"A young gentleman present took up the argument against him, and maintained that no man ever thinks of the nose of the mind, not adverting that though that figurative sense seems strange to us, as very unusual, it is truly not more forced than Hamlet's 'In my mind's eye, Horatio.'"
— Boswell, James (1740-1795)
A young gentleman present took up the argument against him, and maintained that no man ever thinks of the nose of the mind, not adverting that though that figurative sense seems strange to us, as very unusual, it is truly not more forced than Hamlet's 'In my mind's eye, Horatio.' He persisted much too long, and appeared to Johnson as putting himself forward as his antagonist with too much presumption; upon which he called to him in a loud tone, 'What is it you are contending for, if you be contending?--And afterwards imagining that the gentleman retorted upon him with a kind of smart drollery, he said, 'Mr. ***** it does not become you to talk so to me. Besides, ridicule is not your talent; you have there neither intuition nor sagacity.' The gentleman protested that he had intended no improper freedom, but had the greatest respect for Dr. Johnson. After a short pause, during which we were somewhat uneasy,--JOHNSON. 'Give me your hand, Sir. You were too tedious, and I was too short.' Mr. *****. 'Sir, I am honoured by your attention in any way.' JOHNSON. 'Come, Sir, let's have no more of it. We offended one another by our contention; let us not offend the company by our compliments.'
See The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Comprehending an Account of His Studies and Numerous Works, in Chronological Order; a Series of His Epistolary Correspondence and Conversations With Many Eminent Persons; and Various Original Pieces of His Composition, Never Before Published. The Whole Exhibiting a View of Literature and Literary Men in Great-Britain, for Near Half a Century, During Which He Flourished. In Two Volumes. By James Boswell, Esq. 2 vols. (London: Printed by Henry Baldwin, for Charles Dilly, in the Poultry, 1791). <Link to ESTC><Vol. I in ECCO-TCP><Vol. II>
My main reading text is James Boswell, The Life of Johnson, ed. Claude Rawson, (New York: Knopf, 1992). Also reading in David Womersley's Penguin edition, 2008.
First edition in Google Books, <Vol. I><Vol. II>. See also Jack Lynch's online e-text, prepared from the 1904 Oxford edition <Link>.