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I hope to meet you somewhere towards the north, but am loth to come qy to Carlisle. Can we not meet at Manchester ? But we will settle it in some of letters.
." Mr. Seward,* a great favourite at Streatham, has been, I think, enkindled our travels, with a curiosity to see the Highlands. I have given him letters to and Beattie. He desires that lodging may be taken for him at Edinburgh, aga his arrival. He is just setting out.
“ Langton has been exercising the militia. Mrs. Williams is, I fear, declin Dr. Lawrence says, he can do no more. She is gone to summer in the coun with as many conveniences about her as she can expect; but I have no great hd We must all die : may we all be prepared !
“I suppose Miss Boswell reads her book, and young Alexander takes to learning. Let me hear about them, for everything that belongs to you, belong a more remote degree, and not, I hope, very remote, to, dear Sir, yours affectiona
“SAM. JOHNSO “June 28, 1777."
enthusiasm of mind. You love me for it, and I respect myself for it, because in so far I resembl
. Johnson. You will be agreeably surprised, when you learn the reason of my writing this 1 I am at Wittemberg in Saxony. I am in the old church where the Reformation was first prea and where some of the Reformers lie interred. I cannot resist the serious pleasure of writing t Johnson from the tomb of Melancthon. My paper rests upon the gravestone of that great and man, who was undoubtedly the worthiest of all the reformers. He wished to reform abuses had been introduced into the Church; but had no private resentment to gratify. So mild we that when his aged mother consulted him with anxiety on the perplexing disputes of the tim advised her 'to keep to the old religion.' At this tomb, then, my ever-dear and respected frier vow to thee an eternal attachment. It shall be my study to do what I can to render your life happy if you die before me, I shall endeavour to do honour to your memory; and, elevated by the rememi of you, persist in noble piety. May God, the father of all beings, ever bless you ! and may you coi to love “ Your most affectionate friend and devoted servant,
“JAMES BOSWEI Sunday, Sept. 30th, 1764.”
TO DR, SAMUEL JOHNSON.
“ Wilton House, April 22, 1 “ MY DEAR SIR,
“Every scene of my life confirms the truth of what you have told me, there is no d happiness in this state of being.'-I am here, amidst all that you know is at Lord Pembroke yet I am weary and gloomy. I am just setting out for the house of an old friend in Devonshir shall not get back to London for a week yet. You said to me last Good Friday, with a cordialit warmed my heart, that if I came to settle in London we should have a day fixed every week, to in ourselves and talk freely. To be thought worthy of such a privilege cannot but exalt me. iri present absence from you, while, notwithstanding the gaiety which you allow me to possess, darkened by temporary clouds, I beg to have a few lines from you ; a few lines merely of kindn a viaticum till I see you again. In your · Vanity of Human Wishes,' and in Parnell's 'Contentm find the only sure means of enjoying happiness; or, at least, the hopes of happiness.
“I ever am, with reverence and affection,
“Most faithfully yours,
* William Seward, Esq., F.R.S., Editor of “ Anecdotes of some distinguished Persons," etc., volumes, 8vo, well known to a numerous and valuable acquaintance for his literature, love of t arts, and social virtues. I am indebted to him for several communications concerning Johnso
[This gentleman, who was born in 1747, and was educated at the Charter-House, and at Oxfor in London, April 24, 1799. M.]
TO THE SAME. "DEAR SIR,
“This gentleman is a great favourite at Streatham, and therefore you will easily believe that he has very valuable qualities. Our narrative has kindled him with a desire of visiting the Highlands after having already seen a great part of Europe. You must receive him as a friend, and when you have directed him to the curiosities of Edinburgh, give him instructions and recommendations for the rest of his journey.
“I am, dear Sir,
“SAM. JOHNSON. " June 24, 1777."
From an mgraving by Medland after a drawing by Miller
CHARING CROSS AND NORTHUMBERLAND HOUSE
Johnson gets De Groot into Charterhouse-Dr. Watts-Boswell on Dr. Dodd—The Macquarry Estates
Sir Allan Maclean-Bennet Langton-Mrs. Williams's Health-Johnson and Mrs. Boswell's Marmalade- Johnson at Oxford-At Ashbourne-Death of Harry Jackson-Mrs. Aston-Boswell's Arrival at Ashbourne-Dr. Taylor-Johnson's Lives of the Poets"-Dr. Dodd's Trial and Death
- Johnson's Appeal to the King-Mr. Fitzherbert-William Hamilton of Bangour-Rev. Thomas Seward-David Hume.
Johnson's benevolence to the unfortunate was, I am confident, as steady and active as that of any of those who have been most eminently distinguished for that virtue. Innumerable proofs of it I have no doubt will be for ever concealed from mortal eyes. We may, however, form some judgment of it, from the many and very various instances which have been discovered. One, which happened in the course of this summer, is remarkable from the name and connection of the person who was the object of it. The circumstance to which I allude is ascertained by two letters, one to Mr. Langton, and another to the Reverend Dr. Vyse, rector of Lambeth, son of the respectable clergyman at Lichfield, who was contemporary with Johnson, and in whose father's family Johnson had the happiness of being kindly received in his early years.
DR. JOHNSON TO BENNET LANGTON, ESQ. “DEAR SIR,
“I HAVE lately been much disordered by a difficulty of breathing, but am now better. I hope your house is well.
“You know we have been talking lately of St. Cross, at Winchester ; I have an old acquaintance whose distress makes him very desirous of an hospital, and I am afraid I have not strength enough to get him into the Chartreux. He is a painter, who never rose higher than to get his immediate living, and from that, at eightythree, he is disabled by a slight stroke of the palsy, such as does not make him at all helpless on common occasions, though his hand is not steady enough for his art.
“My request is, that you will try to obtain a promise of the next vacancy, from the Bishop of Chester. It is not a great thing to ask, and I hope we shall obtain it. Dr. Warton has promised to favour him with his notice, and I hope he may end his days in peace.
“I am, Sir,
“Sam. JOHNSON. ' June 29, 1777."
JOHNSON AND DE GROOT
TO THE REVEREND DR. VYSE, AT LAMBETH. “SIR,
“ I DOUBT not but you will readily forgive me for taking the liberty of requesting your assistance in recommending an old friend to his Grace the Archbishop as Governor of the Charter-house.
“ His name is De Groot; he was born at Gloucester; I have known him many years. He has all the common claims to charity, being old, poor, and infirm in a great degree. He has likewise another claim, to which no scholar can refuse attention ; he is by several descents the nephew of Hugo Grotius ; of him, from whom perhaps every man of learning has learnt something. Let it not be said that in any lettered country a nephew of Grotius asked a charity and was refused.
"I am, reverend Sir,
'SAM. JOHNSON. “ July 9, 1777."
[“ TO THE REVEREND DR. VYSE, AT LAMBETH. “If any notice should be taken of the recommendation which I took the liberty of sending you, it will be necessary to know that Mr. De Groot is to be found at No. 8 in Pye Street, Westminster. This information, when I wrote, I could not give you ; and being going soon to Lichfield, think it necessary to be left behind me.
“ More I will not say. You will want no persuasion to succour the nephew of Grotius.
“I am, Sir,
“ SAM. JOHNSON. " July 22, 1777."]
THE REVEREND DR. VYSE TO MR. BOSWELL.
Lambeth, June 9, 1787. "Sir,
“ I HAVE searched in vain for the letter which I spoke of, and which I wished, at your desire, to communicate to you. It was from Dr. Johnson, to return me thanks for my application to Archbishop Cornwallis in favour of poor De Groot. He rejoices at the success it met with, and is lavish in the praise he bestows upon his favourite, Hugo Grotius. I am really sorry that I cannot find this letter, as it is worthy of the writer. That which I send you enclosed,* is at your service. It is very short, and will not perhaps be thought of any consequence, unless you should judge proper to consider it as a proof of the very humane part which Dr. Johnson took in behalf of a distressed and deserving person.
“I am, Sir,
“ W. VYSE." + The preceding letter. 1 (Dr. Vyse, at my request, was so obliging as once more to endeavour to recover the letter of Johnson, to which he alludes, but without success; for April 23, 1800, he wrote to me thus :—" I have again searched, but in vain, for one of his letters, in which he speaks in his own nervous style of Hugo Grotius.—De Groot was clearly a descendant of the family of Grotius, and Archbishop Cornwallis willingly complied with Dr. Johnson's request.” M.]
** DR. JOHNSON TO MR. W. SHARPE.* SIR,
“To the collection of English Poets I have recommended the volume Dr. Watts to be added ; his name has long been held by me in veneration, and would not willingly be reduced to tell of him only that he was born and died. Y of his life I know very little, and therefore must pass him in a manner very unwort of his character, unless some of his friends will favour me with the necessa information ; many of them must be known to you : and by your influence perha I may obtain some instruction. My plan does not exact much ; but I wish distinguish Watts, a man who never wrote but for a good purpose. Be pleased to for me what you can.
“I am, Sir,
“SAM. JOHNSON ' Bolt Court, Fleet Street,
“ July 7, 1777."
TO DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON.
Edinburgh, July 15, 1777 MY DEAR SIR,
“The fate of poor Dr. Dodd made a dismal impression upon my mind
“ I had sagacity enough to divine that you wrote his speech to the Record before sentence was pronounced. I am glad you have written so much for hi and I hope to be favoured with an exact list of the several pieces, when we met
“ I received Mr. Seward as the friend of Mr. and Mrs. Thrale, and as a gentlen recommended by Dr. Johnson to my attention. I have introduced him to L Kames, Lord Monboddo, and Mr. Nairne, He is gone to the Highlands with Gregory; when he returns, I shall do more for him.
Sir Allan Maclean has carried that branch of his cause, of which we had g hopes : the president and one other judge only were against him. I wish the Ho of Lords may do as well as the Court of Session has done. But Sir Allan has the lands of Brolos quite cleared by this judgment, till a long account is made up debts and interest on the one side, and rents on the other. I am, however, not m afraid of the balance.
Macquarry's estates, Staffa and all, were sold yesterday, and bought by Campbell. I fear he will have little or nothing left out of the purchase-money
“I send you the case against the negro, by Mr. Cullen, son to Dr. Cullen, opposition to Maclaurin’s for liberty, of which you have approved. Pray read t and tell me what you think as a Politician, as well as a Poet, upon this subject.
“Be so kind as to let me know how your time is to be distributed next autui I will meet you at Manchester, or where you please; but I wish you would compl your tour of the cathedrals, and come to Carlisle, and I will accompany you a p of the way homewards.
“I am ever most faithfully yours,
“ JAMES BOSWELL.
[Boswell has given this letter as addressed to “ Edward Dilly”: a mistake-it was addressed William Sharpe, junior, who possessed Watts's correspondence. See Gent. Mag., p. 90.--Croker.]