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sive. It has no similarity to a head connected with a body."
Boswell talked of the cheerfulness of Fleet-street, owing to the constant quick succession of people which we perceive passing through it. Johnson. “ Why, sir, Fleet-street has a very animated ap. pearance; but I think the full tide of human exist. ence is at Charing-cross.”
THOUGH of no high extraction himself, Johnson had much respect for birth and family, especially among ladies. He said, “ Adventitious accomplishments may be professed by all ranks; but one may easily distinguish the born gentlewoman.”
The same feeling probably much influenced his attachment to Mr. Langton and Mr. Beauclerk, two gay young men of good birth. Johnson, at first, thought it strange that Langton should associate so much with one who had the character of being loose, both in his principles and practice : but, by degrees, he himself was fascinated. Mr. Beauclerk's being of the St. Albans family, and having, in some particulars, a resemblance to Charles the Second, contributed, in Johnson's imagination, to throw a lustre upon his other qualities; and, in a short time, the moral, pious Johnson, and the gay, dissipated Beauclerk, were companions. “What a coalition !” said Garrick, when he heard of this ;
" I shall have my old friend to bail out of the round-house." But it was a very agreeable association. Beauclerk was too polite, and valued learning and wit too much, to offend Johnson by sallies of infidelity or licentiousness; and Johnson delighted in the good qualities of Beauclerk, and hoped to correct the evil. Innumerable were the scenes in which Johnson was amused by these young men.
Beauclerk could take more liberty with him than any body; but, on the other hand, Beauclerk was not spared by his respectable companion, when reproof was proper. Beauclerk had such a propensity to satire, that at one time Johnson said to him, “ You never open your mouth but with intention to give pain : 'and you hare often given me pain, not from the power of what you said, but from seeing your intention.” At another time, applying to him, with a slight alteration, a line of Pope, he said,
“ Thy love of folly, and thy scorn of fools
Every thing thou dost shows the one, and every thing thou sayest the other.” At another time, he said to him, " Thy body is all vice, and thy mind all virtue." Beauclerk not seeming to relish the compliment, Johnson said, “ Nay, sir, Alexander the Great, marching in triumph into Babylon, could not have desired to have had more said to him."
Johnson was some time with Beauclerk at his house at Windsor, where he was entertained with experiments in natural philosophy. One Sunday, when the weather was very fine, Beauclerk enticed him, insensibly, to saunter about all the morning. They went into a church-yard, in the time of divine service, and Johoson laid himself down at his ease upon one of the tomb-stones. “ Now, sir,” said Beauclerk, “ you are like Hogarth’s Idle Apprentice.” When Johnson got his pension, Beauclerk said to him, in the humorous phrase of Falstaff, “ I hope you'll now purge and live cleanly, like a gentleman.”
One night, when Beauclerk and Langton had supped at a tavern in London, and sat till about three in the morning, it came into their heads to go and knock up Johnson, and see if they could prevail on him to join them in a ramble. They rapped violently at the door of his chambers in the Temple, till at last he appeared in his shirt, with his little black wig on the top of his head, instead of a nightcap, and a poker in his hand, imagining, probably, that some ruffians were coming to attack him. When he discovered who they were, and was told their errand, he smiled, and with great good humour agreed to their proposal : “ What, is it you, you dogs ? I'll have a frisk with you.” He was soon dressed, and they sallied forth together into Covent-garden, where the green-grocers and fruiterers were beginning to arrange their hampers, just come in from the country. Johnson made some attempts to help them; but the honest gardeners stared so at his figure and manner, and odd interference, that he soon saw his services were not relished. They then repaired to one of the neighbouring taverns, and made a bowl of that liquor called bishop, which Johuson had always liked: while in joyous contempt of sleep, from which he had been roused, he repeated the festive lines,
Short, O short then bé thy reign,
They did not stay long, but walked down to the Thames, took a boat, and rowed to Billingsgate. Beauclerk and Johnson were so well pleased with their anusement, that they resolved to persevere in dissipation for the rest of the day: but Langton deserted them, being engaged to breakfast with some young ladies. Johnson scolded him for
leaving his social friends, to go and sit with a set of wretched un-idea'd girls.” Garrick being told of this ramble, said to him smartly, “ I heard of your frolic t'other night. You'll be in the Chronicle." Upon which Johnson afterwards observed, “ He durst not do such a thing. His wife would not let him."
On occasion of his play of Irene being brought upon the stage, Johnson had a fancy, that as a dramatic author, his dress should be more gay than what he ordinarily wore ; he therefore appeared behind the scenes, and even in one of the side boxes, in a scarlet waistcoat, with rich gold lace, and a gold-laced hat. He humorously observed to Mr. Langton, “ that when in that dress he could not treat people with the same ease as when in his usual plain clothes.”
Sir Joshua Reynolds told a pleasant characteristical anecdote of Johnson about the time of their first acquaintance. When they were one evening together at the Miss Cotterells', the duchess of
Argyle and another lady of high rank came in. Johnson thinking that the Miss Cotterells were too much engrossed by them, and that he and his friend were neglected, as low company of whom they were somewhat ashamed, grew angry; and resolving to shock their supposed pride, by making their great visitors imagine that his friend and he were low in. deed, he addressed himself in a loud tone to Mr, Reynolds, saying, “ How much do you think you and I could get in a week, if we were to work as hard as we could ?" as if they had been common mechanics. . To a lady who endeavoured to vindicate lierself from blame for neglecting social attention to worthy peighbours, by saying, “ 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 showing them respect, and that is doing them good.”
So socially accommodating was he, that once when Mr. Langton and he were driving together in a coach, and Mr. Langton complained of being sick, he insisted that they should go out, and sit on the back of it in the open air, which they did : and being sensible how strange the appearance must be, observed, that a countryman whom they saw in a field would probably be thinking, “ If these two madmen should come down, what would become of me?"
Mr. Straban mentions a little circumstance of attention, which must be allowed to have its foun. dation in a nice and true knowledge of human life, " When I write to Scotland,” said Johnson, “I employ Sirahan to frank my letters, that he may