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1777.

which I return you my most hearty thanks; and after carefully reading it over again, shall deposit it in my little collection of choice books, next our worthy Ætat. 68. friend's Journey to Corsica.' As there are many things to admire in both performances, I have often wished that no Travels or Journeys should be published but those undertaken by persons of integrity and capacity, to judge well, and describe faithfully, and in good language, the situation, condition, and manners of the countries past through. Indeed our country of Scotland, in fpite of the union of the crowns, is still in most places so devoid of cloathing, or cover from hedges and plantations, that it was well you gave your readers a found monitoire with respect to that circumstance. The truths you have told, and the purity of the language in which they are expressed, as your Journey' is universally read, may and already appear to have a very good effect. For a man of my acquaintance, who has the largest nursery for trees and hedges in this country, tells me, that of late the demand upon him for these articles is doubled, and sometimes tripled. I have, therefore, listed Dr. Samuel Johnson in some of my memorandums of the principal planters and favourers of the enclosures, under a name which I took the liberty to invent from the Greek, Papadendrion. Lord Auchinleck and some few more are of the list. I am told that one gentleman in the shire of Aberdeen, viz. Sir Archibald Grant, has planted above fifty millions of trees' on a piece of very wild ground at Monimuik: I must enquire if he has fenced them well, before he enters my lift; for, that is the soul of enclosing. I began myself to plant a little, our ground being too valuable for much, and that is now fifty years ago; and the trees, now in my seventy-fourth year, I look

I up to with reverence, and thew them to my eldest son, now in his fifteenth year, that they are full the heighth of my country-house here, where I had the pleasure of receiving you, and hope again to have that satisfaction with our mutual friend, Mr. Boswell. I shall always continue with the truest

, esteem, dear Doctor,

~ Your much obliged,
" And obedient humble servant,

"ALEXANDER DICKS."

• For a character of this very amiable man, fee " Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides," 3d edit. p. 36.

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1777.

Ætat. 68.

TO James BOSWELL, Esq. « DEAR SIR,

“ It is so long since I heard any thing from you', that I am not eafy about it; write something to me next post. When you sent your last letter every thing seemed to be mending, I hope nothing has lately grown worse. I suppose young Alexander continues to thrive, and Veronica is now very pretty company. I do not suppose the lady is yet reconciled to me, yet let her know that I love her very well, and value her very

much. “ Dr. Blair is printing some sermons. If they are all like the first, which I have read, they are fermones aurei, ac auro magis aurei. It is excellently written both as to doctrine and language. Mr. Watson's book' seems to be much esteemed.

“ Poor Beauclerk still continues very ill. Langton lives on as he is used to do. His children are very pretty, and, I think, his lady loses her Scotch. Paoli I never fee. “ I have been so distressed by difficulty of breathing, that I loft, as was

, computed, six-and-thirty ounces of blood in a few days. I am better, but

not well.

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I wish you would be vigilant and get me Graham's · Telemachus' that was printed at Glasgow, a very little book, and · Johnstoni Poemata,' another little book, printed at Middleburg.

“ Mrs. Williams sends her compliments, and promises that when you come hither, she will accommodate you as well as ever she can in the old room. She wishes to know whether you sent her book to Sir Alexander Gordon.

“ My dear Boswell, do not neglect to write to me, for your kindness is one of the pleasures of my life, which I should be very sorry to lose. I am, Sir,

, " Your humble servant,

SAM. Johnson.”

" Feb. 18, 1777.

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To Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON. « MY DEAR SIR,

Edinburgh, Feb. 24, 1777. “ YOUR letter dated the 18th instant, I had the pleasure to receive last post. Although my late long neglect, or rather delay was truly culpable,

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, By the then course of the post, my long letter of the 14th had not yet reached him.
• Hiftory of Philip the Second.

Ætat. 68.

I am tempted not to regret it, fince it has produced me so valuable a proof 1777. of your regard. I did, indeed, during that inexcusable silence, fometimes divert the reproaches of my own mind, by fancying that I should hear again from you, inquiring with some anxiety about me, because, for aught you knew, I might have been ill.

“ You are pleafed to shew me, that my kindness is of some consequence to you. My heart is elated at the thought. Be assured, my dear Sir, that my affection and reverence for you are exalted and steady. I do not believe that a more perfect attachment ever existed in the history of mankind, And it is a noble attachment, for the attractions are Genius, Learning, and Piety.

“ Your difficulty of breathing alarms me, and brings into my imagination an event, which although in the natural course of things, I must expect at some period, I cannot view with composure.

« My wife is much honoured by what you say of her. She begs you may accept of her best compliments. She is to send you some marmalade of oranges of her own making.

u I ever am, my dear Sir,

« Your most obliged
« And faithful humble servant,

James Boswell."

TO JAMES Boswell, Esq. « DEAR SIR,

“ I have been much pleased with your late letter, and am glad that my old enemy, Mrs. Boswell, begins to feel some remorse. As to Miss Veronica's Scotch, I think it cannot be helped. An English maid you might easily have; but she would still imitate the greater number, as they would be likewise those whom she must most respect. Her dialect will not be grofs. Her Mamma has not much Scotch, and you have yourself very little. I hope she knows my name, and does not call me "Johnston. ^ The immediate cause of my writing is this :

-One Shaw, who seems a modest and a decent man, has written an Erfe Grammar, which a very learned Highlander, Macbean, has, at my request examined and approved.

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1777

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« The book is very little, but Mr. Shaw has been persuaded by his friends Arat. 68. to set it at half a guinea, though I had advised only a crown, and thought

myself liberal. You, whom the authour considers as a great encourager of
ingenious men, will receive a parcel of his proposals and receipts. I have
undertaken to give you notice of them, and to solicit your countenance. You
must ask no poor man, because the price is really too high. Yet such a
work deserves patronage.

“ It is proposed to augment our club from twenty to thirty, of which I am
glad; for as we have several in it whom I do not much like to confort with ',
I am for reducing it to a mere miscellaneous collection of conspicuous men,
without any determinate character.

* I am, dear Sir, ,

« Most affectionately yours,
u March 11, 1777.

SAM. JOHNSON.
My respects to Madam, to Veronica, to Alexander, to Euphemia, to
David.”

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Mr. BOSWELL to Dr. JOHNSON.

Edinburgh, April 4, 1777.
[After informing him of the death of my little son David, and that I could
not come to London this spring :-)

]
“ I think it hard that I should be a whole year without seeing you. May

"
I presume to petition for a meeting with you in the autumn? You have, I
believe, seen all the cathedrals in England, except that of Carlisle. If you
are to be with Dr. Taylor, at Ashbourne, it would not be a great journey to
come thither. We may pass a few moft agreeable days there by ourselves,
and I will accompany you a good part of the way to the fouthward again.
Pray think of this.

“ You forget that Mr. Shaw's Erse Grammar was put into your hands by
myself last year. Lord Eglintoune put it into mine. I am glad that Mr.
Macbean approves of it. I have received Mr. Shaw's Proposals for its pub-
lication, which I can perceive are written by the hand of a Master.

*

Pray get for me all the editions of Walton's Lives.' I have a notion that the re-publication of them with Notes will fall upon me, between Dr. Horne and Lord Hailes.”

? On account of their differing from him as to religion and politicks,

Mr.

Mr. Shaw's Proposals † for “An Analysis of the Scotch Celtick Language, were thus illuminated by the

pen

of Johnson :

1777

Ætat. 68.

« Though the Erse dialect of the Celtick language has, from the earliest times, been spoken in Britain, and still subsists in the northern parts and adjacent islands, yet, by the negligence of a people rather warlike than lettered, it has hitherto been left to the caprice and judgement of every speaker, and has floated in the living voice, without the steadiness of analogy or direction of rules. An Erse Grammar is an addition to the stores of literature; and its authour hopes for the indulgence always shewn to those that attempt to do what was never done before. If his work shall be found defective, it is at least all his own: he is not like other grammarians, a compiler or transcriber; what he delivers, he has learned by attentive observation among his countrymen, who perhaps will be themselves surprized to see that speech reduced to principles, which they have used only by imitation.

“ The use of this book will, however, not be confined to the mountains and islands; it will afford a pleasing and important subject of speculation, to those whose studies lead them to trace the affinity of languages, and the migrations of the ancient races of mankind.”

To Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON.

« MY DEAR SIR,

Glasgow, April 24, 1777. “OUR worthy friend Thrale's death having appeared in the newspapers, and been afterwards contradicted, I have been placed in a state of very uneasy uncertainty, from which I hoped to be relieved by you: but my hopes have as yet been vain. How could you omit to write to me on such an occasion ? I shall wait with anxiety.

" I am going to Auchinleck to stay a fortnight with my father. It is better not to be there very long at one time. But frequent renewals of attention are agreeable to him.

“ Pray tell me about this edition of “The English Poets, with a Preface, biographical and critical, to each Authour, by Samuel Johnson, LL. D.' which I fee advertised. I am delighted with the prospect of it. Indeed I am happy to feel that I am capable of being so much delighted with literature. But is not the charm of this publication chiefly owing to the magnum nomen in the front of it? “ What do you say of Lord Chesterfield's Memoirs and last Letters ?

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