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afforded you an amusement very seasonable at present, and useful for the 1776. whole of life. I am, I confess, very angry that you manage yourself so Ærat. 67. ill.

“ I do not now say any more, than that I am, with great kindness and fincerity, dear Sir,

“ Your humble servant, “ July 2, 1776.

SAM. Johnson. " « It was last year determined by Lord Mansfield, in the Court of King's Bench, that a negro cannot be taken out of the kingdom without his own consent.”


Dr. JOHNSON to Mr. Boswell. « DEAR SIR,

“ I MAKE haste to write again, left my last letter should give you too much pain. If you are really oppressed with overpowering and involuntary melancholy, you are to be pitied rather than reproached.

“ Now, my dear Bozzy, let us have done with quarrels and with censure. Let me know whether I have not sent you a pretty library. There are, perhaps, many books among them which you need never read through; but there are none which it is not proper for you to know, and sometimes to consult. Of these books, of which the use is only occasional, it is often fufficient to know the contents, that, when any question arises, you may know where to look for information.

“ Since I wrote, I have looked over Mr. Maclaurin's plea, and think it excellent. How is the suit carried on? If by subscription, I commission you to contribute, in my name, what is proper. Let nothing be wanting in such a case. Dr. Drummond', I fee, is superseded. His father would have grieved; but he lived to obtain the pleasure of his son's election, and died before that pleasure was abated.

Langton's lady has brought him a girl, and both are well; I dined with him the other day.

“ It vexes me to tell you, that on the evening of the 29th of May I was seized by the gout, and am not quite well. The pain has not been violent,

· The son of Johnson's old friend, Mr. William Drummond. (See Vol. I. p.286.) He was a young man of such distinguished inerit, that he was nominated to one of the medical professor, ships in the College of Edinburgh, without solicitation, while he was at Naples. Having other views, he did not accept of the honour, and soon afterwards died,

1776. but the weakness, and tenderness were very troublesome, and what is said to be krat. 67. very uncommon, it has not alleviated my otber disorders. Make use of

youth and health while you have them; make my compliments to Mrs,
Boswell. I am, my dear Sir,

" Your most affectionate
" July 6, 1776.

Sam. JOHNson."

Mr. Boswell to Dr. JOHNSON.

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Edinburgh, July 18, 1776.
« YOUR letter of the second of this month was rather a harsh medi-

cine; but I was delighted with that spontaneous tenderness, which, a few days
afterwards, sent forth such balsam as your next brought me. I found myself
for some time so ill that all I could do was to preserve a decent appearance,
while all within was weakness and distress. Like a reduced garrison that has
some spirit left, I hung out flags, and planted all the force I could muster,
upon the walls. I am now much better, and I sincerely thank you for your
kind attention and friendly counsel.

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“ Count Manucci came here last week from travelling in Ireland. I

. I have shewn him what civilities I could on his own account, your's, and on that of Mr. and Mrs. Thrale. He has had a fall from his horse, and been much hurt. I regret this unlucky accident, for he seems to be a very amiable man.“

As the evidence of what I have mentioned at the beginning of this year,
I select from his private register the following passage:

July 25, 1776. O God, who haft ordained that whatever is to be
desired should be fought by labour, and who, by thy blessing, bringest honest
labour to good effect, look with mercy upon my studies and endeavours.
Grant me, O LORD, to design only what is lawful and right; and afford me
calmness of mind, and steadiness of purpose, that I may so do thy will in
this short life, as to obtain happiness in the world to come, for the sake of
Jesus CHRIST our Lord. Amen?."

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* A Florentine nobleman, mentioned by Johnson, in his “ Notes of his Tour in France." I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with him in London, in the spring of this year. . 3 Prayers and Meditations, p. 151.


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It appears from a note subjoined, that this was composed when he 1776. “purposed to apply vigorously to study, particularly of the Greek and Italian Ærac. 07. tongues."

Such a purpose, so expressed, at the age of sixty-seven, is admirable and encouraging; and it must impress all the thinking part of my readers with a

; consolatory confidence in habitual devotion, when they see a man of such enlarged intellectual powers as Johnson, thus in the genuine earnestness of secrecy, imploring the aid of that Supreme Being, “ from whom cometh down every good and every perfect gift.”

Mr. Boswell to Dr. JOHNSON.

Edinburgh, August 30, 1776. [After giving him an account of my having examined the chests of books which he had sent to me, and which contained what may be truly called a numerous and miscellaneous Stall Library, thrown together at random :-)

“ Lord Hailes was against the decree in the case of my client, the minister, not that he justified the minister, but because the parishioner both provoked and retorted. I sent his Lordship your able argument upon the case for his perusal. His observation upon it in a letter to me was, “Dr. Johnson's Suasorium is pleasantly + and artfully composed. I suspect, however, that he has not convinced himself; for, I believe that he is better read in ecclesiastical history, than to imagine that a Bishop or a Presbyter has a right to begin censure or discipline è cathedra.'

« For the honour of Count Manucci, as well as to observe that exactness of truth which you have taught me, I must correct what I said in a former letter. He did not fall from his horse, which might have been an imputation on his skill as an officer of cavalry; his horse fell with him.

“ I have, since I saw you, read every word of Granger's Biographical History.” It has entertained me exceedingly, and I do not think him the Whig that you supposed. Horace Walpole's being his patron is, indeed, ner good sign of his political principles. But he denied to Lord Mountstuart

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* Why his Lordship uses the epithet pleasantly, when speaking of a grave piece of reasoning, I cannot conceive. But different men have different notions of pleasantry. I happened to fit by a gentleman one evening at the Opera-house in London, who, at the moment when Medea appeared to be in great agony at the thought of killing her children, turned to me with a smile, and said, " funny enough."

s Dr. Johnson afterwards told me, that he was of opinion that a clergyman had this right. Vol. II. O


1776. that he was a Whig, and said he had been accused by both parties of

parÆtat. 67. tiality. . It seems he was like Pope,

" While Tories call me Whig, and Whigs a Tory.'
I wish you would look more into his book; and as Lord Mountstuart wilhes
much to find a proper person to continue the work upon Granger's plan, and
has desired I would mention it to you, if such a man occurs, please to let me
know. His Lordship will give him generous encouragement.”

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I again wrote to Dr. Johnson on the 21st of October, informing him, that my father had, in the most liberal manner, paid a large debt for me, and that I had now the happiness of being upon very good terms with him; to which he returned the following answer :

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TO JAMES Boswell, Esq. " DEAR SIR,

“ I had great pleasure in hearing that you are at last on good terms
with your father. Cultivate his kindness by all honest and manly means. Life
is but short; no time can be afforded but for the indulgence of real sorrow, or
contests upon questions seriously momentous.

Let us not throw any
days away upon useless resentment, or contend who shall hold out longest in
stubborn malignity. It is best not to be angry, and best, in the next place,
to be quickly reconciled. May you and your father pass the remainder of
your time in reciprocal benevolence !

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“ Do you ever hear from Mr. Langton? I visit him sometimes, but he does not talk. I do not like his scheme of life; but, as I am not permitted to understand it, I cannot set any thing right that is wrong. His children are sweet babies.

“ I hope my irreconcileable enemy, Mrs. Boswell, is well. Desire her
not to transmit her malevolence to the young people. Let me have Alexander,
and Veronica, and Eupheinia, for my friends.

“ Mrs. Williams, whom you may reckon as one of your well-wishers, is
in a feeble and languishing state, with little hope of growing better. She
went for some part of the autumn into the country, but is little benefited ;
and Dr. Lawrence confesses that his art is at an end. Death is, however, at a
a distance; and what more than that can we say of ourselves ? I am sorry for
her pain, and more sorry for her decay. Mr. Levett is found, wind and limb.

" I was


Ætat. 67.

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I was fome weeks this autumn at Brighthelmston.

The place was very dull, and I was not well : the expedition to the Hebrides was the most pleasant journey that I ever made. Such an effort annually would give the world a little diversification.

Every year, however, we cannot wander, and must therefore endeavour to spend our time at home as well as we can. I believe it is best to throw life into a method, that every hour may bring its employment, and every employment have its hour. Xenophon observes, in his “ Treatise of Oeconomy,' that if every thing be kept in a certain place, when any thing is worn out or consumed, the vacuity which it leaves will shew what is wanting; fo if

every part

of time has its duty, the hour will call into remembrance its proper engagement.

" I have not practised all this prudence myself, but'I have suffered much for want of it; and I would have you, by timely recollection and steady resolution, escape from those evils which have lain heavy upon me.

I am, my dearest Boswell,

« Your most humble servant, “ Bolt-court, Nov. 16, 1776.

SÁM. JOHNson.”

On the 16th of November I informed him that Mr. Strahan had sent me twelve copies of the “ Journey to the Western Inands,” handsomely bound, instead of the twenty copies which were stipulated, but which, I supposed, were to be only in sheets; requested to know how they should be distributed : and mentioned that I had another son born to me, who was named David, and was a sickly infant.


“ I HAVE been for some time ill of a cold, which, perhaps, I made an excuse to myself for not writing, when in reality I knew not what to say.

“ The books you must at last distribute as you think best, in my name, or your own, as you are inclined, or as you judge most proper. Every body cannot be obliged, but I wish that nobody may be offended. Do the best you can.

“ I congratulate you on the increase of your family, and hope that little David is by this time well, and his mamma perfectly recovered. I am much pleased to hear of the re-establishment of kindness between you and your father. Cultivate his paternal tenderness as much as you can.

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