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having seen him at . Thrale's, ad been told that he had come to inglit cucky work, a view to sea Dr. Johnson, for whom he entered the highest veneration. He has since punted A Philosophical Survey of the Seata of Ireland', a ry entertaining be ok, which has, however, cae fai

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We talked of public speaking Jansas: "We cust not estimate a man's powers by us being aba or not able to deliver his senti uta in public. Isine Hawkins Browne, one of the first wits of this country, got into Parliament and never opened his mouth. For my own part, I think it is more isgraceful never to try to speak, than to try it, and fill: as it is more disgraceful not to fight, than to fight ad be beaten.' This argument appeared to ros 15px; for if a ran has not spoken, it may be have done very well if he nut t has tried and failed, there is him Why then (aske"), is it ugat deş raceful for a man not to fight, and not disgraceful not to speak in public?' JOHNSON: Because there may be other reasons for a man's not speaking in pablie than want of resolution: he may have nothing to say (laughing). Whereas, sir, you know courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue he has no security for preserving any ocher.'

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having seen him at Mr. Thrale's, and been told that he had come to England chiefly with a view to see Dr. Johnson, for whom he entertained the highest veneration. He has since published A Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland, a very entertaining book, which has, however, one fault: that it assumes the fictitious character of an Englishman.

We talked of public speaking.-JOHNSON: 'We must not estimate a man's powers by his being able or not able to deliver his sentiments in public. Isaac Hawkins Browne, one of the first wits of this country, got into Parliament and never opened his mouth. For my own part, I think it is more disgraceful never to try to speak, than to try it, and fail; as it is more disgraceful not to fight, than to fight and be beaten.' This argument appeared to me fallacious; for if a man has not spoken, it may be said that he would have done very well if he had tried; whereas, if he has tried and failed, there is nothing to be said for him. Why then (I asked), is it thought disgraceful for a man not to fight, and not disgraceful not to speak in public?' JOHNSON: 'Because there may be other reasons for a man's not speaking in public than want of resolution: he may have nothing to say (laughing). Whereas, sir, you know courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue he has no security for preserving any other.'

He observed, that the statutes against bribery were intended to prevent upstarts with money from getting into Parliament'; adding, that 'if he were a gentleman of landed property he would turn out all his tenants who did not vote for the candidate whom

he supported.' LANGTON: Would not that, sir, be checking the freedom of election?' JOHNSON: ́Sir, the law does not mean that the privilege of voting should be independent of old family interest, of the permanent property of the country.'

On Thursday, April 6, I dined with him at Mr. Thomas Davies's, with Mr. Hicky the painter, and my old acquaintance Mr. Moody the player.

Dr. Johnson, as usual, spoke contemptuously of Colley Cibber. 'It is wonderful that a man, who for forty years had lived with the great and witty, should have acquired so ill the talents of conversation: and he had but half to furnish; for one half of what he said was oaths.' He, however, allowed considerable merit to some of his comedies, and said there was no reason to believe that the Careless Husband was not written by himself. Davies said, he was the first dramatic writer who introduced genteel ladies upon the stage. Johnson refuted his observation by instancing several such characters in comedies before his time. DAVIES (trying to defend himself from a charge of ignorance): 'I mean genteel moral characters.' 'I think (said Hicky) gentility and morality are inseparable.' BOSWELL: 'By no means, sir. The genteelest characters are often the most immoral. Does not Lord Chesterfield give precepts for uniting wickedness and the graces? A man, indeed, is not genteel when he gets drunk; but most vices may be committed very genteelly: a man may debauch his friend's wife genteelly: he may cheat at cards genteelly.' HICKY: 'I do not think that is genteel.' BOSWELL: 'Sir, it may not be like a gentleman, but it may be genteel.' JOHNSON: You are meaning two different things.

One means exterior grace; the other honour. It is certain that a man may be very immoral with exterior grace. Lovelace, in Clarissa, is a very genteel and a very wicked character. Tom Hervey, who died t'other day, though a vicious man, was one of the genteelest men that ever lived.' Tom Davies instanced Charles the Second. JOHNSON (taking fire at any attack upon that Prince, for whom he had an extraordinary partiality): 'Charles the Second was licentious in his practice; but he always had a reverence for what was good. Charles the Second knew his people, and rewarded merit. The Church was at no time better filled than in his reign. He was the best king we have had from his time till the reign of his present Majesty, except James the Second, who was a very good king, but unhappily believed that it was necessary for the salvation of his subjects that they should be Roman Catholics. He had the merit of endeavouring to do what he thought was for the salvation of the souls of his subjects, till he lost a great empire. We, who thought that we should not be saved if we were Roman Catholics, had the merit of maintaining our religion at the expense of submitting ourselves to the government of King William, for it could not be done otherwise, to the government of one of the most worthless scoundrels that ever existed. Charles the Second was not such a man as (naming another king). He did not destroy his father's will. He took money, indeed, from France: but he did not betray those over whom he ruled: he did not let the French fleet pass ours. George the First knew

1 [George the Second suppressed his father's will.-A. B.]

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1

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