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The LIFE of of dayond (voundį 150 borang ow dow M endTnO SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.

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HAVING left Ashburne in the evening, we His use stopped to change horses at Derby, and of the availed ourselves of a moment to enjoy the con- word versation of my countryman, Dr. Butter, then phy- drel" sician there. He was in great indignation because Lord Mountstuart's bill for a Scotch militia had been lost. Dr. Johnson was as violent against it. "I am glad, (said he,) that Parliament has had the spirit to throw it out. You wanted to take advantage of the timidity of our scoundrels;" (meaning,

hepose, the

e used the epithstry.) It may be observed, that

scoundrel, commonly, not quite in the sense in which it is generally understood, but as a strong term of disapprobation; as when he abruptly answered Mrs. Thrale, who had asked him how he did, "Ready to become a scoundrel, Madam; with a little more spoiling you will, I think, make me a complete rascal: "—he meant, easy to become a capricious and self-indulgent valetudinarian; a character for which I have heard him express great disgust.

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1 Anecdotes of Johnson, p. 176. w ubeviss

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VOL. IV.

Great Johnson had with him upon this jaunt, “Il Palmen and merino d'Inghilterra," a romance praised by Certheir early vantes; but did not like it much. He said, he read it for the language, by way of preparation for his Italian expedition. We lay this night at Loughborough.

friends

On Thursday, March 28, we pursued our journey. I mentioned old Mr. Sheridan

the ingratitudo Wedderburne andneral

of

of Mr.

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Fraser, who had been much obliged to him when they were young Scotchmen entering upon life in England. JOHNSON. Why, Sir, a man an is to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him. A man when he who have gets into a higher sphere, into other habits of life, cannot keep Harb all his former connections. Then, Sir, those

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who knew him formerly upon a level with them-
selves, may
think that they ought still to be treated
as on a level, which cannot be; and an acquaintance
in a former situation may bring out things which it
would be very disagreeable to have mentioned before
higher company, though, perhaps, every body knows
of them." He placed this subject in a new light
to me,
, and showed, that a man who has risen in
the world, must not be condemned too harshly, for
being distant to former acquaintance, even though
he
may have been much obliged to them. It is, no
doubt, to be wished, that a proper degree of atten-
tion should be shewn by great men to their early
friends. But if either from obtuse insensibility to
difference of situation, or presumptuous forwardness,
which will not submit even to an exteriour obser-
vance of it, the dignity of high place cannot be pre-
served, when they are admitted into the company

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fortune

of those raised above the state in which they once Marrying were, encroachment must be repelled, and the kinder women of feelings sacrificed. To one of the fortunate very persons whom I have mentioned, namely, Mr. Wedderburne, nów Lord Loughborough, I must do the justice to relate, that I have been assured by another early acquaintance of his, old Mr. Macklin, who assisted in improving his pronunciation, that he found him very grateful. Macklin, I suppose, had not pressed upon his elevation with so much eagerness, as the gentleman who complained of him. Dr. Johnson's remark as to the jealousy entertained of our friends who rise far above us, is certainly very just. By this was withered the early friendship between Charles Townshend and Akenside; and many similar instances might be adduced.

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He said, "It is commonly a weak man, who marries for love." We then talked of marrying women of fortune; and I mentioned a common remark, that a man may be, upon the whole, richer by marrying a woman with a very small portion, because a woman of fortune will be proportionally expensive; whereas a woman who brings none will be very moderate in expenses. JOHNSON." Depend upon it, Sir, this is not true. A woman of fortune being used to the handling of money, spends it judiciously but a woman who gets the command of money for the first time upon her marriage, has such a gust in spending it, that she throws it away with great profusion."omgelb Jerry 16 019W ody

He praised the ladies of the present age, insisting that they were more faithful to their husbands, and more virtuous in every respect, than in former times, because their understandings were better cultivated.

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Death of It was an undoubted proof of his good sense and Dr. James good disposition, that he was never querulous, never prone to inveigh against the present times, as is so common when superficial minds are on the fret. On the contrary, he was willing to speak favourably of his own age; and, indeed, maintained its superiority in every respect, except in its reverence for government; the relaxation of which he imputed, as its grand cause, to the shock which our monarchy received at the Revolution, though necessary; and secondly, to the timid concessions made to faction by successive administrations in the reign of his present Majesty. I am happy to think, that. he lived to see the Crown at last recover its just influence.h bas banden wol

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At Leicester we read in the news-paper that Dr. James was dead. 54 I thought that the death of an old school-fellow, and one with whom he had lived a good deal in London, would have affected my fellow-traveller much but he only said, "Ah! poor Jamy." Afterwards, however, when we were in the chaise, he said, with more tenderness," Since I set out on this jaunt, I have lost an old friend and a young one; Dr. James, and poor. Harry," (meaning Mr. Thrale's son.) domov £

Having lain at St. Alban's, on Thursday, March 28, we breakfasted the next morning at Barnet. I expressed to him a weakness of mind which I could not help; an uneasy apprehension that my wife and children, who were at a great distance from me, might, perhaps, be ill. "Sir, (said he,) consider how foolish you would think it in them to be appre hensive that you are ill.” This sudden turn relieved me for the moment; but I afterwards perceived

to be an ingenious fallacy. I might, to be sure, be Vexing satisfied that they had no reason to be apprehensive thoughts about me, because I knew that I myself was well : but we might have a mutual anxiety, without the charge of folly; because each was, in some degree, uncertain as to the condition of the other.NO,

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I enjoyed the luxury of our approach to London, that metropolis which we both loved so much, for the high and varied intellectual pleasure which it furnishes. I experienced immediate happiness while whirled along with such a companion, and said to him, "Sir, you observed one day at General Oglethorpe's, that a man is never happy for the present, but when he is drunk. Will you not add,—or when driving rapidly in a post-chaise?" JOHNSON. "No, Sir, you are driving rapidly from something, or to something."

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Talking of melancholy, he said, "Some men, and very thinking men too, have not those vexing thoughts.2 2 Sir Joshua Reynolds is the same all the year round. Beauclerk, except when ill and in pain, is the same. But I believe most men have them in the degree in which they are capable of having them.

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If I were in the country, and were d distressed by

that malady, I would force myself to take a book

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1 [Surely it is no fallacy, but a sound and rational argument. He who is perfectly well, and apprehensive concerning the state of another at a distance from him, knows to a certainty that the fears of that person concerning his health are imaginary and delusive; and hence has a rational ground for supposing that his own appre hensions concerning his absent wife or friend, are equally unfounded.-M.] otomy al si tads bru Send gris 4

2 The phrase "vexing thoughts,” is, I think, very expressive. It has been familiar to me from my childhood;

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