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will do the same at [Lewes]. Do not make piesced the reality of those virtues, till them speeches. Unusual compliments, to which there is no stated and prescriptive this joyful morning, when I received the answer, embarrass the feeble who do not honour of your most tender and affectionate know what to say, and disgust the wise, letter with its most welcome contents. Ma. who, knowing them to be false, suspect them dam, I may with truth say, I have not words to be hypocritical.
to express my gratitude as I ought to a lady, You never told me, and I omitted to inquire, whose bounty has, by an act of benevolence, how you were entertained by Boswell's doubled my income, and whose tender, •Journal.' One would think the man had compassionate assurance has removed the been hired to be a spy upon me; he was future anxiety of trusting to chance, the very diligent, and caught opportunities of terror of which only could have prompted writing from time to time. You may now me to stand a public candidate for Mr. conceive yourself tolerably well acquainted | Hetherington's bounty. May my sincere with the expedition. Folks want me to go and grateful thanks be accepted by you, and to Italy, but I say you are not for it.” may the Author of all good bless and long
continue a life, whose shining virtues are so "Lichfield, 13th June, 1775. “ I now write from Mrs. Cobb's, where I conspicuous and exemplary, is the most ar
dent prayer of her who is, with the greatest have had custard. Nothing considerable has happened since I wrote, only I am sorry obliged, and obedient humble servant,
respect, madam, your most devoted, truly to see Miss Porter so bad, and I am not
“ ANNA Williams."] pleased to find that, after a very comfortable intermission, the old flatulence distressed [The following letter, addressed to me again last night. The world is full of Dr. Johnson, though it does not belong ups and downs,' as, I think, I told you once to his personal history, describes a scene of before.
public amusement, and affords some details “ Lichfield is full of box-clubs. The la concerning the habits of society, which may dies have one for their own sex.
They have amuse the reader, and in a work of this naincorporated themselves under the appella- ture will hardly be considered as misplaced.] tion of the Amicable Society; and pay each
[“MRS. THRALE TO DR. JOHNSON. twopence a week to the box. Any woman
" 24th June, 1775. who can produce the weekly twopence is “ Now for the regatta, of which, admitted to the society; and when any of | Baretti says, the first notion was the poor subscribers is in want, she has six taken from Venice, where the gonshillings a week; and, I think, when she doliers practise rowing against each dies five pounds are given to her children. other perpetually ; and I dare say 'tis good Lucy is not one, nor Mrs. Cobb. The sub- diversion where the weather invites, and scribers are always quarrelling; and every the water seduces to such entertainments. now and then, a lady, in a fume, withdraws Here, however, it was not likely to answer; her name; but they are an hundred pounds and I think nobody was pleased. beforehand.
« Well! Cræsus promised a reward, you " Mr. Green has got a cast of Shak- remember, for him who should produce a speare, which he holds to be a very exact new delight; but the prize was never obresemblance.
tained, for nothing that was new proved “ There is great lamentation here for the delightful; and Dr. Goldsmith, three thoudeath of Col. Lucy is of opinion that he sand years afterwards, found out that whowas wonderfully handsome.
ever did a new thing did a bad thing, and “ Boswell is a favourite, but he has lost whoever said a new thing said a false thing. ground since I told them that he is married, So yestermorning, a flag flying from some and all hope is over."]
conspicuous steeple in Westminster gave [The history of Mrs. Williams be- notice of the approaching festival, and at longs so inseparably to that of Dr. John
noon the managers determined to hold it on son, that the Editor cannot omit here insert
that day. In about two hours the wind ing the following letter, relating to a small
rose very high, and the river was exceedannuity, which the charity of Mrs. Montagu ingly rough; but the lot was cast, and the had secured to Mrs. Williams, and which, ladies went on with their dresses. It had
been agreed that all should wear white; but as we shall see, was long afterwards a sub
the ornaments were left to our own choice. ject of acknowledgment from Dr. Johnson to that lady.]
I was afraid of not being fine enough; so 1
trimmed my white lutestring with silver (“MRS. WILLIAMS TO MRS. MONTAGU. gauze, and wore black riband intermixed. " Johnson's-court, 26th June, 1775.
We had obtained more tickets than I hoped “ MADAM,—Often have I heard of for, though Sir Thomas Robinson 1 gave us generosity, benevolence, and com
1 (Ante, v. i. p. 173.-Ed.]
Lett. v. i.p
none at last; but he gives one such a pro- me for a long while out of the notion that fusion of words, and bows, and compliments, it was covered with black, till through a telthat I suppose he thinks every thing else escope we espied the animals in motion, superfluous. Mr. Cator I was the man for like magnified mites in a bit of old cheese. a real favour at last, whose character is di- Well! from this house in the Temple we rectly opposite, as you know; but if both hasted away to Ranelagh, happy in having are actuated by the spirit of kindness, let us at least convinced a hundred folks we never try at least to love them both.
saw before, and perhaps never shall see « He wished Hester (Miss Thrale] to go, again, that we had tickets for the regatta, and she wished it too, and her father wished; and fine clothes to spoil with the rain, and so I would not stand out, though my fears that we were not come thither like the vulgar for her health and safety lessened the plea- -in good time !-only to see the boat-race. sure her company always gives. The And now, without one image of Cleopatra's D'Avenants, then, Mr. Cator, Mr. Evans, galley or Virgil's games, or one pretext to Mr. Seward, and ourselves, set about being say how it put us in mind of either, we happy with all our might, and tried for a drove to Ranelagh, and told each other all barge to flutter in altogether. The barges, the way how pretty it would be to look at however, were already full, and we were to the ladies disembarking to musick, and be divided and put into separate boats. walking in procession up to the rotunda. The water was rough, even seriously so; the But the night came on; the wind roared ; time glided away in deliberation of what was the rain fell; and the barges missing their to be done ; and we resolved, at last, to run way, many came up to the wrong stairs. to the house of a gentleman in the Temple, The managers endeavoured to rectify the of whom we knew nothing but that he was
mistake, and drive them back, that some D'Avenant's friend, and look at the race order might be kept, and some appearance from his windows,—then drive away for of regularity might be made ; but the woRanelagh, in time to see the barges drawn men were weary and wet, and in no disposi. up, and the company disembark. Of the tion to try for further felicity out of the old race, however, scarce any thing could be common road; so the procession was spoilseen for clouds of dust that intercepted one's
ed; and as to musick, we heard none but sight; and we have no balconies to see shows screams of the frighted company, as they from, as are provided in countries where were tossed about at the moment of getting processions make much of the means of en
to shore. Once more, then, all were turned tertainment; so we discomposed our head- loose to look for pleasure where it could be dresses against each other, by struggling
found. The rotunda was not to be opened for places in an open window, and then till twelve o'clock, when the bell was to cal) begged pardons with courtesies, which ex- us to sup there; the temporary building was posed our trains to be trod on, and made us
not finished, and the rain would not permit still more out of humour. It was however walking in the garden. Calamity, however, a real pleasure to look at the crowd of spec
vanishes often upon a near approach—does tators. Every shop was shut; every street
not it ?—as well as happiness. We all deserted; and the tops of all such houses as crowded into the new building, from whence had any catch of the river swarmed with we drove the carpenters, and called for people, like bees settling on a branch. cards, without the help of which, by some Here is no exaggeration, upon my honour;
fatality, no day dedicated to amusement is even the lamp-irons on Westminster-bridge
ever able to end. were converted into seats, while every Queeney said there was no loss of the lighter lying in the Thames bore men up ornaments intended to decorate Neptune's to the topmast-head. This was the true for she saw no attempt at embellishwonder of the day. Baretti suys he will ment, except a few fluttering rags, like those show us finer sights when we go to Italy. which dangle from a dyer's pole into the I believe him; but shall we ever see so pop
street; and in that room we sat telling ulous a city as London ? so rich a city? so
opinions, adventures, &c. till supper was happy a city? I fancy not.
served, which the men said was an execra.
ble one, and I thought should have been • Let bear or elephant be e'er so white, finer. "Was nothing good, then?' you beThe people sure, the people, are the sight.' gin to exclaim; here is desire of saying They could not indeed be very atten
something where little is to be said, and lative to the games, like those Horace talks
mentations are the readiest nonsense my of, for here was neither panther nor camel ;
mistress can find to fill her letter with.' no pretence to draw us together, as I could
No, no; I would commend the concert, the find ;-yet they sat so thick upon the slating
catch singers, for an hour, if you would of Whitehall, that nobody could persuade admirably executed; nor did the company
hear me; the musick was well selected, and 1 (A timber-merchant in the Borough. -Ed.) look much amiss when all the dismal was
over, and we walked round Ranelagh a lit- whole transaction, and need not regret that tle in the old way ;-every body being you did not make the tour of the Hebrides.” dressed in white was no advantage indeed to the general appearance.
"Lichfield, July (27), 1775.
“ [ have passed one day at Birmingham We returned safe home about five or with my old friend Hector—there's a name! six o'clock: a new scene to Hester, who and his sister, an old love. My mistress is behaved sweetly, and had no fears in the grown much older than my friend. crowd, but prodigious surprise in finding it broad day when we came out. I might
"O quid habes illius, illius have wondered too, for few people have
Quæ spirabat amores frequented publick places less than myself;
Quæ me surpuerat mihi.”
Hor. Od. 13. 1. 4. and for the first six years after my marriage, as you know, I never set my foot in
He returned to town about the end any theatre or place of entertainment at all.
of August.) What most amazed me about this regatta,
After my return to Scotland, I wrote however, was the mixture of company, three letters to him, from which I extract when tickets were so difficult to obtain.
the following passages; Somebody talked at Ranelagh of two ladies
“I have seen Lord Hailes since I came that were drowned; but I have no doubt down. He thinks it wonderful that you that was a dream.”]
are pleased to take so much pains in revising
his Annals.' I told him that you said you ED. [In the last days of June, he removed
were well rewarded by the entertainment to Ashbourne ; and his letters thence
which you had in reading them.” contain the usual routine of his country “ There has been a numerous flight of observations, with one or two more charac
Hebrideans in Edinburgh this summer, teristic circumstances. He was very anx
whom I have been happy to entertain at ious that an old horse of Mrs. Thrale's
my house. Mr. Donald Macqueen 1 and should not be sold to hard work, or, as he
Lord Monboddo supped with me one evencalled it, degraded, for five pounds, and was
ing. They joined in controverting your willing to have borne the expense of main- proposition, that the Gaëlick of the Hightaining the poor animal.
lands and Isles of Scotland was not written For his friend Baretti, of some point of till of late.” whose conduct Mrs. Thrale had complain
* My mind has been somewhat dark this ed, he intercedes with that lady in a tone of
summer. I have need of your warming modest propriety:
and vivifying rays; and I hope I shall have
them frequently. I am going to pass some DR. JOHNSON TO MRS. THRALE.
time with my father at Ăuchinleck.” " Ashbourne, 15th July, 1775. Letters, « Poor Baretti ! do not quarrel
“ TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. to neglect him a little will
“ London, Aug. 27, 1775. be sufficient. He means only to be “ DEAR SIR,—I am returned from the frank, and manly, and independent, and annual ramble into the middle counties. perhaps, as you say, a little wise. To be Having seen nothing I had not seen before frank, he thinks, is to be cynical, and to be I have nothing to relate. Time has left independent to be rude. Forgive him, that part of the island few antiquities; and dearest lady, the rather because of his mis- commerce has left the people no singularibehaviour ; I am afraid he has learned part ties. I was glad to go abroad, and, perof me. I hope to set him hereafter a better haps, glad to come home; which is in other
words, I was, I am afraid, weary of being
at home, and weary of being abroad. Is ED.
This coolness soon ended, as the not this the state of life? But, if we connext letter informs us :
fess this weariness, let us not lament it; for
all the wise and all the good say, that we “ DR. JOHNSON TO MRS. THRALE.
may cure it. “ Ashbourne, 21st July, 1775.
vi For the black fumes which rise in your Letters, “ You and [Baretti] are friends mind, I can prescribe nothing but that you
again. My dear mistress has the disperse them by honest business or innoquality of being easily reconciled, and not
cent pleasure, and by reading, sometimes easily offended. Kindness is a good thing in
easy and sometimes serious. Change of itself; and there are few things that are worthy of anger, and still fewer that can justify
I The very learned minister in the Isle of Sky, malignity
whom both Dr. Johnson and I have mentioned "I am glad you read Boswell's Journal.
with regard. --BOSWELL. (See ante, vol. i. p. You are now sufficiently informed of the 377.-Ed.]
v. i p. with
“ That Lord Monboddo and Mr. Mac
[“ DR. JOHNSON TO MRS. LUCY PORTER. queen should controvert a position contrary
“ London, 9th September, 1775. to the imaginary interest of literary or na
“ DEAR MADAM,-I have sent tional prejudice, might be easily imagined; your books by the carrier, and in but of a standing fact there ought to be no Sandys's Travels you will find your glasses. controversy; if there are men with tails,
“ I have written this post to the ladies at catch a homo caudatus ; if there was writing
Stow-hill, and you may, the day after you of old in the Highlands or Hebrides, in the
have this, or at any other time, send Mrs. Erse language, produce the manuscripts. Gastrel's books. Where men write they will write to one an
“ Be pleased to make my compliments to other, and some of their letters, in families
all my good friends. studious of their ancestry, will be kept. In
I hope the poor dear hand is recovered, Wales there are many manuscripts.
and you are now able to write, which, how“I have now three parcels of Lord
ever, you need not do, for I am going to Hailes's history, which I purpose to return Brighthelmstone, and when I come back all the next week: that his respect for my
will take care to tell you. In the mean little observations should keep his work in
time take great care of your health, and suspense, makes one of the evils of my jour- drink as much as you can.
I am, dearest ney. It is in our language, I think, a new
love, your most humble servant, mode of history which tells all that is want
“Sam. JOHNSON."] ed, and, I suppose, all that is known, without laboured splendour of language, or af
" TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. fected subtilty of conjecture. The exact
" 14th Sept. 1775. ness of his dates raises my wonder.
“ MY DEAR SIR, —
-I now write to you, seems to have the closeness of Henault with
lest in some of your freaks and humours you out his constraint.
should fancy yourself neglected. Such fan“ Mrs. Thrale was so entertained with
cies I must entreat you never to admit, at your •Journal 1,' that she almost read her
least never to indulge; for my regard for self blind. She has a great regard for you. you is so radicated and fixed, that it is
“ Of Mrs. Boswell, though she knows in become part of my mind, and cannot be her heart that she does not love me, I am effaced but by some cause uncommonly always glad to hear any good, and hope violent; therefore, whether I write or not, that she and the little dear ladies will have
set your thoughts at rest. I now write to neither sickness nor any other affliction. tell you that I shall not very soon write But she knows that she does not care what
again, for I am to set out to-morrow on becomes of me, and for that she may be another journey. sure that I think her very much to blame.
“ Never, my dear sir, do you take it into your head to think that I do not love you ;
“ Your friends are all well at Streatham, you may settle yourself in full confidence
and in Leicesterfields 3. Make my compliboth of my love and esteem : I love you as a ments to Mrs. Boswell, if she is in good kind man, I value you as a worthy man, humour with me. I am, sir, &c. and hope in time to reverence you as a man
“ Sam. Johnson." of exemplary piety. I hold you, as Hamlet
What he mentions in such light terms has it, in my heart of hearts,' and there
2 Another parcel of Lord Hailes's “Annals of 1 My “Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides," Scotland.”_Boswell. which that lady read in the original manuscript.- 3 Where Sir Joshua Reynolds lived.-BosBoswELL.
as, “I am to set out to-morrow on another “ Make my compliments to Mrs. Wil. journey,” I soon afterwards discovered was liams; and give my love to Francis; and no less than a tour to France with Mr. and tell my friends that I am not lost. I am, Mrs. Thrale. This was the only time in dear sir, your affectionate humble, &c. his life that he went upon the Continent.
“ SAM. JOHNSON.”
" TO MR. ROBERT LEVET.
" TO DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON. “Calais, 18th Sept. 1775.
" Edinburgh, 24th October, 1775. « DEAR sir,–We are here in France, “ MY DEAR SIR,-If I had not been inafter a very pleasing passage of no more formed that you were at Paris, you should than six hours. I know not when I shall have had a letter from me by the earliest write again, and therefore I write now, opportunity, announcing the birth of my though you cannot suppose that I have son, on the 9th instant; I have named him much to say. You have seen France your- | Alexander 2, after my father. I now write, self. From this
place we are going to Rou- as I suppose your fellow-traveller, Mr. en, and from Rouen to Paris, where Mr. Thrale, will return to London this week, to Thrale designs to stay about five or six attend his duty in parliament, and that you weeks. We have a regular recommenda- will not stay behind him. tion to the English resident, so we shall not " I send another parcel of Lord Hailes's be taken for vagabonds. We think to go • Annals.' I have undertaken to solicit you one way and return another, and see as for a favour to him, which he thus requests much as we can. I will try to speak a little in a letter to me: I intend soon to give French; I tried hitherto but little, but I you The Life of Robert Bruce,' which spoke sometimes. If I heard better, I sup- you will be pleased to transmit to Dr. John
I should learn faster. I am, sir, your I wish that you could assist me in a humble servant, “SAM. JOHNSON." fancy which I have taken, of getting Dr.
Johnson to draw a character of Robert " TO THE SAME.
Bruce, from the account that I give of that “Paris, 220 October, 1775. prince. If he finds materials for it in my « DEAR SIR,—We are still here, com- work, it will be a proof that I have been monly very busy in looking about us. We fortunate in selecting the most striking inhave been to day at Versailles. You have cidents.' seen it, and I shall not describe it. We “I suppose by The Life of Robert came yesterday from Fontainbleau, where Bruce,' his lordship means that part of his the court is now. We went to see the • Annals' which relates the history of that king and queen at dinner, and the queen prince, and not a separate work. was so impressed by Miss i, that she sent “Shall we have A Journey to Paris,' one of the gentlemen to inquire who she from you in the winter? You will, I hope, was. I find all true that you have ever told at any rate, be kind enough to give me me at Paris. Mr. Thrale is very liberal, some account of your French travels very and keeps us two coaches, and a very fine soon, for I am very impatient. What a table; but I think our cookery very bad. different scene have you viewed this auMrs. Thrale got into a convent of English tumn, from that which you viewed in aununs, and I talked with her through the tumn 1773! I ever an, my dear sir, your grate, and I am very kindly used by the much obliged and affectionate humble serEnglish Benedictine friars. But upon the yant,
6 JAMES BOSWELL." whole I cannot make much acquaintance here ; and though the churches, palaces,
"TO JAMES BOSWELL, ESQ. and some private houses are very magnifi
“ 16th November, 1775. cent, there is no very great pleasure after “ DEAR SIR,—I am glad that the young having seen many, in seeing more ; at least laird is born, and an end, as I hope, put to the pleasure, whatever it be, must some the only difference that you can ever have time have an end, and we are beginning to think when we shall come home. Mr. Thrale calculates that as we left Streatham
2 [The Editor had the pleasure of his acquainton the fifteenth of September, we shall see
He was a high-spirited, clever, and
amiable gentleman; and, like his father, of a it again about the fifteenth of November.
frank and social disposition ; but it is said that he “I think I had not been on this side of
did not relish the recollections of our authour's improvement in my health. I ran a race leck, he seemed to think it a kind of derogation. in the rain this day, and beat Baretti. Ba- He was created a baronet in 1821, but was unretti is a fine fellow, and speaks French, I fortunately killed in a duel, arising from a politithink, quite as well as English.
cal dispute, near Edinburgh, on the 26th March,
1822, by Mr. Stuart, of Dunearn. He left issue ! Miss Thrale,-BosweLL.
a son and two daughters.--Ed.] VOL. II.