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any warrant having been issued to apprehend the author of this pamphlet.
This jacobitical production obtained the sanction of the Tory party in general, and of Pope in particular; as appears from the following note concerning Johnson, copied with minute exactness by Mr. Boswell, from the original in the possession of Dr. Piercy.
This [London] is imitated by one Johnson, who put up for a publick school in Shropshire, but was disappointed; he has an infirmity of the convulsive kind, that attacks him sometimes, so as to make him a sad spectacle: Mr. P. from the merit of this work, which was all the knowledge he had of him, endeavoured to serve him without his own application, and wrote to my Lord Gower, but did not succeed-Mr. Johnson published afterwards another poem in Latin, with notes, the whole very humorous, called the Norfolk Prophecy?'
At the close of the year 1739, the friends of Savage commiserating his case, raised a subscription to enable that unfortunate genius to retire to Swansea; by which means Johnson was parted from his companion, and exempted from many temptations to dissipation and licentiousness, in which he indulged from his attachment to his friend, though contrary to the gravity of his own temper and disposition.
In the years 1740, 41, 42, and 43, he furnished for the Gentleman's Magazine' a variety of publications, besides the Parliamentary Debates:
among these were, the lives of several eminent men; an essay on the account of the conduct of the Duke of Marlborough, then the peculiar topic of conversation; and an advertisement for Osborne, concerning the Bibliotheca Harleiana, or a Catalogue of the Library of the Earl of Oxford.' -This was afterwards prefixed to the first volume of the catalogue, in which the Latin account of the books was written by him. Mr. Osborne purchased the library for 13,000l. a sum which, Mr. Oldys says, in one of his manuscripts, was not more than the binding of the books had cost; yet the slowness of the sale was such, that there was not so much gained by it. It has been confidently related, with many embellishments, that Johnson knocked Osborne down in his shop with a folio, and put his foot upon his neck-Johnson himself relates it differently to Mr. Boswell, Sir, he was impertinent to me, and I beat him; but it was not in his shop, it was in my own chamber.' This anecdote has been told to prove Johnson's ferocity; but the matter has been palliated by the friends of Johnson, who imputed it to the arrogant behaviour of the bookseller.
In 1744, he produced the Life of Savage, which he had announced his intention of writing in the "Gentleman's Magazine,' for August, 1743. This work did him infinite honour; being no sooner published, than the following liberal commendation was given of it by Fielding in the 'Champion,' which was copied in the "Gentleman's Magazine'
for April, and confirmed by the approbation of the publick.
"This pamphlet is, without flattery to its author, as just and well written a piece, as any of its kind I ever saw: it is certainly penned with equal accuracy and spirit; of which I am so much the better judge, as I know many of the facts to be strictly true and very fairly related. It is a very amusing, and withal a very instructive and valua ble performance; the author's observations are short, significant, and just, and his narrative remarkably smooth and well disposed; his reflections, open to all the recesses of the human heart; and, in a word, a more just or pleasant-a more engaging, or a more instructive treatise in the excellencies and defects of human nature, is scarce to be found in our own, or perhaps any other language.'
Johnson, great as his abilities confessedly were, had now lived half his days to very little purpose: he had toiled and laboured, yet as he himself expresses it, it was 'to provide for the day that was passing over him.' Sir John Hawkins has preserved a list of literary projects, of no less than thirty-nine articles, which he had formed in the course of his studies; but, such was his want of encouragement, or the versatility of his temper, that not one of all those projects was ever executed. He now formed a plan for a new edition of Shakespeare; but in this he was anticipated by Warburton, of whose competency for the undertaking the publick had then a very high opinion.
The preparatory pamphlet however, which Johnson had published upon the occasion, was highly commended by that supercilious churchman, who spoke of it as the work of a man of great parts and genius. Johnson ever acknowledged the obligation with gratitude, 'He praised me,' said he, 'at a time when praise was of value to me.'
In 1746 he formed and digested the plan of his great philological work, which might then be well esteemed one of the desiderata of English literature: it was announced to the publick in 1747, in a pamphlet entitled 'The plan of a Dictionary of the English language, addressed to the Right Honourable Philip Dormer, Earl of Chesterfield, one of his Majesty's principal secretaries of state.' The hint of undertaking this work, is said to have been first suggested to Johnson by Dodsley, who contracted with him for the execution of it, in conjunction with Mr. Charles Hitch, Mr. Andrew Millar, the two Messrs. Longman, and the two Messrs Knapton; the price stipulated was 15751. The cause of its being inscribed to Lord Chesterfield is thus related: 'I had neglected,' said Johnson," to write it by the time appointed: Dodsley suggested a desire to have it addressed to Lord Chesterfield-I laid hold of this as a pretext for the delay, that it might be better done, and let Dodsley have his desire.'
To enable him to complete this vast undertaking, he hired an house, fitted up one of the upper rooms after the manner of a counting house,
and employed six amanuenses there in transcribing: the words, partly taken from other dictionaries, and partly supplied by himself, having been first written down with spaces between them; he delivered in writing their etymologies, definitions, and various significations; the authorities were copied from the books themselves, in which he had marked the several passages with a black lead pencil, the traces of which could easily be effaced.
His fortunate pupil Garrick, having in the course of this year become joint patentee and manager of Drury Lane theatre, Johnson furnished him with a prologue at the opening of it, which for just and manly criticism, as well as poetical excellence, is unrivalled in that species of composition.
In 1748, he formed a club, that met at a chophouse in Ivy Lane every Tuesday evening, with a view to enjoy literary discussion, and the pleasure of animated relaxation: they used to dispute about the moral sense and the fitness of things, but Johnson was not uniform in his opinions, contending as often for victory as for truth: this inclination prevailed with him throughout life.
The year following, he published 'The Vanity of Human Wishes, being the tenth Satire of Juvenal imitated,' with his name. This poem is characterized by profound reflection, more than pointed spirit; it has however been always held in high esteem-The instances of the variety of