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other person.” For whom? For what? sidering it as a mere hasty mandate to indignaotly answered miss Biddy upon exert his skill, never opened it. The one occasion. “Why," very coolly M. Jones he took for Mrs. Jones ; the drawled out the Exquisite, viewing her last line spoke for itself; be therefore through his glass," for a d-d pretty concluded that my Cousin needed his girl ; but I am sure I beg your pardon, professional aid, and although late in I never was in a greater error in my the evening, proceeded immediately to life." This, it must be owned was in- attend her. This was worse than all supportable.
the rest ; and my poor cousin Biddy Miss Biddy flew from this contagious was fairly driven out of town. She abode to Manchester Street, Here she asserted, on her arrival in the country, enjoyed only three days' repose, when that London was not a fit place for any an Accoucheur called on her landlady, modest woman's residente ; and that to make some inquiries, which greatly it was impossible, for her life, her creoffended Biddy's delicacy, for she said dit, or her reputation, to be in saloty that she could not bear the sight of the there one week. She therefore dismap. .
charged her male servant, and put herOne day, a letter being left at the self as a parlour boarder at a boardingDoctor's, whose name is Matthew Jones, school in the country, for the sake of directed thus
protection ;-where that she is at prese “M. Jones, Manchester Street, ent in the very highest possible state of
to be delivered immediately" purity and of preservation, will be and being very closely folded, the Doc- vouched to any one whom it may contor looked only at the address, and,con- cern, by The HERMIT IN LONDON.
From the New Monthly Magazine, December 1818.
To the Editor--Sir,
FTER almost despairing for some Levett, * who willingly next morning A time of being able to send you a narrative of Johnson's journey to Cam
* Dr. Levett, as he was called, was a native
of Hull, and in early life became a waiter in a bridge, worthy of your acceptance, I coffee-house at Paris. The surgeons roho frenow hope, through the assistance of a quented it, finding him attentive to their condear and very old friend, to transmit
versation, raised a subscription for him among
themselves, and gave him some instructions in you somethiog not derogatory to its il- anatomy. He also obtained by the same means lustrious subject. The gentleman here
admission to the lectures on medicine, and thus
was enabled to set up for himself : but whether alluded to is the Rev. J. Lettice, then he ever took any degree is uncertain. The rest Fellow of Sidney College, (since rec- of his life also is unknown, till he became ac
quainted with Johnson, who made him his dotor of Peasmarsh, Sussex,) of whose
mestic physician, gave him apartments in his merits, as a writer, the public is alrea- house, and treated him zoth great kindness. dy well apprized, and whom in the fol- After breakfasting with the Doctor, he usually
went round among his patients, then attended lowing narrative, I shall always inen- Hunter's lectures, and returned at night.“ AL tion as my friend.
his physical knowledge," said Johnson," and
it is not inconsiderable, was obtained through My first introduction to Dr. John
the ear. Though he buys books, he seldon son was owing to the following circum- looks into them, or discovers any power by stance. My friend and I had agreed up- which he can be supposed to judge of an au,
Thor's merit." Before he became an inmate of on attempting a new translation of Plu
the Doctor's he married a common strumpet, tarch's Lives; but previously, as I was who passed herself off upon him as an heiress, just then going to town, my friend while he did the same upon her as a phisician
of great practice. They were separated by the wished me to consult Johnson about it, interven
intervention of Johnson, with whom Levett rewith whom he himself was well ac- sided above twenty years, and died at his house, quainted. Io consequence, when in January, 1782. His memory was honoured by
his old patron, with a poetical tribute of aftown, I procured an interview with section."
introduced me to breakfast with the The reason for this seems, as a firstgreat man. His residence was then in rate genius, who feels bimself equally soine old-fashioned rooms called, I prepared to discuss whatever subject think, Iover Temple lane, No. 1. At may be started, must deem it more to the top of a few steps the door opened his own honour that he should not into a dark and dingy looking old wain- chuse the topic himself. When I san scored anti-room, through which was the Doctor again, after we had given the study, and into which a little before up Plutarch, I told him that my friend noon, came rolling, as if just roused and professor Martyo had undertakfrom bis cabin, the truly uncouth figure en to give an edition in English, with of our literary Colossus, in a strange the plates, of the Herculaneum Antiblack wig, too little for bim by half, quities. Johnson They don't but which, before our next interview, know what they bave undertaken ; was exchanged for that very respectable the engravers will drive them mad, sit." brown one in which his friend, Sir And this perhaps, with other reasons, Joshua,so faithfully depicted him. I am might prevent their executing more than glad, however, I saw the queer black one volume. At another time, he said, bob, as his biographers have noticed it, “that Mr. Farmer, of your college, is and as it proved that the lustre of na- a very clever man, indeed, sir." And tive genius can break ibrough the most on my asking him whether he knew tbe disfiguring habiliments. He seemed fact with respect to the learning of pleased to see a young Cantab in his Shakspeare, before that gentleman's rooms, and on my acquainting him publication ? Johnson--" Why, ressil, with the business on which I had taken I knew in general that the fact was a the liberty of consulting him, he rather he represents it ; but I did not know it, encouraged our undertaking than oth- as Mr. Farmer has now taught it me, erwise, though alter working at it for a by detail, sir." I was several times the few months we found the work too bearer of messages between them; and tedious and incompatible with other my suggesting and expressing a bope pursuits, and were obliged to relinquish that we should some time or other bare it. After this, the great man question the pleasure of seeing him at Cared me about Cambridge, and whatever bridge, when I should be most happy regarded literature, and attended to my to introduce them to each other, migde answers with great complacency. I somewhat conduce to his taking the repeatedly afterwards visited him, both journey I am about to describe. in Johnson's-court and Bolt-court. The last time I called upon him w2
Though I meant at first to confine long after the Cambridge visit, and I myself solely to his Cambridge excur. found with him Mr. Straban, bis sol, sion, yet, that we may not lose, as Gare the Vicar of Islington, and two of rick says, “ one drop of this immortal three other gentlemen, one of whon man,” perinit me to say a few words was upon his legs taking leave, and respecting these different calls. When saying, “ Well, Doctor, as you know alone he sometimes asked me to take I shall set off to-morrow, what shall tea with him; and I can truly say, that say for you to Mrs. Thrale, when I see I never found hiin morose or overbear. her ?” Johnson—" Why, sir, you may ing, though I freely contradicted him, tell her how I am : but noa, sir, Dol, with which he seemed pleased, and in she knows that already ; and so whea order to lead a young man into contro- you see Mrs. Thrale, you will say to versy or discussion, he would now and her what it is predestined that you are then advance what be did not think. to say to her, sir." Amidst the general He has been aptly compared to a laugh occasioned by this sally the gengbost, as he would seldom speak first, tleman retired ; and the Doctor joining but would sit librating in his chair till in the merriment, proceeded, “ for you a question was asked, upon which he know, sir, when a person has said of would promptly and fuently dilate. done any thing, it was plaisly predesti
Account of Dr. Johnson's Visit to Cambridge.
nated that he was to say or do that unluckily introduced in the very midst particolar thing, sir." I recollect but of a large tea-drinking party, which one more interview with him in town, made the Philanthropist look grave, and but to describe that would lead me so rather disconcerted our elegant and acfar out of my way at present, that I be- complished hostess. At the same house lieve I most deler this to some future too, I'once heard him mention Johnson Convidunication.
and his criticism with a warmth that I When I mentioned a wish to intro- did not expect from the meek and genduce him to our common friend Far- tle Hanway. “ The man," said he, mer, the Doctor did not seem disinclio- “ abuses my work upon tea ; and he ed to the proposal ; and it was on a sits in this mapper," mimicking the Saturday in the beginning of March, shaking of the Doctor's hands and head, 1765, that having accepted the offer of “and then he wonders what I can To bam Beauclerk, esq. to drive him mean by writing against so wholesome down in his phaeton, they arrived at the a beverage ; while, as he is unable to Rose lon, Cambridge. My friend, of keep a perve of him still, he is all the Sidey, had the honour to be the only while slopping half of it upon his breechgownsman seat for by the great man es knees.” When I told this anecdote to spend the first evening with him, to Dr. Percy, he was much diverted, though Mr. Beauclerk had probably al- and observed, “ Aye, aye; and yet, in so his friend from Trioity. To my spite of all his tea-bibbing, the gigantic enquiries concerning this Sidney sym- Johnson could have seized with boih posint, my friend has returned the hands upon the puby Hanway, and following sbort, but lively description discerped him.” of 11: “Our distinguished visitor shone Before I close my account of the glorionsly in his style of dissertation on Sidney dinner, let me observe, that a great variety of subjects. I recollect though my friend could not recollect bis condescending to as earnest a care any of the Doctor's bon-mots at that for the animal as of the intellectual man, time, yet the enquiry brought to his and after doing all justice to my col- mind a former one of our literary hero, lege bill of fare, and without neglecting so well authenticated and perhaps so the glass after dinner, he drank sixteen little known, that though it has no redishes of tea. I was idly curious ference to our present story, I shall enough to count them, from what I had take this oportunity of recording it. remarked, and heard Levett mention From the year 1768 to 1771, my of his extraordinary devotion to the tea- friend was chaplain to his Majesty's
Minister, at the court of Denmark, Sir On this subject Boswell observes, R. Gunning, and tutor to his children. that “ Johnson's nerves must have been One of the latter, a very accomplished uncommonly strong, not to have been young lady, became in process of time extremely relaxed by such an intem- the Hon. Mrs. Digby, who related to perate use of the infusi on of this frag- her former tutor the following anecdote. rant leaf. He assured me that he nev. This lady was present at the jotroducer felt the least inconvenience from it." tion of Dr. Johnson at one of the late It is remarkable that the only contro- Mrs. Montague's literary parties, when versy Johnson ever was engaged in, Mrs. Digby herself, with several still was with the truly amiable Jonas Han- younger ladies, almost immediately way, about his Essay on Téa. I have surrounded our Colossus of literature several times met with that eminently (an odd figure sure enough) with more good, which is better than great, man, wonder than politeness, and while conMr. Hanway, at the house of Mrs. Pen- templating him, as if he had been some ny, or Penné, in Bloomsbury-square, a monster from the deserts of Africa, lady, who in 1771, dedicated to him a Johnson said to them—“ Ladies, I am volume of poetry, calling him “ The tame; you may stroke me.”—“A hiapsecond Man of Rosg.” Once he was pier, or more deserved reproof,” Mrs. given!”
Digby said, “ could not have been and the Prophets, &c. &c.—and also
the king of the right line of Mary, of I now hasten to redeem my pledge whom that only absolute geotie naa by describing the first meeting of our Jesus, Gentleman by bis mother Mary, two great luminaries, Johnson and Far- Princesse of Coat Armorie," &c. Tomer. On Monday morging I met the wards the conclusion of which unacformer at Sidney witb the view of con- countable and almost incredible lolly, ducting him to the latter at Emmanuel. the Doctor's features began most [orci As the Doctor was a stranger at Cam. bly to remind me of Homer's residisa bridge, we took a circuitous rout to Bao Duggiga 70721; and if you can culgive him a cursory glimpse of some of ceive a cast of countenance expressive at the colleges. We passsed through Tri- once of both pleasantry aod horror, that nity, which he admired in course, and was the one which our sage assumed then said to me, “And what is this wben he exclaimed— Now I am next ?"_" Trinity Hall.”_" I like shocked, sir-Now I am shocked!"that college."-" Why so, Doctor ?” wbich was only answered by Farmer -“ Because I like ihe science that with his usual ha! ha! ha! for prea they study there.” Hence be walked, blasphemy, where it is unintentional, or rather perhaps, rolled or waddled, may be so thoroughly ridiculous s io a manoer not much unlike Pope's merely to excite the laugh of pity! idea of
What I have next to relate occurred -a dab chick waddling through the copse, during the visit, but at what period of either by or through Clare Hall, King's it is uncertain. If the great man left is College, Catherine Hail, Queen's, Pem- on Tuesday morning, then it must bare broke, and Peterhouse, to the place of been on Sunday afternoon, which will our destination.
prove that I was of the Sidney-party, The long-wished-for interview of and went with the rest, conducted by these unknown friends was uncommon- Mr. Leicester, into Trinity library. ly joyous on both sides. After the On our first entering, Johnson took up, salutations, said Johnson—" Mr. Far- on the right-hand side, not far from the mer, I understand you have a large door, a folio,which proved to be the Pocollection of very rare and curious lyhistor of Morhof, a German gedis books." Farmer...." Why yes, sir, to of great celebrity in the 17th century. be sure I have plenty of all such read. On opening this be exclaimed—“ Here ing as was never read." Johnson. is the book upon which all my fame was “ Will you favour me with a specimen, originally founded : when I had read sir ?" Farmer, considering for a mo- this book I could teach my tutors !"ment, reached down « Markham's " And now that you have acquired Booke of Armorie," and turning to a such fame, Doctor,” said Mr. Leicester, particular page, presented it to the "you must feel exquisite delight in your Doctor, who, with rolling head, atten- owo mind.” Johnson..." Why,noa, sir, tively perused it. The passage having noa, I have no such feeling on that acbeen previously pointed out to myself, count,as you have attributed to me, sir." I am luckily enabled to lay it before Whether the sincerity of Johnson's de the reader, because I find it quoted, claration be allowed or not, the anectotidem verbis, as a great curiosity, dote may perhaps supply a useful biot which it certainly is, at line 101 of the to future aspiring geniuses,ambitious of first part of “ The Pursuits of Litera- emulating so great a man. ture.” The words in question are said Monday evening there was assemto be the conclusion of the first chapter bled at the chambers of Mr. Leicester, of “ Markham's Booke," entitled, in Nevell's Court, Trinity College, the “ The difference between Churles and very same company as before-riz. Gentlemen," and is as follows :- Mr. L. the entertainer, Mr. Beauclerk, .“ From the offspring of gentlemanly Drs. Johnson and Lort, my friend, and
Japhet came Abraham, Moses, Aaron, myself, with the addition only of Far
mer, on whose account principally the astonishing, and scarcely credible effort journey was undertaken.
of genius, his writing Rasselas in two During our conviviality nothing oc- days and a night, and then travelling curred that was at all like an indignant down with the price to support bis sick contradiction, though the Doctor was mother! But Boswell says this was himseli sometimes purposely contra- done after her decease, to pay her debis dicted to elicit the sparks of his genius and funeral expenses. Io either case, by collision. There was, however, no what parts what piety!
lack of noble sentiments; and on any On the Doctor's return, Beauclerk se subject being started, he would instant- said to him, “ Doctor, why do you * ly give a sort of creatise upon it in min- keep that blind woman in your house?"
jature. Long before 12 o'clock our Johnson...“ Why, sir, she was a friend # bero began to be very great ; for on to my poor wife, and was in the house
bis entering the room, having a pain in with her when she died. And so, sir, his face he bent it down to the fire, as I could not find in my heart to dee
archly observing, with a smile, “ This sire bér to quit my house, poor thing ! tid minority cheek of mine is warring she has remained in it ever since, sir."
against the general constitution.” — It appears, however, that the friendship
"Nay, Doctor,” said Beauclerk, who and conversation of the intelligent Anit well knew how to manage him, “ you pa Williams, proved in general highly
musn't talk against the minority, for gratifying to him, and he feelingly la
they tell you, you know, that they are mented her loss, io 1783. 3 your friends, and wish to support your · A question was then asked him re
liberties, and save you from oppression." specting Sterne. Johnson...“ In a Johnson...." Why yes, sir, just as wise- company where I lately was, Tristram ly, and just as necessarily as if they Shandy introduced himself; and Triswere to build up the interstices of the tram Shandy had scarcely sat down, cloisters åt the bottom of this court, for when he informed us that he had been fear the library should fall upon our writing a Dedication to Lord Spencer : beads, sir."
and sponte suâ he pulled it out of his Kit Sınart happening to be mention- pocket; and sponte suâ, for nobody deed, and that he had broken out of a sired him, he began to read it; and behouse of confinement : “ He was a fool fore he had read half a dozen lines, for that,” said Beauclerk ; “ for within sponte meå, sir, I told him it was not two days they meant to have ‘released English, sir.” This trifle is prefixed him.” Johnson...“ Whenever poor Kit to vol. v, and may be fairly said to could make his escape, sir, it would al- justify the censure of the critic, even ways have been within two days of his supposing it contained no other error intended liberation.” He then proceed: previonsly to the giving of the above ed to speak highly of the parts and broad bint. It will scarcely be regardscholarship of poor Kit; and to our ed as a forced digression, if I here regreat surprise, recited a nunber of lines late what Farmer observed to me a. out of one of Smart's Latin Triposes; year or two before this period, respectand added, “ Kit Smart was mad, sir." ing the ill-judging Sterne. “My good Beauclerk...“ What do you mean by friend," said he one day in the parlour mad, Doctor ?" Johoson...“ Why, sir, at Emmanuel, “ you young men seem he could not walk the streets without very fond of this Tristram Shandy; the boys running after him." Soon after but mark my words, and remember this, on Johnson's leaving the room, what I say to you; however much it Beauclerk said to us--- What he says may be talked about at present, yet, of Smart is true of himsell ;” which depend upon it, in the course of twenty well agrees with my observations dur- years, should any one wish to refer to ing the walk I took with him that very the book in question, he will be obliged morning. Beauclerk also took the to go to an antiquary to inquire for it." same opportunity to tell us of that most This has proved truly prophetic; and