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your people in their proper places. Reso.re no, to be poor. Whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is great enemy to human happiness : it certainly destroys liberty; and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.
“ Let me know the history of your life since your accession to your estate ; how many houses, how many cows, how much land in your own hand, and what bargains you make with your tenants.
“Of my · Lives of the Poets' they have printed a new edition in octavo, I hear, of three thousand. Did I give a set to Lord Hailes ? If I did not, I will do it out of these. What did you make of all your copy?
“ Mrs. Thrale and the three misses are now, for the winter, in Argyll Street. Sir Joshua Reynolds has been out of order, but is well again ; and I am, dear Sir, your, &c.
LETTER 426. FROM MRS. BOSWELL.
Edinburgh, Dec. 20. 1782. “ DEAR SIR, — I was made happy by your kind letter, which gave us the agreeable hopes of seeing you in Scotland again.
“ I am much flattered by the concern you are pleased to take in my recovery. I am better, and hope to have it in my power to convince you by my attention, of how much consequence I esteem your health to the world and to myself. I remain, Sir, with grateful respect, your obliged and obedient servant,
“ MARGARET BOSWELL." The death of Mr. Thrale had made a very material alteration with respect to Johnson's reception in that family. The manly authority of the husband no longer curbed the lively exuberance of the lady; and as her vanity had been fully gratified, by having the Colossus of Literature attached in ner for
many years, she gradually became less assiduous to please him. Whether her attachment to him was already divided by another object, I am unable to ascertain ; but it is plain that Johnson's penetration was alive to her neglect or forced attention; for on the 6th of October this year we find himn making a
parting use of the library” at Streatham, and pronouncing a prayer which he composed on leaving Mr. Thrale's family.
Almighty God, Father of all mercy, help me by thy grace, that I may, with humble and sincere thank fulness, remember the comforts and conveniences which I have enjoyed at this place; and that I may resign them with holy submission, equally trusting in thy protection when thou givest and when thou takest away. Have mercy upon me, O Lord ! have mercy upon me! To thy fatherly protection, O Lord, I commend this family. Bless, guide, and defend them, that they may so pass through this world, as finally to enjoy in thy presence everlasting happiness, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen." (Pr. and Med., p. 214.)
One cannot read this prayer without some emotions not very favourable to the lady whose conduct occasioned it. (1).
The next day, he made the following memo. randum :
6 October 7.-I was called early. I packed up my bundles, and used the foregoing prayer, with my morning devotions somewhat, I think, enlarged. Being
(1) Dr. Johnson meant nothing of what Mr. Boswell attributes to bim-üe makes a narting use of the library - makes a valediction to the churin, ana pronounces a prayer on quitting “ a place where he had enjoyed so much comfort,” not because Mrs. Thrale made him less welcome there, but hecause she, and he with her, were leaving Streaaam. C.
earlier than the family, I read St. Paul's farewel in the Acts, and then read fortuitously in the Gospels, which was my parting use of the library.” And in one of his memorandum-books I find, “ Sunday, went to church at Streatham. Templo valedixi cum osculo."
He met Mr. Philip Metcalfe often at Sir Joshua Reynolds's and other places, and was a good deal with him at Brighthelmstone this autumn, being pleased at once with his excellent table and animated conversation. Mr. Metcalfe showed him great respect, and sent him a note that he might have the use of his carriage whenever he pleased. Johnson (3d October, 1782,) returned this polite answer: “ Mr. Johnson is very much obliged by the kind offer of the carriage, but he has no desire of using Mr. Metcalfe's carriage, except when he can have the pleasure of Mr. Metcalfe's company." Mr. Metcalfe could not but be highly pleased that his company was thus valued by Johnson, and he frequently attended him in airings. They also went together to Chichester, and they visited Petworth, and Cowdray, the venerable seat of the Lords Montacute. (1) “ Sir,” said Johnson, “ I should like to
(1) This venerable mansion has since (Sept. 1793) been totally destroyed by fire.-M.-There is a popular superstition that this inheritance is accursed, for having been part of the plunder of the church at the Dissolution, and some lamentable accidents have given countenance to the vulgar prejudice. When I visited the ruins of Cowdray twenty years ago, I was reminded (in addition to older stories) that the curse of fire and water had recently fallen on Cowdray; its noble owner, Viscount Montague, the last male of his ancient race, having been drowned in the Rhine at Schaffausen, within a few days of the destruction of Cowdray: and the good folks of the neighbourhood did not scruple to prophesy that it would turn out a fatal inheritance VOL. VIII.
stay here four-and-twenty hours. We see here how nur ancestors lived."
That his curiosity was still unabated appears from two letters to Mr. John Nichols, of the 10th and 20th of October this year. In one he says, “I have looked into your · Anecdotes,' and you will hardly thank a lover of literary history for telling you that he has been much informed and gratified. I wish you would add your own discoveries and intelligence to those of Dr. Rawlinson (1), and undertake the Supplement to Wood. Think of it.” In the other, “I wish, Sir, you could obtain some fuller information of Jortin (), Mark
At that period the present possessor, Mr. Poyntz, who had married Lord Montague's sister and heiress, had two sons, who seemed destined to inherit Cowdray; but, on the 7th July, 1815, these young gentlemen boating eff Bognor with their father, on a very fine day, the boat was unaccountably upset, and the two youths perished; and thus were once more fulfilled the forebodings of superstition. See some curious observations on the subject of the fatality attending the inheritance of confiscated church property in Sir Henry Spelman's Treatise on the “History and Fall of Sacrilege.' C. — See Archbishop Whitgift's speech to Queen Elizabeth, as given by Walton, in his “ Life of Hooker:" “ Curses have, and will cleave to the very stones of those buildings that have been consecrated to God, and the father's sin of sacrilege hath and will prove to be entailed on his son and family. - MARKLAND.
(1) Dr. Richard Rawlinson, an eminent antiquary, and a great benefactor to the University of Oxford. He founded the Anglo-Saxon professorship there, and bequeathed to it all his collection of MSS., medals, antiquities, and curiosities. He died in 1754, æt. 65. - C.
(2) Dr. John Jortin, a voluminous and respectable writer on general subjects, as well as an eminent divine. He died in August, 1770, Archdeacon of London and Vicar of Kensington; where his piety and charity, greater even than his great learning and talents, are still remembered. His laconic epi. taph in Kensington churchyard, dictated by himself, contains a new turn of that thoughs which must be common to all epitapbs,
land ('), and Thirlby. () They were three con temporaries of great eminence.” LETTER 427. TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
Brighthelmstone, Nov. 14. 1782. “ DEAR SIR, I heard yesterday of your late disorder, and should think ill of myself if I had heard of it without alarm. I heard likewise of your recovery, which I sincerely wish to be complete and permanent. Your country has been in danger of losing one of its brightest ornaments, and I of losing one of my oldest and kindest friends; but I hope you will still live long, for the honour of the nation; and that more enjoyment of your elegance, your intelligence, and your benevolenc is still reserved for, dear Sir, your most affectionate, &c.
" SAM. Johnson.” The Reverend Mr. Wilson (3) having dedicated to him his “ Archæological Dictionary," that mark of respect was thus acknowledged :
LETLER 428. TO THE REV. MR. WILSON,
“ Dec. 31. 1782. “ REVEREND SIR, That I have long omitted to return you thanks for the honour conferred upon me by
-“ Johannes Jortin mortalis esse desiit, A. S. 1770, æt. 72." John Jortin ceased to be mortal, &c. — C.
(1) Jeremiah Markland was an eminent critic, particularly in Greek literature. He died in 1776, æt. 83. – C.
(2) Styan Thirlby; a critic of at least as much reputation as he deserves. He studied successively divinity, medicine, and law. He died in 1753, æt. 61. — C.
(3) A concise but very just character of Mr. Wilson is given by Dr. Whitaker in the dedication of a plate, in the History of Whalley. “Viro Reverendo Thomæ Wilson STB ecclesice de Clitheroe, ministr -sodali jucundissimo-apxaloloyw insigni.. felici juvenum institutori." He died in 1813, aged sixty-five; during about forty of which, he was laboriously occupied as the master of the grammar school of Clitheroe.-MARKLAND.