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[Title-page to the Third Edition.]
SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
AN ACCOUNT OF HIS STUDIES
IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER;
A SERIES OF HIS EPISTOLARY CORRESPONDENCE AND CONVERSATIONS WITH MANY EMINENT PERSONS;
VARIOUS ORIGINAL PIECES OF HIS COMPOSITION,
THE WHOLE EXHIBITING A VIEW OF LITERATURE AND
BY JAMES BOSWELL, Esq.
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THE THIRD EDITION, REVISED AND Augmented,
PRINTED BY H. BALDWIN & SON,
FOR CHARLES DILLY, IN THE POULTRY.
THE text adopted for the present publication is tha of the third edition, issued under the superintendence Edmond Malone in 1799.
The notes at the foot of the page are Boswell's own with the exception of those added by Malone, which ar marked [M.].
Boswell's spelling and punctuation have been retained in accordance with his own ideas as expressed in th preface to An Account of Corsica. 'If this work,' h writes, 'should at any future period be reprinted, I hop that care will be taken of my orthography.' Typogra phical errors, however, have been corrected, and th spelling of proper names in the Index has been made t conform to received usage.
In vol. I, p. 86, insert as footnote to the words, 'Johnson's London. was published in May, 1738 ':
Sir John Hawkins, p. 86, tells us 'The event is antedated, in the poem of London; but in every particular, except the difference of a year, what is there said of the departure of Thales, must be understood of Savage, and looked upon as true history.' This conjecture is, I believe, entirely groundless. I have been assured, that Johnson said he was not so much as acquainted with Savage when he wrote his London. If the departure mentioned in it was the departure of Savage, the event was not antedated but foreseen; for London was published in May, 1738, and Savage did not set out for Wales till July, 1739. However well Johnson could defend the credibility of second sight, he did not pretend that he himself was possessed of that faculty.-BOSWELL.
In vol. I, p. 177, insert as footnote to the words, 'the meanness of a dancing master' :—
That collection of letters cannot be vindicated from the serious charge of encouraging, in some passages, one of the vices most destructive to the good order and comfort of society, which his Lordship represents as mere fashionable gallantry; and, in others, of inculcating the base practice of dissimulation, and recommending, with disproportionate anxiety, a perpetual attention to external elegance of manners. But it must, at the same time, be allowed, that they contain many good precepts of conduct, and much genuine information upon life and manners, very happily expressed; and that there was considerable merit in paying so much attention to the improvement of one who was dependent upon his Lordship's protection; it has probably been exceeded in no instance by the most exemplary parent; and though I can by no means approve of confounding the distinction between lawful and illicit offspring, which is, in effect, insulting the civil establishment of our country, to look no higher; I cannot help thinking it laudable to be kindly attentive to those, of whose existence we have, in any way, been the cause. Mr. Stanhope's character has been unjustly represented as diametrically opposite to what Lord Chesterfield wished him to be. He has been called dull, gross, and aukward; but I knew him at Dresden, when he was envoy to that court; and though he could not boast of the graces, he was, in truth, a sensible, civil, well-behaved man.-BoSWELL. BOSWELL, Life of Johnson