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The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the Crown.
It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter, the rain may enter, — but the King of England cannot enter; all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement !
Speech on the Excise Bill. We have a Calvinistic creed, a Popish liturgy, and an
Prior's Life of Burke (1790).
Let observation with extensive view .
Vanity of Human Wishes. Line i.
, envy, want, the patron, and the jail. Line 159.
1 All buman race, from China to Peru,
THOMAS WARTON : Universal Love of Pleasure. De Quincey (Works, vol. x. p. 72) quotes the criticism of some writer, who contends with some reason that this high-sounding couplet of Dr. Johnson amounts in effect to this : Let observation with extensive observar tion observe mankind extensively.
Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
Vanity of Human Wishes. Line 346,
Prologue to the Tragedy of Irene.
Prologue on the Opening of Drury Lane Theatre.
Ibid. For we that live to please must please to live.
Improve each moment as it flies !
He dies-- alas! how soon he dies !
Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet. Stanza 2.
His useful care was ever nigh 8
And lonely want retir'd to die.
Winter. An Ode.
And sure th' Eternal Master found
His single talent well employ'd.
1 Nothing in poverty so ill is borne
OLDHAM (1653–1683): Third Satire of Juvenal. Three years later Johnson wrote, “Mere unassisted merit advances slowly, if – what is not very common-it advances at all.”
8 Var. His ready help was always nigh.
Then with no throbs of fiery pain,"
No cold gradations of decay,
Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet. Stanza 9.
Lines on the Death of Hogarth. Philips, whose touch harmonious could remove The pangs of guilty power and hapless love! Rest here, distress’d by poverty no more; Here find that calm thou gav'st so oft before; Sleep undisturb'd within this peaceful shrine, Till angels wake thee with a note like thine!
Epitaph on Claudius Philips, the Musician A Poet, Naturalist, and Historian, Who left scarcely any style of writing untouched, And touched nothing that he did not adorn.
Epitaph on Goldsmith. How small of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure ! Still to ourselves in every place consigned, Our own felicity we make or find. With secret course, which no loud storms annoy, Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
Lines added to Goldsmith's Traveller. Trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay.
Line added to Goldsmith's Deserted Village. From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend, Path, motive, guide, original, and end.8
Motto to the Rambler. No. 7. Ye who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope; who
1 Var. Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
2 Qui nullum fere scribendi genus
Nullum quod tetigit non ornavit. See Chesterfield, page 353. 8 A translation of Boethius's “ De Consolatione Philosophiæ,” iii. 9, 27
expect that age will perform the promises of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day will be supplied by the morrow,-attend to the history of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia.
Rasselas. Chap.i. “I fly from pleasure,” said the prince, “because pleasure has ceased to please ; I am lonely because I am miserable, and am unwilling to cloud with my presence the happiness of others."
Chap. i. A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected.
Chap, zii. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.
Ibid. Knowledge is more than equivalent to force 1
I live in the crowd of jollity, not so much to enjoy company as to shun myself.
Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.
Ibid. The first years of man must make provision for the last.
Example is always more efficacious than precept.
Chap. III. The endearing elegance of female friendship.
I am not so lost in lexicography as to forget that words are the daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven.
Preface to his Dictionary. Words are men's daughters, but God's sons are things.
Boulter's Monument. (Supposed to have been inserted by
Dr. Johnson, 1745.)
I See Bacon, page 168.
2 The italics and the word " forget" would seem to imply that the saving was not his own.
8 Sir William Jones gives a similar saying in India : “Words are the daughters of earth, and deeds are the sons of heaven."
See Herbert, page 206. Sir Thomas BODLEY: Letter to his Librarian, 1604.
influence of example.
Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.
Life of Addison. To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant, and which is animated only by faith and hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship, and the salutary
Life of Milton. The trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth.
Ibid. His death eclipsed the gayety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure.
Life of Edmund Smith (alluding to the death of Garrick). That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.
Journey to the Western Islands: Inch Kenneth. He is no wise man that will quit a certainty for an Incertainty.
The Idler. No. 67. What is read twice is commonly better remembered than what is transcribed.
No. 74. Tom Birch is as brisk as a bee in conversation ; but no sooner does he take a pen in his hand than it becomes a torpedo to him, and benumbs all his faculties.
Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. i. Chap. vii. 1743. Wretched un-idea'd girls.
Chap. x. 1752. This man (Chesterfield], I thought, had been a lord among wits; but I find he is only a wit among lords.?
Vol. ii. Chap. i. 1754. 1 From the London edition, 10 volumes, 1835.
Dr. Johnson, it is said, when he first heard of Boswell's intention to write a life of him, announced, with decision enough, that if he thought Boswell really meant to write his life he would prevent it by taking Boswell's! - CARLYLE : Miscellanies, Jean Paul Frederic Richter. 2 See Pope, page 331.