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for the greatness which, in some form of government or other, is to rival the ancient monarchies ; but by Dr. Franklin's rule of progression, they will, in a century and a quarter, be more than equal to the inhabitants of Europe. When the Whigs of America are thus multiplied, let the princes of the earth tremble in their palaces. If they should continue to double and to double, their own hemisphere would not contain them. But let not our boldest oppugners of authority look forward with delight to this futurity of Whiggism."

How it ended I know not, as it is cut off abruptly at the foot of the last of these proof pages.

His pamphlets in support of the measures of administration were published on his own account, and he afterwards collected them into a volume, with the title of “ Political Tracts, by the Author of the Rambler,” with this motto :

“ Fallitur egregio quisquis sub principe credit

Servitium ; nunquam libertas gratior extat

Quam sub rege pio.” Claudianus. These pamphlets drew upon him numerous attacks. Against the common weapons of literary warfare he was hardened; but there were two instances of animadversion which I communicated to him, and from what I could judge, both from his silence and his looks, appeared to me to impress him much. (1)

" A Letter to Dr. Samuel Johnson, occasioned by his late political Publications.” It ap

One was,

(1) Mr. Boswell, by a very natural prejudice, construes Johnson's silence and looks into something like a concurrence in his own sentiments; but it does not appear that Johnson ever abated one jot of the firmness and decision of his opinion on these questions. See his conversation passim, and his letter to John Wesley, post, Feb. 6. 1776. — C.

peared previous to his “ Taxation no Tyranny," and was written by Dr. Joseph Towers. (1) In that performance, Dr. Johnson was treated with the respeet due to so eminent a man, while his conduct as a political writer was boldly and pointedly arraigned, as inconsistent with the character of one, who, if he did employ his pen upon politics, “ it might reasonably be expected should distinguish himself, not by party violence and rancour, but by moderation and by wisdom.”

It concluded thus:

“ I would, however, wish you to remember, should you again address the public under the character of a political writer, that luxuriance of imagination or energy of language will ill compensate for the want of candour, of justice, and of truth. And I shall only add, that should I hereafter be disposed to read, as I heretofore have done, the most excellent of all your performances, * The Rambler,' the pleasure which I have been accustomed to find in it will be much diminished by the reflection that the writer of so moral, so elegant, and so valuable a work, was capable of prostituting his talents in such productions as “ The False Alarm,' the 'Thoughts on the Transactions respecting Falkland's Islands,' and "The Patriot.'

I am willing to do justice to the merit of Dr. Towers, of whom I will say, that although I abhor (2) his Whiggish democratical notions and

(1) [Dr. Joseph Towers, a miscellaneous writer, and a preacher among the Unitarians, was born in 1737, and died 1799.]

(2) Mr. Boswell is here very inconsistent; for, abhorring Dr. Towers's Whiggish democratical notions and propensities, how can he allow any weight to his

opinions in a case which called these propensities into full effect; and above all, how

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propensities (for I will not call them principles), I esteem as an ingenious, knowing, and vežy convivial man.

The other instance was a paragraph of a letter to me, from my old and most intimate friend the Rev. Mr. Temple, who wrote the character of Gray, which has had the honour to be adopted both by Mr. Mason and Dr. Johnson in their accounts of that poet. The words were,

“ How can your great, I will not say your pious, but your moral friend, support the barbarous measures of administration, which they have not the face to ask even their infidel pensioner Hume to defend ?"

However confident of the rectitude of his own mind, Johnson may have felt sincere uneasiness that his conduct should be erroneously imputed to unworthy motives by good men; and that the influence of his valuable writings should on that account be in any degree obstructed or lessened.

He complained to a right honourable friend (1)

could he suppose that Dr. Johnson, with his known feelings and opinions, could be influenced by a person professing such doctrines ? C.

(1) Mr. Gerard Hamilton. This anecdote is wholly at variance with Mr. Boswell's own assertion, antè, Vol. II. p. 140.; and without going the whole length of that assertion, “ that Johnson's pension had no influence whatsoever on his political publications”- Mr. Hamilton's anecdote may be doubted, not only from a consideration of Johnson's own character and principles, but from the evidence of all his other friends -persons who knew him more intimately than Mr. Hamilton - Mrs. Thrale, Mr. Murphy, Sir J. Hawkins, Mr. Tyers — who all declare that his political pamphlets expressed the opinions which in private conversation he always maintained. Mr. Bos well, we have seen, was of the same opinion as to Johnsolst sincerity, till he took up the adverse side of the political ques.

of distinguished talents and very elegant manners, with whom he maintained a long intimacy, and whose generosity towards him will afterwards appear, that his pension having being given to him as a literary character, he had been applied to by administration to write political pamphlets; and he was even so much irritated, that he declared his resolution to resign his pension. His friend showed him the impropriety of such a measure, and he afterwards expressed his gratitude, and said he had received good advice. To that friend he once signified a wish to have his pension secured to him for his life; but he neither asked nor received from government any reward whatsoever for his political labours.

On Friday, March 24., I met him at the LITERARY CLUB, where were Mr. Beauclerk, Mr. Langtori, Mr. Colman, Dr. Percy, Mr. Vesey, Sir Charles Bunbury, Dr. George Fordyce, Mr. Steevens, and Mr. Charles Fox. Before he came in, we talked of his “Journey to the Western Islands," and of his coming away, “ willing to believe the second sight(")," which seemed to excite some ridicule. I was then so impressed with the truth of many of the stories of which I had been told, that I avowed my conviction, saying, “He is only willing to believe: I do believe. The evidence is enough for me, though not for his great mind.

What will not fill a quart bottle will

tion. Then, indeed, he admits, not only without contradiction, but with a species of confirmation, Mr. Hamilton's anecdote. -C.

(1) Johnson's “ Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland." - Works, vol. viii. p. 347.

56 Arc

fill a pint bottle. I am filled with beliet.” you ?” said Colman ; " then cork it up.”

I found his “ Journey” the common topic of conversation in London at this time, wherever I happened to be. At one of Lord Mansfield's formal Sunday evening conversations, strangely called Levées, his lordship addressed me, “ We have all been reading your travels, Mr. Boswell.” I answered, “I was but the humble attendant of Dr. Johnson." The Chief-Justice replied, with that air and manner which none, who ever saw and heard him, can forget, “ He speaks ill of nobody but Ossian.”

Johnson was in high spirits this evening at the club, and talked with great animation and success. He attacked Swift, as he used to do

all occasions. “ The · Tale of a Tub' is so much superior to his other writings, that one can hardly believe he was the author of it (1): there is in it such a vigour


(1) This doubt has been much agitated on both sides, I think without good reason. See Addison's “ Freeholder,” May 4th, 1714; “ An Apology for the Tale of a Tub;" Dr. Hawkesworth's “ Preface to Swift's Works,” and Swift's “ Letter to Tooke the Printer,” and Tooke's “ Answer” in that collection; Sheridan's “ Life of Swift;" Mr. Courtenay's note on p. 3. of his “ Political Review of the Literary and Moral Character of Dr. Johnson;” and Mr. Cooksey's “ Essay on the Life and Character of John, Lord Somers, Baron of Evesham." Dr. Johnson here speaks only to the internal evidence. I take leave to differ from him, having a very high estimation of the powers of Dr. Swift. His “ Sentiments of a Church-of-Englandman;" his “ Sermon on the Trinity,” and other serious pieces, prove his learning as well as his acuteness in logic and metaphysics; and his various compositions of a different cast exhibit not only wit, humour, and ridicule, but a knowledge “of nature, and art, and life;” a combination, therefore, of those powers, when (as the “ Apology” says)“ the author was young, his invention at the height, and his reading fresh_in his head," might surely produce “ The Tale of a Tub.”_B. - See antè, Vol. II. p. 239. — - C.

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