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ANIMATED by the very favourable reception which two large impressions of this work have had', it has been my study to make it as perfect as I could in this edition, by correcting some inaccuracies which I discovered myself, and some which the kindness of friends or the scrutiny of adversaries pointed out. A few notes are added, of which the principal object is, to refute misrepresentation and calumny.
To the animadversions in the periodical Journals of criticism, and in the numerous publications to which my book has given rise, I have made no answer. Every work must stand or fall by its own merit. I cannot, however, omit this opportunity of returning thanks to a gentleman who published a Defence of my Journal, and has added to the favour by communicating his name to me in a very obliging letter.
It would be an idle waste of time to take any particular notice of the futile remarks, to many of which, a petty national resentment, unworthy of my countrymen, has probably
1 Boswell in the 'Advertisement' to the second edition, dated Dec. 20, 1785, says that 'the whole of the first impression has been sold in a few weeks.' Three editions were published within a year, but the fourth was not issued till 1807. A German translation was published in Lübeck in 1787. I believe that in no language has a translation been published of the Life of Johnson. Johnson was indeed, as Boswell often calls him, 'a trueborn Englishman'—so English that foreigners could neither understand him nor relish his Life.
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given rise; remarks which have been industriously circulated in the publick prints by shallow or envious cavillers, who have endeavoured to persuade the world that Dr. Johnson's character has been lessened by recording such various instances of his lively wit and acute judgment, on every topick that was presented to his mind. In the opinion of every person of taste and knowledge that I have conversed with, it has been greatly heightened; and I will venture to predict, that this specimen of the colloquial talents and extemporaneous effusions of my illustrious fellow-traveller will become still more valuable, when, by the lapse of time, he shall have become an ancient; when all those who can now bear testimony to the transcendent powers of his mind, shall have passed away; and no other memorial of this great and good man shall remain but the following Journal, the other anecdotes and letters preserved by his friends, and those incomparable works, which have for many years been in the highest estimation, and will be read and admired as long as the English language shall be spoken or understood.
LONDON, 15th Aug. 1786.
INTRODUCTION. Character of Dr. Johnson. He arrives in Scot
August 15. Sir William Forbes. Practice of the law. Emigration. Dr. Beattie and Mr. Hume. Dr. Robertson. Mr. Burke's various and extraordinary talents. Question concerning genius. Whitfield and Wesley. Instructions to political parties. Dr. Johnson's opinion of Garrick as a trage. dian.
August 16. Ogden on Prayer. Aphoristick writing. Edinburgh surveyed. Character of Swift's works. Evil spirits and witchcraft. Lord Monboddo and the Ouran-Outang.
August 17. Poetry and Dictionary writing. Scepticism. Eternal
character. Trade of Glasgow.
Sketch of the authour's Suicide. Inchkeith. Par
liamentary knowledge. Influence of Peers. Popular clam
Arrive at St. Andrews.
The Union. Retirement Question con
August 19. Dr. Watson. Dr. Watson. Literature and patronage. conversation compared. Change of manners. Value of money. St. Andrews and John Knox. from the world. Dinner with the Professors. cerning sorrow and content. Instructions for composition. Dr. Johnson's method. Uncertainty of memory.
August 21. Want of trees.
Laurence Kirk. Dinner at Monbod
do. Emigration. Homer. Biography and history compared.
cation. Sir Alexander Gordon. Trade of Aberdeen. Pre-
at Sir Alexander Gordon's. Warburton's powers of invective.
August 24. Goldsmith and Graham. Slains castle. Education
August 25. The advantage of being on good terms with relations.
Paul Whitehead. Derrick. Origin of
August 28. Fort George. Sir Adolphus Oughton. Contest be-
being left for a little while by the authour on a wild plain.
Dr. Johnson's Latin ode on the Isle of Sky.
Isaac Hawkins Browne.
September 6. Corrichatachin.
Highland hospitality and mirth.
Dr. Johnson's Latin ode to Mrs. Thrale.
September 7. Uneasy state of dependence on the weather.
of those who live in the country. Dr. M'Pherson's Dissertations. Second Sight.
September 8. Rev. Mr. Donald M'Queen. Mr. Malcolm M'Cleod. Sail to Rasay. Fingal. Homer. Elegant and gay entertainment at Rasay.
September 9. Antiquity of the family of Rasay.
Survey of the island of Rasay.
Cure of infidelity.
September 11. Heritable jurisdictions. Insular life. The Laird
September 12. Sail to Portree. Dr. Johnson's discourse on death. Letters from Lord Elibank to Dr. Johnson and the authour. Dr. Johnson's answer. Ride to Kingsburgh. Flora M'Donald. September 13. Distresses and escape of the grandson of King James II. Arrive at Dunvegan.
September 14. Importance of the chastity of women. Dr. Cadogan. Whether the practice of authours is necessary to enforce their Doctrines. Good humour acquirable.
September 15. Sir George M'Kenzie. Mr. Burke's wit, knowledge and eloquence.
September 16. Dr. Johnson's hereditary melancholy. His minute
knowledge in various arts. Apology for the authour's ardour in his pursuits. Dr. Johnson's imaginary seraglio. Polygamy. September 17. Cunning. Whether great abilities are necessary to be wicked. Temple of the Goddess Anaitis. Family portraits. Records not consulted by old English historians. Mr. Pennant's Tours criticised.
September 18. Ancient residence of a Highland Chief. Languages the pedigree of nations. Laird of the Isle of Muck. September 19. Choice of a wife.
Lady Grange in St. Kilda.
Women an over-match for men.
erati. Prize-fighting. French and English soldiers. Duelling.
September 20. Change of London manners.
Landed and traded interest compared.