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"After my death I wish no other herald,
1 See Dr. Jonnson's letter to Mrs. Thrale, dated Ostick in Skie, September 30, 1773: writes a regular Journal of our travels, which I think contains as much of what I say and all other occurrences together; for such a faithful chronicler is Griffith.'"-BoSWELL
TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
MY DEAR SIR,-Every liberal motive that can actuate an authour in the dedication of his labours concurs in directing me to you, as the person to whom the following work should be inscribed.
with the greatest propriety, dedicated to Sir Joshua Reynolds, who was the intimate and beloved friend of that great nian; the friend whom he declared to be "the most invulnerable man he knew; whom, if he If there be a pleasure in celebrating the dis- should quarrel with him, he should find the tinguished merit of a contemporary, mixed most difficulty how to abuse." You, my with a certain degree of vanity, not alto- dear sir, studied him, and knew him well; gether inexcusable, in appearing fully sen- you venerated and admired him. Yet lusible of it, where can I find one, in compli-minous as he was upon the whole, you permenting whom I can with more general ap- ceived all the shades which mingled in the probation gratify those feelings? Your ex- grand composition, all the little peculiarities cellence not only in the art over which you and slight blemishes which marked the litehave long presided with unrivalled fame, but rary Colossus. Your very warm commenalso in philosophy and elegant literature, is dation of the specimen which I gave in my well known to the present, and will continue "Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides," of to be the admiration of future ages. Your my being able to preserve his conversation equal and placid temper, your variety of in an authentick and lively manner, which conversation, your true politeness, by which opinion the publick has confirmed, was the you are so amiable in private society, and best encouragement for me to persevere in that enlarged hospitality which has long my purpose of producing the whole of my made your house a common centre of union stores. for the great, the accomplished, the learned, and the ingenious; all these qualities I can, in perfect confidence of not being accused of flattery, ascribe to you.
If a man may indulge an honest pride, in having it known to the world that he has been thought worthy of particular attention by a person of the first eminence in the age in which he lived, whose company has been universally courted, I am justified in availing myself of the usual privilege of a dedication, when I mention that there has been a long and uninterrupted friendship between us.
If gratitude should be acknowledged for favours received, I have this opportunity, my dear sir, most sincerely to thank you for the many happy hours which I owe to your kindness, for the cordiality with which you have at all times been pleased to welcome me,-for the number of valuable Boquaintances to whom you have introduced for the noctes cœnæque Deum, which I have enjoyed under your roof.
If a work should be inscribed to one who is master of the subject of it, and whose approbation, therefore, must ensure it credit and success, the Life of Dr. Johnson is, 1
In one respect, this work will in some passages be different from the former. In my "Tour," I was almost unboundedly open in my communications; and from my eagerness to display the wonderful fertility and readiness of Johnson's wit, freely showed to the world its dexterity, even when I was myself the object of it. I trusted that I should be liberally understood, as knowing very well what I was about, and by no means as simply unconscious of the pointed effects of the satire. I own, indeed, that I was arrogant enough to suppose that the tenour of the rest of the book would sufficiently guard me against such a strange imputation. But it seems I judged too well of the world; for, though I could scarcely believe it, I have been undoubtedly informed, that many persons, especially in distant quarters, not penetrating enough into Johnson's character, so as to understand his mode of treating his friends, have arraigned my judgment, instead of seeing that I was sensible of all that they could observe.
It is related of the great Dr. Clarke, that when in one of his leisure hours he was un
bending himself with a few friends in the most playful and frolicksome manner, he observed Beau Nash approaching; upon which he suddenly stopped. "My boys," said he, "let us be grave-here comes a fool." The world, my friend, I have found to be a great fool as to that particular on which it has become necessary to speak very plain-fications. I am, my dear sir, your much ly. I have therefore in this work been more
reserved; and though I tell nothing but the truth, I have still kept in my mind that the whole truth is not always to be exposed. This, however, I have managed so as to occasion no diminution of the pleasure which my book should afford, though malignity may sometimes be disappointed of its grati
obliged friend and faithful humble servant,
London, 20th April, 1791.
MR. BOSWELL'S ADVERTISEMENTS.
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
I AT last deliver to the world a work | severity. I have also been extremely carewhich I have long promised, and of which, ful as to the exactness of my quotations; I am afraid, too high expectations have been holding that there is a respect due to the raised. The delay of its publication must publick, which should oblige every authour be imputed, in a considerable degree, to the to attend to this, and never to presume to extraordinary zeal which has been shown introduce them with, "I think I have read," by distinguished persons in all quarters to or "If I remember right," when the origisupply me with additional information con- nals may be examined. cerning its illustrious subject; resembling in this the grateful tribes of ancient nations, of which every individual was eager to throw a stone upon the grave of a departed hero, and thus to share in the pious office of erecting an honourable monument to his memory.
The labour and anxious attention with which I have collected and arranged the materials of which these volumes are composed, will hardly be conceived by those who read them with careless facility. The stretch of mind and prompt assiduity by which so many conversations were preserved, I myself, at some distance of time, contemplate with wonder; and I must be allowed to suggest, that the nature of the work, in other respects, as it consists of innumerable detached particulars, all which, even the most minute, I have spared no pains to ascertain with a scrupulous authenticity, has occasioned a degree of trouble far beyond that of any other species of composition. Were I to detail the books which I have consulted, and the inquiries which I have found it necessary to make by various channels, I should probably be thought ridiculously ostentatious. Let me only observe, as a specimen of my trouble, that I have sometimes been obliged to run half over London, in order to fix a date correctly; which, when I had accomplished, I well knew would obtain me no praise, though a failure would have been to my dis-pointments we know to be incident to hucredit. And after all, perhaps, hard as it manity; but we do not feel them the less. may be, I shall not be surprised if omissions Let me particularly lament the Reverend or mistakes be pointed out with invidious Thomas Warton and the Reverend Dr.
I beg leave to express my warmest thanks to those who have been pleased to favour me with communications and advice in the conduct of my work. But I cannot sufficiently acknowledge my obligations to my friend Mr. Malone, who was so good as to allow me to read to him almost the whole of my manuscript, and made such remarks as were greatly for the advantage of the work; though it is but fair to him to mention, that upon many occasions I differed from him, and followed my own judgment. I regret exceedingly that I was deprived of the benefit of his revision, when not more than one half of the book had passed through the press; but after having completed his very laborious and admirable edition of Shakspeare, for which he generously would accept of no other reward but that fame which he has so deservedly obtained, he fulfilled his promise of a long-wished-for visit to his relations in Ireland; from whence his safe return finibus Aticis is desired by his friends here, with all the classical ardour of Sic te Diva potens Cypri; for there is no man in whom more elegant and worthy qualities are united; and whose society, therefore, is more valued by those who know him.
It is painful to me to think, that while I was carrying on this work, several of those to whom it would have been most interesting have died. Such melancholy disap
Adams. Mr. Warton, amidst his variety have thought myself in the company and of genius and learning, was an excellent of the party almost throughout. It has biographer. His contributions to my col-given very general satisfaction; and those lection are highly estimable; and as he had who have found most fault with a passage a true relish of my "Tour to the Hebrides," here and there, have agreed that they could I trust I should now have been gratified not help going through, and being enterwith a larger share of his kind approbation. tained with the whole. I wish, indeed, Dr. Adams, eminent as the head of a col- some few gross expressions had been softlege, as a writer, and as a most amiable ened, and a few of our hero's foibles had man, had known Johnson from his early been a little more shaded; but it is useful to years, and was his friend through life. see the weaknesses incident to great minds; What reason I had to hope for the counte- and you have given us Dr. Johnson's aunance of that venerable gentleman to this thority that in history all ought to be told." work will appear from what he wrote to me upon a former occasion from Oxford, November 17, 1785:-"Dear sir, I hazard this letter, not knowing where it will find you, to thank you for your very agreeable Tour,' which I found here on my return from the country, and in which you have depicted our friend so perfectly to my fancy, in every attitude, every scene and situation, that I
Such a sanction to my faculty of giving a just representation of Dr. Johnson I could not conceal. Nor will I suppress my satisfaction in the consciousness, that by recording so considerable a portion the wisdom and wit of "the brightest ornament of the eighteenth century 1," I have largely provided for the instruction and entertainment of mankind. J. BOSWELL.
London, 20th April, 1791.
TO THE SECOND EDITION.
That I was anxious for the success of a work which had employed much of my time and labour, I do not wish to conceal; but whatever doubts I at any time entertained, have been entirely removed by the very favourable reception with which it has been honoured. That reception has excited my best exertions to render my book more perfect; and in this endeavour I have had the assistance not only of some of my particular friends, but of many other learned and ingenious men, by which I have been enabled to rectify some mistakes, and to enrich the work with many valuable additions. These I have ordered to be printed separately in quarto, for the accommodation of the purchasers of the first edition. May I be permitted to say that the typography of both editions does honour to the press of Mr. Henry Baldwin, now Master of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, whom I have long known as a worthy man and an obliging friend.
His strong, clear, and animated enforcement of religion, morality, loyalty, and subordination, while it delights and improves the wise and the good, will, I trust, prove an effectual antidote to that detestable sophistry which has been lately import
In the strangely mixed scenes of human existence, our feelings are often at once pleas-ed from France, under the false name of ing and painful. Of this truth, the progress philosophy, and with a malignant industry of the present work furnishes a striking has been employed against the peace, good instance. It was highly gratifying to me order, and happiness of society, in our free that my friend, Sir Joshua Reynolds, to and prosperous country: but, thanks be to whom it is inscribed, lived to peruse it, and God, without producing the pernicious efto give the strongest testimony to its fidel- fects which were hoped for by its propagaity, but before a second edition, which he tors. ontributed to improve, could be finished, the world has been deprived of that most valuable man; a loss of which the regret wil be deep and lasting, and extensive, proportionate to the felicity which he dif fad through a wide circle of admirers and fonds.
It seems to me, in my moments of selfcomplacency, that this extensive biographical work, however inferior in its nature, may in one respect be assimilated to the
In reflecting that the illustrious subject of this work, by being more extensively and intimately known, however elevated before, has risen in the veneration and love of mankind, I feel a satisfaction beyond what fame can afford. We cannot, indeed, too much or too often admire his wonderful powers of mind, when we consider that the principal store of wit and wisdom which this work contains was not a particular selection from his general conversation, but was merely his occasional talk at such times as I had the good fortune to be in his company; and, without doubt, if his discourse at other periods had been collected with the same attention, the whole tenour of what he uttered would have been found equally excellent.
1 See Mr. Malone's Preface to his edition of Shakspeare.-BOSWELL.
Odyssey. Amidst a thousand entertaining and instructive episodes, the hero is never long out of sight; for they are all in some degree connected with him; and he, in the whole course of the history, is exhibited by the authour for the best advantage of his readers:
-Quid virtus et quid sapientia possit, Utile proposuit nobis exemplar Ulyssen.
Should there be any cold-blooded and morose mortals who really dislike this book, I will give them a story to apply. When the great Duke of Marlborough, accompanied by Lord Cadogan, was one day reconnoitring the army in Flanders, a heavy rain came on, and they both called for their cloaks. Lord Cadogan's servant, a goodhumoured alert lad, brought his lordship's in a minute. The duke's servant, a lazy sulky dog, was so sluggish, that his grace being wet to the skin, reproved him, and had for answer, with a grunt, "I came as fast as I could;" upon which the duke calmly said, "Cadogan, I would not for a thousand pounds have that fellow's temper."
There are some men, I believe, who have, or think they have, a very small share of vanity. Such may speak of their literary fame in a decorous style of diffidence. But I confess, that I am so formed by nature and by habit, that to restrain the effusion of delight, on having obtained such fame, 1st July, 1793.
to me would be truly painful. Why should I suppress it? Why "out abundance of the heart" should I not Let me then mention with a warm, insolent exultation, that I have be galed with spontaneous praise of my by many and various persons, emine their rank, learning, talents, and plishments; much of which praise under their hands to be reposited archives at Auchinleck. An hond and reverend friend speaking of the t able reception of my volumes, even circles of fashion and elegance, said "you have made them all talk Joh Yes, I may add, I have Johnsonis land; and I trust they will not only t think Johnson.
To enumerate those to whom I hav thus indebted would be tediously of tious. I cannot however but nam whose praise is truly valuable, note account of his knowledge and abiliti on account of the magnificent, yet d ous embassy, in which he is now emp which makes every thing that relates peculiarly interesting. Lord Mac favoured me with his own copy of my with a number of notes, of which availed myself. On the first leaf I in his lordship's hand-writing, an i tion of such high commendation, tha I, vain as I am, cannot prevail on my publish it. J. BOSW
MR. MALONE'S ADVERTISEMENTS.
SEVERAL valuable letters, and other curious matter, having been communicated to the authour too late to be arranged in that chronological order, which he had endeavoured uniformly to observe in his work, he was obliged to introduce them in his second edition, by way of Addenda, as commodiously as he could. In the present edition, they have been distributed in their proper places. In revising his volumes for a new edition, he had pointed out where some of these materials should be inserted; but unfortunately, in the midst of his labours, he was seized with a fever, of which, to the great regret of all his friends, he died on the 19th of May, 1795. All the notes that he had written in the margin of the copy, which he had in part revised, are here faithfully preserved; and a few new notes have been added, principally by some of those friends to whom the authour, in the former editions, acknowledged his obligations. Those subscribed with the letter B. were communicated by Dr. Burney; those
TO THE THIRD EDITION.
to which the letters J. B. are anne the Rev. J. B. Blakeway, of Shrew to whom Mr. Boswell acknowledge self indebted for some judicious rem the first edition of his work; and the J. B-. O. are annexed to some r furnished by the authour's second student of Brazen-Nose College in Some valuable observations were c nicated by James Bindley, Esq. firmissioner in the stamp-office, whic been acknowledged in their proper For all those without any signatur Malone is answerable. Every new not written by the authour, for the distinction has been enclosed within ets; in one instance, however, the by mistake, has affixed this mark to relative to the Rev. Thomas Fysche er, (see vol. iv. p. 129), which was by Mr. Boswell, and therefore ough have been thus distinguished.
I have only to add, that the proof of the present edition not having