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A CHRONOLOGICAL CATALOGUE OF THE
The first two Paragraphs of the Preface to Sir William Chambers's
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
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. evid. 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
The Life of Ascham, also prefixed to that edition. acknowl.
Account of the Detection of the Imposture of the Cock-Lane Ghost, published in the Newspapers and Gentleman's Magazine. acknowl.
1764. Part of a Review of Grainger's 'Sugar Cane, a Poem,' in the London Chronicle. acknowl.
PROSE WORKS OF SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D. 15
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. acknoul.
1767. Dedication to the King of Mr. Adams's Treatise on the Globes. acknowl.
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.
1772. Defence of a Schoolmaster; dictated to me for the House of
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. evid.
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.
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,
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.
A CHRONOLOGICAL CATALOGUE, ETC.
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 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.
Letters to Mrs. Thrale. acknowl.
Prayers and Meditations, which he delivered to the Rev. Mr.
Sermons left for Publication by John Taylor, LL.D. Prebendary
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,
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.”
THE LIFE OF
SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
To 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 given 1, 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 circumstance, and from time to time obligingly satisfied my inquiries, by communicating to me the incidents of his early years; as I acquired a facility in recollecting, and was very assiduous in recording, his conversation, of which the extraordinary vigour and vivacity constituted one of the first features of his character; and as I have spared no pains in obtaining materials concerning him, from every quarter where I could discover that they were to be found, and have been favoured with the most liberal communications by his friends; I flatter myself that few biographers 1 Idler, No. 84.
THE AUTHOR'S QUALIFICATIONS
have entered upon such a work as this, with more advantages; independent of literary abilities, in which I am not vain enough to compare myself with some great names who have gone before me in this kind of writing.
Since my work was announced, several Lives and Memoirs of Dr. Johnson have been published, the most voluminous of which is one compiled for the booksellers of London, by Sir John Hawkins, Knight 1, a man, whom, during my long intimacy with Dr. Johnson, I never saw in his company, I think but once, and I am sure not above twice. Johnson might have esteemed him for his decent, religious demeanour, and his knowledge of books and literary history; but from the rigid formality of his manners, it is evident that they never could have lived together with companionable ease and familiarity; nor had Sir John Hawkins that nice perception which was necessary to mark the finer and less obvious parts of Johnson's character. His being appointed one of his executors, gave him an opportunity of taking possession of such fragments of a diary and other papers as were left; of which, before delivering them up to the residuary legatee, whose property they were, he endeavoured to extract the substance. In this he has not been very successful, as I have found upon a perusal of those papers, which have been since transferred to me. Sir John Hawkins's ponderous labours, I must acknowledge, exhibit a farrago, of which a considerable portion is not devoid of entertainment to the lovers of literary gossiping; but besides its being swelled out with long unnecessary extracts from various works (even one of several leaves from
1 The greatest part of this book was written while Sir John Hawkins was alive; and I avow, that one object of my strictures was to make him feel some compunction for his illiberal treatment of Dr. Johnson. Since his decease, I have suppressed several of my remarks upon his work. But though I would not war with the dead' offensively, I think it necessary to be strenuous in defence of my illustrious friend, which I cannot be without strong animadversions upon a writer who has greatly injured him. Let me add, that though I doubt I should not have been very prompt to gratify Sir John Hawkins with any compliment in his life-time, I do now frankly acknowledge, that, in my opinion, his volume, however inadequate and improper as a life of Dr. Johnson, and however discredited by unpardonable inaccuracies in other respects, contains a collection of curious anecdotes and observations, which few men but its author could have brought together.