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Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?

Vanity of Human Wishes. Line 345. For patience, sov’reign o'er transmuted ill.

Line 362. Of all the griefs that harass the distrest, Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest. London, Line 166. This mournful truth is ev'rywhere confess'd, Slow rises worth by poverty depress'd.

Line 176. Studious to please, yet not ashamed to fail.

Prologue to the Tragedy of Irene. Each change of many-colour'd life he drew, Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new.

Prologue on the Opening of Drury Lane Theatre. And panting Time toil'd after him in vain.

Ibid. For we that live to please must please to live.

Ibid. Catch, then, oh catch the transient hour;

Improve each moment as it flies ! Life's a short summer, man a flower; He dies — alas! how soon he dies !

Winter. An Ode. Officious, innocent, sincere, Of every friendless name the friend.

Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet. Stanza 2. In misery's darkest cavern known,

His useful care was ever nigh 8
Where hopeless anguish pour'd his groan,
And lonely want retir'd to die.

Stanza 3.
And sure th’ Eternal Master found
His single talent well employ’d.

Stanza 7.

i Nothing in poverty so ill is borne
As its exposing men to grinning scorn.

OLDHAM (1653–1683): Third Satire of Jurenal. 2 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,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.

Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet. Stanza 9 That saw the manners in the face.

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 Trareller, 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.

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

Non tetigit,

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.”

A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected.

Chap. iii.

Chap. xii.

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.


Knowledge is more than equivalent to force.

Chap. xiii.

Chap. xvi.

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.

Chap. zrii.

Example is always more efficacious than precept.

Chap. xxx. The endearing elegance of female friendship.

Chap. clr. 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 saying was not his own.

3 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.

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 influence of example.

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 lona.

Journey to the Western Islands: Inch Kenneth. He is no wise man that will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.

The Idler. No. 57. 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).1 Vol. i. Chap. vii. 1743. Wretched un-idea'd girls.

Chap. 3. 1752. This man [Chesterfield], I thought, had been a lord. among wits; but I find he is only a wit among lords.2

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 Bose well's! - CARLYLE: Miscellanies, Jean Paul Frederic Richter. 2 See Pope, page 331.

Sir, he [Bolingbroke] was a scoundrel and a coward: a scoundrel for charging a blunderbuss against religion and morality; a coward, because he had not resolution to fire it off himself, but left half a crown to a beggarly Scotchman to draw the trigger at his death.

Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. ii. Chap. i. 1754. Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground encumbers him with help?

Chap. ii. 1755. I am glad that he thanks God for anything. Ibid.

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair. .

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

Chup. iii. 1759. Sir, I think all Christians, whether Papists or Protestants, agree in the essential articles, and that their differences are trivial, and rather political than religious.?

Chap. t. 1763. The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high-road that leads him to England.

Ibid. 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.

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


1 I do not find that the age or country makes the least difference ; no, nor the language the actor spoke, nor the religion which they professed, whether Arab in the desert, or Frenchman in the Academy. I see that sensible men and conscientious men all over the world were of one religion of well-doing and daring. — EMERSON: The Preacher. Lectures and Biographical Sketches, p. 215.

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