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which left his sentiments free, and required neither the servility of adulation, nor the labours of service. It is not uncommon to see a desire to be independent, degenerate into avarice. Johnson did not feel it early, for his benevolence counteracted it ; but he declined going into Italy, when worth 1500l. besides his pension, because of the expence; and we see the surly dignity, which formerly spurned at an obligation, relaxed, in his refusal of Dr. Brocklesby's assistance, and Lord Thurlow's very delicate offer of the same kind. Some little censure is due to him for his easy faith, occasioned by his political prejudices, in the forgeries of Lauder. That he should have appeared in public, in company with this defamer of Milton, is to be lamented. Yet his renunciation of all connection with Lauder, when his forgeries were detected, is only a proof of his having believed (a common weakness of worthy minds), with
out examination, not that he was an accomplice with the impostor.
If there is any one trait by which Johnson's mind can be discriminated, it is gigantic vigour. In information and taste he was excelled'; but what he seriously attempted, he executed with that masterly original boldness, which leaves us to regret his indolence, that he exerted himself only in the moment when his powers were wanting, and relapsed again into his litera. ry idleness. He united in himself what seldom are united, a vigorous and excursive imagination, with a strong and steady judgment. His memory was remarkably tenacious, and his apprehension wonderfully quick and accurate. He was rather a man of learning than of science. He had accumulated a vast fund of knowledge, without much of system or methodical arrangement. His reading seems to have been casual, generally desultory. To conversation he owed much of his varied knowledge; and to his vigorous comprehensive powers, he was indebted for that clearness of diftinction, that pointed judicious discrimination, which elucidated every question, and astonished every hearer. From this casual reading, he rose with a mind seldom fatigued, endowed with a clear, accurate perception; the variety of his studies relieved, without fatiguing or perplexing him; the ideas arranged in order, were ready for use, adorned with all the energy of language, and the force of manner. But the labour of literature was a task from which he always wished to escape ; and as he could excel others without great exertion, we feldom perceive his faculties brought forward in their full power. We scarcely see any attempt, beyond a periodical paper, which he did not professedly continue with laffitude and fatigue.
He deserves the character of master of the Latin language ; but it is easy to perceive that his acquaintance with Greek literature was, what it is commonly supposed to be, general and superficial, rather than curious or profound. Of natural science he knew but little ; and most of his notions on that branch of philofophy were obsolete and erroneous. In his writings he appears to have taken more from his own mind than from books, and he displays his learning rather in allusions to the opinions of others, than in the direct use of them. History he professed to disregard ; yet his memory was so tenacious, that we seldom find him at a loss upon any topic, ancient or modern.
From early prejudices, which all his philosphy and learning could never overcome, he was a zealous and scrupulous highchurch-man, following to the uttermost tenet, the notions of Laud, whose talents
talents he has praised, and whofe genius he has deplored in his Vanity of Human Wishes. In his political sentiments, he was a rank Tory, and till his present Majesty's accession to the throne, a violent Jacobite. He had never examined either his religious or political creed. Bigotted as to a particular system of politics, he appears obstinately to have closed bis eyes against the light of truth; and so far from seeking information on the subject, studiously refifted it. His piety was truly venerable and edifying. In divinity, however, his researches were limited. He was well acquainted with the general evidences of Christianity; but he does not appear to have read his Bible with a critical eye, nor to have interested himself concerning the elucidation of obscure or difficult passages. It was his favourite maxim, “ that the proper study of mankind is man;" and we must confess that in all the departments of