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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Max Johnson Did Boswell (Johnson's biog) play music? (20) RE: Did Boswell (Johnson's biog) play music? 03 Aug 11

I would say not.
E. H. Shepard's 'Everybody's Boswell' makes reference to Boswell's comments on the effects of music, but none at all to his playing.

"In the evening our gentleman-farmer, and two others, entertained on the fiddle. Johnson desired to have 'Let Ambition Fire Thy Mind' played over again and appeared to give a patient attention to it, although he owned to me that he was very insensible to the power of music. I told him that it affected me to such a degree as often to agitate my nerves painfully, producing in my mind alternate sensations of pathetic dejection, so that I was ready to shed tears; and of daring resolution, so that I was inclined to rush into the thickest part of the battle. "Sir", said he, "I should never hear it, if it made me such a fool".

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