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Then, fays his friend, imperial tragedy muft belong to you (alluding to his Irene.) Johnfon fmiled.
Well known is the rude reproof he gave to a talker, who afferted, that every individual in Scotland had literature. (By the by, modern ftatefmen do not wish that every one in the King's dominions fhould be able to write and read.) "The general learning of the Scotch nation (faid he, in a bad humour) resembles the condition of a fhip's crew, condemned to fhort allowance of provifions; every one has a mouthful, and nobody a belly full." Of this enough. His fize has been defcribed to be large: his mind and perfon both in a large fcale. His face and features are happily preferved by Reynolds and by Nollikens. His elocution was energetic, and, in the words of a great scholar in the north, who did not like him, he spoke in the Lincolnshire dialect. His articulation became worse, by fome dental loffes. But he never was filent on that ac count, nor unwilling to talk. It never was faid of him, that he was overtaken with liquor, a declaration Bishop Hoadly makes of himself. But he owned that he drank his bottle at a certain time of life. Lions, and the fierceft of the wild creation, drink nothing but water. Like Solomon, who tried fo many things for curiofity and delight, he renounced ftrong liquors; (ftrong liquors, according to Fenton, of all kinds, were the averfion of Milton;) and he might have faid, as that King is made to do by Prior,
“I drank, I lik'd it not, 'twas rage, 'twas noife, "An airy scene of tranfitory joys,"
His temper was not naturally fmooth, but feldom boiled over. It was worth while to find out the mollia tempora fandi. The words nugarum contemptor fell often from him in a reverie. When afked about them, he faid, he appropriated them from a preface of Dr. Hody. He was defirous of feeing every thing that was extraordinary in art or nature; and to resemble his Imlac in his moral romance of Raffelas. It was the fault of fortune that he did not animadvert on every thing at home
and abroad. He had been upon the falt-water, and obferved fomething of a fea-life of the uniformity of the fcene, and of the fickness and turbulence belonging to that element, he had felt enough. He had feen a little of the military life and difcipline, by having paffed whole days and nights in the camp, and in the tents, at Warley Common. He was able to make himfelf entertaining in his defcription of what he had feen. A fpark was enough to illuminate him. The Giant and the Corfican Fairy were objects of attention to him. The riding-horfes in Aftley's amphitheatre (no new public amufement, for Homer alludes to it) he went to fee; and on the fireworks of Torri he wrote a Latin poem.
The study of humanity, as was injurioufly faid of the great Bentley, had not made him inhuman. He never wantonly brandifhed his formidable He meant to keep his ene
weapon. mies off. He did not mean, as in the advice of Radcliffe to Mead, “ to bully the world, left the world should bully him." He feemed to be a man of great clemency to all fubordinate beings. He faid," he would not fit at a table, where a lobfter had been roafted alive was one of the dishes." His charities were many; only not fo extenfive as his pity, for that was univerfal. An evening club, for three nights in every week, was contrived to amufe him, in Effex-street, founded, according to his own words, “in frequency and parfimony;" to which he gave a fet of rules, as Ben Jonfon did his leges convivales at the Devil Tavern.-Johnfon afked one of his executors, a few days before his death (which, according to his will, he expected every day) "Where do you intend to bury me?" He answered, Weftniinfter-Abbey."
tinued he) place a ftone over my grave (probably to notify the fpot) that my remains may not be disturbed.*" Who will come forth with an infcription for him in the Poets' Corner? Who fhould have thought that Garrick and Johnfon would have their laft fleep together;
* His words, we believe, were, "If my friends think it worth while to give me a ftone, let it be placed over me, fo as to protect my body," At the moment he might think of Shakspeare's epitaph
It must be told, that a diffatisfaction was expreffed in the public papers, that he was not buried with all poffible funeral rites and honours. In all proceffions and folemnities, fomething will be forgotten or omitted. Here no disrespect was intended. The executors did not think themfelves juftified in doing more than they did. For only a little cathedral fervice, accompanied with lights and mufic, would have raised the price of interment. In this matter, fees run high: they could not be excufed; and the expences were to be paid from the property of the deceased. His funeral expences amounted to more than two hundred pounds. Future monumental charges may be defrayed by the generofity of fubfcription: the whole coft will be more than the last mentioned fum.
It were to be wifhed he could have written his own epitaph with propriety. None of the lapidary infcriptions by Dr. Freind have more merit than what Johnson wrote on Thrale, on Goldsmith, and Mrs. Salisbury. By the way, one of thefe was criticifed, by fome men of learning and taste, from the table of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and conveyed to him in a round robin. Maty, in his Review, praises his Latin epitaphs very highly. This fon of ftudy and of indigence died worth above feventeen hundred pounds: Milton died worth fifteen hundred. His legacy to his black fervant Frank is noble and exemplary. Milton left in his hand-writing the titles of fome future fubjects for his pen: fo did Johnson.
The bookfellers gave it out, as a piece of literary news, that he had an inclination to tranflate the lives of Plutarch from the Greek. It appears from his literary memorandum book, that this was one of the tasks he affigned himself. He had cut out, fo much for himself, that many more years of life would not have concluded thefe Herculean labours. The winter before he died, he talked seriously of a tranflation of Thuanus, as a task of no extraordinary labour.
It was forgot to be told, that twenty years ago he gave an abftract, in the Gentleman's Magazine, of Mr. Tytler's
book, in vindication of Mary Queen. of Scots, at the inftigation of an old acquaintance. Probably he thought her innocent of the charge of writing the letters to Bothwell.
But he confeffed, that her letting Bothwell run away with her, and the marrying him afterwards, was very profligate and indefenfible. This writer cannot avoid giving the claffical reader (Dryden's Virgil lying upon his table) a parallel adventure (for, fays Voltaire, there are examples of every thing in this world) of Dido the Queen of Carthage, who was ruined by love (as much as the defiring and the defirable Mary of Scotland) and followed her paramour Æneas into the cave, where and when, fays poetical history, "She call'd it marriage, by that fpecious name "To veil the crime, and fanctify the fhame." "That the ceremonies were short, we may believe (fays Dryden) for Dido was not only amorous, but a widow."
He compofed the preface to the Poems of Mifs Williams, to Sully's Memoirs, to Macbean's Claffical Geography, and to Adams on the Globes.
He had a large, but not a fplendid library, near 5000 volumes. Many authors, not in hoftility with him, prefented him with their works. But his ftudy did not contain half his books. He poffeffed the chair that belonged to the Ciceronian Dr. King of Oxford, which was given him by his friend Vanfittart. It anfwers the purposes of reading and writing, by night or by day; and is as valuable in all refpects as the chair of Ariotto, as delineated in the preface to Hoole's liberal tranflation of that poet. Since the rounding of this period, intelligence is brought, that this literary chair is purchafed by Mr. Hoole. Relicks are venerable things, and are only not to be worshipped. On the reading-chair of Mr. Speaker Onflow a part of this hiftorical sketch was written.
Johnfon died by a quiet and filent expiration, to ufe his own words on Milton: ane his funeral was fplendidly and numerouЛly attended. The friends of the Doctor were happy on his eafy departure, for they apprehended he might have died hard. At the end of
Y y z
this fketch, it may be hinted (fooner might have been prepoffeffion) that Johnfon told this writer, for he faw he always had his eye and his ear upon him, that at fome time or other he might be called upon to affift a pofthumous account of him.
A hint was given to our author, a few years ago, by this rhapfodift, to write his own life, left fomebody should write it for him. He has reafon to believe, he has left a manufcript biography behind him. His executors,
all honourable men, will fit in judgement upon his papers. Thuanus, Buchanan, Huerius, and others, have been their own hiftorians.
The memory of fome people, fays Mably very lately, "is their underftanding." This may be thought, by fome readers, to be the cafe in point. Whatever anecdotes were furnished by memory, this pen did not choose to part with to any compiler. His little bit of gold he has worked into as much gold leaf as he could.
WHEN I fee money and pleafure becoming every day more, and virtue and learning every day lefs, the purfuits of my countrymen, help deploring the lofs of a veteran in the little phalanx of the learned, which was formed when we were a great people, and made our enemies fear and envy us, whilft at the fame time they could not withhold their esteem.
Allow me to lay on the altar of Britifh fame the following claffical tribute of incenfe to the manes of Dr. Johnfon, from a man grown old in ftudies congenial to the good man who is the fubject of his eulogy.
Edinburgh, Dec. 24.
venerable old man to whom they are dedicated would have approved of, as coming from Scotland, where flattery on this fubject was not to be expected.
It was the misfortune of Johnfon, and of his contemporaries, to be born as it were out of due time, and to furvive the age of erudition, which he himself enriched and adorned; and he faw, and many of these still fee, laborious attention to the unfolding the principles of fcience and of literature yielding to the flimfy ornaments of ftyle, where point and antithefis, embroidered with metaphor, lord it over argument, and where hypothefis wages war a fecond time with true philofophy, and we fhall foon fee, I fear, a complete victory obtained by newfpapers, magazines (your mifcellany is a rare exception to the cenfure) tranflations, abridgements, beauties, reviews, and fugitive pieces, with the light fummer infantry, to complete the rout over the heavy-armed legion of the learned.
While I breathe the breath of life, I will endeavour to avert this cataftrophe, and, in honouring the fhade of Johnfon, I prove the fincerity of my intentions; for he had many of the innocent weakneffes of a learned man, and he did not fee with the eyes of a
philofopher, or of a partial gueft, the country of
ANSWERS TO MATHEMATICAL QUESTIONS.
85. QUESTION (III Jan.) anfwered algebraically by TASSO, of Bristol. ET 2d the difference of the fegments of the bafe, mx and nx the fides, and
L 2y the bafe: then y+d and y-d exprefs the fegments of the bafe, and we
have m2-n2x x2-4dy, by Euc. II. 12, 13; and therefore x2=—
me Again, by Euc. I, 47, m2x2−y+d2 = the fquare of the perpendicular, which, by subftituting the value of x2, becomes 2 × y+d2 —m2× y−d\2, and this being multiplied by y2 gives n2 y2 × y+d2 —m2 y2 xy-d2 for the fquare of the area; or by putting r2 -- m2 and s=2m2 +2n2, taking the fluxion, and making it equal to nothing, we have 4y2 + 3sdy=−2rd2; and, confequently, zyd × √ & sh—2r - 2 sd.
86. QUESTION (IV Jan.) answered by SENEX, the propofer.
Let Peter's probability of winning before he paffes the box be denoted by u: then being the probability of his winning at the first throw, and the probability
that he fhall have a fecond throw; it follows, that + will beu, feeing that
9 18 if he throws 2 or 12 his chance will be juft the fame as at firft; whence u Therefore his probability of winning, after having paffed the box, will be x
x being put for his whole probability of winning. But his probability of winning after having paffed the box depends upon the probability of his paffing it, and of John paffing it afterwards. Let denote the probability that Peter hall pass the box; and, fuppofing that to have happened, let z denote the probability that John shall then pass it: then being the probability that Peter shall pass it the
first throw, and the probability that the shall have a fecond throw,+
will be v; whence v = 5. Moreover, Peter having paffed the box, the pro
bability that John shall pass it the first throw will be, and the probability of his
having a second throw will be therefore,
Now, if Peter and John both pass the box, Peter's chance of winning will then
sequently (x) Peter's probability of winning will be = 34, and John's
87. QUESTION (I Feb.) answered by JUVENIS.
Let the distance AB be denoted by a, the ordinate bB by y, the correspondent
abfciffa byx, the length of the curve by z; and let be
taken pofitive or negative as the cafe may require.
The evolution beginning at P, the curves POPR, PR, will be evolutes: and it follows that a perpendicular to any point of any one branch of the required curve will be perpendicular to another branch thereof; and the distance of the two branches, measured upon that perpendicular, will always be equal to the invariable quantity 2c.
From the equation of the curve, the required particulars may be readily computed; and perhaps the computation may be facilitated by substituting u for y+ Vaz-y 20
Such substitution being made, we shall have fl. y*=K+ u2 — — c2 + c2 × hyp. log. of / c2-u2; 2=K+cx hyp. log. of √ c2—u2± circ. arc, rad. c, fine «;
MATHEMATICAL QUESTION S.
In a right angled plane triangle there is given the difference of the legs, and the difference between the hypothenuse and perpendicular from the right angle upon the hypothenuse to determine the triangle.
98. QUESTION II. by the fame Gentleman.
On the ift of January, 1784, latitude 51° 26' N. the altitude and declination of a fixed star, in one fum, was 62° 32' (the altitude being greatest, and the declination north) and the ftar was then 4h 40' 43" fhort of the meridian: What ftar was it, and what was the true hour of the night.
99. QUESTION III. by .
In the triangle MPC, there are given MC 238920; CP 3982; and this CP inclined to a plane AC, = 51° 28'. Now, MP is to be kept parallel to the