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singularly warm about Johnson's writing the lives of our famous prose
authors, getting up and entreating him to set about the work
immediately, he coldly replied, "Sit down, Sir."' Miss Burney says that
'the incense he paid Dr. Johnson by his solemn manner of listening, by
the earnest reverence with which he eyed him, and by a theatric start of
admiration every time he spoke, joined to the Doctor's utter
insensibility to all these tokens, made me find infinite difficulty in
keeping my countenance.' Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary_, ii. 85. The other
gentleman was perhaps Dr. Wharton. _Ante_, ii. 41, note 1.

[998] Probably Dr. Beattie. The number of letters in his name agrees
with the asterisks given a few lines below. _Ante_, iii. 339, note 1,
and _post_, p. 330.

[999] Johnson, in his _Dictionary_, defines _congé d'élire_ as _the
king's permission royal to a dean and chapter in time of vacation, to
choose a bishop._ When Dr. Hampden was made Bishop of Hereford in 1848,
the Dean resisted the appointment. H. C. Robinson records, on the
authority of the Bishop's Secretary (_Diary_, iii. 311), that 'at the
actual confirmation in Bow Church the scene was quite ludicrous. After
the judge had told the opposers that he could not hear them, the
citation for opposers to come forward was repeated, at which the people
present laughed out, as at a play.'

[1000] This has been printed in other publications, 'fall _to the
ground_.' But Johnson himself gave me the true expression which he had
used as above; meaning that the recommendation left as little choice in
the one case as the other. BOSWELL. One of the 'other publications is
Hawkins's edition of Johnson's _Works_. See in it vol. xi. p. 216.

[1001] They are published in vol. xi. of Hawkins's edition of Johnson's
_Works_. 1787, and are often quoted in my notes. It should be
remembered that Steevens is not trustworthy. See _ante_, iii. 281,
and iv. 178.

[1002] See _ante_, ii. 96.

[1003] See _ante_, p. iii.

[1004] _She Stoops to Conquer_ was first acted on March 15, 1773. The
King of Sardinia had died on Feb. 20. _Gent. Mag_. 1773, pp. 149, 151.

[1005] Hannah More (_Memoirs_, i. 170) describes how, in 1780, she went
to one of Mrs. Ord's assemblies at a time when 'the mourning for some
foreign Wilhelmina Jaquelina was not over. Every human creature was in
deep mourning, and I, poor I, all gorgeous in scarlet. Even Jacobite
Johnson was in deep mourning.'

[1006] In the tenth edition of the _Rambler_, published in 1784, the
entry is still found: - 'Milton, Mr. John, remarks on his versification.'
In like manner we find: - 'Shakspeare, Mr. William, his eminent success
in tragi-comedy;' 'Spenser, Mr. Edmund, some imitations of his diction
censured;' 'Cowley, Mr. Abraham, a passage in his writing illustrated.'

[1007] See _ante_, p. 116.

[1008] See _ante_, iii. 425, note 3.

[1009] Hawkins (_Life_, p. 571) writes: - 'The plan for Johnson's
visiting the Continent became so well known, that, as a lady then
resident at Rome afterwards informed me, his arrival was anxiously
expected throughout Italy.'

[1010] Edward Lord Thurlow. BOSWELL.

[1011] See _ante_, p. 179.

[1012] In 1778.

[1013] 'With Lord Thurlow, while he was at the bar, Johnson was well
acquainted. He said to Mr. Murphy twenty years ago, "Thurlow is a man of
such vigour of mind that I never knew I was to meet him, but - I was
going to tell a falsehood; I was going to say I was afraid of him, and
that would not be true, for I was never afraid of any man - but I never
knew that I was to meet Thurlow, but I knew I had something to
encounter."' _Monthly Review_ for 1787, lxxvi. 382. Murphy, no doubt,
was the writer. Lord Campbell (_Lives of the Chancellors_, ed. 1846,
v.621) quotes from 'the Diary of a distinguished political character' an
account of a meeting between Thurlow and Horne Tooke, in 1801. 'Tooke
evidently came forward for a display, and as I considered his powers of
conversation as surpassing those of any person I had ever seen (in point
of skill and dexterity, and if necessary in _lying_), so I took for
granted old grumbling Thurlow would be obliged to lower his top-sail to
him - but it seemed as if the very _look_ and _voice_ of Thurlow scared
him out of his senses from the first moment. So Tooke tried to recruit
himself by wine, and, though not generally a drinker, was very drunk,
but all would not do.'

[1014] It is strange that Sir John Hawkins should have related that the
application was made by Sir Joshua Reynolds, when he could so easily
have been informed of the truth by inquiring of Sir Joshua. Sir John's
carelessness to ascertain facts is very remarkable. BOSWELL.

[1015] There is something dreadful in the thought of the old man quietly
going on with his daily life within a few hundred yards of this shocking
scene of slaughter, this 'legal massacre,' to use his own words (_ante_,
p. 188, note 3). England had a kind of Reign of Terror of its own;
little thought of at the time or remembered since. Twenty-four men were
sentenced to death at the Old Bailey Sessions that ended on April 28. On
June 16 nine of these had the sentence commuted; the rest were hanged
this day. Among these men was not a single murderer. Twelve of them had
committed burglary, two a street robbery, and one had personated another
man's name, with intent to receive his wages. _Ann. Reg_. xxvii, 193,
and _Gent. Mag_. liv. 379, 474. The _Gent. Mag_. recording the
sentences, remarks: - 'Convicts under sentence of death in Newgate and
the gaols throughout the kingdom increase so fast, that, were they all
to be executed, England would soon be marked among the nations as the
_Bloody Country_.' In the spring assizes the returns are given for ten
towns. There were 88 capital convictions, of which 21 were at
Winchester. _Ib_. 224. In the summer assizes and at the Old Bailey
Sessions for July there were 149 capital convictions. At Maidstone a man
on being sentenced 'gave three loud cheers, upon which the judge gave
strict orders for his being chained to the floor of the dungeon.' _Ib_.
pp. 311, 633. The hangman was to grow busier yet. This increase in the
number of capital punishments was attributed by Romilly in great part to
Madan's _Thoughts on Executive Justice_; 'a small tract, in which, by a
mistaken application of the maxim "that the certainty of punishment is
more efficacious than its severity for the prevention of crimes," he
absurdly insisted on the expediency of rigidly enforcing, in every
instance, our penal code, sanguinary and barbarous as it was. In 1783,
the year before the book was published, there were executed in London
only 51 malefactors; in 1785, the year after the book was published,
there were executed 97; and it was recently after the publication of the
book that was exhibited a spectacle unseen in London for a long course
of years before, the execution of nearly 20 criminals at a time.' _Life
of Romilly_, i. 89. Madan's Tract was published in the winter of 1784-5.
Boswell's fondness for seeing executions is shewn, _ante_, ii. 93.

[1016] See _ante_, ii. 82, 104; iii. 290; and v. 7l.

[1017] A friend of mine happened to be passing by a _field congregation_
in the environs of London, when a Methodist preacher quoted this passage
with triumph. BOSWELL. On Dec. 26, 1784, John Wesley preached the
condemned criminals' sermon to forty-seven who were under sentence of
death. He records: - 'The power of the Lord was eminently present, and
most of the prisoners were in tears. A few days after, twenty of them
died at once, five of whom died in peace. I could not but greatly
approve of the spirit and behaviour of Mr. Villette, the Ordinary; and I
rejoiced to hear that it was the same on all similar occasions.'
Wesley's _Journal_, ed. 1827, iv. 287.

[1018] I trust that THE CITY OF LONDON, now happily in unison with THE
COURT, will have the justice and generosity to obtain preferment for
this Reverend Gentleman, now a worthy old servant of that magnificent
Corporation. BOSWELL. In like manner, Boswell in 1768 praised the Rev.
Mr. Moore, Mr. Villette's predecessor. 'Mr. Moore, the Ordinary of
Newgate, discharged his duty with much earnestness and a fervour for
which I and all around me esteemed and loved him. Mr. Moore seems worthy
of his office, which, when justly considered, is a very important one.'
_London Mag._ 1783, p. 204. For the quarrel between the City and the
Court, see _ante_, iii. 201.

[1019] See _ante_, i. 387.

[1020] Knox in _Winter Evenings_, No. xi. (_Works_, ii. 348), attacks
Johnson's biographers for lowering his character by publishing his
private conversation. 'Biography,' he complains, 'is every day
descending from its dignity.' See _ante_, i. 222, note 1.

[1021] _Piozzi Letters_, ii. 256.

[1022] Johnson wrote on April 15: - 'I am still very weak, though my
appetite is keen and my digestion potent. ... I now think and consult
to-day what I shall eat to-morrow. This disease likewise will, I hope,
be cured.' _Piozzi Letters_, ii. 362. Beattie, who dined with
Johnson on June 27, wrote: - 'Wine, I think, would do him good, but he
cannot be prevailed on to drink it. He has, however, a voracious
appetite for food. I verily believe that on Sunday last he ate as much
to dinner as I have done in all for these ten days past.' Forbes's
_Beattie_, ed. 1824, p. 315. It was said that Beattie latterly indulged
somewhat too much in wine. _Ib_. p. 432.

[1023] Horace Walpole wrote in April 1750 (_Letters_, ii. 206): - 'There
is come from France a Madame Bocage who has translated Milton: my Lord
Chesterfield prefers the copy to the original; but that is not uncommon
for him to do, who is the patron of bad authors and bad actors. She has
written a play too, which was damned, and worthy my lord's approbation.'
It was this lady who bade her footman blow into the spout of the
tea-pot. _Ante_, ii. 403. Dr. J. H. Burton writes of her in his _Life of
Hume_, ii. 213: - 'The wits must praise her bad poetry if they frequented
her house. "Elle était d'une figure aimable," says Grimm, "elle est
bonne femme; elle est riche; elle pouvait fixer chez elle les gens
d'esprit et de bonne compagnie, sans les mettre dans l'embarras de lui
parler avec peu de sincérité de sa Colombiade ou de ses Amazones."'

[1024] It is the sea round the South Pole that she describes in her
_Elegy_ (not _Ode_). The description begins: -

'While o'er the deep in many a dreadful form,
The giant Danger howls along the storm,
_Furling the iron sails with numbed hands,
Firm on the deck the great Adventurer stands;_
Round glitt'ring mountains hear the billows rave,
And the vast ruin thunder on the wave.'

In the _Gent. Mag._ 1793, p. 197, were given extracts abusive of Johnson
from some foolish letters that passed between Miss Seward and Hayley, a
poet her equal in feebleness. Boswell, in his _Corrections and Additions
to the First Edition_ (_ante_, i.10), corrected an error into which he
had been led by Miss Seward (_ante_, i.92, note 2). She, in the _Gent.
Mag._ for 1793, p.875, defended herself and attacked him. His reply is
found on p.1009. He says: - 'As my book was to be a _real history_, and
not a _novel_, it was necessary to suppress all erroneous particulars,
however entertaining.' (_Ante_, ii 467, note 4.) He continues: - 'So far
from having any hostile disposition towards this Lady, I have, in my
_Life of Dr. Johnson_...quoted a compliment paid by him to one of her
poetical pieces; and I have withheld his opinion of herself, thinking
that she might not like it. I am afraid it has reached her by some other
means; and thus we may account for various attacks by her on her
venerable townsman since his decease...What are we to think of the
scraps of letters between her and Mr. Hayley, impotently attempting to
undermine the noble pedestal on which the publick opinion has placed
Dr. Johnson?'

[1025] See _ante_, i.265, and iv. 174.

[1026] 'Johnson said he had once seen Mr. Stanhope at Dodsley's shop,
and was so much struck with his awkward manners and appearance that he
could not help asking Mr. Dodsley who he was.' Johnson's _Works_,
(1787) xi.209.

[1027] Chesterfield was Secretary of State from Nov. 1746 to Feb. 1748.
His letters to his son extend from 1739 to 1768.

[1028] Foote had taken off Lord Chesterfield in _The Cozeners_. Mrs.
Aircastle trains her son Toby in the graces. She says to her
husband: - 'Nothing but grace! I wish you would read some late
_Posthumous Letters_; you would then know the true value of grace.' Act
ii. sc. 2.

[1029] See _ante_, p.78, note 1.

[1030] See a pamphlet entitled _Remarks on the Characters of the Court
of Queen Anne_, included in Swift's _Works_, ed. 1803, vi. 163.

[1031] Carleton, according to the _Memoirs_, made his first service in
the navy in 1672 - seventeen years before the siege of Derry. There is no
mention of this siege in the book.

[1032] 'He had obtained, by his long service, some knowledge of the
practic part of an engineer.' Preface to the _Memoirs_.

[1033] Nearly 200 pages in Bohn's edition. See _ante_, i. 71, for
Johnson's rapid reading.

[1034] Lord Mahon (_War of the Succession in Spain_, Appendix, p. 131)
proves that a Captain Carleton really served. 'It is not impossible,' he
says, 'that the MS. may have been intrusted to De Foe for the purpose of
correction or revision...The _Memoirs_ are most strongly marked with
internal proofs of authenticity.' Lockhart (_Life of Scott_, iii. 84)
says: - 'It seems to be now pretty generally believed that Carleton's
_Memoirs_ were among the numberless fabrications of De Foe; but in this
case (if the fact indeed be so), as in that of his _Cavalier_, he no
doubt had before him the rude journal of some officer.' Dr. Burton
(_Reign of Queen Anne_ ii. 173) says that MSS. in the British Museum
disprove 'the possibility of De Foe's authorship.'

[1035] Lord Chesterfield (_Letters_, ii. 109) writing to his son on Nov.
29, 1748, says of Mr. Eliot: - 'Imitate that application of his, which
has made him know all thoroughly, and to the bottom. He does not content
himself with the surface of knowledge; but works in the mine for it,
knowing that it lies deep.'

[1036] The Houghton Collection was sold in 1779 by the third Earl of
Orford, to the Empress of Russia for £40,555. (Walpole's _Letters_, vii.
227, note 1.)

Horace Walpole wrote on Aug. 4 of that year (_ib_. p. 235): - 'Well!
adieu to Houghton! about its mad master I shall never trouble myself
more. From the moment he came into possession, he has undermined every
act of my father that was within his reach, but, having none of that
great man's sense or virtues, he could only lay wild hands on lands and
houses; and since he has stript Houghton of its glory, I do not care a
straw what he does with the stone or the acres.'

[1037] This museum at Alkerington near Manchester is described in the
_Gent. Mag_. 1773, p.219. A proposal was made in Parliament to buy it
for the British Museum. _Ib_. 1783, p. 919. On July 8, 1784, a bill
enabling Lever to dispose of it by lottery passed the House of Commons.
_Ib_. 1784, p.705.

[1038] Johnson defines _intuition_ as _sight of anything; immediate
knowledge_; and _sagacity_ as _quickness of scent; acuteness of

[1039] In the first edition it stands '_A gentleman_' and below instead
of Mr. - - , Mr. - - . In the second edition Mr. - - becomes Mr. - - .
In the third edition _young_ is added. Young Mr. Burke is probably
meant. As it stood in the second edition it might have been thought that
Edmund Burke was the gentleman; the more so as Johnson often denied his
want of wit.

[1040] _Hamlet_, act i. sc. 2.

[1041] See _ante_, i. 372, note 1.

[1042] Windham says (_Diary_, p. 34) that when Dr. Brocklesby made this
offer 'Johnson pressed his hands and said, "God bless you through Jesus
Christ, but I will take no money but from my sovereign." This, if I
mistake not, was told the King through West.' Dr. Brocklesby wrote to
Burke, on July 2, 1788, to make him 'an instant present of £1000,
which,' he continues, 'for years past, by will, I had destined as a
testimony of my regard on my decease.' Burke, accepting the present,
said: - 'I shall never be ashamed to have it known, that I am obliged to
one who never can be capable of converting his kindness into a burthen.'
Burke's _Corres._ iii.78. See _ante_, p. 263, for the just praise
bestowed by Johnson on physicians in his _Life of Garth_.

[1043] See _ante_, ii. 194.

[1044] _Letters to Mrs. Thrale_, vol. ii. p 375. BOSWELL.

[1045] Rogers (_Table-Talk_, p. 45) describes him as 'a very handsome,
gentlemanly, and amiable person. Mme. D'Arblay tells how one evening at
Dr. Burney's home, when Signor Piozzi was playing on the piano, 'Mrs.
Thrale stealing on tip-toe behind him, ludicrously began imitating him.
Dr. Burney whispered to her, "Because, Madam, you have no ear yourself
for music, will you destroy the attention of all who in that one point
are otherwise gifted?"' Mrs. Thrale took this rebuke very well. This was
her first meeting with Piozzi. It was in Mr. Thrale's life-time.
_Memoirs of Dr. Burney_, ii. 110.

[1046] Dr. Johnson's letter to Sir John Hawkins, _Life_, p. 570.
BOSWELL. The last time Miss Burney saw Johnson, not three weeks before
his death, he told her that the day before he had seen Miss Thrale. 'I
then said: - "Do you ever, Sir, hear from mother?" "No," cried he, "nor
write to her. I drive her quite from my mind. If I meet with one of her
letters, I burn it instantly. I have burnt all I can find. I never speak
of her, and I desire never to hear of her more. I drive her, as I said,
wholly from my mind."' Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary_, ii. 328.

[1047] See _ante_, i. 493.

[1048] _Anec_. p. 293. BOSWELL.

[1049] 'The saying of the old philosopher who observes, "that he who
wants least is most like the gods who want nothing," was a favourite
sentence with Dr. Johnson, who on his own part required less attendance,
sick or well, than ever I saw any human creature. Conversation was all
he required to make him happy.' Piozzi's _Anec_. p.275. Miss Burney's
account of the life at Streatham is generally very cheerful. I suspect
that the irksome confinement described by Mrs. Piozzi was not felt by
her till she became attached to Mr. Piozzi. This caused a great change
in her behaviour and much unhappiness. (_Ante_, p. 138, note 4.) He at
times treated her harshly. (_Ante_, p. 160, note.) Two passages in her
letters to Miss Burney shew a want of feeling in her for a man who for
nearly twenty years had been to her almost as a father. On Feb. 18,
1784, she writes: - 'Johnson is in a sad way doubtless; yet he may still
with care last another twelve-month, and every week's existence is gain
to him, who, like good Hezekiah, wearies Heaven with entreaties for
life. I wrote him a very serious letter the other day.' On March 23 she
writes: - ' My going to London would be a dreadful expense, and bring on
a thousand inquiries and inconveniences - visits to Johnson and from
Cator.' It is likely that in other letters there were like passages, but
these letters Miss Burney 'for cogent reasons destroyed.' Mme.
D'Arblay's _Diary_, ii. 305, 7, 8.

'Bless'd paper credit! last and best supply!
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly!'

Pope, _Moral Essays_, iii. 39.

[1051] Who has been pleased to furnish me with his remarks. BOSWELL. No
doubt Malone, who says, however: 'On the whole the publick is indebted
to her for her lively, though very inaccurate and artful, account of Dr.
Johnson.' Prior's _Malone_, p. 364.

[1052] See _ante_, iii. 81.

[1053] _Anec._ p. 183. BOSWELL.

[1054] Hannah More. She, with her sisters, had kept a boarding-school at

[1055] She first saw Johnson in June, 1774. According to her _Memoirs_
(i. 48) he met her 'with good humour in his countenance, and continued
in the same pleasant humour the whole of the evening.' She called on him
in Bolt Court. One of her sisters writes: - 'Miss Reynolds told the
doctor of all our rapturous exclamations [about him] on the road. He
shook his scientific head at Hannah, and said, "She was a silly thing."'
_Ib_. p. 49. 'He afterwards mentioned to Miss Reynolds how much he had
been touched with the enthusiasm of the young authoress, which was
evidently genuine and unaffected.' _Ib_. p. 50. She met him again in the
spring of 1775. Her sister writes: - 'The old genius was extremely
jocular, and the young one very pleasant. They indeed tried which could
"pepper the highest" [Goldsmith's _Retaliation_], and it is not clear to
me that he was really the highest seasoner.' _Ib_. p. 54. From the Mores
we know nothing of his reproof. He had himself said of 'a literary
lady' - no doubt Hannah More - 'I was obliged to speak to Miss Reynolds to
let her know that I desired she would not flatter me so much.' _Ante_,
iii.293. Miss Burney records a story she had from Mrs. Thrale, 'which,'
she continues, 'exceeds, I think, in its severity all the severe things
I have yet heard of Dr. Johnson's saying. When Miss More was introduced
to him, she began singing his praise in the warmest manner. For some
time he heard her with that quietness which a long use of praise has
given him: she then redoubled her strokes, till at length he turned
suddenly to her, with a stern and angry countenance, and said, "Madam,
before you flatter a man so grossly to his face, you should consider
whether or not your flattery is worth his having."' Mme. D'Arblay's
_Diary_, i.103. Shortly afterwards Miss Burney records (_ib_. p. 121)
that Mrs. Thrale said to him: - 'We have told her what you said to Miss
More, and I believe that makes her afraid.' He replied: - 'Well, and if
she was to serve me as Miss More did, I should say the same thing to
her.' We have therefore three reports of what he said - one from Mrs.
Thrale indirectly, one from her directly, and the third from Malone.
However severe the reproof was, the Mores do not seem to have been much
touched by it. At all events they enjoyed the meeting with Johnson, and
Hannah More needed a second reproof that was conveyed to her through
Miss Reynolds.

[1056] _Anec._ p. 202. BOSWELL.

[1057] See _ante_, i. 40, 68, 92, 415, 481; ii. 188, 194; iii. 229; and
_post_, v. 245, note 2.

[1058] _Anec._ p. 44. BOSWELL. See _ante_, p. 318, _note_ 1, where I
quote the passage.

[1059] _Ib_. p. 23. BOSWELL.

[1060] _Ib_. p. 45. Mr. Hayward says: - 'She kept a copious diary and
notebook called _Thraliana_ from 1776 to 1809. It is now,' [1861] he
continues, 'in the possession of Mr. Salusbury, who deems it of too
private and delicate a character to be submitted to strangers, but has
kindly supplied me with some curious passages from it.' Hayward's
_Piozzi_, i. 6.

[1061] _Ib_. p. 51 [192]. BOSWELL.

[1062] _Anec._ p. 193 [51]. BOSWELL.

[1063] Johnson, says Murphy, (_Life_, p. 96) 'felt not only kindness,
but zeal and ardour for his friends.' 'Who,' he asks (_ib_. p. 144),
'was more sincere and steady in his friendships?' 'Numbers,' he says
(_ib_. p. 146), 'still remember with gratitude the friendship which he
shewed to them with unaltered affection for a number of years.'

[1064] See _ante_, ii. 285, and iii. 440.

[1065] Johnson's _Works_, i. 152, 3.

[1066] In vol. ii. of the _Piozzi Letters_ some of these letters are

[1067] He gave Miss Thrale lessons in Latin. Mme. D'Arblay's _Diary,_ i.
243 and 427.

[1068] _Anec._ p. 258. BOSWELL.

[1069] George James Cholmondeley, Esq., grandson of George, third Earl
of Cholmondeley, and one of the Commissioners of Excise; a gentleman
respected for his abilities, and elegance of manners. BOSWELL. When I
spoke to him a few years before his death upon this point, I found him
very sore at being made the topic of such a debate, and very unwilling
to remember any thing about either the offence or the apology. CROKER.

[1070] _Letters to Mrs. Thrale,_ vol. ii. p. 12. BOSWELL.

[1071] Mrs. Piozzi (_Anec._p. 258) lays the scene of this anecdote 'in
some distant province, either Shropshire or Derbyshire, I believe.'
Johnson drove through these counties with the Thrales in 1774 (_ante_,
ii. 285). If the passage in the letter refers to the same anecdote - and
Mrs. Piozzi does not, so far as I know, deny it - more than three years
passed before Johnson was told of his rudeness. Baretti, in a MS. note
on _Piozzi Letters_, ii. 12, says that the story was 'Mr. Cholmondeley's
running away from his creditors.' In this he is certainly wrong; yet if
Mr. Cholmondeley had run away, and others gave the same explanation of

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