« ZurückWeiter »
twinkle, in the company of men to whom nature does not spread her volumes or utter her voice in vain.
" Do not, dear Sir, make the slowness of this letter a precedent for delay, or imagine that I approved the incivility that I have committed ; for I have known you enough to love you, and sincerely to wish a further knowledge; and I assure you, once more, that to live in a house that contains such a father and such a son, will be accounted a very uncommon degree of pleasure, by, dear Sir, your most obliged, and most humble servant,
LETTER 43. TO THE REV. THOMAS WARTON.
“ (London,] May 13. 1755. “ DEAR SIR, -I am grieved that you should think me capable of neglecting your letters; and beg you will never admit any such suspicion again. I purpose to come down next week, if you shall be there; or any other week, that shall be more agreeable to you. Therefore let me know. I can stay this visit but a week, but intend to make preparations for a longer stay next time; being resolved not to lose sight of the University. How goes Apollonius (1)? Don't let him be forgotten. Some things of this kind must be done, to keep us up. Pay my compliments to Mr. Wise, and all my other friends. I think to come to Kettel-Hall.(2) I am, Sir, your most affectionate, &c.
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
(1) A translation of Apollonius Rhodius was now intended by Mr. Warton. WARTON.
(2) Kettel-Hall is an ancient tenement built about the year 1615, by Dr. Ralph Kettel, President of Trinity College, for the accommodation of commoners of that society. It adjoins the college; and was a few years ago converted into a private house. M.
LETTER 44. TO MR. [SAMUEL) RICHARDSON. (1)
“ May 17. 1755. “ DEAR SIR,—As you were the first that gave me no. tice of this paragraph, I send it to you, with a few little notes, which I wish you would read. It is well, when men of learning and penetration busy themselves in these inquiries, but what is their idleness is my business. Help, indeed, now comes too late for me, when a large part of my book has passed the press.
“ I shall be glad if these strictures appear to you not unwarrantable ; for whom should he, who toils in settling a language, desire to please but him who is adorning it?
I hope your new book is printing. Macte nová virtute. I am, dear Sir, most respectfully and most affectionately, your humble servant,
“ SAM. JOHNSON.”
LETTER 45. TO THE REV. THOMAS WARTON.
(London,] June 10. 1755. “DEAR SIR,- It is strange how many things will happen to intercept every pleasure, though it [be] only that of two friends meeting together. I have promised myself every day to inform you when you might expect me at Oxford, and have not been able to fix a time. The time, however, is, I think, at last come ; and I promise myself to repose in Kettel-Hall, one of the first nights of the next week. I am afraid my stay with you cannot be long; but what is the inference? We must endeavour to make it cheerful. I wish your brother could meet us, that we might go and drink tea with Mr. Wise in a body. I hope he will be at Oxford, or at his nest of British and Saxon antiquities. (2) I shall expect to see Spenser finished, and many other things begun.
(1) Communicated by Dr. Harwood. — C.
Dodsley is gone to visit the Dutch. The Dictionary sells well. The rest of the world goes on as it did. Dear Sir, your most affectionate, &c.
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
TO THE SAME.
[London,] June 24. 1755. “ DEAR SIR,—To talk of coming to you, and not yet to come, has an air of trifling which I would not willingly have among you; and which, I believe, you will not willingly impute to me, when I have told you, that since my promise, two of our partners (1) are dead, and that I was solicited to suspend my excursion till we could recover from our confusion.
" I have not laid aside my purpose ; for every day makes me more impatient of staying from you. But death, you know, hears not supplications, nor pays any regard to the convenience of mortals. I hope now to see you next week; but next week is but another name for to-morrow, which has been noted for promising and deceiving. I am, &c.
TO THE SAME.
(London,] Aug. 7. 1755. “ DEAR SIR,- I told you that among the manuscripts are some things of Sir Thomas More. I beg you to pass an hour in looking on them, and procure a transcript of the ten or twenty first lines of each, to be compared with what I have ; that I may know whether they are yet published. The manuscripts are these :
“ Catalogue of Bodl. MS. p. 122. f. 3. Sir 'Thomas More. 1. Fall of angels. 2. Creation and fall of
(1) Booksellers concerned in his Dictionary.- WARTON.
Mr. Paul Knapton died on the 12th, and Mr. Thomas Long. man on the 18th June, 1755.-C.
mankind. 3. Determination of the Trinity for the rescue of mankind. 4. Five lectures of our Saviour's passion. 5. Of the institution of the sacrament, three lectures. 6. How to receive the blessed body of our Lord sacramentally. 7. Neomenia, the new moon. 8. De tristitia, tædio, pavore, et oratione Christi ante captionem ejus.
“Catalogue, p. 154. Life of Sir Thomas More. Qu. Whether Roper's ? P. 363. De resignatione Magni Sigilli in manus Regis per D. Thomam Morum. Pag. 364. Mori Defensio Moriæ.
“If you procure the young gentleman in the library to write out what you think fit to be written, I will send to Mr. Prince the bookseller to pay him what you shall think proper. Be pleased to make my compliments to Mr. Wise, and all my friends. I am, Sir, your affectionate, &c.
The Dictionary, with a Grammar and History of the English Language, being now at length published, in two volumes folio, the world contemplated with wonder so stupendous a work achieved by one man, while other countries had thought such undertakings fit only for whole academies. Vast as his powers were, I cannot but think that his imagination deceived him, when he supposed that by constant application he might have performed the task in three years. Let the Preface be attentively perused, in which is given, in a clear, strong, and glowing style, a comprehensive, yet particular view of what he had done; and it will be evident, that the time he employed upon it was comparatively short. I am unwilling to swell my book with long quotations from what is in every body's hands, and I believe