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'Mr. Seward, a great favourite at Streatham, has been, I think, enkindled by our travels, with a curiosity to see the Highlands. I have given him letters to you and Beattie. He desires that a lodging may be taken for him at Edınburgh, against his arrival. He is just setting out.
'Langton has been exercising the militia. Mrs. Williams is, I fear, declining. Dr. Lawrence says he can do no more. She is gone to summer in the country, with as many conveniences about her as she can expect; but I have no great hope. We must all die: may we all be prepared!
'I suppose Miss Boswell reads her book, and young Alexander takes to his learning. Let me hear about them; for everything that belongs to you, belongs in a more remote degree, and not, I hope, very remote, to, dear sir, yours affectionately, SAM. JOHNSON.
June 28, 1777.
TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
'DEAR SIR, -This gentleman is a great favourite at Streatham, and therefore you will easily believe that he has very valuable qualities. Our narrative has kindled him with a desire of visiting the Highlands after having already seen a great part of Europe. You must receive him as a friend, and when you have directed him to the curiosities of Edinburgh, give him instructions and recommendations for the rest of his journey.-I am, dear sir, your most humble servant,
'June 24, 1777.'
Johnson's benevolence to the unfortunate was, I am confident, as steady and active as that of any of those who have been most eminently distinguished for that virtue. Innumerable proofs of it I have no doubt will
1 William Seward, Esq., F.R.S., editor of Anecdotes of some Distin guished Persons, etc., in four volumes, 8vo, well known to a numerous and valuable acquaintance for his literature, love of the fine arts, and social virtues. I am indebted to him for several communications concerning Johnson.
[This gentleman, who was born in 1747, and was educated at the Charter-House, and at Oxford, died in London, April 24, 1799.-M.]
be for ever concealed from mortal eyes. however, form some judgment of it from the many and very various instances which have been discovered. One, which happened in the course of this summer, is remarkable from the name and connection of the person who was the object of it. The circumstance to which I allude is ascertained by two letters, one to Mr. Langton, and another to the Reverend Dr. Vyse, rector of Lambeth, son of the respectable clergyman at Lichfield, who was contemporary with Johnson, and in whose father's family Johnson had the happiness of being kindly received in his early years.
DR. JOHNSON TO BENNET LANGTON, ESQ.
'DEAR SIR,-I have lately been much disordered by a difficulty of breathing, but am now better. I hope your house is well.
'You know we have been talking lately of St. Cross, at Winchester; I have an old acquaintance whose distress makes him very desirous of an hospital, and I am afraid I have not strength enough to get him into the Chartreux. He is a painter, who never rose higher than to get his immediate living, and from that, at eighty-three, he is disabled by a slight stroke of the palsy, such as does not make him at all helpless on common occasions, though his hand is not steady enough for his art.
'My request is, that you will try to obtain a promise of the next vacancy, from the Bishop of Chester. It is not a great thing to ask, and I hope we shall obtain it. Dr. Warton has promised to favour him with his notice, and I hope he may end his days in peace.-I am, sir, your most humble servant, 'SAM. JOHNSON.
'June 29, 1777.'
TO THE REV. DR. VYSE, A1 LAMBETH
'SIR,-I doubt not but you will readily forgive me for taking the liberty of requesting your assistance in recommend
ing an old friend to his Grace the Archbishop as governor of the Charter House.
'His name is De Groot; he was born at Gloucester; I have known him many years. He has all the common claims to charity, being old, poor, and infirm in a great degree. He has likewise another claim, to which no scholar can refuse attention: he is by several descents the nephew of Hugo Grotius; of him from whom perhaps every man of learning has learnt something. Let it not be said that in any lettered country a nephew of Grotius asked a charity and was refused.—I am, reverend sir, your most humble servant, SAM. JOHNSON.
'July 9, 1777.'
[TO THE REV. DR. VYSE, AT LAMBETH
'If any notice should be taken of the recommendation which I took the liberty of sending you, it will be necessary to know that Mr. De Groot is to be found at No. 8, in Pye Street, Westminster. This information, when I wrote, I could not give you; and being going soon to Lichfield, think it necessary to be left behind me.
'More I will not say. You will want no persuasion to succour the nephew of Grotius.—I am, sir, your most humble servant, SAM. JOHNSON.
'July 22, 1777.']
THE REV. DR. VYSE TO MR. BOSWELL
'Lambeth, June 9, 1787.
'SIR,-I have searched in vain for the letter which I spoke of, and which I wished, at your desire, to communicate to you. It was from Dr. Johnson, to return me thanks for my application to Archbishop Cornwallis in favour of poor De Groot. He rejoices at the success it met with, and is lavish in the praise he bestows upon his favourite Hugo Grotius. I am really sorry that I cannot find this letter, as it is worthy of the writer. That which I send you enclosed is at your service. It is very short, and will not perhaps be thought of any consequence, unless you should judge proper to consider
1 The preceding letter.