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however esteemed by many unconstitutional, he had uniformly held, and publicly avowed.
This year, he accompanied Sir Joshua Reynolds, in an excursion of some weeks, into Devonshire, from which, he declared, he derived “ a great acoession of new ideas." They were entertained at the seats of several no. blemen and gentlemen, in the west of Eng. land; but the greatest part of the time was passed at Plymouth, whete they were the guests of Dr Mudge, an eminent physician of that place. The Cominissioner of the dock yard afforded Johnson every facility in exa mining the particular circumstances of shipbuilding ; and paid him the compliment of or dering the yacht to convey him and his friend to the Eddystone light-house.
The story of a ghost, in Cock-lane, had, this year, gained very general credit in LORdon. Churchill availed himself of the common opinion of Johnson's credulity, and drew a caricature of him under the name of Pompose, in his satirical poem, " The Ghost,” repré
senting him as one of the believers of the story. Johnson made ho reply; " for with other wide folks he sat up with the ghost." Posterity must be allowed to smile at the credulity of that period. Contrary, however, to the common opinion of Johnson's credulity, Mr Boga well asserts, that he was a principal agent in detecting the imposturé ; and undeceived the world, by publishing an account of it in the newspapers, and the * Gentleman's Magazine," for February 1762. Yet, by the circumstances of the examination, he seems to have gone with almost á willingness to believe, and á mind scarcely in suspense. He would have been glad to see a traveller from that undiscovered country, over which, like the rest of mankind, he saw nothing but clouds and darkness.
In 1768, he contributed to “ The Poetical Calender," à collection of poems, in monthly volumes, by Fawkes and Woty, a Character of Collins, while it was het distinctly impressed on his memory, whiệh he afterwards ingrafted into his life of that poet, and is just lý reckoned one of the most tender, and inter: esting passages in his poetical biography. He also wrote for Mr Hoole, the Dedication to the Queen, of his translation of Tasso, in a strain of exquisite elegance and delicacy.
In the month of May, this year, Mr Boswell, destined to be his biographer, was introduced to his acquaintance by Mr Thomas Davies, the bookseller, and continued to live in the greatest intimacy with him from that time till his death. In him, Johnson found an assiduous, devoted, and intelligent companion; and the world is indebted to him for a portrait of his friend, taken at various sittings, possessing all the freshness of life, and all the prominence of original genius.. ...
On his first visit to Johnson, at his chambers in the Temple, Mr Boswell found nothing prepossessing in his apartment, furniture, and morning dress; which were sufficiently uncouth. : “ His brow'n suit of clothes,” he tells, us, “ looked very rusty; he had on a little old, shrivelled, impowdered wig, which was too small for his head ; , bis shirt neck and knees of his breeches, were loose; he
his black worsted stockings ill drawn up, and he had a pair of unbuckled shoes by way of slippers. But all these slovenly particularities were forgotten the moment he began to talk."*
At this early period of his connection with Johnson, as soon as he became accustomed to his peculiar mode of expression, Mr Boswell began the practice of making notes of his highly curious, interesting, and instructive conversation, as illustrative of his character, and modes of thinking, and as displaying his powers of logical ratiocination. The practice is liable to strong objections ; but, by good fortune, Mr Boswell obtained the sanction of Johnson's approbation of his scheme; and, in some instances, he appears to have received his assistance in recording, with genuine vigour and vivácity, the exuberant variety of his wisdom and wit.
At one of the evening meetings of the as sembled wits, at the Mitre Tavern, in Fleetstreet, on the 7th of July, Mr Boswell relates
the following remarkable instance of Johnson's profound and liberal way of thinking, on a very nice constitutional point, which may render people cautious of pronouncing decisively on his belief in the divine right of Kings, and the slavish doctrine of non-resistance. .“ Goldsmith disputed very warmly with Johnson against the well-known maxim of the British constitution, “ The king can do no wrong;” affirming, that what was morally false, could not be politically true; and as the king might, in the exercise of his regal power, command, and cause the doing of what was wrong, it certainly might be said, in sense and in reason, that he could do wrong.". Johnson. “ Sir, you are to consider, that in our constitution, according to its true principles, the king is the head, he is supreme, he is above every thing, and there is no power by which he can be tried. Therefore it is, Sir, that we hold the king can do no wrong; that whatever may happen to be wrong in government may not be above our reach, by being ascribed to majesty. Redress is always to be