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Garrick. 'I like it much (said he), I think I shall be of you.' When Sir Joshua mentioned this to Dr. Johnson he was much displeased with the actor's conceit. 'He'll be of us (said Johnson), how does he know we will permit him? The first duke in England has no right to hold such language.' However, when Garrick was regularly proposed some time afterwards, Johnson, though he had taken a momentary offence at his arrogance, warmly and kindly supported him, and he was accordingly elected,1 was a most agreeable member, and continued to attend our meetings to the time of his death.

Mrs. Piozzi 2 has also given a similar misrepresentation of Johnson's treatment of Garrick in this particular, as if he had used these contemptuous expressions: 'If Garrick does apply, I'll blackball him. Surely, one ought to sit in a society like ours,

"Unelbow'd by a gamester, pimp, or player."'

I am happy to be enabled by such unquestionable authority as that of Sir Joshua Reynolds, as well as from my own knowledge, to vindicate at once the heart of Johnson and the social merit of Garrick.

In this year, except what he may have done in revising Shakespeare, we do not find that he laboured much in literature. He wrote a review of Grainger's 'Sugar Cane,' a poem, in the London Chronicle. He told me that Dr. Percy wrote the greatest part of this review; but I imagine he did not recollect it distinctly, for it appears to be mostly, if not altogether,

1 [Mr. Garrick was elected in March 1773.-M.] Letters to and from Dr. Johnson, vol. ii. p. 278.

his own. He also wrote in the Critical Review an account of Goldsmith's excellent poem, "The Traveller.' The ease and independence to which he had at last attained by royal munificence increased his natural indolence. In his Meditations he thus accuses himself: 'Good Friday, April 20, 1764.—I have made no reformation; I have lived totally useless, more sensual in thought, and more addicted to wine and meat.' And next morning he thus feelingly complains: 'My indolence, since my last reception of the sacrament, has sunk into grosser sluggishness, and my dissipation spread into wilder negligence. My thoughts have been clouded with sensuality; and, except that from the beginning of this year I have, in some measure, forborne excess of strong drink, my appetites have predominated over my reason. A kind of strange

oblivion has overspread me, so that I know not what has become of the last year; and perceive that incidents and intelligence pass over me without leaving any impression.' He then solemnly says, 'This is not the life to which heaven is promised,'' and he earnestly resolves an amendment.

It was his custom to observe certain days with a pious abstraction, viz., New Year's Day, the day of his wife's death, Good Friday, Easter Day, and his own birthday. He this year says: 'I have now spent fiftyfive years in resolving, having, from the earliest time almost that I can remember, been forming schemes of a better life. I have done nothing. The need of doing, therefore, is pressing, since the time of doing is short. O God, grant me to resolve aright, and to keep my 2 Ibid. p. 51.

1 Prayers and Meditations, p. 53.

Such a

resolutions, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.'1 tenderness of conscience, such a fervent desire of improvement, will rarely be found. It is surely not decent in those who are hardened in indifference to spiritual improvement, to treat this pious anxiety of Johnson with contempt.

About this time he was afflicted with a very severe return of the hypochondriac disorder which was ever lurking about him. He was so ill as, notwithstanding his remarkable love of company, to be entirely averse to society-the most fatal symptom of that malady. Dr. Adams told me that, as an old friend, he was admitted to visit him, and that he found him in a deplorable state, sighing, groaning, talking to himself, and restlessly walking from room to room. He then used this emphatical expression of the misery which he felt: 'I would consent to have a limb amputated to recover my spirits.'

Talking to himself was, indeed, one of his singularities ever since I knew him. I was certain that he was frequently uttering pious ejaculations; for fragments of the Lord's Prayer have been distinctly overheard. His friend, Mr. Thomas Davies-of whom Churchill says,

"That Davies hath a very pretty wife':

1 Prayers and Meditations, p. 584.

2 [It used to be imagined at Mr. Thrale's, when Johnson retired to a window or corner of the room, by perceiving his lips in motion, and hearing a murmur without audible articulation, that he was praying: but this was not always the case, for I was once, perhaps unperceived by him, writing at a table, so near the place of his retreat that I heard him repeat some lines in an ode of Horace, over and over again, as if by iteration, to exercise the organs of speech, and fix the ode in his memory:

Audiet cives acuisse ferrum,

Quo graves Persa melius perirent;
Audiet pugnas...

It was during the American war.-BURNEY.]

Carm. L. 1. Od. ii. 21.

when Dr. Johnson muttered, 'Lead us not into temptation'-used with waggish and gallant humour to whisper Mrs. Davies: 'You, my dear, are the cause of this.'

He had another particularity, of which none of his friends ever ventured to ask an explanation. It appeared to me some superstitious habit, which he had contracted early, and from which he had never called upon his reason to disentangle him. This was

his anxious care to go out or in at a door or passage by a certain number of steps from a certain point, or at least so as that either his right or his left foot (I am not certain which) should constantly make the first actual movement when he came close to the door or passage. Thus I conjecture: for I have, upon innumerable occasions, observed him suddenly stop, and then seem to count his steps with a deep earnestness ; and when he had neglected or gone wrong in this sort of magical movement, I have seen him go back again, put himself in a proper posture to begin the ceremony, and, having gone through it, break from his abstraction, walk briskly on, and join his companion. A strange instance of something of this nature, even when on horseback, happened when he was in the isle of Skye.1 Sir Joshua Reynolds has observed him to go a good way about rather than cross a particular alley in Leicester-fields; but this Sir Joshua imputed to his having had some disagreeable recollection associated with it.

That the most minute singularities which belonged to him, and made very observable parts of his appear

1 Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, 3rd edition, p. 315.

VOL. II.

K

ance and manner, may not be omitted, it is requisite to mention, that while talking, or even musing as he sat in his chair, he commonly held his head to one side towards his right shoulder, and shook it in a tremulous manner, moving his body backwards and forwards, and rubbing his left knee in the same direction with the palm of his hand. In the intervals of articulating he made various sounds with his mouth, sometimes as if ruminating, or what is called chewing the cud, sometimes giving half a whistle, sometimes making his tongue play backwards from the roof of his mouth, as if clucking like a hen, and sometimes protruding it against his upper gums in front, as if pronouncing quickly under his breath, too, too, too: all this accompanied sometimes with a thoughtful look, but more frequently with a smile. Generally when he had concluded a period, in the course of a dispute, by which time he was a good deal exhausted by violence and vociferation, he used to blow out his breath like a whale. This I suppose was a relief to his lungs; and seemed in him to be a contemptuous mode of expression, as if he had made the arguments of his opponent fly like chaff before the wind.

I am fully aware how very obvious an occasion I here give for the sneering jocularity of such as have no relish of an exact likeness, which, to render complete, he who draws it must not disdain the slightest strokes. But if witlings should be inclined to attack this account, let them have the candour to quote what I have offered in my defence.

He was for some time in the summer at Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire, on a visit to the Reverend Dr. Percy, now Bishop of Dromore. Whatever dis

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