sirous to conceal, and every man desires to conceal that of which he is ashamed. Do not pretend to deny it; manifestum habemus furem. Make it an invariable and obligatory law to yourself, never to mention your own mental diseases. If you are never to speak of them, you will think on them but little ; and if you think little of them, they will molest you rarely. When you talk of them, it is plain that you want either praise or pity: for praise there is no room, and pity will do you no good; therefore, from this hour speak no more, think no more, about them.

“ Your transaction with Mrs. Stewart' gave me great satisfaction. I am much obliged to you for your attention. Do not lose sight of her. Your countenance may be of great credit, and of consequence of great advantage to her. The memory of her brother is yet fresh in my mind: he was an ingenious and worthy man.

“ Please to make my compliments to your lady and to the young ladies. I should like to see them, pretty loves! I am, dear sir, yours affectionately,

“ Sam. JOHNSON."


Mrs. Thrale being now at Bath with her husband, the correspondence between Johnson and her was carried on briskly, * * * 2 [and affords us all the information which we have of this portion of his domestic life.]

[blocks in formation]


“ London, 6th April, 1780 3. I have not quite neglected my Lives. Addison is a long one, but it is done. Prior is not short, and that is done too. I am upon Rowe, which cannot fill much paper.

“ Seward (Mr. William) called on me one day and read Spencet. I dined yesterday at Mr. Jodrell's in a great deal of


[See unte, p. 295.-ED.)

(Here Mr. Boswell had prefaced the introduction of the letter of the 28th April by the following words: " I shall present my readers with one of her original letters to him at this time, which will amuse them probably more than those well-written but studied epistles which she has inserted in her collection, because it exhibits the easy vivacity of their literary intercourse. It is also of value as a key to Johnson's answer, which she has printed by itself, and of which I shall subjoin extracts." This insinuation against Mrs. Thrale is quite unfounded : her letters are certainly any thing but studied epistles ; and that one which Mr. Boswell has published is not more easy and unaffected, nor in any respect of a different character from those she herself has given.—ED.)

3 (Dated in Mrs. Thrale's volume 1779 by mistake.-ED.)

+ Spence's very amusing anecdotes, which had been lent Johnson in manu. script : they were not printed till 1820.-Ed.)

company. On Sunday I dine with Dr. Lawrence, and at night go to Mrs. Vesey. I have had a little cold, or two, or three ; but I did not much mind them, for they were not very bad."]


Pearson “ London, 8th April, 1780.

MSS. “DEAR MADAM,-I am indeed but a sluggish correspondent, and know not whether I shall much mend: however, I will try.

I am glad that your oysters proved good, for I would have every thing good that belongs to you; and would have your health good, that you may enjoy the rest. My health is better than it has been for some years past; and, if I see Lichfield again, I hope to walk about it.

Your brother's request I have not forgotten. I have bought as many volumes as contain about an hundred and fifty sermons, which I will put in a box, and get Mr. Mathias to send him. I shall add a letter.

“We have been lately much alarmed at Mr. Thrale’s. He has had a stroke, like that of an apoplexy; but he has at last got so well as to be at Bath, out of the way of trouble and business, and is likely to be in a short time quite well.

“I hope all the Lichfield ladies are quite well, and that thing is prosperous among them.

“A few weeks ago I sent you a little stuff-gown, such as is all the fashion at this time. Yours is the same with Mrs. Thrale's, and Miss bought it for us. These stuffs are very cheap, and are thought very pretty.

“Pray give my compliments to Mr. Pearson, and to every body, if any such body there be, that cares about me.

“ I am now engaged about the rest of the Lives, which I am afraid will take some time, though I purpose to use despatch; but something or other always hinders. I have a great number to do, but many of them will be short.

“I have lately had colds : the first was pretty bad, with a very troublesome and frequent cough; but by bleeding and physick it was sent away. I have a cold now, but not bad enough for bleeding.

“For some time past, and indeed ever since I left Lichfield last year, I have abated much of my diet, and am, I think, the better for abstinence. I can breathe and move with less difficulty; and I am as well as people of my age commonly are.

I hope we shall see one another again some time this year. I am, dear love, your humble servant, “Sam. JOHNSON."]

[blocks in formation]


“11th April, 1780. “On Sunday I dined with poor Lawrence, who is deafer than ever. When he was told that Dr. Moisy visited Mr. Thrale, he inquired for what, and said that there was nothing to be done which Nature would not do for herself. On Sunday evening I was at Mr. Vesey's, and there was inquiry about my master; but I told them all good. There was Dr. Barnard of Eton, and we made a noise all the evening : and there was Pepys, and Wraxal till I drove him away.


* * “[Miss] Burney said she would write—she told you a fib. She writes nothing to me. She can write home fast enough. I have a good mind not to let her know that Dr. Bernard, to whom I had recommended her novel', speaks of it with great commendation ; and that the copy which she lent me has been read by Dr. Lawrence three times over. And yet what a gipsy it is ! She no more minds me than if I were a Brangton.

p. 100.

“ You are at all places of high resort, and bring home hearts by dozens; while I am seeking for something to say of men about whom I know nothing but their verses, and sometimes very little of them. Now I have begun, however, I do not despair of making an end. Mr. Nicholls holds that Addison is the most taking of all that I have done. I doubt they will not be done before you come away.

“Now you think yourself the first writer in the world for a letter about nothing. Can you write such a letter as this ? so miscellaneous, with such noble disdain of regularity, like Shakspeare's works? such graceful negligence of transition, like the ancient enthusiasts? The pure voice of nature and of friendship. Now of whom shall I proceed to speak? Of whom but Mrs, Montagu? Having mentioned Shakspeare and Nature, does not the name of Montagu force itself upon me?? Such were the transitions of the ancients, which now seem abrupt because the intermediate idea is lost to modern understandings.”

“ 15th April, 1780. “I thought to have finished Rowe's Life to-day, but I have had

p. 102.

(Evelina.-Ed.) a Compare this with two former phrases, in which Shakspeare and Mrs. Montagu are mentioned (ante, vol. ii. p. 88 and p. 89), and wonder at the inconsistencies to which the greatest genius and the highest spirit may be reduced !-ED.)

p. 107.

five or six visiters who hindered me, and I have not been quite Letters. well. Next week I hope to despatch four or five of them.”

“ 18th April, 1780. vol. ij. “ You make verses, and they are read in publick, and I know p. 105 nothing about them. This very crime, I think, broke the link of amity between Richardson and Miss M- --', after a tenderness and confidence of many years."

“ London, 25th April, 1780. "How do you think I live? On Thursday I dined with Hamilton”, and went thence to Mrs. Ord'. On Friday, with much company, at Mrs. Reynolds'. On Saturday at Dr. Bell's. On Sunday at Dr. Burney's, with your two sweets from Kennington, who are both well: at night came Mrs. Ord, Mr. Harris, and Mr. Greville, &c. On Monday with Reynolds ; at night with Lady Lucan ; to-day with Mr. Langton; to-morrow with the Bishop of St. Asaph ; on Thursday with Mr. Bowles ; Friday --- --; Saturday at the academy* ; Sunday with Mr. Ramsay.

I told Lady Lucan how long it was since she sent to me; but she said I must consider how the world rolls about her.

[ocr errors]

“I not only scour the town from day to day, but many p. 108. visiters come to me in the morning, so that my work makes no great progress, but I will try to quicken it. I should certainly like to bustle a little among you, but I am unwilling to quit my post till I have made an end."] “ MRS. THRALE TO DR. JOHNSON.

“Bath, Friday, 28th April. “ I had a very kind letter from you yesterday, dear sir, with a most circumstantial date 5.

“ Yesterday's evening was passed at Mrs. Montagu's. There was Mr. Melmotho. I do not like him though, nor he me. It

* (Probably Miss Mulso, afterwards Mrs. Chaponé, one of Richardson's fe: male coterie. —Ep.) * (Probably the Right Honourable W. G. Hamilton.--Ed.]

{This lady (a celebrated blue stocking of her day) was Miss Anne Dilling. ham, the only daughter of Mr. Dillingham, an eminent surgeon. She was early married to Mr. Ord, of Northumberland, who, on his decease, left her a very large property. She died in May, 1808, at the age of 82. See Gent. Mag. for July, 1808.-Ed.] *[The annual dinner or opening the Exhibition. -En.]

(This alludes to Johnson's frequent advice to her and Miss Thrale to date their letters, a laudable habit, which, however, he himself did not always practise.

Ep.] 6 [William Melmoth, the author of Fitzosborne's Letters, and the translator


was expected we should have pleased each other: ke 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's sore eyes have just released her : she had a long confinement, and could neither read nor write, so my master 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 fire 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 every where, and has got a good dawdling 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.” “ DR. JOHNSON TO MRS. THRALE.

** London, Ist May, 1780. “ 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.


of the Letters of Pliny and Cicero, and some of the minor works of the latter. He was about Johnson's age, but long survived him, dying in 1799, ætat. 89. -Ev.)

Dr. John Hinchcliffe.BOSWELL. ? I have taken the liberty to leave out a few lines. -BOSWELL.

« 前へ次へ »