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both much younger than Johnson, these two were his companions, at least on one lark which lasted till morning and ended by Johnson scolding Langton for leaving the party to visit a " parcel of wretche:] unidea'd girls.” Sir Joshua Reynolds, the greatest painter and one of the most amiable men of the age; Edmund Burke, incomparably the greatest writer upon political philosophy in English literature, the master of a style unrivalled for richness, flexibility, and vigor; and Oliver Goldsmith, himself, like Burke, a far greater writer than Johnson, were proud to be numbered among his friends. Among them also was a rich brewer of Southwark, named Thrale, and his wife, whose house gradually became a second home to Johnson. The most remarkable of his friends, however, was James Boswell.

Boswell was born in Scotland, 1740; studied law at Utrecht; and in 1762 made Johnson's acquaintance. His impudence and curiosity would have made him the prince of interviewers in these days. He scraped acquaintance with Voltaire, Wesley, Rousseau, and Paoli, as well as with Mrs. Rudd, a woman who had got herself imprisoned in Newgate. The extreme simplicity of his character made Boswell rather lovable in spite of his weaknesses. He won and kept Johnson's friendship and for twenty years worshipped the old philosopher, who returned his affection, and declared that Bozzy was the best travelling companion in the world. “Who is this Scotch cur at Johnson's heels?” asked someone. “He is not a cur,” replied Goldsmith,“ he is only a burr.” The“ burr” stuck until the end of Johnson's life. He soon began to take careful notice of Johnson's talk and thus gradually gathered material for the most fascinating biography ever written. His appearance, when engaged in this task, is described by Miss Burney. He concentrated his whole attention upon his idol, not even answering questions from others. When Johnson spoke, his eyes goggled with eagerness; he leant his ear almost on the Doctor's shoulder; his mouth dropped open to catch every syllable. Sometimes he was ordered back to his place like a faithful but over-obtrusive spaniel. Once Boswell said to Dr. Johnson, “I plan to write your life.” “If I thought you were telling the truth," replied the Doctor, “I should take yours.” The result of Boswell's devotion to his task was a new literary type. Previously biographers

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had confined themselves to drawing a man's public career; Boswell gave the first full-length picture of a man's domestic life. We owe to Boswell's example such delightful books as Lockhart's “Life of Scott," Trevelyan's “Life of Macaulay," and Hallam Tennyson's “Memoirs” of his father. But no later biographer has equalled Boswell for the very good reason that no later biographer has been willing to take Boswell's pains in collecting material.

After the grant of the pension, which elevated Johnson above the fear of poverty, he wrote little. It was his custom to lie in bed until

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noon and to sit up until morning, talking to his circle of admiring friends and drinking oceans of tea. In 1766 he abandoned wine, thereby improving his health and diminishing his melancholy.

In February, 1764, Sir Joshua Reynolds founded a literary club, which numbered among its members Reynolds, Johnson, Burke, Goldsmith, Garrick, Boswell, Gibbon, Adam Smith, and several other distinguished men. They met weekly at the Turk’s Head, in Gerard Street, Soho, at seven o'clock. Here Johnson was in his glory and here he amused and abused his friends to his heart's content. Here

one night he said to Boswell, the subject of conversation being Pope's “Dunciad,” “ It was worth while being a dunce then. Ah! Sir, hadst thou lived in those days.” Of Gray's “ Elegy,” Johnson remarked at another session of the club that he was dull in a new way and that made people think him great. Here are a few other examples of his wit, sense, and prejudice which have been preserved for us by Boswell:

“Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.”

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“ The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the highroad that leads him to England.”

“If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons."

“Sir, your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves.”

Sir, a woman preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

“ This was a good dinner enough, to be sure, but it was not a dinner to ask a man to.”

“Much may be made of a Scotchman if he be caught young."

“ Let him go abroad to a distant country; let him go to some place where he is not known. Don't let him go to the devil, where he is known.”

“ Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” “Hell is paved with good intentions." “Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen." “Employment, sir, and hardships prevent melancholy.” “ The applause of a single human being is of great consequence."

“ I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding."

In 1773 Boswell persuaded Johnson to make a journey to the Hebrides. They started from Edinburgh in August, 1773, went north along the eastern coast as far as Inverness, travelled across the island to Glenelg, and took boat there for Skye. They returned in November via Inverary and Loch Lomond to Glasgow and Ayrshire. Throughout the journey, Boswell felt like a dog who has run away with a large piece of meat and is devouring it peacefully in a corner by himself. Johnson wrote an account of the tour, which was published at the end of 1774. The only other literary work which he did during the last twenty years of his life was to write a series of introductions to the works of the English poets, which has frequently been published separately under the title of “ Lives of the Poets.” It is really Johnson's best work and is apt to become a valued treasure of anybody who has the patience to study it.

His closing years were devoted, for the most part, to doing good. Of his three hundred pounds a year, it is probable that he seldom spent more than eighty upon himself. The rest he used to aid those who were in distress. His house was always full of unfortunate men and women, most of whom were entirely without charm or interest. Johnson himself said that he hated to hear people whine about metaphysical distresses when there was so much want and hunger in the world. Boswell has recorded for us his love of children and his fondness for cats. His closing years were saddened by the death of Mr. Thrale in 1781, and by the fact that Mrs. Thrale a little later married an Italian named Piozzi. Piozzi was an amiable and honorable man, but

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