The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes

The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes
Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II

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The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes by Samuel Johnson

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1825

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The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes
Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II

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Book Excerpt

signed at his house? He told them, that either the earl of Oxford or the duke of Shrewsbury was absent, but he could not remember which; an answer which perplexed them, because it supplied no accusation against either. "Could any thing be more absurd," says he, "or more inhuman, than to propose to me a question, by the answering of which I might, according to them, prove myself a traitor? And notwithstanding their solemn promise, that nothing which I could say should hurt myself, I had no reason to trust them; for they violated that promise about five hours after. However, I owned I was there present. Whether this was wisely done or no, I leave to my friends to determine."

When he had signed the paper, he was told by Walpole, that the committee were not satisfied with his behaviour, nor could give such an account of it to the commons as might merit favour; and that they now thought a stricter confinement necessary than to his own house. "Here," says he, "Boscawen played the moralist, and Coningsby the

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