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« No summons mock'd by chill delay,
“ No petty gains disdain'd by pride ; ~ The modest wants of every day
“ The toil of every day supply'd. “ His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
" Nor made a pause, nor left a void; “ And sure the eternal Master found
“ His single talent well employ'd. “ The busy day, the peaceful night,
“ Unfelt, uncounted, glided by ; “ His frame was firm, his powers were bright, L" Though now his eightieth year was nigh.
“ Then, with no throbs of firy pain,
" No cold gradations of decay, « Death broke at once the vital chain, · « And freed his soul the nearest way."
In one of Johnson's registers of this year, there occurs the following curious passage : “ Jan. 20. The Ministry is dissolved. I prayed with Francis, and gave thanks." It has been the subject of dis. cussion, whether there are two distinct particulars mentioned here? Or that we are to understand the giving of thanks to be in consequence of the dissolution of the Ministry ? In support of the last of these conjectures may be urged his mean opinion of that Ministry, which has frequently appeared in the course of this work ; and it is strongly confirmed by what he said on the subject to Mr. Seward :-" I
" And Labour steals an hour to die.” But he afterwards altered it to the present reading.
• Prayers and Meditations, p. 209.
1782. am glad the ministry is removed. Such a bunch
of imbecility never disgraced a country. Etat. 73 01
If they sent a messenger into the City to take up a printer, the messenger was taken up instead of the printer, and committed by the sitting Alderman. If they sent one army to the relief of another, the first army was defeated and taken before the second arrived. I will not say that what they did was always wrong; but it was always done at a wrong time."
1“ DEAR MADAM,
“ Mrs. Williams shewed me your kind letter. This little habitation is now but a melancholy place, clouded with the gloom of disease and death. Of the four inmates, one has been suddenly snatched away ;. two are oppressed by very afflictive and dangerous illness'; and I tried yesterday to gain some relief by a third bleeding, from a disorder which has for some time distressed me, and I think myself to day much better.
" I am glad, dear Madam, to hear that you are so far recovered as to go to Bath. Let me once more entreat you to stay till your health is not only obtained, but confirmed. Your fortune is such as
that no moderate expences deserves your care ; and · you have a husband, who, f believe, does not regard it. Stay, therefore, till you are quite well. I am; for my part, very much deserted; but complaint is useless. I hope God will bless you, and I desire you to form the same wish for me. I am, dear Madam,
“ Your most humble servant, “ Seb. 4, 1782.
- SAM. JOHNSON,
" TO EDMOND MALONE, ESQ.
"I HAVE for many weeks been so much out of order, that I have gone out only in a coach to Mrs. Thrale's, where I can use all the freedom that sick. ness requires. Do not, therefore, take it amiss, that I am not with you and Dr. Farmer. I hope here. after to see you often. I am, Sir,
“ Your most humble servant, " Feb. 27, 1782.
“ Sam. JOHNSON."
TO THE SAME.
6 DEAR SIR,
“ I HOPE I grow better, and shall soon be able to enjoy the kindness of my friends. I think this wild adherence to Chatterton more unaccountable than the obstinate defence of Ossian.' In Ossian there is a national pride, which may be forgiven,
1° [This Note was in answer to one which accompanied one of the earliest pamphlets on the subject of Chatterton's forgery, entitled “ Cursory Observations on the Poems attributed to Thomas Rowley,” &c. Mr. Thomas Warton's very able “ Inquiry” appeared about three months afterwards : and Mr. Tyrwhiti's admirable “ Vindication of his Appendix,” in the summer of the same year, left the believers in his daring imposture nothing but “ the resolution to say again what had been said before.” Daring, however, as this fiction was, and wild as was the adherence to Chatterton, both were greatly exceeded in 1795 and the following year, by a still more audacious imposture, and the pertinacity of one of its adherents, who has immortalized his name by publishing a bulky volume, of which the direct and manifest object was, to prove the authenticity of certain papers attributed to Shakspeare, after the fabricator of the spurious trash had publickly acknowledged the imposture! M.]
1782. though it cannot be applauded. In Chatterton there Ætat. 73."
is nothing but the resolution to say again what has once been said. I am, Sir,
“ Your humble servant, « March 2, 1782.
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
These short letters shew the regard which Dr. Johnson entertained for Mr. Malone, who the more he is known is the more highly valued. It is much to be regretted that Johnson was prevented from sharing the elegant hospitality of that gentleman's table, at which he would in every respect have been fully gratified. Mr. Malone, who las so ably succeeded him as an Editor of Shakspeare, has, in his Preface, done great and just honour to Johnson's memory.
“ TO MRS. LUCY PORTER, IN LICHFIELD. « DEAR MADAM,
" I WENT away from Lichfield ill, and have had a troublesome time with my breath; for some weeks I have been disordered by a cold, of which I could not get the violence abated, till I had been let blood three times. I have not, however, been so bad but that I could have written, and am sorry that I neglected it.
“My dwelling is but melancholy; both Williams, and Desmoulins, and myself, are very sickly: Frank is not well; and poor Levett died in his bed the other day, by a sudden stroke; I suppose not one minute passed between health and death; so uncertain are human things.
o Such is the appeararce of the world about me; I hope your scenes are more cheerful. But what
ever befalls us, though it is wise to be serious, it is 1782. useless and foolish, and perhaps sinful, to be gloomy. Let us, therefore, keep ourselves as easy as we can; though the loss of friends will be felt, and poor Levett had been a faithful adherent for thirty years. :
“ Forgive me, my dear love, the omission of writing: I hope to mend that and my other faults. Let me have your prayers.'
“ Make my compliments to Mrs. Cobb, and Miss Adey, and Mr. Pearson, and the whole company of my friends. I am, my dear,
“ Your most humble servant, “ London, March 2, 1782. "SAM, JOHNSON."
TO THE SAME.
.“ DEAR MADAM,
“My last was but a dull letter, and I know not that this will be much more cheerful; I am, however, willing to write, because you are desirous to hear from me.
"My disorder has now begun its ninth week, for it is not yet over. I was last Thursday blooded for the fourth time, and have since found myself much relieved, but I am very tender and easily hurt; so that since we parted I have had but little comfort, but I hope that the spring will recover me; and that in the summer I shall see Lichfield again, for I will not delay my visit another year to the end of autumn.
“ I have, by advertising, found poor Mr. Levett's brothers in Yorkshire, who will take the little he has left: it is but little, yet it will be welcome, for I believe they are of very low condition.