1783 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hoole

Samuel Johnson, 1783; Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791); ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 4:216.



Mr. Hoole told him, he was born in Moorfields, and had received part of his early instruction in Grub-street. "Sir, (said Johnson, smiling,) you have been 'regularly' educated." Having asked who was his instructor, and Mr. Hoole having answered, "My uncle, Sir, who was a taylor;" Johnson, recollecting himself, said, "Sir, I knew him; we called him the 'metaphysical taylor.' He was of a club in Old-street, with me and George Psalmanazar, and some others: but pray, Sir, was he a good taylor?" Mr. Hoole, having answered that he believed he was too mathematical, and used to draw squares and triangles on his shop-board, so that he did not excel in the cut of a coat; — "I am sorry for it, (said Johnson,) for I would have every man to be master of his own business."

In pleasant reference to himself and Mr. Hoole, as brother authours, he often said, "Let you and I, Sir, go together, and eat a beef-steak in Grub-street."