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have seen that work, although she had evidently not seen Manucius's catechism.
The following anecdote, entitled Bosworth Field, looks like a ridicule on the kind of nonsense that is talked by the housekeepers who show old country-houses
• Passing an evening with her (Mrs. Piozzi) in October, 1816, she entertained her company with several stories, and among them told the following. She said, that in the family of Mostyn, in Denbighshire, with whom she was connected, she had frequently seen a golden cup, the history of which was repeated to her by the present possessor. King Henry VII., when Earl of Richmond, and on his way to fight Richard the Third at Bosworth, stopped for a day at Mostyn Hall; and, on leaving, told Lady Mostyn, that should he be victorious, as he hoped to be, he would, when the battle was over, send her his sword by a special messenger, whom he should despatch from the field. He won the day, and sent the sword, as he promised; and for ages it hung in the armoury at Mostyn. But a good old lady of the family at length observing that the hilt was of pure gold, and exclaiming that it was a pity metal of such value should lie useless, had the handle melted down, and converted into a caudle-cup. The blade was lost.'-Pp. 31, 32.
Far be it from us to dispute the commentator's recollections concerning a sword, of which the handle was melted and the blade lost-the remainder of the weapon may be, for aught we know, still to be seen at Mostyn Hall; but Mostyn Hall is situated on the very farthest point of the north coast of Wales, in the nook formed between the Irish Sea and the estuary of the Dee, and we cannot guess how Richmond should have passed there ' on his way to Bosworth ;' nor even in his preceding march from Milford to Shrewsbury. The following anecdote of Wilkes and Dr. Johnson is new in the mode of telling it :
This led her to remark that she knew the famous John Wilkes well, and had often enjoyed his fine “conversation talents.” She recalled the droll retort of Wilkes, when he one day overheard Johnson enlarging on the subject of human freedom, and cried out, " What is the man saying ?-Liberty sounds as oddly in his mouth, as religion would in mine!"--p. 35.
As the editor professes to have read Boswell, we wonder that he should think it worth while to repeat a story already told there, even with such variations as he, on bis recollection of Mrs. Piozzi's chit-chat, has thought proper to make.
Mrs. Piozzi was not present at the scene she is thus represented as 'recalling,'--for no such scene ever passed. The story is told by Boswell, as it occurred (Croker's Boswell, vol. iv. p. 79); namely--that he, Boswell, in conversation with Wilkes, quoted something said the day before in another company by Johnson, in favour of liberty, and that
Wilkes then made to Boswell the remark in question; so that there was neither dispute nor retort, and Mr. Wilkes was not guilty of the personal rudeness thus imputed to him.
But amidst many pages of such trash, there are interspersed a few particulars which we are glad to know. One of these is Mrs. Piozzi's age--a matter left by the lady in her earlier publications so much in doubt, that Mr. Croker was, we remember, blamed by some critic, because, in his edition of Boswell, he was unable to ascertain it within two or three years; but the editor of this work speaks confidently on that point.
• In this letter of January 15, 1817, she marks her birth-day, and her advanced age, seventy-seven; and much about that time, I recollect her showing me a valuable china bowl, in the inside of which was pasted a slip of paper, and on it written, “ With this bowl, Hester Lynch Salusbury was baptized, 1740." She was born on the 16th, or, as according to the change of style, we should now reckon, the 27th of January, 1741.-p. 167.
Yet the real date is still not quite clear; if she was seventy-seven in 1817, she would have been born in 1740, and not 1741; but this is merely an error in the editor's mode of stating the fact, for Mrs. Piozzi herself says that she had accomplished her seventy-sixth year in Jan iary, 1817—though, as she continued to keep her birthday on the 16th of January, it seems strange that she should adhere to the old style for the day, and adopt the new style for the year. A note, preceding by two days the one in which she states the 16th of January, 1817, to be her seventy-sixth anniversary,' is dated, Thursday, 13th January, 1817. Now the 13th of January happened on a Monday in 1817, and there is, therefore, some mistake in these dates. The evidence of the inscription on the bowl seems to us very strong ; first, because it seems improbable that it should have been affixed before the change of style (1751); but, again, because it was not,-for many years before the old style was legally abolished,—the custom to employ it in the ordinary intercourse of life ; even the magazines began the year with the month of January, twenty years before the style was changed by act of parliament, and ten years before Mrs. Piozzi was born. She indeed appears to fix her own birth to 1741, but as she or the editor have certainly made two errors in the matter, we suspect her also of a third, which is of the nature that ladies are most apt to fall into. We therefore conclude, that she was born on the 16th January, 1740, new style; though Johnson's celebrated verses to her on her being thirty-five, adopting, no doubt, her own computation, were probably written in 1776. Enough, at all events, is ascertained to prove that Mrs. Thrale was past forty when she inade that match with Piozzi which so
much afflicted her friends. The editor is angry, it seems, that Mr. Croker (whom he admits to have been in other respects just towards the lady) should have called it a lamentable marriage; but we confess we think, all the circumstances considered, that it was the very lightest epithet which could be used. The worthy editor founds his approbation on the happiness which Mrs. Piozzi assured him that this alliance produced—but does he not see that the indignation and outcry, which it had created, naturally piqued the lady, in self-justification, to say all that was possible, and probably more than was just, in defence of her extravagant and indecent folly?—to which same obvious cause we must needs attribute an extravagance even worse than the marriage itself—her bringing over from Italy Piozzi's nephew, and conferring on him her name, and the estate of her ancestors, to the exclusion not merely of her relations, but even of her own children-this is the gentleman, we suppose, who figures in this volume under the name and title of Sir J. P. Salusbury.
Another point which this work ascertains, is the following:
• Dr. Johnson says of Pope, “He has a few double rhymes; but always, I think, unsuccessfully, except once in the Rape of the Lock.”
“ The meeting points the fatal lock dissever,
From the fair head-for ever and for ever—" was the couplet Johnson meant, for I asked him. H.L.P.'—p. 209.
We have also a list of the prices which the Streatham collection of portraits, by Sir Joshua, brought at auction in May 1816, and which, the editor says, differs from that which was published in the newspapers of the time. We therefore extract it. • Lord Sandys. £36 15 O Lady Downshire ; his heir. Lord Lyttelton 43 0 Mr. Lyttelton; his son. Mrs. Piozzi 81 IS 0 S. Boddington, Esq., a rich merchant. Goldsmith
133 0 Duke of Bedford. Sir J. Reynolds 128 2 R. Sharp, Esq. of Park-lane. Sir R. Chambers 84
o Lady Chambers ; his widow. David Garrick . 183 15 O Dr. Charles Burney, Greenwich. Baretti
Stewart, Esq. : I know not who. Dr. Burney 84 0 Dr. C. Burney of Greenwich, his son. Edmund Burke 252 0 0 R. Sharp, Esq. Dr. Johnson 378 0 Watson Taylor, Esq., by whom, for Mr. Murphy, was offered 1021. 18s. but I bought it in.-H. L. P.'
Dr. Johnson's—-infinitely the finest of these portraits, as a work of art, and second not even to Mr. Burke's as an object of national interest, passed at Mr. Watson Taylor's late sale into the hands of Sir Robert Peel. We cannot but rejoice that this admirable portrait of this admirable man has found at last, what we hope to be, a permanent asylum.
As the Diary to which we referred at the commencement of this article must be an object of some curiosity, we extract the editor's record of what he knows about it :
• I called on her one day, and at an early hour, by her desire; when she showed me a heap of what are termed pocket-books, and said she was sorely embarrassed on a point, upon which she condescended to say she would take my advice. “ You see in that collection," she continued, “ a diary of mine of more than fifty years of my life: I have scarcely omitted any thing which occurred to me during the time I have mentioned; my books contain the conversation of every person of almost every class with whom I have beld intercourse ; my remarks on what was said ; downright facts, and scandalous on dits ; personal portraits, and anecdotes of the characters concerned ; criticisms on the publications and authors of the day, &c. Now I am approaching the grave, and agitated by doubts as to what I shall do-whether burn my manuscripts, or leave them to futurity! Thus far, my decision is to destroy my papers; shall 1, or shall I not?”
-- I took the freedom of saying, “ By no means do an act which done cannot be amended; keep your papers safe from prying eyes ; and, at last, trust them to the discretion of survivors." Her answer was, that, at least for the present, they were rescued from the flames; and so saying, she replaced the numerous volumes in her cabinet, I did not not see the inside of one of them, and, of course, can say nothing from my own knowledge of the contents; but cannot doubt that they were, in all respects, most interesting. I am led to think this from recollecting the character of her mind; the eagerness with which she sought the society of the distinguished in her day; the elevated circles in which she was privileged to move; the closeness of observation with which she viewed life and manners, and her wondrous strength of memory.
To wish that the reading world should be put in possession of all she had gathered might be extravagant; but undoubtedly many portions of her Diaries would have admitted of publication, and been perused with avidity.”—p. 45.
In this we very much agree, and we trust the possessor of the manuscript may adopt the suggestion thus offered.
Johnson's ' lively lady' bad by nature a very quick perception; she had seen much of the world; had lived familiarly with some of the greatest men the world has ever produced; and, old as she was,
her observations on passing events are now and then rather sharp. In proof of this, we shall conclude by quoting the following hints on the first slight attack of the Reform mania, in 1819, which we think will appear to our readers equally curious and just :
• I thought London was to have run mad last week; but the fever of Reform is not yet hot enough. You will see that the great men
who think they are making Hunt and Co. their tools to pull down one set of ministers, and put up another set which they can command, will themselves at length be used as tools by the multitude, who are honest in the a vowal of their meaning, however absurd. They mean, like the wise men of Gotham, to pull the pins out of London-bridge, and oil them. And I remember wondering, when a baby, why that was thought so very foolish a project; for I doubted not but they wanted something, as we say, to be done to them! Indeed, a later adventure showed me how cautiously a work of reformation must be conducted: an old wall we wished to repair, down in Denbighshire, was all overgrown with ivy:
“ Cut it away," said we; “ But,” replied an experienced workman, “it has grasped the stones it loosened at the beginning; and if we cut it away, the whole will drop to pieces: the ivy now helps to support that wall to which it once clung for support itself.” So, I recollected the more serious allegory of the corn and tares, and let the business rest.'--Pp. 141, 142. And again :
• With regard to the conspicuous miseries of the land we live in, let us thank God that the times we see are not like the times we read of. A Regent there, in history I mean, would take advantage of the mob's delusion, cajole the populace, rival Mr. Hunt; suffer him, however, and his adherents to destroy the Peers and Commons as an intermediate state ; pronounce against their corruption, declare his resolution to reign in the hearts of his beloved people; take, with their assistance, money from the aristocracy of the realm, and rule, without a parliament, despotic! The bulk of mankind always like that form of government best; the mub can suffer one man's sway willingly; they hate that of five hundred, half of them uninformed as them, selves, and risen from the ranks.'—pp. 146, 147.
A year, nay two months, ago his majesty's ministers would have thought these the reveries of a doating old woman; we suspect they are now very much of Mrs. Piozzi's opinion :- -our readers, at least, will have read these latter extracts with a painful conviction of their truth, and will believe that the world is not a worse school of politics than an hermitage.
ART. XIV.—The Present and Last Parliaments. Containing
Authentie Results of the Various Polls. Ridgway. London,
1833. THE most common observation that we hear in every society
and read in every journal is, that the Reform Bill has disappointed everybody. Yet we believe that the truth is, that the Reform Bill has disappointed nobody. Sure we are it has not disappointed us—the new parliament is composed and is working exactly as all the leaders of the Conservative party, and as we