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infinitely happy in his own perfections, wants no external gratifications ; nor can Ærat. 28. infinite truth be delighted with falshood ; that though he may guide or pity those

he leaves in darkness, he abandons those who shut their eyes against the beams of day.

my mother

Johnson's residence at Lichfield, on his return to it at this time, was only for three months; and as he had as yet seen but a small part of the wonders of the metropolis, he had little to tell his townsmen. He related to me the following minute anecdote of this period: “In the last age,

when lived in London, there were two sets of people, those who gave the wall, and those who took it; the peaceable and the quarrelsome. When I returned to Lichfield, after having been in London, my mother asked me, whether I was one of those who gave the wall, or those who took it. Now it is fixed that every man keeps to the right; or, if one is taking the wall, another yields it; and it is never a dispute 4.'

He now removed to London with Mrs. Johnson ; but her daughter, who had lived with them at Edial, was left with her relations in the country. His lodgings were for some time in Woodstock-street, near Hanoversquare, and afterwards in Castle-street, near Cavendish-square. As there is something pleasingly interesting, to many, in tracing so great a man through all his different habitations, I shall, before this work is concluded, present my readers with an exact list of his lodgings and houses, in order of time, which, in placid condescension to my respectful curiosity, he one evening dictated to me, but without specifying how long he lived at each. In the progress of his life I shall have occasion to mention some of them as connected with particular incidents, or with the writing of particular parts of his works. To fome, this minute attention may appear trifling; but when we consider the punctilious exactness with which the different houses in which Milton resided have been traced by the writers of his life, a similar enthusiasm may be pardoned in the biographer of Johnson.

His tragedy being by this time, as he thought, completely finished and fit for the stage, he was very desirous that it should be brought forward. Mr. Peter Garrick told me, that Johnson and he went together to the Fountain tavern, and read it over, and that he afterwards solicited Mr. Fleetwood, the patentee of Drury-lane theatre, to have it acted at his house; but Mr. Fleetwood would not accept it, probably because it was not patronised by

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* Journal of a Toar to the Hebrides, 3d edit. p. 232.



Ætat. 29.

some man of high rank; and it was not acted till 1749, when his friend David Garrick was manager of that theatre.

“ The Gentleman's Magazine,” begun and carried on by Mr. Edward Cave, under the name of SYLVANUS URBAN, had attracted the notice and esteem of Johnson, in an eminent degree, before he came to London as an adventurer in literature. He told me, that when he first saw St. John's Gate, the place where that deservedly popular miscellany was originally printed, he “ beheld it with reverence.” I suppose, indeed, that every young authour has had the same kind of feeling for the magazine or periodical publication which has first entertained him, and in which he has first had an opportunity to see himself in print, without the risk of exposing his name. I myself recollect such impressions from “ The Scots MAGAZINE," which was begun at Edinburgh in the year 1739, and has been ever conducted with judgement, accuracy, and propriety. I yet cannot help thinking of it with an affectionate regard. Johnson has dignified the Gentleman's Magazine, by the importance with which he invests the life of Cave; but he has given it still greater lustre by the various admirable Essays which he wrote for it.

Though Johnson was often folicited by his friends to make a complete list of his writings, and talked of doing it, I believe with a serious intention that they should all be collected on his own account, he put it off from year to year, and at last died without having done it perfectly. I have one in his own handwriting, which contains a certain number; I indeed doubt if he could have recollected every one of them, as they were so numerous, so various, and fcattered in such a multiplicity of unconnected publications; nay, several of them published under the names of other persons, to whom he liberally contributed from the abundance of his mind. We must, therefore, be content to discover them, partly from occasional information given by him to his friends, and partly from internal evidence".

His first performance in the Gentleman's Magazine, which for many years was his principal resource for employment and support, was a copy of Latin verses, in March, 1738, addressed to the editor in so happy a style of compliment, that Cave must have been destitute both of taste and sensibility, had had he not felt himself highly gratified.

s While in the course of my narrative I enumerate his writings, I shall take care that my readers shall not be left to waver in doubt, between certainty and conjecture, with regard to their authenticity; and, for that purpofe, shall mark with an asterisk (*) those which he acknowledged to his friends, and with a dagger (+) those which are ascertained to be his by internal evidence. When any other pieces are ascribed to him, I shall give my reasons.

* Ad

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Quid moliatur gens imitantium,
Quid et minetur, folicitus parùm,
Vacare folis perge Mufis,

Juxta animo ftudiisque felix.
Linguæ procacis plumbea spicula,
Fidens, superbo frange filentio ;
Vistrix per obstantes catervas

Sedulitas animosa tendet.
Intende nervos, fortis, inanibus
Rifurus olim nisibus æmuli ;
Intende jam nervos, habebis

Participes operæ Camænas.
Non ulla Mufis pagina gratior,
Quam quæ severis ludicra jungere
Novit, fatigatamque nugis

Utilibus recreare mentem.

Texente Nymphis serta Lycoride,
Rose ruborem fic viola adjuvat
Immista, fic Iris refulget

Æthereis variata fucis',

S. J.

It 1738.

• A translation of this Ode, by an unknown correspondent, appeared in the Magazine for the month of May following:

“ Hail URBAN! indefatigable man, “ Unwearied yet by all thy useful toil!

“ Whom num'rous slanderers affault in vain ;
“ Whom no base caluinny can put to foil.

“ But still the laurel on thy learned brow
• Flourishes fair, and shall for ever grow.

* What

Ætat, 29.


. JOHNSON . It appears that he was now enlisted by Mr. Cave as a regular coadjutor in his magazine, by which he probably obtained a tolerable livelihood. At what time, or by what means, he had acquired a competent knowledge both of French and Italian, I do not know; but he was so well skilled in them, as to be sufficiently qualified for a translator. That part of his labour which confifted in emendation and improvement of the productions of other contributors, like that employed in levelling ground, can be perceived only by those who had an opportunity of comparing the original with the altered copy. What we certainly know to have been done by him in this way, was the Debates in both houses of Parliament, under the name of “ The Senate of

*** What mean the servile imitating crew,
*** What their vain bluft'ring, and their empty noise,

“ Ne'er seek: 'but still thy noble ends pursue,
Unconquer'd by the rabble's venal voice.

“ Still to the Muse thy studious mind apply,
“ Happy in temper as in industry.

*. The senseless sneerings of an haughty tongue,
“ Unworthy thy attention to engage,

“ Unheeded pass : and tho' they mean thee wrong,
“ By manly silence disappoint their rage.

“ Affiduous diligence confounds its foes,
“ Refiftless, tho' malicious crouds oppose.

" Exert thy powers, nor Nacken in the course,
" Thy spotless fame shall qualh all false reports :

“ Exert thy powers, nor fear a rival's force,
6. But thou shalt smile at all his vain efforts;
6. Thy labours shall be crown'd with large success;
« The Muse's aid thy magazine shall bless.

No page more grateful to th' harmonious nine
"! Than that wherein thy labours we survey :

• Where solemn themes in fuller splendour shine,
* (Delightful mixture,) blended with the gay.

“ Where in improving, various joys we find,
A welcome respite to the wearied mind.

“ Thus when the nymphs in some fair verdant mead,
* Of various flow'rs a beauteous wreath compose,

« The lovely violet's azure-painted head " Adds luftre to the crimson-blushing rose.

« Thus splendid Iris, with her varied dye, - Shines in the æther, and adorns the sky.



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lat. 29.

Lilliput,” sometimes with feigned denominations of the several speakers, sometimes with denominations formed of the letters of their real names, in the manner of what is called anagram, so that they might easily be decyphered. Parliament then kept the press in a kind of mysterious awe, which made it necessary to have recourse to such devices. In our time it has, acquired an unrestrained freedom, so that the people in all parts of the kingdom have a fair, open, and exact report of the actual proceedings of their representatives and legislators; which in our constitution is highly to be valued, though, unquestionably, there has of late been too much reason to complain of the petulance with which obscure scribblers have presumed to treat men of the most respectable character and situation.

This important article of the Gentleman's Magazine was, for several years, executed by Mr. William Guthrie, a man who deserves to be respectably recorded in the literary annals of this country. He was descended of an ancient family in Scotland; but having a small patrimony, and being an adherent of the unfortunate house of Stuart, he could not accept of any office in the state; he therefore came to London, and employed his talents and learning as an " Authour by profession.” His writings in history, criticism, and politicks, had considerable merit'. He was the first English historian who had recourse to that authentick source of information, the Parliamentary Journals; and such was the power of his political pen, that, at an early period, government thought it worth their while to keep it quiet by a penfion, which he enjoyed till his death. Johnson esteemed him enough to wish that his life should be written. The debates in Parliament, which were brought home and digested by Guthrie, whose memory, though surpassed by others who have since followed him in the same department, was yet very quick and tenacious, were sent by Cave to Johnson for his revision; and, after some time, when Guthrie had attained to greater variety of employment, and the speeches were more and more enriched by the accession of Johnson's genius, it was resolved that he should do the whole himself, from the scanty notes furnished by persons employed to attend in both houses of Parliament. Sometimes, however, as he himself told me, he had nothing more communicated to him but the names of the several speakers, and the part which they had taken in the debate.

? How much poetry he wrote, I know not; but he informed me, that he was the authour of the beautiful little piece, “ The Eagle and Robin Redbreast," in the collection of poems entitled “ 'The UNION,” though it is there said to be written by Archibald Scott, before the year 1600.

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