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pamphlet. Of these two I never had but one, in whieh you mentioned a design of visiting Scotland, and, by consequence, put my journey to Langton out of my thoughts. My summer wanderings are now over, and I am engaging in a very great work, the rivision of my Dictionary: from which I know not, at present, how to get loose.
If you have observed, or been told, any errours 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 mean time 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
“ SAM, JOHNSON. August 29, 1771."
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.
“ One 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
vere to be im ted to a sick man as a crime. In his retrospect on the following Easter-eve, he says, “When I I review the last year, I am able to recollect so little done, that shame and sorrow, though perhaps too weakly, come
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 bim to be raised early, even by the strongest resolutions, appears from a note in one of his little paper books, (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.
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,--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
“ SAM. JOHNSON. “ Feb. 27, 1772.”
66 I am,
* Prayers and Meditations, vol. ix. p.
TO JOSEPH BANKS, ESQ.
Perpetua ambita bis terra præmia lactis
Hæc habet altrici capra secunda Jovisy.
“ SIR-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 have given her one. You, sir, may perhaps have an epick poem from some happier pen than, sir, " Your most humble servant,
“SAM. JOHNSON. “ Johnson's-court, Fleet-street,
February 27, 1772.”
TO DR. JOHNSON.
« MY DEAR SIR, It is hard that I cannot prevail on you to write to me oftenerBut I am convinced that it is in vain to expect from you a private correspondence with any regularity. I must, therefore, look upon you as a fountain of wisdom, from whence few rills are communicated to a distance, and which must be approached at its source, to partake fully of its virtues.
“ I am coming to London soon, and am to appear in ' an appeal from the court of session in the house of lords. A schoolmaster in Scotland was, by a court of inferiour jurisdiction, deprived of his office, for being somewhat severe in the chastisement of his scholars. The court of session, considering it to be dangerous to the interest of
y Thus translated by a friend :
In fame scarce second to the nurse of Jove,
This goat, who twice the world had travers'd round, Deserving hoth her master's care and love,
Ease and perpetual pasture now has found.
learning and education to lessen the diguity of teachers, and make them afraid of too indulgent parents, instigated by the complaints of their children, restored him. His enemies have appealed to the house of lords, though the salary is only twenty pounds a year. I was counsel for him here. I hope there will be little fear of a reversal ; but I must beg to have your aid in my plan of supporting the decree. It is a general question, and not a point of particular law.
“ DEAR SIR,—That you are coming so soon to town I am very glad ; and still more glad that you are coming as an advocate. I think nothing more likely to make your life pass happily away, than that consciousness of your own value, which eminence in your profession will certainly confer. If I can give you any collateral help, I hope you do not suspect that it will be wanting. My kindness for you has neither the merit of singular virtue, nor the reproach of singular prejudice. Whether to love you be right or wrong, I have many on my side: Mrs. Thrale loves you, and Mrs. Williams loves you; and, what would have inclined me to love you, if I had been neutral before, you are a great favourite of Dr. Beattie.
“ Of Dr. Beattie I should have thought much, but that his lady puts him out of my head : she is a very lovely
The ejection which you come hither to oppose, appears very cruel, unreasonable, and oppressive. I should think there could not be much doubt of your success.
“ My health grows better, yet I am not fully recovered. I believe it is held, that men do not recover very fast after threescore. I hope yet to see Beattie's college; and have not given up the western voyage. But however all this may be or not, let us try to make each other happy when we meet, and not refer our pleasure to distant times or distant places.
“ How comes it that you tell me nothing of your lady? I hope to see her some time, and till then shall be glad to hear of her.
“ I am, dear sir, etc.
" SAM. JOHNSON. “ March 15, 1772."
TO BENNET LANGTON, ESQ. NEAR SPILSBY,
“DEAR SIR, I congratulate you and lady Rothes y on your little man, and hope you will all be many years happy together.
“ Poor Miss Langton can have little part in the joy of her family. She this day called her aunt Langton to receive the sacrament with her; and made me talk yesterday on such subjects as suit her condition. It will probably be her viaticum. I surely need not mention again that she wishes to see her mother.
“ I am, sir,
“ SAM. JOHNSON. “ March 14, 1772."
On the 21st of March, I was happy to find myself again in my friend's study, and was glad to see my old acquaintance, Mr. Francis Barber, who was now returned home. Dr. Johnson received me with a hearty welcome; saying, “ I am glad you are come, and glad you are come upon such an errand.” (alluding to the cause of the schoolmaster.) BOSWELL. “ I hope, sir, he will be in no
y Mr. Langton married, May 24, 1770, Jane, the daughter of
- Lloyd, esq. and widow of John earl of Rothes, many years commander in chief of the forces in Ireland, who died in 1767.-MALONÉ.