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meet at Manchester ? But we will settle it in some other letters.
“ Mr. Seward, 6 a great favourite at Streatham, has been, I think, enkindled by our travels, with a curiosity to see the Highlands. I have given him letters to you and Beattie. He desires that a lodging may
shall endeavour to do honour to your memory; and, elevated by the remembrance of you, persist in noble piety. May God, the father of all beings, ever bless you ! and may you continue to love,
" Your most affectionate friend, and devoted servant, “ Sunday, Sep. 30, 1764.
" JAMES BOSWELL."
TO DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON.
MY DEAR SIR,
“ Wilton-house, April 22, 1775. “ EVERY scene of my life confirms the truth of what you
have told me, there is no certain happiness in this state of being.'-I am here, amidst all that you know is at Lord Pembroke's; and yet I am weary and gloomy. I am just setting out for the house of an old friend in Devonshire, and shall not get back to London for a week yet. You said to me last Good-friday, with a cordiality that warmed my heart, that if I came to settle in London we should have a day fixed every week, to meet by ourselves and talk freely. To be thought worthy of such a privilege cannot but exalt me. During my present absence from you, while, notwithstanding the gaiety which
allow me to possess, I am darkened by temporary clouds, I beg to have a few lines from you; a few lines merely of kindness, as a viaticum till I see you again. In your “Vanity of Human Wishes,' and in Parnell's Contentment,' I find the only sure means of enjoying happiness; or, at least, the hopes of happiness. I ever am, with reverence and affection,
“ Most faithfully your's,
" James BosWELL."
6. William Seward, Esq. F. R. S. editor of “ Anecdotes of some distinguished persons," &c. in four volumes, 8vo. well known to a numerous and valuable acquaintance for his literature, love of the fine arts and social virtues. I am indebted to him for several como munications concerning Johnson.
[This gentleman, who was born in 1747, and was educated at the Charter-House, and at Oxford, died in London, April 24, 1799. Malone.]
taken for him at Edinburgh, against his arrival. He is just setting out.
“ Langton has been exercising the militia. Mrs. Williams is, I fear, declining. Dr. Lawrence says, he can do no more. She is gone to summer in the country, with as many conveniencies about her as she can expect'; but I have no great hope. We must all die : may we all be prepared !
“ I suppose Miss Boswell reads her book, and young Alexander takes to his learning. Let me hear about them; for every thing that belongs to you, belongs in a more remote degree, and not, I hope, very remote, to, dear Sir,
“ Your's affectionately, “ June 28, 1777.
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
TO THE SAME.
“ This gentleman is a great favourite at Streatham, and therefore you will easily believe that he has very valuable qualities. Our narrative has kindled him with a desire of visiting the Highlands after having already seen a great part of Europe. You must receive him as a friend, and when you have directed him to the curiosities of Edinburgh, give him instructions and recommendations for the rest of his journey. I am,
66 Your most humble servant, June 24, 1777.
- SAM. JOHNSON.”
Johnson's benevolence to the unfortunate was, I am confident, as steady and active as that of any of those who have been most eminently distinguished for that virtue. Innumerable proofs of it I have no doubt will be for ever concealed from mortal eyes. We may,
, however, form some judgment of it, from the many and various instances which have been discovered. One, which happened in the course of this summer, is remarkable from the name and connexion of the person who was the object of it. The circumstance to which I allude is ascertained hy two letters, one to Mr. Langton, and another to the Rev. Dr. Vyse, rector of Lambeth, son of the respectable clergyman at Lichfield, who was contemporary with Johnson, and in whose father's family Johnson had the happiness of being kind. ly received in his early years.
“ DR. JOHNSON TO BENNET LANGTON, ESQ.
66 DEAR SIR,
“ I HAVE lately been much disordered by a difficulty of breathing, but am now better. I hope your house is well.
“ You know we have been talking lately of St. Cross, at Winchester; I have an old acquaintance whose distress makes him very desirous of an hospital, and I am afraid I have not strength enough to get him into the Chartreux. He is a painter, who never rose higher than to get his immediate living, and from that, at eighty-three, he is disabled by a slight stroke of the palsy, such as does not make him at all helpless on common occasions, though his hand is not steady enough for his art.
My request is, that you will try to obtain a promise of the next vacancy, from the Bishop of Chester. It is not a great thing to ask, and I hope we shall obtain it. Dr. Warton has promised to favour him with his notice, and I hope he may end his days in peace.
“ I am, Sir, your most humble servant, " June 29, 1777.
“ Sam. JOHNSON."
“ TO THE REVEREND DR. VYSE, AT LAMBETH,
“ I DOUBT not but you will readily forgive me for taking the liberty of requesting your assistance in recommending an old friend to his Grace the Archbishop as Governor of the Charter-house.
“ His name is De Groot; ? he was born at Gloucester; I have known him many years. He has all the common claims to charity, being old, poor, and infirm to a great degree. He has likewise another claim, to which no scholar can refuse attention; he is by several descents the nephew of Hugo Grotius; of him, from whom perhaps every man of learning has learnt something. Let it not be said that in any lettered country a nephew of Grotius asked a charity and was refused. I am, reverend Sir,
- Your most humble servant, “ July 9, 1777.
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
TO THE REVEREND DR. VYSE, AT LAMBETH.
“ If any notice should be taken of the recommendation which I took the liberty of sending you, it will be necessary to know that Mr. De Groot is to be found at No. 8, in Pye-street, Westminster. This information, when I wrote, I could not give you; and being going soon to Lichfield, think it necessary to be left behind me.
“ More I will not say. You will want no persuasion to succour the nephew of Grotius.
“ I am, Sir,
“ Your most humble servant, July 22, 1777.
“ SAM. JOHNSON.”
[? Isaac de Groot. This poor man was received into the Charterhouse, where he died Feb. 8, 1779. A. C.)
THE REVEREND DR. VYSE TO MR. BOSWELL.
“ Lambeth, June, 9, 1787. “ I HAVE searched in vain for the letter which I spoke of, and which I wished, at your desire, to communicate to you. It was from Dr. Johnson, to return me thanks for my application to Archbishop Cornwallis in favour of poor de Groot. He rejoices at the success it met with, and is lavish in the praise he bestows upon his favourite, Hugo Grotius. I am really sorry that I cannot find this letter, as it is worthy of the writer. That which I send you enclosed, is at your service. It is very short, and will not perhaps be thought of any consequence, unless you should judge proper to consider it as a proof of the very humane part which Dr. Johnson took in behalf of a distressed and deserving person.
“ I am, Sir,
“ W. VYSE." 9
C DR. JOHNSON TO MR. EDWARD DILLY.
“ To the collection of English Poets I have recommended the volume of Dr. Watts to be added ; his name has long been held by me in veneration, and I would not willingly be reduced to tell of him only that he was born and died. Yet of his life I know very little, and therefore must pass him in a manner very unworthy of
8 The preceding letter.
9 [Dr. Vyse, at my request, was so obliging as once more to endeavour to recover the letter of Johnson, to which he alludes, but without success; for, April 23, 1800, he wrote to me thus : “ I have again searched but in vain, for one of his letters, in which he speaks in his own nervous style of Hugo Grotius—De Groot was clearly a descendant of the family of Grotius, and Archbishop Cornwallis willingly complied with Dr. Johnson's request." MALONE.]