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to indulge it. Such dignity! the Lady Louisa of Leicester Square!* In good time!"
"1781.-What a blockhead Dr. Burney is to be always sending for his daughter home so! what a monkey is she not better and happier with me than she can be anywhere else? Johnson is enraged at the silliness of their family conduct, and Mrs. Byron disgusted; I confess myself provoked excessively, but I love the girl so dearly—and the Doctor, too, for that matter, only that he has such odd notions of superiority in his own house, and will have his children under his feet forsooth, rather than let 'em live in peace, plenty, and comfort anywhere from home. If I did not provide Fanny with every wearable- every wishable, indeed, it would not vex me to be served so; but to see the impossibility of compensating for the pleasures of St. Martin's Street, makes one at once merry and mortified.
"Dr. Burney did not like his daughter should learn Latin even of Johnson, who offered to teach her for friendship, because then she would have been as wise as himself forsooth, and Latin was too masculine for Misses. A narrow-souled goose-cap the man must be at last, agreeable and amiable all the while too, beyond almost any other human creature. Well, mortal man is but a paltry animal! the best of us have such drawbacks both upon virtue, wisdom, and knowledge."
Alluding to a character in "Evelina."
In what his daughter calls a doggrel list of his friends and his feats, Dr. Burney has thus mentioned the Thrales:
"1776. This year's acquaintance began with the Thrales,
Highly to her credit, Mrs. Thrale did not omit any part of her own duties to her husband because he forgot his. In March, 1780, she writes to Johnson:
"I am willing to show myself in Southwark, or in any place, for my master's pleasure or advantage; but have no present conviction that to be re-elected would be advantageous, so shattered a state as his nerves are in just now. Do not you, however, fancy for a moment, that I shrink from fatigue or desire to escape from doing my duty; - spiting one's antagonist is a reason that never ought to operate, and never does operate with me: I care nothing about a rival candidate's innuendos, I care only about my husband's health and fame; and if we find that he earnestly wishes to be once more member for the Borough--he shall be member, if anything done or suffered by me will help make him so."
In the May following she writes: "Meanwhile, Heaven send this Southwark election safe, for a disappointment would half kill my husband, and there is
no comfort in tiring every friend to death in such a manner and losing the town at last."
This was an agitating month. In "Thraliana":
"20th May, 1780.--I got back to Bath again and staid there till the riots * drove us all away the first week in June: we made a dawdling journey, cross country, to Brighthelmstone, where all was likely to be at peace: the letters we found there, however, shewed us how near we were to ruin here in the Borough: where nothing but the astonishing presence of mind shewed. by Perkins in amusing the mob with meat and drink and huzzas, till Sir Philip Jennings Clerke could get the troops and pack up the counting-house bills, bonds, &c. and carry them, which he did, to Chelsea College for safety,-could have saved us from actual undoing. The villains had broke in, and our brewhouse would have blazed in ten minutes, when a property of £150,000 would have been utterly lost, and its once flourishing possessors quite undone.
"Let me stop here to give God thanks for so very undeserved, so apparent, an interposition of Providence in our favour.
"I left Mr. Thrale at Brighthelmstone and came to town again to see what was left to be done: we have now got arms and mean to defend ourselves by force if further violence is intended. Sir Philip comes every day at some hour or another-good creature, how kind he is! and how much I ought to love him! God knows
The Lord George Gordon Riots.
I am not in this case wanting to my duty. I have presented Perkins, with my Master's permission, with two hundred guineas, and a silver urn for his lady, with his own cypher on it and this motto-Mollis responsio, Iram avertit."
In the spring of 1781, "I found," says Boswell, "on visiting Mr. Thrale that he was now very ill, and had removed, I suppose by the solicitation of Mrs. Thrale, to a house in Grosvenor Square." She has written opposite: "Spiteful again! He went by direction of his physicians where they could easiest attend to him."
The removal to Grosvenor Square is thus mentioned in "Thraliana":
"Monday, January 29th, 1781. So now we are to spend this winter in Grosvenor Square; my master has taken a ready-furnished lodging-house there, and we go in to-morrow. He frighted me cruelly a while ago; he would have Lady Shelburne's house, one of the finest in London; he would buy, he would build, he would give twenty to thirty guineas a week for a house. Oh Lord, thought I, the people will sure enough throw stones at me now when they see a dying man go to such mad expenses, and all, as they will naturally think, to please a wife wild with the love of expense. This was the very thing I endeavoured to avoid by canvassing the borough for him, in hopes of being through that means tyed to the brewhouse where I always hated to live till now, that I conclude his constitution lost, and that the world. will say I tempt him in his weak state of body and mind
to take a fine house for me at the flashy end of the town." "He however, dear creature, is as absolute, ay, and ten times more so, than ever, since he suspects his head to be suspected, and to Grosvenor Square we are going, and I cannot be sorry, for it will doubtless be comfortable enough to see one's friends commodiously, and I have long wished to quit Harrow Corner, to be sure; how could one help it? though I did
"Call round my casks each object of desire'
all last winter: but it was a heavy drag too, and what signifies resolving never to be pleased? I will make myself comfortable in my new habitation, and be thankful to God and my husband."
On February 7, 1781, she writes to Madame D'Arblay :
Yesterday I had a conversazione. Mrs. Montagu was brilliant in diamonds, solid in judgment, critical in talk. Sophy smiled, Piozzi sung, Pepys panted with admiration, Johnson was good humoured, Lord John Clinton attentive, Dr. Bowdler lame, and my master not asleep. Mrs. Ord looked elegant, Lady Rothes dainty, Mrs. Davenant dapper, and Sir Philip's curls were all blown about by the wind. Mrs. Byron rejoices that her Admiral and I agree so well; the way to his heart is connoisseurship it seems, and for a background and contorno, who comes up to Mrs. Thrale, you know."
Sunday, March 18th, 1781.-Well! Now I have