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faithful and discreet person with the care and selection of them; instead of which he, in a precipitate manner, burnt large masses of them, with little regard, as I apprehend, to discrimination. Not that I suppose we have thus been
pounds payable during the life of me and my servant, Francis Barber, and the life of the survivor of us, to Mr. George Stobbs, 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 fitty pounds, and the bond for securing the said sum, shall go to the said Francis Barber; and I hereby give and bequeath to him the same, in lieu of the bequest in his favour contained in my said will. And I hereby empower my executors to deduct and retain all expenses that shall or may be incurred in the execution of my said will, or of this codicil thereto, vutof 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 executors and ad. ministrators. 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
“ John COPLEY.
“ HENRY COLE." Upon these testamentary deeds it is proper to make a few observations.
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 pollutcd 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. 42.4 The same word is used in the will of Dr. Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln, who was piety itself.
* Francis Barber, Dr. Johnson's principal legatee, died in the infirmary at Stafford, after undergoing a painful operation, February 13, 1801. Malone.
+ The quotations from the Scriptures in Johnson's Dictionary sufficiently 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 world 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 Joshua Reynolds's paper the words, “and pollute his canvas with deforminy."-- Croker.
deprived of any compositions which he had ever 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.
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 of 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 ponnds which Johnson had lent to that gentleman. Sir John seems not a little angry at this bequest, and mutters “a caveat against ostentatious bounty and favour to negroes.” But surely, when a man has money entirely of his own acquisition, 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 Lichfield, where he might pass the rest of his days in comfort.
It has been objected that Johnson 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. Burney, Mr. Hector, Mr. Murphy, the author of this work, and others who were intimate with him, are not to be found in bis will. This may be accounted for by considering, that as he was very near his dissolution at the time, he probably men. tioned 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 names. 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. 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 quidem videtur diligenter tractasse ; spero non inauditus.''
Two very valuable articles, I am sure, we have lost, which were two quarto volumes, 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 answered, “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.” ?
During his last illness Johnson experienced the steady and kind attachment of his numerous friends. Mr. Hoole has drawn up a narrative 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.
"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.""
i 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 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 indig. nation, 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, I 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 Jetter. I could almost say, Melius est sic ponituisse quam non errasse." The agitation into which Johnson was thrown by this incident probably made him hastily burn those precious records, which must ever be regretted.
* This narrative is printed in the Appendix to this volume.-Editor.
Nobody was more attentive to him than Mr. Langton," to whom he tenderly said, Te teneam moriens deficiente manu. And I think it highly to the honour of Mr. Windham, that his important occupations as an active statesman did not prevent him from paying assiduous respect to the dying sage whom he revered. Mr. Langton informs me, that “one day he found Mr. Burke and four or five more friends sitting with Johnson. Mr. Burke said to him, 'I am afraid, Sir, such a number of us may be oppressive to you.'—*No, Sir,' said Johnson, it is not so; and I must be in a wretched state indeed when your company would not be a delight to me.' Mr. Burke, in a tremulous voice, expressive of being very tenderly affected, replied, “My dear Sir, you have always been too good to me.' Immediately afterwards he went away. This was the last circumstance in the acquaintance of these two eminent men.”
The following particulars of his conversation within a few days of his death I give on the authority of Mr. John Nichols.
“ He said that the Parliamentary Debates were the only part of his writings which then gave him any compunction : but that at the time he wrote them he had no conception he was imposing upon the world, thcugh they were frequently written from very slender materials, and often from none at all,--the mere coinage of his own imagination. He never wrote any part of his works with equal velocity. Three columns of the magazine in an hour was no uncommon effort, which was faster than most persons could have transcribed that quantity.
“Of his friend Cave he always spoke with great affection. “Yet,' said he, 'Cave (who never looked out of his window but with a view to the Gentleman's Magazine) was a penurious paymaster; he would contract for lines by the hundred, and expect the long hundred; but he was a good man, and always delighted to have his friends at his table.'
? Mr. Langton survived Johnson several years. He died at Southampton, December 18, 1801, aged sixty-five.—Malone.
“I am sure you will honour him, when I tell you he is come on purpose to stay with Dr. Johnson, and that during his illness. He has taken a little lodging in Fleet Street, in order to be near, to devote himself to him.”—Hannah More, letter to her sister. Memoirs, vol. i., p. 310.-Editor.
“When talking of a regular edition of his own works, he said that he had power (from the booksellers) to print such an edition, if his hcalth admitted it; but had no power to assign over any edition, unless he could add notes, and so alter them as to make them new works; which his state of health forbade him to think of. •I may possibly live,' said he, or rather breathe, three days, or perhaps three weeks; but find myself daily and gradually weaker.'
“He said at another time, three or four days only before his death, speaking of the little fear he had of undergoing a chirurgical operation, ‘I would give one of these legs for a year more of life, I mean of comfortable life, not such as that which I now suffer; '—and lamented much his inability to read during his hours of restlessness. “I used formerly,' he added, 'when sleepless in bed, to read like a Turk.'
“Whilst confined by his last illness, it was his regular practice to have the church service read to him by some attentive and friendly divine. The Rev. Mr. Hoole performed this kind office in my presence for the last time, when, by his own desire, no more than the Litany was read; in which his responses were in the deep and sonorous voice which Mr. Boswell has occasionally noticed, and with the most profound devotion that can be imagined. His hearing not being quite perfect, he, more than once interrupted Mr. Hoole with, ‘Louder, my dear Sir, louder, I entreat you, or you pray in vain !'--and, when the service was ended, he, with great earnestness, turned round to an excellent lady who was present, saying, “I thank you, Madam, very heartily, for your kindness in joining me in this solemn exercise. Live well, I conjure you; and you will not feel the compunctiou at the last which I now feel.' So truly humble were the thoughts which this great and good man entertained of his own approaches to religious perfection.
“He was earnestly invited to publish a volume of 'Devotional Exercises ;' but this (though he listened to the proposal with much complacency, and a large sum of money was offered for it) be declined, from motives of the sincerest modesty.
“He seriously entertained the thought of translating Thuanus.' He often talked to me on the subject; and once, in particular, when I was rather wishing that he would favour the world, and gratify his sovereign, by a Life of Spenser (which he said that he would readily have done had he been able to obtain any new