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Various Years.
Letters to Mrs. Thrale. acknowl.
Prayers and Meditations, which he delivered to the Rev. Mr. Strahan,

enjoining him to publish them. acknowl.
Sermons, left for Publication by John Taylor, LL.D. Prebendary of West-

minster, and given to the World by the Rev. Samuel Hayes, A. M.

intern. evid.* Such was the number and variety of the Prose Works of this extraordinary man, which I have been able to discover, and am at liberty to mention ; but we ought to keep in mind, that there must undoubtedly have been many more which are yet concealed ; and we may add to the account, the numerous Letters which he wrote, of which a considerable part are yet unpublished. It is hoped that those persons in whose possession they art, will favour the world with them.


* {To this List of the Writings of Dr. Johnson, Mr. Alexander Chalmers, with considerable probability, suggests to me that we may add the following :

In the Gentlemen's Magazine. 1747. Lauder's Proposals for printing the Adamus Exul of Grotius. Vol. 20. 1750. Address to the Publick, concerning Miss Williams's Miscellanies. Vol. 20.

p. 404.

P. 428.

1753. Preface. Notice of Mr. Edward Cave's death, inserted in the last page of the Index

In tbe Literary Magazine. 1756. « Observations on the foregoing letter ;" i. c. A letter on the American

Colonies. Vol. 1. p. 66. M.]

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** After my death I wish no other herald,
“ No other speaker of my living actions,
“ To keep mine honour from corruption,
" But such an honest chronicler as Griffith."*


* See Dr. Johnson's letter to Mrs. Thrale, dated Ostick in Skie, September 30, 1773 : “ Boswell writes a regular Journal of our travels, which I think contains as much of what I say and do, as of all other occurrences together ; " for such a faitbful cbronicler is Griffitb."





TO write the Life of him who excelled all mankind in writing the lives of others, and who, whether we consider his extraordinary endowments, or his various works, has been equalled by few in any age, is an arduous, and may be reckoned in me a presumptuous task.

Had Dr. Johnson written his own Life, in conformity with the opinion which he has given,' that every man's life may be best written by himself; had he employed in the preservation of his own history, that clearness of narration and elegance of language in which he has embalmed so many eminent persons, the world would probably have had the most perfect example of biography that was ever exhibited. But although he at different times, in a desultory manner, committed to writing many particulars of the progress of his mind and fortunes, he never had persevering diligence enough to form them into a regular composition. Of these memorials a few have been preserved ; but the greater part was consigned by him to the flames, a few days before his death.

As I had the honour and happiness of enjoying his friendship for upwards of twenty years ; as I had the scheme of writing his life constantly in view; as he was well apprised of this circumstance, and from time

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to time obligiogly satisfied my enquiries, by communicating to me the incidents of his early years ; as I acquired a facility in recollecting, and was very assiduous in recording, his conversation, of which the extraordinary vigour and vivacity constituted one of the first features of his character; and as I have spared no pains in obtaining materials concerning him, from every quarter where I could discover that they were to be found, and have been favoured with the most liberal communications by his friends ; I flatter myself that few biographers have entered upon such a work as this, with more advantages ; independent of literary abilities, in which I am not vain enough to compare myself with some great names who have gone before me in this kind of writing

Since my work was announced, several Lives and Memoirs of Dr. Johnson have been published, the most voluminous of which is one compiled for the booksellers of London, by Sir John Hawkins, Knt.” a man, whom, during my long intimacy with Dr. Johnson, I never saw in his company, I think, but once, and I am sure not above twice. Jolinson might have esteemed him for his decent, religious demeanour, and his knowledge of books and literary history ; but from the rigid formality of his manners, it is evident that they never could have lived together with companionable ease and familiarity ; nor had Sir John Hawkins that nice perception which was necessary to mark the finer and less obvious parts of Johnson's character. His being appointed one of his executors, gave him an opportunity of taking possession of such fragments of a diary and other papers as were left ; of which, before delivering

2 The greatest part of this book was written while Sir John Hawkins was alive; and I avow, that one object of my strictures was to make him feel some compunction for his illiberal treatment of Dr. Johnson. Since his decease, I have suppressed several of my remarks upon his work. But though I would not " war with the dead" offensively, I think it necessary to be strenuous in defence of my illustrious friend, which I cannot be, without strong animadversions upon a writer who has greatly injured him. Let me add, that though I doubt I should not have been very prompt to gratify Sir John Hawkins with any compliment in his lifetime, I do now frankly acknowledge, that, in my opinion, bis volume, however inadequate and improper as a life of Dr. Johnson, and however discredited by unpardonable inaccuracies in other respects, contains a collection of curious anecdotes and observations, which few men but its author could have brought together,

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