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son mentioned to Sir Joshua Reynolds some of their whimsical adventures in early life, and in his writings describes Savage as having “a graceful and manly deportment, a solemn dignity of mien, but which a nearer acquaintance softened into an engaging easiness of manners.” How much he admired his friend Sa. vage, for that knowledge of letters which he himself so much cultivated, and what kindness he entertained for him is evident, from some verses he wrote for the Gentleman's Magazine, for April 1738.
About the same time he became acquainted with "Miss Elizabeth Carter, the learned translator of Epictetus, to whom he showed particular tokens of respect, and in the same magazine complimented her in an enigma to Eliza, both in Greek and Latin. He writes Mr Cave, “ I think she ought to be celebrated in as many different languages as Lewis Le Grand.”
In May 1738, he published his London, a Poem written in imitation of the third satire of Juvenal. It has been generally said that he offered it to several booksellers, none of whom would purchase it. Mr Cave at length communicated it to Dodsley, who had judgment enough to discern its intrinsic merit, and thought it creditable to be concerned in it. Dodsley gave him ten pounds for the copy. It is remarkable that it came out on the same morning with Pope's Satire, entitled “One Thousand Sevent Hundred and Thirty Eight.” Pope was so struck with its merit, that he sought to discover the author, and prophesied his future fame, and from his note to Lord Gower, it seems that he was successful in his inquiries. From
a short extract in the Gentleman's Magazine for May, it appears that the poem got to the second edition in the space of a week. Indeed this admirable production laid the foundation of Johnson's fame.
In the course of his engagement with Cave, he *composed the Debates in the Senate of Magna Lilliputia, the first number of which appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine for June 1738, sometimes with feigned names of the several speakers, with denominations formed of the letters of their real names, so that they might be easily decyphered. Parliament then kept the press in a kind of mysterious awe, which rendered it necessary to have recourse to such devices. The debates for some time were taken and digested by Guthrie, and afterwards sent by Mr Cave to Johnson for revision. Guthrie being afterwards engaged in a diversity of employment, it was resolved that Johnson should do the whole himself, from notes furnished by persons employed to attend in both houses of parlia. ment. His sole composition of them began November 19, 1740, and ended February 23d, 1742-3. From that time to the year 1760 they were written by Hawkesworth.
He derived, however, so little emolument from his literary productions, that notwithstanding the success of his London, he was willing to accept of an offer made him of becoming master of a free school, at a salary of sixty pounds a-year; but as the statutes of the school required that he should be a Master of Arts, he was under the necessity of declining it. It is said of Pope to his honour, that without any know
ledge of Johnson but from his London, he recommended him to Lord Gower, who by a letter to a friend of Swift endeavoured to procure him a degree from Trinity College Dublin; but the expedient failed, and it is supposed that Swift declined to interfere in the business; to which circumstance Johnson's known dislike to Swift has been often imputed.
Thus disappointed, he was under the necessity of persevering in that course into which he was forced, and therefore resumed his design of translating Father Paul's History of the Council of Trent in two volumes quarto, which were announced in the Weekly Miscellany, October 21st, 1738. Though twelve sheets of this translation were printed off, Johnson was unfortunately frustrated in his design ; for it happened that another Samuel Johnson, librarian of St Martin in the fields, and curate of that parish, had engaged in the same undertaking, under the patronage of Dr Pearce, the consequence of which was an opposition, that destroyed the productive effect of both the works.
In the same year he took part in the opposition to the administration of Sir Robert Walpole, and published a pamphlet, entitled, Marmor Norfolciense, by Probus Britannicus, in which he inveighed against the Brunswick succession, and the measures of government consequent upon it, with the most intemperate zeal, and pointed sarcasm.
This jacobitical production obtained the sanction of the Tory party in general, and of Pope in particular, as appears from the following note concerning Johnson, copied with minute exactness by Mr Boswell from the original, in the possession of Dr Percy,
“ This (London) is imitated by one Johnson, who put up for a public school in Shropshire, but was disappointed. He has an infirmity of the convulsive kind, that attacks him sometimes, so as to make him a sad spectacle. Mr P. from the merit of this work, which was all the knowledge he had of him, endeavoured to serve him without his own application, and wrote to my Lord Gower, but did not succeed. Mr Johnson published afterwards another poem in Latin, with notes, the whole very humorous, called the Nor. folk Prophecy."
At the close of the year 1739, the friends of Savage commiserating his case, raised a subscription to enable that unfortunate genius to retire to Swansea'; by which means Johnson was parted from his companion, and exempted from many temptations to dissipation, in which he indulged from his attachment to his friend, though contrary to the gravity of his own temper and disposition.
In the years 1740, 1741, 1742, and 1743, he furnished for the Gentleman's Magazine a variety of communications, besides the Parliamentary Debates. Among these were the lives of several eminent men; an essay on the account of the conduct of the Duke of Marlborough, then the popular topic of conversation; and an advertisement for Osborne, concerning the “ Bibliotheca Harleiana, or a Catalogue of the Library of the Earl of Oxford.”- This was afterwards prefixed to the first volame of the catalogne, in whịch the
Latin account of books was written by him. Mr Osborne purchased the library for L. 13,000, a sum which Mr Oldys says in one of his manuscripts was not more than the binding of the books had cost, yet the slowness of the sale was such, that there was not much gained by it. It has been confidently related, with many embellishments, that Johnson knocked Osbome down in his shop with a folio, and put his foot upon his neck. Johnson himself relates it differently to Mr Boswell,“ Sir, he was impertinent to me, and I beat him ; but it was not in his shop, it was in my own chamber.” This anecdote has been told to prove Johnson's ferocity; but the matter has been palliated by the friends of Johnson, who imputed it to the arrogant behaviour of the bookseller.
In 1744 he produced the Life of Savage, which he had announced his intention of writing in the Gentleman's Magazine for August 1743. This work did him much honour. A liberal commendation was given it by Fielding in the Champion,” which was copied into the Gentleman's Magazine for April, and.confirmed by the approbation of the public.
Johnson, great as his abilities confessedly were, bad now lived half his days to very little purpose ; he had toiled and laboured, yet, as he himself expresses it, it
to provide for the day that was passing over him." Sir John Hawkins has preserved a list of literary projects of no less than thirty-nine articles, which he had formed in the course of his studies ; but such was his want of encouragement, or the versatility of his temper, that not one of all those projects