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Prose Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.


Introduction to the London Chronicle, an Evening Paper which

still subsists with deserved credit. acknowl.

1757. Speech on the Subject of an Address to the Throne after the Expedition to Rochefort; delivered by one of his Friends in some publick Meeting: it is printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for October 1785. intern. evid.

The first two Paragraphs of the Preface to Sir William Chambers's
Designs of Chinese Buildings, &c. acknowl.

1758. THE IDLER, which began April 5, in this year, and was continued till April 5, 1760. acknowl.

An Essay on the Bravery of the English Common Soldiers was added to it when published in Volumes. acknowl.

1759. Rasselas Prince of Abyssinia, a Tale. acknowl.

Advertisement for the Proprietors of the Idler against certain Persons who pirated those Papers as they came out singly in a Newspaper called the Universal Chronicle or Weekly Gazette. intern, evid.

For Mrs. Charlotte Lennox's English Version of Brumoy,-'A Dissertation on the Greek Comedy,' and the General Conclusion of the Book. intern. evid.

Introduction to the World Displayed, a Collection of Voyages
and Travels. acknowl.

Three Letters in the Gazetteer, concerning the best plan for
Blackfriars Bridge. acknowl.

1760. Address of the Painters to George III. on his Accession to the Throne. intern. evid.

Dedication of Baretti's Italian and English Dictionary to the Marquis of Abreu, then Envoy-Extraordinary from Spain at the Court of Great-Britain. intern, evid.

Review in the Gentleman's Magazine of Mr. Tytler's acute and able Vindication of Mary Queen of Scots. acknowl.

Introduction to the Proceedings of the Committee for Cloathing the French Prisoners. acknowl.

1761. Preface to Rolt's Dictionary of Trade and Commerce. acknowl. Corrections and Improvements for Mr. Gwyn the Architect's Pamphlet, intitled 'Thoughts on the Coronation of George III.' acknowl.

1762. Dedication to the King of the Reverend Dr. Kennedy's Complete System of Astronomical Chronology, unfolding the Scriptures, Quarto Edition, acknowl.

Concluding Paragraph of that Work. intern. evid.

Preface to the Catalogue of the Artists' Exhibition. intern.


. 22

A Chronological Catalogue of the

1763. Character of Collins in the Poetical Calendar, published by Fawkes and Woty. acknowl.

Dedication to the Earl of Shaftesbury of the Edition of Roger
Ascham's English Works, published by the Reverend Mr.
Bennet. acknowl.

The Life of Ascham, also prefixed to that edition. acknowl
Review of Telemachus, a Masque, by the Reverend George
Graham of Eton College, in the Critical Review. acknowl.
Dedication to the Queen of Mr. Hoole's Translation of Tasso.

Account of the Detection of the Imposture of the Cock-Lane
Ghost, published in the Newspapers and Gentleman's Magazine.

1764. Part of a Review of Grainger's 'Sugar Cane, a Poem,' in the London Chronicle, acknowl.

Review of Goldsmith's Traveller, a Poem, in the Critical Review. acknowl.

1765. The Plays of William Shakspeare, in eight volumes, 8vo. with Notes. acknowl.

1766. The Fountains, a Fairy Tale, in Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies.


1767. Dedication to the King of Mr. Adams's Treatise on the Globes.


1769. Character of the Reverend Mr. Zachariah Mudge, in the London Chronicle. acknowl.

1770. The False Alarm. acknowl.

1771. Thoughts on the late Transactions respecting Falkland's Islands. acknowl.

1772. Defence of a Schoolmaster; dictated to me for the House of Lords. acknowl.

Argument in Support of the Law of Vicious Intromission; dictated to me for the Court of Session in Scotland. acknowl. 1773. Preface to Macbean's 'Dictionary of Ancient Geography.' acknowl.

Argument in Favour of the Rights of Lay Patrons; dictated to me for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. acknowl.

1774. The Patriot. acknowl.

1775. A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. acknowl.

Proposals for publishing the Works of Mrs. Charlotte Lennox, in
Three Volumes Quarto. acknowl.

Preface to Baretti's Easy Lessons in Italian and English. intern.



Prose Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.


Taxation no Tyranny; an Answer to the Resolutions and Address
of the American Congress. acknowl.

Argument on the Case of Dr. Memis; dictated to me for the
Court of Session in Scotland. acknowl.

Argument to prove that the Corporation of Stirling was corrupt;
dictated to me for the House of Lords. acknowl.

1776. Argument in Support of the Right of immediate, and personal reprehension from the Pulpit; dictated to me. acknowl.

Proposals for publishing an Analysis of the Scotch Celtick
Language, by the Reverend William Shaw. acknowl.

1777. Dedication to the King of the Posthumous Works of Dr. Pearce, Bishop of Rochester. acknowl.

Additions to the Life and Character of that Prelate; prefixed to those Works. acknowl.

Various Papers and Letters in Favour of the Reverend Dr. Dodd. acknowl.

1780. Advertisement for his Friend Mr. Thrale to the Worthy Electors of the Borough of Southwark. acknowl.

The first Paragraph of Mr. Thomas Davies's Life of Garrick, acknowl.

1781. Prefaces Biographical and Critical to the Works of the most eminent English Poets; afterwards published with the Title of Lives of the English Poets'. acknowl.

Argument on the Importance of the Registration of Deeds; dictated to me for an Election Committee of the House of Commons. acknowl.

On the Distinction between TORY and WHIG; dictated to me. acknowl.

On Vicarious Punishments, and the great Propitiation for the Sins of the World, by JESUS CHRIST; dictated to me. acknowl.

Argument in favour of Joseph Knight, an African Negro, who claimed his Liberty in the Court of Session in Scotland, and obtained it; dictated to me. acknowl.

Defence of Mr. Robertson, Printer of the Caledonian Mercury, against the Society of Procurators in Edinburgh, for having inserted in his Paper a ludicrous Paragraph against them; demonstrating that it was not an injurious Libel; dictated to me. acknowl.

1782. The greatest part, if not the whole, of a Reply, by the Reverend

The first four volumes of the Lives were published in 1779, the last six in 1781.


24 A Chronological Catalogue of the Prose Works, &c.

Mr. Shaw, to a Person at Edinburgh, of the Name of Clark, refuting his arguments for the authenticity of the Poems published by Mr. James Macpherson as Translations from Ossian. intern, evid.

1784. List of the Authours of the Universal History, deposited in the British Museum, and printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for December, this year. acknowl.

Various Years.

Letters to Mrs. Thrale. acknowl.

Prayers and Meditations, which he delivered to the Rev. Mr.
Strahan, enjoining him to publish them. acknowl.

Sermons left for Publication by John Taylor, LL.D. Prebendary
of Westminster, and given to the World by the Reverend
Samuel Hayes, A.M. intern. evid.

Such was the number and variety of the Prose Works of this extraordinary man, which I have been able to discover, and am at liberty to mention; but we ought to keep in mind, that there must undoubtedly have been many more which are yet concealed; and we may add to the account, the numerous Letters which he wrote, of which a considerable part are yet unpublished. It is hoped that those persons in whose possession they are, will favour the world with them.


'After my death I wish no other herald,
'No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
'But such an honest chronicler as Griffith'.'

SHAKSPEARE, Henry VIII. [Act IV. Sc. 2.]

* See Dr. Johnson's letter to Mrs. Thrale, dated Ostick in Skie, September 30, 1773-Boswell writes a regular Journal of our travels, which I think contains as much of what I

say and do, as of all other occurrences together; "for such a faithful chronicler is Griffith." Boswell. See Piozzi Letters, i. 159, where however we read 'as Griffith.'




O write the Life of him who excelled all mankind in writing the lives of others, and who, whether we consider his extraordinary endowments, or his various works, has been equalled by few in any age, is an arduous, and may be reckoned in me a presumptuous task.

Had Dr. Johnson written his own life, in conformity with the opinion which he has given1, that every man's life may be best written by himself; had he employed in the preservation of his own history, that clearness of narration and elegance of language in which he has embalmed so many eminent persons, the world would probably have had the most perfect example of biography that was ever exhibited. But although he at different times, in a desultory manner, committed to writing many particulars of the progress of his mind and fortunes, he never had persevering diligence enough to form them into a regular composition. Of these memorials a few have been preserved; but the greater part was consigned by him to the flames, a few days before his death.

As I had the honour and happiness of enjoying his friendship for upwards of twenty years; as I had the scheme of writing his life constantly in view; as he was well apprised of this circum

Idler, No. 84. BOSWELL.-In this paper he says: 'Those relations are commonly of most value in which the writer tells his own story. He that recounts the life of another... lessens the familiarity of his tale to increase its dignity... and endeavours to hide the man that he may produce a hero.' * It very seldom happens to man that his business is his pleasure. What is done from necessity is so often to

be done when against the present inclination, and so often fills the mind with anxiety, that an habitual dislike steals upon us, and we shrink involuntarily from the remembrance of our task. . . . From this unwillingness to perform more than is required of that which is commonly performed with reluctance it proceeds that few authors write their own lives.' Idler, No. 102. See also post, May 1, 1783. stance

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