Thursday, April 18, 2013


An Indolent Hour

Isaac Hawkins Browne (1706-1760), "The Fire Side: A Pastoral Soliloquy," in his Poems upon Various Subjects, Latin and English (London: J. Nourse and C. Marsh, 1768), pp. 125-128 (lines 25-30 on p. 126):
Now I pass with old authors an indolent hour,
And reclining at ease turn Demosthenes o'er.
Now facetious and vacant, I urge the gay flask
With a set of old friends—who have nothing to ask;
Thus happy, I reck not of FRANCE nor of SPAIN,
Nor the balance of power what hand shall sustain.
James Boswell, Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (September 5, 1773):
After supper, Dr. Johnson told us, that Isaac Hawkins Browne drank hard for thirty years, and that he wrote his poem, "De Animi Immortalitate," in some of the last of these years. I listened to this with the eagerness of one, who, conscious of being himself fond of wine, is glad to hear that a man of so much genius and good thinking as Browne had the same propensity.

Johann Hamza, An Old Man Reading

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