Benjamin franklin and samuel johnson, august humanists from Opposite sides of the ocean, never met on a social footing sufficiently firm enough for them to leave any first-hand impression of the other or give rise to any dramatic encounter, even though they resided for years in London proximity, carrying on lives of remarkably active social intercourse. Certainly, they knew each other by repute as intellectual forces in the age. Yet attracted as they were to mind, they did not seek out each other's intellectual company, and no mutual acquaintance (and there were a number of them) had the temerity apparently to bring them together. All the while a studied indifference seems to reign on the part of both men — although we cannot know this with any certainty — thwarting otherwise strong reasons that should have conspired to link them in some fashion. This social anomaly from our perspective is that much odder since Franklin's social route, briefly traced in section I, now and then intersects with Johnson's.