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THE

HISTORY

OF

RASS ELAS,

PRINCE OF ABYSSINIA,

a Tale.

BY

SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL. D.

London:

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J. LIMBIRD, 143, STRAND,

(Near Somerset House.)

19.5

FALVARD COLLEGE LIERARY

fonet THE BEST OF EVETTO.CFit · E... EL

1918

MEMOIRS

OF

DR. JOHNSON.

Of all the writers this country has produced, there is not one, with the exception of Shakspeare, so honoured with so many titles of literary distinction as Dr. Johnson, who is as well known by the appellation of the "great moralist,” the “great lexicographer," and the “ colossus of literature," as he is by his proper name: nor are these titles unjustly, or improperly bestowed : as a moralist Johnson will ever stand in the first rank-as a lexicographer he was great, when it is considered that he alone produced the first good Dictionary of the English language-as a colossus the term is rather appropriate, on account of his bestriding so many, and such various branches of literature, than for his general pre-eminence. His dictionary alone, is a monument of his industry; but it neither forms his only, nor his greatest claim to distinction, as an author of eminence. When Wilcox, an eminent bookseller in the Strand, met Johnson's application for literary employment, by advising him to buy a porter's knot, he was little aware that he thus “ threw a pearl away, richer than all his tribe;" Johnson, however, was not a man to be intimidated by a frown, or a rebuke; he felt a just confidence in his own powers, which poverty and neglect could never weaken: many a day did he fastmany a year did he abstain from wine, even when his circumstances were such as to enable him to indulge, and he, therefore, felt little uneasiness at being compelled to pass his literary probationship under many severe privations.' When Cave, the proprietor of the Gentleman's Magazine,

“ Th’invention all admir'd, and each wondered how he

To be th' inventor missid,” sheitered Johnson behind a screen, while a better dressed visitor called upon him, he little knew that he was fostering a young author destined to take the lead among the writers of his age ; but, it is in the nature of great talents to surmount great difficulties, and Dr. Johnson, in this respect, was not a solitary, but a memorable instance of the triumph of genius over every obstacle.

Staffordshire has the honour of giving birth to the great moralist, Samuel Johnson, who was born at Litehfield, on the 18th of September, 1709 ; his father, Michael Johnson, was a native of Derbyshire, apd was settled in Litchfield as a bookseller and stationer: his mother, Sarah Ford, was descended from a good family in Warwickshire. Samuel, their eldest son, had the misfortune to be afflicted in

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