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THE REVEREND BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.,
MASTER OF BALLIOL COLLEGE
REGIUS PROFESSOR OF GREEK IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
HONORARY LL.D. OF THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
HONORARY D.D. OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LEYDEN
WHO IS NOT ONLY
'AN ACUTE AND KNOWING CRITIC'
IN GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT
KINDLY INTEREST THAT HE HAS THROUGHOUT TAKEN
IN THE PROGRESS OF THIS WORK
BOSWELL'S LIFE OF JOHNSON
A. JOHNSON'S DEBATES IN PARLIAMENT
B. JOHNSON'S LETTERS TO HIS MOTHER AND Miss PORTER
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, &c.
1. SAMUEL JOHNSON, after the Picture by Sir Joshua Reynolds in the National Gallery
Frontispiece to Vol. I. 2. FACSIMILE OF JOHNSON'S HANDWRITING IN HIS 20TH YEAR
VOL. I, p. 60. 3. FACSIMILE OF A LETTER OF JOHNSON relating to Rasselas
Vol. I, p. 340. 4. SAMUEL JOHNSON, from the Portrait painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1756
VOL. I, p. 392. 5. SAMUEL JOHNSON, after the Bust by Nollekens Frontispiece to VOL. II. 6. FACSIMILE OF JOHNSON'S HANDWRITING IN HIS 54TH YEAR
VOL. II, to follow Frontispiece. 7. SAMUEL JOHNSON, after the Painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1770
Frontispiece to VOL. III. 8. FACSIMILE OF THE ROUND ROBIN ADDRESSED TO DR. JOHNSON
VOL. III, p. 82. 9. OPIE'S PORTRAIT OF JOHNSON, from the Engraving in the Common Room of University College
VOL. III, to face p. 245. *10. FACSIMILE OF DR. JOHNSON'S HANDWRITING A MONTH BEFORE HIS DEATH
VOL. IV, to face p. 377. 11. JAMES BOSWELL OF AUCHINLECK, Esq., from the painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds
Frontispiece to Vol. V. 12. FACSIMILE OF BOSWELL'S HANDWRITING, 1792, from a Letter in the Bodleian Library
Vol. V, to follow Frontispiece. 13. MAP OF JOHNSON AND BOSWELL'S TOUR THROUGH SCOTLAND AND THE HEBRIDES
Vol. V, to face p. 5. 14. CHART OF JOHNSON'S CONTEMPORARIES Frontispiece to Vol. VI.
FIELDING, it is said, drank confusion to the man who invented the fifth act of a play. He who has edited an extensive work, and has concluded his labours by the preparation of a copious index, might well be pardoned, if he omitted to include the inventor of the Preface among the benefactors of mankind. The long and arduous task that years before he had set himself to do is done, and the last thing that he desires is to talk about it. Liberty is what he asks for, liberty to range for a time wherever he pleases in the wide and fair fields of literature. Yet with this longing for freedom comes a touch of regret and a doubt lest the 'fresh woods and pastures new' may never wear the friendly and familiar face of the plot of ground within whose narrower confines he has so long been labouring, and whose every corner he knows so well. May-be he finds hope in the thought that should his new world seem strange to him and uncomfortable, ere long he may be called back to his old task, and in the preparation of a second edition find the quiet and the peace of mind that are often found alone in ‘old use and wont.'
With me the preparation of these volumes has, indeed, been the work of many years. Boswell's Life of Fohnson I read for the first time in my boyhood, when I was too young for it to lay any hold on me. When I entered Pembroke College, Oxford, though I loved to think that Johnson had been there before me, yet I cannot call to mind that I ever opened the pages of Boswell. By a happy chance I was turned to the study of the literature of the eighteenth century. Every week we were required by the rules of the College to turn into Latin, or what we called Latin, a passage from The Spectator. Many