« ElőzőTovább »
disordered by a difficulty of breathing, but THE REV. DR. VYSE TO MR. BOSWELL am now better. I hope your house is
“Lambeth, 9th June, 1787. well.
“ Sir, I have searched in vain for the “ You know we have been talking lately letter which I spoke of, and which I wished, of St. Cross, at Winchester 1: I have an at your desire, to communicate to you. It old acquaintance whose distress makes him was from Dr. Johnson, to return me thanks very desirous of an hospital, and I am afraid for my application to archbishop Cornwallis I have not strength enough to get him into in favour of poor De Groot. He rejoices at the Chartreux. He is a painter, who never the success it met with, and is lavish in the rose higher than to get his immediate liv- praise he bestows upon his favourite, Hugo ing; and from that, at eighty-three, he is Grotius. I am really sorry that I cannot find disabled by a slight stroke of the palsy, this letter, as it is worthy of the writer. such as does not make him at all helpless That which I send you enclosed 3 is at your on common occasions, though his hand is service. It is very short, and will not perhaps not steady enough for his art.
be thought of any consequence, unless you “My request is, that you will try to ob- should judge proper to consider it as a proof tain a promise of the next vacancy from the of the very huniane part which Dr. JohnBishop of Chester. It is not a great thing son took in behalf of a distressed and de to ask, and I hope we shall obtain it. Dr. serving person. I am, sir, your most obe: Warton has promised to favour him with dient humble servant, “ W. VYSE 4.” his notice, and I hope he may end his days
I am, sir, your most humble ser- (With advising others to be charvant, “ Sam. Johnson." itable, Dr. Johnson did not content
himself. He gave away all he had, TO THE REV. DR. VYSE, AT LAMBETH.
and all he ever had gotten, except the two
“9th July, 1777. thousand pounds he left behind; and the “Sir, I doubt not but you will readily very small portion of his income which he forgive me for taking the liberty of request- spent on himself, his friends never could by ing your assistance in recommending an any calculation make more than seventy, or old friend to his grace the archbishop as at most fourscore pounds a year, and he governor of the Charter-house.
pretended to allow himself a hundred. He “His name is De Groot ?; he was born had numberless dependants out of doors as at Gloucester; I have known him many well as in, “who," as he expressed it, “ did years. He has all the common claims to not like to see him latterly unless he brought charity, being old, poor, and infirm to a them money.” For those people he used great degree. He has likewise another frequently to raise contributions on his richclaim, to which no scholar can refuse at- er friends 5; "and this,” he said, " is one tention; he is by several descents the of the thousand reasons which ought to renephew of Hugo Grotius; of him from strain a man from drony solitude and usewhom perhaps every man of learning has less retirement.”) learnt something. Let it not be said that in any lettered country a nephew of Grotius "' DR. JOHNSON TO MR. EDWARD DILLY. asked a charity and was refused. I am,
“ Bolt-court, Fleet-street, 7th July, 1777. 1 reverend sir, your most humble servant, " SIR,- To the collection of English. " SAM. Johnson."
3 The preceding letter.—Boswell. " TO THE REV. DR. VYSE, AT LAMBETH.
4 Dr. Vyse, at my request, was so obliging as “ 220 July, 1777.
once more to endeavour to recover the letter of “ If any notice should be taken of the fur April 23, 1800, he wrote to me thus; “ I have
Johnson, to which he alludes, but without success; recommendation which I took the liberty again searched, but in vain, for one of his letters, of sending you, it will be necessary to know in which he speaks in his own nervous style of that Mr. De Groot is to be found at No. 8, Hugo Grotius. De Groot was clearly a descenin Pye-street, Westminster. This informa-dant of the family of Grotius, and Archbishop tion, when I wrote, I could not give you; Cornwallis willingly complied with Dr. Johnand being going soon to Lichfield, think it son’s request.”—MALONE. [These letters apnecessary to be left behind me.
pear in the Gent. Mag. 1787 and 1799, dated “ More I will not say. You will want from London only, and seem to have been addressno persuasion to succour the nephew of ed to Mr. Sharpe.--Ed.] Grotius. I am, sir, your most humble ser- [It appears in Mr. Malone's MS. notes, far vant, “ Sam. JOHNSON." nished by Mr. Markland, Dr. Johnson once asked
Mr. Gerard Jlamilton for so much as fifty pounds
for a charitable purpose, and Mr. Hamilton gave [See ante, v. i. p. 223.-ED.]
it; but see post, March 22, 1782, (Diary) note [It appears that Isaac de Groot was admitted 2. Sir Joshua Reynolds, however, told Mr. into the Charter-house, where he died about two Malone that he never asked him for more than a years after.-Ed.]
Poets I have recommended the volume of homewards. I am ever, most faithfully Dr. Watts to be added: his name has long yours,
" James Boswell." been held by me in veneration, and I would not willingly be reduced to tell of him only “TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. that he was born and died. Yet of his lite
“ 220 July, 1777. I know very little, and therefore must pass “ DEAR SIR,-Your notion of the neceshim in a manner very unworthy of his sity of an early interview is very pleasing character, unless some of his friends will fa- to both my vanity and tenderness.I shall vour me with the necessary information. perhaps come to Carlisle another year; but Many of them must be known to you; and my money has not held out so well as it by your influence perhaps I may obtain used to do. I shall go to Ashbourne, and some instruction: my plan does not exact I purpose to make Dr. Taylor invite you. much; but I wish to distinguish Watts, a If you live awhile with me at his house, we man who never wrote but for a good pur- shall have much time to ourselves, and our pose. Be pleased to do for me what you stay will be no expense to us or him. I
humble servant, shall leave London the 28th; and, after
probably come to Ashbourne about the end TO DR, SAMUEL JOHNSON
of your session; but of all this you shall “ Edinburgh, 15th July, 1777. have notice. Be satisfied we will meet “My deAR SIR,—The fate of poor Dr. somewhere. Dodd made a dismal impression upon my “ What passed between me and poor mind.
Dr. Dodd, you shall know more fully when
we meet. “ I had sagacity enough to divine that “ Of lawsuits there is no end: poor Sir you wrote his speech to the recorder, before Allan must have another trial; for which, sentence was pronounced. I am glad you however, his antagonist cannot be much have written so much for him; and I hope blamed, having two judges on his side. I to be favcured with an exact list of the sev- am more afraid of the debts than of the eral pieces when we meet,
house of lords. It is scarcely to be imag“ I received Mr. Seward as the friend of ined to what debts will swell, that are daily Mr. and Mrs. Thrale, and as a gentleman increasing by small additions, and how recommended by Dr. Johnson to my atten- carelessly in a state of desperation debts are tion. I have introduced him to Lord contracted. Poor Macquarry was far from Kames, Lord Monboddo, and Mr. Nairne. thinking that when he sold his islands he He is gone to the Highlands with Dr. should receive nothing. For what were Gregory; when he returns I shall do more they sold? and what was their yearly for him.
value? The admission of money into the “ Sir Allan Maclean has carried that Highlands will soon put an end to the branch of his cause, of which we had good feudal modes of life, by making those men hopes; the president and one other judge landlords who were not chiets. I do not only were against him. I wish the house know that the people will suffer by the of lords may do as well as the court of ses change; but there was in the patriarchal sion has done. But Sir Allan has not the authority something venerable and pleaslands of Brolos quite cleared by this judg- ing. Every eye must look with pain on a ment, till a long account is made up of debts Campbell turning the Macquarries at will and interests on the one side, and rents on out of their sedes avitæ, their hereditary the other. I am, however, not much afraid island. ol' the balance.
“ Sir Alexander Dick is the only Scots “ Macquarry's estates, Staffa and all, man liberal enough not to be angry that I were sold yesterday, and bought by a Camp- could not find trees where trees were not. bell. I fez he will ha little or nothing I was much delighted by his kind letter. left out of the purchase money.
“I remember Rasay with too much “I send you the case against the negro, pleasure not to partake of the happiness of by Mr. Cullen, son to Dr. Cullen, in opposi- any part of that amiable family. Our ramtion to Maclaurin's for liberty, of which you ble in the Highlands hangs upon my imagihave approved. Pray read this, and tell nation: I can hardly help imagining that me what you think as a politician, as well we shall go again. Pennant seems to have as a poet, upon the subject.
seen a great deal which we did not see. “ Be so kind as to let me know how your when we travel again let us look better time is to be distributed next autumn. I about us. will meet you at Manchester, or where you “ You have done right in taking your please; but I wish you would complete your uncle's house. Some change in the form tour of the cathedrals, and come to Carlisle, of life gives from time to time a new epocha and I will accompany you a part of the way of existence. In a new place there is some
thing new to be done, and a different system exalt you in his estimation. You must of thoughts rises in the mind. I wish I now do the same for me. We must all could gather currants in your garden. help one another, and you must now considNow fit up a little study, and have your er me as, dear madam, your most obliged books ready at hand: do not spare a little and most humble servant, money, to make your habitation pleasing
“ Sam. Johnson." to yourself. “I have dined lately with poor dear "MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON. -1. I do not think he goes on well.
“ Edinburgh, 28th July, 1777 His table is rather coarse, and he has his “MY DEAR sir,- This is the day on children too much about him? But he is which you were to leave London, and I a very good man.
have been amusing myself in the intervals “Mrs. Williams is in the country, to try of my law-drudgery with figuring you in if she can improve her health: she is very the Oxford post-coach. I doubt, however, if ill. Matters have come so about, that she you have had so merry a journey as you is in the country with very good accommo- and I had in that vehicle last year, when dation; but age, and sickness, and pride, you made so much sport with Gwyn, the have made her so peevish, that I was forced architect. Incidents upon a journey are reto bribe the maid to stay with her by a collected with peculiar pleasure: they are secret stipulation of half-a-crown a week preserved in brisk spirits, and come up over her wages.
again in our minds, tinctured with that “Our club ended its session about six gaiety, or at least that animation, with weeks ago. We now only meet to dine which we first perceived them.” once a fortnight. Mr. Dunning, the great lawyer 3, is one of our members. The Thrales are well.
(I added, that something had occurred “I long to know how the negro's cause which I was afraid might prevent me from will be decided. What is the opinion of meeting him; and that my wife had been Lord Auchinleck, or Lord Hailes, or Lord affected with complaints which threatened Monboddo? I am, dear sir, your most a consumption, but was now better.) affectionate, &c. “ Sam. Johnson.”
[“DR. JOHNSON TO MR. THRALE. “DR. JOHNSON TO MRS. BOSWELL.
“ (Oxford), 4th Aug. 1777. “220 July, 1777. “ Boswell's project is disconcerted by a “ Madam,—Though I am well enough visit from a relation of Yorkshire, whom pleased with the taste of sweetmeats, very he mentions as the head of his clan. Bozlittle of the pleasure which I received at zy, you know, makes a huge bustle about the arrival of your jar of marmalade arose all his own motions and all mine. I have from eating it. I received it as a token of enclosed a letter to pacify him, and reconfriendship, as a proof of reconciliation, cile him to the uncertainties of human things much sweeter than sweetmeats, life.”'] and upon this consideration I return you, dear madam, my sincerest thanks. By
"TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. having your kindness I think I have a
“ Oxford, 4th Aug. 1777. double security for the continuance of Mr. “Dear Sir,-Do not disturb yourself Boswell's, which it is not to be expected about our interviews; I hope we shall have that any man can long keep, when the in- many : nor think it any thing hard or unfluence of a lady so highly and so justly usual that your design of meeting me is invalued operates against him. Mr. Boswell terrupted. We have both endured greater will tell you that I was always faithful to evils, and have greater evils to expect. your interest, and always endeavou bed to “ Mrs. Boswell's illness makes a more
serious distress. Does the blood rise from | [Mr. Langton.-ED.]
her lungs or from her stomach? From This very just remark I hope will be constant- little vessels broken in the stomach there is ly held in remembrance by parents, who are in
no danger. Blood from the lungs is, I begeneral too apt to indulge their own fond feelings lieve, always frothy, as mixed with wind. for their children at the expense of their friends. Your physicians know very well what is to The common custom of introducing them after dinner is highly injudicious. It is agreeable
be done. The loss of such a lady would, enough that they should appear at any other time; indeed, be very afflictive, and I hope she is but they should not be suffered to poison the mo- in no danger. Take care to keep her mind ments of festivity by attracting the attention of as easy as possible. the company, and in a manner compelling them “I have left Langton in London. He from politeness to say what they do not think. has been down with the militia, and is BosWELL.
again quiet at home, talking to his little 3 [Created in 1782 Lord Ashburton.-E..] people, as I suppose you do sometimes. 7
Make my compliments to Miss Veronica l. | earliest delight. If you and I live to be
“I cannot but hope that you have taken talking over the Hebridean Journey.
To virtue, fortune, time, and woman's breast 3 ;' happy, and long enjoy your happiness, is the sincere and earnest wish of, dear sir, your for I believe Mrs. Boswell must have some most, &c. “ Sam. Johnson.”
part in the consultation.
“ One thing you will like. The Doctor, MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
so far as I can judge, is likely to leave us (Informing him that my wife had con- enough to ourselves. He was out to-day tinued to grow better, so that my alarming before I came down, and, I fancy, will stay apprehensions were relieved: and that 1 out to dinner. I have brought the papers hoped to disengage myself from the other embarrassment which had occurred, and
3 By an odd mistake, in the first three editions therefore requesting to know particularly
we find a reading in this line to which Dr. Johnwhen he intended to be at Ashbourne.)
son would by no means have subscribed, wine having been substituted for time. That errour
probably was a mistake in the transcript of John"TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
son's original letter, his hand-writing being often
“ 30th August, 1777. “Dear sir,-I am this day come to Ash- very difficult to read. The other deviation in the bourne, and have only to tell you, that Dr. beginning of the line (virtue instead of nature)
must be attributed to his memory having deceived Taylor says you shall be welcome to him, him; and therefore has not been disturbed. The and you know how welcome you will be lo
verse quoted is the concluding line of a sonnet of me. Make haste to let me know when you Sidney's, of which the earliest copy, I believe, is may be expected.
found in Harrington's translation of Ariosto, 1591, • Make my compliments to Mrs. Boswell, in the notes on the eleventh book:—“And thereand tell her I hope we shall be at variance fore,” says he, “ that excellent verse of Sir Philip no more. I am, dear sir, your most humble Sydney, in his first Arcadia (which I know not servant, “ SAM, Johnson.” by what mishap is left out in the printed booke)
[4to. 1590,) is in mine opinion worthie to be " TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
praised and followed, to make a true and virtuous “ Ashbourne, 1st Sept. 1777. “ DEAR SIR,-On Saturday I wrote a “ Who doth desire that chast his wife should bee, very short letter, immediately upon my ar
First be he true, for truth does truth deserve;
Then be he such, as she his worth may see, rival hither, to show you that I am not
And, alwales one, credit with her preserve: less desirous of the interview than yourself. Not toying kynd, vor causelessly unkynd, Life admits not of delays; when pleasure
Not stirring thoughts, nor yet denying right,
Not spying faults, nor in plaine errors blind, can be had, it is fit to catch it: every hour Never hard hand, nor ever rayns (reins) too light, takes away part of the things that please
As far from want, as far from vaine expence,
Th' one doth enforce, the t'other doth entice: us, and perhaps part of our disposition to be
Allow good companie, but drive from thence pleased. When I came to Lichfield, I found All filthie mouths that glorie in their vice: my old friend Harry Jackson dead 2. It This done, thou hast no more but leave the rest
To nature, fortune, time, and woman's breast."
« Then he be such as he his irords may see,
And alwaies one credit which her preserve:” whom the days of youth may be retraced, and those images revived which gave the a variation which I the rather mention, because
the readings of that book have been triumphantly " This young lady, the authour's eldest daugh- quoted, when they happened to coincide with the ter, and at this time about five years old, died sophistications of the second folio edition of Shaksin London, of a consumption, four months after peare's plays in 1632, as adding I know not what her father, Sept. 26, 1795.-MALONE.
degree of authority and authenticity to the latter : [See ante, p. 43. He says in a letter to as if the corruptions of one book (and that aboundMrs. Thrale, “ Lichfield, 7th August, 1777.-Ating with the grossest falsifications of the authour Birmingham I heard of the death of an old friend, from whose works its extracts are made) could and at Lichfield of the death of another. Anni give any kind of support to another, which in prædantur euntes. One was a little older, and every page is still more adulterated and unfaithful. the other a little younger than myself.” The See Mr. Steevens's Shakspeare, vol. xx. p. 97, latter probably was Jackson.--Ed.]
fifth edit. 1803.-MALONE.
about poor Dodd, to show you, but you | 5s. 1d. but it sold for no less than 5,5401. will soon have despatched them.
The other third of Ulva, with the island of “Before I came away, I sent poor Mrs. Staffa, belonged to Macquarry of Ormaig. Williams into the country, very ill of a Its rent, including that of Staffa, 831. 125. pituitous defluxion, which wastes her grad-21d.-set up at 2,1781. 168. 4d.-sold for ually away, and which her physician de- no less than 3,5401. The Laird of Col clares himself unable to stop. I supplied wished to purchase Ulva, but he thought her as far as could be desired with all con- the price too high. There may, indeed, veniences to make her excursion and abode be great improvements made there, both in pleasant and useful. But I am afraid she fishing and agriculture; but the interest of can only linger a short time in a morbid the purchase-money exceeds the rent so state of weakness and pain.
very much, that I doubt if the bargain will “ The 'Thrales, little and great, are all be profitable. There is an island called well, and purpose to go to Brighthelmstone Little Colonsay, of 101. yearly rent, which at Michaelmas. They will invite me to go I am informed has belonged to the Macwith them, and perhaps I may go, but I quarrys of Ulva for many ages, but which hardly think I shall like to stay the whole was lately claimed by the Presbyterian time; but of futurity we know but little. Synod of Argyll, in consequence of a grant
“ Mrs. Porter is well; but Mrs. Aston, made to them by Queen Anne. It is beone of the ladies at Stow-hill, has been lieved that their claim will be dismissed, struck with a palsy, from which she is not and that Little Colonsay will also be sold likely ever to recover. How soon may for the advantage of Macquarry's creditors. such a stroke fall upon us !
What think you of purchasing this island, “ Write to me, and let us know when and endowing a school or college there, the we may expect you. I am, dear sir, master to be a clergyman of the Church of your most humble servant,
England? How venerable would such an “ Sam. Johnson." institution make the name of Dr. SAMUEL
Johnson in the Hebrides! I have, like "MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON. yourself, a wonderful pleasure in recollect
“Edinburgh, 9th Sept. 1777. ing our travels in those islands. The (After informing him that I was to set out pleasure is, I think, greater than it reasonanext day, in order to meet him at Ash- bly should be, considering that we had not bourne;--)
much either of beauty or elegance to charm “I have a present for you from Lord our imaginations, or of rude novelty to asHailes; the fifth book of Lactantius,' tonish. Let us, by all means, have another which he has published with Latin notes. expedition. I shrink a little from our He is also to give you a few anecdotes for scheme of going up the Baltick. I am your · Life of Thomson,' who I find was sorry you have already been in Wales; for private tutor to the present Earl of Hading- I wish to see it. Shall we go to Ireland, ton, Lord Hailes's cousin, a circumstance of which I have seen but little? We shall not mentioned by Dr. Murdoch. I have try to strike out a plan when we are at keen expectations of delight from your edi- Ashbourne.-I am ever your most faithful tion of the English Poets.
humble servant, " James BoswELL." “I am sorry for poor Mrs. Williams's situation. You will
, however, have the "TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. comfort of reflecting on your kindness to
“ Ashbourne, 11th Sept. 1777. her. Mr. Jackson's death, and Mrs. Aston's “ DEAR SIR, I write to be left at Carpalsy, are gloomy circumstances. Yet lisle, as you direct me; but you cannot surely we should be habituated to the un- have it. Your letter, dated Sept. 6th, was certainty of life and health. When my not at this place till this day, Thursday, mind is unclouded by melancholy, I consid- Sept. 11th; and I hope you will be here er the temporary distresses of this state of before this is at Carlisle 1. However, what being as light afflictions,' by stretching you have not going, you may have returnmy mental view into that glorious after-ex- ing; and as I believe I shall not love you istence, when they will appear to be as less after our interview, it will then be as nothing. But present pleasures and pres- true as it is now, that I set a very high ent pains must be felt. I lately read · Ras- value upon your friendship, and count your selas' over again with satisfaction.
kindness as one of the chief felicities of my “Since you are desirous to hear about life. Do not fancy that an intermission of Macquarry's sale, I shall inform you partic- writing is a decay of kindness. No man is ularly. The gentleman who purchased always in a disposition to write; nor has Ulva is Mr. Campbell of Auchnaba: our any man at all times something to say. friend Macquarry was proprietor of twothirds of it, of which the rent was 1561. 53. It so happened. The letter was forwarded to 13d. This parcel was set up at 4,0691. my house at Edinburgh.---Boswell.