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Being, as already said, of the Roman Catholic religion, his father sent him young, to the English college of Saint Omer's, for his education. There he distinguished himself by early and promising proofs of his future merit and excellence. On his return from thence to England, he gave himself up entirely to his favourite study of the law. In a short time he was admitted, by a flattering unanimity, a member of the Hon. Society of the Middle Temple. He soon became an object of public attention, and as soon commenced his reputation for the nicest honour, strictest integrity, and most profound learning; which daily increased, and which he carried, unsullied, to the grave. Under thirty years of age at the time of the Revolution, his opinions had the greatest weight with the leading Roman Catholics of that period. Although faithful to his king, to whom he had sworn allegiance; and although, by the expulsion of that prince, his most sanguine expectations of preferment were for ever blasted; he was moderate, and, on all occasions, endeavoured to check the intemperate zeal and violent animosities of those unhappy times. Of his conciliating principles a multitude of instances might be adduced; but it is feared the length of this relation may be unsuitable to your publication. Let it suffice to add, that in those times of phrensy, he was equally esteemed, respected, and trusted, by men of all parties. With his years the number of his friends increased; they were numerous, and in the highest stations. Many letters are still existing from the Lord Chancellor Harcourt to him; in which an unbounded confidence in his honour, and reliance on his professional opinions, appear. He died, as your correspondent observes, on the 5th of July, 1737; and the epitaph, from his monument, is correctly copied. But he seems to be in the dark as to the author of the epitaph. It was written by Mr. Pope, who at that time lived at Twickenham, about a mile from Mr. Pigott's villa at Whitton, where Mr. Pope visited, and frequently dined. As every thing relating to our great poet must interest the curiosity of your readers, I shall subjoin some particulars relating to the epitaph, more especially as they will shew the anxious attention he paid to, and the solicitous care he took of, every expression, and even every word, which came from him. On the death of Mr. Pigott the first epitaph was worded thus:

At that time an offer was made to him, and he had accepted the offer, of being appointed solicitor-general.

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To the Memory of Nathaniel Pigott,
an ornament to his profession,

to which he gave more honour than he derived
from it.

Possessed of the highest reputation in it by his learning,
judgment, experience, integrity;
precluded from the highest stations only by his
conscience and religion.

Many he assisted in the law;
more he preserved from it.

friend to peace, servant of God,
guardian of property, lover of his country.
He died July 5, 1737, aged seventy-six years.

Mr. Pope, a few days after, sent the epitaph thus altered:
To the Memory of

Nathaniel Pigott, Barrister at Law;
who gave more honour to his profession than
he derived from it.

Possessed of the highest character

by his learning, judgment, experience, integrity.
Deprived of the highest stations
only by his conscience and religion.
Many he assisted in the law;

more he preserved from it.


friend to peace, guardian of property, and
protector of the poor;

a servant of God, and lover of his country.
He died July 5, 1737, aged seventy-six years.

And with this epitaph he sent the following note to one of the family:


THIS is the inscription I would prefer to that I gave you, upon further consideration. Pray let Mr. Schemakers engrave it as it here stands. The words underlined must be in small capitals.

Your affectionate servant,


This amended epitaph did not, however, entirely satisfy

the nice and scrupulous poet; for, a few days after, he sent it again altered, and in the manner it appears on the monument, and as printed in your Magazine.

On the 23d of September, 1726, Mr. Pope made a present to Mr. Pigott of his Iliad and his Odyssey, in ten vols. quarto, splendidly bound and gilt. The latter had been printed by Bernard Lintot, in the course of the preceding year. On the first page of it were written the following


The Muse this one verse to learn'd Pigott addresses;
In whose heart, like his writing, was never found flaw;
Whom Pope prov'd his friend in his two chief distresses,
Once in danger of Death, once in danger of Law."

Once in danger of death alludes to an accident. On Mr. Pope's return home, one evening, he was overset by Mr. Pigott's coachman: luckily, it happened near the house. Immediate assistance was given; and Pope, a little cut by the glass, but otherwise unhurt, was conveyed back again.* The present Mr. Pigott, F.R.S. who lives at York, is not his son, as your correspondent, by mistake, says, but his grandson. This gentleman is in possession of the different epitaphs and the Homers, with the verses inscribed, and the note above-mentioned, all written in Mr. Pope's own hand.

1784, Oct.

Yours, &c. &c.

XXXV. Anecdotes illustrative of the Life and Writings of Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON, in his Letters to Mr. CAVE and Dr. BIRCH.


THE early part of Dr. Johnson's literary life is acknowledged to be that which would be most generally curious, and of which it is to be feared the means of information are the most scanty. In some degree to supply this desideratum, I send you eight of his letters, written in that

Pope, alluding to this accident, in his XIXth Letter to Swift, dated "Nov. 16, 1726," says, "His two least fingers of one hand hang impediments to each other, like useless dependants, who only take up room, and never are active or assistant to our wants: I shall never be much the better for them." And Swift, in his answer, expresses his concern.

period, to his firm friend and early patron, the original projector of the Gentleman's Magazine; and shall be happy if they are the means of bringing forward any similar communications from such of your very early correspondents as have survived their contemporary friend. The Rev. Mr. Moses Brown, the pious writer of the Sunday Thoughts; the learned antiquary Paul Gemsege (who still adorns your pages as T. Row); the excellent Miss Carter, whom he celebrated in a Greek epigram To Eliza; and some other of your original contributors, may possibly condescend "to fill a column" with their tribute to the memory of an old associate. The propriety of such communications to the periodical work, which his own masterly hand so frequently adorned, must be obvious.

One little circumstance, which has no where yet appeared in print, I can relate to you on the best authority. In 1736, Dr. J. had a particular inclination to have been engaged as an assistant to the Rev. Mr. Budworth, then head-master of the grammar-school at Brewood, in Staffordshire, “an excellent person, who possessed every talent of a perfect institutor of youth, in a degree which" [to use the words of one of the brightest ornaments of literature *] "has been rarely found in any of that profession since the days of Quintilian." Mr. Budworth, "who was less known in his lifetime, from that obscure situation to which the caprice of fortune oft condemns the most accomplished characters, than his highest merit deserved," had been bred under Mr. Blackwell at Market Bosworth, where Johnson was some time an usher; which might naturally lead to the application. Mr. Budworth was certainly no stranger to the learning or abilities of Johnson; as he more than once lamented his having been under the necessity of declining the engagement, from an apprehension that the paralytic affection, under which our great philologist laboured through life, might become the object of imitation or of ridicule, among bis pupils.

Yours, &c.



Nov. 25, 1734.


AS you appear no less sensible than your readers of the

* See the Dedication to Bishop Hurd's edition of "Horace's Epistles to the Pisos," &c. edit. 1766, p. vii. Mr. Budworth died in 1745.

defects of your poetical article, you will not be displeased, if, in order to the improvement of it, I communicate to you the sentiments of a person, who will undertake on reasonable terms sometimes to fill a column.

His opinion is, that the public would not give you a bad reception, if, beside the current wit of the month, which a critical examination would generally reduce to a narrow compass, you admitted not only poems, inscriptions, &c. never printed before, which he will sometimes supply you with, but likewise short literary dissertations in Latin or English, critical remarks on authors ancient or modern,' forgotten poems that deserve revival, or loose pieces, like Floyer's, worth preserving. By this method your literary article, for so it might be called, will, he thinks, be better recommended to the public, than by low jests, awkward buffoonery, or the dull scurrilities of either party.

If such a correspondence will be agreeable to you, be pleased to inform me in two posts,* what the conditions are on which you shall expect it. Your late offert gives me no reason to distrust your generosity. If you engage in any literary projects besides this paper, I have other designs to impart, if I could be secure from having others reap the advantage of what I should hint.


Your letter, by being directed to S. Smith, to be left at the Castle, in Birmingham, Warwickshire, will reach

Your humble servant."


"Greenwich, next door to the Golden Heart, Churchstreet, July 12, 1737.


HAVING observed in your papers very uncommon offers of encouragement to men of letters, I have chosen, being a stranger in London, to communicate to you the following design, which, I hope, if you join in it, will be of advantage to both of us.

The History of the Council of Trent having been lately translated into French, and published with large notes by Dr. Le Courayer, the reputation of that book is so much revived in England, that, it is presumed, a new translation

* "Answered December 2. E. CAVE."

+ A prize of fifty pounds for the best poem "On Life, Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell." See Gent, Mag. vol. IV. p. 560. N.

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