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he is, however, just tory enough to hate the bishop of Peterborough for whiggism, and whig enough to abhor you for toryism.
“ Mrs. Montagu flattered him finely; so he had a good afternoon on't. This evening we spend at a concert. Poor Queeney'so sore eyes have just released her : she had a long confinement, and could neither read nor write, so my master P treated her very good-naturedly with the visits of a young woman in this town, a tailor's daughter, who professes musick, and teaches so as to give six lessons a day to ladies, at five and threepence a lesson. Miss Burney says she is a great performer; and I respect the wench for getting her living so prettily: she is very modest and pretty-mannered, and not seventeen years old.
“ You live in a fine whirl indeed ; if I did not write regularly, you would half forget me, and that would be very wrong, for I felt my regard for you in my face last night, when the criticisms were going on.
“ This morning it was all connoisseurship: we went to see some pictures painted by a gentleman artist, Mr. Taylor, of this place: my master makes one everywhere, and has got a good dawling companion to ride with him now. * * * * * * *. He looks well enough ; but I have no notion of health for a man whose mouth cannot be sewed up. Burney and I and Queeney tease him every meal he eats, and Mrs. Montagu is quite serious with him ; but what can one do? He will eat, I think ; and if he does eat I know he will not live: it makes me very unhappy, but I must bear it. Let me always have your friendship. “I am, most sincerely, dear sir, « Your faithful servant,
“ H. L. T. “ Bath, Friday, April 28.”
n Dr. John Hinchliffe.
• A kind of nickname given to Mrs. Thrale's eldest daughter, whose name being Esther, she might be assimilated to a queen.—Boswell.
p Mr. Thrale.
DR. JOHNSON TO MRS. THRALE.
“ DEAREST MADAM,—Mr. Thrale never will live abstinently till he can persuade himself to live by rule?. * * * * * Encourage, as you can, the musical girl.
Nothing is more common than mutual dislike where mutual approbation is particularly expected. There is often on both sides a vigilance not over-benevolent; and as attention is strongly excited, so that nothing drops unheeded, any difference in taste or opinion, and some difference where there is no restraint will commonly appear, immediately generates dislike.
“ Never let criticisms operate on your face or your mind; it is very rarely that an author is hurt by his criticks. The blaze of reputation cannot be blown out, but it often dies in the socket: a very few names may be considered as perpetual lamps that shine unconsumed. From the author of Fitzosborne's Letters I cannot think myself in much danger. I met him only once, about thirty years ago, and in some small dispute reduced him to whistle; having not seen him since, that is the last impression. Poor Moore the fabulist was one of the company.
“ Mrs. Montagu's long stay, against her own inclination, is very convenient. You would, by your own confession, want a companion; and she is ‘par pluribus;' conversing with her you may find variety in one.'
“ London, May 1st, 1780."
On the 2nd of May I wrote to him, and requested that we might have another meeting somewhere in the north of England, in the autumn of this year.
From Mr. Langton I received soon after this time a letter, of which I extract a passage relative both to Mr. Beauclerk and Dr. Johnson.
“ The melancholy information you have received concerning Mr. Beauclerk's death is true. Had his talents been directed in any sufficient degree as thcy ought, I have always been strongly of opinion that they were calculated to make an illustrious figure: and that opinion, as it had been in part formed upon Dr. Johnson's judgement, receives more and more confirmation by hearing what, since his death, Dr. Johnson has said concerning them. A few evenings ago he was at Mr. Vesey's, where lord Althorpe', who was one of a numerous company there, addressed Dr. Johnson on the subject of Mr. Beauclerk's death, saying, 'Our club has had a great loss since we met last.' He replied, ' A loss that perhaps the whole nation could not repair!'. The doctor then went on to speak of his endowments, and particularly extolled the wonderful ease with which he uttered what was highly excellent. He said, that` no man ever was so free, when he was going to say a good thing, from a look that expressed that it was coming; or, when he had said it, from a look that expressed that it had come.' At Mr. Thrale's, some days before when we were talking on the same subject, he said, referring to the same idea of his wonderful facility, that
1 I have taken the liberty to leave out a few lines.--BoswELL.
Beauclerk's talents were those which he had felt himself more disposed to envy, than those of any whom he had known.'
“On the evening I have spoken of above, at Mr. Vesey's, you would have been much gratified, as it exhibited an instance of the high importance in which Dr. Johnson's character is held, I think even beyond any I ever before was witness to. The company consisted chiefly of ladies, among whom were the duchess dowager of Portland, the duchess of Beaufort, whom I suppose from her rank I must name before her mother Mrs. Boscawen, and her eldest sister Mrs. Lewson, who was likewise there; lady Lucan, lady Clermont, and others of note both for their station and understandings. Among the gentlemen were lord Althorpe, whom I have before named, lord Macartney, sir Joshua Reynolds, lord Lucan, Mr. Wraxal, whose book you have probably seen, the Tour to the Northern Parts of Europe; a very agreeable ingenious man ; Dr. Warren, Mr. Pepys, the master in chancery, whom I believe you know, and Dr. Barnard, the provost of Eton. As soon as Dr. Johnson was come in and had taken a chair, the company began to collect round him till they became not less than four if not five deep; those behind standing, and listening over the heads of those that were sitting near him. The conversation for some time was chiefly between Dr. Jobpson and the provost of Eton, while the others contributed occasionally their remarks. Without attempting to detail the particulars of the conversation, which, perhaps, if I did I should spin my account out to a tedious length, I thought, my dear sir, this general account of the respect with which our valued friend was attended to, might be acceptable.”
r The present lord Spencer.
TO THE REVEREND DR. FARMER.
May 25, 1780. “SIR, I know your disposition to second any literary attempt, and therefore venture upon the liberty of entreating you to procure from college or university registers, all the dates or other informations which they can supply relating to Ambrose Philips, Broome, and Gray, who were all of Cambridge, and of whose lives I am to give such accounts as I can gather. Be pleased to forgive this trouble from, sir,
“ Your most humble servant,
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
While Johnson was thus engaged in preparing a delightful literary entertainment for the world, the tranquillity of the metropolis of Great Britain was unexpectedly disturbed by the most horrid series of outrage that ever disgraced a civilized country. A relaxation of some of the severe penal provisions against our fellow-subjects of the catholick communion had been granted by the legisla
ture, with an opposition so inconsiderable, that the genuine mildness of christianity, united with liberal policy, seemed to have become general in this island. But a dark and malignant spirit of persecution soon showed itself, in an unworthy petition for the repeal of the wise and humane statute. That petition was brought forward by a mob, with the evident purpose of intimidation, and was justly rejected. But the attempt was accompanied and followed by such daring violence as is unexampled in history. Of this extraordinary tumult Dr. Johnson has given the following concise, lively, and just account in his letters to Mrs. Thrale ..
“On Friday the good protestants met in St. George'sfields, at the summons of lord George Gordon, and marching to Westminster, insulted the lords and commons, who all bore it with great tameness. At night the outrages began by the demolition of the mass-house by Lincoln's inn.
“ An exact journal of a week's defiance of goverument I cannot give you. On Monday Mr. Strahan, who had been insulted, spoke to lord Mansfield, who had I think been insulted too, of the licentiousness of the populace; and his lordship treated it as a very slight irregularity. On Tuesday night they pulled down Fielding's house ,
and burnt his goods in the street. They had gutted on Monday sir George Savile's house, but the building was saved. On Tuesday evening, leaving Fielding's ruins, they went to Newgate to demand their companions who had been seized demolishing the chapel. The keeper could not release them but by the mayor's permission, which he went to ask: at his return he found all the prisoners released, and Newgate in a blaze. They then went to Bloomsbury,
6 Vol. ii. p. 143 et seq. I have selected passages from several letters, without mentioning dates.—Boswell.
t June 2.
u This is not quite correct. Sir John Fielding was, I think, then dead. It was justice Hyde's house in St. Martin's-street, Leicester-fields, that was gutted, and his goods burnt in the street.-BLAKEWAY.
Fielding did not die until September of the year of the riots.-Ed.