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2i 6 SAMUEL JOHNSON

Shakspeare's works ; such graceful negligence of transition, like the ancient enthusiasts ? The pure voice of nature and of friendship. Now of whom shall I proceed to speak ? Of whom but Mrs. Montague ? Having mentioned Shakspeare and Nature, does not the name of Montague force itself upon me ? Such were the transitions of the ancients, which now seem abrupt, because the intermediate idea is lost to modern understandings. I wish her name had connected itself with friendship ; but, ah Colin, thy hopes are in vain ! One thing however is left me, I have still to complain ; but I hope I shall not complain much while you have any kindness for me. I am, dearest and dearest Madam, your, etc.

SAM. JOHNSON. London, April \\th, 1780.

��To Mrs. Thrale (after his slight stroke of -paralysis]

DEAR MADAM,

I am sitting down in no cheerful soli- tude to write a narrative which would once have affected you with tenderness and sorrow, but which you will perhaps pass over now with the careless glance of frigid indifference. For this diminution of regard, however, I know

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