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instances may sometimes occur, where some evil may be prevented by violating this noble principle, it would be found that human happiness would, upon the whole, be more perfect were truth universally preserved.
In the notes to the “ Dunciad," we find the following verses addressed to Pope ? :
" While malice, Pope, denies thy page
Its own celestial fire;
And envious tongues decry ;
These times bewail not I.
And spleen no more shall blame;
In one establish'd fame !
Devote a wreath to thee;
Shall I lament to see.
It is surely not a little remarkable that they should appear without a name. Miss Seward, knowing Dr. Johnson's almost universal and minute literary information, signified a desire that I should ask him who was the authour. He was prompt with his answer :-“Why, sir, they were written by one Lewis, who was either under-master or an usher of Westminster-school, and published a Miscellany, in which 'Grongar Hill' first came out ?." Johnson praised
1 The annotator calls them “amiable verses.”_BOSWELL. [The annotator was Pope himself.-Ed.]
2 Lewis's verses addressed to Pope (as Mr. Bindley suggests to me) were first published a collection of Pieces in verse and prose on occasion of“ The Dunciad,” 8vo. 1732. They are there called an Epigram. "Grongar Hill,” the same gentleman observes, was first printed in Savage's Miscellanies, as an Ode (it is singular that Johnson should not have recollected this), and was reprinted in the same year (1726), in Lewis's Miscellany, in the form it now bears. In that Miscellany (as the Reverend Mr. Blakeway observes to me), " the beautiful poem, "Away, let nought to love displeasing,' &c. (reprinted in Percy's Reliques, vol. i b. iii. No. 14), first appeared.' It is there said to be a translation from the ancicnt British. Lewis was authour of “ Philip of Mace.
them highly, and repeated them with a noble animation. In the twelfth line, instead of “one establish'd fame,” he repeated “one unclouded flame,” which he thought was the reading in former editions ; but I believe was a flash of his own genius. It is much more poetical than the other.
On Monday, 14th June, and Tuesday, 15th, Dr. Johnson and I dined, on one of them, I forget which, with Mr. Mickle, translator of the “Lusiad," at Wheatley, a very pretty country place a few miles from Oxford; and on the other with Dr. Wetherell, Master of University College. From Dr. Wetherell's
went to visit Mr. Sackville Parker, the bookseller; and when he returned to us gave the following account of his visit, saying, “I have been to see my old friend, Sack. Parker; I find he has married his maid; he has done right. She had lived with him many years in great confidence, and they had mingled minds; I do not think he could have found any wife that would have made him so happy. The woman was very attentive and civil to me; she pressed me to fix a day for dining with them, and to say what I liked, and she would be sure to get it for me. Poor Sack! he is very ill indeed'.
don," a tragedy, published in 1727, and dedicated to Pope: and in 1730 he published a second volume of miscellaneous poems. As Dr. Johnson settled in London not long after the verses addressed to Pope first appeared, he probably then obtained some information concerning their authour, David Lewis, whom he has described as an usher of v'estminster-school: yet the Dean of Westminster, who has been pleased, at my request, to make some inquiry on this subject, has not found any vestige of his having ever been employed in this situation. A late writer (“ Environs of London," iv. 171,) supposed that the following inscription in the churchyard of the church of Low Leyton, in Essex, was intended to commemorate this poet: “Sacred to the memory of David Lewis, Esq. who died the 8th day of April, 1760, aged 77 years; a great favourite of the Muses, as his many excellent pieces in poetry sufficiently testify.
Inspired verse inay on this marble live,
But can no honour to thy ashes give.' 6... Also Mary, the wife of the above-named David Lewis, fourth daughter of Newdigate Owsley, Esq. who departed this life the 10th of October, 1774, aged 90 years." But it appears to me improbable that this monument was erected for the authour of the Verses to Pope, and of the tragedy already mentioned: the language both of the dedication prefixed to that piece, and of the dedication addressed to the Earl of Shaftsbury, and prefixed to the Miscellanies, 1730, denoting a person who moved in a lower sphere than this Essex squire seems to have done.-MALONE.
1 We parted as never to meet again. It has quite broken me down.” This pathetick narrative was strangely diversified with the grave and earnest defence of a man's having married his maid. I could not but feel it as in some degree ludicrous.
In the morning of Tuesday, 15th June, while we sat at Dr. Adams's, we talked of a printed letter from the reverend Herbert Croft, to a young gentleman who had been his pupil, in which he advised him to read to the end of whatever books he should begin to read. Johnson. “ This is surely a strange advice; you may as well resolve that whatever men you happen to get acquainted with, you are to keep to them for life. A book may be good for nothing; or there may be only one thing in it worth knowing; are we to read it all through? These Voyages, (pointing to the three large volumes of “Voyages to the South Sea'? which were just come out) who will read them through ? A man had better work his way before the mast than read them through; they will be eaten by rats and mice, before they are read through. There can be little entertainment in such books; one set of savages is like another.” BOSWELL. “I do not think the people of Otaheite can be reckoned savages. Johnson. “ Don't cant in defence of savages.” BosWELL. “They have the art of navigation.” JOHNson. “A dog or cat can swim.” BOSWELL." They SON carve very ingeniously.” Johnson. “A cat can
A scratch, and a child with a nail can scratch." ceived this was none of the mollia tempora fundi ; so desisted.
i He died at Oxford in his eighty-ninth year, Dec. 10, 1796.-MALONE. ? (Cook's voyages.-Ed.]
Upon his mentioning that when he came to college he wrote his first exercise twice over, but never did so afterwards : Miss ADAMS. “I suppose, sir, you could not make them better?” JOHNSON. “Yes, madam, to be sure, I could make them better. Thought is better than no thought.” Miss ADAMS. “Do you think, sir, you could make your Ramblers better?” JOHNSON. “Certainly I could.” BOSWELL. “I'll lay a bet, sir, you cannot.” JOHNSON. “But I will, sir, if I choose. I shall make the best of them you shall pick out, better.” BOSWELL. “But you may add to them. I will not allow of that.” Johnson. “Nay, sir, there are three ways of making them better; putting out, adding, or correcting.
During our visit at Oxford, the following conversation passed between him and me on the subject of my trying my fortune at the English bar. Having asked whether a very extensive acquaintance in London, which was very valuable, and of great advantage to a man at large, might not be prejudicial to a lawyer, by preventing him from giving sufficient attention to his business? JOHNSON. “Sir, you will at
, tend to business as business days hold of you. When not actually employed, you may see your friends as much as you do now. You may dine at a club every day, and sup with one of the members every night; and you may be as much at publick places as one who has seen them all would wish to be. But you must take care to attend constantly in Westminster Hall; both to mind your business, as it is almost all learnt there, (for nobody' reads now), and to show that you want to have business. And you must not
· [This is very loose talk. Johnson himself, probably from constitutional nervous irritation, was impatient of reading stiadily, and lis extraordinary quickness at catching up, and his tenacity in retaining what he hastily read, led him to doubt that other men could be more studious. -Ed.]
be too often seen at publick places, that competitors may not have it to say, 'He is always at the playhouse or at Ranelagh, and never to be found at his chambers.' And, sir, there must be a kind of solemnity in the manner of a professional man. I have nothing particular to say to you on the subject. All this I should say to any one; I should have said it to Lord Thurlow twenty years ago.
The profession may probably think this representation of what is required in a barrister who would hope for success, to be much too indulgent; but certain it is, that as
6. The wits of Charles found easier ways to fame,”
some of the lawyers of this age who have risen high have by no means thought it absolutely necessary to submit to that long and painful course of study which a Plowden, a Coke, and a Hale, considered as requisite. My respected friend, Mr. Langton, has shown me, in the hand-writing of his grandfather, a curious account of a conversation which he had with Lord Chief Justice Hale', in which that great man tells him, " That for two years after he came to the inn of court, he studied sixteen hours a day; however, his lordship added, that by this intense application he almost brought himself to his grave, though he were of a very strong constitution, and after reduced himself to eight hours; but that he would not
s advise any body to so much; that he thought six hours a day, with attention and constancy, was sufficient; that a man must use his body as he would his horse, and his stomach; not tire him at once, but
; rise with an appetite."
On Wednesday, 16th June, Dr. Johnson and I re
[This interesting conversation will be found at length in Seward's - Aneca dotes of distinguished Persons,” iv. 489. It was contributed by Mr. Langton to the Editor of that work..-J. H. MARKLAND.]