Imatges de pÓgina

This is the reason why folk are never weary of talking, reading, and writing about a man

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"So various, that he seem'd to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome."

495. Johnson's Courtship.

I have often heard my mother say she perfectly remembered Johnson's wife. He has recorded of her that beauty which existed only in his imagination. She had a very red face, and very indifferent features; and her manners in advanced life for her children were all grown up when Johnson first saw her had an unbecoming excess of girlish levity, and disgusting affectation. The rustic prettiness and artless manners of her daughter, the present Mrs. Lucy Porter, had won Johnson's youthful heart, when she was upon a visit at my grandfather's in Johnson's school-days. Disgusted by his unsightly form, she had a personal aversion to him. Business taking Johnson to Birmingham, on the death of his own father, and calling upon his coy mistress there, he found her father dying. He passed all his leisure hours at Mr. Porter's, attending his sick-bed, and, in a few months after his death, asked Mrs. Johnson's consent to marry the old widow. After expressing her surprise at a request so extraordinary - No, Sam, my willing consent you will never have to so preposterous a match. You are not twenty-five, and she is turned of fifty. If she had any prudence, this request had never been made to me. Where are your means of subsistence? Porter has died poor, in consequence of his wife's expensive habits. You have great talents, but, as yet, have turned them into no profitable channel.” Mother, I have not deceived Mrs. Porter: I have told her the worst of me; that I am of mean extraction, that I have no money, and that I have had an uncle hanged." She replied, that she





I am sorry to see you engaged in altercation. with a Lady, who seems unwilling to be conoined of her rrrows, surely it would be nuous to acknowledge, then to more ingenuores persvere. Imost solemnly declare, at that time Johnsen was an enhie stranger to D Porter & family; & it was almost two years after, that I introdued him to the acquazn bance of Pester, whomt laught my Cleaths of If22 entend to convince thischshnale

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booman (. to entitil to y) publish, & trukk of you narratian Gomain at liberty to make what unplease of this statement Birm


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James Boswel 209

Mr. Hector Birmingha
sending the Original Copy of
Dr. Johnan's Verses on a opory of Myrtle

Cha J Smuh fault

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