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The consideration of numerous papers of which he 1784. was possessed, seems to have struck Johnson's mind,
and fifty pounds in the hands of Dr. Percy, Bishop of Dromore;
« SAM. JOHNSON, (L. S.)
said testator, as his last will and testament, in the
" GEORGE STRAL. IN.
“ By way of Codicil to my last will and testament, I, SAMUEL JOHNSON, give, devise, and bequeath, my messuage or tenement situate at Lichfield, in the county of Stafford, with the appurtenances in the tenure and occupation of Mrs. Bond, of Lich. field aforesaid, or of Mr. Hinchman, her under-tenant, to my executors, in trust, to sell and dispose of the same; and the money arising from such sale I give and bequeath as follows, viz. to Thomas and Benjamin, the sons of Fisher Johnson, late of Leicester, and
Whiting, daughter of Thomas Johnson, late of
1784. with a sudden anxiety, and as they were in great
confusion, it is much to be lamented that he had not Ætat.75.
Coventry, and the grand-daughter of the said Thomas Johnson, one full and equal fourth part each; but in case there shall be more grand-daughters than one of the said Thomas Johnson, live ing at the time of my decease, I give and bequeath the part or share of that one to and equally between such grand-daughters. I give and bequeath to the Rev. Mr. Rogers, of Berkley, near Froom, in the county of Somerset, the sum of one hundred pounds, requesting him to apply the same towards the maintenance of Elizabeth Herne, a lunatick. I also give and bequeath to my godchildren, the son and daughter of Mauritius Lowe, painter, each of them, one hundred pounds of my stock in the three per cent. consolidated annuities, to be applied and disposed of by and at the discretion of my executors, in the education or Settlement in the world of them my said legatees. Also I give and bequeath to Sit John Hawkins, one of my Executors, the Annales Ecclesiastici of Baronius, and Holinshed's and Stowe's Chronicles, and also an octavo Common Prayer-Book. To Bennet Langton, Esq. I give and bequeath my Polyglot Bible. To Sir Joshua Reynolds, my great French Dictionary, by Martiniere, and my own copy of my folio English Dictionary, of the last revison. To Dr. William Scott, one of my Esecutors, the Dictionnaire de Commerce, and Lectius's edition of the Greek Poets. "To Mr. Windham, Poetæ Græci Heroici per Henricum Stephanum. To the Rev. Mr. Strahan, vicar of Islington, in Middlesex, Mill's Greek Testament, Beza's Greek Testament, by Stephens, all my Latin Bibles, and my Greek Bible, by Wechelius. To Dr. Heberden, Dr. Brocklesby, Dr. Butter. and Mr. Cruikshank, the surgeon who attended me, Mr. Holder, my apothecary, Gerard Hamilton, Esq. Mrs Gardiner, of Snow-hill, Mrs. Frances Reynolds, Mr. Hoole, and the Reverend Mr. Hoole, his son, each a book at their election, to keep as a token of remembrance. I also give and bequeath to Mr. John Desmoulins, two hundred pounds consolidated three per cent. annuities : and to Mr. Sastres, the Italian Master, the sum of five pounds, to be laid out in books of piety for his own
And whereas the said Bennet Langton hath agreed in consideration of the sum of seven hundred and fifty pounds, mentioned in my will to be in his hands, to grant and secure an an: nuity of seventy pounds payable during the life of me and my
entrusted some faithful and discreet person with the 1784. care and selection of them; instead of which, he, in
servant, Francis Barber, and the life of the survivor of us, to Mr. George Stubbs, in trust for us; my mind and will is, that in case of my decease before the said agreement shall be perfected, the said sum of seven 'hundred and fifty pounds, and the bond for securing the said sum, shall go to the said Francis Barber; and I hereby give and bequeath to him the same, in lieu of the bequest in his favour, contained in my said will. And I hereby empower my Executors to deduct and retain all expences that shall or may be incurred in the execution of my said Will, or of this Codicil thereto, out of such estate and effects as I shall die possessed of. All the rest, residue, and remainder, of my estate and effects I give and bequeath to my said Executors, in trust for the said Francis Barber, his Executors, and Administrators. Witness my hand and seal, this ninth day of December, 1784.
" Sam. JOHNSON, (L. S.)
Signed, sealed, published, declared, and delivered, by the
Upon these testamentary deeds it is proper to make a few observations.
His express declaration with his dying breath as a Christian, as it had been often practised in such solemn writings, was of real consequence from this great man, for the conviction of a mind equally acute and strong, might well overbalance the doubts of others who were his contemporaries. The expression polluted, may, to some, convey an impression of more than ordinary contamination; but that is not warranted by its genuine meaning, as appears from “ The Rambler,” No. 42. The same word is used in the will of Dr. Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln, who was piety itself.
His legacy of two hundied pounds to the representatives of Mr.
1784. a precipitate manner, burnt large masses of them, with A little regard, as I apprehend, to discrimination. Not
Innys, bookseller, in St. Paul's Church-yard, proceeded from a very worthy motive. He told Sir John Hawkins, that his father having become a bankrupt, Mr. Innys had assisted him with money or credit to continue his business. “ This, (said he,) I consider as an obligation on me to be grateful to his descendants.”
The amount of his property proved to be considerably more than he had supposed it to be. Sir John Hawkins estimates the bequest to Francis Barber at a sum little short of fifteen hundred pounds, including an annuity of seventy pounds to be paid to him by Mr. Langton, in consideration of seventy hundred and fifty pounds, which Johnson had lent to that gentleman. Sir John seems not a little angry at this bequest, and mutters a caveat against ostentatious bounty and favour to negroes."
But surely when a man has money entirely of his own acquisition, especially when he has no near relations, he may, without blame, dispose of it as he pleases, and with great propriety to a faithful servant, Mr. Barber, by the recommendation of his master, retired to Lichfield, where he might pass the rest of his days in comfort.
It has been objected that Johnson has omitted many of his best friends, when leaving books to several as tokens of his last remembrance. The names of Dr. Adams, Dr. Taylor, Dr. Burney, Mr. Hector, Mr. Murphy, the Author of this work, and others who were intimate with him, are not to be found in his Will. This may be accounted for by considering, that as he was very near his dissolution at the time, he probably mentioned such as happened to occur to him; and that he may have recollected, that he had formerly shewn others such proofs of his regard, that it was not necessary to crowd his Will with their names. Mrs. Lucy Porter was much displeased that nothing was left to her ; but besides what I have now stated, she should have considered, that she had left nothing to Johnson by her Will, which was made during his life-time, as appeared at her decease.
His enumerating several persons in one group, and leaving them “ each a book at their election, might possibly have given occasion to a curious question as to the order of choice, had they not luckily fixed on different books. His library, though by po means handsome in its appearance, was sold by Mr. Christie, for two hundred ard forty-seven pounds, nine shillings; many people be
that I suppose we have thus been deprived of any 1784. compositions which he had ever intended for the
Ætat. 75. publick eye; but from what escaped the flames, I judge that
many curious circumstances relating both to himself and other literary characters, have perished.
Two very valuable articles, I am sure, we have lost, which were two quarto volumes, containing a full, fair, and most particular account of his own life, from his earliest recollection. I owned to him, that having accidentally seen them, I had read a great deal in them; and apologizing for the liberty I had taken, asked him if I could help it. He placidly answered, “ Why, Sir, I do not think you could have helped it.” I said that I had, for once in my life, felt half an inclination to commit theft. It had come into my mind to carry off those two volumes, and never see him more. Upon my enquiring how
ing desirous to have a book which had belonged to Johnson. In many of them he had written little notes : sometimes tender memorials of his departed wife; as, “This was dear Tetty's book :", sometimes occasional remarks of different sorts. Mr. Lysons, of Clifford's Inn, hias favoured me with the two following: " In "
Holy Rules and Helps to Devotions by Bryan Duppa, Lord Bishop of Winton," « Preces quidam ridetur diligenter tractusse ; spero non inauditus."
In “ The Rossicrucian infailible Axiomata, by John Heydon, Gent.” prefixed to which are some verses addressed to the authour, signed Ambr. Waters, A. M. Coll. Ex. Oxon. « These Latin verses were written to Hobbes by Bathurst, upon his Treatise on Human Nature, and have no relation to the book.. - An odd fraud.
[Francis Barber, Dr. Johnson's principal legatee, died in the infirmary at Stafford, after undergoing a painful operation, Feb. 13, 1801. M.]