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than that he is wise ; and few will reverence the understanding that is of fo 1782. little advantage to its owner. I say nothing of the personal wretchedness of Ætat. 73. a debtor, which, however, has passed into a proverb. Of riches, it is not necessary to write the praise. Let it, however, be remembered, that he who has money to spare, has it always in his power to benefit others; and of such power a good man must always be desirous.

“ I am pleased with your account of Easter?. We shall meet, I hope, in autumn, both well and both chearful; and part each the better for the other's company. “ Make my compliments to Mrs. Boswell, and to the young

charmers. “ I am, &c. « London, June 3, 1782.

SAM. Johnson."


To James Boswell, Esq. « DEAR SIR,

« BEING uncertain whether I should have any call this autumn into the country, I did not immediately answer your kind letter. I have no call, but if you desire to meet me at Ashbourne, I believe I can come thither; if you had rather come to London, I can stay at Streatham; take

your choice.

“ This year has been very heavy. From the middle of January to the middle of June I was battered by one disorder after another; I am now very much recovered, and hope still to be better. What happiness it is that Mrs. Boswell has escaped.

“ My · Lives' are reprinting, and I have forgotten the authour of Gray's character 8: write immediately, and it may be perhaps yet inserted.

“ Of London or Ashbourne you have your free choice; at any place I shall be glad to see you. I am, dear Sir, your, &c. Aug. 24, 1782.

Sam. Johnson.

On the 30th of August, I informed him that my honoured father had died that morning; a complaint under which he had long laboured, having suddenly come to a crisis, while I was upon a visit at the seat of Sir Charles Preston, from whence I had hastened the day before, upon receiving a letter by express.

; Which I celebrated in the Church-of-England chapel at Edinburgh, founded by Lord Chief Baron Smith, of respectable and pious memory.

8 The Reverend Mr. Temple, Vicar of St. Gluvias, Cornwall.


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TO JAMES Boswell, Esq. " DEAR SIR,

“ I HAVE struggled through this year with so much infirmity of body, and such strong impressions of the fragility of life, that death, wherever it appears, fills me with melancholy; and I cannot hear without emotion, of the removal of any one, whom I have known, into another state.

“ Your father's death had every circumstance that could enable you to bear it; it was at a mature age, and it was expected; and as his general life had been pious, his thoughts had doubtless for many years paft been turned upon eternity. That you did not find him sensible must doubtless grieve you; his disposition towards you was undoubtedly that of a kind, though not of a fond father. Kindness, at least actual, is in our power, but fondness is not; and if by negligence or imprudence you had extinguished his fondness, he could not at will rekindle it. Nothing then remained between you but mutual forgiveness of each other's faults, and mutual desire of each other's happiness.

“ I shall long to know his final disposition of his fortune.

“ You, dear Sir, have now a new station, and have therefore new cares, and new employments. Life, as Cowley seems to say, ought to resemble a well ordered poem; of which one rule generally received is, that the exordium should be simple, and should promise little. Begin your new course of life with the least show, and the least expence posible; you may at pleasure encrease both, but you cannot easily diminish them. Do not think your estate your own, while any man can cali upon you for


you cannot pay; therefore, begin with timorous parsimony. Let it be your first care not to be in any man's debt.

“ When the thoughts are extended to a future ftate, the present life seems hardly worthy of all those principles of conduct, and maxims of prudence, which one generation of men has transmitted to another ; but upon a closer view, when it is perceived how much evil is produced, and how much good is impeded by embarrassment and distress, and how little room the expedients of poverty leave for the exercise of virtue; its sorrows manifest that the boundless importance of the next life, enforces fome attention to the interests of this.

“ Be kind to the old servants, and secure the kindness of the agents and factors; do not disgust them by afperity, or unwelcome gaiety, or apparent suspicion. From them you must learn the real state of your affairs, the characters of your tenants, and the value of your lands.

" Make

- Make my compliments to Mrs. Boswell; I think her expectations from 1782. air and exercise are the best that she can form. I hope she will live long and Ætat. 73. happily.

“ I forget whether I told you that Rasay has been here; we dined cheer-
fully together. I entertained lately a young gentleman from Coriatachat.

“ I received your letters only this morning. I am, dear Sir, yours, &c.
« London, Sept. 7, 1782.


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In answer to my next letter, I received one from him, dissuading me from hastening to him as I had proposed; what is proper for publication is the following paragraph, equally just and tender:

“ One expence, however, I would not have you to spare: let nothing be omitted that can preserve Mrs. Boswell, though, it should be necessary to transplant her for a time into a softer climate. She is the prop and stay of your life. How much must your children suffer by losing her.”

My wife was now so much convinced of his sincere friendship for me, and regard for her, that she without any suggestion on my part, wrote him a very polite and grateful letter.


Dr. JOHNSON to Mrs. Boswell. « DEAR LADY,

“ I HAVE not often received so much pleasure as from your invitation
to Auchinleck. The journey thither and back is, indeed, too great for the

part of the year; but if my health were fully recovered, I would suffer
no little heat and cold, nor a wet or a rough road to keep me from you.
I am, indeed, not without hope of seeing Auchinleck again, but to make it
a pleasant place I must see its lady well, and brisk, and airy. For my fake,
therefore, among many greater reasons, take care, dear Madam, of your
health, spare no expence, and want no attendance that can procure ease, or
preserve it. Be very careful to keep your mind quiet; and do not think it
too much to give an account of your recovery to Madam, your, &c.
“ London, Sept. 7, 1782.


TO JAMES Boswell, Esq. « DEAR SIR,

“ HAVING passed almost this whole year in a succession of disorders, I went in October to Brighthelmston, whither I came in a state of so much weakness, that I rested four times in walking between the inn and Iii 2


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1782. the lodging. By physick and abstinence I grew better, and am now reasonably Ærat. 73. easy, though at a great distance from health. I am afraid, however, that

health begins, after seventy, and often long before, to have a meaning different
from that which it had at thirty. But it is culpable to murmur at the
established order of the creation, as it is vain to oppose it. He that lives,
must grow old; and he that would rather grow old than die, has God to
thank for the infirmities of old age.
“ At your long silence I am rather angry. You do not, since now you are

the head of your house, think it worth your while to try whether you or

friend can live longer without writing, nor suspect after so many years of friendship, that when I do not write to you, I forget you. Put all such useless jealousies out of your head, and disdain to regulate your own practice by the practice of another, or by any other principle than the desire of doing right.

“ Your æconomy, I suppose, begins now to be settled; your expences are adjuited to your revenue, and all your people in their proper places... Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great. enemy to human happiness, it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.

“ Let me know the history of your life, since your accession to your estate. How many houses, how many cows, how much land in your own hand, and what bargains you make with your tenants.


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Of my · Lives of the Poets, they have printed a new edition in octavo,
I hear, of three thousand. Did I give a set to Lord Hailes? If I did not,

I will do it out of these. What did you make of all your copy?

« Mrs. Thrale and the three Misses are now for the winter, in Argyll-
street. Sir Joshua Reynolds has been out of order, but is well again ; and
I am, dear Sir, your affectionate humble servant,
« London, Dec. 7, 1782.


Edinburgh, Dec. 20, 1782. “ I was made happy by your kind letter, which gave us the agreeable hopes of seeing you in Scotland again.

“I am much Aattered by the concern you are pleased to take in my recovery. I am better, and hope to have it in my power to convince you by my attention, of how much consequence. I esteem your health to the world and to myself, I remain, Sir, with grateful respect,

6. Your obliged and obedient servant,


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Ætat. 73.


The death of Mr. Thrale had made a very material alteration upon Johnson, 1782. with respect to his reception in that family. The manly authority of the husband no longer curbed the lively exuberance of the lady; and as her vanity had been fully gratified, by having the Colossus of Literature attached to her for

many years, she gradually became less asliduous to please him. Whether her attachment to him was already divided by another object, I am unable to ascertain ; but it is plain that Johnson's penetration was alive to her neglect or forced attention; for on the 6th of October this year, we find him making a “parting use of the library” at Streatham, and pronouncing a prayer, which he composed “ On leaving Mr. Thrale's family?.”

Almighty God, Father of all mercy, help me by thy grace, that I may, with humble and sincere thankfulness, remember the comforts and conveniencies which I have enjoyed at this place; and that I may resign them with holy submission, equally trusting in thy protection when Thou givest, and when Thou takelt away. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, have mercy upon me.

To thy fatherly protection, O LORD, I commend this family. Bless, guide, and defend them, that they may so pass through this world, as finally to enjoy in thy presence everlasting happiness, for Jesus Christ's fake. Amen.”

One cannot read this prayer, without some emotions not very favourable to
the lady whose conduct occasioned it.

In one of his memorandum-books I find, “ Sunday, went to church at-
Streatham. Templo valedixi cum osculo.

He met Mr. Philip Metcalfe often at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, and other
places, and was a good deal with him at Brighthelmfton this autumn, being
pleased at once with his excellent table and animated conversation. Mr.
Metcalfe shewed him great respect, and sent him a note that he might have
the use of his carriage whenever he pleased. Johnson (3d October, 1782,)
returned this polite answer :-"Mr. Johnson is very much obliged by the kind
offer of the carriage; but he has no desire of using Mr. Metcalfe’s carriage,
except when he can have the pleasure of Mr. Metcalfe's company.” Mr.
Metcalfe could not but be highly pleased that his company was thus valued by
Johnson, and he frequently attended him in airings. They also went together
to Cirencester, and they visited Petworth and Cowdery, the venerable seat of
the Lords Montacute. “Sir, (faid Johnson,) I should like to stay here:
four-and-twenty hours. We see here how our ancestors lived.”


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