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[With advising others to be charitable, Dr. John. Piozzi, son did not content himself. He gave away all he had, and all he ever had gotten, except the two thousand pounds he left behind; and the very small portion of his income which he spent on himself, his friends never could by any calculation make more than seventy, or at most fourscore pounds a year, and he pretended to allow himself a hundred. He had numberless dependants out of doors as well as in," who,” as he expressed it, “ did not like to see him latterly, unless he brought them money.” For those people he used frequently to raise contributions on his richer friends; "and this,” he said, “is one of the thousand reasons which ought to restrain a man from drony, solitude and useless retirement.”]
“ DR. JOHNSON TO MR. EDWARD DILLY.
“Bolt-court, Fleet-street, 7th July, 1777. “Sir,—To the collection of English Poets I have recommended the volume of Dr. Watts to be added : his name has long been held by me in veneration, and I would not willingly be reduced to tell of him only that he was born and died. Yet of his life I know very little, and therefore must pass him in a manner very unworthy of his character, unless some of his friends will favour me with the necessary information. Many of them must be known to you ; and by your influence perhaps I
may obtain some instruction: my plan does not exact much; but I wish to distinguish Watts, a man who never wrote but for a good purpose. Be pleased to do for me what you can. I am, sir, your humble servant,
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
cover the letter of Johnson to which he alludes, but without success; for April 23, 1800, he wrote to me thus: “I have again searched, but in vain, for one of his letters, in which he speaks in his own nervous style of Hugo Grotius. De Groot was clearly a descendant of the family of Grotius, and Archbishop Cornwallis willingly complied with Dr. Johnson's request.”—MALONE. [These letters appear in the Gent. Mag. 1787 and 1799, dated from London only, and seem to have been addressed to Mr. Sharpe.-Ed.]
[It appears in Mr. Malone's MS. notes, furnished by Mr. Markland, Dr. Johnson once asked Mr. Gerard Hamilton for so much as fifty pounds for a charitable purpose, and Mr. Hamilton gave it: Sir Joshua Reynolds, however, wld Mr. Malone that he never asked him for more than a guinea.-ED.]
6 TO DR. SAMUEL JOTINSON.
“ Edinburgh, 15th July, 1777. “MY DEAR SIR,—The fate of poor Dr. Dodd made a dismal impression upon my mind.
“ I had sagacity enough to divine that you wrote his speech to the recorder, before sentence was pronounced. I am glad you have written so much for him ; and I hope to be favoured with an exact list of the several pieces when we meet.
“ I received Mr. Seward as the friend of Mr. and Mrs. Thrale, and as a gentleman recommended by Dr. Johnson to my attention. I have introduced him to Lord Kames, Lord Monboddo, and Mr. Nairne. He is gone to the Highlands with Dr. Gregory; when he returns I shall do more for him.
« Sir Allan Maclean has carried that branch of his cause, of which we had good hopes; the president and one other judge only were against him. I wish the house of lords may do as well as the court of session has done. But Sir Allan has not the lands of Brolos quite cleared by this judgment, till a long account is made up of debts and interests on the one side, and rents on the other. I am, however, not much afraid of the balance.
“Macquarry's estates, Staffa and all, were sold yesterday, and bought by a Campbell. I fear he will have little or nothing left out of the purchase money.
“I send you the case against the negło, by Mr. Cullen, son to Dr. Cullen, in opposition to Maclaurin’s for liberty, of which you have approved. Pray read this, and tell me what you think az a politician, as well as a poet, upon the subject.
“Be so kind as to let me know how your time is to be distributed next autumn. I will meet you at Manchester, or where you please ; but I wish you would complete your tour of the cathedrals, and come to Carlisle, and I will accompany you a part of the way homewards. I am ever, most faithfully yours,
“ JAMES BOSWELL.”
" TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
“ 220 July, 1777. “DEAR SIR,Your notion of the necessity of any early interview is very pleasing to both my vanity and tenderness. I shall perhaps come to Carlisle another
not held out so well as it used to do. I shall go to Ashbourne, and I purpose to make Dr. Taylor invite you. If you live awhile with me at his house, we shall have much time to ourselves, and our stay will be no expense to us or him. I shall leave London the 28th ; and, after some stay at Oxford and Lichfield, shall probably come to Ashbourne about the end of your session; but of all this you shall have notice. Be satisfied we will meet somewhere.
“ What passed between me and poor Dr. Dodd, you shall know more fully when we meet.
“Of lawsuits there is no end: poor Sir Allan must have another trial; for which, however, his antagonist cannot be much blamed, having two judges on his side. I am more afraid of the debts than of the house of lords. It is scarcely to be imagined to what debts will swell, that are daily increasing by small additions, and how carelessly in a state of desperation debts are contracted. Poor Macquarry was far from thinking that when he sold his islands he should receive nothing. For what were they sold? and what was their yearly value? The admission of money into the Highlands will soon put an end to the feudal modes of life, by making those men landlords who were not chiefs. I do not know that the people will suffer by the change; but there was in the patriarchal authority something venerable and pleasing. Every eye must look with pain on a Campbell turning the Macquarries at will out of their sedes avita, their hereditary island.
“ Sir Alexander Dick is the only Scotsman liberal enough not to be angry that I could not find trees where trees were not. I was much delighted by his kind letter.
“I remember Rasay with too much pleasure not to partake of the happiness of any part of that amiable family. Our ramble in the Highlands hangs upon my imagination: I can hardly help imagining that we shall go again. Pennant seems to have seen a great deal which we did not see: when we travel again let us look better about us.
“ You have done right in taking your uncle's house. Some change in the form of life gives from time to time a new epocha of existence. In a new place there is something new to be done, and a different system of thoughts rises in the mind. I wish I could gather currants in your garden. Now fit up a little study, and have your books ready at hand: do not spare a little money, to make your habitation pleasing to yourself.
“I have dined lately with poor dear
1. I do not think he goes on well. His table is rather coarse, and he has his children too much about him. But he is a very good
“ Mrs. Williams is in the country, to try if she can improve her health : she is very ill. Matters have come so about, that she is in the country with very good accommodation; but age, and sickness, and pride, have made her so peevish, that I was forced to bribe the maid to stay with her by a secret stipulation of half-a-crown a week over her wages.
“Our club ended its session about six weeks ago. We now only meet to dine once a fortnight. Mr. Dunning, the great lawyer", is one of our members. The Thrales are well.
“I long to know how the negro's cause will be decided. What is the opinion of Lord Auchinleck, or Lord Hailes, or Lord Monboddo? I am, dear sir, your most affectionate, &c.
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
“ DR. JOHNSON TO MRS. BOSWELL.
“ 22d July, 1777. MADAM,—Though I am well enough pleased with the taste of sweetmeats, very little of the pleasure which I received at the arrival of your jar of marmalade arose from eating it. I received it as a token of friendship, as a proof of reconciliation, things much sweeter than sweetmeats, and upon
this consideration I return you, dear madam, my sincerest thanks. By having your kindness I think I have à double security for the continuance of Mr. Boswell's, which it is not to be expected that any man can long keep, when the influence of a lady so highly and so justly valued operates against him. Mr. Boswell will tell you that I was always faithful to your interest, and always endeavoured to exalt you in his estimation. You must now do the same for me. We must all help one another, and you must now consider me as, dear madam, your most obliged and most humble servant,
“ SAM. JOHNSON.”
[Mr. Langton.-Ed.] 2 This very just remark I hope will be constantly held in remembrance by parents, who are in general too apt to indulge their own fond feelings for their children at the expense of their friends. The common custom of introducing them after dinner is highly injudicious. It is agreeable enough that they should
any other time ; but they should not be suffered to poison the mo. ments of festivity by attracting the attention of the company, and in a manner compelling them from politeness to say what they do not think.-BOSWELL.
3 [Created in 1782 Lord Ashburton. ED.]
“ MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
“ Edinburgh, 28th July, 1777. “ MY DEAR SIR, – This is the day on which you were to leave London, and I have been amusing myself in the intervals of my law-drudgery with figuring you in the Oxford postcoach. I doubt, however, if you have had so merry a journey and I had in that vehicle last year, when
made so much sport with Gwyn, the architect. Incidents upon a journey are recollected with peculiar pleasure: they are preserved in brisk spirits, and come up again in our minds, tinctured with that gaiety, or at least that animation, with which we first perceived them.”
(I added, that something had occurred which I was afraid might prevent me from meeting him; and that my wife had been affected with complaints which threatened a consumption, but was now better.)
[“ DR. JOHNSON TO MR. THRALE.
“ [Oxford], 4th Aug. 1777. “Boswell's project is disconcerted by a visit from a relation of Yorkshire, whom he mentions as the head of his clan, Bozzy, you know, makes a huge bustle about all his own motions and all mine. I have enclosed a letter to pacify him, and reconcile him to the uncertainties of human life.”]
“ TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
“Oxford, 4th Aug. 1777. “DEAR SIR,—Do not disturb yourself about our interviews; I hope we shall have many: nor think it any thing hard or unusual that your design of meeting me is interrupted. We have both endured greater evils, and have greater evils to expect.
“Mrs. Boswell's illness makes a more serious distress. Does the blood rise from her lungs or from her stomach ? From little vessels broken in the stomach there is no danger. Blood from the lungs is, I believe, always frothy, as mixed with wind. Your physicians know very well what is to be done. The loss of such a lady would, indeed, be very afflictive, and I hope she is in no danger. Take care to keep her mind as easy as possible.