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ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS IN VOL. IV.
Page 31,-line 23, • for Sept 12th, read-21st.
31, note,-1. 10, for it seems, read-he seems.
of the original journal in Mr. Anderdon's papers,
Dr. Johnson. 49,-- line 37, between idea and unconstitutional, insert-as. 64,-line 11, fill up the blank with—Beauclerk. 213,- line 1, . on four peers, add note-[The occasion was Mr.
Horne's writ of error in 1778.-Ed.)
dele pote 2. 246,
· for White, read-Whyte. 255, note 1, add-Though .the editor was assured, from what he
thought good authority, that Mr. Damer was here alluded to, he has since reason to suppose that another and more respectable name was meant, which, however, without more certainty,
he does not venture to mention. 263, note 2,-line 2, for vol. ii. read_vol. iii. 294,-line 7, The reference to note 2 should be on the word bishop,
in the next line. 311, note 1, · for 301, read-304. 361, note,
· for his, read - this. 363, note 1, add-Johnson himself, in a memorandum among Mr.
Anderdon's papers, dated in 1784, writes " cubic
feet.” 427, note 1,-1. 14, for April, 1779, read—- Ist August, 1780, p. 320. 451, margin, after Reyn. Recol. dele-p. 81. 459, margin, dele Apoph. 112, n., 415, n. 1, 1.31 add-Boswell.
SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL. D.
THURSDAY, Sept. 18. Last night Dr. Johnson had proposed that the crystal lustre, or chandelier, in Dr. Taylor's large room, should be lighted up some time or other. Taylor said it should be lighted up next night. “ That will do very well,” said I, “ for it is Dr. Johnson's birthday.” When we were in the Isle of Sky, Johnson had desired me not to mention his birthday. He did not seem pleased at this time that I mentioned it, and said (somewhat sternly), “ he would not have the lustre lighted the next day.”
Some ladies, who had been present yesterday when I mentioned his birthday, came to dinner to-day, and plagued him unintentionally by wishing him joy. I know not why he disliked having his birthday mentioned, unless it were that it reminded him of his approaching nearer to death, of which he had a constant dread.
[His letter of this date to Mrs. Thrale confirms Ed. this conjecture. [“ TO MRS. THRALE.
“ Ashbourne, 18th Sept. 1777. “ Here is another birthday. They come very fast. I am now sixty-eight. To lament the past is vain; what remains is to look for hope in futurity. VOL. IV.
“ Boswell is with us in good humour, and plays his part with his usual vivacity. We are to go in the doctor's vehicle and dine at Derby to-morrow.
“Do you know any thing of Bolt-court? Invite Mr. Levett to dinner, and make inquiry what family he has, and how they proceed. I had a letter lately from Mrs. Williams; Dr. Lewis visits her, and has added ipecacuanha to her bark: but I do not hear much of her amendment. Age is a very stubborn disease. Yet Levett sleeps sound every night. I am sorry for poor Seward's pain, but he may live to be better.
“ Mr. [Middleton's '] erection of an urn looks like an intention to bury me alive : I would as willingly see my friend, however benevolent and hospitable, quietly inurned. Let him think for the present of some more acceptable memorial.”]
I mentioned to him a friend of mine who was formerly gloomy from low spirits, and much distressed by the fear of death, but was now uniformly placid, and contemplated his dissolution without any perturbation. “Sir,” said Johnson, “ this is only a disordered imagination taking a different turn.”
We talked of a collection being made of all the English poets who had published a volume of
poems. Johnson told me, “that a Mr. Coxeter, whom he knew, had gone the greatest length towards this; having collected, I think, about five hundred volumes of poets whose works were little known; but that upon his death Tom Osborne bought them, and they were dispersed, which he thought a pity, as it was curious to see any series complete ; and in every volume of poems something good may be found.”
He observed, that a gentleman of eminence in literature had got into a bad style of poetry of late. “He puts,” said he, “a very common thing in a strange dress, till he does not know it himself, and thinks other people do not know it.” BOSWELL. “ That is owing to his being so much versant in old English
[See ante, vol. iii. p. 153.-En.] . (See ante, vol. i. p. 514-ED.)