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IN 1764 and 1765 it should seem that Dr. Johnson was so busily employed with his edition of Shakspeare as to have had little leisure for any other literary exertion, or, indeed, even for private correspondence1. He did not favour me with a single letter for more than two years, for which it will appear that he afterwards apologised.

Notwithstanding his long silence, I never omitted to write to him, when I had any thing worthy of communicating. I generally kept copies of my letters to him, that I might have a full view of our correspondence, and never be at a loss to understand any reference in his letters. He kept the greater part of mine very carefully; and a short time before his death was attentive enough to seal them up in bundles, and order them to be delivered to me, which was accordingly done. Amongst them I found one, of which I had not made a copy, and which I own I

[This trait is amusing: Mr. Boswell concludes that because Johnson did not, for two years, write to him, he wrote to nobody, and was exclusively occupied with his Shakspeare, though we have seen, that, in those years, he found time to pay visits to his friends in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, and at Cambridge and Winchester. He also visited Brighton. If Mr. Boswell had been those two years in London, there can be no doubt that he would have found Johnson by no means absorbed in Shakspeare.—ED.]



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