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dean be there. Please to consider, that to keep each
desire for our meeting this autumn is much increased. I wrote to 'squire Godfrey Bosville, my Yorkshire chief, that I should, perhaps, pay him a visit, as I was to hold a conference with Dr. Johnson at York. I give you my word and honour that I said not a word of his inviting you; but he wrote to me as follows:
“. I need not tell you I shall be happy to see you here the latter end of this month, as you propose; and I shall likewise be in hopes that you will persuade Dr. Johnson to finish the conference here. It will add to the favour of your own company, if you prevail upon such an associate to assist your observations. I have often been entertained with his writings; and I once belonged to a club of which he was a member, and I never spent an evening there, but I heard something from him well worth remembering.'
“We have thus, my dear sir, good comfortable quarters in the neighbourhood of York, where you may be assured we shall be heartily welcome. I pray you then resolve to set out; and let not the year 1780 be a blank in our social calendar, and in that record of wisdom and wit which I keep with so much diligence, to your honour, and the instruction and delight of others."
Mr. Thrale had now another contest for the representation in parliament of the borough of Southwark, and Johnson kindly lent him his assistance, by writing advertisements and letters for him. I shall insert one as a specimen.*
TO THE WORTHY ELECTORS OF THE BOROUGH OF
“ GENTLEMEN,—A new parliament being now called, I again solicit the honour of being elected for one of your
representatives; and solicit it with the greater confidence, as I am not conscious of having neglected my duty, or of having acted otherwise than as becomes the independent representative of independent constituents; superiour to fear, hope, and expectation, who has no private purposes to promote, and whose prosperity is involved in the prosperity of his country. As my recovery from a very severe distemper is not yet perfect, I have declined to attend the hall, and hope an omission so necessary will not be harshly censured.
"I can only send my respectful wishes, that all your deliberations may tend to the happiness of the kingdom and the peace of the borough. “I am, gentlemen,
• Your most faithful And obedient servant,
“ HENRY THRALE. “ Southwark, Sept. 5, 1780.”
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LADY SOUTHWELL",
“Madam,-Among the numerous addresses of condolence which your great loss must have occasioned, be pleased to receive this from one whose name perhaps you have never heard, and to whom your ladyship is known
h Margaret, the second daughter, and one of the co-heiresses of Arthur Cecil Hamilton, esq. She was married in 17+1 to Thomas George, the third baron, and first viscount Southwell, and lived with him in the most perfect connubial felicity till September, 1780, when lord Southwell died; a loss which she never ceased to lament to the hour of her own dissolution, in her eighty-first year, August 16, 1802.—The “ illustrious example of piety and fortitude” to which Dr. Johnson alludes, was the submitting, when past her fiftieth year, to an extremely painful surgical operation, which she endured with extraordinary firmness and composure, not allowing herself to be tied to her chair, nor uttering a single moan.—This slight tribute of affection to the memory of these two most amiable and excellent persons, who were not less distinguished by their piety, beneficence, and unbounded charity, than by a suavity of manners which endeared them to all who knew them, it is hoped, will be forgiven from one who was honoured by their kindness and friendship from his childhood.-Malone.
only by the reputation of your virtue, and to whom your lord was known only by his kindness and beneficence.
“ Your ladyship is now again summoned to exert that piety of which you once gave, in a state of pain and danger, so illustrious an example; and your lord's beneficence may be still continued by those who with his fortune inherit his virtues.
“I hope to be forgiven the liberty which I shall take of informing your ladyship, that Mr. Mauritius Lowe, a son of your late lord's father', had, by recommendation to your lord, a quarterly allowance of ten pounds, the last of which, due July 26th, he has not received: he was in hourly hope of his remittance, and flattered himself that on October 26th, he should have received the whole half year's bounty, when he was struck with the dreadful news of his benefactor's death.
“ May I presume to hope that his want, his relation, and his merit, which excited his lordship's charity, will continue to have the same effect upon those whom he has left behind; and that, though he has lost one friend, he may not yet be destitute. Your ladyship's charity cannot easily be exerted where it is wanted more ; and to a mind like yours, distress is a sufficient recommendation. · I hope to be allowed the honour of being,
56 SAM. JOHNSON. “ Bolt-court, Fleet. street, London,
Sept. 9, 1780.” i Thomas, the second lord Southwell, who was born Jan. 7, 1698-9, and died in London, Nov. 18, 1766. Johnson was well acquainted with this nobleman, and said, “ he was the highest bred man, without insolence, that he was ever in company with.” See vol. iv. His younger brother, Edmund Southwell, lived in intimacy with Johnson for many years. See an account of him in Hawkins's Life of Johnson, p. 405. He died in London, Nov. 22, 1772.
In opposition to the knight's unfavourable representation of this gentleman, to whom I was indebted for my first introduction to Johnson, I take this opportunity to add, that he appeared to me a pious man, and was very fond of leading the conversation to religious subjects.—Malone.
On his birth-day, Johnson has this note: “I am now beginning the seventy-second year of my life, with more strength of body and greater vigour of mind, than I think is common at that age." But still he complains of sleepless nights and idle days, and forgetfulness or neglect of resolutions. He thus pathetically expresses himself:
Surely I shall not spend my whole life with my own total disapprobation."
Mr. Macbean, whom I have mentioned more than once as one of Johnson's humble friends, a deserving but unfortunate man, being now oppressed by age and poverty, Johnson solicited the lord chancellor Thurlow to have him admitted into the Charter-house! I take the liberty to insert his lordship's answer, as I am eager to embrace every occasion of augmenting the respectable notion which should ever be entertained of my illustrious friend.
TO DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON.
London, October 24, 1780. “Sir,-I have this moment received your letter dated the 19th, and returned from Bath.
« Prayers and Meditations, vol. ix. p. 269.
* Mr. Alexander Macbean, on lord Thurlow's nomination, was admitted into the Chartreux in April, 1781; on which occasion Dr. Johnson, with that benevolence by which he was uniformly actuated, wrote the following letter, which, for the sake of connection, may properly be introduced here.
TO THE REVEREND DR. VYSE, AT LAMBETH.
“Rev. Sır,—The bearer is one of my old friends, a man of great learning, whom the chancellor has been pleased to nominate to the Chartreux. He attends his grace the archbishop to take the oath required, and being a modest scholar, will escape embarrassment if you are so kind as to introduce him, by which you will do a kindness to a man of great merit, and add another to those favours which have already been conferred by you on,
“In the beginning of the summer I placed one in the Chartreux, without the sanction of a recommendation so distinct and so authoritative as yours of Macbean ; and I am afraid that, according to the establishment of the house, the opportunity of making the charity so good amends will not soon recur.
But whenever a vacancy shall happen, if you'll favour me with notice of it, I will try to recommend bim to the place, even though it should not be my turn to nominate.
“I am, sir, with great regard,
TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ.
“Dear Sir,-I am sorry to write you a letter that will not please you, and yet it is at last what I resolve to do. This year must pass without an interview: the summer has been foolishly lost, like many other of my summers and winters. I hardly saw a green field, but staid in town to work, without working much.
“ Mr. Thrale's loss of health has lost him the election : he is now going to Brighthelmstone, and expects me to go with him; and how long I shall stay, I cannot tell. I do not much like the place; but yet I shall go, and stay while my stay is desired. We must therefore content ourselves with knowing what we know as well as man can know the mind of man, that we love one another, and that we wish each other's happiness, and that the lapse of a year cannot lessen our mutual kindness.
“I was pleased to be told that I accused Mrs. Boswell unjustly, in supposing that she bears me ill will. I love you so much, that I would be glad to love all that love you, and that you love; and I have love very ready for Mrs. Boswell, if she thinks it worthy of acceptance. I hope all the young ladies and gentlemen are well.
" I' take a great liking to your brother. He tells me