1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Gerard Hamilton

James Boswell, in Life of Johnson, 1791; ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 1:566-67.



His [Johnson's] prayer in view of becoming a politician is entitled, "Engaging in POLITICKS with H—n," no doubt his friend, the Right Honourable William Gerard Hamilton, for whom, during a long acquaintance, he had a great esteem, and to whose conversation he once paid this high compliment: "I am very unwilling to be left alone, Sir, and therefore I go with my company down the first pair of stairs, in some hopes that they may, perhaps, return again. I go with you, Sir, as far as the street-door." In what particular department he intended to engage does not appear, nor can Mr. Hamilton explain. His prayer is in general terms:—

"Enlighten my understanding with knowledge of right, and govern my will by thy laws, that no deceit may mislead me, nor temptation corrupt me; that I may always endeavour to do good, and hinder evil."