Samuel Johnson

The Letters of Samuel Johnson, with Mrs. Thrale's genuine letters to him, Vol. 2: 1775-1782; Letters 370-821.1

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570. F. 30 Jan. '78. —— (Oxford).Not traced.—Hill's Boswell 1887, v. 454.


Poor Mr. Gwyn is in great distress under the weight of the late determination against him, and has still hopes that some pg 241mitigation may be obtained. If it be true that whatever has by his negligence been amiss, may be redressed for a sum much less than has been awarded, the remaining part ought in equity to be returned, or, what is more desirable, abated. When the money is once paid, there is little hope of getting it again.

The load is, I believe, very hard upon him; he indulges some flattering opinions that by the influence of his academical friends it may be lightened, and will not be persuaded but that some testimony of my kindness may be beneficial. I hope he has been guilty of nothing worse than credulity, and he then certainly deserves commiseration. I never heard otherwise than that he was an honest man, and I hope that by your countenance and that of other gentlemen who favour or pity him some relief may be obtained.

  • I am, Sir, Your most humble servant,
  • Sam: Johnson.

Bolt Court, Fleet Street, Jan. 30, 1778.

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Editor’s Note
570.—This appeal was no doubt addressed to one of J's 'academical friends'. See Addenda, p. 529. For Gwynn's backslidings see references in Index II.
Editor’s Note
570. Dr. Powell reminds me that Adams, the Master of Pembroke, was like Gwynn a Shrewsbury man. He was perhaps J's correspondent.
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