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the sovereign of his lawful authority;" and urges “his fellowcountrymen in their several counties" to express their satisfaction that the Bill had been rejected by the Lords. He celebrates the memory of Sir John Lowther, ancestor of Lord Lowther,* who had lately promised him support. Then, passing to his favourite theme, he announces himself as "a firm loyalist, holding an estate transmitted to him by charters from a series of kings." He concludes by the offer of parliamentary service. His composition he transmitted to Dr. Johnson, begging his opinion. The lexicographer was in declining health, and was proportionally amiable. He complimented the writer on his knowledge of constitutional history, adding that his pamphlet would "raise his character, though it might not make him a Minister of State." Mr. Pitt sent a polite acknowledgment, commending "the author's zeal in the cause of the public."

His "Letter to the People of Scotland" Boswell followed up by the following address to the Ayrshire constituency :——

"To the Real Freeholders of the County of Ayr. "GENTLEMEN,—If my friend Colonel Montgomerie shall not be a candidate at the next election, I intend to offer my services as your representative in Parliament. If Colonel Montgomerie stands, he shall have my warmest support; for I have never ceased to think that great injustice was done both to you and him when he was deprived of the seat given him by your voice; and I am very desirous to have ample reparation made for that injustice. Indeed, gentlemen, you have at the two last general elections been disappointed of your representation by the unconstitutional means of those votes, which, upon a

* Lord Lowther was son-in-law of the Earl of Bute, and brother-inlaw of Boswell's friend, Colonel Stuart. Boswell's relations with this influential nobleman will form a prominent feature in the subsequent narrative.

notice that I glory in having made, were, at a meeting of this county, 29th October, 1782, declared to be nominal and fictitious.

"Colonel Montgomerie and I will probably at no time be on different sides. We are both connected with the respectable old interest of the county; and I trust we should both be exceedingly sorry to hurt it by a division, of which its enemies are eagerly watchful to take advantage.

"I pledge my word and honour that if there is not a greater number of the real freeholders for me than for any other candidate, I shall retire from the contest. I disdain to avail myself of what I condemn; and I am not callous enough to bear the indignant and reproachful looks of my worthy neighbours, who would consider that, by an artful use of the letter of that law which so loudly calls for reformation, I had triumphed over their wishes, and annihilated their most valuable privileges.

"My political principles I have avowed, in the most direct and public manner, to be those of a steady Royalist, who reveres monarchy, but is at the same time animated with genuine feelings of liberty; principles which, when well understood, are not in any degree inconsistent, but are happily united in the true British Constitution.

"The confidences with which I have been honoured by many of you in my profession as a lawyer, and other marks of attention which you have been pleased to show me, emboldens me to believe that you think well of my integrity and abilities. On the other hand, I declare that I should pay the utmost deference to your instructions as my constituents; and as I am now the representative of a family which has held an estate. in the county, and maintained a respectable character for almost three centuries, I flatter myself that I shall not be reckoned too presumptuous when I aspire to the high distinction of being your representative in Parliament, and that you will not disapprove of my indulging an ambition that this family shall rather advance than fall off in my time.

Though I should not be successful at the next, or at any future election, I am so fortunate as to have resources enough

to prevent me from being discontented or fretful on that account; and I shall ever be, with cordial regard,


"Your very faithful, and most obedient, humble servant,

"Auchinleck, March 17, 1784."

Boswell was at York on the 28th March, 1784, en route for London, when he was informed that Parliament was dissolved. Having in a brief note intimated to Dr. Johnson his political aspirations, he posted to Ayrshire, to contest the county. From Johnson he received a letter entreating him to be "scrupulous in the use of strong liquors," as "one night's drunkenness might defeat the labour of forty days well employed."


On reaching Auchinleck, Boswell learned what he might have ascertained sooner, that Colonel Montgomerie was re-soliciting the suffrages of the constituency. He was the successful candidate. Boswell again proceeded southward, and on the 5th May reached Londo. He dined out almost daily, frequently meeting Dr. hnson, who though invalid, rejoiced in the intercourse of his friends. By his physicians Johnson had been advised to proceed to Italy, and as the journey was delayed, Boswell apprehended that his friend was suffering from lack of funds. He applied to Lord Chancellor Thurlow, entreating an augmentation of Johnson's pension, or a special grant for the Italian journey. To the Treasury the Chancellor presented the application, but it was not entertained. Dr. Johnson expressed his grateful sense of Boswell's consideration and enterprise.

After a period of severe suffering, Dr. Johnson expired on the 13th December, 1784. He had prepared an autobiography, but destroyed it, with a portion of his correspondence, some weeks

before his decease. He appointed no literary executor, nor left instructions respecting a memoir. Boswell contemplated a different result, but did not publicly complain. From respect to Johnson's wishes he had abstained from publishing his Hebridean tour. He now seriously employed himself in preparing it for the printer. As the first proof-sheet was being sent him from Mr. Baldwin's printing office, it happened to attract the attention of Mr. Edmund Malone, who proceeded to read the account of Dr. Johnson's character. He was struck with the fidelity of the representation, and begged Mr. Baldwin to introduce him to the writer.* Boswell rejoiced to cultivate the acquaintance of one who not only belonged to Dr. Johnson's circle, but was himself a celebrity, as editor of Goldsmith's works, and as a writer on Shakespeare's plays. He visited Mr. Malone almost daily, submitting to his revision the MS. of his work. Accompanied by a flattering dedication to Mr. Malone, the work appeared in 1786 as a bulky octavo, bearing on the title-page the following copious inscription :

"The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, with Samuel Johnson, LL.D., by James Boswell, Esq., containing some poetical pieces by Dr. Johnson, relative to the Tour, and never before published : a series of his conversation, Literary Anecdotes, and Opinions of Men and Books, with an authentick account of the Distresses and Escape of the Grandson of King James II. in the year 1746.

'O! while along the stream of time, thy name
Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame,

Say, shall my little book attendant sail,

Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?' ·


*Life of Edmund Malone, by James Boswell, jun., contributed to the Gentleman's Magazine, and reprinted for private circulation.

+ Mr. Malone published in 1778 his " Attempt to ascertain the order in which Shakespeare's Plays were written




Above the imprint was placed a small woodcut representing a falcon--the author's crest, with his family motto, vraye foy.

The work was published by Mr. Charles Dilly, and the edition was rapidly distributed. The author was thus commended by Mr. Courtenay in his " Poetical Review: " #___

'With Reynolds' pencil, vivid, bold and true
So fervent Boswell gives him to our view:
In every trait we see his mind expand;
The master rises by the pupil's hand:
We love the writer, praise his happy vein,
Graced with the naiveté of the sage Montaigne;
Hence not alone are brighter parts display'd,
But e'en the specks of character portray'd:
We see the 'Rambler' with fastidious smile
Mark the lone tree, and note the heath-clad isle ;
But when the heroic tale of Flora'+ charms,

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"Can Boswell be forgot,

Scarce by North Britons now esteem'd a Scot?
Who to the sage devoted from his youth
Imbib'd from him the sacred love of truth ;

The keen research, the exercise of mind,

And that best art, the art to know mankind."

Much as his performance was appreciated by friendly persons, it was impossible that Boswell's morbed egotism should escape ridicule. Thomas Rowlandson, the noted caricaturist, issued twenty cartoons, presenting the unguarded tourist in absurd and

* A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral Character of the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D., with Notes by John Courtenay, Esq. Lond. C. Dilly, 1786.

+ The celebrated Flora Macdonald.

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