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considerable pains to study the subject, he wrote three several letters in the "Gazetteer," in opposition to his plan.

If it should be remarked that this was a controversy which lay quite out of Johnson's way, let it be remembered that, after all, his employing his powers of reasoning and eloquence upon a subject which he had studied on the moment, is not more strange than what we often observe in lawyers, who, as Quicquid agunt homines is the matter of lawsuits, are sometimes obliged to pick up a temporary knowledge of an art or science of which they understood nothing till their brief was delivered, and appear to be much masters of it. In like manner, members of the legislature frequently introduce and expatiate upon subjects of which they have informed themselves for the occasion.

country has employed for forty years, decided the question by declaring clearly in favour of the elliptical arch.

It is ungraciously suggested, that Johnson's motive for opposing Mr. Mylne's scheme may have been his prejudice against him as a native of North Britain; when, in truth, as has been stated, he gave the aid of his able pen to a friend, who was one of the candidates; and so far was he from having any illiberal antipathy to Mr. Mylne, that he afterwards lived with that gentleman upon very agreeable terms of acquaintance, and dined with him at his house. Sir John Hawkins, indeed, gives full vent to his own prejudice in abusing Blackfriars-bridge, calling it "an edifice, in which beauty and symmetry are in vain sought for; by which the citizens of London have perpetuated their own disgrace, and subjected a whole nation to the reproach of foreigners." Whoever has contemplated, placido lumine, this stately, elegant, and airy structure, which has so fine an effect, especially on approaching the capital on that quarter, must wonder at such unjust and ill-tempered censure; and I appeal to all foreigners of good taste, whether this bridge be not one of the most distinguished ornaments of London. As to the stability of the fabric, it is certain that the City of London took every precaution to have the best Portland stone for it; but as this is to be found in the quarries belonging to the public, under the direction of the Lords of the Treasury, it so happened that parliamentary interest, which is often the bane of fair pursuits, thwarted their endeavours. Notwithstanding this disadvantage, it is well known that not only has Blackfriars-bridge never sunk either in its foundation or in its arches, which were so much the subject of contest, but any injuries which it has suffered from the effects of severe frosts have been already, in some measure, repaired with sounder stone, and every necessary renewal can be completed at a moderate expense-BosWELL.

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IN 1760 he wrote "An Address of the Painters to George III. on his Accession to the Throne of these Kingdoms," + which no monarch ever ascended with more sincere congratulations from his people. Two generations of foreign princes had prepared their minds to rejoice in having again a king, who gloried in being "born a Briton." He also wrote, for Mr. Baretti, the Dedication + of his Italian and English Dictionary, to the Marquis of Abreu, then Envoy-Extraordinary from Spain at the Court of Great Britain.

Johnson was now either very idle, or very busy with his Shakspeare; for I can find no other public composition by him except an Introduction to the Proceedings of the Committee for clothing the French Prisoners; * one of the many proofs that he was ever awake to the calls of humanity; and an account which he gave in the "Gentleman's Magazine "of Mr. Tytler's acute and able vindication of Mary Queen of Scots. The generosity of Johnson's feelings shines forth in the following sentence:

'It has now been fashionable for near half a century to defame and vilify the house of Stuart, and to exalt and magnify the reign of Elizabeth. The Stuarts have found few apologists, for the dead cannot pay for praise; and who

will, without reward, oppose the tide of popularity? Yet there remains still among us, not wholly extinguished, a zeal for truth, a desire of establishing right in opposition to fashion."

In this year I have not discovered a single private letter written by him to any of his friends. It should seem, however, that he had at this period a floating intention of writing a history of the recent and wonderful successes of the British arms in all quarters of the globe; for among his resolutions or memorandums, September 18, there is, "Send for books for Hist. of War."1 How much is it to be regretted that this intention was not fulfilled! His majestic expression would have carried down to the latest posterity the glorious achievements of his country, with the same fervent glow which they produced on the mind at the time. He would have been under no temptation to deviate in any degree from truth, which he held very sacred, or to take a licence, which a learned divine told me he once seemed, in a conversation, jocularly to allow to historians.

"There are," said he, " inexcusable lies and consecrated lies. For instance we are told that on the arrival of the news of the unfortunate battle of Fontenoy, every heart beat, and every eye was in tears. Now we know that no man ate his dinner the worse, but there should have been all this concern; and to say there was (smiling), may be reckoned a consecrated lie."

This year, Mr. Murphy, having thought himself ill-treated by the Rev. Dr. Francklin, who was one of the writers of the "Critical Review," published an indignant vindication in "A Poetical Epistle to Samuel Johnson, A.M.," in which he compliments Johnson in a just and elegant manner :

"Transcendent Genius! whose prolific vein
Ne'er knew the frigid poet's toil and pain;
To whom APOLLO opens all his store,
And every muse presents her sacred lore;

Say, powerful JOHNSON, whence thy verse is fraught
With so much grace, such energy of thought;
Whether thy JUVENAL instructs the age
In chaster numbers, and new-points his rage;
Or fair IRENE sees, alas! too late

Her innocence exchanged for guilty state;
Whate'er you write, in every golden line
Sublimity and elegance combine;
Thy nervous phrase impresses every soul,
While harmony gives rapture to the whole."

1 Prayers and Meditations, p. 42.-BOSWELL.

Again, towards the conclusion :

"Thou then, my friend, who see'st the dangerous strife
In which some demon bids me plunge my life,
To the Aonian fount direct my feet,

Say, where the Nine thy lonely musings meet?
Where warbles to thy ear the sacred throng,
Thy moral sense, thy dignity of song?
Tell, for you can, by what unerring art
You wake to finer feelings every heart;

In each bright page some truth important give,

And bid to future times thy RAMBLER live."

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I take this opportunity to relate the manner in which an acquaintance first commenced between Dr. Johnson and Mr. Murphy. During the publication of the "Gray's-Inn Journal," a periodical paper, which was successfully carried on by Mr. Murphy alone, when a very young man, he happened to be in the country with Mr. Foote; and having mentioned that he was obliged to go to London in order to get ready for the press one of the numbers of that Journal, Foote said to him, "You need not go on that account. Here is a French magazine, in which you will find a very pretty oriental tale; translate that, and send it to your printer." Mr. Murphy having read the tale, was highly pleased with it, and followed Foote's advice. When he returned to town, this tale was pointed out to him in the "Rambler," from whence it had been translated into the French magazine. Mr. Murphy then waited upon Johnson to explain this curious incident. His talents, literature, and gentleman-like manners, were soon perceived by Johnson, and a friendship was formed which was never broken.'

1 When Mr. Murphy first became acquainted with Dr. Johnson, he was about thirty-one years old. He died at Knightsbridge, June 18, 1805, it is believed in his eighty-second year. In an account of this gentleman, published recently after his death, he is reported to have said, that "he was but twenty-one," when he had the impudence to write a periodical paper, during the time that Johnson was publishing the "Rambler."-In a subsequent page, in which Mr. Boswell gives an account of his first introduction to Johnson, will be found a striking instance of the incorrectness of Mr. Murphy's memory; and the assertion above mentioned, if indeed he made it, which is by no means improbable, furnishes an additional proof of his inaccuracy; for both the facts asserted are unfounded. He appears to have been eight years older than twenty-one, when he began the "Gray's-Inn Journal;" and that paper instead of running a race with Johnson's production, did not appear till after the closing of the "Rambler," which ended March 14, 1752. The first number of the "Gray's-Inn Journal" made its appearance about seven months afterwards, in a newspaper of the time, called "The Craftsman," October 21, 1752; and in that form the first forty-nine numbers were given to the public. On Saturday, Sept. 29, 1753, it assumed a new form, and was published as a distinct periodical paper; and in that shape it continued to be published till the 21st of Sept. 1754, when it finally closed; forming in the whole one hundred and one Essays, in the folio copy. The extraordinary paper mentioned in the text, is No. 38 of the second series, published on June 15, 1754; which is a retranslation from the French version of Johnson's "Rambler," No. 190. It was omitted in the republication of these Essays in two volumes 12mo. in which one hundred and four are found, and in which the papers are not always dated on the days when


Oct. 18, 1760.

"DEAR SIR, "You that travel about the world, have more materials for letters, than I who stay at home; and should, therefore, write with frequency equal to your opportunities. I should be glad to have all England surveyed by you, if you would impart your observations in narratives as agreeable as your last. Knowledge is always to be wished to those who can communicate it well. While you have been riding and running, and seeing the tombs of the learned, and the camps of the valiant, I have only stayed at home, and intended to do great things, which I have not done. Beau1 went away to Cheshire, and has not yet found his way back. Chambers passed the vacation at Oxford.

"I am very sincerely solicitous for the preservation or curing of Mr. Langton's sight, and am glad that the chirurgeon at Coventry gives him so much hope. Mr. Sharpe is of opinion that the tedious maturation of the cataract is a vulgar error, and that it may be removed as soon as it is formed. This notion deserves to be considered; I doubt whether it be universally true; but if it be true in some cases, and those cases can be distinguished, it may save a long and uncomfortable delay.

"Of dear Mrs. Langton you give me no account; which is the less friendly, as you know how highly I think of her, and how much I interest myself in her health. I suppose you told her of my opinion, and likewise suppose it was not followed; however, I still believe it to be right.


"Let me hear from you again, wherever you are, or whatever you are doing; whether you wander or sit still, plant trees or make Rustics,2 play with your sisters or muse alone; and in return I will tell you the success of Sheridan, who at this instant is playing Cato, and has already played Richard twice. had more company the second than the first night, and will make, I believe, a good figure on the whole, though his faults seem to be very many; some of natural deficience, and some of laborious affectation. He has, I think, no power of assuming either that dignity or elegance which some men, who have little of either in common life, can exhibit on the stage. His voice when strained is

they really appeared; so that the motto prefixed to this Anglo-Gallic Eastern tale, obscuris vera involvens, might very properly have been prefixed to this work when republished. Mr. Murphy did not, I believe, wait on Johnson recently after the publication of this adumbration of one of his "Ramblers," as seems to be stated in the text; for, in his concluding Essay Sept. 21, 1754, we find the following paragraph :

"Besides, why may not a person rather choose an air of bold negligence, than the obscure diligence of pedants and writers of affected phraseology. For my part, I have always thought an easy style more eligible than a pompous diction, lifted up by metaphor, amplified by epithet, and dignified by too frequent insertions of the Latin idiom." It is probable that the "Rambler" was here intended to be censured, and that the author, when he wrote it, was not acquainted with Johnson, whom, from his first introduction, he endeavoured to conciliate. Their acquaintance, therefore, it may be presumed, did not commence till towards the end of this year, 1754. Murphy, however, had highly praised Johnson in the preceding year, No. 14, of the second series, Dec. 22, 1753.-MALONE.

The "Rambler," No. 190, which Murphy retranslated, is the "History of Abouzaid, the son of Morad."-ED.

1 Topham Beauclerk, Esq.--Boswell.

2 Essays with that title, written about this time by Mr. Langton, but not published.

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