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Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 by Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

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my dear, dear Bathurst, whom I loved better than ever I loved any human
creature; but poor Bathurst is dead!" Here a long pause and a few tears
ensued.' Piozzi's _Anec_., p. 18. Another day he said to her:--'Dear
Bathurst was a man to my very heart's content: he hated a fool, and he
hated a rogue, and he hated a Whig; he was a very good hater.' _Ib_. p.
83. In his _Meditations on Easter-Day_, 1764, he records:--'After sermon
I recommended Tetty in a prayer by herself; and my father, mother,
brother, and Bathurst in another.' _Pr. and Med_., p. 54. See also
_post_, under March 18, 1752, and 1780 in Mr. Langton's _Collection_.

[560] Of Hawkesworth Johnson thus wrote: 'An account of Dr. Swift has
been already collected, with great diligence and acuteness, by Dr.
Hawkesworth, according to a scheme which I laid before him in the
intimacy of our friendship. I cannot therefore be expected to say much
of a life concerning which I had long since communicated my thoughts to
a man capable of dignifying his narrations with so much elegance of
language and force of sentiment.' Johnson's _Works_, viii. 192.
Hawkesworth was an imitator of Johnson's style; _post_, under Jan.
1, 1753.

[561] He was afterwards for several years Chairman of the Middlesex
justices, and upon occasion of presenting an address to the King,
accepted the usual offer of Knighthood. He is authour of 'A History of
Musick,' in five volumes in quarto. By assiduous attendance upon Johnson
in his last illness, he obtained the office of one of his executors; in
consequence of which, the booksellers of London employed him to publish
an edition of Dr. Johnson's works, and to write his Life. BOSWELL. This
description of Hawkins, as 'Mr. John Hawkins, an attorney,' is a reply
to his description of Boswell as 'Mr. James Boswell, a native of
Scotland.' Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 472. According to Miss Hawkins,
'Boswell complained to her father of the manner in which he was
described. Where was the offence? It was one of those which a
complainant hardly dares to embody in words; he would only repeat,
"Well, but _Mr. James Boswell_, surely, surely, _Mr. James Boswell_"'
Miss Hawkins's _Memoirs_, i. 235. Boswell in thus styling Hawkins
remembered no doubt Johnson's sarcasm against attorneys. See _post_,
1770, in Dr. Maxwell's _Collectanea_. Hawkins's edition of _Johnson's
Works_ was published in 1787-9, in 13 vols., 8vo., the last two vols.
being edited by Stockdale. In vol. xi. is a collection of Johnson's
sayings, under the name of _Apothegms_, many of which I quote in
my notes.

[562] Boswell, it is clear, has taken his account of the club from
Hawkins, who writes:--'Johnson had, in the winter of 1749, formed a club
that met weekly at the King's Head, a famous beef-steak house in Ivy
Lane, near St. Paul's, every Tuesday evening. Thither he constantly
resorted with a disposition to please and be pleased. Our conversations
seldom began till after a supper so very solid and substantial as led us
to think that with him it was a dinner.

'By the help of this refection, and no other incentive to hilarity than
lemonade, Johnson was in a short time after our assembling transformed
into a new creature; his habitual melancholy and lassitude of spirit
gave way; his countenance brightened.' Hawkins's _Johnson_, pp. 219,
250. Other parts of Hawkins's account do not agree with passages in
Johnson's letters to Mrs. Thrale written in 1783-4. 'I dined about a
fortnight ago with three old friends [Hawkins, Ryland, and Payne]; we
had not met together for thirty years. In the thirty years two of our
set have died.' _Piozzi Letters_, ii. 339. 'We used to meet weekly about
the year fifty.' _Ib_. p. 361. 'The people whom I mentioned in my letter
are the remnant of a little club that used to meet in Ivy Lane about
three and thirty years ago, out of which we have lost Hawkesworth and
Dyer, the rest are yet on this side the grave.' _Ib_. p. 363. Hawkins
says the club broke up about 1756 (_Life_, p. 361). Johnson in the first
of the passages says they had not met at all for thirty years--that is
to say, not since 1753; while in the last two passages he implies that
their weekly meetings came to an end about 1751. I cannot understand
moreover how, if Bathurst, 'his beloved friend,' belonged to the club,
Johnson should have forgotten it. Bathurst died in the expedition to the
Havannah about 1762. Two others of those given in Hawkins's list were
certainly dead by 1783. M'Ghie, who died while the club existed (_Ib_.
p. 361), and Dr. Salter. A writer in the _Builder_ (Dec. 1884) says,
'The King's Head was burnt down twenty-five years ago, but the cellarage
remains beneath No. 4, Alldis's dining-rooms, on the eastern side.'

[563] Tom Tyers said that Johnson 'in one night composed, after
finishing an evening in Holborn, his _Hermit of Teneriffe_.' _Gent.
Mag_. for 1784, p. 901. The high value that he set on this piece may be
accounted for in his own words. 'Many causes may vitiate a writer's
judgment of his own works.... What has been produced without toilsome
efforts is considered with delight, as a proof of vigorous faculties and
fertile invention.' Johnson's _Works_, vii. 110. He had said much the
same thirty years earlier in _The Rambler_ (No. 21).

[564] 'On January 9 was published, long wished, another satire from
Juvenal, by the author of _London.' Gent. Mag_. xviii. 598, 9.

[565] Sir John Hawkins, with solemn inaccuracy, represents this poem as
a consequence of the indifferent reception of his tragedy. But the fact
is, that the poem was published on the 9th of January, and the tragedy
was not acted till the 6th of the February following. BOSWELL. Hawkins
perhaps implies what Boswell says that he represents; but if so, he
implies it by denying it. Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 201.

[566] 'I wrote,' he said, 'the first seventy lines in _The Vanity of
Human Wishes_ in the course of one morning in that small house beyond
the church at Hampstead.' _Works_ (1787), xi. 212.

[567] See _post_ under Feb. 15, 1766. That Johnson did not think that in
hasty composition there is any great merit, is shewn by _The Rambler_,
No. 169, entitled _Labour necessary to excellence_. There he describes
'pride and indigence as the two great hasteners of modern poems.' He
continues:--'that no other method of attaining lasting praise [than
_multa dies et multa litura_] has been yet discovered may be conjectured
from the blotted manuscripts of Milton now remaining, and from the tardy
emission of Pope's compositions.' He made many corrections for the later
editions of his poem.

[568] 'Nov. 25, 1748. I received of Mr. Dodsley fifteen guineas, for
which assign to him the right of copy of an imitation of the _Tenth
Satire of Juvenal_, written by me; reserving to myself the right of
printing one edition. SAM. JOHNSON.'

'London, 29 June, 1786. A true copy, from the original in Dr. Johnson's
handwriting. JAS. DODSLEY. BOSWELL.

_London_ was sold at a shilling a copy. Johnson was paid at the rate of
about 9-1/2_d_. a line for this poem; for _The Vanity of Human Wishes_
at the rate of about 10_d_. a line. Dryden by his engagement with Jacob
Tonson (see Johnson's _Works_, vii. 298) undertook to furnish 10,000
verses at a little over 6_d_. a verse. Goldsmith was paid for _The
Traveller_ L21, or about 11-1/2_d_. a line.

[569] He never published it. See _post_ under Dec. 9, 1784.

[570] 'Jan. 9, 1821. Read Johnson's _Vanity of Human Wishes_,--all the
examples and mode of giving them sublime, as well as the latter part,
with the exception of an occasional couplet. I do not so much admire the
opening. The first line, 'Let observation,' etc., is certainly heavy and
useless. But 'tis a grand poem--and so _true_!--true as the Tenth of
Juvenal himself. The lapse of ages changes all things--time--language--
the earth--the bounds of the sea--the stars of the sky, and everything
"about, around, and underneath" man, _except man himself_. The infinite
variety of lives conduct but to death, and the infinity of wishes lead
but to disappointment.' _Byron_, vol. v. p. 66. WRIGHT. Sir Walter Scott
said 'that he had more pleasure in reading _London_, and _The Vanity of
Human Wishes _than any other poetical composition he could mention.'
Lockhart's _Scott_, iii. 269. Mr. Lockhart adds that 'the last line of
MS. that Scott sent to the press was a quotation from _The Vanity of
Human Wishes_.' Of the first lines

'Let observation with extensive view
Survey mankind from China to Peru,'

De Quincey quotes the criticism of some writer, who 'contends with some
reason that this is saying in effect:--"Let observation with extensive
observation observe mankind extensively."' De Quincey's _Works_, x. 72.

[571] From Mr. Langton. BOSWELL.

[572] In this poem one of the instances mentioned of unfortunate learned
men is _Lydiat_:

'Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end.'

The history of Lydiat being little known, the following account of him
may be acceptable to many of my readers. It appeared as a note in the
Supplement to the _Gent. Mag_. for 1748, in which some passages
extracted from Johnson's poem were inserted, and it should have been
added in the subsequent editions.--A very learned divine and
mathematician, fellow of New College, Oxon, and Rector of Okerton, near
Banbury. He wrote, among many others, a Latin treatise _De Natura call_,
etc., in which he attacked the sentiments of Scaliger and Aristotle, not
bearing to hear it urged, _that some things are true in philosophy and
false in divinity_. He made above 600 Sermons on the harmony of the
Evangelists. Being unsuccessful in publishing his works, he lay in the
prison of Bocardo at Oxford, and in the King's Bench, till Bishop Usher,
Dr. Laud, Sir William Boswell, and Dr. Pink, released him by paying his
debts. He petitioned King Charles I. to be sent into Ethiopia, etc., to
procure MSS. Having spoken in favour of Monarchy and bishops, he was
plundered by the parliament forces, and twice carried away prisoner from
his rectory; and afterwards had not a shirt to shift him in three
months, without he borrowed it, and died very poor in 1646. BOSWELL.

[573] Psalm xc. 12.

[574] In the original _Inquirer_.

[575] '... nonumque prematur in annum.' Horace, _Ars Poet_. l. 388.

[576] 'Of all authors,' wrote Johnson, 'those are the most wretched who
exhibit their productions on the theatre, and who are to propitiate
first the manager and then the public. Many an humble visitant have I
followed to the doors of these lords of the drama, seen him touch the
knocker with a shaking hand, and after long deliberation adventure to
solicit entrance by a single knock.' _Works_, v. 360.

[577] Mahomet was, in fact, played by Mr. Barry, and Demetrius by Mr.
Garrick: but probably at this time the parts were not yet cast. BOSWELL.

[578] The expression used by Dr. Adams was 'soothed.' I should rather
think the audience was _awed_ by the extraordinary spirit and dignity of
the following lines:

'Be this at least his praise, be this his pride,
To force applause no modern arts are tried:
Should partial catcalls all his hopes confound,
He bids no trumpet quell the fatal sound;
Should welcome sleep relieve the weary wit,
He rolls no thunders o'er the drowsy pit;
No snares to captivate the judgement spreads,
Nor bribes your eyes to prejudice your heads.
Unmov'd, though witlings sneer and rivals rail,
Studious to please, yet not asham'd to fail,
He scorns the meek address, the suppliant strain,
With merit needless, and without it vain;
In Reason, Nature, Truth, he dares to trust;
Ye fops be silent, and ye wits be just!'


[579] Johnson said of Mrs. Pritchard's playing in general that 'it was
quite mechanical;' _post_, April 7, 1775. See also _post_ under
Sept. 30, 1783.

[580] 'The strangling of Irene in the view of the audience was suggested
by Mr. Garrick.' Davies's _Garrick_, i. 128. Dryden in his _Essay of
Dramatick Poesie_ (edit. 1701, i. 13), says:--'I have observed that in
all our tragedies the audience cannot forbear laughing when the actors
are to die; 'tis the most comick part of the whole play.' 'Suppose your
Piece admitted, acted; one single ill-natured jest from the pit is
sufficient to cancel all your labours.' Goldsmith's _Present State of
Polite Learning_, chap. x.

[581] In her last speech two of the seven lines are very bad:--

'Guilt and despair, pale spectres! grin around me,
And stun me with the yellings of damnation!'

Act v. sc. 9.

[582] Murphy referring to Boswell's statement says:--'The Epilogue, we
are told in a late publication, was written by Sir William Young. This
is a new discovery, but by no means probable. When the appendages to a
Dramatic Performance are not assigned to a friend, or an unknown hand,
or a person of fashion, they are always supposed to be written by the
author of the Play.' Murphy's _Johnson_, p. 154. He overlooks altogether
the statement in the _Gent. Mag_. (xix. 85) that the Epilogue is 'by
another hand.' Mr. Croker points out that the words 'as Johnson informed
me' first appear in the second edition. The wonder is that Johnson
accepted this Epilogue, which is a little coarse and a little profane.
Yonge was Secretary at War in Walpole's ministry. Walpole said of him
'that nothing but Yonge's character could keep down his parts, and
nothing but his parts support his character.' Horace Walpole's
_Letters_, i. 98, note.

[583] I know not what Sir John Hawkins means by the _cold reception_ of
_Irene_. (See note, p. 192.) I was at the first representation, and most
of the subsequent. It was much applauded the first night, particularly
the speech on _to-morrow_ [Act iii. sc. 2]. It ran nine nights at least.
It did not indeed become a stock-play, but there was not the least
opposition during the representation, except the first night in the last
act, where Irene was to be strangled on the stage, which _John_ could
not bear, though a dramatick poet may stab or slay by hundreds. The
bow-string was not a Christian nor an ancient Greek or Roman death. But
this offence was removed after the first night, and Irene went off the
stage to be strangled.--BURNEY.

[584] According to the _Gent. Mag_. (xix. 76) 'it was acted from Monday,
Feb. 6, to Monday, Feb. 20, inclusive.' A letter in the _Garrick
Corres_, (i. 32), dated April 3, 1745, seems to shew that so long a run
was uncommon. The writer addressing Garrick says:--'You have now
performed it [_Tancred_] for nine nights; consider the part, and whether
nature can well support the frequent repetition of such shocks. Permit
me to advise you to resolve not to act upon any account above three
times a week.' Yet against this may be set the following passage in the
_Rambler_, No. l23:--'At last a malignant author, whose performance I
had persecuted through the nine nights, wrote an epigram upon Tape the
critic, which drove me from the pit for ever.' Murphy writing in 1792
said that _Irene_ had not been exhbited on any stage since its first
representation. Murphy's _Johnson_, p. 52.

[585] Mr. Croker says that 'it appears by a MS. note in Isaac Reed's
copy of Murphy's Life, that the receipts of the third, sixth, and ninth
nights, after deducting sixty guineas a night for the expenses of the
house, amounted to L195 17s.: Johnson cleared therefore, with the
copyright, very nearly L300.' _Irene_ was sold at the price of 1s. 6d. a
copy (_Gent. Mag_. xix. 96); so that Dodsley must have looked for a very
large sale.

[586] See _post_, 1780, in Mr. Langton's _Collection_ for Johnson's
estimate of _Irene_ in later life.

[587] Aaron Hill (vol. ii. p. 355), in a letter to Mr. Mallett, gives
the following account of _Irene_ after having seen it: 'I was at the
anomalous Mr. Johnson's benefit, and found the play his proper
representative; strong sense ungraced by sweetness or decorum.' BOSWELL.

[588] See _ante_, p. 102

[589] Murphy (_Life_, p. 53) says that some years afterwards, when he
knew Johnson to be in distress, he asked Garrick why he did not produce
another tragedy for his Lichfield friend? Garrick's answer was
remarkable: "When Johnson writes tragedy, declamation roars, and passion
sleeps: when Shakespeare wrote; he dipped his pen in his own heart."
Johnson was perhaps aware of the causes of his failure as a
tragedy-writer. In his criticism of Addison's _Cato_ he says: 'Of _Cato_
it has been not unjustly determined that it is rather a poem in dialogue
than a drama, rather a succession of just sentiments in elegant language
than a representation of natural affections, or any state probable or
possible in human life ... The events are expected without solicitude,
and are remembered without joy or sorrow.... Its success has introduced
or confirmed among us the use of dialogue too declamatory, of
unaffecting elegance and chill philosophy.' _Works_, vii. 456. 'Johnson
thought: _Cato_ the best model of tragedy we had; yet he used to say, of
all things the most ridiculous would be to see a girl cry at the
representation of it.' Johnson's _Works_ (1787), xi. 207. _Cato_, if
neglected, has added at least eight 'habitual quotations' to the
language (see Thackeray's _English Humourists_, p. 98). _Irene_ has
perhaps not added a single one. It has neverthingless some quotable
lines, such as--

'Crowds that hide a monarch from
himself.' Act i. sc. 4.
'To cant ... of reason to a lover.'
Act iii. sc. 1.
'When e'en as love was breaking
off from wonder,
And tender accents quiver'd on my
lips.' Ib.
'And fate lies crowded in a narrow
space.' Act iii. sc. 6.
'Reflect that life and death, affecting
Are only varied modes of endless
being.' Act ii. sc. 8.
'Directs the planets with a careless
nod.' Ib.
'Far as futurity's untravell'd waste.'
Act iv. sc. 1.
'And wake from ignorance the
western world.' Act iv. sc. 2.
'Through hissing ages a proverbial
The tale of women, and the scorn
of fools.' Act iv. sc. 3.
'No records but the records of the
sky.' Ib.
'... thou art sunk beneath reproach.'
Act v. sc. 2.
'Oh hide me from myself.'
Act v. sc. 3.

[590] Johnson wrote of Milton:--'I cannot but conceive him calm and
confident, little disappointed, not at all dejected, relying on his own
merit with steady consciousness, and waiting without impatience the
vicissitudes of opinion, and the impartiality of a future generation.'
Johnson's _Works_, vii. 108.


'Genus irritabile vatum.'
'The fretful tribe of rival poets.'

Francis, _Horace_, Ep. ii. 2. 102.

[592] This deference he enforces in many passages in his writings; as
for instance:--'Dryden might have observed, that what is good only
because it pleases, cannot be pronounced good till it has been found to
please.' Johnson's _Works_, vii. 252. 'The authority of Addison is
great; yet the voice of the people, when to please the people is the
purpose, deserves regard.' _Ib_. 376. 'About things on which the public
thinks long, it commonly attains to think right.' _Ib_. 456. 'These
apologies are always useless: "de gustibus non est disputandum;" men may
be convinced, but they cannot be pleased against their will.' _Ib_.
viii. 26. 'Of things that terminate in human life, the world is the
proper judge; to despise its sentence, if it were possible, is not just;
and if it were just, is not possible.' _Ib_. viii. 316. Lord
Chesterfield in writing to his son about his first appearance in the
world said, 'You will be tried and judged there, not as a boy, but as a
man; and from that moment _there is no appeal for character_.' Lord
Chesterfield's _Letters_, iii. 324. Addison in the _Guardian_, No. 98,
had said that 'men of the best sense are always diffident of their
private judgment, till it receives a sanction from the public. _Provoco
ad populum_, I appeal to the people, was the usual saying of a very
excellent dramatic poet, when he had any disputes with particular
persons about the justness and regularity of his productions.' See
_post_, March 23, 1783.

[593] 'Were I,' he said, 'to wear a laced or embroidered waistcoat, it
should be very rich. I had once a very rich laced waistcoat, which I
wore the first night of my tragedy.' Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct.
27, 1773.

[594] 'Topham Beauclerc used to give a pleasant description of this
greenroom finery, as related by the author himself: 'But,' said Johnson,
with great gravity, 'I soon laid aside my gold-laced hat, lest it should
make me proud.' Murphy's _Johnson_, p. 52. In _The Idler_ (No. 62) we
have an account of a man who had longed to 'issue forth in all the
splendour of embroidery.' When his fine clothes were brought, 'I felt
myself obstructed,' he wrote, 'in the common intercourse of civility by
an uneasy consciousness of my new appearance; as I thought myself more
observed, I was more anxious about my mien and behaviour; and the mien
which if formed by care is commonly ridiculous.'

[595] See _ante_, p. 167.

[596] See _post_, 1780, in Mr. Langton's _Collection_.

[597] _The Tatler_ came to an end on Jan 2, 1710-1; the first series of
_The Spectator_ on Dec 6, 1712; and the second series of _The Spectator_
on December 20, 1714.

[598] 'Two new designs have appeared about the middle of this month
[March, 1750], one entitled, _The Tatler Revived; or The Christian
Philosopher and Politician_, half a sheet, price 2_d_. (stamped); the
other, _The Rambler_, three half sheets (un-stamped); price 2_d_.'
_Gent. Mag_. xx. 126.

[599] Pope's _Essay on Man_, ii. 10.

[600] See _post_, under Oct. 12, 1779.

[601] I have heard Dr. Warton mention, that he was at Mr. Robert
Dodsley's with the late Mr. Moore, and several of his friends,
considering what should be the name of the periodical paper which Moore
had undertaken. Garrick proposed _The Sallad_, which, by a curious
coincidence, was afterwards applied to himself by Goldsmith:

'Our Garrick's a sallad, for in him we see
Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree!'

[_Retaliation_, line II.]

At last, the company having separated, without any thing of which they
approved having been offered, Dodsley himself thought of _The
World_. BOSWELL.

[602] In the original MS. 'in this _my_ undertaking,' and below, 'the
salvation _both_ of myself and others.'

[603] Prayers and Meditations, p. 9. BOSWELL.

[604] In the original folio edition of the _Rambler_ the concluding
paper is dated Saturday, March 17. But Saturday was in fact March 14.
This circumstance is worth notice, for Mrs. Johnson died on the
17th. MALONE.

[605] _Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides_, 3d edit. p. 28. [Aug. 16,
1773]. BOSWELL.

[606] 'Gray had a notion not very peculiar, that he could not write but
at certain times, or at happy moments; a fantastic foppery, to which my
kindness for a man of learning and virtue wishes him to have been
superior.' Johnson's _Works_, viii. 482. See _post_, under April
15, 1758.

[607] Her correspondence with Richardson and Mrs. Carter was published
in 1807.

[608] The correspondence between her and Mrs. Carter was published in

[609] Dr. Birch says:--'The proprietor of the _Rambler_, Cave, told me
that copy was seldom sent to the press till late in the night before the
day of publication,' Croker's _Boswell_, p. 121, note. See _post_, April
12, 1776, and beginning of 1781.

Johnson carefully revised the _Ramblers_ for the collected edition. The
editor of the Oxford edition of Johnson's _Works_ states (ii. x), that
'the alterations exceeded six thousand.' The following passage from the
last number affords a good instance of this revision.

_First edition_.

'I have never complied with temporary curiosity, nor furnished my
readers with abilities to discuss the topic of the day; I have seldom
exemplified my assertions by living characters; from my papers therefore
no man could hope either censures of his enemies or praises of himself,
and they only could be expected to peruse them, whose passions left them
leisure for the contemplation of abstracted truth, and whom virtue could
please by her native dignity without the assistance of modish
ornaments.' _Gent. Mag_. xxii. 117.

_Revised edition_.

'I have never complied with temporary curiosity, nor enabled my readers
to discuss the topic of the day; I have rarely exemplified my assertions
by living characters; in my papers no man could look for censures of his
enemies, or praises of himself; and they only were expected to peruse
them, whose passions left them leisure for abstracted truth, and whom
virtue could please by its naked dignity.' Johnson's _Works_, iii. 462.

[610] 'Such relicks [Milton's early manuscripts] shew how excellence is
acquired; what we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do
with diligence.' Johnson's _Works_, vii. 119.

[611] Of the first 52 _Ramblers_ 49 were wholly by Johnson; of the last
156, 154. He seems to say that in the first 49, 17 were written from
notes, and in the last 154 only 13.

[612] No. 46.

[613] Hawkins's _Life of Johnson_, p. 268 [p. 265]. BOSWELL.

[614] 'The sly shadow steals away upon the dial, and the quickest eye
can distinguish no more than that it is gone.' Glanville, quoted in
Johnson's _Dictionary_.

[615] This most beautiful image of the enchanting delusion of youthful
prospect has not been used in any of Johnson's essays. BOSWELL.

[616] From Horace (_Ars Poet_. 1. 175) he takes his motto for the

'Multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum,
Multa recedentes adimunt.'
The blessings flowing in with life's full tide
Down with our ebb of life decreasing glide.'


[617] Lib. xii. 96 [95]. 'In Tuccam aemulum omnium suorum studiorum.'

[618] 'There never appear,' says Swift, 'more than five or six men of
genius in an age; but if they were united, the world could not stand
before them.' Johnson's _Works_, iv. 18.

[619] In the first edition this is printed [Greek: o philoi on philos];
in the second, [Greek: o philoi on philos]; in the 'Corrections' to the
second, we find 'for [Greek: o] read [Greek: oi];' in the third it is
printed as above. In three editions we have therefore five readings of
the first word. See _post_, April 15, 1778, where Johnson says:

'An old Greek said, "He that has friends has no friend,"' and April 24,
1779, where he says: 'Garrick had friends but no friend.'


Principum amicitias.'
'And fatal friendships of the guilty

FRANCIS, Horace, _Odes_, ii. 1. 4.

[621] 3 _Post_, under Jan. 1, 1753.

[622] Sir John Hawkins has selected from this little collection of
materials, what he calls the 'Rudiments of two of the papers of the
_Rambler_.' But he has not been able to read the manuscript distinctly.
Thus he writes, p. 266, 'Sailor's fate any mansion;' whereas the
original is 'Sailor's life my aversion.' He has also transcribed the
unappropriated hints on _Writers for bread_, in which he decyphers these
notable passages, one in Latin, _fatui non famae_, instead of _fami non
famae_; Johnson having in his mind what Thuanus says of the learned
German antiquary and linguist, Xylander, who, he tells us, lived in such
poverty, that he was supposed _fami non famae scribere_; and another in
French, _Degente de fate [fatu] et affame a'argent_, instead of _Degoute
de fame_, (an old word for _renommee_) _et affame d'argent_. The
manuscript being written in an exceedingly small hand, is indeed very
hard to read; but it would have been better to have left blanks than to
write nonsensc. BOSWELL.

[623] When we know that of the 208 _Ramblers_ all but five were written
by Johnson, it is amusing to read a passage in one of Miss Talbot's
letters to Mrs. Carter, dated Oct. 20, 1750:--'Mr. Johnson would, I
fear, be mortified to hear that people know a paper of his own by the
sure mark of somewhat a little excessive, a little exaggerated in the
expression.' _Carter Corres_. i. 357.

[624] The _Ramblers_ certainly were little noticed at first. Smart, the
poet, first mentioned them to me as excellent papers, before I had heard
any one else speak of them. When I went into Norfolk, in the autumn of
1751, I found but one person, (the Rev. Mr. Squires, a man of learning,
and a general purchaser of new books,) who knew anything of them. Before
I left Norfolk in the year 1760, the _Ramblers_ were in high favour
among persons of learning and good taste. Others there were, devoid of
both, who said that the _hard words_ in the _Rambler_ were used by the
authour to render his _Dictionary_ indispensably necessary. BURNEY. We
have notices of the _Rambler_ in the _Carter Corres_:--'May 28, 1750.
The author ought to be cautioned not to use over many hard words. In
yesterday's paper (a very pretty one indeed) we had _equiponderant, and
another so hard I cannot remember it [adscititious], both in one
sentence.' 'Dec. 17, 1750:--Mr. Cave complains of him for not admitting
correspondents; this does mischief. In the main I think he is to be
applauded for it. But why then does he not write now and then on the
living manners of the times?' In writing on April 22, 1752, just after
the _Rambler_ had come to an end, Miss Talbot says:--'Indeed 'tis a sad
thing that such a paper should have met with discouragement from wise
and learned and good people too. Many are the disputes it has cost me,
and not once did I come off triumphant.' Mrs. Carter replied:--'Many a
battle have I too fought for him in the country, out with little
success.' Murphy says:--'of this excellent production the number sold on
each day did not amount to five hundred; of course the bookseller, who
paid the author four guineas a week, did not carry on a successful
trade.' Murphy's _Johnson_, p. 59.

[625] Richardson wrote to Cave on Aug. 9, 1750, after forty-one numbers
had appeared:--'I hope the world tastes them; for its own sake I hope
the world tastes them. The author I can only guess at. There is but one
man, I think, that could write them.' _Rich. Corres_, i. 165. Cave
replied:--'Mr. Johnson is the _Great Rambler_, being, as you observe,
the only man who can furnish two such papers in a week, besides his
other great business.' He mentioned the recommendation it received from
high quarters, and continued:--'Notwithstanding, whether the price of
two-pence, or the unfavourable season of their first publication hinders
the demand, no boast can be made of it.' Johnson had not wished his name
to be known. Cave says that 'Mr. Carrick and others, who knew the
author's powers and style from the first, unadvisedly asserting their
suspicions, overturned the scheme of secrecy.' _Ib_. pp. 168-170.

[626] Horace Walpole, while justifying George II. against 'bookish men
who have censured his neglect of literature,' says:--'In truth, I
believe King George would have preferred a guinea to a composition as
perfect as _Alexander's Feast.' Reign of George II_, iii. 304.

[627] 'Dr. Johnson said to an acquaintance of mine, "My other works are
wine and water; but my _Rambler_ is pure wine."' Rogers's _Table
Talk_, p. 10.

[628] See _post_, April 5, 1772; April 19, 1773; and April 9, 1778.

[629] It was executed in the printing-office of Sands, Murray, and
Cochran, with uncommon elegance, upon writing-paper, of a duodecimo
size, and with the greatest correctness; and Mr. Elphinston enriched it
with translations of the mottos. When completed, it made eight handsome
volumes. It is, unquestionably, the most accurate and beautiful edition
of this work; and there being but a small impression, it is now become
scarce, and sells at a very high price. BOSWELL.

[630] Mr. Thomas Ruddiman, the learned grammarian of Scotland, well
known for his various excellent works, and for his accurate editions of
several authours. He was also a man of a most worthy private character.
His zeal for the Royal House of Stuart did not render him less estimable
in Dr. Johnson's eye. BOSWELL.

[631] In the _Gent. Mag_. for Sept. 1750, and for Oct. 1752,
translations of many of the mottoes were given; but in each number there
are several of Elphinston's. Johnson seems to speak of only one.

[632] Writing to Miss Porter on July 12, 1749, he said:--'I was afraid
your letter had brought me ill news of my mother, whose death is one of
the few calamities on which I think with terror.' Crokers _Boswell_,
p. 62.

[633] Mr. Strahan was Elphinston's brother-in-law. _Post_, April 9,

[634] In the _Gent. Mag_. for January, 1752, in the list of books
published is:--'A correct and beautiful edition of the Rambler in 4
volumes, in 12mo. Price 12s.' The _Rambler_ was not concluded till the
following March. The remaining two volumes were published in July.
_Gent. Mag_. xxii. 338.

[635] According to Hawkins (_Life_, P. 269) each edition consisted of
1250 copies.

[636] No. 55 [59.]. BOSWELL.

[637] Miss Burney records in her Diary that one day at Streatham, while
she and Mrs. Thrale 'were reading this Rambler, Dr. Johnson came in. We
told him what we were about. "Ah, madam!" cried he, "Goldsmith was not
scrupulous; but he would have been a great man had he known the real
value of his own internal resources."' Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary_, i. 83.
See _post_, beginning of 1768.

[638] It is possible that Mrs. Hardcastle's drive in _She Stoops to
Conquer_ was suggested by the _Rambler_, No. 34. In it a young gentleman
describes a lady's terror on a coach journey. 'Our whole conversation
passed in dangers, and cares, and fears, and consolations, and stories
of ladies dragged in the mire, forced to spend all the night on a heath,
drowned in rivers, or burnt with lightning.... We had now a new scene of
terror, every man we saw was a robber, and we were ordered sometimes to
drive hard, lest a traveller whom we saw behind should overtake us; and
sometimes to stop, lest we should come up to him who was passing before
us. She alarmed many an honest man by begging him to spare her life as
he passed by the coach.'

[639] Dr. Johnson was gratified by seeing this selection, and wrote to
Mr. Kearsley, bookseller in Fleet-Street, the following note:--

'Mr. Johnson sends compliments to Mr. Kearsley, and begs the favour of
seeing him as soon as he can. Mr. Kearsley is desired to bring with him
the last edition of what he has honoured with the name of BEAUTIES. May
20, 1782.' BOSWELL. The correspondence, _post_, May 15, 1782, shews that
Johnson sent for this book, not because he was gratified, but because he
was accused, on the strength of one of the _Beauties_, of recommending
suicide. On that day, being in the country, he wrote: 'I never saw the
book but by casual inspection, and considered myself as utterly
disengaged from its consequences.' He adds:--'I hope some time in the
next week to have all rectified.' The letter of May 20 shews that on his
return to town he lost little time, if any, in sending for Kearsley.

[640] See _post_, April 12, 1781.

[641] Ecclesiastes vii. 4.

[642] In the original '_separated sooner_ than subdued.' Johnson acted
up to what he said. When he was close on his end, 'all who saw him
beheld and acknowledged the _invictum animum Catonis_ ... Talking of his
illness he said:--"I will be conquered; I will not capitulate."' See
_post_, Oct. 1784.

[643] In the _Spectator_, No. 568, Addison tells of a village in which
'there arose a current report that somebody had written a book against
the 'squire and the whole parish.' The book was _The Whole Duty of Man_.

[644] 'The character of Prospero was, beyond all question, occasioned by
Garrick's ostentatious display of furniture and Dresden china.' Murphy's
_Johnson_, p. 144. If Garrick was aimed at, it is surprising that the
severity of the satire did not bring to an end, not only all friendship,
but even any acquaintance between the two men. The writer describes how
he and Prospero had set out in the world together, and how for a long
time they had assisted each other, till his friend had been lately
raised to wealth by a lucky project. 'I felt at his sudden shoot of
success an honest and disinterested joy.' Prospero reproached him with
his neglect to visit him at his new house. When however he went to see
him, he found that his friend's impatience 'arose not from any desire to
communicate his happiness, but to enjoy his superiority.' He was kept
waiting at the door, and when at length he was shewn up stairs, he found
the staircase carefully secured by mats from the pollution of his feet.
Prospero led him into a backroom, where he told him he always
breakfasted when he had not great company. After the visitor had endured
one act of insolence after another, he says:--'I left him without any
intention of seeing him again, unless some misfortune should restore his
understanding.' _Rambler_, No. 200. See _post_, May 15, 1776, where
Johnson, speaking of the charge of meanness brought against Garrick,
said, 'he might have been much better attacked for living with more
splendour than is suitable to a player.'

[645] In C. C. Greville's _Journal_ (ii. 316) we have an instance how
stories about Johnson grew. He writes:--'Lord Holland told some stories
of Johnson and Garrick which he had heard from Kemble.... When Garrick
was in the zenith of his popularity, and grown rich, and lived with the
great, and while Johnson was yet obscure, the Doctor used to drink tea
with him, and he would say, "Davy, I do not envy you your money nor your
fine acquaintance, but I envy you your power of drinking such tea as
this." "Yes," said Garrick, "it is very good tea, but it is not my best,
nor that which I give to my Lord this and Sir somebody t'other."' There
can be little doubt that the whole story is founded on the following
passage in the character of Prospero: 'Breakfast was at last set, and,
as I was not willing to indulge the peevishness that began to seize me,
I commended the tea. Prospero then told me that another time I should
taste his finest sort, but that he had only a very small quantity
remaining, and reserved it for those whom he thought himself obliged to
treat with particular respect.' See _post_, April 10, 1778, where
Johnson maintained that Garrick bore his good-fortune with modesty.

[646] No 98.

[647] Yet his style did not escape the harmless shafts of pleasant
humour; for the ingenious Bonnell Thornton published a mock Rambler in
the _Drury-lane Journal_. BOSWELL. Murphy (_Life_, p. 157), criticising
the above quotation from Johnson, says:--'He forgot the observation of
Dryden: "If too many foreign words are poured in upon us, it looks as if
they were designed, not to assist the natives, but to conquer them."'

[648] _Idler_, No. 70. BOSWELL. In the same number Johnson writes:--'Few
faults of style, whether real or imaginary, excite the malignity of a
more numerous class of readers than the use of hard words.... But words
are hard only to those who do not understand them; and the critic ought
always to inquire, whether he is incommoded by the fault of the writer
or by his own. Every author does not write for every reader.' See
_post_, Sept. 19, 1777, where Johnson says:--'If Robertson's style be
faulty he owes it to me; that is, having too many words, and those too
big ones.'

[649] The following passages in Temple's writings shew that a likeness
may be discovered between his style and Johnson's:--'There may be
firmness and constancy of courage from tradition as well as of belief:
nor, methinks, should any man know how to be a coward, that is brought
up with the opinion, that all of his nation or city have ever been
valiant.' Temple's _Works_, i. 167. 'This is a disease too refined for
this country and people, who are well, when they are not ill, and
pleased, when they are not troubled; are content, because they think
little of it; and seek their happiness in the common eases and
commodities of life, or the increase of riches; not amusing themselves
with the more speculative contrivances of passion, or refinements of
pleasure.' _Ib_. p. 170. 'They send abroad the best of their own butter
into all parts, and buy the cheapest out of Ireland, or the north of
England, for their own usc. In short they furnish infinite luxury which
they never practise, and traffic in pleasures which they never taste.'
_Ib_. p. 195. See _post_, April 9, 1778, where Johnson says:--'Temple
was the first writer who gave cadence to English prosc.'

[650] Dean Stanley calls Ephraim Chambers 'the Father of Cyclopedias.'
_Memorials of Westminster Abbey_, p. 299, note. The epitaph which
Chambers wrote for himself the Dean gives as:--'Multis pervulgatus,
paucis notus, qui vitam inter lucem et umbram, nec eruditus nec
idioticis literis deditus, transegit.' In the _Gent. Mag_. for 1740, p.
262, the last line is given, no doubt correctly, as:--'Nec eruditus nec
idiota, literis deditus.' The second edition of Chambers's _Cyclopaedia_
was published in 1738. There is no copy of his Proposal in the British
Museum or Bodleian. The resemblance between his style and Johnson's is
not great. The following passage is the most Johnsonian that I could
find:--'None of my predecessors can blame me for the use I have made of
them; since it is their own avowed practice. It is a kind of privilege
attached to the office of lexicographer; if not by any formal grant, yet
by connivance at least. I have already assumed the bee for my device,
and who ever brought an action of trover or trespass against that avowed
free-booter? 'Tis vain to pretend anything of property in things of this
nature. To offer our thoughts to the public, and yet pretend a right
reserved therein to oneself, if it be not absurd, yet it is sordid. The
words we speak, nay the breath we emit, is not more vague and common
than our thoughts, when divulged in print.' Chambers's Preface,
p. xxiii.

[651] 'There were giants in the earth in those days.' _Gen_. vi. 4.

[652] A GREAT PERSONAGE first appears in the second edition. In the
first edition we merely find 'by one whose authority,' &c. Boswell in
his _Hebrides_, Aug. 28, 1773, speaks of George III. as 'a Great
Personage.' In his _Letter to the People of Scotland_ (p. 90) he thus
introduces an anecdote about the King--and Paoli:--'I have one other
circumstance to communicate; but it is of the highest value. I
communicate it with a mixture of awe and fondness.--That Great
Personage, who is allowed by all to have the best _memory_ of any man
_born a Briton_, &c. In the _Probationary Odes for the Laureateship_,
published a few months after Boswell's _Letter_, a 'Great Personage' is
ludicrously introduced; pp. xxx. 63.

[653] The first nine lines form the motto.

[654] Horat. _Epist_. Lib. ii. Epist. ii. {1, 110} BOSWELL.

But how severely with themselves proceed
The men, who write such verse as we can read!
Their own strict judges, not a word they spare
That wants or force, or light, or weight, or care,
Howe'er unwillingly it quits its place,
Nay, though at court, perhaps, it may find grace:
Such they'll degrade; and some-times, in its stead,
In downright charity revive the dead;
Mark where a bold expressive phrase appears,
Bright through the rubbish of some hundred years;
Command old words that long have slept to wake,
Words that wise Bacon or brave Rawleigh spake;
Or bid the new be English, ages hence,
(For use will father what's begot by sense;)
Pour the full tide of eloquence along,
Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong,
Rich with the treasures of each foreign tongue.'

Pope, _Imitations of Horace_, ii. 2. 157

[655] 'Horat. _De Arte Poetica_. [1. 48.] BOSWELL.

[656] See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 29, 1773, where Boswell says that
up that date he had twice heard Johnson coin words, _peregrinity_ and

[657] 'The words which our authors have introduced by their knowledge of
foreign languages, or ignorance of their own, by vanity or wantonness,
by compliance with fashion or lust of innovation, I have registered as
they occurred, though commonly only to censure them, and warn others
against the folly of naturalizing useless foreigners to the injury of
the natives.... Our language for almost a century has, by the
concurrence of many causes, been gradually departing from its original
Teutonick character, and deviating towards a Gallick structure and
phraseology, from which it ought to be our endeavour to recall it, by
making our ancient volumes the groundwork of style.... From the authors
which rose in the time of Elizabeth a speech might be formed adequate to
all the purposes of use and elegance.' Johnson's _Works_, v. pp. 31, 39.
See _post_. May 12, 1778.

[658] If Johnson sometimes indulged his _Brownism_ (see _post_,
beginning of 1756), yet he saw much to censure in Browne's style. 'His
style is, indeed, a tissue of many languages; a mixture of heterogeneous
words, brought together from distant regions, with terms originally
appropriated to one art, and drawn by violence into the service of
another. He must however be confessed to have augmented our
philosophical diction.... His innovations are sometimes pleasing, and
his temerities happy.' Johnson's _Works_, vi. 500. 'It is remarkable
that the pomp of diction, which has been objected to Johnson, was first
assumed in the _Rambler_. His _Dictionary_ was going on at the same
time, and in the course of that work, as he grew familiar with technical
and scholastic words, he thought that the bulk of his readers were
equally learned; or at least would admire the splendour and dignity of
the style.' Murphy's _Johnson_, p. 156.

'The observation of his having imitated Sir Thomas Brown has been made
by many people; and lately it has been insisted on, and illustrated by a
variety of quotations from Brown, in one of the popular Essays written
by the Reverend Mr. Knox [the Essay is No. xxii. of _Winter Evenings_,
Knox's _Works_, ii 397], master of Tumbridge school, whom I have set
down in my list [_post_, under Dec. 6, 1784] of those who have sometimes
not unsuccessfully imitated Dr. Johnson's style. BOSWELL.

[659] The following observation in Mr. Boswell's _Journal of a Tour to
the Hebrides_ [p. 9] may sufficiently account for that Gentleman's being
'now scarcely esteem'd a Scot' by many of his countrymen:--If he [Dr.
Johnson] was particularly prejudiced against the Scots, it was because
they were more in his way; because he thought their success in England
rather exceeded the due proportion of their real merit; and because he
could not but see in them that nationality which, I believe, no
liberal-minded Scotchman will deny.' Mr. Boswell, indeed, is so free
from national prejudices, that he might with equal propriety have been
described as--

'Scarce by _South_ Britons now
esteem'd a Scot.'

[660] Malone says that 'Baretti used sometimes to walk with Johnson
through the streets at night, and occasionally entered into conversation
with the unfortunate women who frequent them, for the sake of hearing
their stories. It was from a history of one of these, which a girl told
under a tree in the King's Bench Walk in the Temple to Baretti and
Johnson, that he formed the story of Misella in the _Rambler_ [Nos. 170
and 171].' Prior's _Malone_, p. 161. 'Of one [of these women] who was
very handsome he asked, for what she thought God had given her so much
beauty. She answered:--"To please gentlemen."' Hawkins's _Johnson_, p.
321. See also _post_, under Dec. 2, 1784.

[661] Hawkins (_Life_, p. 270) had said that 'the characteristics of
Addison's style are feebleness and inanity.' He was thus happily
ridiculed by Person:--'Soon after the publication of Sir John's book, a
parcel of Eton boys, not having the fear of God before their eyes, etc.,
instead of playing truant, robbing orchards, annoying poultry, or
performing any other part of their school exercise, fell foul in print
(see the _Microcosm_, No. 36) upon his Worship's censure of Addison's
_middling_ style.... But what can you expect, as Lord Kames justly
observes, from a school where boys are taught to rob on the highway?'
Person, _Tracts_, p. 339.

[662] _Works_, vii. 473.

[663] When Johnson shewed me a proof-sheet of the character of Addison,
in which he so highly extols his style, I could not help observing, that
it had not been his own model, as no two styles could differ more from
each other.--'Sir, Addison had his style, and I have mine.'--When I
ventured to ask him, whether the difference did not consist in this,
that Addison's style was full of idioms, colloquial phrases, and
proverbs; and his own more strictly grammatical, and free from such
phraseology and modes of speech as can never be literally translated or
understood by foreigners; he allowed the discrimination to be just.--Let
any one who doubts it, try to translate one of Addison's _Spectators_
into Latin, French, or Italian; and though so easy, familiar, and
elegant, to an Englishman, as to give the intellect no trouble; yet he
would find the transfusion into another language extremely difficult, if
not impossible. But a _Rambler_, _Adventurer_, or _Idler_, of Johnson,
would fall into any classical or European language, as easily as if it
had been originally conceived in it. BURNEY. Mrs. Piozzi (_Anec_. p.
125) recounts how Johnson recommended Addison's works as a model for
imitation to Mr. Woodhouse, a poetical shoemaker. '"Give nights and
days, Sir, (said he) to the study of Addison, if you mean either to be a
good writer, or, what is more worth, an honest man." When I saw
something like the same expression in his criticism on that author, I
put him in mind of his past injunctions to the young poet, to which he
replied, "That he wished the shoemaker might have remembered them as
well."' Yet he says in his _Life of Pope ( Works_, viii. 284), 'He that
has once studiously formed a style rarely writes afterwards with
complete easc.'

[664] I shall probably, in another work, maintain the merit of Addison's
poetry, which has been very unjustly depreciated. BOSWELL. He proposed
also to publish an edition of Johnson's poems (_ante_, p. 16), an
account of his own travels (_post_, April 17, 1778), a collection, with
notes, of old tenures and charters of Scotland (_post_, Oct. 27, 1779),
and a History of James IV. of Scotland, 'the patron,' as he said, 'of my
family' (Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 23, 1773).

[665] Lewis thus happily translates the lines in _Martial_,--

'Diligat ilia senem quondam: sed et ipsa marito,
Tunc quoque cum fuerit, non videatur, anus.
'Wrinkled with age, may mutual love and truth
To their dim eyes recall the bloom of youth.'

_Rambler_, No. 167.

Some of Johnson's own translations are happy, as:--

'Quam juvat immites ventos audire cubantem
Aut, gelidas hibernus aquas quum fuderit auster,
Securum somnos, imbre juvante, sequi!
'How sweet in sleep to pass the careless hours,
Lull'd by the beating winds and dashing show'rs.'

_Ib_. No. 117.

[666] [Greek: Augon ek makaron antaxios eiae amoibae.]

'Celestial powers! that piety regard,
From you my labours wait their last reward.'

A modification of the Greek line is engraved on the scroll in Johnson's
monument in St. Paul's (_post_, Dec. 1784).

[667] 'The essays professedly serious, if I have been able to execute my
own intentions, will be found exactly conformable to the precepts of
Christianity.... I therefore look back on this part of my work with
pleasure, which no blame or praise of man shall diminish or augment.'
_Rambler_, No. 208.

[668] I have little doubt that this attack on the concluding verse is an
indirect blow at Hawkins, who had quoted the whole passage, and had
clearly thought it the more 'awful' on account of the couplet. See
Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 291.

[669] In the original _Raleigh's_.

[670] The italics are Boswell's.

[671] Mrs. Williams is probably the person meant. BOSWELL.

[672] 'In 1750, April 5, _Comus_ was played for her benefit. She had so
little acquaintance with diversion or gaiety, that she did not know what
was intended when a benefit was theatre was offered her. The profits of
the night were only L130, though Dr. Newton brought a large
contribution; and L20 were given by Tonson, a man who is to be praised
as often as he is named.... This was the greatest benefaction that
_Paradise Lost_ ever procured the author's descendants; and to this he
who has now attempted to relate his life had the honour of contributing
a Prologue.' Johnson's _Works, vii. 118_. In the _Gent. Mag_. (xx. 152)
we read that, as on 'April 4, the night first appointed, many in
convenient circumstances happened to disappoint the hopes of success,
the managers generously quitted the profits of another night, in which
the theatre was expected to be fuller. Mr. Samuel Johnson's prologue was
afterwards printed for Mrs. Foster's benefit.'

[673] Johnson is thinking of Pope's lines--

'But still the great have kindness in reserve,
He helped to bury whom he helped to starve.'

Prologue to the _Satires_, 1. 247. In the _Life of Milton_ he
writes:--'In our time a monument has been erected in Westminster Abbey
_To the author of Paradise Lost_ by Mr. Benson, who has in the
inscription bestowed more words upon himself than upon Milton.'
Johnson's _Works_, vii. 112. Pope has a hit at Benson in the _Dunciad_,
iii. 325:--

'On poets' tombs see Benson's titles writ!'

Moore, describing Sheridan's funeral, says:--'It was well remarked by a
French Journal, in contrasting the penury of Sheridan's latter years
with the splendour of his funeral, that "France is the place for a man
of letters to live in, and England the place for him to die in."' Moore
himself wrote:--

'How proud they can press to the funeral array
Of him whom they shunned in his sickness and sorrow--
How bailiffs may seize his last blanket to-day,
Whose pall shall be held up by Nobles to-morrow.'

Moore's _Sheridan_, ii. 460-2.

[674] Johnson's _Works_, i. 115.

[675] Among the advertisements in the _Gent. Mag_. for February of this
year is the following:--'_An elegy wrote in a country churchyard, 6d_.'

[676] See Boswell's _Hebrides_, Aug. 17, 1773.

[677] 'Lest there should be any person, at any future period, absurd
enough to suspect that Johnson was a partaker in Lauder's fraud, or had
any knowledge of it, when he assisted him with his masterly pen, it is
proper here to quote the words of Dr. Douglas, now Bishop of Salisbury,
at the time when he detected the imposition. 'It is to be hoped, nay it
is _expected_, that the elegant and nervous writer, whose judicious
sentiments and inimitable style point out the authour of Lauder's
Preface and Postscript, will no longer allow one to _plume himself with
his feathers_, who appeareth so little to deserve [his] assistance: an
assistance which I am persuaded would never have been communicated, had
there been the least suspicion of those facts which I have been the
instrument of conveying to the world in these sheets.' _Milton no
Plagiary_, 2nd edit. p. 78. And his Lordship has been pleased now to
authorise me to say, in the strongest manner, that there is no ground
whatever for any unfavourable reflection against Dr. Johnson, who
expressed the strongest indignation against Lauder. BOSWELL. To this
letter Lauder had the impudence to add a shameless postscript and some
'testimonies' concerning himself. Though on the face of it it is evident
that this postscript is not by Johnson, yet it is included in his works
(v. 283). The letter was dated Dec. 20, 1750. In the _Gent. Mag_. for
the next month (xxi. 47) there is the following paragraph:--'Mr. Lauder
confesses here and exhibits all his forgeries; for which he assigns one
motive in the book, and after asking pardon assigns another in the
postscript; he also takes an opportunity to publish several letters and
testimonials to his former character.' Goldsmith in Retaliation has a
hit at Lauder:--

'Here Douglas retires from his toils to relax,
The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks.
New Lauders and Bowers the Tweed shall cross over,
No countryman living their tricks to discover.'

Dr. Douglas was afterwards Bishop of Salisbury (_ante_, p. 127). See
_post_, June 25, 1763, for the part he took in exposing the Cock Lane
Ghost imposture.

[678] Scott writing to Southey in 1810 said:--'A witty rogue the other
day, who sent me a letter signed Detector, proved me guilty of stealing
a passage from one of Vida's Latin poems, which I had never seen or
heard of.' The passage alleged to be stolen ends with,--

'When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou!'

which in Vida _ad Eranen. El_. ii. v. 21, ran,--

'Cum dolor atque supercilio gravis imminet angor,
Fungeris angelico sola ministerio.'

'It is almost needless to add,' says Mr. Lockhart, 'there are no such
lines.' _Life of Scott_, iii. 294.

[679] The greater part of this Preface was given in the _Gent. Mag_. for
August 1747 (xvii. 404).

[680] 'Persuasive' is scarcely a fit description for this noble outburst
of indignation on the part of one who knew all the miseries of poverty.
After quoting Dr. Newton's account of the distress to which Milton's
grand-daughter had been reduced, he says:--'That this relation is true
cannot be questioned: but surely the honour of letters, the dignity of
sacred poetry, the spirit of the English nation, and the glory of human
nature require--that it should be true no longer.... In an age, which
amidst all its vices and all its follies has not become infamous for
want of charity, it may be surely allowed to hope, that the living
remains of Milton will be no longer suffered to languish in distress.'
Johnson's _Works_, v. 270.

[681] Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 275.

[682] In the original _retrospection_. Johnson's _Works_, v. 268.

[683] In this same year Johnson thus ends a severe criticism on _Samson
Agonistes_: 'The everlasting verdure of Milton's laurels has nothing to
fear from the blasts of malignity; nor can my attempt produce any other
effect than to strengthen their shoots by lopping their luxuriance.'
_The Rambler_, No. 140. 'Mr. Nichols shewed Johnson in 1780 a book
called _Remarks on Johnson's Life of Milton_, in which the affair of
Lauder was renewed with virulence. He read the libellous passage with
attention, and instantly wrote on the margin:--"In the business of
Lauder I was deceived; partly by thinking the man too frantic to be
fraudulent.'" Murphy's _Johnson_, p. 66.

[684] 'Johnson turned his house,' writes Lord Macaulay, 'into a place of
refuge for a crowd of wretched old creatures who could find no other
asylum; nor could all their peevishness and ingratitude weary out his
benevolence' (_Essays_, i. 390). In his _Biography of Johnson_ (p. 388)
he says that Mrs. Williams's 'chief recommendations were her blindness
and her poverty.' No doubt in Johnson's letters to Mrs. Thrale are found
amusing accounts of the discord of the inmates of his house. But it is
abundantly clear that in Mrs. Williams's company he had for years found
pleasure. A few months after her death he wrote to Mrs. Thrale: 'You
have more than once wondered at my complaint of solitude, when you hear
that I am crowded with visits. _Inopem me copia fecit_. Visitors are no
proper companions in the chamber of sickness.... The amusements and
consolations of languor and depression are conferred by familiar and
domestic companions.... Such society I had with Levett and Williams'
(_Piozzi Letters_, ii. 341). To Mrs. Montagu he wrote:--'Thirty years
and more she had been my companion, and her death has left me very
desolate' (Croker's _Boswell_, p. 739). Boswell says that 'her departure
left a blank in his house' (_post_, Aug. 1783). 'By her death,' writes
Murphy, 'he was left in a state of destitution, with nobody but his
black servant to soothe his anxious moments' (Murphy's _Johnson_, p.
122). Hawkins (_Life_, p. 558) says that 'she had not only cheered him
in his solitude, and helped him to pass with comfort those hours which
otherwise would have been irksome to him, but had relieved him from
domestic cares, regulated and watched over the expenses of his house,
etc.' 'She had,' as Boswell says (_post_, Aug. 1783), 'valuable
qualities.' 'Had she had,' wrote Johnson, 'good humour and prompt
elocution, her universal curiosity and comprehensive knowledge would
have made her the delight of all that knew her' (_Piozzi Letters_, ii.
311). To Langton he wrote:--'I have lost a companion to whom I have had
recourse for domestic amusement for thirty years, and whose variety of
knowledge never was exhausted' (_post_, Sept. 29, 1783). 'Her
acquisitions,' he wrote to Dr. Burney, 'were many and her curiosity
universal; so that she partook of every conversation' (_post_, Sept.
1783). Murphy (_Life_ p. 72) says:--'She possessed uncommon talents,
and, though blind, had an alacrity of mind that made her conversation
agreeable, and even desirable.' According to Hawkins (_Life_, 322-4)
'she had acquired a knowledge of French and Italian, and had made great
improvements in literature. She was a woman of an enlightened
understanding. Johnson in many exigencies found her an able counsellor,
and seldom shewed his wisdom more than when he hearkened to her advice.'
Perhaps Johnson had her in his thoughts when, writing of Pope's last
years and Martha Blount, he said:--'Their acquaintance began early; the
life of each was pictured on the other's mind; their conversation
therefore was endearing, for when they met there was an immediate
coalition of congenial notions.' (Johnson's _Works_, viii. 304.) Miss
Mulso (Mrs. Chapone) writing to Mrs. Carter in 1753, says:--'I was
charmed with Mr. Johnson's behaviour to Mrs. Williams, which was like
that of a fond father to his daughter. She shewed very good sense, with
a great deal of modesty and humility; and so much patience and
cheerfulness under her misfortune that it doubled my concern for her'
(_Mrs. Chapone's Life_, p. 73). Miss Talbot wrote to Mrs. Carter in
1756:--'My mother the other day fell in love with your friend, Mrs.
Williams, whom we met at Mr. Richardson's [where Miss Mulso also had met
her], and is particularly charmed with the sweetness of her voice'
(Talbot and Carter _Corresp_. ii. 221). Miss Talbot was a niece of Lord
Chancellor Talbot. Hannah More wrote in 1774:--'Mrs. Williams is
engaging in her manners; her conversation lively and entertaining'
(More's _Memoirs_, i.49). Boswell, however, more than once complains
that she was 'peevish' (_post_, Oct. 26, 1769 and April 7, 1776). At a
time when she was very ill, and had gone into the country to try if she
could improve her health, Johnson wrote:--'Age, and sickness, and pride
have made her so peevish, that I was forced to bribe the maid to stay
with her by a secret stipulation of half-a-crown a week over her wages'
(_post_, July 22, 1777). Malone, in a note on August 2, 1763, says that
he thinks she had of her own 'about L35 or L40 a year.' This was in her
latter days; Johnson had prevailed on Garrick to give her a benefit and
Mrs. Montagu to give her a pension. She used, he adds, to help in the

[685] March 14. See _ante_, p. 203, note 1. He had grown weary of his
work. In the last _Rambler_ but one he wrote: 'When once our labour has
begun, the comfort that enables us to endure it is the prospect of its
end.... He that is himself weary will soon weary the public. Let him
therefore lay down his employment, whatever it be, who can no longer
exert his former activity or attention; let him not endeavour to
struggle with censure, or obstinately infest the stage, till a general
hiss commands him to depart.'

[686] How successful an imitator Hawkesworth was is shewn by the
following passage in the Carter and Talbot _Corresp_., ii. 109:--'I
discern Mr. Johnson through all the papers that are not marked A, as
evidently as if I saw him through the keyhole with the pen in his hand.'

[687] In the _Rambler_ for Feb. 25 of this year (No. 203) he wrote in
the following melancholy strain:--'Every period of life is obliged to
borrow its happiness from the time to come. In youth we have nothing
past to entertain us, and in age we derive little from retrospect but
hopeless sorrow. Yet the future likewise has its limits which the
imagination dreads to approach, but which we see to be not far distant.
The loss of our friends and companions impresses hourly upon us the
necessity of our own departure; we know that the schemes of man are
quickly at an end, that we must soon lie down in the grave with the
forgotten multitudes of former ages, and yield our place to others, who,
like us, shall be driven a while by hope or fear about the surface of
the earth, and then like us be lost in the shades of death.' In _Prayers
and Meditations_, pp. 12-15, in a service that he used on May 6, 'as
preparatory to my return to life to-morrow,' he prays:--'Enable me to
begin and perfect that reformation which I promised her, and to
persevere in that resolution which she implored Thee to continue, in the
purposes which I recorded in Thy sight when she lay dead before me.' See
_post_, Jan. 20, 1780. The author of _Memoirs of the Life and Writings
of Dr. Johnson_, 1785, says, p. 113, that on the death of his wife, 'to
walk the streets of London was for many a lonesome night Johnson's
constant substitute for sleep.'

[688] 'I have often been inclined to think that, if this fondness of
Johnson for his wife was not dissembled, it was a lesson that he had
learned by rote, and that, when he practised it, he knew not where to
stop till he became ridiculous.' Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 313

[689] The son of William Strahan, M.P., 'Johnson's old and constant
friend, Printer to His Majesty' (_post_, under April 20, 1781). He
attended Johnson on his death-bed, and published the volume called
_Prayers and Meditations_.

[690] Southey in his _Life of Wesley_, i. 359, writes:--'The universal
attention which has been paid to dreams in all ages proves that the
superstition is natural; and I have heard too many well-attested facts
(facts to which belief could not be refused upon any known laws of
evidence) not to believe that impressions are sometimes made in this
manner, and forewarnings communicated, which cannot be explained by
material philosophy or mere metaphysics.'

[691] Warburton in his _Divine Legation_, i. 284, quotes the 'famous
sepulchral inscription of the Roman widow.' 'Ita peto vos Manes
sanctissimi commendatum habeatis meum conjugem et velitis huic
indulgentissimi esse horis nocturnis ut eum videam,' etc.

[692] Mrs. Boswell died in June 1789. Johnson's prayer with Boswell's
comments on it was first inserted in the _Additions_ to the
second edition.

[693] Mrs. Johnson died on March 17, O. S., or March 28, N. S. The
change of style was made in September, 1752. He might have kept either
the 17th, or the 28th as the anniversary. In like manner, though he was
born on Sept. 7, after the change he kept the 18th as his birth-day. See
_post_, beginning of 1753, where he writes, 'Jan. 1, N. S., which I
shall use for the future.'

[694] In _Prayers and Meditations_, p. 22, he recorded: 'The melancholy
of this day hung long upon me.' P. 53: 'April 22, 1764, Thought on
Tetty, dear, poor Tetty, with my eyes full.' P. 91: 'March 28, 1770.
This is the day on which, in 1752, I was deprived of poor, dear
Tetty.... When I recollect the time in which we lived together, my grief
for her departure is not abated; and I have less pleasure in any good
that befalls me because she does not partake it.' P. 170: 'April 20,
1778. Poor Tetty, whatever were our faults and failings, we loved each
other. I did not forget thee yesterday [Easter Sunday]. Couldest thou
have lived!' P. 210: 'March 28, 1782. This is the day on which, in 1752,
dear Tetty died. I have now uttered a prayer of repentance and
contrition; perhaps Tetty knows that I prayed for her. Perhaps Tetty is
now praying for me. God help me.' In a letter to Mrs. Thrale on the
occasion of the death of her son (dated March 30, 1776) he thus refers
to the loss of his wife:--'I know that a whole system of hopes, and
designs, and expectations is swept away at once, and nothing left but
bottomless vacuity. What you feel I have felt, and hope that your
disquiet will be shorter than mine.' _Piozzi Letters_, i. 310. In a
letter to Mr. Elphinston, who had just lost his wife, written on July
27, 1778, he repeats the same thought:--'A loss such as yours lacerates
the mind, and breaks the whole system of purposes and hopes. It leaves a
dismal vacuity in life, which affords nothing on which the affections
can fix, or to which endeavour may be directed. All this I have known.'
Croker's _Boswell_, p. 66, note. See also _post_, his letter to Mr.
Warton of Dec. 21, 1754, and to Dr. Lawrence of Jan. 20, 1780.

[695] In the usual monthly list of deaths in the _Gent. Mag_. her name
is not given. Johnson did not, I suppose, rank among 'eminent persons.'

[696] Irene, Act i. sc. 1.

[697] See _post_, Nov. 16, 1784, note.

[698] The Anderdon MSS. contain an importunate letter, dated July 3,
1751, from one Mitchell, a tradesman in Chandos-street, pressing Johnson
to pay L2, due by his wife ever since August, 1749, and threatening
legal proceedings to enforce payment. This letter Mr. Boswell had
endorsed, 'Proof of Dr. Johnson's wretched circumstances in
1751.' CROKER.

[699] In the _Gent. Mag_. for February, 1794, (p. 100,) was printed a
letter pretending to be that written by Johnson on the death of his
wife. But it is merely a transcript of the 41st number of _The Idler_. A
fictitious date (March 17, 1751, O. S.) was added by some person
previous to this paper being sent to the publisher of that miscellany,
to give a colour to this deception. MALONE.

[700] Francis Barber was born in Jamaica, and was brought to England in
1750 by Colonel Bathurst, father of Johnson's very intimate friend, Dr.
Bathurst. He was sent, for some time, to the Reverend Mr. Jackson's
school, at Barton, in Yorkshire. The Colonel by his will left him his
freedom, and Dr. Bathurst was willing that he should enter into
Johnson's service, in which he continued from 1752 till Johnson's death,
with the exception of two intervals; in one of which, upon some
difference with his master, he went and served an apothecary in
Cheapside, but still visited Dr. Johnson occasionally; in another, he
took a fancy to go to sea. Part of the time, indeed, he was, by the
kindness of his master, at a school in Northamptonshire, that he might
have the advantage of some learning. So early and so lasting a
connection was there between Dr. Johnson and this humble friend.
BOSWELL. 'I believe that Francis was scarcely as much the object of Mr.
Johnson's personal kindness as the representative of Dr. Bathurst, for
whose sake he would have loved anybody or anything.' Piozzi's _Anec_.
p. 212.

[701] 'I asked him,' writes Mrs. Piozzi (_Anec_. pp. 146-150), 'if he
ever disputed with his wife. "Perpetually," said he; "my wife had a
particular reverence for cleanliness, and desired the praise of neatness
in her dress and furniture, as many ladies do, till they become
troublesome to their best friends, slaves to their own besoms, and only
sigh for the hour of sweeping their husbands out of the house as dirt
and useless lumber. A clean floor is so comfortable, she would say
sometimes by way of twitting; till at last I told her that I thought we
had had talk enough about the floor, we would now have a touch at the
ceiling." I asked him if he ever huffed his wife about his dinner. "So
often," replied he, "that at last she called to me and said, Nay, hold,
Mr. Johnson, and do not make a farce of thanking God for a dinner which
in a few minutes you will protest not eatable."'

[702] 'When a friend is carried to his grave, we at once find excuses
for every weakness, and palliations of every fault; we recollect a
thousand endearments, which before glided off our minds without
impression, a thousand favours unrepaid, a thousand duties unperformed;
and wish, vainly wish, for his return, not so much that we may receive,
as that we may bestow happiness, and recompense that kindness which
before we never understood.' _Rambler_, No. 54.

[703] _Pr. and Med_. p. 19. BOSWELL.

[704] Hawkins's _Life of Johnson_, p. 316. BOSWELL.

[705] See _post_, Oct. 26, 1769, where the Roman Catholic doctrine of
purgatory or 'a middle state,' as Johnson calls it is discussed, and
Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 25, 1773.

[706] In the original, 'lawful _for_ me.' Much the same prayer Johnson
made for his mother. _Pr. and Med_. p. 38. On Easter Day, 1764, he
records:--'After sermon I recommended Tetty in a prayer by herself; and
my father, mother, brother, and Bathurst in another. I did it only once,
so far as it might be lawful for me.' _Ib_. p. 54. On the death of Mr.
Thrale he wrote, 'May God that delighteth in mercy _have had_ mercy on
thee.' _Ib_. p. 191; and later on, 'for Henry Thrale, so far as is
lawful, I humbly implore thy mercy in his present state.' _Ib_. p. 197.

[707] _Pr. and Med_., p. 20. BOSWELL.

[708] Shortly before his death (see _post,_ July 12, 1784) Johnson had a
stone placed over her grave with the following inscription:--

Hic conduntur reliquiae
Antiqua Jarvisiorum Leicestrienses, ortae;
Formosae, cultae, ingeniosae, piae;
Uxoris, primis nuptiis, Henrici Porter,
Secundis Samuelis Johnson:
Qui multum amatam, diuque defletam
Hoc lapide contexit.
Obiit Londini Mense Mart.

As Mrs. Johnson died in 1752, the date is wrong.

[709] See _post_, Sept. 21. 1777.

[710] He described her as a woman 'whom none, who were capable of
distinguishing either moral or intellectual excellence, could know
without esteem or tenderness. She was extensively charitable in her
judgements and opinions, grateful for every kindness that she received,
and willing to impart assistance of every kind to all whom her little
power enabled her to benefit. She passed through many months of languor,
weakness, and decay without a single murmur of impatience, and often
expressed her adoration of that mercy which granted her so long time for
recollection and penitence.' Johnson's _Works,_ ix. 523.

[711] See _ante_, p. 187.

[712] Dr. Bathurst, though a Physician of no inconsiderable merit, had
not the good fortune to get much practice in London. He was, therefore
willing to accept of employment abroad, and, to the regret of all who
knew him, fell a sacrifice to the destructive climate, in the expedition
against the Havannah. Mr. Langton recollects the following passage in a
letter from Dr. Johnson to Mr. Beauclerk: 'The Havannah is taken;--a
conquest too dearly obtained; for, Bathurst died before it. "_Vix
Priamus tanti totaque Troja fuit_."' BOSWELL.

The quotation is from Ovid, _Heroides_, i. 4. Johnson (_post_, Dec. 21,
1762) wrote to Baretti, 'Bathurst went physician to the army, and died
at the Havannah.' Mr. Harwood in his _History of Lichfield_, p. 451,
gives two letters from Bathurst to Johnson dated 1757. In the postscript
to one he says:--'I know you will call me a lazy dog, and in truth I
deserve it; but I am afraid I shall never mend. I have indeed long known
that I can love my friends without being able to tell them so.... Adieu
my dearest friend.' He calls Johnson 'the best of friends, to whom I
stand indebted for all the little virtue and knowledge that I have.'
'Nothing,' he continues, 'I think, but absolute want can force me to
continue where I am.' Jamaica he calls 'this execrable region.' Hawkins
(_Life_, p. 235) says that 'Bathurst, before leaving England, confessed
to Johnson that in the course of ten years' exercise of his faculty he
had never opened his hand to more than one guinea.' Johnson perhaps had
Bathurst in mind when, many years later, he wrote:--'A physician in a
great city seems to be the mere plaything of fortune; his degree of
reputation is for the most part totally casual; they that employ him
know not his excellence; they that reject him know not his deficience.
By any acute observer, who had looked on the transactions of the medical
world for half a century, a very curious book might be written on the
_Fortune of Physicians_.' _Works_, viii. 471.

[713] Mr. Ryland was one of the members of the old club in Ivy Lane who
met to dine in 1783. Mr. Payne was another, (_post_, end of 1783).

[714] Johnson revised her volumes: _post_, under Nov. 19, 1783.

[715] Catherine Sawbridge, sister of Mrs. [? Mr.] Alderman Sawbridge,
was born in 1733; but it was not till 1760 that she was married to Dr.
Macaulay, a physician; so that Barber's account was incorrect either in
date or name. CROKER. For Alderman Sawbridge see _post_, May 17,
1778, note.

[716] See _post_, under Nov. 19, 1783. Johnson bequeathed to her a book
to keep as a token of remembrance (_post_, Dec. 9, 1784). I find her
name in the year 1765 in the list of subscribers to the edition of
Swift's _Works_, in 17 vols., so that perhaps she was more 'in the
learned way' than Barber thought.

[717] Reynolds did not return to England from Italy till the October of
this year, seven months after Mrs. Johnson's death. Taylor's _Reynolds_,
i. 87. He writes of his 'thirty years' intimacy with Dr. Johnson.' He
must have known him therefore at least as early as 1754. _Ib_. ii. 454.

[718] See _ante_, p. 185.

[719] 'Lord Southwell,' said Johnson, 'was the most _qualitied_ man I
ever saw.' _Post_, March 23, 1783.

[720] The account given of Levet in _Gent. Mag_. lv. 101, shews that he
was a man out of the common run. He would not otherwise have attracted
the notice of the French surgeons. The writer says:--'Mr. Levet, though
an Englishman by birth, became early in life a waiter at a coffee-house
in Paris. The surgeons who frequented it, finding him of an inquisitive
turn and attentive to their conversation, made a purse for him, and gave
him some instructions in their art. They afterwards furnished him with
the means of further knowledge, by procuring him free admission to such
lectures in pharmacy and anatomy as were read by the ablest professors
of that period.' When he lived with Johnson, 'much of the day was
employed in attendance on his patients, who were chiefly of the lowest
rank of tradesmen. The remainder of his hours he dedicated to Hunter's
lectures, and to as many different opportunities of improvement as he
could meet with on the same gratuitous conditions.' 'All his medical
knowledge,' said Johnson, 'and it is not inconsiderable, was obtained
through the ear. Though he buys books, he seldom looks into them, or
discovers any power by which he can be supposed to judge of an author's
merit.' 'Dr. Johnson has frequently observed that Levet was indebted to
him for nothing more than house-room, his share in a penny-loaf at
breakfast, and now and then a dinner on a Sunday. His character was
rendered valuable by repeated proof of honesty, tenderness, and
gratitude to his benefactor, as well as by an unwearied diligence in his
profession. His single failing was an occasional departure from
sobriety. Johnson would observe, "he was perhaps the only man who ever
became intoxicated through motives of prudence. He reflected that, if he
refused the gin or brandy offered him by some of his patients, he could
have been no gainer by their cure, as they might have had nothing else
to bestow on him. This habit of taking a fee, in whatever shape it was
exhibited, could not be put off by advice. He would swallow what he did
not like, nay what he knew would injure him, rather than go home with an
idea that his skill had been exerted without recompense. Though he took
all that was offered him, he demanded nothing from the poor."' The
writer adds that 'Johnson never wished him to be regarded as an
inferior, or treated him like a dependent.' Mrs. Piozzi says:--'When
Johnson raised contributions for some distressed author, or wit in want,
he often made us all more than amends by diverting descriptions of the
lives they were then passing in corners unseen by anybody but himself,
and that odd old surgeon whom he kept in his house to tend the
outpensioners, and of whom he said most truly and sublimely, that

"In misery's darkest caverns known,"' etc. Piozzi's _Anec_., p. 118.

'Levet, madam, is a brutal fellow, but I have a good regard for him; for
his brutality is in his manners, not in his mind.' Mme. D'Arblay's
_Diary_, i. 115. 'Whoever called in on Johnson at about midday found him
and Levet at breakfast, Johnson, in deshabille, as just risen from bed,
and Levet filling out tea for himself and his patron alternately, no
conversation passing between them. All that visited him at these hours
were welcome. A night's rest and breakfast seldom failed to refresh and
fit him for discourse, and whoever withdrew went too soon.' Hawkins's
_Johnson_, p. 435.

How much he valued his poor friend he showed at his death, _post_, Jan.
20, 1782.


'O et praesidium et dulce decus meum.'
'My joy, my guard, and sweetest good.'

CREECH. Horace, _Odes_, i. I. 2.

[722] It was in 1738 that Johnson was living in Castle Street. At the
time of Reynolds's arrival in London in 1752 he had been living for some
years in Gough Square. Boswell, I suppose, only means to say that
Johnson's acquaintance with the Cotterells was formed when he lived in
their neighbourhood. Northcote (_Life of Reynolds_, i. 69) says that the
Cotterells lived 'opposite to Reynolds's,' but his account seems based
on a misunderstanding of Boswell.

[723] _Ante_, p. 165.

[724] 'We are both of Dr. Johnson's school,' wrote Reynolds to some
friend. 'For my own part, I acknowledge the highest obligations to him.
He may be said to have formed my mind, and to have brushed from it a
great deal of rubbish. Those very persons whom he has brought to think
rightly will occasionally criticise the opinions of their master when he
nods. But we should always recollect that it is he himself who taught us
and enabled us to do it.' Taylor's _Reynolds_, ii. 461. Burke, writing
to Malone, said:--'You state very properly how much Reynolds owed to the
writings and conversation of Johnson; and nothing shews more the
greatness of Sir Joshua's parts than his taking advantage of both, and
making some application of them to his profession, when Johnson neither
understood nor desired to understand anything of painting.' _Ib_. p.
638. Reynolds, there can be little question, is thinking of Johnson in
the following passage in his _Seventh Discourse_:--'What partial and
desultory reading cannot afford may be supplied by the conversation of
learned and ingenious men, which is the best of all substitutes for
those who have not the means or opportunities of deep study. There are
many such men in this age: and they will be pleased with communicating
their ideas to artists, when they see them curious and docile, if they
are treated with that respect and deference which is so justly their
due. Into such society young artists, if they make it the point of their
ambition, will by degrees be admitted. There, without formal teaching,
they will insensibly come to feel and reason like those they live with,
and find a rational and systematic taste imperceptibly formed in their
minds, which they will know how to reduce to a standard, by applying
general truth to their own purposes, better perhaps than those to whom
they owned [?owed] the original sentiment.' Reynolds's _Works_, edit.
1824, i. 149. 'Another thing remarkable to shew how little Sir Joshua
crouched to the great is, that he never gave them their proper titles. I
never heard the words "your lordship" or "your ladyship" come from his
mouth; nor did he ever say "Sir" in speaking to any one but Dr. Johnson;
and when he did not hear distinctly what the latter said (which often
happened) he would then say "Sir?" that he might repeat it.' Northcote's
_Conversations_, p. 289. Gibbon called Johnson 'Reynolds's oracle.'
Gibbon's _Misc. Works_, i. 149. See also _post_, under Dec. 29, 1778.

[725] The thought may have been suggested to Reynolds by Johnson's
writings. In _The Rambler_, No. 87, he had said:--'There are minds so
impatient of inferiority, that their gratitude is a species of revenge,
and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but
because obligation is a pain.' In No. 166, he says:--'To be obliged is
to be in some respect inferior to another.'

[726] Northcote tells the following story on the authority of Miss
Reynolds. It is to be noticed, however, that in her _Recollections_
(Croker's _Boswell_, p. 832) the story is told somewhat differently.
Johnson, Reynolds and Miss Reynolds one day called on the Miss
Cotterells. 'Johnson was the last of the three that came in; when the
maid, seeing this uncouth and dirty figure of a man, and not conceiving
he could be one of the company, laid hold of his coat, just as he was
going up-stairs, and pulled him back again, saying, "You fellow, what is
your business here? I suppose you intended to rob the house." This most
unlucky accident threw him into such a fit of shame and anger that he
roared out like a bull, "What have I done? What have I done?"'
Northcote's _Reynolds_, i. 73.

[727] Johnson writing to Langton on January 9, 1759, describes him as
'towering in the confidence of twenty-one.' The conclusion of _The
Rambler_ was in March 1752, when Langton must have been only fourteen or
just fifteen at most; Johnson's first letter to him dated May 6, 1755,
shews that at that time their acquaintance had been but short. Langton's
subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles in the Register of the
University of Oxford was on July 7, 1757. Johnson's first letter to him
at Oxford is dated June 28, 1757.

[728] See _post_, March 20, 1782.

[729] 'My friend Maltby and I,' said Samuel Rogers, 'when we were very
young men, had a strong desire to see Dr. Johnson; and we determined to
call upon him, and introduce ourselves. We accordingly proceeded to his
house in Bolt Court; and I had my hand on the knocker when our courage
failed us, and we retreated. Many years afterwards I mentioned this
circumstance to Boswell, who said, "What a pity that you did not go
boldly in! He would have received you with all kindness."' Rogers's
_Table Talk_, p. 9. For Johnson's levee see _post_, 1770, in Dr.
Maxwell's _Collectanea_.

[730] 'George Langton,' writes Mr. Best in his _Memorials_ (p. 66),
'shewed me his pedigree with the names and arms of the families with
which his own had intermarried. It was engrossed on a piece of parchment
about ten inches broad, and twelve to fifteen feet long. "It leaves off
at the reign of Queen Elizabeth," said he.'

[731] Topham Beauclerk was the only son of Lord Sidney Beauclerk, fifth
son of the first Duke of St. Alban's. He was therefore the
great-grandson of Charles II. and Nell Gwynne. He was born in Dec. 1739.
In my _Dr. Johnson: His Friends and his Critics_ I have put together
such facts as I could find about Langton and Beauclerk.

[732] Mr. Best describes Langton as 'a very tall, meagre, long-visaged
man, much resembling a stork standing on one leg near the shore in
Raphael's cartoon of the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. His manners were,
in the highest degree, polished; his conversation mild, equable and
always pleasing.' Best's _Memorials_, p. 62. Miss Hawkins writes:--'If I
were called on to name the person with whom Johnson might have been seen
to the fairest advantage, I should certainly name Mr. Langton.' Miss
Hawkins's _Memoirs_, i. 144. Mrs. Piozzi wrote in 1817:--'I remember
when to have Langton at a man's house stamped him at once a literary
character.' Hayward's _Piozzi_, ii. 203.

[733] In the summer of 1759. See _post_, under April 15, 1758, and 1759.

[734] Lord Charlemont said that 'Beauclerk possessed an exquisite taste,
various accomplishments, and the most perfect good breeding. He was
eccentric, often querulous, entertaining a contempt for the generality
of the world, which the politeness of his manners could not always
conceal; but to those whom he liked most generous and friendly. Devoted
at one time to pleasure, at another to literature, sometimes absorbed in
play, sometimes in books, he was altogether one of the most
accomplished, and when in good humour and surrounded by those who suited
his fancy, one of the most agreeable men that could possibly exist.'
Lord Charlemont's _Life_, i. 210. Hawkins writes (_Life_, p. 422) that
'over all his behaviour there beamed such a sunshine of cheerfulness and
good-humour as communicated itself to all around him.' Mrs. Piozzi said
of him:--'Topham Beauclerk (wicked and profligate as he wished to be
accounted) was yet a man of very strict veracity. Oh Lord! how I did
hate that horrid Beauclerk.' Hayward's _Piozzi_, i. 348. Rogers
(_Table-Talk_, p. 40) said that 'Beauclerk was a strangely absent
person.' He once went to dress for a dinner-party in his own house. 'He
forgot all about his guests; thought that it was bed-time, and got into
bed. His servant, coming to tell him that his guests were waiting for
him, found him fast asleep.'

[735] It was to the Round-house that Captain Booth was first taken in
Fielding's _Amelia_, Book i, chap. 2.


'Blends, in exception to all general rules,
Your taste of follies with our scorn of fools.'

Pope, _Moral Essays_, ii. 275.

[737] In the college which _The Club_ was to set up at St. Andrew's,
Beauclerk was to have the chair of natural philosophy. Boswell's
_Hebrides_, Aug. 25, 1773. Goldsmith, writing to Langton in 1771, says:
'Mr. Beauclerk is now going directly forward to become a second Boyle;
deep in chymistry and physics.' Forster's _Goldsmith_, ii. 283. Boswell
described to Temple, in 1775, Beauclerk's villa at Muswell Hill, with
its 'observatory, laboratory for chymical experiments.' Boswell's
_Letters_, p. 194.

[738] 'I'll purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly as a nobleman should
do.' 1 Henry IV. Act v. sc. 4.

[739] 'Bishop. A cant word for a mixture of wine, oranges, and sugar.'
Johnson's _Dictionary_.

[740] Mr. Langton has recollected, or Dr. Johnson repeated, the passage
wrong. The lines are in Lord Lansdowne's Drinking Song to Sleep, and
run thus:--

'Short, very short be then thy reign,
For I'm in haste to laugh and drink again.' BOSWELL.

Lord Lansdowne was the Granville of Pope's couplet--

'But why then publish? Granville the polite,
And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write.'

_Prologue to the Satires,_ 1.135.

[741] Boswell in _Hebrides_ (Aug. 18, 1773) says that Johnson, on
starting from Edinburgh, left behind in an open drawer in Boswell's
house 'one volume of a pretty full and curious Diary of his life, of
which I have a few fragments.' He also states (_post_, under Dec 9,
1784):--'I owned to him, that having accidentally seen them [two quarto
volumes of his _Life_] I had read a great deal in them.' It would seem
that he had also transcribed a portion.

[742] This is inconsistent with what immediately follows, for No. 39 on
Sleep was published on March 20.

[743] Hawkesworth in the last number of _The Adventurer_ says that he
had help at first from A.; 'but this resource soon failing, I was
obliged to carry on the publication alone, except some casual supplies,
till I obtained from the gentlemen who have distinguished their papers
by T and Z, such assistance as I most wished.' In a note he says that
the papers signed Z are by the Rev. Mr. Warton. The papers signed A are
written in a light style. In Southey's _Cowper_, i. 47, it is said that
Bonnell Thornton wrote them.

[744] Boswell had read the passage carelessly. Statius is mentioned, but
the writer goes on to quote _Cowley_, whose Latin lines C. B. has
translated. Johnson's _Works_, iv. 10.

[745] Malone says that 'Johnson was fond of him, but latterly owned that
Hawkesworth--who had set out a modest, humble man--was one of the many
whom success in the world had spoiled. He was latterly, as Sir Joshua
Reynolds told me, an affected insincere man, and a great coscomb in his
dress. He had no literature whatever.' Prior's _Malone_, p. 441. See
_post_, April 11 and May 7, 1773, and Boswell's _Hebrides_, Oct. 3.

[746] 'Johnson's statement to Warton is definite and is borne out by
internal evidence, if internal evidence can be needful when he had once
made a definite statement. The papers signed _Misargyrus_, the first of
which appeared on March 3, are all below his style. They were not, I
feel sure, written by him, and are improperly given in the Oxford
edition of his works. I do not find in them even any traces of his hand.
The paper on Sleep, No. 39, is I am almost sure, partly his, but I
believe it is not wholly. In the frequency of quotations in the first
part of it I see another, and probably a younger author. The passage on
the 'low drudgery of digesting dictionaries' is almost certainly his.
Dr. Bathurst, perhaps, wrote the Essay, and Johnson corrected it.
Whether it was Johnson's or not, it was published after the letter to
Dr. Warton was written.

[747] See _post_, April 25, 1778, for an instance where Johnson's
silence did not imply assent.

[748] 'One evening at the Club Johnson proposed to us the celebrating
the birth of Mrs. Lennox's first literary child, as he called her book,
[_The Life of Harriet Stuart_, a novel, published Dec. 1750] by a whole
night spent in festivity. Our supper was elegant, and Johnson had
directed that a magnificent hot apple-pie should make a part of it, and
this he would have stuck with bay-leaves, because, forsooth, Mrs. Lennox
was an authoress, and had written verses; and further, he had prepared
for her a crown of laurel, with which, but not till he had invoked the
Muses by some ceremonies of his own invention, he encircled her brows.
About five Johnson's face shone with meridian splendour, though his
drink had been only lemonade.' Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 286. See _post_,
1780, in Mr. Langton's 'Collection,' and May 15, 1784.

[749] In a document in the possession of one of Cave's collateral
descendants which I have seen dated May 3, 1754, and headed, 'Present
state of the late Mr. Edward Cave's effects,' I found entered
'_Magazine_, L3,000. _Daily Advertiser_, L900.' The total value of the
effects was L8,708.

[750] Johnson records of his friend that 'one of the last acts of reason
which he exerted was fondly to press the hand that is now writing this
little narrative.' _Works_, vi. 433.

[751] See Hawkins's _Johnson_, p. 189.

[752] Lord Chesterfield writing to his son in 1751 (_Letters_, iii. 136)
said:--'People in high life are hardened to the wants and distresses of
mankind, as surgeons are to their bodily pains; they see and hear of
them all day long, and even of so many simulated ones, that they do not
know which has are real, and which are not. Other sentiments are
therefore to be applied to than those of mere justice and humanity;
their favour must be captivated by the _suaviter in modo_; their love of
ease disturbed by unwearied importunity; or their fears wrought upon by
a decent intimation of implacable, cool resentment: this is the true
_fortiter in re_! He was himself to experience an instance of the true
_fortiter in re_.

[753] If Lord Chesterfield had read the last number of _The Rambler_
(published in March, 1752) he could scarcely have flattered himself with
these expectations. Johnson, after saying that he would not endeavour to
overbear the censures of criticism by the influence of a patron,
added:--'The supplications of an author never yet reprieved him a moment
from oblivion; and, though greatness sometimes sheltered guilt, it can
afford no protection to ignorance or dulness. Having hitherto attempted
only the propagation of truth, I will not at last violate it by the
confession of terrors which I do not feel; having laboured to maintain
the dignity of virtue, I will not now degrade it by the meanness of

[754] On Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, 1754. _The World_, by Adam Fitz-Adam, Jan.
1753 to Dec. 1765. The editor was Edward Moore. Among the contributors
were the Earls of Chesterfield and Corke, Horace Walpole, R. O.
Cambridge, and Soame Jenyns. See _post_, July 1, 1763.

[755] With these papers as a whole Johnson would have been highly
offended. The anonymous writer hopes that his readers will not suspect
him 'of being a hired and interested puff of this work.' 'I most
solemnly protest,' he goes on to say, 'that neither Mr. Johnson, nor any
booksellers have ever offered me the usual compliment of a pair of
gloves or a bottle of wine.' It is a pretty piece of irony for a wealthy
nobleman solemnly to protest that he has not been bribed by a poor
author, whom seven years before he had repulsed from his door. But
Chesterfield did worse than this. By way of recommending a work of so
much learning and so much labour he tells a foolish story of an
assignation that had failed 'between a fine gentleman and a fine lady.'
The letter that had passed between them had been badly spelt, and they
had gone to different houses. 'Such examples,' he wrote, 'really make
one tremble; and will, I am convinced, determine my fair fellow-subjects
and their adherents to adopt and scrupulously conform to Mr. Johnson's
rules of true orthography.' Johnson, in the last year of his life, at a
time of great weakness and depression, defended the roughness of his
manner. 'I have done more good as I am. Obscenity and impiety have
always been repressed in my company' (_post_, June 11, 1784).

[756] In the original 'Mr. Johnson.'

[757] In the original 'unnecessary foreign ornaments.'

[758] In the original, 'will now, and, I dare say.'

[759] Hawkins (_Life_, p. 191) says that Chesterfield, further to
appease Johnson, sent to him Sir Thomas Robinson (see _post_, July 19,
1763), who was 'to apologise for his lordship's treatment of him, and to
make him tenders of his future friendship and patronage. Sir Thomas,
whose talent was flattery, was profuse in his commendations of Johnson
and his writings, and declared that, were his circumstances other than
they were, himself would settle L500 a year on him. 'And who are you,'
asked Johnson, 'that talk thus liberally?' 'I am,' said the other, 'Sir
Thomas Robinson, a Yorkshire baronet.' 'Sir,' replied Johnson, 'if the
first peer of the realm were to make me such an offer, I would shew him
the way down stairs.'

[760] _Paradise Lost_, ii. 112.

[761] Johnson, perhaps, was thinking of his interviews with
Chesterfield, when in his _Rambler_ on 'The Mischiefs of following a
Patron' (No. 163) he wrote:--'If you, Mr. Rambler, have ever ventured
your philosophy within the attraction of greatness, you know the force
of such language, introduced with a smile of gracious tenderness, and
impressed at the conclusion with an air of solemn sincerity.'

[762] Johnson said to Garrick:--'I have sailed a long and painful voyage
round the world of the English language; and does he now send out two
cock-boats to tow me into harbour?' Murphy's _Johnson_, p. 74. This
metaphor may perhaps have been suggested to Johnson by Warburton. 'I now
begin to see land, after having wandered, according to Mr. Warburton's
phrase, in this vast sea of words.' _Post_, Feb. 1, 1755.

[763] See _post_, Nov. 22, 1779, and April 8, 1780. Sir Henry Ellis says
that 'address' in Johnson's own copy of his letter to Lord Chesterfield
is spelt twice with one _d_. Croker's _Corres_. ii. 44. In the series of
Letters by Johnson given in _Notes and Queries_, 6th S. v, Johnson
writes _persuit_ (p. 325); 'I cannot _butt_ (p. 342); 'to retain
_council_' (p. 343); _harrassed_ (p. 423); _imbecillity_ (p. 482). In a
letter to Nichols quoted by me, _post_, beginning of 1783, he writes
_ilness_. He commonly, perhaps always, spelt _Boswell Boswel_, and
Nichols's name in one series of letters he spelt Nichols, Nichol, and
Nicol. _Post_, beginning of 1781, note.

[764] Dr. Johnson appeared to have had a remarkable delicacy with
respect to the circulation of this letter; for Dr. Douglas, Bishop of
Salisbury, informs me that, having many years ago pressed him to be
allowed to read it to the second Lord Hardwicke, who was very desirous
to hear it (promising at the same time, that no copy of it should be
taken), Johnson seemed much pleased that it had attracted the attention
of a nobleman of such a respectable character; but after pausing some
time, declined to comply with the request, saying, with a smile, 'No,
Sir; I have hurt the dog too much already;' or words to that
purpose. BOSWELL.

[765] See _post_, June 4, 1781.

[766] In 1790, the year before the _Life of Johnson_ came out, Boswell
published this letter in a separate sheet of four quarto pages under the
following title:--_The celebrated Letter from Samuel Johnson, LL.D., to
Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield; Now first published with
Notes, by James Boswell, Esq., London. Printed by Henry Baldwin: for
Charles Dilly in the Poultry, MDCCXC. Price Half-a-Guinea. Entered in
the Hall-Book of the Company of Stationers_. It belongs to the same
impression as _The Life of Johnson_.

[767] 'Je chante le vainqueur des vainqueurs de la terre.' Boileau,
_L'Art poetique_, iii. 272.

[768] The following note is subjoined by Mr. Langton:--'Dr. Johnson,
when he gave me this copy of his letter, desired that I would annex to
it his information to me, that whereas it is said in the letter that "no
assistance has been received," he did once receive from Lord
Chesterfield the sum of ten pounds; but as that was so inconsiderable a
sum, he thought the mention of it could not properly find place in a
letter of the kind that this was.' BOSWELL. 'This surely is an
unsatisfactory excuse,' writes Mr. Croker. He read Johnson's letter
carelessly, as the rest of his note shews. Johnson says, that during the
seven years that had passed since he was repulsed from Chesterfield's
door he had pushed on his work without one act of assistance. These ten
pounds, we may feel sure, had been received before the seven years began
to run. No doubt they had been given in 1747 as an acknowledgement of
the compliment paid to Chesterfield in the _Plan_. He had at first been
misled by Chesterfield's one act of kindness, but he had long had his
eyes opened. Like the shepherd in Virgil (_Eclogues_, viii. 43) he could
say:--'_Nunc_ scio quid sit Amor.'

[769] In this passage Dr. Johnson evidently alludes to the loss of his
wife. We find the same tender recollection recurring to his mind upon
innumerable occasions: and, perhaps no man ever more forcibly felt the
truth of the sentiment so elegantly expressed by my friend Mr. Malone,
in his Prologue to Mr. Jephson's tragedy of JULIA [_Julia or the Italian
Lover_ was acted for the first time on April 17, 1787. _Gent. Mag_.
1787, p. 354]:--

'Vain--wealth, and fame, and fortune's fostering care,
If no fond breast the splendid blessings share;
And, each day's bustling pageantry once past,
There, only there, our bliss is found at last.' BOSWELL.

Three years earlier, when his wife was dying, he had written in one of
the last _Ramblers_ (No 203):--'It is necessary to the completion of
every good, that it be timely obtained; for whatever comes at the close
of life will come too late to give much delight ... What we acquire by
bravery or science, by mental or corporal diligence, comes at last when
we cannot communicate, and therefore cannot enjoy it.' Chesterfield
himself was in no happy state. Less than a month before he received
Johnson's letter he wrote (_Works_, iii. 308):--'For these six months
past, it seems as if all the complaints that ever attacked heads had
joined to overpower mine. Continual noises, headache, giddiness, and
impenetrable deafness; I could not stoop to write; and even reading, the
only resource of the deaf, was painful to me.' He wrote to his son a
year earlier (_Letters_, iv. 43), 'Reading, which was always a pleasure
to me in the time even of my greatest dissipation, is now become my only
refuge; and I fear I indulge it too much at the expense of my eyes. But
what can I do? I must do something. I cannot bear absolute idleness; my
ears grow every day more useless to me, my eyes consequently more
necessary. I will not hoard them like a miser, but will rather risk the
loss than not enjoy the use of them.'

[770] '_The English Dictionary_ was written with little assistance of
the learned, and without any patronage of the great; not in the soft
obscurities of retirement, or under the shelter of academick bowers, but
amidst inconvenience and distraction, in sickness and in sorrow.'
Johnson's _Works_ v. 51.

[771] Upon comparing this copy with that which Dr. Johnson dictated to
me from recollection, the variations are found to be so slight, that
this must be added to the many other proofs which he gave of the
wonderful extent and accuracy of his memory. To gratify the curious in
composition, I have deposited both the copies in the British
Museum. BOSWELL.

[772] Soon after Edwards's _Canons of Criticism_ came out, Johnson was
dining at Tonson the Bookseller's with Hayman the Painter and some more
company. Hayman related to Sir Joshua Reynolds, that the conversation
having turned upon Edwards's book, the gentlemen praised it much, and
Johnson allowed its merit. But when they went farther, and appeared to
put that author upon a level with Warburton, 'Nay, (said Johnson,) he
has given him some smart hits to be sure; but there is no proportion
between the two men; they must not be named together. A fly, Sir, may
sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and
the other is a horse still.' BOSWELL. Johnson in his _Preface to
Shakespeare_ (_Works_, v. 141) wrote:--'Dr. Warburton's chief assailants
are the authors of _The Canons of Criticism_, and of _The Revisal of
Shakespeare's Text_.... The one stings like a fly, sucks a little blood,
takes a gay flutter and returns for more; the other bites like a
viper.... When I think on one with his confederates, I remember the
danger of Coriolanus, who was afraid that "girls with spits, and boys
with stones, should slay him in puny battle;" when the other crosses my
imagination, I remember the prodigy in _Macbeth_:

"A falcon tow'ring in his pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd."

Let me, however, do them justice. One is a wit and one a scholar.'

[773] To Johnson might be applied what he himself said of Dryden:--'He
appears to have known in its whole extent the dignity of his character,
and to have set a very high value on his own powers and performances.'
_Works_, vii. 291.

[774] In the original _Yet mark_.

[775] In the original _Toil_.

[776] In his _Dictionary_ he defined _patron_ as 'commonly a wretch who
supports with insolence and is paid with flattery.' This definition
disappears in the _Abridgement_, but remains in the fourth edition.

[777] Chesterfield, when he read Johnson's letter to Dodsley, was acting
up to the advice that he had given his own son six years earlier
(_Letters_, ii. 172):--'When things of this kind [bons mots] happen to
be said of you, the most prudent way is to seem not to suppose that they
are meant at you, but to dissemble and conceal whatever degree of anger
you may feel inwardly: and, should they be so plain, that you cannot be
supposed ignorant of their meaning, so join in the laugh of the company
against yourself; acknowledge the hit to be a fair one, and the jest a
good one, and play off the whole thing in seeming good humour; but by no
means reply in the same way; which only shows that you are hurt, and

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