Boswell's Correspondence with the Honourable Andrew Erskine, and His Journal of a Tour to Corsica

Boswell's Correspondence with the Honourable Andrew Erskine, and His Journal of a Tour to Corsica

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Boswell's Correspondence with the Honourable Andrew Erskine, and His Journal of a Tour to Corsica by James Boswell

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1879

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Boswell's Correspondence with the Honourable Andrew Erskine, and His Journal of a Tour to Corsica

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Book Excerpt

ed by correspondence with a Paoli and a Chatham. "I am always for fixing some period," he wrote, "for my perfection, as far as possible. Let it be when my account of Corsica is published; I shall then have a character which I must support." Unhappily the time for his perfection was again and again put off. Johnson, in speaking of Derrick, said--"Derrick may do very well, as long as he can outrun his character; but the moment his character gets up with him, it is all over." With Boswell, just the opposite was the case. He soon acquired a character--a character which he was bound to support. But he could never get up with it. The friend of Paoli, the friend of Johnson, was, unhappily, given to drink. The gay spirits and lively health of youth supported him for a while; but, even in these early days, he was too often troubled with that depression of spirit which follows on a debauch. But, as time passed on, and the habit grew stronger upon him, his health began to give way, and his cheerfulness of mind to desert

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