Imágenes de páginas

to speak? Of whom but Mrs. Montague? Having mentioned Shakespeare and nature, does not the name of Montague force itself upon me? Such were the transitions of the ancients, which now seem abrupt, because the intermediate idea is lost to modern understandings. I wish her name had connected itself with friendship; but, ah, Colin, thy hopes are in vain! One thing, however, is left me, I have still to complain; but I hope I shall not complain much, while you have any kindness for me. I am, dearest, and dearest madam, your, &c.

London, April, 11, 1780.


DEAREST MADAM,-Mr. Thrale never will live abstinently, till he can persuade himself to abstain by rule. I lived on potatoes on Friday, and on spinage to-day; but I have had, I am afraid, too many dinners of late. I took physick too both days, and hope to fast to-morrow. When he comes home, we will shame him, and Jebb shall scold him into regularity. I am glad, however, that he is always one of the company, and that my dear Queeney is again another. Encourage, as you can, the musical girl.

Nothing is more common than mutual dislike, where mutual approbation is particularly expected. There is often on both sides a vigilance, not over-benevolent; and as attention is strongly excited, so that nothing drops unheeded, any difference in taste or opinion, and some difference, where there is no restraint, will commonly appear, immediately generates dislike.

Never let criticisms operate upon your face, or your mind; it is very rarely that an author is hurt by his criticks. The blaze of reputation cannot be blown out, but it often dies in the socket; a very few names may be considered as perpetual lamps, that shine unconsumed. From the author of Fitzosborne's Letters, I cannot think myself in much danger. I met him only once, about thirty years ago, and, in some small dispute, reduced him to whistle;

having not seen him since, that is the last impression. Poor Moore, the fabulist, was one of the company.

Mrs. Montague's long stay, against her own inclination, is very convenient. You would, by your own confession, want a companion; and she is " par pluribus," conversing with her you may "find variety in one."

a travelled

At Mrs. Ord's I met one Mrs. B lady, of great spirit, and some consciousness of her own abilities. We had a contest of gallantry, an hour long, so much to the diversion of the company, that at Ramsay's, last night, in a crowded room, they would have pitted us again. There were Smelt, and the bishop of St. Asaph, who comes to every place; and lord Monboddo, and sir Joshua, and ladies out of tale.

The exhibition, how will you do either to see or not to see! The exhibition is eminently splendid. There is contour, and keeping, and grace, and expression, and all the varieties of artificial excellence. The apartments were truly very noble. The pictures, for the sake of a skylight, are at the top of the house; there we dined, and I sat over against the archbishop of York. See how I live, when I am not under petticoat government. I am, &c. London, May 1, 1780.


London, June 9, 1780.

DEAR MADAM,-To the question, Who was impressed with consternation? it may, with great truth, be answered, that every body was impressed, for nobody was sure of his safety.

On Friday, the good protestants met in 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 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, leaving 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 permission, which he went to ask; at his return, he found all the prisoners released, 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 Caen wood, 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 fire 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 Counter, 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 conflagration 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 terrour you have been happy in not seeing.

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.

What has happened at your house, you will know; the harm is only a few butts of beer; and I think you may be sure that the danger is over. There is a body of soldiers at St. Margaret's hill.

Of Mr. Tyson I know nothing, nor can guess to what he can allude; but I know that a young fellow of little more than seventy is naturally an unresisted conqueror of hearts.

Pray tell Mr. Thrale that I live here and have no fruit, and if he does not interpose, am not likely to have much; but, I think, he might as well give me a little, as give all to the gardener.

Pray make my compliments to Queeney and Burney.

I am,



June 10, 1780.

DEAR MADAM,-You have, ere now, heard and read enough to convince you, that we have had something to suffer, and something to fear, and, therefore, I think it necessary to quiet the solicitude which you undoubtedly feel, by telling you that our calamities and terrours are now at an end. The soldiers are stationed so as to be every where within call; there is no longer any body of rioters, and the individuals are hunted to their holes, and led to prison; the streets are safe and quiet lord George was last night sent to the Tower. Mr. John Wilkes was, this day, with a party of soldiers, in my neighbourhood, to seize the publisher of a seditious paper. Every body walks, and eats, and sleeps in security. But the history of the last week would fill you with amazement: it is without any modern example.

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 retaken, and two pirates have surrendered themselves, and it is expected that they will 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 you and my master, to have my testimony to the publick security; and that you would sleep more quietly, when I told you, that you are safe. I am, dearest lady, your, &c.


London, April 5, 1781.

DEAREST MADAM,-Of your injunctions, to pray for you, and write to you, I hope to leave neither unobserved; and I hope to find you willing, in a short time, to alleviate your trouble by some other exercise of the mind. I am not without my part of the calamity. No death, since that of my wife, has ever oppressed me like this. But let us remember, that we are in the hands of him who knows when to give and when to take away; who will look upon us, with mercy, through all our variations of existence, and who invites us to call on him in the day of trouble. Call upon him in this great revolution of life, and call with confidence. You will then find comfort for the past, and support for the future. He that has given you happiness in marriage, to a degree of which, without personal knowledge, I should have thought the description fabulous, can give you another mode of happiness as a mother, and, at last, the happiness of losing all temporal cares, in the thoughts of an eternity in heaven.

I do not exhort you to reason yourself into tranquillity. We must first pray, and then labour first implore the blessing of God, and use those means which he puts into

« AnteriorContinuar »