
written a hundred lines a day. I remember I wrote a hundred lines 
of The Vanity of Human Wishes in a day. Doctor, I made one line 
t'other day, but I made out no more." GOLDSMITH. "Let us hear it, and 
we'll put'a bad one to it." JOHNSON. "No, Sir, I have forgot it." 

We left him, and as we were going along Fleet Street, Goldsmith 
very gravely said, "Don't you think that head's failed wearing, 
eh?" O fine! BOSWELL. "No, Sir, I tlnnV he is rather more impatient 
of contradiction than he was." GOLDSMITH. "Sir, no man is proof 
against continual adulation." 

Davies could not come to the Mitre, so Goldsmith carried me to 
his chambers in the King's Bench Walk, which he has furnished, and 
is quite magnificent. We talked of writing against authors from 

London, 23 February 1 766 297 

envy; I said if I wrote against anything it would be against his cham- 
bers. He gave me a repast and we were well. I touched him by the 
story of "Johnson and Goldsmith and those blockheads," and upon 
his honour that he would not say anything of it, I told him 'twas 
Smith. 4 "Well," said he, "by telling me it was he, you have given me 
a plaster for the sore." Such is human nature. 

We talked of French and English. You said the English were like 
noble standard oaks, which could be alone and well. The French, 
slender shrubs, that are nothing but in a copsewood. Goldsmith said, 
"I have passed the summer among the great," and forsooth affected to 
talk lightly of this. You brought him down with Johnsonian princi- 
ples and Johnsonian force. 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The journal breaks off at this point, not to be 
resumed until January 1 767, but the story of the decline and conclu- 
sion of BoswelTs relationship with Rousseau belongs to this volume. 
Boswell, as we have seen, found Rousseau rather disappointing on 
their reunion in London, and apparently made no further effort to see 
him before departing for Scotland, his father, and the law in early 
March 1766. He wrote to Rousseau, however, from Scotland, and 
made a copy of part of the letter, which he entitled "Extract to M. 

[Boswell to Rousseau. Original in French] 

Auchinleck, 25 March 1 766 

DEAR AND SINGULAR PHILOSOPHER, Do not believe that I have 
neglected you (as you have accused me of doing), since your arrival 
in -England. Truly, for the majority of men the presence of those 
whom they have most admired destroys admiration. If by chance the 
sun fell to earth, ten days would not pass before it was made into a 
ball to play ninepins with. But I am not like most men. . . " 5 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The specific bases of Rousseau's charge of neg- 
lect remain unknown, but he must have been quick to see that Bos- 
well was no longer the enthusiastic disciple he had been at Motiers. 
The mixture of awe and amusement with which Boswell regarded 

4 Adam Smith's anecdote here hinted at seems not to Have been recorded. 

5 Nothing omitted. The dots are indicated in the original. 

298 Eoswell and Rousseau 

him is well illustrated by a paragraph which The London Chronicle 

printed on 8 April: 

"The celebrated M. Rousseau, to whom the Corsicans applied to 
obtain his assistance in forming their laws, has pleaded the weak and 
uncertain state of his health as an excuse for declining a task which 
would require the greatest application of mind. He is, however, to 
employ his pen in honour of the brave islanders by writing their his- 
tory, for which materials have been collected by the ingenious Abbe 
Rostini. We may expect great entertainment from seeing the wild 
philosopher appear in the character of an historian; his extraordi- 
nary eloquence could never be more properly exerted than in trans- 
mitting to posterity the annals of Corsica." 

Whatever were the particular difficulties which occasioned Bos- 
well's defence in his letter of 25 March, they were soon swallowed up 
in the more important quarrel between Rousseau and his English 
sponsor, Hume. The trouble began with Horace Walpole's effort to 
amuse himself. He wrote a letter in French, supposedly from Fred- 
erick the Great to Rousseau, making fun of the latter's apparent zeal 
for martyrdom, which was published in The St. James's Chronicle on 
3 April 1 766. This jeu d y esprit gave rise to a number of newspaper 
squibs which ridiculed Rousseau, including one by Georges Deyver- 
dun, a minor essayist and critic, that Rousseau attributed to his old 
enemy, D'Alembert. Driven from the Continent and harried in Eng- 
land, Rousseau began to give free play to his paranoid fancies; he ac- 
cused Hume of plotting against him with Walpole and D'Alembert, 
although Hume had actually obtained a pension for him from the 
British government. To what extent Rousseau implicated Boswell in 
this plot is uncertain, but he knew that Boswell was well acquainted 
with Hume, and that BoswelTs letters were being forwarded through 

On 10 July 1766 Rousseau wrote Hume a violent letter accusing 
him, among other treacherous acts, of having opened one of BoswelTs 
letters to him, probably the one from which Boswell made the extract 
printed above. In his reply of 22 July 1 766, Hume mentioned that 
Boswell had complained to him of Rousseau's silence, and enclosed 
another letter to Rousseau from Boswell. This letter, now missing, ap- 
parently evoked the following reply.] 

Boswell and Rousseau 299 

[Rousseau to Boswell. Original in French]* 

Wootton, 4 August 1 766 

SIR: I find your letters hard to understand. However, I thank 
you for the interest which you are so good as to take in my health and 
that of Mile. Le Vasseur. With the exception of an attack of sore eyes, 
she has been well since her arrival; I wish I could say as much for my- 
self. Allow me in my turn to recommend to you the care of your own 
health, and especially to get yourself blooded from time to time; I 
think it might do you good. Please accept, Sir, my most humble greet- 


P.S. Your letters, both of which have come through Mr. Hume, 
have been greatly delayed. The first was almost open, and the second, 
which I did not receive until a month after its date, might easily have 
been opened, to judge by the condition of the envelope. 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The tone of this letter makes it obvious that 
Rousseau's suspicions of Boswell had not diminished. He had, of 
course, excellent grounds for a quarrel, but it is not very likely that 
he knew of them. It is true that Boswell, though at the time professing 
innocent bewilderment as to the cause of Rousseau's "peevishness," 
seems actually to have suspected Therese of telling tales. Temple's 
letter of 24 April 1 790, already quoted (see p. 280 n. 3) , is most easily 
clarified by such an assumption. But if Threse had made such a 
charge even without admitting her own frailty would not Rous- 
seau's letter have been at once more furious and more explicit? It is 
probably a waste of time, Rousseau's mental condition being what it 
was, to look for good reasons for any of his actions during this period. 

Boswell replied on 1 1 August with letters to Rousseau and Therese 
(both of which are missing), but the correspondence seems then to 
have lapsed. A letter in The St. James's Chronicle for 18 December 

6 This translation by F. A. Pottle and the French original are printed in volume 
eighteen of Colonel Isham's privately printed Private Papers of James Boswell. 
A variant version of this letter, dated 2 August, is preserved in the Neuchatel 
Library and is printed in the Correspondance gen&rale de J-J. Rousseau, xv. 365. 
The latter is probably Rousseau's draft. 

3 oo Boswell and Rousseau 

1766 defending Rousseau and attacking the "boreal Hume" and the 
"butterfly antiquarian," Horace Walpole, has been tentatively at- 
tributed to Boswell, 7 but the next certain statement of BoswelTs feel- 
ings was made in a letter in French to Deleyre, dated 15 October 

"I have an idea that M. Rousseau would have been willing enough 
to accept a pension. But he wished to have it on a footing that no man 
can ever have a pension on. He has ideas of independence that are 
completely visionary and which are unsuitable for a man in his posi- 
tion. Tell me, I ask you, how Jean Jacques Rousseau can live inde- 
pendently, except as regards his mind, the activity of which never 
depends on anything but the extraordinary vigour granted it by Na- 
ture? But as regards his external situation, he must necessarily be de- 
pendent. If Jean Jacques were young and robust and hardy, like one 
of those savages he wishes to make us admire so much, then he could 
ignore the human race, and running through the woods cry, 'Vivo et 
regno.' But Jean Jacques is actually a man advancing in years, and a 
man whose life has not been easy. He is infirm, ill, and delicate to a 
degree that I would never have believed had I not seen it. He is a man 
who is fond of his little delicacies even, and who would be very discon- 
tented if he were deprived of good food and a soft bed. He can think 
the thoughts of a Hercules. But behold the man as he is, and tell me if 
such a man does not need a great deal of attention and a great deal of 
affection from his fellows and consequently if he does not depend 
on them as we all depend on one another?'* 

In March 1767 Boswell wrote to Temple from Edinburgh: "Da- 
vid Hume, you know, is gone back to be a minister of state, being ap- 
pointed secretary to Mr. Conway I was very hearty with him 

here this winter. . . . His quarrel with Rousseau is a literary tragi- 
comedy. I wrote verses in the character of each of them. I also de- 
signed a ludicrous print. They have altered my idea and made a 
glister be applied to David. But you may have the substance of it from 

7 See F. A. Pottle, "The Part Played by Horace Walpole and James Boswell in 
the Quarrel between Rousseau and Hume," Philological Quarterly, iv (1925). 
$51-563- For a somewhat different general view of BoswelTs relations with 
Rousseau, see R. A. Leigh, "Boswell and Rousseau," Modern Language Review, 
xlvii (1952). 289-318. 

Bosivell and Rousseau 30 1 

one of the London print shops under the title of The Savage Man. 
You must know Rousseau quarrelled with me too, and wrote me last 
summer a peevish letter with strong marks of frenzy in it. For he has 
never yet told me the cause of his offence." 8 

BoswelTs "design" for the ludicrous print was merely verbal; it 
appeared in The London Chronicle for 8 January 1 767: "As the pub- 
lic has for some time past been entertained with an exhibition of the 
quarrels between Rousseau and other modern wise men, we are told 
that an ingenious engraver in the city is going to publish a most 
ludicrous print on that subject. Mr. Hume is to be represented as a 
bluff English farmer, holding a measure of excellent oats, which 
John James like a hairy savage is tempted to follow. Mr. Walpole is 
busy putting papier mdche horns and a tail to him. Tronchin applies 
a blister to his back, and Voltaire, in the figure of a schoolboy, is 
licking his legs with a wet handkerchief." In his marked file of the 
Chronicle, Boswell wrote at the bottom of this page: "N.B. My idea 
of this ludicrous print was really executed with some alterations and 
additions. I have a copy of it at Auchinleck." The print is reproduced 
in C. B. Tinker's Young Bosmell, opposite p. 60. The odd transforma- 
tion of a blister for Rousseau into a glister (or clyster) applied to 
Hume suggests that the unknown artist who made the drawing had 
not read Boswell's paragraph but had merely been told about it. Bos- 
well, of course, had nothing to do with the affair beyond sending the 
paragraph to the newspaper. 

Except for his remarks on Rousseau in Corsica, and some unim- 
portant later references, Boswell's relationship with Rousseau ends 
here in distrust on Rousseau's part, and in disillusionment on Bos- 

8 Letters of James Boswell, i. 103. The originals of this letter and of those to 
Temple quoted below, pp. 308 n. 8 and 310 n. 3, are in the Morgan Library, 
New York. 


Correspondence with Girolama Piccolomini (Moma) , 

[i. Received 9 March, Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell. 
Original in Italian] 

Siena, 14 February 1 766 

DEAR, DEAREST BOSWELL, If you knew how many times I have 
sent to the post-office to ask if there was a letter from you, you would 
not repay me by saying that for several weeks you have been unable 
to write to me. Ah, how well I know that phrase! I know also with cer- 
tainty that when one cannot express the sentiments of the heart, it is 
a clear sign that they are not really felt; on the contrary, when one 
loves one never lacks words. I could write to you from morning to 
night without ever stopping; and though I did not tell you things 
that were well expressed, I should still tell you things that were as 
sincere and loving as though you had never left me. But, alas, you 
have left me! And when I think of the confession you made in your 
letter about the lively French girl 1 it makes me feel even more power- 
fully how far away from me you are or would make me, if I were 
capable of greater pain. Lovable Boswell, your remoteness from me 
would grow ever more unendurable if I did not have the consolation 
of telling myself that, without possessing you, I love you with passion 
and with constancy. Passion consumes itself in enjoyment but con- 
stancy endures for ever, and will be mine even when I shall have be- 
come convinced that you have not a shred of affection left for me. So 
my entire consolation consists in thinking myself superior to the mass 
of men, who are directed for the most part only by the impulses of the 
machine. 2 

1 Boswell had written to her on 20 January 1766 (Register of Letters). He ap- 
parently mentioned Susette, the girl he had met in Marseilles (see p. 241). 

2 In Italian, per gli impulsi della macchina. One thinks at once of the lines, 
"And now \ see with eye serene/ The very pulse of the machine" in Words- 


304 Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 

If you do not understand the delicacy of such love, is it because 
you laugh at whatever is not in the range of your immediate under- 
standing? You have made me pay for having been a little coquettish 
with you; made me realize that you would not be so trifled with, and 
that any one who wished to try you out would pay dear for the experi- 
ment. So it happened to me, and I was content when the price of the 
trial proved to be my freedom. But just as I acquiesced in its loss, so 
I shall never give a thought to regaining it. You are and always shall 
be the absolute master of my heart; and if my hard lot forces me to 
remain far distant from you, at least the memory of you and the total 
dependence on your commands that I wish to maintain will always 
be the sweetest thoughts of my existence. I affect no disguise with 
you; I should do wrong if I did. I do not tell you all I feel, but I shall 
never tell you anything I do not feel. 

You ask what I think about your marrying a highly spirited 
lady. 8 If I consulted my heart and my own interest, I should reply 
that liberty is a good thing and one ought not to lose it. I should like 
to write you a treatise on liberty. But I want to divest myself of the 
interest of a lover, and assume the character of a true friend. Taking 
a wife I believe to be a loss of good when one does not find a person 
who is compatible, or when one marries for money; but if two people 
of good character are joined together, when love prevails over in- 
terest, and mutual esteem is the basis of the relationship, I think that 
the road of matrimony ought to be taken unhesitatingly, especially 
when one knows that one's temperament is inclined to debauchery. 
Examine yourself, and if you find the factors I have spoken of are 
dominant, then marry her; and nothing will remain for me but to 
envy your lucky bride, and to be vain enough to think that I know 
your qualities as a lover better than she will be able to know them in 
the entire course of her fortunate existence. Let me know what you 
decide to do, and be assured that I am titunking of nothing but your 

worth's "She was a Phantom of Delight." The closest parallel to Wordsworth 
hitherto adduced is a passage from Bartram's Travels (1791) which certainly 
does contain the words "pulse" and "machine" in the same sentence. Moma's 
use of a very similar expression makes one suspect that the real source is to be 
sought in Italian poetry in which, by the way, Wordsworth was well read. 

Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 305 

welfare without the slightest regard for my own troubled spirit. Do 
you know how I reply to my poor distracted heart? "Well, why did 
you conceive so violent an attachment for one whom you ought not 
to have loved?" But it does not listen to me, and its malady grows 
more and more chronic. Tell me if I do not deserve compassion, if I 
have not earned some small sacrifice from you. I am not suggesting 
that you give up your money, but only your libertinism. Am I not 

I live with the same crowd of councillors, 4 with the exception of 
Placido, who has not been willing to come here any more since your 
departure from Siena. Our carnival was no gayer than the rest of the 
year; and even if it had offered diversions, lacking you I lack every- 
thing. Occasionally I think I should like to enjoy myself, but I think 
immediately of you, and I find that the actual presence of another 
man has less effect on me than the mere memory of you. And you 
how did you pass the carnival? Were plays and balls your only di- 

Remember that you have promised me your portrait. Although I 
can see you as though you were present, I want it very much. You can 
send it with the things I asked you to order for me, if you are willing 
to take the trouble of speaking to the woman you mentioned. 5 

I have no more room to write, and I have a thousand things to tell 
you. No, I shall not because your letter is full of sincerity but not 
of tenderness. Besides, I do not want to tell you all the crazy things 
you make dart across my mind, and thus make myself unworthy of 
your esteem, which I wish to preserve at all cost. Good-bye. 

I remain as I was when we were in the darkness in the large room. 
By the way, do you remember the little room? Do not our transports 
there come back to your mind? I long to go there now to get away 
from my guests for a while; besides, I am in the same state as then. 
Yes, I am going there now, now, and you will be kind enough to meet 
me and assuage my desires. Oh Heaven, to how strong a transport 
have I abandoned myself! 

Please, my dear, forgive the outbursts of a spirit shaken by pas- 

4 ConsiglierL Perhaps some private joke about Moma's "court" of followers is 

5 See p. 265. 

306 Girolama Piccolomini to Eoswell 

sion, and the thoughts of a heart that loves you endlessly. At least 
give yourself the pleasure of believing that you will always find in 
me an unchanging attachment, for my fate, my destiny wills no 

To tell the truth, I do not know what I am saying, what I want; 
I can only assure you that solitude is my means of relief, for in soli- 
tude, at least nothing interrupts my thoughts, which I devote to you. 
I beg you now, dear heart, to be grateful to a heart which beats and 
lives only for you. 

It is time now to break off, but first I must tell you that La Porzia 
has banished all notions of fidelity to my Lord, for she is making con- 
quests right and left at a terrible rate. 

In reading over this postscript, I find that physical passion has 
taken possession of my senses, and that I can no longer truthfully say, 
as I did above, that I do not love you through impulses of the ma- 
chine. Confess at least that even at this great distance you do terrible 
things to me. Oh, coquin, if one day you also learn what real passion 

I have written so much that perhaps you will only be bored; and 
perhaps you will not understand what this letter is all about. So that 
I may know that this is not so, give me precise answers to my strong 
my too strong doubts. 

You write our language very well; the only fault I find is that you 
show so little tenderness. Good-bye really, this time. I love you; 
that's all. And you, how do you love me? Believe me, I have written 
this page in a genuine state of distraction, but finally I have recov- 
ered a little from my seizure and ask your forgiveness. I am, with all 
respect, yours to command. 

Only one word more: do you still have the ribbon I gave you, 
worked by my own hands? I always carry your fan, in spite of the 
terribly cold weather. 

Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 30 7 

[2. Received 1 1 May, Girolama Piccolomini to BosweE. 
Original in Italian] 

Siena, 23 February 1 766 

YOUR LETTER OF THE 2QTH OF LAST MONTH struck me like the fall 
of a thunderbolt. The news of the loss of your dear mother has truly 
afflicted me because of the grief it undoubtedly is causing you. I enter 
only too deeply into everything that can make you unhappy; and as 
I well know the goodness of your heart and the grief that a mother's 
death brings, I see your sorrow with perfect clarity. Permit me, dear 
Boswell, to mingle my tears with yours, and to be the companion of 
your sorrow. 

The other part of your letter which upset me further is the fact 
that you have returned to Scotland. Although you had written me 
that you would not come back again to Italy, I still cherished a slight 
hope of your return as long as you were on your travels. But now that 
the case is hopeless, I have no other recourse but to abandon myself 
to despair. It is a relief a relief that can be understood only by 
those in my situation. 

You did not let me know your address. If by any chance that was 
to prevent me from writing, you can see that you did not attain your 
end, for I trust this letter to chance, and implore the justice of my 
cause to see that it is delivered to you. 6 Tell me if you received another 
letter addressed to you at Paris, in which I revealed my feelings for 
you with some liberty. 7 Never think because you have returned to 
your native land, that I do not wish your portrait. On the contrary, 
I certainly want it, and you can send it to Signor Crocchi, asking him 
to deliver it to me with the greatest secrecy. 

I dare not risk explaining to you the state of my heart, not know- 
ing what may be the fate of this letter. I only beg you to remember 
one who loves you sincerely, and who longs for opportunities to pay 

6 Moma's direction is of heroic simplicity: "A Monsieur / Monsieur Giacomo 
Boswell / Scozia." But there are no postmarks or other proofs to show that the 
letter, with this cover, went through the mails. Presumably she sent it to Paris 
inside another wrapper, addressed to Boswell in care of John Waters, his banker 

7 The preceding letter. 

308 Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 

clearly to your great merit at least that quantity of respect which the 
shortness of your stay in Siena prevented her from paying while you 
were here. Be certain that you will always find in me an honourable 
woman, a true friend, and a constant lover, all united in one. Dear 
Boswell, accept this declaration of mine, if it gives you any pleasure, 
and in so doing give me fresh proof that you sincerely reciprocate my 

Do me the kindness of believing that, having such feelings, I live 
for you; and that neither space nor time can make me change from 
what I am. My feelings for you will be indelible, for the impression 
of real merit is never lost. I have lived more during one moment with 
you than in the longest days that I have spent away from you. Hear- 
ing from you revives those sweet moments which are the only ones 
that count in the system of my life. So make things easier for me with 
your letters, and rest assured that I love and esteem you. I seal this 
letter and pretend to myself that you will receive it, but who knows, 
letter, in whose hands you will fall? 

[3. Received ? August 1 767, Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell. 
Original in Italian] 8 

Siena, 20 March 1767 

SIR, You are the man who swore to me in person and by letters 
that you would never stop writing to me, and that twenty years from 
now I would still be receiving letters from you filled with the same 
expressions. Those are your own words. I keep the written record of 
them, not for my own sake, for I remember in minute detail all you 
ever said, but to have documentation for my saying and reflecting on 
the fact that one can count little on a man's friendship, even though 
he is credited with a good character and a good heart. When the ob- 
ject of love is gone from his eyes, all fades away. And in truth these 
thoughts are not new, but I am sorry to say that sad experience con- 
firms their truth in regard to you. 

8 The date on which Boswell received this letter is unknown, since his Register 
of Letters for this period, if he kept one, is missing. It seems likely, however, 
that it reached him after No. 4, having been sent through Paris, in care of 
Waters. On 11 August 1767, Boswell wrote to Temple: "I had the other day a 
letter from my Signora at Siena written with all the warmth of Italian affec- 
tion" (Letters of James Boswell, i. 120). 

Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 309 

I received a single letter on your arrival in Scotland, which. I did 
not fail to answer immediately, addressing it according to your in- 
structions, as I shall do with this one; but I am afraid they have not 
reached you with that address, and I do not understand why you do 
not give me your address in your own country. 

I am well so far as health is concerned, and except for some minor 
illnesses I always have been well. My councillors are always the 
same. The only new thing this season has been a German gentleman 
who has called on me. The t urno grosso (as you called it) 9 is over, and 
everyone has gone back home. The country is not very gay, because 
of the sufferings of the poor and the deaths of many people, but in 
May our Sovereigns will come, and then there will be great celebra- 
tions and many people. 1 

Now, give me news of yourself in detail. What are your love af- 
fairs? Do you ever think of me? Do you understand Italian? Are you 
as inconstant as ever with women? Do you still keep up your friend- 
ship with Rousseau and with Signor de Paoli? I beg you to answer 
all these questions. You may be sure that a letter from you will give 
me great pleasure, the more so because I have despaired of hearing 
from you. You promised me your portrait, and I do not intend to re- 
lease you from your promise. Therefore you must keep it, or I shall 
appeal to your friend Rousseau; I am sure he will take my side, be- 
cause of the justice of my claim and because the thing you promised 
is so valuable. 

Turno grosso may have been BoswelTs rendering of "grand tour" in the days 
when he was learning Italian. When Moma uses the phrase later, it seems to 
mean "social round." 

1 Sir Horace Mann wrote to Horace Walpole from Florence on 14 February 
1767: "We and all Italy have had a most cruel winter, but some gentle rains 
have melted the vast quantities of snow that surrounded us, by degrees, and 
by that means have freed us from the danger of an inundation. But many 
people in the country have literally died of hunger. There is no want of corn 
of late, for the great plenty will ruin the merchants that have sent for it, but 
there is no money to purchase it, I mean for the use of these poor creatures, 
even at the low price it is fallen to." On 18 April, Mann wrote Walpole from 
Florence, "The apprehensions on account of a sickness that has reigned for 
some months at Siena are abated there, but are come hither" (from the un- 
published manuscripts, by kind permission of the owner, W. S. Lewis). The 
"Sovereigns" were the new Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopold I, and his wife, 
the Infanta Maria Louisa. See 25 July 1765. 

310 Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 

If I can serve you, I expect you to command me. Be assured that 
neither time nor space will alter my feelings. You will be ashamed 
to know so faithful a lady without being able to imitate her example, 
and without being able to say to yourself, "I have no reservations" 
which 7 can say, and which I now set my name to, taking my leave 
of you with this letter. Who knows whether it will come to your 
hands, and if it does, who knows whether you will be able to read it? 
But sometimes one must take risks, just as I am now doing. 
Your most devoted and most obliged friend, 


[4. Received ? June 1 767, Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell. 
Original in Italian] 3 

Siena, 3 May 1767 

SIR, This has been the first letter that I have received from you 
since your return to Scotland. I did not receive any of the others you 
mention in yours of 25 March. I give you a thousand thanks for as- 
suring me of your friendship which is so dear to me, and for having 
freed me from a great impatience to hear from you. After having 
waited for letters from you for a long time, I decided to write to you 
about a month ago, and addressed the letter to your banker at Paris. 
So here we are, both justified in regard to our friendship. I am 
equally justified in regard to gallantry, for I am living without any 
tender attachment, and much less do I care for casual encounters. But 
all this will mean nothing to you while by your own confession you 
are sunk in vice, transported by sensual pleasure, which keeps you 
from tasting those feelings of delicacy which accompany good man- 
ners and are the spice of all pleasures. But I do not wish to play the 
preacher, and in any case I could not persuade you, for you think me 
too interested in the result. 

2 This is the first letter of Moma's to Boswell to bear a signature, and the only 
one in the series to bear a full signature. 

3 The curious postal history of this letter is too complex to be traced in detail 
here. It left London, however, on 29 May 1767, and Boswell must have received 
it at Auchinleck in early June. He wrote to Temple on 12 June: "I must tell you 
my Italian angel is constant. I had a letter from her but a few days ago, which 
made me cry" (Letters of James Boswell, i. 112). 

Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 311 

I can give good reports of myself so far as my health is concerned. 
As to the company that comes here, it is always the same, except for 
Placidi, who left me after your departure from Siena, Last winter a 
German baron, who was visiting here, came to see me all the time, 
but the gallantry between us did not go beyond the preliminaries. 
Our turno grosso continues on the same footing. Porzia is pregnant; 
this will surprise you as it surprises everyone, but it is a fact. 

Our Sovereigns arrive on Wednesday* and will stay until the 
i8th. During that time we shall have a great many visitors and as 
splendid festivities as our city can arrange. 

Certainly I wish your portrait. One does not promise, as far as I 
am concerned, without keeping one's word. If only in like manner I 
could make you keep your promise to love me! But he who is absent 
is always wrong and with you perhaps, he who is present is wrong 

I am greatly surprised to see that you write Italian, and even write 
it better than when you left. This makes me suspect that you have 
studied the language further, or that you are carrying on an intrigue 
with some Italian girl. I beg you to enlighten me on this point. 

I sent your address to Abbe Crocchi so that he could write it out 
for me on a piece of paper, as I was not sure I had done it correctly by 
myself. He copied it and corrected it where he thought it inaccurate, 
and asked me to send you his very best regards. 

Tiburzio thanks you again for remembering him, and very often 
we talk of you with Tiburzio, as do all my friends, who remember you 
with much pleasure. It is impossible to have known you without re- 
membering you vividly. 

Your letter came safely to my hands, so you can continue to use 
the same method for getting future letters delivered to me. But do not 
recall things so openly, for the letters might get lost, and many other 
accidents might follow, which I do not mention for lack of space. Re- 
member me, and write, if you wish me to believe that you do. 

4 6 May. 

312 Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 

[5. Received PDecember 1767, Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell. 
Original in Italian] 5 

Siena, 16 November 1767 

IT HAS BEEN SOME DAYS since I received your dearest letter, but as 
I was in the country and had not carried your address with me I could 
not reply immediately, as I should have liked to do. I am ever more 
and more obliged for the solicitude you continue to show in writing 
to me; it appears that you take an interest in even the smallest things 
which concern me. 

To give detailed replies to all your questions: my small retinue 
of servants is completely changed because of a burglary that occurred 
in our house. The turno grosso has begun again, if not every night, at 
least often. Porzia was safely delivered of twin boys, but they have 
ruined her, and it would have been better for her to show fewer signs 
of youth, if that entailed becoming pregnant, than to be so dis- 
figured. 6 The news of myself is good, so far as my health is concerned. 
My circle of friends remains numerous, but Placidi visited me no 
more after your departure from Siena. I live very quietly so far as 
gallantry is concerned, and think I shall continue to do so as long as I 
live. Why do you not follow my example? Does it seem so fine to you 
to flit every moment to a new object of passion, amusing your body 
without nourishing your heart a kind of sustenance necessary for 
a man of birth and talent like yourself? 

I have no doubt that you are on the point of winning the lady 
whom you wish to marry 7 (to know you is enough to cause me to 
believe it) ; I only fear that when you have a wife some wench will 
take your fancy. Then it will not merely be you who will pay the 
penalty, but there will be two to suffer; quarrels will follow, and a 
peaceful life will be changed into an intolerable one. So I cannot say 
whether or not a wife will make you happy. I can only tell you that 
you have all the qualities necessary for being loved and to make an- 
other's happiness, but, with all these fine qualities, I fear you also 

8 Postmarked 14 December, which indicates the day it arrived in either London 

or Edinburgh. 

e Porzia was then thirty-seven. 

7 Catherine Blair, a rich ward of Lord Auchinleck's. 

Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 313 

have the ability to vex a wife. But to whom am I presuming to give 
reasons? I forgot that I was speaking to a lawyer who will find a 
thousand ways to turn my argument against me; who will have to 
allow himself to be swayed by false arguments. Perhaps you will 
persuade me too, and I shall believe that you are right. So I beg you 
for the future to be faithful in letting me hear from you, but not to ask 
me again for my opinion, as I do not have the temerity to argue with 
a jurisconsult; and if I esteemed you before, now I esteem and tremble 
before you too. 

Why do you no longer exchange letters with Rousseau? It seems 
to me that a correspondence with him is more appropriate for you 
than one with Paoli. 

I await your portrait anxiously. Address it to Signor Crocchi so 
that he can give it to me privately; but have it painted after you have 
recovered from your illness. Otherwise you will be too pale. 

I am amazed how you can make progress in Italian without speak- 
ing it with anyone, but the good in you amazes me as much as the 

I intended to write you a letter only one sheet long, and without 
realizing it I have made it two. But have patience, and give your 
avarice the boot 8 you once confessed to me that you were inclined 
to avarice, which is unbecoming when it exceeds just economy. I, 
now, am free from this vice, for one must be rich to have it. You see 
that even from poverty one draws some advantages. But for all that, 
I should not be comforted by that adage if I did not know that there 
are those who lack the very necessities of life. 

Keep up your friendship for me, and if it gives you pleasure to 
know that it is returned with interest, rest assured of it, as you must 
be if you will oblige me by the honour of your commands. 

8 "Date un calcio all' avarizia." Postage on a letter was paid by the recipient, 
not the sender. For two sheets double postage was charged. 

314 Boswell to Girolama Piccolomini 

[6. Boswell to Girolama Piccolomini. Original in Italian] 9 

Auchinleck, 5 November 1768 

MY DEAREST FRIEND, It is truly difficult f or me to know how to 
begin a letter to you after having let so many months go by without 
replying to the most affectionate one I last had from you. Yet I assure 
you that this indolence has caused me great pain. I have looked upon 
myself as ungrateful to a lady of talent, of beauty, and of goodness, 
to whom I owe more than I can express. Forgive me, dear Momma. 
You are accustomed to forgiving me. I am a most sincere penitent; 
and truly you will not have occasion to forgive me again, for I am 
resolved to show my affection by the regularity with which I shall 
answer your sweetest letters. 

I have been some months at London, where I enjoyed again those 
sensual pleasures against which your delicacy of feeling has protested 
so strongly. But I hope in the future to be more moderate, and more 
worthy of your friendship. 

I am at the moment deeply in love with a belle irlandaise who is 
only seventeen years old. She is sweet and lovable, and has a hand- 
some fortune. 1 But I am too changeable where women are concerned. 
I ought to be a Turk; I believe I should make a very good sultan. 

I am obliged to pass the entire winter in our capital city, Edin- 
burgh, but in the month of March I shall go to Ireland to see my dear 
Mariana. I beg you, dearest friend, to write to me at once and tell me 
if Mariana is not a beautiful name. 

You see that I remain the same man whom you knew. I have the 
same spirit, and rest assured, dear friend, that I have still the same 
heart. You must not think that I have forgotten my promise to send 
you my portrait. I really did have it done, but it is not as like as I wish 
it to be. For that reason I am having it done by another painter, and 
you shall have it this spring without fail. 2 

9 This letter was sent by mistake to the Rev. Robert Richardson, chaplain to the 
English Ambassador at The Hague, who returned it. Boswell never seems to 
have redirected it to Moma. As will appear, Moma got the letter intended for 
Richardson through the same error. 

1 Mary Ann Boyd, whom he went to visit in Ireland in the spring of 1769. On 
the trip Boswell was accompanied by his cousin, Margaret Montgomerie, who 
became his wife on 25 November 1769. 

2 Nothing is known of these two portraits (which were probably miniatures). 

Boswell to Girolama Piccolomini 315 

I thank you for your Sienese news. Porzia's feat filled me with 
amazement. Two boys! It is truly heroic. Oh, if it were possible for 
me to visit sweet Siena again! It is not impossible, for surely I shall go 
again to visit Corsica. Dear friend, tell me if you do not feel a lively 
compassion for that brave people, who are doing so much for liberty. 
Please send me all the news about yourself. Your friendship consoles 
me in this cold country. Believe me always your most affectionate 


Address me, "AIT Illmo. Sigre., Sigre. Prone. Colmo., II Signor Giac- 
como Boswell di Auchinleck, Par Londra, Edimburgo." 

[7. Received ? January 1769, Girolama Piccolomini to 
Boswell. Original in Italian] 3 

[Siena, PDecember 1768] 

SIR, From what seems a blunder, I flatter myself that you still 
remember me. The blunder is this. I received a letter from you this 
week clearly addressed to me. But when I saw that it was written in 
English, I hesitated long whether I could risk having it read by any 
one who understood English, because of the chance of putting him in 
possession of some passage intended only for ourselves. But I con- 
cluded that since you knew very well that I did not understand your 
language, you would have written only generalities. So I found the 
courage to have it read by a gentleman who knows a little English, 
and we gathered that you were writing to some gentleman, a friend 
of yours, and that perhaps you had written also to me and had mis- 
taken the covers and sent my letter to your friend. Tell me if my 
inference is correct, or whether my hope that you still remember me 
makes me read matters too much to my own advantage. I have only 
too certain and too varied proofs that much time has passed since you 
last favoured me with news of yourself, though I have always desired 
such news eagerly, and neither time nor distance shall diminish in 
the slightest the esteem which I have ever felt for you since your stay 
in Siena. 

As to news of myself (if that still interests you) I can report that 
my health is good. As for amusements, you know how few they are in 
3 Postmarked 2 January. 

3 1 6 Girolama Piccolomini to Boswell 

this city, but I always take advantage of the assemblies here and the 
small diversions which the country offers. As to my heart, I find that 
only with difficulty can I keep it engaged since I came to know you, I 
live calmly so far as love is concerned, preferring the company of 
friends to that of a lover. Can you say as much? Speak frankly, with- 
out using the circumlocutions of a lawyer. 

I shall not tell you the news of the city, because after so long a 
time it must have ceased to be of interest to you. I am afraid that you 
have forgotten Italian. If so, our correspondence would be a fine 
thing: I shall not understand your letters and you will not understand 
mine. Tell me if you love debauchery as you once did; tell me if you 
are to be married; tell me too if you still correspond with the illus- 
trious Paoli, who merits that designation more every day. Apropos 
of Paoli, I understand that in your Account of Corsica you show great 
partiality in the epithet you give our city, calling it a dolce soggiorno* 
which shows how much you are given to praising everything. 

I return your letter for you to dispose of as you please. I do not 
know whether I ought to address it to Auchinleck 5 (the place of writ- 
ing of the misdirected letter) , or whether I ought to send it to Edin- 
burgh, but I shall ask a Scotsman who happens to be here. 6 Send me 
through Crocchi the portrait that I have desired for so long. I want an 
opportunity to be able to obey you; and if you wish to do justice to my 
constancy, you ought not to forget me, who am entirely yours. Your 
most devoted and most obedient friend, 


* A sweet resting-place. See p. 149. 

5 Her actual spelling, Anchirleck, illustrates one of the serious difficulties in 
reading Boswell's hand. His TI'S and r's, it's and v's are ordinarily identical. 
8 The letter is addressed to Edinburgh. 

Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur 317 


Letters of Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur 

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The following two letters of Rousseau to Therese 
from the Boswell papers are given in the original as well as translation 
since they have never been printed before. As well as providing direct 
evidence of the stable and easy domestic relationship of the pair, 
these letters are significant because of their rarity: only two letters 
from Rousseau to Therese and one from her to him are to be found in 
the twenty-volume Correspondence generate de J.-J. Rousseau. Bos- 
well left no indication as to how he obtained them; he may have fished 
them out of a waste-paper basket, but more probably he begged them 
from Therese as a souvenir of the great man. Rousseau's French is 
printed without normalization except for his capitalization of the let- 
ter "s," which has been handled arbitrarily.] 

[i. Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur] 

ABaslele30.8 bre i76s. 

J'arrive aujourdui Mercredi dans cette Ville sans grand accident, 
mais avec un mal de gorge, la fievre, et la mort dans le coeur. A peine 
mon voyage est-il commence et je sens deja Timpossibilite totale de 
1'achever, sur tout dans cette saison. Je vais pour sortir tout a fait de la 
Suisse me rendre a Strasbourg d'oft je vous instruirai du parti que 
j'aurai pris. En verite je ne sais que devenir. De tous les partis qui me 
restent a prendre je prefererai celui qui nous rejoindra le plustot. 
Voila, quant a present tout ce que je vous puis dire. Je vous en ap- 
prendrai davantage de Strasbourg ou je partirai pour me rendre le 
plustot que je pourrai. Si M-. de Luze, qui sort d'ici, peut me procurer 
une voiture, je partirai des demain. Conservez-vous, tenez vous gaye, 
ayez soin de vous pour I'amour de moi, et f aites mille amities de ma 
part a tous les habitans de ITsle. J'ai amene Sultan, et il est a present 
couche sur mon manteau sous la table ou j'ecris. II va devant la voi- 
ture comme un coureur; il a fait hier dix lieues au galop. C'est un 
chien unique, mais qui ne laisse pas de m'embarrasser beaucoup. 

3 1 8 Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur 

[i. Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur. Translation] 

Bale, 30 October 1765 

I ARRIVED TODAY, Wednesday, in this city without any great mis- 
haps, but with a sore throat, a fever, and death in my heart. My 
journey is scarcely begun and I feel already the utter impossibility 
of completing it, especially at this season of the year. In order to leave 
Switzerland entirely, I am going to go on to Strasbourg, and from 
there I shall let you know what course I shall then have adopted. 
In truth, I do not know where to turn. Of all the choices which 
are open to me I shall prefer that which will bring us together most 
quickly. That is all I can say to you at the moment. I shall tell you 
more from Strasbourg, for which I shall depart in order to arrive there 
as soon as possible. If M. de Luze, 1 who is also leaving Bale, can pro- 
cure me a carriage, I shall leave as early as tomorrow. 

Watch your health, remain cheerful, take care of yourself for love 
of me, and give my best regards to all the people on the Island. 2 1 have 
brought Sultan along, and he is at present lying on my coat tinder the 
table where I am writing. He runs before the carriage like a courier; 
yesterday he covered ten leagues at a gallop. He is an invaluable dog, 
but a great deal of bother all the same. Good-bye, chere Tante, all my 

[2. Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur] 8 

A Strasbourg le quatre Novembre 1765 

Je vous ai ecrit de Bienne, et puis de Basle; je vous ecris mainte- 
nant de Strasbourg; vous devez etre contente de moi. Je viens de f aire 
le plus penible et le plus desagreable voyage que f aye fait de mes 
jours, et sans les bons soins de M. de Luze g'auroit ete pis encore. 
Aussi je n'en puis plus, je m'arrete, et n'etant plus en Suisse je vais me 
reposer dans cette Ville, d'ou j'espere qu'on ne me chassera pas dans 

1 Rousseau travelled to Strasbourg and Paris with Jean Jacques de Luze, who 
also accompanied him and Hume to England. 

2 The letter is addressed: "A Mademoiselle / Mademoiselle le Vasseur, / A Elsie 
St. Pierre." 

3 Addressed: "A Madame / Madame le Veuve Heuer / pour 1'Isle St. Pierre / a 
Nidau canton de / Berne.*' 

Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur 319 

cette saison et dans 1'etat ou je suis. Ainsi si vous voulez me donner de 
vos nouvelles ici j'aurai le terns de les y recevoir et je les attends avec 
tout I'empressement de la plus tendre amitie; n'oubliez pas de m'en 
donner aussi de 1'Isle dont je salue cordialement les bons et heureux 

Cette Ville est grande et belle, bien peuplee; il y a beaucoup de 
trouppes, mais je ne sais pas s'il y a des officiers de ma connoissance: 
car je ne suis point encore sorti, et je mange tout seul dans ma chambre 
avec Sultan qui me tient fidelle compagnie, surtout a table, et qui 
mange comme il marche; c'est tout dire. Je tacherai de me tirer un 
peu de prison en m'allant promener sur les remparts a 1'heure ou il 
n'y aura personne, et dans mes promenades solitaires je penserai 
souvent a 1'Isle St. Pierre et a ce que j'y ai laisse. Je n'ose pas me 
promener dans les rues de peur qu'on ne me reconnoisse et que ma 
chambre ne desemplisse pas. Cependant M. le Commandant n'ignore 
pas que j'y suis; car il a fallu lui envoyer mon nom en arrivant, ce qui 
me fait craindre que ce ne soit pas un secret longtems. 

Adieu, chere Tante; il faut pour me consoler de vivre sans vous, 
que j'espere bientot nous rejoindre. J'y ferai tout de mon mieux, je 
vous assure. En attendant, prenez patience; vous etes plus heureuse 
que moi. 

mon addresse / A Monsieur Rousseau chez M. Kamm a Tenseigne 
de la Fleur A Strasbourg. 

Priez quelqu'un de mettre Taddresse, car si elle n'est ecrite tres 
correctement et tres lisiblement, la lettre ne me parviendra pas. 

[2. Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur. Translation] 

Strasbourg, 4 November 1765 

I WROTE YOU FROM BiENNE, and again from Bale; now I write to 
you from Strasbourg. You ought to be pleased with me. I have just 
finished the most painful and most disagreeable trip of my life, and 
without the kind attentions of M. de Luze it would have been even 
worse. So I can go no farther. I am stopping here, and being out of 
Switzerland, I am going to rest in this city, from which I hope they 
will not chase me at this time of year and in my present state of 
health. So if you care to write to me here, I shall have time to receive 

320 Rousseau to Therese Le Vasseur 

your letter, which I await eagerly and with the most tender feelings. 
Do not forget to send news also of the Island, whose good and happy 
people I cordially greet. 

This city is large, beautiful, and populous. There are a good many 
soldiers here, but I do not know if there are any officers of my ac- 
quaintance, for I have not gone out at all yet. I eat all alone in my 
room with Sultan, who keeps me faithful company, especially at 
meals, and who eats as he runs which tells the whole story. 4 1 shall 
try to escape a little from my prison by going to walk on the ramparts 
at a time when no one will be there, and in my solitary walks I shall 
think often of the Isle St. Pierre and of what I left there. I dare not 
walk in the streets for fear that I shall be recognized and that my 
room will be constantly full of people. However, the Commandant 
knows I am here, because I had to send him my name on arrival, 
which makes me fear that it will not long be a secret. 5 

Good-bye, chere Tante. To console myself for living without you, 
I must hope soon to arrange matters so that we can be together. I shall 
do my very best to see to that, I assure you. In the mean time, be 
patient You are happier than I am. 

My address: Monsieur Rousseau, chez M. Kamm, at the sign of 
the Flower, Strasbourg. 

Ask some one to write the address for you, for unless it is written 
very accurately and legibly, the letter will not reach me, 

* Rousseau had demonstrated his fondness for Sultan before Boswell at Motiers. 
His extraordinary attachment for the dog was shown again at Chiswick, accord- 
ing to an anecdote told by Samuel Rogers: "Rousseau had lost a favourite dog, 
and Hume, having exerted himself to recover it, now brought it back to its 
master, who thanked him with expressions of the most fervent gratitude and 
shed tears of joy over the animal" (Recollections of the Table-Talk of Samuel 
Rogers, ed. Alexander Dyce, 1856, pp. 106-107). For another incident concern- 
ing Sultan, see Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland, 15 
December 1764. 

5 Rousseau's forebodings were fulfilled: he received a very cordial welcome in 
Strasbourg, and his operetta, Le Devin du village, was performed in his honour. 

Boswell to Rousseau 32 1 


Discarded Portion of Letter from Boswell to Rousseau 

[Boswell to Rousseau. Original in French] 1 

Lucca, 3 October 1 765 

... A FEW DAYS LATER I set out f or Naples, where I found a mild 
climate which infused my mind with its mildness. Assuredly climate 
colours our existence. Its effects are as certain as the influence of the 
sun upon matter. Saint-Preux experienced this when he dwelt in 
the lovely mountains of Switzerland; and it astonishes me that Jean 
Jacques Rousseau, who is no longer a citizen of Geneva but a citizen 
of the world 2 it astonishes me that this great philosopher remains 
in a northern country, exposed to rough changes of weather and 
obliged to spend many of his precious moments warming himself at 
a vile stove. I should like to have him bring out a complete edition of 
his works, and leaving to that ungrateful corner of the earth a monu- 
ment of his celestial genius and to mankind in general a body of pre- 
cepts to make them happy when their minds shall have been purified 
of gross prejudices I should then like him to go to the delightful 
East, to live the rest of his days in the sweet tranquillity of a para- 
disial retreat, to draw his last breath under a benignant sky, and pass 
to a better world from those plains whence the pious and respectable 
shepherd-patriarchs passed to the God of Abraham. 

But Jean Jacques Rousseau is not so great a philosopher as one 
would wish him to be. Jean Jacques Rousseau was born and reared 
in a corrupt society, and cannot free himself from certain propensities 
unworthy of him. He frets over what men, beings whom he scorns, 
think of him. He renounces civilized society and subscribes himself 
orang-outang, but he is like a boy who, in order to avenge himself on 
those who have caused him some displeasure, hides behind the win- 
dow curtains and exclaims to himself, "Well, Sirs, I have left you all. 
You shall see me no more." Jean Jacques Rousseau on the mountain, 

1 See p. 5 72. 4. 

2 Rousseau had renounced his Genevan citizenship on 12 May 1763 as a conse- 
quence of the furor over his Lettre Beaumont. 

322 Boswell to Rousseau 

where one would have thought him above the petty quarrels of petty 
states, occupies himself night and day in writing against the mag- 
istrates of Geneva, and involves himself in squabbles with Calvinist 
ministers! Heavens! To see in print a dispute between J. J. Rousseau 
and Pastor Vernes! a Risum teneatis, amid? 4 ' Or rather, Quis talia 
fando . . . temperet a lacrimis?* Illustrious philosopher, go to the 
East. We shall take care to write to you each time a statue is erected 
to you. And Deleyre and I will come to visit you, will venerate you, 
will love you, and through our feeling for you partake of your hap- 


Paragraphs from "The London Chronicle" concerning Corsica 

and Boswell^ sent in to the "Chronicle" by Boswell himself 

from Marseilles and Paris 1 

TUESDAY 7 JANUARY. The island of Corsica is now become an 
important object in Europe, General de Paoli having acted with so 
much wisdom and spirit that the brave Corsicans are actually in 
possession of the whole island except the five fortified towns on the 
seacoast, which are still under the dominion of the Genoese. The com- 
mand which Corsica can have of the navigation in the Mediterranean 
must render those islanders very considerable now that they have 
thrown off a foreign yoke, and are at last formed into a nation; 
having for many years been so divided into opposite parties that they 
were looked upon by foreign powers as so many tribes of savages or 
troops of banditti. I am, yours, &c. 

3 See p. 259. 

4 "Could you restrain your laughter, friends?" (Horace, Ars poetica, 1. 5). 

5 "Who, in telling such things, would keep himself from tears?" (Virgil, Aeneid, 
ii. 6,8). 

1 See the Editorial Note, p. 244. 

BoswelVs Paragraphs in "The London Chronicle" 323 
THURSDAY Q JANUARY. Extract of a letter from Rome, 5 Decem- 
ber 1765: "You have been amused with reports of Britain's sending 
an embassy to the island of Corsica. Your newspapers were once very 
positive that the Duke of York was determined to visit that island, 
and of late we were assured of Mr. Stanley's being to go over. I can, 
however, inform you for certain that a British subject has actually 
been there. About the middle of October Mr. Boswell, a Scots gentle- 
man upon his travels over Europe, sailed from the port of Leghorn for 
the island of Corsica, with a very ample and particular passport from 
Commodore Harrison. He landed on Capo Corso, and went above a 
hundred miles into the territories of the malcontents, as they were 
formerly called, but must now have the title of the nation. He found 
Signor de Paoli in one of the provinces on the other side of the great 
range of mountains which divides the island. He, no doubt, presented 
to that chief very sufficient recommendations, for he was received by 
him with every mark of distinction, was lodged in a palace of the 
noble family of Colonna, and whenever he chose to make a little tour, 
was attended by a detachment of guards. He passed ten or twelve days 
with General de Paoli, dined and supped with him constantly, and 
was every day in private conference with him for some hours. Mr. 
Boswell gave it out at Leghorn that he went to Corsica merely for 
curiosity, but the politicians of Italy think they can see more impor- 
tant reasons for his visiting that island. The Genoese have been not a 
little alarmed by it, and having received very early intimation of Mr. 
Boswell's having sailed from Leghorn, they procured constant intel- 
ligence of his motions during the whole time of his stay in the island; 
but all the intelligence sent them has only served to throw them into 
greater perplexity. What appears most difficult to be explained is Mr. 
Boswell's having sailed almost before anybody knew of his intention. 
He carried all the appearance of a gentleman travelling for his 
amusement, passed some time with the Count de Marbeuf, Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the French troops in Corsica; and afterwards went 
to Genoa, where he stayed above a week, and seemed free and uncon- 
cerned as if he had nothing to do with state disputes. People in this 
part of the world are curious to know what will really be the conse- 
quence of Mr. Boswell's tour to Corsica." 

SATURDAY 1 1 JANUARY. When Mr. Boswell was presented to 

324 BosweWs Paragraphs in "The London Chronicle" 
the General de Paoli, he paid this compliment to the Corsicans: "Sir, 
I am upon my travels, and have lately visited Rome. I am come from 
seeing the ruins of one brave and free people; I now see the rise of 

TUESDAY 1 4 JANUARY. Signor Pascal de Paoli has the title of his 
Excellency the General of the Kingdom of Corsica. He is absolute 
commander in the military affairs, and in a civil capacity is head of 
the Supreme Council. He is a man about forty, tall, well made, and of 
a noble countenance. He speaks his own language remarkably well, 
and is very much master both of French and English. He is, without 
doubt, one of the illustrious men of the present age. 

When Mr. Boswell took leave of the General de Paoli, his Excel- 
lency made him a present of a gun and a pair of pistols of excellent 
workmanship made in Corsica, and of one of the large mountain dogs 
so famous in that island for their hunting the wild boar, and for their 
guarding their master. 

THURSDAY 16 JANUARY. All hopes of accommodation between 
Corsica and Genoa are now at an end, all the inhabitants of the island 
having a most inveterate hatred against their former oppressors. Nine 
and twenty years of war cannot fail to have fixed this hatred very 
strongly. . . . 

THURSDAY 23 JANUARY. Florence, 16 December. We think we 
are now in possession of the true motives for a late expedition into 
Corsica which had greatly engaged the attention of some politicians 
of this place. The story is this: a gentleman who had for some time 
resided here, all on a sudden went off in a vessel for Corsica. Various 
were the conjectures which followed him, being a person of some dis- 
tinction; but the conversation on the subject in a little time subsided, 
and no more was said about it till very lately from Genoa we had the 
following account, viz. that the above-mentioned gentleman with 
some of his friends, being sensibly touched with the misfortunes of 
the young Chevalier Charles Stuart, and impatient at the thoughts of 
his languishing away the remainder of his days in a tedious and starv- 
ing obscurity, formed a project of beating the pulse of Signor Paoli, 
in order, if possible, to procure some kind of establishment of sov- 
ereignty for their high-born Prince in that island. Mr. B., we are 
assured, arrived safe in the quarters of the Corsican chief, and was 

BosweWs Paragraphs in "The London Chronicle" 325 
received and treated by him with great civility and politeness; but 
whatever intimations or insinuations Mr. B, might hint or drop to 
the Corsican General with regard to the pretended project, they have 
not yet transpired, nor perhaps never may. But this is certain, that 
Mr. B. was sent off under a very honourable and distinguishing escort 
into the French quarters, where waiting on M. Marbeuf, with whom 
he had a short conference, he stayed a day or two, and from thence 
made the best of his way to Genoa. 

To this remarkable anecdote must be added another, which is told 
with the greatest assurance at the same time, which is that the young 
Chevalier himself had not the least knowledge of or participation in 
this notable scheme, but that it was purely the effects of the warm 
but unauthorized (and, as is common in such cases, ill-judged) zeal 
in a few of his banished partisans. 

THURSDAY 6 FEBRUARY. Extract of a letter from Genoa, dated 2 
January: "The Sieur Boswell, who has given such inquietude to our 
rulers by his visit to our enemies in Corsica, upon his return from that 
expedition was forced, by tempestuous weather, to take refuge in the 
island of Capraja. Colonel Matra and Captain Grimaldi found them- 
selves in the same situation, and although they strongly suspected the 
Scotchman's attachment to Paoli, they treated him with so great po- 
liteness that he accompanied them to this city. These officers, who 
have distinguished themselves so much for the Republic, were under 
great apprehensions of being taken by Paoli's corsairs. They declare 
that, during several days' conversation with Mr. Boswell, they could 
not certainly discover whether his motives for having been in Corsica 
were of a public or private nature. They could only observe that he 
had a good many papers, about which he seemed very anxious; and 
that he avoided talking freely of what he had seen in his singular 

TUESDAY 1 1 FEBRUARY. Extract of a letter from Leghorn, dated 
3 January: "Nothing can be a greater proof of the weak and despond- 
ing spirit of the Genoese than the apprehensions which Mr. Boswell's 
tour to Corsica has occasioned. Is not the curiosity of an observing 
traveller a sufficient reason for such a tour, without imagining that 
the British nation have any serious political designs with regard to 
the island? It is said that a gentleman lately come from Corsica di- 

326 BosweWs Paragraphs in "The London Chronicle" 
verted himself with the strange fears of the Genoese, who, from long 
trying to persuade others, are at last come to believe themselves that 
the Corsicans are like the anthropophagi the most terrible of bar- 
barians. To a Genoese gentleman who asked, with much earnestness, 
what Paoli was like, he replied that he was like the astonishing beast 
in the Revelations, with seven heads and ten horns, full of eyes before 
and behind, and taking no rest day nor night." 

THURSDAY 13 FEBRUARY. Extract of a letter from Turin, 6 Jan- 
uary: "We are exceedingly happy here at the flourishing state of 
affairs in Corsica. Our gracious and benevolent Sovereign has always 
been a protector of the brave islanders, and his subjects are sincerely 
animated with the same sentiments. Sardinia and Corsica are sepa- 
rated by a narrow channel of no more than ten miles, so that it is 
much the interest of both to maintain a good understanding. We re- 
member to have seen in this city, in the year 1 746, two nobles of 
Corsica who were charged with some secret negotiations with the 
Earl of Bristol, at that time His Britannic Majesty's Ambassador to 
our Court, the result of which has never yet been known; for although 
some English ships of war did actually bombard Bastia, they acted 
only as allied forces of the Empress and of our Sovereign. The British, 
who glory in their freedom, and would represent the others of us on 
the Continent as little better than slaves, have never yet done any- 
thing of themselves for the spirited and firm little nation, which for 
these thirty years has been making the noblest struggles against op- 
pression. On the contrary, when they had concluded the last peace 
with France, they published a proclamation declaring it high treason 
for any British subject to assist the Corsicans the rebellious Corsi- 
cans and for this proclamation, the then Prime Minister of Eng- 
land was severely censured by the daring Sieur Wilkes, whose North 
Briton made such an uproar. 

"The gazettes of late have talked a great deal of a certain Mr. Bos- 
well, a Scots gentleman, who has been in Corsica. It was at first 
rumoured that he was a desperate adventurer, whose real name was 
M'Donald, and who had served during the last war in North Amer- 
ica; but it has since appeared that he is a gentleman of fortune upon 
his travels, a friend of the celebrated John James Rousseau, who is an 
enthusiast for the Corsicans, and has been honoured with the title of 

BoswelUs Paragraphs in "The London Chronicle" 32 7 
their legislator. We do not give credit to the reports of Mr. BoswelTs 
having had instructions from his Court to treat with Signor de Paoli, 
but we are in great hopes that from what he has seen, he will be able 
to undeceive his countrymen with regard to the Corsican nation." 

SATURDAY 1 5 FEBRUARY. Yesterday James Boswell, Esquire, ar- 
rived in town from his travels. 

English Miles 

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r? l^Jl/ttr^O * 

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locating many of tne places mentioned by 




at tne time of t^/dowell s tour 
locating many of tne places .mentioned 


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S E A 


This is in the main an index of proper names, with a certain number of sub- 
ject articles, but Part I of the article BOSWEIX, JAMES collects and digests 
BoswelTs references to his states of mind, traits of character, opinions, gen- 
eral observations, experiences with unnamed persons and places, &c. Ob- 
servations on specified persons and places are ordinarily entered under the 
person or place in question; for example, Boswell's opinions of Paoli will be 
found under Paoli and not under Boswell. Churches, inns, streets, moun- 
tains, &c. are given separate articles in the main alphabet. Popes, emperors, 
kings, Italian rulers, and British princes of the blood are entered under their 
Christian names; other princes (even when sovereign), noblemen, and 
lords of session and their wives, under their titles. The styles chosen are usu- 
ally those proper to 17651766. Well-known names (e.g., Rome, Philip of 
Parma) have been anglicized in cases where it was thought that English- 
speaking readers would be more accustomed to the English forms. Maiden 
names of married women are given in parentheses. Titles of books are listed 
under the name of the author, except where the author has not been identi- 
fied in the text or notes, in which case a cross reference is given from the 
tide to the author. The following abbreviations are employed: D. (Duke), 
E. (Earl) , M. (Marquess) , V. (Viscount), JB (James Boswell) . 

Abbatucci, Giacomo Pietro, 204 Alexander the Great, 189 

Abbott, C. Colleer, in. Alford, titular E. of. See Graeme, John 

Abemaar, young Dutchman, 253 Algiers, 150 

Abernethy, James, 268 Allegranza, Giuseppe, archeologist, 43, 44, 

Adams, Frederick B., Jr., xrv 79 

Addison, Joseph, 58; Remarks on Several Alps, 20-23 

Parts of Italy, 43, 165 TZ.I, 234, 235 Alves, James, Scottish painter, 85, 86, 270 
Aegle, nymph, 47 rc.6 

Agujari, Lucrezia, called "La Bastardina," Ambrosian Library, Milan, 43 

opera singer at Lucca, 138 Ambrosio, Corsican guard, 192 

Ais, Marquis d', Sardinian officer, 21 America, 290 

Aix, France, 244, 246 Americans, 290, 294 

Ajaccio, Corsica, 191, 193 n.B Ancona, Italy, 48 

Alassio, Italy, 230 Andes. See Pietole 

Albani, Alessandro Cardinal, 65, 77 Anne, Queen of Great Britain, 252 71.2 

Alembert, Jean le Rond d', 298 Anson, George Anson, Lord, Baron of 
Alexander VII, Pope, 200 Soberton, 139 



Antibes, France, 227, 236 
Antinous Belvedere, 66, 67 n.8 
Antoine I, Prince of Monaco, 235 
Antonetti, Antonio, at Morsiglia, 
Antonio, Lord Mountstuart's volante, 97, 

111, 240 

Antwerp, Belgium, 77 
Apollo Belvedere, 67, 84 
Appian Way, 52 

Arblay, Mme. <T. See Burney, Frances 
Arconati, Galeazzo, 43 
Aretino, Pietro, 4 satirist, 95 
Ariosto, Lodovico, 14, 15, 120; Orlando 

Furioso, 128, 152 

Armstrong, John, Scottish physician and 
poet, 57, 65, 96; A Day: An Epistle to 
John Wilkes, 57, 70 
Arrigni, auditor at Siena, 218 
Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, 68, 78, 105 
Arundel, Thomas Howard, 14th E. of, 43 


Astini bank, 265 

Atholl, John Murray, ist D. of, 250 n. 
Attila, King of the Huns, 167 
Auberge au Pare, inn at Lyons, 257 
Auberge d'Angleterre, inn at Turin, 31, 

36 72.8, 38 

Auchinleck (Alexander Boswell), Lord, 
father of JB, grand eloquence of, 98; 
health, 213 72.8, 214, 215, 223', 267 71.3; 
JB dreads death of, 229 

Relations with JB. Letters to JB, 210- 
213, 213-214, 215-216, 272-274; unre- 
covered letters to JB, 64, 66, 267 72.3; 
some of his letters do not reach JB, 213; 
JB writes to, 86, 258, 267, 277 n.8, 293; 
JB plans to write, 86, 98; imparts sense 
of tradition and family pride to JB, i; 
keeps JB in Edinburgh to study law, i; 
refuses to purchase commission for JB in 
Foot Guards, i; permits JB to return to 
London, i; gives JB permission to tour 
Italy, 2, 3, to extend his tour, 79-80, 103, 
104; JB contemplates writing of his love 
for Mme. Skarnavis, 38; JB fails to tell 
of proposed journey to Corsica, 145; im- 
patient for JB's return, 19, 210-211, 213- 
215, 274; disturbed by JB's newspaper 
writing, 274/2.; JB foresees differences of 
opinion with, 12; JB wishes to please, 
67, 78, 79, 88, 133, 211; reprimands JB 
for not writing, 210, for spending too 


much money, 210-211; hopes for JB, 
211; JB thinks may have visited Lyons, 
261; JB announces intention to, of 
marrying Z&ide, 267; opposes match be- 
tween JB and Zelide, 267 72.3; JB dis- 
cusses with Deleyre, 113, Lord Eglinton, 
284, Temple, 289; mentioned, 23 72.4, 86, 
87, 108 72.5, 272-274, 280 Tz.1, 297 
Auchinleck, Euphemia (Erskine) Boswell, 
Lady, mother of JB, JB receives letter 
from, 23; JB to write, 86; one of JB's 
letters to, mentioned, 210; health, 212, 
214; astonished at JB's conduct, 215-216; 
her death, 272-274; hopes for JB, 273; 
JB grieves for, 274, 277; JB tells Therese 
Le Vasseur of death of, 275; tells Wilkes 
of death of, 276; Moma grieves with JB 
over loss of, 307; mentioned, 11, 243 72.4, 


Auchinleck (house and estate), JB dis- 
ciplines self to fill post at, 49 72.9; motto 
from Horace on front of, 73 72.3; JB plans 
to go to, for health and law, 77; lands of 
(a barony) granted by James IV, 82 72.6; 
JB's romantic dreams of, 109, 133; JB 
entertains loving thoughts of, 134-135; 
new buildings proposed for, 212; JB anti- 
cipates Rousseau visiting, 261; JB returns 
to, 297; mentioned, 78, 192, 214 

Augustinians, 36, 112 

Augustus, Roman emperor, 61 72.8 

Augustus II ("the Strong"), King of Poland 
and Elector of Saxony, 26 72.7, 178 72.1 

Ausonius, Decimus Magnus, Ordo nobilium 
urbium, 41-42 

Auxerre, France, 262 72.6 

Avignon, France, 247-252; Gazette, 202 

Ayrshire, Scotland, i 

Baden-Durlach, Karl Friedrich, Margrave 

of, 2, 76 72.8 

Baden-Durlach (state), 77 
Baiae, Italy, 53 
Bain, John, 268 
Balagna, Corsica, 204 
Bale, Switzerland, 317-319 
Bar, duchy of, 198 n. 
Barbaggi, Dionisia (Paoli), niece of Pas- 

quale de Paoli, 155, 156 
Barbaggi, Giuseppe, husband of preceding, 




Barbary corsairs, 139, 150 

Barclay, Robert, Apology for the Quakers, 


"Bare Bosom," song, 114 n.B 
Baretti, Giuseppe Marc* Antonio, 94, 98, 

99, 281 

Barlet, M., at Bastia, 200 
Barre, Col. Isaac, politician, 116 
Bartoli, Domenico, Commandant of Castle 

of Corte, 158 
Bartoli, Giuseppe, antiquary, 27-30, 35, 44, 

Bartram, William, Travels, 303 72.2 

Bastelica, Corsica, 160 
Bastia, Corsica, 155 ^3, 198-203, 326 
Bastiano, valet de place, Genoa, 225 
Batoni, Pompeo, painter, xviii, 63, 66 
Baxter, Andrew, philosopher, 27, 55, 242; 

Inquiry into the Nature of the Human 

Soul, 185 
Beauchamp, Lord. See Hertford, Francis 

Seymour-Conway, 5th M. of 
Bedford, John Russell, 4th D. of, 51 n.S 
Bellegarde, Francois Eugene Robert, Comte 

de (also Marquis des Marches and de 

Cursinge), 267 

Bellini, Captain, Corsican, 236 
Benedictines, 93, 134 n. 
Bennett, Charles H., xxiv, xxv 
Bergamo, Italy, 107 
Bergin, Thomas G., xxv 
Berkeley, EHzabeth (Drax), Countess of, 


Berlin, Germany, 2, 102 72.7 
Bernardines, 26, 35, 4 2 
Berne, canton of, 259 

Bertolini, Stefano, General Auditor, prin- 
cipal minister of state at Siena, 135 
Bertollon, merchant of Lyons, 257, 262 
Berwick, James Fitzjames, D. of, 277 n.i 
Bianconi, gentleman at Siena, 220, 265 
Bied, near Neuchatel, Switzerland, 15 n. 
Bienne, Switzerland, 318, 319 
Billon, Captain, in Turin, 4, 24-26, 28, 29, 

31, 32, 34-36 

Bingham, Sylvester H., xxiv 
Birkbeck, Mr., British agent at Marseilles, 

Blair, Catherine, later wife of Sir William 

Maxwell of Monreith, 312 
Boccheciampe, Pietro, at Corte, 156-1579 


Bocognano, Corsica, 192, 204 

Boeterheim, young Dutchman, 253 

Boissieux, Louis de Fretat, Comte de, 201 

Bologna, Italy, 48, 89 71.2, 90, 92, 113 

Bond Street, London, 293 

Bonne Femme, inn at Turin, 23, 31 

Boorsch, Jean, xxv 

Boothby, Sir Brooke, Bart., 24 72.7 

Borea family, San Remo, 234 

Borgaretto, Pietro Giuseppe Bistorti, Count 
of, 28 72.4 

Borgaretto, Vittoria Enrichetta, Countess 
of, wife of preceding, JB meets and de- 
scribes, 28; JB tries to arrange affair 
with, 29-31; says intrigue with JB is 
impossible, 31, 32; writes to JB for- 
bidding "him to call, 3 1 ; JB writes to, com- 
plaining of her cruelty and begging for 
an assignation, 32 (text); JB writes un- 
happily, returns letters to, 33 (text) ; JB 
writes asking return of his letters, 35 
(text) ; JB is cured of passion for, 36; JB 
writes to, pleading to be received gra- 
ciously, 36-37 (text) ; note on letters to, 
32 TZ.; similarity between letter to Mme. 
Skarnavis and earlier letter to, 40 72.7; 
mentioned, 34 

Borghese Palace, Rome, 66 

Borromeo, Federico Cardinal, founder of 
Ambrosian Library, Milan, 43 

Borromeo, St. Charles, shrine of, 42 

Bossiney, borough in Cornwall, England, 
102 72.6 

Bosville, Diana (Wentworth), wife of God- 
frey Bosville, 284, 290-291, 292 

Bosville, Elizabeth Diana, eldest daughter 
of Godfrey BosviUe, 284, 287-288, 289, 
290, 293, 295 

Bosville, Godfrey, 284-285, 290-291, 292- 


Bosville, Julia, daughter of Godfrey Bos- 
ville, 284 

BosviUe, Capt. William, 284, 290 
Boswell, David, later Thomas David, bro- 
ther of JB, 24, 105, 212, 214, 216, 272, 


[Part I. Biographical; Part II, Writ- 

I. Biographical, Including States of 
Mind, Traits of Character, Opinions, 
Religious Sentiments, &c. Sketch of life 

332 Index 

to January 1765, 1-2; other biographical 
references prior to January 1765, 3, 11, 
29 "-5, 65, 73, 77-78, 92 71.8, 102, 114, 

145, 148, 165 7Z.1, l82 GTtt* 7Z.2, 215, 237, 

240, 283, 284, 287, 297; improved by 
travel, 3, 4-5, 190, 208, 240, 260, 283, 
284, 289; on moral principles, 3, 4, 19, 
181 ; opinions of (counsels concerning) 
women, especially in Italy, 3, 19, 28, 51, 
657 77* 83, 251; a gallant, 3, 4, 16, 17; 
forms varying estimates of own worth, 
4, 11, 41, 101; noble in thought and act, 
4, 34, 164; passion (seized by, cured of, 
casual sex experiences, a libertine, &c.), 
4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 29, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 51, 
52, 54, 57, 58, 77, 83, 97, 98, 102, 104, 

105, 111, 241, 272, 291; unhappy (melan- 
choly, depressed, hipped, fretful, sple- 
netic, &c.), 4, 6, 7, 12, 23, 28, 35, 36, 38, 
41, 44, 46, 50, 56, 65, 74, 76, 83, 99, 102, 

106, 108, 124, 138, 270, 277; thoughts on 
religion (including piety, devotion), 4, 8, 
28, 34, 35, 65, 68, 75, 88, 89, 99, 248, 253- 
254, 270, 272, 287 (see also Roman 
Catholicism and Presbyterianism and in 
this article attends divine service); en- 
thusiastic about antiquity, 4, 6, 68, 79, 
81, 83 7z.2, 108; fhrntra human nature 
changeable, 5, 105; catches (escapes, 
cured of) venereal disease, 6, 7, 11, 71, 
74, 104, 106, 107, 116; attends divine 
service, 6, 7, 22-23, 64, 65, 138, 241, 247, 
248, 267, 270, 272; on Rousseauistic 
church and creed, 6, 34, 209; happy 
(content, well, in good frame, &c.), 6, 

7, 17, 19, 36, 41, 50, 66, 68, 106, 107, 108, 
no, 111, 120, 134, 160, 241, 267, 268, 
276; taste for virtu, 6, 52, 76; mind ill- 
regulated, incapable of application, 7, 78; 
believes in or counsels dignity of charac- 
ter and decency of conduct (manliness, 
firmness), 7, 12, 21 72.3, 28, 35 71.5, 66, 
84, 88, 98, 99, 102, 112, 129, 277, 290 
(see also in this article counsels prudent 
behaviour); has troubled imagination, 
weak nerves, delicate sensibility, 7-8, 
8-9, 71, 106, 112, 287; discusses hypo- 
chondria, 7-8, 11, 77, 78, 107, 133, 139, 
178; avoids countrymen, 8, 65, 69; 
studies Italian language and character, 

8, 14, 50, 106, 120, 124, 215; awkward 
(bashful, timid, young), 8, 12, 30, 116, 

124, 190, 208; thinks of or plans future 
(politics, advocate, employment at Court, 
foreign minister, retirement in Italy or 
at Auchinleck), 8, 10, 12, 66, 73, 75, 77 , 
78-79, 99, 103, 133, 135, 188-189, 229, 
282, 287, 288; thinks less of self when 
thinking of others, 9; a philosopher, 10, 
11, 44, 68, 85, 118, 124, 129; believes in 
or retains independence, 10, 12, 83, 84, 
85, 88, 89, 121, 183; servile (afraid of 
offending, flatters), 10, 12, 29, 31, 83; 
on vanity, 10, 15, 20; ignorant, 11, 12, 
85, 240, 254, 282, 288; has strong (clear, 
lively) mind, 11, 104, 129; defends faith 
against atheism, 12-13, 112-113; com- 
ments on own conduct, 12, 16, 67, 104, 
225; studies flute, sings, 13, 14, 102, 116, 
124, 140, 175-176; thinks a cavalier e 
servente despicable, 17; apostrophizes 
love, 20; travels by vetturino (chaise), 
20, 21, 22 and 72.7, 41, 138, 236, 238, 244; 
travels by Alps machine, 22; attends 
opera, 23, 26-27, 31, 32, 34, 36, 37, 38, 
39, 44, 45, 138; comments on beds, 23, 
209, 233, 238, 258; attends balls, 24, 35, 
38; monarchical sentiments of, 25, 27, 
51, 56 72.i, 76, 89, 103, 277; dress, 25, 28- 

29, 82, 95, 202, 203, 233, 243, 248, 267; 
copies inscriptions, 26, 42, 43, 44, 157, 
230; a cicisbeo, 26; imprudent, 28; thinks 
scholarship plodding, 29; acts with real 
rascality, 29; appreciates men of merit, 

30, 70, 241, 282, 297; in feverish spirits 
through lack of sleep and agitation, 31, 
41, 277; disgusted by gross bawdy, 31; 
stays up all night, 31, 45, 58, 66, 266, 
277, 280; writes in morning (all day), 
35, 86, 88, 102, 270; calm, pensive, and 
virtuous, 35; finds imaginary enjoying 
weakens, 35 72.5; abuses Piedmontese, 
38; thinks his mind unique, 38; plans 
itinerary, 38, 42, 74, 77, 79-80, 81-82, 
103, 104, 148-149, 223, 314; recites 
poetry, 41, 83, 94, 111, 152; easy and 
genteel, 41; attends hanging of thief, 41; 
has mean ideas, stingy, 41, 268, 271; 
feels narrowness debases mind, 51; as 
Spaniard, 51, 138, 140; warns against 
Jacobite sympathies, 52, 61 71.7, 67; 
suffers from scurvy, 59; speaks Latin, 62; 
counsels prudent behaviour (reserve, 
retenue), 63, 65, 66, 74, 77, 86, 88, 95, 



99, 103, 289; ideas jumbled, 64; cannot 
persuade others to resemble him, 65; 
counsels application, 65, 66, 76, 88, 98; 
counsels learning du monde, 66; feels 
changes of sentiment, 67, 77, 81, 101, 
112, 270; favours laying aside schemes 
of ambition, 68, 287; forms taste, 68; 
plans for (ideas concerning) marriage, 
73 , 100, no, 225, 255, 267, 270, 280, 288, 
304, 312, 314; has crab-lice, 74; financial 
problems of, 74, 84, 98, 104, 200, 210- 
211, 212, 214, 242, 274; melancholy a 
part of his character, 76, n8, 178, 217; 
compares garden to spread periwig, 77; 
will never be long happy, 77; fir* 1 m 
attachment to family and friends, 78; 
must content himself with own nature, 
78; has moderate abilities but noble 
soul 78; wishes to promote happiness of 
others, 78; assumes style of Baron, 82 
Tz.6, 88; counsels against staying up late, 
83/84, 88, 98; studies, writes exercises, 
85, 102; travels by carriage, coach, 88, 
99- belief in ghosts (dreams, second 
sight), 89, 184-185, 242, 282; dislikes 
being called Jamie, 90 /*.; takes (counsels 
on taking) medicine, 90, 98, 102, 103; 
makes (counsels against) jokes, 92 n., 
102, 103; has headache, 94; counsels new 
conduct (manners), 98, 99, 102; demands 
respect from others, 98; sick from being 
up late, 99; on French character, 102, 
198, 199, 200, 236, 246; passes Sunday 
without one Calvinist idea, 102; sports 
(bowls, rows, shoots), 102, 151, 174; 
Italian climate quickens his spirits, 104; 
is not yet master of self, 105; thinks 
virtue a luxury, 106; wishes to live and 
let live naturally, 106, 119, 120; hopes 
to attain tranquillity, no, 238; feels 
mankind has degenerated, 110; should be 
pleased with Italian servant, in; de- 
termined to try all experiments with soul 
and body, 116; thinks rules of society 
badly conceived, 119; man governed by 
too many laws, 120; his philosophy aims 
no higher than happiness, 120; on in- 
tellectual improvement, 123; on circula- 
tion of blood, 124; feels no man can be 
completely happy, 124; on material love, 
129; has tyrannical pride, 133; fe f ls 
others must love him, 134; tnmks m ~ 

clinations of youth must be followed, 
135; dislikes being servile imitator, 135; 
puzzled by love, 135-136; finds advan- 
tage in increase of ideas, 138; obtains 
passport, 139, 159, 323; travels by mer- 
chant bark, 139-140; seasick, 139, 209, 
210; moved by communal prayer, 140, 
151; is taken for agent of British govern- 
ment, 145, 150, 160, 163, 175, 202, 223, 
224, 245, 246, 323, 325-326, 327; adapt- 
able, 150; calls for service in private 
house as in tavern, 154; travels on foot, 
154, 156, 230, 231; lodged in convents, 
154, 155, 156, 159, 161, 192, 193, 209; 
feels raillery against convents unjusti- 
fied, 154-155; upbraided for being Eng- 
lish, 155; collects coins, 155; describes 
obtaining of honey, 156; rejects French 
deserters, 156; interviews criminals, 158; 
travels by mule, 159; feels like primitive 
man, 160; excuses English rejection of 
Pope, 160; thinks man in strange country 
free from timidity, 160-161; curious to 
feel pleasure of state and distinction, 164; 
observes great men seldom laugh, 167; 
thinks libertines never entrusted with 
important social concerns, 168; on moti- 
vations to virtue and vice, 168; on 
animals learning speech, 170; fancies self 
as recruiting sea officer, 176; has rea- 
soned beyond depth in metaphysics, 178; 
incapable of taking part in active life, 
178; on company of professed wits, 179; 
studies (marks) human nature, charac- 
ter, 180, 237; regrets iUusmous men 
should not meet, 181-182; has British 
abhorrence of tyranny, 184; opposes in- 
credulity, 184, 185; thinks our judgments 
no sounder than our fathers', 184; on 
Irish character, 187-188; suffers from 
malaria, 190-194, 198-200, 202-203; on 
love between Englishwoman and French 
soldier, 199; supers from ingrown toe- 
nails, 207, 208, 225, 246, 254, 255, 257- 
258, 267, 268; travels by felucca, 209- 
210, 225-226, 227, 229, 230, 231; spells 
name with two Ts, 213 72.9; sees cere- 
mony of taking the veil, 225; cheated by 
crafty Ligurian, 227; pleased by painted 
church, 227-228; cannot feel by reason, 
228- entertained by gardener, 228; 
any life of constant conformity 

334 Index 

difficult, 228-229; on relations between 
gentleman and his servant, 229, 230, 
237; fears robbery and murder, 231, 235; 
loses purse, 231; travels by horseback, 
231, 232-233, 235, 246-247, 252; argues 
with postmaster over horses, 232; on prof- 
iting from civility, 233; picks oranges 
and lemons in December, 234; amused 
by barber's sign, 234-235; acts with true 
Scots ceremony, 236; has Scots ideas, 236, 
267; on French and English inns, 238; 
on highways, 238; has no firm plan from 
seeing vanity of all pursuits, 239; sees 
many perversities in world to satirize, 
240; attends theatre, 240, 242; apostro- 
phizes Italy, 240-241; pities irregulari- 
ties of humanity, 241; on modern philos- 
ophers, 242, 287; has happy facility of 
manners, 242; has grown hard, 243; 
visits galleys, 243; maintains custom 
makes all easy, 243; introduced as Rus- 
sian Ambassador, 243-244; "supporter" 
of Young Pretender, 245, 324-325; a 
desperate adventurer named M'Donald, 
246, 326; a gentleman of fortune on 
travels, 246, 326; enlivened by exercise, 
247; entertained by ferryman, 247; 
learns to command servant by being one, 
247; fears most Scots are reconciled to 
Union, 251; defends doctrine of chance 
producing all things, 253; on writers and 
travel! ing governors, 253; travels by post 
(diligence), 254, 255, 257, 262, 266, 277; 
disputes at inn over payment, 254-255; 
has become a man (firm, grave), 260, 
261, 279, 284; does not believe soul's 
nobility can be destroyed, 261; dislikes 
French small talk and airs, 262; submits 
to fate, hardy, 266; superior through 
animal spirits, 268; travels by fly, 279; 
breakfasts on beefsteaks, 279; dissipated 
by innumerable ideas, 280; wishes to 
revolve all deaths, 280; detached from 
interest and worldly vanities, 284; sees 
German play on sticks, 284; not obliged 
to bear Scots manners, 284; feels vulgar 
must submit to learned, 286; has un- 
happy want of decision, 289; supports 
subordination, 290; finds self great mTi 
to degree, 291; finds self superior, 291; 
thinks it prudent to avoid dissipated com- 
pany, 295; designs ludicrous print, 300- 

301; has portrait painted, 314; feels 
climate colours man's existence, 321 

II. Writings, Mainly in Italy, Corsica, 
and France, i. Journal, bibliography of, 
xx, xxii, xxiii, xxiv; method of writing, 
xxiv; thinks of making into book, 50 
72.6; continues with assiduity and liberal 
humour, 67; shows leaves of to Temple, 
287; mentioned, xix, 20 77.9, 47, 48, 68, 

70 72.8, 79, 111 72.1, 113, 139 72.8, 151 72.7, 

225 72.3, 262 72.6, 266 72.4, 277, 297. See 
also Nos. 4 and 9 in this series 

2. Memoranda, bibliography of, xx- 
xxi, xxiv; method of writing, 48; extracts 
are quoted in the text, pp. 49-58, 63-67, 
71, 74, 76-77, 82-88, 93-95, 97-99, 102- 
103, 106-108, 113, 116, 128-130, 138- 
139, 209-210, 225; and are quoted or 
referred to in footnotes on pp. 20, 21, 
35, 36, 37, 49, 61, 62, 89, 91, 92; men- 
tioned, xix, 48-49, 83, 85 72.6, 92, 116, 

130 72.2, 139 72.8, 253 72.8 

3. Course of Antiquities and Arts at 
Rome, bibliography of, xx; quoted, 60- 
63; mentioned, 48, 59 

4. Journal with Lord Mountstuart 
(Italian Journal), bibliography of, xx; 
quoted, 88-92 

5. Reflections Written in Siena, 1765, 
bibliography of, xx; described, 119 72.7; 
quoted, 119-120, 123-124, 134-136 

6. Ten-Lines-a-Day Verses, bibliog- 
raphy of, xxi; quoted, 54, 80-81 ; men- 
tioned, 45 72.5, 54 n-4 

7. Expense Accounts, bibliography of, 
xxi; quoted or referred to in footnotes on 
PP- 31, 76, 134 

8. Letters, bibliography of, xxi, xxii, 
xxiv; method of writing, 3; to John 
Johnston, 48; writes from sacred places, 
194 and 72.1; stays up all night to write, 
277; specimens appear in the text, pp. 3- 
20, 25, 27, 29, 32, 33, 35, 36-37, 39-41, 
49, 52-53, 57-58, 59, 67-71, 75-76, 77- 
82, 83 72.2, 89-90, 100-102, 103-106, 108- 

111, 117-118, 119, 121-122, 124-128, 

129-131, 133-134, 136, 137-138, 222-223, 
260-261, 289-290, 292, 297, 300-301, 
314-315, 321-322 

9. Journal of a Tour to Corsica, bibli- 
ography of, xxi; summarized, 145-146; 
printed, 148-204; does not present events 



day by day in, 154; writes down at night 
in, what he observes during day, 164; so 
dazzled by Paoli that cannot record his 
sayings in, after leaving his presence, 
181 ; mentioned, 115 TZ.I, 163, 186, 195 
7272.4 and 5 

10. Account of Corsica, bibliography 
of, xxi-xxii, xxiv; composition of, 146- 
147; described, 147; desired effect of, 
148; JB thinks of writing, 271 72.2, 283; 
mentioned, 144 71.3, 148 71.9, 152 n., 163 
7272.6 and 7, 193, *95 ^2.4, 245, 2 7* 72.2, 
301, 3^6 

11. Items in The London Chronicle, 
bibliography of, xxii; paraphrased, 245- 
246; printed, 298, 301, 322-3275 plan of, 
244245; medley of fact and invention, 
244; reprinted in other newspapers, 274 
72., 279 72.8, enrage Lord Auchinleck, 274 
72.; mentioned, 291 71.8 

12. Miscellaneous, xxi, 48: Register of 
Letters, xxi, 57, 76 72.8, 221, 244, 263 n. 9 
277 72.8, 303 72.1, 308 72.; Scots Dictionary, 
29 72.5, 229 and 71.9; Translation of Latin 
Law-book, 29 72.5; List of valets de place, 
39 72.6; Heroic Epistle to Wilkes, 70, 101, 
no, 222 and 7^4, 276; Inviolable Plan, 
88 71.7; Account of San Marino, 91 72.5; 
Essay on Venice, 102; Sienese Scene, 
122-123; The Life of Johnson, 1791, 146 
72.5, 194 w*- 2 an ^ 3 281 72.6; Memorial 
for British-Corsican Alliance, 166; Ac- 
count of Corsican Government, 174; Ac- 
count of Capraja, 209; Parliament: A 
Poem, 222 72.4; Letters Between the 
Honourable Andrew Erskine and James 
Eoswell, Esq., 1763, 288 and 72.1; North 
Briton Extraordinary (attributed to), 
259 72.3; Letter in St. James's Chronicle, 
299-300; Verses in Characters of Rous- 
seau and Hume, 300 

Boswell, John, M.D., uncle of JB, 247 
Boswell, Lieut. John, brother of JB, 214 
Boswell, Thomas, ist Laird of Auchinleck, 

82 7Z.6 

Boudard, Jean Baptiste, sculptor, 47 
Boufflers-Rouverel, Marie Charlotte Hip- 

polyte, Comtesse de, 279 71.4 
Boy de la Tour, Jean Pierre, son of Pierre 

Boy de la Tour, 261 
Boy de la Tour, Julianne Marie (Roguin), 

widow of Pierre Boy de le Tour, 258, 
260, 262 

Boy de la Tour, Madeleine Catherine, 
daughter of Pierre Boy de la Tour, 262 

Boyce, William, 176 n. 

Boyd, Mary Ann, daughter of Alexander 
Boyd, 314 

Boyer de Fonscolombe, Joseph, French en- 
voy to Genoa, i 15 

Breadalbane, John Campbell, 3rd E. of, 

Brescia, Italy, 107 

Brion, M., surgeon-major at Bastia, 200 

Bristol, Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th E. 
of, and Bishop of Derry, 224-225 

Bristol, John Hervey, ist E. of, 326 

British Museum, 25 72.4, 27 72.1, 52 72,5, 100, 
222 72.4 

Brown, Rev. Robert, at Utrecht, 276 

Bruce, James, 114 

Brunswick, Court of, a 

Brunswick, Germany, 102 

Brunswick and Luneburg, Augusta, Duch- 
ess of (Hereditary Princess of Bruns- 
wick), 2 

Brussels, Belgium, 27 

Brutus, 73 

Buchan. See Cardross, Lord 

Buckingham, George Villiers, 5th D. of, 
Rehearsal, 39 72.5 

Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc de, Comte 
de, Natural History, 30 72.1 

Burgaretta. See Borgaretto 

Burke, Edmund, Of the Sublime and Beau- 
tiful, 288 

Burke, Richard, brother of preceding, 269 

Burnaby, Rev. Andrew, 195; Journal of a 
Tour to Corsica, 144 72.3, 195 71.4 

Burney, Dr. Charles, History of Music, 138 


Burney, Frances, Diary, 162 n. 
Burns, Robert, "The Twa Dogs," 216 TM, 
Bute, John Stuart, 3rd E. of, close ties be- 
tween George III and, 8, 52 72.3; Wilkes^s 
attacks on, xiv, 326; Wilkes makes ironi- 
cal dedication of Mountfort's Fall of 
Mortimer to, 57 72.7; Wilkes's opinion of , 
269; Wilkes insinuates that he is Jacobite, 
271; may be able to aid JB's career, 86; 
JB's opinion of character of, 101; recalls 
Mountstuart to England, 102; keeps up 
dignity, 107; chiefly managed Peace of 



Paris (1763), 269 72.4; mentioned, 11, 25 

72.1, 83, 103, 114 
Bute, John Stuart, ist M. of. See Mount- 

Bute, Mary (Montagu), Countess of, 

mother of preceding, 52 72.3, 86, 93 72.1 
Buttafoco, Antonio, father of following, 

Buttafoco, Matteo, 115, 145, 163, 195-196, 

198, 236 72.1, 260 
Byron, George Gordon, 6th Baron, Childe 

Harold, 61 72.8 

Cafe de Conti, Paris, 268 

Caff arena, PGiuseppe, in Paris, 271 

Gaffe Inglese, Rome, 71 

Calais, France, 211 

Cambridge University, 67 72.1, 224, 285 

Campbell, John, styled Lord Glenorchy, 

Campbell, Willielma (Maxwell), styled 

Viscountess Glenorchy, 236 
Campion, Jean Charles Michel, controleur 

des fermes, Antibes, 236 
Campo Vaccino. See Forum, Rome 
Campus Martius, Rome, 63 
Canari, Corsica, 154 
Capitoline hill, Rome, 60, 62 
Capraja, island, 209, 246, 325 
Capuchins, 157, 193 
Caraffa, Chevalier de, in French army, 200, 


Career Mamertinus, Rome, 62 72.9 
Cardross, David Steuart Erskine, styled 

Lord, later 3rd E. of Buchan, 293-294 
Carew, Irish officer in Neapolitan service, 


Carlotti, Marquis of, 275 
Carroll, Mrs. Jane H., xxv 
Carthusians, 4, 63 

Casabianca, Gian Quilico, 174, 184-185 
Casanova de Seingalt, Giovanni Jacopo, 

Memoirs, 24 72.7, 93 TZ.I 
Casenove's, Rome, 83 
Casinca, Corsica, 195 72.5 
Cassillis, John Kennedy, 8th E. of, 254 
Castelnuovo, Italy, 107 72.3 
Catiline, 62 72.9, 180 
Cauro, Corsica, 191 
"Caveau," the, 242 72.1 
Cecil Street Coffee-house, London, 281, 283, 

284, 288, 290, 291 

Cenis, Mont, 21, 23 

Centuri, Corsica, 151 

Centurion, ship, 139, 150 

ChaiUet, Col. Jean Fre"d&ic, 24 

Chapman, R. W., xxv 

Charles I, King of Great Britain, 29 72.6, 43 

Charles III, King of Spain, 250 

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, 85, 236 

Charles Edward Stuart, Prince, the Young 

Pretender, 29 72.6, 67 72.9, 83, 226, 245, 

248-251, 274 72., 324-325 
Charles Emmanuel III, King of Sardinia 

and D. of Savoy, 22, 29, 30, 35, 155 72.3, 

224, 326 

Charlottina, at Siena, 219, 220 
Chauvelin, Agnes Th&rese (Mazade d'- 

Argeville) wife of following, 30, 35 
Chauvelin, Francois Claude, later Marquis 

de, 30, 35 

Cheval Blanc, inn at Montpellier, 252, 254 
Chevalier de Malte, coach companion of 

JB, 262 
Chevalier de St. Louis, coach companion 

of JB, 262 

Chidester, Harriet, xxv 
Chiswick, England, 280 
Christian, Prince Royal of Denmark, later 

Christian VII, 103 
Churchill, Charles, satirist, collaborates 

with Wilkes in founding The North 

Briton, xiv; dies in Boulogne, xv; Wilkes 

melancholy at death of, 71, 75, 97; 

leaves Wilkes as literary executor, xv; 

Wilkes editing poems of, 52 72.5, 72; JB 

refers to poems of, 53; Duellist, 75; 

Gotham, 72 72.9, 269 72.4; Rosciad, 73-74; 

mentioned, 27, 57, 70, 269 
Cicero, Marcus Tullius, xiii, 60, 62, 169, 

279 72.4; Tusculan Questions, 68; Letters 

to Atticus, 71-72; De senectute, 75; Pro 

P. Sestio, 79 

Cincinnatus, Lucius Quinctius, 159 
Clarendon, Edward Hyde, ist E. of, His- 
tory of the Rebellion, 73 
Clarke, of London, 268 
Clarke, Godfrey Bagnal, 66, 67, 82, 85, 88 
Clarke, Samuel, D.D., 254 
Claudian, De hello Gildonico, 211 
Claxton, John, 283, 284, 288, 289, 291 
Clement XIII, Pope, 6, 8, 42, 60, 63, 64, 65, 

79, 82, 123, 247 



Clermont (Oise), France, 277 n.Q 

Cochin, Charles Nicolas, engraver, Voyage 
d'ltalie, 56 

Cochrane, William, judge advocate, 243 

Coincy, Marquis de. See La Riviere de 

Cole, William, Journal of My Journey to 
Paris in 1765, 267 n.6 

Colonna, Lorenzo, Great Constable of 
Kingdom of Naples, 13 

Colonna, Marcantonio, Cardinal Vicar of 
Rome, 7, 13 n. 

Colonna, Prospero Cardinal, 51 

Colonna d'Istria, Pier Andrea, 163, 190, 
202, 323 

Colonna Palace, Rome, 74 

Colosseum, Rome, 61 

Condere, Pere et Fils, bankers at Lyons, 223 

Condillac, fitienne Bonnot de, philosopher, 
46; Cours d'etudes, 46 n.6 

Conquest of Mexico, The. See Majo, 
Francesco di 

Constance, Mile., prostitute, 272 

Conway, Henry Seymour, politician, 300 

II Corinthians, 156 

"Corn rigs are bonny," song, 175 

Cornuel, Anne (Bigot), 179 n. 

Corradmi, Gertrude, mistress of John 
Wilkes, xiv, 54 n.i, 56 n,2, 58 n., 70, 72, 
89, 93, 95-97, 100 


Corsica. In the eighteenth c., described, 
143-148, 154-155, 160, 193, 326; politi- 
cal relations with England, 145, 147, 
155, 175-177, 244, the Proclamation of 
1763, 146, 176, 295; relations with 
France, 143-144, 147, 148, 155 "-3> 
166, 171, 191, 201-204, 209, 276, 295, 
322, 324, 325; relations with Genoa, 
143-144, 201, 202, 203, 204, 209, 276, 
295, 322, 324, 325; Paoli's prediction 
for, 162; JB's interest in political and 
social patterns of, 145; JB's determina- 
tion to visit, 145; JB's crossing to, 139- 
140, 150-151; JB's ignorant beliefs 
about, 149; JB's tour in, 151-203; JB's 
first impressions of, 152-154; JB gets a 
passport, 159; JB predicts rapid progress 
for, 166; JB leaves, 202; JB talks with 
authority of, 223; JB discusses with 
Dempster, 289, Mrs. Grenville, 242, 
Johnson, 283, Macpherson, 279, Pitt, 

295, Rousseau, 281, Sorba, 276, Stewart, 
279, Walpole, 270, Wilkes, 268-269, JB 
writes Rousseau of, 260-261; JB writes 
in London Chronicle of, 244-246, 298, 

The Corsicans. Fear of bad weather, 
153; society of, described, 144, 150, 155- 
156, 158-159, 171-176, 191; customs of, 
171, 183; belief in visions, 185; JB's 
thoughts and impressions of, 151, 157, 
160-162, 173; attitude towards JB, 175- 
176; Paoli's anecdotes and opinions of, 
164, 171, 172, 174 

Corso, cape, Corsica, 150, 204, 323 

Corso, street, Rome, 77, 82 

Corte (town), Corsica, 154, 156-159, 192- 
194, 204 

Corte, Castle of, Commandant of. See 
Bartoli, Domenico 

Corte, University of, 157-158, 165 .i, 


Corte delle Colonne, street, Venice, 97 

Coutts and Company, bankers, London, 

Cr6billon, Claude Prosper Jolyot de, novel- 
ist, 242 

Cr6qui, Charles III, Due de, French Am- 
bassador at Rome, 200 

Crocchi, Abbe Pietro, 14, 124, 307, 3* 1 * 
313, 3i6 

Croix de Malte, inn, Toulon, 238 

Cromwell, Oliver, 285 

Crookshanks, Charles, 284 

Cuges, France, 239 

Cuttoli, Corsica, 191 

Cyrnaeus, Petrus, De rebus Corsicis, 173 

Daghlian, Philip, xxv 

Dalxymple, Sir David, Bart., later Lord 

Hailes, 274 n. 
Dance, James. See Love 
Dance, Nathaniel, later Sir Nathaniel 

Dance-Holland, painter, 50, 62 ra.2, 65, 


Dante, Divine Comedy, 218 
David, Bishop of Moray, 266 71.5 
Davies, Miss, prostitute, 291 
Davies, Thomas, actor and bookseller, 285, 

295, 296 

Dedeck-Hery, Ernestine, Jean-Jacques 
Rousseau et le projet de constitution 
pour la Corse, 19 7 n - 



Delarue, banker at Genoa, 81, 105, 210 

Deleyre, Alexandra, author, talks with JB 
of Rousseau, 46; writes Rousseau of con- 
soling JB about religion, 47; JB recol- 
lects his sayings on Rousseau's religion, 
254; JB writes to, of his feelings for 
Rousseau, 300 {see also Rousseau ar- 
ticle); JB visits, 11, 45-47, 111-113; 
tells JB it would be well if they had 
each other's virtues, 13, 113; JB de- 
scribes, 4, 46, 111, to Johnston, 104; JB 
gives copy of English verses to, 46; 
takes JB to see Ravenet, 47; has imme- 
diate affection for JB, 47; JB writes 
verses to, 80-81; argues against system 
of Wilkes, 112; atheism of, 112-113; 
JB opens soul to, 113; advises JB, 113; 
JB parts from, 113; letters from JB to, 
105-106 (text), 277 Ti.8, 300 (text); 
writes JB of decadence of civilization, 
105 TZ.I; mentioned, xiii, 45, 65, 103, 

Deleyre, Caroline Alexandrine (Loiseau), 
wife of preceding, 112 

Delphi, oracle at, 186 

Demosthenes, 178 

Dempster, George, M.P., letter to JB, 
113-114; mentioned, 139, 222 7^4, 280, 
289, 295 

Denbigh, Basil Feilding, 6th E. of, 290 

Denmark, King of. See Frederick V 

Dennistoun, James, Memoirs of Sir Robert 
Strange and Andrew Lumisden, 83 72.2, 
262 72.7 

Deyverdun, Georges, essayist, 298 

Diana, Temple of, Names, 252 

Dick, John, later Sir John Dick, British 
Consul at Leghorn, 116, 210, 222 

Dillon-Lee, Charles, later Viscount Dillon 
of CosteUo-Gallen, 30 TZ.I 

Diocletian, Baths of, Rome, 62 

Doge of Genoa. See Rovere 

Doge's palace, Venice, 94 

Dolfi, Sergio, xxv 

Domenico, valet de place, Siena, 16 

Dominicans, xviii, 4, 43, 79 

Domitian, 61 

Domus Augustiana, Rome, 62 

Donatus, Aelius, 109 71.3 

Doria, Andrea, Genoese admiral, 167 

Dothel, Nicolas, flautist, 13 

Douai, France, 268 

Douglas, French officer, 199 
Dover, England, 279 72.5 
Dowdeswell, William, politician, 293 
Drummond, Capt. Duncan, 224, 241 
Dryden, John, 22 72.9, 49 72.2, 109 72.5, 281 
Duchesne, Nicolas Bonaventure, publisher, 

260 72.4 
Duchesne, Mme., wife of preceding, 261, 


Dun, Mr., in London, 283 
Dunbar, titular E. of. See Murray, James 
Duncan, Alexander, 295 
Dupuis, Mile., madam, in Paris, 272 72.6 
Durazzo Palace, Genoa, 224 
Dutch Ambassador, Paris. See Lestevenon, 

Dutens, Louis, diplomat and author, 24 

72.7, 25, 29, 30; Memoires d'un voyageur 

qid se repose, 24 72.7, 25 72.1 

East Indies, 151 

Ecclesiastes, 178 

Echlin, Sir Henry, Bart., 270, 271 

Eckstadt, Count Vitzthum von, 26 72.7 

Edinburgh, Scotland, i, 78 72., 135, 210, 

215, 251 

Edinburgh, University of, i, 67 72.1 
Edmondstone, Lieut.-Col. James, JB writes 
Rousseau of, 9-12; "discreet governor" 
in Mountstuart's party when JB joins 
it, 9, 88; JB describes, 85, 88, 103, 108, 
comments on his roughness, 10, 88; 
favors JB joining Mountstuart's party, 
86, 87; JB discusses Scots families with, 
56, education, 86, friendship with 
Mountstuart, 86; does not speak to 
Wilkes, 56 72.4; JB thinks of consulting 
on money affairs, 74; JB resolves to ask 
for lieutenancy for Bob Temple, 83; JB 
and Mallet discuss, 85; Mountstuart 
tells a story of, 87-88; promises JB 
good punch at country-house in Scot- 
land, 89; reproves JB and Mountstuart 
for bad treatment of Mallet, 92; offends 
Mallet, 92; takes JB to task over dancer 
in Venice, 11; vexed to see differences 
between JB and Mountstuart, 10; opin- 
ion of JB, 108; JB, Mallet and he re- 
solve to forget misunderstandings, 12; 
JB takes leave of, 108; parts from 
Mallet and Mountstuart, 132; agrees 
sometimes too severe with JB, 132; Lord 



Auchinleck sends compliments to, 212; 

JB names as reason for staying in Italy, 

215; mentioned, 51, 66, 90 
Edward Augustus, Duke of York, brother 

to George III, 66, 323 
Egeria, nymph, 186 
Eglinton, Alexander Montgomerie, loth 

E. of, i, 23, 57, 284, 285, 290, 291 
Elibank, Patrick Murray, 5th Baron, 268 
Elisha, prophet, 166 

Elizabeth Christine, Holy Roman Em- 
press, 42 

Elliot, John, naval captain, 239 
Ellis, Henry, governor, 224 
Erskine, Hon. Andrew, Letters between 

the Hon. Andrew Erskine and. James 

Boswell, Esq., 288 
Erskine, John, Principles of the Law of 

Scotland, 229 

Etienne, valet de place, Lyons, 257 
Eton College, 189 72.3 
Eugene, Prince of Savoy, 178 n.i 
Evelyn, John, 43 72.5 

Faber du Faur, Curt von, xxv 

Falconieri Palace, Rome, 74 

Farrington, Sir William, 82 

Felltham, Owen, Resolves, 185 

Fergusson, Sir James, of Kilkerran, Bart., 

Ferney, Switzerland, 2, 196, 281 72.7 

Ferrara, Italy, 92 

Fettercairn House, Scotland, i n. 

Finale, near Genoa, 230 

Fisher, John, Bishop of Rochester, 43 

Fitzjames, Charles Fitzjames, Due de, 277 

Flanders, 80, 208, 267 72.3 

Fleet Ditch, London, 289 

Fleet Prison, London, 70 

Fleet Street, London, 296 

Flexney, William, publisher, 57 72.5 

Flexney, Mrs., wife of preceding, 57 

Florence, Italy, 13, 66, 113, 116, 123, 149 

Foladare, Joseph, "James Boswell and Cor- 
sica," xxiv, 197 72. 

Foley, Sir Ralph, Bart., 272, 274 72. 

Foligno, Italy, 89 

Fontainebleau, France, 266 

Fontenelle, Bernard Le Bovier de, philoso- 
pher, 99 

Fontenoy, battle of, 178/2.1 

Forbes, Sir William, Bart., banker, 277 

Forum, Rome, 60 

Foulis, Robert and Andrew, publishers, 165 


Fox, Henry. See Holland, Henry Fox, ist 


France, 235-279; Lord Auchinleck advises 
JB what to see in, 211, 215; weather, 254; 
Rousseau forbidden to return to, 259; 
Lord Auchinleck hears of JB's arrival in, 
274; JB treats with some delicacy in Jour- 
nal, 147; relations with Corsica, see that 
France, Ambassadress of, at Turin. See 

Chauvelin, Agnes Therese de 
France, Consul of, at Barcelona. See Morte- 

mard de Boisse 

Francesco, valet de place, Rome, 75 
Francis I, King of France, 236 72.9 
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, 122-124, 


Francis, Rev. Philip, 56, 199 72. 
Franciscans, 156-159, 192, 209 
Frascati, Italy, 65 72.5, 68, 84, 189 72.3 
Frederick I, King of Sweden, 224 
Frederick II (the Great), King of Prussia, 
2, 28, 45 n.2, 259, 298; Epistle to Marshal 
Keith, 168 

Frederick V, King of Denmark, 93 72.9 
Frejus, France, 237 

French Ambassador at Rome. See Cr<qui 
Froment, Col. Denis Daniel de, 25 
Frulla, A. Guelfo, xxv 
Furiani, Corsica, 172 

Galloway, Alexander Stewart, 6th E. of, 


Garrick, David, "Hearts of Oak," 176 72. 

Garzoni, Romano, at Lucca, 138-139 

Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, Lon- 
don, 279 

Geneva, Switzerland, 2, 5 72.5, 97, 100-101, 
132, 211, 259 

Genoa, Italy, JB arrives at, 210, 223; JB's 
stay at, 223-225; climate, 234; JB treats 
the Genoese with contempt in Journal, 
147; relations with Corsica, see that 

Genoa, French envoy to. See Boyer de Fons- 
colombe, Joseph 

Gentili, Ignazio, Leghorn shipmaster, 140 

340 Index 

Genzano, Italy, 65 

George I, King of Great Britain, 252 72.2 
George II, King of Great Britain, 84 
George III, King of Great Britain, xiv, 2, 8, 
51, 52 72.3, 66 72.7, 72, 75-76, 84, 86, 99 

72.8, 102 72.6, 103, 242 72.2, 269 72.2, 27! 
72.3, 280 72.1, 290, 295 

Georgia, 224 

Germany, 76 72.8, 82 72.6, 174 

Germany, Courts of, 2 

Gherardi, Genoese secretary of state, 202, 

Ghini-Bandinelli, Bernardino (Bino), at Si- 
ena, 122123, 21 7j 264 

Giacomini, Giacomo, at Centuri, 151 

Gibbon, Edward, xvii-xviii, 67 72.9 

"Gilderoy," song, 175 

Gillibrand, Rev. PRichard, at Loretto, 90 

Giuliano, Signer (PGiovanni Giuliani), 
Corsican, 139 

Giulio, Padre, at Corte, 156, 157 

Glasgow, Scotland, 213 

Glasgow, University of, i, 112 72.6 

Glenorchy, Lord. See Campbell, John 

Glenorchy, Viscountess. See Campbell, Wil- 
lielma Maxwell 

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 50 72,5 

Goldsmith, Oliver, 295-297 

Gordon, Colonel, at Rome, 64, 65, 66 

Gordon, Colonel, at Paris (? same as 
above), 268 

Gordon, John, Principal of the Scots Col- 
lege, Paris, xvii, 267, 271, 272, 275, 276 

Gordon, Thomas, author, 165 72.1 

Gordon, Sir William, Bart., of Park, 268 

Gori-Pannilini, Silvio, at Siena, 122-123 

Gotha, Germany, 155 72.5 

Graeme, huntsman to James Montgomerie 
of Lainshaw, 290 

Graeme, John, in Jacobite peerage created 
Sir John Graeme and Earl of Alford, 271, 
272, 275 

Graeme, Gen. William, at Venice, 11, 12, 
93, 99, 102-104, 106, 133 

Graham, Sir John. See Graeme, John 

Graham of Shaw, family of, 104 

Grange, estate of John Johnston, 78 

Grant, Abbe" Peter, at Rome, xvii, 64, 82, 

Gray, Andrew, son of John, nth Baron 
Gray, 25, 30, 41 

Gray, Thomas, 147, 224, 271 72.2, 287 
Great Britain, political situation in, 84 72.4; 

JB's opinion of the British, 297; relations 

with Corsica, see that article; mentioned, 

5 72.5, 76, 108, 279 
Great Britain, Ambassador in Paris. See 

Richmond, Charles Lennox, 3rd D. of 
Great Britain, Ambassador's Chapel, Paris, 


Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, 284 
Green, Betsy, mistress of John Wilkes, 55 


Gregory, Dr. John, Comparative View of 
the State and Faculties of Man with 
Those of the Animal World, 170 

Grenville, George, Ministry of, 102 72.6 

Grenville, Henry, Ambassador to Constan- 
tinople, 239, 241 

Grenville, Margaret (Banks), wife of pre- 
ceding, 241-242 

Griffith, Commander at Piacenza, 45 

Grimaldi, Capt. Giovanni Grimaldo, Geno- 
ese officer, 209, 225, 246, 325 

Grimaldi da Campoloro, Padre Leonardo, 
at University of Corte, 193 

Guadignola, Duchess of, 85 

Guardian, The, 165 72.1 

Guelfucci da Belgodere, Padre Bonfiglio, 
secretary to PaoH, 174, 180 

Guthrie, William, author, 72 72.9 

Hadfield, Charles, in Florence, 102 

Haig, Robert L., xxv 

Halifax, George Montague-Dunk, 5th E. of, 
Secretary of State, 72 

Halsband, Robert, xxv 

Hamilton, Gavin, painter, 50, 51 72.2, 61 
72.7, 63-65, 74, 86; Achilles Dragging the 
Body of Hector at His Chariot Wheels, 51 

Hamilton, James, 6th D. of, 24 

Hamilton, William, later Sir William, Brit- 
ish Envoy to the Court of Naples, 52, 84 
"3, 85 72.9 * 

Hanni, Jacob, JB's servant, scolds JB for ir- 
regular living, 22; JB swears to be retenu 
with, 63; JB plans to ignore, 66; ill at 
Rome, 88; accompanies JB in Corsica, 
140, 152, 191-192; criticizes JB's behav- 
iour with servants, 207, 237-238; scolds 
JB for being stingy, 209; retorts when 
scolded by JB for extravagance, 226-227; 



rebukes JB for beating Jachone, 228; JB 
philosophizes on his "republican obsti- 
nacy," 229; feeds Jachone contrary to 
orders, 230; apologizes for behaviour, 
236; remarks on JB's anxiety over Ja- 
chone, 238; sent ahead to Lyons, 244, 
258; JB takes leave of, 258-259; his rea- 
sons for not believing Scriptures, 286; JB 
tells Dempster how he had been gov- 
erned by, 289; mentioned, 20, 100, 156, 
225, 237, 257 
Hannibal, 22 72.8, 207 
Harrington, James, author, 165 72.1 
Harrison, Commodore Thomas, Comman- 
der of H.M.S. Centurion, 139, 150, 232, 


Harwich, England, 208 

Hasse, Johann Adolph, composer, L'Olimpi- 
ade, 38 

Hay, Scottish farmer, 251 

Hay, John, of Cromlix, titular E. of Inver- 
ness, 248 72.2, 251 72.7 

Hay, Marjory (Murray), titular Countess 
of Inverness, widow of preceding and sis- 
ter to the Jacobite Earl of Dunbar, 248- 

Hayes, Dr., 57 

Hayes, England, 291 

"Hearts of Oak," song by David Garrick 
and William Boyce, 147, 176 

Heath, Mr., at Turin, 34, 39 

Hecquet, Charlotte Genevieve, madam, in 
Paris, 272 

Helv&ius, Claude Adrien, philosopher, 287 

Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart, 
Cardinal York, 29 72.6, 66, 84 

Herculaneum, ruins at, near Naples, 52 

Herries, Cochrane, and Company, bankers, 
London, 210, 213 

Hertford, Francis Seymour-Conway, 5th M. 
of, 116 

Hervey, Frederick Augustus. See Bristol 

Hessenstein, Count, natural son of Freder- 
ick I of Sweden, 224, 225 

Heuer, Mme., 318 72.3 

Hilles, Frederick W., xxv, 260 72.4 

Holland, Henry Fox, ist Baron, 56 72.8, 148 

Holland, 2, 57, 67, 80, 208, 229 72.9, 267 72.3 

Hollford, James, British Consul at Genoa, 
210, 223, 227, 232 

Holstein-Gottorp, Princess Hedwig Sophia 

Of, 25 72.2 

Home, Henry. See Kames, Lord 
Home, John, author, 57; Douglas, 57 72.7 
Homer, Iliad, 187; Odyssey, 186-187 
Honore III, Prince of Monaco, 235 
Hopetoun, John Hope, 2nd E. of, 64 
Hopital de Pelerins, Mont Cenis, 22 
Horace, 7, 65, 83 72.2; Ars poetica, 101, 322; 
Epistles, 73; Epodes, 97, 160; Odes, 11, 59, 
83, 100, 199; Satires, 44, 53, 165, 285 
Hotel de Dauphin, Paris, 267 
Hotel de Luxembourg, Paris, 275, 277 
Hotel Montigny, Paris, 272 
House of Commons, xiii-xiv 
House of Lords, xiv 
Hudson Bay, 224 

Hume, David, JB compares unfavorably to 
Johnson, 98; Johnson remarks on, 182, 
282, 286; secretary to British Ambassa- 
dor in Paris, 260; accidentally predicts 
JB's conduct with Therese Le Vasseur, 
279 72.4; tells Therese of JB's melancholy 
disposition, 280; his ideas on happiness, 
286; JB thinks Temple harmed by read- 
ing, 287; quarrel between Rousseau and, 
298-299; obtains pension for Rousseau, 
298; appointed secretary to Mr. Con- 
way, 300; JB writes verses in character 
of, 300; "The Sceptic," 286 72.5; men- 
tioned, 197 72., 279 72.6, 3l8 72.1, 32O 72.4 

Hyde, Donald F., xxv 
Hyde, Mrs. Donald F., xxv 

Inner Temple, London, 288 

Innsbruck, Austria, 107 72.3 

Institut de France, Paris, 43 72*5 

Les Invalides, Paris, 266 

Ireland, 188, 244 n., 314 72.1 

Isham, Lieut. -Col. Ralph Heyward, ix 72.2, 
277; The Private Papers of James Bos- 
well from Malahide Castle, x 72.2, xxii, 

29, 32 W., 36 tt.9, 117 72., 133 72.5, 210 72.5, 

270 72,9, 2 9* n '* Q 9 299 n. 
Isle St. Pierre, Switzerland, 259, 318-320 
Italy, in the eighteenth c., xviii-xx; JB 
writes Rousseau account of tour of, 3-20; 
climate, 104; JB's opinion of morals in, 
106, operas in, 240; JB recalls charms of, 
240; poverty and sickness, 309 n.i; JB 
comments on Italian people, 8, 106, 124: 
mentioned, 210-211, 215 



Jachone, Corsican mastiff, Paoli presents to 
JB, 192, 324; JB's cruelty to, 207, 227, 
228, 230; JB inks out descriptions of 
cruelty to, 207, 227, 230; runs away, 208, 
226, and is found, 227, 237, 238; guards 
JB at Razzi, 231, at Ventimiglia, 235; 
follows JB to Avignon, 247, and to Lyons, 
257; rests at Lyons, 258; mentioned, 236 
Jacobites. See Graeme, Sir John; Hay, 
John, of Cromlix; Lumisden, Andrew; 
Marischal, George Keith, loth K; Mori- 
son, Colin; Murray, Hon. Alexander; 
Murray, Lord George; Murray, James; 
Nairne, John; Ormonde, James Butler, 
2nd D. of; Pitcairne, Archibald; Stewart, 
Peter; Winton, George Seton, 5th E. of 
James I, King of Great Britain, 90 
James II, King of Great Britain (VII of 

Scotland), 83 72.2, 252 72,2, 275, 277 n. 
James IV, King of Scotland, 82 72.6 
James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pre- 
tender, JB fears accusation of treason if 
he meets, 61 71.7; recollections of, given 
to JB by Lady Inverness, 249; Wilkes 
says had best title to throne, 271; JB 
hears of his death, 272; mass said for, at 
Scots College, Paris, 272; mentioned, 66 
72.7, 71, 84, 226, 248, 252 72.2, 268 72.4, 287 
Jardine, Sir Alexander, of Applegarth, 

Bart., 44, 79 

Jesse, J. H., George Selwyn and His Con- 
temporaries, 148 71.8 
Jesuits, college of, San Remo, 234 
Joan of Arc, 269 72.3 

Johnson, Samuel, characterized, 179-180, 
182; his opinions of Baretti, 281, Hume, 
182, Macpherson, 182, Paoli, 182 72.9, 
Rousseau, 285; Rousseau's comment on, 
261; Temple's opinion of, 287; Wilkes's 
opinion of, 54, 56; topics of conversation 
with JB: courting the great, 282, con- 
vents, 281, equality of man, 286, poetry, 
writing, 296, teaching by lectures, 285- 
286, theatre, on his dropping the, 296, 
Voltaire's comparison between Pope and 
Dryden, 281, not obliged to write, 296; 
Dictionary, 98; False Alarm, 54 72.8; 
Idler, 182; Rambler, 50, 56, 180, 225; 
Rasselas, 94 72.5; The Vanity of Human 
Wishes, 111, 296 

Personal Relations with JB. JB's emu- 
lation of, 50, 101; JB writes to, of Cor- 

sica, 194, and from Paris, 277 72.8; JB re- 
ceives letters from, 194, 270; JB is shown 
some letters of, by Baretti, 99; influence 
on JB's political opinions, 101; JB thinks 
of writing about, 101; comments on JB's 
Corsica, 146, 283; JB pays tribute to, 
182-183; pleased with JB, 194; JB sees 
tn'TYi not so immense as before, 208; JB 
reflects on "noble force" of, 239; receives 
JB affectionately on return, 281; com- 
mends JB's general mass of knowledge, 
282 ; his advice on courting the great put 
into practice, 283-284; JB likens his so- 
berness to, 284; JB feels self elevated by 
acquaintance with, 290; mentioned, i, 
85, 94, 98, 165 72.1, 181, 223, 261, 291 

Johnson, Sarah (Ford), mother of preced- 
ing, 286 

Johnston, John, of Grange, letters from JB 
to, 49, 59, 77-8o, 83 n.2, 103-105, 252 
72.3, 262 72.6; mentioned, 23, 48, 114, 223; 

238 72. 

Joseph, Biblical character, 293 

Joseph, servant to JB. See Ritter, Joseph 

Joyce, James, xix 

Jugurtha, King of Numidia, 62 72.9 

Jullien, Antoine, French Consul at Nice, 


Jupiter Tonans, temple of, Rome, 62 
Juvenal, Satires, 22, 81-82 

Kames (Henry Home), Lord, 228 
Kamm, innkeeper at Strasbourg, 320 
Karlsruhe, Germany, 2 
Kauffmann, Angelica, Swiss painter, 50; A 

Female Figure Allured by Music and 

Painting, 50 72.5 
Kempis, Thomas a, 37 
Kenneth II, King of Scotland, 251 
Kennicott, Benjamin, D.D., scholar, 44 
Khevenhuller-Metsch, Johann Sigismund, 

Count of, 28 

King's Bench Walk, London, 296 
Kingston, Evelyn Pierrepont, ist D. of, 52 


Klopstock, Friedrich Gottlieb, 50 72.5 
Knights of Malta, 44 72.6 

La Chapelle, M. de, physician in French 

army, 198, 199, 202, 203 
La Fleur, Julien, chaise-driver, 236 
Lalande, Joseph Jerome Le Frangais de, 

astronomer, 224; Voyage d'un frangais 
en Italie fait dans les annees 1765 & 
1766, 67 72.8 

Lam, George L., xxv 

Landau (probably Lanslebourg, France), 

Langham, Maj. James, 240 

Languedoc, Regiment de, 237, 239 

Laocoon, sculpture, 66-67, 84 

La Riviere de Coincy, Marquis de, Com- 
mandant at Toulon, 238 

La Roche, Mme. de, at Paris, 275 

La Rochefoucauld, Frangois, Due de, 
Maxims, 179 

La Salle, M. de, Vice-consul of France at 
Porto Maurizio, 232 

"Lass of Patie's Mill, The," song, 175 

Laud, William, Archbishop of Canterbury, 


Lausanne, Switzerland, 97, 100 

Leaning Tower, Pisa, 139 

Le Blanc, baigneur, at Lyons, 257 

Le Brun, Charles, architect, 200 

Le Clerc, baigneur, at Paris, 266 

Leghorn, Italy, 139-150, *54, 3^3 

Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm von, philos- 
opher, 29, 30 

Leigh, R. A., "Boswell and Rousseau," 300 

Leipzig, Germany, 26 71.7 

Le Luc, France, 238 

Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, later 
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, 107, 

309, 311 

Lestevenon, Mattheus, Heer van Hazers- 
woude and Berkenrode, Dutch Ambas- 
sador at Paris, 272 

Letham, Laird of, 251 

Le Vasseur, Therese, Rousseau's mistress, 
JB sends his respects to, 82; Rousseau 
charged with having five illegitimate 
children by, 259; JB meets upon her ar- 
rival in Paris, 275; JB tells of his 
mother's death, 275; suggests JB accom- 
pany her on journey to London, 275; JB 
calls on, 276; JB leaves Paris with, 277; 
JB hurt by her mean kindness to ser- 
vants, 277; her intrigue with JB while 
crossing to England, 208, 277-279; JB 
takes her to David Hume, 279; JB prom- 
ises not to mention affaire, 280; JB de- 
livers to Rousseau, 280-281; relations 

Index 343 

with Rousseau, 317; letters to, from 
Rousseau, 317-320; mentioned, 115, 197 
72., 299 

Lewis, Mrs. (Louisa), actress, i 

Lewis, Wilmarth S., xxv, 66 71.7, 309 71.1; 
The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's 
Correspondence,, 147 n. 9 271 71.2 

Leyden, University of, 54 

Liebert, Herman W., xxiv xxv 

Lincoln's Tim, London, 288 

Livy (Titus Livius), Annals, 75 71.4, 181, 
187 n.2 

Lloyd, Robert, poet, 70 

Locanda di Carlo in Florence. See Hadfield, 

Lochaber, principality of, Scotland, 249 

Locke, John, 46 

London, JB spends year in, i ; JB's love for, 
i; JB thJT'kg of, nostalgically, 50; JB 
plans to spend some time in, after tour, 
77; Lord Auchinleck allows JB to spend 
eight or ten days in, 211-212; JB hopes 
for good position in, 99, 133, plans to pass 
winters in, 133, 135; JB arrives in, after 
tour, 279; JB's revaluation of people in, 
208; JB's notes in, 279-297 

London Chronicle, The, 244-246, 274 72., 
279 n.8, 291, 298, 301, 322-327 

Lopez, Robert S., xxv 

Loretto, Italy, 49, 90 

Lorraine, Francis, D. of. See Francis I, 
Holy Roman Emperor 

Louis XIV, King of France, 200, 253 72.6 

Louis XV, King of France, 45 72.3, 198 72., 

249, 253 

Louisa. See Lewis, Mrs. 

Louvre, Paris, 93 72.2 

Love, James, professional name of James 
Dance, actor and author, 21, 50 72.4 

Lucan, Pharsalia, 168-169 

Lucca, Italy, 3, 131, 138, 220, 221 

Lucretius, De rerum natura, 97, 168 n. 

Ludy, Albert K., xxv 

Luigi, servant of Massesi, 193 

Luitprand, King of the Lombards, 167 

Luke (book of Bible), 76 

Lumisden, Andrew, described, 61 72.7, 65; 
JB prudent with, for sake of political 
future, 61 72.7, 71; promises JB miniature 
of Mary, Queen of Scots, 63; gives JB 
miniature, 65; speaks of the Old Pre- 
tender, 66; JB to consult on portrait by 


Alves, 74, on money affairs, 74; shows 
JB prints, 76; JB to consult on plans, 77; 
JB plans to correspond with, 77; shows 
JB drawings by Prince Charles, 83; opin- 
ion of JB, 83 72.2; urges JB to join Mount- 
stuart's party, 85; JB transmits to Earl of 
Dunbar a letter from, 248; Dunbar 
writes to, of JB, 251 n.i; recommends 
JB to Mr. Ray at Montpellier, 252; enter- 
tained by JB's letter from Lucca, 262; 
writes JB advice on Italian ladies, 262- 
263; mentioned, 270 72.6, 272 71.4, 277 n.S 

Luncarty, battle of, 251 

Luxembourg, Madeleine Angelique (de 
Neuville-Villeroy), Mare*chale, Duch- 
esse de, 275 

Luxembourg Palace, Paris, 268 

Luze, Jean Jacques de, 318, 319 

Luze, Marie Frangoise (Warney) de, 
mother of preceding, 14 71.3 

Lycurgus, lawgiver of Sparta, 147, 186 

Lyons, France, 212, 244, 254-259, 261-262 

I Maccabees, 177 

Macdonald, PAeneas, at Scots College, 
Paris, 267 

Macdonald, Sir James, Bart., 189, 240, 284 

Macdonald of Slate, Sir Alexander Mac- 
donald, ist Baron, 284 n.8 

Macerata, Italy, 90 

McKinlay, Dr., 23 7277.4 and 5, 49 72.2, 51 
rc.2, 59, 99 n.S 

Macpherson, James, 182, 279; Fingal, 114 

Madrid, Spain, 193 

Maillebois, Jean Baptiste, Marquis de, 201 

Mainz, Germany, 257 

Maison Carree, Nimes, 252 

Maison de Ville, Marseilles, 241 

Majo, Francesco di, composer, Montezuma, 

Mallet, Paul Henri, author, tutor to Lord 
Mountstuart, described, 9, 87, 88, 98, 103, 
131; JB counsels self to see often, 74; JB 
resolves to profit by instructions of, 9, 88, 
102; teaches JB, 83-85, 102; JB's opinion 
of, 83, 85, 91-935 opinion of JB, 95, 98, 
243; chides JB for laziness, 83, 92-93, 
102; disputes with JB, 10, 11, 91, 98, 107; 
JB resolves not to dispute with, 86, 92 n. 9 
94, 98; doubtful of JB's resolution, 99; 
common bond of hypochondria with JB, 


82, 85, 107, 133; JB tells of Rousseau and 
Voltaire, 83; speaks to JB of Edmond- 
stone, 85; favours JB joining their party, 
86; suffers fatigue from trip, 10, 88; 
vexed to see differences between JB and 
Mountstuart, 10; makes sport of JB over 
dancer, 11; angry at Edmondstone, 92; 
competes with JB for bedroom at Gen. 
Graeme's, 93; comments on the party, 
94; says Rousseau laughed at JB, 94; JB 
hopes to effect quarrel between Mount- 
stuart and, 98; says Fontenelle insen- 
sible, 99; JB writes Johnston of, 103; JB 
wants character sketch from, 107, 108; 
JB takes leave of, 108; resolves to forget 
misunderstandings with JB, 12, 132; 
writes JB, 131-132; parts from Mount- 
stuart and Edmondstone, 132; JB writes 
to, asking help in problems, 133-134; JB 
names as reason for staying in Italy, 215; 
JB will not call on, 283; History of Den- 
mark, 253 72.7 

Malplaquet, battle of, 251 72.6 

Malta, 44 

Mann, Sir Horace, British Envoy at Flor- 
ence, 66 72.7, 102? 309 "-I 

Mannheim, Germany, 257 

Mansfield, William Murray, ist E. of, 248, 
250, 251 

Mantua, Italy, 108, 109, 111 

Marbeuf, Louis Charles Rene, Comte de, 
French commander, 147, 150, 194, 198- 
199, 201-202, 209, 237, 238, 323, 325 

Marbeuf, Comtesse de, wife of preceding, 

Marbeuf, Yves Alexandre de, later Arch- 
bishop of Lyons, 202, 276 

Marcus Aurelius, 169 

Marcuse, Sibyl, xxv 

Maria Clementina Sobieski, wife of Old 
Pretender, 226 

Maria Louisa, Infanta of Spain, wife of 
Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, 107, 
309, 3*1 

Maria Theresa, Holy Roman Empress, 28 
72.3, 326 

Mariani da Corbara, Padre Francesco An- 
tonio, Rector of the University of Corte, 

Marie, maid at house of Le Blanc, Lyons, 


Marignier, Switzerland, 20/2.1 

Marischal, George Keith, loth E., 45, 63, 

99, 115, 148, 248-249, 259, 261, 280 72.3 
Marius, Gaius, Roman general, 186 
Marlborough, John Churchill, ist D. of, 

1/8 72.1 

Marly-le-Roi, France, 211 

Marseilles, France, 222 72.3, 236, 239-244 

Marshall, Mr., at Scots College, Paris, 276 

Martin, painter, Rome, 6-7 

Mary, Queen of Scots, 63, 65, 275 

Mary II, Queen of Great Britain, 252 72.2 

Massesi, Giuseppe Maria, Grand Chancel- 
lor of Corsica, 157, 159, 192-193 

Massesi, Luigi, son of preceding, 157 

Matra, Col. Antonio, 209, 246, 325 

Medici Palace, Rome, 67 

Medmenham Abbey, Monks of, club, xiv- 

Melanchthon, Philip, tomb of, 194 

Mentone, France, 235 

Mestria, Italy, 99 

Metzdorf, Robert F., xxv 

Michel, French charge d'affaires at Genoa, 

202, 223-224, 232, 236 
Michelangelo, 63 72.3; Moses, 63 
Michieli, Chiara (Bragadini), 10, 94, 95, 


Middlesex, England, 56 
Milan, Cathedral of, 42 
Milan, Italy, 12, 41-44, 79, 98, 107 
Milan, echo palace at. See Simonetta, 

Palazzo della 
Miller, Thomas, later Lord Glenlee, Lord 

Advocate, 291 
Mincius, river in Italy, 109 
Mitchell, Sir Andrew, 283 
Mitre Tavern, London, 281, 285, 295 
Modena, Italy, 48, 113, 123 
Monaco, 230, 235 
Monaco, Commandant at, 235 
Monaco, Prince of. See Honore III 
Monigo, Italy, 103, 105 
Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley, 52 71.3, 93 

TZ.I, 94 H.4 

Monte Cavallo, papal palace, Rome, 82 
Monte Oliveto, Benedictine monastery near 

Siena, 134 TL 
Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat, Baron 

de, Lettres Persanes, 88 
Montgomerie, James, of Lainshaw, 284, 

290, 291 


Montgomerie, Jean (Maxwell), wife of 

preceding, 284 
Montgomerie, Margaret, later wife of JB, 

90 72., 314 72.1 

Montmollin, Frde*ric Guillaume de, 

clergyman at M6tiers, 259 
Montpellier, France, 252-254 
Montrose, James Graham, ist M. of, 204 
Moravcik, Mrs. Dorothy B., xxv 

More, Sir Thomas, 43, 187 

Morelli, PIgnazio Francesco, counsellor-at- 
law in Bastia, 198, 200 

Moreshead, Sir Owen, xxv 

Morgan Library, New York, 301 72.8 

Morison, Colin, antiquary and guide, at 
Rome, 51, 60-63, 65-66 

Morrice, Mrs., at Rochester, 279 

Morris, ostler, 69 

Morsiglia, Corsica, 151 

Mortemard de Boisse, M. de, French Con- 
sul at Barcelona, 262 

Metiers, Switzerland, 2, 81, 145, 258 H.I, 
259, 261 

Mountfort, William, Fall of Mortimer, 57 

Mountstuart, John Stuart, Lord, later 4th 
E. and ist M. of Bute, comes of age, 99; 
Auchinleck, Lord, intercedes with, to 
secure permission for JB's further so- 
journ in Italy, 86, 210; advises JB to 
return home with, 211; sends compli- 
ments to, 212; , JB gives as reason for 
remaining in Italy to, 215; Boswell, 
James, meets in Rome and becomes 
travelling companion of, 9; JB describes, 
8-9, 74, 89-90, 94, 135; JB hopes to profit 
from political influence of, 10, 83, 133; 
JB resolves to see often, 74; JB counsels 
self to be well with, 82, 84; JB resolves to 
be firm with, 85; JB rebukes self for bad 
influence on, 11; JB gives full account of 
his education to, 83; JB reads history of 
Spain to, 85; JB repeats German con- 
stitution to, 85; JB, promises never to 
be offended with, 86; JB to write plan 
to, 88; JB, tells bawdy stories to, 89; JB 
discusses superstitions with, 89; JB dis- 
turbed by dreams of, 89; JB irritates, 90; 
JB disputes with, 90, 92, 98, 99, 103, 107, 
108; JB cheers, 90; JB, writes to, con- 


cerning their differences, 91-92; JB 
settles differences with, 92; JB, opinion 
o, 12, 94; JB tells of whoring, 98; JB 
asks full account from London, 193; JB, 
says will miss, 106; JB, diverts, 107; JB 
plans not to tell of follies, 107; JB takes 
leave of, 108; JB, leaves Italy before, 
215; JB blamed for behaviour to, 283; 
JB attempts reconciliation with, 283- 
284; JB calls on, 51, 77, 82, 85, 88; Bute, 
Lord, JB becomes acquainted with char- 
acter of, through intimacy with, 101; 
recalls to England, 12, 102; Grant, Abbe", 
JB bids be decent with, 82; Guadignola, 
Duchess of, tells Abbe* of his love for, 
85; Holland, JB discusses with, 86; John- 
ston, John, JB writes to, of intimacy with 
party of, 103; Mann, JB plans to get 
letter of introduction from him to, 102; 
Montesquieu, JB and Mountstuart read 
Persian Letters of, 88; Mure, Baron, let- 
ter to, 87; Pringle, writes JB at request 
of, urging his return home, 280; Sanse- 
doni, Porzia, past lover of, 15; , gives 
JB permission to adore, 15; , gives JB 
letter of recommendation to, 116; , 
draws character of, for JB, 117; , opin- 
ion of, 129; Stuarts, opinion on taking 
oath abjuring, 84; Temple, Robert, JB 
wants to intercede with Lord Bute, in 
behalf of, 77, 98, 102; Venice, JB re- 
counts adventures with, in, 11, 104; 
Werpup, erects monument to, 84; 
Wilkes, does not tln'-nTr Lord Bute would 
approve JB's association with, 83; men- 
tioned, 14, 25 ra.1, 56 72.4, 87, in rz.4, n8, 
122, 125, 126, 131, 132; see akoEdmond- 
stone and Mallet articles 

Murato, Corsica, 155 

Mure, William, Baron of Exchequer, Scot- 
land, 87, 215 

Mure, William, ed., Selections from the 
Family Papers Preserved at Caldwell, 87 

Murray, Hon. Alexander, son of 4th Baron 
Elibank, 268 

Murray, Amelia (Murray), daughter of 
Dr. James Murray of Glencarse and 
Strowan, wife of Lord George Murray, 

250 72. 

Murray, Lord George, Jacobite general, 


Murray, James, titular E. of Dunbar, xvii, 

Murray, Dr. James, physician to the Old 
Pretender, xvii, 71, 74, 83, 102 

Murray, John, British Resident (Minister) 
at Venice, 93 

Murray, Nicolas Helen, sister of Lady In- 
verness, 251 72.9 

Murray, Patrick. See Elibank, 5th Baron 

Muti-Papazzuni Palace, Rome, residence 
of the Old Pretender, 61 72.7 

Muzio, gentleman at Siena, 217 

Nairn, Sir Thomas, Bart., of Dunsinane, 

213 72.8 

Nairn, William, later Sir William and 

Lord Dunsinnan, 213 72.8 
Nairne, John, relative of JB, at Sens, xvii, 

262 72.6, 266 

Namier, Sir Lewis, England in the Age of 
the American Revolution, 25 72.1 

Naples, Italy, 5-6, 52-59, 67, 72, 165, 222, 
234, 321 

Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 43 
72.5, 204 72.7 

Nebbio, province in Corsica, 204 

Needham, John Turberville, JB meets and 
describes, 30; believes vanity an in- 
gredient of happiness, 30; accepts Trin- 
ity as mystery, 34; praises Catholicism, 
34; says melancholy makes man not re- 
sponsible for moral conduct, 34; JB calls 
on, 35; maintains his chastity by severe 
struggles, 37; JB amazed to find so much 
man of world and yet so strict in conduct, 
37; discusses punishment in Hell, 37; JB 
attends opera with, 39; discusses religious 
orders and explains Trappists to JB, 39; 
breakfasts with JB, 41; gives JB direc- 
tions for journey through Italy, 42; de- 
fense of the Athanasian Creed, 50 72.3, 
70 72.8; JB sends Wilkes letter from, 70; 
letter from JB to, 76 n.8; mentioned, 72, 


Neptune, planet, 224 
Neuchatel, Switzerland, 14, 24 72.7, 45 72.2, 

259; Public Library of, 80 72.6 
Neuhoff, Theodore, Baron von, 270-271 
Newcastle, Thomas Pelham-Holles, ist D. 

Of, 25 72.1 

Nice, France, 235-236 
Nimes, France, 252-254 

Nini, Filippo, father of Girolama 

colomini, 130 
Noli, near Genoa, 229 
Norfolk, England, 56 
North America, 326 
North Briton, The. See Wilkes, John 
Northumberland House, London, i 
Norton, Mr., at Turin, 34, 39 
Nouvelle Rose, inn at Marseilles, 239 
Nova Scotia, 224 
Numa, Roman ruler, 186 

Ogilvy, Katharine (Nairn), wife of 

Thomas Ogilvy, 212, 213 
Ogilvy, Lieut. Patrick, 212-213 
Ogilvy, Thomas, Laird of Eastmiln, 212, 

213 71.8 

Old Bailey, London, 285 
Old Pretender. See James Francis Edward 


Old Testament, 44 72.7 
Oletta, Corsica, 155 

Orange (L J ), inn at Nimes, 252, 254 
Orkney, George Hamilton, 1st E. of, 251 
Ormonde, James Butler, 2nd D. of, 252 
Ornano, Sampiero di, Corsican hero, 161 
Ornano (town), Corsica, 161 
Orsini, Domenico, Cardinal Protector of 

France, 8, 51 71.9 
Osborn, Sir George, Bart., 240 
Osborn, John, brother of preceding, 240 
Ossian. See Macpherson, James 
Otway, Thomas, Venice Preserved, 94 
Ovid, Metamorphoses, 181 
Oxford University, 44, 189 71.3 

"Paddy Grady," song, 114 

Padua, Italy, 10, 92 

Palais Royal, Paris, 268 

Palatine hill, Rome, 61 

Palladio, architect, 93 

Pallerini, Anna, at Lucca, 131 n., 138 

Paoli, Clemente de, son of following, 144, 

Paoli, Giacinto de, father of following, 144, 


Paoli, Pasquale de, editorial comment de- 
scribing hmij 144, his method of govern- 
ment, 144, JB's method of depicting him 
in the Journal, 145-148; ambition of, 
164-165, 169, 170, 179, 181; Antonetti 
venerates, 152; assassination of, precau- 

Index 347 

Pic- tions taken against, 186; authority of, 
personal, 188, 248; Boswell, James, meets 
and describes, 162, 167-168, 172, 179- 
180, 323, 324, 326; JB's opinion of, 167, 
*73, 179, 186, 204, 208; JB gets apart- 
ment of, in Franciscan convent, 156; JB 
sets out to meet, 159; JB tells anecdote of 
hangman and, 159; JB apprehensive at 
approaching, 161; JB, studies, 162; JB 
talks with (see Topics of conversation 
below in this article), 162-163; JB, re- 
ceives compliment of, graciously, 162, 
324; JB rides his horse, 164; JB, recom- 
mends to care of Abbe" Rostra i, 163; JB, 
becomes more affable with, 164; JB con- 
verses daily with, 164; JB dines and sups 
constantly with, 164; JB treated with 
ceremony, 164; JB promises to send some 
English books to, 165; JB, hopes will 
marry, 170, 189-190; JB, treats with en- 
gaging condescension, 170; JB, wants to 
study character of Corsicans, 171, 173; 
JB, gives his own pistols to, 175; JB, asks 
to "undeceive your court," 176; JB 
cheers, 177; JB, tells how he manages in 
"genteel society," 179; JB hears of his 
visions and believes in their authenticity, 
185-186; JB describes his last day with, 
189-190; JB asked to write, 190; JB, 
gives guards to attend on trip through 
Corsica, 192; JB, gives Jachone to, 192, 
207, 324; JB, promises to send young dog 
to, at Auchinleck, 192; JB writes to, of 
his illness, 202-203; JB writes Johnston 
of intimacy with, 223; JB is questioned 
about at the Bosvilles, 284; JB mentions 
at Dempster's, 295; JB writes of, in Lon- 
don Chronicle, 322-327; JB, letter to, 
203-204; Corsica, his departure from, 
204 72.7; Corsican people, their love for, 
161, 172, 174, their confidence in, 173; 
Cuttoli, Rector of, corresponds with, 191; 
Dunbar, Earl of, comments on authority 
of, 248; English, speaks, 165; his English 
library described, 165; foreseeing future 
events, his power of, 184-185; French, 
his defeat by the, 148; Johnson, delighted 
with sayings of, 182; , meeting with, 
182 72.9; laws, makes, against collateral 
revenge, 183; Marbeuf, Comte de, gives 
JB letter of recommendation to, 194, 198; 
convention with, 201; memory of, 



180; nobility of, 165, 186; patriotism of, 
165; Pitt, complimented by, 204; , JB 
wishes to tell of, 289, 292; explains 
that he cannot hear from, 294; has not 
received his letter, 295; Plutarch and 
Livy, recommends reading, 18 1; Rostini 
comments on Corsican trust of, 174; 
Swift, criticizes some works of, 166; up- 
bringing, 168; versatility of mind of, 166, 

167, 180; mentioned, 115, 116, 140, 149, 
150, 151, 160, 195 72.4, 196, 197, 241 72.8, 
245, 246, 258, 260, 264, 268, 269, 279 
rc-4, 309, 313, 3i6, 327 

Topics of conversation: beasts, language 
of, 170; Corsica and Corsicans, 162, 164, 
166-167, 169, 171-173, 174, 176, 183; 
relations with Genoa, 184; relations 
with Great Britain, 176-177; courage, 
164, 187; elephants, 188; Epicureanism 
and Stoicism, 169; foreign minister, on 
being a, 188-189; Frederick the Great, 
168; God, 168, 181; hangman, 183; 
happiness, 189; history and literature, 
163; marriage and children, 169-170, 
189-190; melancholy, 178; morality, 

168, 178, 181, 189; patriotism and reason, 
177-178; philosophy, 170, 178; Provi- 
dence, 181; religion, 168; sayers of good 
things, 179; war, art of, 188 

Papal States, The, 200 

Paris, xiv, 208, 211, 214, 215, 223, 260, 

266-277, 318 72,1 
Parlane, James, surgeon, 214 
Parliament (English), xiv, 269 72.2, 294 
Parma, Prince Ferdinand, later D. of, 45 

72.3, 46 72.6, 47 72.7 
Parma, Italy, 13, 45-47* i4j 111-113 
Parthenope. See Naples 
Passo di Teodoro, 235 
Patrimonio, Corsica, 155 
Patullo, PHenry, at Scots College, Paris, 


Paul I, Czar of Russia, xvi 
Paul in, Pope, 236 
Pauline Chapel, Vatican, 64 72.1 
Peace of Paris (1763), 244^ 269 72.4 
Pedro, valet de place, Turin, 39 
Pembroke College, Oxford, 285 72.3 
Penn, William, founder of Pennsylvania, 

Pennant, Edward, 239-243 

Pennsylvania, 189 

Peraldi, Signer, at Cauro, 191 

Pero's Bagnio, London, 283 

Perth, Scotland, burghs of, 1 13 72.7 

Pesaro, Italy, 91 72.4 

Peyre, Henri, xxv 

Philip V, King of Spain, 45 72.3 

Philip, D. of Parma, 45 72.3, 46 72.6, 47, 111 

Philippi, 62 72.2 

Phocas, versified biography of Virgil, 109 

Piacenza, Italy, 44-45 

Piccolomini, Girolama (Nini), called 
"Moma" and "Momma"; JB's relation- 
ship with, discussed, xi-xii; described, 
17; JB describes affair with, in letter to 
Rousseau, 16-20; tells JB of her mar- 
riage, 17-18; fond of Rousseau's work, 
18; tells JB he is like Rousseau, 18; JB's 
approach to, 117; character in "Sienese 
Scene," 122-123; JB sits with, 124; asks 
JB's protection, 128; in love with JB, 
129; yields to JB, 130, 138; writes to JB 
of her love for him, 134, 216, 218, 221- 
222, 263-264, 303-306, 307-308; tells JB 
to be discreet, 134; reproaches JIB for in- 
constancy, 137, 216-217, 219-226, 312; 
JB expresses love for, 137-138; JB parts 
from, 138; JB dreams of, 138; JB writes 
to, 138, 139, 277 72.8; JB receives letter 
from, 210; health, 218, 221, 264, 309, 
311, 312, 315; diversions, 218, 264-265, 
309, 311, 312, 315-316; recalls JB's 
doubtful promise to return, 222; fears for 
JB's safety on voyage to Corsica, 222; 
JB recalls, 241; writes JB about his mar- 
riage plans, 304, 312; reminds JB to send 
portrait of himself, 305, 307, 309, 311, 
3i3 316; receives letter from JB to 
Richardson, 315; JB writes to, 137-138, 
314-315; letters to JB, 128, 134, 137, 
216-220, 221-222, 263-266, 303-313, 
315-316; mentioned, 118 

Piccolomini, Orazio, husband of preceding, 
xi, 18, 123, 138 

Pickrel, Paul, xxv 

Piedmont, Italy, 4 

Piedmontese, former Spanish officer, 21 

Pierre, valet de place, Montpellier, 254 

Pietole, Italy, 109 

Pietra, Italy, 231 

Pietro, gentleman at Siena, 218 



Pignatelli, Michaele, Neapolitan envoy to 
Turin, 31, 36/1.9, 37.38 

Pino, Corsica, 140, 153-154 

Pitcairne, Archibald, physician, 249 

Pitt, William, later ist E. of Chatham, 
compliments Paoli, 204; JB writes to, 
for audience, 288, 289-290 (text), 292 
(text); answers JB, 291-292; JB has in- 
terview with, 293-295; his portrait 
pleases Rousseau, 292; mentioned, 25 
TZ.I, 144, 208 

Placentia. See Piacenza 

Placidi, Abb Lorenzo, at Siena, 122-123 

Placidi, Placido, at Siena, 122, 217, 264- 

Pleadwell, Capt. Frank L., M.D., 84 71.3, 
85 n.g 

Plutarch, Lives, 144, 181, 204, 260 

Pole, Reginald Cardinal, 43 

Pompeii, Italy, 52 

Pont St.-Esprit, France, 254 72.2, 255 

Pope. See Clement XIII 

Pope, Alexander, Johnson on Voltaire's 
comparison of, to Dry den, 281; Dunciad, 
xv; Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, no, 224; 
Essay on Man, 165; Iliad, 187 ILI; First 
Satire of the Second Book of Horace 
Imitated, 59; Odyssey, 187 72.9 

Porta, Enrico a, Oriental linguist, 44 

Portici, Italy, 52, 55 

Porto Maurizio, Italy, 232-233 

Potsdam, Germany, 2 

Pottle, Mrs. Marion S., xxv 

Presbyterianism, 57, 66, 82 

Preston, Major Patrick, 290 

Pringle, Sir John, physician, 258, 280, 283, 
284, 290, 291 

Propertius, Sextus, Elegies, 70 

Proverbs (book of Bible) , 182 

Psalms (book of Bible), 153 

Puget, Pierre, French sculptor, 241 

Quin, James, actor, 56 
Quirinal Palace, Rome, 82 72.5 

Ramsay, Allan, painter, 271 

Ramsay, John, Scotland and Scotsmen, 108 


Ramsay, Michael, 114 
Ramsay, Dr. Robert, 236 
Randall, Helen S., xxiv 

Raphael, 86; St. Michael and the Dragon, 

152; Transfiguration, 51 
Ravenet, Simon Francois, engraver, 47 
Ravenet, Simon Francois, engraver, son of 

preceding, 47 
Ray, Alexander, merchant of Montpellier, 


Razzi. See Alassio 
Redhead, George, planter, 281 
Reggio, Italy, 48 
Reichardt, Konstantin, xxv 
Retz, Jean Francois de Gondi, Cardinal de, 


Revelation (book of Bible), 326 
Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 64 71.7 
Rhone River, 252 
Rich. (Richards or Richardson), at Rome, 

Richardson, Rev. Robert, chaplain, 314 77.9, 


Richmond, Charles Lennox, 3rd D. of, 
British Ambassador at Paris, 260 

Riddoch, Andrew, at Paris, 267 

Rimini, Italy, 48, 90 

Ritter, Joseph, JB's servant, 267 

Rivarola, Count Antonio, Sardinian Consul 
at Leghorn, 139, 140, 149-150, 151, 162, 

Rivarola, Count Domenico, father of pre- 
ceding, 139, 155 rc-3 

Rivarola, Count Nicholas, son of preceding, 


Robert II, King of Scotland, 52 72.3 
Robertson, William, History of Scotland, 

61 72.7, 63, 135 

Robinson, John, naval captain, 223, 224 
Rochester, England, 279 
Rogers, Charles, Boswelliana, 207 
Rogers, Samuel, author, 320 72.4 
Roguin, Mile., at Yverdun, Switzerland, 


Roman Catholicism, 6, 34, 65, 92 72. 
Romans (book of Bible), 5 
Rome, xvi-xviii, 4-8, 50-52, 59-88, 252 

Rome, Palace of Emperors. See Domus 

Ross, Col. Charles, of Inverchasley, 240, 

241, 242 

Rostini, Abbe Carlo, 163, 74, 197, 298 
Rostino, Corsica, 195 



Roughead, William, Trial of Katherine 

Nairn, 213 n.8 

Rousseau, Jean Jacques, account of his 
activities, 1765-1766, 259, 260, 281, 318 
72.1; Alembert, accuses of plotting against 
him,, 298; Boswell, James, letters to, 115- 
116, 299; JB writes to, 3-20, 80-82, 140, 
260-261, 297, 321-322; letters from, 
mentioned, 46 72.5, 80-81, 258, 277 n.8; 
JB, influence on, x; JB meets, 2; JB 
writes resume" of Italian tour to, 3-20; 
JB recalls resolutions made to, 4, 38; JB 
considers mortality of, 7; JB equates 
with St. -Preux, 20; JB resolves to have 
dignity of, 21 72.3; JB tells anecdotes of, 
28; JB introduces self to, as having 
"singular merit," 73; JB asks letter of 
recommendation from, 81, 148-149, re- 
ceives letter of recommendation, 115-116 
(text) ; JB tells Mallet of meeting with, 
83; JB reflects on his theories of primitive 
man, 111, 145; JB proposes self as Ambas- 
sador to Corsica from, 145; JB's growing 
disillusionment with, and Rousseau's sus- 
picions of, 148, 208, 275, 281, 297-301; 
JB hears is in Paris, 258; JB looks for- 
ward to seeing at Auchinleck, 261; JB 
finds has left Paris, 266; JB writes verses 
in character of, designs satirical print 
concerning, 300-301; Buttafoco, gives JB 
recommendation to, 115, 195 72.5; in- 
vites to Corsica, 163, 195-196; Catholic, 
once a, 65; Corsica, opinions about and 
connections with, 81, 144, i45> 148- 1 49 
184, 196, 197, 298, 326; Deleyre, advises 
concerning JB, xiii; , recommends JB 
to, 45-46, 81, 104; writes to Rousseau 
about JB, 47; , JB writes to Rousseau 
about, 80-8 1; asked to write introduc- 
tion to works of, 81 71.9; JB writes to 
about Rousseau, 300; dog, fondness for 
his, 317-320; Hume, accompanies to 
England, 260, 318 TZ.I; quarrels with, 
298, 299; Johnson, JB wishes to introduce 
to, 261; opinion of, 261, 285; , JB 
defends to, 265; Le Vasseur, Threse, 
follows to London, 208, 275, 277-279; 
relations with, 259, 317; , JB sees 
letters to, 275; , JB discusses with, 277, 
279; 9 JB delivers to, in London, 280- 
281; , letters to, 317-320 (texts) ; Luze, 
Mme. de, verses to, 14 72.3; Marischal, 

Earl gives JB letter of introduction to, 
45 72.2, 148; Paoli, JB gives letter from, 
162; admires, 163; seconds Butta- 
foco's invitation to, 163, 196; object in 
inviting to Corsica, 195-197; Pitt regrets 
not reading, 293; religious views and 
sentiments, 34, 65, 254; Temple com- 
ments on Confessions, 280 72.3; , JB in- 
forms of quarrel with, 301; Tronchin at- 
tacks, 47 72.7; Vernes supposed to have at- 
tacked, 259, 322; Voltaire teases and at- 
tacks, 163, 196, 259; Walpole calls a 
mountebank with parts, 271; com- 
ments on JB's fondness for, 271; 
makes fun of, in the newspapers, 298; , 
accuses of plotting against him, 298; 
Wilkes calls a champion of liberty, 73; 
Confessions, 197 72., 259, 280 72.3; Le Con- 
trol social, 144, 195; "Creed of a Savo- 
yard Vicar," xiii, 6, 285; Le Devin du 
village, 14 7272.1 and 2, 320 72.5; fimile, 
259; Lettre a M. de Beaumont, 321 72.2; 
Lettres ecrites de la montagne, 5, 259, 
322; La Nouvelle Heloise, 18, 20, 285, 
321; mentioned, 10, 18, 76 72.8, 94, 223, 
Rovere, Francesco Maria, Doge of Genoa, 


Rovigo, Italy, 92 

Rowe, Nicholas, poet and translator, 169 TZ. 
Royal Academy, London, 50 72.5 
Royal-Corse, French regiment, 236 
Royal Society, London, 30, 280 72.1 
Rubens, Peter Paul, Juno and Argus, 224 

Sabatier de Cabre, Honore" Auguste, secre- 
tary to French Ambassador, 35-3^, 38 

Sabbati. See preceding 

Sadler's Wells, amusement place, London, 

St. Anne's, Soho, 270 72.1 

St. Bartholomew, statue in church at 
Milan, 42 

St. Catherine of Siena, 153 

St. Dominique, street, Paris, 276 

St. tienne-du-Mont, Paris, 267 

St. Giles's Church, Edinburgh, 78 72.1 

St. Gilles. See San Gillio 

St. Jacques sur la Place, inn at Antibes, 236 

St. James's Chronicle, 272, 298, 299-300 

St. James's Street, London, 292 


St. John, Susanna Louisa Simond, Baroness, 


St. Laurent, church, Avignon, 250 

St. Mark's Cathedral, Venice, 94, 97 

St. Omer's, inn at Avignon, 247, 250 

St. Paul, 5, 62, 120 

St. Paul's Cathedral, London, 266 

St. Paul's Churchyard, London, 291 

St. Peter, 62-63 

St. Peter's Cathedral, Rome, 6, 50, 64-66, 

St. Stephen's. See St. fitienne-du-Mont, 

Sallust, 279 72.4; Bellum Catilinae, 62, 180 

Sampiero. See Ornano, Sampiero di 

San Fiorenzo, Corsica, 155 

San Gillio, Caterina Maria Theresa, Count- 
ess of, JB hears of, 21 71.3; JB waits on 
and describes, 24; speaks of D. of Hamil- 
ton as her former gallant, 24; JB tires of, 
26; JB attends to the opera, 26; JB de- 
cides to have intrigue "with, 28; her re- 
ception of JB's advances, 28; JB visits, 
30, 36; JB makes bold advances to, 33- 
34; JB loses passion for, 34; finds JB too 
unsophisticated, 34; JB disgusted with, 
35; piqued at JB's desertion, 37; impu- 
dently declares JB had attacked her, 37- 
38; JB takes leave of, 38 

San Gillio, Vittorio Francesco, gth Count 
of, husband of preceding, 24 72.7 

San Giorgio, island, Venice, 93 

San Giorgio Maggiore, church, Venice, 93 

San Marino, Republic of, 90-91 

San Pietro in Carcere, church, Rome, 62 


San Pietro in Monte, church, Rome, 51 
San Remo, Italy, 233-235 
Sansedoni, Porzia, JB's relationship with, 
discussed, si, 116-117; JB writes Rous- 
seau of, 15-16; former mistress of Lord 
Mountstuart, 116; Mountstuart gives JB 
letter of recommendation to, 116; JB's 
passion roused by Mountstuart's descrip- 
tion of, 117; JB's pursuit of, 117-131; 
JB's letters to, 117-118, 119, 121-122, 
124-126, 126-127, 127-128, 1291-130, 
130-131, 136; keeps romantic fidelity to 
Mountstuart, 117, 118, 126, 131; JB 
threatens with Girolama Piccolomini as 
a rival, 118; Mountstuart's ungallant 
prediction concerning, 129; JB resolves 

to be free from, 129; JB asks return of his 
letters, 129-130; JB cool to advances of, 
130; JB returns her letters, 136; writes 
to JB, 137; Girolama Piccolomini jealous 
of, 221, sends news of, 265, 306, 311, 312; 
pregnant, 311; bears twin boys, 312, 315 

Santa Maria degli Angeli, Carthusian 
church, Rome, 63 

Santa Maria delle Grazie, church, Milan, 
42 n.g 

Santa Maria Maggiore, church, Rome, 63 

Santa Maria sopra Minerva, church, Rome, 

Sardinia, 326 

Sardinia, King of. See Charles Emmanuel 

Sardinia, late King of. See Victor Amadeus 

Sassone. See Hasse, Johann Adolph 

Savona, Italy, 226-227 

Savoy, 21 

Savoyards, 21 

Saxe, Hermann Maurice, Comte de, 177- 

Scarnafigi, Filippo Ottone Ponte, Count of, 

Scarnafigi, Maria Anna Theresa, Countess 
of, letter to, 32 n.\ same phrases used in 
JB's first letter to Porzia and his letter 
to, 40 71.7; JB professes love to, 36-38; 
JB writes to, declaring his passion, 38- 
39, 39-41 (text); JB receives her dis- 
couraging answer, 39; JB determines not 
to visit her opera box, 39; JB asks her 
for return of his letter, 41 ; JB humiliated 
by learning she had burned his letter, 41 

Schmidt, Friedrich Samuel, librarian at 
Karlsruhe, 28 

Scipio, Publius Cornelius, 187 

Scotland, i, 78, 210 72.5, 212, 229, 244 n., 

251, 254, 261 
Scots College, Catholic seminary, Paris, 

266-268, 270, 275 
Scots College, Catholic seminary, Rome, 64 


Scott, Geoffrey, and F. A. Pottle, eds., 
Private Papers of JB from Malahide 
Castle, in the Collection of Lt.-Colonel 
Ralph Keyword Isham, x, xxii, 29, 32 n., 
36 7Z.9, 117 *., 133 rc-5, 2*0 n -& 3 7 n '& 

291 7Z.1O, 299 72. 



Scott, Sir Walter, 293 7*4; Heart of Mid- 
lothian, 78 n. 

Semedei, Ruggero, ship captain, 209 
Senate in Rome, 60 
Seneca, Ad Helviam de consolatione, 154 


Sens, France, 262 n.6 

Septimius Severus, Roman emperor, 61 n.8 

Servites, 174 

Seven Years' War, 269 714 

S6vigne\ Marie (de Rabutin-Chantal) , 

Marquise de, 179 n. 
Shakespeare, William, I Henry IV, 24 7Z.8; 

Hamlet, 49 71.9 
Shaw, Dumfriesshire, 104 
Semedei, Ruggero, ship captain, 209 
Shelburne, William Petty, 3rd E. of, later 

ist M. of Lansdowne, 293 
Sicardi, British Vice-consul at Porto Mau- 

rizio, 232 
Sicily, 160 

Sidney, Algernon, author, 165 72.1 
Siena, Italy, JB writes Rousseau of, 13-20; 
JB visits, 116-138; city described, 15, 
120, 124; climate, 14, 149; society of, 
characterized, 13, 15, 17, 19, 120, 123, 
124; JB's room at, described, 135; JB 
recalls, 149; Moma writes JB news of, 
218-221, 264-265, 305, 309, 311, 312; 
Moma doubts JB will return to, 264; JB 
hopes to revisit, 315; mentioned in Ac- 
count of Corsica, 316 
Silas, apostle, 62 
Silenus, 47 
Silk, Edmund T., xxv 
Simison, Barbara A., xxv 
Simon Magus, 63 

Simonetta, Palazzo della, near Milan, 43 
Sistine Chapel, 64 TZ.I 
Skarnavis. See Scarnafigi 
Smith, Adam, 112, 186 n., 242, 297 
Smith, Joseph, retired British Consul at 

Venice, 99 

Smith, Mrs., wife of preceding, 99 ra.8 
Smith, Mungo, brother of Laird of Letham, 


Smith, Warren H., xxv 
Smollett, Tobias, Travels through France 

and Italy, 26 72.8, 252 72.4 
Socrates, 185 
Solenzara (La), Corsica, 204 

Solicofifre, David, merchant at Marseilles, 


Sollacaro, Corsica, 145, 156, 179, 190 
Sorba, Marquis de, Genoese minister at 

Paris, 276 

Spa, Belgium, 27 72.2 
Spaen, Elisabeth Agnes Jacoba (Countess 

of Nassau La Lecq), Baroness von, 139 
Spahn, Annemarie, xxv 
Spanish Ambassadress at Turin. See Torre- 

Palma, Mme. de 
Spannocchi, Tiburzio, at Siena, 122, 218, 


Sparta, 147, 172 
Spectator, The, 165 
Spencer, Lord Charles, 24 72.7 
Stafford, Capt. Francis, 248, 251, 252 
Stanhope, Sir William, 96 
Stanislas I, King of Poland, 198 
Stanley, Hans, Lord High Admiral, 323 
Stephano's, inn at Naples, 56 72.4 
Stewart, writer of North Briton Extra- 
ordinary, 295 

Stewart, John, of Allanbank, 279 
Stewart, Keith, naval captain, 149, 239 
Stewart, Peter, ensign, 250-251 
Stewart-Shaw. See Shaw-Stewart, Sir John 
Stow, Ann, later wife of W. J. Temple, 

280, 283 

Strafford, Thomas Wentworth, ist E. of, 73 
Strand, The, street, London, 342 
Strange, Sir Robert, engraver, 270, 271, 

272, 275-276 

Strasbourg, France, 259-260, 318-320 
Strasbourg, Cathedral of, 42 
Strasbourg, Commandant of, 319, 320 
Strozzi Palace, Rome, 66 
Sultan, Rousseau's dog, 318-320 
Susette, Mile., prostitute at Marseilles, 241, 

303, 305 

Suzzoni, attendant of Paoli, 174 
Swan Inn, London, 279 
Swift, Jonathan, 166; Gulliver's Travels, 

165; History of the Last Four Years of 

the Queen, 76 

Switzerland, 2, 148, 318-319 
Symonds, John, 224-225, 293 n.6 
Syphax, 187 

Tai. See following 

Taja, Agnese del, at Siena, 129 

Talbot, William Talbot, ist E., 55 


Tasso, Torquato, 63, 82 

Tatler, The, 165 

Tavistock, Francis Russell, M. of, son of 

4th D. of Bedford, 51 n.8 
Temple, Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd 

K, 294 
Temple, Lieut. Robert, younger brother of 

W. J. Temple, 77, 83, 102 
Temple, William, father of following, 287 


Temple, William Johnson, JB writes to, 

57 72.6, 67-69, 277 72.8, 300-301, 308 72., 

310 72.3; Auchinleck, Lord, says does not 
value JB, 289; BosviUe, Elisabeth, urges 
JB to consider as a match, 387-388; Bos- 
well, James, vows to emulate restraint 
of, 86; JB calls on, upon arriving from 
the Continent, 279280; JB's conversa- 
tions with, 280, 281, 283, 285, 287-289; 
JB spends day with, 283; JB sups with, 
284; JB reflects on his friend's character, 
287; JB, opinion of, 287; JB, likes journal 
of, 287; JB, criticizes his style as "too 
swelling," 288; JB bids farewell to, 289; 
Claxton, remarks on his projected mar- 
riage, 291; Johnson, is presented to, by 
JB, 285-287; , finds him overbearing, 
287; Le Vasseur, Therese, JB deceives 
him concerning affair with, 280 72.3; 
Piccolo-mini, Girolama, JB writes of re- 
ceiving letters from, 308 72., 310 72.3; 
Pitt, William, helps JB with letter to, 
288; Rousseau, defends, 285; , com- 
ments on Confessions of, 280 72.3; , JB 
writes to, of quarrel with Hume, 300- 
301; Stow, Ann, talks of, to JB, 280; , 
JB insists on his having, 283; Wilkes, JB 
writes to, of intimacy with, 67-68; 
Z&ide, JB writes he thinks it would be 
madness to marry, 57 72.6; , JB dis- 
cusses with, 280 
Temple Bar, London, 228 
Teniers, David, the elder, A Man Caress- 
ing a Woman, 275 
Terentia, 279 72.4 
Terni, Italy, 49, 89 
Terry, Thomas, 114 

Testa, Antonio (Tono), at Siena, 123, 218 
Thames, The, Captain Elliot's ship, 239 72.5 
Theatins, church of the, Paris, 272 
Theatre de Carignan, Turin, 24, 35 


Thebes, 172, 189 

Themistocles, 178, 180 

Thermopylae, battle of, 147 

Thomas, servant, 288 

Thomson, James, Spring, 234 

Thuanus (Jacques Auguste de Thou), His- 
toria sui temporis, 173 

Thurot, Capt. Frangois, 244 

Tierney, PGeorge, 58 

II Timothy, 273 

Tinker, Chauncey Brewster, 289 72.4; Let- 
ters of James Boswell, wii^ x-yh'i ? 52 71.5, 

80 72.6, 222 72.4, ^76, 292 72., 30! 72.9, 3<>8 

72., 310 72.3; Nature's Simple Plan, 143 
72.; A New Portrait of James Boswell 
(with F. A. Pottle), 74 72.9; Young Bos- 
well, 25 72.3, 301 72.8 

Titus, Arch of, Rome, 60 72.6 

Tivoli, Italy, 83 

Tolbooth, prison in Edinburgh, 78 72. 5 213 


Tolbooth Kirk, section of St Giles's 

Church, Edinburgh, 78 
Tomasi, Damiano, at Pino, 153-154 
Tomasi, Signora, wife of preceding, 154 
Torraz, M. (?Paul or Pierre), JB's banker 

at Turin, 23 
Torre-Palma, Mme. de, wife of Spanish 

Ambassador at Turin, 24 
Tortona, Italy, siege of, 187 
Toulon, France, 238 

Trail, James, Scottish chaplain to Lord 
Hertford, Bishop of Down and Connor, 

Trenchard, John, author, 165 72.1 
Trianon Palace, Versailles, 211 
Tronchin, Dr. Theodore, of Geneva, 47, 


Tullia, prison, Rome, 62 
Turin, Italy, JB writes of, to Rousseau, 3- 
4; JB visits, 23-41; annual feast at, 26; 
society at, 24, 26-27, 29-30, 35, 37, 38; 
JB sees churches of, 26, 29 
Turin, Italy, Archbishop of, 26 
Turin, Italy, State Archives at, 150 72.4 
Turin, Italy, valet de louage at, 23, 28 
Turkey, 242 
Turks, the, 150 

Turk's Head Tavern, London, 289 
Tuscany, 124 
Tusculum See Frascati 

354 Index 

Tuyll, Diederik Jacob van, Lord of Zuy- 

len, 208, 267-268 

Tuyll, IsabeUa van. See Zuylen, Belle de 
Tuyll, Willem Rene" van, brother of 

Zelide, 267, 269-270 
Tylney of Castlemaine, John Tylney, 2nd 

E., 116 

Udney, John, British Consul at Venice, 93, 


Ulubrae, Italy, 73 
Utrecht, Holland, 2, 45 - 2 ?8, 119 **., 138, 


Vado, Italy, 226, 227-228 

Valentini, Anton Leonardo, at Corte, 157 

Valets de place, JB's, in Marseilles, 241, in 

Milan, 23, 28, 41, in Toulon, 239. See 

also Bastiano, Domenico, Etienne, Fran- 
cesco, Pedro 

Vatican, 64, 66-67, 84, 86 
Vautier and Delarue, JB's bankers at 

Genoa, 81, 105, 210 

Velino, Cascade of, near Terni, Italy, 49 
Venice, Italy, 10-12, 93-107, 111 
Ventimiglia, Italy, 235 
Vercingetorix, 62 n.g 
Vernes, Jacob, Genevan minister, 259, 322 
Verona, Italy, 104, 114 
Veronese, Paul, 275; Marriage at Cana, 93 
Versailles, France, 211, 228 
Vescovato, Corsica, 115, 195 
Vesuvius, Italy, 55 
Vial, M., king's attorney for the admiralty, 

at Antibes, 236 
Vicenza, Italy, 106 
Victor Amadeus II, King of Sardinia, 24 


Vienna, Austria, 122 
Vignola, Giacomo Barocchio, called, 45 
Villa Pietracatella, Wilkes's residence near 

Naples, 56, 69, 72 
Vinci, Leonardo da, Codice Atlantico, 43 

and 71.5; Last Supper, 42 n.g 
Virgil, 52, 59, 65, 108-109; Aeneid, 49, 95, 

141, 165, 187, 322; Eclogues, 22, 56, 100, 

109, 133, 190; Georgics, 109 
Viry, Francois Marie Joseph, Comte de, 25 
Vittorini, Domenico, xxv 
Vives, Mr., at Montpellier, 253 
Voltaire, Frangois Marie Arouet de, meet- 

ing with JB, 2; JB tells anecdote of, 28; 
JB mentions conversation with, 196; JB 
tells Pitt his joke about kings in Europe, 
293; Johnson compares with Rousseau, 
285; comments on his comparison of 
Pope and Dryden, 281; Mallet writes JB 
about, 132; Rousseau, attacked by, 163, 
196, 259; Wilkes tells JB anecdotes of, 
269; Pucelle d'Orleans, 269, 270; Senti- 
ment des citoyens, 259; mentioned, 38, 
Vomero, Italy, 56 77.7 

Waingrow, Mrs. Hope G,, xxv 

Waingrow, Marshall, xxv 

Wales, 281 

Walker, Ralph S., xxv 

Wallace, A. Dayle, xxv 

Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, 224 

Walpole, Horace, JB calls on in Paris, 270; 
urges JB to write of Corsica, 270; evasive 
note to JB quoted, 270 72.9; JB sends pre- 
sentation copy of Corsica to, 271 72.2; 
dislikes JB, 271 72.2; calls Rousseau 
"mountebank with great parts," 271; 
exertions on behalf of Theodore, Baron 
von Neuhoff, 270-271; starts trouble be- 
tween Rousseau and Hume, 298; at- 
tacked in letter attributed to JB, 300; 
mentioned, 66 72.7, 147 TZ., 241 72.9, 291 

72.8, 301, 309 72.1 

Warnock, Robert, xxiv, xxv, 150 72.4, 151 

72.7, 193 rc-8; "Boswell in Italy," xxiv; 

"Boswell on the Grand Tour," xxiv; 

"Boswell and Wilkes in Italy," 50 72.3; 

"Boswell and Andrew Lumisden," 61 

72.7; "Boswell and Bishop Trail," 116 72. 
Warton, Joseph, author, 187 72.2, 190 72.5 
Washington, George, 144 
Waters, John, JB's banker in Paris, 307, 


Watson, John, in Venice, 90 
Wauchope, ?John, 114 
Wentworth, Annabella, 284 
Wentworth, Lady Bridget, 93, 94, 97 
Wentworth, Lydia H., xxv 
Werpup, George Anthony, Baron, 84 

General References. Account of, xiii- 

xv, 72; characterized, 55, 56 T?.I, 69-70, 


96, 100, 101, no; contemporaries, com- 
ments on, 57; dissipation and profligacy 
renew the mind, 55 72.6; epitaphs on 
officers, writes when colonel of militia, 
56; Leyden, University of, studied at, 
54; "noble passion of lust," 56; Peace of 
Paris, his statement on, quoted, 265 72.4; 
posterity, comments on what it will say 
of him, 96-97; religious scepticism, de- 
fends self against charge of, 70 72.8; Scots 
and Scotland, his attacks on, 50 72.6; 
Stephano's (inn), stays at, 56 72.4; 
Vesuvius, describes ascent of, 55 72.5; 
Villa Pietracatella at Vomero, Italy, 
plans to live retired at, 56; "Essay on 
Woman," 70 72.8; History of England, 
72, 75, 97; "The Maid's Prayer," 70 72.8; 
The North Briton, xiv, 5 72.5, 50 72.6, 54, 
55 72.6, 70, 166; Catullus, later edits, 270; 
A Letter from the Other Man of the 
Mountain, humorous projected work, 5; 
letters to JB, 71-74, 95-97 

References to Persons. Armstrong com- 
pliments in poem, 57 72.9; quarrels 
with over responsibility for publication 
of poem, 57 72.9; Baxter, Andrew dedi- 
cates one of his works to, 27 72.2; Boswell, 
James admires much, xiv-xv; JB hears 
he is in Turin, 25; JB, leaves card for, 
25; JB sees at opera, 27; JB sends note to, 
27; JB meets in Rome, 50; JB, compli- 
ments, 50, 53, 55, 58, 73; JB, urges to 
publish, 50; JB pursues to Naples, 52; 
JB writes to in Latin, in deference to his 
classical interests, 52-53; JB values 
friendship of, 52, 58, 69-70; JB converses 
with, 53-55; JB accompanies to inspect 
Villa Pietracatella, 56; JB dines with, 
58; JB asks to spend evening, 58; JB is 
said to spend his time with, 62 72.2; 
JB writes feelings about to Temple, 67- 
68; JB offers his ideas on futurity to, 73; 
JB thinks it fine to be well with, 82; JB 
charmed by his freedom with him, 97; 
JB resolves to work like, 98; JB sees in 
Paris, 208, 270; JB reads of his mother's 
death at lodgings of, 208, 272; JB 
feels superior to, 268; JB discusses Cor- 
sica with, 268-269; JB, conversations 
with, in Paris, 268-269, 371; JB, dis- 
pleases, 271; JB takes leave of, 276; JB, 


advises not to become a lawyer, 282; JB 
writes poem to, 70, 101, no, 222 andn.^ 
JB's notes and letters to, 25, 27, 52-53, 
57-58, 69-71, 75-76, 89-90, 100-102, 
108-111, 222-223; Bute, attacks, xiv, 
269 72.4, 271, 326; , ironically dedicates 
Mountfort's Fall of Mortimer to, 57 72.7; 
,JB mentions in letter to, 101; Churchill, 
founds The North Briton in collaboration 
with, xiv; , literary executor of, xv; 
, engaged in editing poems of, 52 72.5, 
72, 269; , JB commiserates with, on 
loss of, 75; , indulges pleasing melan- 
choly over death of, 97; Cicero, quotes, 
71-72; Corradini, follows to Italy, xv; 
, loves, 54 72.1; , comments on her 
"divine gift of lewdness," 56 72.2; , dis- 
likes, 58; , describes, 58 72.; leaves, 
89; , refuses to pursue her, 96; , JB 
mentions in letter to, 100; Crebillon, at- 
tended dinners of the "Caveau" as guest 
of, 242 72.1; Deleyre convinces JB he is 
bad politician, 112; Francis, Rev. Philip 
writes against, 56 72.8; George III, attacks, 
xiv, 269 72.2; , tells JB he is laying 
foundation of ruin of his family, 50; 
Johnson, relations with, 54 and 72.8; , 
liked him more after Rambler 9 56; , 
JB advises to let teach road to virtue, 
10 1; chides JB for keeping company 
with Rousseau and, 285; Mountstuart, 
JB writes of, to, 89-90; , glad of JB's 
intimacy with, 96; does not think Bute 
would approve JB's association with, 83; 
Pitt characterizes, xiv; Rousseau, pre- 
tends to be angry with, 5; Stanhope, 
mentions seeing, 96; Strange, disputes 
with on religion, 275; Talbot, E., duel 
with, 55; Udney has letter to, from Cor- 
radini, and answer, 93; Voltaire, tells JB 
anecdote of, 269; Wilkes, Mary (Mead), 
feeling for, 54 n.i f 55, $8; Zelide, JB 
reads some of her letters to, 57; f ad- 
vises JB to see again, 57 
Wilkes, Mary (Mead), wife of preceding, 

54 rc-i, 55, 58 
Wilkes, Polly, daughter of preceding, 55 


Wilkes, Sarah (Heaton), mother of John 
Wilkes, 55 



Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 116 

Wilkie, John, ed. of The London Chronicle^ 

244, 291 

Wilkinson, Rev. John, at Paris, 275 
William III, King of Great Britain, 252 72.2 
William Augustus, D. of Cumberland, 

uncle to George III, 242 
Williams, Mrs. Anna, at London, 281 
Willison, George, painter, 74, 76, 85 n.S 
Winchester, England, 56 
Winckelmann, Johann Joachim, xviii, 76, 


Windsor Castle, Stuart papers at, 251 72.1 
Winton, George Seton, 5th E. of, 249 
Wood, Robert, Under-Secretary of State, 

72 72.2 

Wootton, Staffordshire, 281 72.5 
Wordsworth, William, "She Was a Phan- 
tom of Delight," 303 72.2 

York, Cardinal. See Henry Benedict 
York, Duke of. See Edward Augustus 
Young Pretender. See Charles Edward 

Z&ide. See Zuylen, Belle de 
Zinzendorf, Karl, Comte de, 115, 116 
Zuylen, Belle de, JB asks Rousseau's advice 
on, 2; JB's attraction for, 2; Wilkes ad- 
vises JB to see again, 57; JB writes 
Temple he thinks it would be madness 
to marry, 57 72.6; Wilkes assures JB she 
loves him, 73; JB's interest in, revives, 
208; JB sends proposal to, through her 
father, 208, 267; JB contemplates marry- 
ing, 225; JB talks with her brother about 
marrying, 267; JB discusses with Tem- 
ple, 280; Moma advises JB on marrying, 

Zuylen, M. de. See Tuyll, Diederik Jacob