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resistance to power, aided by the common ness and prosperity of a commercial topics of patriotism, liberty, and inde country like ours would be best promoted pendence ! Accordingly we find in John- by peace, which he accordingly maintained son's “ London " the most spirited with credit, during a very long period. invectives against tyranny and oppression, Johnson himself afterward honestly acthe warmest predilection for his own knowledged the merit of Walpole, whom country, and the purest love of virtue ; he called “a fixed star” ; while he interspersed with traits of his own par- characterised his opponent, Pitt, as "a ticular character and situation, not meteor.' But Johnson's juvenile poem omitting his prejudices as a "true-born was naturally impregnated with the fire Englishman, not only against foreign of opposition, and upon every account countries, but against Ireland and Scot- was universally admired. land. On some of these topics I shall Though thus elevated into fame, and quote a few passages :
conscious of uncommon powers, he had
not that bustling confidence, or, I may " The cheated nation's happy fav'rites see ;
rather say, that animated ambition, which Mark whom the great caress, who frown on
one might have supposed would have "Has heaven reserv'd, in pity to the poor,
urged him to endeavour at rising in life. No pathless waste, or undiscover'd Shore?
But such was his inflexible dignity of No secret island in the boundless main ? character, that he could not stoop to court No peaceful desert yet unclaim'd by Spain ? the great ; without which, hardly any man Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore,, And bear Oppression's insolence no more."
has made his way to a high station. He
could not expect to produce many such “How, when competitors like these contend, works as his “ London, and he felt the Can surly Virtue hope to find a friend ?”
hardships of writing for bread; he was, " This mournful truth is every where confess'd, therefore, willing to resume the office of SLOW RISES WORTH, BY POVERTY DEPRESS'D!” a schoolmaster, so as to have a sure,
though moderate, income for his life; We may easily conceive with what and an offer being made to him of the feeling a great mind like his, cramped and mastership of a school,” provided he could galled by narrow circumstances, uttered this last line, which he marked by
2 In a billet written by Mr. Pope in the followcapitals. The whole of the poem is ing year, this school is said to have been in eminently excellent, and there are in it Shropshire ; but as it appears from a letter from such proofs of a knowledge of the world, worthy gentlemen in Johnson's neighbourhood,”
Earl Gower, that the trustees of it were“ and of a mature acquaintance with life, as I in my first edition suggested that Pope must cannot be contemplated without wonder, have, by mistake, written Shropshire instead of vhen we consider that he was then only Staffordshire. But I have since been obliged to in his twenty-ninth year, and had yet information : "William Adams, formerly citizen been so little in the “busy haunts of and haberdasher of London, founded a school at men.
Newport, in the county of Salop, by deed dated Yet, while we admire the poctical za vea November, 1656, by which he granted, cxcellence of this poem, candour obliges learned schoolmaster, from time to time, being of us to allow, that the flame of patriotism godly life and conversation, who should have and zeal for popular resistance with which been educated at one of the Universities of Oxford
or Cambridge, and had taken the degree of Master it is fraught, had no just cause. There of Arts, and was well read in the Greek
and was, in truth, no oppression ” ; the Latin tongues, as should be nominated from time “nation
vi cheated.” Sir to time by the said William Adams, during his Robert Walpole was a wise and a benevo- life ; and after the decease of the said William
Adams by the governors (namely, the Master and lent minister, who thought that the happi- Wardens of the Haberdashers' Company of the
city of London) and their successors.' The manor 1 It is, however, remarkable, that he uses the and lands out of which the revenues for the epithet, which undoubtedly, since the union maintenance of the school were to issue are situate between England and Scotland, ought to deno- at Knighton and Adbaston, in the county of minate the natives of both parts of our island : Stafford.” From the foregoing account of this "Was early taught a Briton's rights to prize.” B. foundation, particularly the circumstances of the
POPE'S INTEREST IN THE AUTHOR
obtain the degree of Master of Arts, Dr. vail upon you to write to Dean Swift, to persuade Adams was applied to, by a common
the University of Dublin to send a diploma to friend, to know whether that could be their University. They highly extol the man's
me, constituting this poor man Master of Arts in granted him as a favour from the Univer- learning and probity, and will not be persity of Oxford.—But though he had made suaded, that the University will make such a figure in the literary world, it was
difficulty of conferring such a favour upon a
stranger, if he is recommended by the Dean. then thought too great a favour to be asked. They say, he is not afraid of the strictest ex
Pope, without any knowledge of him amination, though he is of so long a journey; but from his “ London,” recommended and will venture it, if the Dean thinks it neces:
sary : choosing rather to die upon the road than him to Earl Gower, who endeavoured to be starved to death in translating for bookprocure for him a degree from Dublin, sellers; which has been his only subsistence for by the following letter to a friend of Dean some time past. Swift :
“I fear there is more difficulty in this affair, than those good-natured gentlemen apprehend;
especially as their election cannot be delayed “Sir,
longer than the oth of next month.
If you see “MR. SAMUEL JOHNSON (author of “Lon- this matter in the same light that it appears to don," a satire, and some other poetical pieces) is a me, I hope you will burn this, and pardon me native of this country, and much respected by some for giving you so much trouble about an impracticworthy gentlemen in his neighbourhood, who are able thing; but, if you think there is a probability trustees of a charity-school now vacant; the certain of obtaining the favour asked, I am sure your salary is sixty pounds a year, of which they are humanity, and propensity to relieve merit in desirous to make him master; but unfortunately, distress, will incline you to serve the poor man, he is not capable of receiving their bounty, which without my adding any more to the trouble i would make him happy for life, by not being a have already given you, than assuring you that I Master of Arts; which by the statutes of this am, with great truth, Sir, your faithful servant, school, the master of it must be.
“GOWER. “Now these gentlemen do me the honour to * Trentham, Aug. 1, 1739." think that I have interest enough in you, to pre.
It was, perhaps, no small disappointsalary being sixty pounds, and the degree of ment to Johnson that this respectable Master of Arts being a requisite qualification in application had not the desired effect : school in contemplation ; and that Lord Gower yet how much reason has there been, erroneously supposed that the gentlemen who both for himself and his country, to possessed the lands, out, of which the revenues rejoice that it did not succeed, as he the probable conjecture. But in The Gentleman's might probably have wasted in obscurity Magazine for May, 1793, there is a letter from those hours in which he afterwards proMr. Henn, one of the masters of the school of duced his incomparable works. Appleby, in Leicestershire, in which he writes as follows? "I compared time and circumstance effort to emancipate himself from the
About this time he made one other together, in order to discover in question might not be this of Appleby. Some drudgery of authorship. He applied to of the trustees at that period were worthy gen; Dr. Adams, to consult Dr. Smallbroke tlemen of the neighbourhood of Lichfield.'
of the Commons, whether a person Appleby itself is not far from the neighbourhood of Lichfield: the salary, the degree requisite, together might be permitted to practise as an adwith the time of election, all agreeing with the vocate there, without a doctor's degree in statutes of Appleby. The election, as said in the Civil Law. “I am,” said he,
a total letter, 'could not be delayed longer than the 11th of next month," which was the 11th of September, stranger to these studies ; but whatever just three months after the annual audit-day of is a profession, and maintains numbers, Appleby school, which is always on the oth of must be within the reach of common abiliJune ; and the 'statutes enjoin, ne ullius præcep. ties, and some degree of industry.” Dr. &c. These I thought to be convincing proofs Adams was much pleased with Johnson's that my conjecture was not ill-founded, and that design to employ his talents in that in a future edition of that book, the circumstance manner, being confident he would have might be recorded as fact. every shadow of doubt, is the Minute-book of the attained to great eminence.
And, school, which declares the head-mastership to be indeed, I cannot conceive a man better at that time VACANT.'
I cannot omit returning qualified to make a distinguished figure thanks to this learned gentleman for the very handsome manner in which he has in that letter as a lawyer ; for, he would have brought been so good as to speak of this work.
to his profession a rich store of various
knowledge, an uncommon acuteness, and regretted, that the able performance of a command of language, in which few that celebrated genius FRA PAOLO, lost could have equalled, and none have sur- the advantage of being incorporated into passed him. He who could display British literature by the masterly hand of eloquence and wit in defence of the Johnson. decision of the House of Commons upon. I have in my possession, by the favour Mr. Wilkes's election for Middlesex, and of Mr John Nichols, a paper in Johnson's of the unconstitutional taxation of our hand-writing, entitled "Account between fellow-subjects in America, must have Mr. Edward Cave and Sam. Johnson, in been a powerful advocate in any cause. relation to a version of Father Paul, &c., But here, also, the want of a degree begun August the 2nd, 1738 ;” by which was an insurmountable bar.
it appears, that from that day to ihe 21st He was therefore under the necessity of April, 1739, Johnson received for this of persevering in that course into which he work 491. 7s. in sums of one, two, three, had been forced ; and we find, that his and sometimes four guineas at a time, proposal from Greenwich to Mr. Cave, most frequently two. And it is curious for a translation of Father Paul Sarpi's to observe the minute and scrupulous History, was accepted.'
accuracy with which Johnson had pasted Some sheets of this translation were upon it a slip of paper, which he has printed off, but the design was dropped ; for entitled “ Small account,” and which it happened, oddly enough, that another contains one article, “Sept. 9th, Mr. person of the name of Samuel Johnson, Cave laid down 25. 6d.” There is subLibrarian of St. Martin's in the Fields, joined to this account, a list of some suband Curate of that parish, engaged in the scribers to the work, partly in Johnson's same undertaking, and was patronised by hand-writing, partly in that of another the Clergy, particularly by Dr. Pearce, person ; and there follows a leaf or two afterwards Bishop of Rochester. Several on which are written a number of light skirmishes passed between the rival characters which have the appearance of a translators, in the newspapers of the day ; short hand, which, perhaps, Johnson was and the consequence was that they then trying to learn. destroyed each other, for neither of them went on with the work. It is much to be
" TO MR. CAVE. 1 In the Weekly Miscellany, October 21, 1738,
" Wednesday. there appeared the following advertisement : " Just published, proposals for printing the “I did not care to detain your servant History of the Council of Trent, translated from while I wrote an answer to your letter, in which the Italian of Father Paul Sarpi ; with the Author's Life, and Notes theological, historical, ihan I am ready to perform. If I have raised
you seem to insinuate that I had promised more and critical, from the French edition of Dr. Le your expectations by any thing that may have Courayer. To which are added, Observations escaped my memory, I am sorry; and if you rec on the History, and Notes and Illustrations from mind me of it, shall thank you for the favour. If various Authors, both printed and manuscript. I made fewer alterations than usual in the By S. Johnson. 1. The work will consist of two Debates, it was only because there appeared, hundred sheets, and be two volumes in quarto, į and still appears to be, less need of alteration. printed on good paper and letter. 2. The price The verses to Lady Firebrace ? may be had when will be 18s. each volume, to be paid half a guinea at the delivery of the first volume, and neither deserves much thought, nor requires it.
you please, for you know that such a subject the rest at the delivery of the second volume in
“The Chinese Stories 3 may be had folded sheets. 3. Two-pence to be abated for every down when you please to send, in which I do not sheet less than two hundred. It may be had on recollect that you desired any alterations to be a large paper, in three volumes, at the price of made. three guineas; one to be paid at the time of subscribing, another at the delivery of the first, and the rest at the delivery of the other volumes. 2 They afterwards appeared in the Gentleman's The work is now in the press, and will be Magazine with this title-“Verses to Lady diligently prosecuted. Subscriptions are taken Firebrace, at Bury Assizes." B. in by Mr. Dodsley in Pall-Mall, Mr. Rivington 3 Du Halde's Description of China was then in St. Paul's Church-yard, by E. Cave at St. publishing by Mr. Cave in weekly numbers, John's Gate, and the Translator, at No. 6, in whence Johnson was to select pieces for the emCastle-street, by Cavendish-square.” B. bellishment of the Magazine. (N.) B.
"To NiR. CAVE.
the best poem on the Divine Attributes is here
LITERARY PROJECTS “An answer to another query I am very willing Crousaz's Examen of Pope's “Essay on to write, and had consulted with you about it Man,” and gave advice as one anxious for the most proper way of inviting such a cor its success, was long ago convinced by a respondence as may be an advantage to the perusal of the Preface, that this translation paper, not a load upon it.
was erroneously ascribed to him ; and I "As to the Prize Verses, a backwardness to determine their degrees of merit is not peculiar have found this point ascertained, beyond
You may, if you please, still have what all doubt, by the following article in Dr. I can say; but I shall engage with little spirit in Birch's Manuscripts in the British an affair, which I shall harily end to my own
Museum : satisfaction, and certainly not to the satisfaction of the parties concerned 1
. “As to Father Paul, I have not yet been just “ ELISÆ CARTERÆ, S. P. D. THOMAS to my proposal, but have met with impediments,
BIRCH. which, I hope, are now at an end ; and if you find the progress hereafter not such as you have a
"Versionem tuam Examinis Crousaright to expect, you can easily stimulate a negli- ziani jam perlegi. Summam styli et elegent translator. “If
any or all of these have contributed to gantiam, et in re difficillimâ proprietatem, your discontent, I will endeavour to remove it; admiratus. and desire you to propose the question to which you wish for an answer.
Dabam, Novemb. 27° 1738." 3
Indeed Mrs. Carter has lately acknow
ledged to Mr. Seward, that she was the [No date.] translator of the “Examen.”
It is remarkable, that Johnson's last “I am pretty much of your opinion, that the Commentary cannot be prosecuted with any quoted letter to Mr. Cave concludes with appearance of success; for as the names of the
a fair confession that he had not a dinner ; authors concerned are of more weight in the and it is no less remarkable, that though performance than its own intrinsic merit, the in this state of want himself, his benevopublic will be soon satisfied with it. think the Examen should be pushed forward lent heart was not insensible to the with the utmost expedition. Thus, 'This day,
necessities of an humble labourer in &c. An Examen of Mr. Pope's Essay, &c. con- literature, as appears from the very next taining a succinct Account of the Philosophy of
letter : Mr. Leibnitz on the System of the Fatalists, with a Confutation of their Opinions, and an Illustration of the Doctrine of Free-will;' (with what
[No date.) else you think proper.]
"DEAR SIR, “It will, above all, be necessary to take notice, “You may remember I have formerly talked that it is a thing distinct from the Commentary. with you about a Military Dictionary. The
"I was so far from imagining they stood still,2 eldest Mr. Macbean, who was with Mr. Chamthat I conceived them to have a good deal before- bers, has very good materials for such a work, hand, and
therefore was less anxious in providing which I have seen, and will do it at a very low
But if ever they stand still on my rate. 4 I think the terms of War and Navigation account, it must doubtless be charged to me; might be comprised, with good explanations, in ad whatever else shall be reasonable, I shall not one 8vo. Pica, which he is willing to do for 125. a bose ; but beg a suspense of judgment till sheet, to be made up a guinea at the second imaing, when I'must entreat you to send me a pression. If you think on it, I will wait on you proposals, and you shall then have copy with him.
am, Sir, your humble servant, “I am, Sir, yours, impransus,
“SAM JOHNSON. “SAM. JOHNSON.
“ Pray lend me Topsel on Animals,” 5
I must not omit to mention, that this he corresponded with
Mr. Macbean was a native of Scotland. Mr. Cave concerning a translation of
In the “Gentleman's Magazine” of The premium of forty pounds proposed for
3 Birch MSS. Brit. Mus. 4323.
4 This book was published. B. ho The compositors in Mr. Cave's printing-office, Animals, by Edward Topsel, London, 1607;
TO MR. CAVE.
alluded to. (N.) B.
copy. (N.) B.
this year, Johnson gave a Life of Father Birch. It has been erroneously Paul ; * and he wrote the Preface to the supposed, that an Essay published in Volume,t which, though prefixed to it that Magazine this year, entitled “The when bound, is always published with the Apotheosis of Milton,” was written by Appendix, and is therefore the last com- Johnson ; and on that supposition it has position belonging to it. The ability and been improperly inserted in the edition nice adaptation with which he could draw of his works by the booksellers, after his up a prefatory address, was one of his decease. Were there no positive testipeculiar excellences.
mony as to this point, the style of the It appears too, that he paid a friendly performance, and the name of Shakeattention to Mrs. Elizabeth Carter ; for, speare not being mentioned in an Essay in a letter from Mr. Cave to Dr. Birch, professedly reviewing the principal November 28, this year, I find “Mr. | English Poets, would ascertain it not to Johnson advises Miss C. to undertake be the production of Johnson. a translation of “Boethius de Cons.," there is here no occasion to resort because there is prose and verse, and to internal evidence ; for my Lord Bishop put her name to it when published.” This of Salisbury (Dr. Douglas) has assured advice was not followed ; probably from me, that it was written by Guthrie. His an apprehension that the work was not separate publications were, “A Complete safficiently popular for an extensive sale. Vindication of the Licensers of the Stage, How well Johnson himself could have from the malicious and scandalous executed a translation of this philosophical Aspersions of Mr. Brooke, Author of poet, we may judge from the following Gustavus Vasa," being an ironical specimen which he has given in the Attack upon them for their Suppression Rambler”: (Motto to No. 7.)
of that Tragedy ; 1 and, “Marmor Nor
folciense ; or an Essay on an ancient “O qui perpetuân mundum ratione gubernas, prophetical Inscription, in monkish
Terrarum cælique sator !-
Rhyme, lately discovered near Lynne in Atque tuo splendore mica ! Tu namque Norfolk, by "Probus Britannicus." *
this performance, he, in a feigned inTu requies tranquilla piis. Te cernere finis, scription, supposed to have been found Principium, vector, dux, semita, terminus, in Norfolk, the county of Sir Robert “O Thou whose power o'er moving worlds pre- minister of this country, inveighs against
Walpole, then the obnoxious prime sides, Whose voice created, and whose wisdom the Brunswick succession, and
measures of government consequent upon On darkling man in pure effulgence shine, And cheer the clouded mind with light divine.
it. To this supposed prophecy he added 'Tis thine alone to calm the pious breast,
a Commentary, making each expression With silent confidence and holy rest;
apply to the times, with warm AntiFrom thee, great God! we spring, to thee Hanoverian zeal.
we tend, Path, motive, guide, original, and end !"
This anonymous pamphlet, I belie
did not make so much noise as In 1739, beside the assistance which he , expected, and, therefore, had not a gave to the Parliamentary Debates, his extensive circulation. Sir John Have writings in the “Gentleman's Magazine”, relates, that “Warrants were issued were, “ The Life of Boerhaave, in
messengers employed to apprehenx which it is to be observed, that he discovers that love of chemistry which 1 Henry Brooke (1706--83), an Irishman, never forsook him ; “An Appeal to the of the novel called The Fool of Quality: His Public in behalf of the Editor ;”+ hearsal at Drury Lane, but prohibited as supposed “ An Address to the Reader ;” + “An to satirize Walpole. Brooke then published the Epigram both in Greek and Latin to play, by a subscription, which amounted to £800. Eliza, and also English verses to and,
A Greek Épigram to Dr. preserved in The London Magazine for the year
1739, p. 244.