« VorigeDoorgaan »
Incorrectness of Mrs. Piozzi's Anecdotes-Lord Chancellor Thurlow's Benevo-
lence-Johnson's Letter of Thanks to him-His Affection for the Memory
of his Wife-He sets out for Derbyshire and Staffordshire-Revisits Lich-
field and Ashbourne-His Letters to his Friends-His State of Health-
Mr. Windham-Johnson Visits Chatsworth-Air Balloons-Johnson's
Opinion of their Utility-Mr. Hoole-Mr. Nichols-The Literary Club-
Dr. Burney-Mr. Langton-General Correspondence-Johnson affected
Johnson's last Visit to Lichfield-Uttoxeter-The Learned Pig-Johnson's
Visit to Oxford-Dr. Adams-Correspondence-Johnson's increasing Indis-
position-His Return to the Metropolis-Various Works contemplated by
him-List of the Authors of Universal History-Rev. John Swinton-
Johnson's Knowledge of Greek-Imitations of his Style-Mr. Burrowes-
George Colman-Dr. Robertson-Mr. Gibbon-Miss Burney-Arch. Nares
-"The Mirror"-Rev. Dr. Knox-Johnson's Affection for his departed
Relations-His approaching Dissolution-His Fears of Death-His
Johnson's last Illness-His Liberality to his Black Servant-His Will and
Codicil-The kind Attachment of his Friends-Extracts from his Miscella-
neous Conversation-Rev. Mr. Budworth-Samuel Boyse-" Thuanus "-
The Death-bed-Death of Johnson-His Funeral-His various Busts and
Portraits-His Monument and Inscription-Concluding Reflections
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Frontispiece, Death of Dr. Johnson.
Title-page, Portrait of Dr. Johnson, from a painting by Sir J. Rey
John Nichols, from an engraving in "The Gentleman's Magazine '
The Hon. Miss Monckton, from a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds
Luton Hoe, Bedfordshire
The Summer House, Thrale Place, from a lithograph by Prosser
Dr. Heberden, from a painting by Sir William Beechey
Mrs. Johnson's Tomb, Bromley Church, from a recent sketch
Sir John Hawkins
Gerard Hamilton, from a drawing by J. R. Smith
The Essex Head, Essex Street, Strand, from an original drawing
View of Oxford, from an old print
Horace Walpole, from a painting by Sir T. Lawrence
Chatsworth, Derbyshire, from a view by Paul Sandby
Johnson and Captain Astle, from a sketch by Captain Astle
Johnson's Tomb, Westminster Abbey, from a recent sketch
Statue of Johnson, by Bacon, in St. Paul's Cathedral, from an original
Dr. Johnson, from a contemporary print
LANGTON'S JOHNSONIANA-ANECDOTES OF JOHNSON, AND HIS OPINIONS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS-THEOCRITUS-CALLIMACHUS - MAITTAIRE-ON EMPLOYING THE POOR PHYSICAL AND MORAL TRUTH-HUGGINS MRS. CLIVE-FARQUHAR -GARRICK-LANGLEY SPENCE DR. FOSTER - MRS. LENNOX-BEAUCLERK LORD ELIBANK-MR. DOSSIE-TOLERATION-JOHNSON'S MEMORY-DR. PARR MACHINERY OF PAGAN POETS-HOSPITALITY-REV. DR. FARMER-JOSHUA BARNES -DODSLEY'S" CLEONE "-GOLDSMITH'S IGNORANCE-ADAM SMITH-BURKE-BISHOP BERKELEY-MR. VESEY-RICHARDSON - ARCHBISHOP SECKER-DR. BLAGDEN JOHNSON'S RELIGIOUS SENTIMENTS-DR. FRANCKLIN'S DEMONAX
BEING disappointed in my hopes of meeting Johnson this year, so
that I could hear none of his admirable sayings, I shall compensate for this want by inserting a collection of them, for which I am indebted to my worthy friend Mr. Langton, whose kind communications have been separately interwoven in many parts of this work. Very few articles of this collection were committed to writing by himself, he not
having that habit; which he regrets, and which those who know the numerous opportunities he had of gathering the rich fruits of Johnsonian wit and wisdom, must ever regret. I however found, in conversation with him, that a good store of "Johnsoniana " was treasured in his mind; and I compared it to Herculaneum, or some old Roman field, which, when dug, fully rewards the labour employed. The authenticity of every article is unquestionable. For the expression, I, who wrote them down in his presence, am partly answerable.
Theocritus is not deserving of very high respect as a writer; as to the pastoral part, Virgil is very evidently superior. He wrote, when there had been a larger influx of knowledge into the world than when Theocritus lived. Theocritus does not abound in description, though living in a beautiful country: the manners painted are coarse and gross. Virgil has much more description, more sentiment, more of nature, and more of art. Some of the most excellent parts of Theocritus are, where Castor and Pollux, going with the other Argonauts, land on the Bebrycian coast, and there fall into a dispute with Amycus, the king of that country; which is as well conducted as Euripides could have done it; and the battle is well related. Afterwards they carry off a woman, whose two brothers come to recover her, and expostulate with Castor and Pollux on their injustice; but they pay no regard to the brothers, and a battle ensues, where Castor and his brother are triumphant. Theocritus seems not to have seen that the brothers have the advantage in their argument over his Argonaut heroes. 'The Sicilian Gossips' is a piece of merit.'
"Callimachus is a writer of little excellence. The chief thing to be learned from him is his account of Rites and Mythology; which, though desirable to be known for the sake of understanding other parts of ancient authors, is the least pleasing or valuable part of their writings."
"Maittaire's account of the Stephani, is a heavy book. He seems to have been a puzzle-headed man, with a large share of scholarship, but with little geometry or logic in his head, without method, and possessed of little genius. He wrote Latin verses from time to time, and published a set in his old age, which he called 'Senilia;' in which he shows so little learning or taste in writing, as to make Carteret a dactyl. In matters of genealogy it is necessary to give the bare names as they are; but in poetry, and in prose of any elegance in the writing, they require to have inflection given to them. His book of the Dialects is a sad heap of confusion. The only way to write on them is to tabulate them with notes, added at the bottom of the page, and references."1
1 The name of Michael Maittaire, as a learned critic and bibliographer, has been so fully established, that these sweeping censures appear to be entirely uncalled for. His editions of the Greek and Latin classics, which are extremely numerous, are celebrated for their learning and accuracy; and his great work, "The Annales Typographici ab Artis Inventione," still maintains itself as a valuable standard authority. He was born in France and educated at Christ Church, Oxford, of which college he became second master. He was born in 1668, and died in 1747.- ED.