* Forgetting, it seems, the whole "David danced before the Lord" part, and the whole bit in Ecclesiastes where "I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labor the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun." Ah, the legacy of the Puritans, it liveth on and on!
** But, Hughes explains, "If the preacher grew fierce I looked at the statue of Samveli Johnson, whom I vaguely connected with Sam Weller." It's hard to imagine a less appropriate fictional analogue for Dr. Johnson--or a less appropriate reason to turn to him. Imagine how he might have thundered at someone who was turning to him in order to avoid contemplating their eternal fate!