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acter and your literary undertaking, I am person who gave him any assistance in the resolved to gratify myself by renewing a cor- compilation of his dictionary. The bishop respondence which began and ended a great had left some account of his life and characwhile ago, and ended, I am afraid, by my ter, written by himself. To this Johnson fault, a fault which, if you have not forgot- made some valuable additions t, and also ten it, you must now forgive.
furnished to the editor, the Rev. Mr. Der“If I have ever disappointed you, give by", a dedication t, which I shall here insert; me leave to tell you that you have likewise both because it will appear at this time with disappointed me. I expected great discov- peculiar propriety, and because it will tend eries in Irish antiquity, and large publica- to propagate and increase that “ fervour of tions in the Irish language; but the world loyalty,” which in me, who boast of the still remains as it was, doubtful and igno- name of tory, is not only a principle, but a rant. What the Irish language is in itself, passion. and to what languages it has affinity, are
"TO THE KING. very interesting questions, which every “Sir,- I presume to lay before your maman wishes to see resolved that has any jesty the last labours of a learned bishop, philological or historical curiosity. Dr. Le- who died in the toils and duties of his callland begins his history too late: the ages ing. He is now beyond the reach of all which deserve an exact inquiry are those earthly honours and rewards; and only the times (for such there were ') when Ireland hope of inciting others to imitate him, was the school of the west, the quiet habita- makes it now fit to be remembered, that he tion of sanctity and literature. If you could enjoyed in his life the favour of your give a history, though imperfect, of the majesty. Irish nation, from its conversion to Chris- “ The tumultuary life of princes seldom tianity to the invasion from England, you permits them to survey the wide extent of would amplify knowledge with new views national interest, without losing sight of and new objects. Set about it, therefore, private merit; to exhibit qualities which if you can: do what you can easily do with may be imitated by the highest and the humout anxious exactness. Lay the foundation, blest of mankind; and to be at once amiaand leave the superstructure to posterity. ble and great. - I am, sir, your humble servant,
“ Such characters, if now and then they “ Sam. Johnson." appear in history, are contemplated with
admiration. May it be the ambition of all Early in this year came out, in two vol- your subjects to make haste with their triumes quarto, the posthumous works of the bute of reverence! and as posterity may learned Dr. Zachary Pearce, bishop of learn from your majesty how kings should Rochester; being "Ă Commentary, with live, may they learn likewise from your peoNotes, on the four Evangelists and the Acts ple how they should be honoured !-I am, of the Apostles,” with other theological may it please your majesty, with the most pieces. Johnson had now an opportunity profound respect, your majesty's most dutiof making a grateful return to that excellent Tul and devoted subject and servant.” prelate ?, who, we have seen, was the only
In the summer he wrote a prologue* the “Gentleman's Magazine” for August, 1791. which was spoken before “ A Word to the -BosWELL. [In Anderson's" Sketches of the Native Irish,'
Wise,” a comedy by Mr. Hugh Kelly,
which had been brought upon the stage in p. 5. ed. 1828, there is on these words, “ FOR such there were,” the following note: - These 1770; but he being a writer for ministry in words were misquoted by Dr. Campbell in his one of the newspapers, it fell a sacrifice to strictures, “If such there were," although he popular fury, and in the playhouse phrase, was actually the bearer of the letter to O'Connor.”
was damned. By the generosity of Mr. The editor confesses that Dr. Campbell's reading Harris, the proprietor of Covent-garden seems the more probable of the two.--Ed.]
theatre, it was now exhibited for one night, ? [Mrs. Thrale, in one of her letters, repeats a for the benefit of the authour's widow and curious anecdote of this prelate, which she proba children. To conciliate the favour of the bly had from Dr. Johnson himself: “ We will act audience was the intention of Johnson's as Dr. Zachary Pearce, the famous bishop of prologue, which, as it is not long, I shall Rochester, did, when he lost the wife he so much here insert, as a proof that his poetical taloved-call for one glass to the health of her who lents were in no degree impaired. is departed never more to return, and then go quietly back to the usual duties of life, and for- 3 [Died 6th Oct. 1778, the Rev. J. Derbear to mention her again from that time to the by, A. M. rector of Southfleet and Longfield in last day of it.”—Lett. 2. p. 213. But he sur-Kent, and one of the six preachers in Canterbury vived his lady but a few months, and his death was Cathedral.-Gent. Mag. He had married Bi(if not occasioned) certainly accelerated by her shop Pearce's niece. Johnson in a letter to Mrs. loss. She died 238 Oct. 1773, and he 29th June, Thrale, -" My clerical friend Derby is dead.". 1774, after a union of fifty-one years.-ED.) Ed.]
“ This night presents a play, which publick rage, | he introduced an elegant compliment to Or right or wrong, once hooted from the stage: Johnson on his Dictionary, that wonderful From zeal or malice now no more we dread, performance which cannot be too often or For English vengeance wars not with the dead.
too highly praised; of which Mr. Harris, in A generous foe regards with pitying eye his “ Philological Inquiries ?," justly and The man whom fate has laid where all must lie. liberally observes, “ Such is its merit, that To wit, reviving from its authour's dust,
our language does not possess a more copiBe kind, ye judges, or at least be just:
ous, learned, and valuable work.” The Let no renewed hostilities invade
concluding lines of this prologue were these: Th’ oblivious grave's inviolable shade. Let one great payment every claim appease,
“So pleads the tale 3 that gives to future times And him who cannot hurt, allow to please;
The son's misfortunes and the parent's crimes: To please by scenes, unconscious of offence,
There shall his fame (if own’d to-night) survive, By harmless merriment or useful sense.
Fix'd by the hand that bids our language live." Where aught of bright or fair the piece displays, Mr. Sheridan here at once did honour to Approve it only;--'tis too late to praise. his taste and to his liberality of sentiment, If want of skill or want of care appear, by showing that he was not prejudiced from Forbear to hiss;—the poet cannot hear. the unlucky difference which had taken By all, like him, must praise and blame be found, place between his worthy father and Dr. At last, a fleeting gleam or empty sound: Johnson 4 I have already mentioned that Yet then shall calm reflection bless the night, Johnson was very desirous of reconciliation When liberal pity dignified delight;
with old Mr. Sheridan. It will, therefore, When pleasure tired her torch at virtue's flame; not seem at all surprising that he was zealAnd mirth was bounty with an humbler name."
ous in acknowledging the brilliant merit of [Dr. Johnson, indeed, was al- his son. While it had as yet been displayPiga, 40. ways liberal in granting, literary ed only in the drama, Johnson proposed hiin
assistance to others; and innume- as a member of the Literary Club, observrable are the prefaces, sermons, lectures, ing, that “He who has written the two and dedications, which he used to make for best comedies of his age is surely a considpeople who begged of him. Mr. Murphy erable man.” And he had, accordingly, related in his hearing one day, and he did the honour to be elected; for an honour it not deny it, that when Murphy joked him undoubtedly must be allowed to be, when it the week before for having been so diligent is considered of whom that society consists, of late between Dodu's sermon and Kelly's and that a single black ball excludes a canprologue, Dr. Johnson replied, “ Why, sir, didate. when they come to me with a dead staymaker and a dying parson, what can a man MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON. do?" He said, however, that “he hated
“ 9th July, 1777. to give away literary performances, or even “My deAR SIR,-For the health of my to sell them too cheaply: the next genera- wife and children I have taken the little tion shall not accuse me,” added he, “of country-house at which you visited my unbeating down the price of literature: one cle, Dr. Boswell, who, having lost his wife, hates, besides, ever to give that which one is gone to live with his son.
We took poshas been accustomed to sell; would not you, session of our villa about a week ago. We sir,” turning to Mr. Thrale, “ rather give have a garden of three quarters of an acre, away money than porter? '']
well stocked with fruit-trees and Aowers, A circumstance which could not fail to and gooseberries and currants, and pease be very pleasing to Johnson occurred this and beans, and cabbages, &c. &c. and my year. The tragedy of “Sir Thomas Over- children are quite happy. I now write to Þury," written by his early companion in you in a little study, from the window of London, Richard Savage, was brought out which I see around me a verdant grove, with alterations at Drury-lane theatre !. and beyond it the lofty mountain called ArThe prologue to it was written by Mr. thur's Sec Richard Brinsley Sheridan; in which, after
“ Your last letter, in which you desire me describing very pathetically the wretched
? Part First, chap. iv.-BOSWELL. ness of
3 “Life of Richard Savage, by Dr. Johnson.” “ IIl-fated Savage, at whose birth was given LSHERIDAN. No parent but the muse, no friend but Heaven,” [He likewise made some retribution to Dr.
Johnson for the attack he had meditated, about i Our authour has here fallen into a slight mis- two years before, on the pamphlet he had pubtake: the prologue to this revived tragedy being lished about the American question, entitled, written by Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Boswell very natu
“ Taration no Tyranny.” Some fragments rally supposed that it was performed at Drury-lane found among Sheridan's papers show that he had theatre. But in fact, as Mr. Kemble observes to intended answering this pamphlet in no very courme, it was acted at the theatre in Covent Garden. teous way. See Moore's Life, vol. i. p. 152 -MALONE.
to send you some additional information will be very valuable, on account of the concerning Thomson, reached me very for- Prefaces and Lives. But have seen a tunately just as I was going to Lanark, to specimen of an edition of the Poets at the put my wife's two nephews, the young Apollo press, at Edinburgh, which, for exCampbells, to school there, under the care cellence in printing and engraving, highly of Mr. Thomson, the master of it, whose deserves a liberal encouragement. wife is sister to the authour of "The Sea- “ Most sincerely do I regret the bad sons.' She is an old woman; but her mem- health and bad rest with which you have ory is very good; and she will with plea- been afflicted; and I hope you are better. sure give me for you every particular that I cannot believe that the prologue which you wish to know, and she can tell. Pray you generously gave to Mr. Kelly's widow then take the trouble to send me such ques- and children the other day is the effusion tions as may lead to biographical materials. of one in sickness and in disquietude: but You say that the Life which we have of external circumstances are never sure indiThomson is scanty. Since I received your cations of the state of man. I send you a letter, I have read his Life, published under letter which I wrote to you two years ago the name of Cibber, but, as you told me, at Wilton; and did not send it at the time, really written by a Mr. Shiels 1; that writ- for fear of being reproved as indulging too ten by Dr. Murdoch; one prefixed to an much tenderness: and one written to you edition of the Seasons,' published at Edin- at the tomb of Melancthon, which I kept burgh, which is compounded of both, with back, lest I should appear at once too suthe addition of an anecdote of Quin's re- perstitious and too enthusiastick. I now lieving Thomson from prison; the abridge-imagine that perhaps they may please you. ment of Murdoch's account of him, in - You do not take the least notice of the · Biographia Britannica,' and another my proposal for our meeting at Carlisle 4. abridgement of it in the " Biographical Dic- Though I have meritoriously refrained from tionary,' enriched with Dr. Joseph War- visiting London this year, I ask you if it ton's critical panegyrick on the Seasons,' would not be wrong that I should be two in his · Essay on the Genius and Writings years without having the benefit of your of Pope: ' from all these it appears to me conversation, when, if you come down as that we have a pretty full account of this far as Derbyshire, we may meet at the expoet. However, you will, I doubt not, pense of a few days' journeying and not show me many blanks, and I shall do what many pounds. I wish you to see Carlisle, can be done to have them filled up. As which made me mention that place. But Thomson never returned to Scotland (which if you have not a desire to complete your you will think very wise), his sister can speak tour of the English cathedrals, I will take a from her own knowledge only as to the ear-| larger share of the road between this place ly part of his life. She has some letters and Ashbourne. So tell me where you will from him, which may probably give light fix for our passing a few days by ourselves. as to his more advanced progress, if she will let us see them, which I suppose she will. added to the collection; but he is no otherwise I believe George Lewis Scott 2 and Dr. answerable for any which are found there, or any
which are omitted. The poems of Goldsmith Armstrong are now his only surviving companions, while he lived in and about Lon- (whose life I know he intended to write, for I coldon; and they, I dare say, can tell more of omitted in consequence of a petty exclusive in
lected some materials for it by his desire), were him than is yet known. My own notion is, terest in some of them, vested in Mr. Carnan, a that Thomson was a much coarser man bookseller.--MALONE. than his friends are willing to acknowledge. 4 Dr. Johnson had himself talked of our seeing His · Seasons' are indeed full of elegant and Carlisle together. High was a favourite word of pious sentiments; but a rank soil, nay a his to denote a person of rank. He said to me, dunghill, will produce beautiful flowers. 'Sir, I believe we may meet at the house of a “ Your edition 3 of the English Poets' Roman Catholick lady in Cumberland; a high
lady, sir.” I afterwards discovered that he i (See ante, p. 60. It is particularly ob- meant Mrs. Strickland (see ante, p. 16.-Ed.), servable that the Life of Thomson which Mr. Bos- sister of Charles Townley, Esq. whose very noble well here represents Johnson as stating to have collection of statues and pictures is not more to been especially written by Shiels, bears strong be admired, than his extraordinary and polite marks of having been written by Theophilus Cib- readiness in showing it, which I and several of ber.-Ep.]
my friends have agreeably experienced. They [See ante, v. i. p. 78 –Ed.]
who are possessed of valuable stores of gratifica3 Dr. Johnson was not the editor of this collection to persons of taste should exercise their betion of the English Poets; he merely furnished the nevolence in imparting the pleasure. Grateful biographical prefaces with which it is enriched, as acknowledgments are due to Welbore Ellis Agar, is rightly stated in a subsequent page. He, indeed, Esq. for the liberal access which he is pleased to from a virtuous motive, recommended the works allow to his exquisite collection of pictures --of four or five poets (wnom he has named) to be Boswell.
Now do n't cry foolish fellow,' or idle Studious the busy moments to deceive.' dog.' Chaiit your humour, and let your kindness play:
“ I remain, my dear sir, your most affec“ You will rejoice to hear that Miss tionate and faithful humble servant, Macleod! of Rasay, is married to Cotonel
“JAMES BOSWELL." Mure Campbell, an excellent man, with a pretty good estate of his own, and the pros- On the 23d of June, I again wrote to Dr. pect of having the Earl of Loudoun's for- Johnson, enclosing a shipmaster's receipt iune and honours. Is not this a noble lot for a jar of orange-marmalade, and a large for our fair Hebridean? How happy am I packet of Lord Hailes's “ Annals of Scotthat she is to be in Ayrshire! We shall land.” have the Laird of Rasay, and old Malcolm, and I know not how many gallant Macle
TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. ods, and bagpipes, &c. &c. at Auchinleck.
“28th June, 1777. Perhaps you may meet them all there. “ DEAR SIR,-I have just received your
“ Without doubt you have read what is packet from Mr. Thrale's, but have not called · The Life of David Hume,' written daylight enough to look much into it. I by himself, with the letter from Adam Smith am glad that I have credit enough with subjoined to it. Is not this an age of dar- Lord Hailes to be trusted with more copy. ing effrontery? My friend Mr. Anderson, I hope to take more care of it than of ihe professor of natural philosophy at Glasgow, last. I return Mrs. Boswell my affectionate at whose house you and I supped, and to thanks for her present, which I value as a whose care Mr. Windham, of Norfolk, was token of reconciliation. intrusted at that university, paid me a visit “ Poor Dodd was put to death yesterday, lately; and after we had talked with in- in opposition to the recommendation of the dignation and contempt of the poisonous jury,—the petition of the city of London, productions with which this age is infested, and a subsequent petition signed by threehe said there was now an excellent oppor- and-twenty thousand hands. Surely the tunity for Dr. Johnson to step forth. I voice of the publick, when it calls so loudly, agreed with him that you might knock and calls only for mercy, ought to be heard. Hume's and Smith's heads together, and “ The saying that was given me in the make vain and ostentatious infidelity ex- papers I never spoke; but I wrote many of ceedingly ridiculous. Would it not be his petitions, and soine of his letters. He worth your while to crush such noxious applied to me very often. He was, I am weeds in the moral garden?
afraid, long flattered with hopes of life; but “ You have said nothing to me of Dr. I had no part in the dreadful delusion; for Dodd 2. I know not how you think on that as soon as the king had signed his sensubject; though the newspapers give us a tence, I obtained from Mr. Chamier 3 an saying of yours in favour of mercy to him. account of the disposition of the court toBut I own I anı very desirous that the roy- wards him, with a declaration that there al prerogative of remission of punishment was no hope even of a respite. This letter should be employed to exhibit an illustrious immediately was laid before Dodd; but he instance of the regard which God's Vice- believed those whom he wished to be right, gerent will ever show to piety and virtue. as it is thought, till within three days of his If for ten righteous men the Almighty end. He died with pious composure and would have spared Sodom, shall not a thou- resolution. I have just seen the Ordinary sand acts of goodness done by Dr. Dodd that attended him. His address to his felcounterbalance one crime? Such an in- low-convicts offended the methodists; but stance would do more to encourage good- he had a Moravian with him much of his ness, than his execution would do to deter time. His moral character is very bad: I from vice. I am not afraid of any bad con- hope all is not true that is charged upon sequence to society; for who will persevere him. Of his behaviour in prison an acfor a long course of years in a distinguished count will be published. discharge of religious duties, with a view “I give you joy of your country-house to commit a forgery with impunity? and your pretty garden, and hope some
“ Pray make my best compliments ac- time to see you in your felicity. I was ceptable to Mr. and Mrs. Thrale, by assur-much pleased with your two letters that had ing them of my hearty joy that the master, been kept so long in store 4; and rejoice at as you call him, is alive. I hope I shålí often taste his champagne-soberly.
3 [Mr. Chamier was then Under-Secretary of
State.--Ep.] “ I have not heard from Langton for a
* Since they have been so much honoured by long time. I suppose he is as usual,
Dr. Johnson, I shall here insert them:
" TO MR. SAMUEL JOHNSON. [ Ante, v. i. p. 383.-Ev.]
“ Sunday, 30th Sept, 1764. ? [The whole story of Dodd is told in detail, “ MY EVER DEAR AND MUCH-RESPECTED post, 15th Sept. 1777.-Ed.]
SIR,—You know my solemn enthusiasm of mind Miss Rasay's advancement, and wish Sir Streatham, has been, I think, enkindled by Allan success.
our travels with a curiosity to see the High“I hope to meet you somewhere towards lands. I have given him letters to you and the north, but am loath to come quite to Beattie. He desires that a lodging may be Carlisle. Can we not meet at Manchester? taken for him at Edinburgh against his ar But we will settle it in some other letters. rival. He is just setting out. “Mr Seward', a great favourite at “ Langton has been exercising the mili
tia. Mrs. Williams is, I fear, declining. You love me for it, and I respect myself for it, Dr. Lawrence says he can do no more. because in so far I resemble Mr. Johnson. You She is gone to sunimer in the country, with will be agreeably surprised, when you learn the reason of my writing this letter. I am at Wittem
as many conveniences about her as she can berg in Saxony. I am in the old church where expect; but I have no great hope. We the Reformation was first preached, and where must all die: may we all be prepared! some of the reformers lie interred. I cannot re
" I suppose Miss Boswell reads her book, sist the serious pleasure of writing to Mr. Johnson and young Alexander takes to his learning. from the tomb of Melancthon. My paper rests Let me hear about them; for every thing upon the grave-stone of that great and good man, that belongs to you, belongs in a more rewho was undoubtedly the worthiest of all the re
mote degree, and not, I hope, very remote, formers. He wished to reform abuses which had lo, dear sir, yours affectionately, been introduced into the church; but had no
“ Sam. Johnson." private resentinent to gratify. So inild was he, that when his aged mother consulted him with "TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. anxiety on the perplexing disputes of the times, he
“ 24th June, 1777. advised her to keep to the old religion.' At this “ Dear sin,-This gentleman is a great tomb, then, my ever dear and respected friend, I favourite at Streatham, and therefore you vow to thee an eternal attachment. It shall be my will easily believe that he has very valuable study to do what I can to render your life happy: qualities. Our narrative has kindled him and if you die before me, I shall endeavour to do with a desire of visiting the Highlands afhonour to your memory; and, elevated by the ter having already seen a great part of Euremembrance of you, persist in noble piety. May God, the father of all beings, ever bless you ! and rope. You must receive him as a friend, may you continue to love your most adiectionate and when you have directed him to the cufriend and devoted servant,
riosities of Edinburgh, give him instructions " JAMES BOSWELL."
and recommendations for the rest of his
journey. I am, dear sir, your most humble “ TO DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON.
" Sam. Johnson." “ Wilton-house, 220 April, 1775. “MY DEAR SIR,-Every scene of my life Johnson's benevolence to the unfortunate confirms the truth of what you have told me, was, I am confident, as steady and active • there is no certain happiness in this state of as that of any of those who have been most being.' I am here, amidst all that you know is
emin ntly distinguished for that virtue. at Lord Pembroke’s; and yet I am weary and Innumerable proots of it I have no doubt gloomy. I am just setting out for the house of will be forever concealed from mortal eyes. an old friend in Devonshire, and shall not get We may, however, form some judgment of back to London for a week yet
. You said to me it from the many and various instances last Good Friday, with a cordiality that warmed which have been discovered. One, which my heart, that if I came to settle in London we should have a day fixed every week to meet by happened in the course of this summer, is ourselves and talk freely. To be thought worthy remarkable from the name and connexion of such a privilege cannot but exalt me. During of the person who was the object of it. my present absence from you, while, notwith- | The circumstance to which I allude is asstanding the gaiety which you allow me to pos- certained by two letters, one to Mr. Langsess, I am darkened by temporary clouds, I beg ton, and another to the Rev. Dr. Vyse, recto have a few lines from you; a few lines merely of tor of Lambeth, son of the respectable kindness, as a viaticum till I see you again. In clergyman at Lichfield, who was contemyour · Vanity of Human Wishes,' and in Parnell's porary with Johnson, and in whose father's • Contentment,' I find the only sure means of family Johnson had the happiness of being enjoying happiness; or, at least, the hopes of kindly received in his early years. happiness. I ever am, with reverence and affection, most faithfully yours,
"DR. JOHNSON TO BENNET LANGTON, ESQ. “ JAMES BosWELL."
“ 29th June, 1777.
“ Dear Sir,-) have lately been much 1 William Seward, Esq. F. R. S. editor of “ Anecdotes of some distinguished Persons,” &c. Johnson.-Boswell. This gentleman, who in four volumes, 8vo. well known to a numerous was born in 1747, and was educated at the Charand valuable acquaintance for his literature, love ter-house and at Oxford, died in London, April of the fine arts, and social virtues. I am indebted 24th, 1799.-Malone. [See ante, vol. i. p to him for several communications concerning 255.---Ed.] VOL. II.