Tuesday, 5 May 2009


Doctor Johnson
Samuel Johnson famously compiled a Dictionary of the English Language, described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship". Johnson was a robust and earthy man who enjoyed his wine and food as vigorously as he did his academic pursuits. A devout Anglican his life was immortalised in James Boswell’s biography, and this story of his prodigious childhood genius is recorded in his account - “ When he was a child in petticoats, and had learned to read, Mrs Johnson one morning put the common prayer-book into his hands, pointed to the collect for the day, and said, 'Sam, you must get this by heart.' She went up stairs, leaving him to study it: But by the time she had reached the second floor, she heard him following her. 'What's the matter?' said she. 'I can say it,' he replied; and repeated it distinctly, though he could not have read it over more than twice. - All his life he battled with the ‘black dog’ the name he gave to his depression, near the end he wrote, “After dinner, what remains but to count the clock, and hope for that sleep which I can scarce expect. Night comes at last, and some hours of restlessness and confusion bring me again to a day of solitude. What shall exclude the black dog from an habitation like this? “ Despite his inner struggles Johnson was a man who bent his knee before his Lord as evidenced by this prayer… ~ GOSh.~
Almighty God, the Giver of Wisdom,
without whose help resolutions are vain,
without whose blessing study is ineffectual,
enable me, if it be Thy will,
to attain such knowledge as may qualify me
to direct the doubtful and instruct the ignorant,
to prevent wrongs, and terminate contentions;
and grant that I may use that knowledge which I shall attain,
to Thy glory and my own salvation.
Samuel Johnson


Beneus said...

Maybe like you he should have taken to the garden. I am sure you sleep well after time in your garden.

Dew of Hermon said...

Sleep ? I lye awake thinking of SLUGS !

Gerry said...

There are five reasons
we should drink:

Good wine -
A friend -
Or being dry -
Or lest we should be, by and by -
Or any other reason why!
- Henry Aldrich 1647-1710

• "Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it." --- Anonymous

• "Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age." --- Pope John XXIII

• "Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that 'age appears to be best in four things - old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.'" --- Francis Bacon, 1624

• "Gentlemen, in the little moment that remains to us between the crisis and the catastrophe, we may as well drink a glass of Champagne." --- Paul Claudel

• "Wine brings to light the hidden secrets of the soul, gives being to our hopes, bids the coward flight, drives dull care away, and teaches new means for the accomplishment of our wishes." --- Horace

• "Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues" --- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771