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standing, making Streatham his home, carrying on business there, when he thought he had any to do, and teaching his pupil at by-times when he chose so to employ himself; for he always took his choice of hours, and would often spitefully fix on such as were particularly disagreeable to me, whom he has now not liked a long while, if ever he did. He professed, however, a violent attachment to our eldest daughter; said if she had died instead of her poor brother, he should have destroyed himself, with many as wild expressions of fondness. Within these few days, when my back was turned, he would often be telling her that he would go away and stay a month, with other threats of the same nature; and she, not being of a caressing or obliging disposition, never, I suppose, soothed his anger or requested his stay.

"Of all this, however, I can know nothing but from her, who is very reserved, and whose kindness I cannot so confide in as to be sure she would tell me all that passed between them; and her attachment is probably greater to him than me, whom he has always endeavoured to lessen as much as possible, both in her eyes and what was worse-her father's, by telling him how my parts had been over-praised by Johnson, and over-rated by the world; that my daughter's skill in languages, even at the age of fourteen, would vastly exceed mine, and such other idle stuff; which Mr. Thrale had very little care about, but which Hetty doubtless thought of great importance. Be this as it may, no angry words ever passed between him and me,

except perhaps now and then a little spar or so when company was by, in the way of raillery merely.


Yesterday, when Sir Joshua and Fitzmaurice dined here, I addressed myself to him with great particularity of attention, begging his company for Saturday, as I expected ladies, and said he must come and flirt with them, &c. My daughter in the meantime kept on telling me that Mr. Baretti was grown very old and very cross, would not look at her exercises, but said he would leave this house soon, for it was no better than Pandæmonium. Accordingly, the next day he packed up his cloke-bag, which he had not done for three years, and sent it to town; and while we were wondering what he would say about it at breakfast, he was walking to London himself, without taking leave of any one person, except it may be the girl, who owns they had much talk, in the course of which he expressed great aversion to me and even to her, who, he said, he once thought well of.

"Now whether she had ever told the man things that I might have said of him in his absence, by way of provoking him to go, and so rid herself of his tuition; whether he was puffed up with the last 100 guineas and longed to be spending it all' Italiano; whether he thought Mr. Thrale would call him back, and he should be better established here than ever; or whether he really was idiot enough to be angry at my threatening to whip Susan and Sophy for going out of bounds, although he had given them leave, for Hetty said that was the first offence he took huff at,

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I never now shall know, for he never expressed himself as an offended man to me, except one day when he was not shaved at the proper hour forsooth, and then I would not quarrel with him, because nobody was by, and I knew him be so vile a lyar that I durst not trust his tongue with a dispute. He is gone, however, loaded with little presents from me, and with a large share too of my good opinion, though I most sincerely rejoice in his departure, and hope we shall never meet more but by chance.

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"Since our quarrel I had occasion to talk of him with Tom Davies, who spoke with horror of his ferocious temper; and yet,' says I, there is great sensibility about Baretti: I have seen tears often stand in his eyes.' 'Indeed,' replies Davies, 'I should like to have seen that sight vastly, when-even butchers weep.'"

His intractable character appears from his own account of the rupture:

"When Madam took it into her head to give herself airs, and treat me with some coldness and superciliousness, I did not hesitate to set down at breakfast my dish of tea not half drank, go for my hat and stick that lay in the corner of the room, turn my back to the house insalutato hospite, and walk away to London without uttering a syllable, fully resolved never to see her again, as was the case during no less than four. years; nor had she and I ever met again as friends if she and her husband had not chanced upon me after that lapse of time at the house of a gentleman near Beckenham, and coaxed me into a reconciliation, which,

as almost all reconciliations prove, was not very sincere on her side or mine; so that there was a total end of it on Mr. Thrale's demise, which happened about three years after."

The monotony of a constant residence at Streatham was varied by trips to Bath or Brighton; and it was so much a matter of course for Johnson to make one of the party, that when (1776), not expecting him so soon back from a journey with Boswell, the Thrale family and Baretti started for Bath without him, Boswell is disposed to treat their departure without the lexicographer as a slight:

"This was not showing the attention which might have been expected to the guide, philosopher, and friend;' the Imlac who had hastened from the country to console a distressed mother, who he understood was very anxious for his return. They had, I found, without ceremony, proceeded on their journey. I was glad to understand from him that it was still resolved that his tour to Italy with Mr. and Mrs. Thrale should take place, of which he had entertained some doubt, on account of the loss which they had suffered; and his doubts afterwards appeared to be well founded. He observed, indeed, very justly, that 'their loss was an additional reason for their going abroad; and if it had not been fixed that he should have been one of the party, he would force them out; but he would not advise them unless his advice was asked, lest they might suspect that he recommended what he wished on his own

The European Magazine, 1788.

account.' I was not pleased that his intimacy with Mr. Thrale's family, though it no doubt contributed much to his comfort and enjoyment, was not without some degree of restraint*: not, as has been grossly suggested †, that it was required of him as a task to talk for the entertainment of them and their company; but that he was not quite at his ease: which, however, might partly be owing to his own honest pride that dignity of mind which is always jealous of appearing too compliant."

In his first letter of condolence on Mr. Thrale's death, Johnson speaks of her having enjoyed happiness in marriage," to a degree of which, without personal knowledge, I should have thought the description fabulous." The "Autobiography" and "Thraliana" tell a widely different tale. The mortification of not finding herself appreciated by her husband was poignantly increased, during the last years of his life, by finding another offensively preferred to her. He was so fascinated by one of her fair friends, as to lose sight altogether of what was due to appearances or to the feelings of his wife.

A full account of the lady in question is given in the "Thraliana":

"Miss Streatfield.-I have since heard that Dr. Collier picked up a more useful friend, a Mrs. Streatfield, a widow, high in fortune and rather eminent both for the beauties of person and mind; her children, I find,

* (Marginal note).

"What restraint can he mean? Johnson

kept every one else under restraint.”

† (Marginal note.) "I do not believe it ever was suggested."

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