A blupete Essay

Introduction, Part 1 to blupete's Essay
"On Philosophy"

Boswell describes, in his biography of the English lexicographer, where Dr. Johnson, after a forty year absence meets an old class-fellow, Oliver Edwards. They had met by chance in the street. Edwards was at the time of the meeting living on a little farm of about sixty acres, seemingly, quite happy, from season to season, to see his grass, his corn, and his trees growing. He addressed his illustrious friend: "You are a philosopher, Dr. Johnson. I have tried too, in my time, to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in."

Then there is the story of David Hume, who, when he began to be known in the world as a philosopher, was admonished by a Mr. White, a decent rich merchant of London: "I am surprised, Mr. Hume, that a man of your good sense should think of being a philosopher. Why, I did take it into my head to be a philosopher for some time, but tired of it most confoundedly, and very soon gave it up." "Pray, sir", said Mr. Hume, "in what branch of philosophy did you employ your researches? What books did you read? "Books?" said Mr. White; "nay sir, I read no books, but I used to sit whole forenoons a-yawning and poking the fire."2


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