« ZurückWeiter »
nor a single ray of that genius which has since speeches, are well known, and universally ad blazed forth; but, as they have lately been re- mired. The whole has been collected in two printed, the reader, who wishes to gratify his ca- volumes by Mr. Stockdale, and may form a proriosity, is referred to the fourteenth volume of per supplement to this edition. That Johnson Johnson's works, published by Stockdale. The was the author of the debates during that period lives of Boerhaave, Blake, Barratier, Father was not generally known; but the secret tranPaul, and others, were about that time, printed spired several years afterwards, and was avowed in the Gentleman's Magazine. The subscrip- by himself on the following occasion: Mr. Wedtion of fifty pounds a year for Savage was com- derburne (now Lord Loughborough,)* Dr. Johnpleted, and in July 1739, Johnson parted with son, Dr. Francis, (the translator of Horace,) the the companion of his midnight hours never to present writer, and others, dined with the late see him more. The separation was, perhaps, Mr. Foote. An important debate towards the an advantage to him, who wanted to make a end of Sir Robert Walpole's administration beright use of his time, and even then beheld with ing mentioned, Dr. Francis observed, “That self-reproach the waste occasioned by dissipa- Mr. Pitt's speech, on that occasion, was the best tion. His abstinence from wine and strong li- he had ever read.” He added, “That he had quors began soon after the departure of Savage. employed eight years of his life in the study of What habits he contracted in the course of that Demosthenes, and finished a translation of that acquaintance cannot now be known. The am- celebrated orator, with all the decorations of bition of excelling in conversation, and that style and language within the reach of his capride of victory, which, at times, disgraced a pacity; but he had met with nothing equal to man of Johnson's genius, were, perhaps, native the speech above-mentioned.”. Many of the blemishes. A fierce spirit of independence, company remembered the debate; and some even in the midst of poverty, may be seen in passages were cited, with the approbation and Savage; and, if not thence transfused by John- applause of all present. During the ardour of son into his own manners, it may, at least, be conversation Johnson remained silent. As soon supposed to have gained strength from the ex- as the warmth of praise subsided, he opened ample before him. During that connexion there with these words: “That speech I wrote in a was, if we believe Sir John Hawkins, a short garret in Exeter-street.” The company was separation between our author and his wife; struck with astonishment. _After staring at each but a reconciliation soon took place. Johnson other in silent amaze, Dr. Francis asked, “How loved her, and showed his affection in various that speech could be written by him ?” “Sir," modes of gallantry, which Garrick used to render said Johnson, “I wrote it in Exeter-street. I ridiculous by his mimicry; The affectation of never had been in the gallery of the House of soft and fashionable airs did not become an un- Commons but once. Cave had interest with wieldy figure: his admiration was received by the door-keepers. He, and the persons emthe wife with the futter of an antiquated co- ployed under him, gained admittance; they quette; and both, it is well known, furnished brought away the subject of discussion, the matter for the lively genius of Garrick. names of the speakers, the side they took,
It is a mortifying reflection, that Johnson, and the order in which they rose, together with a store of learning and extraordinary ta- with notes of the arguments advanced in the lents, was not able, at the age of thirty, to force course of the debate. The whole was afterhis way to the favour of the public. Sloro rises wards communicated to me, and I composed the worth, by poverty depressed. "He was still," as speeches in the form which they now have in he says himself,“ to provide for the day that was the Parliamentary Debates.” To this discovery passing over him." He saw Cave involved in a Dr. Francis made answer: “Then, Sir, you have state of warfare with the numerous competitors, exceeded Demosthenes himself; for to say that at that time struggling with the Gentleman's you have exceeded Francis's Demosthenes, Magazine; and gratitude for such supplies • • as would be saying nothing.” The rest of the Johnson received dictated a Latin Ode on the company bestowed lavish encomiums on Johnsubject of that contention. The first lines, son; one, in particular, praised his impartiality;
observing, that he dealt out reason and elo“Urbane, nullis fesse laboribus, Urbane, nullis victe calumniis,"
quence with an equal hand to both parties.
"That is not quite true,” said Johnson; "I put one in mind of Casimir's Ode to Pope Ur- saved appearances tolerably well ; but I took
care that the whig dogs should not have the best
of it.” The sale of the Magazine was greatly "Urbane, regum maxime, maxime
increased by the Parliamentary Debates, which Urbane vatum."
were continued by Johnson till the month of
March 1742-3. From that time the Magazine The Polish poet was, probably, at that time in was conducted by Dr. Hawkesworth. the hands of a man who had meditated the his- In 1743-4, Osborne, the bookseller, who kept tory of the Latin poets. Guthrie the historian a shop in Gray's-Inn, purchased the Earl of Ox. had from July 1736 composed the parliamentary ford's library, at the price of thirteen thousand speeches for the Magazine; but, from the begin- pounds. He projected a catalogue in five ocning of the session which opened on the 19th of tavo volumes, at five shillings each. Johnson November 1740, Johnson succeeded to that de- was employed in that painful drudgery. He partment, and continued it from that time to the was likewise to collect all such small tracts as debate on spirituous liquors, which happened in were in any degrees worth preserving in order the House of Lords in February 1742-3. The to reprint and publish the whole in a collection eloquence, the force of argument, and the splendour of language displayed in the several * Afterwards Earl of Roslin. He died Jan. 3 1805.
called “The Harleian Miscellany.” The cata- | He was told that the Earl of Chesterfield was logue was completed: and the Miscellany, in a friend to his undertaking; and in consequence 1749, was published in eight quarto volumes of that intelligence, he published, in 1747, The In this business Johnson was a day-labourer for Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language, immediate subsistence, not unlike Gustavus addressed to the Right Honourable Philip Dormer, Vasa working in the mines of Dalecarlia. What Earl of Chesterfield, one of his Majesty's princi. Wilcox, a bookseller of eminence in the Strand, pal Secretaries of State. Mr. Whitehead, aftersaid to Johnson, on his first arrival in town, was wards Poet Laureat, undertook to convey the now almost confirmed. He lent our author five manuscript to his Lordship: the consequence guineas, and then asked him, “How do you was an invitation from Lord Chesterfield to the mean to earn your livelihood in this town ?” “By author. A stronger contrast of characters could my literary labours," was the answer. Wil not be brought together; the Nobleman, celecox, staring at him, shook his head: “By your brated for his wit, and all the graces of polite literary labours !-You had better buy a porter's behaviour; the Author, conscious of his own knot.” Johnson used to tell this anecdote to merit, towering in idea above all competition, Mr. Nichols; but he said, “Wilcox was one of verscd in scholastic logic, but a stranger to the my best friends, and he meant well.” In fact, arts of polite conversation, uncouth, vehement, Johnson, while employed in Gray's-Inn, may be and vociferous. The coalition was too unnatusaid to have carried a porter's knot. He paused ral. Johnson expected a Mæcenas, and was occasionally to peruse the book that came to his disappointed. No patronage, no assistance folhand. Osborne thought that such curiosity lowed. Visits were repeated; but the reception tended to nothing but delay, and objected to it was not cordial. Johnson one day was left a with all the pride and insolence of a man who full hour, waiting in an antichamber, till a genknew that he paid daily wages. In the dispute tleman should retire, and leave his lordship at that of course ensued, Osborne, with that rough-leisure. This was the famous Colley Cibber. ness which was natural to him, enforced his ar- Johnson saw him go, and fired with indignation, gument by giving the lie. Johnson seized a rushed out of the house. What Lord Chesfolio and knocked the bookseller down. This terfield thought of his visiter may be seen in a story has been related as an instance of John- passage in one of that Nobleman's letters to his son’s ferocity; but merit cannot always take the son. “There is a man, whose moral charac spurns of the unworthy with a patient spirit.* ter, deep learning, and superior parts, I acknow
That the history of an author must be found ledge, admire, and respect; but whom it is so in his works, is, in general, a true observation; impossible for me to love, that I am almost in a and was never more apparent than in the pre- fever whenever I am in his company. His figure sent narrative. Every era of Johnson's life is (without being deformed) seems made to disfixed by his writings. In 1744, he published grace or ridicule the common structure of the the life of Savage; and then projected a new edi- human body. His legs and arms are never in tion of Shakspeare. As a prelude to that de- the position which, according to the situation of sign, he published, in 1745, “Miscellaneous Ob his body, they ought to be in, but constantly servations on the Tragedy of Macbeth, with Re-employed in committing acts of hostility upon marks on Sir Thomas Hanmer's Edition;" to the Graces. He throws any where, but down which were prefixed, "Proposals for a new Edi- his throat, whatever he means to drink : and tion of Shakspeare," with a specimen. Of this mangles what he means to carve. Inattentive pamphlet Warburton, in the Preface to Shaks to all the regards of social life, he mis-times and peare, has given his opinion: “As to all those mis-places every thing. He disputes with heat things, which have been published under the indiscriminately, mindless of the rank, charactitle of Essays, Remarks, Observations, &c. on ter, and situation of those with whom he disShakspeare, if you except some critical notes on putes. Absolutely ignorant of the several graMacbelh, given as a specimen of a projected edi-dations of familiarity and respect, he is exactly tion, and written, as appears, by a man of parts the same to his superiors, his equals, and his inand genius, the rest are absolutely below a se feriors; and therefore by a necessary conserious notice.” But the attention of the public quence, is absurd to two of the three. Is it poswas not excited; there was no friend to promote sible to love such a man? No. The utmost I a subscription; and the project died, to revive at can do for him is, to consider him a respectable a future day. A new undertaking, however, Hottentot.” Such was the idea entertained by was soon after proposed; namely, an English lord Chesterfield. After the incident of Colley Dictionary upon an enlarged plan. Several of Cibber, Johnson never repeated his visits. In the most opulent booksellers had meditated a his high and decisive tone, he has been often work of this kind; and the agreement was soon heard to say, “Lord Chesterfield is a Wit adjusted between the parties. Emboldened by among Lords, and a Lord among Wits." this connexion, Johnson thought of a better ha- In the course of the year 1747, Garrick, in bitation than he had hitherto known. He had conjunction with Lacy, became patentee of lodged with his wife in courts and alleys about Drury-Lane playhouse. For the opening of the Strand; but now, for the purpose of carrying the theatre at the usual time, Johnson wrote on his arduous undertaking, and to be nearer for his friend the well-known prologue, which, his printer and friend, Mr. Strahan, he ventured to say no more of it, may at least be placed on to take a house in Gough-square, Fleet-street. a level with Pope's to the tragedy of Cato. The
playhouse being now under Garrick's direction. * Mr. Boswell says, " The simple truth I had from Johnson himself. 'Sir, he was impertinent to me, and I beat # Dr. Jolinson denies the whole of this story. him; but it was not in his shop, it was in my own cham- well's Life. rol. i. p. 128. Oct. edit. 1804. Č.
Johnson thought the opportunity fair to think of blished a club, consisting of ten in num ber at his tragedy of Irene, which was his whole stock Horseman's, in Ivy-Lane, on every Tuesday on his first arrival in town, in the year 1737. evening. This is the first scene of social life to That play was accordingly put into rehearsal in which Johnson can be traced out of his own January, 1749. As a precursor to prepare the house. The members of this little society were, way, and to awaken the public attention, The Samuel Johnson; Dr. Salter (father of the laté Vanity of Human Wishes, a poem in imitation of Master of the Charter-House;) Dr. Hawkesthe Tenth Satire of Juvenal, by the Author of worth ; Mr. Ryland, a merchant; Mr. Payne, a London, was published in the same month. In bookseller, in Paternoster-row; Mr. Samuel the Gentleman's Magazine, for February, 1749, Dyer, a learned young man; Dr. Wm. M'Ghie, a we find that the tragedy of Irene was acted at Scotch physician; Dr. Edmund Barker, a young Drury-Lane, on Monday, February the 6th, and physician; Dr. Bathurst, another young physifrom that time, without interruption, to Monday, cian; and Sir John Hawkins. This list is given February, the 20th being in all thirteen nights. by Sir John, as it should seem, with no other Since that time it has not been exhihited on any view than to draw a spiteful and malevolent chastage. Irene may be added to some other plays racter of almost every one of them. Ms. Dyer, in our language, which have lost their place whom Sir John says he loved with the affection in the theatre, but continue to please in the of a brother, meets with the harshest treatment, closet. During the representation of this piece, because it was his maxim, that to live in peace Johnson attended every night behind the scenes. with mankind, and in a temper to do good offices, Conceiving that his character as an author re- was the most essential part of our duty. That noquired some ornament for his person, he chose tion of moral goodness gave umbrage to Sir John upon that occasion to decorate himself with a Hawking, and drew down upon the memory of handsome waistcoat, and a gold-laced hat. The his friend the bitterest imputations. Mr. Dyer, late Mr. Topham Beauclerc, who had a great however, was admired and loved through life. deal of that humour, which pleases the more for He was a man of literature. Johnson loved to seeming undesigned, used to give a pleasant de- enter with him into a discussion of metaphysical, scription of this green-room finery, as related by moral, and critical subjects; in those conflicts, the author himself; “But,” said Johnson, with exercising his talents, and, according to his cusgreat gravity, “I soon laid aside my gold-laced tom, always contending for victory. Dr. Bahat, lest it should make me proud." The amount thurst was the person on whom Johnson fixed of the three benefit rights for the tragedy of his affection. He hardly ever spoke of him Irene, it is to be feared, was not very considera- without tears in his eyes. It was from him, who ble, as the profit, that stimulating motive, never was a native of Jamaica, that Johnson received invited the author to another dramatic attempt. into his service Frank,* the black servant, whom, Some years afterwards, when the present writer on account of his master, he valued to the end was intimate with Garrick, and knew Johnson of his life. At the time of instituting the club in to be in distress, he asked the manager why he Ivy-Lane, Johnson had projected the Rambler. did not produce another tragedy for his Litch- The title was most probably suggested by the field friend ? Garrick's answer was remarkable: Wanderer; a poem which he mentions with the “When Johnson writes tragedy, declamation warmest praise, in the Life of Savage. With roars, and passion sleeps : when Shakspeare the same spirit of independence with which he wrote, he dipped his pen in his own heart." wished to live, it was now his pride to write:
There may, perhaps, be a degree of sameness Hecommunicated his plan to none of his friends; in this regular way of tracing an author from he desired no assistance, relying entirely on his one work to another, and the reader may feel the own fund, and the protection of the Divine Beeffect of a tedious monotony: but in the life of ing, which he implored in a solemn form of Johnson there are no other landmarks. He prayer, composed by himself for the occasion. was now forty years old, and had mixed but lit- Having formed a resolution to undertake a work tle with the world. He followed no profession, that might be of use and honour to his country, transacted no business, and was a stranger to he thought, with Milton, that this was not to be what is called a town life. We are now arrived obtained “but by devout prayer to that Eternal at the brightest period he had hitherto known. Spirit that can enrich with all utterance and His name broke out upon mankind with a de- knowledge, and send out his seraphim with the gree of lustre that promised a triumph over all his hallowed fire of his altar, to touch and purify the difficulties. The Life of Savage was admired as lips of whom he pleases." a beautiful and instructive piece of biography. Having invoked the special protection of HeaThe two imitations of Juvenal were thought to yen, and by that act of piety fortified his mind, rival even the excellence of Pope; and the tra- he began the great work of the Rambler. The gedy of Irene, though uninteresting on the stage, first number was published on Tuesday, March was universally admired in the closet, for the the 20th, 1750; and from that time was continued propriety of the sentiments, the richness of the regularly every Tuesday and Saturday, for the language, and the general harmony of the whole space of two years, when it finally closed, on composition. His fame was widely diffused; Saturday, March 14, 1752. As it began with and he had made his agreement with the book- motives of piety, so it appears that the same relisellers for his English Dictionary at the sum of | gious spirit glowed with unabating ardour to the fifteen hundred guineas; a part of which was to last. His conclusion is: “The Essays professbe, from time to time, advanced in proportion to edly serious, if I have been able to execute my the progress of the work. This was a certain own intentions, will be found exactly conformafund for his support, without being obliged to ble to the precepts of Christianity, without any write fugitive pieces for the petty supplies of the day. Accordingly we find that, in 1749, he esta
* See Gent. Mag. vol. Ixxi. p. 190.
accommodation to the licentiousness and levity on Milton's Use and Imitation of the Moderns, of the present age. I therefore look back on in his Paradise Lost; dedicated to the Universithis part of my work with pleasure, which no ties of Oxford and Cambridge." While the man shall diminish or augment. I shall never book was in the press, the proof-sheets were envy the honours which wit and learning obtain shown to Johnson at the Ivy-Lane club, by in any other cause, if I can be numbered among Payne, the bookseller, who was one of the memthe writers who have given ardour to virtue, and bers. No man in that Society was in possesconfidence to truth.” The whole number of Es- sion of the authors from whom Lauder professed says amounted to two hundred and eight. Ad- to make his extracts. The charge was believed, dison's, in the Spectator, are more in number, and thecontriver of it found his way to Johnson; but not half in point of quantity: Addison was who is represented by Sir John Hawkins, not not bound to publish on stated days; he could indeed as an accomplice in the fraud, but through watch the ebb and flow of his genius, and send motives of malignity to Milton, delighting in the his paper to the press when his own taste was detection, and exulting that the poet's reputation satisfied. Johnson's case was very different. would suffer by the discovery. More malice to He wrote singly and alone. In the whole pro- a deceased friend cannot well be imagined. gress of the work he did not receive more than Hawkins adds, "that he wished well to the arten essays. This was a scanty contribution. gument must be inferred from the preface, which For the rest, the author has described his situa- indubitably was written by him.” The preface, tion. “He that condemns himself to compose it is well known, was written by Johnson, and on a stated day, will often bring to his task an for that reason is inserted in this edition. But attention dissipated, a memory embarrassed, an if Johnson approved of the argument, it was no imagination overwhelmed, a' mind distracted longer than while he believed it founded in truth. with anxieties, a body languishing with disease: Let us advert to his own words in that very pre. he will labour on a barren topic, till it is too late face. “ Among the inquiries to which the arto change it; or, in the ardour of invention, dif- dour of criticism has naturally given occasion, fuse his thoughts into wild exuberance, which none is more obscure in itself, or more worthy of the pressing hour of publication cannot suffer rational curiosity, than a retrospection of the judgment to examine or reduce.” Of this excel- progress of this mighty genius in the construclent production, the number sold on each day tion of his work; a view of the fabric gradually did not amount to five hundred: of course the rising, perhaps from small beginnings, till inş. bookseller, who paid the author four guineas a foundation rests in the centre, and its turrets week, did not carry on a successful trade. His sparkle in the skies; to trace back the strony generosity and perseverance deserve to be com- through all its varieties, to the simplicity une mended; and happily, when the collection ap- first plan ; to find what was projected, whence peared in volumes, were amply rewarded. John the scheme was taken, how it was improved, by son lived to see his labours flourish in a tenth what assistance it was executed, and from what edition. His posterity, as an ingenious French stores the materials were collected; whether its writer has said on a similar occasion, began in founder dug them from the quarries of nature, hus lifetime.
or demolished other buildings to embellish his In the beginning of 1750, soon after the Ram- own." These were the motives that induced bler was set on foot, Johnson was induced by the Johnson to assist Lauder with a preface: and arts of a vile impostor to lend his assistance, are not these the motives of a critic and a scho during a temporary delusion, to a fraud not tó lar? What reader of taste, what man of real be paralleled in the annals of literature.* One knowledge, would not think his time well emLauder, a native of Scotland, who had been a ployed in an inquiry so curious, so interesting, teacher in the University of Edinburgh, had con- and instructive? If Lauder's facts were really ceived a mortal antipathy to the name and cha- true, who would not be glad, without the smallracter of Milton. His reason was, because the est tincture of malevolence, to receive real inprayer of Pamela, in Sir Philip Sidney's Arca- formation? It is painful to be thus obliged to dia, was, as he supposed, maliciously inserted vindicate a man who, in his heart, towered above by the great poet in an edition of the Eikon the petty arts of fraud and imposition, against an Basilike, in order to fix an imputation of impiety injudicious biographer, who undertook to be his on the memory of the murdered king. Fired editor, and the protector of his memory. Anowith resentment, and willing to reap the profits ther writer, Dr. Towers, in an Essay on the Life of a gross imposition, this man collected from and Character of Dr. Johnson, seems to counteseveral Latin poets, such as Masenius the Je- nance this calumny. He says, “It can hardly suit, Staphorstius a Dutch divine, Beza, and be doubted, but that Johnson's aversion to Milothers, all such passages as bore any kind of ton's politics was the cause of that alacrity with resemblance to different places in the Paradiee which he joined with Lauder in his infamous atLost; and these he published from time to time, tack on our great epic poet, and which induced in the Gentleman's Magazine, with occasional him to assist in that transaction.” These words interpolations of lines, which he himself trans- would seem to describe an accomplice, were they lated from Milton. The public credulity swal- not immediately followed by an express declaralowed all with eagerness; and Milton was sup- tion, that Jobnson was unacquainted with the imposed to be guilty of plagiarism from inferior posture. Dr. Towers adds, “It seems to have modern writers. The fraud succeeded so well, been by way of making some compensation to that Lauder collected the whole into a volume, the memory of Milton, for the share he had in and advertised it under the title of “ An Essay the attack of Lauder, that Johnson wrote the
Prologue, spoken by Garrick, at Drury-Lano * It has since been paralleled, in the case of the Shaks. Theatre, 1750, on the performance of the Masque peare MSS. by a yet more vile impostor.
of Comus, for the benefit of Milton's grand
daughter.” Dr. Towers is not free from preju- 1 of his guilt, than to stand forth the convicted dice; but, as Shakspeare has it, “he begets a champion of a lie; and for this purpose he drew temperance, to give it smoothness." He is, up, in the strongest terms, a recantation, in a therefore, entitled to a dispassionate answer. Letter to the Rev. Mr. Douglass, which Lauder When Johnson wrote the prologue, it does not signed, and published in the year 1751. That appear that he was aware of the malignant ar piece will remain a lasting memorial of the abtifices practised by Lauder. In the postscript horrence with which Johnson beheld a violation to Johnson's preface, a subscription is proposed, of truth. Mr. Nichols, whose attachment to for relieving the grand-daughter of the author his illustrious friend was unwearied, showed of Paradise Lost. Dr. Towers will agree that him, in 1780, a book called “Remarks on Johnthis shows Johnson's alacrity in doing good. son's Life of Milton,” in which the affair of That alacrity showed itself again in the letter Lauder was renewed with virulence, and a poprinted in the European Magazine, January, etical scale in the Literary Magazine, 1758, (when 1785, and there said to have appeared originally Johnson had ceased to write in that collection) in the General Advertiser, 4th April, 1750, by was urged as an additional proof of deliberate which the public were invited to embrace the malice. He read the libellous passage with atopportunity of paying å just regard to the illus- tention, and instantly wrote on the margin: “In uious dead, united with the pleasure of doing the business of Lauder I was deceived, partly by good to the living. The letter adds, “to assist thinking the man too frantic to be fraudulent. industrious indigence, struggling with distress, Of the poetical scale quoted from the Magazine I and debilitated by age, is a display of virtue, and am not the author. I fancy it was put in after I an acquisition of happiness and honour. Who- had quitted that work; for I not only did not ever, therefore, would be thought capable of write it, but I do not remember it.” As a critic pleasure in reading the works of our incompara- and a scholar, Johnson was willing to receive ble Milton, and not so destitute of gratitude as what numbers, at the time, believed to be true to refuse to lay out a tritie, in a rational and ele- information : when he found that the whole gant entertainment, for the benefit of his living was a forgery, he renounced all connexion with remains, for the exercise of their own virtue, the the author. increase of their reputation, and the conscious- In March 1752, he felt a severe stroke of afness of doing good, should appear at Drury- Aliction in the death of his wife. The last numLane Theatre, to-morrow, April 5, when COMUS ber of the Rambler, as already mentioned, was will be performed for the benefit of Mrs. Eliza- on the 14th of that month. The loss of Mrs. beth Moster, grand-daughter to the author, and Johnson was then approaching, and probably the orly surviving branch of his family. Nola was the cause that put an end to those admirabene, there will be a new prologue on the oc- ble periodical essays. It appears that she died casion, written by the author of Irene, and on the 28th of March : in a memorandum, at. spoken by Mr. Garrick.” The man who had the foot of the Prayers and Meditations, that is thus exerted bimself to serve the grand-daughter, called her Dying Day. She was buried at cannot be supposed to have entertained personal Bromley, under the care of Dr. Hawkesworth. malice to the grand-father
. It is true, that the Johnson placed a Latin inscription on her tomb, malevolence of Lauder, as well as the impostures in which he celebrated her beauty. With the of Archibald Bower, were fully detected by the singularity of his prayers for his deceased wife, labours, in the cause of truth, of the Rev. Dr. from that time to the end of his days, the world Douglas, the late Lord Bishop of Salisbury. is sufficiently acquainted. On Easter-day, 22d
April, 1764, his memorandum says: Thought -“ Diram qui contudit Hydram, Notaque futali portenta labore subegit."
on Tetty, poor dear Tetty ;
my eyes full.
Went to church. After sermon I recommended But the pamphlet, entitled, “Milton vindicated Tetty in a prayer by herself; and my father, from the charge of Plagiarism brought against mother, brother, and Bathurst, in another. Í him by Mr. Lauder, and Lauder himself con- did it only once, so far as it might be lawful victed of several Forgeries and gross Imposi- for me.” In a prayer, January 23, 1759, the tions on the Public, by John Douglas, M. A. day on which his mother was buried, he comRector of Eaton Constantine, Salop,” was not mends, as far as may be lawful, her soul to God, published till the year 1751. In that work, p. imploring for her whatever is most beneficial tó 77, Dr. Douglas says, “It is to be hoped, nay, her in her present state.
In this habit he perit is expected, that the elegant and nervous wri- severed to the end of his days. The Rev. Mr. ter, whose judicious sentiments and inimitable Strahan, the editor of the Prayers and Meditastyle point out the author of Lauder's preface tions, observes, “That Johnson, on some occaand postscript, will no longer allow a man to sions, prays that the Almighty may have had mercy plume himself with his feathers, who appears so
on his wife and Mr. Thrale; evidently supposing little to have deserved his assistance, an assist their sentence to have been already passed in the ance which I am persuaded would never have Divine Mind; and by consequence, proving, been communicated, had there been the least that he had no belief in a state of purgatory, and suspicion of those facts, which I have been the no reason for praying for the dead that could iminstrument of conveying to the world.” We peach the sincerity of his profession as a Prohave here a contemporary testimony to the in- testant.” Mr. Straban adds, “That, in praying tegrity of Dr. Johnson throughout the whole of for the regretted tenants of the grave, Johnson that vile transaction. What was the consequence conformed to a practice which has been retained of the requisition made by Dr. Douglas ? John- by many learned members of the Established son, whose ruling passion may be said to be the Church, though the Liturgy no longer admits it. love of truth, convinced Lauder, that it would ! If where the tree falleth, there it shall be ; ifrour be more for his interest to make a full confession state, at the close of life, is to be the measure of