yet, like the brilliancy of a diamond, exceeding perspicuous in its richness-where the sentiments ennoble the style, and the style familiarizes the sentiments-where every thing is easy and natural, yet every thing is masterly and strong. May the public favour crown his merits, and may not the English, under the auspicious reign of George II. neglect a man who, had he lived in the first century, would have been one of the greatest favourites of Augustus."

As we are just verging upon the consideration of the Johnsonian papers, this high encomium, whilst yet the Rambler had but run a small part of its course, may be considered as an immediate and apposite introduction to the subsequent essays.

We have now enumerated, as the subject of our second essay, the periodical papers which were published between the close of the eighth volume of the Spectator, and the commencement of the Rambler; a series which presents us with a great variety, both in matter and manner. About one third of the number may be included under the head of politics; and of these Cato's Letters, The Craftsman, Common Sense, and The True Patriot, are the best. 1 1.

Of the miscellaneous, essays, the most valuable are, The Free-thinker, The Universal Spectator, The

Grub-street Journal, The Champion, The Female Spectator, and The Student. In a class of an inferior kind, but of which some few parts merit a rescue from oblivion, are to be arranged The Censor, The Plain Dealer, The Humourist, Terræ Filius, The Fool, and the Selections from Mist's and Fog's Journal.

: To none of these, however, can we ascribe the praise of having rivalled either the Spectator, Guardian, or Tatler; the Free-thinker has, perhaps, made the nearest approach; but in the arrangement of our classical essayists, though a period of thirty-six years intervenes, the Rambler must ever immediately follow the close of the Guardian.

Yet it must not be forgotten, that, with few exceptions, all the papers, in this long interval, which have been written upon universal topics, upon men, manners, and morals, have in their general tendency been friendly to virtue, literature, and religion; and there are many excellent essays interspersed among them, which, were they collected into two or three volumes, would by such selection and approximation acquire a lustre and a value that cannot attach to them while distantly scattered, and overwhelmed amid inferior materials.





AMUEL JOHNSON was born at Lichfield, in Staffordshire, on September the 7th, 1709. From his father, who was a native of Cubley in Derbyshire, and a bookseller at Lichfield, he inherited that morbid melancholy which so frequently embittered his existence; nor was this the only disease with which he had to struggle; from his nurse, he imbibed the distemper called the king's evil, and for the removal of which his parents, who were staunch Jacobites, presented him to Queen Anne for the royal touch. An operation, however, notwithstanding this potent remedy, became necessary, and the lower part of his face continued ever afterwards disfigured by the marks of the knife. His hearing also, and the sight of his left eye, were injured by this complaint.


In the education of Johnson no deviation from the common plan is perceptible; after acquir. ing the elements of his own language, he was sent to the free-school at Lichfield, where, under the care of two very able masters, he made a rapid progress in classical literature. At the age of fifteen, and in the year 1725, he resided for some months with the Rev. Cornelius Ford, his cousin; a man of licentious manners, but possessed of considerable talents and learning," and from him he received much and important assistance in his studies. On quitting the roof of this relation, he was placed, by his direction, in a school at Stourbridge in Worcestershire, at that time conducted by Mr. Wentworth, and, having remained there rather better than a twelvemonth, he returned to his father's house.

During this early period of his life, many of.. the features which distinguished his character through life, were apparent. He was ambitious to excel, to be considered as the chieftain of his class at school, and he demanded from his com- panions great deference and attention. His. memory was peculiarly strong and retentive, and he was uncommonly inquisitive, but, at the same time, exhibited a constitutional indolence, and anne aversion from regular study; what he had to perform, he would delay to execute as long as


possible, and then dispatch it with singular promptitude and vigour. He seldom mingled in the common diversions of his school-fellows, but preferred sauntering in the fields, where he was usually employed in talking to himself.

At Lichfield he spent two years in a very desultory course of reading, a mode of acquiring knowledge to which he had been attached whilst a very young boy, and which was afterwards confirmed by the advice of Mr. Ford;


obtain," said he, "some general principles of every science: he who can talk only on one subject, or act only in one department, is seldom wanted, and, perhaps, never wished for; while the man of general knowledge can often benefit, and always please." Like Milton, he was passionately fond of romances; and Dr. Percy has recorded, that when a boy, and spending part of a summer at his parsonage-house in the country, he chose for his regular reading the old Spanish, romance of Felixmarte of Hercania in folio, which he read quite through. During his residence at Lichfield, however, though his reading was various and without system, it did not consist of works of mere amusement; to adopt his own words, he studied all literature, all ancient authors," and he attempted translations from Homer, Virgil, and Horace. Of those early efforts, Mr. Boswell;

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