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and meant no harm, he soon relented, and continued his kindness to him as formerly. (')
In the course of his self-examination with retrospect to this year, he seems to have been much dejected; for he says, 1st January, 1774• “ This year has passed with so little improvement, that I doubt whether I have not rather impaired than increased my learning." And yet we have seen how he read, and we know how he talked during that period.
LETTER 175. TO MRS. MONTAGU.
Jan. 11. 1774. “ MADAM,
Having committed one fault by inad.. vertency, I will not commit another by sullenness, When I had the honour of your card, I could not com. ply with your invitation, and must now suffer the shame of confessing that the necessity of an answer did not come into my mind.
“ This omission, Madam, you may easily excuse, as the consciousness of your own character must secure you from suspecting that the favour of your notice can ever miss a suitable return, but from ignorance or thoughtlessness; and to be ignorant of your eminence is not easy, but to him who lives out of the reach of the public voice. — I am, Madam, your most obedient and most humble servant,
“ Sam. JOHNSON.” (1). “When Davies printed the Fugitive Pieces without his knowledge or consent; - How,' said I, would Pope have raved, had he been served so?' • We should never,' replied Johnson, bave heard the last on't, to be sure; but then Pope was a narrow
I will, however,' added he, storm and bluster myself a little this time;'. so went to London in all the wrath he could muster up. At his return, I asked how the affair ended :
-Why,' said he, I was a fierce fellow, and pretended to be very angry, and Thomas was a good-natured fellow, and pretended to be very sorry; so there the matter ended. I believe the dog, loves me dearly. Mr. Thrale (turning round to my husband), what shall you and I do that is good for Tom Davies?' We will do something for him to be sure.' - Piozki.
Letters to Boswell, &c. Religious Festivals and Pilgrimages. — Death of Goldsmith.
Greek Epitaph. Diary of a Tour into Wales. Chatsworth. Dovedale. Kedleston. Derby. — Combermere. Hawkestone. Chester. St. Asaph. — Denbigh. Holywell. - Rhudlan Castle. — Penmaen-Mawr.Bangor. Caernarvon. Bodville. Conway Castle. Ombersley. — Hagley. - The Leasowes. Blenheim. Beaconsfield.
He was now seriously engaged in writing an account of our travels in the Hebrides, in consequence of which I had the pleasure of a more frequent correspondence with him.
LETTER 176. TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
« Jan. 29. 1774. “ DEAR SIR, — My operations have been hindered by a cough ; at least I flatter myself, that if my cough had not come, I should have been further advanced. But I have had no intelligence from Dr. Webster, nor from the excise-office, nor from you. No account of the little borough. () Nothing of the Erse language.
(1) The ancient burgh of Prestick, in Ayrshire.
I have yet heard nothing of my box. You must make haste and gather me all you can ; and do it quickly, or I will and shall do without it.
“ Make my compliments to Mrs. Boswell, and tell her I do not love her the less for wishing me away. I gave her trouble enough, and shall be glad, in recompense, to give her any pleasure.
“ I would send some porter into the Hebrides, if I knew which way it could be got to my kind friends there. Inquire, and let me know.
“ Make my compliments to all the doctors of Edinburgh, and to all my friends, from one end of Scotland to the other.
“ Write to me, and send me what intelligence you can; and if any thing is too bulky for the post, let me have it by the carrier. I do not like trusting winds and waves. - I am, dear Sir, your most, &c.
" SAM. JOHNSON.”
LETTER 177. TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
“ London, Feb. 7. 1774. “ Dear Sir, — In a day or two after I had written the last discontented letter, I received my box, which was very welcome.
But still I must entreat you to hasten Dr. Webster, and continue to pick up what you can that may be useful.
“ Mr. Oglethorpe was with me this morning; you know his errand. He was not unwelcome.
“ Tell Mrs. Boswell that my good intentions towards her still continue. I should be glad to do any thing that would either benefit or please her.
“ Chambers is not yet gone; but so hurried, or so negligent, or so proud, that I rarely see him. I have indeed, for some weeks past, been very ill of a cold and cough, and have been at Mrs. Thrale’s, that I might be taken care of. I am much better: novc redeunt in prælia vires ; but I am yet tender, and easily disordered. How happy it was that neither of us were ill in the Hebrides.
“ The question of literary property (1) is this day before the Lords. Murphy drew up the appellants' case, that is, the plea against the perpetual right. I have not seen it, nor heard the decision. I would not have the right perpetual.
“ I will write to you as any thing occurs, and do you send me something about my Scottish friends. I have very great kindness for them. Let me know likewise how fees come in, and when we are to see you. — I am, Sir, yours affectionately,
" SAM. JOHNSON."
He at this time wrote the following letters to Mr. Steevens, his able associate in editing Shakspeare:
LETTER 178. TO GEORGE STEEVENS, ESQ.
- Feb. 7. 1774. “ SIR, - If I am asked when I have seen Mr. Steevens, you know what answer I must give ; if I am asked when I shall see him, I wish you could tell me
have · Lesley's History of Scotland,' or any other book about Scotland, except Boetius and Buchanan, it will be a kindness if you send them to, Sir, your humble servant,
- SAM. JOHNSON,"
what to say
(1) The question was not decided till Feb. 22.
“In consequence of this decision, the English booksellers have now no other security for any literary purchase they may make, but the statute of the 8th of Queen Anne, which secures to the author's assigns an exclusive property for fourteen years, to revert again to the author, and vest in him for fourteen years more." Ann. Reg. 1774. — C.
LETTER 179. TO GEORGE STEEVENS, ESQ.
« Feb. 21. 1774. We are thinking to augment our club, and I am desirous of nominating you, if you care to stand the ballot, and can attend on Friday nights at least twice in five weeks : less than this is too little, and rather more will be expected. Be pleased to let me know before Friday.— I am, Sir, your most, &c.
“ SAM. JOHNSON.”
LETTER 180. TO GEORGE STEEVENS, ESQ.
6 March 5. 1774. SIR, — last night you became a member of the club; if you call on me on Friday, I will introduce you. A gentleman, proposed after you, was rejected. I thank you for Neander (1), but wish he were not so fine. I will take care of I am, Sir, your humble servant,
" SAM. JOHNSON.”.
LETTER 181. TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
“ March 5. 1774. - DEAR SIR,
Dr. Webster s informations were much less exact, and much less determinate than I expected : they are, indeed, much less positive than, if he can trust his own book (2) which he laid before me, he is able to give. But I believe it will always be found
(1) See the Catalogue of Mr. Steevens's Library, No. 265. ;
“ Neandri (Mich.) Opus aureum, Gr. et Lat. 2 tom. 4to. corio turcico, foliis deauratis. Lipsiæ, 1577.” This was doubtless the book lent by Steevens to Johnson. - Malone.
(2) A manuscript account drawn by Dr. Webster of all the parishes in Scotland, ascertaining their length, breadth, number of inhabitants, and distinguishing Protestants and Roman Cam tholics. This book had been transmitted to government, and Dr. Johnson saw copy of it in Dr. Webster's possession.