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THE

L I F E

OT

SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.

COMPREHENDING

AN ACCOUNT OF HIS STUDIES

AND NUMEROUS WORKS,
IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER;

A SERIES OF HIS EPISTOLARY CORRESPONDENCE

AND CONVERSATIONS WITH MANY EMINENT PERSONS;

AND

VARIOUS ORIGINAL PIECES OF HIS COMPOSITION,

NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED:

THE WHOLE EXHIBITING A VIEW OF LITERATURE AND
LITERARY MEN IN GREAT-BRITAIN, FOR NEAR
HALF A CENTURY, DURING WHICH HE

FLOURISHED.

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RECOLLECTED, AND RECEIVED
AFTER THE SECOND EDITION WAS PRINTED.

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THE following very folemn and affecting Prayer

was found after Dr. Johnson's decease, by his faithful servant Mr. Francis Barber, who delivered it to my worthy friend the Reverend Mr. Strahan, Vicar of Islington, who at my earnest request has obligingły favoured me with a copy of it, which he and I compared with the original. I present it to the world as an undoubted proof of a circumstance in the charaEter of my illustrious friend, which though some whose bard minds I never hall envy, may attack as superstitious, will I am sure endear him more to numbers of good men. I have an additional, and that a personal motive for presenting it, because it fančtions what I myself have always maintained and am fond to indulge.

“ April 26, 1752, being after 12 at Night of the 25th. « O Lord ! Governour of heaven and earth, in " whose hands are embodied and departed Spirits, “ if thou haft ordained the Souls of the Dead to “ minister to the Living, and appointed my de“parted Wife to have care of me, grant that I “ may enjoy the good effects of her attention and « ministration, whether exercised by appearance,

impulses, dreams, or in any other manner “ agreeable to thy Government. Forgive my “ presumption, enlighten my ignorance, and how“ ever meaner agents are employed, grant me the « bleffed influences of thy holy Spirit, through

Jesus Christ our Lord.” Amen.
VOL. I.

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What aftually followed upon this most interesting piece of devotion by Johnson, we are not informed ; but I, whom it has pleased God to affliet in a similar manner to that which occasioned it, bave certain experience of benignant communication by dreams.

Of Dr. Hurd, Bishop of Worcester, Johnson
faid to a friend; "Hurd, Sir, is one of a set of men
di who account for every thing systematically for
a instance, it has been a fashion to wear scarlet
« breeches; these men would tell you, that ac-
« cording to causes and effects, no other wear
« could at that time have been chosen.” He, how.
ever, faid of him at another time to the fame
gentleman, “Hurd, Sir; is a man whofe ac-
quaintance is a valuable acquisition.”

That learned and ingenious Prelate it is
well known published at one period of his life
* Moral and Political Dialogues," with a woefully
whiggish cast. Afterwards, his Lordship hav-
ing thought better, came to see his errour,
and republished the work with a more conftitu-
tional spirit. Johnson, however, was unwilling to
allow him full credit for his political converfion.
I remember when his Lordship declined the hou
nour of being Archbishop of Canterbury, Johnson
Taid "I am glad he did not go to Lambeth; for,
after all, I fear he is a Whig in his heart.”

Johnson's attention to precision and clearness in
expression was very remarkable. He disapproved
of parentheses; and I believe in all his volumi-
nous writings, not half a dozen of them will be
found. He never used the phrases the former and
the latter, having observed that they often occa-

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