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WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY AUSTIN DOBSON
PUBLISHED IN LONDON & TORONTO BY
AND IN NEW YORK BY E. P. DUTTON & CO.
All rights reserved
This book is a reprint of the edition published in 1901
HAT Dr. Johnson frequently began his sentences with "Sir" is a statement to be safely hazarded. But that he said—“Sir, let us take a walk down Fleet Street," is, it seems, a mere invention, unvouched for by Boswell.1 And yet, though uncanonical, it is not of necessity apocryphal. The Doctor, in all probability, did utter something of the sort, although his "faithful chronicler " has omitted to record it. For Fleet Street-that chronicler assures us-was his "favourite street," and there is abundant evidence that he would have preferred it even to the Vale of Tempé. If, by chance, his now-unsubstantial shade should
Touching impalpable posts with an imperceptible finger "
it must assuredly be between Temple Bar and Ludgate Hill,Ludgate Hill, which, in his day, showed no obstructing viaduct to bar the prospect of St. Paul's. How that ghost must marvel at the
1 In Sala's Journal for 2nd July, 1892, the late Mr. G. A. Sala confessed that he had concocted this characteristic and highly-popular proposal as a motto for the magazine called Temple Bar, which he founded in December, 1860. Temple Bar still flourishes, but the counterfeit quotation has long since disappeared from its cover. Johnson did, however, say to Mr. Hoole in 1783,-" Let you and I, Sir, go together, and eat a beef-steak in Grub-street,"-where, strangely enough, and despite the definition in the Dictionary, he had never been before.