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fioned obfcurity; he therefore contrived to con
struct his sentences so as not to have occasion for them, and would even rather repeat the same words, in order to avoid them. Nothing is more common than to mistake fırnames when we hear them carelessly uttered for the first time. To prevent this, he used not only to pronounce them nowly and distinctly, but, to take the trouble of spelling them ; a practice which I have often followed ; and which I wish were general.
Such was the heat and irritability of his blood, that not only did he pare his nails to the quick ; but scraped the joints of his fingers with a penknife, till they seemed quite red and raw..
The heterogeneous composition of human nature was remarkably exemplified in Johnson. His liberality in giving his money to persons in distress was extraordinary. Yet there lurked about him a propensity to paulery saving. One day I owned to him that " I was occasionally troubled with a fit of narrowness.” “Why, Sir, (said he,) so am I. But I do not tell ito' He has now and then borrowed a shilling of me; and when I asked for it again seemed to be rather out of humour. A droll little circumstance once occurred; As if he meant to reprimand my minute exactness as a creditor, he thus addrefied me,” Boswell, lend me sixpence ;--- not to be repaid.",
This great man's attention to small things was very remarkable. As an instance of it, he one day said to me, “Sir, when you get silver in change for a guinea, look carefully at it; you may find some curious piece of coin.”
Though a stern true-born Englishman and fully prejudiced against all other nations; he had discernment enough to fee, and candour enough to cenfure the cold reserve too common among Englishmen towards strangers; Sir, said he, two' men of any other nation who are shewn into a room together, at a house where they are both visitors, will immediately find some conversation. But two Englishmen will probably go each to a different window, and remain in obstinate filence. Sir, we as yet do not enough understand the common rights of humanity.
Johnson was at a certain period of his life a good deal with the Earl of Shelburne, 'now Marquis of Lansdown, as he doubtless could not but have a due value for that nobleman's activity of mind, and uncommon acquisitions of important knowledge, however much-he might disapprove of other parts of his Lördship's character, which were widely different from his own.
Maurice Morgan, Efq. authour' of the very ingenious.“ Essay on the character of Falstaff,»» 2 being a particular friend of his Lordship, had once
a an opportunity of entertaining Johnson for a day
or two at Wickham, when-its Lord was absent, - and by him I have been favoured with two anecdotes.
One is not a little to the credit of Johnfon's candour. Mr. Morgan and he had a dispute pretty
2 Johnson being asked his opinion of th's Effay, answered,
Why, Sir, we shall have the man come forth again; and as he has proved Falstaff to be no coward, he may prove Iago to be a very jood character."
late at night, in which Johnson would not
give up, though he had the wrong lide, and in 'Thort both kept the field. Next morning, when they met in the breakfasting-room; Dr. Johnson accofted Mr. Morgan thus: - Sir, I have been thinking on our dispute last night-You were in the right.”
1:0;} dini :. The other was as follows :': Johnson for fport perhaps, or from the spirit of contradiction, eager: ly maintained that Derrick had merit as a writer. Mr. Morgan argued with him directly; -in".vain. At length he had recourse to this device. (Pray', Sir, (said he,) whether do you reckon Derrickor
: Smart the best poer ?” Johnfon at once felt him self roused; and answered, Sir, there is no settling the point of precedency berween a louse and a flea,”
jain thing Ei
பொன் The Rev. Dr. MAXWELL’s - Additional Communications.
1 , 4 : 4 11:31 - SPEAKING of Homer, whom he venerated as, the prince of poets, Johnson remarked that the advice given to Diomed by his father, when he sent him to the Trojan war, was the noblest exhortation that could be instanced in any heathen writer, and comprised in a single line:
sir αιεν αριστεύειν, και υπειροχου εμμεναι αλλων 11:
program 10 which, if I recollect well, is translated by Dr. Clarke thus : Semper, appetere præftantilima, & amnibus aliis antecellere.
5 od nas
“He observed," it was a moft mortifying reflexion for any man to consider, what he bad donez compared with what he might have done.”' .
“He said few people had intellectual resources fufficient to forego the pleasures of wine. They could not otherwife contrive how to fill the interval between dinner and supper,
“He went with me one Sunday to hear my old Master, Gregory Sharpe preach at the Temple In the prefatory prayer, Sharpe ránted about Liberty, as a blesing most feryently to be implored, and its continuance perfor; Johnson observed, that our liberty was in no sort of dan-. ger,He would have done much better, to pray against our licentioufness.
"One evening at Mrs. Montagu's, where a splendid company was assembled, consisting of the most eminent literary characters, I thought he seemed highly pleased with the respect and attention that were shewn him, and asked him on our return home if he was not highly gratified by his vifit, “ No, Sir, (faid he) not highly gratifyed ; yet I do not recollect to have passed many evenings with fewer objections."
« Though of no high extraction himself, he had much respect for birth and family, especially among ladies. He said, “ adventitious accomplishments may be possessed by all ranks ; but one may easily distinguish the born gentlewoman." .:“He said, “ the poor in England were better provided for than in any other country of the same extent: he did not mean little Çantons, or
petty Republicks. Where a great proportion of the people (said he,) are suffered to languish in helpless misery, that country must be ill policed, and wretchedly governed ; a decent provision for the poor, is the true test of civilization.-Gentlemen of education, he observed, were pretty much the same in all countries; the condition of the lower orders, the poor especially, was the true mark of national discrimination.”
" When the corn laws were in agitation in Ireland, by which that country has been enabled not only to feed itfelf, but to export corn to a large amount; Sir Thomas Robinson obferved, that those laws, might be prejudicial to the corn trade of England. '“ Sir Thomas, (said he,) you talk the language of a savage: what, Sir ? would you prevent any people from feeding themselves if by any honest means they can do it.
« It being mentioned, that Garrick aslifted Dr. Brown, the authour of the Eftimate, in some dramatick composition, “ No, Sir ; (said Johnfon,) he would no more suffer Garrick to write a line in his play, than he would suffer him to mount his pulpit.”
" Speaking of Burke, he said, “ It was commonly observed, he spoke too often in parliament ; but nobody could say he did not speak well, though too frequently and too familiarly.”
Speaking of economy, he remarked, it was hardly worth while to save anxiously twenty pounds a year. If a man could save to that degree, fo as