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Many instances are recorded of his self-sacrificing kindness. His filial piety was also a striking feature of his character. Two instances from many more, will here be furnished :-His father, who kept a book-stall once a week in the open market-place, at Uttoxeter, desired him on one occasion to take his place for a day, he himself being very unwell. Young Samuel's pride could not stomach this fancied degradation, and he, therefore, refused to go. But bis disobedience cost him a life-long remorse. The picture of his poor old afflicted father standing a whole day in the open market, suffering in body and mind through his pride and self-will, haunted him with bitter avenging thoughts through his whole life. What must be do to rid himself of that black and bitter memory ? Is there no way by which he may atone for that bideous act of filial disobedience, and bring comfort to his perturbed soul ? An odd method of relief suggests itself, and is at once followed. Though upwards of sixty years of age, he hurries down from London to Uttoxeter; takes his stand on the spot of ground formerly occupied by his father's book-stall; remains for two full hours with bare head exposed to a drizzling rain; boping by this means to appease a clamorous conscience, and expiate the guilt of his early disobedience. Grossly superstitiousthough this conduct may be, one must be blind indeed not to see in it an element of genuine nobleness.—The second instance of filial piety has reference to his mother, for whom he ever cherished the profoundest reverence and love. She died in poverty and debt. Having no money at command wherewith to meet the pecuniary liabilities of his deceased parent, he set to work with his pen, and in a single week produced his celebrated Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia ; sold it to the booksellers for one hundred pounds; and with this money paid his mother's debts, and the expenses of her funeral.

Whilestruggling on heroically in the earlier part of his life, writing articles for periodicals, and translating elaborate pieces from Greek and Latin authors, he preserved an honest and upright heart, eschewing every thing false in thought and action ; speaking the truth that was in him, regardless of consequences ; aiming supremely at guiding men aright in the paths of highest wisdom; making the fear of God the rule of his own life; and, though subject to infinite annoyance and mortification, owing to the poverty of his condition, never allowing this to alter or shake his convictions. Even when at this period Richard Savage and he were wont to wander the streets of London of a night, with scarce a penny in their pockets, and not knowing well where to find

one, frequently stopping to jot down thoughts of immortal truth and beauty under the feeble glimmer of the street lamps, he was as rigid and strict in bis religious and political convictions as if he had been Lord Chancellor of England, or Archbishop of Canterbury, firmly, unalterably resolved, come weal or woe, to be true to his manhood, to bis country, and to his God. But though bis principles remained unshaken, there is undeniable evidence that in some instances his conduct deflected from the line of rectitude. The strength of passion and the force of temptation occasionally mastered his better judgment, laying grounds of bitter repentance for his after life.

At length a brighter day dawned upon Johnson. Never indeed did he enjoy unclouded sunshine-to the last his horizon continued more or less overcast-but the thick weltering sheet of darkness which covered it was partially riven, enabling him to obtain glimpses of the sweet heavens, and of the everlasting stars. Slowly, but surely, his successive literary efforts convinced the leaders of opinion in London and the provinces, that he was a man of high intellectual endowment—that he had a kingly soul—that in power and splendour of mind, there were few, if any, of his countrymen capable of matching with him. At length the appearance of his Rambler and Dictionary gave him undisputed ascendance in the literary world of England. And now the first men of the day in literature, in politics, in religion, men whose names are immortalized in English history, eagerly courted his acquaintance,and thought it a high privilege to listen to his talk; even George III. solicited an interview with him, and heaped encomiums on his head; and the Earl of Chesterfield, who had treated him scurvily while he was yet struggling in obscurity, now that he had, by prodigious toil, gained for himself the highest place in the world of letters, sought to burden him with his patronage, and proposed, through the columns of a leading journal, that Johnson should be constituted Dictator in literature, advances which Johnson rejected with proud disdain. As an acknowledgment of his services to the country, the Earl of Bute, then prime minister, settled upon him a pension of three hundred pounds a year—thus delivering him from the terrors of poverty and enabling him to spend the rest of his life in comparative ease and competence.

At the period in Johnson's life we have reached, Boswell had finished his studies at the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, had picked acquaintance with some of his most notable countrymen, and was now preparing for the practice of law at the Scottish bar. We have already touched upon bis vanity, his sycophancy, bis wine-bibbing propensities; by these qualities he was chiefly known to his contemporaries, and the opinon formed of him by his contemporaries has hitherto been the common opinion. Even Lord Macaulay, in his brilliant sketch of Johnson, in the Encyclopædia Britannica, represents Boswell as a compound of peacock-vanity, and grovelling sensualism. Considering on what superficial grounds judgment of character is usually formed, it is not surprising that Boswell should have been all along consigned to the limbo of public contempt; but, looking deeper into the man, we discover other and nobler qualities than those on whose account he has been commonly judged and condemned. Deep in his heart of hearts there throve a love, an admiration and a reverence of wisdom and goodness, which in spite of the grossness and flippancy of bis exterior nature, constituted the leading and ruling force of his existence. Contradictory as the statement may seem, no two men ever differed more from each other than Boswell differed from himself. The contrasts and antagonisms between the spiritual and the sensual, the heavenly and the earthly, never appeared more wide and striking in any man. And in him these opposite elements refused to mingle or incorporate, as they usually do in other people. There they lay rolling and tumbling side by side, now the one, now the other uppermost, but never blending or incorporating. From one point of view his character is gross, mean, contemptible; from the opposite point it is pure, good, noble. On the whole, Boswell has had scant justice done to him,-nay, he has been treated with unpardonable harshness. While condemning his vices and spurning away the huge accumulations of dross which envelop and degrade his character, let us at the same time be willing to recognise and appreciate the residuum of genuine goodness remaining.

Boswell was a hunter after notabilities, notable books and notable men, in particular. The writings of Johnson he read with avidity, and was captivated with them. The depth of their moral reflections, the splendour of their eloquence, the plenitude of their wisdom and learning enchanted him. Never had he been so enamoured of the writings of mortal man. Admiration of Johnson's writings led to admiration of Johnson. What a man that must be who conceived these grand thoughts, who built these lofty arguments, who fashioned these stately periods! What a paragon of wisdom and scholarship! The impressions made by Johnson's writings were deepened by intercourse with some distinguished Scotchmen who were personally acquainted with Johnson, and also by numerous anecdotes of him afloat on the stream of social talk. Boswell worshipped Johnson before he saw him. But might it not be possible actually to see him ? a sight more desirable than the grandest shows of nature or art. And if he might be allowed to become his disciple if not his friend, to sit at his feet, to watch the opening of his lips, and drink in the utterances of his oracular wisdom- what an unspeakable privilege! His heart yearns after the great good which now dawns upon bis imagination, and if the realization of it be possible, it shall be realized. Business now calls Boswell to London, but business is only a secondary matter with him at present. To get an introduction to Johnson, and then, if possible, to entrench himself in the friendly regards of the sage, so that he may have free access to bim afterwards,—that is what engrosses him. For awhile he is balked of his design, but at length a way of hope opens. Johnson is in the habit of frequently calling at the shop of one Davies, a bookseller,and fortunately Boswell has formed acquaintance with Davies. Davies is a Scotchman, and it may be presumed he will not be averse to do his countryman a favour. Could he be introduced to Johnson ? Yes, bookseller Davies thought he might. Just as they are talking the matter over in the back apartment of the shop, Johnson himself enters by the front door. Boswell confesses that at the moment he was much agitated—such sudden and close proximity to the great man unnerved him quite. “Don't tell where I come from, said Boswell to Davies, remembering the prejudices which Johnson was known to entertain against his country. With a roguishness and love of mischief, pardonable enough in the circumstances, Davies said to Johnson, “ Mr. Boswell, from Scotland, sir.” Apprehensive of serious consequences, and with the view of conciliating the great man, Boswell interposed an ill-advised remark: “Mr. Johnson, I do indeed come from Scotland, but I cannot help it.” With that quickness and poignancy of wit for which he was ever remarkable, Johnson at once seized the expression, and transfixed Boswell with it. “True, sir, you cannot help coming from Scotland, and that is what I find a great many of your countrymen cannot help doing.” This blow did more than stagger Boswell, it, as it were, brained him for the moment. But he had wonderful recuperative powers, and soon regained self-possession. The conversation between Johnson and Davies turned upon Garrick, the great comicactor. Garrick it seems had refused a small favour to one of Jobnson's friends, though solicited by Johnson himself. As might be expected, Johnson was in high dudgeon with Garrick. Eager to take part in the conversation, Boswell said, “O, sir, I cannot think that Garrick would refuse to you such a trifling favour.” “Sir,” said Johnson, putting on a stern look, and raising his voice, “ I have known David Garrick longer than you, and I know no right you have to talk to me on the subject.” "Alas, for poor Bozzie—the fates seem against him; this second blow is heavier and inore stunning than the first. No, there is no chance of obtaining the favour of this fierce potentate. The pleasant dreams with which he had been delighting his fancy are fast melting away. Fortunately he tarried a while longer. The conversation diverged into various channels, and Boswell ventured a remark now and again, which the Dictator allowed to pass without challenge or scathe. On leaving the shop, Boswell complained to Davies of the rough handling he had received

Oh, don't be uneasy,” said Davies, “I can perceive he likes you very well.” And so it proved. Calling at Johnson's chambers a few days after, he met with a gracious re

from Johnson.

ception, and received unmistakable proof that he had established himself in the friendly regards of the sage. The description given by Boswell of the “the giant in his den,” as he significantly refers to him, is worth quoting. “His apartment and furniture and morning dress were sufficiently uncouth. His brown suit of clothes looked very rusty. He had on a little old shrivelled unpowdered wig, which was too small for his head; his shirt neck and knees of his breeches were loose; his black worstead stockings ill drawn up; and he had a pair of unbuckled shoes by way of slippers.” But all this ungainliness of person and condition was forgotten the moment he began to talk. Several gentlemen were present, and after a while when they were rising to leave, Boswell also rose, but Johnson pressed him to stay, and when he rose a second time to depart, he was again pressed to tarry longer ; an extraordinary proof that Johnson had taken a liking to him. When at length he was obliged to leave, Johnson pressed him cordially by the hand, and promised to spend an evening with him at his lodgings. Thus commenced an intimacy, which continued for more than twenty years, becoming deeper and more sacred as time passed on, and yielding fruit which will benefit and gladden human society for ages to come.

After this Boswell had to submit to the ordinary conditions of mortal life, got married to an honourable and accomplished lady, worked with moderate diligence at his profession, wrangled with his brother advocates at the bar, wrangled or revelled, as might be, with neighbouring landlords, dipped somewhat deeply into different departments of literature, but the master passion and absorbing interest of his life centered in Johnson. When absent from Johnson his thoughts and affections are still with him. If Johnson does not write to him as often as he expects, he is sadly cast down, life becomes tedious. If, in writing, Johnson says anything which may be construed into harshness or unkindness, his heart is like to break, he is disconsolate. The expectation of seeing and being with Johnson gladdens him for months beforehand; the remembrance of seeing and being with him gladdens him for months afterwards. With what heart-bounding delight does he doff his advocate's wig, gather up his traps, and hurry from Scotland to have a meeting with Johnson. Never did schoolboy hurry from school for enjoyment of the home holidays with greater abandon, never did lover fly to the arms of his mistress with greater eagerness, never did devotee hasten to the shrine of his patron saint with greater enthusiasm. And why this passionate haste, why this enthusiastic eagerness ? Not surely, as some have superficially surmised, for the gratification of sensual appetite. To obtain wines of rich vintage and other table luxuries, Johnson's house was the most unlikely a gourmond could think of. Muddy coffee, served up by an old blind woman, Johnson's housekeeper,

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