Monday 19 December 2022

Dr Johnson, an Anglican Tory saint

Dr. Johnson said that there are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in making money.

Christopher Hollis said this was the most un-Christian remark imaginable. Hollis was the kind of Conservative politician I like, but I am coming round to siding with Dr Johnson.

He was being deliberately paradoxical but he was usually right. And a great saint.

'The Irish are a very fair people, sir. They never speak well of one another.' Dr Johnson's joke is true and applies to Romanians too. Is it to do with being a peasant nation or were the Irish whom Johnson met Anglo-Irish like his friends Burke and Goldsmith?

Both these remarks lodged in my mind when I came across them in Christopher Hollis's Letters to my Sister, though I must have read them in Boswell previously.

Johnson also said, 'Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.' Discuss 

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