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place the gem, choose the dress, and add new roses to the fading cheek, but-sparkling.
Thus in the tragedy:
Illustrious maid, new wonders fix me thine ;
I shall select one other passagè, on account of the doctrine which it illustrates. Irene observes, that the Supreme Being will accept of virtue, whatever outward circumstances it may be accompanied with, and may be delighted with varieties of worship: but is answered, that variety cannot affect that Being, who, infinitely happy in his own perfections, wants no external gratifications ; nor can infinite truth be delighted with falsehood ; that though he may guide or pity those he leaves in darkness, he abandons those who shut their eyes against the beams of day.
Johnson's residence at Lichfield, on his return to it at this time, was only for three months; and as he had as yet seen but a small part of the wonders of the metropolis, he had little to tell his townsmen. He related to me the following minute anecdote of this period : “ In the last age, when
my mother lived in London, there were two sets of people, those who gave the wall, and those who took it; the peaceable and the quarrelsome. When I returned to Lichfield, after having been in London, my mother asked me, whether I was one of those who gave the wall, or those who took it. Now it is fixed that every man keeps to the right; or, if one is taking the wall, another yields it; and it is never a dispute*.”
* Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, 3d edit. p. 232.
He now removed to London with Mrs. Johnson; but her daughter, who had lived with them at Edial, was left with her relations in the country. His lodgings were for some time in Woodstock-street, near Hanover-square, and afterwards in Castle-street, near Cavendish-square. As there is something pleasingly interesting, to many, in tracing so great a man through all his different habitations, I shall, before this work is concluded, present my readers with an exact list of his lodgings and houses, in order of time, which in placid condescension to my respectful curiosity, he one evening dictated to me, but without specifying how long he lived at each. In the progress of his life I shall have occasion to mention some of them as connected with particular incidents, or with the writing of particular parts of his works. To some, this minute attention may appear trifling; but when we consider the punctilious exactness with which the different houses in which Milton resided have been traced by the writers of his life, a similar enthusiasm may be pardoned in the biographer of Johnson.
His tragedy being by this time, as he thought, completely finished and fit for the stage, he was very desirous that it should be brought forward. Mr. Peter Garrick told me, that Johnson and he went together to the Fountain tavern, and read it over, and that he afterwards solicited Mr. Fleetwood, the patentee of Drury-lane theatre, to have it acted at his house ; but Mr. Fleetwood would not accept it, probably because it was not patronised by some man of high rank; and it was not acted till 1749, when his friend David Garrick was manager of that theatre.
The Gentleman's Magazine, begun and carried on by Mr. Edward Cave, under the name of Sylvanus Urban, had attracted the notice and esteem of Johnson, in an eminent degree, before he came to London as an adventurer in literature. He told me, that when he first saw St. John's Gate, the place where that deservedly popular miscellany was originally printed, he beheld it with reverence. I suppose, indeed, that every young author has had the same kind of feeling for the magazine or periodical publication which has first entertained him, and in which he has first had an opportunity to see himself in print, without the risk of exposing his name. I myself recollect such impressions from The Scots Magazine, which was begun at Edinburgh in the year 1739, and has been ever conducted with judgement, accuracy, and propriety. I yet cannot help thinking of it with an affectionate regard. Johnson has dignified the Gentleman's Magazine, by the importance with which he invests the life of Cave; but he has given it still greater lustre by the various admirable essays which he wrote for it.
Though Johnson was often solicited by his friends to make a complete list of his writings, and talked of doing it, I believe with a serious intention that they should all be collected on his own account, he put it off from year to year, and at last died without having done it perfectly. I have one in his own handwriting, which contains a certain number; I indeed doubt if he could have remembered every one of them, as they were so numerous, so various, and scattered in such a multiplicity of unconnected publications; nay, several of them published under the names of other persons, to whom he liberally contributed from the abundance of his mind. We must, therefore, be content to discover them, partly from occasional information given by him to his friends, and partly from internal evidencey.
His first performance in the Gentleman's Magazine, which for many years was his principal resource for employment and support, was a copy of Latin verses, in March, 1738, addressed to the editor in so happy a style of
y While in the course of my narrative I enumerate his writings, I shall take care that my readers shall not be left to waver in doubt, between certainty and conjecture, with regard to their authenticity; and, for that purpose, shall mark with an asterisk (*) those which he acknowledged to his friends, and with a dagger (+) those which are ascertained to be his by internal evidence. When any other pieces are ascribed to him, I shall give my reasons.-Boswell.
compliment, that Cave must have been destitute both of taste and sensibility, had he not felt himself highly gratified.
URBANE, nullis fesse laboribus,
Perpetuo viret et virebit;
imitantium, Quid et minetur, solicitus parum, Vacare solis
Linguæ procacis plumbea spicula,
Participes operæ Camænas.
Non ulla Musis pagina gratior,
Utilibus recreare mentem.
S. J. A translation of this Ode, by an unknown correspondent, appeared in the magazine for the month of May following:
Hail, URBAN! indefatigable man,
Whom num'rous slanderers assault in vain;
But still the laurel on thy learned brow
What mean the servile imitating crew,
Ne'er seek: but still thy noble ends pursue,
Still to the Muse thy studious mind apply,
The senseless sneerings of an haughty tongue,
pass ; and though they mean thee wrong,
Assiduous diligence confounds its foes,
Exert thy powers, nor slacken in the course,
Exert thy powers, nor fear a rival's force,
Thy labours shall be crown'd with large success ;
No page more grateful to th' harmonious nine
Where solemn themes in fuller splendour shine,
Where in improving, various joys we find,
Thus when the nymphs in some fair verdant mead,
The lovely violet’s azure-painted head
Thus splendid Iris, with her varied dye,
It appears that he was now enlisted by Mr. Cave as a regular coadjutor in his magazine, by which he probably obtained a tolerable livelihood. At what time, or by what means, he had acquired a competent knowledge both of