because their charity affronted his dignity.rnThere were incidents of sheerrnfarce. Believing Savage to be his cousin,rnLord Tyrconnel took him into his liousernand gave him a pension of 200 pounds;rnSaage brouglit disreputable drinkingrncronies in for the night, and pawned thernbooks Tvrconnel gave him. None of thisrnstruck Johnson as at ail funny.rnOne sympathizes with Holmes’s wishrnto modify the Bosvi’ellian picture ofrnJohnson bv incorporating into it thernman who knew and admired Savage.rnOn the other hand, one respects Boswellrnfor his uneasiness over Johnson’s credulityrnand for doubting Savage’s claims.rnThere is, in fact, a fairly important butrnunadoring book to be written, relatingrnSavage’s stor to the fictions of his timernand attempting to understand why Johnsonrnand everyone else so eagerly believedrnit. This book might begin by pointingrnout some contrasts—between Johnson’srnjudicious, authoritarive prose and hisrntatterdemalion subject, between thernforgiving irony of his comments onrnSavage and the unm-tigated ferocity ofrnhis attacks on Lad Macclesfield. Itrnwould notice, too, hew many 18th-centuryrnwriters—Pope, Swift, and Johnsonrnamong them, to name only the threerngreatest—led uneentered, displacedrnemotional lives. The precision of theirrnwriting may express their self-masteryrnand courage, but the stories they toldrnand enjoyed often re’caled how unhapp-rnand angry the” were.rnThis is territory Holmes skirts withoutrnentering it. One of his best chapters,rn”Love,” reproduces (slightly inaccurately)rna Johnsonian anecdote told twice byrnMrs. Thrale in Thraliana and in her publishedrnAnecdotes. It seems that in therncourse of a light conversation about arnnovel by Fanny Burney, Johnson wasrnasked what had been the happiest periodrnof his life. He replied with one of thernsaddest sentences in the annals of Englishrnliterature: “It v-as that year in whichrnhe spent one whole evening with MollyrnAston.” This happy evening occurredrnsome 40 years before the date of thernquestion. Holmes quotes the sentencernas evidence that Johnson was capable ofrnlove; what it really shows is how littlernlove he experienced.rnFrank Brownlow teaches English atrnMount Holyoke College.rnHis most recent book isrnShakespeare, Harsnett, andrnthe Devils of Denham.rnBrief MentionsrnLetters from Lake Como: Explorationsrnin Technology and the Human Race.rnBy Romano Guardini (Grand Rapids:rnEerdmans), lis pp., $9.99.rnRomano Guardmi (1885-1968), a RomanrnCatholic priest and professor ofrnChristian philosophy at the universitiesrnof Breslau, Berlin, Tubingen, and Munich,rnwas a year old when he emigratedrnwith his parents to Germany from hisrnnative Italy. Returning to his homelandrnafter many years, Guardini found himselfrnconfronting the physical reality thatrnhe had both predicted and described inrnhis theoretical speculation. As LouisrnDupre savs in an introduction, “If Guardini’srntheoretical works contain the justification,rnthe Letters present the vision.”rn”Inexpressible beauty is here,” Guardinirnwrote of the valleys of Brianza, “but itrngives me no joy. I do not see how anyrnunderstanding person could find joy inrnit.” What he understood was that thernpoignant beauty he saw everywherernaround him was doomed, as immemorialrnhuman culture, which he defined asrnthe li ing relationship between humanrnbeings and nature, succumbed to thernonslaught of a barbarous technology presentingrnan artificial alternative to nature,rnand creating basic forms of human existencernfilled with something other thanrntheir own contents: something abstract,rnnot living. Christian optimism andrnphilosophical good taste restrainedrnGuardini from sentimental pessimism,rnand even permitted him to discern inrnthe coming novus ordo seclorum a newrncivilization in some wavs equal and perhapsrnsuperior to the one which came before.rnWhile those born under the oldrndispensation could never adapt themselvesrnto such a world, generations torncome might nevertheless succeed in inventingrnnew but equally human relationshipsrnwithin a culture transformedrnby the logic of technique. “We need tornbe a little imaginative. Utopias have sornoften become the reality that imaginationrnis legitimate. . . . Human existencernhas adxanced so far, humans have takenrnso big a grip of themselves, the possibilitiesrnof achievement and destructionrnhave become so incalculable that therntime has come for a new virtue, a newrnskill in intellectual government in which,rnmade serious by so much experience, werncan break free from entanglement in departmentalizedrnspheres of thinking andrnlife. That is what might take place inrnthese best among us.” Seventy years afterrnthe first independent publication ofrnthe Letters, the “great favor of history”rnfor which Guardini hoped appears not tornhave been granted. Rather, the viewrnfrom the end of the 20th century suggestsrnthat technology will certainly triumphrnas a destructive force unless man’srnmoral evolution matches and exceedsrnhis intellectual development, and menrnsucceed in subordinating their intellectualrnwill to their moral imagination.rnThe enlightenment of the mind by itselfrnis insufficient.rn—Chilton Williamson, jr.rnTo order these books, (24hrs, 365 days)rnplease call (800) 962-6651 (Ext. 5200)rnThe Power ofrnNegative Thinkingrnbv Richard MoorernThey saw no danger, didn’t dealrnwith the invaders, didn’t live.rnReaders of Norman Vincent Peale,rnthey were all thinking positive.rnWomen Are More Caring .rnby Richard MoorernRight, dear! Men just don’t carernabout people, don’t darerninterest themselves too muchrnin what it means to touch.rnMen wronged in love will yetrnwish only to forget,rngrow sad, vague, strangely bland,rnrefuse to understand . . .rnbut in that situation,rnsince first God shaped creationrnbefore men built Stonehenge,rnwomen have screamed, “Revenge!’rnMAY 1995/39rnrnrn