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1776. riour to that of Henault, as I have formerly meti

tioned. Ætat. 67.

“ I am afraid that the trouble, which my irregularity and delay has cost him, is greater, far greater, than any good that I can do him will ever recompense; but if I have any more copy, I will try to do better.

“ Pray let me know if Mrs. Boswell is friends with me, and pay my respects to Veronica, and Euphemia, and Alexander. I am, Sir,

“ Your most humble servant, February 15, 1776.

“ Sam. Johnson."

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"You have illuminated my mind, and relieved me from imaginary shackles of conscientious obligation. Were it necessary, I could immediately join in an entail upon the series of heirs approved by my father ; but it is better not to act too suddenly."

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“ I am glad that what I could think or say has at all contributed to quiet your thoughts. Your resolution not to act, till your opinion is confirmed by more deliberation, is very just. If you have been scrupulous, do not now be rash. I hope that as you think more, and take opportunities of talking with

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men intelligent in questions of property, you will be 1776. able to free yourself from every difficulty.

Ætat. 67. " When I wrote last, I sent, I think, ten packets. Did you

receive them all ? “You must tell Mrs. Boswell that I suspected her to have written without your knowledge, and therefore did not return any answer, lest a clandestine correspondence should have been perniciously discovered, I will write to her soon.

" I am, dear Sir,

“ Most affectionately yours, " Feb. 24, 1776.

“ SAM. Johnson."

* * * * *

Having communicated to Lord Hailes what Dr. Johnson wrote concerning the question which perplexed me so much, his Lordship wrote to me: “ Your scruples have produced more fruit than I ever expected from them; an excellent dissertation on general principles of inorals and law."

I wrote to Dr. Johnson on the 20th of February, complaining of melancholy, and expressing a strong desire to be with him ; informing him that the ten packets came all safe ; that Lord Hailes was much obliged to him, and said he had almost wholly removed his scruples against entails,

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“I HAVE not had your letter half an hour; as 'you lay so much weight upon my notions, I should think it not just to delay my answer,

5. A letter to him on the interesting subject of the family settles ment, which I had read,


1776. “ I am very sorry that your melancholy should Ætat. 67. return, and should be sorry likewise if it could have

no relief but from my company. My counsel you
may have when you are pleased to require it; but of
my company you cannot in the next month have
much, for Mr. Thrale will take me to Italy, he says,
on the first of April.
.." Let me warn you very earnestly against scruples.
I am glad that you are reconciled to your settle.
ment, and think it a great honour to have shaken
Lord Hailes's opinion of entails. Do not, however,
hope wholly to reason away your troubles; do not
feed them with attention, and they will die imper-
ceptibly away. Fix your thoughts upon your busi-
ness, fill your intervals with company, and sunshine
will again break in upon your mind. If you will
come to me, you must come very

quickly; and even then I know not but we may scour the country together, for I have a mind to see Oxford and Lichfield, before I set out on this long Journey. To this I can only add that I am, dear Sir,

" Your most affectionate humble servant, • March 5, 1776.

“SAM. Johnson."



“ Very early in April we leave England, and in the beginning of the next week I shall leave London for a short time ; of this I think it necessary to inform you,


you may not be disappointed in any of your enterprises. I had not fully resolved to go into the country before this day.

“ Please to make my compliments to Lord Hailes;

and mention very particularly to Mrs. Boswell my 1776. hope that she is reconciled to, Sir,

Ætat. 67. “ Your faithful servant, " Macrh 12, 1776.

“ Sam. Johnson."

Above thirty years ago, the heirs of Lord Chancellor Clarendon presented the University of Oxford with the continuation of his History, and such other of his Lordship’s manuscripts as had not been published, on condition that the profits arising from their publication should be applied to the establishment of a Manège in the University. The gift was accepted in full convocation. A person being now recommended to Dr. Johnson, as fit to superintend this proposed riding-school, hie exerted himself with that zeal for which he was remarkable upon every similar occasion. But, on enquiry into the matter, he found that the scheme was not likely to be soon carried into execution; the profits arising from the Clarendon press being, from some misınanagement, very scanty. This having been explained to him by a respectable dignitáry of the church, who had good means of knowing it, he wrote a letter upon the subject, which at once exhibits his extraordinary precision and acuteness, and his warm attachment to his ALMA MATER,

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" Few things are more unpleasant than the transaction of business with men who are above knowing or caring what they have to do; such as the

1776. trustees for Lord Cornbury's institution will, perÆlar. 77. haps, appear, when you have read Dr. ** ****'s


“ The last part of the Doctor's letter is of great importance. The complaint" which he makes I have heard long ago, and did not know but it was redressed. It is unhappy that a practice so erroneous has not yet been altered; for altered it must be, or our press will be useless with all its privileges. The booksellers, who, like all other men, have strong prejudices in their own favour, are enough inclined to think the practice of printing and selling books by any but themselves, an encroachment on the rights of their fraternity; and have need of stronger inducements to circulate academical publications than those of one another; for, of that mutual co-operation by which the general trade is carried on, the University can bear no part. Of those whom he neither loves nor fears, and from whom he expects no reciprocation of good offices, why should any man promote the interest but for profit? I suppose, with all our scholastick ignorance of mankind, we are still too knowing to expect that the booksellers will erect themselves into patrons, and buy and sell under the influence of a disinterested zeal for the promotion of learning

" To the booksellers, if we look for either honour or profit from our press, not only their common prefit, but something more must be allowed; and if books, printed at Oxford, are expected to be rated at


suppose the complaint was, that the trustees of the Oxford prese did not allow the London booksellers a sufficient profit upon vending their publications,

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