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newspapers insolent as he!
How shall I get through?
How shall I get through? I have not deserved it of any of them, as God knows.
Philip Thicknesse put it about Bath that I was a poor girl, a mantua maker, when Mr. Thrale married me. It is an odd thing, but Miss Thrales like, I see, to have it believed."
The general result down to this point is that, whatever the disturbance in Mrs. Thrale's heart and mind, Johnson had no ground of complaint, nor ever thought he had, which is the essential point in controversy. In other words, he was not driven, hinted, or manœuvred out of Streatham. Yet almost all his worshippers have insisted that he was. Hawkins, after mentioning the kind offices undertaken by Johnson (which constantly took him to Streatham) says:-"Nevertheless it was observed by myself, and other of Johnson's friends, that soon after the decease of Mr. Thrale, his visits to Streatham became less and less frequent, and that he studiously avoided the mention of the place or the family." This statement is preposterous, and is only to be partially accounted for by the fact that Hawkins, as his daughter informs us, had no personal acquaintance with Mrs. Thrale or Streatham. Boswell, who was in Scotland when Johnson and Mrs. Thrale left Streatham together, gratuitously infers that he left it alone, angry and mortified, in consequence of her altered
"The death of Mr. Thrale had made a very material alteration with respect to Johnson's reception in that
family. The manly authority of the husband no longer curbed the lively exuberance of the lady; and as her vanity had been fully gratified, by having the Colossus of Literature attached to her for many years, she gradually became less assiduous to please him. Whether her attachment to him was already divided by another object, I am unable to ascertain; but it is plain that Johnson's penetration was alive to her neglect or forced attention; for on the 6th of October this year we find him making a 'parting use of the library' at Streatham, and pronouncing a prayer which he composed on leaving Mr. Thrale's family.
Almighty God, Father of all mercy, help me by Thy grace, that I may, with humble and sincere thankfulness, remember the comforts and conveniences which I have enjoyed at this place; and that I may resign them with holy submission, equally trusting in Thy protection when Thou givest, and when Thou takest away. Have mercy upon me, O Lord! have mercy upon me! To Thy fatherly protection, O Lord, I commend this family. Bless, guide, and defend them, that they may so pass through this world, as finally to enjoy in Thy presence everlasting happiness, for Jesus Christ's Amen.'
"One cannot read this prayer without some emotions not very favourable to the lady whose conduct occasioned it.
"The next day, he made the following memorandum: "October 7.-I was called early. I packed up my bundles, and used the foregoing prayer, with my morn
ing devotions somewhat, I think, enlarged. Being earlier than the family, I read St. Paul's farewell in the Acts, and then read fortuitously in the Gospels,-which was my parting use of the library.'
Mr. Croker, whose protest against the groundless insinuations of Boswell should have put subsequent writers on their guard, states in a note:"He seems to have taken leave of the kitchen as well as the church at Streatham in Latin." The note of his last dinner there, done into English, would run thus:
"Oct. 6th, Sunday, 1782.
"I dined at Streatham on boiled leg of lamb, with spinach, the stuffing of flour and raisins, round of beef, and turkey poult; and after the meat service, figs, grapes, not yet ripe in consequence of the bad season, with peaches, also hard. I took my place at table in no joyful mood, and partook of the food moderately, lest I should finish by intemperance. If I rightly remember, the banquet at the funeral of Hadon came into my mind. When shall I revisit Streatham ?"
The exclamation "When shall I revisit Streatham ?" loses much of its pathos when connected with these culinary details.
Madame D'Arblay's description of the last year at Streatham is too important to be much abridged:
"Dr. Burney, when the Cecilian business was ar
* "Si recte memini in mentem venerunt epulæ in exequiis Hadoni celebratæ." I cannot explain this allusion.
ranged*, again conveyed the Memorialist to Streatham. No further reluctance on his part, nor exhortations on that of Mr. Crisp, sought to withdraw her from that spot, where, while it was in its glory, they had so recently, and with pride, seen her distinguished. And truly eager was her own haste, when mistress of her time, to try once more to soothe those sorrows and chagrins in which she had most largely participated, by answering to the call, which had never ceased tenderly to pursue her, of return.
"With alacrity, therefore, though not with gaiety, they re-entered the Streatham gates- but they soon perceived that they found not what they had left!
"Changed, indeed, was Streatham! Gone its chief, and changed his relict! unaccountably, incomprehensibly, indefinably changed! She was absent and agitated; not two minutes could she remain in a place; she scarcely seemed to know whom she saw; her speech was so hurried it was hardly intelligible; her eyes were assiduously averted from those who sought them; and her smiles were faint and forced."
"The mystery, however, soon ceased; the solicitations of the most affectionate sympathy could not long be urged in vain;-the mystery passed away-not so the misery! That, when revealed, was but to both parties doubled, from the different feelings set in movement by its disclosure.
This may mean when the arrangements were made for the publication, or when the book was published. It was published about the beginning of June, 1782.
"The astonishing history of the enigmatical attachment which impelled Mrs. Thrale to her second marriage, is now as well known as her name: but its details belong not to the history of Dr. Burney; though the fact too deeply interested him, and was too intimately felt in his social habits, to be passed over in silence in any memoirs of his life.
"But while ignorant yet of its cause, more and more struck he became at every meeting, by a species of general alienation which pervaded all around at Streatham. His visits, which, heretofore, had seemed galas to Mrs. Thrale, were now begun and ended almost without notice: and all others,- Dr. Johnson not excepted, were cast into the same gulph of general neglect, or forgetfulness;-all,-save singly this Memorialist to whom, the fatal secret once acknowledged, Mrs. Thrale clung for comfort; though she saw, and generously pardoned, how wide she was from meeting approbation.
"In this retired, though far from tranquil manner, passed many months; during which, with the acquiescent consent of the Doctor, his daughter, wholly devoted to her unhappy friend, remained uninterruptedly at sad and altered Streatham; sedulously avoiding, what at other times she most wished, a tête-à-tête with her father. Bound by ties indissoluble of honour not to betray a trust that, in the ignorance of her pity, she had herself unwittingly sought, even to him she was as immutably silent, on this subject, as to all others save, singly, to the eldest daughter of the house: