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his opinion, that accents ought not to be omitted | fession that had the courage to oppose the endea-
by any editor of Greek authours, or any modern vours of his art to the spreading of the contagion.
writers of Greek verse, or Greek prose.
It was the hard fate of this person, a short time
after, to die a prisoner for debt in Ludgate. John-
son related this circumstance to us, with the tears
ready to start from his eyes, and with great energy
said, 'Such a man would not have been suffered
to perish in these times.'"'



"Johnson said Graywalked on tiptoe.'
same thought is in Quintilian and in Seneca, quo
quisque ingenio minus valet, hoc se magis attolere
et dilitare conatur: ut statura breves in digitos
eriguntur, et plura infirmi mirantur.'-Quintilian,

by Rollin, Lib. ii. cap. 3. Seneca also says, 'in
edito stat admirabilis, celsus, magnitudinis veræ.
Non exsurgit in plantas, nec summis ambulat digi-
tis, eorum more, qui mendacio staturam adjuvant,
longioresque quam sunt, videri volunt: contentus
est magnitudine suâ.'-Epist. iii.

"A wit among lords, and a lord among wits,' said Johnson of Lord Chesterfield. 'Sed tam contumeliosos in se ridet invicem eloquentia : et qui stultis eruditi videri volunt, stulti eruditis videntur. Quintilian, by Rollin, pa. 409, Lib. x. cap. vii. See also Pope's Dunciad:

'A wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits.""

"Mr. Barclay', from his connexion Mr. Bar- with Mr. Thrale, had several opportuniclay. ties of meeting and conversing with Dr. Johnson. On his becoming a partner in the brewery, Johnson advised him not to allow his commercial pursuits to divert his attention from his studies. A mere literary man,' said the Doctor, is a dull man; a man, who is solely a man of business, is a selfish man; but when literature and commerce are united, they make a respectable man.'

Mr. Barclay saw Johnson ten days before he died, when the latter observed, That they should never meet more. Have you any objection to receive an old man's blessing?' Mr. Barclay knelt down, and Johnson gave him his blessing with great fervency.

"Mr. Barclay had never observed any rudeness or violence on the part of Johnson.

"He has seen Boswell lay down his knife and fork, and take out his tablets, in order to register a good anecdote.

"When Johnson proceeded to the dining-room, one of Mr. Thrale's servants handed him a wig of a smarter description than the one he wore in the morning; the exchange took place in the hall, or passage. Johnson, like many other men, was always in much better humour after dinner than before 2.

Sir J.

"With all that asperity of manners Hawk. with which he has been charged, and Life, which kept at a distance many who, to p. 5i. my knowledge, would have been glad of an intimacy with him, he possessed the affections of pity and compassion in a most eminent degree. In a mixed company, of which I was one, the conversation turned on the pestilence which raged in London in the year 1665, and gave occasion to Johnson to speak of Dr. Nathaniel Hodges, who, in the height of that calamity, continued in he city, and was almost the only one of his pro

1 [The late Robert Barclay, Esq. of Bury Hill, near Porking. This benevolent and excellent man (from whom Ir. Markland derived these memoranda in 1824) died in eS1, at an advanced agc.-ED.] 2 [See ante, p. 182.-ED.) VOL. 11.



"On Johnson's death, Mr. Langton Miss said to sir John Hawkins, We shall now Hawk. know whether he has or has not assisted Mem. Sir Joshua in his Discourses;' but Johnson had assured Sir John that his assistance had never exceeded the substitution of a word or two, in preference to what Sir Joshua had written.

"What the economy of Dr. Johnson's house may have been under his wife's administration I cannot tell, but under Miss Williams's management, and, indeed, afterwards, when he was overcome at the misery of those around him, it always deceived my expectation, as far as the condition of the apartment into which I was admitted could enable me to judge. It was not, indeed, his study; amongst his books he probably might bring Magliabeechi to recollection, but I saw him only in the decent drawing-room of a house, not inferior to others on the same local situation, and with stout old-fashioned mahogany table and chairs. He was a liberal customer to his tailor, and I can remember that his linen was often a strong contrast to the colour of his hands.

"It may be said of Johnson, that he had a pcculiar feeling of regard towards his many and various friends, and that he was to each what might be called the indenture, or counter-part of what they were to him.”



"Dr. Johnson 3 confessed himself to Steevens London have been sometimes in the power of Mag. bailiffs. Richardson, the authour of Cla- vol. lv. rissa, was his constant friend on such oc- p. 253. casions. 'I remember writing to him,' said Johnson, from a sponging house; and was so sure of my deliverance through his kindness and liberality, that, before his reply was brought, I knew I could afford to joke with the rascal who had me in custody, and did so, over a pint of adulterated wine, for which, at that instant, I had no money to pay.'

Johnson had lost

"It has been observed that the sight of one of his eyes. Mr. Ellis, an ancient gentleman now living (authour of a very happy burlesque translation of the thirteenth book added to the Eneid by Maffée Vegio) was in the same condition; but, some years after, while he was at Margate, the sight of his eye unexpectedly returned, and that of its fellow became as suddenly extinguished. Concerning the particulars of this singular but authenticated event, Dr. Johnson was

3 [The following anecdotes, published by Mr. Steevens,

from day to day in the St. James's Chronicle, and after

wards collected in the London Magazine, escaped the Editor's notice, till it was too late to introduce them into the text; but as they tell some new facts, and relate others that have been already told in a new manner, it has been thought right to preserve them. The first of these anecdotes confirms the justice which the Editor had already endeavoured to do to the memory of Richardson against the sneer of Murphy. Ante, v. i. p. 131, n.ED.]

studiously inquisitive, and not with reference to his own case. Though he never made use of glasses to assist his sight, he said he could recollect no production of art to which man has superior obligations. He mentioned the name of the original inventor of spectacles with reverence, and expressed his wonder that not an individual, out of the multitudes who had profited by them, had, through gratitude, written the life of so great a benefactor to society.

"The Doctor is known to have been, like Savage, a very late visiter; yet at whatever hour he returned, he never went to bed without a previous call on Mrs. Williams, the blind lady who for so many years had found protection under his roof. Coming home one morning between four and five, he said to her, Take notice, madam, that for once I am here before others are asleep. As I turned into the court, I ran against a knot of bricklayers.' 'You forget, my dear sir,' replied she, that these people have all been a-bed, and are now preparing for their day's work.' Is it so, then, madam? I confess that circumstance had escaped me.'


"I have been told, Dr. Johnson,' says a friend, 'that your translation of Pope's Messiah was made either as a common exercise or as an imposition for some negligence you had been guilty of at college. No, sir,' replied the Doctor. At Pembroke the former were always in prose, and to the latter I would not have submitted. I wrote it rather to show the tutors what I could do, than what I was willing should be done. It answered my purpose; for it convinced those who were well enough inclined to punish me, that I could wield a scholar's weapon, as often as I was menaced with arbitrary inflictions. Before the frequency of personal satire had weakened its effect, the petty tyrants of colleges stood in awe of a pointed remark, or a vindictive epigram. But since every man in his turn has been wounded, no man is

ashamed of a scar.'

"When Dr. Percy first published his collection of ancient English ballads, perhaps he was too lavish in commendation of the beautiful simplicity and poetic merit he supposed himself to discover in them. This circumstance provoked Johnson to observe one evening at Miss Reynolds's tea-table, that he could rhyme as well, and as elegantly, in common narrative and conversation. For instance, says he,

'As with my hat upon my head
I walk'd along the Strand,

I there did meet another man
With his hat in his hand 2.

'I therefore pray thee, Renny dear,
That thou wilt give to me,
With cream and sugar soften'd well,
Another dish of tea.

'Nor fear that I, my gentle maid,
Shall long detain the cup,
When once unto the bottom I
Have drank the liquor up.

1 The inventor of spectacles is said to have been a monk at Pisa, who lived at the end of the thirteenth century, and whose name was Spina.-ED. of Lond. Mag. 2 [See ante, p. 164, where this anecdote is told in the vague manner and on the imperfect authority of Mr.

Cradock. To have deliberately composed and circulated a parody on his friend's poem would have been a very different thing from a sportive improvisation over the tea-table.-ED.]

"Yet hear, alas! this mournful truth,
Nor hear it with a frown-
Thou canst not make the tea so fast
As I can gulp it down.'

"When one Collins, a sleep-compelling divine of Hertfordshire, with the assistance of counsellor Hardinge, published a heavy half-crown pair phet against Mr. Steevens, Garrick asked the Doctor

Or, to render such poetry subservient to my own what he thought of this attack on his coadjater. immediate use,

'I regard Collins's performance,' replied Johnson, as a great gun without powder or shot.' When the same Collins afterwards appeared as editor of Capel's posthumous notes on Shakspeare, with a preface of his own, containing the following words —‘A sudden and most severe stroke of affliction has left my mind too much distracted to be capable of engaging in such a task (that of a further st tack on Mr. Steevens), though I am prompted to it by inclination as well as duty,' the Doctor asked

And thus he proceeded through several more stanzas, till the reverend critic cried out for quarter. Such ridicule, however, was unmerited.


"Night,' Mr. Tyers has told us, was Johnson's time for composition.' But this assertion, if meant for a general one, can be refuted by living evidence. Almost the whole preface to Shakspeare, and no inconsiderable part of the Lives of the Poets, were composed by daylight, and in a room where a friend was employed by im in other investigations. His studies were only continued through the night when the day had been pre-occupied, or proved too short for his undertakings. Respecting the fertility of his genius, the resources of his learning, and the ac curacy of his judgment, the darkness and the light were both alike.

" Mrs. Thrale,' Mr. Tyers also reports, 'knew how to spread a table with the utmost plenty and elegance; but all who are acquainted with this lady's domestic history must know, that in the present instance Mr. Tyers' praise of her is luckily bestowed. Her husband superintended every dinner set before his guests. After his death she confessed her total ignorance in culinary arrangements. Poor Thrale studied an art of which he loved the produce, and to which he expired a martyr. Johnson repeatedly, and with all the warmth of earnest friendship, assured him he was nimis edax rerum, and that such unlimited indulgence of his palate would precipitate his end.

"When in his latter years he was reminded of his forcible sarcasm against Bolingbroke and Mallet (v. i. p. 115), the Doctor exclaimed, Dad I really say so?" "Yes, sir.' He replied, 'I am heartily glad of it.'

"You knew Mr. Capel, Dr. Johnson?' 'Yes, sir; I have seen him at Garrick's.' And what think you of his abilities? They are just suffcient, sir, to enable him to select the black hairs from the white ones, for the use of the perrig makers. Were he and I to count the grains in a bushel of wheat for a wager, he would certainly prove the winner.'

3 [Mr. Steevens himself.-ED.]

4 The annotator of Shakspeare.-ED.]
[George Hardinge.—ED.]

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to what misfortune the foregoing words referred. Being told that the critic had lost his wife, Johnson added, I believe that the loss of teeth may deprave the voice of a singer, and that lameness will impede the motions of a dancing master, but I have not yet been taught to regard the death of a wife as the grave of literary exertions. When my dear Mrs. Johnson expired, I sought relief in my studies, and strove to lose the recollection of her in the toils of literature. Perhaps, however, I wrong the feelings of this poor fellow. His wife might have held the pen in his name. Hinc illæ lachrymæ. Nay, I think I observe, throughout his two pieces, a woman's irritability, with a woman's impotence of revenge.' Yet such were Johnson's tender remembrances of his own wife, that after her death, though he had a whole house at command, he would study nowhere but in a garret. Being asked the reason why he chose a situation so incommodious, he answered, Because in that room only I never saw Mrs. Johnson.'

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"Though you brought a tragedy, sir, to Drury-lane, and at one time were so intimate with Garrick, you never appeared to have much theatrical acquaintance.' Sir, while I had, in common with other dramatic authors, the liberty of the scenes, without considering my admission behind them as a favour, I was frequently at the theatre. At that period all the wenches knew me, and dropped me a curtsy as they passed on to the stage. But since poor Goldsmith's last comedy, I scarce recollect having seen the inside of a playhouse. To speak the truth, there is small encouragement there for a man whose sight and hearing are become so imperfect as mine. I may add, that, Garrick and Henderson excepted, I never met with a performer who had studied his art, or could give an intelligible reason for what he did.'

"On the night before the publication of the first edition of his Shakspeare, he supped with some friends in the Temple, who kept him up, nothing loth,' till past five the next morning. Much pleasantry was passing on the subject of commentatorship, when, all on a sudden, the Doctor, looking at his watch, cried out, This is sport to you, gentlemen; but you do not consider there are at most only four hours between me and criticism.'




vegetable he found in the country, and the fresh and potent one of the same kind he was sure to meet with in town. You find me at present,' says he, suffering from a prescription of my own. When I am recovered from its consequences, and not till then, I shall know the true state of my natural malady.' From this period, he took no medicine without the approbation of Heberden. What follows is known by all, and by all lamented-ere now perhaps even by the prebends of Westminster 3.

"Once, and but once, he is known to have had too much wine; a circumstance which he himself discovered, on finding one of his sesquipedalian words hang fire. He then started up, and gravely observed, I think it time we should go to bed.'

1 [See ante, p. 499.-ED.]


This was probably before his acquaintance with Mr. Kemble and Mrs. Siddons, which took place only the ear before his death, ante, p. 359.-ED.)


"Johnson asked one of his executors, a few days before his death, Where do you intend to bury me?' He answered, 'In Westminster Abbey.' Then,' continued he, if my friends think it worth while to give me a stone, let it be placed over me so as to protect my body.'

"On the Monday after his decease he was interred in Westminster Abbey. The corpse was brought from his house in Bolt-court to the hearse, preceded by the Rev. Mr. Butt and the Rev. Mr. Strahan, about twelve o'clock. The following was the order of the procession: "Hearse and six.


The executors, viz. Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir John Hawkins, and William Scott, LL. D. in a coach and four.


Eight coaches and four, containing the Literary Club, and others of the Doctor's friends, invited by the executors; viz. Dr. Burney, Mr. Malone, Mr. Steevens, the Rev. Mr. Strahan, Mr. Ryland, Mr. Hoole, Dr. Brocklesby, Mr. Cruikshanks, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Low, Mr. Paradise, General Paoli, Count Zenobia, Dr. Butter, Mr. Holder, Mr. Seward, Mr. Metcalf, Mr. Sastres, Mr. Des Moulins, the Rev. Mr. Butt, Dr. Horsley, Dr. Farmer, Dr. Wright; to whom may be added, Mr. Cooke (who was introduced by Dr. Brocklesby), and the Doctor's faithful servant, Francis Barber.

"Two coaches and four, containing the pallbearers, viz. Mr. Burke, Mr. Wyndham, Sir Charles Bunbury, Sir Joseph Banks, Mr. Colman, and Mr. Langton.

"After these followed two mourning coaches and four, filled with gentlemen who, as volunteers, honoured themselves by attending this funeral. These were the Rev. Mr. Hoole, the Rev. Mr. East, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Mickle, Mr. Sharp, Mr. C. Burney, and Mr. G. Nichol.

"Thirteen gentlemen's carriages closed the procession, which reached the Abbey a little before one.

"The corpse was met at the west door by the prebendaries in residence, to the number of six, in their surplices and doctor's hoods; and the officers of the church, and attendants on the funeral, were then marshalled in the following order: "Two vergers. The Rev. Mr. Strahan. The Rev. Mr. Butt. THE BODY.


"If a little learning is a dangerous thing on any speculative subject, it is eminently more so in the practical science of physic. Johnson was too frequently his own doctor. In October, just before he came to London, he had taken an unusual dose of squills, but without effect. He swallowed the same quantity on his arrival here, and it produced a most violent operation. He did Sir Joshua Reynolds, as chief mourner and an not, as he afterwards confessed, reflect on the difference between the perished and inefficacious


Sir John Hawkins and Dr. Scott, as executors.
The rest two and two.

3 [This sarcasm against the prebendaries of Westminster, and particularly against Johnson's friend Dr. Taylor, who was one of them, will be explained presently.ED.]

"The body then proceeded to the south cross, | and, in view of the three executors, was deposited by the side of Mr. Garrick, with the feet opposite to the monument of Shakspeare.

"The Reverend Dr. Taylor performed the burial service, attended by some gentlemen of the Abbey; but it must be regretted by all who continue to reverence the hierarchy, that the cathe-wood's table, to the hour when his brother David dral service was withheld from its invariable obtained due influence on the theatre, on which it friend; and the omission was truly offensive to the crawled through nine nights, supported by coraudience at large." dials, but never obtaining popular applause. I asked him then to name a better scene; he pitched


that between Horatio and Lothario, in Rowe's Fair Penitent; but Mr. Murphy showed him afterwards that it was borrowed from Massinger, and had not the merit of originality.

"He was once angry with his friend Dr. Taylor of Ashbourne, for recommending to hira a degree of temperance, by which alone his life could have been saved, and recommending it in his own unaltered phrase too, with praiseworthy intentions to impress it more forcibly. This quarrel, however, if quarrel it might be called, which was mere sullenness on one side and sorrow on the other, soon healed of itself, mutual reproaches having never been permitted to widen the breach, and supply, as is the common praetice among coarser disputants, the original and perhaps almost forgotten cause of dispute. After some weeks, Johnson sent to request the sight of his old companion, whose feeble health held him

1 How this omission happened, we are unable to account. Perhaps the executors should have asked for it; but at all events it should have been performed. That the fees for opening the ground were paid, was a matter of indispensable necessity; and there can be no doubt, from the liberality of the present dean and chapter, but they will be returned, as was offered in the case of Dry-away for some weeks more, and who, when he den, and was done in that of St. Evremond, who died," came, urged that feebleness as an excuse fer apsays Atterbury, "renouncing the christian religion;" pearing no sooner at the call of friendship in disyet the church of Westminster thought fit, in honour tress; but Johnson, who was then, as he expres to his memory, to give his body room in the Abbey, and allow him to be buried there gratis, so far ed it, not sick but dying, told him a story of a laas the chapter were concerned, though he left 8001. dy, who many years before lay expiring in such sterling behind him, which is thought every way an untortures as that cruel disease, a cancer, naturally accountable piece of management. How striking the contrast between St. Evremond and Johnson!-STEE- produces, and begged the conversation of her VENS. [See ante, p. 450, Mr. Tyers's note. It is sup- earliest intimate to soothe the incredible sufferings posed that the fees were not returned, and it is to be added, that all Dr. Johnson's friends, but especially Mr. of her body, and relieve the approaching terrors Malone and Mr. Steevens, were indignant at the mean of her mind; but what was the friend's apology and selfish spirit which the dean and chapter exhibited for absence? Oh, my dear,' said she, i have on this occasion; but they were especially so against Dr. really been so plunged and so pained of late by Taylor, not only for not having prevailed on his colleagues to show more respect to his old friend, but for the una nasty whitlow, that indeed it was quite infeeling manner in which he himself performed the burial possible for me till to-day to attend my Lacy's service. It must, on the other hand, be confessed that call. I think this was not more than two days Lord St. Helens corroborates the suspicion noticed by Mr. before his dissolution. Boswell (ante, p. 124), that Johnson's attention to Taylor was prompted rather by the hopes of a legacy than by any very sincere friendship; for his lordship says that it was well known at Ashbourne that Taylor used to contrive to let some of his familiar friends discover, as if by accident, that he had remembered them in his will; and there was reason to suppose that he had for some time practised a similar device upon Johnson. It seems certain that the intercourse between these old friends, never

very cordial or well assorted, had become less frequent in the latter years of Johnson's life; and that Taylor was not seen at the death-bedside, nor honoured by a legacy

of remembrance in the will of his oldest friend.-The following passage, in one of Dr. Johnson's letters to Mrs. Thrale, which no doubt relates to Dr. Taylor, gives us no great idea of his elegance or literature, nor of Jolinson's regard for him:-"(Taylor] has let out another pound of blood, and is come to town, brisk and vigorous, fierce and fell, to drive on his law-suit. Nothing in all life now can be more profligater than what he is; and if in case that so be, that they persist for to resist him, he is resolved not to spare no money, nor no time. He is, I believe, thundering away. His solicitor has turned him off; and I think it not unlikely that he will tire his lawyers. But now don't you talk."-ED.]

perhaps with hasty impropriety, the dialogue between Syphax and Juba, in Addison's Cato." Nay, nay,' replied he, if you are for declamation, I hope my two ladies have the better of them all.' This piece, however, lay dormant many years, shelfed (in the manager's phrase) from the time Mr. Peter Garrick presented it first on Fleet

"When Mrs. Thrale was going to visit some country friends, Dr. Johnson gave her the follow-on ing excellent advice: Do not make them speeches. Unusual compliments, to which there is no stated and prescriptive answer, embarrass the feeble, who know not what to say, and disgust the wise, who, knowing them to be false, suspect them to be hypocritical.'

"Dr. Johnson was no complainer of ill usage. I never heard him even lament the disregard shown to Irene, which however was a violent favourite with him; and much was he offended when having asked me once, what single scene afforded me most pleasure of all our tragic drama,' I, little thinking of his play's existence, named,


2 [Some scattered anecdotes by Mrs. Piozzi having been by mistake omitted in what might have been a fitter place, are added here that the collection may be complete. -ED.j

"Some Lichfield friends fancied that he had half a mind to die where he was born, but that the hope of being buried in Westminster Abbey overpowered the inclination; but Dr. Johnson loved London, and many people then in London, whom I doubt not he sincerely wished to see again, particularly Mr. Sastres 3, for whose person some of the following letters manifest a strong affection, and of whose talents I have often beard him speak with great esteem. That gentiemaN has told me, that his fears of death ended with his hope of recovery, and that the latter days of his life passed in calm resignation to God's will, and a firm trust in his mercy.

"He burned many letters in the last week, I am told; and those written by his mother drew from him a flood of tears, when the paper they

3 [Sastres was the countryman and friend of Piozzi, and the lady therefore wishes to attribute to Dr. Johnsen an extraordinary fondness for Signior Sastres, as if it gave some degree of countenance to her own miserable folly. -ED.]

were written on was all consumed. Mr. Sastres | tation of offences by voluntary penance, or ensaw him cast a melancholy look upon their ashes, courage others to practise severity upon themwhich he took up and examined, to see if a word selves. He even once said, that he thought it was still legible. Nobody has ever mentioned an error to endeavour at pleasing God by taking what became of Miss Aston's letters, though he the rod of reproof out of his hands 3.' once told me himself they should be the last papers he would destroy, and added these lines with a very faltering voice:

"Mr. Thrale had a very powerful influence over the Doctor, and could make him suppress many rough answers: he could likewise prevail on him to change his shirt, his coat, or his plate, almost before it became indispensably necessary.

"He once observed of a Scotch lady who had given him some kind of provocation by receiving him with less attention than he expected, that she resembled a dead nettle; if she were alive she would sting.'

"He rejected from his Dictionary every authority for a word that could only be gleaned from writers dangerous to religion or morality-I would not,' said he, 'send people to look in a book for words, that by such a casual seizure of the mind might chance to mislead it forever.'

Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part,
And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart;
Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er,
The muse forgot, and theu beloved no more.""

"In addition to his pleasantry about the Piozzi, French academy (vol. i. p. 555), it may Anec. be told, that when some person complimented him on his superiority to the French, he replied, Why, what could you expect, dear sir, from fellows that eat frogs?'

"When Mr. Rose, of Hammersmith', contending for the preference of Scotch writers over the English, after having set up his authours like nine-pins, while the Doctor kept bowling them down again; at last, to make sure of victory, he named Ferguson upon Civil Society, and praised the book for being written in a new manner. 'I do not, said Johnson, perceive the value of this new manner; it is only like Buckinger, who had no hands, and so wrote with his feet.'



"When I (Mrs. Piozzi,) knowing what subject he would like best to talk on, asked him how his opinion stood towards the question between Pascal and Soame Jennings about number and numeration? as the French philosopher observes, that infinity, though on all sides astonishing, appears most so when connected with the idea of number; for the notions of infinite number, and infinite number we know there is, stretches one's capacity still more than the idea of infinite space such a notion indeed,' adds Pascal, can scarcely find room in the human mind.' The English authour on the other hand exclaims, Let no man give himself leave to talk about infinite number, for infinite number is a contradiction in terms; whatever is once numbered we all see cannot be infinite.' 'I think,' said Dr. Johnson after a pause, we must settle the matter thus: numeration is certainly infinite, for eternity might be employed in adding unit to unit; but every number is in itself finite, as the possibility of doubling it easily proves besides, stop at what point you will, you find yourself as far from infinitude as ever.'


Forgive me! but forgive me!'

"His spirit of devotion had an energy that affected all who ever saw him pray in private. The coldest and most languid hearers of the word must have felt themselves animated by his manner of reading the Holy Scriptures; and to pray by his sick bed required strength of body as well as of mind, so vehement were his manners, and his tones of voice so pathetic. "Though Dr. Johnson kept fast in Lent, par-sibility I used to quote against him when he would ticularly the holy week, with a rigour very dan-inveigh against devotional poetry, and protest that gerous to his general health; and had left off wine all religious verses were cold and feeble, and un(for religious motives as I always believed, though worthy the subject, which ought to be treated he did not own it), yet he did not hold the commu- with higher reverence, he said, than either poets or painters could presume to excite or bestow."

"It was not however from the want of a susceptible heart that he hated to cite tender expres sions, for he was more strongly and more violently affected by the force of words representing ideas capable of affecting him at all, than any other man in the world, I believe; and when he would try to repeat the celebrated Prosa Ecclesiastica pro Mortuis, as it is called, beginning Dies ira, Dies illa, he could never pass the stanza ending thus, Tantus labor non sit cassus, without bursting into a flood of tears; which sen

[It is presumed that Mrs. Piozzi meant Dr. Rose, of Chiswick.-ED.!

"Dr. Johnson never gave into ridiculous refinements either of speculation or practice, or suffered himself to be deluded by specious appearances. 'I have had dust thrown in my eyes too often,' would he say, to be blinded so. Let us never confound matters of belief with matters of opinion. Some one urged in his presence the preference of hope to possession; and, as I remember, produced an Italian sonnet on the subject. Let us not,' cried Johnson, 'amuse ourselves with subtilties and sonnets, when speaking about that hope, which is the follower of faith and the precursor of eternity; but if you only mean those air-built hopes which to-day excites and tomorrow will destroy, let us talk away, and remember that we only talk of the pleasures of hope; we feel those of possession, and no man in his senses would change the last for the first : such hope is a mere bubble, that by a gentle breath may be blown to what size you will almost, but a rough blast bursts it at once. Hope is an amusement rather than a good, and adapted to none but very tranquil minds.'

2 [A person born without hands, who contrived to produce very fine specimens of penmanship.-ED.]

"Of the pathetic in poetry he never liked to speak, and the only passage I ever heard him applaud as particularly tender in any common book was Jane Shore's exclamation in the last act,

[He certainly left it off on account of his health, but no doubt considered it a pious duty to do so, if it disordered his mind. Ante, vol. i. p. 226.—ED.]

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