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cure him. Of all lying, I have the greatest abhorat 1784. rence of this, because I believe it has been frequently's
, practised on myself.”
I cannot help thinking that there is much weight in the opinion of those who have held, that truth, as an eternal and immutable principle, ought, upon no account whatever, to be violated, from supposed previous or superiour obligations, of which every inan being to judge for himself, there is great danger that we too often, from partial motives, persuade ourselves that they exist ; and probably whatever extraordinary instances may sometimes occur, where some evil may be prevented by violating this noble principle, it would be found that human happiness would, upon the whole, be more perfect, were Truth universally preserved.
In the notes to the “ Dunciad,” we find the following verses, addressed to Pope ::
“ While malice, Pope, denies thy page
" Its own celestial fire ; “ While criticks, and while bards in rage,
“ Admiring, won't admire :
“ While wayward pens thy worth assail,
“ And envious tongues decry; « These times, though many a friend bewail,
“ These times bewail not I.
• But when the world's loud praise is thine,
“ And spleen no more shall blame :
!! In one establish'd fame!
3 The annotator calls them “amiable verses."
" When none shall rail, and every lay
66 Devote a wreath to thee;
66 Shall I lament to see."
It is surely not a little remarkable, that they should appear without a name,
. Miss Seward, knowing Dr. Johnson's almost universal and minute literary information, signified a desire that I should ask him who was the authour. He was prompt with his answer :
Why, Sir, they were written by one Lewis, who was either under-master or an usher of Westminsterschool, and published a Miscellany, in which “Grongar Hili first came out." Johnson praised them
• Lewis's Verses addressed to Pope, (as Mr. Bindley suggests to me,) were first published in a collection of Pieces in verse and prose on occasion of “ the Dunciad,” 8vo. 1732. They are there called an Epigram.--"Grongar Hill,” the same gentleman observes, was first printed in Savage's Miscellanies, as an Ode, (it is singular that Johnson should not have recollected this,) and was roprinted in the same year, (1726,) in Lewis's Miscellany, in the form it now bears.
In that Miscellany, (as the Reverend Mr. Blakeway observes to me,) “ the beautiful poem, Away, let nought to love displeasing,' &c. (reprinted in Percy's RELIQUES, vol. i. b. iii. No. 14,) first appeared."
Lewis was author of “ Philip of Macedon," a tragedy, published in 1727, and dedicated to Pope ; and in 1730, he published a second volume of miscellaneous poems.
As Dr. Johnson settled in London not long after the Verses addressed to Pope first appeared, he probably then obtained some information concerning their authour, David Lewis, whom he has described as an Usher of Westminster-school : yet the Dean of Westminster, who has been pleased at my request to make some enquiry on this subject, has not found any vestige of his having ever been employed in this situation. A late writer (“ Environs of London," iv. 171,) supposed that the following inseription in the
highly, and repeated them with a noble animation. 1784. In the twelfth line, instead of “one establish'd fame,
Ætat. 75. he repeated“ one unclouded flame," which he thought was the reading in former editions : but I believe was a flash of his own genius. It is much more poetical than the other.
On Monday, June 14, and Tuesday, 15, Dr. Johnson and I dined, on one of them, I forget which, with Mr. Mickle, translator of the “ Lusiad,” at Wheatley, a very pretty country place a few miles from Os. ford; and on the other with Dr. Wetherell, Master of University-College. From Dr. Wetherell's he went to visit Mr. Sackville Parker, the bookseller ; and when he returned to us, gave the following account of his visit, saying, “ I have been to see my old friend, Sack. Parker; I find he has married his maid ; he has done right. She had lived with him many years in great confidence, and they had mingled minds; I do not think he could have found any wife
church-yard of the church of Low Leyton in Essex, was intended to commemorate this poet:
“ Sacred to the memory of David Lewis, Esq. who died the 8th Day of April, 1760, aged 77 years ; a great favourite of the Muses, as his many excellent pieces in poetry sufficiently testify,
• Inspired verse may on this marble live,
Also Mary, the wife of the above-named David Lewis, fourth daughter of Newdigate Owsley, Esq. who departed this life the 10th of October, 1774, aged 90 years.
But it appears to me improbable that this monument was erected for the authour of the Verses to Pope, and of the Tragedy already mentioned ; the language both of the dedication prefixed to that piece, and of the dedication addressed to the Earl of Shaftesbury, and prefixed to the Miscellanies, 1730, denoting a person who moved in a lower sphere than this Essex 'Squire seems to have done. M.]
1784. that would have made him so happy. The woman was Atat.75. very attentive and civil to me; she pressed me to fix
a day for dining with them, and to say what I liked, and she would be sure to get it for me. Poor Sack! He is very ill, indeed. We parted as never to meet again. It has quite broke me down.” This pathetick narrative was strangely diversified with the grave and carnest defence of a man's having married his maid. I could not but feel it as in some degree ludicrous.
In the morning of Tuesday, June 15, while we sat at Dr. Adams's, we talked of a printed letter from the reverend Herbert Croft, to a young gentleman who had been his pupil, in which he advised him to read to the end of whatever books he should begin to read. Johnson. “This is surely a strange advice; you may as well resolve that whatever men you happen to get acquainted with, you are to keep to them for life. A book may be good for nothing; or there may be only one thing in it worth knowing ; are we to read it all through? These Voyages, (pointing to the three large volumes of Voyages to the South Sea,' which were just come out) who will read them through ? A man had better work his way before the mast, than read them through; they will be eaten by rats and mice, before they are read through. There can be little entertainment in such books; one set of Savages is like another.” Boswell. “Ido not think the people of Otaheité can be reckoned Savages. JOHNSON. " Don't cant in defence of Savages." Boswell.
“ They have the art of navigation.”—JOHNSON. “A dog or a cat can swim.” Bos
They carve very ingeniously.” Johnson.
[He died at Oxford in his 89th year, Dec. 10, 1796. M.],
« But you
"A cat can scratch, and a child with a nail can 1784. scratch." I perceived this was none of the mollia
Ætat. 75. tempora fandi; so desisted.
Upon his mentioning that when he came to Col. lege he wrote his first exercise twice over, but never did so afterwards; Miss ADAMS. “ I suppose, Sir, you could not make them better ?' JOHNSON. “ Yes, Madam, to be sure, I could make them better. Thought is better than no thought." Miss Adams. “Do you, think, Sir, you could make your Ramblers better ?” Johnson. “ Certainly I could.” Boswell. " I'll lay a bet, Sir, you cannot.” Johnson. “ But I will, Sir, if I choose. I shall make the best of them you shall pick out, better.”—Boswell. may add to them. I will not allow of that." JohnSON. “Nay, Sir, there are three ways of making them better ;-putting out --adding,—or correcting."
During our visit at Oxford, the following conversation passed between him and me on the subject of my trying my fortune at the English bar. Having asked, whether a very extensive acquaintance in London, which was very valuable, and of great advantage to a man at large, might not be prejudicial to a lawyer, by preventing him from giving sufficient attention to his business?-Johnson. “Sir, you will attend to business, as business lays hold of you. When not actually employed, you may see your friends as much as you do now. You may dine at a Club every day, and sup with one of the members every night ; and you may be as much at publick places as one who has seen them all would wish to be. But you must take care to attend constantly in Westminster Hall; both to mind your business, as it is almost all learnt there, (for nobody reads now,) and to shew that you want