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“ The papists have, indeed, denied to the translation 1, that he has my wislies for his laity the use of the Bible; but this prohi- success; and if here or at Oxford I can be bition, in few places now very rigorously of any use, that I shall think it more than enforced, is defended by arguments, which honour to promote his undertaking. have for their foundation the care of souls. “I am sorry that I delayed so long to To obscure, upon motives merely political, write.—I am, sir, your most humble serthe light of revelation, is a practice reserv- vant,

" Sam. Johnson." ed for the reformed; and, surely, the blackest midnight of popery is meridian sunshine The opponents of this pious scheme beto such a reformation. I am not very will- ing made ashamed of their conduct, the being that any language should be totally ex- nevolent undertaking was allowed to go tinguished. The similitude and deriva-on. tion of languages afford the most indubita- The following letters, though not written ble proof of the traduction of nations, and till the year after, being chiefly upon the the genealogy of mankind. They add often same subject, are here inserted: physical certainty to historical evidence; and often supply the only evidence of an- " TO MR. WILLIAM DRUMMOND. cient migrations, and of the revolutions of " Johnson's-court, Fleet-street, 21st April, 1767. ages which left no written monuments be- “ DEAR SIR,–That my letter should hind them.

have had such effects as you mention gives “Every man's opinions, at least his desires, me great pleasure. I hope you do not fatare a little influenced by his favourite studies. ter me by imputing to me more good than My zeal for languages may seem, perhaps, I have really done. Those whom my arrather over-heated, even to those by whom guments have persuaded to change their I desire to be well esteemed. To those who opinion, show such modesty and candour as have nothing in their thoughts but trade or deserve great praise. policy, present power, or present money, “I hope the worthy translator goes diliI should not think it necessary to defend gently forward. He has a higher reward my opinions; but with men of letters I would in prospect than any honours which this not unwillingly compound, by wishing the world can bestow. I wish I could be useful continuance of every language, however to him. narrow in its extent, or however incommo- “The publication of my letter, if it could dious for common purposes, till it is reposit- be of use in a cause to which all other causes ed in some version of a known book, that are nothing, I should not prohibit. But first, it may be always hereafter examined and I would have you to consider whether the compared with other languages, and then publication will really do any good; next permitting its disuse. For this purpose, the whether by printing and distributing a very translation of the Bible is most to be desired. small number, you may not attain all that It is not certain that the same method will you propose; and, what perhaps I should not preserve the Highland language, for the have said first, whether the letter, which I purposes of learning, and abolish it from do not now perfectly remember, be fit to daily use. When the highlanders read the be printed. Bible, they will naturally wish to have its “If you can consult Dr. Robertson, to obscurities cleared, and to know the history, whom I am a litile known, I shall be satiscollateral or appendant. Knowledge always fied about the propriety of whatever he desires increase; it is like fire, which must shall direct. If he thinks that it should be be kindled by some external agent, but which will afterwards propagate itself. The Rev. Mr. John Campbell, minister of When they once desire to learn they will the parish of Kippen, near Stirling, who has naturally have recourse to the nearest lan- lately favoured me with a long, intelligent, and guage by which that desire can be gratified; very obliging letter upon this work, makes the and one will tell another that if he would following remark: “ Dr. Johnson has alluded to attain knowledge, he must learn English.

the worthy man employed in the translation of “This speculation may, perhaps, be the New 'l'estament. Might not this have atlordthought more subtle than the grossness of ed you an opportunity of paying a proper tribute real life will easily admit. Let it, however, Stuart, late minister of Killin, distinguished by

of respect to the memory of the Rev. Mr. James be remembered, that the efficacy of igno- bis eminent piety, learning and taste? The amiarance has long been tried, and has not pro- ble simplicity of his life, his warm benevolence; duced the consequence expected. Let his indefatigable and successful exertions for civiliknowledge, therefore, take its turn; and let zing and improving the parish of which he was the patrons of privation stand awhile aside, minister for upwards of fifty years, entitle him to and admit the operation of positive princi- the gratitude of his country, and the veneration ples.

of all good men. It certainly would be a pity, “ You will be pleased, sir, to assure the if such a character should be permitted to sink worthy man who is employed in the new into oblivion."– Boswell,


his word.

printed, I entreat him to revise it; there “I believe you may receive some intellinay, perhaps, be some negligent lines writ- gence from Mrs. Baker of the theatre, ten, and whatever is amiss, he knows very whose letter I received at the same time well how to rectify 1.

with yours; and to whom, if you see her, Be pleased to let me know, from time you will make my excuse for the seeming to time, how this excellent design goes for- neglect of answering her. ward.

“ Whatever you advance within ten “ Make my compliments to young Mr. pounds shall be immediately returned to Drummond, whom I hope you will live to you, or paid as you shall order. I trust see such as you desire him.

wholly to your judgment.-I am, sir, &c. "I have not lately seen Mr. Elphinston,

“ Sam. Johnson." but believe him to be prosperous. I shall be glad to hear the same of you, for I am, Mr. Cuthbert Shaw), alike distinguished sis, your affectionate humble servant, by his genius, misfortunes, and misconduct, "Sam. Johnson." published this year a poem, called “ The

Race, by Mercurius Spur, Esq.” in which TO MR. WILLIAM DRUMMOND. he whimsically made the living poets of " London, Johnson's-court, Fleet-street, 24th Oct. 1767. England contend for pre-eminence of fame

"Sir,-1 returned this week from the by running: country, after an absence of near six

“ Prove by their heels the prowess of the head.” months, and found your letter with many

In this poem there was the following por others, which I should have answered

trait of Johnson: sooner, if I had sooner seen them. "Dr. Robertson's opinion was surely

· Here Johnson comes,—-unblest with outward right. Men should not be told of the faults

grace, mich they have mended. I am glad the While strong conceptions struggle in his brain;

His rigid morals stamp'd upon his face; olu language is taught, and honour the (For even wit is brought to bed with pain:) translator, as a man whom God has distin- To view him, porters with their loads would rest, guished by the high office of propagating And babes cling frighted to the nurses' breast.

With looks convulsed he roars in pompous strain, " I must take the liberty of engaging you And, like an angry lion, shakes his mane. in an office of charity. Mrs. Heely, the The nine, with terrour struck, who ne'er had seen wife of Mr. Heely, who had lately some office Aught human with so terrible a mien, in your theatre, is my near relation, and now Debating whether they should stay or run, in great distress. They wrote me word of Virtue steps forth and claims him for her son. their situation some time ago, to which I With gentle speech she warns him now to yield, returned them an answer which raised hopes Nor stain his glories in the doubtful field; of more than it is proper for me to give But wrapt in conscious worth, content sit down, them. Their representation of their afiairs Since Fame, resolved his various pleas to crown, I have discovered to be such as cannot be Though forced his present claim to disavow, trusted: and at this distance, though their Had long reserved a chaplet for his brow, care requires haste, I know not how to act. He bows, obeys; for time shall first expire, She, or her daughters, may be heard of at Ere Johnson stay, when Virtue bids retire.” Canongate-head. I must beg, sir, that you Frances Barber.—Boswell. [Hawkins wished will inquire after them, and let me know to persuade the world that Dr. Johnson acted unwhat is to be done. I am willing to go justifiably in preferring in the disposal of his to ten pounds, and will transmit you property,) Barber to this man, whom Sir John such a sum, if upon examination you find and his daughter, in her Memoirs, call, with it likely to be of use. If they are in imme- a most surprising disregard of truth, Johnson's diate want, advance them what you think relation, but who, in fact, had only married his proper. What I could do I would do for relation. She was dead and Heely' had married the woman, having no great reason to pay another woman at the time when Hawkins affecmuch regard to Heely himself 2.

ted to think that he had claims to be Dr. John

son's heir, and we find that, so early as this • This paragraph shows Johnson's real estima- year, Johnson expressed his disregard for Heely De or the character and abilities of the celebra- himself. Some scenes took place in the last ied Scottish historian, however lightly, in a mo- days of Johnson's life which, as we shall see, do em! mf caprice, he may have spoken of his little credit to Sir John Hawkins, and it seems works. —B0-WELL. (He seems never to have probable that Barber detected and reported them, çoken otherwise than slightingly of Dr. Robert- as was his duty, to his master; whence, perhaps, bo's works, however he may have respected his Hawkins's malevolence both to Johnson and Barjudgment on this particular subject. See ber, and his endeavour to set up a rival to the P. 247, 313, and 299.-Ed.]

latter. See post, 12th August, and sub Novem* This is the persou concerning whom Sir ber, 1784.-- E.n.] In Hawkins his thrown out very unwarrantable 3 See an account of him in the European r secinas both against Dr. Johnson and Nir. | Magazine, Jan. 1786.- BogWELL.

The honourable Thomas Hervey and by Mr. Hervey in consideration of his havhis lady having unhappily disagreed, and ing written for him a pamphlet against Sir being about to separate, Johnson interfered as their friend, and wrote him a letter of and then goes on to complain, that Sir Thomas expostulation, which I have not been able was cutting timber on the estate which had beto find; but the substance of it is ascertain- longed to “our wife,” so he calls her, and of ed by a letter to Johnson in answer to it

, he did sell any more timber, he would give him,

which the reversion was his, and begging that, if which Mr. Hervey printed. The occasion Hervey, the refusal of it. All this is garnished

, of this correspondence between Dr. John- and set off by extravagant flights of fine writing, son and Mr. Hervey was thus related to me the most cutting sarcasms, the most indecent deby Mr. Beauclerk. “ Tom Hervey had a tails, and the most serious expressions of the great liking for Johnson, and in his will writer's conviction, that his conduct was natural had left him a legacy of fifty pounds. One and delicate, and such as every body must apday he said to me, Johnson may want this prove; and that, finally, in Heaven, Lady Hanmoney now, more than afterwards. I have mer, in the distribution of wives (suam cuique,) a mind to give it him directly. Will you would be considered as his. Twenty years did be so good as to carry a fifty pound note not cool his brain. Just at the close of the reign from me to him?' This I positively refused he addressed a letter to King George the Second, to do, as he might, perhaps, have knocked complaining of the king's ministers for not paying me down for insulting him, and have after him 20001. which they owed him, and which wards put the note in his pocket. But I sum was composed of 2001. per annum for 10 said, if Hervey would write him a letter, years, which the said ministers should have adand enclose a fifty pound note, I should take ded to the salary of an office which Mr. Hervey care to deliver it. He accordingly did write held. In this letter he pretty clearly explains the hini a letter, mentioning that he was only state of his intellect. He talks of the hileous paying a legacy a little sooner. To his let- subject of his mental excruciation," and later he added, P. S. I am going to part

ments that “ a troubled and resentful mind in with my wife.' Johnson then wrote to him, tion of human misery.He complains tha

a distempered body, is almost the consumma saying nothing of the note, but remonstrat

his doctor mistook his case, by calling that ing with him against parting with his

nervous disorder which was really infiammatory wife.”

and, in consequence of that fatal error, Herve When I mentioned to Johnson this story, “passed eleven years without any more ac in as delicate terms as I could, he told me count of time, or other notice of things, thru that the fifty pound note was given 2 to him a person asleep, under the influence of son

horrid dream." He talks of his father as · The Honourable Thomas Hervey, whose “ monster of iniquity,of his weak ar letter to Sir Thomas Hanmer, in 1742, was much passionate mother,” of his base and cru read at that time. He was the second son of brother,” and so on. It is this letter which He John, the first earl of Bristol, and one of the ace Walpole thus characterizes: “ Have you se brothers of Johnson's early friend, Henry Her- Tom Hervey's letter to the king? full of absur vey. He was born 1698] married in 1744, ty and madness, but with here and there glea Anne, daughter of Francis Coughlan, Esq. and of genius and happy expressions that are wond died Jan. 20, 1775.—Malone.

fully fine.”Letter to Conway, Dec. 17 ? [This is not inconsistent with Mr. Beauclerk's His quarrel with his second wife, in 1767, rel account. It may have been in consideration of red to in the text, he, according to his cust this pamphlet that Hervey left Johnson the fifty blazoned to the public by the following advert pounds in his will, and on second thoughts he ment: “ Whereas Mrs. Hervey has been th may have determined to send it to him. It were times from home last year, and at least however to be wished, that the story had stood many the year before, without my leave on its original ground. The acceptance of an an- privity, and hath encouraged her son to ticipated legacy from a friend would have bad sist in the like rebellious practices, I hei nothing objectionable in it: but can so much be declare that I neither am nor will be acco said for the employment of one's pen for hire, able for any future debts of her whatso in the disgusting squabbles of so mischievous and she is now keeping forcible possession of profligate a madman as Mr. Thomas Hervey? | house, to which I never did invite or tho “ He was well known,” says the gentle biogra- of inviting her in all my life.-Tho pher of the Peerage, “ for his genius and eccen- HERVEY." He afterwards proceeded fu tricities.” The letter to Sir Thomas Hanmer, and commenced a suit against his lady for ja above mentioned, was the first, it is believed, of tion of marriage, which finally ended in hi the many appeals which Mr. Hervey made to comfiture. Johnson, as we shall see here the public relative to his private concerns. The characterized his friend, Toni Hervey, as b subject is astonishing. Lady Hanmer eloped already done (ante, p. 40.) his brother } from her husband with Mr. Hervey, and made, it as very vicious. Alas! it is but too seems, a will, in his favour, of certain estates, of ble, that both were disordered in mind, ar which Sir Thomas had a life possession. Her- what was called vice was, in truth, di vey's letter avows the adultery, and assigns very and required a madhouse rather than a pri strange reasons for the lady's leaving her husband, 1 ED.)

- Ay,"

Charles Hanbury Williams, who, Mr. Her- /"Sir, here is the king:” Johnson started vey imagined, was the authour of an at- up, and stood still. His majesty approachLack upon him; but that it was afterwards ed him, and at once was courteously easy 3. discovered to be the work of a garreteer 1, His majesty began by observing, that he who wrote “The Fool:" the pamphlet, understood he came sometimes to the libratherefore, against Sir Charles was not ry; and then mentioning his having heard printed.

that the Doctor had been lately at Oxford, In February, 1767, there happened one asked him if he was not fond of going of the most remarkable incidents of John- thither. To which Johnson answered, 800's life, which gratified his monarchical that he was indeed fond of going to Oxford enthusiasm, and which he loved to relate sometimes, but was likewise glad to come with all its circumstances, when requested back again. The king then asked him by his friends. This was his being honour- what they were doing at Oxford. Johnson ed by a private conversation with his ma- answered, he could not much commend jesty in the library at the queen's house. He their diligence, but that in some respects had frequently visited those splendid rooms, they were mended, for they had put their and noble collection of books?, which he press under better regulations, and were at used to say was more numerous and curious that time printing Polybius. He was then than he supposed any person could have asked whether there were better libraries at made in the time which the king had em- Oxford or Cambridge. He answered, he ployed. Mr. Barnard, the librarian, took believed the Bodleian was larger than any care that he should have every accommoda- they had at Cambridge; at the same time nion that could contribute to his ease and adding, “ I hope, whether we have more convenience, while indulging his literary books or not than they have at Cambridge, taste in that place; so that he had here a we shall make as good use of them as they very agreeable resource at leisure hours. do.” Being asked whether All-Souls or

His majesty having been informed of his Christ-Church library was the largest, he occasional visits, was pleased to signify a answered, “ All-Souls library is the largest desire that he should be told when Dr. we have, except the Bodleian.” Johnson came next to the library. Ac- said the king, “ that is the publick library.” cordingly, the next time that Johnson did His majesty inquired if he was then writcome, as soon as he was fairly engaged with ing any thing. He answered, he was not, a book, on which, while he sat by the fire, for he had pretty well told the world what he seemed quite intent, Mr. Barnard stole he knew, and must now read to acquire mand to the apartment where the king more knowledge. The king as it should was, and, in obedience to his majesty's com- seem with a view to urge him to rely on his mands, mentioned that Dr. Johnson was own stores as an original writer, and to then in the Library. His majesty said he was at leisure, and would go to him: upon 3 The particulars of this conversation I have which Mr. Barnard took one of the candles been at great pains to collect with the utmost authat stood on the king's table, and lighted thenticity, from Dr. Johnson's own detail to myhis majesty through a suite of rooms, till self ; from Mr. Langton, who was present when they came to a private door into the libra- he gave an account of it to Dr. Joseph Warton, 19, of which his majesty had the key. and several other friends at Sir Joshua Reynold’s; Being entered, Mr. Barnard stepped for- from Mr. Barnard; from the copy of a letter writFard bastily to Dr. Johnson, who was still ten by the late Mr. Strahan, the printer, to Bishin a profound study, and whispered him, op Warburton; and from a minute, the original

of which is among the papers of the late Sir James (some curiosity would naturally be felt as to Caldwell, and a copy of which was most obliwho the garreteer was, who wrote a pamphlet, gingly obtained for me from his son, Sir Francis which was attributed to Sir C. H. Williams, the Lumm. To all these gentlemen I beg leave to wittiest man of his day and to answer which, the make my grateful acknowledgments, and particwid and sarcastic genius of Hervey required the ularly to Sir Francis Lumm, who was pleased to setance of Dr. Johnson. His name was Wil-take a great deal of trouble, and even had the fizm Horsley, but his acknowledged works are minute laid before the king by Lord Caermarthen, poor prodactions.-ED.)

now Duke of Leeds, then one of his majesty's Dr. Johnson had the honour of contributing principal secretaries of state, who announced to hiszentance towards the formation of this libra- Sir Francis the royal pleasure concerning it by a 9; for I have read a long letter from him to Mr. letter, in these words:-—"I have the king's comBaraard, giving the most masterly instructions on mands to assure you, sir, how sensible his majesty the satject I wished much to have gratified my is of your attention in communicating the minute reasiera with the perasal of this letter, and have of the conversation previous to its publication. reason to think that his majesty would have been As there appears no objection to your complying fraciouely pleased to permit its publication ; but with Mr. Boswell's wishes on the subject, you Mz. Barnard, to whom I applied, 'declined it “on are at full liberty to deliver it to that gentleman,

own account." -BoSWELL. But see the let- to make such use of in Lif Dr. Johnson, as het in the Appendix.

he may think proper.”_BoSWELL.

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continue his labours, then said, “I do not the controversy between Warburton and think you borrow much from any body.” Lowth, which he seemed to have read, Johnson said, he thought he had already and asked Johnson what he thought of it. done his part as a writer. “ I should have Johnson answered, “ Warburton has most thought so too,” said the king, “ if you had general, most scholastick learning ; Lowth not written so well.” Johnson observed to is the more correct scholar. I do not know me, upon this, that “No man could have which of them calls names best.” The paid a handsomer compliment l; and it was king was pleased to say he was of the same fit for a king to pay. It was decisive.” opinion ; adding, “ You do not think then, When asked by another friend, at Sir Dr. Johnson, that there was much arguJoshua Reynolds's, whether he made any ment in the case.” Johnson said, he did reply to this high compliment, he answered not think there was. Why truly (said “ No, sir. When the king had said it, it the king), when once it comes to calling was to be so. It was not for me to bandy names, argument is pretty well at an end." civilities with my sovereign.” Perhaps no His majesty then asked him what he man who had spent his whole life in courts thought of Lord Lyttelton's history, which could have shown a more nice and dignified was then just published. Johnson said, sense of true politeness than Johnson did in he thought his style pretty good, but this instance.

that he had blamed Henry the Second His majesty having observed to him that rather too much. “Why (said the king), he supposed he must have read a great they seldom do these things by halves.” deal, Johnson answered, that he thought “ No, sir (answered Johnson), not to more than he read ; that he had read a kings.” But fearing to be misunderstood, great deal in the early part of his life, but he proceeded to explain himself'; and imhaving fallen into ill health, he had not mediately subjoined, “ That for those who been able to read much, compared with spoke worse of kings than they deserved, others: for instance, he said he had not he could find no excuse ; but that he could read much, compared with Dr. Warbur- more easily conceive how some might speak ton. Upon which the king said, that he better of them than they deserved, without heard Dr. Warburton was a man of such any ill intention ; for, as kings had much general knowledge, that you could scarce in their power to give, those who were fatalk with him on any subject on which he voured by them would frequently, from was not qualified to speak; and that his gratitude, exaggerate their praises: and as learning resembled Garrick's acting, in its this proceeded from a good motive, it was universality?. His majesty then talked of certainly excusable, as far as errour could

be excusable.” [Johnson himself imitated it to Paoli (see

The king then asked him what he thought post, 10th October, 1769); and it is indeed be- of Dr. Hill. Johnson answered that he come one of the common-places of compliment. was an ingenious man, but had no veracity; -Ed.]

and immediately mentioned, as an instance ? The Rev. Mr. Strahan clearly recollects of it, an assertion of that writer, that he having been told by Johnson, that the king ob- had seen objects magnified to a much greatserved that Pope made Warburton a bishop. er degree by using three or four microscopes “ True, sir (said Johnson), but Warburton did at a time than by using one. - Now (admore for Pope; he made him a Christian;" allud-ded Johnson) every one acquainted with ing, no doubt, to his ingenious comments on the microscopes knows, that the more of them

Essay on Man.” [Mr. Strahan’s recollection he looks through, the less the object will probably failed him. His majesty and Dr. Jolin

appear3.Why (replied the king) this son were both too well informed to have bandied such idle talk. Warburton had published the on Man.” The truth is, Warburton was made a Divine Legation, and was chaplain to the prince bishop by his numerous works, and his high liteof Wales before he knew Pope; bis acquaintance rary character, to which this commentary contribwith that poet, but of four years' continuance, uted a very inconsiderable part.—Ep.) Was ended by Pope's death in 1744. It was ten [Here, as the bishop of Ferns remarks, Dr. years after, that he became a king's chaplain, Johnson was culpably unjust to Hill, and showed and, in 1755, he had a prebend in the cathedral | that he did not understand the subject. Hill does of Durham. In 1757, he was made dean of Bris- not talk of magnifying objects by two or more tol: and, 1760, sirteen years after Pope's miscroscopes, but by applying two object glasses death, he became bishop of Gloucester. If it be to one miscroscope; and the advantage of diminalleged, that Mr. Strahan's report refers to the ished spherical errors by this contrivance is well supposition, that his commentary on Pope's “ Es- known. Hill's account of the experiment (Veg. say on Man" tended to create that character System, Lond. 1770, p. 44) is, as the bishop which finally raised him to the bench; it may be further observes, obscurely and inaccurately exobserved, that he published, before and after that pressed in one or two particulars; but there can be commentary, a multitude of works on polemical no doubt that he is substantially right, and that Dr. and religious subjects, niuch more ortant and Johnson's sta ent vas altogether unfounded.-remarkable than the Commeutary on the “ Essay Ed.]


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