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The consideration of numerous papers of which he was possessed seems to have struck Johnson's mind with a sudden anxiety; and as they were in great confusion, it is much to be lamented that he
in the county of Stafford, with the appurtenances in the tenure and occupation of Mrs. Bond, of Lich tield, aforesaid, or of Mr. Hinchman, her under.tenant, to my executors, in trust, to sell and dispose of the same; and the money arising from such sale I give and bequeath as follows, viz. to Thomas and Benjamin, the sons of Fisher Johnson, late of Leicester, and
Whiting, daughter of Thomas Johnson, late of Coventry, and the grand-daughter of the said Thomas Johnson, one full and equal fourth part each ; but in case there shall be more grand-daughters than one of the said Thomas Johnson living at the time of my decease, I give and bequeath the part or share of that one to and equally between such grand-daughters. I give and bequeath to the Rev. Mr. Rogers, of Berkley, near Froom, in the county of Somerset, the sum of one hundred pounds, requesting him to apply the same towards the maintenance of Elizabeth Herne, a lunatic. I also give and bequeath to my god-children, the son and daughter of Mauritius Lowe, painter, each of them one hundred pounds of my stock in the three per cent. consolidated annuities, to be applied and disposed of by and at the discretion of my executors, in the education or settlement in the world of them my said legatees. Also I give and bequeath to Sir John Hawkins, one of my executors, the Annales Ecclesiastici of Baronius, and Holinshed's and Stowe's Chronicles, and also an octavo Common Prayer-Book To Bennet Langton, Esq. I give and bequeath my Polyglot Bible. To Sir Joshua Reynolds my great French Dictionary, by Martinière; and my own copy of my folio English Dic. tionary, of the last revision. To Dr. William Scott, one of my executors, the Dictionnaire de Commerce, and Lectius's edition of the Greek Poets To Mr. Windham, Poetæ Græci Heroici per Henricum Stephanum. To the Rev. Mr. Strahan, vicar of Islington, in Middlesex, Mill's Greek Testament, Beza's Greek Testament, by Stephens, all my Latin Bibles, and my Greek Bible, by Wechlius. To Dr. Heberden, Dr. Brocklesby, Dr. Butter, and Mr. Cruikshank, the surgeon who attended me, Mr. Holder, my apothecary, Gerard Hamilton, Esq., Mrs. Gardiner, of Snow-hill, Mrs. Frances Reynolds, Mr. Hoole, and the Reverend Mr. Hoole, his son, each a book at their election, to keep as a token of remembrance. I also give and bequeath to Mr. John Desmoulins, two hundred pounds consolidated three per cent. annuities; and to Mr. Sastres, the Italian master, the sum of five pounds, to be laid out in books of piety for his own use. And whereas the said Bennet Langton hath agreed, in consideration of the sum of seven hundred and fifty pounds, mentioned in my will to be in his hands, to grant and secure an annuity of seventy pounds payable during the life of me and my servant, Francis Barber, and the life of the survivor of us, to Mr. George Stubbs, in trust for us; my mind and will is, that in case of my decease before the said agreement shall be perfected, the said sum of seven hundred and fifty pounds, and the bond for securing the said sum, shall go to the said Francis Barber; and I hereby give avid bequeath to him the same, in lieu of the bequest in his favour contained in my sair will. And I hereby empower my executors to deduct and retain all ex penses that shall or may be incurred in the execution of my said will, or of this codicil thereto, out of such estate and effects as I shall die possessed of. All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate and effects I give and bequeath to my said executors, in trust for the said Francis Barber, his
had not instructed some faithful and discreet per: son with the care and selection of them ; instead of
executors and administrators. Witness my hand and seal, this ninth day of December, 1784.
“ Sam. JOHNSON, (L. S.) “ Signed, sealed, published, declared, and delivered, by the said
Samuel Johnson, as and for a codicil to his last will and testa.
" JOHN COPLEY.
« HENRY COLE." Upon these testamentary deeds it is proper to make a few oh. servations. His express declaration with his dying breath as a Christian, as it had been often practised in such solemn writings, was of real consequence from this great man, for the conviction of a mind equally acute and strong might well overbalance the doubts of others who were his contemporaries. The expression polluted may, to some, convey an impression of more than ordinary contamination; but that is not warranted by its genuine meaning, as appears from “ The Rambler,” No. 42. a The same word is used in the will of Dr. Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln, who was piety itself. His legacy of two hundred pounds to the representatives of Mr. Innys, bookseller, in St. Paul's Churchyard, proceeded from a very worthy motive. He told Sir John Hawkins that his father having become a bankrupt, Mr. Innys had assisted him with money or credit to continue his business.' “ This,” said he,“ I consider as an obligation on me to be grateful to his descendants." The amount of his property proved to be considerably more than he had supposed it to be. Sir John Hawkins estimates the bequest to Francis Barber at a sum little short of fifteen hundred pounds, including an annuity of seventy pounds to be paid to him by Mr. Langton, in consideration of seven hundred and fifty pounds which Johnson had lent to that gentleman. Sir John seems not a little anary at this bequest, and muiters“ a caveat against ostentathuis bounty and favour to negroes.” But surely, when a man has money entirely of his own acquisition, especially when he has no near relations, he may, without blame, dispose of it as he pleases, and with great propriety to a faithful servant. Mr. Barber, by the recommendation of his master, retired to Lich.
· The quotations from the Scriptures in Johnson's Dictionary suffi. ciently justify the use of this word; but it does not occur in No. 42. of The Rambler. In the Journey to the Hebrides he uses the word familiarly, and talks of“ polluting the breakfast table with slices of cheese.” Mr. Boswell may perhaps have meant the Idler, No. 82., when Johnson added to Sir oshua Reynolds's paper the words, '“ and povete his canvas with deformo ty.”
which he, in a precipitate manner, burnt large masses of them, with little regard, as I appreheng.
field, where he might pass the rest of his days in comfort.“ It has been objected that Johnson has omitted many of his best friends, when leaving books to several as tokens of his last remembrance. The names of Dr. Adams, Dr. Taylor, Dr. Bur. ney, Mr. Hector, Mr. Murphy, the author of this work, and others who were intimate with him, are not to be found in his will. This may be accounted for by considering, that as he was very near his dissolution at the time, he probably mentioned such as happened to occur to him; and that he may have recollected that he had formerly shown others such proofs of his regard, that it was not necessary to crowd his will with their
Mrs. Lucy Porter was much displeased that nothing was left to her; but besides what I have now stated, she should have considered that she had left nothing to Johnson by her will, which was made during his lifetime, as appeared at her decease. His enumerating several persons in one group, and leaving them “ each a book at their election,” might possibly have given occasion to a curious question as to the order of choice, had they not luckily fixed on different books. His library, though by no means handsome in its appearance, was sold by Mr. Christie for two hundred and forty-seven pounds, nine shillings; many people being desirous to have a book which had belonged to Johnson.b In many of them he had written little notes : sometimes tender memorials of his departed wife; as “ This was dear Tetty's book :” sometimes occasional remarks of different sorts. Mr. Lysons, of Clifford's Inn, has favoured me with the two following : “ In · Holy Rules and Helps to Devotion, by Bryan Duppa, Lord Bishop of Winton • Preces quidam videtur diligenter tractasse ; spero non inau ditus.' In · The Rosicrucian infallible Axiomata, by John Heydon, Gent.,' prefixed to which are some verses addressed to the author, signed Ambr. Waters, A. M. Coll. Ex. Oxon. «These Latin verses were written to Hobbes by Bathurst, upon his Treatise on Human Nature, and have no relation to the book. - An odd fraud.'”
* Francis Barber, Dr. Johnson's principal legatee, died in the infirmary at Stafford, after undergoing a painful operation, February 13. 1801. - M. - In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1793, p. 619. there are some anecdotes of Barber, in which it is said that he was then forty-eight years old. Mr. Chalmers thinks that he was about fifty-six when he died; but as he en. tered Johnson's service in 1752, and could scarcely have been then under twelve or fourteen years of age, it is probable that he was somewhat older. -C.
• Mr. Windham bought Markland's Statius, and wrote in the fire page, Fuit e libris clarissimi Samuelis Johnson." It now, by the favour & Mr. Jesse, who bought it at Mr. Windham's sale, belongs to me.-C.
to discrimination. Not that I suppose we have thus been deprived of any compositions which he had aver intended for the public eye; but from what escaped the flames I judge that many curious circumstances, relating both to himself and other literary characters, have perished.
Two very valuable articles, I am sure, we have lost, which were two quarto volumes (1), containing a full, fair, and most particular account of his own life, from his earliest recollection. I owned to him, that having accidentally seen them, I had read a great deal in them; and apologising for the liberty I had taken, asked him if I could help it. He placidly answe
wered, “ Why, Sir, I do not think you could have helped it.” I said that I had, for once in my life, felt half an inclination to commit theft. It had come into my mind to carry off those two volumes, and never see him more. Upon my inquiring how this would have affected him, “ Sir," said he, “ I believe I should have gone mad.” ()
(1) There can be little doubt that these two quarto volumes were of the same kind as, if they were not actually transcripts of, the various little diaries which fell into the hands of Dr. Strahan and others; the strong expression, that he would have “gone mad” had they been purloined, confirms my belief that Dr. Johnson never could have intended that these diaries should have been published. I am confident that they were given to Dr. Strahan inadvertently, Johnson meaning to give the prayers alone, and I suspect that it was by accident only they escaped destruction on the 1st of December. -C.
(2) One of these volumes, Sir John Hawkins informs us, he put into his pocket; for which the excuse he states is, that he meant to preserve it from falling into the hands of a person whom he describes so as to make it sufficiently clear who is meant (Mr. George Steevens) : “ having strong reasons,” said he, “to suspect that this man might find and make an ill use of the book." Why Sir John should suppose that the gentleman
During his last illness Johnson experienced the steady and kind attachment of his numerous friends. Mr. Hoole has drawn up a narrative (1) of what passed in the visits which he paid him during that time, from the 10th of November to the 13th of December, the day of his death, inclusive, and has favoured me with a perusal of it, with permission to make extracts, which I have done.
Nobody was more attentive to him than Mr. Langton (), to whom he tenderly said, Te teneam
alluded to would act in this manner, he has not thought fit to explain, But what he did was not approved of by Johnson ; who, upon being acquainted of it without delay by a friend, expressed great indignation, and warmly insisted on the book being delivered up; and, afterwards, in the supposition of his missing it, without knowing by whom it had been taken, he said, “ Sir, should have gone out of the world distrusting half mankind." Sir John next day wrote a letter to Johnson, assigning reasons for his conduct; upon which Johnson observed to Mr. Langton, “ Bishop Sanderson could not have dictated a better letter. I could almost say, Melius est sic' penituisse quam non errâsse." The agitation into which Johnson was thrown by this incidert probably made him hastily burn those precious records, which must ever be regretted. B.-We shall see presently, in Haw kins's Diary (1st and 5th of December), more on the subject : but it is not certain that the volume which Hawkins took was one of these two quartos; and it is certain that a destruction of papers took place a day or two before that event. Johnson had really some reason for “distrusting mankind,” when, of two dear friends, he found one half-inclined to commit a theft, and another more than half-committing it. Bishop Sanderson is referred to, because he was an eminent casuist, and treated of cases of conscience. - C. (See JOHNSONIANA, post.]
(1) This journal has been since printed at length in the European Magazine for September, 1799. As it could not be introduced in this place without dislocating Mr. Boswell's extracts and wholly deranging his narrative, I have thought it better to reserve it for the Appendix. It will be read with interest, - C. — (See JOHNSONIANA, post.]
(2) Mr. Langton survived Johnson several years. He died at Southampton, December 18. 1801, aged sixty-five. - M,