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cially when provoked by obtrusive ignorance, or presuming petulance; and allowance must be made for his uttering hasty and satirical fallies, even against his best friends. And surely, when it is considered, that “ amidst fickness and sorrow,” he exerted his faculties in so many works for the benefit of mankind, and particularly that he achieved the great and admirable Dictionary of our language, we must be astonished at his resolution. The solemn text of " him to whom much is given, much will be required,” seems to have been ever present to his mind in a rigorous sense, and to have made him dissatisfied with his labours and acts of goodness, however comparatively great ; so that the unavoidable consciousness of his superiority was in that respect a cause of disquiet. He suffered so much from this, and from the gloom which perpetually haunted him, and made solitude frightful, that it may be said
of him, “ If in this life only he had hope, he was of all men moft miserable.” Hệ loved praise when it was brought to him ; but was too proud to seek for it. He was somewhat susceptible of flattery. As he was general and unconfined in his studies, he cannot be considered as master of any one particular science ; but he had accumulated a vast and various collection of learning and knowledge, which was so arranged in his mind, as to be ever in readiness to be brought forth. But his superiority over other learned men consisted chiefly in what may be called the art of
thinking, the art of using his mind; a cer- tain continual power of seizing the useful substance of all that he knew, and exhibiting it in a clear and forcible manner ; fo that knowledge which we often see to be no better than lumber in men of dull understanding, was in him true, evident, and actual wisdom. His moral precepts are
practical ; for they are drawn from an intimate acquaintance with human nature. His maxims carry conviction ; for they are founded on the basis of common sense. His mind was so full of imagery, that he might have been perpetually a poet ; yet it is remarkable, that however rich his prose is in that respect, the poetical pieces which he' wrote were in general not so, but rather strong sentiment and acute observation, conveyed in good verse, particularly in heroic couplets. Though usually grave, and even awful in his deportment, he posleffed uncommon and peculiar powers of wit and humour : he frequently indulged himself in colloquial pleasantry; and the heartiest merriment was often enjoyed in his company; with this great advantage, that as it was entirely free from any poisonous tincture of vice or impiety, it was falutary to those who shared in it. He had accuftomed himself to such accuracy in his com.
mon conversation, that hie at all times delivered himself with a force, choice, and elegance of expression, the effect of which was aided by his having a loud voice, and a Now and deliberate utterance. He united a most logical head with a most fertile imagination, which gave him an extraordinary advantage in arguing; for he could reason close or wide, as he saw best for the moment. Exulting in his intellectual. strength and dexterity, he could, when he pleased, be the greatest sophist that ever contended in the lists of declamation ; and from a spirit of contradiction, and a delight in showing his powers, he would often maintain the wrong fide with equal warmth and ingenuity: so that when there was an audience, his real opinions could seldom be gathered from his talk; though when he was in company with a single friend, he would discuss a subject with genuine fairness. But he was too conscientious to make
error permanent and pernicious, by deliberately writing it; and in all his numerous works, he earnestly inculcated what appeared to him to be the truth. His piety was constant, and was the ruling principle of all his conduct; and the more we consider his character, we shall be the more disposed to regard him with admiration and reverence.” 1. His character, as given by Mrs. Piozzi in her“ Anecdotes,” is drawn with spirit and propriety, though somewhat less favourably.
“ His stature was remarkably high, and his limbs exceedingly large : his strength was more than common, I believe, and his activity had been greater, I have heard, than such a form gave one reason to expect: his features were strongly marked, and his countenance particularly rugged ; though the original complexion had certainly been fair, a circumstance somewhat unusual, his fight