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Johnson, (to Edwards:) “From your having practised the law long, Sir, I presume you must be rich.” EDWARDS. “No, Sir; I got a good deal of money; but I had a number of poor relations to whom I gave a great part of it.” Johnson. “Sir, you have been rich in the most valuable sense of the word.” EDWARDS. “But I shall not die rich.” Johnson. “Nay, sure, Sir, it is better to live rich, than to die rich." EDWARDS. “I wish I had continued at College.” JOHNSON. Why do you wish that, Sir?" EDWARDS. “ Because I think I should have had a much easier life than mine has been. I should have been a parson, and had a good living, like Bloxham and several others, and lived comfortably.” Johnson. "Sir, the life of a parson, of a conscientious clergyman, is not easy. I have always considered a clergyman as the father of a larger family than he is able to maintain. I would rather have Chancery suits upon my hands than the cure of souls. No, Sir, I do not envy a clergyman's life as an easy life, nor do I envy the clergyman who makes it an easy life."--Here taking bimself up all of a sudden, he exclaimed, “O! Mr. Edwards! I'll convince you that I recollect you. Do you remember our drinking together at an alehouse near Pembroke gate. At that time you told me of the Eton boy, who, when verses on our Saviour's turning water into wine were prescribed as an exercise, brought up a single line, which was highly admired:

• Vidit et erubuit lympha pudica Deum.' and I told you of another fine line in Camden's remains,' an eulogy upon one of our Kings, who was succeeded by his son, a prince of equal merit:

• Mira cano, Sol occubuit, nox nulla secuta est.' EDWARDS. “ You are a philosopher, Dr. Johnson. I have tried too in my time to be philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.”—Mr. Burke, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mr. Courtenay, Mr. Malone, and, indeed, all the eminent men to whom I have mentioned this, have thought it an exquisite trait of character. The truth is, that philosophy, like religion, is too generally supposed to be hard and severe, at least so grave as to exclude all gaiety.

EDWARDS. “ I have been twice married, Doctor. You, I suppose, have never known what it was to have a wife?” Johnson. “Sir, I have known what it was to have a wife, and, (in a solemn, tender, faultering tone) I have known what it was to lose a wife.-It had almost broke my heart.”

EDWARDS. “How do you live, Sir? For my part, I must have my regular meals, and a glass of good wine. I find I require it.” John

“ I now drink no wine, Sir. Early in life I drank wine: for many years I drank

I then for some years drank a great deal.” EDWARDS. “ Some hogsheads, I warrant you.” JOHNSON. “I then had a severe illness, and left it off, and I have never begun it again. I never felt any difference upon myself from eating one thing rather than another, nor from one kind of weather rather than another. There are people, I believe, who



Don't you

eat supper,

« For my

feel a difference; but I am not one of them. And as to regular meals, I have fasted from the Sunday's dinner to the Tuesday's dinner, without any inconvenience. I believe it is best to eat just as one is hungry: but a man who is in business, or a man who has a family, must have stated meals. I am a straggler. I may leave this town and go to Grand Cairo, without being missed here, or observed there.” EDWARDS.

Sir?” Johnson. “No, Sir.”

No, Sir.” EDWARDS. part, now, I consider supper as a turnpike through which one must pass, in order to get to bed."*

Johnson. “You are a lawyer, Mr. Edwards. Lawyers know life practically. A bookish man should always have them to converse with. They have what he wants.” EDWARDS. “I am grown old: I am sixty-five." JOHNSON. “I shall be sixty-eight next birth-day. Come, Sir, driok water, and put in for a hundred.”

Mr. Edwards mentioned a gentleman who had left his whole fortune to Pembroke College. “Johnson. “Whether to leave one's whole fortune to a College be right, must depend upon circumstances. I would leave the interest of the fortune I bequeathed to a College to my relations or my friends, for their lives. It is the same thing to a College, which is a permanent society, whether it gets the money now or twenty years hence; and I would wish to make my relations or friends feel the benefit of it.”

* I am not absolutely sure but this was my own suggestion, though it is truly in the character of Edwards.

This interview confirmed my opinion of Johnson's most humane and benevolent heart. His cordial and placid behaviour to an old fellow-collegian, a man so different from bimself; and his telling him that he would go down to his farm and visit him, shewed a kindness of disposition very rare at an advanced age. He observed, “how wonderful it was that they had both been in London forty years, without having ever once met, and both walkers in the street too!" Mr. Edwards, when going away, again recurred to bis consciousness of senility, and looking full in Johnson's face, said to him, You'll find in Dr. Young,

“O my coevals! remnants of yourselves.” Johnson did not relish this at all; but shook his head with impatience. Edwards walked off seemingly highly pleased with the honour of having been thus noticed by Dr. Johnson. When he was gone, I said to Johnson, I thought him but a weak man. Johnsoy. “Why, yes, Sir. Here is a man who has passed through life without experience: yet I would rather have him with me than a more sensible mian who will not talk readily.

This man is always willing to say what he has to say.” Yet Dr. Johnson had himself by no means that willingness which he praised so much, and I think so justly; for who has not felt the painful effect of the dreary void, when there is a total silence in a company, for any length of time; or, which is as bad, or perhaps worse, when the conversation is with difficulty kept up by a perpetual effort ?

Johnson once observed to me, “ Tom Tyers described me the best: “Sir, (said he) you are like a ghost: you never speak till you are spoken to.”

The gentleman whom he thus familiarly mentioned, was Mr. Thomas Tyers, son of Mr. Jonathan Tyers, the founder of that excellent place of public amusement, Vauxhall Gardens, which must ever be an estate to its proprietor, as it is peculiarly adapted to the taste of the English nation; there being a mixture of curious shew,-gay exhibition, -musick, vocal and instrumental, not too refined for the general ear ;-for all which only a shilling is paid ;* and, though last, not least, good eating and drinking for those who choose to purchase that regale. Mr. Thomas Tyers was bred to the law; but having a handsome fortune, vivacity of temper, and eccentricity of mind, he could not confine himself to the regularity of practice. He therefore ran about the world with a pleasant carelessness, amusing every body by his desultory conversation. He abounded in anecdote, but was not sufficiently attentive to accuracy. I therefore cannot venture to avail myself much of a biographical sketch of Johnson which he published, being one among the various persons ambitious of appending their

* In summer, 1792, additional and more expensive decorations having been introduced, the price of admission was raised to two shillings. I cannot approve of this. The company may be more select ; but a number of the honest commonality are, I fear, excluded from sharing in elegant and innocent entertainment. An attempt to abolish the oneshilling gallery at the playhouse has been very properly counteracted.

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