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mention them not, long and melancholy discourses with Dr. Johnson, about our dear deceased master, whom, indeed, he regrets unceasingly; but I love not to dwell on subjects of sorrow when I can drive them away, especially to you (her sister), upon this account as you were so much a stranger to that excellent friend, whom you only lamented for the sake of those who survived him." He had only returned that very day, and she had been absent from Streatham, as she states elsewhere, till "the Cecilian business was arranged," i. e. till the end of May.

On the 24th August, 1782 (this date is material) Johnson writes to Boswell:

"DEAR SIR,-Being uncertain whether I should have any call this autumn into the country, I did not immediately answer your kind letter. I have no call; but if you desire to meet me at Ashbourne, I believe I can come thither; if you had rather come to London, I can stay at Streatham: take your choice."

This was two days after Mrs. Thrale, with his full concurrence, had made up her mind to let Streatham. He treats it, notwithstanding, as at his disposal for a residence so long as she remains in it.

The books and printed letters from which most of these extracts are taken, have been all along accessible to her assailants. Those from "Thraliana," which come next, are new:


"25th November, 1781.- I have got my Piozzi* home


This mode of expression did not imply then what it might
See ante, p. 92, where Johnson writes to "my Baretti."

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at last; he looks thin and battered, but always kindly upon me, I think. He brought me an Italian sonnet written in his praise by Marco Capello, which I instantly translated of course; but he, prudent creature, insisted on my burning it, as he said it would inevitably get about the town how he was praised, and how Mrs. Thrale translated and echoed the praises, so that, says he, I shall be torn in pieces, and you will have some infamità said of you that will make you hate the sight He was so earnest with me that I could not resist, so burnt my sonnet, which was actually very pretty; and now I repent I did not first write it into the Thraliana. Over leaf, however, shall go the translation, which happens to be done very closely, and the last stanza is particularly exact. I must put it down while I remember it :

of me.


"Favoured of Britain's pensive sons,
Though still thy name be found,
Though royal Thames where'er he runs
Returns the flattering sound,


Though absent thou, on every joy
Her gloom privation flings,
And Pleasure, pining for employ,
Now droops her nerveless wings,


Yet since kind Fates thy voice restore
To charm our land again *

"Capello is a Venetian poet."

Return not to their rocky shore,
Nor tempt the angry main.


Nor is their praise of so much worth,
Nor is it justly given,

That angels sing to them on earth

Who slight the road to heaven.'

"He tells me- - Piozzi does-that his own country manners greatly disgusted him, after having been used to ours; but Milan is a comfortable place, I find. If he does not fix himself for life here, he will settle to lay his bones at Milan. The Marquis D'Araciel, his friend and patron, who resides there, divides and disputes his heart with me: I shall be loth to resign it."

"17th December, 1781.-Dear Mr. Johnson is at last returned; he has been a vast while away to see his country folks at Litchfield. My fear is lest he should grow paralytick, there are really some symptoms already discoverable, I think, about the mouth particularly. He will drive the gout away so when it comes, and it must go somewhere. Queeny works hard with him at the classicks; I hope she will be out of leadingstrings at least before he gets into them, as poor women say of their children."

"1st January, 1782.-Let me not, while censuring the behaviour of others, however, give cause of censure by my own. I am beginning a new year in a new character. May it be worn decently yet lightly! I wish not to be rigid and fright my daughters by too much

severity. I will not be wild and give them reason to lament the levity of my life. Resolutions, however, are vain. To pray for God's grace is the sole way to obtain it-Strengthen Thou, O Lord, my virtue and my understanding, preserve me from temptation, and acquaint me with myself; fill my heart with thy love, restrain it by thy fear, and keep my soul's desires fixed wholly on that place where only true joys are to be found, through Jesus Christ our Lord,-Amen.""

January, 1782.-(After stating her fear of illness and other ills.) "If nothing of all these misfortunes, however, befall one; if for my sins God should take from me my monitor, my friend, my inmate, my dear Doctor Johnson; if neither I should marry, nor the brewhouse people break; if the ruin of the nation should not change the situation of affairs so that one could not receive regular remittances from England: and if Piozzi should not pick him up a wife and fix his abode in this country,- if, therefore, and if and if and if again all should conspire to keep my present resolution warm, I certainly would, at the close of the four years from the sale of the Southwark estate, set out for Italy, with my two or three eldest girls, and see what the world could show me."

In a marginal note, she adds:

"Travelling with Mr. Johnson I cannot bear, and leaving him behind he could not bear, so his life or death must determine the execution or laying aside my schemes. I wish it were within reason to hope he could live four years."

"Streatham, 4th January, 1782.-I have taken a house in Harley Street for these three months next ensuing, and hope to have some society, not company tho' crowds are out of the question, but people will not come hither on short days, and 'tis too dull to live all alone so. The world will watch me at first, and think I come o' husband-hunting for myself or my fair daughters, but when I have behaved prettily for a while, they will change their mind."

"Harley Street, 14th January, 1782.-The first seduction comes from Pepys. I had a letter to-day desiring me to dine in Wimpole Street, to meet Mrs. Montagu and a whole army of blues, to whom I trust my refusal will afford very pretty speculation . . . and they may settle my character and future conduct at their leisure. Pepys is a worthless fellow at last; he and his brother run about the town, spying and enquiring what Mrs. Thrale is to do this winter, what friends she is to see, what men are in her confidence, how soon she will be married, &c.; the brother Dr.- the Medico, as we call him-lays wagers about me, I find; God forgive me, but they'll make me hate them both, and they are no better than two fools for their pains, for I was willing to have taken them to my heart."

"They say Pacchierotti, the famous soprano singer, is ill, and they say Lady Mary Duncan, his frightful old protectress, has made him so by her caresses dénaturées. A little envy of the new woman, Allegrante, has probably not much mended his health, for Pacchierotti, dear creature, is envious enough. I was, however, turning

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