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Boswell's want of manners.
velvet and embroidery?' JOHNSON. 'Sir, you put an end to all argument when you introduce your opponent himself. Have you no better manners ? There is your want. I apologised by saying, I had mentioned him as an instance of one who wanted as little as any man in the world, and yet, perhaps, might receive some additional lustre from dress.
In the Bodleian is the following autograph record by Johnson of Good Friday, March 28. Easter Sunday, March 30, and May 4, 1766, and the copy of the record of Saturday, March 29. They belong to the series published by the Rev. Mr. Strahan under the title of Prayers and Meditations, but they are not included in it.
'Good Friday, March 28, 1766.—On the night before I used proper Collects, and prayed when I arose in the morning. I had all the week an awe upon me, not thinking on Passion week till I looked in the almanack. I have wholly forborne M [? meat) and wines, except one glass on Sunday night.
• In the morning I rose, aná drank very small tea without milk, and had nothing more that day.
* This was the day on which Tetty died. I did not mingle much men [? mention] of her with the devotions of this day, because it is dedicated to more holy subjects. I mentioned her at church, and prayed once solemnly at home. I was twice at church, and went through the prayers without perturbation, but heard the sermons imperfectly. I came in both times at the second lesson, not hearing the bell.
• When I came home I read the Psalms for the day, and one sermon in Clark. Scruples distract me, but at church I had hopes to conquer them.
'I bore abstinence this day not well, being at night insupportably heavy, but as fasting does not produce sleepyness, I had perhaps rested ill the night before. I prayed in my study for the day, and prayed again in my chamber. I went to bed very early — before eleven.
• After church I selected collects for the Sacraments.
• Finding myself upon recollection very ignorant of religion, I formed a purpose of studying it.
• I went down and sat to tea, but was too heavy to converse.
Saturday, 29.—I rose at the time now usual, not fully refreshed. Went tea. A sudden thought of restraint hindered me. I drank but one dish. Took a purge for my health. Still uneasy. Prayed, and went to dinner. Dined sparingly on fish [added in different inki
about four. Went to Simpson. Was driven home by my physick. Drank tea, and am much refreshed. I believe that if I had drank tea again yesterday, I had escaped the heaviness of the evening. Fasting that produces inability is no duty, but I was unwilling to do less than formerly.
• I had lived more abstemiously than is usual the whole week, and taken physick twice, which together made the fast more uneasy.
• Thus much I have written medically, to show that he who can fast long must have lived plentifully.
Saturday, March 29, 1766.—I was yesterday very heavy. I do not feel myself to-day so much impressed with awe of the approaching mystery. I had this day a doubt, like Baxter, of my state, and found that
my faith, though weak, was yet faith. O God! strengthen it. Since the last reception of the sacrament I hope I have no otherwise grown worse than as continuance in sin makes the sinner's condition more dangerous.
Since last New Year's Eve I have risen every morning by eight, at least not after nine, which is more superiority over my habits than I have ever before been able to obtain. Scruples still distress me. My 'resolution, with the blessing of God, is to contend with them, and, if I can, to conquer them.
My resolutions are-
To try to rise more early.
To oppose idleness.
Almighty and most merciful Father! before whom I now appear laden with the sins of another year, suffer me yet again to call upon Thee for pardon and peace.
O God! grant me repentance, grant me reformation. Grant that I may be no longer distracted with doubts, and harassed with vain terrors. Grant that I may no longer linger in perplexity, nor waste in idleness that life which Thou hast given and preserved. Grant that I may serve Thee in firm faith and diligent endeavour, and that I may discharge the duties of my calling with tranquillity and constancy. Take not, O God, Thy holy Spirit from me: but grant that I may so direct my life by Thy holy laws, as that, when Thou shalt call me hence, I may pass by a holy and happy death to a life of everlasting and unchangeable joy, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
'I went to bed (at) one or later; but did not sleep, tho' I knew not why.
* Easter Day, March 30, 1766.— I rose in the morning. Prayed. Took my prayer book to tea; drank tea; planned my devotion for the church. I think prayed again. Went to church, was early. Went through the
prayers with fixed attention. Could not hear the sermon.
After sermon, applied myself to devotion. Troubled with Baxter's scruple, which was quieted as I returned home. It occurred to me that the scruple itself was its own confutation.
'I used the prayer against scruples in the foregoing page in the pew, and commended (so far as it was lawful) Tetty, dear Tetty, in a prayer by herself, then my other friends. What collects I do not exactly remember. I gave a shilling. I then went towards the altar that I might hear the service. The communicants were more than I ever saw. I kept back; used again the foregoing prayer; again commended Tetty, and lifted up my heart for the rest. I prayed in the collect for the fourteen S. after Trinity for encrease of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and deliverance from scruples; this deliverance was the chief subject of my prayers. O God, hear me. I am now to try to conquer them.
After reception I repeated my petition, and again when I came home. My dinner made me a little peevish; not much. After dinner I retired, and read in an hour and a half the seven first chapters of St. Matthew in Greek. Glory be to God. God grant me. to proceed and improve, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
'I went to Evening Prayers, and was undisturbed. At church in the morning it occurred to me to consider about example of good any of my friends had set me. This is proper, in order to the thanks returned for their good examples.
• My attainment of rising gives me comfort and hope. O God, for Jesus Christ's sake, bless me. Amen. • After church, before and after dinner, I read Rotheram on Faith.
After evening prayer I retired, and wrote this account. “I then repeated the prayer of the day, with collects, and my prayer for night, and went down to supper at near ten.
‘May 4, —66. I have read since the noon of Easter day the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark in Greek. I have read Xenophon's Cyropædia.'
BODLEIAN LIBRARY. SELECT AUTOGRAPHS. (MONTAGU.)
Johnson's sentiments towards his fellow-subjects in America have never, so far as I know, been rightly stated. It was not because they fought for liberty that he had come to dislike them. A man who, ‘bursting forth with a generous indignation, had said: -“The Irish are in a most unnatural state ; for we see there the