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ing, and therefore there are no common principles upon which one can persuade another concerning it.

The following very solemn and affecting prayer was found after Dr. Johnson's decease, by his servant, Mr. Francis 5 Barber:

"April 26, 1752, being after 12 at Night of the 25th.

"O Lord! Governour of heaven and earth, in whose hands are embodied and departed Spirits, if thou hast ordained the 10 Souls of the Dead to minister to the Living, and appointed my departed Wife to have care of me, grant that I may enjoy the good effects of her attention and ministration, whether exercised by appearance, impulses, dreams, or in any other manner agreeable to thy Government. Forgive my presump15 tion, enlighten my ignorance, and however meaner agents are employed, grant me the blessed influences of thy holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

"March 28, 1753. I kept this day as the anniversary of my Tetty's death, with prayer and tears in the morning. In 20 the evening I prayed for her conditionally, if it were lawful."

"April 23, 1753. I know not whether I do not too much indulge the vain longings of affection; but I hope they intenerate my heart, and that when I die, like my Tetty, this affection will be acknowledged in a happy interview and that 25 in the mean time I am incited by it to piety. I will, however, not deviate too much from common and received methods of devotion."

Her wedding-ring, when she became his wife, was, after her death, preserved by him, as long as he lived, with an affec30 tionate care, in a little round wooden box, in the inside of which he pasted a slip of paper, thus inscribed by him in fair characters, as follows:

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The dreadful shock of separation took place in the night; and he immediately dispatched a letter to his friend, the Reverend Dr. Taylor, which, as Taylor told me, expressed grief in the strongest manner he had ever read; so that it is much to be regretted it has not been preserved. The letter 5 was brought to Dr. Taylor, at his house in the Cloysters, Westminster, about three in the morning; and as it signified an earnest desire to see him, he got up, and went to Johnson as soon as he was dressed, and found him in tears and in extreme agitation. After being a little while together, John-10 son requested him to join with him in prayer.

His humble friend Mr. Robert Levet was an obscure practiser in physick amongst the lower people, his fees being sometimes very small, sometimes whatever provisions his patients could afford him; but of such extensive practice in that way 15 that Mrs. Williams has told me, his walk was from Houndsditch to Marylebone. Such was Johnson's predilection for him, and fanciful estimation of his moderate abilities, that I have heard him say he should not be satisfied, though attended by all the College of Physicians, unless he had Mr. Levet 20 with him. Mr. Levet had an apartment in his house, or his chambers, and waited upon him every morning, through the whole course of his late and tedious breakfast. He was of a strange grotesque appearance, stiff and formal in his manner, and seldom said a word while any company was 25 present.

Sir Joshua Reynolds was truly his dulce decus, and with him he maintained an uninterrupted intimacy to the last hour of his life. Sir Joshua, indeed, was lucky enough at their very first meeting to make a remark, which was so much 30 above the commonplace style of conversation, that Johnson at once perceived that Reynolds had the habit of thinking for himself. The ladies were regretting the death of a friend, to whom they owed great obligations; upon which Reynolds observed, "You have however, the comfort of being relieved 35 from a burthen of gratitude." They were shocked a little at this alleviating suggestion as too selfish; but Johnson


defended it in his clear and forcible manner, and was much pleased with the mind, the fair view of human nature.

One evening at the Miss Cotterells', the then Duchess of Argyle and another lady of high rank came in. Johnson 5 thinking that he and his friend were neglected, addressed himself in a low tone to Mr. Reynolds, saying, "How much do you think you and I could get in a week, if we were to work as hard as we could?" as if they had been common me


Bennet Langton came to London chiefly with a view of endeavouring to be introduced to the authour of the Rambler. By a fortunate chance he happened to take lodgings in a house where Mr. Levet frequently visited; Johnson wished to see numbers at his levee, as his morning circle of company might, 15 with strict propriety, be called. Mr. Langton was exceedingly surprised when the sage first appeared. He had not received the smallest intimation of his figure, dress, or manner. From perusing his writings, he fancied he should see a decent, well-drest, in short, a remarkably decorous philosopher. 20 Instead of which, down from his bed-chamber, about noon, came, as newly risen, a huge, uncouth figure, with a little dark wig which scarcely covered his head, and his clothes hanging loose about him. But his conversation was so rich, so animated, and so forcible, and his religious and political notions 25 so congenial with those in which Langton had been educated, that he conceived for him that veneration and attachment which he ever preserved.

Mr. Beauclerk's being of the St. Alban's family, and, having, in some particulars, a resemblance to Charles the Second, 30 contributed, in Johnson's imagination, to throw a lustre upon his other qualities; and in a short time, the moral, pious Johnson, and the gay dissipated Beauclerk, were companions. "What a coalition! (said Garrick, when he heard of this :) I shall have my old friend to bail out of the Round-house." 35 Beauclerk could take more liberty with him, than any body with whom I ever saw him. One Sunday, when the weather was very fine, Beauclerk enticed him, insensibly, to saunter

about all the morning. They went into a church-yard, in the time of divine service, and Johnson laid himself down at his ease upon one of the tomb-stones. "Now, Sir, (said Beauclerk) you are like Hogarth's Idle Apprentice." When Johnson got his pension, Beauclerk said to him, in the humourous 5 phrase of Falstaff, "I hope you'll now purge and live cleanly, like a gentleman.'

One night, when Beauclerk and Langton had supped at a tavern in London, and sat till about three in the morning, it came into their heads to go and knock up Johnson, and see if 10 they could prevail on him to join them in a ramble. They rapped violently at the door of his chambers in the Temple, till at last he appeared in his shirt, with his little black wig on the top of his head, instead of a night-cap, and a poker in his hand, imagining, probably, that some ruffians were coming 15 to attack him. When he discovered who they were, and was told their errand, he smiled, and with great good humour agreed to their proposal: "What, is it you, you dogs! I'll have a frisk with you.' He was soon drest, and they sallied forth together into Covent-Garden, where the greengrocers 20 and fruiterers were beginning to arrange their hampers, just come in from the country. Johnson made some attempts to help them; but the honest gardeners stared so at his figure and manner, and odd interference, that he soon saw his services were not relished. They then repaired to one of 25 the neighbouring taverns, and made a bowl of that liquor called Bishop, which Johnson had always liked.

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Langton deserted them, being engaged to breakfast with some young Ladies. Johnson scolded him for "leaving his social friends to go and sit with a set of wretched un-idea'd 30 girls." Garrick being told of this ramble, said to him smartly, "I heard of your frolick t'other night. You'll be in the Chronicle." Upon which Johnson afterwards observed, "He durst not do such a thing. His wife would not let him!"

Lord Chesterfield had behaved to him in such a manner as 35 to excite his contempt and indignation. The world has been for many years amused with a story confidently told and as

confidently repeated with additional circumstances, that a sudden disgust was taken by Johnson upon occasion of his having been one day kept long in waiting in his Lordship's antechamber, for which the reason assigned was, that he had 5 company with him; and that at last, when the door opened, out walked Colley Cibber; and that Johnson was so violently provoked when he found for whom he had been so long excluded, that he went away in a passion, and never would return. Johnson himself assured me, that there was not the 10 least foundation for it. He told me, that there never was any particular incident which produced a quarrel between Lord Chesterfield and him; but that his Lordship's continued neglect was the reason why he resolved to have no connexion with him. When the Dictionary was upon the eve of publication, 15 Lord Chesterfield, who, it is said, had flattered himself with expectations that Johnson would dedicate the work to him, attempted, in a courtly manner, to soothe and insinuate himself with the Sage, by writing two papers in "The World," in recommendation of the work; and it must be confessed 20 that they contain some studied compliments, so finely turned that if there had been no previous offence, it is probable that Johnson would have been highly delighted.

This courtly device failed of its effect. Johnson, who thought that "all was false and hollow," despised the honeyed 25 words. "Sir, after making great professions, he had, for many years, taken no notice of me; but when my Dictionary was coming out, he fell a scribbling in 'The World' about it. Upon which, I wrote him a letter expressed in civil terms, but such as might shew him that I did not mind what he said or 30 wrote, and that I had done with him."



February 7, 1755.

"I HAVE been lately informed, by the proprietor of the World, that two papers, in which my Dictionary is recom35 mended to the publick, were written by your Lordship. To

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