which you endure them. I wish my esteem could be of more use. I have been invited, or have invited myself, to several parts of the kingdom; and will not incommode my dear Lucy by coming to Lichfield, while her present lodging is of any use to her. I hope in a few days to be at leisure, and to make visits. Whither I shall fly is matter of no importance. A man unconnected is at home everywhere; unless he may be said to be at home nowhere. I am sorry, dear sir, that where you have parents, a man of your merits should not have a home. I wish I could give it you. I am, my dear sir, affectionately yours,


He now refreshed himself by an excursion to Oxford, of which the following short characteristical notice, in his own words, is preserved :

'... is now making tea for me. I have been in my gown ever since I came here. It was, at my first coming, quite new and handsome. I have swum thrice, which I had disused for many years. I have proposed to Vansittart1 climbing over the wall, but he has refused me. And I have clapped my hands till they are sore at Dr. King's speech.'2

His negro servant, Francis Barber, having left him, and been some time at sea, not pressed as has been supposed, but with his own consent, it appears from a letter to John Wilkes, Esq., from Dr. Smollett, that his master kindly interested himself in procuring his release from a state of life of which Johnson always expressed the utmost abhorrence. He said, 'No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a

1 Dr. Robert Vansittart of the ancient and respectable family of that name in Berkshire. He was eminent for learning and worth, and much esteemed by Dr. Johnson.

Gentleman's Magazine, April 1785.

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jail, with the chance of being drowned.'1 And at another time, 'A man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company.' 2 The letter was as follows:

Chelsea, March 16, 1759.

'DEAR SIR,-I am again your petitioner, in behalf of that great Cham3 of literature, Samuel Johnson. His black servant, whose name is Francis Barber, has been pressed on board the Stag frigate, Captain Angel, and our lexicographer is in great distress. He says the boy is a sickly lad, of a delicate frame, and particularly subject to a malady in his throat, which renders him very unfit for his Majesty's service. You know what matter of animosity the said Johnson has against you and I dare say you desire no other opportunity of resenting it, than that of laying him under an obligation. He was humble enough to desire my assistance on this occasion, though he and I were never cater-cousins; and I gave him to understand that I would make application to my friend Mr. Wilkes, who, perhaps, by his interest with Dr. Hay and Mr. Elliott, might be able to procure the discharge of his lacquey. It would be superfluous to say more on the subject, which I leave to your own consideration; but I cannot let slip this opportunity of declaring that I am, with the most inviolable esteem and attachment, dear sir, your affectionate obliged humble servant, T. SMOLLETT.'

1 Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, 3rd edit., p. 126.

2 Ibid., p. 251.

8 In my first edition this word was printed Chum, as it appears in one of Mr. Wilkes's Miscellanies, and I animadverted on Dr. Smollett's ignorance; for which let me propitiate the manes of that ingenious and benevolent gentleman. Chum was certainly a mistaken reading for Cham, the title of the sovereign of Tartary, which is well applied to Johnson, the Monarch of Literature: and was an epithet familiar to Smollett. See Roderick Random, chap. lvi. For this correction I am indebted to Lord Palmerston, whose talents and literary acquirements accord well with his respectable pedigree of Temple.

[After the publication of the second edition of this work, the author was furnished by Mr. Abercrombie of Philadelphia, with the copy of a letter written by Dr. John Armstrong, the poet, to Dr. Smollett at Leghorn, containing the following paragraph:

As to the K. Bench patriot, it is hard to say from what motive he published a letter of yours asking some trifling favour of him in behalf of somebody for whom the great Cham of literature, Mr. Johnson, had interested himself.'-M.]

Mr. Wilkes, who upon all occasions has acted as a private gentleman, with most polite liberality, applied to his friend Sir George Hay, then one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty; and Francis Barber was discharged, as he has told me, without any wish of his own. He found his old master in chambers in the Inner Temple, and returned to his service.

What particular new scheme of life Johnson had in view this year I have not discovered; but that he meditated one of some sort, is clear from his private devotions, in which we find,1 'the change of outward things which I am now to make'; and, 'Grant me the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that the course which I am now beginning may proceed according to thy laws, and end in the enjoyment of thy favour.' But he did not, in fact, make any external or visible change.

At this time there being a competition among the architects of London to be employed in the building of Blackfriars Bridge, a question was very warmly agitated whether semicircular or elliptical arches were preferable. In the design offered by Mr. Mylne the elliptical form was adopted, and therefore it was the great object of his rivals to attack it. Johnson's regard for his friend Mr. Gwyn, induced him to engage in this controversy against Mr. Mylne; and after

1 Prayers and Meditations.

2 Sir John Hawkins has given a long detail of it, in that manner vulgarly, but significantly, called rigmarole; in which, amidst an ostentatious exhibition of arts and artists, he talks of 'proportions of a column being taken from that of the human figure, and adjusted by Nature-masculine and feminine-in a man, sesquioctave of the head, and in a woman sesquional'; nor has he failed to introduce a jargon of musical terms, which do not seem much to correspond with the subject, but serve to make up the heterogeneous mass. To follow the knight through all this would be a useless fatigue to myself, and not a little disgusting to my readers. I shall, therefore, only make a few remarks upon his statement.-He seems to exult in having detected

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