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"Few consequences of my endeavours to please or to benefit mankind have delighted me more than your friendship thus voluntarily offered, which now I have it I hope to keep, because I hope to continue to deserve it.

“I have no Dictionaries to dispose of for myself, but shall be glad to have you direct your friends to Mr. Dodsley, because it was by his recommendation that I was employed in the work.

"When you have leisure to think again upon me let me be favoured with another letter; and another yet, when you have looked into my Dictionary. If you find faults, I shall endeavour to mend them; if you find none, I shall think you blinded by kind partiality: but to have made you partial in his favour, will very much gratify the ambition of, Sir, your most obliged and most humble servant,


Mr. Andrew Millar, bookseller in the Strand, (1) took the principal charge of conducting the publication of Johnson's Dictionary; and as the patience of the proprietors was repeatedly tried and almost exhausted, by their expecting that the work would be completed within the time which Johnson had sanguinely supposed, the learned author was often goaded to dispatch, more especially as he had received all the copy-money, by different drafts, a considerable time before he had finished his task. When the messenger who carried the last sheet to Millar returned, Johnson asked him, "Well, what did he say ?"—"Sir, (answered the messenger) he

(1) [Opposite Catherine Street. In 1767 Millar was succeeded, in the same house, by the late Mr. Alderman Cadell, whose son is the present occupier. 1835.]

said, thank God I have done with him." "I am glad (replied Johnson, with a smile,) that he thanks GOD for any thing." (1) It is remarkable, that those with whom Johnson chiefly contracted for his literary labours were Scotchmen, Mr. Millar and Mr. Strahan. Millar, though himself no great judge of literature, had good sense enough to have for his friends very able men to give him their opinion and advice in the purchase of copy-right; the consequence of which was his acquiring a very large fortune, with great liberality. Johnson said of him, "I respect Millar, sir; he has raised the price of literature." The same praise may be justly given to Panckoucke, the eminent bookseller of Paris. (2) Mr. Strahan's liberality, judgment, and success, are well known.

At Langton, Lincolnshire.

66 May 6. 1755.

"SIR,-It has been long observed, that men do not suspect faults which they do not commit; your own elegance of manners, and punctuality of complaisance,

(1) Sir John Hawkins, p. 342, inserts two notes as having passed formally between Andrew Millar and Johnson, to the above effect. I am assured this was not the case. In the way of incidental remark it was a pleasant play of raillery. To have deliberately written notes in such terms would have been


(2) [Panckoucke edited, for some years, the "Mercure de France," printed splendid editions of the works of Buffon and Voltaire, projected the plan of the "Encyclopédie Métho dique," and, in 1789, established the "Moniteur Universel." which shortly after became the official journal of the French government.]

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did not suffer you to impute to me that negligence of which I was guilty, and [for] which I have not since atoned. I received both your letters, and received them with pleasure proportionate to the esteem which so short an acquaintance strongly impressed, and which I hope to confirm by nearer knowledge, though I am afraid that gratification will be for a time withheld.

"I have, indeed, published my book, (') of which I beg to know your father's judgment, and yours; and I have now staid long enough to watch its progress in the world. It has, you see, no patrons, and, I think, has yet had no opponents, except the critics of the coffeehouse, whose outcries are soon dispersed into the air, and are thought on no more: from this, therefore, I am at liberty, and think of taking the opportunity of this interval to make an excursion, and why not then into Lincolnshire? or, to mention a stronger attraction, why not to dear Mr. Langton? I will give the true reason, which I know you will approve :-I have a mother more than eighty years old, who has counted the days to the publication of my book, in hopes of seeing me; and to her, if I can disengage myself here, I resolve to go. (2)

"As I know, dear Sir, that to delay my visit for a reason like this, will not deprive me of your esteem, I beg it may not lessen your kindness. I have very seldom received an offer of friendship which I so earnestly desire to cultivate and mature. I shall rejoice to hear from you, till I can see you, and will see you as soon as I can; for when the duty that calls me to Lichfield is discharged, my inclination will carry me to Langton. I shall delight to hear the ocean roar, or see the stars

(1) His Dictionary.

(2) It is to be feared that this duty was not performed: see post, January 1759, and July 20. 1762. — C.

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twinkle, in the company of men to whom nature does not spread her volumes or utter her voice in vain.

"Do not, dear Sir, make the slowness of this letter a precedent for delay, or imagine that I approved the incivility that I have committed; for I have known you enough to love you, and sincerely to wish a further knowledge; and I assure you, once more, that to live in a house that contains such a father and such a son, will be accounted a very uncommon degree of pleasure, by, dear Sir, your most obliged, and most humble servant, "SAM. JOHNSON."

LETTER 43. TO THE REV. THOMAS WARTON. "[London,] May 13. 1755.

"DEAR SIR, I am grieved that you should think me capable of neglecting your letters; and beg you will never admit any such suspicion again. I purpose to come down next week, if you shall be there; or any other week, that shall be more agreeable to you. Therefore let me know. I can stay this visit but a week, but intend to make preparations for a longer stay next time; being resolved not to lose sight of the University. How goes Apollonius (1)? Don't let him be forgotten. Some things of this kind must be done, to keep us up. Pay my compliments to Mr. Wise, and all my other friends. I think to come to Kettel-Hall.(2) I am, Sir, your most affectionate, &c.


(1) A translation of Apollonius Rhodius was now intended by Mr. Warton. WARTON.

(2) Kettel-Hall is an ancient tenement built about the year 1615, by Dr. Ralph Kettel, President of Trinity College, for the accommodation of commoners of that society. It adjoins the college; and was a few years ago converted into a private house.-M.

LETTER 44. TO MR. [SAMUEL] RICHARDSON. (1) "May 17. 1755.

"DEAR SIR,-As you were the first that gave me notice of this paragraph, I send it to you, with a few little notes, which I wish you would read. It is well, when men of learning and penetration busy themselves in these inquiries, but what is their idleness is my business. Help, indeed, now comes too late for me, when a large part of my book has passed the press.

"I shall be glad if these strictures appear to you not unwarrantable; for whom should he, who toils in settling a language, desire to please but him who is adorning it? I hope your new book is printing. Macte nová virtute. I am, dear Sir, most respectfully and most affectionately, your humble servant,



[London,] June 10. 1755.

"DEAR SIR,—It is strange how many things will happen to intercept every pleasure, though it [be] only that of two friends meeting together. I have promised myself every day to inform you when you might expect me at Oxford, and have not been able to fix a time. The time, however, is, I think, at last come; and I promise myself to repose in Kettel-Hall, one of the first nights of the next week. I am afraid my stay with you cannot be long; but what is the inference? We must endeavour to make it cheerful. I wish your brother could meet us, that we might go and drink tea with Mr. Wise in a body. hope he will be at Oxford, or at his nest of British and Saxon antiquities. (2) I shall expect to see Spenser finished, and many other things begun.

(1) Communicated by Dr. Harwood. — C.
(2) At Ellsfield. - WARTON.

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