This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1880 edition. Excerpt: ...who, in early days, had dined with Wilkes in the character of a brotherofficer of militia, declared that he scarcely ever met a better companion, and recognized in him " inexhaustible spirits, infinite wit and humor, and a great deal of knowledge;" and Voltaire testified to his social qualifications in terms at least as high as those employed by Gibbon. "Nothing," said Mrs.Thrale, in Miss Burney's presence, "is so fatiguing as the life of a wit. Garrick and Wilkes are the two oldest men of their ages I know; for they have both worn themselves by being eternally on the rack to give entertainment to others." "David," said Johnson, putting the lady's remark into the shortest compass, " looks much older than he is; for his face has had double the business of any other man's." 1 It was on a subsequent occasion that Johnson proved himself worthy of the best chance that the fortune of talk ever threw in his way. Wilkes had suggested that the House of Commons, in the teeth of an inconvenient statute, might order the pay of the army in America to be remitted in English money. "Sure, sir," said Johnson, "you don't think a resolution of the House of Commons equal to the law of the land." Wilkes lowered his arms at once, and wisely contented himself with ejaculating, "God forbid!" He left prison fully resolved not to desist until he had established the principle that the choice of the people was never to be set aside in deference to monarch or minister, and that the representatives of the nation were to be elected at the pollingbooth, and not inside the House of Commons. That principle, which the debates of 1770 had left in the shape of a proposition, he intended, before Lord...
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