Imatges de pÓgina

sued his route through Switzerland to Geneva; whence he crossed the Alps into Italy: having visited on his journey Voltaire at Ferney, and Rousseau in the wilds of Neufchatel. Mr. Boswell continued some time in Italy, where he met and associated with Lord Mountstuart, to whom he afterwards dedicated his Theses Juridicæ.

Having visited the most remarkable cities in Italy, Mr. Boswell sailed to Corsica, travelled over every part of that island, and obtained the friendship of the illustrious Pasquale de Paoli, in whose palace he resided during his stay at Corsica.

He afterwards went to Scotland in 1766, and at the Scotch bar. The

Paris, whence he returned to soon after became an advocate celebrated Douglas cause was at that time a subject of general discussion. Mr. Boswell published the "Essence of the Douglas Cause; a pamphlet which contributed to procure Mr. Douglas the popularity which he at that time possessed.

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In 1768, Mr. Boswell obliged the world by his "Account of Corsica, with Memoirs of General Paoli.” Of this printed performance Dr. Johnson thus expresses himself: "Your Journal is curious and delightful. I know not whether I could name any narrative by which curiosity is better excited or better gratified." This book was received with extraordinary approbation, and has been translated into the German, Dutch, Italian, and French languages. In the following winter, the theatre-royal at Edinburgh, hitherto restrained by partyspirit, was opened. On this occasion Mr. Boswell was solicited by David Ross, Esq. to write a prologue. The effect of this prologue upon the audience was highly flattering to the author, and beneficial to the manager, as it secured to the latter, by the annihilation of the opposition which had been till that time too successfully exerted against him, the uninterrupted possession of his patent, which he enjoyed till his death,

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which happened in September, 1790. Mr. Boswell attended his funeral as chief mourner, and paid the last honours to a man with whom he had spent many a pleasant hour. In 1769, was celebrated at Stratfordon-Avon the Jubilee in honour of Shakspeare. Mr. Boswell, an enthusiastic admirer of the writings of our immortal bard, and ever ready to partake of “the feast of reason and the flow of soul," repaired thither, and appeared at the masquerade as an armed Corsican chief; a character he was eminently qualified to support.

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This year Mr. Boswell was married to Miss Margaret Montgomery, a lady who, to the advantages of a polite education, united admirable good sense and a brilliant understanding. She was daughter of David Montgomery, Esq. related to the illustrious family of Eglintoune, and representative of the ancient peerage of Lyle. The death of this amiable woman is recorded in the Gentleman's Magazine for June, 1790; and Mr. Boswell honoured her memory with an affectionate tribute. She left him two sons and three daughters; who, to use Mr. Boswell's own words, "if they inherit her good qualities, will have no reason to complain of their lot." Dos magna parentûm virtus. - In 1782, Lord Auchinleck died. In 1783, Mr. Boswell published his celebrated "Letter to the People of Scotland : which is thus praised by Johnson in a letter to the author: "I a **** am very much of your opinion ; your paper contains very considerable knowledge of history and the constitution, very properly produced and applied." Mr. Pitt, to whom Mr. Boswell communicated the pamphlet, honoured it with his approbation. This first Letter was followed by a second, in which Mr. Boswell displayed his usual energy and political abilities. In 1785, Mr. Boswell published "A Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides" with Dr. Johnson; which met a similar success to his entertaining account of Corsica.


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This year Mr. Boswell removed to London, and was soon after called to the English bar.

But Mr. Boswell's professional business was interrupted by preparing his most celebrated work. "The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D." This was published in 1791, and was received by the world with most extraordinary avidity. It is a faithful history of Johnson's life, and exhibits a most interesting picture of the character of that illustrious moralist, delineated with a masterly hand. The preparation of a second edition of this work was almost the last literary performance of Mr. Boswell; though he was at the same time preparing a general answer to a letter from Dr. Samuel Parr, in Gent. Mag. vol. lxv. p. 179; in which he proposed also briefly to notice the attacks of his more puny antagonists. He had also a design, which was in some forwardness, of publishing a quarto volume, to be embellished with fine plates, on the subject of the controversy occasioned by the Beggar's Opera; and it is to be regretted, that the public were not gratified with a perusal of what so good a judge of human nature would say on so curious a subject. With this particular view he had paid frequent visits to the then truly humane "Governor of Newgate," as he ordinarily styled Mr. Kirby. His death, unexpected by his friends, was a subject of universal regret; and his remains were carried to Auchinleck; and the following inscription is engraved on his coffin-plate:


died 19th May, 1795,

aged 55 years.

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[Mr. Boswell's letters to Mr. Malone, written while the first edition of his Life of Johnson was passing through the press, afford so curious a view of his situation and state of mind at that period, that the Editor has gladly availed himself of Mr. Upcott's permission to make some extracts from the MSS. in that gentleman's collection.]


"Dec. 4. 1790. Let me begin with myself. the day after your departure, that most friendly fellow Courtenay (begging the pardon of an M.P. for so free an epithet) called on me, and took my word and honour that, till the 1st of March, my allowance of wine per diem should not exceed four good glasses at dinner, and a pint after it: and this I have kept, though I have dined with Jack Wilkes; at the London Tavern, after the launch of an Indiaman; with dear Edwards; Dilly; at home with Courtenay; Dr. Barrow; at the mess of the Coldstream; at the Club; at Warren Hastings's; at Hawkins the Cornish member's; and at home with a colonel of the guards, &c. This regulation I assure you is of essential advantage in many respects. The Magnum Opus advances. I have revised p. 216. The additions which I have received are a Spanish quotation from Mr. Cambridge (1); an account of Johnson at Warley Camp from Mr. Langton (2); and Johnson's letters to Mr. Hastings three in all one of them long and admirable; but what sets the diamonds in pure gold of Ophir is a letter from Mr. Hastings to me, illustrating

(1) [See antè, Vol. VIII. p. 184.]
(2) [See antè, Vol. VII. p. 224.]

them and their writer. (1) I had this day the honour of a long visit from the late governor-general of India. There is to be no more impeachment. But you will see his character nobly vindicated. Depend upon this.

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"And now for my friend. The appearance of Malone's Shakespeare on the 29th November was not attended with any external noise; but I suppose no publication seized more speedily and surely on the attention of those for whose critical taste it was chiefly intended. At the Club on Tuesday, where I met Sir Joshua, Dr. Warren, Lord Ossory, Lord Palmerston, Windham, and Burke in the chair, - Burke was so full of his anti-French revolution rage, and poured it out so copiously, that we had almost nothing else. He, however, found time to praise the clearness and accuracy your dramatic history; and Windham found fault with you for not taking the profits of so laborious a work. Sir Joshua is pleased, though he would gladly have seen more disquisition you understand me! Mr. Daines Barrington is exceedingly gratified. He regrets that there should be a dryness between you and Steevens, as you have treated him with great respect. I understand that, in a short time, there will not be one of your books to be had for love or money."


"Dec. 7. I dined last Saturday at Sir Joshua's with Mr. Burke, his lady, son, and niece, Lord Palmerston, Windham, Dr. Lawrence, Dr. Blagden, Dr. Burney, Sir Abraham Hume, Sir William Scott. I sat next to young Burke at dinner, who said to me, that you had paid his father a very fine compliment. I mentioned Johnson, to sound if there was any objection. He made none. In the evening Burke told me he had read your Henry VI., with all its accompaniment, and it was exceedingly well done.' He left us for some

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(1) [See ntè, Vol. VIII. p. 38.]

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