Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/363


STRICTURE THE THIRD

My connection with doctor Johnson, though quite dose and quite familiar during a great number of years, was nevertheless, like every other intimacy, subject at intervals to the vicissitudes of coincidence and discrepance in opinion; not that I e ver dreamt of any equality between our powers of pronouncing judg^ent in ambiguous and questionable cases, but in mere consequence of that untoward cast of mind which often makes this, and that and t’other object appear to mr. Joseph of such a forni, of such a size, of such and such a quality, when mr. Samuel conceives them ali to be greatly different, if not the absolute reverse.

Not unfrequent therefore were our debates on divers topics, now of more, now of less importance. To them and to a mulútude of disquisitions I heard from him on innumerable matters, I am indebted for the best part of that little knowledge I have; and if there is any kind of rectitude and solidity in my ideas, I wiil ever remember with gratitude as well as pride, that I owe more of it to him and to his books, than to any other man I ever knew, or any other book I ever studied.

However, in spite of my obsequiousness to his great superiority of understanding and my ready submission to most of his dictates, never could I implicitly adopt some few of his principal notions and leading opinions, though ever so ardentlj’ desirous of conforming ali mine to those of a man, whose innate and acquired faculties, as far as my judgment reaches, were never equalled by any of his most famed contemporaries, and whose Works will indubitably carry to posterity both wonder and instruction by many degjees superior to those of any writer ever so admired during the interval in which he lived.

G. Bar ETTI, Prefazioni e polemiche. 23