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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
I am, dearest and dearest madam, your, &c.
London, April 11, 1780.
LETTER XLIII. TO Mrs. Thrale. DEAREST MADAM,
Mr. Thrale never will live abstinently, till hé can persuade himself to abstain by rule. I lived on potatoes on Friday, and on spinach 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, it 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 Moor 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.
At Mrs. Ord's I met one Mrs. Ba travelled 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 sky-light, 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.
LETTER XLIV. TO Mrs. Thrale.
London, June 9, 1780. 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 Savile'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 Cane-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. Scot 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
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 I am, &c.
LETTER XLV. TO Mrs. Thrale.
June 10, 1780.
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
with amazement, it is without any modern example. .
Several chapels have been destroyed, and several inoffensive Papists have been plundered, but the