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lived more in polished society. 'No, no, my lord, said signor Baretti, do with him what you would, he would always have been a bear.' " True,' answered the earl, with a smile, but he would have been a dancing bear.'
“ To obviate all the reflections which have gone rouud to Johnson's prejudice, by applying to him the epithet of bear, let me impress upon my readers a just and happy saying of my friend Goldsmith, who knew him well: 'Johnson, to be sure, bas a roughness in his manner, but no man alive has a more tender heart : he has nothing of the bear but his skin.'"
Goldsmith, to divert the tedious minutes, while waiting for one of the guests at a dinner-party, strutted about, bragging of his dress, and appeared seriously vain of it (for bis mind was wonderfully prone to such expressions) : “ Conie,, come," said Garrick, “ talk no more of that : you are, perhaps, the worst-eh, eh !” Goldsmith was eagerly at. tempting to interrupt him, when Garrick'went on, laughing ironically, “Nay, you will always look like a gentleman; but I am talking of being well or ill dressed." “ Well, let me tell you,” said Gold. smith, “when my tailor brought home my blossom-coloured coat, he said, “Sir, I have a favour to beg of you ;-when any body asks you who made your clothes, be pleased to mention John Filby, at the Harrow, in Water-lane.'” JOHNSON. “ Why, sir, that was because he knew the strange colour would attract crowds to gaze at it, and thus they might hear of him, and see how well he could make a coat even of so absurd a colour."
One day, at sir Joshua's table, when it was related, that Mrs. Montague, in an excess of compliment to the author of a modern tragedy, had exclaimed, “ I tremble for Shakspeare;" Johnson said, “ When Shakspeare has got ***** for his rival, and Mrs. Montague for his defender, he is in a poor state indeed."
Speaking of Mr. Hanway, who published An Eight Days' Journey from London to Portsmouth, “ Jonas," said he, “ acquired some reputation by travelling abroad, but lost it all by travelling at home.”
Somebody observing that the Scotch Highlanders, in the year 1745, had made surprising efforts, considering their numerous wants and disadvantages “ Yes, sir," said he, “their wants were numerous ; but you have not mentioned the greatest of them all the want of law."
Being asked by a young nobleman, what was become of the gallantry and military spirit of the old English nobility, he replied, “Why, my lord, I'll tell you what is become of it: it is gone into the city to look for a fortune."
Speaking of a dull tiresome fellow, whom he chanced to meet, he said, “ That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one."
A gentleman, having to some of the usual arguments for drinking, added this : “ You know, sir, drinking drives away care, and makes us forget whatever is disagreeable : would not you allow a man to drink for that reason ?" JOHNSON. Yes, . sir, if he sat next you."
Johnson. “ I remember once being with Gold,
smith in Westminster abbey. While we surveyed the Poets' Corner, I said to him, from Ovid,
Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis.
When we got to Temple-bar, he stopped me, pointed to the heads upon it, and slyly whispered me,
Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur ist is." *
“ At the Literary Club," says Boswell, “ before Johnson came iv, we talked of his Journey to the Western Islands, and of his coming away willing to believe the second sight,' which seemed to excite some ridicule. I was they so impressed with the truth of many of the stories which I had been told, that I avowed my conviction, saying, “He is only willing to believe—I do believe: the evidence is enough for me, though not for his great mind. What will not fill a quårt bottle will fill a pint bottle : I am filled with belief.' 'Are you ?' said Colman ; 'then cork
Johnson having gone to Mrs. Abington's benefit, at supper, one of the company attempted, with too much forwardness, to rally him on his late appearance at the theatre ; but had reason to repent of his temerity. “ Why, sir, did you go to Mrs. Abington's benefit ? Did you see?” JOHNSON, “ No, sir.” “ Did you hear ?" JOHNSON. “ No, sir." “ Why then, sir, did you go?" JOHNSON. “ Because, sir, she is a favourite of the public;
• In allusion to Johnson's political principles, and perhaps his own,
and when the public cares the thousandth part for you that it does for her, I will go to your benefit too."
Dr. Burney having remarked, that Mr. Garrick was beginning to look old, Johoson said, “ Why, sir, you are not to wonder at that ; no mau's face has had more wear and tear.”
Johnson censured Gwyn for taking down a church, which might have stood many years, and building a new one at a different place, for no other reason, but that there might be a direct road to a new bridge; and his expression was,
“ You are taking a church out of the way, that the people may go in a straight line to the bridge.” Gwyn. “ No, sir; I am putting the church in the way, that the people may not go out of the way." JOHNSON (with a hearty loud laugh of approbation.) “ Speak no more : rest your colloquial fame upon this."
Being by no means pleased with their inn at Bristol, Boswell said, “ Let us see now how we should describe it.” Johnson was ready with his raillery. “ Describe it, sir ? Why, it was so bad, that Boswell wished to be in Scotland !"
In the autumn of 1783, he received a visit from the celebrated Mrs. Siddons. When she came into the room, there happened to be no chair ready for her, which he observing, said, with a smile, “Madam, you, who so often occasion a want of seats to other people, will the inore easily excuse the want of one yourself.”
Dr. Johnson said to Miss Hannah More, who had expressed a wonder, that the poet who had written Paradise Lost, should write such poor sonnetşı
“ Milton, madam, was a genius, that could cut a Colossus from a rock, but could not carve heads upon cherry-stones.”
Boswell told him, that David Hume had made a short collection of Scotticisms. “ I wonder,” said Johnson, “ that he should find them.”
THERE had been an execution of two or three cri. minals at Oxford on a Monday. Soon afterwards, one day at dinner, Boswell was saying, that Mr. Swinton, the chaplain of the gaol, and also a frequent preacher before the university, a learned man, but often thoughtless and absent, preached the condemnation-sermon on repentance, before the convicts, on the preceding day, Sunday; and in the close, he told his audience, that he should give them the remainder of what he had to say on the subject the next Lord's Day. Upon which, one of the company, a doctor of divinity, and a plain matter-of-fact inan, by way of offering an apology for Mr. Swinton, gravely remarked, that he had probably preached the same sermon before the university. “Yes, sir,” says Johnson, “ but the uni. versity were not to be hanged the next morning."
Boswell mentioned, that Dr. Thomas Campbell had come from Ireland to London, principally to see Dr. Johnson : he seemed angry at this observation. DAVIES. “ Why, sir, there came a man from Spain to see Livy, and Corelli came to England to