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ed, for the first time, from the original, | other book, than you construe to Mr. Bright. by the editor of the Manchester Her- The more books you look into for your entertainald.'”—Gentleman's Magazine.
ment, with the greater variety of style you will
make yourself acquainted. Turner I do not know; “Lichfield, 30th Oct. 1731. but think that if Clark be better, you should change “Sir,-1 have so long neglected to it, for I shall never be willing that you should Mag. v. return you thanks for the favours and as- trouble yourself with more than one book to
sistance I received from you at Stour-learn the government of words. What book
bridge, that I am afraid you have now that one shall be, Mr. Bright must determine. Be done expecting it. I can indeed make no apology, but diligent in reading and writing, and doubt but by assuring you, that this delay, whatever not of the success. Be pleased to make my comwas the cause of it, proceeded neither from for- pliments to Miss Page and the gentlemen. 'I am, getsulness, disrespect, nor ingratitude. Time bas dear sir, yours affectionately, not made the sense of obligation less warm, nor
** Sam. Johnson." the thanks I return less sincere. But while I am acknowledging one favour, I must beg another- that
" TO THE SAME. you would excuse the composition of the verses you
" 26th March, 1763. desired. Be pleased to consider that versifying “ DEAR SIR,-You did not very soon answer against one's inclination is the most disagreeable my letter, and therefore cannot complain that I thing in the world ; and that one's own disap- make no great haste to answer yours. I am well pointment is no inviting subject ; and that though enough satisfied with the proficiency that you the desire of gratifying you might have prevailed make, and hope that you will not relax the vigour over my dislike of it, yet it proves upon reflec- of your diligence. I hope you begin now to see tion so barren, that to attempt to write upon it, is that all is possible which was professed. Learnto undertake to build without materials.
ing is a wide field, but six years spent in close “ As I am yet unemployed, I hope you will, if application are a long time; and I am still of any thing should offer, remember and recommend, opinion, that if you continue to consider knowledge sir, your humble servant,
as the most pleasing and desirable of all acquisi“Sam. Johnson." tions, and do not suffer your course to be inter
rupted, you may take your degree not only with“ TO MR. ELPHINSTON!.
out deficiency, but with great distinction.
* 20th April, 1749. " You must still continue to write Latin. This is MS.
“Sir,--I have for a long time intended the most difficult part, indeed the only part that is
to answer the letter which you were pleased very difficult of your undertaking. If you can to send me, and know not why I have delayed it exemplify the rules of syntax, I know not whether so long, but that I had nothing particular either it will be worth while to trouble yourself with of inquiry or information to send you ; and the any more translations. You will more increase same reason might still have the same consequence, your number of words, and advance your skill but I find in my recluse kind of life, that I am not in phraseology, by making a short theme or likely to have much more to say at one time than two every day; and when you have construed at another, and that therefore I may endanger by properly a stated number of verses, it will be an appearance of neglect long continued, the loss pleasing to go from reading to composition, and of such an acquaintance as I know not where to from composition to reading. But do not be very supply. I therefore write now to assure you how particular about method; any method will do if sensible I am of the kindness you have always there be but diligence. Let me know, if you expressed to me, and how much I desire the cul- please, once a week what you are doing. I am, tivation of that benevolence which perhaps noth dear George, your humble servant, ing but the distance between us has hindered from
“Sam. Johnson." ripening before this time into friendship. Of myself I have very little to say, and of any body
“TO THE SAME. else less ; let me however be allowed one thing,
“ 16th April, 1763. and that in my own favour--that I am, dear sir, “ DEAR SIR, - Your account of your proyour most humble servant,
ficience is more nearly equal, I find, to my expec*Sam. Johnson." tations than your own. You are angry that a
theme on which you took so much pains was at “TO MR. GEORGE STRAHAN, AT SCHOOL. last a kind of English Latin; what could you ex
* 19th Feb. (1763.) pect more? If at the end of seven years you write “DEAR GEORGE, -I am glad that you good Latin, you will excel most of your contempoMSS.
have found the benefit of confidence, and raries: Scribendo disces, scribere. It is only by wri
hope you will never want a friend to whom ting ill that you can attain to wrile well. Be but diliyou may safely disclose any painful secret. The 'gent and constant, and make no doubt of success. state of your mind you had not so concealed but "I will allow you but six weeks for Tully's that it was suspected at home, which I mention Offices. Walker's Particles I would not have that if any hint should be given you, it may not you trouble yourself to learn at all by heart, bat be imputed to me, who have told nothing but to look in it from time to time and observe his notes yourself, who had told more than you intended. and remarks, and see how they are exemplified. “I hope you read more of Nepos, or of some The translation from Clark's history will improvo
you, and I would have you continue it to the end 1 See ante, rol. 1. p. 85. -ED]
of the book.
TO MISS REYNOLDS.
“ I hope you read by the way at loose hours and hope to love you long. You have hitherto other books, though you do not mention them; done nothing to diminish my good will, and though for no time is to be lost; and what can be done you had done much more than you have suppowith a master is but a small part of the whole. sed imputed to you, my good will would not have I would have you now and then try at some been diminished. English verses. When you find that you have “ I write thus largely on this suspicion, which mistaken any thing, review the passage carefully you bave suffered to enter into your mind, because and settle it in your mind.
in youth we are apt to be too rigorons in our er. “ Be pleased to make my compliments, and pectations, and to suppose that the duties of life those of Miss Williams, to all our friends. 1 am, are to be performed with unfailing exactness and dear sir, yours most affectionately,
regularity ; but in our progress through life we “ Sam. JOHNSON.” are forced to abate much of our demands, and to
take friends such as we can find them, not as we " TO THE SAME.
would make them.
“ 20th Sept. 1763. “ These concessions every wise man is more “DEAR SIR,– I should have answered your ready to make to others, as he knows that he shall last letter sooner if I could have given you any often want them for himself; and when be revaluable or useful directions; but I knew not ny members how often he fails in the observance of way by which the composition of Latin verses a cultivation of his best friends, is willing to sup. can be much facilitated. Of the grammatical part pose that his friends may in their turn neglect which comprises the knowledge of the measure of him, without any intention to offend him. the foot, and quantity of the syllables, your gram “ When therefore it shall happen, as happen it mar will teach you all that can be taught, and will, that you or I have disappointed the expectaeven of that you can hardly know any thing by tion of the other, you are not to suppose that you rule but the measure of the foot. The quantity have lost me, or that I intended to lose you; of syllables even of those for which rules are given nothing will remain but to repair the fault, and to is commonly learned by practice and retained by go on as if it never had been committed. lan, observation. For the poetical part, which com- sir, your affectionate servant, prises variety of expression, propriety of terms,
“ SAM. Johnsos." dexterity in selecting commodious words, and readiness in changing their order, it will all be produced by frequent essays and resolute perse
Oxford, 27th Oct. (1958) The less help you have the sooner you “ Your letter has scarcely come time will be able to go forward without help.
enough to make an answer possible. I “I suppose you are now ready for another au- wish we could talk over the affair. I thour. I would not have you dwell longer upon cannot go now. I must finish my book. I one book than till your familiarity with its style do not know Mr. Collier! I have not moves makes it easy to you. Every new book will for beforehand sufficient. How long have you know a time be difficult
. Make it a rule to write some-Collier, that you should put yourself into his thing in Latin every day ; and let me know what hands ? I once told you that ladies were tinoroas you are now doing, and what your scheme is to and yet not cautious. do next. Be pleased to give my compliments to “ If I might tell my thoughts to one with whom Mr. Bright, Mr. Stevenson, and Miss Page. I am, they never had any weight, I should think it best dear sir, your affectionate servant,
to go through France. The expense is not great ; “ SAM. Johnson."
I do not much like obligation, nor thiok the
grossness of a ship very suitable to a lady. Do " TO THE SAME.
not go till I see you. I will see you as soon as I "14th July, 1763.
can. I am, my dearest, most sincerely yours, “ Dear GeorgE,-To give pain ought al
“ SAM. Johnson." ways to be painful, and I am sorry that I have been the occasion of any uneasiness to you, to To w. S. JOHNSON ?, LL. D. STRATFORD, whom I hope never to [do] any thing but for your benefit or your pleasure. Your uneasiness “ Johnson's-court, Fleet-street, London, March 4, 1773 was without any reason on your part, as you had “SIR,_Of all those whom the variwritten with sufficient frequency to me, and I had ous accidents of life have brought within Great only neglected to answer them, because as noth- my notice, there is scarce any man whose ing new had been proposed to your study, no acquaintance I have more desired to cal- p. 320. new direction or incitement could be offered you. tivate than yours. I cannot indeed charge But if it had happened that you had omitted what
i Captain Collier, since Sir George, proposed at that you did not omit, and that I had for an hour, or a time to sail to the Mediterranean with his lady - Miss week, or a much longer time, thought myself put Reynolds. (And it would seem offered Miss Rer periode out of your mind by something to which presence
a passage; and Miss Reynolds appears to have wished
that Johnson might be of the party. Sir Jostus bed gave that prevalence, which presence will some gone to the Mediterranean in a similar way with Cap times give even where there is the most prudence iain Keppel. --Ed.) and experience, you are not to imagine that my This gentleman spent several years in England detecting
2 The late William Samuel Johnson of Connecticut. friendship is light enough to be blown away by middle of the last century. ile received the degree of the first cross blast, or that my regard or kindness doctor of civil law from the university of Oxford and hangis by so slender a hair as to be broken off by iviseiname, recommended him to the acquainterest the unfelt weight of a petty offence. I love you,
Beveral letters passed betwers
Dr. Samuel Johnson.
you with neglecting ire, yet our mutual inclina- seems to have been injured by the prosecution and tion could never gratisy itself with opportunities. the sentence. His first desire is, that I should preThe current of the day always bore us away from pare his narrative for the press ; his second, that one another, and now the Atlantic is between us. if I cannot gratify him by publication, I would
" Whether you carried away an impression of transmit the papers to you. To a compliance me as pleasing as that which you left me of your with his first request I have this objection ; that I self, I know not ; if you did you have not forgot- live in a reciprocation of civilities with Mr. Hasten me, and will be glad that I do not forget you. tings, and therefore cannot properly diffuse a narMerely to be remembered is indeed a barren rative, intended to bring upon bim the censure of pleasure, but it is one of the pleasures which is the publick. Of two adversaries, it would be more sensibly felt as human nature is more exalted. rash to condemn either upon the evidence of the
“ To make you wish that I should have you other; and a common friend must keep himself in my mind, I would be glad to tell you some- suspended, at least till he has heard both. thing which you do not know ; but all public af * I am therefore ready to transmit to you the fairs are printed; and as you and I have no com- papers, which have been seen only by myself ; mon friend, I can tell you no private history. and beg to be informed how they may be con
“The government, I think, grow stronger, but veyed to you. I see no legal objection to the I am afraid the next general election will be a publication ; and of prudential reasons, Mr. Fowke time of uncommon turbulence, violence, and out- and you will be allowed to be fitter judges. rage.
“ If you would have me send them, let me * Of literature no great product has appeared, have proper directions : if a messenger is to call or is expected ; the attention of the people bas for for them, give me notice by the post, that they some years been otherwise employed.
may be ready for delivery. "I was told a day or two ago of a design • To do my dear Mr. Fowke any good would which must excite some curiosity. Two ships give me pleasure ; ! hope for some opportunity are in preparation which are under the command of performing the duties of friendship to him, withof Captain Constantine Phipps, to explore the out violating them with regard to another. I am, northern ocean ; not to seek the north-east or the sir, your most humble servant, north-west passage, but to sail directly north, as
“SAM. JOHNSON." near the pole as they can go. They hope to find an open ocean, but I suspect it is one mass of " TO RICHARD BEATNIFFE, ESQ. perpetual congelation. I do not much wish well
" Bolt-Court, Fleet-street, 14th Feb. 1782. io discoveries, for I am always afraid they will "Sia,-Robert Levet, with whom I end in conquest and robbery.
have. been connected by a friendship of vol. ** I have been out of order this winter, but am many years, died lately at my house. grown better. Can I never hope to see you again, His death was sudden, and no will has yet or must I be always content to tell you that in been found ; I therefore gave notice of his death another hemisphere I am, sir, your most humble in the papers, that an heir, if he has any, may apservant, * SAM. Johnson." pear. He has left very little ; but of that little
his brother is doub:less heir, and your friend may “ TO DR. GOLDSMITH.
be perhaps his brother. I have had another ap
“ 230 April, 1773 plication from one who calls himself his brother : “Sir,- I beg that you will excuse my absence to the club ; I am going this evening to Oxford. till 1748, and when he returned to England was offered
** I have another favour to beg. It is that I the government eltier of Bengal or Madras, "This offer may be considered as proposing Mr. Boswell for
was by no means so advantageous as it would be at pres.
ent; Mr. Fowke therefore declined it, and remained in a candidate of our society, and that he may be England until 1771. At this period he returned to India, considered as regularly nominated. I am, sir, where some differences of option unfortunntely occurred
between him and the Provisional Government, which your most humble servant,
ended in his being tried in June, 1775, in the Supreme “ SAM. Jourson."
Court of Bengal, under two indictments. In the first of
these trials the verdict was, not guilty. In the second, “ TO FRANCIS FOWKE, Esq.
in which Mr. Fowke was implicated with Sundocomar
and Rada Churn, the verdict was, “ Joseph Fowke and ** 11th July, 1776.
Sundocomar, guilty: Rada Churn, not guilty." In the “Sir,-I received some weeks ago year 1758 Mr. Fowke finally quilled Bengal, with a reMag. a collection of papers, which contain the commendation from Lord Cornwallis to the Court of
Directors, as a person entitled to receive the pension trial of my dear friend, Joseph Fowke, which was promised to their servants returning trom wxvii.
of whom I cannot easily be induced to Bengal out of employment. This recommendation was, think otherwise than well, and who however, rejected Aner a lapse of some time, the
claim was brought forward by Mr. Burke (with the read
er of whose works the case of Nundocomar must be fathem, after the American Dr. Johnson had returned to miliar in the House of Commons, when the following his native country ; of which, however, it is feared that resolution was made in his favour:this is the only one remaining.-Gent. Max.
* Resolved, That it appears to this House, that the said (This circumstance enables us to state that the East Joseph Fowke is entitled to the pension or allowance Indina friend, mentioned in p. 53, was Mr. Joseph Fowke, engaged to be paid by the East India Company to their and to guess that he (and not one of the Vansttarts, as servants, under certain descriptions, and under certain Mr. Tyers thought) was alluded to in vol. I. p. 136 The conditions, expressed in their letter from the Court of arrival of this collection of papers" is no doubt the care Directors of the 21st of September, 178á, to the Goverrious incident mentioned ante, p. 57. - Eo.) Mr. J. or lieneral and Council of Bengal, from the time in Fowke, who died about 1794, was born about the year which, by the said letter of the 21st of sentenber, 17.5. 1713, and entered into the service of the
persous described in the said letter were to receive the pany at the age of 17. He remained at Fort St. George sune."-Genl. Mag.
VOL. 11. 65
and I suppose it is fit that the claimant should give
“ TO JOSEPH FOWKE, ESQ. some proofs of his relation. I would gladly know,
*19th April, 1738 from the gentleman that thinks himself R. Levet's “ DEAR SIR,—To show you that brother,
neither length of time, nor distance of Gent
. “ In what year, and in what parish, R. Levet place, withdraws you from my memory, I was born ?
have sent you a little present, wbich will " Where or how was he educated ?
be transmitted by Sir Robert Chambers. “ What was his early course of life?
“To your former letters I made no answer, “What were the marks of his person ; his because I had none to make. Of the death of stature ; the colour of his eyes ?
the unfortunate man (meaning Nundocomar) | “ Was he marked by the small-pox ?
believe Europe thinks as you think; but it was “ Had he any impediment in his speech ? past prevention; and it was not fit for me to more
“ What relations had he, and how many are a question in publick which I was not qualified now living?
to discuss, as the inquiry could then do no good; “ His answer to these questions will show and I might have been silenced by a hards whether he knew him; and he may then proceed denial of facts, which, if denied, I could not prove
. to show that he is his brother.
“Since we parted, I have suffered much sick“He may be sure, that nothing shall be hastily ness of body and perturbation of mind. My wasted or removed. I have not looked into his mind, if I do not flatter myself, is unimpaired
, boxes, but transferred that business to a gentleman except that sometimes my memory is less ready; in the neighbourhood, of character above suspicion. but my body, though by nature very strong, bus “SAM. JOHNson.” given way to repeated shocks.
“ Genua labant, vastos quatit ager Es. " TO MR. NICHOLS.
anhelitus artus. This line might bare . 4. “ 10th January, 1789. been written on purpose for me. You SIR,-1 am much obliged by your will see, however, that I have not totally forsaken 1784,
kind communication of your account of literature. I can apply better to books than I
Hinckley! I know Mr. Carte is one of could in some more vigorous parts of my life the prebendaries of Lichfield, and for some time least than I did; and I have one more ressen fer furrogate of the chancellor. Now I will put you reading—that time has, by taking away my comin a way of showing me more kindness. I have panions, left me less opportunity of conversation been confined by illness a long time; and sickness I have led an inactive and careless lise; it is turne and solitude make tedious evenings. Come some at last to be diligent: there is yet provision to be times and see, sir, your humble servant,
made for eternity. “ SAM. JOHNSON." “Let me know, dear sir, what you are doing
Are you accumulating gold, or picking up dis"DR. JOHNSON TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS. monds? Or are you now sated with Indian wealth, It was Sir Joshua Reynolds who introdu- and content with what you have? Have you ced Mr. Crabbe's poem (see ante, p. 829) Whatever you do, I do not suspect you of puiza
vigour for bustle, or tranquillity for inaction? to Dr. Johnson's notice, and the following is the letter with which he returned ging or oppressing; and shall rejoice to see you it, and which was not found till it was
return with a body unbroken, and a mind ancortoo late to insert it in its proper place.
, Reyn. MS.
and therefore I have few anecdotes to relate ta “ 4th March, 1783.
you. Mr. Levet, who brought us into acquaint“Sir,-I have sent you back Mr. Crabbe's ance, died suddenly at my house last poem, which I read with great delight. It is seventy-eighth year, or about that age. original, vigorous, and elegant.
Mrs. Williams, the blind lady, is still with Geet is The alterations which I have made I do me, but much broken by a very not require him to adopt, for my lines are, per- and obstinate disease. She is, however, p. $* haps, not often better than his own; but he may not likely to die; and it would delight me take mine and his own together, and perhaps if you would send her some petty token of sour between them produce something better than remembrance: you may send me one too. either.
“ Whether we shall ever meet again in this “ He is not to think his copy wantonly defaced. world, who can tell ? Let us, however
, with A wet sponge will wash all the red lines away, well to each other : prayers
can pass the Lime and and leave the page clear.
the Tropics. I am, dear sir, yours sincerely, “ His dedication will be least liked. It were better to contract it into a short sprightly address.
" TO MR. NICHOLS. " I do not doubt Mr. Crabbe's success. sír, your most humble servant,
“Sir,-I have sent you enclosed a very cu “ Sam. Johnson." ous proposal from Mr. Hawkins, the son of Sir
John Hawkins, who, I believe, will take care 1 For this work Dr. Johnson had contributed several that whatever his son promises shall be performed. hints towards the Life of Anthony Blackwall, to whom, when very young, he had been some time an usher at “ If you are inclined to publish this compilaMarket Bosworth school. Blackwall died in April, 1730, before Johnson was one and twenty:-NICHOLS.
? A collection of the Doctor's Works. NICHOLS
** 12th April, 1784
Piozzi Lete ters, vol. ii.
tion, the editor will agree for an edition on the better luck with your next specimen ; though if following terms, which I think liberal enough. such slips as these are to condemn a dictionary, I
" That you shall print the book at your own know not when a dictionary will be made. I charge.
cannot yet think that gourmander is wrong ; • That the sale shall be wholly for your benefit but I have here no means of verifying my opinion. till your expenses are repaid ; except that at the “My health, by the mercy of God, still imtime of publication you shall put into the hands proves ; and I have hope of standing the English of the editor, without price, ... copies for his winter, and of seeing you, and reading Petrarch friends.
at Bolt-court ; but let me not flatter myself too " That, when you have been repaid, the profits much. I am yet weak, but stronger than I was. arising from the sale of the remaining copies shall “ I suppose the Club is now almost forsaken ; be divided equally between you and the editor. but we shall I hope meet again. We have lost
“ That the edition shall not comprise fewer poor Allen ; a very worthy man, and to me a than five hundred. I am, sir, your most humble very kind and officious neighbour. servant, “ SAM. Johnson." “Of the pieces ascribed by Bembo to Virgil,
the Dirce (ascribed, I think, to Valerius Cato),
the Copa and the Moretum are, together with
were directed to Mortimer instead gentleman and lady with whom you lodge ; such of Margaret-street, I have no means of knowing, characters have sufficient attractions to draw me nor is it worth the while to inquire ; they neither towards them ; you are lucky to light upon them enclosed bills, nor contained secrets.
in the casual commerce of life. “My bealth was for some time quite at a “ Continue, dear sir, to write to me ; and let stand, if it did not rather go backwards ; but for me hear any thing or nothing, as the chance of a week past it flatters me with appearances of the day may be. I am, sir, your, &c.” amendment, which I dare yet hardly credit. My breath has been certainly less obstructed for eight
" TO THE SAME. days; and yesterday the water seemed to be dis
"Ashbourne, 16th September, 1784. posed to a fuller flow. But I get very little sleep ; “ DEAR SIR,—What you have told me of and my legs do not like to carry me.
your landlord and his lady at Brompton has made “ You were kind in paying any forfeits at the them such favourites, that I am not sorry to hear club; it cannot be expected that many should how you are turned out of your lodgings, because meet in the summer ; however, they that continue the good is greater to them than the evil is to you. in town should keep up appearances as well as · The death of dear Mr. Allen gave me pain. they can. I hope to be again among you.
When after some tiine of absence I visit a town, “I wish you had told me distinctly the mis- I find my friends dead ; when I leave a place, I takes in the French words. The French is but a am followed with intelligence, that the friend secondary and subordinate part of your design ; whom I hope to meet at my return is swallowed exactness, however, in all parts is necessary, in the grave. This is a gloomy scene ; but let though complete exactness cannot be attained ; us learn from it to prepare for our own removal. and the French are so well stocked with dictiona- Allen is gone ; Sastres and Johnson are hasting ries, that a little attention may easily keep you after him ; may we be both as well prepared ! safe from gross faults ; and as you work on, your “I again wish your next specimen success. vigilance will be quickened, and your observation Paymistress can hardly be said without a preface regulated ; you will better know your own wants, it may be expressed by a word perhaps not in and learn better whence they may be supplied. use, pay mistress). Let me know minutely the whole state of your “The club is, it seems, totally deserted ; but as negotiations. Dictionaries are like watches, the the forfeits go on, the house does not suffer ; and worst is better than none, and the best cannot be all clubs, I suppose, are unattended in the sumexpected to go quite true.
We shall, I hope, meet in winter, and be “ The weather here is very strange summer cheerful. weather ; and we are here two degrees nearer “ After this week, do not write to me till you the north than you. I was, I think, loath to think hear again from me, for I know not well where I a fire necessary in July, till I found one in the shall be ; I have grown weary of the solitude of servants' hall, and thought myself entitled to as this place, and think of removal. I am, sir, much warmth as them.
“I wish you would make it a task to yourself to write to me twice a week ; a letter is a great relief to, dear sir, your, &c."
“ 16th October, 1781. “ DEAR SIR, I have hitherto
Gent. Mag. omitted to give you that account of
1788, p. 49. " Ashbourne, 20 September, 1784. myself, which the kindness with “ DEAR SIR,-Your critick seems to be an which you have treated me gives you a right to exquisite Frenchman ; his remarks are nice ; they expect. would at least have escaped me. I wish you “ I went away feeble, asthmatical, and dropsi
TO MR. STRAHAN,
TO THE SAME.