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age, ştating, that he had prepared an instrument, which might be called an epitome os miniature of the terraqueous globe, shewing, with the assistance of tables constructed by himself, the variations of the magnetic needle, and ascertaining the longitude for the safety of navigation. It appears that this scheme had been referred to Sir Isaac Newton; but that great philosopher excusing himself on account of his advanced age, all applications were useless till 1751, when the subject was referred, by order of Lord Anson, to Dr. Bradley, the celebrated professor of astronomy. His report was unfavourable *, though it allows that a considerable progress had been made. Dr. Williams, after all his labour and expence, died in a short time after, a melancholy instance of unrewarded merit. His daughter possessed uncommon talents, and, though blind, had an alacrity of mind that made her conversation agreeable, and eyen desirable. To relieve and appease melancholy reflections, Johnson took her home to his house in Gough-square. In 1755, Gar rick gave her a benefit-play, which produced two hundred pounds. In 1766, she published, by subscription, a quarto volume of Miscellanies, and increased her little stock to three hun: dred pounds. That fund, with Johnson's protection, supported her through the remainder of her life.
During the two years in wbich the Rambler was carried on, the Dictionary proceeded by
See Gentleman's Magazine for Dec. 1787, p. 1942..
slow degrees. In May 1752, having composed a prayer preparatory to his return from tears and sorrow to the duties of life, he resumed his grand design, and went on with vigour, giving, however, occasional assistance to his friend Dr. Hawkesworth in the Adventurer, which began soon after the Rambler was laid aside. Some of the most valuable essays in that collection were from the pen of Johnson, The Dictionary was completed towards the end of 1754; and, Cave being then no more, it was a mortification to the author of that noble addition to our language, that his old friend did not live to see the triumph of his labours. In May 1755, that great work was published. Johnson was desirous that it should come from one who had obtained academical honours ; and for that purpose his friend, the Rey. Mr. Thomas Warton, obtained for him, in the preceding month of February, a diploma for a master's degree from the University of Oxford. Garrick, on the publication of the Dictionary, wrote the following lines:
şi Talk of war with a Briton, he'll boldly advance, “ That one English soldier can beat ten of France, “ Would we alter the boast from the sword to the pen, “ Our odds are still greater, still greater our men. “ In the deep mines of science though Frenchmen may toil, “ Can their strength be compar'd to Locke, Newton, or
" Boyle ? “ Let them rally their heroes, send forth all their pow'rs, ^ Their versemen and prosemen, then match them with ours. “ First Shakspeare and Milton, like Gods in the fight, - Have put their whole drama and epic to flight,
“ In satires, epistles, and odes would they cope ? " Their numbers retreat before Dryden and Pope. $ And Johnson well-arm’d, like a hero of yore, “ Has beat forty French, and will beat Forty more." It is, perhaps, needless to mention, that Forty was the number of the French academy, at the time when their dictionary was published to settle their language. .
In the course of the winter preceding this grand publication, the late Earl of Chesterfield gave two essays in the periodical Paper, called THE WORLD, dated November 28, and December 5, 1754, to prepare the publick for so important a work. The original plan, addressed to his Lordship in the year 1747, is there mentioned in terms of the bighest praise ; and this was understood, at the time, to be a courtly way of soliciting a dedication of the Dictionary to himself. Johnson treated this ci, vility with disdain. He said to Garrick and others, “ I have sailed a long and painful voy
age round the world of the English language; " and does he now send out two cockboats to “ tow me into harbour ?" He had said, in the last number of the Rambler, “ that, having la, ” boured to maintain the dignity of virtue, I “ will not now degrade it by the meanness of ” dedication.” Such a man when he had finished his Dictionary, “ not,” as he says himself, " in the soft obscurities of retirement, or under " the shelter of academic bowers, but amidst s inconvenience and distraction, in sickness " and iņ sorrow, and without the patronage of " the Great," was not likely to be caught by the lure thrown out by Lord Chesterfield. He laad in vain sought the patronage of that nobleman; and his pride, exasperated by disappointment, drew from him the following letter, dated in the month of February, 1755.
“ To the Right Honourable the Earl of
CHESTERFIELD. “ My LORD, “ I have been lately informed, by the pro-. “ prietors of The World, that two papers, in “which my Dictionary is recommended to the “ publick, were written by your Lordship. To “ be so distinguished is an honour which, being “very little accustomed to favours from the “great, I know not well how to receive, or in “what terms to acknowledge.
“ When upon some slight encouragement, “ I first visited your Lordship, I was overpower“ ed, like the rest of mankind, by the en“ chantment of your address, and could not “ forbear to wish, that I might boast myself " le vainqueur du vainqueur de le terre ; that I "might obtain that regard for which I saw the "world contending. But I found my attend. “ance so little encouraged, that neither pride “nor modesty would suffer me to continue it. " When I had once addressed your Lordship “ in publick, I exhausted all the art of plea“sing, which a retired and uncourtly scholar "can possess. I had done all that I could :
" and no man is well pleased to have his all ne.glected, be it ever so little.
* Seven years, my Lord, have now passed r since I waited in your outward room, or was “ repulsed from your door; during which time “ I have been pushing on my work through “ difficulties, of which it is useless to complain, “ and have brought it at last to the verge of “ publication, without one act of assistance, “ one word of encouragement, or one smile of “ favour. Such treatment I did not expect, for Po I never had a patron before. .
“ The Shepherd in Virgil grew acquainted so with Love, and found him a native of the 56 rocks.
“ Is not a patron, my Lord, one who looks " with unconcern on a man struggling for life “ in the water, and, when he has reached “ ground, encumbers him with help? The no“ tice which you have been pleased to take of “ my labours, had it been early, had been $ kind; but it has been delayed till I am indif“ ferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am soli“ tary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, “ and do not want it." I hope it is no very cy“ nical asperity not to confess obligations where " no benefit has been received; or to be unso willing that the publick should consider me
as owing that to a patron, which Providence “ has enabled me to do for myself.
“ Having carried on my work thus far with “ so little obligation to any favourer of learning, “ I shall not be disappointed, though I should 66 conclude it, if less be possible, with less ; for