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wick succession, and the measures of government consequent upon it. To this supposed prophecy he added a commentary, making each expression apply to the times, with warm anti-Hanoverian zeal. During the same year, the Lord Chamberlain having prohibited the representation of a tragedy, written by Henry Brook, called “Gustavus · Vasa," Johnson attacked his Lordship's conduct in an essay, ironically entitled, “ A Vindication “ of the Licenser of the Stage from the Malicious « and Scandalous Aspersions of Mr Brook.”

During his engagement with Mr Cave as a writer for the Gentleman's Magazine, Parliament thought fit to restrain, in a severe degree, the liberty of the press with regard to the publication of the speeches, which at that time, under the ministry of Sir Robert Walpole, were extremely violent. Mr Cave knew that the popularity of his Magazine would be injured by the want of the Parliamentary Debates he therefore adopted the following whimsical device : In his magazine for June 1738, he informed his readers that the British Parliament would no longer suffer their debates to be printed, but, instead of them, he was resolved to fill his pages with a work no less entertaining, which, though it had long been in existence, was never laid before the public, viz. The Debates of the Senate of Magna Liliputia, which were intended to be an appendix to Gulliver's Travels. Mr Cave, by his interest with the doorkeepers and others about the Houses of Parliament, usually obtained a list of the speakers on both sides, with some of the arguments which they used. These being taken by persons whom Cave

sent for the purpose, were brought home, and di. gested into the form of a debate carried on by the Senators of Lilliput. The speeches were first digested, or rather fabricated, by Guthrie the historian ; but this department was afterwards allotted to Johnson. That the public might be at no loss about the names of the speakers, lists were at different times published of Christian names and barbarous names, which it was pretended were synonymous, and thus a key was given to this part of the work. Johnson wrote the speeches from the 19th of November, 1740, till January 23, 1742-3; from that time they were written by Hawkesworth to the year 1760. The elegance of diction and splendour of Gllustration which Johnson bestowed upon his speakers, rendered the Gentleman's Magazine at this time extremely popular. The speeches were considered by the public as genuine, and led Voltaire to make the remark, that the eloquence of the British Parliament surpassed that of Greece and Rome. Mr Murphy observes : " That Johnson was the author of the “ debates during that period was not generally “ known, but the secret transpired several years “afterwards, and was avowed by himself on the “ following occasion : Mr Wedderburne, (now “ Lord Loughborough) Dr Johnson, Dr Francis,

(the translator of Horace), Mr Murphy, and “ others, dined with the late Mr Foote. An im

portant debate towards the end of Sir Robert “ Walpole's administration being mentioned, Dr “ Francis observed, “That Mr Pitt's speech on " that occasion was the best he had ever read.' “ He added, that he had employed eight years of " his life in the study of Demosthenes, and finish"ed a translation of that celebrated orator, with “ all the decorations of style and language within " the reach of his capacity.; but he had met with “ nothing equal to the speech above-mentioned. “ Many of the company remembered the debates, " and some passages were cited with the approba

tion and applause of all present. During the “ ardour of conversation, Johnson remained silent. " As soon as the warmth of praise subsided, he “ opened with these words:

• That speech I “ wrote in a garret in Exeter Street.' The com

pany was struck dumb with astonishment. After

staring at each other. in silent amaze, Dr Fran“cis asked, “Hoy at speech could be written “ by him.' • Sir, said Johnson, I wrote it in " Exeter-Street. I never had been in the gallery “ of the House of Commons but once. Cave had "interest with the door-keepers. He apd the “ other persons employed under him gained adu “ mittance: they brought away the subject of dis" cussion, the names of the speakers, the side they “ took, and the order in which they rose, together " with notes of the arguments advanced in the

course of the debate. The whole was after" wards communicated to me, and I composed the “ speeches in the form which they now have in “ the Parliamentary debates.' To this discovery « Dr Francis made answer, “Then, Sir, you have “ exceeded Demosthenes himself; for to say that

you have exceeded Francis's Demosthenes, “ would be saying nothing.” The rest of the company

bestowed lavish encomiums on John“ son: one in particular praised his impartiality, “ observing that he dealt out reason and eloquence " with an equal hand to both parties. • That is “ not quite true,' said Johnson ; • I saved appear

ances tolerably well, but I took care that the Whig dogs should not have the best of it.”

In the year 1742, that is in the thirty-third year of his age, Johnson was employed by Mr Thomas Osborne, bookseller in Gray's Inn, who had purchased the Earl of Oxford's library for 13,000 1. to write a catalogue of the books, containing short descriptions of each. It appears that Osborne, on one occasion, insolently complained that Johnson mispent his time in reading the books, and, in an altercation that followed, gave him the lie in direct terms. Johnson was in truth in no better situation than that of a day-labourer under Osborne; but his mind was unsubdued by his condi. tion, and his temper was ferocious when irritated by contempt: he resented the insult by instant corporeal chastisement. The story was often repeated with many embellishments: it was said that he seized a folio in Osborne's shop, knocked him down, and set his foot upon the fallen bookseller's neck. When Mr Boswell, many years afterwards, inquired at himself concerning the fact, Johnson said, “Sir, he was impertinent to me, and I beat “ him; but it was not in his shop-it was in “ my own chamber.”

The quarrel did not stop the work, as not only the proposals for printing the catalogue after it was completed, but the part of the catalogue undertaken by Johnson, were entirely written by him.

In the year 1744, Johnson published the life of his former associate, Richard Savage. The sin. gular nature of this man's history, together with the interesting light in which the talents of Johnson exhibited his misfortunes to the public, rendered the work extremely popular, and procured for Johnson himself a great accession of reputation. Still, however, Johnson was near the thirtyfifth year of his age, that is, he had passed half his days, and he was yet in the depth of poverty. He held no place or station in society, and enjoyed not the means of earning a secure and regular subsistence. He appears to have been at all times fully sensible of the unfortunate nature of his codition, in being bred to no regular profession. Being under the necessity of regarding the preca. rious employment of an author as his only means, of procuring subsistence, he formed innumerable projects of publications; to the execution of the most of which no steps were taken, from want of encouragement or certainty of success, and they served only at times to illuminate with a ray of hope the passing hour, and were afterwards forgotten. Sir John Hawkins, however, has pre. served a list of thirty-nine of these literary projecte of Johnson, but of which none were written. Ia 1745, however, Johnson published a pamphlet, entitled, “ Miscellaneous Observations on the “ Tragedy of Macbeth, with Remarks on Sir “ Thomas Hanmer's edition of Shakespeare ; to " which is affixed, Proposals for a new edition of “ Shakespeare, with a specimen, 8vo.” This proposal obtained at the time no attention from the public; but Warburton, in the preface to bis Shakespeare, published two years thereafter, noticed it in the following terms; “ As to all those

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