1754 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Samuel Johnson to Thomas Warton, 28 November 1754; Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791); ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 1:320-22.



DEAR SIR,

I am extremely obliged to you and to Mr. Wise, for the uncommon care which you have taken of my interest: if you can accomplish your kind design [to get Johnson an Oxford degree], I shall certainly take me a little habitation among you.

The books which I promised to Mr. Wise, I have not been able to procure: but I shall send him a Finnick Dictionary, the only copy, perhaps, in England, which was presented me by a learned Swede: but I keep it back, that it may make a set of my own books of the new edition, with which I shall accompany it, more welcome. You will assure him of my gratitude.

Poor dear Collins! — Would a letter give him any pleasure? I have a mind to write.

I am glad of your hindrance in your Spenserian design, yet I would not have it delayed. Three hours a day stolen from sleep and amusement will produce it. Let a Servitour transcribe the quotations, and interleave them with references, to save time. This will shorten the work, and lessen the fatigue.

Can I do anything to promoting the diploma? I would not be wanting to co-operate with your kindness; of which, whatever be the effect, I shall be, dear Sir,

Your most obliged, &c.

SAM. JOHNSON.