Slike strani
PDF
ePub

been distinguished for good sense, accuracy, upbraiding satire, I dare say, made Johnson's moderation, and delicacy.

friends urge him to dispatch. Another instance of the same nature bas been communicated to me by the Reverend

“ He for subscribers baits his hook, Dr. Thomas Campbell, who has done himself

And takes your cash ; but where's the book ? considerable credit by his own writings. “Sit

No matter where; wise fear, you know,

Forbids the robbing of a foe; ting with Dr. Johnson one morning alone, he

But what, to serve our private ends, asked me if I had known Dr. Madden, who

Forbids the cheating of our friends ?" was author of the premium-scheme? in Ireland. On my answering in the affirmative, and also About this period he was offered a living of that I had for some years lived in his neigh- considerable value in Lincolnshire ?, if he were bourhood, &c., he begged of me that when inclined to enter into holy orders. It was a I returned to Ireland, I would endeavour to rectory in the gift of Mr. Langton, the father procure for him a poem of Dr. Madden's called of his much valued friend. But he did not * Boulter's Monument.'s The reason (said accept of it; partly, I believe, from a conscienhe) why I wish for it, is this: when Dr. tious motive, being persuaded that his temper Madden came to London, he submitted that and habits rendered him unfit for that assiduous work to my castigation; and I remember I and familiar instruction of the vulgar and blotted a great many lines, and might have ignorant, which he held to be an essential duty blotted many more without making the poem in a clergyman; and partly because his love of worse. However, the Doctor was very a London life was so strong, that he would have thankful, and very generous, for he gave me thought himself an exile in any other place, ten guineas, which was to me at that time a particularly if residing in the country. Who

ever would wish to see his thoughts upon that He this year resumed his scheme of giving an subject displayed in their full force, may peruse edition of Shakspeare with notes. He issued the Adventurer, Number 126. Proposals of considerable length 6, in which he In 1757 it does not appear that he published shewed that he perfectly well knew what a any thing, except some of those articles in the variety of research such an undertaking re- Literary Magazine, which have been mentioned. quired; but his indolence prevented him from That magazine, after Johnson ceased to write pursuing it with that diligence which alone can in it, gradually declined, though the popular collect those scattered facts, that genius, how- epithet of Antigallican was added to it; and ever acute, penetrating, and luminous, cannot in July, 1758, it expired. He probably prediscover by its own force. It is remarkable, pared a part of his Shakspeare this year, and that at this time his fancied activity was for the he dictated a speech on the subject of an moment so vigorous, that he promised his work address to the Throne, after the expedition to should be published before Christmas, 1757. Rochfort, which was delivered by one of his Yet nine years elapsed before it saw the light. friends, I know not in what public meeting. His throes in bringing it forth had been severe It is printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for and remittent; and at last we may almost October, 1785, as his, and bears sufficient conclude that the Cæsarian operation was inarks of authenticity. performed by the knife of Churchill, whose By the favour of Mr. Joseph Cooper

great sum," s

I See post, April 6. 1775. - C.

been paid, he considered them so absolutely the property of 2 In the College of Dublin, four quarterly examinations the purchaser, as to renounce all claim to them. He reckoned of the students are held in each year, in various prescribed that he had written about forty sermons ; but, except as to branches of literature and science; and prensiums, consisting some, knew not in what hands they were. "I have," said of books impressed with the College Arms, are adjudged by he,“ been paid for them, and have no right to inquire about examiners (composed generally of the Junior Fellows), to them." This practice is of very doubtful propriety. In the those who have most distinguished themselves in the several case of an elective chapel, it might, as the Bishop Elrington classes, after a very rigid trial, which lasts two days. This observed to me, amount to an absolute fraud, as a person regulation, which has subsisted about seventy years, has been might be chosen for the merits of a sermon not written by attended with the most beneficial effects. Dr. Samuel himself. See antè, p. 82. - CROKER. Madden was the first proposer of those premiums. They 6 They have been reprinted by Mr. Malone, in the Preface were instituted about the year 1734. He was also one of the to his edition of Shakspeare. - BOSWELL. founders of the Dublin Society for the Encouragement of 7 Langton, near Partney.- CROKER. Arts and Agriculture. In addition to the premiums which 8 Hawkins, who first told this fact on Johnson's own were and are still annually given by that society for this authority, does not mention this latter and lower motive for purpose, Dr. Madden gave others from his own fund. Hence Johnson's refusal. " It was," he says, " in a pleasant counbe was usually called " Premium Madden." - MALONE. try, and of such yearly value, as might have tempted one in

» Dr. Hugh Boulter, Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate better circumstances, but he had scruples about the duties of of Ireland. He died Sept. 27. 1742, at which time he was, the ministerial functions." "I have not," Johnson said, “ the for the thirteenth time, one of the Lords Justices of that requisites for the office, and I cannot in conscience shear the kingdom. Johnson speaks of him in bigh terms of commend- Bock which I am unable to feed." And Hawkins further ation, in his Life of Ambrose Philips. - BOSWELL.

informs us that about this period he was in circumstances • Dr. Madden wrote very bad verses. The few lines in more straitened than usual, and even his ordinary relaxation • Boulter's Monument' that rise above mediocrity, may be of his club failed him. “ About the year 1756, time had proattributed to Johnson. - CROKER.

duced a change in the situation of many of Johnson's friends, - Such casual emoluments as these," says Hawkins, who were used to meet him in Ivy-lane. Death had taken « Jobsson frequently derived from his profession of an from them M'Ghie ; Barker went' to settle as a practising author." About this time, as it is supposed, for sundry bene- physician at Trowbridge ; Dyer went abroad; Hawkesworth ficed clergymen that requested him, he composed pulpit dis- was busied in forming new connections; and I had lately courses, and for these, he mare no scruple of confessing, made one that removed from me all temptations to pass my he was paid ; his price, I am informed, was a moderate one, evenings from home. The consequence was, that our sym- a guinea ; and such was his notion of justice, that having posium at the King's Head broke up." – CROKER.

mutant mores.

Walker', of the Treasury, Dublin, I have Oxford. I have given him a letter to Dr. Huddesobtained a copy of the following letter from ford, and shall be glad if you will introduce him, Johnson to the venerable author of “Disserta- and shew him any thing in Oxford. tions on the History of Ireland.”

“ I am printing my new edition of Shakspeare.

“ I long to see you all, but cannot conveniently

come yet. You might write to me now and then, JOHNSON TO CHS. O'CONNOR, ESQ..

if you were good for any thing. But' honores "London, April 9. 1757.

Professors forget their friends. I “ SIR, — I have lately, by the favour of Mr. shall certainly complain to Miss Jones. 5 I am, Faulkner, seen your account of Ireland, and cannot your, &c.,

SAM. Johnson." forbear to solicit a prosecution of your design. Sir “ Please to make my compliments to Mr. Wise." William Temple complains that Ireland is less known than any other country, as to its ancient JOHNSON TO (THOMAS WARTON.]“ state. The natives have had little leisure, and

“ Oct. 27. 1757. little encouragement for inquiry; and strangers,

“ Dear Sir, — I have been thinking and talking not knowing the language, have had no ability. “ I have long wished that the Irish literature iuhabitant of Oxford. Many schemes might be

with Mr. Allen about some literary business for an were cultivated.: Ireland is known by tradition to have been once the seat of piety and learning; and plausibly proposed, but at present these may be

sufficient. 1. An Ecclesiastical History of Engsurely it would be very acceptable to all those who

land. are curious either in the original of nations, or the which must be compressed into a narrow compass.

In this there are a great many materials affinities of languages, to be further informed of This book must not exceed 4 vols. 8vo. 2. A Histhe revolution of a people so ancient, and once so

tory of the Reformation, (not of England only, but illustrious. " What relation there is between the Welsh and of Europe ;) this must not exceed the same bulk,

and very entertaining. Irish language, or between the language of Ireland and will be full of

3. The Life of Richard the First. 4. The Life of and that of Biscay, deserves inquiry. Of these

Edward the Confessor. provincial and unextended tongues, it seldom hap

“ All these are works for which the requisite pens that more than one are understood by any one man; and, therefore, it seldom happens that à fair materials may be found at Oxford, and any of them comparison can be made. I hope you will con

well executed would be well received. I impart tinue to cultivate this kind of learning, which has do not make use of yourself shall revert to me

these designs to you in confidence, that what you too long lain neglected, and which, if it be suffered to remain in oblivion for another century, may; writer are his property and his revenue, and there

uncommunicated to any other. The schemes of a perhaps, never

be retrieved. As I wish well to all fore they must not be made common. I am, Sir, useful undertakings, I would not forbear to let you

SAM. Johnson." know how much you deserve, in my opinion, from your most humble servant, all lovers of study, and how much pleasure your work has given to, Sir, your most obliged and JOHNSON TO BENNET LANGTON, most humble servant, Sam. Johnson."

Of Trinity College, Oxford.

" Jan. 28. 1758.7 JOHNSON TO THOMAS WARTON. « Dear Sir, · Though I might have expected to

"(London,) June 21. 1757. hear from you, upon your entrance into a new state “Dear Sir, - Dr. Marsili, of Padua, a learned of life at a new place, yet recollecting (not withgentleman, and good Latin poet, has a mind to see out some degree of shame) that I owe you a letter

See a

| Mr. Walker was a member of the Royal Irish Academy, and that they shall give yearly two liberal premiums for two author of the “Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards," an compositions, one in verse, and the other in prose, in the “ Historical Memoir on Italian Tragedy," &c. He died in Irish language." - BOSWELL. Since the above was written 1810. - CROKER.

(May, 1793), Mr. Flood's will has been set aside, after a trial ? Mr. Walker writes to me as follows:-" Perhaps it at bar, in the Court of Exchequer in Ireland. - MALONE would gratisy you to have some account of Mr. O'Connor. * Mr. Warton was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford He is an amiable, learned, venerable old gentleman, of an in the preceding year. - WARTON. independent fortune, who lives at Ballynegar, in the county 5 Miss Jones lived at Oxford, and was often of our parties. of Roscommon: he is an admired writer, and member of the She was a very ingenious poetess, and published a volume of Irish Academy. The above letter is alluded to in the preface poems; and, on the whole, was a most sensible, agreeable, to the second edition of his · Dissert.' p. 3." Mr. O'Connor and amiable woman. She was sister to the Rev. River afterwards died at the age of eighty-two, July 1. 1791.

Jones, Chanter of Christ Church Cathedral at Oxford, and well-drawn character of him in the “Gentleman's Maga- Johnson used to call her the Chantress. I have heard him zine" for August, 1791. - Boswell.

often address her in this passage from " Il Penseroso :" of this gentleman, who died at his seat at Ballynegar,

“Thee, Chantress, oft the woods among in the county of Roscommon, July, 1791, in his eighty-second

I woo," &c. year, some account may be found in the Gentleman's Magazine of that date. Or the " Dissertations on the History of She died unmarried. - WARTON. Ireland" a second and much improved edition was published 6 This letter was found by Mr. Peter Cunningham, in the in 1776. - MALONE. See another letter from him, post, papers of Allen, the printer, and was intended, no doubt, for May 19. 1777.-- CROKER.

'Thomas Warton, though, perhaps, from some change of 3'The celebrated orator, Mr. Flood, [who died, December, opinion, not forwarded to him. - CROKER. 1791) has shown himself to be of Dr. Johnson's opinion ; ; This letter is dated June 28. 1758, and so placed by Mr. having by his will bequeathed his estate, after the death of Boswell; but this must be a mistake; for it is evidently his wife, Lady Frances, to the University of Dublin ; “de- written on Mr. Langton's entrancc into college life ; now siring that immediately after the said estate shall come into Langton entered Trinity College, Oxford, 7th July, 1757, their possession, they shall appoint two professors, one for and no doubt began to reside in the following autumn, and the study of the native Erse or Irish Language, and the other we shall see in a subsequent letter dated June 1. 1758, that for the study of Irish antiquities and Irish history, and for Langton had been already some time the pupil of Warton. the study of any other European language illustrative of, or The true date, therefore, of this letter, was, probably, Janu. auxiliary to, the study of Irish antiquities or Irish history ; ary and not June.- CROKER.

66

[ocr errors]

upon an old account, I think it my part to write censure from the public, or with objections learned first. This, indeed, I do not only from complai- from those who had learned them from my own sance but from interest; for living on in the old preface. Yours is the only letter of good-will that way, I am very glad of a correspondent so capable I have received; though, indeed, I am promised as yourself to diversify the hours. You have, at something of that sort from Sweden. present, too many novelties about you to need any “How my new edition (of Shakspeare) will be help from me to drive along your time.

received I know not; the subscription has not been * I know not any thing more pleasant, or more very successful. I shall publish about March. instructive, than to compare experience with ex- If you can direct me how to send proposals, I pectation, or to register from time to time the should wish they were in such hands. difference between idea and reality. It is by this “I remember, Sir, in some of the first letters kind of observation that we grow daily less liable with which you favoured me, you mentioned your to be disappointed. You, who are very capable of lady. May I inquire after her? In return for the anticipating futurity, and raising phantoms before favours which you have shewn me, it is not much your own eyes, must often have imagined to your. to tell you, that I wish you and her all that can self an academical life, and have conceived what conduce to your happiness. I am, Sir, your most would be the manners, the views, and the conversa- obliged and most humble servant, tion of men devoted to letters; how they would

“ Sam. Johnson." choose their companions, how they would direct

In 1758 we find him, it should seem, in as their studies, and how they would regulate their lives. Let me know what you expected,

and what easy and pleasant a state of existence, as conyou have found. At least record it to yourself, stitutional unhappiness ever permitted him to before custom has reconciled you to the scenes

enjoy.' before you, and the disparity of your discoveries to your hopes has vanished from your mind. It is a

JOHNSON TO BURNEY, rule never to be forgotten, that whatever strikes

At Lynne, Norfolk. strongly, should be described while the first impression remains fresh upon the mind.

"London, March 1. 1758. “I love, dear Sir, to think on you, and there- Sır, – Your kindness is so great, and my claim fore should willingly write more to you, but that to any particular regard from you so little, that I the post will not now give me leave to do more am at a loss how to express my sense of your than send my compliments to Mr. Warton, and tell favours *; but I am, indeed, much pleased to be you that I am, dear Sir, most affectionately, your thus distinguished by you. very humble servant,

SAM. Johnson.” “ I am ashamed to tell you that my Shakspeare

will not be out so soon as I promised my subMr. Burney having enclosed to him an scribers; but I did not promise them more than I extract from the review of his Dictionary in promised myself. It will, however, be published the Bibliothèque des Savans (t. ïï. p. 482.] and before summer. a list of subscribers to his Shakspeare, which

" I have sent you a bundle of proposals, which, I Mr. Burney had procured in Norfolk, he wrote think, do not profess more than I have hitherto per

formed. the following answer:

I have printed many of the plays, and have hitherto left very few passages unexplained ; where I am quite at loss, I confess my ignorance,

which is seldom done by commentators. JOHNSON TO BURNEY,

“ I have likewise enclosed twelve receipts; not At Lynne, Norfolk.

that I mean to impose upon you the trouble of

pushing them with more importunity than may “Gough Square, Dec. 24. 1757. seem proper, but that you may rather have more “Sir, — That I may shew myself sensible of than fewer than you shall want. The proposals your favours, and not commit the same fault a you will disseminate as there shall be an opporsecond time, I make haste to answer the letter tunity. I once printed them at length in the which I received this morning. The truth is, the Chronicle, and some of my friends (I believe Mr. other likewise was received, and I wrote an an- Murphy, who formerly wrote the Gray's-Inn Jourswer; but being desirous to transmit you some nal) introduced them with a splendid encomium. proposals and receipts, I waited till I could find a “Since the Life of Brown, I have been a little convenient' conveyance, and day was passed after engaged, from time to time, in the Literary Magaday, till other things drove it from my thoughts ; zine, but not very lately. I have not the collecyet not so, but that I remember with great pleasure tion by me, and therefore cannot draw out a your commendation of my Dictionary. Your catalogue of my own parts, but will do it, and send praise was welcome, not only because I believe it it. Do not buy them, for I will gather all those was sincere, but because praise has been very that have anything of mine in them, and send them scaree. A man of your candour will be surprised to Mrs. Burney, as a small token of gratitude for when I tell you, that among all my acquaintance the regard which she is pleased to bestow upon me. there were only two, who upon the publication of my “ I am, Sir, your most obliged and most humble book did not endeavour to depress me with threats of servant,

Sam. JOHNSON."

i Here Mr. Boswell had inserted a letter to Mr. Langton, dated, by mistake, June 9. 1758, which, from its internal evilet elearly belongs to 1759, wher it will found. CROKER.

2 This letter was an answer to one, in which was enclosed a draft for the payment of some subscriptions to his Shakspeare.- BOSWELL.

Dr. Burney has kindly favoured me with the following memorandum, which I take the

CHAPTER XIII. liberty to insert in his own genuine easy style.

1758-1759. I love to exhibit sketches of my illustrious friend by various eminent hands.

The Idler." Letters to Warton and Langton. — “Soon after this, Mr. Burney, during a visit

Johnson's Mother. Letters to her, and to Miss

Porter. — Her Death. -" Rasselas." - Miscel to the capital, had an interview with him in

lanies. Gough Square, where he dined and drank tea

- Excursion to Oxford. Francis Barber.

Wilkes. Smollett. Mrs. Montagu. Mrs. with him, and was introduced to the acquaintance of Mrs. Williams. After dinner, Mr.

Ogle. Mylne the Architect. Johnson proposed to Mr. Burney to go up with On the fifteenth of April he began a new him into his garret, which being accepted, he periodical paper, entitled

« THE IDLER," there found about five or six Greek folios, a which came out every Saturday in a weekly deal writing-desk, and a chair and a half

. newspaper, called "The Universal Chronicle, Johnson, giving to his guest the entire seat, or Weekly Gazette," published by Newbery. tottered himself on one with only three legs These essays were continued till April 5. 1760. and one arm. Here he gave Mr. Burney Mrs. Of one hundred and three, their total number, Williams's history, and showed him some vo- twelve were contributed by his friends ; of lumes of Shakspeare already printed, to prove which, Nos. 33. 93. and 96. were written by that he was in earnest. Úpon Mr. Burney's Mr. Thomas Warton; No. 67. by Mr. Langton; opening the first volume, at the Merchant of and Nos. 76. 79. and 82. by Sir Joshua ReyVenice, he observed to him that he seemed to nolds; the concluding words of No. 82. be more severe on Warburton than Theobald. “and pollute his canvas with deformity," O poor Tib! (said Johnson) he was ready being added by Johnson, as Sir Joshua inknocked down to my hands ; Warburton stands formed me.” between me and him.'— But, Sir, (said Mr. The Idler is evidently the work of the same Burney) you'll have Warburton upon your mind which produced the Rambler, but has bones, won't you?' 'No, Sir; he'll not come less body and more spirit. It has more variety out; he'll only growl in his den.' —But you of real life, and greater facility of language. think, Sir, that Warburton is a superior critic He describes the miseries of idleness, with the to Theobald?'. -' 0, Sir, he'd make two- lively sensations of one who has felt them; and and-fifty Theobalds, cut into slices ! The in his private memorandums while engaged in worst of Warburton is, that he has a rage for it, we find,“ This year I hope to learn dilisaying something, when there's nothing to be gence.” [Pr. and Med., p. 30.] Many of said.' -- Mr. Burney then asked him whether these excellent essays were written as hastily he had seen the letter which Warburton had as an ordinary letter. Mr. Langton rememwritten in answer to a pamphlet, addressed bers Johnson, when on a visit to Oxford, ask

To the most impudent man alive.' He an- ing him one evening how long it was till the swered in the negative. Mr. Burney told post went out; and on being told about half him it was supposed to be written by Mallet. an hour, he exclaimed, " then we shall do very The controversy now raged between the well.” He upon this instantly sat down and friends of Pope and Bolingbroke; and War- finished an Idler, which it was necessary should burton and Mallet were the leaders of the be in London the next day. Mr. Langton several parties. Mr. Burney asked him then having signified a wish to read it, “Sir, (said if he had seen Warburton's book against he) you shall not do more than I have done Bolingbroke's Philosophy ? – “No, Sir; I myself.” He then folded it up and sent it off. have never read Bolingbroke's impiety, and Yet there are in the Idler several papers therefore am not interested about its con- which show as much profundity of thought, futation.'"

and labour of language, as any of this great man's writings. No. 14. “ Robbery of time; No. 24." Thinking;” No. 41. " Death of a friend ;" No. 43. “Flight of time; No. 51. “ Domestic greatness unattainable; " No. 52. “Self-denial ; " No. 58. “ Actual, how short of

99

I or this period of his life, Hawkins says, “ The profits ac- benevolence and other amiable qualities, used to say, that he cruing from the sale of this paper, and the subscriptions paid a morning visit to Johnson, intending from his chambers which, from the year 1756, he was receiving for the edition of

to send a letter into the city ; but, to his great surprise, he Shakspeare by him proposed, were the only known means of

found an author by profession without pen, ink, or paper. his subsistence for a period of near four years, and we may The present Bishop of Salisbury (Douglas) was also among suppose them hardly adequate to his wants, for, upon finding those who endeavoured, by constant attention, to soothe the the balance of the account for the Dictionary against him, he cares of a mind which he knew to be afflicted with gloomy quitted his house in Gough Square, and took chambers in apprehensions."-CROKER. Gray's Inn; and Mrs. Williams, upon this removal, fixed - This is a slight mistake. The first number of “ The hersell in lodgings at a boarding-school, in the neighbourhood Idler" appeared on the 15th of April, 1758, in No. 2. of the of their former dwelling." And Mr. Murphy tells us, that

Universal Chronicle, &c., which was published by J. Payne, " he retired to Gray's lon, and soon removed to chambers in for whom also the Rambler had been printed. On the 29th the Inner Temple Lane, where he lived in poverty, total idle- of April this newspaper assumed the title of “ Payne's Uniness, and the pride of literature. Mr. Fitzherbert (the father versal Chronicle," &c. - MALONE. of Lord St. Helen's), a man distinguished through life for his

fancied, excellence;" No. 89. “ Physical evil by laboured gesticulations, or believe any man the moral good; and his concluding paper on

more because he rolled his eyes, or puffed his * The horror of the last,” will prove this as

cheeks, or spread abroad his arms, or stamped the sertion. I know not why a motto, the usual ground, or thumped his breast; or turned his eyes trapping of periodical papers, is prefixed to sometimes to the ceiling, and sometimes to the very few of the Idlers, as I have heard John- floor.” son commend the custom : and he never could A casual coincidence with other writers, or be at a loss for one, his memory being stored an adoption of a sentiment or image which has with innumerable passages of the classics. In been found in the writings of another, and afthis series of essays he exhibits admirable in- terwards appears in the mind as one's own, is stances of grave humour, of which he had an not unfrequent. The richness of Johnson's uncommon share. Nor on some occasions has fancy, which could supply his page abundantly he repressed that power of sophistry which he on all occasions, and the strength of his mepossessed in so eminent a degree. In No. 11. mory, which at once detected the real owner he treats with the utmost contempt the opinion of any thought, made him less liable to the that our mental faculties depend, in some de- imputation of plagiarism than, perhaps, any of gree, upon the weather; an opinion, which our writers. In the Idler, however, there is a they who have never experienced its truth are paper, in which conversation is assimilated to not to be envied, and of which he himself could a bowl of punch, where there is the same train not but be sensible, as the effects of weather of comparison as in a poem by Blacklock, in upon him were very visible. Yet thus he de- his collection published in 1756; in which a claims :

parallel is ingeniously drawn between human “Surely, nothing is more reproachful to a being life and that liquor. 'It ends, – endowed with reason, than to resign its powers to Say, then, physicians of each kind, the influence of the air, and live in dependence on Who cure the body or the mind, the weather and the wind for the only blessings What harm in drinking can there be, which nature has put into our power, tranquillity Since punch and life so well agree?” and benevolence. This distinction of seasons is produced only by imagination operating on luxury.

To the Idler 3, when collected in volumes, To temperance, every day is bright; and every he added, beside the Essay on Epitaphs, and hour is propitious to diligence. He that shall re- the Dissertation on those of Pope, an Essay solutely excite his faculties, or exert his virtues, on the Bravery of the English common Solwill soon make himself superior to the seasons; diers. He, however, omitted one of the origiand may set at defiance the morning mist and the nal papers, which in the folio copy is No. 22. evening damp, the blasts of the east, and the clouds of the south."

JOHNSON TO THOMAS WARTON. Alas! it is too certain, that where the frame

“[London,) April 14. 1758. has delicate fibres, and there is a fine sensibi

“ Dear Sir, — Your notes upon my poet were lity, such influences of the air are irresistible. very acceptable. I beg that you will be so kind as He might as well have bid defiance to the

to continue your searches. It will be reputable to my ague, the palsy, and all other bodily disorders. work, and suitable to your professorship, to have Such boasting of the mind is false elevation.

something of yours in the notes. As you have

given no directions about your name, I shall there“ I think the Romans call it Stoicism.” fore put it. I wish your brother would take the But in this number of his Idler his spirits fortuitous discoveries of many men in devious walks

same trouble. A commentary must arise from the seem to run riot '; for in the wantonness of of literature. Some of your remarks are on plays his disquisition he forgets, for a moment, even already printed: but I purpose to add an Appendix the reverence for that which he held in high of Notes, so that nothing comes too late. respect; and describes “ the attendant on a “ You give yourself too much uneasiness, dear Court," as one “whose business is to watch Sir, about the loss of the papers. The loss is the looks of a being, weak and foolish as him- nothing, if nobody has found them; nor even then, self.” 2

perhaps, if the numbers be known. You are not His unqualified ridicule of rhetorical gesture the only friend that has had the same mischance. or action is not, surely, a test of truth; yet we

You may repair your want out of a stock, which is cannot help admiring how well it is adapted deposited with Mr. Allen, of Magdalen Hall; or to produce the effect which he wished :

out of a parcel which I have just sent to Mr.

Chambers, for the use of any body that will be so “ Neither the judges of our laws, nor the repre- kind as to want them. Mr. Langtons are well; sentatives of our people, would be much affected and Miss Roberts, whom I have at last brought to

1 This doctrine of the little influence of the weather, howerer, seems to have been bis fixed opinion : he often repeated it in conversation. See post, p. 146. CROKER.

2 Mr. Boswell seems resolved to forget that Johnson's reverence for the court has not yet commenced. George II. was still alive, whom Johnson always abused, and sometimes very indecently. intè, p. 42, and post, April 6. 1775. CROKER.

3 Prior (Life of Goldsmith, i. 349.) denies that this paper was added to the early editions of the Idler, and supposes it to have been Goldsmith's; but it is evidently Johnson's style. - CROKER, 1846.

* This paper may be found in Stockdale's supplemental volume of Johnson's Miscellaneous Pieces, - BOSWELL.

5 Receipts for Shakspeare. - WARTON.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »