rn the sheets, to which I have done what mischief I could; and finding it so little, thought not much of sending them. The narrative is clear, lively, and short.
'I have done worse to Lord Hailes than by neglecting his sheets: I have run him in debt. Dr. Horne, the President of Magdalen College in Oxford, wrote to me about three months ago, that he purposed to reprint Walton's Lives, and desired me to contribute to the work: my answer was, that Lord Hailes intended the same publication; and Dr. Home has resigned it to him. His Lordship must now think seriously about it.
'Of poor dear Dr. Goldsmith there is little to be told, more than the papers have made publick. He died of a fever, made, I am afraid, more violent by uneasiness of mind. His debts began to be heavy, and all his resources were exhausted. Sir Joshua is of opinion that he owed not less than two thousand pounds. Was ever poet so trusted before?
'You may, if you please, put the inscription thus:--
"Maria Scotorum Regina nata 15--, a suis in exilium acta 15--, ab hospita neci data 15--." You must find the years.
'Of your second daughter you certainly gave the account yourself, though you have forgotten it. While Mrs. Boswell is well, never doubt of a boy. Mrs. Thrale brought, I think, five girls running, but while I was with you she had a boy.
'I am obliged to you for all your pamphlets, and of the last I hope to make some use. I made some of the former.
'I am, dear Sir, 'Your most affectionate servant, 'SAM. JOHNSON.'
'July 4, 1774.'
'My compliments to all the three ladies.'
'TO BENNET LANGTON, ESQ., AT LANGTON, NEAR SPILSBY, LINCOLNSHIRE.
'You have reason to reproach me that I have left your last letter so long unanswered, but I had nothing particular to say. Chambers, you find, is gone far, and poor Goldsmith is gone much further. He died of a fever, exasperated, as I believe, by the fear of distress. He had raised money and squandered it, by every artifice of acquisition, and folly of expence. But let not his frailties be remembered; he was a very great man.
'I have just begun to print my Journey to the Hebrides, and am leaving the press to take another journey into Wales, whither Mr. Thrale is going, to take possession of, at least, five hundred a year, fallen to his lady. All at Streatham, that are alive, are well.
'I have never recovered from the last dreadful illness, but flatter myself that I grow gradually better; much, however, yet remains to mend. [Greek: Kurie eleaeson].
'If you have the Latin version of Busy, curious, thirsty fly, be so kind as to transcribe and send it; but you need not be in haste, for I shall be I know not where, for at least five weeks. I wrote the following tetastrick on poor Goldsmith:--
[Greek: 'Ton taphon eisoraas ton Olibaroio koniaen Aphrosi mae semnaen, Xeine, podessi patei Oisi memaele phusis, metron charis, erga palaion, Klaiete posaetaen, istorikon, phusikon.]
'Please to make my most respectful compliments to all the ladies, and remember me to young George and his sisters. I reckon George begins to shew a pair of heels.
'Do not be sullen now, but let me find a letter when I come back.
'I am, dear Sir,
'Your affectionate, humble servant,
'July 5, 1774.'
'To MR. ROBERT LEVET.
'Llewenny, in Denbighshire, Aug. 16, 1774.
'Mr. Thrale's affairs have kept him here a great while, nor do I know exactly when we shall come hence. I have sent you a bill upon Mr. Strahan.
'I have made nothing of the Ipecacuanha, but have taken abundance of pills, and hope that they have done me good.
'Wales, so far as I have yet seen of it, is a very beautiful and rich country, all enclosed, and planted. Denbigh is not a mean town. Make my compliments to all my friends, and tell Frank I hope he remembers my advice. When his money is out, let him have more.
'I am, Sir, 'Your humble servant, 'SAM. JOHNSON.'
'MR. BOSWELL TO DR. JOHNSON.
'Edinburgh, Aug. 30, 1774.
'You have given me an inscription for a portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, in which you, in a short and striking manner, point out her hard fate. But you will be pleased to keep in mind, that my picture is a representation of a particular scene in her history; her being forced to resign her crown, while she was imprisoned in the castle of Lochlevin. I must, therefore, beg that you will be kind enough to give me an inscription suited to that particular scene; or determine which of the two formerly transmitted to you is the best; and, at any rate, favour me with an English translation. It will be doubly kind if you comply with my request speedily.
'Your critical notes on the specimen of Lord Hailes's Annals of Scotland are excellent, I agreed with you in every one of them. He himself objected only to the alteration of free to brave, in the passage where he says that Edward "departed with the glory due to the conquerour of a free people.