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some certainty, and one thing or other making the journey always improper, as I did not come, I omitted to write, till at last I grew afraid of hearing ill news. But the other day Mr. Prujean called and left word, that you, dear Madam, are grown better; and I know not when I heard anything that pleased me so much. I shall now long more and more to see Lichfield, and partake the happiness of your recovery.
"Now you begin to mend, you have great encourage.ent to take care of yourself. Do not omit anything that can conduce to your health, and when I come, I shall hope to enjoy with you, and dearest Mrs. Gastrel, many pleasing hours. Do not be angry at my long omission to write, but let me hear how you both do, for you will write to nobedy, to whom your welfare will give more pleasure, than to, dearest Madam, your most humble servant,
TO MRS. LUCY PORTER.
"Bolt Court, Fleet Street, Jan. 2, 1779. "DEAREST LOVE,―Though I have so long omitted to write, I will omit it no longer. I hope the new year finds you not worse than you have formerly been; and I wish that many years may pass over you without bringing either pain or discontent. For my part, I think my health, though not good, yet rather better than when I left you.
"My purpose was to have paid you my annual visit in the summer, but it happened otherwise, not by any journey another way, for I have never been many miles from London, but by such hindrances as it is hard to bring to any
"Do not follow my bad example, but write to me soon again, and let me know of you what you have to tell; I hope it is all good.
"Please to make my compliments to Mrs. Cobb, Mrs. Adey, and Miss Adey, and all the ladies and gentlemen that frequent your mansion.
"If you want any books, or anything else that I can send you, let me know. I am, dear Madam, your most humble servant, SAM. JOHNSON."
On the 22d of January, I wrote to him on several topics, and mentioned, that as he had been so good as to permit me to have the proof sheets of his "Lives of the Poets," I had written to his servant, Francis, to take care of them for me.
FROM MR. BOSWELL, ESQ.
"Edinburgh, Feb. 2, 1779.
"MY DEAR SIR,-Garrick's death is a striking event; not that we should be surprised with the death of any man who has lived sixty-two years; but be
1 Mr. Prujean married the youngest of the Misses Aston.-HARWOOD.
3 On Mr. Garrick's monument in Lichfield Cathedral, he is said to have died, "aged 64
cause there was a vivacity in our late celebrated friend, which drove away the thoughts of death from any association with him. I am sure you will be tenderly affected with his departure; and I would wish to hear from you upon the subject. I was obliged to him in my days of effervescence in London, when poor Derrick was my governor; and since that time I received many civilities from him. Do you remember how pleasing it was, when I received a letter from him at Inverary, upon our first return to civilized living after our Hebridean journey? I shall always remember him with affection as well as admiration.
"On Saturday last, being the 30th of January, I drank coffee and old port, and had solemn conversation with the Reverend Mr. Falconer, a nonjuring bishop, a very learned and worthy man. He gave two toasts, which you will believe I drank with cordiality, Dr. Samuel Johnson and Flora Macdonald. I sat about four hours with him, and it was really as if I had been living in the last century. The episcopal church of Scotland, though faithful to the royal house of Stuart, has never accepted of any congé d'élire since the revolution; it is the only true episcopal church in otland, as it has its own succession of bishops. For as to the episcopal clergy, who take the oaths to the present government, they indeed follow the rites of the church of England, but, as Bishop Falconer observed, they are not episcopals; for they are under no bishop, as a bishop cannot have authority beyond his diocese.' This venerable gentleman did me the honour to dine with me yesterday, and he laid his hands upon the heads of my little ones. We had a good deal of curious literary conversation, particularly about Mr. Thomas Ruddiman, with whom he lived in great friendship.
"Any fresh instance of the uncertainty of life makes one embrace more closely a valuable friend. My dear and much respected Sir, may God preserve you long in this world while I am in it. I am ever, your most obliged, and affectionate humble servant, "JAMES BOSWELL."
TO MISS REYNOLDS.
"Feb. 15, 1779. "DEAREST MADAM,—I have never deserved to be treated as you treat me. When you employed me before, I undertook your affair and succeeded, but then I succeeded by choosing a proper time, and a proper time I will try to choose again.
"I have about a week's work to do, and then I shall come to live in town, and will first wait on you in Dover Street. You are not to think that I neglect you, for your nieces will tell you how rarely they have seen me. I will wait on you as soon as I can, and yet you must resolve to talk things over without
years." But it is a mistake, and Mr. Boswell is perfectly correct. Garrick was baptized at Hereford, Feb. 28, 1716-17, and died at his house in London, January 20, 1779. The inaccuracy of lapidary inscriptions is well known.-M.
anger, and you must leave me to catch opportunities, and be assured, dearest dear, that I should have very little enjoyment of that day in which I had neglected any opportunity of doing good to you. I am, dearest Madam, your humble servant, SAM. JOHNSON."
TO MRS. LUCY PORTER.
"Bolt Court, Fleet Street, March 4, 1779. "MY DEAR LOVE,-Since I heard from you, I sent you a little print, and two barrels of oysters, and I shall have some little books to send you soon. I have seen Mr. Pearson, and am pleased to find that he has got a living. I was hurried when he was with me, but had time to hear that my friends were all well.
"Poor Mrs. Adey was, I think, a good woman, and therefore her death is less to be lamanted; but it is not pleasant to think how uncertain it is, that when friends part, they will ever meet again. My old complaint of flatulence, and tight and short breath, oppress me heavily. My nights are very restless. I think of consulting the doctor to-morrow.
"This has been a mild winter, for which I hope you have been the better. Take what care you can of yourself, and do not forget to drink. I was somehow or other hindered from coming into the country last summer, but I think of coming this year. I am, dear love, your most humble servant,
TO MRS. ASTON.
"Bolt Court, Fleet Street, March 4, 1779. Dear Madam,—Mrs. Gastrell and you are very often in my thoughts, though I do not write as often as might be expected from so much love and so much respect. I please myself with thinking that I shall see you again, and shall find you better. But futurity is uncertain: poor David [Garrick] had doubtless many futurities in his head, which death has intercepted-a death, I believe, totally unexpected: he did not in his last hour seem to think his life in dauger.
"My old complaints hang heavy on me, and my nights are very uncomforta ble and unquiet; and sleepless nights make heavy days. I think to go to my physician, and try what can be done. For why should not I grow better as well as you?
"Now you are better, pray, dearest Madam, take care of yourself. I hope to come this summer and watch you. It will be a very pleasant journey if I can find you and dear Mrs. Gastrell well. I sent you two barrels of oysters; if you would wish for more, please to send your commands to, Madam, your most humble servant, SAM. JOHNSON."
TO MRS. THRALE.
"March 10, 1779.
"I will come to see you on Saturday, only let me know whether I must come to the Borough, or am to be taken up here.
"I got my Lives, not yet quite printed, put neatly together, and sent them to the king: what he says of them I know not. If the king is a Whig, he will not like them: but is any king a Whig ?"
Mr. Tasker's "Ode"--Man of the World-" Vicar of Wakefield "-Junius's Letters-Parental Authority-London-" Government of the Tongue "-Good Friday-Easter day-Eelskinning-Claret, Port, Brandy-Shakspeare's Witches-Lochlomond-Liberty-Hackman Johnson and Topham Beauclerk-Mallet-Friendship-Eulogy on Garrick-" Art of getting drunk "-Empirics-Parental Affection-Lord Marchmont-Pope-Parnell's "Hermit "— Correspondence.
On the 22d of February I had written to him again, complaining of his silence, as I had heard he was ill, and had written to Mr. Thrale for information concerning him; and I announced my intention of soon being again in London.
TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
"March 18, 1779.
"DEAR SIR,-Why should you take such delight to make a bustle, to write to Mr. Thrale that I am negligent, and to Francis to do what is so very unnecessary? Thrale, you may be sure, cared not about it; and I shall spare Francis the trouble, by ordering a set both of the Lives and Poets to dear Mrs. Boswell,' in acknowledgment of her marmalade. Persuade her to accept them, and accept them kindly. If I thought she would receive them scornfully, I would send them to Miss Boswell, who, I hope, has yet none of her mamma's ill-will to me.
"I would send sets of Lives, four volumes, to some other friends, to Lord Hailes first. His second volume lies by my bed-side; a book surely of great labour, and to every just thinker of great delight. Write me word to whom I shall send besides. Would it please Lord Auchinleck? Mrs. Thrale waits in the coach. I am, dear Sir, &c. SAM. JOHNSON."
This letter crossed me on the road to London, where I arrived on Monday, March 15, and next morning, at a late hour, found Dr. Johnson sitting over his tea, attended by Mrs. Desmoulins, Mr. Lev
1 He sent a set elegantly bound and gilt, which was received as a very handsome present.