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Title: A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral Character of the late Samuel Johnson (1786)
Author: Courtenay, John, 1738-1816
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral Character of the late Samuel Johnson (1786)" ***


  John Courtenay



  _Introduction by_




  William E. Conway, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
  George Robert Guffey, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Maximillian E. Novak, _University of California, Los Angeles_

  David S. Rodes, _University of California, Los Angeles_

  Richard C. Boys, _University of Michigan_
  James L. Clifford, _Columbia University_
  Ralph Cohen, _University of Virginia_
  Vinton A. Dearing, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Arthur Friedman, _University of Chicago_
  Louis A. Landa, _Princeton University_
  Earl Miner, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Samuel H. Monk, _University of Minnesota_
  Everett T. Moore, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Lawrence Clark Powell, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
  James Sutherland, _University College, London_
  H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Robert Vosper, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_

  Edna C. Davis, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_

  Mary Kerbret, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_


The eighteenth century was an age addicted to gossiping about its
literary figures. This addiction was nowhere better demonstrated than
by the countless reflections, sermons, poems, pamphlets, biographical
sketches, and biographies about Samuel Johnson. The most productive
phase of this activity commenced almost immediately after Johnson's
death in December, 1784, and continued into the next century.

One item of Johnsoniana which seems to have been neglected, perhaps
because Birkbeck Hill did not include it in his _Johnsonian
Miscellanies_, is _A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral
Character of the Late Samuel Johnson, L.L.D., with Notes_. This poem
of three hundred and four lines was written by John Courtenay
(1741-1816). First published in the spring of 1786 by Charles Dilly,
the poem went through three editions in the same year. Its popularity
was determined less by Courtenay's poetic talent than by public
interest in the Johnsoniana that flooded the market. Courtenay's
literary output, though scanty, was diverse; he wrote light verse,
character sketches, and essays, including two controversial pieces in
support of the French Revolution.[1] It is apparent, however, that for
him writing was hardly more than an avocation.

Despite his notoriety as a controversial member of Parliament, as a
first-rate wit, and as an intimate friend of Boswell, Courtenay
remains a shadowy figure. References to him occur often in the last
volumes of Boswell's journal, but few of them are particularly
revealing. Courtenay evidently never met Johnson; indeed, the
anonymous author of _A Poetical Epistle from the Ghost of Dr. Johnson
to His Four Friends: The Rev. Mr. Strahan. James Boswell, Esq. Mrs.
Piozzi. J. Courtenay, Esq. M.P._ (1786) censures Courtenay for writing
about a man whom he did not know. Although a member of the Literary
Club, Courtenay did not join this group until four years after Johnson
died. He was proposed on 9 December 1788, by Sir Joshua Reynolds
(Boswell seconded), and elected two weeks later, on 23 December,
during the same meeting at which it was decided to erect a monument to
Dr. Johnson in Westminster Abbey.[2]

If, then, Courtenay did not belong to the Johnson circle, he became,
shortly after Johnson's death, a valued member of the Boswell circle.
Courtenay must have met Boswell in the spring or early summer of 1785,
about thirteen years after arriving in England from his native Ireland
in the service of Viscount Townshend. Boswell's first reference to
Courtenay occurs in his journal under 7 July 1785.[3] It is clear from
this entry that he had met Courtenay earlier, but subsequent
references indicate that the acquaintance was a fresh one.

From the start Boswell enjoyed Courtenay's company. In the first
place, Boswell appreciated Courtenay's talent in conversation.
Although he seldom recorded specimens of Courtenay's talk, Boswell was
generous in his praise of his wit. "Courtenay's wit," he wrote,
"sparkles more than almost any man's."[4] On 26 March 1788, Boswell
described him as a "valuable addition" to a meeting of the Essex Head
Club which he attended as Boswell's guest. "Indeed," Boswell
continued, "his conversation is excellent; it has so much literature,
wit, and at the same time manly sense, in it."[5] An example of his
"manly sense" that "struck home" to Boswell was Courtenay's remark
that had Johnson been born to three thousand pounds a year his
melancholy would have been at greater leisure to torment him.[6]

But there was a greater reason for Courtenay's intimacy with Boswell.
The period following Johnson's death was for Boswell a time of intense
anxiety. By 1786 Courtenay and Edmond Malone had become Boswell's
closest confidants. Boswell relished the long walks and the dinners he
took with Courtenay. Throughout his journal he confessed to the
therapeutic value of Courtenay's company; "I am," he admitted, "quite
another Man with M. C., Malone, Courtenay."[7]

Moreover, Boswell often solicited Courtenay's advice in various
crises. Courtenay, together with Malone, helped him out of scrapes
with Alexander Tytler and Lord Macdonald, induced him to lighten his
published attacks on Mrs. Piozzi and helped make him aware of the
merit of her edition of Johnson's correspondence, and advised him to
cancel some questionable passages in the _Life_ on William Gerard
Hamilton. From time to time he also cautioned Boswell not to expect
political preferment when he did not deserve it. It appears, too, that
he took part in the prolonged deliberations over Johnson's monument in
Westminster Abbey. Concerned that Boswell's drinking might impede his
work on the _Life_, Courtenay made him promise to quit drinking from
December 1790, to the following March, a promise which, as far as he
was able, Boswell kept.[8]

Courtenay's high spirits and his ability to relieve Boswell's
melancholy were all the more remarkable because Courtenay, with a wife
and seven children to support, was poverty-stricken during most of
this period. Boswell, lamenting the failure of the Whigs to provide
financial assistance to one of the party's most active members, found
Courtenay's "firmness of mind ... amazing" under such difficulties.[9]
No doubt Courtenay's resolve endeared him to Boswell, whose own
financial and psychological problems were, of course, a great burden.

This is not to say that relations between the two men were always
cordial. Courtenay was evidently a non-believer, and the two men often
differed on religious matters. Boswell condemned Courtenay's "wild
ravings" in favor of the French revolution, and once confessed his
deep regret about quarreling with so close a friend on this
subject.[10] They also differed on the question of slavery, and
Boswell good-naturedly chided Courtenay and William Windham as
abolitionists in his poem, _No Abolition of Slavery; or the Universal
Empire of Love_ (1791).[11] It is clear, too, that as Boswell's
depression grew, Courtenay's power to brighten his spirits waned
considerably. Their friendship, nevertheless, seems to have ended on a
happy note, for Boswell's final mention of Courtenay in his journal
includes the remark that with Courtenay he had spent a "good day."[12]

Courtenay's _Poetical Review_, characterized by Donald A. Stauffer as
an embodiment of the "vice-and-virtue philosophy" in biography, was
one of the most spirited pieces of Johnsoniana to appear.[13] The
poem begins with disdain, but at line sixty-one reverses direction and
becomes vigorously commendatory. Courtenay did not attempt to add
fresh information about Johnson's life and career. Consequently, the
unfavorable portion of the poem is a conventional catalog of Johnson's
often publicized foibles and prejudices, just as the favorable section
is in part a commonplace survey of his artistic achievement.

This contrast, as Stauffer remarks, renders Courtenay's praise more
powerful.[14] More important, the play between scorn and praise
reflects the ambivalence which colors contemporary accounts of
Johnson. We are now accustomed to the notion of great art as the
product of a flawed life. But in the eighteenth century, an age
largely devoted to the idea of discreet biography which concealed or
minimized the subject's weaknesses, a man like Johnson presented
formidable problems to the biographer and his readers. Although
Courtenay merely versified material which other writers had discussed
in much more detail, his poem is important because it synthesizes the
conflicting attitudes towards Johnson which prevailed immediately
after his death. Courtenay, like many others, saw in Johnson a
powerful mixture of great virtues and vices; and though he is not
impartial, he effects, through his honesty, an admirable balance
between Johnson's strengths and weaknesses. The final forty lines of
the _Review_ constitute one of the most balanced of all contemporary
tributes to Johnson as a human being.

For the most part, the commendatory section of the poem is an
unsystematic tracing of Johnson's moral and literary merits.
Courtenay's rhapsodizing on the _Dictionary_, the _Rambler_, and the
_Lives of the Poets_ is conventional. Clearly, he admired the wide
scope of Johnson's learning and his ability to communicate his
knowledge of men and manners in his writings. But his admiration
occasionally betrays him; for instance, in describing the "brilliant
school" through which Johnson's influence was perpetuated, he
overestimated the extent to which Reynolds, Malone, Burney, Jones,
Goldsmith, Steevens, Hawkesworth, and Boswell were indebted to
Johnson's writings.[15] Usually, however, he was on firmer ground.
Courtenay was the only writer before Boswell to praise Johnson's Latin
verse, a body of poetry virtually ignored by other contemporary
biographers and memorialists.[16] Furthermore, he employs footnotes
skillfully. Though they impede the progress of the poem, they do
support poetic statement with factual evidence and explain and amplify
certain points made in the verses.

The clearest evidence for the care which Courtenay took with the
_Review_ can be found upon examination of his revisions. He made few
substantial changes in the second edition, but the third edition
contains important revisions. Courtenay added ten lines and five
footnotes in the final version, and lightened some of the scorn in the
first portion by substituting weaker phrases for stronger ones. He
also enclosed lines seven through twenty in quotation marks to make it
appear that the sentiment expressed therein was not his own, but a
judgment he had heard elsewhere.

But the most significant revisions are concerned with organization. By
transferring segments of certain verse paragraphs to others, he
achieves a more unified portrait of Johnson. By means of such
revision, he forms his general evaluation of Johnson's writing into
one unit and his comments on individual works into another, where
before they had been awkwardly interwoven.

Courtenay's _Review_ did not go unnoticed at the time, though for
obvious reasons it was given less attention by the reviewers than the
more notorious Johnsoniana. Extracts from the poem were printed in
several magazines. The reviewers were almost unanimous in damning the
poem's inelegance, unevenness, and lack of harmony, but reserved
praise for the sentiments and candor.[17] Chesterfield's apologist in
William Hayley's _Two Dialogues; Containing a Comparative View of the
Lives, Characters, and Writings of Philip, the Late Earl of
Chesterfield, and Dr. Samuel Johnson_ (1787) protested that Courtenay
was too kind to Johnson. The severest indictment of the Review came
from the anonymous author of _A Poetical Epistle from the Ghost of Dr.
Johnson_, mentioned earlier, who charged Courtenay with poor taste and
with belaboring the obvious by proving that Johnson was "not quite
destitute of brains."[18]

The greatest champion of the _Review_ was, of course, Boswell. The
_Life_ is sprinkled with quotations from the third edition, 118 lines
in all, mostly from Courtenay's commendatory verses. In view of the
many published attacks on Johnson, Boswell must have appreciated
Courtenay's sentiments all the more. Doubtless Courtenay's warm praise
of the _Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides_ also found favor with
Boswell.[19] Perhaps Boswell's final and least partial judgment of the
_Review_ was expressed in his letter to James Abercrombie of
Philadelphia dated 11 June 1792. He sent Abercrombie a copy of the
poem, commenting that "though I except to several passages, you will
find some very good writing."[20]

Courtenay's _Review_, together with several other little known
_memorabilia_ concerning Johnson, stimulated one of the most energetic
and splenetic literary controversies of the late eighteenth century.
In addition, the _Review_ and pieces like it aroused a considerable
amount of useful, if vitriolic, discussion about the art of biography.

University of Iowa


[1] See _DNB_.

[2] For the information about Courtenay's election, I am indebted to
Professor James M. Osborn of Yale University. Boswell gives no precise
date for Courtenay's entry into the Club. His first reference to
Courtenay's membership occurs in his journal entry of 19 January 1790.
See _Private Papers of James Boswell_, ed. Geoffrey Scott and
Frederick A. Pottle (Privately Printed, 1928-1934), XVIII, 22. See
also Boswell's letter to Edmond Malone dated 16 December 1790,
_Letters of James Boswell_, ed. C. B. Tinker (Oxford, 1924), II,
409-410. Courtenay and other intimates of Boswell were called "The
Gang" by Philip Metcalfe. See _Private Papers_, XVII, 52, 55; XVIII,

[3] _Private Papers_, XVI, 106.

[4] _Ibid._, XVII, 80. For additional testimony to Courtenay's
reputation as a wit, see _Thraliana_, ed. Katharine C. Balderston
(Oxford, 1951), I, 486, and James Prior, _Life of Edmond Malone_
(London, 1860), 287-288.

[5] _Private Papers_, XVII, 86.

[6] _Ibid._, pp. 76-77.

[7] _Ibid._, XVI, 178. "M. C." is Mrs. Rudd.

[8] See Boswell's letters to Malone, _Letters_, II, 405, 427, and
_Private Papers_, XVIII, 100. Courtenay became alarmed over Boswell's
deepening melancholy, as seen in this passage from his letter to
Malone of 22 February 1791: "Poor Boswell is very low, & desperate &
... melancholy mad, feels no spring, no pleasure in existence, & is so
perceptibly altered for the worse that it is remarked everywhere. I
try all I can to revivify him, but he [turns?] so tiresomely &
tediously--for the same cursed trite commonplace topics, about death
&c.--that we grow old, and when we are old, we are not young--that I
despair of effecting a cure. Doctors Warren and Devaynes very kindly
interest themselves about him, but you wd be of more service to him
than anyone." Quoted from a MS at Yale University Library by James
Osborn, "Edmond Malone and Dr. Johnson," _Johnson, Boswell and Their
Circle: Essays Presented to Lawrence Fitzroy Powell in Honour of His
Eighty-fourth Birthday_ (Oxford, 1965), p. 16.

[9] _Letters_, II, 428, 425. Boswell tried to negotiate loans for
Courtenay, and made a successful application to Reynolds. See _Private
Papers_, XVII, 85-86, 101-102; XVIII, 120.

[10] _Private Papers_, XVIII, 171, 178, 184.

[11] See Frank Brady, _Boswell's Political Career_ (New Haven, 1965),
p. 169, and Frederick A. Pottle, _The Literary Career of James
Boswell, Esq._ (Oxford, 1929), p. 147.

[12] _Private Papers_, XVIII, 271. This entry is dated 31 March 1794,
not long before the journal ends and some thirteen months before
Boswell's death.

[13] _The Art of Biography in Eighteenth Century England_ (Princeton,
1941), p. 345.

[14] _Ibid._, p. 346.

[15] W. K. Wimsatt, Jr., in _The Prose Style of Samuel Johnson_ (New
Haven, 1941), pp. 135-138, argues against the notion that Johnson's
friends formed such a "school."

[16] Boswell praised Courtenay's "just and discriminative eulogy" on
Johnson's Latin poems, and quoted it. See _Boswell's Life of Johnson_,
ed. G. B. Hill, revised L. F. Powell (Oxford, 1934-1950), I, 62.

[17] See _European Magazine_, IX (April 1786), 266; _Gentleman's
Magazine_, LVI (May 1786), 415; _Monthly Review_, LXXV (September
1786), 229.

[18] It should be noted that the attack on Courtenay in this poem is
the mildest of the four. The famous caricaturist, Sayer, included
Courtenay in a poetic attack on Mrs. Piozzi appended to his print,
_Frontispiece to the 2nd Edition of Johnson's Letters_, published 7
April 1788. See James L. Clifford, _Hester Lynch Piozzi (Mrs. Thrale)_
(Oxford, 1952), p. 329.

[19] Boswell quoted Courtenay's compliment in _Life_, II, 268.

[20] _Letters_, II, 444.


The text of this edition of _A Poetical Review of the Literary and
Moral Character of the Late Samuel Johnson, L.L.D., with Notes_ is
reproduced from a copy in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript
Library, Yale University.




  Man is thy theme; his virtue, or his rage,
  Drawn to the life, in each elaborate page. WALLER.

  ----_immensæ veluti connexa carinæ
  Cymba minor._ STATIUS.



  A Generous tear will Caledonia shed?
  Her ancient foe, illustrious Johnson's dead;
  Mac-Ossian's sons may now securely rest,
  Safe from the bitter sneer, the cynick jest.[21]
  The song of triumph now I seem to hear,
  And these the sounds that vibrate on my ear:
  "Low lies the man, who scarce deigns Gray to praise,
  But from the tomb calls Blackmore's sleeping lays;
  A passport grants to Pomfret's dismal chimes,
  To Yalden's hymns, and Watts's holy rhimes;[22]
  By subtle doubts would Swift's fair fame invade,
  And round his brows the ray of glory shade;[23]
  With poignant taunt mild Shenstone's life arraigns,
  His taste contemns, and sweetly-flowing strains;
  At zealous Milton aims his tory dart,
  But in his Savage finds a moral heart;
  At great Nassau despiteful rancour flings,[24]
  But pension'd kneels ev'n to usurping kings:
  Rich, old and dying, bows his laurel'd head,
  And almost deigns to ask superfluous bread."[25]
    A sceptick once, he taught the letter'd throng
  To doubt the existence of fam'd Ossian's song;
  Yet by the eye of faith, in reason's spite,
  Saw ghosts and witches, preach'd up _second sight_:
  For o'er his soul sad Superstition threw
  Her gloom, and ting'd his genius with her hue.
  On popish ground he takes his high church station,
  To sound mysterious tenets through the nation;[26]
  On Scotland's kirk he vents a bigot's gall,[27]
  Though her young chieftains prophecy like SAUL![28]
  On Tetty's state his frighted fancy runs,[29]
  And Heaven's appeas'd by cross unbutter'd buns:[30]
  He sleeps and fasts[31], pens on himself a libel,[32]
  And still believes, but never reads the Bible.[33]
  Fame says, at school, of scripture science vain,
  Bel and the Dragon smote him on the brain;[34]
  Scar'd with the blow, he shun'd the Jewish law,
  And eyed the Ark with reverential awe:[35]
  Let priestly S--h--n in a godly fit
  The tale relate, in aid of Holy Writ;
  Though candid Adams, by whom DAVID fell,[36]
  Who ancient miracles sustain'd so well,
  To recent wonders may deny his aid,[37]
  Nor own a buzy zealot of the trade.
    A coward wish, long stigmatiz'd by fame,
  Devotes Mæcenas to eternal shame;[38]
  Religious Johnson, future life to gain,
  Would ev'n submit to everlasting pain:
  How clear, how strong, such kindred colours paint
  The Roman epicure and Christian saint!
  O, had he liv'd in more enlighten'd times,
  When signs from heaven proclaim'd vile mortals' crimes,
  How had he groan'd, with sacred horrors pale,
  When Noah's comet shook her angry tail[39];
  That wicked comet, which Will Whiston swore
  Would burn the earth that she had drown'd before![40]
  Or when Moll Tosts, by throes parturient vext,
  Saw her young rabbets peep from Esdras' text![41]
  To him such signs, prepar'd by mystick grace,
  Had shewn the impending doom of Adam's race.
    But who to blaze his frailties feels delight,
  When the great author rises to our sight?
  When the pure tenour of his life we view,
  Himself the bright exemplar that he drew?
  Whose works console the good, instruct the wise,
  And teach the soul to claim her kindred skies.
    By grateful bards his name be ever sung,
  Whose sterling touch has fix'd the English tongue!
  Fortune's dire weight, the patron's cold disdain,
  "Shook off, as dew-drops from the lion's mane;"[42]
  Unknown, unaided, in a friendless state,[43]
  Without one smile of favour from the great;
  The bulky tome his curious care refines,
  Till the great work in full perfection shines;
  His wide research and patient skill displays
  What scarce was sketch'd in ANNA's golden days;[44]
  What only learning's aggregated toil
  Slowly accomplish'd in each foreign soil.[45]
  Yet to the mine though the rich coin he trace,
  No current marks his early essays grace;
  For in each page we find a massy store
  Of English bullion mix'd with Latian ore:
  In solemn pomp, with pedantry combin'd,
  He vents the morbid sadness of his mind;[46]
  In scientifick phrase affects to smile,
  Form'd on Brown's turgid Latin-English style:[47]
  Too oft the abstract decorates his prose,[48]
  While measur'd ternaries the periods close:
  But all propriety his Ramblers mock,
  When Betty prates from Newton and from Locke;
  When no diversity we trace between
  The lofty moralist and gay fifteen--[49]
  Yet genius still breaks through the encumbering phrase;
  His taste we censure, but the work we praise:
  There learning beams with fancy's brilliant dyes,
  Vivid as lights that gild the northern skies;
  Man's complex heart he bares to open day,
  Clear as the prism unfolds the blended ray:
  The picture from his mind assumes its hue;
  The shades too dark, but the design still true.
  Though Johnson's merits thus I freely scan,
  And paint the foibles of this wond'rous man;
  Yet can I coolly read, and not admire,
  When Learning, Wit and Poetry conspire
  To shed a radiance o'er his moral page,
  And spread truth's sacred light to many an age?
  For all his works with innate lustre shine,
  Strength all his own, and energy divine.
    While through life's maze he sent a piercing view,
  His mind expansive to the object grew.
  With various stores of erudition fraught,
  The lively image, the deep-searching thought,
  Slept in repose;--but when the moment press'd,
  The bright ideas flood at once confess'd;[50]
  Instant his genius sped its vigorous rays,
  And o'er the letter'd world diffus'd a blaze:
  As womb'd with fire the cloud electrick flies,
  And calmly o'er the horizon seems to rise;
  Touch'd by the pointed steel, the lightning flows,
  And all the expanse with rich effulgence glows.
    In judgment keen, he acts the critick's part,
  By reason proves the feelings of the heart;
  In thought profound, in nature's study wise,
  Shews from what source our fine sensations rise;
  With truth, precision, fancy's claims defines,
  And throws new splendour o'er the poet's lines.[51]
    When specious sophists with presumption scan
  The source of evil, hidden still from man;[52]
  Revive Arabian tales[53], and vainly hope
  To rival St. John, and his scholar, Pope;[54]
  Though metaphysicks spread the gloom of night,
  By reason's star he guides our aching sight;
  The bounds of knowledge marks; and points the way
  To pathless wastes, where wilder'd sages stray;
  Where, like a farthing linkboy, Jennings stands,
  And the dim torch drops from his feeble hands.
    Impressive truth, in splendid fiction drest,[55]
  Checks the vain wish, and calms the troubled breast;
  O'er the dark mind a light celestial throws,
  And sooths the angry passions to repose;
  As oil effus'd illumes and smooths the deep,[56]
  When round the bark the foaming surges sweep.--
    But hark, he sings! the strain ev'n Pope admires;
  Indignant Virtue her own bard inspires;
  Sublime as Juvenal, he pours his lays,[57]
  And with the Roman shares congenial praise:--
  In glowing numbers now he fires the age,
  And Shakspeare's sun relumes the clouded stage.[58]
    So full his mind with images was fraught,
  The rapid strains scarce claim'd a second thought;
  And with like ease his vivid lines assume
  The garb and dignity of ancient Rome.--
  Let college _versemen_ trite conceits express,
  Trick'd out in splendid shreds of Virgil's dress;
  From playful Ovid cull the tinsel phrase,
  And vapid notions hitch in pilfer'd lays;
  Then with mosaick art the piece combine,
  And boast the glitter of each dulcet line:
  Johnson adventur'd boldly to transfuse
  His vigorous sense into the Latian muse;
  Aspir'd to shine by unreflected light,
  And with a Roman's ardour _think_ and write.
  He felt the tuneful Nine his breast inspire,
  And, like a master, wak'd the[59] soothing lyre:
  Horatian strains a grateful heart proclaim,
  While Sky's wild rocks resound his Thralia's name.--
  Hesperia's plant, in some less skillful hands,
  To bloom a while, factitious heat demands;
  Though glowing Maro a faint warmth supplies,
  The sickly blossom in the hot-house dies:
  By Johnson's genial culture, art, and toil,
  Its root strikes deep, and owns the fost'ring soil;
  Imbibes our sun through all its swelling veins,
  And grows a native of Britannia's plains.
    Soft-ey'd compassion, with a look benign
  His fervent vows he offer'd at thy shrine;
  To guilt, to woe, the sacred debt was paid,[60]
  And helpless females bless'd his pious aid:
  Snatch'd from disease, and want's abandon'd crew,
  Despair and anguish from their victims flew;
  Hope's soothing balm into their bosoms stole,
  And tears of penitence restor'd the soul.
  Nor did philanthrophy alone expand
  His liberal heart, and ope his bounteous hand;
  His _talents_ ev'n he gave to friendship's claim,[61]
  And by the gift imparted wealth and fame:
  His mind exhaustless sped its vivid force,
  Yet with unbated vigour held its course;
  As some fix'd star fulfills heaven's great designs,
  Lights other spheres, yet undiminish'd shines.
    How few distinguish'd of the studious train
  At the gay board their empire can maintain!
  In their own books intomb'd their wisdom lies;
  Too dull for talk, their slow conceptions rise:
  Yet the mute author, of his writings proud,
  For wit unshewn claims homage from the crowd;
  As thread-bare misers, by mean avarice school'd,
  Expect obeisance from their hidden gold.--
  In converse quick, impetuous Johnson press'd
  His weighty logick, or sarcastick jest:
  Strong in the chace, and nimble in the turns,[62]
  For victory still his fervid spirit burns;
  Subtle when wrong, invincible when right,
  Arm'd at all points, and glorying in his might,
  Gladiator-like, he traverses the field,
  And strength and skill compel the foe to yield.--
  Yet have I seen him, with a milder air,
  Encircled by the witty and the fair,
  Ev'n in old age with placid mien rejoice
  At beauty's smile, and beauty's flattering voice.--
  With Reynolds' pencil, vivid, bold, and true,
  So fervent Boswell gives him to our view.
  In every trait we see his mind expand;
  The master rises by the pupil's hand;
  We love the writer, praise his happy vein,
  Grac'd with the naiveté of the sage Montaigne.
  Hence not alone are brighter parts display'd,
  But ev'n the specks of character portray'd:
  We _see_ the Rambler with fastidious smile
  Mark the lone tree, and note the heath-clad isle;
  But when the heroick tale of Flora charms,[63]
  Deck'd in a kilt, he wields a chieftain's arms:
  The tuneful piper sounds a martial strain,
  And Samuel sings, "The King shall have his ain":
  Two Georges in his loyal zeal are slur'd,[64]
  A gracious pension only saves the third!--
    By Nature's gifts ordain'd mankind to rule,
  He, like a Titian, form'd his brilliant school;
  And taught congenial spirits to excel,
  While from his lips impressive wisdom fell.
  Our boasted GOLDSMITH felt the sovereign sway;
  From him deriv'd the sweet yet nervous lay.
  To Fame's proud cliff he bade our Raphael rise;
  Hence REYNOLDS' pen with REYNOLDS' pencil vyes.
  With Johnson's flame melodious BURNEY glows,[65]
  While the grand strain in smoother cadence flows.
  And you, MALONE, to critick learning dear,
  Correct and elegant, refin'd, though clear,
  By studying him, acquir'd that classick taste,
  Which high in Shakspeare's fane thy statue plac'd.
  Near Johnson STEEVENS stands, on scenick ground,
  Acute, laborious, fertile, and profound.
  Ingenious HAWKESWORTH to this school we owe,
  And scarce the pupil from the tutor know.
  Here early parts accomplish'd JONES[66] sublimes,
  And science blends with Asia's lofty rhimes:
  Harmonious JONES! who in his splendid strains
  Sings Camdeo's sports, on Agra's flowery plains;
  In Hindu fictions while we fondly trace
  Love and the Muses, deck'd with Attick grace.[67]
  Amid these names can BOSWELL be forgot,
  Scarce by North Britons now esteem'd a Scot?[68]
  Who to the sage devoted from his youth,
  Imbib'd from him the sacred love of truth;
  The keen research, the exercise of mind,
  And that best art, the art to know mankind.--
  Nor was his energy confin'd alone
  To friends around his philosophick throne;
  Its influence wide improv'd our letter'd isle,
  And lucid vigour mark'd the general style:
  As Nile's proud waves, swol'n from their oozy bed,
  First o'er the neighbouring meads majestick spread;
  Till gathering force, they more and more expand,
  And with new virtue fertilise the land.
    Thus sings the Muse, to Johnson's memory just,
  And scatters praise and censure o'er his dust;
  For through each checker'd scene a contrast ran,
  Too sad a proof, how great, how weak is man!
  Though o'er his passions conscience held the rein,
  He shook at dismal phantoms of the brain:
  A boundless faith that noble mind debas'd,
  By piercing wit, energick reason grac'd:
  A generous Briton,[69] yet he seems to hope
  For James's grandson, and for James's Pope:
  With courtly zeal fair freedom's sons defames,[70]
  Yet, like a Hamden, pleads Ierne's claims.[71]
  Though proudly splenetick, yet idly vain,
  Accepted flattery, and dealt disdain.--
  E'en shades like these, to brilliancy ally'd,
  May comfort fools, and curb the Sage's pride.
    Yet Learning's sons, who o'er his foibles mourn,
  To latest time shall fondly view his urn;
  And wond'ring praise, to human frailties blind,
  Talents and virtue of the brightest kind;
  Revere the man, with various knowledge stor'd,
  Who science, arts, and life's whole scheme explor'd;
    Who firmly scorn'd, when in a lowly state,
  To flatter vice, or court the vain and great;[72]
  Whose heart still felt a sympathetick glow,
  Prompt to relieve man's variegated woe;
  Whose ardent hope, intensely fix'd on high,
  Saw future bliss with intellectual eye.
  Still in his breast Religion held her sway,
  Disclosing visions of celestial day;
  And gave his soul, amidst this world of strife,
  The blest reversion of eternal life:
  By this dispell'd, each doubt and horrour flies,
  And calm at length in holy peace he dies.
    The sculptur'd trophy, and imperial bust,
  That proudly rise around his hallow'd dust,
  Shall mould'ring fall, by Time's slow hand decay'd,
  But the bright meed of virtue ne'er shall fade.
  Exulting Genius stamps his sacred name,
  Enroll'd for ever in the dome of Fame.



[21] "A Scotchman must be a sturdy moralist, who does not prefer
Scotland to truth." Johnson's _Journey to the Western Isles of

[22] "The Poems of Dr. Watts were by my recommendation inserted in
this collection; the readers of which are to impute to me whatever
pleasure or weariness they may find in the perusal of Blackmore,
Watts, Pomfret and Yalden." Johnson's _Life of Watts_.

The following specimen of their productions may be sufficient to
enable the reader to judge of their respective merits:

  "Alas, Jerusalem! alas! where's now
    Thy pristine glory, thy unmatch'd renown,
  To which the heathen monarchies did bow?
    Ah, hapless, miserable town!"

          Eleazar's _Lamentation over Jerusalem, paraphrased by_ Pomfret.

  "Before the Almighty Artist fram'd the sky,
  Or gave the earth its harmony,
  His first command was for thy light;
  He view'd the lovely birth, and blessed it:
  _In purple swaddling bands it struggling lay_,
  Old Chaos then a chearful smile put on,
  And from thy beauteous form did first presage its own."

          Yalden's _Hymn to Light_.

  "My chearful soul now all the day
    Sits waiting here and sings;
  Looks through the ruins of her clay,
    And practises her wings.
  O, rather let this flesh decay,
    The ruins wider grow!
  Till glad to see the enlarged way,
    I stretch my pinions through."

          _A Sight of Heaven in Sickness, by_ Isaac Watts.

[23] "He seemed to me to have an unaccountable prejudice against
Swift.--He said to-day,--I doubt if the _Tale of a Tub_ was his; it
has so much more thinking, more knowledge, more power, more colour,
than any of the works that are indisputably his. If it was his, I
shall only say, he was _impar sibi_." Boswell's _Tour to the
Hebrides_, p. 38.

Doctor Johnson's "unaccountable prejudice against Swift" may probably
be derived from the same source as Blackmore's, if we may venture to
form a judgement from the panegyrick he bestows on the following
groundless invective, expressly aimed at Swift as the author of _A
Tale of a Tub_, which he quotes in his life of Blackmore: "Several, in
their books, have many sarcastical and spiteful strokes at religion in
general; while others make themselves pleasant with the principles of
the Christian. Of the last kind, this age has seen a most audacious
example, in the book intituled "_A Tale of a Tub_." Had this writing
been published in a pagan or _popish_ nation, who are _justly_
impatient of all indignity offered to the established religion of
their country, no doubt but the author would have received the
punishment he deserved.--But the fate of this impious buffoon is very
different; for in a protestant kingdom, zealous of their civil and
religious immunities, he has not only escaped affronts and the effects
of publick resentment, but has been caressed and patronised by persons
of great figure of all denominations."

The malevolent dullness of bigotry alone could have inspired Blackmore
with these sentiments. The fact is, that the _Tale of a Tub_ is a
continued panegyrick on the Church of England, and a bitter satire on
Popery, Calvinism, and every sect of dissenters. At the same time I am
persuaded, that every reader of taste and discernment will perceive in
many parts of Swift's other writings strong internal proofs of that
style which characterises the _Tale of a Tub_; especially in the
_Publick Spirit of the Whigs_. It is well known, that he affected
simplicity, and studiously avoided any display of learning, except
where the subject made it absolutely necessary. Temporary, local, and
political topicks compose too great a part of his works; but in a
treatise that admitted "more thinking, more knowledge," &c. he
naturally exerted all his powers.--Let us hear the author himself on
this point.

"The greatest part of that book was finished above thirteen years
since, (1696) which is eight years before it was published. The author
was then young, his invention at the height, and his reading fresh in
his head." And again: "Men should be more cautious in losing their
time, if they did but consider, that to answer a book effectually
requireth more pains and skill, more wit, learning and judgement, than
were employed in writing it.--And the author assureth those gentlemen,
who have given themselves that trouble with him, that his discourse is
the product of the study, the observation, and the invention of
_several years_; that he often blotted out more than he left; and if
his papers had not been a long time out of his possession, they must
still have undergone more severe corrections." _An Apology for the
Tale of a Tub._--With respect to this work being the production of
Swift, see his letter to the printer, Mr. Benjamin Tooke, dated
Dublin, June 29, 1710, and Tooke's Answer on the publication of _the
Apology_ and a new edition of the _Tale of a Tub_. Hawkesworth's
edition of Swift's Works, 8vo. vol. xvi. p. 145.

Doctor Hawkesworth mentions, in his preface, that the edition of _A
Tale of a Tub_, printed in 1710, was revised and corrected by the Dean
a short time before his understanding was impaired, and that the
corrected copy was, in the year 1760, in the hands of his kinsman, Mr.
Deane Swift.

[24] _Johnson._ "I would tell truth of the two Georges, or of that
_scoundrel_, King William." Boswell's _Tour to the Hebrides_, p. 312.

[25] See his letter to Lord Thurlow, in which he seems to approve of
the application (though he was not previously consulted), thanks his
Lordship for having made it, and even expresses some degree of
surprize and resentment on the proposed addition to his pension being

[26] "If (added Dr. Johnson) GOD had never spoken figuratively, we
might hold that he speaks literally, when he says, "This is my body."
Boswell's _Tour_, p. 67.--Here his only objection to transubstantiation
seems to rest on the style of the Scripture being figurative elsewhere
as well as in this passage. Hence we may infer, that he would
otherwise have believed in it.--But Archbishop Tillotson and Mr. Locke
reason more philosophically, by asserting that "no doctrine, however
clearly expressed in Scripture, is to be admitted, if it contradict
the evidence of our senses:--For our evidence for the truth of
revealed religion is _less_ than the evidence for the truth of our
senses, because, _even_ in the first authors of our religion, it was
no greater; and it is evident it must diminish in passing from them to
us, through the medium of human testimony."--This question, however,
may perhaps be better elucidated by the following Anecdote, preserved
by Mr. Richardson, than by a more serious discussion:

"Mr. Pope, who loved to talk of Titcum, (one who used to be of the
party with him, Gay, Swift, Craggs, and Addison, and that set, in his
youth,) told us, that Gay went to see him as he was dying, and asked
him, if he would have a priest; (for he was a papist,) 'No, said he,
what should I do with them? But I would rather have one of them, than
one of yours, of the two. Our fools, (continued he) write great books
to prove that _bread_ is _God_; but your booby (he meant Tillotson)
has wrote a long argument to prove that _bread_ is _bread_.'"
_Richardsoniana_, p. 167.

[27] See his conversation with Lord Auchinleck. Boswell's _Tour_.

[28] See the First Book of Samuel, ch. x.

[29] "And I commend to thy fatherly goodness the soul of my departed
wife, beseeching thee to grant her whatever is best in her present state."
            Johnson's _Meditations_.

[30] "I returned home, but could not settle my mind. At last I read a
chapter. Then went down about six or seven, and eat two _cross-buns_."
            _Meditations_, p. 154.

[31] "I fasted, though less rigorously than at other times. I by
negligence poured some milk into my tea. _Ibid._ p. 146.--Yesterday, I
fasted, as I have always, or commonly done, since the death of Tetty;
the fast was more painful than usual."

  To keep a journal. To begin this day. (Sept. 18th, 1766.)
  To spend four hours in study every day, and as much more as I can.
  To read a portion of Scripture in Greek every Sunday.
  To rise at eight.--Oct. 3d. Of all this I have done nothing." _Ibid._

[33] "I resolved last Easter to read, within the year, the whole
Bible; a great part of which I had never looked upon." _Meditations._

[34] "I have never yet read the Apocrypha. When I was a boy I have
read or heard Bel and the Dragon." _Meditations._

[35] See the First Book of Samuel, ch. v. and vi. in which an account
is given of the punishment of the Philistines for looking into the

[36] The Rev. Dr. Adams of Oxford, distinguished for his answer to
David Hume's _Essay on Miracles_.

[37] From the following letter there is reason to apprehend that Dr.
Adams would not support Mr. S----n, if he should add this to the other
singular anecdotes that he has published relative to Dr. Johnson.

Mr. Urban,                                     Oxford, Oct. 22d, 1785.

In your last month's Review of books, you have asserted, that the
publication of Dr. Johnson's _Prayers_ and _Meditations_ appears to
have been at the instance of Dr. Adams, Master of Pembroke College,
Oxford. This, I think, is more than you are warranted by the editor's
preface to say; and is so far from being true, that Dr. Adams never
saw a line of these compositions, before they appeared in print, nor
ever heard from Dr. Johnson, or the editor, that any such existed. Had
he been consulted about the publication, he would certainly have given
his voice against it: and he therefore hopes, that you will clear him,
in as publick a manner as you can, from being any way accessary to it.
      Wm. Adams.

  "Debilem facite manu,
  Debilem pede, coxa;
  Tuber adstrue gibberum;
  Lubricos quate dentes;
  Vita dum superest, bene est:
  Hanc mihi, vel acuta
  Si sedeam cruce, sustine." SENEC. EPIST. 101.

  Let me but live, the fam'd Mæcenas cries,
  Lame of both hands, and lame in feet and thighs;
  Hump-back'd, and toothless;--all convuls'd with pain,
  Ev'n on the cross,--so precious life remain.

Dr. Johnson, in his last illness, is said to have declared (in the
presence of Doctors H. and B.) that he would prefer a state of
existence in eternal pain to annihilation.

[39] "This last comet (which appeared in the year 1680) I may well
call the most remarkable one that ever appeared; since, besides the
former consideration, I shall presently shew, that it is no other than
that very comet, which came by the earth at the time of Noah's deluge,
and _which was the cause of the same_." Whiston's _Theory of the
Earth_, p. 188.

[40] "Since 575 years appear to be the period of the comet that caused
the deluge, what a learned friend who was the occasion of my
examination of this matter, suggests, will deserve to be considered;
viz. Whether the story of the phoenix, that celebrated emblem of the
resurrection in Christian antiquity, (that it returns once after five
centuries, and goes to the altar and city of the sun, and is there
burnt; and another arises out of its ashes, and carries away the
remains of the former; &c.) be not an allegorical representation of
this comet, which returns once after five centuries, and goes down to
the sun, and is there vehemently heated, and its outward regions
dissolved; yet that it flies off again, and carries away what remains
after that terrible burning; &c. and whether the _conflagration_ and
renovation of things, which some such comet may bring on the earth, be
not hereby prefigured, I will not here be positive: but I own, that I
do not know of any solution of this famous piece of mythology and
hieroglyphics, as this seems to be, that can be compared with it."
_Ibid._ p. 196.

[41] "'Tis here foretold [by Esdras] that there should be _signs in
the woman_; and before all others this prediction has been verified in
the famous _rabbet-woman of Surrey_, in the days of King George
I.--This story has been so unjustly laughed out of countenance, that I
must distinctly give my reasons for believing it to be true, and
alleging it here as the fulfilling of this ancient prophecy before
us.--1st. The man-midwife, Mr. Howard of Godalmin in Surrey, a person
of very great honesty, skill and reputation in his profession,
attested it.--It was believed by King George to be real; and it was
also believed by my old friends the Speaker and Mr. Samuel Collet, as
they told me themselves, and was generally by sober persons in the
neighbourhood. Nay Mr. Molyneux, the Prince's Secretary, a very
inquisitive person, and my very worthy friend, assured me he had at
first so great a diffidence in the truth of the fact, and was so
little biassed by the other believers, even by the King himself, that
he would not be satisfied till he was permitted both to see and feel
the rabbet, _in that very passage, whence we all come into this
          Whiston's _Memoirs_, vol. ii. p. 110.

[42] "The incumbrances of fortune were shaken from his mind as
_dew-drops from the lion's mane_." Johnson's _Preface to his edition
of Shakespeare_.

[43] Every reader of sensibility must be strongly affected by the
following pathetick passages:--"Much of my life has been lost under
the pressures of disease; much has been trifled away; and much has
always been spent in provision for the day that was passing over me;
but I shall not think my employment useless or ignoble, if by my
assistance foreign nations and distant ages gain access to the
propagators of knowledge, and understand the teachers of truth; if my
labours afford light to the repositories of science, and add celebrity
to Bacon, to Hooker, to Milton, and to Boyle."

"In this work, when it shall be found that much is omitted, let it not
be forgotten that much likewise is performed; and though no book was
ever spared out of tenderness to the authour, and the world is little
solicitous to know whence proceeded the faults of that which it
condemns, yet it may gratify curiosity to inform it, that the ENGLISH
DICTIONARY was written with _little assistance of the learned, and
without any patronage of the great; not in the soft obscurities of
retirement, or under the shelter of academick bowers, but amidst
inconvenience and distraction, in sickness and in sorrow_." Preface to
Dr. Johnson's Dictionary.

[44] See Swift's letter to Lord Oxford for the institution of an
academy to improve and fix the English language.

[45] The great French and Italian Dictionaries were not the
productions of an individual, but were compiled by a body of
Academicians in each country.

[46] "In times and regions so disjoined from each other, that there
can scarcely be imagined any communication of sentiments, either by
commerce or tradition, has prevailed a general and uniform expectation
of propitiating GOD by corporal austerities, of anticipating his
vengeance by voluntary inflictions, and appeasing his justice by a
speedy and cheerful submission to a less penalty when a greater is
          _Rambler_, No. 110.

[47] The style of the _Ramblers_ seem to have been formed on that of
Sir Thomas Brown's _Vulgar Errors_ and _Christian Morals_.

"But ice is water congealed by the frigidity of the air, whereby it
acquireth no new form, but rather a consistence or determination of
its defluency, and amitteth not its essence, but condition of
fluidity. Neither doth there any thing properly conglaciate but water,
or watery humidity, for the determination of quicksilver is properly
fixation, that of milk coagulation, and that of oil and unctuous
bodies only incrassation."--Is this written by Brown or Johnson?

[48] In the _Ramblers_ the abstract too often occurs instead of the
concrete;--one of Dr. Johnson's peculiarities.

[49] See Victoria's Letter, RAMBLER, No. 130.--"I was never permitted
to sleep till I had passed through the cosmetick discipline, part of
which was a regular lustration performed with bean-flower water and
may-dews; my hair was perfumed with a variety of unguents, by some of
which it was to be thickened, and by others to be curled. The softness
of my hands was secured by medicated gloves, and my bosom rubbed with
a pomade prepared by my mother, of virtue to discuss pimples, and
clear discolorations."

[50] Dr. Johnson's extraordinary facility of composition is well known
from many circumstances. He wrote forty pages of the Life of Savage in
one night. He composed seventy lines of his Imitation of the Tenth
Satire of Juvenal, and wrote them down from memory, without altering a
word. In the Prologue on opening Drury-Lane theatre, he changed but
one word, and that in compliment to Mr. Garrick. Some of his
_Ramblers_ were written while the printer's messenger was waiting to
carry the copy to the press. Many of the _Idlers_ were written at
Oxford; Dr. Johnson often began his talk only just in time not to miss
the post, and sent away the paper without reading it over.

[51] See his admirable _Lives of the Poets_, and particularly his
Disquisition on metaphysical and religious poetry.

[52] See his Review of Soame Jennings's _Essay on the Origin of Evil_;
a masterpiece of composition, both for vigour of style and precision
of ideas.

[53] Pope's or rather Bolingbroke's system was borrowed from the
Arabian metaphysicians.

[54] The scheme of the _Essay on Man_ was given by Lord Bolingbroke to

[55] See that sublime and beautiful Tale, _The Prince of Abyssinia_;
and _The Rambler_, No. 65, 204, &c. &c.

[56] "The world is disposed to call this a discovery of Dr.
Franklin's, (from his paper inserted in the Philosophical
Transactions) but in this they are much mistaken. Pliny, Plutarch, and
other naturalists were acquainted with it."--"Ea natura est olei, ut
lucem afferat, ac tranquillar omnia, etiam mare, quo non aliud
elementum implacabilius."
          _Memoirs of the Society of Manchester._

[57] _London_, a Satire, and _The Vanity of Human Wishes_, are both
imitations of Juvenal. On the publication of _London_ in 1738, Mr.
Pope was so much struck by it, that he desired Mr. Dodsley, his
bookseller, to find out the author. Dodsley having sought him in vain
for some time, Mr. Pope said, he would very soon be _deterré_.
Afterwards Mr. Richardson the painter found out Mr. Johnson, and Mr.
Pope recommended him to Lord Gower.

[58] See the Prologue spoken by Mr. Garrick in 1747, on the opening of
Drury-Lane theatre.

[59] "Inter _ignotæ_ strepitus _loquelæ_."--Ode to Mrs. Thrale.

[60] The dignified and affecting letter written by him to the King in
the name of Doctor Dodd, after his condemnation, is justly, and, I
believe, universally admired. His benevolence, indeed, was uniform and
unbounded.----I have been assured, that he has often been so much
affected by the sight of several unfortunate women, whom he has seen
almost perishing in the streets, that he has taken them to his own
house; had them attended with care and tenderness; and, on their
recovery, clothed, and placed them in a way of life to earn their
bread by honest industry.

[61] The papers in the ADVENTURER, signed with the letter T, are
commonly attributed to one of Dr. Johnson's earliest and most intimate
friends, Dr. Bathurst; but there is good reason to believe that they
were written by Dr. Johnson, and given by him to his friend. At that
time Dr. Johnson was himself engaged in writing the _Rambler_, and
could ill afford to make a present of his labours. The various other
pieces that he gave away, have bestowed fame, and probably fortune, on
several persons. To the great disgrace of some of his clerical
friends, forty sermons, which he himself tells us he wrote, have not
yet been _deterré_.

[62] "A good continued speech (says Bacon in his ESSAYS) without a
good speech of interlocution, shews slowness; and a good reply or
second speech, without a good settled speech, sheweth shallowness and
weakness. As we see in beasts, that those that are weakest in the
course, are yet _nimblest in the turn_; as it is betwixt the greyhound
and the hare."--If this observation be just, Dr. Johnson is an
exception to the rule; for he was certainly as _strong_ "in the
course, as nimble in the turn"; as ready in "reply," as in "a settled

[63] The celebrated Flora Macdonald. See Boswell's _Tour_.

[64] See Note 4.

[65] Dr. Burney's _History of Musick_ is equally distinguished by
elegance and perspicuity of style, and for scientifick knowledge.

[66] Sir William Jones produced that learned and ingenious work,
_Poeseos Asiaticæ Commentarii_, at a very early age.

[67] "The Hindu God, to whom the following poem is addressed, appears
evidently the same with the Grecian EROS, and the Roman CUPIDO.----His
favourite place of resort is a large tract of country round AGRA, and
principally the plains of Matra, where KRISHEN also and the nine
GOPIA, who are clearly the Apollo and Muses of the Greeks, usually
spend the night with musick and dance." Preface to the HYMN to CAMDEO,
translated from the Hindu language into Persian, and re-translated by
Sir William Jones.

There can be little doubt, considering the antiquity and early
civilisation of Hindostan, that both the philosophy and beautiful
mythology of the Greeks were drawn from that part of Asia.

[68] The following observation in Mr. Boswell's _Journal of a Tour to
the Hebrides_, may sufficiently account for that gentleman's being
"now scarcely esteem'd a Scot" by many of his countrymen; "If he [Dr.
Johnson] was particularly prejudiced against the Scots it was because
they were more in his way; because he thought their success in England
rather exceeded the due proportion of their real merit; and because he
could not but see in them that nationality which, I believe, no
liberal-minded Scotchman will deny." Mr. Boswell indeed is so free
from national prejudices, that he might with equal propriety have been
described as--

  "Scarce by _South_ Britons now esteem'd a Scot."

[69] When Dr. Johnson repeated to Mr. Boswell Goldsmith's beautiful
eulogium on the English nation, his eyes filled with tears.--Boswell's
_Tour_, p. 431.--See also the Dissertation on the Bravery of the
English common Soldiers, at the end of the _Idler_.

[70] See _Taxation no Tyranny_.

[71] Though Dr. Johnson has called Hamden the _zealot of rebellion_,
yet that distinguished patriot could not have expressed himself with
more ardour in the cause of liberty, than Dr. Johnson does in the
following passage in his Life of Swift: "In the succeeding reign [that
of George I.] he delivered Ireland from plunder and _oppression_; and
shewed that wit, confederated with _truth_, had such force as
authority was unable to resist.--It was from the time when he first
began to patronize the Irish, that they may date their riches, and
prosperity. He taught them first to know their own interest, their
weight and their strength, and gave them spirit to assert that
_equality_ with their fellow-subjects to which they have been ever
since making vigorous advances, and to claim those _rights_ which they
have at last established."

The truth indeed seems to be, that Dr. Johnson, though he had been
bred in high-church principles, and always expressed himself in
controversial argument like a Tory, possessed a high independent
spirit, and appears to have been a friend to the rights of man. His
definition of the word _Caitiff_, in his Dictionary, may throw some
light on this part of his character. "Caitiff. [_cattivo_, Ital. a
slave; whence it came to signify a bad man, with some implication of
meanness; as _knave_ in English, and _fur_ in Latin; so _certainly
does slavery destroy virtue_.

    Hêmisu tês aretês apoainutai doulion êmar.

A slave and a scoundrel are signified by the same words in many
languages.] A mean villain," &c. See also that animated passage in his
_London_, beginning, "Here let those reign," &c.

[72] It is observable that Dr. Johnson did not prefix a dedication to
any one of his various works.






16. Henry Nevil Payne, _The Fatal Jealousie_ (1673).

18. Anonymous, "Of Genius," in _The Occasional Paper_, Vol. III, No.
10 (1719), and Aaron Hill, Preface to _The Creation_ (1720).


19. Susanna Centlivre, _The Busie Body_ (1709).

20. Lewis Theobald, _Preface to the Works of Shakespeare_ (1734).

22. Samuel Johnson, _The Vanity of Human Wishes_ (1749), and two
_Rambler_ papers (1750).

23. John Dryden, _His Majesties Declaration Defended_ (1681).


31. Thomas Gray, _An Elegy Wrote in a Country Churchyard_ (1751), and
_The Eton College Manuscript_.


41. Bernard Mandeville, _A Letter to Dion_ (1732).


104. Thomas D'Urfey, _Wonders in the Sun_; or, _The Kingdom of the
Birds_ (1706).


110. John Tutchin, _Selected Poems_ (1685-1700).

111. Anonymous, _Political Justice_ (1736).

112. Robert Dodsley, _An Essay on Fable_ (1764).

113. T. R., _An Essay Concerning Critical and Curious Learning_

114. _Two Poems Against Pope_: Leonard Welsted, _One Epistle to Mr. A.
Pope_ (1730), and _Anonymous, The Blatant Beast_ (1742).


115. Daniel Defoe and others, _Accounts of the Apparition of Mrs.

116. Charles Macklin, _The Covent Garden Theatre_ (1752).

117. Sir George L'Estrange, _Citt and Bumpkin_ (1680).

118. Henry More, _Enthusiasmus Triumphatus_ (1662).

119. Thomas Traherne, _Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation_

120. Bernard Mandeville, _Aesop Dress'd or a Collection of Fables_


123. Edmond Malone, _Cursory Observations on the Poems Attributed to
Mr. Thomas Rowley_ (1782).

124. Anonymous, _The Female Wits_ (1704).

125. Anonymous, _The Scribleriad_ (1742). Lord Hervey, _The Difference
Between Verbal and Practical Virtue_ (1742).

126. _Le Lutrin: an Heroick Poem, Written Originally in French by
Monsieur Boileau: Made English by N. O._ (1682).


127-128. Charles Macklin, _A Will and No Will, or a Bone for the
Lawyers_ (1746). _The New Play Criticiz'd, or The Plague
of Envy_ (1747). Introduction by Jean B. Kern.

129. Lawrence Echard, Prefaces to _Terence's Comedies_ (1694) and
_Plautus's Comedies_ (1694). Introduction by John Barnard.

130. Henry More, _Democritus Platonissans_ (1646). Introduction by P.
G. Stanwood.

131. John Evelyn, _The History of ... Sabatai Sevi ... The Suppos'd
Messiah of the Jews_ (1669). Introduction by Christopher W. Grose.

132. Walter Harte, _An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad_
(1730). Introduction by Thomas B. Gilmore.

Subsequent publications may be checked in the annual prospectus.

Publications of the first fifteen years of the Society (numbers 1-90)
are available in paperbound units of six issues at $16.00 per unit,
from the Kraus Reprint Company, 16 East 46th Street, New York, N.Y.

Publications in print are available at the regular membership rate of
$5.00 yearly. Prices of single issues may be obtained upon request.

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library: University of California, Los



_General Editors_: William E. Conway, William Andrews Clark Memorial
Library; George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles;
Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles

_Corresponding Secretary_: Mrs. Edna C. Davis, William Andrews Clark
Memorial Library

The Society's purpose is to publish rare Restoration and
eighteenth-century works (usually as facsimile reproductions). All
income of the Society is devoted to defraying costs of publication and

Correspondence concerning memberships in the United States and Canada
should be addressed to the Corresponding Secretary at the William
Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2520 Cimarron Street, Los Angeles,
California. Correspondence concerning editorial matters may be
addressed to the General Editors at the same address. Manuscripts of
introductions should conform to the recommendations of the MLA _Style
Sheet_. The membership fee is $5.00 a year in the United States and
Canada and £1.16.6 in Great Britain and Europe. British and European
prospective members should address B. H. Blackwell, Broad Street,
Oxford, England. Copies of back issues in print may be obtained from
the Corresponding Secretary.

Publications of the first fifteen years of the Society (numbers 1-90)
are available in paperbound units of six issues at $16.00 per unit,
from the Kraus Reprint Company, 16 East 46th Street, New York, N. Y.

Make check or money order payable to THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF


133. John Courtenay, _A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral
Character of the Late Samuel Johnson_ (1786). Introduction by Robert
E. Kelley.

134. John Downes, _Roscius Anglicanus_ (1708). Introduction by John

135. Sir John Hill, _Hypochondriasis, a Practical Treatise on the
Nature and Cure of that Disorder Call'd the Hyp or Hypo_ (1766).
Introduction by G. S. Rousseau.

136. Thomas Sheridan, _Discourse ... Being Introductory to His Course
of Lectures on Elocution and the English Language_ (1759).
Introduction by G. P. Mohrman.

137. Arthur Murphy, _The Englishman From Paris_ (1756). Introduction
by Simon Trefman. Previously unpublished manuscript.

138. [Catherine Trotter], _Olinda's Adventures_ (1718). Introduction
by Robert Adams Day.


_After THE TEMPEST._ Introduction by George Robert Guffey.

Next in the continuing series of special publications by the Society
will be _After THE TEMPEST_, a volume including the Dryden-Davenant
version of _The Tempest_ (1670); the "operatic" _Tempest_ (1674);
Thomas Duffet's _Mock-Tempest_ (1675); and the "Garrick" _Tempest_
(1756), with an Introduction by George Robert Guffey.

Already published in this series are:

1. John Ogilby, _The Fables of Aesop Paraphras'd in Verse_ (1668),
with an Introduction by Earl Miner.

2. John Gay, _Fables_ (1727, 1738), with an Introduction by Vinton A.

3. Elkanah Settle, _The Empress of Morocco_ (1673) with five plates;
_Notes and Observations on the Empress of Morocco_ (1674) by John
Dryden, John Crowne and Thomas Shadwell; _Notes and Observations on
the Empress of Morocco Revised_ (1674) by Elkanah Settle; and _The
Empress of Morocco. A Farce_ (1674) by Thomas Duffet; with an
Introduction by Maximillian E. Novak.

Price to members of the Society, $2.50 for the first copy of each
title, and $3.25 for additional copies. Price to non-members, $4.00.
Standing orders for this continuing series of Special Publications
will be accepted. British and European orders should be addressed to
B. H. Blackwell, Broad Street, Oxford, England.

Transcriber's Notes:

  Passages in italics indicated by underscore _italics_.

  The original text includes Greek characters. For this text version
  these letters have been replaced with transliterations.

  Misprints corrected:
    "ther" corrected to "their" (footnote 23)
    "Crticiz'd" corrected to "Criticiz'd" (advertisements)

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