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ledge is the natural feeling of mankind; and every human being, whose mind is not debauched, will be willing to give all that he has, to get knowledge.' We landed at the Old Swan, and walked to Billingsgate, where we took oars and moved smoothly along the silver Thames. It was a very fine 5 day. We were entertained with the immense number and variety of ships that were lying at anchor, and with the beautiful country on each side of the river.

I talked of preaching, and of the great success which those called methodists have. JOHNSON. “Sir, it is owing to 10 their expressing themselves in a plain and familiar manner. To insist against drunkenness as a crime, because it debases reason, the noblest faculty of man, would be of no service to the common people; but to tell them that they may die in a fit of drunkenness, and shew them how dreadful that would 15 be, cannot fail to make a deep impression. Sir, when your Scotch clergy give up their homely manner, religion will soon decay in that country." Let this observation, as Johnson meant it, be ever remembered.

He remarked that the structure of Greenwich hospital was 20 too magnificent for a place of charity, and that its parts were too much detached, to make one great whole.

He spoke with enthusiasm of the beauty of Latin verse. "All the modern languages (said he) cannot furnish so melodious a line as


"Formosam resonare doces Amarillida silvas." ° Afterwards he entered upon the business of the day, which was to give me his advice as to a course of study. I recollect with admiration an animating blaze of eloquence, which roused 30 every intellectual power in me to the highest pitch. He ran over the grand scale of human knowledge; advised me to select some particular branch to excel in, but to acquire a little of every kind.

We walked in the evening in Greenwich Park. He asked me 35 "Is not this very fine?" I answered, "Yes, Sir; but not equal to Fleet-street." JOHNSON. "You are right, Sir."


A very fashionable Baronet, on his attention being called to the fragrance of a May evening in the country, observed, "This may be very well; but for my part, I prefer the smell of a flambeau at the play-house."

Our sail up the river, in our return to London, was by no means so pleasant as in the morning; for the night air was so cold that it made me shiver. I was the more sensible of it from having sat up all the night before recollecting and writing in my Journal. I remember having sat up four nights 10 in one week. Johnson, whose robust frame was not in the least affected by the cold, scolded me, as if my shivering had been a paltry effeminacy, saying, "Why do you shiver?" Sir William Scott, of the Commons, told me, that when he complained of a head-ache in the post-chaise, as they were 15 travelling together to Scotland, Johnson treated him in the same manner: "At your age, Sir, I had no head-ache." We concluded the day at the Turk's Head coffee-house very socially.

At a meeting of the people called Quakers, I had heard a 20 woman preach. JOHNSON. "Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

He said, that "he always felt an inclination to do nothing." I observed, that it was strange to think that the most indolent 25 man in Britain had written the most laborious work, The English Dictionary.

I had now made good my title to be a privileged man and was carried by him in the evening to drink tea with Miss Williams. She was well acquainted with his habits, and knew 30 how to lead him on to talk. After tea he carried me to what he called his walk, which was a long narrow paved court in the neighbourhood, overshadowed by some trees. I mentioned to him how common it was in the world to tell absurd stories of him, and to ascribe to him very strange sayings. 35 JOHNSON. "What do they make me say, Sir?" BosWELL. "Why, Sir, (laughing heartily as I spoke,) David Hume told me, you said that you would stand before a battery of cannon

Little did I

to restore the Convocation to its full powers.' apprehend that he had actually said this: but I was soon convinced of my errour; for, with a determined look, he thundered out, "And would I not, Sir? Shall the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland have its General Assembly, and 5 the Church of England be denied its Convocation? He was walking up and down the room, while I told him the anecdote; but when he uttered this explosion of high-church zeal, he had come close to my chair, and his eye flashed with indignation.

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In the Harwich stage-coach, a fat elderly gentlewoman, and a young Dutchman, seemed the most inclined among us to conversation. At the inn where we dined, the gentlewoman said that she had done her best to educate her children; and, particularly, that she had never suffered them to be 15 a moment idle. JOHNSON. "I wish, Madam, you would educate me too; for I have been an idle fellow all my life." "I am sure, Sir, (said she) you have not been idle." JOHNSON. "Nay, Madam, it is very true; and that gentleman there, (pointing to me,) has been idle. He was idle at Edin- 20 burgh. His father sent him to Glasgow, where he continued to be idle. He then came to London, where he has been very idle; and now he is going to Utrecht, where he will be as idle as ever." I asked him privately how he could expose me so. JOHNSON. "Poh, poh! (said he) they knew 25 nothing about you, and will think of it no more." To the utter astonishment of all the passengers but myself, who knew that he could talk upon any side of a question, he defended the Inquisition. Having observed at one of the stages that I ostentatiously gave a shilling to the coachman, when the 30 custom was for each passenger to give only six-pence, he took me aside and scolded me, saying that what I had done would make the coachman dissatisfied with all the rest of the passengers who gave him no more than his due.

When at table, he was totally absorbed in the business of 35 the moment; his looks seemed riveted to his plate; nor would he, unless when in very high company, say one word,



or even pay the least attention to what was said by others, till he had satisfied his appetite: which was so fierce, and indulged with such intenseness, that while in the act of eating, the veins of his forehead swelled, and generally a strong per5 spiration was visible. To those whose sensations were delicate, this could not but be disgusting. Johnson, though he could be rigidly abstemious, was not a temperate man. I remember when he was in Scotland, his praising "Gordon's palates," with a warmth of expression which might have done 10 honour to more important subjects. "As for Maclaurin's imitation of a made dish, it was a wretched attempt." about the same time was so much displeased with the performances of a nobleman's French cook, that he exclaimed with vehemence, "I'd throw such a rascal into the river;" 15 and he then proceeded to alarm a lady at whose house he was to sup, by the following manifesto of his skill: "I, Madam, who live at a variety of good tables, am a much better judge of cookery, than any person who has a very tolerable cook, but lives much at home; for his palate is gradually adapted 20 to the taste of his cook: whereas, Madam, in trying by a wider range, I can more exquisitely judge." When invited

to dine, even with an intimate friend, he was not pleased if something better than a plain dinner was not prepared for him. I have heard him say on such an occasion, "This was 25 a good dinner enough, to be sure: but it was not a dinner to ask a man to." One day when he had dined with his neighbour and landlord, in Bolt-court, Mr. Allen, the printer, whose old housekeeper had studied his taste in every thing, he pronounced this eulogy: "Sir, we could not have had a 30 better dinner had there been a Synod of Cooks.” °

Johnson said, "I never considered whether I should be a grave man, or a merry man, but just let inclination, for the time, have its course. We stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove 35 the non-existence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it.

I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone till he rebounded from it, "I refute it thus." To me it is not conceivable how Berkeley can be answered by pure reasoning; but I know that the nice and difficult task was to have been 5 undertaken by one of the most luminous minds ° of the present age, had not politicks "turned him from calm philosophy aside."

My revered friend walked down with me to the beach, where we embraced and parted with tenderness, and engaged to 10 correspond by letters.


"THERE lurks, perhaps, in every human heart a desire of distinction which inclines every man first to hope, and then to believe, that nature has given him something peculiar to 15 himself. Every desire is a viper in the bosom, who, while he was chill, was harmless; but when warmth gave him strength, exerted it in poison. You know a gentleman, who, when first he set his foot in the gay world, imagined a total indifference and universal negligence to be the strongest indication 20 of an airy temper and a quick apprehension. He tried this scheme of life awhile, was made weary of it by his sense and his virtue; he then wished to return to his studies; and finding long habits of idleness and pleasure harder to be cured than he expected, concluded that Nature had originally 25 formed him incapable of rational employment. Resolve, and keep your resolution; choose, and pursue your choice. SAM. JOHNSON."

To a lady who endeavoured to vindicate herself from blame for neglecting social attention to worthy neighbours, by say- 30 ing, "I would go to them if it would do them any good;" he said, "What good, Madam, do you expect to have in your power to do them? It is shewing them respect, and that is doing them good.'

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So socially accommodating was he, that once when Mr. 35

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