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fended Dr Johnson, whom she loved, admired, and honoured.”

Why, then, Madam, did she not consult the man whom she pretends to have loved, admired, and honoured, upon her newfangled scruples ? If she had looked up to that man with

any

degree of the respect she professes, she would have supposed his ability to judge of fit and right, at least equal to that of a raw wench just out of her primmer.”

“Ah! Doctor, remember it was not from amongst the witty and the learned that Christ selected his disciples, and constituted the teachers of his precepts. Jenny thinks Dr Johnson great and good; but she also thinks the gospel demands and enjoins a simpler form of worship than that of the established church; and that it is not in wit and eloquence to supersede the force of what appears to her a plain and regular system, which cancels all typical and mysterious ceremonies, as fruitless and even idolatrous; and asks only obedience to its injunctions, and the ingenuous homage of a devout heart."

“The homage of a fool's-head, madam, you should say, if

you
will

pester me about the ridiculous wench.”

“ If thou choosest to suppose her ridiculous, thou canst not deny that she has been religious, sin

cere,

disinterested. Canst thou believe that the gate of Heaven will be shut to the tender and pious mind, whose first consideration has been that of apprehended duty?"

« Pho, pho, Madam, who says it will ?”

“ Then if Heaven shuts not its gate, shall man shut his heart ?-If the Deity accept the homage of such as sincerely serve him under every form of worship, Dr Johnson and this humble girl will, it is to be hoped, meet in a blessed eternity, whither human animosity must not be carried.”

Madam, I am not fond of meeting fools anywhere; they are detestable company, and while it is in my power to avoid conversing with them, I certainly shall exert that power; and so you may tell the odious wench, whom you have persuaded to think herself-a saint, and of whom you will, I suppose, make a preacher; but I shall take care she does not preach to me."

The loud and angry tone in which he thundered out these replies to his calm and able antagonişt, frightened us all, except Mrs Knowles, who gently, not sarcastically, smiled at his injustice. Mr Boswell whispered me, “ I never saw this mighty lion so chafed before.”

I have withdrawn myself from a very interesting circle to transcribe for you these extracts. Its social temptations allured me, some five days past, from the side of my aged nurseling, whom I so seldom leave, to the now frozen banks of Warwickshire's immortal stream; which, for the palm of poetic glory, vies, nay more than vies, with that of the Meles and the Mincio. Now, if you were a fellow of a college, you would probably most unpatriotically question at least the transcendency of the claim; but that is the scepticism of pedantry. I have observed that learning, freed from her spells by the power of genuine taste and sensibility, always allows it. I am afraid you do not love poetry enough to interest yourself in the question. Mrs Mompessan is the only instance I have ever met, where a strong understanding, a fine imagination, and a feeling heart, have not been poignantly alive to its charms. You, of all people, you to be this provoking unique, who, in history, chronology, memoir, and moral philosophy, are

an absolute walking library! In the ordinarily furnished bosom, I expect to find a torpedo of this sort-but in yours !—I am certainly very sweet-tempered not to lose my patience. Adieu !

LETTER XXIII.

To MRS KNOWLES.

Coleshill, eight o'clock, Jan. 19, 1786. I INTENDED long since to have acknowledged your last welcome letter, rich in the treasures of wit, and exhaustless fancy; but our purposes,

Th' inaudible and pauseless foot of time

Steals, ere we can effect them.”

I am returning home to my poor father, after an absence of three weeks, which I meant should have been only one. The good accounts I received of his precious, though feeble health, made me unable to resist the persuasions of the charming family I have left, to prolong my stay on the frozen banks of the Avon till this inauspicious morning, which slowly broke through the sleet and snows that have covered my chaise in a dreary journey; and here have I been waiting some hours for the arrival of post-horses, to convey me to the dear paternal arms.

At Buxton, August twelvemonth, I became acquainted with Mrs Granville of Calwich, once past, from the side of my aged nurseling, whom I so seldom leave, to the dow frozen banks of Warwickshire's immortal stream; which, for the palm of poetic glory, vies, nay more than vies, with that of the Meles and the Mincio. Now, if you were a fellow of a college, you would probably most unpatriotically question at least the transcendency of the claim; but that is the scepticism of pedantry. I have observed that learning, freed from her spells by the power of genuine taste and sensibility, always allows it. I am afraid you do not love poetry enough to interest yourself in the question. Mrs Mompessan is the only instance I have ever met, where a strong understanding, a fine imagination, and a feeling heart, have not been poignantly alive to its charms. You, of all people, you to be this provoking unique, who, in history, chronology, memoir, and moral philosophy, are an absolute walking library! In the ordinarily furnished bosom, I expect to find a torpedo of this sort-but in yours !—I am certainly very sweet-tempered not to lose my patience. Adieu !

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