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Smart did, I am afraid there are so many who do not pray, that their understanding is not called in question.
In a conversation on gaming, a gentleman animadverted on it with severity. "Nay, gentlemen (said Johnson), let us not aggravate the matter. It is not roguery to play with a man who is ignorant of the game, while you are master of it, and so win his money; for he thinks he can play better than you, as you think you can play better than he; and the superior skill carries it.” ERSKINE.“ He is a fool, but you are not a rogue." -JOHNSON. " That's much about the truth, Sir. It must be considered, that a man who only does what every one of the society to which he belongs would do, is not a dishonest man. In the republic of Sparta it was agreed, that stealing was not dishonourable, if not discovered. I do not cominend a society where there is an agreement that what would not otherwise be fair, shall be fair; but I maintain, that an individual of
any society, who practises what is allowed, is not a dishonest man."-BOSWELL. “ So then, Sir, you do not think ill of a man who wins perhaps forty thousand pounds in a winter?”–J.“Sir, I do not call a gamester a dishonest man; but I call him an unsocial man, an unprofitable man. Gaming is a mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good. Trade gives employ
went to numbers, and so produces intermediate good.”
Talking of a gentleman who was supposed to be gradually involving his circumstances by bad management, Johnson said to Mr. B. “ Wasting a fortune is evaporation by a thousand imperceptible means. If it were a stream, they'd stop it. You must speak to him. It is really miserable. Were he a gamester, it could be said he had hopes of winning. Were he a bankrupt in trade, he might have grown rich; but he has neither spirit to spend, nor resolution to spare. He does not spend fast enough to have pleasure from it; he has the crime of prodigality, and the wretchedness of parsimony. If a man is killed in a duel, he is killed as many a one has been killed; but it is a sad thing for a man to lie down and die; to bleed to death, because he has not fortitude enough to sear the wound, or even to stitch it up,”
Once when checking Mr. Boswell for boasting too frequently of himself in company, he said, “ Boswell, you often vaunt so much as to provoke ridicule. You put me in mind of a man who was standing in the kitchen of an inn with his back to the fire, and thus accosted the person "next him: • Do you know, Sir, who I am?' No, Sir (said the other), I have not that advantage.' - Sir (said he), I am the great Twalmley who invented
the New Floodgate box-iron."" The Bishop of Killaloe on hearing the story defended Twalmley, by observing, that he was entitled to the epithet of great; for Virgil in his groupe of worthies in the Elysian fields
Hic manus ob patriam pugnando vulnera passi, &c. mentions
Inventas 'aut qui vitam excoluere per artes.
Mr. Boswell mentioned a young man who was going to Jamaica with his wife and children,' in expectation of being provided for by two of her brothers settled in that island, one a clergyman, and the other a physician. “It is said Johnson) a wild scheme, Sir, unless he has a positive and deliberate invitation. There was a poor girl, who used to come about me, who had a cousin in Barbadoes, that, in a letter to her, expressed a wish she would come out to that Island, and expatiated on the comforts and happiness of her
situation. The poor girl went out: her cousin , was much surprised, and asked her how she
could think of coming. “Because (said she) you invited me.'— Not I,' answered the cousin. The
then produced. I see it is true (said she) that I did invite you: but I did not think you would come.' They lodged her in an out-house, where she passed her time miserably; and as soon
as she had an opportunity, she returned to England. Always tell this, when you hear of people going abroad to relations, upon a notion of being well received. In the case which you mention, it is probable the clergyman spends all he gets, and the physician does not know how much he is to get."
On another occasion Johnson observed, “A man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him. A man when he gets into a higher sphere, into other habits of life, cannot keep up all his former connections. Then, Sir, those who knew him formerly upon a level with themselves, may think that they ought still to be treated as on a level, which cannot be; and an acquaintance in a former situation may bring out things which it would be very disagreeable to have mentioned before higher company, though, perhaps, every body knows of them." -He placed this subject in a new light, and shewed that a man who has risen in the world must not be condemned too harshly for being distant to former acquaintance, even though he may have been much obliged to them. It is, no doubt, to be wished (as Mr. B. justly remarks) that a proper degree of attention should be shewn by great men to their early friends; but if either from obtuse insensibility to difference of situation, or presumptuous forwardness, which will not submit éven to an exterior observance of it, the dignity of high place cannot be preserved, when they are admitted into the company of those raised above the state in which they once were, encroachment must be repelled, and the kinder feelings sacrificed.
A question was started, how far people who disagree in a capital point can live in friendship together. Johnson said they might. Goldsmith said they could not, as they had not the idem velle atque idem nollethe same likings and the same aversions.-7. “Why, Sir, you must shun the subject as to which you disagree. For instance, I can live very well with Burke; I love his knowledge, his genius, his diffusion, and affluence of conversation; but I would not talk to him of the Rockingham party.”—G.“ But, Sir, when people live together who have something as to which they disagree, and which they want to shun, they will be in the situation mentioned in the story of Bluebeard, you may look into all the chambers but one;' but we should have the greatest inclination to look into that chamber; to talk of that subject.”—7. (with a loud voice) “Sir, I am not saying that you could live in friendship with a man from whom you differ as to some point; I am only saying that I could do it.”
On the casuistical question, whether it was