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By means of a paper which I have now before me, I am able to furnish, what I take to have been his method or plan of institution; and, as it may be deemed a curiosity, and may serve the purpose of future instructors of youth, I here insert it:
When the introduction or formation of nouns and verbs is perfectly mastered, the pupils learn
Corderius, by Mr. Clarke ; beginning at the same time to translate out of his introduction. They then proceed to
Erasmus, reading him with Clarke's translation.
Justin with the translation. The first class
The second class does the same while in
as the first class.
ing, and Cæsar's Commentaries in the
They then proceed to Virgil, beginning at the fame time to compose themes and verses,* and learn Greek, and from thence pass on to Horace, Terence, and Sallust. The Greek authors afterwards read are, first, those in the Attic dialect, which are Cebes, Ælian, Lucian by Leeds, and Xenophon: next Homer in the Ionic, Theocritus
Doric, Euripides Attic and Doric. From two letters, first inserted in the Gentleman's Magazine, and since in sundry other publications, from Mr. Walmsley to his friend the reverend Mr. Colson, a mathematician, and, in his later years, Lucasian professor at Cainbridge, little is to be learnt respecting the history of Johnson and Garrick, at this period: the one wants the date of the month, the other that of the year; and though, in the order of their publication, the one immediately follows the other, there must have been some interval between the times of writing the first and the last. The first is dated in 1737, and, as it contains a recommendation of Garrick to Mr. Colson, for instruction in mathematics, philosophy, and human learning, leads us to suppose, that before the time of writing it, Johnson's scheme of taking in boarders had proved abortive. The latter, written in what year we know not, and inserted below, recommends both Johnson and Garrick to his notice, the former as a good fcholar and one that gave hopes
Johnson had through his life a propensity to Latin composition : he shewed it very early at school, and while there made some Latin verses, for which the Earl of Berkshire, who was a good scholar, and bad always a Horace in his pocket, gave him a guinea.
of turning out a fine tragedy-writer; and, we are from good authority assured, that in March, in the
last above-mentioned, they, on horse-back, arrived in town together.
Lichfield, March 2. "I had the favour of yours, and am extremely obliged to you ; but cannot say, I had a greater affection for you upon it, than I had before, being long since so much endeared to you, as well by an early friendship, as by your many excellent and va' luable qualifications. And, had I a son of my own,
it would be my ambition, instead of sending him to * the university, to dispose of him as this young gentleman is. " He and another neighbour of mine, one Mr. S. Johnson, set out this morning for London together. Davy Garrick is to be with you early the next week, and Mr. Johnson to try his fate with a tragedy, and to see to get himself employed in some translation either from the Latin or the French. Johnson is a very good scholar and a poet, and, I ' have great hopes, will turn out a fine tragedy
writer. If it should any ways lay in your way, 'doubt not but you would be ready to recommend and assist your countryman.
G. WALMSLEY.' The hope suggested in this letter is grounded on a circumstance which will lead us back to about the
year before he quitted his school at Edial. It must be imagined, the instruction of so smalla number of scholars as were under his care, left him at leisure to pursue his
private studies and amusements, which, for the most part, consisted in desultory reading. Let it not excite wonder in any that shall peruse these memoirs, to be told, that Burton on Melancholy was a book that he frequently resorted to for the purpose of exhilaration, or that, at times, he should find entertainment in turning over Knolles's voluminous and neglected hiftory of the Turks. In the many hours of leisure which he may be said rather to have endured than enjoyed, we must suppose fome employed in the contemplation of his fortunes, the means of improving them, and of resisting the adverse accidents to which human life is exposed, and of which he had already had some experience. The stage holds forth temptations to men of genius, which many have been glad to embrace : the profits arising from a tragedy, including the representation and printing of it, and the connections it sometimes enables the author to form, were in Johnson's idea inestimable ; and, it is not impoflible, but that Garrick, who, before this time, had manifested a propensity towards the stage, had suggested to him the thought of writing one : certain it is, that during his residence at Edial, and under the eye of his friend Mr. Walmsley, he planned and completed that poem which gave this gentleman occasion to fay, he was likely to become a fine tragedy-writer.
He chose for his story an action related by Knolles in his history above-mentioned with all the powers of the most affecting eloquence: to give it at large would be to transgress the limits I have prescribed myself, and to abridge it would injure it: I will do neither; but referring the reader to the historian nimfclf, will relate it as a bare historical fact.
Mahomet the Great, first emperor of the Turks, in the year 1453 laid siege to the city of Conftantinople, then possessed by the Greeks, and, after an obstinate resistance, took and facked it. Among the many young women whom his commanders thought fit to lay hands on and present to him, was one, named Irene, a Greek, of incomparable beauty and such rare perfection of body and mind, that the emperor becoming enamoured of her, neglected the care of his government and empire for two whole years, and thereby so exasperated the Janizaries and other of his warlike subjects, that they mutinied, and threatened to dethrone him. To prevent this mischief, Mustapha Bassa, a person of
credit with him, undertook to reprefent to him the great danger to which he lay exposed by the indulgence of his passion: he called to his remembrance the characters, actions, and archievements of many of his predecessors, and the state of his government; and, in short, so roused him from his lethargy, that he took a horrible resolution to silence the clamours of his people, by the sacrifice of this admirable creature: accordingly, on a future day, he commanded her to be dressed and adorned in the richest manner that she and her attendants could devise, and against a certain hour issued orders for the nobility and leaders of his army to attend him in the great hall of his palace. When they were all assembled, himself appeared with great pomp and magnificence, leading his late captive, but now abfolute mistress, by the hand, unconscious of guilt and ignorant of his design. With a furious and menacing look, he gave the beholders to understand, that he knew the cause of their discontent, and that he meant