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Art. 1.The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. By James

Boswell, Esq. A New Edition. Edited and illustrated with numerous biographical and historical Notes. By the Right

Hon. John Wilson Croker. 5 vols. London. 1831. IN N the history of Mr. Croker's reputation the year 1831 will

ever form a remarkable epoch. Till then, however adequately his talents and acquirements may have been appreciated within the range of personal familiarity, the impression actually received among the nation at large does not, certainly, appear to have been such as is now on all sides acknowledged. Within a few months, the clever, sharp man of subordinate official details' has raised himself in the House of Commons to the rank of a first-rate parliamentary debater, and been received among their foremost leaders-equally qualified for the station by industry, perspicacity, extent of knowledge, vigour of intellect, courage, and decision-by one of the great conflicting parties in the state. And precisely in the midst of those unparalleled exertions, which have thus astonished friendly and confounded hostile politicians, appears a work which, by all but universal consent, lifts the same person into a literary position, not less enviably superior to what he had previously seemed to occupy in that earlier field ofwhis distinction. Judging from the casual gossip of contemporary journals, the vulgar notion had been, that he held undoubtedly the pen of a most shrewd dialectician and cutting satirist, but would grapple in vain, if he should be rash enough to make such an attempt,


of the weightier matters' either of moral or of critical scrutiny. In these volumes the double question has been put to the test, and the result may teach some of our public instructors, as well as more important persons, to pause a little on future occasions, ere, perceiving and admitting the existence of genius, they presume to determine the range of its capacity—upon uncertain data,-in the exercise, with all due respect be it said, of imperfect powers of discrimination—and even under, perhaps, to a certain extent, the unconscious intluence of something like jealousy. Meantime, the mist being once thoroughly dispelled, we entertain no apprehension of seeing it VOL. XLVI. NO, XCI,



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