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I am not quite satisfied with the casuistry by which the productions of one person are thus passed upon the world for the productions of another. I allow that not only knowledge, but powers and qualities of mind may be communicated; but the actual effect of individual exertion never can be transferred, with truth, to any other than its own original cause. One person's child may be made the child of another person by adoption, as among the Romans, or by the ancient jewish mode of a wife having children born to her upon her knees by her handmaid. But these were children in a different sense from that of nature. It was clearly understood that they were not of the blood of their nominal parents. So in literary children, an author may give the profits and fame of his composition to another man, but cannot make that other the real author. A highland gentleman, a younger branch of a family, once consulted me if he could not validly purchase the chieftainship of his family from the chief, who was willing to sell it. I told him it was impossible for him. to acquire, by purchase, a right to be a different person from what he really was; for that the right of chieftainship attached to the blood of primogeniture, and, therefore, was incapable of being transferred. I added, that, though Esau sold his birthright, or the advantages belonging to it, he still remained the firstborn of his parents; and that, whatever agreement a chief might make with any of the clan, the Herald's-office could not admit of the metamorphosis, or with any decency attest that the younger was the elder; but I did not convince the worthy gentleman.

Johnson's papers in the Adventurer are very similar to those of the Rambler; but being rather more varied in

fice. The papers in question were as certainly Dr. Johnson's, as his Ramblers; they are acknowledged as such by Dr. Hawkesworth, and the whole set are regularly marked with a T. while Bathurst's, or what we suppose at present to have been Bathurst's, were marked with an A. To these signatures Dr. Hawkesworth was particularly attentive; and in the original edition, when by accident the A. was in one instance omitted, it was noticed as an 'erratum' in the next number." See, for further remarks, Preface to vol. xxiii. British Essayists, by Chalmers.-ED.

their subjects, and being mixed with essays by other writers, upon topicks more generally attractive than even the most elegant ethical discourses, the sale of the work, at first, was more extensive. Without meaning, however, to depreciate the Adventurer, I must observe, that as the value of the Rambler came, in the progress of time, to be better known, it grew upon the publick estimation, and that its sale has far exceeded that of any other periodical papers since the reign of queen Anne.

In one of the books of his diary I find the following entry :

"Apr. 3. 1753. I began the second vol. of my Dictionary, room being left in the first for Preface, Grammar, and History, none of them yet begun.

"O God, who hast hitherto supported me, enable me to proceed in this labour, and in the whole task of my present state; that when I shall render up, at the last day, an account of the talent committed to me, I may receive pardon, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen."

He this year favoured Mrs. Lenox with a Dedication * to the earl of Orrery, of her Shakspeare Illustrateda.

In 1754 I can trace nothing published by him, except his numbers of the Adventurer, and the Life of Edward Cave, in the Gentleman's Magazine for February. In


* Dr. Johnson lowered and somewhat disguised his style, in writing the Adventurer, in order that his papers might pass for those of Dr. Bathurst, to whom he consigned the profits. This was Hawkesworth's opinion.-BURNey.

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a Two of Johnson's letters, addressed to Samuel Richardson, author of Clarissa, etc. the former dated March 9, 1750-1, the other September 26, 1753, are preserved in Richardson's Correspondence, 8vo. 1804, vol. v. pp. 281–284. In the latter of these letters Johnson suggested to Richardson the propriety of making an index to his three works; "but while I am writing," he adds, an objection arises; such an index to the three would look like the preclusion of a fourth, to which I will never contribute; for if I cannot benefit mankind, I hope never to injure them." Richardson, however, adopted the hint; for in 1755 he published in octavo," A Collection of the Moral and Instructive Sentiments, Maxims, Cautions, and Reflections contained in the Histories of Pamela, Clarissa, and sir Charles Grandison, digested under proper heads."

It is remarkable, that both to this book, and to the first two volumes of Clarissa, is prefixed a preface, by a friend. The “friend,” in this latter instance, was the celebrated Dr. Warburton.-MALONE.


biography there can be no question that he excelled, beyond all who have attempted that species of composition; upon which, indeed, he set the highest value. To the minute selection of characteristical circumstances, for which the ancients were remarkable, he added a philosophical research, and the most perspicuous and energetick language. Cave was certainly a man of estimable qualities, and was eminently diligent and successful in his own business, which doubtless entitled him to respect. But he was peculiarly fortunate in being recorded by Johnson; who, of the narrow life of a printer and publisher, without any digressions or adventitious circumstances, has made an interesting and agreeable narrative.

The Dictionary, we may believe, afforded Johnson full occupation this year. As it approached to its conclusion, he probably worked with redoubled vigour, as seamen increase their exertion and alacrity when they have a near prospect of their haven.

Lord Chesterfield, to whom Johnson had paid the high compliment of addressing to his lordship the Plan of his Dictionary, had behaved to him in such a manner as to excite his contempt and indignation. The world has been for many years amused with a story confidently told, and as confidently repeated with additional circumstances, that a sudden disgust was taken by Johnson upon occasion of his having been one day kept long in waiting in his lordship's antechamber, for which the reason assigned was, that he had company with him; and that at last, when the door opened, out walked Colley Cibber; and that Johnson was so violently provoked when he found for whom he had been so long excluded, that he went away in a passion, and never would return. I remember having mentioned this story to George Lord Lyttelton, who told me he was very intimate with lord Chesterfield; and holding it as a well-known truth, defended lord Chesterfield by saying, that "Cibber, who had been introduced familiarly by the back stairs, had probably not been there above ten minutes." It may seem strange even to entertain a doubt

concerning a story so long and so widely current, and thus implicitly adopted, if not sanctioned, by the authority which I have mentioned; but Johnson himself assured me, that there was not the least foundation for it. He told me, that there never was any particular incident which produced a quarrel between lord Chesterfield and him; but that his lordship's continued neglect was the reason why he resolved to have no connection with him. When the Dictionary was upon the eve of publication, lord Chesterfield, who, it is said, had flattered himself with expectations that Johnson would dedicate the work to him, attempted, in a courtly manner, to soothe and insinuate himself with the sage, conscious, as it should seem, of the cold indifference with which he had treated its learned author; and farther attempted to conciliate him, by writing two papers in the World, in recommendation of the work; and it must be confessed, that they contain some studied compliments, so finely turned, that if there had been no previous offence, it is probable that Johnson would have been highly delighted. Praise, in general, was pleasing to him; but by praise from a man of rank and elegant accomplishments he was peculiarly gratified.


His lordship says, "I think the publick in general, and the republick of letters in particular, are greatly obliged to Mr. Johnson, for having undertaken and executed so great and desireable a work. Perfection is not to be expected from man: but if we are to judge by the various works of Johnson already published, we have good reason to believe, that he will bring this as near to perfection as any man could do. The Plan of it, which he published some years ago, seems to me to be a proof of it. Nothing can be more rationally imagined, or more accurately and elegantly expressed. I therefore recommend the previous perusal of it to all those who intend to buy the Dictionary, and who, I suppose, are all those who can afford it.

* * *

"It must be owned, that our language is at present in a state of anarchy; and hitherto, perhaps, it may not have

been the worse for it. During our free and open trade, many words and expressions have been imported, adopted, and naturalized from other languages, which have greatly enriched our own. Let it still preserve what real strength and beauty it may have borrowed from others; but let it not, like the Tarpeian maid, be overwhelmed and crushed by unnecessary ornaments. The time for discrimination seems to be now come. Toleration, adoption, and naturalization have run their lengths. Good order and authority are now necessary. But where shall we find them, and, at the same time, the obedience due to them? We must have recourse to the old Roman expedient in times of confusion, and choose a dictator. Upon this principle, I give my vote for Mr. Johnson to fill that great and arduous post; and I hereby declare that I make a total surrender of all my rights and privileges in the English language, as a freeborn British subject, to the said Mr. Johnson, during the term of his dictatorship. Nay more, I will not only obey him, like an old Roman, as my dictator, but, like a modern Roman, I will implicitly believe in him as my pope, and hold him to be infallible while in the chair, but no longer. More than this he cannot well require; for I presume that obedience can never be expected, when there is neither terrour to enforce, nor interest to invite it.

* * *

"But a Grammar, a Dictionary, and a History of our Language through its several stages, were still wanting at home, and importunately called for from abroad. Mr. Johnson's labours will now, I dare say, very fully supply that want, and greatly contribute to the farther spreading of our language in other countries. Learners were discouraged, by finding no standard to resort to; and, consequently, thought it incapable of any. They will now be undeceived and encouraged."

This courtly device failed of its effect. Johnson, who thought that "all was false and hollow," despised the honeyed words; and was even indignant that lord Chesterfield should, for a moment, imagine that he could be the

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