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see you; but he desired me to come and speak to you myself, and tell you he hopes you will excuse him, for he feels himself too weak for such an interview."

I hastily got up, left him my most affectionate respects, and every good wish I could half utter, and ran back to the coach. Ah, my Susy! I have never been to Bolt Court since ! I then drove to poor Miss Strange to make inquiries of the maid ; but Andrew ran out to the coach door, and told me all hope was at an end.

In short, the next day was fatal to both !—the same day!

(Vol. II., page 339.)

. Dec. 20TH, 1784.—This day was the ever-honoured, everlamented Dr. Johnson committed to the earth. Oh, how sad a day to me! My father attended, and so did Charles. I could not keep my eyes dry all day ; nor can I now, in the recollecting it ; but let me pass over what to mourn is now so vain !





May 3rd, 1784. Ast

S to Dr. Johnson, we seem to agree well in our likings and

dislikings. The best thing in all his book is, in my opinion, his critique upon Cowley, or rather upon what I think he calls the metaphysical style of poetry. Such is that of d'Avenant, of whom I wonder he takes no notice. Johnson's mind is fettered with prejudices, civil, poetical, political; religious, and even superstitious. As a reasoner he is nothing. He has not the least tincture of the esprit philosophique upon any subject. He is not a poet, nor has he any taste for what is properly called poetry, for imagination, enthusiasm, &c. His poetry-I

mean what he calls such—is only good sense put into good metre. ... In general I find my palate in matters of poetry continually at variance with Dr. Johnson's. With all this Dr. Johnson is always entertaining, never dull or trite. His style is just what you say; sometimes adınirable, sometimes laughable, but he never lets you gape.

Without being philosophical or deep, like Hume, Lord Kaimes, &c., he has his originalities of thought and his own way of seeing things, and making you see them. This is great excellence. There is in him no echo.

He is dogmatical, certainly, and I cannot acquit him of some reflections that savour of ill nature. Yours affectionately, T. T.

? From A Country Clergyman of the 18th Century. London, 1882. DR. BURNEY TO THE REV. T. TWINING (pp. 128-130).

Christmas Day, 1784. Poor Johnson is gone! I truly reverenced his genius, learning and piety, without being blind to his prejudices. I think I know and could name them all. We often differed in matters of taste, and in our judgments of individuals. My respect for what I thought excellent in him never operated on my reason sufficiently to incline me to subscribe to his decisions when I thought them erroneous. The knight, Sir John (Hawkins), and I met two or three times during his sickness and at his funeral. He steps forth as one of poor Johnson's six or eight biographers, with as little taste or powers of writing worthy of such an occupation as för musical history. The Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey lay all the blame on him for suffering Johnson to be so unworthily interred. The knight's first inquiring at the Abbey, in giving orders, as the most acting executor was

What would be the difference in the expense between a public and a private funeral ? ” and was told only a few pounds to the prebendaries, and about ninety pairs of gloves to the choir and attendants ; and he then determined that, Dr. Johnson had no music in him, he should choose the cheapest manner of interment." And for this reason there was no organ heard, or burial service sung, for which he suffers the Dean and Chapter to be abused in all the newspapers, and joins in their abuse when the subject is mentioned in conversation. Dr. Bell has stated the case, in a letter to my friend Dr. Warren, just as I tell it to you. Again, I was told by a lady “that she found Dr. Johnson had not always been so pious and good a Christian as in the latter part of his life.” “How do you know, madam?" “Why, Sir John Cullum was told so by Sir John Hawkins, who says that when Dr. Johnson came up to London first, he lived a very profligate life with Savage and others, and was an infidel, and that he (Hawkins) first converted him to Christianity!" This astonished me so much that I could not help mentioning the story and my authority to Johnson's oldest and most intimate friends, with whom I dined after attending the funeral to Westminster Abbey, and asked them if they ever heard of Johnson having been a profligate and an infidel in his younger days, and


they one and all cried out with astonishment and indignation, “No!” Dr. Scott, one of the three executors, said that he had found among his papers a great number of prayers penned with great force, elegance, and devotion, some of them as high up as the year 1738, which would be a sufficient answer to such a charge; and I hear to-day that Dr. Scott, without mentioning names, has said to the knight that such a report had got about. “Oh!" says Sir John, “I can best confute such a rumour, who have so long known him, and ever found him a man of the most exemplary life, and a most steady believer of the doctrines of the Christian religion.” This strange story, for the honour of Johnson and true piety, as well as the clearing up the point which now lies between the reverend and irreverend knight, I hope and trust will be sifted to the bottom. . . . Addio.

C. B.


Oct. 16, 1793. I read, however, and am now tandem aliquando, reading Boswell's “Life of Johnson,” which having shrunk into octavo, I have bought, for you know how I hate all books that are too big to hold in my hand. Have you read it ? I am prodigiously entertained and gratified. I laugh, it is true, at Boswell sometimes. He must be a singular character. Sometimes he says very silly things, and asks silly questions, and carries admiration and wonder to a ridiculous excess. He could never take Nil admirari for his motto. Yet there is a naïveté, a candour, and a bonhomie in the man that makes me like him; and all that relates to Dr. Johnson between his singularities, and his admirable sense, and undulness of conversation is highly amusing to me. I have met with those who call this book tiresome. I never read a book that was less so. Johnson's readiness of argument and repartee in conversation is surprising.

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