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dations, for the purpose of erecting his own novelties in their stead, which supplied what they wanted of solidity, by speciousness and splendour ; and to dazzle and astound the supporters of established principles and maxims, by combating them with a force of reason, and strength of logic, which was, perhaps, as unexampled as it was audacious. His learning and his mental powers were equally established without assistance, and his haughtiness loved to shew how his inbred mental vigour had triumphed over difficulties. From the same source arose both the excellencies and defects of his character. No pruning hand had ever been exerted to remove the excrescencies which had been generated in his mind, and to tame and sober the wildness and extravagance, with which it was so often overshadowed. Thus his intellect rose up in rough and unshorn mightiness, and with it the pullulating seeds of sophistical ingenuity, which grew with its growth and strengthened with its strength, till at last he became an inveterate and radicated system-monger, and his mind a repositary, where every subject in theology, criticism, or literature, had an hypothesis ready prepared for it. Nor less powerful in its influence on his character, was the first reception he met with in literature,-in the universal war, which seemed, at his first rise, to be proclaimed against him. That his innovating and paradoxical spirit should procure him many adversaries, was hardly to be doubted; but, as if the hypotheses he advanced were matter of established belief, he resented every departure from them, as a departure from truth itself; and his ungovernable haughtiness, and impatience of contradiction, flamed out in angry defiance against his opposers, and overwhelmed them with an overpowering torrent of scurrility and abuse, which was served by an inexpungable force of argument, and strengthened by an unequalled promp
titude of wit. From these primary circumstances, his mind received an indelible impression; and from his first advance to greatness, to his last approach to imbecility, he was the same, and unchanged; the same constructor of systems, the same desperate controversialist, the same dogmatical decider, the same determined oppugner of whatever authority had sanctioned in theology, or common sense established in taste. The resources of his ingenuity were not exhausted by timethe severity of his pen was not composed by age-and Lowth, on whom his last attack was made, was no less fated than his first antagonist, Tillard, to receive the overflowings of his gall.
“The character of Dr Johnson was, perhaps, not less influenced by external circumstances, but they had much less influence on the purely intellectual part of it. If the early difficulties through which he struggled, in conjunction with the original irritability of his system, gave a strong tinge of morosity to his character, that morosity was not communicated entire and unsoftened to his writings. It did not form a constituent and essential part of his compositions—a kind of perpetual and inseparable quality of the mind ; nor was the same itch for controversy so completely engrafted into, and connected with it. He had not any of that foolish knight-errantry, which leads forth its votaries to renew, in the intellectual arena, the ancient feats of personal prowess and individual strength; and which would sally forth, manfully dealing its blows to the right hand and to the left, careless on whom they fell, and regard. less what side they injured, for no certain purpose, or visible design, save to manifest the mightiness of its own strength. He did not vainly and ridiculously oppose himself to the world; for he well knew, that he who takes the world for his opponent, is sure, in the end, not to win; and that, at last, his consolation will only be that of Nathaniel Lee in the madhouse,-" The world thinks me mad, and I think them so; but numbers have prevailed over right.” He did not concern himself to answer every trilling and foolish attack, which ignorance and malignity might make upon him; for he well knew, that to do so, is but to give duration to objects in themselves insignificant, and which, otherwise, would be speedily forgotten. The only controversial compositions he has left behind, are his letters to Jonas Hanway ; and in these, there is such a spirit of good-humoured placidity, as completely to prove, that controversial rancour formed no part of his disposition. Possessing, from his long intercourse with mankind, and deep insight into manners and men, much more practical good sense than his great rival, and entertaining a much greater habitual regard for estaba lished institutions, he was not so desirous of leading the multitude from the road they had frequented to newformed paths of his own. He had too much reverence for what bore the semblance of truth, to wish to discredit its supporters; or, by making attempts to beautify its outward appearance, to run the hazard of undermining its foundation in the end. With an equal portion of that ingenuity and novelty of fancy, which gives new colours to every subject, and brings to every theme new and unhackneyed accessions of mind, he had too much intellectual solidity to delight in framing hypotheses which could not communicate to the mind that satisfaction on which he loved to repose-and without the power of giving which all theories are but empty triflings. He had too much soundness in his taste to split into systems, and quarter into subtleties, the unchanged and unchangeable principles of nature ; or to convert into intricate and interwoven propositions, the plain ånd unerring dictates of reason. His devotion to truth was too strong to suffer him to deceive others
-his judgment too sound to allow him to be deceived himself-whether the deceit was introduced by the reveries of a fervid imagination, or the insinuating dexterity of self-love. He is once reported to have said, “ How great might have been my fame, had not my sole object been truth;" and the fixed foundation on which his fame now stands, may be considered as some reward for his immediate self-denial.
“If we proceed to compare their respective intel. lects, it will, perhaps, be rather difficult to adjust the balance of superiority. In the first, great characterisa tics of genius, unbounded comprehension of mind, and receptability of images in the power of communicating, to mental matter, that living energy and alimental nourishment-that intellectual leaven, which gives it the capacity of being kneaded and worked up into an exhaustless diversity of shapes and figurations in the power of extracting and drawing forth all that human reason, when bent to any given point, can educe in the power of conceiving mighty plans in the mind, without destroying, in the grasp of the whole, the beauty and the symmetry of the parts—in these first and foremost requisites of genius, the endowments of both seem very evenly divided, though the balance, if at all, preponderates on the side of Johnson. He had, certainly, more of the vivifying mind of a poet more of that brightness of imagination, which clothes all objects in a vesture of splendour-more of that fervid fulness, which deepens and swells the current of thought--but not more of the boundless expansion and versatility of mind—not more of the variegated exuberance of imagery, or expatiating ubiquity of fancy. He had, perhaps, not so much of that wide sweep of intellect, which, like a drag-net, draws all within its reach into its capacious reservoir of illustration, and which diminishes and contracts the resources of ingenuity by its extraordinary power of exhaustion ; nor had he any part of that fiery fervpur, that indomitable vehemence, which blazed forth in Warburton ; with which he could burst through every bondage, and overcome every obstacle; which it was impossible to withstand in its attacks, or delay in its course; and which, like the burning simoom of the Arabian deserts, absolutely devastated and laid waste the regions of literature, with the sultriness of its ardour and the unquenchableness of its flame.
“ In logical strength and acuteness in the faculty of seeing immediately the weak side of an argument, and exposing its fallacy with clearness and force-in those powers which Dr Johnson has called the grapplingirons of the understanding each was superlatively preeminent; and it would be difficult to decide which is the superior. Both great masters of the science of reasoning-endowed with that penetration of discernment, which in a moment pierces through the sophistications of argumentation, and unravels the mazes of subtlety with intuitive quickness and precision they were yet considerably different in the manner in which those talents were displayed. In Johnson, the science of reasoning has the appearance of being more a natural faculty ; and in Warburton, more an artificial acquirement. The one delighted in exhibiting it in its naked force and undivided power the other was fonder of dividing it into distinctions, and reducing it into parts. The one delighted to overwhelm and confound—the other rather to lead into intricacies, and puzzle with contradictions. The one wielded his weapons with such overpowering strength, that skill was useless, and art unnecessary—the other made use of them as an experienced fencing-master, whom great natural strength, joined with much acquired skill, render irresistible. In the one, the first blow was generally the decider' of