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whom she called her chaplain ; Mrs. Boscawen, Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, Sir Joshua. Reynolds, Dr. Burney, Dr. Johnson, and myself. We found ourselves very elegantly entertained at her house in the Adelphi, where I have passed many a pleasing hour with him “who gladdened life.” She looked well, talked of her husband with complacency, and while she cast her eyes on his portrait, which hung over the chimney-piece, said, that “ death was now the most agreeable object to her.” semblance of David Garrick was cheering. Mr. Beauclerk, with happy propriety, inscribed under that fine portrait of him, which by Lady Diana's kindness is now the property of my friend Mr. Langton, the following passage from his beloved Shakspeare :
We were all in fine spirits ; and I whispered to Mrs. Boscawen, “I believe this is as much as can be made of life.” In addition to a splendid entertainment, we were regaled with Lichfield ale, which had a peculiar appropriate value. Sir Joshua, and Dr. Burney, and I, drank cordially of it to Dr. Johnson's health ; and though he would not join us, he as cordially answered, “ Gentlemen, I wish you all as well as you do me."
The general effect of this day dwells upon my mind in fond remembrance; but I do not find much conversation recorded. What I have preserved shall be faithfully given.
One of the company mentioned Mr. Thomas Hollis, the strenuous Whig, who used to send over Europe presents of democratical books, with their boards stamped with daggers and caps of liberty. Mrs. Carter aid, “ he was a bad man: he used to talk uncharitably.' JOHNSON : “Poh! poh! Madam ; who is the worse for being talked of uncharitably? Besides, he was a dull poor creature as ever lived : and I believe he would not have done harm to a man whom he knew to be of very opposite principles to his own. I remember once at the Society of Arts, when an advertisement was to be drawn up, he pointed me out as the man who could do it best. This, you will observe, was kindness to me. I, however, slipped away, and escaped it.”
Mrs. Carter having said of the same person, " I doubt he was an atheist.” JOHNSON : I don't know that. He might perhaps have become one, if he had had time to ripen (smiling). He might have exuberated into an atheist.'
Sir Joshua Reynolds praised Mudge's Sermons." JOHNSON : Mudge's Sermons are good but not practical. He
grasps more sense than he can hold ; he takes more corn than he can make into meal ; he opens a wide prospect, but it is so distant, it is indistinct. I love * Blair's Sermons. Though the dog is a Scotchman, and a Presbyterian, and everything he should not be, I was the first to praise them. Such was my candour” (smiling). MRS. BOSCAWEN: “Such his great merit, to get the better of all your prejudices.” JOHNSON : “ Why, Madam, let us compound the matter ; let us ascribe it to my candour and his merit.”
In the evening we had a large company in the drawing-room ; several ladies, the Bishop of Killaloe, Dr. Percy, Mr. Chamberlayne of the Treasury, &c. &c. Somebody said, the life of a mere literary man could not be very entertaining. JOHNSON : “But it certainly may. This is a remark which has been made, and repeated, without justice ; why should the life of a literary man be less entertaining than the life of any other man? Are there not as interesting varieties in such a life? Аз a literary life it may be very entertaining.'
BosWELL: “But it must be better surely, when it is diversified with a little active varietysuch as his having gone to Jamaica ; or-his having gone to the Hebrides." Johnson was not displeased at this.
Talking of a very respectable author, he told us a curious circumstance in his life, which was, that he had married a printer's devil. REYNOLD3 : “A printer's devil, Sir! Why, I thought a printer's devil was a creature with a black face and in rags.” JOHNSON : “Yes, Sir. But I suppose he had her face washed, and put clean clothes on her. (Then looking very serious and very earnest). And she did not disgrace him;—the woman had a bottom of good sense. The word bottom, thus introduced, was so ludicrous, when contrasted with his gravity, that most of us could not forbear tittering and laughing ; though I recollect that the Bishop of Killaloe kept his countenance with perfect steadiness, while Miss Hannah More slily hid her face behind a lady's back who sat on the same settee with her. His
1 See p. 60 of this volume. -Boswell.
pride could not bear that any expression of his should excite ridicule, when he did not intend it; he therefore resolved to assume and exercise despotic power, glanced sternly around, and called out, in a strong tone, “Where's the merriment?' Then collecting himself, and looking awful, to make us feel how he could impose restraint, and as it were searching his mind for a still more ludi. crous word, he slowly pronounced, “I say the woman was fundamentally sensible ;” as if he had said, hear this now, and laugh if you dare.
We all sat composed as at a funeral.
He and I walked away together ; we stopped a little while by the rails of the Adelphi, looking on the Thames, and I said to him, with some emotion, that I was now
MISS HANNAH MORE.
thinking of 'two friends we had lost, who once lived in the buildings behind us, Beauclerk and Garrick. Ay, Sir,” said he tenderly," and two such friends as cannot be supplied.”
For some time after this day I did not see him very often, and of the conversation which I did enjoy, I am sorry to find I have preserved but little. I was at this time engaged in a variety of other matters, which required exertion and assiduity, and necessarily occupied almost all my time.
One day having spoken very freely of those who were then in power, he said to me, “Between ourselves, Sir, I do not like to give opposition the satisfaction of knowing how much I disapprove of the ministry." And when I mentioned that Mr. Burke had boasted how quiet the nation was in George the Second's reign, when Whigs were in power, compared with the present reign, when Tories governed ;-"Why, Sir,” said he,
you are to consider that Tories, having more reverence for government, will not oppose with the same violence as Whigs, who being unrestrained by that principle, will oppose by any means.
This month he lost not only Mr. Thrale, but another friend, Mr. William Strahan, junior, printer, the eldest son of his old and constant friend, printer to his Majesty.
"TO MRS. STRAHAN, “DEAR MADAM,
April 23, 1781. "The grief which I feel or the loss of a very kind friend is sufficient to make me know how much you suffer by the death of an amiable son : a man, of whom I think it may be truly said, that no one knew him who does not lament him. I look upon myself as having a friend, another friend, taken from me.
"Comfort, dear Madam, I would give you, if I could; but I know how little the forms of consolation can avail. Let me, however, counsel you not to waste your health in unprofitable sorrow, but go to Bath, and endeavour to prolong your own life; but when we have all done all that we can, one friend must in time lose the other. I am, dear Madam,
"Your most humble servant,
JOHNSON DINES WITH WILKES AND DR. BEATTIE—LeTTeR-WRITING—Bet FLINT -ORATORY - BEAUCLERK'S LIBRARY — Blue-STOCKING CLUBS — STILLINGFLEETThe COUNTESS OF CORK—Johnson's “List or SUBSCRIBERS"_“TALKING FOR Victory"-A “CUI BONO" Man—“HEROIC EPISTIE TO SIR W. CHAMBERS "Johnson's COMMENDATION OF LORD CARLISLE'S POEMS-DR. BARNARD—"OF TORY AND WHG"-Poswell's DEPARTUKE FOR SCOTLAND-VISIT TO WELWYNDR. YOUNG-ON ORIGINAL SIN–Rev. MR. Palmer AND THE UNITARIANSAncient EGYPTIANS—WEALTH-Rev. MR. SMITH-LUTON Hoe, Seat of LORD BUTE-SOCIETY OP PROCURATORS, IN Scotlanu—MR. ROBERTSON, OF "THE CALEDONIAN MERCURY."
and Mr. Wilkes, at Mr. Dilly's. No negociation was now required to bring them together ; for Johnson was so well satisfied with the former interview, that he was very glad to meet Wilkes again, who was this day seated between Dr. Beattie and Dr. Johnson (between Truth and Reason, as General Paoli said, when I told him of it). WilKES : “I have been thinking, Dr. Johnson, that there should be a bill brought