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.“ The shepherd in Virgil grew at last acquainted with Love, and found him a native of the rocks.
" Is not a Patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, cncumbers him with help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obli. gations where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling that the public should consider mc as owing that to a Patron, which Providence has enabled me to do for myself. .
" Having carried on my work thus far, with so little obligations to any favourer of learning, I shall not be disappointed though I shall conclude it, if less be possible, with less ; for I have been long wakened from that dream of hope, in which I once boasted myself with so much exultation,
" My Lord,
"Most obedient servant,
" SAMUEL JOHNSON."
Johnson having now esplicitly avowed his opinion of Lord Chesterfield, did not refrain from expressing himself concerning that nobleman with pointed freedon: “ This man (said he) I thought had been a Lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among Lords!" : And when his Letters to his natural son were published, he observed, that “ they teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing-master.” ...
In 1756, he resumed his scheme of giving an edition of Shakspeare with notes. He issued proposals of considerable length, in which he showed that he perfectly well knew what a variety of research such an undertaking required; but his indolence prevented him from pursuing it with that diligence which alone can
collect those scattered facts that genius, however acute, ..
« He for subscribers bates his hook,
Forbids the cheating of our friends" Sunday, July 31, 1763, Mr. B. told him he had been that morning at a meeting of the people called Quakers, where he had heard a woman preach. Johnson said, “ Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well ; but we are surprized to find it done at all."
The year 1765 was distinguished by his being introduced into the family of Mr. Thrale, one of the most eminent brewers in England, and Member of Parliament for the Borough of Southwark. Foreigners are not a little amazed when they hear of brewers, distillers, and men in similar departments of trade, 'held forth as persons of considerable consequence. Johnson used to give this account of the rise of Mr. Thrale's father: “ He worked at six shillings a week for twenty years in the great brewery which was afterwards his own. The proprietor of it had an only daughter, who was married to a nobleman. It was not fit that a Peer should continue the business. · On the old man's death, therefore, the brewery was to be sold. To find a purchaser for so large a property was a difficult matter ; and after some time, it was suggested, that it would be advisable to treat with Thrale, a sensible, active, honest man, who had been long employed in the house,
and to transfer the whole to him for thirty thousand pounds,, security being taken upon the property. This was accordingly settled. In eleven years Thrale paid the purchase-money. He acquired a large fortune, and lived to be Member of Parliament for Southwark. But what was most remarkable, was the liberality with which he used his riches. He gave his son and daughter the best education. The esteem which his good conduct procured him from the nobleman who had married his master's daughter, made him to be treated with much attention ; and his son, both at school and at the university of Oxford, associated with young men of the first rank. His allowance from his father, after he left college, was splendid ; no less than a thousand a year. This, in a man who had risen as old Thrale did, was a very extraordinary instance of generosity. He used to say, “ If this young dog does not find so much after I am gone, as he expects, let him remember that he has had a great deal in my own time.” - Mr. Thrale had married Miss Hesther Lynch Salusbury, of good Welsh extraction, a lady of lively talents improved by education, That Johnson's introduction into Mr. Thrale's family, which contributed so much to the happiness of his life, was owing to her de: sire for his conversation, is the most probable and general supposition. But it is not the truth. Mr. Murphy, who was intimate with Mr. Thrale, having spoken very highly of Dr. Johnson, he was requested to inake them acquainted. This being mentioned to Johnson, he accepted of an invitation to dinner at Mr. Thrale's, and was so much pleased with his reception, both by Mr. and Mrs. Thrale, and they so much pleased with him, that his invitations to their house were more and more frequent, till at last he became one of the family, and an apartment was appropriated: to him both in their house in Southwark, and in their villa at Streatham. .. · Nothing could be more fortunate for Johnson than: this connection. He had at Mr. Thrale's all the comforts and even luxuries of life ; his melancholy D !
was diverted, and his irregular habits lessened, by association with an agreeable and well ordered family. He was treated with the utmost respect, and even affection. The vivacity of Mrs. Thrale's literary talk roused him to cheerfulness and exertion, even when they were alone. But this was not often the case ; for he found here a constant succession of what gave him the highest enjoy:nent, the society of the learned, the witty, and the eminent in every way, who were assembled in numerous companies, called forth his wonderful powers, and gratified him with admiration, to which no man could be insensible.
In the October of this year he at length gave to the world his edition of Shakspeare, which, if it had no other merit bät that of producing his Preface, in which the excellencies and defects of that immortal bard are displayed with a masterly hand, the nation would have had no reason to complain. A blind, indiscriininate admiration of Slrakspeare had exposed the British nation to the ridicule of foreigners. Johnson, by candidly admitting the faults of his poet, had the more credit in bestowing on him deserved and indisputable praise ; and doubtless none of all his panegyrists have, done him half so much honour.
Trinity College, Dublin, at this time surprised Johnson with a spontaneous compliment of the highest acadernical honours, by crcating him Doctor of Laws.
This unsolieited mark of distinction, conferred on so great a literary character, did much honourto the judoment and liberal spirit of that learned body.
He used to say of Goldsmith's Traveller, " There has not been so fine a poem since Pope's time."
And here it is proper to settle, with authentic precision, what has long floated in public report, as to Johnson's being himself the author of a considerable part of that poem, But in the year 1783, hc marked with a pencil the lines which he had furnished, which are only line 420 :
. “ To stop too fearful, and too faint to go
and the concluding ten lines, except the last couplet but one, distinguished by the Italic characters :
Of the “ Deserted Village," he furnished the four following, which are the last:
• Vír. Cuthbert Shaw, alike distinguished by his genius, misfortunes, and misconduct, pullished, in 1766, a Poem, called “ The Race, by Mercurius. Spur, esq." in which he whimsically made the living poets of England contend for pre-eminence of fame by
: “ Prove by their heels the prowess of the head." 3' ?