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of Dedications for others. Some of these, the persons who were favoured with them are unwilling should be mentioned, from a too anxious apprehension, as I think, that they might be suspected of having received larger assistance'; and some, after all the diligence I have bestowed, have escaped my enquiries. He told me, a great many years ago, he believed he had dedicated to all the Royal Family round ';' and it was indifferent to him what was the subject of the work dedicated, provided it were innocent. He once dedicated some Musick for the German Flute to Edward, Duke of York. In writing Dedications for others, he considered himself as by no means speaking his own sentiments.
Notwithstanding his long silence, I never omitted to write to him when I had any thing worthy of communicating. I generally kept copies of my letters to him, that I might have 1782, p. 454. His dedications were dedications of friendship, not of flattery or servility. He dedicated his Tour to Corsica to Paoli, his Tour to the Hebrides to Malone, and his Life of Johnson to Sir Joshua Reynolds. Goldsmith, in like manner, distrest though he so often was, dedicated his Traveller to his brother, the Deserted Village to Sir Joshua, and She Stoops to Conquer to Johnson.
A passage in Boswell's letter to Malone of Jan. 29, 1791 (Croker's Boswell, p. 829), shows that it is Reynolds of whom he is writing. 'I am,' he writes, 'to cancel a leaf of the first volume, having found that though Sir Joshua certainly assured me he had no objection to my mentioning that Johnson wrote a dedication for him, he now thinks otherwise. In that leaf occurs the mention of Johnson having written to Dr. Leland, thanking the University of Dublin for their diploma. In the first edition, this mention of the letter is followed by the passage above about dedications. It was no doubt Reynolds's Dedication of his Discourses to the King in the year 1778 that Johnson wrote. The first sentence is in a high degree Johnsonian. •The regular progress of cultivated life is from necessaries to accommodations, from accommodations to ornaments.'
? • That is to say,' he added, “to the last generation of the Royal Family.' See post, April 15, 1773. We may hope that the Royal Family were not all like the Duke of Gloucester, who, when Gibbon brought him the second volume of the Decline and Fall, received him with much good nature and affability, saying to him, as he laid the quarto on the table, “ Another d-d thick, square book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr. Gibbon?" Best's Memorials, p. 68.
a full view of our correspondence, and never be at a loss to understand any reference in his letters'. He kept the greater part of mine very carefully; and a short time before his death was attentive enough to seal them up in bundles, and order them to be delivered to me, which was accordingly done. Amongst them I found one, of which I had not made a copy, and which I own I read with pleasure at the distance of almost twenty years. It is dated November, 1765, at the palace of Pascal Paoli, in Corte, the capital of Corsica, and is full of generous enthusiasm'. After giving a sketch of what I had seen and heard in that island, it proceeded thus: • I dare to call this a spirited tour. I dare to challenge your approbation.'
This letter produced the following answer, which I found on my arrival at Paris :
A Mr. Mr. Boswell, chez Mr. WATERS, Banquier, à Paris. * DEAR SIR,
• Apologies are seldom of any use. We will delay till your arrival the reasons, good or bad, which have made me such a
· Such care was needless. Boswell complained (post, June 24, 1774), that Johnson did not answer his letters, but only sent him returns.
* On one of the days that my ague disturbed me least, I walked from the convent to Corte, purposely to write a letter to Mr. Samuel Johnson. I told my revered friend, that from a kind of superstition agreeable in a certain degree to him as well as to myself, I had, during my travels, written to him from Loca Solennia, places in some measure sacred. That, as I had written to him from the tomb of Melancthon (see post, June 28, 1777), sacred to learning and piety, I now wrote to him from the palace of Pascal Paoli, sacred to wisdom and liberty.' Boswell's Tour to Corsica, p. 218. How delighted would Boswell have been had he lived to see the way in which he is spoken of by the biographer of Paoli: ‘En traversant la Méditerranée sur de frêles navires pour venir s'asseoir au foyer de la nationalité Corse, des hommes graves tels que Boswel et Volney obéissaient sans doute à un sentiment bien plus élevé qu' au besoin vulgaire d'une puérile curiosité.' Histoire de Pascal Paoli, par A. Arrighi, i. 231. By every Corsican of any education the name of Boswell is known and honoured. One of them told me that it was in Boswell's pages that Paoli still lived for them. He informed me also of a family which still preserved by tradition the remembrance of Boswell's visit to their ancestral home.
Boswell's Return to London.
sparing and ungrateful correspondent. Be assured, for the present, that nothing has lessened either the esteem or love with which I dismissed you at Harwich. Both have been increased by all that I have been told of you by yourself or others; and when you return, you will return to an unaltered, and, I hope, unalterable friend.
• All that you have to fear from me is the vexation of disappointing me. No man loves to frustrate expectations which have been formed in his favour; and the pleasure which I promise myself from your journals and remarks is so great, that perhaps no degree of attention or discernment will be sufficient to afford it.
*Come home, however, and take your chance. I long to see you, and to hear you; and hope that we shall not be so long separated again. Come home, and expect such a welcome as is due to him whom a wise and noble curiosity has led, where perhaps no native of this country ever was before’.
· The twelve following lines of this letter were published by Boswell in his Corsica (p. 219) without Johnson's leave. (See post, March 23, 1768.) Temple, to whom the book had been shewn before publication, had, it should seem, advised Boswell to omit this extract. Boswell replied :
-Your remarks are of great service to me... but I must have my great preceptor, Mr. Johnson, introduced.' Letters of Boswell, p. 122. In writing to excuse himself to Johnson (post, April 26, 1768), he says, 'the temptation to publishing it was so strong.'
• “Tell your Court,' said Paoli to Boswell, 'what you have seen here. They will be curious to ask you. A man come from Corsica will be like a man come from the Antipodes.' Boswell's Corsica, p. 188. He was not indeed the first ‘native of this country' to go there. He found in Bastia 'an English woman of Penrith, in Cumberland. When the Highlanders marched through that country in the year 1745, she had married a soldier of the French picquets in the very midst of all the confusion and danger, and when she could hardly understand one word he said.' Ib., p. 226. Boswell nowhere quotes Mrs. Barbauld's fine lines on Corsica. Perhaps he was ashamed of the praise of the wife of “a little Presbyterian parson who kept an infant boarding-school.' (See post, under Dec. 17, 1775.) Yet he must have been pleased when he read :
‘Such were the working thoughts which swelled the breast
Mrs. Barbauld's Poems, i. 2.
• I have Aetat. 57.)
Johnson in Johnson's Court.
'I have no news to tell you that can deserve your notice; nor would I willingly lessen the pleasure that any novelty may give you at your return. I am afraid we shall find it difficult to keep among us a mind which has been so long feasted with variety. But let us try what esteem and kindness can effect.
As your father's liberality has indulged you with so long a ramble, I doubt not but you will think his sickness, or even his desire to see you, a sufficient reason for hastening your return. The longer we live, and the more we think, the higher value we learn to put on the friendship and tenderness of parents and of friends. Parents we can have but once; and he promises himself too much, who enters life with the expectation of finding many friends. Upon some motive, I hope, that you will be here soon; and am willing to think that it will be an inducement to your return, that it is sincerely desired by, dear Sir, Your affectionate humble servant,
Sam. JOHNSON.' • Johnson's Court, Fleet-street,
January 14, 1766.'
I returned to London in February, and found Dr. Johnson in a good house in Johnson's Court, Fleet-street', in which he had accommodated Miss Williams with an apartment on the ground floor, while Mr. Levett occupied his post in the garret: his faithful Francis was still attending
He received me with much kindness. The Murphy, in the Monthly Review, Ixxvi. 376, thus describes Johnson's life in Johnson's Court after he had received his pension. 'His friend Levett, his physician in ordinary, paid his daily visits with assiduity; attended at all hours, made tea all the morning, talked what he had to say, and did not expect an answer; or, if occasion required it, was mute, officious, and ever complying.... There Johnson sat every morning, receiving visits, hearing the topics of the day, and indolently trifling away the time. Chymistry afforded some amusement.' Hawkins (Life, p. 452), says :—An upper room, which had the advantages of a good light and free air, he fitted up for a study. A silver standish and some useful plate, which he had been prevailed on to accept as pledges of kindness from some who most esteemed him, together with furniture that would not have disgraced a better dwelling, banished those appearances of squalid indigence which, in his less happy days, disgusted those who came to see him.' Some of the plate Johnson had bought. See post, April 15, 1781.
Johnson's lines in The TRAVELLER. [A.D. 1766.
fragments of our first conversation, which I have preserved, are these: I told him that Voltaire, in a conversation with me, had distinguished Pope and Dryden thus :— Pope drives a handsome chariot, with a couple of neat trim nags; Dryden a coach, and six stately horses.' JOHNSON. “Why, Sir, the truth is, they both drive coaches and six; but Dryden's horses are either galloping or stumbling: Pope's go at a steady even trot?' He said of Goldsmith's Traveller, which had been published in my absence, ‘There has not been so fine a poem since Pope's time.'
And here it is proper to settle, with authentick precision, what has long floated in publick report, as to Johnson's being himself the authour of a considerable part of that poem. Much, no doubt, both of the sentiments and expression, were derived from conversation with him; and it was certainly submitted to his friendly revision : but in the year 1783, he, at my request, marked with a pencil the lines which he had furnished, which are only line 420th,
“To stop too fearful, and too faint to go;' and the concluding ten lines, except the last couplet but one, which I distinguished by the Italick character:
How small of all that human hearts endure,
It is remarkable, that Mr. Gray has employed somewhat the same image to characterise Dryden. He, indeed, furnishes his car with but two horses, but they are of ethereal race :'
*Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
With necks in thunder cloath'd, and long resounding pace.' Ode on the Progress of Poesy. BOSWELL. In the Life of Pope (Works, viii. 324) Johnson says :-· The style of Dryden is capricious and varied; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle.' * In the original laws or kings.