But it is not probable that his curiosity would have overcome his habitual sluggishness, and his love of the smoke, the mud, and the cries of London, had not Boswell importuned him to attempt the adventure, and offered to be his squire.
In March 1783 Boswell was glad to discover Johnson well looked after and staying with Mrs Thrale in Argyll Street, but in a bad state of health.
Johnson was a water-drinker and Boswell was a winebibber, and indeed little better than an habitual sot.
He was essentially humane; and it is worthy of notice that he was in favour of the abolition of slavery, while humane men like his friend Lord Sheffield, Dr Johnson and Boswell were opposed to the antislavery movement.
Even Boswell was forced to own that in this unfortunate piece he could detect no trace of his master's powers.
To a man of Johnson's strong understanding and irritable temper, the silly egotism and adulation of Boswell must have been as teasing as the constant buzz of a fly.
Though the tender care which had mitigated his sufferings during months of sickness at Streatham was withdrawn, and though Boswell was absent, he was not left desolate.