« 이전계속 »
in loving him: and while we are so much of a
• Sam. JOHNSON.” “May 16, 1776.
MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
“ Edinburgh, June 25, 1776. “ You have formerly complained that my letters were too long. There is no danger of that complaint being made at present; for I find it difficult for me to write to you at all. [Here an account of having been afflicted with a return of melancholy or bad spirits.]
“ The boxes of books* which you sent to me are arrived; but I have not yet examined the contents.
“I send you Mr. Maclaurin's paper for the negro, who claims his freedom in the Court of Session."
DR. JOHNSON TO MR. BOSWELL.
“These black fits, of which you complain, perhaps hurt your memory as well as your imagination. When did I complain that your
Upon a settlement of our account of expences on a Tour to the Hebrides, there was a balance due to me, which Dr. Johnson chose to discharge by sending books.
letters were too long ?t Your last letter, after a very long delay, brought very bad news. [Here a series of reflections upon melancholy, and-what I could not help thinking strangely unreasonable in him who had suffered so much from it himself,—a good deal of severity and reproof, as if it were owing to my owo fault, or that I was, perhaps, affecting it from a desire of distinction.]
“Read Cheyne's' English Malady;' but do not let him teach you a foolish notion that melancholy is a proof of acuteness. *****
“ To hear that you have not opened your boxes of books is very offensive. The examination and arrangement of so many volumes might have afforded you an amusement very seasonable at present, and useful for the whole of life. I ain, I confess, very angry that you manage yourself so ill. *****
“I do not now say any more, than that I am, with great kindness and sincerity, dear Sir, your humble servant,
“ Sam. JOHNSON.” July 2, 1776.
“ It was last year determined by Lord Mansfield in the Court of King's Bench, that a negro cannot be taken out of the kingdom without his own consent."
+ Baretti told me that Johnson complained of my writing very long letters to him when
was upon the continent: which was most certainly true ; but it seems my friend did not remember it.
" DR. JOHNSON TO MR. BOSWELL.
“, DEAR SIR,
“ I MAKE haste to write again, lest my last letter should give you too much pain. If you are really oppressed with overpowering and involuntary melancholy, you are to be pitied rather than reproached. * *
“ Now, my dear Bozzy, let us bave done with quarrels and with censure. Let me know whether I have not sent you a pretty library. There are, perhaps, many books among thein which you never need read through; but there are none which it is not proper for you to know, and sometimes to consult. Of these books, of which the use is only occasional, it is often sufficient to know the contents, that, when any question arises, you may know where to look for information.
“ Since I wrote, I have looked over Mr. Maclaurin's plea, and I think it excellent. How is the suit carried on? If by subscription, I commission you to contribute, in my name, what is proper. Let nothing be wanting in such a case. Dr. Drummond," I see, is superseded. His father would have grieved; but he lived to obtain the pleasure of his son's, election, and died before that pleasure was abated.
“ Langton's lady has brought him a girl, * The son of Johnson's old friend, Mr. William Drummond. He was a young man of such distinguished merit, that he was nominated to one of the medical professorships in the College of Edinburgh, without solicitation, while he was at Naples. Having other views, he did not accept of the honour, and soon afterwards died.
and both are well; I dined with himn the other day.
“ It vexes me to tell you, that on the evening of the 29th of May I was seized by the gout, and am not quite well. The pain has not been violent, but the weakness and tenderness were very troublesome, and what is said to be very uncommon, it has not alleviated my other disorders. Make use of youth and health while you
have them ; make my compliments to Mrs. Boswell. I am, my dear Sir, “ Your most affectionate
SAM. JOHNSON." "July 16, 1776. MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
“Edinburgh, July 18, 1776. “ Your letter of the second of this month was rather a harsh medicine; but I was delighted with that spontaneous tenderness, which, a few days afterwards, sent forth such balsam as your next brought me. I found myself for some time so ill that all I could do was to preserve a decent appearance, while all within is weakness and distress.
Like a reduced garrison that has some spirit left, I hung out flags, and planted all the force I could muster, upon the walls. I am now much better, and I sincerely thank you for your kind attention and friendly counsel.
MY DEAR SIR,
“Count Manucci* came here last week from
A Florentine nobleman, mentioned by Johnson, in his “Notes of his Tour in France." I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with him in London, in the spring of this year.
travelling in Ireland. I have shown him what civilities I could on his own account, on your's, and on that of Mr. and Mrs. Tbrale. He has had a fall from his horse, and been much hurt. I regret this unlucky accident, for he seems to be a very amiable man.”
As the evidence of what I have mentioned at the beginning of this year, I select from bis private register the following passage:
“July 25, 1776. O God, who hast ordained that whatever is to be desired should be sought by labour, and who, by thy blessing, bringest honest labour to good effect, look with mercy upon my studies and endeavours. Grant me, O Lord, to design only what is lawful and right; and afford me calmness of mind, and steadiness of purpose, that I may so do thy will in this short life, as to obtain happiness in the world to come, for the sake of JESUS CHRIST our Lord. Amen."
It appears from a note subjoined, that this was composed when he “purposed to apply vigorously to study, particularly of the Greek and Italian tongues.
Such a purpose, so expressed, at the age of sixty-seven, is admirable and encouraging ; and it must impress all the thinking part of my readers with a consolatory confidence in habitual devotion, when they see a man of such enlarged intellectual powers as Johnson, thus in the genuine earnestness of secrecy, imploring the aid of that Supreme Being, "from whom