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In 1756, he published an abridgment of his Dictionary, in 2 vols, 8vo, and contributed to a publication called “ The Universal Visitor,” for the assistance of 'Smart, one of the stated undertakers, with whose unhappy vacillation of mind he sincerely sympathized, all the essays marked with two asterisks ; except the “ Life of Chaucer,” “ Reflections on the state of Portugal,” and “ Essay on Architecture,” which want all the characteristical marks of his composition. “ Further thoughts on Agriculture,” being the sequel of a very inferior essay on the same subject,” “ A Differtation on the State of Literature and Authors,” and “ A Differtation on the Epitaphs written by Pope,” though not marked in the same manner, appear to be the production of Johnson. The last of these, indeed, he afterwards added to his Idler.
He engaged also to superintend and contribute largely to another monthly publication, intituled, “ The Literary Magazine, or Univerfal Review ;” the first number of which came out on the 15th of May this year. He continued to write in it, with intermissions, till the 15th number. His original essays are, “ The Preliminary Address,” “ An Introduction to the Political State of Great Britain," 6 Remarks on the Militia Bill,” “ Observations on his Britannic Majesty's Treaties with the Empress of Russia, and the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel,” “ Observations on the Present State of Affairs,” and “ Memoirs of Frederick II. King of Prussia.” His reviews of the works of others are, “ Birch's History of the Royal Society," “ Murphy's Gray's-Inn Journal," * Warton's Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope, vol. ist.” “ Hampton's Translation of Polybius,” “ Blackwell's Memoirs of the Court of Augustus,”.“ Russel's Natural History of Aleppo,” « Sir Isaac New
ton's Arguments in proof of a Deity,” “ Borlase's History of the Isles of Scilly," “ Home's Experiments on Bleaching,” * Brown's Christian Morals,” “ Hales on Distilling Sea-Water, &c.” “ Lucas's Elsay on Waters,” “ Keith's Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops,” “ Browne's History of Jamaica,” “ Philosophical Transactions, vol. 49th,” “ Mrs. Lenox's Translation of Sully's Memoirs," “ Miscellanies by Elizabeth Harrison,” “ Evans’s Map, and Account of the Middle Colonies in America,” “ Letter on the Case of Admiral Byng," «* Appeal to the People concerning Admiral Byng,” “ Hanway's Eight Day's Journey, and Essay on Tea," “ The Cadet, a Military Treatise,” “ Some further Particulars in relation to the Case of Admiral Byng, by a Gentleman of Oxford,” “ The Conduct of the Ministry relating to the present War, impartially examined,” and “ Jenyns's Free Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil."
Mr. Davies, in his “ Miscellaneous and Fugitive Pieces,” has ascribed to him the « Review of Burke's Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime,” and Sir John Hawkins has inserted it in his collection of Johnson's works; but it was written by Mr. Murphy. In his original essays, he displays extensive political knowledge, expressed with uncommon energy and perspicuity. Some of his reviews are very short accounts of the pieces noticed ; but many of them are examples of elaborate criticism, in the most masterly style, particularly the review of Jenyns's “ Inquiry into the Origin of Evil.” In his defence of Tea, against Mr. Hanway's violent attack upon that popular beverage, he defcribes himself as “ a hardened and shameless tea-drinker, who has for many years diluted his meals with only the infusion of this facinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool; who with tea a
muses the evening, with tea folaces the midnight, and with tea welcomes the morning,” te veniente die, te decedente. Mr. Hanway wrote an angry answer to Johnson's review of his “ Essay;” and Johnson, after a full and deliberate pause, made a reply to it ; the only instance in the whole course of his life, 'when he condescended to oppose any thing that was written against him. Of the good Mr. Hanway he said, “ He is a man whose failings may be well pardoned for his virtues.”
. • The same year he gave an edition of Sir Thomas Browne's “ Christian Morals,” with his Life prefixed to it, which is one of his best biographical performances. He wrote also a Dedication and Preface to the Earl of Rochford, to Payne's “ Ellay on the Game of Draughts,” and accepted of a guinea from Dodsley, for writing the Introduction to “ The London Chronicle ;”?