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George the Second's cruelty.
Mr. Richardson, as a very good man. To his great surprize, however, this figure stalked forwards to where he and Mr. Richardson were sitting, and all at once took up the argument, and burst out into an invective against George the Second, as one, who, upon all occasions, was unrelenting and barbarous?; mentioning many instances, particularly, that when an officer of high rank had been acquitted by a Court Martial, George the Second had with his own hand, struck his name off the list. In short, he displayed such a power of eloquence, that Hogarth looked at him with astonishment, and actually imagined that this ideot had been at the moment inspired. Neither Hogarth nor Johnson were made known to each other at this interview?
17403: ÆTAT. 31.)IN 1740 he wrote for 'the Gentleman's Magazine the Preface', 't Life of Sir Francis Drake,'* and the first parts of those of ‘Admiral Blake5,)* and of 'Philip
It is very
· Horace Walpole says that to of Dr. Johnson, “whose conversation wards convicts under sentence of was to the talk of other men, like death 'George Il's disposition in Titian's painting compared to Hudgeneral was merciful, if the offence son's,” he said. ... Of Dr. Johnson, was not murder.' He mentions, when my father and he were talking however, a dreadful exception, when together about him one day, “That the King sent to the gallows at man," says Hogarth, “is not contented Oxford a young man who had been with believing the Bible, but he fairly ‘guilty of a most trifling forgery, resolves, I think, to believe nothing though he had been recommended but the Bible." ! Piozzi's Anec. p. to mercy by the Judge, who had 136. assured him his pardon. Mercy
3 On October 29 of this year James was refused, merely because the Boswell was born. Judge, Willes, was attached to
* In this preface is found the folthe Prince of Wales.'
lowing lively passage:-“The Roman hkely that this was one of John Gazetteers are defective in several son's "instances,' as it had happened material ornaments of style. They about four years earlier, and as an never end an article with the mystiaccount of the young man had been cal hint, this occasions great specupublished by an Oxonian. Walpole's lation. They seem to have been Memoirs of the Reign of George II, ignorant of such engaging introduc
tions as, we hear it is strongly reIt is strange that when Johnson ported; and of that ingenious, but had been sixteen years in London thread-bare excuse for a downright he should not be known to Hogarth lie, it wants confirmation.' by sight. Mr. Hogarth,' writes Mrs. 5 The Lives of Blake and Drake Piozzi, * was used to be very earnest were certainly written with a political that I should obtain the acquaint aim. The war with Spain was going ance, and if possible, the friendship on, and the Tory party was doing
Epitaph on Philips.
Baretier','* both which he finished the following year. Не also wrote an 'Essay on Epitaphs?,'t and an “Epitaph on Philips, a Musician,'* which was afterwards published with some other pieces of his, in Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies. This Epitaph is so exquisitely beautiful, that I remember even Lord Kames?, strangely prejudiced as he was against Dr. Johnson, was compelled to allow it very high praise. It has been ascribed to Mr. Garrick, from its appearing at first with the signature G; but I have heard Mr. Garrick declare, that it was written by Dr. Johnson, and give the following account of the manner in which it was composed. Johnson and he were sitting together; when, amongst other things, Garrick repeated an Epitaph upon this Philips by a Dr. Wilkes, in these words :
Exalted soul! whose 'harmony could please
And meet thy blessed Saviour in the skies.' Johnson shook his head at these common-place funereal lines, and said to Garrick, I think, Davy, I can make a better.' Then, stirring about his tea for a little while, in a state of meditation, he almost extempore produced the following verses :
its utmost to rouse the country against the Spaniards. It was 'a time,' according to Johnson, when the nation was engaged in a war with an enemy, whose insults, ravages, and barbarities have long called for vengeance.' Johnson's Works, vi. 293.
i Barretier's childhood surpassed even that of J. S. Mill. At the age of nine he was master of five languages, Greek and Hebrew being two of them. In his twelfth year he applied more particularly to the study of the fathers. At the age of fourteen he published Anti - Artemonius; sive initium evangelii S.
Joannis adversus Artemonium vin-
He wrote also in 1756 A Disser-
Epigram on Cibber.
· Philips, whose touch harmonious could remove
Till angels wake thee with a note like thine ?!' At the same time that Mr. Garrick favoured me with this anecdote, he repeated a very pointed Epigram by Johnson, on George the Second and Colley Cibber, which has never yet appeared, and of which I know not the exact date? Dr. Johnson afterwards gave it to me himself+ :
Augustus still survives in Maro's strain,
For Nature form’d the Poet for the King.'
' In the original and. Gent. Mag. X. 464. The title of this poem as there given is :-'An epitaph upon the celebrated Claudy Philips, Musician, who died very poor.'
* The epitaph of Phillips is in the porch of Wolverhampton Church. The prose part of it is curious :
*Near this place lies
Charles Claudius Phillips, Whose absolute contempt of riches and inimitable performances upon the
made the tour of Europe,
kinds of fortune,
Died in 1732.' Mr. Garrick appears not to have recited the verses correctly, the original being as follows :*Exalted soul, thy various sounds
could please The love-sick virgin and the
gouty ease; Could jarring crowds, like old
To beauteous order and harmo
nious love; Rest here in peace, till Angels
bid thee rise, And meet thy Saviour's consort
in the skies.' BLAKEWAY. Consort is defined in Johnson's Dictionary as a number of instruments playing together.
I have no doubt that it was written in 1741 ; for the second line is clearly a parody of a line in the chorus of Cibber's Birthday Ode for that year. The chorus is as follows: "While thou our Master of the Main Revives Eliza's glorious reign, The great Plantagenets look down, And see your race adorn your crown.'
Gent. Mag. xi. 549. In the Life of Barretier Johnson had also this fing at George II :* Princes are commonly the last by whom merit is distinguished.' Johnson's Works, vi. 381.
* See Boswell's Hebrides, Oct. 23 and Nov. 21, 1773.
5 Hester Lynch Salusbury, afterwards Mrs. Thrale, and later on Mrs. Piozzi, was born on Jan. 27, 1741.
One of Cromwell's speeches.
Conclusion of his lives of Drake and Baretier,'† 'A free translation of the Jests of Hierocles', with an Introduction ;'t and, I think, the following pieces: 'Debate on the Proposal of Parliament to Cromwell, to assume the Title of King, abridged, modified, and digested? ;'+ 'Translation of Abbé Guyon's Dissertation on the Amazons ;'t 'Translation of Fontenelle's Panegyrick on Dr. Morin.'+ Two notes upon this appear to me undoubtedly his. He this year, and the two following, wrote the Parliamentary Debates. He told me himself, that he was the sole composer of them for those three years only. He was not, however, precisely exact in his statement, which he mentioned from hasty recollection; for it is sufficiently evident, that his composition of them began November 19, 1740, and ended February 23, 1742–3.
It appears from some of Cave's letters to Dr. Birch, that Cave had better assistance for that branch of his Magazine, than has been generally supposed ; and that he was indefatigable in getting it made as perfect as he could.
This piece is certainly not by guage much as it pleased him. In Johnson. It contains more than one the Gent. Mag. Cromwell speaks as ungrammatical passage. It is im if he were wearing a flowing wig possible to believe that he wrote and were addressing a Parliament such a sentence as the following : of the days of George II. He is Another having a cask of wine thus made to conclude Speech xi :scaled up at the top, but his servant For my part, could I multiply my boring a hole at the bottom stole the person or dilate my power, I should greatest part of it away; sometime dedicate myself wholly to this great after, having called a friend to taste end, in the prosecution of which his wine, he found the vessel almost I shall implore the blessing of God empty,' &c.
upon your counsels and endeavours.' ? Mr. Carlyle, by the use of the Gent. Jag. xi. 100. The following term “Imaginary Editors'(Cromwell's are the words which correspond to Letters and Speeches, iii. 229), seems this in the original :- If I could to imply that he does not hold with help you to many, and multiply myBoswell in assigning this piece to self into many, that would be to Johnson. I am inclined to think, serve you in regard to settlement. nevertheless, that Boswell is right. But I shall pray to God Almighty If it is Johnson's it is doubly inter that He would direct you to do esting as showing the method which what is according to His will. And he often followed in writing the Par this is that poor account I am able liamentary Debates. When notes to give of myself in this thing.' Carwere given him, while for the most lyle's Cromwell, iii. 255. part he kept to the speaker's train 3 See Appendix A. of thoughts, he dealt with the lan
Cave's Parliamentary Debates.
Thus, 21st July, 1735. “I trouble you with the inclosed, because you said you could easily correct what is here given for Lord C-ld's' speech. I beg you will do so as soon as you can for me, because the month is far advanced.'
And 15th July, 1737. “As you remember the debates so far as to perceive the speeches already printed are not exact, I beg the favour that you will peruse the inclosed, and, in the best manner your memory will serve, correct the mistaken passages, or add any thing that is omitted. I should be very glad to have something of the Duke of N-le's? speech, which would be particularly of service.
“A gentleman has Lord Bathurst's speech to add something to
And July 3, 1744. You will see what stupid, low, abominable stuff is puts upon your noble and learned friend's character, such as I should quite reject, and endeavour to do something better towards doing justice to the character. But as I cannot expect to attain my desires in that respect, it would be a great satisfaction, as well as an honour to our work to have the favour of the genuine speech. It is a method that several have been pleased to take, as I could show, but I think myself under a restraint. I shall say so far, that I have had some by a third hand, which I understood well enough to come from the first; others by penny-posts, and others by the speakers themselves, who have been pleased to visit St. John's Gate, and show particular marks of their being pleased!
There is no reason, I believe, to doubt the veracity of Cave. It is, however, remarkable, that none of these letters are in the years during which Johnson alone furnished the Debates, and one of them is in the very year after he ceased from that labour.