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gards of social life, he mis-times and mis“ places every thing. He disputes with heat “ indiscriminately, mindless of the rank, cha“ racter, and situation of those with whom “ he disputes. Absolutely ignorant of the sea “ veral gradations of familiarity and respect, “he is exactly the same to his superiors, his “ equals, and his inferiors; and therefore, ' by a necessary confequence, is absurd to “ two of the three. Is it possible to love such " a man? No. The utmost I can do for “ him is, to congider him a respectable Hot66 tentot.'

Such was the idea entertained by Lord Chesterfield. After the incident of Col. ley Cibber, Johnson never repeated his visits. In his high and decisive tone, he has been often heard to say, “Lord Chesterfield is a Wit

among Lords, and a Lord among Wits.”

In the course of the year 1747, Garrick, in conjunction with Lacy, became patentee of Drury-lane Playhouse. For the opening of the theatre, at the usual time, Johnson wrote for his friend the well-known prologue, which, to say no more of it, may at least be placed on a level with Pope's to the tragedy of Cato. The playhouse being now under


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Garrick's direction, Johnson thought the opportunity fair to think of his tragedy of Irene, which was his whole stock on his first arrival in town, in the year 1737. That play was accordingly put into rehearsal in January, 1749. As a precursor to prepare the way, and to awaken the public attention, The Vanity of Human Wishes, a Poem in Imitation of the Tenth Satire of Juvenal, by the Author of London, was published in the same month. In the Gentleman's Magazine, for February, 1749, we find that the tragedy of Irene was acted at Drury-lane, on Monday, February the 6th, and from that time, without interruption, to Monday, February the 20th, being in all thirteen nights. Since that time it has not been exhibited on any stage. Irene may

be added to some other plays in our language, which have lost their place in the theatre, but continue to please in the closet. During the representation of this piece, Johnson attended every night behind the scenes. Conceiving that his character as an author required fome ornament for his perfon, he chose, upon that occasion, to decorate himself with a handsome waistcoat, and a gold-laced hat. The late Mr. Topham


Beauclerc, who had a great deal of that humour which pleases the more for seeming undesigned, used to give a pleasant description of this Green-room finery, as related by the author himself; “ But,” said Johnson, with great gravity, 66 I foon laid aside

my gold-laced hat, left it should make me

proud.” The amount of the three benefit nights for the tragedy of Irene, it is to be feared, was not very considerable, as the profit, that stimulating motive, never invited the author to another dramatic attempt.' Some years afterwards, when the present writer was intimate with Garrick, and knew Johnson to be in distress, he asked the manager why he did not produce another tragedy for his Lichfield friend ? Garrick's answer was remarkable :

6. When Johnson writes tragedy, declamation roars, " and" pasion sleeps : when Shakspeare wrote, “ he dipped his pen in his own heart.”

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There may, pe: laps, be a degree of fameness in this regular way of tracing an author from one work to another, and the reader may feel the effect of a tedious monotony ; but in the life of Johnson there are no other

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landmarks. He was now forty years old, and had mixed but little with the world. He followed no profession, transacted no business, and was a stranger to what is called a town-life. We are now arrived at the brightest period he had hitherto known. His name broke out upon mankind with a degree of lustre that promised a triumph over all his difficulties. The Life of Savage was admired as a beautiful and instructive piece of biography. The two imitations of Juvenal were thought to rival even the excellence of Pope; and the tragedy of Irene, though uninteresting on the stage, was universally admired in the closet, for the propriety of the sentiments, the richness of the language, and the general harmony of the whole composition. His fame was widely diffused ; and he had made his agreement with the booksellers for his English Dietionary at the sum of fifteen hundred guineas; part of which was to be, from time to time, advanced in proportion to the progress has the work. This was a certain fund for his support, without being obliged to write fugitive pieces for the petty supplies of the day. Accordingly we find that, in 1749, he established a club, con


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fisting of ten in number, at Horseman's in Ivy-lane, on every Tuesday evening. This is the first scene of social life to which Johnson can be traced out of his own house. The members of this little society were, Samuel Johnson ; Dr. Salter (father of the late Mafter of the Charter-house); Dr. Hawkefworth; Mr. Ryland, a merchant; Mr. Payne, a bookseller, in Pater.nofter-row ; Mr. Samuel Dyer, a learned young man; Dr. William M'Ghie, a Scotch physician; Dr. Edmund Barker, a young physician ; Dr. Bathurst, another young physician ; and Sir John Hawkins. This list is given by Sir John, as it should feem, with no other view than to draw a spiteful and malevolent character of almost every one of them. Mr. Dyer, whom Sir John says he loved with the affection of a brother, meets with the harshest treatment, because it was his maxim, that to live in peace with mankind, and in a temper to do good offices, was the most efsential part of our duty. Thuit notion of moral goodness gave umbrage to Sir John Hawkins, and drew down upon the memory of his friend the bitterest imputations. Mr. Dyer, however, was admired and loved through life.

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