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while it delights and improves the wise and the good, will, I trust, prove an effectual antidote to that detestable sophistry which has been lately imported from France, under the false name of Philosophy, and with a malignant industry has been employed against the peace, good order, and happiness of society, in our free and prosperous country; but, thanks be to GOD, without producing the pernicious effects which were hoped for by its propagators.

It seems to me, in my moments of self-complacency, that this extensive biographical work, however inferior in its nature, may in one respect be assimilated to the ODYSSEY. Amidst a thousand entertaining and instructive episodes, the HERO is never long out of sight; for they are all in some degree connected with him; and HE, in the whole course of the History, is exhibited by the Authour for the best advantage of his readers:

-Quid virtus et quid sapientia possit,
Utile proposuit nobis exemplar Ulyssen.

Should there be any cold-blooded and morose mortals who really dislike this Book, I will give them a story to apply. When the great DUKE of MARLBOROUGH, accompanied by LORD CADOGAN, was one day reconnoitring the army in Flanders, a heavy rain came on, and they both called for their cloaks. LORD CADOGAN'S servant, a good humoured alert lad, brought his Lordship's in a

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minute. The Duke's servant, a lazy sulky dog, was so sluggish, that his Grace being wet to the skin, reproved him, and had for answer with a grunt, "I came as fast as I could;” upon which the Duke calmly said," CADOGAN, I would not for a thousand pounds have that fellow's temper."

There are some men, I believe, who have, or think they have, a very small share of vanity. Such may speak of their literary fame in a decorous style of diffidence. But I confess, that I am so formed by nature and by habit, that to restrain the effusion of delight, on having obtained such fame, to me would be truly painful. Why then should I suppress it? Why "out of the abundance of the heart" should I not speak ? Let me then mention with a warm, but no insolent exultation, that I have been regaled with spontaneous praise of my work by many and various persons eminent for their rank, learning, talents, and accomplishments; much of which praise I have under their hands to be reposited in my archives at Auchinleck. An honourable and reverend friend speaking of the favourable reception of my volumes, even in the circles of fashion and elegance, said to me, you have made them all talk Johnson."-Yes, I may add, I have Johnsonised the land; and I trust they will not only talk, but think, Johnson.

66

To enumerate those to whom I have been thus

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ADVERTISEMENT

TO THE

THIRD EDITION.

SEVERAL valuable letters, and other curious matter, having been communicated to the Authour too late to be arranged in that chronological order which he had endeavoured uniformly to observe in his work, he was obliged to introduce them in his Second Edition, by way of ADDENDA, as commodiously as he could. In the present edition they have been distributed in their proper places. In revising his volumes for a new edition, he had pointed out where some of these materials should be inserted; but unfortunately, in the midst of his labours, he was seized with a fever, of which, to the great regret of all his friends, he died on the 19th of May, 1795. All the Notes that he had written in the margin of the copy which he had in part revised, are here faithfully preserved; and a few new Notes have been added, principally by some of those friends to whom the Authour in the former editions acknowledged his obligations. Those subscribed with the letter B. were communicated by DR. BURNEY; those to which the letters J. B. are annexed, by the Rev. J. B. BLAKEWAY, of Shrewsbury, to whom Mr. BOSWELL acknowledged himself indebted for some

VOL. I.

b

judicious remarks on the first edition of his work: and the letters J. B-. O. are annexed to some remarks furnished by the Authour's second son, a Student of Brazen-Nose College in Oxford. Some valuable observations were communicated by JAMES BINDLEY, Esq. First Commissioner in the Stamp-Office, which have been acknowledged in their proper places. For all those without any signature, Mr. MALONE is answerable.-Every new remark, not written by the Authour, for the sake of distinction has been enclosed within crotchets; in one instance, however, the printer, by mistake, has affixed this mark to a note relative to the Rev. THOMAS FYSCHE PALMER, (see vol. iv. p.129,) which was written by Mr. Boswell, and therefore ought not to have been thus distinguished.

I have only to add, that the proof-sheets of the present edition not having passed through my hands, I am not answerable for any typographical errours that may be found in it. Having, however, been printed at the very accurate press of Mr. Baldwin, I make no doubt it will be found not less perfect than the former edition; the greatest care having been taken, by correctness and elegance, to do justice to one of the most instructive and entertaining works in the English language.

April 8, 1799.

EDM. MALONE.

ADVERTISEMENT

TO THE

FOURTH EDITION.

IN this edition are inserted some new letters, of which the greater part has been obligingly communicated by the Reverend Doctor VYSE, Rector of Lambeth. Those written by Dr. JOHNSON concerning his mother in her last illness, furnish a new proof of his great piety and tenderness of heart, and therefore cannot but be acceptable to the readers of this very popular work. Some new notes also have been added, which, as well as the observations inserted in the third edition, and the letters now introduced, are carefully included within crotchets, that the authour may not be answerable for any thing which had not the sanction of his approbation. The remarks of his friends are distinguished as formerly, except those of Mr. MALONE, to which the letter M. is now subjoined. Those to which the letter K. is affixed, were communicated by my learned friend, the Reverend Doctor KEARNEY, formerly Senior Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and now be

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