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Westminster Abbey, among the eminent men of whom he had been the historian, Cowley and Denham,° Dryden and Congreve, Gay,° Prior,° and Addison.
Since his death the popularity of his works- the Lives of the Poets, and, perhaps, the Vanity of Human Wishes, excepted - has greatly diminished. His Dictionary has been altered by editors till it can scarcely be called his. An allusion to his Rambler 10 or his Idler is not readily apprehended in literary circles. The fame even of Rasselas has grown somewhat dim. But, though the celebrity of the writings may have declined, the celebrity of the writer, strange to say, is as great as ever. Boswell's book has done 15 for him more than the best of his own books could do.
The memory of other authors is kept alive by their works. But the memory of Johnson keeps many of his works alive. The old philosopher is still among us in the brown coat with the metal buttons and the 20 shirt which ought to be at wash, blinking, puffing, rolling his head, drumming with his fingers, tearing his meat like a tiger, and swallowing his tea in oceans. No human being who has been more than seventy years in the grave is so well known to us. And it is 25 but just to say that our intimate acquaintance with
what he would himself have called the anfractuosities of his intellect and of his temper, serves only to strengthen our conviction that he was both a great and a good man.
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Lichfield. An ancient Episcopal city of Staffordshire, one of the west midland counties of England. It is situated 115 miles northwest of London.
9. Worcestershire. The county lying directly south of Staffordshire.
13. Churchman. A member of the Established Church of England, the American branch of which is the Protestant Episcopal Church. Members of other religious bodies- Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, etc. were styled Nonconformists or Dissenters. As the sovereign appoints through his ministers the bishops of the Church of England, who have seats in the House of Lords, "churchmanship" in former times went hand in hand with the support of the royal authority. At present, however, as the House of Commons has control of all royal appointments, and the bishops may belong to either party, this distinction has passed away.
15. Sovereigns in possession. William III. and Mary, acknowledged sovereigns by the "Declaration of Rights," after the expulsion of James II., the preceding year; Anne, who succeeded them in 1702, by virtue of the same ordinance; and the monarchs of the House of Brunswick, who took the throne through the "Act of Settlement" of 1701. These acts established the power of the English people to decide, through their representatives, which branch of the royal family should rule.
15. Jacobite. From "Jacobus," the Latin form of "James." A supporter of the exiled James II, and afterwards of his son James, and grandson, Charles, who were respectively styled by the opposing party, the "Old Pretender" and the “Young
Pretender." A Jacobite believed in strict hereditary succession; in the divine right of kings; and that no king, whatever his misconduct, could forfeit his throne.
P. 2, 1. 10. The royal touch. The vulgar English name for scrofula, "the king's evil," is derived from the long-cherished belief that it could be healed by the royal touch. In this was supposed to inhere some of the "Grace of God" which gave the right of sovereignty to true kings. Old historians assert that multitudes of patients were cured by this treatment. Queen Anne was the last English sovereign who touched for the king's evil. Henry VII. introduced the practice of presenting the patient with a small gold coin.
17. Her hand was applied in vain. Perhaps the Jacobitism of Johnson's parents prevented the usual cure. "The old Jacobites considered that this power did not descend to Mary, William, or Anne, as they did not possess a full hereditary title; or, in other words, did not rule by divine right. The kings of the house of Brunswick have, we believe, never put this power to the proof; and the office for the ceremony which appeared in our liturgy as late as 1719, has been silently omitted. The exiled princes of the house of Stuart are supposed to have inherited this virtue. . . When Prince Charles Edward was at Holyroodhouse in Oct., 1745, he, although only claiming to be Prince of Wales and regent, touched a female child for the king's evil, who in twenty-one days is said to have been perfectly cured." — The English Cyclopædia.
P. 3, 1. 11. Attic poetry and eloquence refers to the masterpieces of the great orators and dramatists of Athens, the chief city of ancient Greece.
15. Augustan refers to the Roman emperor, Augustus