satisfaction he felt at what he considered as a slow progress in intellectual improvement, we find that his heart was tender, and his affections warm, as appears from the following very kind letter:


'DEAR SIR,-I did not hear of your sickness till I heard likewise of your recovery, and therefore escape that part of your pain, which every man must feel, to whom you are known as you are known to me.

'Having had no particular account of your disorder, I know not in what state it has left you. If the amusement of my company can exhilarate the languor of a slow recovery, I will not delay a day to come to you; for I know not how I can so effectually promote my own pleasure as by pleasing you, or my own interest as by preserving you, in whom, if I should lose you, I should lose almost the only man whom I call a friend.

'Pray let me hear of you from yourself, or from dear Miss Reynolds.1 Make my compliments to Mr. Mudge.-I am, dear sir, your most affectionate and most humble servant, 'SAM. JOHNSON.

'At the Rev. Mr. Percy's at EastonMaudit, Northamptonshire (by Castle Ashby), Aug. 19, 1764.'

Early in the year 1765 he paid a short visit to the University of Cambridge, with his friend Mr. Beauclerk. There is a lively picturesque account of his behaviour on this visit, in the Gentleman's Magazine for March 1785, being an extract of a letter from the late Dr. John Sharp. The two following sentences are

1 Sir Joshua's sister, for whom Johnson had a particular affection, and to whom he wrote many letters, which I have seen, and which I am sorry her too nice delicacy will not permit to be published.

very characteristical: 'He drank his large potations of tea with me, interrupted by many an indignant contradiction and many a noble sentiment.' 'Several persons got into his company the last evening at Trinity, where, about twelve, he began to be very great; stripped poor Mrs. Macaulay to the very skin, then gave her for his toast, and drank her in two bumpers.'

The strictness of his self-examination, and scrupulous Christian humility, appear in his pious meditation on Easter Day this year: 'I purpose again to partake of the blessed sacrament; yet when I considered how vainly I have hitherto resolved, at this annual commemoration of my Saviour's death, to regulate my life by his laws, I am almost afraid to renew my resolutions.'

The concluding words are very remarkable, and show that he laboured under a severe depression of spirits. Since the last Easter I have reformed no evil habit; my time has been unprofitably spent, and seems as a dream that has left nothing behind. My memory grows confused, and I know not how the days pass over me. Good Lord, deliver me !'1

No man was more gratefully sensible of any kindness done to him than Johnson. There is a little circumstance in his diary this year which shows him in a very amiable light:

'July 2. I paid Mr. Simpson ten guineas, which he had formerly lent me in my necessity, and for which Tetty expressed her gratitude.'

'July 8. I lent Mr. Simpson ten guineas more.'

1 Prayers and Meditations, p. 61.

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Here he had a pleasing opportunity of doing the same kindness to an old friend which he had formerly received from him. Indeed, his liberality as to money was very remarkable. The next article in his diary is: 'July 16th. I received £75. Lent Mr. Davies £25.'

Trinity College, Dublin, at this time surprised Johnson with a spontaneous compliment of the highest academical honours by creating him Doctor of Laws. The diploma, which is in my possession, is as follows:

'Omnibus, ad quos præsentes literæ pervenerint, salutem. Nos, Præpositus et Socii Seniores Collegii sacrosanctæ et individuæ Trinitatis Regina Elizabethæ juxta Dublin, testamur, Samueli Johnson, Armigero, ob egregiam scriptorum elegantiam et utilitatem, gratiam concessam fuisse pro gradu Doctoratus in utroque Jure, octavo die Julii, Anno Domini millesimo septingentesimo sexagesimo-quinto. In cujus rei testimonium singulorum manus et sigillum quo in hisce utimur apposuimus, vicesimo tertio die Julii, Anno Domini millesimo septingentesimo sexagesimo-quinto.



This unsolicited mark of distinction, conferred on so great a literary character, did much honour to the judgment and liberal spirit of that learned body. Johnson acknowledged the favour in a letter to Dr. Leland, one of their number; but I have not been able to obtain a copy of it.1

1 [Since the publication of the edition in 1804 a copy of this letter has been obligingly communicated to me by John Leland, Esq., son to the learned historian to whom it is addressed:


'SIR,-Among the names subscribed to the degree which I have had the honour of receiving from the University of Dublin, I find none of

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