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Ed. [He this autumn visited Lichfield and favourable opinion of my book must give me Ashbourne, where it appears from his let- great delight. Indeed it is impossible for ters to Mrs. Thrale that he was considerably me to say how much I am gratified by it; indisposed.]
for there is not a man upon earth whose
good opinion I would be more ambitious to [" TO MRS. THRALE.
cultivate. His talents and his virtues I "(Lichfield,) 19th Oct. 1772. reverence more than any words can express. Letters, “ I set out on Thursday night The extraordinary civilities (the paternal mal p. 55, at nine, and arrived at Lichfield attentions I should rather say), and the
on Friday night at eleven, no many instructions I have had the honour to otherwise incommoded than with want of receive from him, will to me be a perpetual sleep, which, however, I enjoyed very com- source of pleasure in the recollection, fortably the first night. I think å stage
“Dum memor ipse mei, dum spiritus hos reget coach is not the worst bed.”
artus.' " Ashbourne, 4th Nov. 1772. "6I had still some thoughts, while the "Since I came to Ashbourne I have been summer lasted, of being obliged to go to out of order, I was well at Lichfield. You London on some little business; otherwise know sickness will drive me to you; so I should certainly have troubled him with a perhaps you very heartily wish me better : letter several months ago, and given some but you know likewise that health will not vent to my gratitude and admiration. This hold me away.”
I intend to do as soon as I am left a little at
leisure. Mean time, if you have occasion “(Ashbourne,] 230 Nov. 1772. to write to him, I beg you will offer him "I cannot yet get well; my nights are my most respectful compliments, and assure flatulent and unquiet, but my days are him of the sincerity of my attachment and tolerably easy, and Taylor says that I look the warmth of my gratitude,' much better than when I came hither. “I am, &c. “ James Boswell." You will see when I come, and I can take your word.”
In 1773, his only publication was an edi
tion of his folio Dictionary, with additions “(Ashbourne,] 27th Nov. 1772. and corrections; nor did he, so far as is "If you are so kind as to write to me on known, furnish any productions of his ferSaturday, the day on which you will re- tile pen to any of his numerous friends or ceive this, I shall have it before I leave dependants, except the Preface * 1 to his old Ashbourne. I am to go to Lichfield on amanuensis Macbean's “ Dictionary of AnWednesday, and purpose to find my way to cient Geography." His Shakspeare, inLondon through Birmingham and Oxford. deed, which had been received with high
"I was yesterday at Chatsworth. It is a approbation by the publick, and gone very fine house. I wish you had been with through several editions, was ihis year reme to see it ; for then, as we are apt to published by George Steevens, Esq. a genwant matter of talk, we should have gained ileman not only deeply skilled in ancient something new to talk on. They compli- learning, and of very extensive reading in mented me with playing the fountain, and English literature, especially the early wriopening the cascade. But I am of my ters, but at the same time of acute discernfriend's opinion, that when one has seen ment and elegant taste. It is almost the ocean, cascades are but little things.”] unnecessary to say, that by his great and
valuable additions to Dr. Johnson's work, MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON. he justly obtained considerable reputation:
"Edinburgh, 25th Dec. 1772. “MY DEAR SIR, –
“ Divisum imperium cum Jove Cæsar habet.” “I was much disappointed that you did [He began this year with a fit of Dot come to Scotland last autumn. How- the gout. ever, I must own that your letter prevents me from complaining; not only because I
"TO MRS. THRALE. am sensible that the state of your health
“Tuesday, 26th Jan. 1773. was but too good an excuse, but because “ Last night was very tedious, and this you write in a strain which shows that you
He, however, wrote or partly wrote, an epitaph have agreeable views of the scheine which
(see ante, p. 278] on Mrs. Bell, wife of his friend we have so long proposed.
John Bell, Esq. brother of the Rev. Dr. Bell,
Prebendary of Westminster, which is printed in * | communicated to Beattie what you his works. It is in English prose, and has so litsaid or his book in your last letter to me. tle of his manner, that I did not believe he had He writes to me thus : 'You judge very any hand in it, till I was satisfied of the fact by righity in supposing that Dr. Johnson's I the authority of Mr. Bell.-Boswell.
« 19th Feb, 1773.
day makes no promises of much to revise; but having made no preparation, vol. i. ease. However, I have this day I was able to do very little. Some super
put on my shoe, and hope that fuities I have expunged, and some faults I gout is gone. I shall have only the cough to have corrected, and here and there have contend with, and I doubt whether I shall scattered a remark; but the main fabrick et rid of that without change of place. I of the work remains as it was. I have caught cold in the coach as I went away, looked very little into it since I wrote it, and am disordered by very little things. Is and, I think, I found it full as often better, it accident or age?"
as worse, than I expected.
“ Baretti and Davies have had a furious “I think I am better, but cannot say quarrel; a quarrel, I think, irreconcileable. much more than that I think so. I was Dr. Goldsmith has a new comedy, which yesterday with Miss Lucy Southwell and is expected in the spring. No name is yet Mrs. Williams, at Mr. Southwell's 1. Miss given it. The chief diversion arises from Frances Southwell is not well.
a stratagem by which a lover is made to “I have an invitation to dine at Sir mistake his future father-in-law's house for Joshua Reynolds's on Tuesday. May I ac- an inn. This, you see, borders upon farce. cept it?”]
The dialogue is quick and gay, and the in
cidents are so prepared as not to seem im"TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. probable. “ London, 220 Feb, 1773.
“I am sorry that you lost your cause of “DEAR SIR, I have read your kind let intromission, because I yet think the arguter much more than the elegant Pindar ments on your side unanswerable. But you which it accompanied. I am always glad to seem, I think, to say that you gained repufind myself not forgotten; and to be forgot- talion even by your defeai ; and reputation ten by you would give me great uneasiness. you will daily gain, if you keep Lord AuMy northern friends have never been un- | chinleck’s precept in your mind, and enkind to me; I have from you, dear sir, | deavour to consolidate in your mind a firm testimonies of affection, which I have not and regular system of law, instead of pickoften been able to excite; and Dr. Beattie ing up occasional fragments. rates the testimony which I was desirous “ My health seems in general to improve; of paying to his merit much higher than I but I have been troubled many weeks with should have thought it reasonable to expect. vexatious catarrh, which is sometimes suf
“I have heard of your masquerade 2. ficiently distressful. I have not found any What says your synod to such innovations? great effects from bleeding and physick; and I am not studiously scrupulous, nor do I am afraid that I must expect help from think a masquerade either evil in itself, or brighter days and softer air. very likely to be the occasion of evil; yet “ Write to me now and then; and whenas the world thinks it a very licentious re ever any good befalls you, make haste to let laxation of manners, I would not have been me know it, for no one will rejoice at it one of the first masquers, in a country more than, dear sir, your most humble serwhere no masquerade had ever been be- vant,
“ Sam. Johnson. fore3.
“ You continue to stand very high in the “A new edition of my great Dictionary is favour of Mrs. Thrale.” printed, from a copy which I was persuaded
While a former edition of my work was ? [Dr. Johnson's early friend, Mr. Edmond passing through the press, I was une speci. Southwell, third son of the first Lord Southwell, edly favoured with a packet from Philadelborn in 1705, had died in the preceding Novem- phia, from Mr. James Abercrombie, a genber, aged 67: the Mr. Southwell
, here mentioned, ileman of that country, who is pleased to was probably Thomas Arthur, afterwards the honour me with very high praise of my“ Life fourth lord and second viscount (see ante, p. 158). of Dr. Johnson." "To have the fame of my The two ladies mentioned were probably daugh- illustrious friend, and his faithful biographer, ters of the first lord: Frances born in 1708, and echoed from the New World is extremely flatLucy born in 1710.-Ed.) ? Given by a lady at Edinburgh.—BOSWELL.
tering; and my grateful acknowledgments There had been masquerades in Scotland;
shall be wafted across the Atlantick. Mr. but not for a very long time. --Boswell. (This Abercrombie has politely conterred on me masquerade was given on the 1st January, by the
a considerable additional obligation, by transDowager Countess of Fife; Johnson had no doubt mitting to me copies of two letters from Dr.
ii Gladseen an account of it in the Gentleman's Nag-Johnson to American gentlemen. azine for January, where it is said to have been ly, sir (says he), would I have sent you the the only masquerade ever seen in Scotland. Mr. originals: but being the only relicks of the Boswell himself appeared in the character of a kind in America, they are considered by the Dumb Conjuror.-£n.]
possessors of such inestimable value, that
no possible consideration would induce papers. Opposition seems to despond; and them to part with them. In some future the dissenters, though they have taken adpublication of yours relative to that great vantage of unsettled times, and a governand good man, they may perhaps be thought ment much enfeebled, seem not likely to worthy of insertion.”
gain any immunities.
“ Dr. Goldsmith has a new comedy 3 in “DR. JOHNSON TO MR. B- -D 1. rehearsal at Covent Garden, to which the " Johnson's court, Fleet-street, 4th March, 1773. manager predicts ill success. I hope he
Sur,—That in the hurry of a sudden will be mistaken. I think it deserves a very departure you should yet find leisure to con- kind reception. sult my convenience, is a degree of kind- “ I shall soon publish a new edition of my ness, anıl an instance of regard, not only large Dictionary; I have been persuaded to beyond my claims, but above my expecta- revise it, and have mended some faults, but tion. You are not mistaken in supposing added little to its usefulness. that I set a high value on my American “ No book has been published since your friends, and that you should confer a very departure, of which much notice is taken. valuable favour upon me by giving me an Faction only fills the town with pamphlets, opportunity of keeping myself in their mem- and greater subjects are forgotten in the ory.
noise of discord. “[have laken the liberty of troubling you • Thus have I written, only to tell you with a packet, to which I wish a safe and how little I have to tell. Of myself I can speedy conveyance, because I wish a safe only add, that having been afflicted many and speedy voyage to him that conveys it. weeks with a very troublesome cough, I am I am, sir, your most humble servant, now recovered. “ Sam. Johnson." “ I take the liberty which you give me
of troubling you with a letter, of which TO THE REVEREND MR, WHITE 2, you will please to fill up the direction. I ** Johnson's-court, Fleet-street, 4th March, 1773. am, sir, your most humble servant, "DEAR SIR,-Your kindness for your
" Sam. Johnson.” friends accompanies you across the Atlantick. It was long since observed by Horace,
[“ TO MRS. THRALE. that no ship could leave care behind: you
" 25th March, 1773. have been attended in your voyage by other “ Did not I tell you that I had powers,-by benevolence and constancy: written to Boswell?" he has answer
Letters, and I hope care did not often show her face ed my letter 4. in their company.
“ I am going this evening to put "I received the copy of Rasselas. The young Otway to school with Mr. Elphinimpression is not magnificent, but it flatters ston. an authour, because the printer seems to “C -5 is so distressed with abuse have expected that it would be scattered about his play, that he has solicited Goldamong the people. The little book has smith to take him off the rack of the newstrea well received, and is translated into papers. Italian, French, German, and Dutch. It
6 is preparing a whole pamphhas muw one honour more by an American let against G-6, and G
-is, I suppose, edition.
collecting materials to confute M"I know not that much has happened since “ Jennens 7 has published Hamlet, but Foi departure that can engage your curi- without a preface, and S- -8 declares his wity. Of all publick transactions the intention of letting him pass the rest of his whole world is now informed by the news life in peace. Here is news.
The gentlentun, who now resides in America 3 [She stoops to conquer. -Ed.] by publicl character of a considerable dignity, * (But has not published his answer. -Ed.] desired that his name inight not be transcribed 5 [Richard Cumberland. The play in quesut full length.—Bosweli. (Probably a Mr. tion was the Choleric Man, which he afterwards Bland, whose Enquiry into the Rights of the published with a “Dedication to Detraction.” British Colonies" was republished in London, He was very sensible to such attacks, as Sheridan in 1770,-ED.)
more than hints in the character of Sir Fretful Now Doctor White, and bishop of the epis- Plagiary, which was intended for him.-Ed.] copal church in Pennsylvania. During his first 6 These initials, no doubt, mean Mickle and M to England in 1771, as a candidate for holy Garrick, (see Garrick's letter to Boswell, post, orders, he was several times in company with sub 23d Oct. 1773): the quarrel was on the subject Dr. Johnson, who expressed a wish to see the of the “ Siege of Marseilles.” See Mickle's Life odion of Rasselas which Dr. White told him had in Anderson's British Poets.--ED ] bu printed in America. Dr. White, on his re- [Soame Jenyns.-Ed.) tare, unmediately sent him a copy.--BOSWELL. (George Steevens.--Ed.]
On Saturday, April 3, the day after my what he is afraid should be known, has arrival in London this year, I went to his something rotten about him. This Dalrymhouse late in the evening, and sat with Mrs. ple seems to be an honest fellow; for he Williams till he came home. I found in tells equally what makes against both sides. the London Chronicle, Dr. Goldsmith’s | But nothing can be poorer than his mode of apology to the publick for beating Evans, a writing, it is the mere bouncing of a schoolbookseller, on account of a paragraph 1 in a boy: Great He3, but greater She! and newspaper published by him, which Gold- such stuff." smith thought impertinent to him and to a I could not agree with him in this critilady of his acquaintance. The apology was cism; for though Sir John Dalrymple’s style written so much in Dr. Johnson's manner, is not regularly formed in any respect, and that both Mrs. Williams and I supposed it one cannot help smiling sometimes at his to be his; but when he came home, he soon affected grandiloquence, there is in his writundeceived us. When he said to Mrs. Wil- ing a pointed vivacity, and much of a genliams, “Well, Dr. Goldsmith's manifesto tlemanly spirit. has got into your paper;" I asked him it Dr. At Mr. Thrale's, in the evening, he reGoldsmith had written it, with an air that peated his usual paradoxical declamation made him see I suspected it was his, though against action in publick speaking. “Acsubscribed by Goldsmith. Johnson. “Sir, tion can have no effect upon reasonable Dr. Goldsmith would no more have asked minds. It may augment noise, but it never me to write such a thing as that for him, can enforce argument. If you speak to a than he would have asked me to feed him dog, you use action; you hold up your hand with a spoon, or to do any thing else that thus, because he is a brute; and in propordenoted his imbecility. I as much believe tion as men are removed from brutes, action that he wrote it, as if I had seen him do it. will have the less influence upon them." Sir, had he shown it to any one friend, he Mrs. Thrale. “What then, sir, becomes would not have been allowed to publish it. of Demosthenes's saying? Action, action, He has, indeed, done it very well; but it is action!'” Johnson. “ Demosthenes, mada foolish thing well done. I suppose he am, spoke to an assembly of brutes; to a has been so much elated with the success of barbarous people.” his new comedy, that he has thought every I thought it extraordinary, that he should thing that concerned him must be of impor- deny the power of rhetorical action upon tance to the publick.” Boswell. “Ilan-human nature, when it is proved by innucy, sir, this is the first time he has been en- merable facts in all stages of society. Rea. gaged in such an adventure." Johnson. sonable beings are not solely reasonable
. *Why, sir, I believe it is the first time he They have fancies which may be pleased, has beat ?; he may have been beaten be- passions which may be roused. fore. This, sir, is a new plume to him.” Lord Chesterfield being mentioned, John
I mentioned Sir John Dalrymple's “ Me- son remarked, that almost all of that celemoirs of Great Britain and Ireland,” and his crated nobleman's witty sayings were puns. discoveries to the prejudice of Lord Russel He, however, allowed the merit of good wit and Algernon Sidney. Johnson. “Why, to his lordship's saying of Lord Tyrawley sir, every body who had just notions of gov- and himself, when both very old and infirm: ernment thought them rascals before. It is “ Tyrawley and I have been dead these two well that all mankind now see them to be years; but we don't choose to have it rascals.” BOSWELL. “But, sir, may not known.” those discoveries be true without their be He talked with approbation of an intending rascals?” Johnson. “ Consider, sir, ed edition of “The Spectator," with notes: would
of them have been willing to two volumes of which had been prepared by have had it known that they intrigued with a gentleman eminent in the literary world , France? Depend upon it, sir, he who does and the materials which he had collected for
the remainder had been transferred to an[The offence given was a long abusive letter in the London Packet. A particular account of 3 A bombastic ode of Oldham's on Ben Johnthis transaction, and Goldsmith's Vindication (for son begins thus: “GREAT THOU !" which persuch it was, rather than an apology), may be found haps his namesake remembered.—MALONE. in the new Life of that poet, prefixed to his Mis- [Mr. Malone's note is absurd. Mr. Hallam very cellaneous Works, in 4 vols. 8vo. pp. 105—108. justly observes, that Dr. Johnson clearly meant -MALONE.
Dalrymple’s description of the parting of Lord [Mr. Chalmers, in the article Goldsmith, in and Lady Russel. " He great in this last act of the Biog. Dict., states, on the authority of Evans, his life, but she greater. ] that he had beaten Goldsmith, and not Goldsmith [Mr. Chalmers (who, himself, has ably perhim; but surely, in such a case, the authority of formed this task) informs me, that the first of Evans would be suspicious, even if it were not these gentlemen was Dr. Percy, and the second opposed to the whole current of contemporary evi- Dr. John Calder, of whom some account will be dence.- Ep.)
found, Gent. Mag. v. 85. p. 564.-Ed.]
other hand. He observed, that all works | never shall forget the tremulous earnestness which describe manners, require notes in with which he pronounced the awful petisixty or seventy years, or less; and told us, tion in the Litany: “In the hour of death, he had com inunicated all he knew that could and at the day of judgment, good Lord dethrow light upon" The Spectator.” He liver us.” said, " Addison had made his Sir Andrew We went to church both in the morning Freeport a true whig, arguing against giv- and evening. In the interval between the ing charity to beggars, and throwing out two services we did not dine: but he read other such ungracious sentiments !; but in the Greek New Testament, and I turned that he had thought better, and made over several of his books. amends by making him found an hospital In Archbishop Laud's Diary, I found the for decayed farmers." He called for the following passage, which I read to Dr. volume of “ The Spectator," in which that Johnson: account is contained, and read it aloud to “1623. February 1, Sunday. I stood 13. He read so well, that every thing ac- by the most illustrious Prince Charles 2, at quired additional weight and grace from his dinner. He was then very merry, and utterance.
talked occasionally of many things with his The conversation having turned on mod- attendants. Among other things, he said, ern imitations of ancient ballads, and some that if he were necessitated to take any parone having praised their simplicity, he treat- ticular profession of life he could not be a ed them with that ridicule which he always lawyer, adding his reasons: I cannot,' displayed when that subject was mentioned. said he, defend a bad, nor yield in a good
He disapproved of introducing scripture cause." Johnson. “ Sir, this is false phrases into secular discourse. This seemed reasoning; because every cause has a bad to me a question of some difficulty. A scrip- side: and a lawyer is not overcome, though tore expression may be used, like a highly the cause which he has endeavoured to supclassical phrase, to produce an instantane- port be determined against him.” ous strong impression; and it may be done I told him that Goldsmith had said to me without being at all improper. Yet I own a few days before, “ As I take my shoes there is danger, that applying the language from the shoemaker, and my coat from the of our sacred book to ordinary subjects may tailor, so I take my religion from the priest.” tend to lessen our reverence for it. If there. I regretted this loose way of talking. ‘Johnfore it be introduced at all, it should be with son. “Sir, he knows nothing; he has very great caution.
made up his mind about nothing." On Thursday, April 8, I sat a good part To my great surprise he asked me to of the evening with him, but he was very dine with him on Easter-Day. I never silent. He said, “ Burnets · History of his supposed that he had a dinner at his house: own Times'is very entertaining. The style, for I had not then heard of any one of his indeed, is mere chit-chat. I do not believe friends having been entertained at his table. that Burnet intentionally lied; but he was He told me, " I have generally a meat pie so much prejudiced, that he took no pains on Sunday: it is baked at a public oven, to find out the truth. He was like a man which is very properly allowed, because one who resolves to regulate his time by a cer- man can attend it; and thus the advantage tain watch; but will not inquire whether is obtained of not keeping servants from the watch is right or not.”
church to dress dinners." Though he was not disposed to talk, he April 11, being Easter-Sunday, after hav. was unwilling that I should leave him; and ing attended divine service at St. Paul's, I when I looked at my watch, and told him repaired to Dr. Johnson's. . I had gratified it was twelve o'clock, he cried, “What's my curiosity much in dining with JEAN that to you and me?" and ordered Frank JAQUES ROUSSEAU, while he lived in the to tell Úrs. Williams that we were coming wilds of Neufchatel: I had as great a curito drink tea with her, which we did. it osity to dine with Dr. SAMUEL Johnson, was settled that we should go to church to in the dusky recess of a court in Fleet-street. gether next day.
I supposed we should scarcely have knives On the 9th of April, being Good-Friday, and forks, and only some strange, uncouth, I breakfasted with him on tea and cross- ill-drest dish: but I found every thing in buns: Doclor Levett, as Frank called him, very good order. We had no other commaking the tea. He carried me with him pany but Mrs. Williams and a young woto the church of St. Clement Danes, where man whom I did not know. As a dinner he had his seat; and his behaviour was, as here was considered as a singular phenomeI had imaged to mysell, solemnly devout. I non, and as I was frequently interrogated
on the subject, my readers may perhaps be [Ii prubably was this conversation which desirous to know our bill of fare. Foole, I made Mrs Piozzi think, that he had used these remember, in allusion to Francis, the negro, espressions in his “Life of Addison." See ante, p. 163.-Ep.)
2 Afterwards Charles I.-BOSWELL. VOL. I.