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of what was rightb. At this school he did not receive so much benefit as was expected. It has been said, that he acted in the capacity of an assistant to Mr. Wentworth, in teaching the younger boys. “ Mr. Wentworth," he told was a very
man, but an idle man, and to me very severe; but I cannot blame him much. I was then a big boy; he saw I did not reverence him ; and that he should get no honour by me. I had brought enough with me, to carry me through; and all I should get at his school would be ascribed to my own labour, or to my former master. Yet he taught me a great deal.”
He thus discriminated to Dr. Percy, bishop of Dromore, his progress at his two grammar schools : “ At one, I learned much in the school, but little from the master; in the other, I learned much from the master, but little in the school.”
The bishop also informs me, that “ Dr. Johnson's father, before he was received at Stourbridge, applied to have him admitted as a scholar and assistant to the rev. Samuel Lea, M. A. head master of Newport school, in Shropshire; a very diligent good teacher, at that time in high reputation, under whom Mr. Hollis is said, in the memoirs of his life, to have been also educated. This application to Mr. Lea was not successful; but Johnson had afterwards the gratification to hear that the old gentleman, who lived to a very advanced age, mentioned it as one of the most memorable events of his life," that he was very near having that great man for a scholar.”
He remained at Stourbridge little more than a year, and then he returned home, where he may be said to have loitered, for two years, in a state very unworthy his uncommon abilities. He had already given several proofs of his poetical genius, both in his school exercises and in other occasional compositions. Of these I have obtained a considerable collection, by the favour of Mr. Wentworth, son of one of his masters, and of Mr. Hector, his schoolfellow and friend; from which I select the following specimens:
vial merriment to the voluptuous and dissolute, might have enabled him to excel among the virtuous and the wise. Life of Fenton. Ed.
b He is said to be the original of the parson in Hogarth's Modern Midnight Conversation. Sir John Hawkins communicated to Mr. Nichols that the original of the parson was orator Henley. Nichols' Works of Hogarth, 4to. vol. i.
© As was likewise the bishop of Dromore many years afterwards.-BOSWELL.
Translation of Virgil. Pastoral I.
My admiration only I exprest,
you alone this happy state remains.
Translation of Horace. Book I. Ode xxii.
The man, my friend, whose conscious heart
With virtue's sacred ardour glows,
Nor needs the guard of Moorish bows :
Though Scythia's icy cliffs he treads,
Or horrid Africk's faithless sands, Or where the fam'd Hydaspes spreads
His liquid wealth o'er barbarous lands.
For while by Chloe's image charm'd,
Too far in Sabine woods I stray'd ; Me singing, careless and unarm’d,
A grizzly wolf surprised, and fled:
No savage more portentous stain'd
Apulia's spacious wilds with gore ; No fiercer Juba's thirsty land,
Dire nurse of raging lions, bore.
Place me where no soft summer gale
Among the quivering branches sighs; Where clouds condens'd for ever veil
With horrid gloom the frowning skies :
Place me beneath the burning line,
A clime denied to human race; I'll sing of Chloe's charms divine,
Her heav'nly voice, and beauteous face.
Translation of Horace. Book II. Ode ix.
Clouds do not always veil the skies,
Nor showers immerse the verdant plain; Nor do the billows always rise,
Or storms afflict the ruffled main :
Nor, Valgius, on th’ Armenian shores
Do the chain'd waters always freeze ;
Or bends with violent force the trees.
But you are ever drown'd in tears,
For Mystes dead you ever mourn ;
But finds you sad at his return.
The wise experienc'd Grecian sage
Mourn'd not Antilochus so long;
So much lament his slaughter'd son.
Leave off, at length, these woman's sighs,
Augustus' numerous trophies sing;
To whom all nations tribute bring.
Niphates rolls an humbler wave,
At length the undaunted Scythian yields,
And scarce forsakes his native fields.
Translation of part of the dialogue between Hector and An
dromache; from the sixth book of Homer's Iliad.
Yet Hecuba's nor Priam's hoary age,
To a Young Lady on her Birth Day d.
This tributary verse receive, my fair,
• Mr. Hector informs me, that this was made almost impromptu, in his presence.-BOSWELL.