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Aetat. 69.]

Pleasure and happiness.


happiness. There is more happiness in being rational.' BOSWELL. But if we could have pleasure always, should not we be happy? The greatest part of men would compound for pleasure.' JOHNSON. Supposing we could have pleasure always, an intellectual man would not compound for it. The greatest part of men would compound, because the greatest part of men are gross.' BosWELL. I allow there may be greater pleasure than from wine. I have had more pleasure from your conversation, I have indeed; I assure you I have.' JOHNSON. 'When we talk of pleasure, we mean sensual pleasure. When a man says, he had pleasure with a woman, he does not mean conversation, but something of a very different nature. Philosophers tell you, that pleasure is contrary to happiness. Gross men prefer animal pleasure. So there are men who have preferred living among savages. Now what a wretch must he be, who is content with such conversation as can be had among savages! You may remember an officer at Fort Augustus', who had served in America, told us of a woman whom they were obliged to bind, in order to get her back from savage life.' BOSWELL. She must have been an animal, a beast.' JOHNSON. Sir, she was a speaking cat.'

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I mentioned to him that I had become very weary in a company where I heard not a single intellectual sentence, except that ‘a man who had been settled ten years in Minorca was become a much inferiour man to what he was in London, because a man's mind grows narrow in a narrow place.' JOHNSON. A man's mind grows narrow in a narrow place, whose mind is enlarged only because he has lived in a large place: but what is got by books and thinking is preserved in a narrow place as well as in a large place. A man cannot know modes of life as well in Minorca as in London; but he may study mathematicks as well in Minorca.' BOSWELL. I don't know, Sir: if you had remained ten years in the Isle of Col, you would not have been the man that you now are.' JOHNSON. 'Yes, Sir, if I had been there

1 See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 31.



Goldsmith not an agreeable companion. [A.D. 1778.

from fifteen to twenty-five; but not if from twenty-five to thirty-five.' BOSWELL. I own, Sir, the spirits which I have in London make me do every thing with more readiness and vigour. I can talk twice as much in London as any where else'.'

Of Goldsmith he said, He was not an agreeable companion, for he talked always for fame. A man who does so never can be pleasing. (The man who talks to unburthen his mind is the man to delight you. An eminent friend' of ours is not so agreeable as the variety of his knowledge would otherwise make him, because he talks partly from ostentation.'

Soon after our arrival at Thrale's, I heard one of the maids calling eagerly on another, to go to Dr. Johnson. I wondered what this could mean. I afterwards learnt, that it was to give her a Bible, which he had brought from London as a present to her.

He was for a considerable time occupied in reading Mémoires de Fontenelle, leaning and swinging upon the low gate into the court, without his hat.

I looked into Lord Kames's Sketches of the History of Man; and mentioned to Dr. Johnson his censure of Charles the Fifth, for celebrating his funeral obsequies in his lifetime, which, I told him, I had been used to think a solemn and affecting act'. JOHNSON. 'Why, Sir, a man may dispose his mind to think so of that act of Charles; but it is so liable to ridicule, that if one man out of ten thousand laughs at it, he'll make the other nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine laugh too.' I could not agree with him in this.

1 See ante, p. 201.

See ante, i. 478.

Eminent is the epithet Boswell generally applies to Burke (ante, ii. 255), and Burke almost certainly is here meant. Yet Johnson later on said, 'Burke's talk is the ebullition of his mind. He does not talk from a desire of distinction, but because his mind is full.' Post, March 21, 1783.

• Kames describes it as an act as wild as any that superstition ever suggested to a distempered brain.' Sketches, etc. iv. 321.

Aetat. 69.]

English sermons.


Sir John Pringle had expressed a wish that I would ask Dr. Johnson's opinion what were the best English sermons for style. I took an opportunity to-day of mentioning several to him.-Atterbury? JOHNSON. 'Yes, Sir, one of the best.' BOSWELL. Tillotson? JOHNSON. 'Why, not now. I should not advise a preacher at this day to imitate Tillotson's style: though I don't know; I should be cautious of objecting to what has been applauded by so many suffrages.— South is one of the best, if you except his peculiarities, and his violence, and sometimes coarseness of language.Seed has a very fine style; but he is not very theological.— Fortin's sermons are very elegant.-Sherlock's style too is very elegant, though he has not made it his principal study.— And you may add Smallridge. All the latter preachers have a good style. Indeed, nobody now talks much of style: every body composes pretty well'. There are no such inharmonious periods as there were a hundred years ago. I should recommend Dr. Clarke's sermons, were he orthodox'. However, it is very well known where he was not orthodox, which was upon the doctrine of the Trinity, as to which he is a condemned heretick; so one is aware of it.' BOSWELL. 'I like Ogden's Sermons on Prayer very much, both for neatness of style and subtilty of reasoning.' JOHNSON. 'I should like to read all that Ogden has written'.' BoSWELL. 'What I wish to know is, what sermons afford the best specimen of

'See ante, p. 275.

* 'Queen Caroline,' writes Horace Walpole, much wished to make Dr. Clarke a bishop, but he would not subscribe the articles again. I have often heard my father relate that he sat up one night at Kensington Palace with the Doctor, till the pages of the backstairs asked if they would have fresh candles, my father endeavouring to persuade him to subscribe again, as he had for the living of St. James's. Clarke pretended he had then believed them. "Well," said Sir Robert, "but if you do not now, you ought to resign your living to some man who would subscribe conscientiously." The Doctor would neither resign his living nor accept the bishopric.' Journal of the Reign of George III, i. 8. See ante, i. 460, post, Dec. 1784, where Johnson, on his deathbed, recommended Clarke's Sermons; and Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 5. ' Boswell took Ogden's Sermons with him to the Hebrides, but JohnEnglish

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