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and printed by Cave in November 1738, has been ascribed to him; but Miss Carter has lately acknowledged that she was the translator.
In 1739, beside the assistance he gave to the Debates in the Senate of Lilliput, his writings in the “ Gentleman's Magazine," were, The Life of Boerhaave, An Appeal to the Public in behalf of the Editor, Verses to Eliza, a Greek Epigram to Dr. Birch, and “ Considerations on the case of Dr. Trapp's Sermons,” reprinted in the Magazine for July 1787.
The same year he joined in the clamour against Walpole, and published his famous Jacobite pamphlet intituled, Marmor Norfolciense, or an Esay on an Ancient Prophetical infcription in Monkish rhyme, lately discovered near Lynne, in Norfolk, by Probus Britannicus. In this performance, he inveighs against the Brunswick succession, and the meafures of Government consequent upon it, with warm anti-Hanoverian zeal. The Jacobite principles inculcated by it, according to Sir John Hawkins, aroused the vigilance of the Ministry. A warrant was ifsued, and messengers were employed to apprehend the author, who, it seems, was known. To elude his pursuers, he retired with his wife to Lambeth-marsh, and there lay concealed in an obscure lodging till the scent grew cold. Mr. Bofwell however denies that there is any foundation for this story ; for that Mr. Steele, one of the late secretaries of the Treasury, had directed every possible search to be made in the records of the Treasury and Secretary of State's Office, but could find no trace of any warrant having been issued to apprehend the author of this pamphlet. His Marmor Norfolciense obtained also the honour of Pope's commendation, as appears from the following note concerning Johnson, copied with minute exactness, by
Mr. Boswell, from the original' in the possession of Dr. Percy.
“ This [London] is imitated by one Johnfon, who put in for a public school in Shropshire, but was disappointed. He has an infirmity of the convulsive kind, that attacks him sometimes, so as to make him a fad spectacle. Mr. P. from the merit of this work, which was all the knowledge he had of him, endeavoured to serve him without his own application; and wrote to my Lord Gower, but he did not succeed; Mr. Johnson published afterwards another poem in Latin, with notes, the whole very humorous, called the Norfolk Prophecy.”
In the same year 1739, he published A complete Vindication of the Licensers of the Stage, from the malicious and scandalous asperfions of Mr. Brooke, auihor of Guflavus Vasa, in 4to. This was an ironical, but a very proper attack upon the Lord Chamber: lain, for the injustifiable suppression of of
that tragedy. Indeed the power vested in that officer, refpe&ing dramatic pieces, is a disgrace to a free country; and the act which gave him that power ought to be repealed. To justify the rejection of this play, Sir John Hawkins selects a few passages, not one of which would give umbrage at this day.
In July 1739, a subscription was completed for Savage, who was to retire to Swansea ; and he parted with the companion of his midnight rambles, never to see him more. This separation was perhaps a real advantage to Johnson. By associating with Savage, who was habituated to the licentiousness and diffipation of the town, Johnson, though his good principles remained steady, did not entirely preserve that temperance for which he was remarkable, in days of greater fimplicity, but was imperceptibly led into some indulgences, which occasioned much distress to his vir
tuous mind. It is said by Sir John Hawá kins, that during his connection with Sai vage, a short separation took place between Johnson and his wife. They were, however, soon brought together again. Johnson loved her, and showed his affection in various modes of gallantry, which Garrick used to mimic. The affectation of fashionable airs did not fit easy on Johnson ; his gallantry was received by the wife with the flutter of a coquette, and both, we may believe, exposed themselves to ridicule.
In 1740, he contributed to the “ Gentleman's Magazine,” the “ Preface,” Life of Admiral Blake, and the first parts of those of Sir Francis Drake, and of Philip Barettier, both which he finished the year after ; An “ Essay on Epitaphs,” and an Epitaph on Philips, a musician, which was afterwards published, with some other pieces, in Miss Williams's “ Miscellanies.”