Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes,
And pause awhile from letters, to be wise.
Volume LX, No. 1 March 2009
The recent arrival of two new biographies of Johnson has sent me in search of the many passages throughout his works in which Johnson expresses his strict sense of historical truth. Boswell mentions this aspect of Johnson's thinking often and at one point in his Life cites Johnson's review of Warton's Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope: "Nothing but experience could evince the frequency of false information .... Some men relate what they think, as what they know; some men of confused memories and habitual inaccuracy, ascribe to one man what belongs to another; and some talk on, without thought or care."