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“ My health seems in general to improve; but I have been troubled for many weeks with vexatious catarrh, which is sometimes sufficiently distressful. I have not found any great effects from bleeding and physick; and am afraid that I must expect help from brighter days and softer air.

“ Write to me now and then; and whenever any good befalls you, make haste to let me know it, for no one will rejoice at it more than, dear sir, your most humble servant,

“ Sam. JOHNSON. “ You continue to stand very high in the favour of Mrs. Thrale."

While a former edition of my work was passing through the press, I was unexpectedly favoured with a packet from Philadelphia, from Mr. James Abercrombie, a gentleman of that country, who is pleased to honour me with very high praise of my“ Life of Dr. Johnson.” To have the fame of my illustrious friend, and his faithful biographer, echoed from the New World is extremely flattering; and my grateful acknowledgments shall be wafted across the Atlantick. Mr. Abercrombie has politely conferred on me a considerable additional obligation, by transmitting to me copies of two letters from Dr. Johnson to American gentlemen. “Gladly, sir (says he), would I have sent you the originals : but being the only relicks of the kind in America, they are considered by the possessors of such inestimable value, that no possible consideration would induce them to part with them. In some future publication of yours relative to that great and good man, they may perhaps be thought worthy of insertion."


“ Johnson's-court, Fleet-street, 4th March, 1773. “ Sir,– That in the hurry of a sudden departure you should yet find leisure to consult my convenience, is a degree of kind

1 This gentleman, who now resides in America in a publick character of a considerable dignity, desired that his name might not be transcribed at full length. -BoswELL. [Probably a Mr. Bland, whose " Enquiry into the Rights of the British Colonies" was republished in London, in 1770.-Ed.]

ness, and an instance of regard, not only beyond my claims, but above my expectation. You are not mistaken in supposing that I set a high value on my American friends, and that you should confer a very valuable favour upon me by giving me an opportunity of keeping myself in their memory.

“ I have taken the liberty of troubling you with a packet, to which I wish a safe and speedy conveyance, because I wish a safe and speedy voyage to him that conveys it. I am, sir, your most humble servant,


“ Johnson’s-court, Fleet-street, 4th March, 1773. “Dear Sir,– Your kindness for your friends accompanies you across the Atlantick. It was long since observed by Horace, that no ship could leave care behind: you have been attended in your voyage by other powers,—by benevolence and constancy: and I hope care did not often show her face in their company.

“ I received the copy of Rasselas. The impression is not magnificent, but it flatters an authour, because the printer seems to have expected that it would be scattered among the people. The little book has been well received, and is translated into Italian, French, German, and Dutch. It has now one honour more by an American edition.

“I know not that much has happened since your departure that can engage your curiosity. Of all publick transactions the whole world is now informed by the newspapers. Opposition seems to despond; and the dissenters, though they have taken advantage of unsettled times, and a government much enfeebled, seem not likely to gain any immunities.

“ Dr. Goldsmith has a new comedy 2 in rehearsal at Covent Garden, to which the manager predicts ill success. I hope he will be mistaken. I think it deserves a very kind reception.

“ I shall soon publish a new edition of my large Dictionary ; I have been persuaded to revise it, and have mended some faults, but added little to its usefulness.

“No book has been published since your departure, of which much notice is taken. Faction only fills the town with pamphlets, and greater subjects are forgotten in the noise of discord.

Now Doctor White, and bishop of the episcopal church in Pennsylvania. During his first visit to England in 1771, as a candidate for holy orders, he was several times in company with Dr. Johnson, who expressed a wish to see the edition of Rasselas, which Dr. White told him had been printed in America. Dr. White, on his return, immediately sent him a copy. - BOSWELL.

? [She Stoops to Conquer.-Ed.]

vol. i.

“ Thus have I written, only to tell you how little I have to tell. Of myself I can only add, that having been afflicted many weeks with a very troublesome cough, I am now recovered.

“ I take the liberty which you give me of troubling you with a letter, of which you will please to fill up the direction. I am, sir, your most humble servant,



“ 25th March, 1773. “ Did not I tell you that I had written to Boswell? he has p. 80. answered my letter '.

“ I am going this evening to put young Otway to school with Mr. Elphinston.

“C - 2 is so distressed with abuse about his play, that he has solicited Goldsmith to take him off the rack of the newspapers.

“ M -3 is preparing a whole pamphlet against G-, and —is, I suppose, collecting materials to confute M

* Jennens + has published Hamlet, but without a preface, and S-s declares his intention of letting him pass the rest of his life in peace. Here is news.”

On Saturday, April 3, the day after my arrival in London this year, I went to his house late in the evening, and sat with Mrs. Williams till he came home. I found in the London Chronicle, Dr. Goldsmith's apology to the publick for beating Evans, a bookseller, on account of a paragraph in a newspaper published by him, which Goldsmith thought impertinent to him and to a lady of his acquaintance. The apology was written so much in Dr. Johnson's manner, that both Mrs. Williams and I supposed it to be his; but when he came home, he soon unde

· [But has not published his answer.—Ed.]

* (Richard Cumberland. The play in question was the Choleric Man, which he afterwards published with a “Dedication to Detraction." He was very sensitive to such attacks, as Sheridan more than hints in the character of Sir Fretful Plagiary, which was intended for him.--Ed.]

3 These initials, no doubt, mean Mickle and Garrick, (see Garrick's letter to Boswell, post, sub 23d Oct. 1773): the quarrel was on the subject of the “Siege e Marseilles.” See Mickle's Life in Anderson's British Poets.-ED.)

+ (Soame Jenyns.--ED.)
5 George Steevens.-Ed.]

6 The offence given was a long abusive letter in the London Packet. A particular account of this transaction, and Goldsmith's Vindication (for such it was, rather than an Apology), may be found in the new Life of that poet, prefixed to his Miscellaneous Works, in 4 vols. 8vo. pp. 105-108.-MALONE.

ceived us. When he said to Mrs. Williams, “ Well, Dr. Goldsmith's manifesto has got into your paper;" I asked him if Dr. Goldsmith had written it, with an air that made him see I suspected it was his, though subscribed by Goldsmith. JOHNSON. “ Sir, Dr. Goldsmith would no more have asked me to write such a thing as that for him, than he would have asked me to feed him with a spoon, or to do any thing else that denoted his imbecility. I as much believe that he wrote it, as if I had seen him do it. Sir, had he shown it to any one friend, he would not have been allowed to publish it. He has, indeed, done it very well; but it is a foolish thing well done. I suppose he has been so much elated with the success of his new comedy, that he has thought every thing that concerned him must be of importance to the publick.” BOSWELL. “ I fancy, sir, this is the first time that he has been engaged in such an adventure.” JOHNSON. “Why, sir, I believe it is the first time he has beat'; he may have been beaten before. This, sir, is a new plume to him.”

I mentioned Sir John Dalrymple’s “ Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland,” and his discoveries to the prejudice of Lord Russell and Algernon Sydney. JOHNSON. “Why, sir, every body who had just notions of government thought them rascals before. It is well that all mankind now see them to be rascals.” BOSWELL. “ But, sir, may not those discoveries be true without their being rascals?” JOHNSON. “ Consider, sir, would any of them have been willing to have had it known that they intrigued with France ? Depend upon it, sir, he who does what he is afraid should be known, has something rotten about him.


[Mr. Chalmers, in the article Goldsmith, in the Biog. Dict., states, on the authority of Evans, that he had beaten Goldsmith, and not Goldsmith him ; but surely, in such a case, the authority of Evans would be suspicious, even if it were not opposed to the whole current of cotemporary evidence.-ED.]

This Dalrymple seems to be an honest fellow; for he tells equally what makes against both sides. But nothing can be poorer than his mode of writing, it is the mere bouncing of a schoolboy: Great He?! but greater She! and such stuff.”

I could not agree with him in this criticism ; for though Sir John Dalrymple's style is not regularly formed in any respect, and one cannot help smiling sometimes at his affected grandiloquence, there is in his writing a pointed vivacity, and much of a gentlemanly spirit.

At Mr. Thrale's, in the evening, he repeated his usual paradoxical declamation against action in publiek speaking. “ Action can have no effect upon reasonable minds. It may augment noise, but it never can enforce argument. If you speak to a dog, you use action; you hold up your hand thus, because he is a brute; and in proportion as men are removed from brutes, action will have the less influence upon them.” MRS. THRALE. “ What then, sir, becomes of Demosthenes's saying ? • Action, action, action!'” JOHNSON. “ Demosthenes, madam, spoke to an assembly of brutes; to a barbarous people.”

I thought it extraordinary, that he should deny the power of rhetorical action upon human nature, when it is proved by innumerable facts in all stages of society. Reasonable beings are not solely reasonable. They have fancies which may be pleased, passions which may be roused.

Lord Chesterfield being mentioned, Johnson remarked, that almost all of that celebrated nobleman's witty sayings were puns. He, however, allowed the merit of good wit to his lordship's saying of Lord Tyrawley and himself, when both very old and in

: A bombastic ode of Oldham's on Ben Jonson begins thus : “GREAT Thor !" which perhaps his namesake remembered.-MALONE.

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