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bility of his 'super-eminent, powers being rewarded in this great and liberal. country by the highest honours of the state. Sir William Scott, upon the death of the late Lord Litchfield, who was Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said to Johnson, “ What a pity it is, Sir, that you did not follow the profession of the law ! You might have been Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, and attained to the dignity of the Peerage ; and now that the title of Litchfield, your native city, is extinct, you might have had it.” Johnson, upon this seemed much agitated; and, in an angry tone, exclaimed, “ Why will you vex me, by suggesting this, when it is too late?
But he did not repine at the prosperity of others.-The late Dr. Thomas Leland, told Mr. Courtney, that when Mr. Edmund Burke showed Johnson his fine house and lands near Beaconsfield, Johnson coolly said, “ Non equidem invideo ; miror magis." ;
In May, 1780, Mr. Boswell, then at Edinburgh, received the following letter from Mr. Langton :
“ The melancholy information you have received concerning Mr. Beauclerk's death is true. Had his talents been directed in any sufficient degree as they ought, I have been always strongly of opinion, that they were calculated to make an illustrious figure; and that opinion, as it had been in part formed by Dr. Johnson's judgment, receives more and more confirmation by hearing what, since his death, Dr. Jolinson has said concerning them. A few evenings ago, he was at Mr. Vesey's, where Lord Althorpe, who was one of a numerous company there, addressed Dr: Johnson on the subject of Mr. Beauclerk's death; isaye ! ing, Our club has had a great loss since we met last.* He replizd, “A loss, that perhaps the whole nation could not repair !" The Doctor then went on to speak of his endowments, and particularly extolled the wonderful ease with which he uttered what was highly ex'cellent. He said that no man ever was so free, when he was going to say a good thing, from a look that expressed that it was coming; or, when he had said it, from a look that expressed that it had come. At Mr.
Thrale's, some days before, when we were talking oni the same subject, he said, "referring to the same idea of his facility, « That Beauclerk's talents were those which he had felt himself more disposed to envy, than those of any whom he had known.'
« On the evening I have spoken of above, at Mr. Vesey's, you would have been much gratified, as it exhibited an instance of the high importance in which Dr. Johnson's character is held, I think even beyond any I was ever before witness to. The company consisted chiefly of ladies, among whom were the Duchess Dowager of Portland, the Duchess of Beaufort, whom I suppose, from her rank, I must mention before hep mother: Mrs. Hoscawen, and her elder sister Mrs.. Lewson, who was likewise there: Lady Lucan, Lady Clermont, and others of note, both for their stations and understandings. Among the gentlemen were Lord Althorpe, whom I have before named, Lord Macartney, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Lord Lucan, Mr. Wraxall, whose book you have probably seen, · The Tour to the Northern Parts of Europe ;? a very agreeable ingenious man: Dr. Warren, Mr. Pepys, the Master in Chancery, whom I believe you know, and Dr. Barnard, the Provost of. Eton. As soon as Dr. Johnson was come in and taken a chair, the company began to collect round him, till they became not less than four on five deep : those behind standing, and listening over. the heads of those that were sitting near him. The conversation for some time was chiefly between Dr. Johnson and the Provost of Eton, while the others. contributed occasionally their remarks. Without at. tempting to detail the particulars of the conversation, which, perhaps, if I did, I should spin my account: out to a tedious length, I thought, my dear Sir, this. general account of the respect. with which our valued friend was attended to, might be acceptable.”
Of the extraordinary tumults this year, Dr. Johnson has given the following concisc, lively, and just ac
count, in his “ Letters to. Mrs. Thrale.”.. . “On Friday the good Protestants metin. St. George's Fields, at the summons of Lord George Gordon, and
marching to Westminster, insulted the Lords and Commons, who all bore it with great tameness. At night, the outrages began by the demolition of the mass-house by Lincoln's-inn.
" An exact journal of a week's defiance of government I cannot give you. On Monday, Mr. Strahan, who had, I think, been insulted, spoke to Lord Mansfield, who had, I think, been insulted too, of the licentiousness of the populace; and his Lordship treated it as a very slight irregularity.
" On Tuesday night they pulled down Fielding's house, and burnt his goods in the street. They had gutted, on Monday, Sir George Saville's house, but . the building was saved. On Tuesday evening, leaying Fielding's ruins, they went to Newgate, to demand their companions, who had been seized demolishing the chapel. The keeper could not release them but by the Mayor's perinissión, which he went to ask ; at his return, he found all the prisoners relcased, and Newgate in a blaze. They then went to Bloomsbury, and fastened upon Lord Mansfield's house, which they pulled down : 'and as for his goods they totally burnt them. They have since gone to Caenwood, but a guard was there before them. They plundered some Papists, I think, and burnt a Mass-house, in Moorfields, the same night.
« On Wednesday, I walked with Dr. Scott, to look at Newgate, and found it in ruins, with the file yet glowing. As I went by, the Protestants 'were plundering the Sessions-house at the Old Bailey. There: were not, I believe, a hundred, but they did their work at leisure, in full security, without sentinels, without trepidation, as men lawfully employed in full day. Such is the cowardice of a commercial place. On Wednesday, they broke open the Fleet; and the King's Bench, and the Marshalsea, and Wood-street, Compter, and Clerkenwell. Bridewell, and released all: the prisoners.
“At night they set fire to the Fleet, and to the King's Bench, and I know not how many other
places, and one might see the glare of conflagratioa fill the sky from many parts. · The sight was dreadful. Some people were threatened : Mr. Strahan advised me to take care of myself. Such a time of terror you have been happy in not seeing. . .
6. The King said in council, “ That the magistrates had not done their duty, but that he would do his own; and a proclamation was published, directing us to keep our servants within doors, as the peace was now to be preserved by force," "The soldiers were sent out to different parts, and the town is now at quiet.
“ The soldiers are stationed so as to be every where within call; there is no longer any body of rioters, and the individuals are haunted to their holes, and led to prison; Lord George was last night sent to the Tower. Mr. John Wilkes was this day in my neighbourhood, to seize the publishers of a seditious paper. i os Several chapels have been destroyed, and several inoffensive Papists have been plundered; but the high sport was to burn the gaols. This was a good rabble trick. The debtors and the criminals were all set at liberty ; but of the criminals, as has always happened, many are already re-taken ; and two pirates have surrendered themselves, and it is expected that they wil}. be pardoned.,
* Government now acts again with its proper force, and we are all again under the protection of the King and the Law. I thought that it would be agreeable to youand my master to have my testimony to the public security : and that you would sleep more quietly when I told you that you are safe.
“There has, indeed, been an universal panic, from which the King was the first that recovered. Without the concurrence of his ministers, or the assistance of the civil magistrate, he put the soldiers in motion, and saved the town, from calamities such a rabble's govern. ment must naturally produce.
66. The public has escaped a very heavy calamity. The rioters attempted the Bank on Wednesday night, but in no great numher, and, like other thieves, with:
no great resolution. Jack Wilkes headed the party that drove them away. It is agreed, that if they had seized the Bank on Tuesday, at the height of the panick, when no resistance had been prepared, they might have carried irrecoverably away whatever they had found. Jack, who was always zealous for order and decency, declares, that if he be trusted with power, he will not leave a rioter alive. There is, however, now no longer any need of heroism or bloodshed, no blue ribbånd is any longer wore.”
At a city dinner where were present, Mr. Wilkes, Dr. Beattie, and Mr. Boswell, the Doctor gave an entertaining account of Bet Flint, a woman of the town, who with some eccentrick talents, and much effrontery, forced herself upon his acquaintance.“ Bet (said he) wrote her own life in verse, which she brought to me, wishing that I would furnish her with a preface to it (laughing.) I used to say of her, that she was generally slut and drunkard, occasionally whore and thief. She had, however, genteel lodgings, à spinnet, on which she played, and a boy that walked before her chair. Poor Bet was taken up on a charge of stealing a counterpane, and tried at the Old Bailey. Chief Justice , who loved a wench, summed up favourably, and she was acquitted. After which, Bet said, with a gay and satisfied air, “ Now that the counterpane is my own, I shall make a petticoat of it.” • He told his friends that he had in one day written six sheets of a translation from the French, adding, “ I should be glad to see it now. I wish that I had copies of all the pamphlets written against me, as it is said Pope had. llad I known that I should make so much noise in the world, I should have been at pains to collect them. I believe there is hardly a day in which there is not something about me in the newspapers.”
The following curious anecdote is from Dr. Burney's. own words : “ Dr. Burney related to Dr. Johnson the partiality which his writings had excited in a friend of Dr, Burney's, the late Mr. Bewley, well known in