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'He said foppery was never cured; it was the bad stamina of the mind, which, like those of the body, were never rectified; once a coxcomb, and always a coxcomb.

'Being told that Gilbert Cowper called him the Caliban of literature: "Well (said he), I must dub him the Punchinello."

'Speaking of the old Earl of Cork and Orrery, he said, "That man spent his life in catching at an object [literary eminence], which he had not power to grasp."

"To find a substitution for violated morality, he said, was the leading feature in all perversions of religion.

'He often used to quote, with great pathos, those fine lines of Virgil: 1


Optima quæque dies miseris mortalibus ævi
Prima fugit; subeunt morbi, tristisque senectus,
Et labor, et dura rapit inclementia mortis."

'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:

Αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν καὶ ὑπείροχον ἔμμεναι ἄλλων:

which, if I recollect well, is translated by Dr. Clarke thus: semper appetere præstantissima, et omnibus aliis antecellere.

'He observed, "It was a most mortifying reflection for any man to consider, what he had done, compared with what he might have done."

'He said few people had intellectual resources sufficient to forego the pleasures of wine. They could not otherwise 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 ranted about Liberty, as a blessing most fervently to be implored, and its continuance prayed for. John

1 Georg. iii. 66.

[Glaucus is the person who received this counsel: and Clarke's translation of the passage (17. vi. 208), is as follows:

'Ut semper fortissime rem gererem, et superior virtute essem aliis.'] VOL. II.

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son observed that our liberty was in no sort of danger :-he would have done much better to pray against our licentious


'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 shown him, and asked him on our return home, if he was not highly gratified by his visit: "No, sir (said he), not highly gratified; 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 Cantons, or petty Republics. 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 civilisation.-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 itself, but to export corn to a large amount, Sir Thomas Robinson observed 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 assisted Dr. Brown, the author of the Estimate,1 in some dramatic composition, "No, sir (said Johnson), he would no more suffer Garrick to write a

1 [The Inestimable Estimate of Brown enjoyed at the date of its publication (1756) a greater popularity than was awarded in our own time to the late Dr. Pearson's glowing book, National Life and Character. Dr. Brown's forebodings of decadence received their answer in the expansion of England under Chatham's administration. It is an interesting book.-A. B.]

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, so as to enable him to assume a different rank in society, then, indeed, it might answer some purpose.

'He observed, a principal source of erroneous judgment was, viewing things partially and only on one side-as, for instance, fortune-hunters, when they contemplated the fortunes singly and separately, it was a dazzling and tempting object; but when they came to possess the wives and their fortunes together, they began to suspect they had not made quite so good a bargain.

'Speaking of the late Duke of Northumberland living very magnificently when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, somebody remarked, it would be difficult to find a suitable successor to him then, exclaimed Johnson, he is only fit to succeed himself.

'He advised me, if possible, to have a good orchard. He knew, he said, a clergyman of small income, who brought up a family very reputably, which he chiefly fed with apple dumplings.

'He said he had known several good scholars among the Irish gentlemen, but scarcely any of them correct in quantity. He extended the same observation to Scotland.

'Speaking of a certain prelate, who exerted himself very laudably in building churches and parsonage-houses: "However (said he), I do not find that he is esteemed a man of much professional learning, or a liberal patron of it; yet, it is well where a man possesses any strong positive excellence. Few have all kinds of merit belonging to their character. We must not examine matters too deeply. No, sir, a fallible being will fail somewhere."

'Talking of the Irish clergy, he said, Swift was a man of great parts, and the instrument of much good to his country. Berkeley was a profound scholar, as well as a man of fine

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