Hawkins' postscript has been the source of considerable consternation, justifiably so. While he has generally approached Johnson from a balanced perspective — exceptionally balanced, given his closeness — here, he goes to great lengths to question the amount of money Johnson left his servant Francis Barber.
Hawkins compares the amount left Barber with Johnson's failure to leave any money for a man named Humphry Heely, a "relation." Yes, Johnson left Heely nothing in his will, but to call him a relation is technically a stretch. Heely's first wife was a cousin of Johnson's mother, so at best the relationship was by marriage, and since his first wife had died, was no longer even a relative by marriage.
(In response to what Hawkins wrote, Johnson's longtime friend Edmund Hector wrote to Boswell in disgust, saying Heely "was no more related to the Doctor than to his Biographer.") (Boswell Correspondence Relating to the Making of The Life of Johnson; volume 2, page 220; McGraw Hill, New York)
Hawkins' anecdote augments other statements he wrote earlier, around the drafting of the will, where Hawkins wrote...
I now added, that he had never mentioned to me the disposal of the residue of his estate, which, after the purchase of an annuity for Frank, I found would be something considerable, and that he would do well 'to bequeath it to his relations.'
But this is not all. Hawkins questions Johnson's bounty, calling it ostentatious, and writes that he hopes this story will be caveat against "favour to negroes." (Lynch)
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