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The affinities of language.
curious either in the original of nations, or the affinities of languages, to be further informed of the revolution of a people so ancient, and once so illustrious.
“What relation there is between the Welch and Irish language, or between the language of Ireland and that of Biscay, deserves enquiry. Of these provincial and unextended tongues, it seldom happens that more than one are understood by any one man; and, therefore, it seldom happens that a fair comparison can be made. I hope you will continue to cultivate this kind of learning, which has too long lain neglected, and which, if it be suffered to remain in oblivion for another century, may, perhaps, never be retrieved. As I wish well to all useful undertakings, I would not forbear to let you know how much you deserve in my opinion, from all lovers of study, and how much pleasure your work has given to, Sir,
*Your most obliged,
"Sam. Johnson.' * London, April 9, 1757.'
"TO THE REVEREND MR. THOMAS WARTON. DEAR SIR,
Dr. Marsili' of Padua, a learned gentleman, and good Latin poet, has a mind to see Oxford. I have given him a letter to Dr. Huddesford?, and shall be glad if you will introduce him, and shew him any thing in Oxford.
'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, if you were good for any thing. But honores mutant mores. Professors forget their friends?. I shall certainly complain to Miss Jones". I am,
‘SAM. JOHNSON.' *[London,] June 21, 1757.' Please to make my compliments to Mr. Wise.'
tured to say that the first professors an Italian physician, whose seizure of Oxford, Paris, &c., were Irish. was more violent than Mr. Thrale's, “ Sir," says Johnson, “I believe for he fell down helpless, but his there is something in what you say, case was not considered as of much and I am content with it, since they danger, and he went safe home, and are not Scotch."
is now a professor at Padua' Pioszi * On Mr. Thrale's attack of apoplexy Letters, ii. 48. in 1779, Johnson wrote to Mrs. ? 'Now, or late, Vice-Chancellor.' Thrale : I remember Dr. Marsigli, WARTON. BOSWELL He was
Subscribers to Johnson's SHAKSPEARE.
Mr. Burney having enclosed to him an extract from the review of his Dictionary in the Bibliothèque des Savans', and a list of subscribers. to his Shakspeare, which Mr. Burney had procured in Norfolk, he wrote the following answer:
"To MR. BURNEY, IN LYNNE, NORFOLK.
"That I may shew myself sensible of your favours, and not commit the same fault a second time, I make haste to answer the letter which I received this morning. The truth is, the other likewise was received, and I wrote an answer; but being desirous to transmit you some proposals and receipts, I waited till I could find a convenient conveyance, and day was passed after day, till other things drove it from my thoughts; yet not so, but that I remember with great pleasure your commendation of my Dictionary. Your praise was welcome, not only because I believe it was sincere, but because praise has been very scarce. A man of your candour will be surprised when I tell you, that among all my acquaintance there were only two, who upon the publication of my · book did not endeavour to depress me with threats of censure from the publick, or with objections learned from those who had learned them from my own Preface. Your's is the only letter of goodwill that I have received; though, indeed, I am promised something of that sort from Sweden.
“How my new edition’ will be received I know not; the subscription has not been very successful. I shall publish about March.
* If you can direct me how to send proposals, I should wish that they were in such hands.
'I remember, Sir, in some of the first letters with which you favoured me, you mentioned your lady. May I enquire after her? In return for the favours which you have shewn me, it is not much
Vice-Chancellor when Johnson's and amiable woman. She was a sister degree was conferred (ante, p. 282), to the Reverend River Jones, Chanter but his term of office had now come of Christ Church Cathedral at Oxford, to an end.
and Johnson used to call her the 3 • Mr. Warton was elected Pro Chantress. I have heard him often fessor of Poetry at Oxford in the address her in this passage from Il preceding year. WARTON.-Bos Penseroso : WELL.
“Thee, Chantress, oft the woods • Miss Jones lived at Oxford, and
among was often of our parties. She was a
I woo,” etc. very ingenious poetess, and published She died unmarried.' WARTON. a volume of poems; and, on the Tom. iii. p. 482. BOSWELL. whole, was a most sensible, agreeable, Of Shakspeare.
Brothers and sisters.
to tell you, that I wish you and her all that can conduce to your happiness. I am, Sir,
* Your most obliged,
'SAM. JOHNSON. ‘Gough-square, Dec. 24, 1757.'
In 1758 we find him, it should seem, in as easy and pleasant a state of existence, as constitutional unhappiness ever permitted him to enjoy.
"To BENNET LANGTON, Esq., AT LANGTON, LINCOLNSHIRE'. DEAREST SIR,
'I must indeed have slept very fast, not to have been awakened by your letter.
None of your suspicions are true; I am not much richer than when you left me; and, what is worse, my omission of an answer to your first letter, will prove that I am not much wiser. But I go on as I formerly did, designing to be some time or other both rich. and wise; and yet cultivate neither mind nor fortune. Do you take notice of my example, and learn the danger of delay. When I was as you are now, towering in the confidence of twenty-one, little did I suspect that I should be at forty-nine, what I now am.
‘But you do not seem to need my admonition. You are busy in acquiring and in communicating knowledge, and while you are studying, enjoy the end of study, by making others wiser and happier. I was much pleased with the tale that you told me of being tutour to your sisters. I, who have no sisters nor brothers, look with some degree of innocent envy on those who may be said to be born to friends; and cannot see, without wonder, how rarely that native union is afterwards regarded. It sometimes, indeed, happens, that some supervenienț cause of discord may overpower this original amity; but it seems to me more frequently thrown away with levity, or lost by negligence, than destroyed by injury or violence. We tell the ladies that good wives make good husbands; I believe it is a more certain position that good brothers make good sisters.
'I am satisfied with your stay at home, as Juvenal with his friend's
* This letter is misdated. It was written in Jan. 1759, and not in 1758. Johnson says that he is forty-nine. In Jan. 1758 he was forty-eight. He mentions the performance of Cleone,
which was at the end of 1758; and he says that Murphy is to have his Orphan of China acted next month. It was acted in the spring
retirement to Cumæ : I know that your absence is best, though it be not best for me.
'Quamvis digressu veteris confusus amici,
Destinet, atque unum civem donare Sibylla".' 'Langton is a good Cumæ, but who must be Sibylla ? Mrs. Langton is as wise as Sibyl, and as good; and will live, if my wishes can prolong life, till she shall in time be as old. But she differs in this, that she has not scattered her precepts in the wind, at least not those which she bestowed upon you.
'The two Wartons just looked into the town, and were taken to see Cleone, where, David” says, they were starved for want of company to keep them warm. David and Doddy3 have had a new quarrel, and, I
Juvenal, Sat. iii. 1.
asked him at the same time to let 'Though grief and fondness in my him know how he could support his breast rebel,
interest without absolutely giving up When injured Thales bids the
To this Dodsley returned town farewell,
a cold reply. Garrick wrote back as Yet still my calmer thoughts his follows :choice commend,
‘Master Robert Dodsley, I praise the hermit, but regret the When I first read your peevish friend;
answer to my well-meant proposal to Resolved at length from vice and you, I was much disturbed at it-but London far
when I considered, that some minds To breathe in distant fields a purer cannot bear the smallest portion of air,
success, I most sincerely pitied you ; And fixed on Cambria's solitary and when I found in the same letter, shore
that you were graciously pleased to Give to St. David one true Briton dismiss me from your acquaintance, more.'
I could not but confess so apparent Johnson's London, 1. 1. an obligation, and am with due ac* Mr. Garrick. BOSWELL.
knowledgements, * Mr. Dodsley, the Authour of Master Robert Dodsley, Cleone. BOSWELL. Garrick, accord
Your most obliged ing to Davies, had rejected Dodsley's
David Garrick.' Cleone, 'and had termed it a cruel, Garrick Corres., i. 80 (where the bloody, and unnatural play.' Davies's letters that passed are wrongly dated Garrick, i. 223.
Johnson himself 1757). Mrs. Bellamy in her Life (iii. said of it :-I am afraid there is 109) says that on the evening of the more blood than brains.' Post, performance she was provoked by 1780, in Mr. Langton's Collection. something that Dodsley said, 'which,' The night it was brought out at she continues, 'made me answer that Covent Garden, Garrick appeared good man with a petulance which for the first time as Marplot in the afterwards gave me uneasiness. I Busy Body at Drury Lane. The told him that I had a reputation to next morning he wrote to congratu lose as an actress; but, as for his late Dodsley on bis success, and piece, Mr. Garrick had anticipated
Reynolds's prices for portraits.
think, cannot conveniently quarrel any more. Cleone was well acted by all the characters, but Bellamy left nothing to be desired. I went the first night, and supported it, as well as I might; for Doddy, you know, is my patron?, and I would not desert him. The play was very well received. Doddy, after the danger was over, went every night to the stage-side, and cried at the distress of
Cleone 3. 'I have left off housekeeping, and therefore made presents of the game which you were pleased to send me. The pheasant I gave to Mr. Richardson', the bustard to Dr. Lawrence, and the pot I placed with Miss Williams, to be eaten by myself. She desires that her compliments and good wishes may be accepted by the family; and I make the same request for myself.
Mr. Reynolds has within these few days raised his price to twenty guineas a head, and Miss is much employed in miniatures? I know the damnation of it publicly, the London and his Vanity of Human preceding evening, at the Bedford Wishes (ante, pp. 124, 193), and had Coffee-house, where he had declared had a large share in the Dictionary, that it could not pass muster, as it (ante, p. 183). was the very worst piece ever ex 3 It is to this that Churchill refers hibited.' Shenstone (Works, iii. 288) in the following lines :writing five weeks after the play was 'Let them (the Muses) with Glover brought out, says :— Dodsley is now o'er Medea doze; going to print his fourth edition. He Let them with Dodsley wail Clesold 2000 of his first edition the very
one's woes, first day he published it. The price Whilst he, fine feeling creature, all was eighteen-pence.
in tears, Mrs. Bellamy (Life, iii. 108) says
Melts as they melt, and weeps with that Johnson was present at the last weeping Peers. rehearsal. "When I came to repeat, The Journey. Poems, ii. 328. “Thou shalt not murder," Dr. John · See post, p. 350, note. son caught me by the arm, and that s Mr. Samuel Richardson, authour somewhat too briskly, saying, at the of Clarissa. BOSWELL. same time, “ It is a cominandment, 6 In 1753 when in Devonshire he and must be spoken, Thou shalt charged five guineas a head (Tay: not murder.” As I had not then the lor's Reynolds, i. 89); shortly after honour of knowing personally that wards, when he removed to London, great genius, I was not a little dis twelve guineas (ib. p. 101); in 1764, pleased at his inforcing his instruc thirty guineas; for a whole length tions with so much vehemence.' The 150 guineas (ib. p. 224). Northcote next night she heard, she says, writes that he sometimes has amidst the general applause, the lamented the being interrupted in same voice which had instructed me his work by idle visitors, saying, in the commandment, exclaim aloud "those persons do not consider that from the pit, “I will write a copy of my time is worth to me five guineas verses upon her myself.” I knew an hour."' Northcote's Reynolds, i. that my success was insured.' See
83. Asst, May 11, 1783.
? Miss Reynolds at first amused : Dodsley had published his herself by painting miniature por.