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Last summer Messrs. Sotheby and Wilkinson sold some very interesting autograph letters written by Johnson to William Strahan, the printer.

I was fortunate enough to find that the purchasers, with but one exception, were mindful of what Boswell so well describes as *the general courtesy of literature',' and were ready to place their treasures at my service. To one of them, Mr. Frederick Barker, of 43, Rowan Road, Brook Green, I am still more indebted, for he entrusted me not only with the original letters which he had just bought, but also with some others that he had previously possessed. His Johnsonian collection is one of unusual interest. I have moreover to acknowledge my obligations to Mr. Fawcett, of 14, King Street, Covent Garden; to Messrs. J. Pearson and Co., of 46, Pall Mall; to Messrs. Robson and Kerslake, of Coventry Street, Haymarket; to Mr. Frank T. Sabin, of 10 and 12, Garrick Street, Covent Garden; and to Mr. John Waller, of 2, Artesian Road, Westbourne Grove. Those of the letters which are undated, I have endeavoured to assign to their proper places by internal evidence. The absence of a date is in itself very strong evidence that they belong to a comparatively early period (see ante, i. 141, n. 2).

I. A letter about a projected Geographical Dictionary by Mr. Bathurst,

with Bathurst's Proposal; dated March 22, probably written in 1753?.


*I have inclosed the Scheme which I mentioned yesterday in which the work proposed is sufficiently explained.

* Ante, iv. 285.

In the possession of Mr. Frederick Barker, of 43, Rowan Road, Brook Green.

• The


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