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beyond all precedent. The difference in the lot of these two young men might lead to many reflections on the taste of the age, and the value of its patron, age, but they are too obvious to be obtruded on any reader of feeling or judg, ment, and to others they would be unintelligible.
In whạt manner Johnson was employed for some time after his arrival in Lon. don, is not known. He brought a small sum of money with him, and he hasbanded it with frugality, while he mixed in such society as was accessible to a friendless and uncourtly scholar, and amused himself in contemplating the man, ners of the metropolis. It appears that at one time he took lodgings at Green, wich, and proceeded by fits to complete his tragedy. He renewed his application also to Cave, sending him a specimen of a translation of the History of the Council of Trent, and desiring to know if Cave would join in the publication of it. Cave appears to have consented, for twelve sheets were printed for which our author received forty-nine pounds, but another translation being announced about the same period (1738) by a rival whose name was also Samuel Johnson, librarian of St. Martins in the Fields, our author desisted, and the other design was also dropped.
In the course of the summer he went to Litchfield, where he had left Mrs. Johnson, and there, during a residence of three months, finished his tragedy for the stage. On his return to London with Mrs. Johnson, he endeavoured to prem vail on Fleetwood, the patentee of Drury-lane theatre, to accept Irene, but in this was unsuccessful, and having no interest with any other manager, he laid aside his play in pursuit of literary employment. He had now become personally known to Cave, and began to contribute to the Magazine original poetry, Latin, and English translations, biographical sketches, and other miscellaneous articles, particularly the debates in parliament, under the name of the Senate of Lilliput. At that time the debates were not allowed to be published, as now, the morning after the day of meeting, and the only safe mode of conveying the substance of them to the public was by adopting a historical form at more distant periods. At first, Johnson merely revised the manuscript as written by Guthrie, who then sapplied this department of the Magazine, but when Guthrie had attained a higher rank among authors, the whole devolved on his coadjutor. His only materials were a few notes supplied by persons who attended the houses of parliament, from which, and sometimes from information even more scanty, he compiled a series of speeches, of which the sentiments as well as the style were often his own. In his latter days he disapproved of this practice, and desisted from writing the speeches as soon as he found they were thought genuine.
The value of his contributions to this Magazine must have been soon acknow. ledged. It was then in its infancy, and there is a visible improvement from the time he began to write for it. Cave had a contriving head, but with too much of literary quackery. Johnson, by recommending original or selected pieces calculated to improve the taste and judgment of the public, raised the diguity of the Magazine above its contemporaries, and to him we certainly owe, in a great measure, the various information and literary history for which that miscellany has ever
Guthrie composed the parliamentary speeches from July 1736, and Johnson succeeded him Noyember 1740, and continued them to February 1742-3. C.
been distinguished, and in which it bas never been interrupted by a successful rival. By some manuscript memorandums concerning Dr. Johnson, written by the late Dr. Farmer, and obligingly given to me by Mr. Nichols, it appears that he was considered as the conductor or editor of the Magazine for some time, and received an huudred pounds per annum from Cave.
In the year 1738, he made his name at once known and highly respected among the eminent men of his time, by the publication of London, a piece in imitation of the third satire of Juvenal. The history of this publication is not uninteresting. Young authors did not then present themselves to the public without much cautious preparation.Johnson conveyed his poem to Cave as the production of another, of one who was under very disadvantageous circumstances of fortune,” and as some small encouragement to the printer,he not only offered to correct the press, but even to alter any stroke of satire which he might dislike. Cave, whose heart appears to more advantage in this than in some other of his transactions with authors, sent a present to Johnson for the use of his poor friend, and afterwards, it appears, recommend. ed Dodsley as a purchaser. Dödsley had just began business, and had speculated but on a few publications of no great consequence. He had, however, judgment enough to discern the merit of the poem now submitted to him, and bargained for the whole property. The sum Johnson received was ten guineas, and such were his circumstances, or such the state of literary property at that time, that he was fully content, and was ever ready to acknowledge Dodsley's useful patronage.
The poem was accordingly published in May 1738, and on the same morning with Pope's Satire of Seventeon Hundred and Thirty Eight. Johnson's was so cagerly bought up, that a second edition became necessary in less than a week. Pope bchaved on this occasion with great liberality. He bestowed high praise on the London, and intimated that the author, whose name had not yet appearerl, could not be long concealed. In this poem may be observed some of those political prejudices for which Johnson contended more frequently afterwards. He thought proper to join in the popular clamour against the administra. tion of sir Robert Walpole, but lived to reflect with more complacency on the conduct of that minister when compared with some of his successors.
His London procured him fame, and Cave was not sorry to have engaged the services of a man whose talents had now the stamp of public approbation. Whether he had offers of patronage, or was thought a formidable enemy to the minister, is not so certain, but having leisure to calculate how little his labours were likely to produce, he soon began to wish for some establishment of a more permanent kind. With this view an offer was made to him of the mastership of the school of Appleby in Leicestershire, the salary of which was about sixty pounds, but the laws of the school required that the candidate should be a master of arts. The university of Oxford, when applied to, refused to grant this favour. Earl Gower was then solicited in behalf of Johnson, by Pope, who knew him only as the author of London. His lordship accordingly, wrote to Swift, soliciting a diploma from the university of Dublin, but for what reason we are not told, this application too was unsuccessful. Mr. Murphy says, “ There is reason to think that Swist declined to meddle in the business: and to that circumstance Johnson's known dislike of Swift has often been imputed.” That Swift declined to meddle