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him what books he was reading, and in particular inquired as to his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. The prince, in his answers, gave him great satisfaction; and as to the last said, “ that part of his daily exercises was to read Ostervald”-no doubt the popular catechism and abridgment of sacred history.

Another change in Johnson's residence took place in 1776; but we still find him in his favourite Fleet-street. His new abode was in Bolt-court, No. 8. Boswell, on coming to London in the month of March that year, sought out his friend, and on discovering his removal, wrote down in his journal as follows:-"I felt a foolish regret that he had left a court which bore his name ; but it was not foolish to be affected with some tenderness of regard for a place in which I had seen him a great deal, from whence I had often issued a better and a happier man than when I went in, and which had often appeared to my imagination, while I trod its pavement in the solemn darkness of night, to be sacred to his wisdom and piety.” We fully appreciate the biographer's reverence for the old court, and cannot help ourselves regarding it still with feelings akin to his, although the place is now greatly changed. But Bolt-court, as his abode for the rest of his life, and the place where he died, comes in for a larger share of veneration, while round it there cling the richest recollections of its famous inhabitant. The house is gone, and the little garden has disappeared, “ which he took delight in watering;" but prints of the spot are preserved, and we can still see the three circular steps leading up to the door, with the flat projection over the doorway, and the long row of windows in the roof, and the shrubs adorning the leads of a lower room, in advance of the adjoining residence. A tavern and a printing-office now occupy the chief portion of this little nook in one of London's vast thoroughfares; but the name of Johnson inscribed on the entrance is ever associated with the locality, and though many doubtless pass it by with other thoughts, we cannot suppose that we alone are wont now and then to turn into the little retired avenue and dream of other days.

Why there he is! with poor blind Mrs. Williams coming up the court; and on reaching the steps he whirls and twists about with strange gesticulations, and then, with a sudden spring, strides over the threshold as if engaged in gymnastic exercises, or performing a feat for a wager; the blind lady groping about to find the entrance, while her friend continues his odd movements on his way to his own room. He makes it an object of anxious care to go in and out by a certain number of steps from a particular point, and to commence the operation always with the same foot; right and left being trained to a particular order in this exercise; and sometimes he will even count his steps with great earnestness, lest there should be an error in the important process.

Up comes Sir Joshua Reynolds's coach, and out steps Miss Hannah More, who is shown into the little parlour, where she sits down on a chair, thinking it to be the doctor's, hoping to catch from it some spark of his genius, when he enters with formal politeness and laughs at the lady for her mistake, the seat she has selected being one he never occupies. They talk away in the wainscotted old room upon divers literary matters, while the printer's errand boy stands impatient on the stairs, waiting for proof. The interview over, and Hannah much delighted with her reception, (for the doctor likes her,) she is handed by him to the coach, which, amidst a crowd of vehicles, now stands some eight or ten doors from Bolt-court, and then he exhibits such strange gesticulations that a crowd of people gather round equally surprised and diverted.

We follow him back to his room, and watch him after he has done writing--as he muses in his chair, making sundry kinds of indescribable noises, or, as he talks to Bozzy, shaking all over, rubbing his knees, and puffing at the end of one of his sonorous sentences, like a whale rising to the surface of the water for a gasp of breath after some long deep plunge. Boswell gone, and all quiet, Johnson thinks of the necessities of his household, particularly of one member—an old cat, now very infirm and sick, Hodge by name, which is fond of oysters; and to spare Francis the negro the degradation of waiting on a four-footed creature, Johnson actually trudges forth himself to an oyster shop to bring home the desired delicacy for the feline inmate. Gleams of humanity and kindness, often very strange, are ever and anon shining out from among the dark clouds of wrath and rudeness that roll over the spirit of this eccentric man.

Johnson walking along the street by himself was a notable spectacle; not only for a peculiar solemnity of deportment and measured step, which we fancy would have reminded us of his style of composition, as if he were beating time to his own sentences; but for a practice which is thus described : “Upon every post, as he passed, he deliberately laid his hand; but missing one of them, when he had got at some distance, he seemed suddenly to recollect himself, and immediately returning back, carefully performed the accustomed ceremony, and resumed his former course, not omitting one till he gained the crossing."

Johnson in conversation, as he threaded the mazes of a London crowd, was worth hearing; and one would also have liked to see him when some clever rejoinder fell on his ear; as, for example, when after visiting Westminster Abbey with Goldsmith, he had said to his companion, “Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis”--Goldsmith slily whispered to Johnson, as they stopped at Temple Bar, and he pointed at the grim heads of the executed Jacobites, “ Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis."*

What a privilege to meet Johnson at the tables of his friendsat Sir Joshua Reynolds's, General Oglethorpe's, Mrs. Thrale's, and the rest; or at his club at “Sams's,” No. 40, Essex-street, where the terms were lax and the expenses light, the forfeit for absence being two-pence; at the “King's Head,” Ivy-lane, Newgatestreet, where he constantly resorted on Tuesday nights, and played the part of symposiarch, till the association was broken up; or at the “ Literary Club,” by far the most illustrious, as it proved the most enduring, first assembling in the “Turk's Head," Gerardstreet, Soho, and still continued at the “Thatched House,” according to the standing toast, “Esto perpetua.” Johnson at dinner, as he engaged with equal earnestness and relish in the practical discussion of plate after plate of good fare, and the philosophical discussion of question after question of manifold kinds, was a spectacle to be long remembered by those who witnessed it; and not less so, Johnson at tea, drinking a dozen cups, and pouring forth streams of shining eloquence, or doubling that number and remaining silent, because his hostess had invited him to serve as a lion to the company.

* "Perhaps our names will be associated with theirs." Johnson was a Jacobite at


All this, however, and much more, we must leave, and hasten to the end. Johnson died in the back-room first-floor of the house in Bolt-court, in 1784. The particulars of his death have been treasured


with the same care as the minutest details of his life. As we peruse the narrative, we feel how melancholy was the new interest which gathered round his favourite abode, as his friends perceived the decline of his health. We see messengers coming up the narrow passage to make inquiries, and many an associate and disciple of the great man hastening with an anxious countenance to hear once more a voice which had so often filled them with admiration. We hear him talking of his will, and making provision for the negro, Francis; and eagerly do we listen for all that throws light on the state of the sufferer's mind in reference to religion. Religion had ever been to Johnson a subject of reverential thought. The forms of it he had studiously maintained; but his religious meditations were pervaded by a deep melancholy, and his religious services were tinged with superstition. He had dreaded death, for he had looked to his own performances as a ground of trust. Towards the latter end his views improved; gospel light shone clearly on his soul, and he became, it may be hoped, another man. On one occasion, when directed to his own good works as a ground of religious hope, he asked the question so well fitted to test that common idea, to expose that fatal delusion: “But how do we knowy when we have done enough ?” “For some time before his death, all his fears were calmed and absorbed by the prevalence of his faith and his trust in the merits and propitiation of Christ.” “My dear doctor," said he to Dr. Brocklesby, who made the above statement, “ believe a dying man--there is no salvation but in the sacrifice of the Lamb of God." This beautiful testimony to the worth of the gospel in a dying hour may fitly terminate this paper on one who, with all his great faults and failings, belongs to the most illustrious group of the shades of the departed that meet us amidst the scenes of old London. His remains were interred in Westminster Abbey; and as we pause in the poet's corner, and think of his rare endowments and acquisitions, all become lost in the infinite importance of his dying words—“There is no salvation but in the sacrifice of the Lamb of God."


We like the Middle Temple. We like to stand, on a sunny day, beside the only fountain to the east of Temple Bar, and to watch its scanty jet, flinging out spray like so much diamond dust, producing delicious sensations of coolness amidst the burning heat

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