interview was fought by the king without

the knowledge of Johnson. His majefty, among other things, afked the author of fo many valuable works, if he intended to publish any more? Johnson modestly anfwered, that he thought he had written enough. "And fo fhould I too," replied the king, "if you had not written fo well:" Johnson was highly pleased with his majefty's courteousness; and afterwards observed to Mr. Langton, Sir, his manners are thofe of as fine a gentleman as we may fuppofe Lewis XIV. or Charles II."

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Johnson had now arrived at that eminence which is the prize that cultivated genius always ftruggles for, and but seldom obtains. His fortune, though not great, was adequate to his wants, and of most honourable acquifition; for it was derived from the produce of his labours, and the rewards which his country had bestowed upon merit. He received during life that


unqualified applaufe from the world, which iş in general paid only to departed excellence, and he beheld his fame seated firmly in the public mind, without the danger of its being shaken by obloquy, or the hazard of its being fhared by a rival. He could number among his friends the greatest and most improved talents of the country. His company was courted by wealth, dignity, and beauty. His many peculiarities were overlooked, or forgotten in the admiration of his understanding; while his virtues were regarded with veneration, and his opinions adopted with fubmiffion. Of the ufual infenfibility of mankind to living merit, Johnson, at least, had no reason to complain.

In 1768, nothing of his writing was given to the public, except the Prologue to his friend Goldsmith's comedy of the "Good Natured Man."

In 1769, he was altogether quiescent as an author. On the establishment of the Royal Academy this year, he accepted the title of Profeffor of Ancient Literature.

In 1770, he published a political pamphlet, intituled The False Alarm, 8vo.; intended to justify the conduct of ministry, and their majority in the House of Commons, for having virtually affumed it as an axiom, that the expulfion of a member of parliament was equivalent to exclufion, and their having declared Colonel Luttrel to be duly elected for the county of Middlesex, notwithstanding Mr. Wilkes had a great majority of votes. This being very justly confidered as a grofs violation of the right of election, an alarm for the conftitution extended itself all over the kingdom. To prove this alarm to be falfe, was the pofe of Johnson's pamphlet ; but his arguments and eloquence failed of effect, and the House of Commons has fince erased the


offenfive refolution from the journals. This pamphlet has great merit in point of language; but it contains much gross misreprefentation, and much malignity, and abounds with fuch arbitrary principles, as are totally inconfiftent with a free conftitution.

The next year, 1771, he defended the measures adopted by the ministry, in the difpute with the court of Spain, in a pamphlet, intituled Thoughts on the late Tranfactions refpecting Falkland's Island, 8vo. On the fubject of Falkland's Islands, spots "thrown afide from human ufe, barren in fummer, and ftormy in winter," he appears to have followed the direction, and adopted the opinions which a pufillanimous adminiftration wished to inculcate. They were certainly erroneous in a political view; and if they were his own, fhow, that on fuch fubjects he was incapable of forming a juft opinion. His description of

the miseries of war, in this pamphlet, is a fine piece of eloquence; and his character of Junius is executed with all the force of his genius, and with the highest care.

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When Johnson fhone in the plenitude of his political glory, from the celebrity of his minifterial pamphlets, an attempt was made to bring him into the House of Ccmmons, by Mr. Strahan, the king's printer, who was himself in parliament, and wrote to the fecretary of the treasury upon the fubject; but the application was unfucceffful. Whether there were any particular reafons for the refufal, has not transpired. That Johnfon very much wished to try his hand" in the fenate, he has himself declared; but that he would have fucceeded as a parliamentary speaker, is at least doubtful. Few have diftinguished themfelves as orators, who have not begun the practice of fpeaking in public early in life; and it may be doubted whether the habits.

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