Imatges de pÓgina
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MDCCCCII PUBLISHED BY: J.M.DENT•
AND CO: ALDINO.House.LONDON WC

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The LIFE of

SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.

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ON Sunday, April 19, being Easter day, after The un

the solemnities of the festival in St. Paul's happiness Church, I visited him, but could not stay to dinner. of human

life I expressed a wish to have the arguments for Christianity always in readiness, that my religious faith might be as firm and clear as any proposition whatever, so that I need not be under the least uneasiness, when it should be attacked.

JOHNSON. “ Sir, you cannot answer all objections. You have demonstration for a First Cause : you see he must be good as well as powerful, because there is nothing to make him otherwise, and goodness of itself is preferable. Yet you have against this, what is very certain, the unhappiness of human life. This, however, gives us reason to hope for a future state of compensation, that there may be a perfect system. But of that we were not sure, till we had a positive revelation.” I told him, that his “ Rasselas” had often made me unhappy; for it represented the misery of human life so well, and so convincingly to a thinking mind, that if at any time the impression wore off, and I felt myself easy, I began to suspect some delusion.

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VOL. V.

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Wasting On Monday, April 20, I found him at home in a fortune the morning. We talked of a gentleman who we

apprehended was gradually involving his circumstances by bad management. JOHNSON. “Wasting a fortune is evaporation by a thousand imperceptible

If it were a stream, they'd stop it. You must speak to him. It is really miserable. Were

ter, it could be said he had hopes of winning. Were he a bankrupt in trade, he might have grown rich; but he has neither spirit to spend, nor resolution to spare. He does not spend fast enough to have pleasure from it. He has the crime of prodigality, and the wretchedness of parsimony. If a man is killed in a duel, he is killed as many a one has been killed; but it is a sad thing for a man to lie down and die; to bleed to death, because he has not fortitude enough to sear the wound, or even to stitch it up.” I cannot but pause a moment to admire the fecundity of fancy, and choice of language, which in this instance, and, indeed, on almost all occasions, he displayed. It was well observed by Dr. Percy, now Bishop of Dromore, “ The conversation of Johnson is strong and clear, and may be compared to an antique statue, where every vein and muscle is distinct and bold. Ordinary conversation resembles an inferiour cast."

On Saturday, April 25, I dined with him at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, with the learned Dr. Musgrave, Counsellor Leland of Ireland, son to the historian, Mrs. Cholmondeley, and some more ladies. 6. The

[Samuel Musgrave, M.D. Editor of Euripides, and authour of “Dissertations on the Grecian Mythology," &c. published in 1782, after his death, by the learned Mr. Tyrwhitt.-M.]

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