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“ He observed, a principal source of erroneous judgement was, viewing things partially, and only on one side; as, for instance, fortune-hunters, when they contemplated the fortunes singly and separately, it was a dazzling and tempting object; but when they came to possess the wives and their fortunes together, they began to suspect they had not made quite so good a bargain.

“Speaking of the late duke of Northumberland living very magnificently when lord lieutenant of Ireland, somebody remarked, it would be difficult to find a suitable successor to him: then, exclaimed Johnson, he is only fit to succeed himself.'

" He advised me, if possible, to have a good orchard. He knew, he said, a clergyman of small income, who brought up a family very reputably, which he chiefly fed with apple dumplings.

“He said, he had known several good scholars among the Irish gentlemen; but scarcely any of them correct in quantity. He extended the same observation to Scotland.

“Speaking of a certain prelate, who exerted himself very laudably in building churches and parsonage-houses ;

However,' said he, ' I do not find that he is esteemed a man of much professional learning, or a liberal patron of it ;-yet it is well where a man possesses any strong positive excellence.-Few have all kinds of merit belonging to their character. We must not examine matters too deeply.-No, sir, a fallible being will fail somewhere.'

“Talking of the Irish clergy, he said, Swift was a man of great parts, and the instrument of much good to his country.-Berkeley was a profound scholar, as well as a man of fine imagination: but Usher, he said, was the great luminary of the Irish church; and a greater, he added, no church could boast of; at least in modern times.

“ We dined tête-à-tête at the Mitre, as I was preparing to return to Ireland, after an absence of many years. I regretted much leaving London, where I had formed many agreeable connections.

Sir,' said he, “I don't wonder at it: no man fond of letters leaves London

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without regret. But remember, sir, you have seen and enjoyed a great deal :—you 'have seen life in its highest decorations, and the world has nothing new to exhibit. -No man is so well qualified to leave publick life as he who has long tried it, and known it well. We are always hankering after untried situations, and imagining greater felicity from them than they can afford. No, sir, knowledge and virtue may be acquired in all countries; and your local consequence will make you some amends for the intellectual gratifications you relinquish.' Then he quoted the following lines with great pathos :

He who has early known the pomps of state,
(For things unknown 'tis ignorance to condemn ;)
And after having view'd the gaudy bait,
Can boldly say, The trifle I contemn;
With such a one contented could I live,

Contented could I die 9.“ He then took a most affecting leave of me; said, he

9 Mr. Malone, with characteristic zeal to trace these verses to the fountainhead, after having in vain turned over several of our elder poets with the hope of lighting on them, applied to Dr. Maxwell himself, at that time resident at Bath, for the purpose of ascertaining their author ; but that gentleman could furnish him no aid in his researches. At length the lines were discovered by the author's second son, Mr. James Boswell, in the London Magazine for July, 1732, where they form part of a poem on Retirement, there published anonymously, but in fact (as he afterwards found) copied with some slight variations from one of Walsh's smaller poems, entitled The Retirement; and they exhibit another proof of what has been elsewhere observed by the author of the work before us, that Johnson retained in his memory fragments of obscure or neglected poetry. In quoting verses of that description, he appears, by a slight variation, to have sometimes given them a moral turn, and to have dexterously adapted them to his own sentiments, where the original had a very different tendency. Thus, in the present instance, (as Mr. J. Boswell remarked,)“ the author of the poem above mentioned exhibits himself as having retired to the country, to avoid the vain follies of a town life,-ambition, avarice, and the pursuit of pleasure, contrasted with the enjoyments of the country, and the delightful conversation that the brooks, etc. furnish ; which he holds to be infinitely more pleasing and instructive than any which towns afford. He is then led to consider the weakness of the human mind; and after lamenting that he, (the writer,) who is neither enslaved by avarice, ambition, or pleasure, has yet made himself a slave to love, he thus proceeds:

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knew it was a point of duty that called me away.- We' shall all be sorry to lose you,' said he : laudo tamen.

In 1771 he publisbed another political pamphlet entitled Thoughts on the late Transactions respecting Falkland's Islands, in which, upon materials furnished to him


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If this dire passion never will be done,

If beauty always must my heart enthral,
O, rather let me be enslaved by one,

Than madly thus become a slave to all :
One who has early known the pomp of state,

For things unknown 'tis ignorance to condemn,
And, after having view'd the gaudy bait,

Can coldly say, The trifle I contemn;
In her blest arms contented could I live,

Contented could I die. But, O, my mind
Imaginary scenes of bliss deceive

With hopes of joys impossible to find.
Another instance of Johnson's retaining in his memory verses by obscure
authors, is given in Mr. Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides; where, in
consequence of hearing a girl spinning in a chamber over that in which he was
sitting, he repeated these lines, which, he said, were written by one Giffard, a
clergyman; but the poem in which they are introduced has hitherto been
undiscovered :

Verse sweetens toil, however rude the sound :

All at her work the village maiden sings;
Nor while she turns the giddy wheel around,

Revolves the sad vicissitude of things.
In the autumn of 1782, when he was at Brighthelmstone, he frequently ac-
companied Mr. Philip Metcalfe in his chaise to take the air; and the conver-
sation, in one of their excursions, happening to turn on a celebrated historian,
since deceased, he repeated, with great precision, some verses, as very charac-
teristick of that gentleman. These furnish another proof of what has been
above observed; for they are found in a very obscure quarter, among some
anonymous poems appended to the second volume of a collection frequently
printed by Lintot, under the title of Pope's Miscellanies :

See how the wand'ring Danube flows,

Realms and religions parting ;
A friend to all true christian foes,

To Peter, Jack, and Martin.
Now protestant, and papist now,

Not constant long to either,
At length an infidel does grow,

And ends his journey neither,

by ministry, and upon general topicks expanded in his rich style, he successfully endeavoured to persuade the nation, that it was wise and laudable to suffer the question of right to remain undecided, rather than involve our country in another war. It has been suggested by some, with what truth I shall not take upon me to decide, that he rated the consequence of those islands to Great Britain too low. But, however this may be, every humane mind

, must surely applaud the earnestness with which he averted the calamity of war; a calamity so dreadful, that it is astonishing how civilized, nay, christian nations, can deliberately continue to renew it. His description of its miseries in this pamphlet, is one of the finest pieces of eloquence in the English language. Upon this occasion, too, we find Johnson lashing the party in opposition with unbounded severity, and making the fullest use of what he ever reckoned a most effectual argumentative instrument,contempt. His character of their very able mysterious champion, Junius, is executed with all the force of his genius, and finished with the highest care. He seems to have exulted in sallying forth to single combat against the boasted and formidable hero, who bade defiance to“ principalities and powers, and the rulers of this world.”

This pamphlet, it is observable, was softened in one particular, after the first edition ; for the conclusion of Mr. George Grenville's character stood thus: “ Let him not, however, be depreciated in his grave. He had powers not universally possessed : could he have enforced payment of the Manilla ransom, he could have counted it.


Thus many a youth I've known set out,

Half protestant, half papist,
And rambling long the world about,

Turn infidel or atheist. In reciting these verses it is probable that Johnson, after his usual manner, substituted some word for infidel in the second stanza, to avoid the disagreeable repetition of the same expression. For nearly the whole of the foregoing facts our readers are indebted to the indefatigable diligence of the late Mr. Malone. -ED.


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Which, instead of retaining its sly sharp point, was reduced to a mere flat unmeaning expression, or, if I may use the word,—truism: He had powers not universally possessed: and if he sometimes erred, he was likewise sometimes right.”


“ Dear Sir,-After much lingering of my own, and much of the ministry, I have, at length, got out my paper". But delay is not yet at an end: not many had been dispersed, before lord North ordered the sale to stop. His reasons I do not distinctly know. You may try to find them in the perusal”. Before his order, a sufficient number were dispersed to do all the mischief, though, perhaps, not to make all the sport that might be expected from it.

“ Soon after your departure, I had the pleasure of finding all the danger pass with which your navigation was threatened. I hope nothing happens at home to abate your satisfaction; but that lady Rothes, and Mrs. Langton, and the young ladies, are all well.

“ I was last night at THE CLUB. Dr. Percy has written a long ballad in many fits : it is pretty enough. He has printed, and will soon publish it. Goldsmith is at Bath with lord Clare. At Mr. Thrale's, where I am now writing, all are well. I am, dear sir,

" Your most humble servant, “ March 20, 1771.



Mr. Strahan the printer, who had been long in intimacy with Johnson in the course of his literary labours; who was at once his friendly agent in receiving his pension

Thoughts on the late Transactions respecting Falkland's Islands. See Works, vol. vi. p. 179.

s By comparing the first with the subsequent editions, this curious circumstance of ministerial authorship may be discovered.-Boswell.

But this comparison could only be instituted by a possessor of the first edi. tion, before the sale was stopped and these ministerial alterations made: a possession now of rarity and value.-Ep.

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