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great caution, whether they are perfect. In the first edition the loss of a leaf is not easily observed. You remember how near we both were to purchasing a mutilated Missal at a high price.

“All this perhaps you know already, and, therefore, my letter may be of no use.

I am, however, desirous to show you, that I wish prosperity to your undertaking. One advice more I will give, of more importance than all the rest, of which I, therefore, hope you will have still less need. You are going into a part of the world divided, as it is said, between bigotry and atheism : such representations are always hyperbolical, but there is certainly enough of both to alarm any mind solicitous for piety and truth ; let not the contempt of superstition precipitate you into infidelity, or the horror of infidelity ensnare you in superstition. - I sincerely wish you successful and happy, for

am, Sir, &c. “ SAM. JOHNSON.”


6 June 18. 1768. “My Love, - It gives me great pleasure to find that you are so well satisfied with what little things it has been in my power to send you. I hope you will always employ me in any office that can conduce to your convenience. My health is, I thank God, much better; but it is yet very weak; and very little things put it into a troublesome state ; but still I hope all will be well. Pray for me.

My friends at Lichfield must not think that I forget them. Neither Mrs. Cobb, nor Mrs. Adey, nor Miss Adey, nor Miss Seward, nor Miss Vise, are to suppose that I have lost all memory of their kindness. Mention me to them when you see them. I hear Mr. Vise has been lately very much in danger. I hope he is better.

shall see you.

“When you write again, let me know how you go on, and what company you keep, and what you do all day. I love to think on you, but do not know when I

Pray, write very often. I am, dearest, your humble servant,

“ SAM. Johnson.” In 1769, so far as I can discover, the public was favoured with nothing of Johnson's composition, either for himself or any of his friends. (1) His “ Meditations” too strongly prove that he suffered much both in body and mind; yet was he perpetually striving against evil, and nobly endeavouring to advance his intellectual and devotional improvement. Every generous and grateful heart must feel for the distresses of so eminent a benefactor to mankind; and now that his unhappiness is certainly known, must respect that dignity of character which prevented him from complaining.

His Majesty having the preceding year instituted the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Johnson (1)

A difference took place in the March of this year between Mr. Thrale and Sir Joseph Mawbey, his colleague, in the representation of Southwark, when Sir Joseph endeavoured to defend himself from some anti-popular step he had taken, by inculpating Mr. Thrale. The affair is related in the Gentleman's Magazine, and the concluding paragraph seems to contain internal evidence of having been written by Dr. Johnson:

“ If, therefore, delicacy of situation, and fear of public resentment, were the motives that impelled Sir Joseph to do his duty against his opinion, let his excuse have its full effect; but when he regrets his cowardice of compliance, let him regret likewise the cowardice of calumny; and when he shrinks from vulgar resentment, let him not employ falsehood to cover bis retreat." - Vol. xxxix. p. 162.

The article proceeds to recommend a recurrence to triennial parliaments, a measure to which Johnson's hatred of the Whig septennial bill would naturally incline him; and as, for Mr. Thrale's sake, he was obliged, by the violence of the times, to adopt some popular topic, he would probably adopt that of triennial parliaments. C.


had now the honour of being appointed Professor in Ancient Literature. (1) In the course of the year he wrote some letters to Mrs. Thrale, passed some part of the summer at Oxford, and at Lichfield, and when at Oxford he wrote the following letter:



May 31. 1769. “ Dear Sir, — Many years ago, when I used to read in the library of your College, I promised to recompense the college for that permission, by adding to their books a Baskerville's Virgil. I have now sent it, and desire you to reposit it on the shelves in my name. (*)

If you will be pleased to let me know when you have an hour of leisure, I will drink tea with you. I am engaged for the afternoon, to-morrow, and on Friday: all my mornings are my own. (3) I am, &c.

66 SAM. Johnson."

(1) In which place he has been succeeded by Bennet Langton, Esq. When that truly religious gentleman was elected to this honorary Profcssorship, at the same time that Edward Gibbon, Esq., noted for introducing a kind of sneering infidelity into his historical writings, was elected Professor in Ancient History, in the room of Dr. Goldsmith, I observed that it brought to my mind, "Wicked Will Whiston and good Mr. Ditton.” – I am now also [1791] of that admirable institution, as Secretary for Foreign Correspondence, by the favour of the Academicians, and the approbation of the sovereign.

(2) It has this inscription in a blank leaf :-Hunc librum D.D. Samuel Johnson eo quod hic loci studiis interdum vacaret. Of this library, which is an old Gothic room, he was very fond. On my observing to him that some of the modern libraries of the University were more commodious and pleasant for study, as being more spacious and airy, he replied, “Sir, if a man has a mind to prance, he must study at Christchurch and all Souls," - WARTON.

(3) During this visit he seldom or never dined out. He appeared to be deeply engaged in some literary work, Miss Williams was now with him at Oxford. - WARTON.


“ Lichfield, August 14. 1769. “I set out on Thursday morning, and found my companion, to whom I was very much a stranger, more agreeable than I expected. We went cheerfully forward, and passed the night at Coventry. We came in late, and went out early ; and therefore I did not send for my cousin Tom, but I design to make him some amends for the omission.

“ Next day we came early to Lucy, who was, I believe, glad to see us.

She had saved her best gooseberries upon the tree for me ; and as Steele says, I was neither too proud nor too wise to gather them. I have rambled a very little inter fontes et flumina nota, but I am not yet well. They have cut down the trees in George Lane. Evelyn, in his book of Forest Trees (1), tells us of wicked men that cut down trees, and never prospered afterwards ; yet nothing has deterred these audacious aldermen from violating the Hamadryad of George Lane. As an impartial traveller, I must, however, tell that, in Stow-street, where I left a draw-well, I have found a pump, but the lading-well in this illfated George Lane lies shamefully neglected.

I am going to-day or to-morrow to Ashbourne ; but I am at a loss how I shall get back in time to London. Here are only chance coaches, so that there is no certainty of a place. If I do not come, let it not hinder your journey. I can be but a few days behind you; and I will follow in the Brighthelmstone coach. But I hope to come.” LETTER 117. TO MRS. ASTON.

“ Brighthelmstone, August 26. 1769. “Madam, — I suppose you have received the mill : the whole apparatus seemed to be perfect, except that

(1) [Historical Account of the Sacredness and Use of Standing Groves, p. 638. 4to. 1776.]

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there is wanting a little tin spout at the bottom, and some ring or knob, on which the bag that catches the meal is to be hung. When these are added, I hope you will be able to grind your own bread, and treat me with a cake, made by yourself, of meal from your own corn of your own grinding.

"I was glad, madam, to see you so well, and hope your health will long increase, and then long continue. I am, madam, your most obedient servant,

" SAM. JOHNSON.” I came to London in the autumn; and having informed him that I was going to be married in a few months, I wished to have as much of his conversation as I could before engaging in a state of life which would probably keep me more in Scotland, and prevent me seeing him so often as when I was a single man; but I found he was at Brighthelmstone with Mr. and Mrs. Thrale. I was very sorry that I had not his company with me at the Jubilee, in honour of Shakspeare, at Stratford-upon-Avon, the great poet's native town.(1) Johnson's connection both with Shakspeare and Garrick founded a double claim to his presence; and it would have been highly

(1) Mr. Boswell, on this occasion, justified Johnson's foresight and prudence, in advising him to “ clear his head of Corsica : " unluckily, the advice had no effect, for Boswell made a fool of himself at the Jubilee by sundry enthusiastic freaks; amongst others, lest he should not be sufficiently distinguished, he wore the words Corsica Boswell in large letters round his hat.

C. 1831. - There was an absurd print of him, I think in the London Magazine, and published, no doubt, with his concurrence, in the character of an armed Corsican chief, as he appeared at the Jubilee, Sept. 1769, in which he wears a cap with the inscription of “ Viva la Libertà !” — but this was his dress of ceremony. The vernacular inscription of Corsica Boswell was probably his undress badge. - C. 1835.

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