as a dictionary. But then in his Dictionary there was no one to contradict him. And here we find again the true difference between the Works and the Life.
Johnson, it may be repeated, was a splendidly sane man who knew he was a little mad. He was the exact opposite of the literary man of proverbial satire; the poet of Punch and "the artistic temperament." He was the very opposite of the man who rejoices with the skylark and quarrels with the dinner; who is an optimist to his publisher, and a pessimist to his wife. Johnson was melancholy by physical and mental trend; and grew sad in hours of mere expansion and idleness. But his unconquerable courage and commonsense led him to defy his own temperament in every detail of daily life; so that he was cheerful in his conversation and sad only in his books. Had Johnson been in the place of the minor poet of modern satire, his wife and his cook would have had all his happiness. The skylark would have had to bear all his depression; and would probably have borne it pretty well.
It is for this reason that ever since the great Boswellian revelation (one might almost say apocalypse) every one must feel such works as the Vanity of Human Wishes as insufficient or