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be thought of the provocation, must ever be considered as a model of dignified resentment. What

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“ MY LORD,

Feb. 7, 1754. “ I have been lately informed, by the proprietor of the World,' that two papers, in which my Dictionary' is recommended to the public, were written by your Lordship. To be so distinguished, - is an honour which, being very little accustomed to the favours of the great, I know not well how to receive, or in what terms to acknowledge.

“ When upon some slight encouragement I first visited your Lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the „enchantment of your address; and could not forbear to wish that I might boast myself, Le vainqueur du vainqueur de la terre ; that I might obtain that regard, for which I saw the world contending :-but I found my attendance so little encouraged, that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to continue it. When I had once addressed your Lordship in public, I had exhausted all the art of pleasing, which a retired scholar can possess. I had done all that I could; and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.

“ Seven years, my Lord, have now past, since I waited in your outward rooms, or was repulsed from your door ; during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties, of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it at last to the verge of publication without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favour. Such treatment I did not expect-for I never had a Patron before.

“ The shepherd in Virgil grew at last acquainted with Love, and found him a native of the rocks.

“ Is not a Patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? The notice, which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind: but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling that the public should consider me as owing that to a patron, which Providence has enabled me to do for myself. “ Having carried on my work thus far with so little obligation

VOL. VI.

effect it produced on Lord Chesterfield, is doubtful. He certainly felt, that it was necessary to offer some defence to his private friends; and it may be believed that, having befriended authors of much inferior merit, he must have deeply regretted that he had, by whatever appearance of neglect, dissolved a connexion which might have been mutually honourable.*

to any favourer of learning, I shall not be disappointed though I should conclude it, if less be possible, with less : for I have been long wakened from that dream of hope, in which I once boasted myself with so much exultation,

“ My Lord, “ Your Lordship's most humble, “ Most obedient servant,

“ SAM. JOHNSON." And yet, if he meant Dr. Johnson by the subjoined portrait, how could he without criminal dissimulation affect to cultivate and value such a connexion ?

“ There is a man, whose moral character, deep learning, and superior parts, I acknowledge, admire, and respect; but whom it is so impossible for me to love, that I am almost in a fever whenever I am in bis company. His figure (without being deformed) seems made to disgrace, or ridicule, the common structure of the human body. His legs and arms are never in the position which, according to the situation of his body, they ought to be in, but constantly employed in committing acts of hostility upon

the Graces. He throws any where, but down his throat, whatever he means to drink; and only mangles what he means to carve. Inattentive to all the regard of social life, he mis-times or misplaces every thing. He disputes with heat, and indiscriminately; mindless of the rank, character, and situation of those with whom he disputes: absolutely ignorant of the several gradations of familiarity or respect, he is exactly the same to his superiors, his equals, and his inferiors; and therefore, by a necessary consequence, absurd to two of the three. Is it possible to love such a man? No: the utmost I can do for him, is to consider him as a respectable Hottentot."

Whether the respectable Hottentot, however, was really

By his wife Lord Chesterfield had no issue ; but he had a natural son Philip by Madame de Bouchet, a French lady, with whom he carried on a criminal intercourse for some years, chiefly during his residence at the Hague. This son, as he grew up, became the chief object of his attention; and one cause of his relinquishing public employment was, that he might have more leisure to correspond with him while he was on his travels. As he could not transmit to him his real estate on account of his illegitimacy, he adopted a plan of strict economy, in order to raise him a fortune by his savings. With a view also to his advancement in the world, he took great pains to communicate to him the graces,' but without the desired effect. Yet the young man possessed in their stead some valuable and solid qualities, was brought into parliament, filled different diplomatic situations, and finally was appointed Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Dresden. Falling afterward into a bad state of health, he repaired to the South of France, where in November 1768, he was carried off by a dropsy. This heavy blow was aggravated to his father's feelings by the intelligence with which it was accompanied, that he had been secretly married several years, and had left two children. But his Lordship, whatever resentment or mortification he might feel at this particular instance of his own favourite

meant for Dr. Johnson, is not quite so certain as it was once supposed. Sir David Dalrymple, a contemporary writer in the · World,' maintained that it was intended for a late noble Lord, distinguished for abstruse science (Macclesfield). Yet there are traits in it applicable to the great Lexicographer, though not that of unmannerly eating, unless his Lordship took it upon report; for Johnson declared to Boswell, that Lord Chesterfield never saw him eat in his life.”

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dissimulation, took upon himself the care of providing for the orphans.

Henceforward he grew feeble and languid ; although the flashes of wit and humour, for which he had formerly been celebrated, at times broke forth from the midst of his gloom. His old friend, Sir Thomas Robinson, who was above six feet high, telling him one day, that if he did not go abroad and take exercise, he would die by inches;' he drolly replied, “ If that must be the case, then I am very glad I am not so tall as you, Sir Thomas.”

About the latter end of the year 1772, his son's widow was ordered to visit him, and to bring with her his two grandsons. His Lordship upon this occasion laid aside the crutch, with which he used to support himself (being then very lame) and attempted to advance to embrace the children; but he was no longer able to stand alone, and would have fallen, if a servant had not instantly run to his support. The circumstance deeply affected him: but presently recollecting himself, he said smiling, “ This is a fresh proof of my declension; I am not able to crawl without my three legs: the last part of the Sphynx's riddle approaches, and I shall soon end as I began, "

His prediction was speedily verified: he lost the use of his limbs shortly afterward, though he retained his senses almost to the last hour of his life. He died at Chesterfield House, March 24, 1773.

His character is almost undefinable. He was, certainly, one of the greatest wits of his age. A patriot upon principle, he was sometimes, by no unusual effect of power, led to neglect or to forget those principles when in office. His public excellence was, chiefly, that

upon all fours.”

of being an able negotiator. In his politeness, affability, and knowledge of the human heart he possessed a key to the secrets, as well as to the foibles, of both sexes. By his talents for oratory he acquired the title, of the British Cicero;' and his taste for learning and the polite arts, together with his occasional liberalities to their professors, gained him that of the British Mæcenas.'* But having allowed that he was the ac

* To some such impulse must we attribute the following lines, extracted from the conclusion of Thomson's Winter;' as, with many accurate traits of character, they assuredly colour upon the whole far too highly.

Thou, whose wisdom solid yet refined,
Whose patriot virtues and consummate skill
To touch the finer springs that move the world,
Joined to whate'er the Graces can bestow
And all Apollo's animating fire,
Give thee with pleasing dignity to shine
At once the guardian, ornament, and joy
Of polish'd life; permit the rural Muse,
O Chesterfield, to grace with thee her song!
Ere to the shades again she humbly flies,
Indulge her fond ambition, in thy train
(For every Muse has in thy train a place)
To mark thy various full-accomplish'd mind;
To mark that spirit, which with British scorn
Rejects th’ allurements of corrupted power;
That elegant politeness, which excels,
Even in the judgement of presumptuous France,
The boasted manners of her shining court;
That wit, the vivid energy of sense,
The truth of Nature, which with Attic point
And kind well-temper'd satire smoothly keen
Steals through the soul, and without pain corrects.
Or, rising thence with yet a brighter flame,
O let me hail thee on some glorious day,
When to the listening senate ardent crowd
Britannia's sons to hear her pleaded causę.

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