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Aetat. 45.]

Collins the Poet.


'I am glad of your hindrance in your Spenserian design', yet ! would not have it delayed. Three hours a day stolen from sleep and amusement will produce it. Let a Servitouro transcribe the quotations, and interleave them with references, to save time. This will shorten the work, and lessen the fatigue.

"Can I do any thing to promoting the diploma? I would not be wanting to co-operate with your kindness; of which, whatever be the effect, I shall be, dear Sir,

Your most obliged, &c. *[London,] Nov. 28, 1754.'



'I am extremely sensible of the favour done me, both by Mr. Wise and yourself. The book cannot, I think, be printed in less than six weeks, nor probably so soon; and I will keep back the title-page, for such an insertion as you seem to promise me. Be pleased to let me know what money I shall send you, for bearing the expence of the affair; and I will take care that you may have it ready at your hand.

'I had lately the favour of a letter from your brother, with some account of poor Collins, for whom I am much concerned. I have a notion, that by very great temperance, or more properly abstinence,


may yet recover4. “There is an old English and Latin book of poems by Barclay, called “The Ship of Fools ;” at the end of which are a number of Eglogues: so he writes it, from Egloga', which are probably the

1.Of publishing a volume of observations on the best of Spenser's works. It was hindered by my taking pupils in this College.' WARTON.-BOSWELL.

? “Young students of the lowest rank at Oxford are so called.' WARTON.-BOSWELL. See Boswell's Hebrides, Aug. 28, 1773.

'His Dictionary.' WARTON.-BOSWELL. • Johnson says (Works, viii. 403) that when Collins began to feel the approaches of his dreadful malady ‘with the usual weakness of men so diseased he eagerly snatched that temporary relief with which the table and the bottle flatter and seduce.'

Petrarch, finding nothing in the word eclogue of rural meaning, supposed it to be corrupted by the copiers, and therefore called his own pastorals aeglogues, by which he meant to express the talk of goatherds, though it will mean only the talk of goats. This new name was adopted by subsequent writers.' Johnson's Works, viii. 390. 1.-21

first Orlando Furioso, c. xlvi. s. 2.


The death of a Wife.

(A.D. 1755.

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first in our language. If you cannot find the book I will get Mr. Dodsley to send it you.

'I shall be extremely glad to hear from you again, to know, if the affair proceeds'. I have mentioned it to none of my friends for fear of being laughed at for my disappointment.

'You know poor Mr. Dodsley has lost his wife; I believe he is much affected. I hope he will not suffer so much as I yet suffer for the loss of mine.

Οίμοι. τι δ' οίμοι; θνητα γάρ πεπόνθαμενο. I have ever since seemed to myself broken off from mankind; a kind of solitary wanderer in the wild of life, without any direction, or fixed point of view : a gloomy gazer on a world to which I have little relation. Yet I would endeavour, by the help of you and your brother, to supply the want of closer union, by friendship: and hope to have long the pleasure of being, dear Sir,

• Most affectionately your's, '[London] Dec. 21, 1754.'

Sam. JOHNSON.' 1755: ÆTAT. 46.]-In 1755 we behold him to great advantage; his degree of Master of Arts conferred upon him, his Dictionary published, his correspondence animated, his benevolence exercised.


'I wrote to you some weeks ago, but believe did not direct accurately, and therefore know not whether you


letter. I would, likewise, write to your brother, but know not where to find him. I now begin to see land, after having wandered, according to Mr. Warburton's phrase, in this vast sea of words. What reception I shall meet with on the shore, I know not; whether the sound of bells, and acclamations of the people, which Ariosto talks of in his last Canto', or a general murmur of dislike, I know not :

1. Of the degree at Oxford.' WARTON.-BOSWELL.

* This verse is from the long-lost Bellerophon, a tragedy by Euripides. It is preserved by Suidas. CHARLES BURNEY. “Alas! but wherefore alas ? Man is born to sorrow.'

Sento venir per allegrezza un tuono
Que fremer l'aria, e rimbombar fa l'onde:
Odo di squille,' &c.


Aetat. 46.)

His doubts as to the critics.


whether I shall find upon the coast a Calypso that will court, or a Polypheme that will resist. But if Polypheme comes, have at his eye. I hope, however, the criticks will let me be at peace; for though I do not much fear their skill and strength, I am a little afraid of myself, and would not willingly feel so much ill-will in my bosom as literary quarrels are apt to excite.

Mr. Baretti is about a work for which he is in great want of Crescimbeni, which you may have again when you please.

“There is nothing considerable done or doing among us here. We are not, perhaps, as innocent as villagers, but most of us seem to be as idle. I hope, however, you are busy; and should be glad to know what you are doing.

'I am, dearest Sir,

* Your humble servant, *[London,) Feb. 4, 1755.

'Sam. Johnson.'

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'I received your letter this day, with great sense of the favour that has been done me'; for which I return my most sincere thanks : and entreat you to pay to Mr. Wise such returns as I ought to make for so much kindness so little deserved.

'I sent Mr. Wise the Lexicon, and afterwards wrote to him; but know not whether he had either the book or letter. Be so good as to contrive to enquire.

'But why does my dear Mr. Warton tell me nothing of himself? Where hangs the new volume?? Can I help? Let not the past labour be lost, for want of a little more: but snatch what time you can from the Hall, and the pupils', and the coffee-house, and the parks', and complete your design. I am, dear Sir, &c.

'SAM. JOHNSON.' '[London,] Feb. 4, 1755.'

1.His degree had now past, according to the usual form, the suffrages of the heads of Colleges; but was not yet finally granted by the University. It was carried without a single dissentient voice.' WARTON.-BOSWELL.

'On Spenser.' WARTON.-BOSWELL.

: Lord Eldon wrote of him :Poor Tom Warton! He was a tutor at Trinity; at the beginning of every term he used to send to his pupils to know whether they would wish to attend lecture that term.' Twiss's Eldon, iii. 302. • The fields north of Oxford.

To 324

Dr. King

[A.D. 1755,


'I had a letter last week from Mr. Wise, but have yet heard nothing from you, nor know in what state my affair stands'; of which I beg you to inform me, if you can, to-morrow, by the return of the post.

“Mr. Wise sends me word, that he has not had the Finnick Lexicon yet, which I sent some time ago ; and if he has it not, you must enquire after it. However, do not let your letter stay for that.

*Your brother, who is a better correspondent than you, and not much better, sends me word, that your pupils keep you in College: but do they keep you from writing too? Let them, at least, give you time to write to, dear Sir,

Your most affectionate, &c.

SAM. JOHNSON.' '[London,) Feb. 13, 1755.'


' Dr. King’ was with me a few minutes before your letter ; this, however, is the first instance in which your kind intentions to me have ever been frustrated'. I have now the full effect of your care

1 Of the degree.' WARTON.-BOSWELL.

Principal of St. Mary Hall at Oxford. He brought with him the diploma from Oxford.' WARTON.-BOSWELL. Dr. King (Anec. p. 196) says that he was one of the Jacobites who were presented to the Pretender when, in September 1750, he paid a stealthy visit to England. The Pretender in 1783 told Sir Horace Mann that he was in London in that very month and year and had met fifty of his friends, among whom was the Earl of Westmoreland, the future Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Mahon's England, iv. 11. Hume places the visit in 1753. Burton's Hume, ii. 462. See also in Boswell's Hebrides, the account of the Young Pretender. In 1754, writes Lord Shelburne, ‘Dr. King in his speech upon opening the Radcliffe Library at Oxford, before a full theatre introduced three times the word Redeat, pausing each time for a considerable space, during which the most unbounded applause shook the theatre, which was filled with a vast body of peers, members of parliament, and men of property. Soon after the rebellion [of 1745), speaking of the Duke of Cumberland, he described him as a man, qui timet omnia præter Deum. I presented this same Dr. King to George III. in 1760.' Fitzmaurice's Shelburne, i. 35. "I suppose Johnson means that my kind intention of being the


Aetat. 46.] The Chancellor of Oxford's letter.


and benevolence; and am far from thinking it a slight honour, or a small advantage ; since it will put the enjoyment of your conversation more frequently in the power of, dear Sir, 'Your most obliged and affectionate

‘Sam. JOHNSON.' 'P.S. I have enclosed a letter to the Vice-Chancellor', which you will read; and, if you like it, seal and give him.

'[London,] Feb. 1755.'

As the Publick will doubtless be pleased to see the whole progress of this well-earned academical honour, I shall insert the Chancellor of Oxford's letter to the University', the diploma, and Johnson's letter of thanks to the Vice-Chancellor. "To the Reverend Dr. HUDDESFORD, Vice-Chancellor of the Univer

sity of Oxford ; to be communicated to the Heads of Houses, and proposed in Convocation. MR. VICE-CHANCELLOR, AND GENTLEMEN,

Mr. Samuel Johnson, who was formerly of Pembroke College, having very eminently distinguished himself by the publication of a series of essays, excellently calculated to form the manners of the people, and in which the cause of religion and morality is every where maintained by the strongest powers of argument and language ; and who shortly intends to publish a Dictionary of the English Tongue, formed on a new plan, and executed with the greatest labour and judgement; I persuade myself that I shall act agreeably to the sentiments of the whole University, in desiring that it may be proposed in convocation to confer on him the degree of Master of Arts by diploma, to which I readily give my consent;

and am,


Mr. Vice-Chancellor, and Gentlemen,
• Your affectionate friend and servant,

'ARRAN'.' Grosvenor-street, Feb. 4, 1755.'

first to give him the good news of the degree being granted was frustrated, because Dr. King brought it before my intelligence arrived. WARTON.-BOSWELL.

**Dr. Huddesford, President of Trinity College.' WARTON.-BosWELL.

• Extracted from the Convocation-Register, Oxford. BOSWELL. • The Earl of Arran, ‘the last male of the illustrious House of Or


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