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been the greatest speaker that ever was there, Johnson exclaimed," I should like to try my hand now.”

It has been much agitated among his friends and others, whether he would have been a powerful speaker in Parliament, had he been brought in when advanced in life. I am inclined to think that his extensive knowledge, his quickness and force of mind, his vivacity and richness of expression, his wit and humour, and above all his poignancy of sarcasm, would have had great effect in a popular assembly; and that the magnitude of his figure, and striking peculiarity of his manner, would have aided the effect. But I remember it was observed by Mr. Flood, that Johnson, having been long used to sententious brevity and the short flights of conversation, might have failed in that continued and expanded kind of argument which is requisite in stating complicated matters in public speaking ; and, as a proof of this, he mentioned the supposed speeches in Parliament written by him for the magazine, none of which, in his opinion, were at all like real debates. The opinion of one who was himself so eminent an orator, must be allowed to have great weight. It was confirmed by Sir William Scott, who mentioned that Johnson had told him that he had several times tried to speak in the Society of Arts and Manufactures, but “ had found he could not get on."? From Mr. William Gerard Hamilton I have heard that Johnson, when observing to him that it was prudent for a man who had not been accustomed to speak in public to begin his speech in as simple a manner as possible, acknowledged that he rose in that society to deliver a speech which he had prepared ; “but,” said he, “all my flowers of oratory forsook me.” I, however, cannot help wishing that he had “ tried his hand in Parliament ;” and I wonder that the ministry did not make the experiment.

I at length renewed a correspondence which had been too long discontinued :

TO DR. JOHNSON, “MY DEAR SIR,

Edinburgh, April 18, 1771. I can now fully understand those intervals of silence in your correspondence with me, which have often given me anxiety and uneasiness ; for although I am conscious that my veneration and love for Mr. Johnson have never in the least abated, yet I have deferred for almost a year and a half to write to him.”

In the subsequent part of this letter, I gave him an account of my comfortable life as a married man and a lawyer in practice at the Scotch bar; invited him to Scotland, and promised to attend him to the Highlands and Hebrides.

i Dr. Kippis, however (" Biograph. Britan.” article “J. Gilbert Cooper," p. 266, n. new edit.), says, that he "once heard Dr. Johnson speak in the Society of Arts and Manufactures, upon a subject relative to mechanics, with a propriety, perspicuity, and energy which excited general admiration.”—MALONE.

56 TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. DEAR SIR,

London, June 20, 1771. If you are now able to comprehend that I might neglect to write without diminution of affection, you have taught me, likewise, how that neglect may be uneasily felt without resentment. I wished for your letter a long time, and when it came, it amply recompensed the delay. I never was so much pleased as now with your account of yourself; and sincerely hope, that between public business, improving studies, and domestic pleasures, neither melancholy nor caprice will find any place for entrance. Whatever philosophy may determine of material nature, it is certainly true of intellectual nature, that it abhors a vacuum: our minds cannot be empty; and evil will break in upon them, if they are not pre-occupied by good. My dear Sir, mind your studies, mind your business, make your lady happy, and be a good Christian. After this,

tristitiam et metus Trades protervis in mare Creticum

Portare ventis. "If we perform our duty, we shall be safe and steady, Sive per,' &c., whether we climb the Highlands, or are tossed among the Hebrides; and I hope the time will come when we may try our powers both with cliffs and water. I see but little of Lord Elibank, I know not why; perhaps by my own fault. I am this day going into Staffordshire and Derbyshire for six weeks.

“I am, dear Sir,
"Your most affectionate and most humble servant,

“SAM. JOHNSON."

" TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS, IN LEICESTER FIELDS, “ DEAR SIR,

Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, July 17, 1771. “When I came to Lichfield, I found that my portraita had been much visited, and much admired. Every man has a lurking wish to appear considerable in his native place; and I was pleased with the dignity conferred by such a testimony of your regard. “Be pleased, therefore, to accept the thanks of, Sir, Your most obliged and most humble servant,

“SAM. JOHNSON." “ Compliments to Miss Reynolds."

" TO DR. JOENSON, “MY DEAR SIR,

Edinburgh, July 27, 1771. “The bearer of this, Mr. Beattie, professor of moral philosophy at Aberdeen, is desirous of being introduced to your acquaintance. His genius and learning, and labours in the service of virtue and religion, render him very worthy of it: and as he has a high esteem of your character, I hope you will give him a favourable reception.

I ever am, &c., JAMES BOSWELL."

The second portrait of Johnson, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds; with his arms raised, and his hands bent. It was at this time, it is believed, in the possession of Miss Lucy Porter and is still probably at Lichfield.-MALONE.

TO BENNET LANGTON, ESQ., AT LANGTON, NEAR SPILSBY, LINCOLNSHIRE.

"DEAR SIR,

August 29, 1771. “I am lately returned from Staffordshire and Derbyshire. The last letter mentions two others which you have written to me sinoe you received my pamphlet. Of these two I never had but one, in which you mentioned a design of visiting Scotland, and by consequence, put my journey to Langton

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out of my thoughts. My summer wanderings are now over, and I am engaging in a very great work, the revision of my Dictionary; from which I know not, at present, how to get loose.

If you have observed, or been told, any errors or omissions, you will do me a great favour by letting me know them.

“Lady Rothes, I find, has disappointed you and herself. Ladies will have these tricks. The Queen and Mrs. Thrale, both ladies of experience, yet both missed their reckoning this summer. I hope a few months will recompense your uneasiness.

Please to tell Lady Rothes how highly I value the honour of her invitation, which it is my purpose to obey as soon as I have disengaged myself. In the meantime I shall hope to hear often of her ladyship, and every day better news and better, till I hear that you have both the happiness, which to both is very sincerely wished, by, Sir, “Your most affectionate and most humble servant,

“SAM. JOHNSON."

66 One

In October I again wrote to him, thanking him for his last letter, and his obliging reception of Mr. Beattie ; informing him that I had been at Alnwick lately, and had good accounts of him from Dr. Percy.

In his religious record of this year we observe that he was better than usual, both in body and mind, and better satisfied with the regularity of his conduct. But he is still “ trying his ways" too rigorously. He charges himself with not rising early enough; yet he mentions what was surely a sufficient excuse for this, supposing it to be a duty seriously required, as he all his life appears to have thought it. great hindrance is want of rest ; my nocturnal complaints grow less troublesome towards morning: and I am tempted to repair the deficiencies of the night.”] Alas! how hard would it be, if this indulgence were to be imputed to a sick man as a crime. In his retrospect on the following Easter-eve, he says, 66 When I review the last year, I am able to recollect so little done, that shame and sorrow, though perhaps too weakly, come upon me.” Had he been judging of any one else in the same circumstances, how clear would he have been on the favourable side. How very difficult, and, in my opinion, almost constitutionally impossible it was for him to be raised early, even by the strongest resolutions, appears from a note in one of his little paperbooks (containing words arranged for his Dictionary), written I suppose about 1753: “I do not remember that, since I left Oxford, I ever rose early by mere choice, but once or twice at Edial, and two or three times for The Rambler.'' I think he had fair ground enough to have quieted his mind on the subject, by concluding that he was physically incapable of what is at best but a commodious regulation.

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DR. BEATTIE-BOSWELL RETURNS TO LONDON-LORD MONBODDO—SCOTCH CHURCH-SECOND

SIGHT-THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES-ROYAL MARRIAGE BILL-FOOTE'S MIMICRY-FOURTH EDITION OF THE DICTIONARY PREPARED-MR. PEYTON-ORIGIN OF LANGUAGES-FLOGGING -SCOTTISH ACCENT-GHOST STORIES—RANELAGH-Hon. THOMAS ERSKINE-GENERAL OGLETHORPE-GOLDSMITH'S NATURAL HISTORY-JOHNSON'S ADVICE TO AUTHORS-His OPINION ON A POINT OF SCOTCH LAW.

IN 1772 he was altogether quiescent as an author ; but it will be

found, from the various evidences which I shall bring together, that his mind was acute, lively, and vigorous.

" TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS. “ DEAR SIR,

Feb. 27, 1772. “Be pleased to send to Mr. Banks, whose place of residence I do not know, this note, which I have sent open, that, if you please, you may read it. When

you

send it, do not use your own seal. I am, Sir, your most humble servant,

"SAM. JOHNSON." " TO JOSEPH BANKS, ESQ.

“ Perpetua ambitâ bis terrâ præmia lactis

Hæc habet altrici Capra secunda Jovis.” 1 “SIR,

Johnson's-court, Fleet-street, February 27, 1772. "I return thanks to you and to Dr. Solander for the pleasure which I received in yesterday's conversation. I could not recollect a motto for your 'Goat,' but had given her one. You, Sir, may perhaps have an epic poem from some happier pen than, Sir, your most humble servant,

“ SAM. JOHNSON.” 1 Thus translated by a friend :

" In fame scarce second to the nurse of Jove,

This goat, who twice the world had traversed round,
Deserving both her master's care and love,
Ease and perpetual pasture now has found."--BOSWELL.

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