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Twickenkam Marchy 221778

I must mention the Nobless action of your life, Your Generosity to nephew david; all the world is repeating your praises; those people who all ways envy you, and wish & to detract from you allway declaring you love & mouney too much cow to part from it now they will feel foolish and look Contempable; all that of Can Say gsigulish that heaven had made me such an uncle,


David Garrick 85

C. Clive

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wife might have held the pen in his name. Hinc illæ lachryma. Nay, I think I observe, throughout his two pieces, a woman's irritability, with a woman's impotence of revenge." Yet such were Johnson's tender remembrances of his own wife, that after her death, though he had a whole house at command, he would study nowhere but in a garret. Being asked the reason why he chose a situation so incommodious, he answered, "Because in that room only I never saw Mrs. Johnson."

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315. Frequenting the Theatre.

Though you brought a tragedy, Sir, to Drury Lane, and at one time were so intimate with Garrick, you never appeared to have much theatrical acquaintance." "Sir, while I had, in common with other dramatic authors, the liberty of the scenes, without considering my admission behind them as a favour, I was frequently at the theatre. At that period all the wenches knew me, and dropped me a curtsy, as they passed on to the stage.(') But since poor Goldsmith's last comedy, I scarce recollect having seen the inside of a playhouse. To speak the truth, there is small encouragement there for a man whose sight and hearing are become so imperfect as mine. I may add, that, Garrick and Henderson excepted, I never met with a performer who had studied his art, or could give an intelligible reason for what he did." (2)

316. Thrale's Table.

"Mrs. Thrale," Mr. Tyers reports, "knew how to spread a table with the utmost plenty and elegance;" but all who are acquainted with this lady's domestic history

(1) Johnson used at one time to go occasionally to the green-room of Drurylane Theatre, where he was much regarded by the players, and was easy and facetious with them. He had a very high opinion of Mrs. Clive's comic powers, and conversed more with her than any of them. He said, "Clive, Sir, is a good thing to sit by; she always understands what you say."-LANGTON. [She died at her house at Twickenham, in December, 1785.]

(2) [This was probably before his acquaintance with Mr. Kemble and Mrs. Siddons, which took place only the year before his death. — C.]


must know, that, in the present instance, Mr. Tyers's praise of her is unluckily bestowed. Her husband su


perintended every dinner set before his guests. After his death, she confessed her total ignorance in culinary Poor Thrale studied an art of which he loved the produce, and to which he expired a martyr. Johnson repeatedly, and with all the warmth of earnest friendship, assured him he was nimis edax rerum, and that such unlimited indulgence of his palate would precipitate his end.

317. Late Hours.

On the night before the publication of the first edition of his Shakspeare, he supped with some friends in the Temple, who kept him up," nothing loth," till past five the next morning. Much pleasantry was passing on the subject of commentatorship, when, all on a sudden, the Doctor, looking at his watch, cried out, "This is sport to you, gentlemen; but you do not consider there are at most only four hours between me and criticism."

The Doctor is known to have been, like Savage, a very late visitor; yet, at whatever hour he returned, he never went to bed without a previous call on Mrs. Williams, the blind lady who for so many years had found protection under his roof. Coming home one morning between four and five, he said to her, "Take notice, Madam, that for once I am here before others are asleep. As I turned into the court, I ran against a knot of bricklayers." "You forget, my dear Sir," replied she, "that these people have all been a-bed, and are now preparing for their day's work.” "Is it so, then, Madam? I confess that circumstance had escaped me."

318. "Time to go to Bed."

Once, and but once, he is known to have had too much wine; a circumstance which he himself discovered, on finding one of his sesquipedalian words hang fire. He then started up, and gravely observed, "I think it time we should go to bed."

319. Doctoring one's-self.

If "a little learning is a dangerous thing" on any speculative subject, it is eminently more so in the practical science of physic. Johnson was too frequently his own doctor. In October, 1784, just before he came to London, he had taken an unusual dose of squills, but without effect. He swallowed the same quantity on his arrival here, and it produced a most violent operation. He did not, as he afterwards confessed, reflect on the difference between the perished and inefficacious vegetable he found in the country, and the fresh and potent one of the same kind he was sure to meet with in town. "You find me at present," says he, "suffering from a prescription of my own. When I am recovered from its consequences, and not till then, I shall know the true state of my natural malady." From this period, he took no medicine without the approbation of Heberden. What follows is known by all, and by all lamented-ere now, perhaps, even by the prebends of Westminster.(1)

320. Johnson's Funeral.

Johnson asked one of his executors, a few days before his death, "Where do you intend to bury me?" He answered, "In Westminster Abbey." "Then," continued he, "if my friends think it worth while to give me a stone, let it be placed over me so as to protect my body."

On the Monday after his decease he was interred in Westminster Abbey. The corpse was brought from his house in Bolt Court, to the hearse, preceded by the Rev. Mr. Butt and the Rev. Mr. Strahan, about twelve o'clock. The following was the order of the procession:

Hearse and six.

The executors, viz. Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir John Hawkins, and William Scott, LL.D. [Lord Stowell] in a coach and four.

Eight coaches and four, containing the Literary Club, and others of

(1) [This sarcasm against the prebendaries of Westminster, and particularly against Johnson's friend Dr. Taylor, who was one of them, will be explained presently.-C.]

the Doctor's friends, invited by the executors; viz. Dr. Burney, Mr. Malone, Mr. Steevens, the Rev. Mr. Strahan, Mr. Ryland, Mr. Hoole, Dr. Brocklesby, Mr. Cruikshanks, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Low, Mr. Paradise, General Paoli, Count Zenobia, Dr. Butter, Mr. Holder, Mr. Seward, Mr. Metcalf, Mr. Sastres, Mr. Des Moulins, the Rev. Mr. Butt, Dr. Horsley, Dr. Farmer, Dr. Wright; to whom may be added, Mr. Cooke (who was introduced by Dr. Brocklesby), and the Doctor's faithful servant, Francis Barber.

Two coaches and four, containing the pall-bearers, viz. Mr. Burke, Mr. Windham, Sir Charles Bunbury, Sir Joseph Banks, Mr. Colman, and Mr. Langton.

After these followed two mourning coaches and four, filled with gentlemen who, as volunteers, honoured themselves by attending this funeral. These were the Rev. Mr. Hoole, the Rev. Mr. East, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Mickle, Mr. Sharp, Mr. C. Burney, and Mr.{G. Nicol. Thirteen gentlemen's carriages closed the procession, which reached the Abbey a little before one.

The corpse was met at the west door by the prebendaries in residence, to the number of six, in their surplices and doctor's hoods; and the officers of the church, and attendants on the funeral, were then marshalled in the following order:

Two vergers.

The Rev. Mr. Strahan.

The Rev. Mr. Butt.

Sir Joshua Reynolds, as chief mourner and executor.
Sir John Hawkins and Dr. Scott, as executors.
The rest two and two.

The body then proceeded to the south cross, and, in view of the three executors, was deposited by the side of Mr. Garrick, with the feet opposite to the monument of Shakspeare.

The Rev. Dr. Taylor performed the burial service, attended by some gentlemen of the Abbey; but it must be regretted by all who continue to reverence the hierarchy, that the cathedral service was withheld from its invariable friend; and the omission was truly offensive to the audience at large.

How this omission happened, we are unable to account. Perhaps the executors should have asked for it; but at all events it should have been performed. That the fees for opening the ground were paid, was a matter of indispensable necessity; and there can be no doubt, from the liberality of the present dean and chapter, but they will be returned, as was offered in the case of Dryden,

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