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culiar grace, and was as much as to say, 'Put on your dragchain.' Before we got home, I again walked too fast for him; and he now cried out, Why, you walk as if you were pursued by all the Cabiri in a body.' In an evening we frequently took long walks from Oxford into the country, returning to supper. Once, in our way home, we viewed the ruins of the abbeys of Oseney and Rewley, near Oxford. After at least half an hour's silence, Johnson said, I viewed them with indignation!' We had then a long conversation on Gothick buildings: and in talking of the form of old halls, he said, In these halls the fireplace was anciently always in the middle of the room, till the whigs removed it on one side.'-About this time there had been an execution of two or three criminals at Oxford on a Monday. Soon afterwards, one day at dinner, I was saying that Mr. Swinton, the chaplain of the gaol, and also a frequent preacher before the university, a learned man, but often thoughtless and absent, preached the condemnation-sermon on repentance, before the convicts, on the preceding day, Sunday; and that in the close he told his audience, that he should give them the remainder of what he had to say on the subject, the next Lord's day. Upon which, one of our company, a doctor of divinity, and a plain matter-of-fact man, by way of offering an apology for Mr. Swinton, gravely remarked, that he had probably preached the same sermon before the university: 'Yes, sir,' says Johnson, but the university were not to be hanged the next morning.'

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"I forgot to observe before, that when he left Mr. Meeke, (as I have told above,) he added, 'About the same time of life, Meeke was left behind at Oxford to feed on a fellowship, and I went to London to get my living: now, sir, see the difference of our literary characters!

The following letter was written by Dr. Johnson to Mr. Chambers, of Lincoln college, afterwards sir Robert Chambers, one of the judges in Indiao:

• Communicated by the reverend Mr. Thomas Warton, who had the original.



"DEAR SIR,-The commission which I delayed to trouble you with at your departure, I am now obliged to send you; and beg that you will be so kind as to carry to Mr. Warton, of Trinity, to whom I should have written immediately, but that I know not if he be yet come back to Oxford.


In the Catalogue of MSS. of Gr. Brit. see vol. I. pag. 18. MSS. Bodl. MARTYRIUM XV. martyrum sub Juliano, auctore Theophylacto.


It is desired that Mr. Warton will inquire, and send word, what will be the cost of transcribing this manuscript.

"Vol. II. p. 32. Num. 1022. 58. COLL. Nov.-Commentaria in Acta Apostol.-Comment. in Septem Epistolas Catholicas.

"He is desired to tell what is the age of each of these manuscripts and what it will cost to have a transcript of the two first pages of each.

"If Mr. Warton be not in Oxford, you may try if you can get it done by anybody else; or stay till he comes, according to your own convenience. It is for an Italian literato.

"The answer is to be directed to his Excellency Mr. Zon, Venetian Resident, Soho-square.

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I hope, dear sir, that you do not regret the change of London for Oxford. Mr. Baretti is well, and Miss Williams; and we shall all be glad to hear from you, whenever you shall be so kind as to write to, sir,

"Nov. 21, 1754.

"Your most humble servant,


"I presume she was a relation of Mr. Zachariah Williams, who died in his eighty-third year, July 12, 1755. When Dr. Johnson was with me at Oxford, in 1755, he gave to the Bodleian library a thin quarto of twenty-one pages, a work in Italian, with an English translation on the opposite page. The English title-page is this: An Account of an Attempt to ascertain the Longitude at Sea, by an exact Variation of the Magnetical Needle, etc. By Zachariah Williams. London, printed for Dodsley, 1755.' The English translation, from the strongest internal marks, is unquestionably the work of Johnson. In a blank leaf, Johnson has written the age, and time of death, of the author

The degree of Master of Arts, which, it has been observed, could not be obtained for him at an early period of his life, was now considered as an honour of considerable importance, in order to grace the title-page of his Dictionary; and his character in the literary world being by this time deservedly high, his friends thought that, if proper exertions were made, the university of Oxford would pay him the compliment.


"DEAR SIR,—I am extremely obliged to you and to Mr. Wise, for the uncommon care which you have taken of my interest; if you can accomplish your kind design, I shall certainly take me a little habitation among you.

"The books which I promised to Mr. Wise', I have not been able to procure; but I shall send him a Finnick Dictionary, the only copy, perhaps, in England, which was presented to me by a learned Swede: but I keep it back that it may make a set of my own books of the new edition, with which I shall accompany it, more welcome. You will assure him of my gratitude.

"Poor dear Collins-Would a letter give him any pleasure? I have a mind to write.

Z. Williams, as I have said above. On another blank leaf is pasted a paragraph from a newspaper, of the death and character of Williams, which is plainly written by Johnson. He was very anxious about placing this book in the Bodleian; and, for fear of any omission or mistake, he entered in the great catalogue the title-page of it with his own hand."

In this statement there is a slight mistake. The English account, which was written by Johnson, was the original; the Italian was a translation, done by Baretti.-MALONE.


"In procuring him the degree of Master of Arts by diploma at Oxford." Lately fellow of Trinity college, and at this time Radclivian librarian at Oxford. He was a man of very considerable learning, and eminently skilled in Roman and Anglo-Saxon antiquities. He died in 1767."

"Collins (the poet) was at this time at Oxford, on a visit to Mr. Warton; but labouring under the most deplorable languor of body and dejection of mind." In a letter to Dr. Joseph Warton, written some months before, (March 8, 1754,) Dr. Johnson thus speaks of Collins :

"But how little can we venture to exult in any intellectual powers or literary attainments, when we consider the condition of poor Collins. I knew him a VOL. I.


"I am glad of your hindrance in your Spenserian design, yet I would not have it delayed. Three hours a day stolen from sleep and amusement will produce it. Let a Servitour" transcribe the quotations, and interleave them with references, to save time. This will shorten the work, and lessen the fatigue.

"Can I do any thing to promote the diploma? I would not be wanting to co-operate with your kindness; of which whatever be the effect, I shall be, dear sir,

"Your most obliged, etc.

"[London,] Nov. 28, 1754.



"DEAR SIR,—I am extremely sensible of the favour done me, both by Mr. Wise and yourself. The book*

few years ago full of hopes, and full of projects, versed in many languages, high in fancy, and strong in retention. This busy and forcible mind is now under the government of those who lately could not have been able to comprehend the least and most narrow of his designs. What do you hear of him? are there hopes of his recovery? or is he to pass the remainder of his life in misery and degradation? perhaps, with a complete consciousness of his calamity."

In a subsequent letter to the same gentleman, (Dec. 24, 1754,) he thus feelingly alludes to their unfortunate friend :

"Poor dear Collins! Let me know if you think it would give him pleasure if I should write to him. I have often been near his state, and therefore have it in great commiseration."

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"What becomes of poor dear Collins? I wrote him a letter which he never answered. I suppose writing is very troublesome to him. That man is no common loss. The moralists all talk of the uncertainty of fortune, and the transitoriness of beauty: but it is yet more dreadful to consider that the powers of the mind are equally liable to change, that understanding may make its appearance and depart, that it may blaze and expire."

See Biographical Memoirs of the late reverend Dr. Joseph Warton, by the rev. John Wood, A. M. 4to. 1806.

Mr. Collins, who was the son of a hatter at Chichester, was born December 25, 1720, and was released from the dismal state here so pathetically described in 1756.-MALONE.

"Of publishing a volume of observations on the best of Spenser's works. It was hindered by my taking pupils in this college."

u 66 Young students of the lowest rank at Oxford are so called."

"His Dictionary."

cannot, I think, be printed in less than six weeks, nor probably so soon; and I will keep back the title-page for such an insertion as you seem to promise me. Be pleased to let me know what money I shall send you for bearing the expense of the affair; and I will take care that you may have it ready at your hand.

"I had lately the favour of a letter from your brother, with some account of poor Collins, for whom I am much concerned. I have a notion, that by very great temperance, or more properly abstinence, he may yet recover.

"There is an old English and Latin book of poems by Barclay, called the Ship of Fools: at the end of which are a number of Eglogues,—so he writes it, from Egloga, -which are probably the first in our language. If you cannot find the book, I will get Mr. Dodsley to send it you.

"I shall be extremely glad to hear from you again, to know if the affair proceeds. I have mentioned it to none of my friends, for fear of being laughed at for my disappointment.

"You know poor Mr. Dodsley has lost his wife; I believe he is much affected. I hope he will not suffer so much as I yet suffer for the loss of mine.

Οἴμοι· τι δ ̓ οἴμοι ; θνητὰ γὰρ πεπόνθαμεν".

I have ever since seemed to myself broken off from mankind; a kind of solitary wanderer in the wild of life, without any direction or fixed point of view; a gloomy gazer on a world to which I have little relation. Yet I would endeavour, by the help of you and your brother, to supply the want of closer union, by friendship: and hope to have long the pleasure of being, dear sir,

"Most affectionately yours,

"[London,] Dec. 21, 1754.

y "Of the degree at Oxford."


z This verse is taken from the long lost Bellerophon, a tragedy by Euripides. It is preserved by Suidas in his Lexicon, Voc. Opo II. p. 666, where the reading is, Ovηrá To Tεñóvoaμev.-REV. C. BURNEY.

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