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eminent person whom it concerns, I send
it to you.
«Mr. Samuel Johnson (authorof London, a fatire, and fome other poetical pieces) is a native of this country, and much respected by some worthy gentlemen in his neighbourhood, who are trustees of a charity-school now vacant, the certain falary of which is fixty pounds per annum, of which they are desirous to make him master ; but unfortunately he is not capable of receiving their bounty, which would make him happy for life, by not being Marter of Arts, which by the statutes of this school the matter of it must be. Now these gentlemen do me the honour to think that I have interest enough in you to prevail upon you to write to dean Swift to persuade the University of Dublin to send a diploma to me, conftituting this poor man Master of Arts in their University. They highly extol the man's learning and probity, and will not be persuaded that the University will make any difficulty of conferring such a favour upon a stranger, if he is recommended by the Dean. They say he is not afraid of the stricteft examination, though he is off so long a journey; but will venture if the Dean thinks it neceffary, choosing rather to die upon the road, than to be starved to death in tranflating for boksellers, which has been his only subsistence for some time past. I fear there difficulty in this affair than these good-natured gentlemen apprehend;, especially as their election cannot be delayed longer than the oth of next month. If you see this matter in the same light it appears to me, I hope you will burn this, and pardon me for giving you so much trouble about an impracticable thing: but if you think there is a probability of obtaining the favour asked, I am sure your humanity and propensity to relieve merit in diftress, will incline you to serve the poor man,
niy adding any more to the trouble I have already gir en you, than assuring you I am, with great truth, &c.
Trentham, Aug. 1, 1737,
One other subject for your reflection, and I have done.
What must have been Johnson's feelirgs, when, in his wonderful work, the English Dictionary, he cited the following passage from Ascham, as an instance of the use of the word Men? " Wits live obscurely, men care not how; or die obscurely, men mark not when."
in the same country with you)-He will call at the Cannon coffee-house for me. Do send me, thither, the French book you mention, Werther. If you don't, I positively never will forgive you. Nonsense, to say it will make me unhappy, or that I shan't be able to read it! Must I pistol myself, because a thick-blooded German has been fool enough to set the example, or because a German novelist has feigned such a story? If you don't lend it me, I will most assuredly procure it some time or another'; so, you may as well have the merit of obliging me. My friend will send a small parcel for you to D. street. The books I send you, because I know you have not got them, and because they are so much cheaper here. If you are afraid of emptying my purse (which by the way is almost worn out), you shall be my debtor for them. So, send me a note of hand, value receiv'd. The other things are surely not worth mentioning,
L E T
L Τ Τ
L E T T E R
England, 20 Aug. 76. For God's fake! where are you? What is the matter? Why don't you write ?Are you ill? God forbid! And I not with you to nurse you! if you are, . why don't you let somebody else write to you? Better all should be discovered, than suffer what I suffer. It's more than a month since I heard from you. A month used to bring me eight or ten letters. When I grew uneasy, it was in vain, as I said in my last, that I endeavoured to find your friend who brought the parcel (for I would certainly have seen him, and asked him about you). What is become of all my letters for this last month? Did you get what I returned by your friend? Do you like the purse? The book you mentioned, is just the only book you should never read. On my knees, I beg you never, never read it! Perhaps
you have read it-Perhaps !-I am distracted-Heaven only knows to whom I may be writing this letter.
Madam, or Sir!
you are a woman, I think you will; if you are a man, and ever loved, I am sure you will, obligé me with one line to fay what is come of Mr.- of the regiment. Direct to Mrs. ---, D. ftreet, London.-Any person whose hand my letter may fall into, will not think this much trouble; and, if they send me good news, Heaven knows how a woman, who loves, if poflible, too well, will thank them.
L ETT E R
Ireland, 10 Sept. 1776. As I am no sportsman, there is no merit, you may think, in devoting a morning to this employment. Nor do I claim any merit. 'Tis only making myself happy.
Now, I hope, you are quite at ease about