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Just as the Tatler had been quickly followed by the Spectator and the Guardian, so in the course of a very few years to the Rambler succeeded the Adventurer, the World, the Connoisseur, the Idler, and the Citizen of the World. Of the Adventurer, the editor was Dr. Hawkesworth, a man who was, says Boswell, Johnson's closest imitator; "a circumstance of which he would once "have been proud to be told; though, when "he had become elated by having risen into (6 some degree of consequence, he had the pro"voking effrontery to say he was not sensible of it." About the authorship of some of the papers a doubt exists which, I fear, is never likely to be cleared up. The chief contributors were Hawkesworth, Johnson, and Joseph Warton. The numbers "which had no signature at the "bottom" were Hawkesworth's. Those signed Z. were written by Warton.2 The signature T. undoubtedly in almost all cases, and possibly in all, indicates Johnson. It has occurred to me that, much as he disliked puns in general, he may have chosen or adopted this letter as a playful allusion to that "fascinating plant, with which "he amused the evening, solaced the midnight, "and welcomed the morning." He had heard with a smile the pun of his friend, who said that his motto should be "Te veniente die, Te "decedente."4 Besides these three contributors,
1 Boswell's Johnson, i. 252.
2 See the last number of the Adventurer.
3 Boswell's Johnson, i. 313, n. 4.
4 Murray's Johnsoniana, p. 152.
there was a fourth who subscribed himself A. On his assistance the editor had counted when
he planned the paper. "But this resource soon "failing," writes Hawkesworth, "I was obliged 66 to carry on the publication alone, except some "casual supplies, till I obtained from the gentle46 men who have distinguished their pieces by the "letters T. and Z. such assistance as I most "wished." Hawkins positively asserts that A. was Dr. Bathurst,2_"the man of whom Johnson "hardly ever spoke without tears in his eyes." Chalmers, on the other hand, is equally positive that A. was Bonnel Thornton, who left, he adds, to join in The Connoisseur. Why so early as the beginning of April, 1753, he should have left one paper to join in another which did not appear till January, 1754, Chalmers forgets to explain. He has, however, Southey, no mean authority, on his side, who writes :—" This, "6 opinion is strongly supported by internal evidence "which is in this instance more than ordinarily 66 conclusive." "15 If Thornton wrote these eight papers thus marked, we must look elsewhere for Bathurst's contributions. That he did contribute we have Hawkins's statement, and also Boswell's, who, however, is not consistent in what he says.6 A passage in Johnson's letter to Warton, dated 1 The Adventurer, No. 140.
2 Hawkins's Life of Johnson, p. 293.
8 Boswell's Johnson, i. 190, n. 2.
4 Chalmers's British Essayists, vol. xix., p. xxxvi.
5 Southey's Cowper's Works, i. 47.
6 Compare the accounts in the Life of Johnson, i. 234, 252,
March 8, 1753, proves that, besides Thornton, if indeed he was A., the editor had the assistance of another writer. Johnson says :-" I have no part in "the paper beyond now and then a motto; but two "of the writers are my particular friends." One of the two friends was no doubt Hawkesworth. Who was the second? It could not have been Thornton; for if he and Johnson were acquainted, of which, so far as I know, there is no evidence, they certainly were not particular friends. There can scarcely be a doubt that Bathurst was meant. If he did not write the pieces signed A., what did he write? As I have said, all the unsigned papers are Hawkesworth's, except two or three which he had from unknown correspondents, and the only signatures are A., T., and Z. There are, however, four numbers, 34, 41, 53, and 62, which bear the signature Misargyrus in addition to that of T. Now the first of these was published on March 3-five days before the date of Johnson's letter in which he said that "he had no part in the paper, "beyond now and then a motto." Boswell, who had said that Bathurst was associated with Hawkesworth from the beginning, remarks on this:" Johnson's saying 'I have no part in the 666 'paper beyond now and then a motto' may seem "inconsistent with his being the author of the แ papers marked T. But he had at this time written "only one number; and, besides, even at any after "period he might have used the same expression, "considering it as a point of honour not to own "them; for Mrs. Williams told me that as he had 1 Boswell's Johnson, i. 234.
"given those Essays to Dr. Bathurst, who sold them 66 at two guineas each, he never would own them; nay, he used to say he did not write them: but the "fact was that he dictated them while Bathurst "wrote? I read to him Mrs. Williams's account; "he smiled, and said nothing."1
His smile and his silence show neither assent nor dissent. It is very unlikely, however, that a man of Johnson's minute and "dogged veracity" was guilty of the equivocation described by Mrs. Williams. He might perhaps have said that he "had no part in the paper," had he given his articles to his friend; but then he would scarcely have gone on to limit his statement by adding "beyond now and then a motto." He allows on another occasion that it may be argued that "a 66 man who is questioned as to an anonymous “publication has a right to deny it." But the present case was an instance of what he there describes as spontaneous denial. In a note in my edition of the Life of Johnson1 I say that "these 66 papers signed Misargyrus are all below his style "... I do not find in them even any traces of his "hand." On examining them again I am surprised at the confidence with which I expressed myself, and am now ready to allow that, if he did nothing more, at all events he corrected the manuscripts. The first, if I mistake not, is much inferior to the other three, and it has a somewhat curious cir
1 Boswell's Johnson, p. 254.
2 See ib., iii. 321, for an instance where his silence in a like case did not imply assent.
3 Ib., iii. 376.
4 Ib., i. 254.
cumstance connected with it. Chalmers asserts that "Johnson revised his Adventurers for the "second edition with the same attention he be"stowed on the Rambler; but as he had now more "leisure to write, his corrections and alterations "are not so frequent, unless in the first three or
"four papers. ""1 This statement is untrue. In this first number-No. 34-one passage is remodelled, and there are seven or eight slighter corrections. In No. 39-the second paper attributed to Johnson, but not one of those signed Misargyrus-there are a few verbal changes. In all the other numbers which I have examined I have failed to discover the least trace of revision. It seems probable, therefore, that the first of Misargyrus's letters was written by Bathurst, and perhaps the other three, and that he was helped in his work by Johnson; who, for some unknown reason, adopted and continued to the end his friend's signature, T. To this it may justly be objected that Boswell's statement in the Life and Johnson's in his letter to Warton both indicate that Bathurst was an early contributor. Now Misargyrus opens his correspondence in No. 34, four months after the publication of the Adventurer began.
According to Dr. Parr, No. 87, entitled Politeness a necessary Auxiliary to Knowledge and Virtue, though marked Z., was written by Johnson.2 This statement is supported by the internal evidence, for it is in Johnson's manner.
1 British Essayists, vol. xix., p. xxxviii.