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any but the first syllable." In an essay printed in The Public Advertiser," this lively writer enumerated many instances in opposition to this remark; for example, "The author of this observation must be a man of a quick appre-hension, and of a most compre-hensive genius." The position is undoubtedly expressed with too much latitude.

This light sally, we may suppose, made no great impression on our Lexicographer; for we find that he did not alter the passage till many years afterwards. (1)

He had the pleasure of being treated in a very different manner by his old pupil Mr. Garrick, in the following complimentary Epigram:


"Talk of war with a Briton, he'll boldly advance, That one English soldier will beat ten of France; Would we alter the boast from the sword to the pen, Our odds are still greater, still greater our men: In the deep mines of science though Frenchmen may toil,

Can their strength be compar'd to Locke, Newton, and Boyle?

Let them rally their heroes, send forth all their powers, Their verse-men and prose-men, then match them with


First Shakspeare and Milton, like Gods in the fight,
Have put their whole drama and epic to flight;

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(1) In the third edition, published in 1773, he left out the words perhaps never, and added the following paragraph: "It sometimes begins middle or final syllables in words compounded, as block-head or derived from the Latin, as comprehended."

In satires, epistles, and odes would they cope,
Their numbers retreat before Dryden and Pope;
And Johnson, well arm'd like a hero of yore,

Has beat forty French (1), and will beat forty more!"

Johnson this year gave at once a proof of his benevolence, quickness of apprehension, and admirable art of composition, in the assistance which he gave to Mr. Zachariah Williams, father of the blind lady whom he had humanely received under his roof. Mr. Williams had followed the profession of physic in Wales; but having a very strong propensity to the study of natural philosophy, had made many ingenious advances towards a discovery of the longitude, and repaired to London in hopes of obtaining the great parliamentary reward. (2) He failed of success: but Johnson having made himself master of his principles and experiments, wrote for him a pamphlet (3), published in quarto, with the following title: "An Account of an Attempt to ascertain the Longitude at Sea, by an exact Theory of the Variation of the Magnetical Needle; with a Table of the Variations at the most remarkable Cities in Europe, from the year 1660 to 1680."+ To diffuse it more extensively, it was accompanied with an Italian translation on the opposite page, which it is

(1) The number of the French Academy employed in settling their language.

(2) Mr. Williams, as early as 1721, persuaded himself that he had discovered the means of ascertaining the longitude, and he seems to have passed a long life in that delusion. C.

(8) [This pamphlet bore the name of Z. Williams on the title page and Warton has recorded that Johnson, on presenting a copy of it in 1755 to the Bodleian, was careful to insert the title in his own handwriting in the great catalogue.]

supposed was the work of Signor Baretti (1), an Italian of considerable literature, who having come to England a few years before, had been employed in the capacity both of a language master and a. author, and formed an intimacy with Dr. Johnson. This pamphlet Johnson presented to the Bodleian Library. On a blank leaf of it is pasted a paragraph cut out of a newspaper, containing an account of the death and character of Williams, plainly written by Johnson. (2)

In July this year he had formed some scheme of mental improvement, the particular purpose of which does not appear. But we find in his "Prayers and Meditations," p. 25., a prayer entitled, "On the Study of Philosophy, as an instrument of living;" and after it follows a note, "This study was not pursued."

On the 13th of the same month he wrote in his Journal the following scheme of life, for Sunday: "Having lived" (as he with tenderness of conscience

(1) This ingenious foreigner, who was a native of Piedmont, came to England about the year 1753, and died in London, May 5. 1789. A very candid and judicious account of him and his works, written, it is believed, by a distinguished dignitary in the church, [Dr. Vincent, Dean of Westminster,] may be found in the Gentleman's Magazine for that year.-M.


(2) On Saturday the 12th, [July, 1755] about twelve at night, died Mr. Zachariah Williams, in his eighty-third year, after an illness of eight months, in full possession of his menta! faculties. He has been long known to philosophers and seamen for his skill in magnetism, and his proposal to ascertain the longitude by a peculiar system of the variation of the compass. He was a man of industry indefatigable, of conversation inoffensive, patient of adversity and disease, eminently sober, temperate, and pious; and worthy to have ended life with better fortune."

expresses himself)" not without an habitual reverence for the Sabbath, yet without that attention to its religious duties which Christianity requires ;"

"1. To rise early, and in order to it, to go to sleep early on Saturday.

"2. To use some extraordinary devotion in the morning.

"3. To examine the tenor of my life, and particularly the last week; and to mark my advances in religion, or recession from it.

"4. To read the Scripture methodically with such helps as are at hand.

"5. To go to church twice.

"6. To read books of divinity, either speculative or practical.

"7. To instruct my family.

"8. To wear off by meditation any worldly soil contracted in the week."

In 1756 Johnson found that the great fame of his Dictionary had not set him above the necessity of

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making provision for the day that was passing over him." (') No royal or noble patron extended a

(1) He was so far from being "set above the necessity of making provision for the day that was passing over him," that he appears to have been in this year in great pecuniary distress, having been arrested for debt; on which occasion his friend Samuel Richardson became his surety. See Richardson's Correspondence, vol. v. p. 285.

LETTER 48. Dr. Johnson to Mr. Richardson.

"Tuesday, 19th Feb. 1756. "DEAR SIR, -I return you my sincerest thanks for the favour which you were pleased to do me two nights ago. Be pleased to accept of this little book, which is all that I have published this winter. The inflammation is come again into my eye, so that I can write very little. I am, Sir, your most obliged and most humble servant,


munificent hand to give independence to the man who had conferred stability on the language of his country. We may feel indignant that there should have been such unworthy neglect; but we must, at the same time, congratulate ourselves, when we con sider, that to this very neglect, operating to rouse the natural indolence of his constitution, we owe many valuable productions, which otherwise, perhaps, might never have appeared.

He had spent, during the progress of the work, the money for which he had contracted to write his Dictionary. We have seen that the reward of his labour was only fifteen hundred and seventy-five pounds; and when the expense of amanuenses and paper, and other articles, are deducted, his clear profit was very inconsiderable. I once said to him, "I am sorry, Sir, you did not get more for your Dictionary." His answer was, "I am sorry too But it was very well. The booksellers are generous, liberal-minded men." He, upon all occasions, did ample justice to their character in this respect. He considered them as the patrons of literature; and, indeed, although they have eventually been considerable gainers by his Dictionary, it is to them

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"Gough Square, 16th March, 1756. "SIR, -I am obliged to entreat your assistance; I am now under an arrest for five pounds eighteen shillings. Mr. Strahan, from whom I should have received the necessary help in this case, is not at home, and I am afraid of not finding Mr. Millar. If you will be so good as to send me this sum, I will very gratefully repay you, and add it to all former obligations. I am, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

"Sent six guineas.


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