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were in mourning, and was afraid your denced by the following prayer, which he letter had brought me ill news of my mo- composed and offered up on the occasion: ther, whose death is one of the few calami- “ Almighty God, the giver of all good tes on which I think with terrour. I long things, without whose help all labour is to know how she does, and how you all do. ineffectual, and without whose grace all Four poor mamma is come home, but very wisdom is folly: grant, I beseech Thee, weak; yet I hope she will grow better, that in this undertaking thy Holy Spirit else she shall go into the country. She is may not be withheld from me, but that I Dow up stairs, and knows not of my writing. may promote thy glory, and the salvation of I am, dear miss, your most humble ser- myself and others: grant this, O Lord, vani. “Sam. Johnson.”'] for the sake of thy Son, Jesus Christ.
Amen 2.” In 1750 he came forth in the character The first paper of the Rambler was pubfor which he was eminently qualified, a lished on Tuesday the 20th of March, majestick teacher of moral and religious 1749-50: and its authour was enabled to conwiadam. The vehicle which he chose was tinue it without interruption, every Tuesthat of a periodical paper, which he knew day and Saturday, till Saturday the 17th hat bren, upon former occasions, employ- of March 3, 1752, on which day it closed. ed with great success. The Tatler, Spec- This is a strong confirmation of the truth talor, and Guardian, were the last of the of a remark of his, which I have kind published in England, which had stood had occasion to quote elsewhere, the list of a long trial; and such an inter- that "a man may write at any val had now elapsed since their publication, time, if he will set himself doggedly to it;" as made him justly think that, to many of for, notwithstanding his constitutional inhis readers, this form of instruction would, dolence, his depression of spirits, and his in me degree, have the advantage of labour in carrying on his Dictionary, he anarvelty. A few days before the first of his swered the stated calls of the press twice a Essays came out, there started another week from the stores of his mind, during competitor for fame in the same form, un- all that time; having received no assistance der the title of “ The Tatler Revived,” except four billets in No. 10, by Miss Mulwhich I believe was “born but to die." so, now Mrs. Chapone; No. 30, by Mrs. Johnson was, I think, not very happy in Catherine Talbot; No. 97, by Mr. Samuel the choice of his title,“ The Rambler;" Richardson, whom he describes in an inwinch certainly is not suited to a series of troductory note as “ An authour who has grave and moral discourses; which the Ital- enlarged the knowledge of human nature, ians have literally, but ludicrously, trans- and taught the passions to move at the lated by N Vagabondo, and which has command of virtue 4; and Numbers 44 and teen lately assumed as the denomination of
2 In the Pemb. MS. the last sentence runsa vehicle of licentious tales, “The Ram
“the salvation both of myself and others : grant bler's Magazine.” He gave Sir Joshua Kerns the following account of its get- HALL.
this, O Lord, for the sake of Jesus Christ.”. ting this name: “ What must be done, sir,
3 This is a mistake, into which the authour will be done. When I was to begin pub
was very pardonably led by the inaccuracy of the lishing thal paper, I was at a loss how to original folio edition of the Rambler, in which the raze it. I sat down at night upon my concluding paper of that work is (obviously by belside, and resolved that I would not go an error of the press] dated on “ Saturday, March în skep till I had fixed its title. The Ram- 17." But Saturday was in fact the fourteenth bler seemed the best that occurred, and I of March. This circumstance, though it may at took it !."
first appear of very little importance, is yet worth With what devout and conscientious sen- notice ; for Mrs. Johnson died on the seventeenth tinents this paper was undertaken, is evi- of March.—MALONE.
* (Lady Bradshaigh, one of Mr. Richardson's I bave heard Dr. Warton mention, that he female sycophants, thus addresses him on the sub3 at Mr. Robert Dodsley's with the late Mr. ject of this letter : “A few days ago I was pleasMoore, and several of his friends, considering ed with the Rambler, No. 97. She happened
ed with hearing a very sensible lady greatly pleas** eiwald be the name of the periodical paper to be in town when it was published ; and I askwhicb Moore had undertaken. Garrick proposed Ine Salad, which, by a curious coincidence, was
ed if she knew who was the author? She said, BTxards applied to bimself by Goldsmith
it was supposed to be one who was concerned in
the Spectators, it being much better written than Our Garrick's a salad, for in him we see any of the Ranıblers. I wanted to say who was ou, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree!”
really the author, but durst not, without your perAl fa-a, the company having separated, without mission.” Rich. Cor. vol. vi. p. 108.' It was any thing of which they approved having been probably on some such authority that Mr. Payne
ad, Dodsley himself thought of The World. told Mr. Chalmers (Brit. Ess. vol. xix. p. 14), - BOSWELL.
that No. 97 was “the only paper which had a 11
Piozzi, 10, by Mrs. Elizabeth Carter; | a periodical writer; for I have in my pos
[which latter, signed Chariessa, sion a small duodecimo volume, in w had much of his esteem, though he blamed he has written, in the form of Mr. Loc Mrs. Piozzi for preferring it to the allego- | Common-Place Book, a variety of hinu ry (No. 45), where Religion and Supersti- essays on different subjects. He has m tion are indeed most masterly delineated.] ed upon the first blank leaf of it, “To
Posterity will be astonished when they 128th page, collections for the RAMBLI are told, upon the authority of Johnson and in another place, “in fifty-two t himself, that many of these discourses, were seventeen provided; in 97—21; in which we should suppose had been labour- 1 —25.” At a subsequent period (prob ed with all the slow attention of literary lei- after the work was finished) he added, sure, were written in haste as the moment all, taken of provided materials, 304." pressed, without even being read over by Sir John Hawkins, who is unhim before they were printed. [The fine lucky) upon all occasions, tells us,
Rambler on Procrastination was that “this method of accumulating, Piozzi,
hastily composed in Sir Joshua intelligence has been practised by Mr.
Reynolds's parlour 2 while the boy dison, and is humorously described in waited to carry it to the press, and number of the Spectators, wherein he feign less are the instances of his writing under have dropped his paper of notanda, con the immediate pressure of importunity or ing of a diverting medley of broken ser distress.] It can be accounted for only in ces and loose hints, which he tells u this way; that by reading and meditation, had collected, and meant to make use and a very close inspection of life, he had Much of the same kind is Johnson's Al accumulated a great sund of miscellaneous saria.” But the truth is, that there knowledge, which, by a peculiar prompti- resemblance at all between them. Addi tude of mind, was ever ready at his call, note was a fiction, in which unconnd and which he had constantly accustomed fragments of his lucubrations were pur himself to clothe in the most apt and ener- ly jumbled together, in as odd a mann getick expressions. Sir Joshua Reynolds he could, in order to produce a laug once asked him by what means he had at- effect. Whereas Johnson's abbrevia tained his extraordinary accuracy and flow are all distinct, and applicable to each of language. He told him, that he had ject of which the head is mentioned. early laid it down as a fixed rule to do his For instance, there is the following s best on every occasion, and in every company: to impart whatever he knew in the most forcible language he could put it in.
“ Youth's Entry, &c. and that by constant practice, and never “ Baxter's account of things in whid suffering any careless expressions to escape had changed his mind as he grew up. him, or attempting to deliver his thoughts luminous.—No wonder.-Ifevery mar without arranging them in the clearest to tell, or mark, on how many subjec manner, it became habitual to him 3.
has changed, it would make vols, but Yet he was not altogether unprepared as changes not always observed by a
self.–From pleasure to bus. [business prosperous sale, and was popular.” The flatte- quiet; from thoughtfulness to reflec ries which Richardson's coterie lavished on him piety; from dissipation to domestic. by and all bis works were quite extravagant : the pa- perfect gradat. but the change is cei per is rather a poor one.-Ed.]
Dial non progredi, progress. esse con [I suppose No. 134 is meant.—D'ISRAELI.) imus. Look back, consider what : Mrs. Piozzi's date of the paper on Procras- thought at some dist. period. tination must be a mistake, as Johnson did not
Hope predom. in youth. Mina know Sir J. Reynolds so early.
See post. P. 103, and vol ii. p. 65 .-Ep.)
4 [This, no doubt, means, that of the fir 3 The rule which Dr. Johnson observed is sanc- Ramblers, 17 had been prepared, and so on tioned by the authority of two great writers of an at the conpletion of the whole 208 number tiquity : “ Ne id quidem tacendum est, quod ei- found that only 30 had been formed of mat dem Ciceroni placet, nullum nostrum usquam neg- previously provided.—Ed.] ligentem esse sermonem : quicquid loqucmur, [In this instance Mr. Boswell is more ubicunque, sit pro sua scilicet portione perfec-lucky than Hawkins, whose account is b tum.” Quinctil. x. 7.—MALONE. [It has means incorrect. He knew very well, and heen stated by Mr. Chalmers, in his edition of the tinctly states, that Addison's published Notd British Essayists, that Johnson most elaborately were a mere pleasantry, consisting of to revised and extensively corrected the Ramblers drolly selected and arranged ; but he infers when he collected them into volumes ; but this tionally enough, that Addison had taken the does not disprove Mr. Boswell's account of the from his own real practice of collecting nota ceierity and ease with which they were original- and he is quite justified in adding “ much o ly written.--Ed.)
same kind are Johnson's Adversaria.-ED.
Billingly indulges unpleasing thoughts. I cord—the laurel of discord—the poverty The world lies all enamelled before him, as of criticism. Swift's opinion of the power
disant prospect sun-gilt l; inequalities on- of six geniuses united. That union scarce ly found by coming to it. Love is to be all possible. His remarks just;-man a social, joy_children excellent-Fame to be con- not steady nature. Ďrawn to man by stant-caresses of the great-applauses of words, repelled by passions. Orb drawn the learned-smiles of Beauty.
by attraction, rep. [repelled] by centri** Fear of disgrace-Bashfulness-Finds fugal. things of less importance. Miscarriages for- « Common danger unites by crushing give like excellencies;--if remembered, of no other passions-but they return. Equality iraport. Danger of sinking into negligence hinders compliance. Superiority produces of reputation;-lest the fear of disgrace de- insolence and envy. Too much regard in stry activity.
each to private interest;—too little. ** Confidence in himself. Long tract of “ The mischiefs of private and exclusive Gile before him—No thought of sickness- societies.—The fitness of social attraction Embarrassment of affairs.--Distraction of diffused through the whole. The mischiefs famly. Publick calamities.- No sense of of too partial love of our country. Contracthe prevalence of bad habits. Negligent of tion of moral duties.— 'ol qiros, 8 dinos. time-ready to undertake—careless to pur- “Every man moves upon his own censue-all changed by time.
tre, and therefore repels others from too - Confident of others-unsuspecting as near a contact, though he may comply with unesperienced-imagining himself secure some general laws. ayainst neglect, never imagines they will "Of contederacy with superiors every tenture to treat him ill. Ready to trust; one knows the inconvenience. With equals, especting to be trusted. Convinced by time no authority;-every man his own opinion of the selfishness, the meanness, the cow--his own interest. andier, the treachery of men.
“ Man and wife hardly united;——scarce * Youth ambitious, as thinking honours ever without children. Computation, if two easy to be had.
to one against two, how many against five? ** Different kinds of praise pursued at If confederacies were easy-useless; -many difierent periods. Of the gay in youth,– oppresses many.-If possible only to some, dang. hurt, &c. despised.
dangerous. Principum amicitias.” “Of the fancy in manhood. Ambit.stehs-bargains.—Of the wise and sober Here we see the embryo of Number 45 in oli age-seriousness-formality-max- of the Adventurer; and it is a confirmation imą, but general-only of the rich, other- of what I shall presently have occasion to wise age is happy-but at last everything mention, that the papers in that collection referred to riches-no having fame, honour, marked T. were written by Johnson. intluence, without subjection to caprice. This scanty preparation of materials will ** Horace.
not, however, much diminish our wonder * Hard it would be if men entered life at the extraordinary fertility of his mind; with the same views with which they for the proportion which they bear to the leave it, or left as they enter it—No hope number of essays which he wrote is very mm undertaking—no regard to benevolence- small; and it is remarkable, that those for ao fear of disgrace, &c.
which he had made no preparation are as - Youth to be taught the piety of age-rich and as highly finished, as those for age to retain the honour of youth.” which the hints were lying by him. It is
also to be observed, that the papers formed This, it will be observed, is the sketch of from his hints are worked up with such Xumber 196 of the Rambler. I shall grati- strength and elegance, that we almost lose fy my readers with another specimen: sight of the hints, which become like " drops
in the bucket.” Indeed, in several instan* Confederacies difficult; why. ces, he has made a very slender use of them, “ Seldon in war a match for single per- so that many of them remain still unapsons-no in peace; therefore kings make plied 3. themselves absolute. Confederacies in learnmg-every great work the work of one.
3 Sir John Hawkins has selected from this litBruy. Scholars’ friendship like ladies. tle collection of materials, what he calls the Scribebamus, &c. Mart. The apple of dis- But he has not been able to read the manuscript
“Rudiments of two of the papers of the Rambler."
distinctly. Thus he writes, p. 266, “Sailor's 1 This most beautiful image of the enchanting fate any mansion ;” whereas the original is delamon of youthful prospect has not been used “Sailor's life my aversion.” He has also tranany of Johnson's essaya.
scribed the unappropriated hints on Writers for Lib. xii. 96. “ In Tuccam æmulum omnium bread, in which he deciphers these notable pasarm stadiorom.”-MALONE.
sages, one in Latin, fatui non famæ, instead of
As the Rambler was entirely the work of of your letter of the 9th inst, at Gloucester, one man, there was, of course, such a uni- and did intend to answer it from that city, formity in its texture, as very much to ex- though I had but one sound hand (the cold clude the charm of variety; and the grave and rain on my journey having given me the and often solemn cast of thinking, which gout); but, as soon as I could write I went to distinguished it from other periodical papers, Westminster!, the seat of Mr. Cambridge, made it, for some time, not generally liked. who entertained the Prince 3 there, and, So slowly did this excellent work, of which in his boat, on the Severn. He kept me twelve editions have now issued from the one night, and took me down part of his press, gain upon the world at large, that river to the Severn, where I sailed in one of even in the closing number the authour his boats, and took a view of another of a says, “I have never been much a favourite peculiar make, having two keels, or being of the publick.
rather two long canoes, connected by a floor Yet, very soon after its commencement, or stage. I was then towed back again there were who felt and acknowledged its to sup and repose. Next morning he exuncommon excellence. Verses in its praise plained to me the contrivance of some appeared in the newspapers; and the editor waterfalls, which seem to come from a piece of the Gentleman's Magazine mentions, in of water which is four feet lower. The October, his having received several letters three following days I spent in returning to to_the same purpose from the learned. lown, and could not find time to write in “ The Student, or Oxford and Cambridge an inn. Miscellany,” in which Mr. Bonnel Thorn- “ I need not tell you that the Prince apton and Mr. Colman were the principal writ- peared highly pleased with every thing that ers, describes it as "a work that exceeds any Mr. Canıbridge showed, though he called thing of the kind ever published in this king- him upon deck often to be seen by the doin, some of the Spectators excepted,—if people on the shore, who came in prodiindeed they may be excepted.” And aster- gious crowds, and thronged from place to wards, “ May the publick favours crown his place, to have a view as often as they could, merits, and may not the English, under the not satisfied with one; so that many who auspicious reign of George the Second, came between the towing line and the bank of neglect a man, who, had he lived in the first the river were thrown into it, and his royal century, would have been one of the great- highness could scarce forbear laughing; but est favourites of Augustus.” This flattery sedately said to them, “I am sorry for your of the monarch had no effect. It is too well condition.' known, that the second George never was “Excuse this ramble from the
of an Augustus to learning or genius.
your letter. I return to answer, that Mr. (Richardson, the authour of Cla- Johnson is the Great Rambler, being, as
rissa, to whom Cave had sent the you observe, the only man who can furnish five first numbers of the Rambler, became, two such papers in a week, besides his other as they proceeded, “ so inexpressibly pleas- great business, and lias not been assisted ed with them,” that he wrote to Cave in with above three. strong commendation, and intimated his "I
may discover to you, that the world conviction (the name of the authour being is not so kind to itself as you wish it. The still a secret) that Johnson was the only encouragement, as to sale, is not in proporman who could write them. Cave's answer tion to the high character given to the work seems worth inserting, as giving a higher by the judicious, not to say the raptures exidea of his own station in society than has pressed by the few that do read it; but its been hitherto entertained, as well as more being thus relished in numbers gives hope clearly explaining some points of Dr. John- that the sets must go off, as it is a fine pason's life.
per, and, considering the late hour of hav-
copy, tolerably printed.
“ St. John's Gate, August 28, 1750 vate (which was the first scheme), two "DEAR SIR,-| received the pleasure gentlemen, belonging to the Prince's court, fami non famæ ; Johnson having in his mind [So in the work quoted, but it is a mistake what Thuanus says of the learned German anti- for Whitminster in Gloucestershire, the seat then, quary and linguist, Xylander, who, he tells us, as now, of the family of Cambridge.- Ep.) lived in such poverty, that he was supposed fami ? [Richard Owen Cambridge, author of the non famæ scribere; and another in French, De- Scribbleriad, and a considerable contributor to gente de fate et affamé d'argent, instead of the World. He was born in 1714, and died in Degouté de fame (an old word for renommé) 1802 at his seat opposite Richmond.-E..] et affamé d'argent. The manuscript, being 3 [In July and August of this year the Prince written in an exceedingly small hand, is indeed and Princess of Wales, and their eldest daughter very hard to read ; but it would have been better (the late Duchess of Brunswick), made a tour to have left blanks than to write nonsense.- through Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, and BosWELL.
Rich. Cor. vol. 1.
came to me to inquire his name, in order to so near, its effect is most sensible and permado him service; and also brought a list of nent. seven gentlemen to be served with the Mr. James Elphinston 4, who has since Rambler. As I was not at liberty, an infer- published various works, and who was ever ence was drawn, that I was desirous to esteemed by Johnson as a worthy man, hapkrep to myself so excellent a writer. Soon pened to be in Scotland while the Rambler atter, Mr. Doddington sent a letter direct was coming out in single papers at London. el to the Rambler, inviting him to his With a laudable zeal at once for the improvehuse, when he should be disposed to en- ment of his countrymen, and the reputation large his acquaintance. In a subsequent of his friend, he suggested and took the number? a kind of excuse was made, with charge of an edition of those Essays at a hint that a good writer inight not appear Edinburgh, which followed progressively to advantage in conversation. Since that the London publication . time several circumstances, and Mr. Garrick The following letter written at this time, and others, who knew the authour's powers though not dated, will show how much and style from the first, unadviseilly as- pleased Johnson was with this publication, Berted their (hut) suspicions, overturned and what kindness and regard he had for the scheme of secrecy.
(About which Mr. Elphinston. there is also one paper 2.)
"I have had letters of approbation from "TO MR. JAMES ELPHINSTON. Dr. Foung, Dr. Hartley, Dr. Sharpe, Miss
(No date.) Carter, &c. &c. most of them, like you, “Dear Sir,-I cannot but confess the setting them in a rank equal, and some failures of my correspondence, but hope superiour, to the Spectators (of which I have got read many, for the reasons 3 which
4 [Mr. James Elphinston was born in Edinyou assign): but, notwithstanding such re- burgh, in 1721. Ile, when very young, was a commendation, whether the price of two- private tutor in two or three eminent families : pense, or the unfavourable season of their but about 1752 set up a boarding-school at Kenfirst publication, hinders the demand, no sington, where, as we shall see, Dr. Johnson bevast can be made of it.
sometimes visited him. lle died in 1809. His * The authour (who thinks highly of works are forgotten or remembered for their abyour writings) is obliged to you for contri- surdity. He translated Martial, of which Dr. buting your endeavours; and so is, for sev- Beattie says, “ It is truly an unique—the specieral marks of your friendship, good sir, mens formerly published did very well to laugh your admirer, and very humble servant, at ; but a whole quarto of nonsense and gibberish
is too much. It is strange that a man not whol
ly illiterate should have lived so long in England Johnson told me, with an amiable fond- without learning the language.” — Biog. Dic. nese, a little pleasing circumstance relative Mrs. Piozzi relates, that “ of a modern Martial,
And it was, no doubt, of this strange work that to this work. 'Mrs. Johnson, in whose judge when it came out, Dr. Johnson said there are in rent and taste he had great confidence, said these verses too much folly for madness, I think, to him, after a few numbers of the Rambler and too much madness for folly.”—Piozzi, p. tatrone crat, “ I thought very well of you 47.—Ep.] botire; but I did not imagine you could have 5 It was executed in the printing-office of anitles any thing equal to this.” Distant Sands, Murray, and Cochran, with uncommon part from whatever quarter, is not so de- elegance, upon writing paper, of a duodecimo hafri as that of a wife whom a man loves size, and with the greatest correctness : and Mr. 231 rtechs. Her approbation may be said Elphinston enriched it with translations of the motto ** cutive home to his bosom;" and being tos. When completed, it made eight handsome
volumes. It is, unquestionably, the most accurate ? (George Bubb Doddington, afterwards Lord and beautiful edition of this work; and there beMomenbe, whose fame as a statesman and a wit ing but a small impression, it is now become besed oterured, if not obliterated, by the pub- scarce, and sells at a very high price.-Boswell. Latimo os ha Diary.—ED.)
With respect to the correctness of this edition, (The two Ramblers referred to are probably my father probably derived his information from Hos 14 and 13.- Ed.]
some other person, and appears to have been mis:(Pichardson had said, “ I remember not any informed ; for it was not accurately printed, as ttere in these Spectators that I read, for I nev
we learn from Mr. A. Chalmers.-5. Bos WELL. e found tune to read them all, that half so [Mr. Chalmers a little misrepresents, and Mr. Barbruck me.” It seems very strange that James Boswell wholly mistook the fact. Elmen of inerary habits, like Richardson and Cave, phinston's edition was correctly printed after the
Mr. evad have read the Spectator so imperfectly. original folio numbers as they came out. l: the stranger, with regard to Richardson, for Chalmers denies its accuracy, because it has not be only paper m the Rambler (No. 97) is writ- the various corrections subsequently made by les in the character of a professed admirer of the Johnson when he republished the Rambler in Spetsto.-ED.)