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Life of

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of success to supply whatever had been year; after which there was a cessation 1 hitherto suppressed. I never indeed found some time of any exertion of his talents a hint of any such defalcation, but I regret- an essayist. But, in the same year, I ted it; for though the story is long, every Hawkesworth, who was his warm admiri letter is short.

and a studious imitator of his style, a “I wish you would add an index rerum, then lived in great intimacy with him,! that when the reader recollects any incident, gan a periodical paper, entitled “The A he may easily find it, which al present he VENTURER,” in connexion with other gi cannot do, unless he knows in which volume tlemen, one of whom was Johnson's mu it is told; for Clarissa is not a performance loved friend, Dr. Bathurst; and, with to be read with eagerness, and laid aside for- doubt, they received many valuable hi ever; but will be occasionally consulted by from his conversation, nost of his frier the busy, the aged, and the studious; and having been so assisted in the course therefore I beg that this edition, by which their works. I suppose posterity is to abide, may want [The curiosity of the reader (as nothing that can facilitate its use. I am, to the several writers of the Advensir, yours, &c.

“ S. Johnson."] turer) is, to a small degree, gratifi

ed by the last paper, which assigns [This proposition of an index to Dr. Joseph Warton such as have

rerum to a novel will appear extra- signature Z., and leaves to Dr. Hawk ordinary, but Johnson at this time appears worth himself the praise of such as to have been very anxious to cultivate the without any. To the information th acquaintance of Richardson !, who lived in given, Sir John Hawkins adds, that an atmosphere of flattery, and Johnson papers marked A. which are said to h found it necessary to fall into the fashion come from a source that soon failed, w

of the society.) [Mr. Northcote supplied by Dr. Bathurst, an original a

relates that Johnson introduced ciate in the work, and those distinguis Reynolds, Sir Joshua Reynolds and his sister by the letter T. (the first of which is d:

to Richardson, but hinted to them, 3d March, 1753,] by Johnson, who rec at the same time, that if they wished to see ed two guineas for every number that the latter in good humour, they must ex- wrote; a rate of payment which he patiate on the excellencies of Clarissa 2); before adjusted in his stipulation for

[and Mrs. Piozzi tells us, that when Rambler, and was probably the measure Piozzi,

talking of Richardson, he once said, reward to his fellow-labourers.]

“ You think I love flattery-and so That there should be a suspension of I do; but a little too much always disgusts literary labours during a part of the me: that fellow, Richardson, on the contra- 1752, will not seem strange, when it is i ry, could not be contented to sail quietly sidered that soon after closing his Ram! down the stream of reputation without he suffered a loss which, there can be longing to taste the froth from every stroke doubt, affected him with the deepest of the oar.”]

tress. For on the 17th of March, 0 In 1752 he was almost entirely occupied his wife died. Why Sir John Haw with his Dictionary. The last paper of should unwarrantably take upon him« his Rambler was published March 23, this to suppose that Johnson's fondness for

was dissembled (meaning simulated o [See post, 18th Ap. 1778.—Ep.)

sumed 4), and to assert, that if it was [See Mr. Langton's testimony to the same effect, post, 1780.-Ed.]

so that Mr. Boswell may have copied from 3 Here the authour's memory failed him, for, ac MS. note the date of the 2d of March as tha cording to the account given in a former page which the last Ran.bler was written, thou, (see p. 81), we should here read March 17;, was published next day, viz. the 3d, 0. but, in truth, as has been already observed, the 14th, N. S. ; and as Mrs. Johnson's death w Rambler closed on Saturday the fourteenth of the 17th, 0. S., or 28th, N. S., the Ramble: March ; at which time Mrs. Johnson was near concluded a fortnight before that event ; her end, for she died on the following Tuesday, was concluded because, as Dr. Johnson exp March 17. Had the concluding paper of that says in the last number, “ having support work been written on the day of her death, it for two years, and nsultiplied his essays would have been still more extraordinary than it volumes, he determined to desist.” is, considering the extreme grief into which the therefore a natural death, though it is very authour was plunged by that event. The melan- that the loss of Mrs. Johnson would have sto choly cast of that concluding essay is sufficiently it, had it not been already terminated.- Ep. accounted for by the situation of Mrs. Johnson at 4 [Mr. Boswell is a little unlucky in this the time it was written ; and her death three days cism, as Johnson himself has in his Dicti afterwards put an end to the paper.-MALONE. given to the word “ dissembled" the [Mr. Malone seems also to have fallen into some meaning in which it is here used by Hav errors, from not adverting to the change of style. He adds, however, very justly, that such Johnson, at this period, used the old style ; l of it is erroneous.-Ed.]

P 142


the case," it was a lesson he had learned | as well as from other memorials, two of by rote,” I cannot conceive; unless it pro- which I select, as strongly marking the tencared from a want of similar feelings in derness and sensibility of his mind. his own breast. To argue from her being “ March 28, 1753. I kept this day as much older than Johnson, or any other the anniversary of my Tetty's death, with circumstances, that he could not really love prayer and tears in the morning. In the her, is absurd; for love is not a subject of evening I prayed for her conditionally, if it Teasoning, but of feeling, and therefore were lawful.»; there are no common principles upon which April 23, 1753. I know not whether I one can persuade another concerning it. do not too much indulge the vain longings Every man feels for himself, and knows of affection; but I hope they intenerate my how he is affected by particular qual- heart, and that when I die like my Tetty, ities in the person he admires, the im- this affection will be acknowledged in a hap pressions of which are too minute and deli-py interview, and that in the mean time I cate to be substantiated in language. am incited by it to piety. I will, however,

The following very solemn and affecting not deviate too much from common and reprayer was found alter Dr. Johnson's de-ceived methods of devotion 2." cease, by his servant, Mr. Francis Barber, who delivered it to my worthy friend the served that they consist of a few little memoranReverend Mr. Strahan, vicar of Islington, dum books, and a great number of separate scraps who at my earnest request has obligingly of paper, and bear no marks of having been arfavoured me with a copy of it, which he ranged or intended for publication by Dr. Johnand I compared with the original. I pre- son. Each prayer is on a separate piece of pasent it to the world as an undoubted proof per, generally a sheet (but sometimes a fragment) of a circumstance in the character of my il- of note paper. The memoranda and observalustrious friend, which, though some, tions are generally in little books of a few leaves whose hard minds I never shall envy, may bercafter, but it is even now important that the

sewed together. This subject will be referred to ailack as superstitious, will I am sure endear him more to numbers of good men. Ication was not prepared by Dr. Johnson him

reader should recollect that Mr. Strahan's publibave an additional, and that a personal mo- self, but formed by the reverend gentleman out of tive for presenting it, because it sanctions the loose materials above mentioned.-Ed.] what I myself have always maintained and

? [Miss Seward, with equal truth and taste, am food to indulge:

thus expresses herself concerning these and similar

passages : “ Those pharisaic meditations, with # April 26, 1752, being after 12 at night of the 25th.

their popish prayers for old Tetty's soul; their * O Lord! Governour of heaven and contrite parade about lying in bed on a morning ; earth, in whose hands are embodied and drinking creamed tea on a fast day ; snoring at departed Spirits, if thou hast ordained the sermons ; and having omitted to ponder well Bel Souls of the Dead to minister to the Living, and the Dragon, and Tobit and his Dog.” And and appointed my departed Wife to have in another letter she does not scruple to say that care of me, grant that I may enjoy the good Mr. Boswell confessed to her his idea that Johnetisrts of her attention and ministration, son was “a Roman Catholic in his heart.” Miss whether exercised by appearance, impulses, Seward's credit is by this time so low that it is. dreams, or in any other manner agreeable hardly necessary to observe how improbable it is ttby government. Forgive my presump- that Mr. Boswell could have made any such continn, enlighten my ignorance, and however session. Dr. Johnson thought charitably of the meaner agents are employed, grant me the Roman Catholics, and defended their religion blessed influences of thy holy Spirit

, through which call it impious and idolatrous (post, 26th

from the coarse language of our political tests, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Oct. 1769); but he strenuously disclaimed all What actually followed upon this most

participation in the doctrines of that church (see

post, 3d May, 1773 ; 5th April, 1776 ; 10th interesting piece of devotion by Johnson, Oct.' 1779 ; 10th June, 1784). Lady Knight se are not informed; but I, whom it has the mother of Miss Cornelia Knight, the accompiemod God to afflict in a similar manner to plished author of Marcus Flaminius and other inwat which occasioned it, have certain ex-genious works) made the following communicaperäence of benignant communication by tion to Mr. Hoole, which may be properly quotdreams.

ed on this point : “ Dr. Johnson's political prinThat his love for his wife was of the ciples ran high, both in church and state : he Dret ardent kind, and, during the long pe- wished power to the king and to the heads of the råd of fifty years, was unimpaired by the church, as the laws of England have established ; px of ume, is evident from various pas- but I know he disliked absolute power; and I am eges in the series of his Prayers and Medi- very sure of his disapprobation of the doctrines 132-13 !, published by the Rev. Mr. Strahan, of the church of Rome ; because about three

weeks before we came abroad, he said to my [The originals of this publication are now Cornelia, you are going where the ostentatious de garested in Peinbroke College. It is to be ob-l pomp of church ceremonies attracts the imaginaVOL. 1.



Her wedding-ring, when she became his for sometime with Mrs. Johnson at Hi wife, was, after her death, preserved by him, stead, that she indulged herself in cou as long as he lived, with an affectionate air and nice living, at an unsuitable exp care, in a little round wooden box, in the while her husband was drudging in inside of which he pasted a slip of paper, smoke of London, and that she by no n thus inscribed by him in fair characters, as treated him with that complacency w follows:

is the most engaging quality, in a “ Eheu!

[and when Mrs. Piozzi asked him Eliz. Johnson,

p. 1

if he ever disputed with his wife Nupta Jul. 9o. 1736,

(that lady having heard that he had Mortua, eheu!

loved her passionately), “ Perpetually Mart. 17o. 1752","

he): my wife had a particular reve After his death, Mr. Francis Barber, his for cleanliness, and desired the prais faithful servant, and residuary legatee, offer- neatness in her dress and furniture, as i ed this memorial of tenderness to Mrs. Lucy their best friends, slaves to their ow

ladies do, till they become troublesor Porter, Mrs. Johnson's daughter; but she having declined to accept of it, he had it soms, and only sigh for the hour of sy enamelled as a mourning ring for his old ing their husbands out of the house a master, and presented it to his wife, Mrs. and useless lumber: a clean floor is so Barber, who now has it.

fortable, she would say sometimes, by The state of mind in which a man must of twitting; till at last I told her, i be upon the death of a woman whom he thought we had had talk enough sincerely loves, had been in his contem- the floor, we would now have a tour

On another occasion plation many years before. In his IRENE,

the ceiling." we find the following fervent and tender Piozzi heard him blame her for a faul speech of Demetrius, addressed to his As- ny people have, of setting the miseri pasia:

their neighbours half unintentionally

wantonly, before their eyes, showing “ From those bright regions of eternal day, the bad side of their profession, situs Where now thou shin’st amongst thy fellow saints, &c. He said, “she would lament th Array'd in purer light, look down on me!

pendence of pupilage to a young hein In pleasing visions and assuasive dreams,

and once told a waterman who rowe 0! sootho my soul, and teach me how to lose thee.” along the Thames in a wherry, that h

I have, indeed, been told by Mrs. Des no happier than a galley-slave, one moulins, who, before her marriage, lived chained to the oar by authority, the

by want. I had, however (said he, 1 tion; but if they want to persuade you to change, ing), the wit to get her daughter of you must remember, that by increasing your faith, side always before we began the disput you may be persuaded to become Turk. If these were not the words, I have kept up to the his fondness for her, especially whe!

But all this is perfectly compatible express meaning." Mrs.

Piozzi also says, remembered that he had a high opini “ though beloved by all his Roman Catholic acquaintance, yet was Mr. Johnson a most unshaken her understanding, and that the impre church-of-England man; and I think, or at which her beauty, real or imaginary least I once did think, that a letter written by him originally made upon his fancy, being to Mr. Barnard, the king's librarian, when he tinued by habit, had not been effaced, th was in Italy collecting books, contained some she herself was doubtless much alter very particular advice to his friend to be on his the worse. [Garrick told Mr. guard against the seductions of the church of Thrale, however, that she was a Rome." And, finally—which may perhaps he little painted puppet, of no value thought more likely to express his real sentiments at all, and quite disguised with affect than even a more formal assertion—when it was full of odd airs of rural elegance; a proposed (see post, 30th April, 1773), that mon- made out some comical scenes, by m uments of eminent men should in future be erecting her in a dialogue he pretended to ed in St. Paul's, and when some one in conver- overheard. Dr. Johnson told Mrs. sation suggested to begin with Pope, Johnson that her hair was eminently beautiful observed, "Why, sir, as Pope was a Roman Blonde like that of a baby ; but th Catholic, I would not have his to be first.”—Ed.) fretted about the colour, and was a

[' It seems as if Dr. Johnson had been a little desirous to dye it black, which h ashamed of the disproportion between his age and that of his wife, for neither in this inscription nor

judiciously hindered her from doin that over her grave, written thirty years later, picture found of her at Lichfield wa does he mention her age, which was at her death sixty-three.--Ed.)

3 [This must have referred to some [Offended perhaps, and not unreasonably, stances of early life, for it does not appe that she was not mentioned in Johnson's will. - Miss Porter ever resided with Dr. and Mrs Ed.)

son after they left Edial in 1787.-Ed.]


P. 310

pretty, and her daughter, Mrs. Lucy Por- | a fortnight after the dismal event. These wer, said it was like. The intelligence sufferings were aggravated by the melanMrs. Piozzi gained of her from Mr. Levett choly inherent in his constitution; and alwas only perpetual illness and perpetual though he probably was not oftener in the opium.)

wrong than she was, in the little disagree The dreadful shock of separation took ments which sometimes troubled his married place in the night; and Dr. Johnson imme- state, during which, he owned to me, that diately despatched a letter to his friend, the the gloomy irritability of his existence was Rev. Ds. Taylor, which, as Taylor told more painful to him than ever, he might Re, espressed grief in the strongest manner very naturally, after her death, be tenderly be had ever read; so that it is much to be disposed to charge himself with slight omisregretted it has not been preserved. The sions and offences, the sense of which would better was brought to Dr. Taylor, at his give him much uneasiness 4. Accordingly house in the Cloysters, Westminster, about we find, about a year after her decease, that three in the morning; and as it signified an he thus addressed the Supreme Being: earnest desire to see him, he got up, and “O Lord, who givest the grace of repentwent to Johnson as soon as he was dressed, ance, and hearest the prayers of the peniand found him in tears and in extreme agi- tent, grant that by true contrition I may tation. After being a little while together, obtain forgiveness of all the sins committed, Johnson requested him to join with him in and of all duties neglected, in my union prayer. He then prayed extempore, as did with the wife whom thou hast taken from Dr. Taylor; and thus by means of that pie- me; for the neglect of joint devotion, patient ty which was ever his primary object, his exhortation, and mild instruction.” troubled mind was, in some degree, soothed The kindness of his heart, notwithstandand composed.

ing the impetuosity of his temper, is well The next day he wrote as follows: known to his friends; and I cannot trace

the smallest foundation for the following "" TO THE REV. DR. TAYLOR. dark and uncharitable assertion by Sir John * Dzar $IR,_Let me have your com- Hawkins: “ The apparition of his

Hawk. peny and instruction. Do not live away departed wife was altogether of the from me. My distress is great.

terrifick kind, and hardly afforded ** Pray desire Mrs. Taylor to inform me him a hope that she was in a state of hap what mourning I should buy for my mother piness.” That he, in conformity with the and Miss Porter, and bring a note in writ- opinion of many of the most able, learned, ing with you.

and pious Christians in all ages, supposed “Remember me in your prayers, for vain that there was a middle state 5 after death, in the help of man. I am, dear sir, &c. previous to the time at which departed souls

“ Sam. Johnson. *Kucha 13, 1752."

Rev. Mr. Jackson's school, at Barton, in York

shire. The colonel by his will left him his free That his sufferings upon the death of his dom, and Dr. Bathurst was willing that he should

enter into Johnson's service, in which he continwife were severe, beyond what are com- ued from 1752 till Johnson's death, with the exmonly endured, I have no doubt, from the ception of two intervals ; in one of which, apon information of many who were then about some difference with his master, he went and him, to none of whom I give more credit served an apothecary in Cheapside, but still visitthan to Mr. Francis Barber, his faithful ne- ed Dr. Johnson occasionally ; in another, he To servant", who came into his family about took a fancy to go to sea. Part of the time, in

deed, he was, by the kindness of his master, at a (Levett did not know Mrs. Johnson till the school in Northamptonshire, that he might have yra 1746, when she was fiftyseven or eight years the advantage of some learning. So early and s, and in very ill health. -Ed.]

50 lasting a connexion was there between Dr. * In the Gentleman's Magazine for Februa- Johnson and this humble friend.—BOSWELL. 7, 1794 (p. 100), was printed a letter pretend- * See his beautiful and affecting Rambler, No.

to be that written by Johnson on the death 54.—MALONE.

bo wie Bat it is merely a transcript of the • It does not appear that Johnson was fully Als aumber of “ The Idler," on the death of a persuaded that there was a middle state : his fond A śctitions date, March 17, 1751, 0. 8. prayers being only conditional, i. e. if such a mus uided by some person, previously to this pastate existed.-MALONE. [This is not an exact pe's being sent to the publisher of that miscella- view of the matter ; the condition was that it ST, give a colour to this deception.-MALONE. should be lawful to him so to intercede ; and The date is 1762—the year of Mrs. Johnson's in all his prayers of this nature he scrupulously in

troduces the humble limitation of “ as far as it is * Froris Barber was born in Jamaioa, and lawful,” or “ as far as may be permitted, I

trought to England in 1750 by colonel Ba- recommend,” &c. ; but it is also to be observed as, father of Johnson's very intimate friend, that he sometimes prays that “the Almighty may Dr. Batters. He was sent, for some time, to the I have had mercy" on the departed, as if he béo

are finally received to eternal felicity, ap- | French and Italian languages, and had made pears, I think, unquestionably from his de- great improvements in literature, which, votions:

together with the exercise of her needle, at “ And, O Lord, so far as it may be law- which she was very dexterous, as well after ful in me, I commend to thy fatherly good- the loss of her sight as before, contributed ness the soul of my departed wife; beseech- to support her under her affliction, till a ing thee to grant her whatever is best in time when it was thought by her friends, her present state, and finally to receive her that relief might be obtained from the hand to eternal happiness."

of an operating surgeon. At the request of But this state has not been looked upon Dr. Johnson, Sir J. Hawkins went with with horrour, but only as less gracious. her to a friend of his, Mr. Samuel Sharp,

He deposited tho remains of Mrs. John- senior surgeon of Guy's hospital, who beson in the church of Bromley in Kent), to fore had given him to understand that he which he was probably led by the residence would couch her gratis if the cataract was of his friend Hawkesworth at that place. ripe, but upon making the experiment it The funeral sermon which he composed for was found otherwise, and that the crystalher, which was never preached, but, having line humour was not sufficiently inspissated been given to Dr. Taylor, has been publish- for the needle to take effect. She had been ed since his death, is a performance of un- almost a constant companion of Mrs. Johncommon excellence, and full of rational and son for some time before her decease, but pious comfort to such as are depressed by had never resided in the house; afterwards, that severe affliction which Johnson felt for the convenience of performing the inwhen he wrote it. When it is considered tended operation, Johnson took her home, that it was written in such an agitation of and, upon the failure of that, kept her as mind, and in the short interval between her the partner of his dwelling till he removed death and burial, it cannot be read without into chambers. Afterward, in 1766, upon wonder.

his taking a house in Johnson's-court, in Though Johnson's circumstances were Fleet-street, he invited her thither, and in at this time far from being easy, his humane that, and his last house, in Bolt-court, she and charitable disposition was constantly successively dwelt for the remainder of her exerting itself. Mrs. Anna Williams, daugh- life 2. ter of a very ingenious Welsh physician, and a woman of more than ordinary talents 2 Lady Knight, in a paper already referred to and literature, having come to London in (ante, p. 97), gives the following account of hopes of being cured of a cataract in both Mrs. Williams : "She was a person extremely her eyes, which afterwards ended in total interesting. She had an uncommon firmness of blindness, was kindly received as a constant mind, a boundless curiosity, retentive memory, visitor at his house while Mrs. Johnson liv- and strong judgment. She had various powers ed, and after her death, having come under fortune she seemed to forget, when she had the

of pleasing. Her personal afflictions and slender his roof in order to have an operation upon power of doing an act of kindness : she was soher eyes performed with more comfort to her cial, cheerful, and active, in a state of body that than in lodgings, she had an apartment from

was truly deplorable. Her regard to Dr. Johnson him during the rest of her life, at all times

was formed with such strength of judgment and when he had a house.

firm esteem, that her voice never hesitated when [Before the calamity of total de- she repeated his maxims, or recited his good Hawk. privation of sight hefel her, she, deeds ; though upon many other occasions her

with the assistance of her father, want of sight had led her to make so much nse had acquired a knowledge of the of her ear, as to affect her speech.

Mrs. Williams was blind before she was aclieved the sentence to have been already pro- quainted with Dr. Johnson. She had many renounced.-ED.)

sources, though none very great. With the Miss "A few months before his death, Johnson hon- Wilkinsons she generally passed a part of the oured her memory by the following epitaph, year, and received from them presents, and from which was inscribed on her tombstone, in the the first who died, a legacy of clothes and money. church of Bromley :

The last of them, Mrs. Jane, left her an annual Hic conduntur reliquiæ

rent ; but from the blundering manner of the will, ELIZABETHÆ

I fear she never reaped the benefit of it. The Antiqua Jarvisiorum gente,

lady left money to erect an hospital for ancient Peatlingæ, apud Leicestrienses, ortæ ; maids : but the number she had allotted being Formosa, cultæ, ingeniosæ, piæ ;

too great for the donation, the doctor (Johnson) Uxoris, primis nuptiis, Henrici PORTER, said, it would be better to expunge the word

Secundis, SAMUELIS Johnson : maintain, and put in to starve such a number of Qui multum amatam, diuque defletam old maids. They asked him, what name should Hoc lapide contexit.

be given it ? he replied, “Let it be called JexObiit Londini, Mense Mart.

NY'S WHIM.' (The name of a well-knowo tarA. D. MDCCLII.-MALONE. ern near Chelsea, in former days.)

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