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interview was fought by the king without the knowledge of Johnson. His majesty, among other things, asked the author of so many valuable works, if he intended to publish any more? Johnson modestly answered, that he thought he had written enough. “ And so should I too,” replied the king, “ if you had not written so well.” Johnson was highly pleased with his majefty's courteousness; and afterwards observed to Mr. Langton,“ Sir, his manners are those of as fine à gentleman as we may suppose Lewis XIV. or Charles II.”
Johnson had now arrived at that eminence which is the prize that cultivated genius always struggles for, and but seldom obtains. His fortune, though not great, was adequate to his wants, and of most honourable acquisition ; for it was derived from the produce of his labours, and the rewards which his country had bestowed upon merit. He received during life that
unqualified applause from the world, which is in general paid only to departed excellence, and he beheld his fame seated firmly in the public mind, without the danger of its being shaken by obloquy, or the hazard of-its being shared by a rival. He could number among his friends the greatest and most improved talents of the country. His company was courted by wealth, dignity, and beauty. His many peculiarities were overlooked, or forgotten in the admiration of his understanding; while his virtues were regarded with veneration, and his opinions adopted with submission. Of the usual insensibility of mankind to living merit, Johnson, at least, had no reason to complain.
In 1768, nothing of his writing was given to the public, except the Prologue to his friend Goldsmith's comedy of the “ Good Natured Man."
· In 1769, he was altogether quiescent as an author. On the establishment of the Royal Academy this year, he accepted the title of Professor of Ancient Literature.
In 1770, he published a political pamphlet, intituled The False Alarm, 8vo.; intended to justify the conduct of ministry, and their majorityin the Houseof Commons; for having virtually assumed it as an axiom, that the expulfion of a member of parliament was equivalent to exclusion, and their having declared Colonel Luttrel to be duly elected for the county of Middlesex, notwithstanding Mr. Wilkes had a great majority of votes. This being very justly considered as a grofs violation of the right of election, an alarm for the constitution extended itself all over the kingdom. To prove this alarm to be false, was the purpose of Johnson's pamphlet; but his arguments and eloquence failed of effect, and the House of Commons has since erased the
offensive resolution from the journals. This pamphlet has great merit in point of language ; but it contains much gross misrepresentation, and much malignity, and abounds with such arbitrary principles, as are totally inconsistent with a free constitution.
· The next year, 1771, he defended the measures adopted by the ministry, in the dispute with the court of Spain, in a pamphlet, intituled Thoughts on the late Transactions respecting Falkland's Island, 8vo. On the subject of Falkland's Islands, spots " thrown aside from human use, barren in summer, and stormy in winter,” he appears to have followed the direction, and adopted the opinions which a pufillanimous administration' wished to inculcate. They were certainly erroneous in a political view; and if they were his own, show, that on such subjects he was incapable of forming a juft opinion. His description of the miseries of war, in this pamphlet, is a fine piece of eloquence; and his character of Junius is executed with all the force of his genius, and with the highest care..
When Johnson shone in the plenitude of his political glory, from the celebrity of his ministerial pamphlets, an attempt was made to bring him into the House of Ccmmons, by Mr. Strahan, the king's printer, who was himself in parliament, and wrote to the secretary of the treasury upon the subject; but the application was unsucceffful. Whether there were any particular reasons for the refusal, has not transpired. That Johnson very much wished to “ try his hand” in the senate, he has himself declared; but that he would have succeeded as a parliamentary speaker, is at least doubtful. Few have distinguished themselves as orators, who have not begun the practice of speaking in public early in life; and it may be doubted whether the habits