Abbildungen der Seite


Streatham, June 19, 1774. Dear Sir,-Yesterday I put the first sheets of the Journey to the Hebrides to the press. I have endeavoured to do you some justice in the first paragraph. It will be one volume in octavo, not thick.

“ It will be proper to make some presents in Scotland. You shall tell me to whom I shall give; and I have stipulated twenty-five for you to give in your own name. Some will take the present better from me, others better from you. In this, you who are to live in the place ought to direct. Consider it.

Consider it. Whatever you can get for my purpose send me; and make my compliments to your lady and both the young ones.

“ I am, sir, your, etc.

“ SAM. Johnson."


Edinburgh, June 24, 1774. “ You do not acknowledge the receipt of the various packets which I have sent to you. Neither can I prevail with you to answer my letters, though you honour me with returns. You have said nothing to me about poor Goldsmith"; nothing about Langton.

“ I have received for you, from the society for propagating christian knowledge in Scotland, the following Erse books :--The New Testament;-Baxter's Call; The Confession of Faith of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster;—The Mother's Catechism ;-A Gaelick and English Vocabulary d.”

e Dr. Goldsmith died April 4th, this year. . These books Dr. Johnson presented to the Bodleian Library.-BOSWELL.


“ DEAR SIR,-I wish you could have looked over my book before the printer, but it could not easily be. I suspect some mistakes; but as I deal, perhaps, more in notions than in facts, the matter is not great, and the second edition will be mended, if any such there be. The press will go on slowly for a time, because I am going into Wales to-morrow.

I should be very sorry if I appeared to treat such a character as lord Hailes otherwise than with high respect. I return the sheetse, to which I have done what mischief I could ; and finding it so little, thought not much of sending them. The narrative is clear, lively, and short.

“ I have done worse to lord Hailes than by neglectivg his sheets: I have run him in debt. Dr. Horne, the president of Magdalen college in Oxford, wrote to me about three months ago, that he purposed to reprint Walton's Lives, and desired me to contribute to the work : my answer was, that lord Hailes intended the same publication ; and Dr. Horne has resigned it to him. His lordship must now think seriously about it.

“Of poor dear Dr. Goldsmith there is little to be told, more than the papers have made publick. He died of a fever, made, I am afraid, more violent by uneasiness of mind. His debts began to be heavy, and all his resources were exhausted. Sir Joshua is of opinion that he owed not less than two thousand pounds. Was ever poet so trusted before? " You may,

if you please, put the inseription thus: Maria Scotorum Regina nata 15—, a suis in exilium acta 15—, ab hospita neci data 15—, You must find the years.

Of your second daughter you certainly gave the account yourself, though you have forgotten it. While Mrs. Boswell is well, never doubt of a boy, Mrs. Thrale brought,


e On the cover enclosing them Dr. Johnson wrote, If my delay has given any reason for supposing that I have not a very deep sense of the honour done: me by asking my judgement, I am very sorry."-BOSWELL.

I think, five girls running; but while I was with you she had a boy.

“ I am obliged to you for all your pamphlets, and of the last I hope to make some use.

I made some of the former.

“ I am, dear sir,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]



“ Dear Sir,—You have reason to reproach me that I have left your last letter so long unanswered; but I had nothing particular to say. Chambers, you find, is gone far, and poor Goldsmith is gone much farther. He died of a fever, exasperated, as I believe, by the fear of distress. He had raised money and squandered it, by every artifice of acquisition and folly of expensef. But let not his frailties be remembered; he was a very great man.

I have just begun to print my Journey to the Hebrides, and am leaving the press to take another journey into Wales, whither Mr. Thrale is going, to take possession of at least five hundred a year, fallen to his lady. All at Streatham, that are alive, are well.

“ I have never recovered from the last dreadful illness, but flatter myself that I grow gradually better : much, however, yet remains to mend. Kúpie šXénoov.

“ If you have the Latin version of · Busy, curious,

* Sir John Hawkins, in his Life of Johnson, p. 421, says, that Goldsmith gained by his writings, in one year, 18001. the whole of which he dissipated by gaming and extravagance. But this same knight had no accuracy, little judgement, and less good nature.-Ed.

thirsty fly,' be so kind as to transcribe and send it; but you need not be in haste, for I shall be I know not where, for at least five weeks. I wrote the following tetrastick on poor Goldsmith :

Τον τάφον εισoράας τον Όλιβαροίο, κονίην

"Αφρoσι μη σεμνήν, Ξεϊνε, πόδεσσι πάτει.
Οίσι μέμηλε φύσις, μέτρων χάρις, έργα παλαιών

Κλαίετε ποιητήν, ιστορίκον, φυσικόν. “ Please to make my most respectful compliments to all the ladies, and remember me to young George and his sisters. I reckon George begins to show a pair of heels.

Do not be sullen now, but let me find a letter when I come back. I am, dear sir,

“ Your affectionate, humble servant,


“ July 5, 1774."


Llewenny, in Denbighshire, August 16, 1774. “ DEAR SIR, -Mr. Thrale's affairs have kept him here a great while, nor do I know exactly when we shall come hence. I have sent you a bill upon Mr. Strahan.

I have made nothing of the ipecacuanha, but have taken abundance of pills, and hope that they have done me good. Wales, so far as I have yet seen of it, is

beautiful and rich country, all enclosed, and planted. Denbigh is not a mean town. Make my compliments to all my friends, and tell Frank I hope he remembers my advice. When his money is out, let him have more.


a very

“ I am, sir,

" Your humble servant,

" Sam. JOHNSON.”


Edinburgh, Aug. 30, 1774. “ You have given me an inscription for a portrait of Mary queen of Scots, in wbich you, in a short and striking mauner, point out her hard fate. But you will be pleased to keep in mind, that my picture is a representation of a particular scene in her history; her being forced to resign her crown, while she was imprisoned in the castle of Lochlevin. I must, therefore, beg that you will be kind enough to give me an inscription suited to that particular scene; or determine which of the two formerly transmitted to you is the best; and, at any rate, favour me with an English translation. It will be doubly kind if you comply with my request speedily.

Your critical notes on the specimen of lord Hailes's Annals of Scotland are excellent. I agreed with you in every one of them. He himself objected only to the alteration of free to brave, in the passage where he says that Edward · departed with the glory due to the conquerour of a free people.' He says, “to call the Scots brave would only add to the glory of their conquerour. You will make allowance for the national zeal of our annalist. I now send a few more leaves of the Annals, which I hope you will peruse, and return with observations, as you did upon the former occasion. Lord Hailes writes to me thus : * Mr. Boswell will be pleased to express the grateful sense which sir David Dalrymple has of Dr. Johnson's attention to his little specimen. The further specimen will show, that

Even in an Edward he can see desert.' “ It gives me much pleasure to hear that a republication of Isaac Walton's Lives is intended. You have been in a mistake in thinking that lord Hailes had it in view. I remember one morning, while he sat with you in my house, he said, that there should be a new edition of Walton's Lives; and you said that they should be benoted a


« ZurückWeiter »