By Norman Page (eds.)
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Extra resources for Dr Johnson
2. Charles Churchill ( 1731-64), satirist. 3. The Duke of Buckingham's The Rehearsal ( 1672) is a satire on contemporary notions of heroic tragedy. 4. James Dunbar was Professor of Philosophy at King's College, Aberdeen. 5. David Hume (1711-76), philosopher. ' 6. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), political philosopher. 34 APPEARANCE AND HABITS Eating and Tea-drinking* SIR JOHN HAWKINS Johnson looked upon [eating] as a very serious business, and enjoyed the pleasure of a splendid table equally with most men.
A bountiful disposition'* THOMAS TYERS His eyesight was not good; but he never wore spectacles; not on account of such a ridiculous vow as Swift made not to use them, but because he was assured they would be of no service to him. He once declared, that he 'never saw the human face divine'. He saw better with one eye than the other, which however was not like that ofCamoens, the Portuguese poet, as expressed on his medal. He chose to say to an observer and inquirer after the apparent blemish of his left eye, that 'he had not seen out of that little scoundrel for a great many years'.
Another circumstance likewise contributed not a little to the power which he had of expressing himself, which was a rule, which he said he always practised on every occasion, of speaking his best, whether the person to whom he addressed himself was or was not capable of comprehending him. 'If,' says he, 'I am understood, my labour is not lost. ' And he said those were the most sincere admirers; and quoted Baxter, 2 who made it a rule never to preach a sermon without saying something which he knew was beyond the comprehension of his audience, in order to inspire their admiration.