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invocation to the Georgics, from Milbourne. (This in the small print.) 2. Dryden's Remarks on Rymer; which are ready transcribed. 3. Dryden's Letter, from Lambeth; which is promised me.
4. MR. Johnson will hope for Mr. Nichols's company to tea, about six this afternoon, to talk of the Index, and settle the terms.—Monday.
5. I AM very well contented that the Index is settled; for though the price is low, it is not penurious. Mr. M., having been for some time out of business, is in some little perplexities, from which twelve guineas will set him free. This, we hope, you will advance; and, during the continuance of the work subject to your inspection, he desires a weekly payment of sixteen shillings, the rest to remain till it is completed.
Nov. 26, 1778. SAM. JoHNSON.
6. MR. JoHNSON purposes to make his next attempt upon Prior, at least to consider him very soon; and desires that some volumes published of his papers, in two vols. 8vo. may be produced.
7. The Turtle and Sparrow can be but a fable”. The Conversation I never read.
8. By some accident, I laid your note upon Duke up so safely that I cannot find it. , Your informations have been of great use to me. I must beg it again; with another list of our authors, for I have laid that with the other. I have sent Stepney’s Epitaph. Let me have the revises as soon as can be.
9. I HAVE sent Philips, with his Fpitaphs to be inserted. The fragment of a Preface is hardly worth the impression, but that we may seem to do something. It may be added to the Life of Philips. The Latin page is to be added to the Life of Smith. I shall be at home, to revise the two sheets of Milton.
March 1, 1779. SAM. Johnson.
* This refers to a hint given him in consequence of what he said in the Life of Prior, vol. III. p. 29. that of his “Tales there are only four.”
10. PLEASE to get me the last edition of Hughes's Letters; and try to get Dennis upon Blackmore, and upon Cato, and any thing of the same writer against Pope. Our materials are defective.
As Waller professed to have imitated Fairfax, do you think a few pages of Fairfax would enrich our edition* } Few readers have seen it, and it may please themt. But it as not necessary.
May 2, 1799. SAM. Johnson.
11. IN examining this book, I find it necessary to add to the Life the Preface to the British Enchanters; and you may add, if you will, the notes on Unnatural Flights. I am, Sir, &c.—Friday.
12. THERE is a copy of verses by Fenton, on the first Fit of the Gout, in Pope's Miscellanies, and, I think, in the last volume of Dryden. In Pope's I am sure.
13. J. N. to Dr. J. “The Verses on the Gout are printed (from Fenton's Collection) in the Select Collection, 1780, vol. III. p. 1774 ; but shall be copied if Dr. J. thinks proper. From the same publication of Fenton, J. N. has copied some other Poems of Fenton, herewith sent; which Dr. J. may like to see. He may depend on the Anecdotes of Fenton.”
14. Answ. “I should have given Fenton's birth to Shelton. in Staffordshireş, but that I am afraid there is no such lace. The rest I have, except his Secretaryship, of which know not what to make. When Lord Orrery was in an office, Lewis was his Secretary. Lewis lived in my time; I knew him. The Gout Verses were always given to Fenton, when I was young, and he was living. Lord Orrery told me that Fenton was the Tutor; but never thought he was his father's Secretary|. Pray let me see the Oxford and Cambridge [Verses, &c. [1707.] If you are sure it was published by Fenton, I shall take notice of it”.”
* This expression and a similar one in No. 8, are thus marked, to prepare the reader for what is thrown out in N°. 17. where your edition refers, as these do, to that published by the body of bookseliers in G8 volunes, from a list repeatedly corrected by himself.
+ lt is added.
: Where it is ascribed to Dr. Waldren.
§ It is now said to be “ near Newcastle.” Shelton (near Newcastle Under-Line,) is to be found in Staffordshire, in the Index Villaris of 1700. Etoir.
| Dr. J. retracted this opinion, as F. in his Life is styled “Secretary.” Fenton was Secretary to Lord Orrery, when he commanded a regiment in Flanders, and was dismissed in 1793, four years before Dr. Johnson was born. b.D. T.
15. MR. Johnson desires Mr. Nichols to send him Ruffhead's Life of Pope, Pope's Works, Swift's Works, with Dr. Hawkesworth's Life, Lyttelton's Works; and with these he hopes to have done. The first to be got is Lyttelton.
16. MR. Johnson, being now at home, desires the last leaves of the Criticism on Pope's Epitaphs, and he will correct them. Mr. N. is intreated to save the proof sheets of Pope, because they are promised to a Ladyt, who desires to have them.
17. IN reading Rowe in your edition, which is very impudently called minet, I observed a little piece unnaturally and odiously obscene. I was offended, but was still more offended when I could not find it in Rowe's genuine volumesS. To admit it, had been wrong; to interpolate it, is surely worse. If I had known of such a piece in the whole collection, I should have been angry. What can be done *
18. Mr. Johnson is obliged to Mr. Nichols for his communication|, and must have Hammond again. Mr. Johnson would be glad of Blackmore's Essays for a few days.
May 24, 1780.
19. I HAVE been out of order, but by bleeding and physic think I am better, and can go again to work. Your note on Broome" will do me much good. Can you give me a few dates for A. Philips ? I wrote to Cambridge about them, but have had no answer.
June 16, 1780.
20. DR. WARtoN tells me, that Collins's first piece” is in the Gent. Mag. for August, 1739. In August there is no such thing. , Amasius was at that time the poetical name of Dr. Swan, who translated Sydenham. Where to find Collins, I know not. I think I must make some short addition to Thomson's sheet, but will send it to-day.
* See Lives of the Poets, vol. III,
+ Probably to Miss Burney.
* See the note on N°. 10.
; The Epigram on a lady who—at the tragedy of Cato, which has not only appeared in the Works of Rowe, but has been transplanted by Pope, into the “Miscellanies” he published in his own name, and that of Dean Swift.
| Lives of the Poets, vol. III. p. 185.
* Select Collection, vol. IV. p. 283.
[** Isis verses to Miss Aurelia C r, on her weeping at her Sister's Wedding, are in an earlier number, viz. that for January, 1739. E J
21. This Life of Dr. Young was written by a friend of his son [Mr. Croft.] What is crossed with black, is expunged by the author; what is crossed with red, is expunged by me. . If you find any thing more that can be well omitted, I shall not be sorry to see it yet shorter.
22. I Expected to have found a Life of Lord Lyttelton prefixed to his works. , Is there not one before the quarto edition ? I think there is ; if not, I am, with respect to him, quite aground.
23. I THINK you never need send back the revises, unless something important occurs. Little things, if I omit them, you will do me the favour of ...; right yourself. Our post is awkward, as you will find, and I fancy you will find it best to send two sheets at once.
Brighthelmston, Oct. 26, 1780.
24. MR. Johnson desires Mr. Nichols, to send him a set of the last Lives, and would be glad to know how the octavo edition goes forward.
April 16, 1781.
- 25. An
26. The English Poets Biographically and Critically considered. By SAM. Johnson.
Let Mr. Nichols take his choice, or make another” to his inind.
27. My desire being to couplete the set of Lives which I have formerly presented to my friends, I have occasion for a few of the first volumes; of which, by some misapprehension, I have received a great number, which I desire to exchange for the latter volumes. I wish success to the new edition. Please to deliver to Mr. Steevens, a complete set of the Lives in 12mo.
* Another was made,
June 10, 1781.
28. MR. Johnson, being much out of order, sent in search of the book, but it is not found. He will, if he is better, look himself diligently to-morrow. He thanks Mr. Nichols for all his favours.
Dec. 26, 1781.
29. DEAR SIR,-You somehow forgot the advertisement for the new edition. It was not inclosed. Of Gay's Letters“, I see not that any use can be made, for they give no information of any thing. That he was a member of the Philosophical Society is something, but surely he could be but a corresponding member. However, not having his Life here, I know not how to put it in, and it is of little importance.
What will the booksellers give me for this new edition? I know not what to ask. I would have 24 sets bound in plain calf, and figured with the number of the volumes. For the rest, they may please themselves.
Oct. 28, 1782.
30. THIS is all that I can think ont, therefore send it to the press, and fare it well.
1785, Jan. SAM. Johnson. *C*--
XXXVII. Sir William Herbert, of St. Julian's, in Monmouthshire, (father in law to the famous Lord Herbert, of Cherbury,) to a gentleman of the name of Morgan, in the same county.
PERUSE this letter in God's name. Be not disquieted. I reverence your hoary hairs. Although in your son I find too
* To the Spalding Society. See them in Bibl. Top. Brit. N°. XX. f The advertisement prefixed to the second edition, in 8vo.