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knowledge of our great man's mind will remember that he preferred veracity to interest, affection or resentment; nor suffered partiality or prejudice to warp

him from the truth. Let Mr. Boswell be sure to keep that example in view ; his old friend often recommended it to him."

“I knew the friendship of the two brothers Pepys would be exceedingly delightful to you; Lady Rothes is one of the best, as well as one of the most agreeable women I know. The world was against her once, on account of her second marriage, without knowing why; but she has had the good fortune to see her choice approved at last by family friends and acquaintance, and I have no doubt but I shall enjoy the same consolation, for the same reason, because my husband deserves every day more than I could ever have done for him, had I, as Portia says, been “Trebled twenty times myself.' Poor soul! he has got the gout now, and I am writing by his bedside.”


“ Firenze, 27th July, 1785. “ DEAR MR. LYSONS.—You deserve long letters, indeed, you are so good-natured, in writing so often and kindly. Miss Thrale does just the reverse; but I will not let anything vex me, when I have so much with which I ought to be pleased.

Mr. and Mrs. Greatheed (whose family you cannot but know) are our constant and partial friends; they have never been three days apart since their acquaintance began, and they love one another at five years end-just as we do now, I think,

who hope to follow their example for half a century at least, and then we shall be a show, like the learned pig."

“I have been playing the baby, and writing nonsense to divert our English friends here, who do the same thing themselves, and swear they will print the collection, and call it an Arno Miscellany. Mr. Parsons and Mr. Merry are exceedingly clever, so is Mr. Greatheed, and we have no critics to maul us, so we laugh in peace.”

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" It is difficult to express the esteem and fondness shown by the Florentines of both sexes to Mrs. Greatheed and myself, for the sincere love we bear to our amiable husbands- che bel esempio! che care Inglesine! che copie felice! resounds from every mouth. Oh! for candour and liberality of sentiment, for honest praise and kind construction of words and actions, Italy is the place, nor have they an idea of pretending to approve what they really do not like."

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Rome, 4th Nov. 1715. - You do well to examine our land of mediocrities before you come hither, whence Mr. Piozzi says he shall be glad to return to clean rooms, neat workmanship, and good common sense.

6. This last article reminds me of dear Dr. Johnson. I was very sorry, indeed, to hear of his useless prayers for the dead : for, as the Prophet David says, it cost more to redeem their souls, so that we must let that alone for ever. Meantime I wish my "Anecdotes'

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may be found less trivial than Boswell's : I always hoped that even trifles belonging to Johnson would be welcome to the public, or what would become of my book? Did the executors publish those 'Prayers and Meditations ?' or, how came they printed ? Do tell, for I am earnest to hear."

“ Will you have a pretty book as a present ? Mr. Parsons, Mr. Greathead, Mr. Merry and myself (who had the least share), diverted ourselves with writing verses, while we lived together at Florence, and got them printed — but very imperfectly, as you may suppose; and I have sent a few copies to England, of which I beg you to accept one. You must call on Mr. Cator for it: he lives in the Adelphi, you know. They made me write the preface and find the motto; but some of the verses are very good indeed, and I hope you will say so, as I think exceeding highly of Merry's poetical powers.”

Alluding to Cornelia Knight, she writes March 1, 1796.

“I regret exceedingly that we made acquaintance only at Naples, for many reasons: we had great talk about Dr. Johnson, who was her mother's friend; her father was Captain Knight, made Sir Joseph when the King went aboard his ship at Portsmouth. Oh! you have got our little book of verses written in Tuscany safe by now; for Miss Thrale has thanked me for hers, and says she likes the preface. Write to me soon, do, and tell me all the news. Miss Brunton is set up as a rival

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to Siddons, I hear, but sure that won't do. How droll it must be to see Mrs. Abingdon act Scrub !

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“Rome, 25th March, 1786. Nothing was ever more pretty, comical, and sparkling than the verses about Mr. Boswell, which you are Dr. Walcot's; but, upon my honour, the world is very rigorous ; for, if Boswell was Plutarch, nothing but the sayings of Johnson could he record — like Arabella's maid in the “Female Quixote' we should all be at a loss to keep a register of his actions, for even her ladyship's smiles might be mentioned, as she suggests; but dear Dr. Johnson did not afford us many of them. Is Mrs. Montagu convinced of my respect, and of Mr. Boswell's flippancy? I hope so.”

“ Milan, 6th July, 1786. “ Miss Nicholson's never having had my letters, nor I hers, is amazing : we thought she was gone to France, and she, it seems, imagined us still at Milan.”

' Holy Thursday (1787), Hanover Square. “ DEAR MR. LYSONS. I have found about forty letters of Johnson's in the old trunk, which may very well be printed; some of them exceedingly long ones, and of the best sort. I read two or three to Mr. Cadell, and he liked them vastly, but will not abate of mine ; and for the sake of his partiality I am now resolved to be patiently tied to the stake, and if we can find six or seven tolerable ones for each volume, he shall have them, but let me look them over once again. No need

to expunge with salt and lemons all the names I have crossed — let the initials stand; it is enough that I do not name them out; civility is all I owe them, and my attention not to offend is shown by the dash. The preface is written, and when I get the verses from Dr. Lort I will not be dilatory, for I have a nice little writing room, and a very gentleman-like man to deal with in Mr. Cadell.”

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“ Alfred Street, Bath, 17th Nov. 1787. “ The authors of The World’are vastly civil, but I have not yet been able to get a sight of the paragraph. Miss Lees are charming women, and appear to deserve their very uncommon success.

“ With regard to my own book, if no one thinks more about it than I have done since I saw you, woe betide Cadell! If anybody has stolen a letter of mine, they will add little to their guilt, though much to their shame by publishing it.” *

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“Exmouth, 23rd August, 1788. It was the heat of the summer exalted Baretti's venom so, -I am told all the vipers sting terribly this year. He'll cool with the weather, you'll see.”

“I wish Seward and Miss Streatfield would make a match of it at last ; there would then be a collar of

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* This alludes to a letter of hers to Johnson, dated Bath, April 28, 1780; afterwards published by Boswell. On the margin she has written : “ This is the famous letter with which Mr. Boswell threatened us all. He bought it of Frank' the Black for half a crown, to have a little teising in his power.” VOL. II.




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