Thursday, February 03, 2005

Am I the only one who sees this?

Mr. Toad from Wind in the Willows:




Samuel Johnson:




Slap on a pair of goggles, stick him in a roadster, and you've got Dr. Johnson's Wild Ride! He'd totally be up for it too:
In our way, Johnson strongly expressed his love of driving fast in a post-chaise. 'If (said he,) I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman; but she should be one who could understand me, and would add something to the conversation.' Friday, September 19, 1777. The Life of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell.
I've pretty much spent the whole day making fun of the good doctor, without neglecting his dear friend Mr. Boswell either. I can't resist taking the pompous blowhard down a peg or two after wading through his whole life (okay, so we read the abridged Penguin edition, but still. It's nothing but Johnson going "Well, Sir, blah de blah blah", and Boswell alternating between being a sycophant and creepily passive-aggressive). So imagine my delight at this bit of juicy literary gossip:
The friendship between [Johnson] and Mrs. Thrale developed, indeed, into an intimacy whose mysterious depths are hinted at in an extraordinary correspondence of 1773 in which padlocks, fetters and rods are mentioned, in which Mrs Thrale refers to herself as his governess and Johnson calls himself her slave...For years...no one had known Johnson so well as she had done in sickness and in health, in high spirits and in those moods when, beset by 'sinful and corrupt imaginations', by 'inordinate desires' and 'wicked thoughts', he feared he was going mad. Pg. 20-21, Intro to the Penguin edition.
Hm. Mr. Boswell forgot to mention that naughty Sam enjoyed being discplined upon occasion. As did Rousseau, for that matter, though if Johnson knew he shared the same tastes as a damn'd French philosophe he'd probably keel over from apoplexy. ::exits stage left, laughing uproariously::

2 Comments:

At 3:56 AM, Blogger Pendola said...

hi :) i found your profile at IKISSGIRLS. i am elizabetta,californian but i live in italy.

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

Hi! Nice to meet you. And now that I think of it, I ought to put a link up to IKG.

 

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