JAMES BOSWELL (1740–95)
Extract from Boswell’s London Journal (1762–63; first ptd. 1950)

     Friday 19 November 1762
When we came upon Highgate hill and had a view of London, I was all life and joy. I repeated Cato’s soliloquy on the immortality of the soul, and my soul bounded forth to a certain propsect of happy futurity. I sung all manner of songs, and began to make one about an amorous meeting with a pretty girl, the burthen of which was as follows:

She gave me this, I gave her that;
And tell me, had she not tit for tat?

I gave three huzzas, and we went briskly in.

Cato’s soliloquy : In Addison’s famous play:

It must be so. Plato, thou reasonest well!
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality? […]

Last modified, 18-Jan-2002 .
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