Boswell's Life of Johnson (1904)/Volume 1/Catalogue of Works

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[N. B. To those which he himself acknowledged is added acknowl. To those which may be fully believed to be his from internal evidence, is added intern. evid.]

1735. Abridgement and translation of Lobo's Voyage to Abyssinia. acknowl.
1738. Part of a translation of Father Paul Sarpi's History of the Council of Trent, acknowl.

[N. B. As this work after some sheets were printed, suddenly stopped, I know not whether any part of it is now to be found.]


Preface, intern. evid.

Life of Father Paul, acknowl.


For the Gentleman's Magazine.

Life of Boerhaave. acknowl.
Address to the Reader, intern, evid.
Appeal to the Publick in Behalf of the Editor, intern, evid.
Considerations on the case of Ur. Trapp's Sermons; a plausible attempt to prove that an author's work may be abridged without injuring his property, acknowl.
For the Gentleman's Magazine.
Preface, intern, evid.
Essays on Epitaphs. acknowl.
For the Gentleman's Magazine.
Preface, intern, evid.
A free translation of the Jests of Hierocles, with an introduction, intern, evid.
Debate on the Humble Petition and Advice of the Rump Parliament to Cromwell in 1657, to assume the Title of King; abridged, methodized and digested, intern, evid.
Translation of Abbe Guyon's Dissertation on the Amazons. intern, evid.
Translation of Fontenelle's Panegyrick on Dr. Morin. intern, evid.
For the Gentleman's Magazine.
Preface, intern, evid.
Essay on the Account of the Conduct of the Duchess of Marlborough. acknowl.
An Account of the Life of Peter Burman. acknowl.
The Life of Sydenham, afterwards prefixed to Dr. Swan's edition of his Works, acknowl.
Proposals for printing Bibliotheca Harleiana, or a Catalogue of the Library of the Earl of Oxford, afterwards prefixed to the first Volume of that Catalogue, in which the Latin Accounts of the Books were written by him. acknowl.
Abridgement intitled, Foreign History, intern, evid.
Essay on the Description of China, from the French of Du Halde. intern, evid.
1743. Dedication to Dr. Mead of Dr. James's Medicinal Dictionary, intern. evid.

For the Gentleman's Magazine.

Preface, intern, evid.
Parliamentary Debates under the Name of Debates in the Senate of Lilliput, from Nov. 19, 1740, to Feb. 23, 1742-3, inclusive. acknowl.
Considerations on the Dispute between Crousaz and Warburton on Pope's Essay on Man. intern, evid.
A Letter announcing that the Life of Mr. Savage was speedily to be published by a person who was favoured with his Confidence, intern. evid.
Advertisement for Osborne concerning the Harleian Catalogue. intern. evid.
1744. Life of Richard Savage, acknowl.
Preface to the Harleian Miscellany, acknowl.

For the Gentleman's Magazine.

Preface, intern, evid.
1745. Miscellaneous Observations on the Tragedy of Macbeth, with remarks on Sir T. H.'s (Sir Thomas Hanmer's) Edition of Shakspeare, and proposals for a new Edition of that Poet, acknowl.

For the Gentleman's Magazine.

1748. Life of Roscommon, acknowl.
Foreign History, November, intern, evid.

For Dodsley's Preceptor.

Preface, acknowl.
Vision of Theodore the Hermit, acknowl.
1750. The Rambler, the first Paper of which was published 20th of March this year, and the last 17th of March, 1752, the day on which Mrs. Johnson died. acknowl.
Letter in the General Advertiser to excite the attention of the Publick to the Performance of Coinus, which was next day to be acted at Drury-Lane Playhouse for the Benefit of Milton's Grandaughter. acknowl.
Preface and Postscript to Lauder's Pamphlet intitled, 'An Essay on Milton's Use and Imitation of the Moderns in his Paradise Lost.' acknowl.
1751. Life of Cheynel in the Miscellany called 'The Student.' acknowl.
Letter for Lauder, addressed to the Reverend Dr. John Douglas, acknowledging his Fraud concerning Milton in Terms of suitable Contrition, achnowl.
Dedication to the Earl of Middlesex of Mrs. Charlotte Lennox's 'Female Quixotte.' intern, evid[2].
1753. Dedication to John Earl of Orrery, of Shakspeare Illustrated, by Mrs. Charlotte Lennox, acknowl.
During this and the following year he wrote and gave to his much loved friend Dr. Bathurst the Papers in the Adventurer, signed T. acknowl.
1754. Life of Edw. Cave in the Gentleman's Magazine, acknowl.
1755. A Dictionary, with a Grammar and History, of the English Language. acnowl.
An Account of an Attempt to ascertain the Longitude at Sea, by an exact Theory of the Variations of the Magnetical Needle, with a Table of the Variations at the most remarkable Cities in Europe from the year 1660 to 1680. acknowl. This he wrote for Mr. Zachariah Williams, an ingenious ancient Welch Gentleman, father of Mrs. Anna Williams whom he for many years kindly lodged in his House. It was published with a Translation into Italian by Signor Baretti. In a Copy of it which he presented to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, is pasted a Character of the late Mr. Zachariah Williams, plainly written by Johnson, intern, evid.
1756. An Abridgement of his Dictionary, acknowl.
Several Essays in the Universal Visitor, which there is some difficulty in ascertaining. All that are marked with two Asterisks have been ascribed to him, although I am confident from internal Evidence, that we should except from these 'The Life of Chaucer,' 'Reflections on the State of Portugal,' and ' An Essay on Architecture:' And from the same Evidence I am confident that he wrote 'Further Thoughts on Agriculture,' and 'A Dissertation on the State of Literature and Authours.' The Dissertation on the Epitaphs written by Pope he afterwards acknowledged, and added to his 'Idler.'
Life of Sir Thomas Browne prefixed to a new Edition of his Christian Morals, acnowl.

In the Literary Magazine; or, Universal Review, which began in January, 1756.

His Original Essays are

Preliminary Address, intern, evid.
An introduction to the Political State of Great Britain. intern, evid.
Remarks on the Militia Bill, intern. evid.
Observations on his Britannick Majesty's Treaties with the Empress of Russia and the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel. intern. evid.
Observations on the Present State of Affairs, intern, evid.
Memoirs of Frederick III. King of Prussia. intern, evid.
In the same Magazine his Reviews are of the following books:
'Birch's History of the Royal Society.'—'Browne's Christian Morals.'—'Warton's Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope, Vol. I.'—'Hampton's Translation of Polybius.'—'Sir Isaac Newton's Arguments in Proof of a Deity.'—'Borlase's History of the Isles of Scilly.'—'Home's Experiments on Bleaching.'—'Browne's History of Jamaica.'—'Hales on Distilling Sea Waters, Ventilators in Ships, and curing an ill Taste in Milk.'—'Lucas's Essay on Waters.'—'Keith's Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops.'—'Philosophical Transactions, Vol. XLIX.'—'Miscellanies by Elizabeth Harrison.'—'Evans's Map and Account of the Middle Colonies in America.' —'The Cadet, a Military Treatise.'—'The Conduct of the Ministry relating to the present War impartially examined.' intern, evid.
'Mrs. Lennox's Translation of Sully's Memoirs.'—'Letter on the Case of Admiral Byng.'—'Appeal to the People concerning Admiral Byng.'—'Hanway's Eight Days' Journey, and Essay on Tea.'—'Some further Particulars in Relation to the Case of Admiral Byng, by a Gentleman of Oxford.' aknowl.
Mr. Jonas Hanway having written an angry Answer to the Review of his Essay on Tea, Johnson in the same Collection made a Reply to it. acknowl. This is the only Instance, it is believed, when he condescended to take Notice of any Thing that had been written against him; and here his chief Intention seems to have been to make Sport.
Dedication to the Earl of Rochford of, and Preface to, Mr. Payne's Introduction to the Game of Draughts, acknowl.
Introduction to the London Chronicle, an Evening Paper which still subsists with deserved credit, acknowl.
1757. Speech on the Subject of an Address to the Throne after the Expedition to Rochefort; delivered by one of his Friends in some publick Meeting: it is printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for October 1785. intern, evid.
The first two Paragraphs of the Preface to Sir William Chambers's Designs of Chinese Buildings, &c. acknowl.
1758. The Idler, which began April 5, in this year, and was continued till April 5, 1760. acknowl.
An Essay on the Bravery of the English Common Soldiers was added to it when published in Volumes, acknowl.
Advertisement for the Proprietors of the Idler against certain Persons who pirated those Papers as they came out singly in a Newspaper called the Universal Chronicle or Weekly Gazette, intern. evid.
For Mrs. Charlotte Lennox's English Version of Brumoy,—'A Dissertation on the Greek Comedy,' and the General Conclusion of the Rook, intern. evid.
Introduction to the World Displayed, a Collection of Voyages and Travels. acknowl.
Three Letters in the Gazetteer, concerning the best plan for Blackfriars Bridge, acknowl.
1760. Address of the Painters to George III. on his Accession to the Throne. intern, evid.
Dedication of Baretti's Italian and English Dictionary to the Marquis of Abreu, then Envoy-Extraordinary from Spain at the Court of Great-Britain. intern. evid.
Review in the Gentleman's Magazine of Mr. Tytler's acute and able Vindication of Mary Queen of Scots, acknowl.
Introduction to the Proceedings of the Committee for Cloathing the French Prisoners, acknowl.
1761. Preface to Rolt's Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, acknowl.
Corrections and Improvements for Mr. Gwyn the Architect's Pamphlet, intitled 'Thoughts on the Coronation of George III.' acknowl.
1762. Dedication to the King of the Reverend Dr. Kennedy's Complete System of Astronomical Chronology, unfolding the Scriptures, Quarto Edition, acknowl.
Concluding Paragraph of that Work. intern. evid.
Preface to the Catalogue of the Artists' Exhibition, intern. evid.
1763. Character of Collins in the Poetical Calendar, published by Fawkes and Woty. acknowl.
Dedication to the Earl of Shaftesbury of the Edition of Roger Ascham's English Works, published by the Reverend Mr. Bennet. acknowl.
The Life of Ascham, also prefixed to that edition. acknowl.
Review of Telemachus, a Masque, by the Reverend George Graham of Eton College, in the Critical Review. acknowl.
Dedication to the Queen of Mr. Hoole's Translation of Tasso. acknowl.
Account of the Detection of the Imposture of the Cock-Lane Ghost, published in the Newspapers and Gentleman's Magazine, acknowl.
1764. Part of a Review of Grainger's 'Sugar Cane, a Poem,' in the London Chronicle. acknowl.
Review of Goldsmith's Traveller, a Poem, in the Critica' Review, acknowl.
1766. The Fountains, a Fairy Tale, in Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies. acknowl.
1767. Dedication to the King of Mr. Adams's Treatise on the Globes, acknowl.
1769. Character of the Reverend Mr. Zachariah Mudge, in the London Chronicle. acknowl.
1770. The False Alarm. acknowl.
1771. Thoughts on the late Transactions respecting Falkland's Islands. acknowl.
1772. Defence of a Schoolmaster; dictated to me for the House of Lords. acknowl.
Argument in Support of the Law of Vicious Intromission; dictated to me for the Court of Session in Scotland, acknowl.
1773. Preface to Macbean's 'Dictionary of Ancient Geography.' acknowl.
Argument in Favour of the Rights of Lay Patrons; dictated to me for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. acknowl.
1774. The Patriot, acknowl.
1775. A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, acknowl.
Proposals for publishing the Works of Mrs. Charlotte Lennox, in Three Volumes Quarto, acknowl.
Preface to Baretti's Easy Lessons in Italian and English. intern, evid.
Taxation no Tyranny; an Answer to the Resolutions and Address of the American Congress, acknowl.
Argument on the Case of Dr. Memis; dictated to me for the Court of Session in Scotland, acknowl.
Argument to prove that the Corporation of Stirling was corrupt; dictated to me for the House of Lords, acknowl.
1776. Argument in Support of the Right of immediate, and personal reprehension from the Pulpit; dictated to me. acknowl.
Proposals for publishing an Analysis of the Scotch Celtick Language, by the Reverend William Shaw, acknowl.
1777. Dedication to the King of the Posthumous Works of Dr. Pearce, Bishop of Rochester, acknowl.
Additions to the Life and Character of that Prelate; prefixed to those Works, acknowl.
Various Papers and Letters in Favour of the Reverend Dr. Dodd. acknowl.
1780. Advertisement for his Friend Mr. Thrale to the Worthy Electors of the Borough of Southwark. acknowl
The first Paragraph of Mr. Thomas Davies's Life of Garrick. acknowl.
1781. Prefaces Biographical and Critical to the Works of the most eminent English Poets; afterwards published with the Title of Lives of the English Poets[3], acknowl.
Argument on the Importance of the Registration of Deeds; dictated to me for an Election Committee of the House of Commons, acknowl.
On the Distinction between Tory and Whig; dictated to me. acknowl.
On Vicarious Punishments, and the great Propitiation for the Sins of the World, by Jesus Christ; dictated to me. acknowl.
Argument in favour of Joseph Knight, an African Negro, who claimed his Liberty in the Court of Session in Scotland, and obtained it; dictated to me. acknowl.
Defence of Mr. Robertson, Printer of the Caledonian Mercury, against the Society of Procurators in Fldinburgh, for having inserted in his Paper a ludicrous Paragraph against them; demonstrating that it was not an injurious Libel; dictated to me. acknowl.
1782. The greatest part, if not the whole, of a Reply, by the Reverend Mr. Shaw, to a Person at Edinburgh, of the Name of Clark, refuting his arguments for the authenticity of the Poems published by Mr. James Macpherson as Translations from Ossian. intern. evid.
1784. List of the Authours of the Universal History, deposited in the British Museum, and printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for December, this year, acknowl.

Various Years.

Letters to Mrs. Thrale. acknowl.
Prayers and Meditations, which he delivered to the Rev. Mr. Strahan, enjoining him to publish them, acknowl.
Sermons left for Publication by John Taylor, LL.D. Prebendary of Westminster, and given to the World by the Reverend Samuel Hayes, A.M. intern, and.

Such was the number and variety of the Prose Works of this extraordinary man, which I have been able to discover, and am at liberty to mention; but we ought to keep in mind, that there must undoubtedly have been many more which are yet concealed; and we may add to the account, the numerous Letters which he wrote, of which a considerable part are yet unpublished. It is hoped that those persons in whose possession they are, will favour the world with them.




'After my death I wish no other herald,
'No other speaker of my living actions,
'To keep mine honour from corruption,
' But such an honest chronicler as Griffith[4].'

Shakspeare, Henry VIII [Act IV. Sc. 2.]

  1. I do not here include his Poetical Works; for, excepting his Latin Translation of Pope's Messiah, his London, and his Vanity of Human Wishes imitated from Juvenal; his Prologue on the opening of Drury-Lane Theatre by Mr. Garrick, and his Irene, a Tragedy, they are very numerous, and in general short; and I have promised a complete edition of them, in which I shall with the utmost care ascertain their authenticity, and illustrate them with notes and various readings. Boswell. Boswell's meaning, though not well expressed, is clear enough. Mr. Croker needlessly suggests that he wrote 'they are not very numerous.' Boswell a second time (Post, under Aug. 12, 1784, note) mentions his intention to edit Johnson's poems. He died with-out doing it. See also Post, 1750, Boswell's note on Addison's style.
  2. The Female Quixote was published in 1752. See post, 1762, note.
  3. The first four volumes of the Lives were published in 1779, the last six in 1781.
  4. See Dr. Johnson's letter to Mrs. Thrale, dated Ostick in Skie, September 30, 1773:—'Boswell writes a regular Journal of our travels, which I think contains as much of what I say and do, as of all other occurrences together; "for such a faithful chronicler is Griffith."' Boswell. See Piozzi Letters, i. 159, where however we read 'as Griffith.'