There is one circumstance in Sir John's character of Bishop Still, which is peculiarly applicable to Johnson: “He became so famous a disputer, that the learnedest were even afraid to dispute with him; and he finding his own strength, could not stick to warn them in their arguments to take heed to their answers, like a perfect fencer that will tell aforehand in which button he will give the venew, or like a cunning chess-player that will appoint aforehand with which pawn and in what place he will give the mate.”

—Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791).