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“ Langton has been encamped with his company of 1778. militia on Warley Common ; I spent five days amongst Ætat. them ; he signalized himself as a diligent Officer, and 69. has very high respect in the regiment. He presided when I was there at a court-martial ; he is now quartered in Hertfordshire ; his lady and little ones are in Scotland. Paoli came to the camp, and commended the soldiers.

“Of myself I have no great matters to say, my health is not restored, my nights are restless and tedious. The best night that I have had these twenty years was at Fort-Augustus. "I hope soon to send you a few lives to read.

“ I am, dear Sir,

“ Your most affectionate, " November 21, 1778.

“ SAM. Johnson.”

About this time the Rev. Mr. John Hussey, who had been some time in trade, and was then a clergyman of the church of England, being about to undertake a journey to Aleppo, and other parts of the East, which he accomplished, Dr. Johnson, (who had long been in habits of intimacy with him,) honoured him with the following letter :



“I HAVE sent you the Grammar,' and have left you two books more, by which I hope to be remembered : write my name in them; we may perhaps see each other no more, you part with my good wishes, nor do I despair of seeing you return. Let no opportunities of vice corrupt you ; let no bad example seduce

you ; let the blindness of Mahometans confirm you in Christianity. God bless you.

“ I am, dear Sir, 6. Your affectionate humble servant, “ December 29, 1778.

SAM. JOHNSON.” Johnson this year expressed great satisfaction at the publication of the first volume of “ Discourses to the

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1779. Royal Academy,” by Sir Joshua Reynolds, whom he Etat.

always considered as one of his literary school. Much 70. praise indeed is due to those excellent Discourses,

which are so universally admired, and for which the
authour received from the Empress of Russia a gold
snuff-box, adorned with her profile in bas relief, set in
diamonds ; and containing what is infinitely more val-
uable, a slip of paper, on which are written with her
Imperial Majesty's own hand, the following words :
Pour le Chevalier Reynolds en temoignage du con-
tentement que j'ai ressentie à la lecture de ses excellens
discours sur la peinture.


the world a luminous proof that the vigour of his mind in all its faculties, whether memory, judgement, or imagination, was not in the least abated ; for this year came out the first four vol

; umes of his “ Prefaces, biographical and critical, to the most eminent of the English Poets,”* published by the booksellers of London. The remaining volumes came out in the year 1780. The Poets were selected by the several booksellers who had the honorary copy right, which is still preserved among them by mutual compact, notwithstanding the decision of the House of Lords against the perpetuity of Literary Property. We have his own authority, s that by his recommendation the poems of Blackmore, Watts, Pomfret, and Yalden, were added to the collection. Of this work I shall speak more particularly hereafter.

On the 22d of January, I wrote to him on several topicks, and mentioned that as he had been so good as to permit me to have the proof sheets of his “Lives of the Poets,” I had written to his servant, Francis, to take care of them for me,

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MY DEAR SIR, “ Edinburgh, Feb. 2, 1779.

“ GARRICK's death is a striking event; not that we should be surprized with the death of any man, who

3 Life of Watts.

has lived sixty-two years ;' but because there was a vi- 1779. vacity in our late celebrated friend, which drove away Etat. the thoughts of death from any association with him. I 70. am sure you will be tenderly affected with his departure; and I would wish to hear from you'upon the subject. I was obliged to him in my days of effervescence in London, when poor Derrick was my governour; and since that time I received many civilities from him. Do you remember how pleasing it was, when I received a letter from him at Inverary, upon our first return to civilized living after our Hebridean journey. I shall always remember him with affection as well as admiration.

“ On Saturday last, being the 30th of January, I drank coffee and old port, and had solemn conversation with the Reverend Mr. Falconer, a nonjuring bishop, a very learned and worthy man. He gave two toasts, which you will believe I drank with cordiality, Dr. Samuel Johnson, and Flora Macdonald. I sat about four hours with him, and it was really as if I had been living in the last century. The Episcopal Church of Scotland, though faithful to the royal house of Stuart, has never accepted of any congé d'élire, since the Revolution ; it is the only true Episcopal Church in Scotland, as it has its own succession of bishops. For as to the episcopal clergy who take the oaths to the present government, they indeed follow the rites of the Church of England, but, as Bishop Falconer observed,

they are not Episcopals ; for they are under no bishop, as a bishop cannot have authority beyond his diocese. This venerable gentleman did me the honour to dine with me yesterday, and he laid his hands upon the heads of

little ones.

We had a good deal of eurious literary conversation, particularly about Mr. Thomas Ruddiman, with whom he lived in great friendship.

Any fresh instance of the uncertainty of life makes one embrace more closely a valuable friend. My dear

• [On Mr. Garrick's Monument in Lichfield Cathedral, he is said to have died, aged 64 years.” But it is a mistake, and Mr. Boswell is perfectly correct. Garrick was baptized at Hereford, Feb. 28, 1716-17 and died at his house in London, Jan. 20, 1779. The inaccuracy of lapidary inscriptions is well known. M.]

1779. and much respected Sir, may God preserve you long

in this world while I am in it. Etat.

6 I am ever, 70.

“ Your much obliged,
And affectionate humble servant,


On the 23d of February I wrote to him again, complaining of his silence, as I had heard he was ill, and had written to Mr. Thrale for information concerning him; and I announced my intention of soon being again in London.

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“ Why should you take such delight to make a bustle, to write to Mr. Thrale that I am negligent, and to Francis to do what is so very unnecessary. Thrale, you may be sure, cared not about it; and I shall spare Francis the trouble, by ordering a set both of the Lives and Poets to dear Mrs. Boswell,' in acknowledgement of her marmalade. Persuade her to accept them, and accept them kindly. If I thought she would receive them scornfully, I would send them to Miss Boswell, who, I hope, has yet none of her mamma's ill-will to me.

“ I would send sets of Lives, four volumes, to some other friends, to Lord Hailes first. His second volume lies by my bed-side ; a book surely of great labour, and to every just thinker of great delight. Write me word to whom I shall send besides ; would it please Lord Auchinleck ? Mrs. Thrale waits in the coach.

“I am, dear Sir, &c. “ March 13, 1779.

“ SAM. JOHNSON." This letter crossed me on the road to London, where I arrived on Monday, March 15, and next morning at a late hour, found Dr. Johnson sitting over his tea, attended by Mrs. Desmoulins, Mr. Levet, and a cler


He sent a set elegantly bound and gilt, which was received as a very handsome present.

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gyman, who had come to submit some poetical pieces 1779. to his revision. It is wonderful what a number and

Ætat. variety of writers, some of them even unknown to him, 70. prevailed on his good-nature to look over their works, and suggest corrections and improvements. My arrival interrupted for a little while, the important business of this true representative of Bayes ; upon its being resumed, I found that the subject under immediate consideration was a translation, yet in manuscript, of the Carmen Seculare of Horace, which had this year been set to musick, and performed as a publick entertainment in London, for the joint benefit of Monsieur Philidor and Signor Baretti. When Johnson had done reading, the authour asked him bluntly, “ If upon the whole it was a good translation ?” Johnson, whose regard for truth was uncommonly strict, seemed to be puzzled for a moment, what answer to make ; as he certainly could not honestly commend the performance : with exquisite address he evaded the question thus, “ Sir, I do not say that it may not be made a very good translation.” Here nothing whatever in favour of the performance was affirmed, and yet the writer was not shocked. A printed “Ode to the Warlike Genius of Britain," came next in review ; the bard was a lank bony figure, with short black hair ; he was writhing himself in agitation, while Johnson read, and shewing his teeth in a grin of earnestness, exclaimed in broken sentences, and in a keen sharp tone, “ Is that poetry, Sir !-Is it Pindar ?". Johnson. " Why, Sir, there is here a great deal of what is called poetry." Then, turning to me, the poet cried, “ My muse has not been long upon the town, and (pointing to the Ode) it trembles under the hand of the great critick.”

) Johnson, in a tone of displeasure, asked him, “ Why

you praise Anson ?” I did not trouble him by asking his reason for this question. He proceeded, “Here is an errour, Sir ; you have made Genius feminine.”“ Palpable, Sir ; (cried the enthusiast) I know it. But in a lower tone) it was to pay a compliment to the Duchess of Devonshire, with which her Grace was pleased. She is walking across Coxheath, in the




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