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all events, I shall be glad, very glad to see you.—I am, sir, SAM. JOHNSON."

yours affectionately,

I answered thus:



"London, 26th April, 1768. “My Dear sir,--I have received your last letter, which, though very short, and by no means complimentary, yet gave me real pleasure because it contains these words, I shall be glad, very glad to see you.'--Surely you have no reason to complain of my publishing a single paragraph of one of your letters; the temptation to it was so strong. An irrevocable grant of your friendship, and your dignifying my desire of visiting Corsica with the epithet of a wise and noble curiosity,' are to me more valuable than many of the grants of kings.

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"But how can you bid me empty my head of Corsica ?' My noble-minded friend, do you not feel for an oppressed nation bravely struggling to be free? Consider fairly what is the case. The Corsicans never received any kindness from the Genoese. They never agreed to be subject to them. They owe them nothing, and when reduced to an abject state of slavery, by force, shall they not rise in the great cause of liberty, and break the galling yoke? And shall not every liberal soul be warm for them? Empty my head of Corsica? Empty it of honour, empty it of humanity, empty it of friendship, empty it of piety. No! while I live, Corsica, and the cause of the brave islanders, shall ever employ much of my attention, shall ever interest me in the sincerest manner.


"I am, &c.


Letters, vol. i. p. 11.


"Oxford, 24th March, 1768.

"Our election was yesterday. Every possible influence of hope and fear was, I believe, enforced on this occasion; the slaves of power, and the solicitors of favour, were driven hither from the remotest corners of the kingdom, but judex honestum prætulit utili. The virtue of Oxford has once more prevailed.

"The death of Sir Walter Bagot, a little before the election, left them no great time to deliberate, and they therefore joined Sir Roger Newdigate, their old representative, an Oxfordshire gentleman, of no name, no great interest, nor perhaps any other merit than that of being on the right side; yet when the poll was numbered, it produced,

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"Of this I am sure you must be glad; for, without inquiring into the opinions or conduct of any party, it must be for ever pleasing to see men adhering to their principles against their interest, especially when you consider that those voters are poor, and never can be much less poor by the favour of those whom they are now opposing."]


"Oxford, 18th April, 1768. "MY DEAR DEAR LOVE,-You have had a very great loss. To lose an old friend, is to be cut off from a great part of the little pleasure that this life allows. But such is the condition of our nature, that as we live on we must see those whom we love drop successively, and find our circle of relations grow less and less, till we are almost unconnected with the world; and then it must soon be our turn to drop into the grave. There is always this consolation, that we have one Protector who can never be lost but by our own fault, and every new experience of the uncertainty of all other comforts should determine us to fix our hearts where true joys are to be found. All union with the inhabitants of earth must in time be broken; and all the hopes that terminate here, must on (one) part or other end in disappointment.

"I am glad that Mrs. Adey and Mrs. Cobb do not leave you alone. Pay my respects to them, and the Sewards, and all my friends. When Mr. Porter comes, he will direct you. Let me know of his arrival, and I will write to him.

"When I go back to London, I will take care of your reading glass. Whenever I can do any thing for you, remember, my dear darling, that one of my greatest pleasures is to please you.

"The punctuality of your correspondence I consider as a proof of great regard. When we shall see each other, I know not, but let us often think on each other, and think with tenderness. Do not forget me in your prayers. I have for a long time back been very poorly; but of what use is it to complain? "Write often, for your letters always give great pleasure to, my dear, your most affectionate and most humble servant, "SAM. JOHNSON."

Upon his arrival in London in May, he surprised mę one morning with a visit at my lodging in Half


moon-street, was quite satisfied with my explanation, and was in the kindest and most agreeable frame of mind. As he had objected to a part of one of his letters being published, I thought it right to take this opportunity of asking him explicitly whether it would be improper to publish his letters after his death. His answer was, " Nay, sir, when I am dead, you may do as you will."

He talked in his usual style with a rough contempt of popular liberty. "They make a rout about universal liberty, without considering that all that is to be valued, or indeed can be enjoyed by individuals, is private liberty. Political liberty is good only so far as it produces private liberty. Now, sir, there is the liberty of the press, which you know is a constant topick. Suppose you and I and two hundred more were restrained from printing our thoughts: what then? What proportion would that restraint upon us bear to the private happiness of the nation 1?"

This mode of representing the inconveniences of restraint as light and insignificant was a kind of sophistry in which he delighted to indulge himself, in opposition to the extreme laxity for which it has been fashionable for too many to argue, when it is evident, upon reflection, that the very essence of government is restraint; and certain it is, that as government produces rational happiness, too much restraint is better than too little. But when restraint is unnecessary, and so close as to gall those who are subject to it, the people may and ought to remonstrate; and, if relief is not granted, to resist. Of this manly and spirited principle, no man was more convinced than Johnson himself.

[Would Johnson have talked in this way in the days of the Marmor Norfolciense? (vol. i. p. 112.) If we lost the liberty of the press, what security could we have for any other right ?-Ed.]

p. 347.

About this time Dr. Kenrick attacked him, through my sides, in a pamphlet, entitled "An Epistle to James Boswell, Esq. occasioned by his having transmitted the moral Writings of Dr. Samuel Johnson to Pascal Paoli, General of the Corsicans." I was at first inclined to answer this pamphlet ; but Johnson, who knew that my doing so would only gratify Kenrick, by keeping alive what would soon die away of itself, would not suffer me to take any notice of it. [Johnson's silence, with regard to Kenrick's attacks, Hawk. proceeded not more from his contempt of such an adversary, than from a settled resolution he had formed, of declining all controversy in defence either of himself or of his writings. Against personal abuse he was ever armed by a reflection that I have heard him utter:-" Alas! reputation would be of little worth, were it in the power of every concealed enemy to deprive us of it;" and he defied all attacks on his writings by an answer of Dr. Bentley to one who threatened to write him down, that "no authour was ever written down but by himself.”

His steady perseverance in this resolution afforded him great satisfaction whenever he reflected on it; and he would often felicitate himself that, throughout his life, he had had firmness enough to treat with contempt the calumny and abuse as well of open as concealed enemies, and the malevolence of those anonymous scribblers whose trade is slander, and wages infamy.]

His sincere regard for Francis Barber, his faithful negro servant, made him so desirous of his further improvement, that he now placed him at a school at Bishop Stortford, in Hertfordshire'. This humane

1 [The sending his negro servant, now probably little short of thirty years of age, to a boarding school, seems a very strange exercise of his good-nature. It was a very unpopular one with some of Johnson's inmates-when Mrs. Williams

attention does Johnson's heart much honour.


of many letters which Mr. Barber received from his master, he has preserved three, which he kindly gave me, and which I shall insert according to their dates.


"28th May, 1768. "DEAR FRANCIS,—I have been very much out of order. I am glad to hear that you are well, and design to come soon to you. I would have you stay at Mrs. Clapp's for the present, till I can determine what we shall do. Be a good boy.


My compliments to Mrs. Clapp and to Mr. Fowler. I am yours affectionately, "SAM. JOHNSON."

Soon afterwards, he supped at the Crown and Anchor tavern, in the Strand, with a company whom I collected to meet him. They were Dr. Percy, now Bishop of Dromore, Dr. Douglas, now Bishop of Salisbury, Mr. Langton, Dr. Robertson the historian, Dr. Hugh Blair, and Mr. Thomas Davies, who wished much to be introduced to these eminent Scotch literati; but on the present occasion he had very little opportunity of hearing them talk, for with an excess of prudence, for which Johnson afterwards found fault with them, they hardly opened their lips, and that only to say something which they were certain would not expose them to the sword of Goliath ; such was their anxiety for their fame when in the presence of Johnson. He was this evening in remarkable vigour of mind, and eager to exert himself in conversation, which he did with great readiness and fluency; but I am sorry to find that I have preserved but a small part of what passed.

He allowed high praise to Thomson as a poet; but when one of the company said he was also a very

and Francis quarrelled, as was very frequent, the lady would complain to the doctor, adding, "This is your scholar, on whose education you have spent 300%." Dr. Johnson, in the conclusion of the letter, calls him a "boy," but sixteen years had already elapsed since he entered Johnson's own service. ED.]

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