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The title of Dr. here applied to Johnson proves that this account was not drawn up earlier than July, 1765, for it was in that month that he was for the first time honoured with that degree. As these two volumes had been published in 1761, either they had a slow sale, or, what is more probable, the publisher was very dilatory in his payments. It is possible, however, that there was nothing, or at all events very little, due; for on May 19, 1759, Johnson had given him his note of hand for £42 19s. 1od., and on March 20, 1760, for £30.2 The third edition, of which I chance to have a copy, bears the date of 1767, so that it seems likely that the book had quickly become popular. Among the earliest buyers was Oliver Goldsmith. In an account between him and Newbery, the first entry is :
"1761. Oct. 14, I set of The Idler £o 50" A year later, as the same papers show, Johnson bought a copy of his friend's Life of Nash.*
In the notes which I have made on the Essays
1 Forster's Life of Goldsmith, ed. 1871, i. 204.
2 Prior's Life of Goldsmith, i. 340.
4 Ib., p. 405.
included in this Selection I have traced as far as I can the quotations and references that occur. But Johnson's range of reading was so wide that, in spite of the help which I have received from friends, I have too often been baffled in my search. Some of my readers may succeed in points wherein I have failed. To those who will take the trouble to impart to me any discovery which they may make, I shall be very grateful. Their kindness shall be acknowledged in that second edition which remains the author's hope till the day comes when disappointment at length compels him once more to take posterity for his friend.
G. B. HILL.
Oxford, August 1, 1889.
In my references I have quoted the Oxford Edition of the" Works of Johnson," published in 1825, and my own Edition of Boswell's "Life of Johnson," published by the Delegates of the Clarendon Press in 1887.