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Aetat. 27.]

A scheme of study.


like Betty or Betsey, is provincially used as a contraction for Elisabeth, her christian name, but which to us seems ludicrous when applied to a woman of her age and appearance. Mr. Garrick described her to me as very fat, with a bosom of more than ordinary protuberance, with swelled cheeks of a florid red, produced by thick painting, and increased by the liberal use of cordials; flaring and fantastick in her dress, and affected both in her speech and her general behaviour. I have seen Garrick exhibit her, by his exquisite talent of mimickry, so as to excite the heartiest bursts of laughter; but he, probably, as is the case in all such representations, considerably aggravated the picture'.

That Johnson well knew the most proper course to be pursued in the instruction of youth, is authentically ascertained by the following paper' in his own hand-writing, given about this period to a relation, and now in the possession of Mr. John Nichols :


'WHEN the introduction, or formation of nouns and verbs, is perfectly mastered, let them learn

'Corderius by Mr. Clarke, beginning at the same time to translate out of the introduction, that by this means they may learn the syntax. Then let them proceed to

.Erasmus, with an English translation, by the same authour.

As Johnson kept Garrick much in awe when present, David, when his back was turned, repaid the restraint with ridicule of him and his dulcinea, which should be read with great abatement. PERCY. He was not consistent in his account, for he told Mrs. Thrale that she was a little painted puppet of no value at all.' . . . 'He made out,' Mrs. Piozzi continues, 'some comical scenes, by mimicking her in a dialogue he pretended to have overheard. I do not know whether he meant such stuff to be believed or no, it was so comical. The picture I found of her at Lichfield was very pretty, and her daughter said it was like. Mr. Johnson has told me that her hair was eminently beautiful, quite blonde like that of a baby.' Piozzi's Anec. p. 148.

" Mr. Croker points out that in this paper 'there are two separate schemes, the first for a school-the second for the individual studies of some young friend.'



A scheme of study.

[A.D. 1736.

'Class II. Learns Eutropius and Cornelius Nepos, or Justin, with the translation.

'N.B. The first class gets for their part every morning the rules which they have learned before, and in the afternoon learns the Latin rules of the nouns and verbs.

'They are examined in the rules which they have learned every Thursday and Saturday.

'The second class does the same whilst they are in Eutropius; afterwards their part is in the irregular nouns and verbs, and in the rules for making and scanning verses. They are examined as the first.

'Class III. Ovid's Metamorphoses in the morning, and Cæsar's Commentaries in the afternoon.

'Practise in the Latin rules till they are perfect in them; afterwards in Mr. Leeds's Greek Grammar. Examined as before.

'Afterwards they proceed to Virgil, beginning at the same time to write themes and verses, and to learn Greek; from thence passing on to Horace, &c. as shall seem most proper.

'I know not well what books to direct you to, because you have not informed me what study you will apply yourself to. I believe it will be most for your advantage to apply yourself wholly to the languages, till you go to the University. The Greek authours I think it best for you to read are these:

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"Thus you will be tolerably skilled in all the dialects, beginning with the Attick, to which the rest must be referred.

'In the study of Latin, it is proper not to read the latter authours, till you are well versed in those of the purest ages; as Terence, Tully, Cæsar, Sallust, Nepos, Velleius Paterculus, Virgil, Horace, Phædrus.

'The greatest and most necessary task still remains, to attain a habit of expression, without which knowledge is of little use. This is necessary in Latin, and more necessary in English; and can only be acquired by a daily imitation of the best and correctest authours.


Aetat. 27.] Johnson tries his fortune in London. 117

While Johnson kept his academy, there can be no doubt that he was insensibly furnishing his mind with various knowledge; but I have not discovered that he wrote any thing except a great part of his tragedy of Irene. Mr. Peter Garrick, the elder brother of David, told me that he remembered Johnson's borrowing the Turkish History' of him, in order to form his play from it. When he had finished some part of it, he read what he had done to Mr. Walmsley, who objected to his having already brought his heroine into great distress, and asked him, 'how can you possibly contrive to plunge her into deeper calamity?' Johnson, in sly allusion to the supposed oppressive proceedings of the court of which Mr. Walmsley was register, replied, 'Sir, I can put her into the Spiritual Court!'

Mr. Walmsley, however, was well pleased with this proof of Johnson's abilities as a dramatick writer, and advised him to finish the tragedy, and produce it on the stage.

Johnson now thought of trying his fortune in London, the great field of genius and exertion, where talents of every kind have the fullest scope, and the highest encouragement. It is a memorable circumstance that his pupil David Garrick went thither at the same time, with intention to complete his education, and follow the profession of the law, from which he was soon diverted by his decided preference for the stage.

'In the Rambler, No. 122, Johnson, after stating that 'it is observed that our nation has been hitherto remarkably barren of historical genius,' praises Knolles, who, he says, 'in his History of the Turks, has displayed all the excellencies that narration can admit.'


? Both of them used to talk pleasantly of this their first journey to London. Garrick, evidently meaning to embellish a little, said one day in my hearing, 'we rode and tied.' And the Bishop of Killaloe informed me, that at another time, when Johnson and Garrick were dining together in a pretty large company, Johnson humorously ascertaining the chronology of something, expressed himself thus: 'that was the year when I came to London with two-pence half-penny in my pocket.' Garrick overhearing him, exclaimed, 'eh? what do you say? with two-pence half-penny in your pocket?'-JOHNSON, 'Why yes; when I came with two-pence half-penny in my pocket, and thou, Davy, with three half-pence in thine.' BOSWELL.

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