Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/91

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come, whose entrance is considered as a promise of felicity, and whose departure is lamented like the recess of the sun from northern climates, as a privation of all that enlivens fancy, or inspirits gayety.

It is apparent, that to excellence in this valuable art, some peculiar qualifications are necessary; for every one's experience will inform him, that the pleasure which men are able to give in conversation holds no stated proportion to their knowledge or their virtue. Many find their way to the tables and the parties of those who never consider them as of the least importance in any other place ; we have all, at one time or other, been content to love those whom we could not esteem, and been persuaded to try the dangerous experi- ment of admitting him for a companion, whom we knew to be too ignorant for a coun- sellor, and too treacherous for a friend.

1 question whether some abatement of char- acter is not necessary to general acceptance. Few spend their time with much satisfaction under the eye of incontestable superiority; and, therefore, among those whose presence is courted at assemblies of jollity, there are seldom found men eminently distinguished for powers or acquisitions. The wit, whose vivacity condemns slower tongues to silence ;

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