[1754 transcribe the quotations, and interleave them with references, to save time. This will shorten the work, and lessen the fatigue.

'Can I do any thing to promoting the diploma? I would not be wanting to co-operate with your kindness; of which, whatever be the effect, I shall be, dear Sir, your most obliged, &c. '[London,] Nov. 28, 1754.' 'SAM. JOHNSON.'


'DEAR SIR,-I am extremely sensible of the favour done me, both by Mr. Wise and yourself. The book' cannot, I think, be printed in less than six weeks, nor probably so soon; and I will keep back the title-page, for such an insertion as you seem to promise me. Be pleased to let me know what money I shall send you, for bearing the expence of the affair; and I will take care that you may have it ready at your hand.

'I had lately the favour of a letter from your brother, with some account of poor Collins, for whom I am much concerned. I have a notion, that by very great temperance, or more properly abstinence, he may yet recover.

There is an old English and Latin book of poems by Barclay, called "The Ship of Fools;" at the end of which are a number of Eglogues; so he writes it, from Egloga, which are probably the first in our language. If you cannot find the book I will get Mr. Dodsley to send it you.

'I shall be extremely glad to hear from you again, to know, if the affair proceeds 2. I have mentioned it to none of my friends for fear of being laughed at for my disappointment.

'You know poor Mr. Dodsley has lost his wife; I believe he is much affected. I hope he will not suffer so much as I yet suffer for the loss of mine.

Οἴμοι. τί δ' οἴμοι; Θνῆτα γὰρ πεπόνθαμεν.

I have ever since seemed to myself broken off from mankind; a kind of solitary wanderer in the wild of life, without any direction, or fixed point of view: a gloomy gazer on a world to which I have little relation. Yet I would endeavour, by the help of you and your brother, to supply the want of closer union, by friendship: and hope to have long the pleasure of being, dear Sir, most affectionately your's,

[London,] Dec. 21, 1754.'

''His Dictionary.' WARTON.


'Of the degree at Oxford.' Warton.



1755 ÆTAT. 46.]—IN 1755 we behold him to great advantage; his degree of Master of Arts conferred upon him, his Dictionary published, his correspondence animated, his benevolence exercised.


'DEAR SIR,-I wrote to you some weeks ago, but believe did not direct accurately, and therefore know not whether you had my letter. I would, likewise, write to your brother, but know not where to find him. I now begin to see land, after having wandered, according to Mr. Warburton's phrase, in this vast sea of words. What reception I shall meet with on the shore, I know not; whether the sound of bells, and acclamations of the people, which Ariosto talks of in his last Canto, or a general murmur of dislike, I know not: whether I shall find upon the coast a Calypso that will court, or a Polypheme that will resist. But if Polypheme comes, have at his eye. I hope, however, the criticks will let me be at peace; for though I do not much fear their skill and strength, I am a little afraid of myself, and would not willingly feel so much ill-will in my bosom as literary quarrels are apt to excite.

'Mr. Baretti is about a work for which he is in great want of Crescimbeni, which you may have again when you please. "There is nothing considerable done or doing among us. here. We are not, perhaps, as innocent as villagers, but most of us seem to be as idle. I hope, however, you are busy; and should be glad to know what you are doing. I am, dearest Sir, your humble servant,

[London,] Feb. 4, 1755.'



'DEAR SIR,-I received your letter this day, with great sense of the favour that has been done me'; for which I return my most sincere thanks: and entreat you to pay to Mr. Wise such returns as I ought to make for so much kindness so little deserved.

'I sent Mr. Wise the Lexicon, and afterwards wrote to

1 'His degree had now past, according to the usual form, the suffrages of the heads of Colleges; but was not yet finally granted by the University. It was carried without a single dissentient voice.' WARTON.




him; but know not whether he had either the book or letter. Be so good as to contrive to enquire.

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But why does my dear Mr. Warton tell me nothing of himself? Where hangs the new volume1? Can I help? Let not the past labour be lost, for want of a little more but snatch what time you can from the Hall, and the pupils, and the coffee-house, and the parks, and complete your design. I am, dear Sir, &c.

'[London,] Feb. 4, 1755.'



'DEAR SIR,-I had a letter last week from Mr. Wise, but have yet heard nothing from you, nor know in what state my affair stands; of which I beg you to inform me, if you can, to-morrow, by the return of the post.

'Mr. Wise sends me word, that he has not had the Finnick Lexicon yet, which I sent some time ago; and if he has it not, you must enquire after it. However, do not let your letter stay for that.

Your brother, who is a better correspondent than you, and not much better, sends me word, that your pupils keep you in College: but do they keep you from writing too? Let them, at least, give you time to write to, dear Sir, your most affectionate, &c.

'[London,] Feb. 13, 1755.'




'DEAR SIR,-Dr. King was with me a few minutes before your letter; this, however, is the first instance in which your kind intentions to me have ever been frustrated'. I have now the full effect of your care and benevolence; and am far from thinking it a slight honour, or a small advantage; since it will put the enjoyment of your conversation more frequently in the power of, dear Sir, your most obliged and affectionate SAM. JOHNSON.'

'On Spenser.' WARTON.

" 'Of the degree.' WARTON. 36 'Principal of St. Mary Hall at Oxford. He brought with him the diploma from Oxford.' WARTON.

I suppose Johnson means that my kind intention of being the first to give him the good news of the degree being granted was frustrated, because Dr. King brought it before my intelligence arrived.' WARTON.




'P.S. I have enclosed a letter to the Vice-Chancellor', which you will read; and, if you like it, seal and give him. [London,] Feb. 1755.'

As the Publick will doubtless be pleased to see the whole progress of this well-earned academical honour, I shall insert the Chancellor of Oxford's letter to the University, the diploma, and Johnson's letter of thanks to the ViceChancellor.

'To the Reverend Dr. HUDDESFORD, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford; to be communicated to the Heads of Houses, and proposed in Convocation.

'MR. VICE-CHANCELLOR, AND GENTLEMEN,-Mr. Samuel Johnson, who was formerly of Pembroke College, having very eminently distinguished himself by the publication of a series of essays, excellently calculated to form the manners of the people, and in which the cause of religion and morality is every where maintained by the strongest powers of argument and language; and who shortly intends to publish a Dictionary of the English Tongue, formed on a new plan, and executed with the greatest labour and judgement; I persuade myself that I shall act agreeably to the sentiments of the whole University, in desiring that it may be proposed in convocation to confer on him the degree of Master of Arts by diploma, to which I readily give my consent; and am, Mr. Vice-Chancellor, and Gentlemen, your affectionate friend and servant,

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'CANCELLARIUS, Magistri et Scholares Universitatis Oxoniensis omnibus ad quos hoc presens scriptum pervenerit, salutem in Domino sempiternam.

'Cùm eum in finem gradus academici à majoribus nostris instituti fuerint, ut viri ingenio et doctrinâ præstantes titulis quoque præter cæteros insignirentur; cùmque vir doctissimus Samuel Johnson è Collegio Pembrochiensi, scriptis suis popu

'Dr. Huddesford, President of Trinity College.' WARTON.
Extracted from the Convocation-Register, Oxford.


[1755 larium mores informantibus dudum literato orbi innotuerit ; quin et linguæ patriæ tum ornandæ tum stabillendæ (Lexicon Scilicet Anglicanum summo studio, summo à se judicio congestum propediem editurus) etiam nunc utilissimam impendat operam; Nos igitur Cancellarius, Magistri, et Scholares antedicti, nè virum de literis humanioribus optimè meritum diutius inhonoratum prætereamus, in solenni Convocatione Doctorum, Magistrorum, Regentium, et non Regentium, decimo die Mensis Februarii Anno Domini Millesimo Septingentesimo Quinquagesimo quinto habita, præfatum virum Samuelem Johnson (conspirantibus omnium suffragiis) Magistrum in Artibus renunciavimus et constituimus; eumque, virtute præsentis diplomatis, singulis juribus privilegiis et honoribus ad istum gradum quàquà pertinentibus frui et gaudere jussimus. 'In cujus rei testimonium sigillum Universitatis Oxoniensis præsentibus apponi fecimus.

'Datum in Domo nostra Convocationis die 20° Mensis Feb. Anno Dom. prædicto.

'Diploma supra scriptum per Registrarium lectum erat, et ex decreto venerabilis Domûs communi Universitatis sigillo munitum '.'



'INGRATUS planè et tibi et mihi videar, nisi quanto me gaudio affecerint, quos nuper mihi honores (te credo auctore) decrevit Senatus Academicus, literarum, quo tamen nihil levius, officio, significem ingratus etiam, nisi comitatem, quà vir eximius mihi vestri testimonium amoris in manus tradidit, agnoscam et laudem. Si quid est undè rei tam gratæ accedat gratia, hoc ipso magis mihi placet, quod eo tempore in ordines Academicos denuo cooptatus sim, quo tuam imminuere auctoritatem, famamque Oxonii lædere, omnibus modis conantur homines vafri, nec tamen acuti: quibus ego, prout viro umbratico licuit, semper restiti, semper restiturus. Qui enim, inter has rerum procellas, vel Tibi vel Academiæ defuerit, illum virtuti et literis, sibique et posteris, defuturum existimo.

1 The original is in my possession.


2 We may conceive what a high gratification it must have been to Johnson to receive his diploma from the hands of the great Dr. KING, whose principles were so congenial with his own.

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