defensive pride." This, as Dr. Adams well observed, was one of those happy turns (1) for which he was so remarkably ready.

Johnson having now explicitly avowed his opinion of Lord Chesterfield, did not refrain from expressing himself concerning that nobleman with pointed freedom: "This man (said he) I thought had been a lord among wits: but, I find, he is only a wit among lords!" (2) And when his Letters to his natural son were published, he observed, that "they teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master." (3)

(1) This, like all the rest of the affair, seems discoloured by prejudice. Lord Chesterfield made no attack on Johnson, who certainly acted on the offensive, and not the defensive.-C.

(2) Johnson's character of Chesterfield seems to be imitated from-inter doctos nobilissimus, inter nobiles doctissimus, inter utrosque optimus; (ex Apuleio, v. Erasm. - Dedication of Adagies to Lord Mountjoy ;) and from ιδιωτης εν φιλοσοφοις, φιλοσοφος εν ιδιοταις. Proclus de Critia. - KEARNEY.

(3) That collection of Letters cannot be vindicated from the serious charge of encouraging, in some passages, one of the vices most destructive to the good order and comfort of society, which his lordship represents as mere fashionable gallantry; and, in others, of inculcating the base practice of dissimulation, and recommending, with disproportionate anxiety, a perpetual attention to external elegance of manners. But it must, at the same time, be allowed, that they contain many good precepts of conduct, and much genuine information upon life and manners, very happily expressed; and that there was considerable merit in paying so much attention to the improvement of one who was dependent upon his lordship's protection: it has, probably, been exceeded in no instance by the most exemplary parent: and though I can by no means approve of confounding the distinction between lawful and illicit offspring, which is, in effect, insulting the civil establishment of our country, to look no higher; I cannot help thinking it laudable to be kindly attentive to those, of whose existence we have, in any way, been the cause. Mr. Stanhope's character has been unjustly represented as diametrically opposite to what Lord Chesterfield wished him to be. He has been called dull, gross, and awk

The character of a "respectable Hottentot," in Lord Chesterfield's Letters, has been generally understood to be meant for Johnson, and I have no doubt that it was. But I remember when the Literary Property of those letters was contested in the court of session in Scotland, and Mr. Henry Dundas (1), one of the counsel for the proprietors, read this character as an exhibition of Johnson, Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes, one of the judges, maintained, with some warmth, that it was not intended as a portrait of Johnson, but of a late noble lord (2) distinguished for abstruse science. I have heard Johnson himself talk of the character, and say that it was meant for George Lord Lyttelton, in which I could by no means agree; for his lordship had nothing of that violence which is a conspicuous feature in the composition. Finding that my illustrious friend could bear to have it supposed that it might be meant for him, I said, laughingly, that there was one trait which unquestionably did not belong to him; "he throws his meat anywhere but down his

ward but I knew him at Dresden, when he was envoy to that court; and though he could not boast of the graces, he was, in truth, a sensible, civil, well-behaved man. — B.

[Lord Chesterfield died in 1773. The "Letters" were published the year following, by his son's widow; but the author appears to have given no authority for such a step.]

(1) [Afterwards Viscount Melville. He died in 1811.]

(2) Probably George, second Earl of Macclesfield, who published, in 1751, a learned pamphlet on the alteration of the style, and was, in 1752, elected President of the Royal Society. Lord Macclesfield's manner was, no doubt, awkward and embarrassed, but little else in his character reseinbles that of the "respectable Hottentot," which more probably was, as the world has supposed, intended for Johnson.-C.

throat."-" Sir, (said he,) Lord Chesterfield never saw me eat in his life." (1)

On the 6th of March came out Lord Bolingbroke's works, published by Mr. David Mallet. The wild and pernicious ravings under the name of " Philosophy," which were thus ushered into the world, gave great offence to all well-principled men. Johnson, hearing of their tendency, which nobody disputed, was roused with a just indignation, and pronounced this memorable sentence upon the noble author and his editor:-" Sir, he was a scoundrel, and a coward: a scoundrel for charging a blunderbuss against religion and morality; a coward, because he had no resolution to fire it off himself, but left half a crown to a beggarly Scotchman, to draw the trigger after his death!" Garrick, who I can attest from my own knowledge, had his mind seasoned with pious reverence, and sincerely disapproved of the infidel writings of several, whom in the course of his almost universal gay intercourse with men of eminence he treated with external civility, distinguished himself upon this occasion. Mr. Pelham having died on the very day on which Lord Bolingbroke's works came out, he wrote an elegant Ode on his death, beginning

"Let others hail the rising sun,

I bow to that whose course is run;"

(1) Lord Chesterfield's picture, if meant for Johnson, was not overcharged; for what between his blindness, his nervousness, and his eagerness, all his friends describe his mode of eating to have been something worse than awkward. See post, 5th Aug. 1763. — C.

in which is the following stanza :

"The same sad morn, to Church and State
(So for our sins 't was fix'd by fate)

A double stroke was given;

Black as the whirlwinds of the North,
St. John's fell genius issued forth,

And Pelham's fled to heaven."

Johnson this year found an interval of leisure to make an excursion to Oxford, for the purpose of consulting the libraries there. Of this, and of many interesting circumstances concerning him, during a part of his life when he conversed but little with the world, I am enabled to give a particular account, by the liberal communications of the Reverend Mr. Thomas Warton, who obligingly furnished me with several of our common friend's letters, which he illustrated with notes. These I shall insert in their proper places.


LETTER 26. TO THE REV. THOMAS WARTON. [London] July 16. 1754. "SIR,- It is but an ill return for the book with which you were pleased to favour me ('), to have delayed my thanks for it till now. I am too apt to be negligent; but I can never deliberately show my disrespect to a man of your character: and I now pay you a very honest acknowledgment, for the advancement of the literature of our native country. You have shown to all, who shall hereafter attempt the study of our ancient authors, the way to success; by directing them to the perusal of the books which those authors had read. Of this me

(1) Observations on Spenser's Fairy Queen, the first edition WARTON. of which was now published.

thod, Hughes (1), and men much greater than Hughes, seem never to have thought. The reason why the au thors, which are yet read, of the sixteenth century, are so little understood, is, that they are read alone; and no help is borrowed from those who lived with them, or before them. Some part of this ignorance I hope to remove by my book, [the Dictionary,] which now draws towards its end; but which I cannot finish to my mind, without visiting the libraries of Oxford, which I therefore hope to see in a fortnight. (2) I know not how long I shall stay, or where I shall lodge: but shall be sure to look for you at my arrival, and we shall easily settle the rest. I am, dear Sir, your most obedient, &c. "SAM. JOHNSON,"

Of his conversation while at Oxford at this time, Mr. Warton preserved and communicated to me the following memorial, which, though not written with all the care and attention which that learned and elegant writer bestowed on those compositions which he intended for the public eye, is so happily expressed in an easy style, that I should injure it by any alteration.

"When Johnson came to Oxford in 1754, the long vacation was beginning, and most people were leaving

(1) [John Hughes, the poet, was born at Marlborough in 1677. In 1715, he published an edition of Spenser, " a work," says Johnson, "for which he was well qualified, as a judge of the beauties of writing, but perhaps wanted an antiquary's knowledge of the obsolete words." His tragedy of the "Siege of Damascus" was first represented February 17. 1720; and on the same day he died. Pope describes him as 66 a good humble-spirited man, a great admirer of Addison, and but a poor writer, except his play; that is very well."]

(2) He came to Oxford within a fortnight, and stayed about five weeks. He lodged at Kettel Hall.WARTON. [See p. 41. n.]

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