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purse to remain longer in London or its vicinage. I had been crossed in my intentions of going abroad', and found it convenient, for every reason of health, peace, and pecuniary circumstances, to retire to Bath, where I knew Mr. Johnson would not follow me, and where I could for that reason command some little portion of time for my own use; a thing impossible while I remained at Streatham or at London, as my hours, carriage, and servants had long been at his command, who would not rise in the morning till twelve o'clock perhaps 2, and oblige me to make

threatened to seize upon my Welsh estate if I did not repay her money lent by Sir Thomas Salusbury to my father; money in effect which poor papa had borrowed to give him when he was a student at Cambridge, and your little friend just born. This debt, however, not having been cancelled, stood against me as heiress.' Hayward's Piozzi, ii. 57. Aug. 22, 1782. My lawsuit with Lady Salusbury turns out worse in the event and infinitely more costly than I could have dreamed on; £8,oco is supposed necessary to the payment of it.' Ib. i. 169. Jan. 29, 1783. I told Dr. Johnson and Mr. Crutchley three days ago... that I would go and live in a little way at Bath till I had paid all my debts and cleared my income. I may in six or seven years be freed from all incumbrances, and carry a clear income of £2500 a year and an estate of £500 in land to the man of my heart.' Ib. i. 195.


'Dec. 1. 1782. The guardians have met upon the scheme of putting our girls in Chancery. I was frighted at the project, not doubting but the Lord Chancellor would stop us from leaving England, as he would certainly see no joke in three young heiresses, his ward, quitting the kingdom to frisk away with their mother into Italy. . . . Nobody much ap


plauded my resolution in going, but Johnson and Cator said they would not concur in stopping me by violence. .. Jan. 29, 1783. I told Dr. Johnson and Mr. Crutchley three days ago that I had determined-seeing them so averse to it-that I would not go abroad.' Ib. i. 192-195.

2 See ante, p. 37, where he recorded in 1766 that he had that year persisted in the habit of early rising, till I went to Mr. Thrale's; the irregularity of that family broke my habit of rising.' As for his call on her servants she herself has said, 'Dr. Johnson on his own part required less attendance, sick or well, than ever I saw any human creature.' Ante, p. 329.

According to Baretti: 'he wanted nothing else from her servants than to be shaved once in three days, as he was almost beardless; and as for her carriage never once during the whole time of their acquaintance did he borrow, much less command it, for any purpose of his own. . . . During his acquaintance with the Thrale family he got the habit of rising as early as other folks, nor ever made Mr. Thrale stay a single moment for his breakfast, knowing that his business called him away about ten o'clock every morning.' Croker's Boswell, ed. 1844, x. 36. Baretti left Streatham in June, 1776,


breakfast for him till the bell rung for dinner, though much displeased if the toilet was neglected, and though much of the time we passed together was spent in blaming or deriding, very justly, my neglect of œconomy, and waste of that money which might make many families happy. The original reason of our connection, his particularly disordered health and spirits, had been long at an end', and he had no other ailments than old age and general infirmity 2, which every professor of medicine was ardently zealous and generally attentive to palliate, and to contribute all in their power for the prolongation of a life so valuable. Veneration for his virtue, reverence for his talents, delight in his conversation, and habitual endurance of a yoke my husband first put upon me, and of which he contentedly bore his share for sixteen or seventeen years, made me go on so long with Mr. Johnson; but the perpetual confinement I will own to have been terrifying in the first years of our friendship, and irksome in the last; nor could I pretend to support it without help, when my coadjutor was no more3. To the assistance we gave him, the shelter our house afforded to his uneasy fancies, and to the pains we took to sooth or repress them, the world perhaps is indebted for the three political pamphlets, the new edition and correction of his Dictionary, and for the Poets' Lives, which he would scarce have lived, I think, and kept his faculties entire, to have written, had not incessant care been exerted at the time of

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his first coming to be our constant guest in the country; and several times after that, when he found himself particularly oppressed with diseases incident to the most vivid and fervent imaginations. I shall for ever consider it as the greatest honour which could be conferred on any one, to have been the confidential friend of Dr. Johnson's health; and to have in some measure, with Mr. Thrale's assistance, saved from distress at least, if not from worse, a mind great beyond the comprehension of common mortals, and good beyond all hope of imitation from perishable beings'.

Many of our friends were earnest that he should write the lives of our famous prose authors; but he never made any answer that I can recollect to the proposal, excepting when Sir Richard Musgrave once was singularly warm about it, getting up and intreating him to set about the work immediately; he coldly replied,' Sit down, Sir2 !'

When Mr. Thrale built the new library at Streatham, and hung up over the books the portraits of his favourite friends, that of Dr. Johnson was last finished, and closed the number 3. It was

Writing of him and her mother she says:-'excellent as they both were, far beyond the excellence of any other man and woman I ever yet saw.' Ante, p. 235.

2 Miss Burney describes Musgrave as 'a caricature of Mr. Boswell, who is a caricature of all others of Dr. Johnson's admirers. . . . 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 counte-. nance.' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, ii. 84.

3 'The whole of them were sold by auction in the spring of 1816. According to Mrs. Piozzi's marked catalogue they fetched the following prices:-Lord Sandys, £36.15; Lord Lyttelton [W. H. Lyttelton, afterwards Lord Westcote], £43. 1; Mrs. Piozzi and her daughter, £81. 18; Goldsmith (duplicate of the original),

133. 7; Sir J. Reynolds, 128. 2; Sir R. Chambers, £84; David Garrick, £183. 15; Baretti, £31. 10; Dr. Burney, £84; Edmund Burke, £252; Dr. Johnson, £378; "Mr. Murphy was offered £102. 18, but I bought it in." Hayward's Piozzi, ii. 171. 'In 1780,' continues Mr. Hayward, Reynolds raised the price of his portraits (three-quarter size)

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He published in 1802 Memoirs of from thirty-five to fifty guineas, which, the Rebellions in Ireland.

Mrs. Piozzi complains, made the almost

almost impossible not to make verses on such an accidental combination of circumstances, so I made the following ones: but as a character written in verse will for the most part be found imperfect as a character, I have therefore written a prose one, with which I mean, not to complete, but to conclude these Anecdotes of the best and wisest man that ever came within the reach of my personal acquaintance, and I think I might venture to add, that of all or any of my readers:

Gigantic in knowledge, in virtue, in strength,
Our company closes with JOHNSON at length;
So the Greeks from the cavern of Polypheme past,
When wisest, and greatest, Ulysses came last.

To his comrades contemptuous, we see him look down,

On their wit and their worth with a general frown.

Since from Science' proud tree the rich fruit he receives,

Who could shake the whole trunk while they turn'd a few leaves.
His piety pure, his morality nice-

Protector of virtue, and terror of vice;

In these features Religion's firm champion display'd,

Shall make infidels fear for a modern crusade.

While th' inflammable temper, the positive tongue,
Too conscious of right for endurance of wrong,
We suffer from JOHNSON, contented to find,
That some notice we gain from so noble a mind;
And pardon our hurts, since so often we've found
The balm of instruction pour'd into the wound.
'Tis thus for its virtues the chemists extol
Pure rectified spirit, sublime alcohol;
From noxious putrescence, preservative pure,
A cordial in health, and in sickness a cure;
But expos'd to the sun, taking fire at his rays,
Burns bright to the bottom, and ends in a blaze.

It is usual, I know not why, when a character is given, to begin with a description of the person; that which contained the

Streatham portraits in many instances cost more than they fetched, as she had to pay for them after Mr. Thrale's death at the increased price.'

Only three of the portraits fetched less than fifty guineas-those of W. H. Lyttelton, Sandys and Baretti. Lyttelton was painted in 1772, Sandys

in 1773 (Leslie and Taylor's Reynolds, i. 507, 523), and Baretti in 1774 (ib. ii. 76). Leslie says that 'the portrait of Baretti is among the finest Reynolds ever painted.'

For the library at Streatham see ante, p. 109, and Life, iv. 158.


soul of Mr. Johnson deserves to be particularly described'. His stature was remarkably high, and his limbs exceedingly large : his strength was more than common I believe, and his activity had been greater I have heard than such a form gave one reason to expect: his features were strongly marked, and his countenance particularly rugged; though the original complexion had certainly been fair, a circumstance somewhat unusual: his sight was near, and otherwise imperfect; yet his eyes, though of a light-grey colour, were so wild, so piercing, and at times so fierce, that fear was I believe the first emotion in the hearts of all his beholders. His mind was so comprehensive, that no language but that he used could have expressed its contents; and so ponderous was his language, that sentiments less lofty and less solid than his were, would have been encumbered, not adorned by it.

Mr. Johnson was not intentionally however a pompous converser; and though he was accused of using big words as they are called, it was only when little ones would not express his meaning as clearly, or when perhaps the elevation of the thought would have been disgraced by a dress less superb. He used to

In her Thraliana she records:'One evening as I was giving my tongue liberty to praise Mr. Johnson to his face, a favour he would not often allow me, he said, in high good humour, "Come, you shall draw up my character your own way, and shew it me, that I may see what you will say of me when I am gone." At night I wrote as follows:-(Here follows the character in the text). When I shewed him his Character next day, for he would see it, he said, "It was a very fine piece of writing, and that I had improved upon Young," who he saw was my model, he said, "for my flattery was still stronger than his, and yet, somehow or other, less hyperbolical."' Hayward's Piozzi, 1st ed. ii. 345.

For her flattery of him see Life,

ii. 349, and Letters, i. 200, 220, 221; ii. 308, and for Johnson's person, Life, i. 94; iv. 425; v. 18. How far Young could go in flattery is shown in the lines where, addressing the Deity, he says:—

"'Tis Thou that lead'st our pow'rful armies forth,

And giv'st Great Anne Thy sceptre o'er the north.'

The Last Day, Book ii. 2 Boswell told Johnson that 'Lord Monboddo disapproved of the richness of his language, and of his frequent use of metaphorical expressions. JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, this criticism would be just, if in my style, superfluous words, or words too big for the thoughts, could be pointed out; but this I do not believe can be done." Life, iii. 173. 'Johnson


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