Tom Birch is as brisk as a bee in conversation; but no sooner does he take a pen in his hand than it becomes a torpedo to him, and benumbs all his faculties.
Life of Johnson (Boswell).1Vol. i. Chap. vii. 1743.
Note 1. From the London edition, 10 volumes, 1835.
Dr. Johnson, it is said, when he first heard of Boswells intention to write a life of him, announced, with decision enough, that if he thought Boswell really meant to write his life he would prevent it by taking Boswells!Thomas Carlyle: Miscellanies, Jean Paul Frederic Richter. [back]