« ZurückWeiter »
came head of the college, and was esteemed tion. appears, by his modest and anaffected through life for his learning, his talents, and his narration, to have described things as he saw amiable character. Johnson grew more regular them; to have copied nature from the life; and in his attendance. Ethics, theology, and classic to have consulted his senses, not his imagination: literature, were his favourite studies. He disco- He meets with no basilisks, that destroy with vered, notwithstanding, early symptoms of that their eyes; his crocodiles devour their prey, withwandering disposition of mind, which adhered out tears; and his cataracts fall from the rock, to him to the end of his life. His reading was without deafening the neighbouring inhabitants.. by fits and starts, undirected to any particular The reader will here find no regions cursed with science. General philology, agreeably to his irremediable barrenness, or blessed with spon-" cousin Ford's advice, was the object of his am- taneous fecundity; no perpetual gloom, or unbition. He received, at that time, an early im- ceasing sunshine: nor are the nations, here depression of piety, and a taste for the best authors, scribed, either void of all sense of humanity, or ancient and modern. It may, notwithstanding, consummate in all private and social virtues : be questioned whether, except his Bible, he ever here are no Hottentots without religion, polity, read a book entirely through. Late in life, if any or articulate language; no Chinese perfectly poman praised a book in his presence, he was sure lite, and completely skilled in all sciences : he to ask, “Did you read it through ?" If the answer will discover, what will always be discovered by was in the affirmative, he did not seem willing to a diligent and impartial inquirer, that, wherever believe it. He continued at the university till the human nature is to be found, there is a mixture want of pecuniary supplies obliged him to quit of vice and virtue, a contest of passion and reathe place. He obtained, however, the assistance son; and that the Creator doth not appear partial of a friend, and returning in a short time, was in his distributions, but has balanced, in most able to complete a residence of three years. The countries, their particular inconveniences by parhistory of his exploits, at Oxford, he used to say, ticular favours."--We have here an early spewas best known to Dr. Taylor and Dr. Adams. cimen of Johnson's manner; the vein of thinkWonders are told of his memory, and, indeed, ing and the frame of the sentences are maniall who knew him late in life, can witness that festly his: we see the infant Hercules. The he retained that faculty in the greatest vigour. translation of Lobo's Narrative has been re
From the university Johnson returned to printed lately in a separate volume, with some Litchfield. His father died soon after, Decem- other tracts of Dr. Johnson's, and therefore ber 1731; and the whole receipt out of his ef- forms no part of this edition; but a compendious fects, as appeared by a memorandum in the son's account of so interesting a work as Father Lohand-writing, dated 15th June, 1732, was no bo's discovery of the head of the Nile will not, it more than twenty pounds.* In this exigence, is imagined, be unacceptable to the reader. determined that poverty should neither depress Father Lobo, the Portuguese Missionary, emhis spirit nor warp his integrity, he became un- barked, in 1622, in the same fleet with the der-master of a grammar-school at Market-Bos- Count Vidigueira, who was appointed, by the worth in Leicestershire. That resource, how- king of Portugal, Viceroy of the Indies. They ever, did not last long. Disgusted by the pride arrived at Goa; and, in January 1624, Father of Sir Wolstan Dixie, the patron of that little Lobo set out on the mission to Abyssinia. Two seminary, he left the place in discontent, and of the Jesuits, sent on the same commission, were ever after spoke of it with abhorrence. In 1733 murdered in their attempt to penetrate into that be went on a visit to Mr. Hector, who had been empire. Lobo had better success; he surnis school-fellow, and was then a surgeon at mounted all difficulties, and made his way into Birmingham, lodging at the house of Warren, a the heart of the country. Then follows a debookseller. At that place Johnson translated a scription of Abyssinia, formerly the largest emvoyage to Abyssinia, written by Jerome Lobo, pire of which we have an account in history. It a Portuguese missionary. This was the first extended from the Red Sea to the kingdom of literary work from the pen of Dr. Johnson. His Congo, and from Egypt to the Indian Sea, confriend Hector was occasionally his amanuensis. taining no less than forty provinces. At the The work was, probably, undertaken at the de- time of Lobo's mission, it was not much larger sire of Warren, the bookseller, and was printed than Spain, consisting then but of five kingdoms, at Birmingham ; but it appears in the Literary of which part was entirely subject to the EmMagazine, or History of the Works of the peror, and part paid him a tribute, as an acLearned, for March 1735, that it was published knowledgment. The provinces were inhabited by Bettesworth and Hitch, Paternoster-row. It by Moors, Pagans, Jews, and Christians. The contains a narrative of the endeavours of a com- last was, in Lobo's time, the established and pany of missionaries to convert the people of reigning religion. The diversity of people and Abyssinia to the Church of Rome. In the pre- religion is the reason why the kingdoin was unface to this work Johnson observes, “that the der different forms of government, with laws Portuguese traveller, contrary to the general and customs extremely various. Some of the view of his countrymen, has amused his readers people neither sowed their lands, nor improved with no romantic absurdities, or incredible fic-them by any kind of culture, living upon milk
and flesh, and, like the Arabs, encamping with
out any settled habitation. In some places •The entry of this is remarkable, for his early resolution to prnserve through life a fair and upright character: they practised no rites of worship, though they "1732, Junii 15. Undecim aureos deposui, quo die, believed that, in the regions above, there dwell's quidquid ante matris funus (quod serum sit precor) de a Being that governs the world.
This Deity paternis ponis sperare licet, viginti scilicet libras, accepi. they call in their language Oul. The Christipaupertate vires animi languescaut, ne in flagitia egestas anity professed by the people in some parts, is adigat, cavendum."
corrupted with superstitious errors, and here
sirs, and so mingled with ceremonies borrowed “As to the course of the Nile, its waters, at from the Jews, that little, besides the name of ter the first rise, run towards the East, about the Christianity, is to be found among them. The length of a musket-shot: then, turning northAbyssins cannot properly be said to have either ward, continue hidden in the grass and weede cities or houses; they live in tents or cottages for about a quarter of a league, when they remade of straw or clay, very rarely building with appear amongst a quantity of rocks. The Nile stone. Their villages or towns consist of these from its source proceeds with so inconsiderable huts; yet even of such villages they have but a current, that it is in danger of being dried up few; because the grandees, the viceroys, and the by the hot season; but soon receiving an increase emperor himself, are always in camp, that they from the Gemma, the Keltu, the Bransa, and the may be prepared, upon the most sudden alarm, other smaller rivers, it expands to such a breadth to meet every emergence, in a country which is in the plains of Boad, which is not above three engaged every year either in foreign wars or in- days' journey from its source, that a muskettestine commotions. Ethiopia produces very ball will scarcely fly from one bank to the other. near the same kinds of provision as Portugal, Here it begins to run northward, winding, howthough, by the extreme laziness of the inhabit ever, a little to the East for the space of nine or ants, in a much less quantity. What the an- ten leagues, and then enters the so-much-talkedcients imagined of the torrid zone being a part of Lake of Dambia, flowing with such violent of the world uninhabitable, is so far from being rapidity, that its waters may be distinguished true, that the climate is very temperate. The through the whole passage, which is no less than blacks have better features than in other coun- six leagues. Here begins the greatness of the tries, and are not without wit and ingenuity. Nile. Fifteen miles further, in the land of Alata, Their apprehension is quick, and their judgment it rushes precipitately from the top of a high rock, sound. There are in the climate two harvests and forms one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the year: one in winter, which lasts through in the world. Lobo says, he passed under it the months of July, August and September; without being wet, and resting himself
, for the the other in the Spring. They have, in the sake of the coolness, was charmed with a thougreatest plenty, raisins, peaches, pomegranates, sand delightful rainbows, which the sunbeams sugar-canes, and some figs. Most of these are painted on the water, in all their shining and ripe about Lent, which the Abyssins keep with lively colours.* The fall of this mighty stream, great strictness. The animals of the country from so great a height, makes a noise that may are the lion, the elephant, the rhinoceros, the uni- be heard at a considerable distance; but it was corn, horses, mules, oxen, and cows without not found, that the neighbouring inhabitants number. They have a very particular custom, were deaf. After the cataract, the Nile collects which obliges every man, that has a thousand its scattered stream among the rocks, which are cows, to save every year one day's milk of all so near each other, that in Lobo's time, a bridge his herd, and make a bath with it for his rela- of beams, on which the whole imperial army tions. This they do so many days in each year, passed, was laid over them. Sultan Sequed has as they have thousands of cattle; so that, to ex- since built a stone bridge of one arch, in the press how rich a man is, they tell you he bathes same place, for which purpose he procured ma so many times.
sons from India. Here the river alters its course, “Of the river Nile, which has furnished so and passes through various kingdoms, such as much controversy, we have a full and clear de Amhara, Olaca, Choaa, Damot, and the kingscription. It is called by the natives, Abavi, dom of Goiama, and, after various windings, the Father of Water. It rises in Sacala, a pro- returns within a short day's journey of its spring. vince of the kingdom of Goiama, the most fer- To pursue it through all its mazes, and aocomrtile and agreeable part of the Abyssinian do- pany it round the kingdom of Goiama, is a jourminions On the Eastern side of the country, ney of twenty-nine days. From Abyssinia, the on the declivity of a mountain, whose descent is river passes into the countries of Fazulo and so easy, that it seems a beautiful plain, is that Ombarca, two vast regions little known, inhasource of the Nile, which has been sought after bited by nations entirely different from the Abysat so much expense and labour. This spring, sins. Their hair, like that of the other blacks in or rather these two springs, are two holes, each those regions, is short and curled. In the year about two feet diameter, a stone's cast distant 1615, Rassela Christos, Lieutenant-General to from each other. One of them is about five Sultan Sequed, entered those kingdoms in a hosfeet and a half in depth. Lobo was not able to tile manner; but, not being able to get intellisink his plummet lower, perhaps, because it was gence, returned without attempting any thing. stopped by roots, the whole place being full of As the empire of Abyssinia terminates at these
A line of ten feet did not reach the bot. descents, Lobo followed the course of the Nile tom of the other. These springs are supposed no farther, leaving it to range over barbarous by the Abyssins to be the vents of a great sub- kingdoms, and convey wealth and plenty into terraneous lake. At a small distance to the Ægypt, which owes to the annual inundations South, is a village called Guix, through which you ascend to the top of the mountain, where
* This, Mr. Bruce, the late traveller, avers to be a downthere is a little hill, which the idolatrous Agaci right falsehood. He says, a deep pool of water reaches to hold in great veneration. Their priest calls the very foot of the rock and allowing that there was a them together to this place once a year: and seat or bench (which there is not) in the middle of the every one sacrifices a cow, or more, according strength, to have arrived at it. But it may be asked, can to the different degrees of wealth and devotion Mr. Bruce say, what was the face of the country in the Hence we have sufficient proof, that these na
year 1622, when Lobo saw the magnificent sight which he tions always paid adoration to the Deity of this formed since ; and Lobo, perhaps, was content to sit down
ruce's pool of water may have been famous river.
has described! Mr.
without a bench.
of this river its envied fertility.* Lobo knows want of encouragement. Johnson, it seems, nothing of the Nile in the rest of its passage, differed from Boileau, Voltaire, and D'Alembert, except that it receives great increase from many who had taken upon them to proscribe all moother rivers, has several cataracts like that al- dern efforts to write with elegance in a dead ready described, and that few fish are to be language. For a decision pronounced in so found in it; that scarcity is to be attributed to high a tone, no good reason can be assigned. the river horse and the crocodile, which destroy The interests of learning require that the dicthe weaker inhabitants of the river. Something, tion of Greece and Rome should be cultivated likewise, must be imputed to the cataracts, where with care; and he who can write a language fish cannot fall without being killed. Lobo adds, with correctness, will be most likely to underthat neither he, nor any with whom he conversed stand its idiom, its grammar, and its peculiar about the crocodile, ever saw him weep; and graces of style.' What man of taste would willtherefore all that hath been said about his tears ingly forego the pleasure of reading Vida, Framust be ranked among the fables invented for castorius, Sannazaro, Strada, and others, down the amusement of children.
to the late elegant productions of Bishop Lowth? As to the causes of the inundations of the The history which Johnson proposed to himself Nile, Lobo observes, that many an idle hypothe- would, beyond all question, have been a valuablo sis has been framed. Some theorists ascribe it addition to the history of letters; but his project to the high winds, that stop the current, and failed. His next expedient was to offer his as force the water above its banks. Others pre-sistance to Cave, the original projector of the tend a subterraneous communication between Gentleman's Magazine. For this purpose he the Ocean and the Nile, and that the sea, when sent his proposals in a letter, offering, on rea violently agitated, swells the river. Many are sonable terms, occasionally to fill some pages of opinion, that this mighty food proceeds from with poems and inscriptions never printed bethe melting of the snow on the mountains of fore; with fugitive pieces that deserved to be reEthiopia ; but so much snow and such prodigious vived, and critical remarks on authors ancient heat are never met with in the same region. and modern. Cave agreed to retain him as a Lobo never saw snow in Abyssinia, except on correspondent and contributor to the Magazine. Mount Semen in the kingdom of Tigre, very What the conditions were cannot now be remote from the Nile; and on Namara, which known; but certainly they were not sufficient is, indeed, not far distant, but where there never to hinder Johnson from casting his eyes about falls snow enough to wet, when dissolved, the him in quest of other employment. Accordingfoot of the mountain. To the immense labours ly, in 1735, he made overtures to the Rev. Mr. of the Portuguese, mankind is indebted for the Budworth, Master of a Grammar-school at knowledge of the real cause of these inundations, Brerewood, in Staffordshire, to become his as80 great and so regular. By them we are in sistant. This proposition did not succeed. Mr. formed, that Abyssinia, where the Nile rises, is Budworth apprehended, that the involuntary full of mountains, and in its natural situation, is motions, to which Johnson's nerves were submuch higher than Egypt; that in the winter, from ject, might make him an object of ridicule with June to September, no day is without rain; that his scholars, and, by consequence, lessen their the Nile receives in its course, all the rivers, respect for their master. Another mode of adbrooks, and torrents, that fall from those moun- vancing himself presented itself about this time. tains, and, by necessary consequence, swelling Mrs. Porter, the widow of a mercer in Birming, above its banks, fills the plains of Egypt with ham, admired his talents. It is said that she had inundations, which come regularly about the about eight hundred pounds; and that sum to a month of July, or three weeks after the begin- person in Johnson's circumstances was an affluning of the rainy season in Ethiopia. The dif- ent fortune. A marriage took place, and to turn ferent degrees of this flood are such certain indi- his wife's money to the best advantage, he pro cations of the fruitfulness or sterility of the ensu- jected the scheme of an academy for education. ing year, that it is publicly proclaimed at Cairo how Gilbert Walmsley, at that time Registrar of the much the water hath gained during the night.” Ecclesiastical Court of the Bishop of Litchfield,
Such is the account of the Nile and its inun- was distinguished by his erudition, and the podations, which it is hoped will not be deemed an liteness of his manners. He was the friend of improper or tedious digression, especially as the Johnson, and, by his weight and influence enwhole is an extract from Johnson's translation. deavoured to promote his interest. The celeHe is all the time the actor in the scene, and in brated Garrick, whose father, Captain Garrick, his own words relates the story. Having finish- lived at Litchfield, was placed in the new semied this work, he returned, in February 1734, to nary of education, by that gentleman's advice.his native city, and, in the month of August fol- Garrick was then about eighteen years old. An lowing, published proposals for printing by sub- accession of seven or eight pupils was the most scription the Latin Poems of Politian, with the that could be obtained, though notice was given History of Latin Poetry, from the Era of Pe by a public advertisement, that at Edial, near trarch, to the time of Politian; and also the Litchfield, in Staffordshire, young gentlemen are life of Politian, to be added by the Editor, boarded and taught the Latin and Greek LanSamuel Johnson. The book to be printed guages, by Samuel Johnson. in thirty octavo sheets, price five shillings. The undertaking proved abortive. Johnson It is to be regretted that this project failed for having now abandoned all hopes of promoting
his fortune in the country, determined to become by Mr. Bruce, the reader will judge whether Lobo is to pupil, Garrick, had formed the same resolution ;
* After comparing this description with that lately given an adventurer in the world at large
and, accordingly, in March, 1737, they arrived | pleted: a like design was offered to the public, in London together. Two such candidates for under the patronage of Dr. Zachary Pearce; fame, perhaps never before that day entered and by that contention both attempts were frusthe metropolis together. Their stock of money trated. Johnson had been commended by Pope was soon exhausted. In his visionary project for the translation of the Messiah into Latin of an academy, Johnson had probably wasted verse; but he knew no approach to so eminent a his wife's substance; and Garrick's father had man. With one, however, who was connected little more than his half-pay. The two fellow- with Pope, he became acquainted at St. John's travellers had the world before them, and each Gate; and that person was no other than the was to choose his road to fortune and to fame. well-known Richard Savage, whose life was afThey brought with them genius, and powers of terwards written by Johnson, with great elemind, peculiarly forined by nature for the differ- gance, and a depth of moral reflection. Savage ent vocations to which each of them felt himself was a man of considerable talents. His ad. inclined. They acted from the impulse of young dress, his various accomplishments, and, above minds, even then meditating great things, and all
, the peculiarity of his misfortunes, recomwith courage anticipating success. Their friend mended him to Johnson's notice. They beMr. Walmsley, by a letter to the Rev. Mr. Col- came united in the closest intimacy. Both had son, who, it seems, was a great mathematician, great parts, and they were equally under the exerted his good offices in their favour. He gave pressure of want. Sympathy joined them in a notice of their intended journey. “Davy Gar- league of friendship. Johnson has been often rick,” he said, "will be with you next week; heard to relate, that he and Savage walked and Johnson, to try his fate with a tragedy, and round Grosvenor-square till four in the mornto get himself employed in some translation ing; in the course of their conversation reformeither from the Latin or French. Johnson is a ing the world, dethroning princes, establishing very good scholar and a poet, and I have great new forms of government, and giving laws to hopes will turn out a fine tragedy writer. If it the several states of Europe; till
, fatigued at should be in your way, I doubt not but you will length with their legislative office, they began to be ready to recommend and assist your country- feel the want of refreshment, but could not musmen.” Of Mr. Walmsley's merit, and the ex- ter up more than fourpence-halfpenny. Sacellence of his character, Johnson has left a vage, it is true, had many vices: but vice could beautiful testimonial at the end of the Life of never strike its roots in a mind like Johnson's, Edward Smith. It is reasonable to conclude, seasoned early with religion, and the principles of that a mathematician, absorbed in abstract spe moral rectitude. His first prayer was composed culations, was not able to find a sphere of action in the year 1738. He had not at that time refor two men who were to be the architects of nounced the use of wine; and, no doubt, occatheir own fortune. In three or four years after-sionally enjoyed his friend and his bottle. The wards Garrick came forth, with talents that as- love of late hours, which followed him through tonished the public. He began his career at life, was, perhaps, originally contracted in comGoodman's-fields, and there, monstratus fatis pany with Savage. However that may be, their Vespasianus! he chose a lucrative profession, connexion was not of long duration. In the and consequently soon emerged from all his dif- year 1738, Savage was reduced to the last disficulties. Johnson was left to toil in the hum- tress. Mr. Pope, in a letter to him, expressed ble walks of literature. A tragedy, as appears his concern for "the miserable withdrawing of by Walmsley's letter, was the whole of his stock. his pension after the death of the Queen;" and This, most probably, was Irene; but, if then gave him hopes that, “in a short time, he should finished, it was doomed to wait for a more happy find himself supplied with a competence, with period. It was offered to Fleetwood, and reject- out any dependence on those little creatures ed. Johnson looked round him for employment. whom we are pleased to call the Great. The Having, while he remained in the country, cor- scheme proposed to him was, that he should reresponded with Cave, under a feigned name, he tire to Swansea in Wales, and receive an allownow thought it time to make himself known to ance of fisty pounds a year, to be raised by suba man whom he considered as a patron of litera- scription; Pope was to pay twenty pounds. This
Cave had announced, by public advertise- plan, though finally established, took more than ment, a prize of fifty pounds for the best poem on a year before it was carried into execution. In Life, Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell; and the mean time, the intended retreat of Savage this circumstance diffused an idea of his libe- called to Johnson's mind the third Satire of Jurality. Johnson became connected with him in venal in which that poet takes leave of a friend, business, and in a close and intimate acquaint- who was withdrawing himself from all the vices
of Cave's character it is unnecessary to of Rome. Struck with this idea, he wrote that say any thing in this place, as Johnson was af- well-known poem, called London. The first terwards the biographer of his first and most use lines manifestly point to Savage. ful patron. To be engaged in the translation of some important book was still the object which
“Though grief and fondness in my breast rebel, Johnson had in view. For this purpose he pro
When injured Thales bids the town farewell;
Yet still my calmer thoughts his choice commend; posed to give the History of the Council of Trent, I praise the hermit, but regret the friend; with copious notes, then lately added to a French Resolved at length, from Vice and London far, edition. Twelve sheets of this work were print
To breathe in distant fields a purer air; ed, for which Johnson received forty-nine
And fixed on Cambria's solitary shore,
Give to St. David one true Briton more." pounds, as appears by his receipt in the possession of Mr. Nichols, the compiler of that enter- Johnson at that time lodged at Greenwich. taining and useful work, the Gentleman's Maga- He there fixes the scene, and takes leave of his zine, Johnson's translation was never com-friend; who, he says in his Life, parted from
him with tears in his eyes. The poem, when
This scheme miscarried. There is reason to finished, was offered to Cave. It happened, thrink, that Swift declined to meddle in the busihowever, that the late Mr. Dodsley was the ness; and to that circumstance Johnson's known purchaser, at the price of ten guineas. It was dislike of Swift has been often imputed. published in 1738; and Pope, we are told, said, It is mortifying to pursue a man of merit
The author, whoever he is, will not be long through all his difficulties; and yet this narraconcealed :" alluding to the passage in Terence, tive must be, through many following years, the Ubi, ubi est, diu celari non potest. Notwithstand history of Genius and Virtue struggling with ing that prediction, it does not appear that, be- Adversity. Having lost the school at Appleby, sides the copy-money, any advantage accrued Johnson was thrown back on the metropolis. to the author of a poem, written with the ele- Bred to no profession, without relations, friends, gance and energy of Pope. Johnson, in Au- or interest, he was condemned to drudgery in gust 1738, went, with all the fame of his poetry, the service of Cave, his only patron. In Novemto offer himself a candidate for the mastership of ber 1738 was published a translation of Crouthe school at Appleby, in Leicestershire. The saz's Examen of Pope's Essay on Man; statutes of the place required, that the person taining a succinct View of the System of the chosen should be a Master of Arts. To remove Fatalists, and a Confutation of their Opinions; this objection, the then Lord Gower was induced with an Illustration of the Doctrine of Freeto write to a friend, in order to obtain for John-Will; and an inquiry, what view Mr. Pope son a Master's degree in the University of Dub- might have in touching upon the Leibnitzian lin, by the recommendation of Dr. Swift
. The Philosophy, and Fatalism. By Mr. Crousaz, letter was printed in one of the Magazines, and Professor of Philosophy, and Mathematics at was as follows:
Lausanne.” This translation has been gene
rally thought a production of Johnson's pen; “Sir,
but it is now known, that Mrs. Elizabeth Carter “Mr. Samuel Johnson (author of London, a has acknowledged it to be one of her early perSatire, and some other poetical pieces,) is a na- formances. It is certain, however, that Johntive of this county, and much respected by some son was eager to promote the publication. He worthy gentlemen in the neighbourhood, who considered the foreign philosopher as a man are trustees of a charity-school, now vacant; the zealous in the cause of religion; and with him certain salary of which is sixty pounds per year, he was willing to join against the system of the of which they are desirous to inake him master; Fatalists, and the doctrine of Leibnitz. It is but unfortunately he is not capable of receiving well known that Warburton wrote a vindication their bounty, which would make him happy for of Mr. Pope, but there is reason to think that life, by not being a Master of Arts, which, by Johnson conceived an early prejudice against the statutes of the school, the master of it must the Essay on Man; and what once took root in be.
a mind like his, was not easily eradicated. His “Now, these gentlemen do me the honour to letter to Cave on this subject is still extant, and think, that I have interest enough in you, to pre- may well justify Sir John Hawkins, who inferred vail upon you to write to Dean Swift, to persuade that Johnson was the translator of Crousaz. the University of Dublin to send a diploma to The conclusion of the letter is remarkable. “I me, constituting this poor man Master of Arts am yours, Imprensus." If by that Latin word in their University. They highly extol the man's was meant that he had not dined, because he learning and probity, and will not be persuaded, wanted the means, who can read it, even at this that the University will make any difficulty of hour, without an aching heart? conferring such a favour upon a stranger, if he With a mind naturally vigorous, and quickis recommended by the Dean. They say he is ened by necessity, Johnson formed a multiplicinot afraid of the strictest examination, though ty of projects; but most of them proved abortive. he is of so long a journey; and yet he will ven- A number of small tracts issued from his pen ture it, if the Dean thinks it necessary, choosing with wonderful rapidity; such as “MARMOR rather to die upon the road, than to be starved NORFOLCIENSE; or an Essay on an ancient proto death in translating for booksellers, which phetical Inscription, in Monkish Rhyme, dishas been his only subsistence for some time covered at Lynn in Norfolk. By Probus Britanpast.
nicus.". This was a pamphlet against Sir Robert “I fear there is more difficulty in this affair Walpole. According to Sir John Hawkins, a than these good-natured gentlemen apprehend, warrant was issued to apprehend the Author, especially as their election cannot be delayed who retired with his wife to an obscure lodging longer than the 11th of next month. If you see near Lambeth Marsh, and there eluded the this matter in the same light that it appears to search of the messengers. But this story has me, I hope you will burn this, and pardon me no foundation in truth. Johnson was never for giving you so much trouble about an imprac- known to mention such an incident in his life ; ticable thing; but, if you think there is a proba- and Mr. Steele (late of the Treasury) caused bility of obtaining the favour asked, I am sure diligent search to be made at the proper offices, your humanity and propensity to relieve merit and no trace of such a proceeding could be in distress will incline you to serve the poor found. In the same year (1739) the Lord
my adding any more to the trou- Chamberlain prohibited the representation of a ble I have already given you, than assuring you, tragedy, called Gustavus Vasa, by Henry that I am, with great truth,
Brooke. Under the mask of irony, Johnson “Sir,
published "A Vindication of the Licenser from “ Your faithful humble servant,
the malicious and scandalous Aspersions of Mr.
“GOWER." Brooke.” Of these two pieces Sir John Haw"Trentham, Aug. 1st."
kins says, "they have neither learning nor wit,