Page images
[ocr errors]


IV. Preached before an Assembly of Proteftant Diffenting Minifters

in Exeter, May 10, 1786. By Joseph Bretland. 8vo. Printed for the Author, in Exeter.

The point laboured through this discourse is simply the following, as stated by the preacher himself, viz. • That it is the indispensable duty of Christian ministers, after the example of the apostle, to deelare to their people, according to the best of their judgment and abi. lities, the whole counsel of God.'

As a general position, no one will dispute it: all the difficulty lies in its application ; and, for aught we see to the contrary, there is still as much room for cavil and debate, as there was before Mr. Bretland published his sermon. V. Before the House of Lords, Westminster, Jan. 30, 1787, being

the Anniversary of the Martyrdom of King Charles I. By John Lord Bishop of Oxford. &vo. 15. Cadell.

When Bithops preach on the anniversary of the death of Charles the First, we must, generally, expect to see the Royal Martyr dressed in the immaculate robes of INNOCENCE ; and to hear the whole blame of those civil commotions, which brought that onhappy prince to the scaffold, caft on the people. Thus, on the present occafion, it is asserted, that the character of Charles' was excellent;' and that we have no legal evidence of his having any guilt.'. If this be a true representation of the cale, what monsters of iniquity were those forefathers of ours, to whom fome of our best writers have taught us to look up, as having been, under God, the authors of all the political blessings which their thankless pofterity now enjoy ? VI. The Piety, Wisdom, and Policy of promoting Sunday Schools. Preached

in the Parish Church of Painswick, in the County of Glocester, on Sunday the 24th of September 1786 ; by Samuel Glaffe, D.D. F.R.Ś. Rector of Wanstead in Essex, and Chaplain in Ordinary to his Majesty. Published by the Desire of the Minister and Pam risioners. 4to. is. Rivington. 1786.

This discourse recommends, by solid arguments, and in animated language, an establishment, which promises to contribute very essentially toward reforming the lower classes of people, by early instilling into their minds that belt guard of virtue, RELIGIOUS PRIN


ASI delivered to Dr. Lettfom the account of the dissection of the

Introfafceptio, inserted in the last volume of the Philosophical Transactions, and had the correction of the plates, I think it incum. bent upon me to clear up the difficulties which occurred to you in the review of that article in your last Number. I must candidly acknow.. ledge that had I not actually seen the case, I might with others have been led to doubt the possibility of its taking place; but, setting afide my own authority, I have the pleasure to inform you, that Mr. Christopher Pegge of Christ's Church, Oxon, and Mr Steel of Tower-itreet, were with me when I opened the body, and saw the



disease exactly as represented in Fig. 1. And Dr. John Sims, Dr. Dennison, and Mr. Robinson, Surgeon, of Earl-ftreet, were also prefent when I dislected the parts, leisurely, that Mr. Pole might take the drawings.

On dissečting children, I have more than once seen the caput coli fo loosely connected by its peritoneal ligaments, that it might be removed with ease almost to the opposite side of the abdomen; and this observation I mentioned in a note, for the sole purpose of conveying an idea of the possibility of such an inversion.

The figures are undoubtedly faithful copies of nature ; but the mefocolon and mesentery were so collapsed and hid, by the position and increased size of the intestines, as to prevent their being represented ; yet they are certainly in the subject, as may be proved by the preparation now in my possession; and a bundle of enlarged mesenteric glands are described in both the account and drawings, which of course must belong to that part of the mesentery connected to the ition in the inverted colon.

I am, Gentlemen, with much respect, OLD JEWRY,

Your obliged humble Servant, 16th March 1787

THO. WHATELY. To the REVIEWERS. GENTLEMEN, IN your Review of the American Philosophical Transactions, last month *, the word Freshets occurs, as not within your knowledge. It is a typographical error in the American book, and should be Freshes, i. e. annual inundations, from the rivers being swollen by the melted snows, and other fresh waters from the uplands; as is the Nile, &c. from periodical or tropical rains. As a sailor's term, it is opposed to marine or salt-water foodings, tides, &c. These freshes afford another benefit, in regard to many rivers in America, viz. in equalizing the surface of the stream (where Rapids, and falls, or carcades obstruct the navigation), so that rafts of timber, and other gross produce, are then floated down to the sea.ports, in great quantities.

Your most humble Servant,

ACADEMICUS. N. B. We suspected that Freshes was the word meant in the book; but it did not occur to us, that Freshets must certainly have been an error of the press. We are obliged to ACADEMICUS; who, we hope, will excuse the liberty we have taken, in leaving out a very few words in his friendly letter.

. Feb. p. 139.

AMERICANUS is entitled to our thanks, and is desired to ac

cept them.

[ocr errors]

Itt William Matthews, in answer to G. B. came too late for this month ; but shall appear in our next.

ERRATA in Review for last Month. P. 11, !. 7 from bottom, for capable,' si ağle. -115, 1. 16, for • sounds,' r. found.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



For APRIL, 1787.

Art. I. The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL. D. with his Life, and

Notes on his Lives of the Poets, by Sir John Hawkins, Knt.
8vo. u Vols. 31. 6s. Boards. Buckland, Rivington, Payne,
Cadell, &c. &c. 1787.
IR John Hawkins informs us, that, at the request of some

of Dr. Johofon's friends, he has taken upon himself the office of his Editor; and, accordingly, he presents to the Public 28-icomplete a collection as he was able to form, with the affift. ance of directions left, for that purpose, by the Author. The work is dedicated to his Majesty, but, we think, without feeling or sentiment. Lest any one should imagine that either of the two former Princes of his Majesty's illustrious name is here intended, we are told, that it is George the Third, and for our further information, it is added, that he is king of Great Britain. Of this king it is said, that his royal bounty raised the Author from a State of indigence to the enjoyment of learned leisure, and an exemption from worldly solicitude.

Johnson was one of the highest literary ornaments of his Ma. jefty's reign : in the year 1762, when the pension was granted, he had finished his Dictionary, the Rambler, the Idler, Raflelas, and the best of his works : he had enriched the world with his labours, but had made no provision for himself. If at that period, when he was advanced in years, with a mind fatigued, and a constitution visibly declining, the royal munificence sought so valuable an author in bis obscure retreat in the Inner Temple Lane, the bounty, so conferred, is at once an honour to the King that granted, and to the Man that deserved it. Ideas of this kind might have kindled in the Dedication a spark of fire ; but at present we must remain content with a meagre account, implying no more than that his Majesty relieved distress, and maintained a beggar. Through every period, in which letters Aourished, it is the glory of the reigning prince, that he was the friend and protector of men of genius : Auguftus Cæsar, and Louis XIV. are, for their attention to the arts, respected at this day : Virgil and Horace reflect a luftre on the former; Racine and Boileau do honour to the last; and Johnson will Vol. LXXVI.




repay George the Third with the praise of future times, for the stipend he received.

The Dedication is followed by The Life of Johnson, amounting to one entire volume of fix hundred and two pages. In the progress of this work, Sir John Hawkins throws out, in great abundance, his opinions upon various subjects, with the lives of other men, some well known, and others of inferior fame. He favours us with a lift of Authors by profeffion, and of phyficians, who have failed, or succeeded. He talks at large of Mr. Cave (the founder of the Gentleman's Magazine), of lord Chesterfield, Fielding, Richardson, Paul Whitehead, the members of doctor Johnson's club at the Chop-house in Ivy Lane; of mufic, politics, legal decisions, and the arches of Blackfriars bridge. He remembered, perhaps, that Warburton promised to the memory of Pope a Just VOLUME: a similar task (though Warburton broke his word) he seems determined to perform for Dr. Johnson : but whether so much miscellaneous and foreign matter can be deemed just to the person whom he commemorates, may well be made a question. When a favourite topic, or a name ftmiliar to him, comes in his way, he Aies off, for five or ten pages, sometimes more ; and, during this excursion of thought, we lose fight of the proper object. In the dawn of tragedy, the Greeks raid, “ What is all this to Bacchus ?" and we, in the midst of Sir John's wanderings, are inclined to say, “What is all this to Johnson?” In the perusal of this work, we confess, that we found ourselves often under the painful necessity of reading what did not intereft, because it is misplaced. Nunc non erat his locus. We thought of the story-teller in Foote's farce, who begins with one subject, and as new ideas start up in his mind, distracts you with wild variety, and indeed every thing but that which he profefled to tell in the outset. Unity of design is the first beauty in every species of compofition, and from the Biographer, who undertakes to give an interesting life, the Reader expects it. If the mind of the Writer, or his common. place book, be full of fragments, let him, Jike Bayle, discharge himself in notes, which may be perused at leisure, without breaking the thread of the narration.

In order to guide the Reader through the maze, which Sir John Hawkins has so elaboracely formed, we fall endeavour to find a proper clue. The course we shall take is this: we fhall first give the life, presenting doctor Johnson in one continued and uninterrupted tenor: we shall afterward, in another article * present the opinions, maxims, and reflections of Sir John Hawa kios, together with his lives and anecdotes of other men, and all his miscellaneous matier, under the title of an Appendix to

Some observations on Johaton's Works, will be the subject of a third Article.

The Life of Doctor Samuel Johnson. This extraordinary man was born at Lichfield, on the 7th of September 1709. His father, Michael Johnson, was a book seller in that city. His mother was the fifter of doctor Ford, a physician of eminence, and of Cornelius Ford, otherwise parson Ford, the same who, being chaplain to the earl of Chesterfield, wilhed to attend that nobleman in the same capacity on his embassy to the Hague. Colley Cibber relates the anecdote: You should go, said the witty peer, if to your many vices you could add one more :-Pray, my lord, what is that? - Hypocrisy, my dear doctor. Johnson had a younger brother, Nathaniel, who died at the age of 27, or 28. Michael Johnson, the father, had a brother of the name of Andrew, who kept the Ring in Smithfield, appropriated to wrestlers and boxers, for a whole year, and as Johnson used to say, was never thrown or conquered. Johnson's father was, more than once, bailiff, or chief magirtrate of Lichfield, and, as Sir John Hawkins expresses it, dircharged the duties of that ExaLTED Nation with honour and applause. He was, like a number of others in that part of the world, a Jacobite, and, no doubt, gave an early tincture of the fame principles to the mind of his son. Michael, the father, died, at the age of 76, of an inflammatory fever ; and the mother at eighty-nine, of a gradual decay, in the year 1759.

Samuel Johnson derived from his parents, or from an upwholesome nurse, the distemper called the king's evil. Jacobites at that time believed in the efficacy of the royal touch : accordingly Mrs. Johnson presented her son before queen Anne, who, for the first time, performed that office, and gave her young patient as much of her healing quality as she could disa pense. Johnson remembered something of this; he had a confused idea of a lady in diamonds and a black hood. The seeds of Jacobitism were thus early fown, and in a mind like his, it is not to be wondered if they ftruck their roots deeply, and grew with bis growth. It is probable that he continued in those principles till he despaired of the cause. He was cut for the evil, and his face, naturally rugged, was seamed and disfigured. It is supposed that this disorder deprived him of the fight of his left eye, and also impaired his hearing. He never remembered to have enjoyed the use of the left eye.

At the age of three years, he trod, by accident (as we are told), upon one of a brood of eleven ducks, and killed it: he is said, upon that occafion, to have made the following verses :

Here lies good master duck,

That Samuel Johnson trod on,
If it had liv'd ’ would have been good luck,

There then had been an odd one. Every great genius must begin with a prodigy, and this is fcarcely exceeded by the bees on Plato's lip, or the doves that co.

U 2


« PreviousContinue »