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Madam, I stick to truth as much as you,
Sam Johnson's thrashing knowledge and his thatching, May be your own inimitable hatching – Pray, of his wisdom can't you tell more news ? Could not he make a shirt, and cobble shoes ? Knit stockings, or ingenious take up stitches — Draw teeth, dress wigs, or make a pair of breeches ? You prate too of his knowledge of the mint, As if the Rambler really had been in't Who knows but you will tell us (truth forsaking) That each bad shilling is of Johnson's making : His each vile sixpence that the world hath cheated And his the art that every guinea sweated ? About his brewing knowledge you will prate too, Who scarcely knew a hop from a potatoe. And though of beer he joyed in hearty swigs, I'd pit against his taste my husband's pigs.
How could your folly tell, so void of truth,
Who told of Mrs. Montague the lie So palpable a falsehood ? - Bozzy, fie !
Who, maddening with an anecdotic itch, Declared that Johnson called his mother bitch?
Who from M‘Donald's rage to save his snout, Cut twenty lines of defamation out ?
Who would have said a word about Sam's wig;
For shame! for shame! for heaven's sake, pray be quiet -
For thee, James Boswell, may the hand of fate
Thus spoke the Judge; then leaping from the chair,
No. VI. INSCRIPTION ON A CARICATURE OF JOHN
SON AND MADAME PIOZZI, BY SAYERS. (1)
Madam (my debt to nature paid),
Would now protect my name :
And murder Johnson's fame.
First, Boswell, with officious care,
And call’d himself my friend ;
You torture without end.
When Streatham spread its plenteous board,
And as I feasted prosed.
If obligations still I owed,
I suffer'd by the tale :
I'll pay you for your ale.
(1) (From the European Magazine.]
No. I. - BRIEF MEMOIR OF BOSWELL, BY EDMOND
JAMES Boswell, Esq., eldest son of Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck, one of the judges in the supreme courts of session and justiciary in Scotland, was born at Edinburgh, October 29. 1740, and received his first rudiments of education in that city. He afterwards studied Civil Law in the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. During his residence in these cities, he acquired, by the society of the English gentlemen who were students in the English colleges, that remarkable predilection for their manners, which neither the force of education, nor the dulcedo of his natale solum, could ever eradicate. But his most intimate acquaintance at this period was the Rev. Mr. Temple, a worthy, learned, and pious divine, whose well-written character of Gray was inserted in Johnson's Life of that poet. Mr. Boswell imbibed early the ambition of distinguishing himself by his literary talents, and had the good fortune to obtain the patronage of the late Lord Somerville. This nobleman treated him with the most flattering kindness; and Mr. Boswell ever remembered with gratitude the friendship he so long enjoyed with this worthy peer. Having always entertained an exalted idea of the felicity of London, in the year 1760
(1) (From Nichols's Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, vol. ii. p. 400.]