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pernicious to society,' he forgets that that very summer of 1783 he had been willing to dine at Wilkes's house (ante, iv. 259, note 2).

Dr. Franklin (Memoirs, ed. 1833, iii. 157) wrote to Dr. Price in 1784 :- It is said that scarce anybody but yourself and Dr. Priestley possesses the art of knowing how to differ decently.' Gibbon (Misc. Works, i. 304), describing in 1789 the honestest members of the French Assembly, calls them ' a set of wild visionaries, like our Dr. Price, who gravely debate, and dream about the establishment of a pure and perfect democracy of five and twenty millions, the virtues of the golden age, and the primitive rights and equality of mankind.' Admiratioa of Price made Samuel Rogers, when a boy, wish to be a preacher. 'I thought there was nothing on earth so grand as to figure in a pulpit. Dr. Price lived much in the society of Lord Lansdowne (Earl of Shelburne) and other people of rank; and his manners were extremely polished. In the pulpit he was great indeed.' Rogers's Table-Talk, p. 3.

. The full title of the tract mentioned by Boswell is, A small IVhole-Length of Dr. Priestley from his Printed Works. It was published in 1792, and is a very poor piece of writing.

Johnson had refused to meet the Abbé Raynal, the author of the Histoire Philosophique et Politique du Commerce des Deux Indes, when he was over in England in 1777. Mrs. Chapone, writing to Mrs. Carter on June 15 of that year, says :

• I suppose you have heard a great deal of the Abbé Raynal, who is in London. I fancy you would have served him as Dr. Johnson did, to whom when Mrs. Vesey introduced him, he turned from him, and said he had read his book, and would have nothing to say to him.' Mrs. Chapone's Posthumous Works, i. 172.

See Walpole's Letters, v. 421, and vi. 444. His book as burnt by the common hangman in Paris. Carlyle's French Revolution, ed. 1857, i. 45.


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Hawkins gives the two following notes :• DEAR SIR,

* As Mr. Ryland was talking with me of old friends and past times, we warmed ourselves into a wish, that all who remained of the club should meet and dine at the house which once was Horseman's, in Ivy-lane. I have undertaken to solicit you, and therefore desire you to tell on what day next week you can conveniently meet your old friends.

*I am, Sir,
* Your most humble servant,

• Sam. JOHNSON.' Bolt-court, Nov. 22, 1783.'



'In perambulating lvy-lane, Mr. Ryland found neither our landlord Horseman, nor his successor. The old house is shut up, and he liked not the appearance of any near it; he therefore bespoke our dinner at the Queen's Arms, in St. Paul's Church-yard, where, at half an hour after three, your company will be desired to-day by those who remain of our former society.

• Your humble servant,

SAM. JOHNSON.' • Dec. 3.'

Four met- Johnson, Hawkins, Ryland, and Payne (ante, i. 281).

* We dined,' Hawkins continues, and in the evening regaled with coffee. At ten we broke up, much to the regret of Johnson, who proposed staying; but finding us inclined to separate, he left us with a sigh that seemed to come from his heart, lamenting that he was retiring to solitude and cheerless meditation.' Hawkins's Johnson, p. 562.

Hawkins is mistaken in saying that they had a second meeting at a tavern at the end of a month; for Johnson, on March 10, 1784, wrote:

• I have been confined from the fourteenth of December, and know not when I shall get out.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 351.


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He thus describes these meetings :

'Dec. 13. I dined about a fortnight ago with three oid friends; we had not met together for thirty years, and one of us thought the other grown very old. In the thirty years two of our set have died, our meeting may be supposed to be somewhat tender.' Piozzi Letters,

ii. 339.

'Jan. 12, 1784. I had the same old friends to dine with me on Wednesday, and may say that since I lost sight of you I have had one pleasant day.' 15. p. 346.

• April 15, 1784. Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving another dinner to the remainder of the old club. We used to meet weekly, about the year fifty, and we were as cheerful as in former times; only I could not make quite so much noise, for since the paralytick affliction my voice is sometimes weak.' Ib. p. 361.

· April 19, 1784. The people whom I mentioned in my letter are the remnant of a little club that used to meet in Ivy-lane about three and thirty years ago, out of which we have lost Hawkesworth and Dyer; the rest are yet on this side the grave. Our meetings now are serious, and I think on all parts tender.' Ib. p. 363.

See ante, i. 221, note 2.




(Page 293.) It is likely that Sir Joshua Reynolds refused to join the Essex Head Club because he did not wish to meet Barry. Not long before this time he had censured Barry's delay in entering upon his duties as Professor of painting.

* Barry answered :-“If I had no more to do in the composition of my lectures than to produce such poor flimsy stuff as your discourses, I should soon have done my work, and be prepared to read.” It is said this speech was delivered with his fist clenched, in a menacing posture.' Northcote's Life of Reynolds, ii. 146.

The Hon. Daines Barrington was the author of an Essay on the Migration of Birds (ante, ii. 284) and of Observations on the Statutes (ante, iii. 357). Horace Walpole wrote on Nov. 24, 1780 (Letters, vii. 464) • I am sorry for the Dean of Exeter; if he dies I conclude the leaden

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mace of the Antiquarian Society will be given to Judge Barrington,' (He was ‘second Justice of Chester.')

For Dr. Brocklesby see ante, iv. 203, 266, 390, 461.

Of Mr. John Nichols, Murphy says that his attachment to Dr. Johnson was unwearied. Life of Johnson, p. 66. He was the printer of The Lives of the Poets (ante, iv. 42, 43), and the author of Biographical and Literary Anecdotes of William Bowper Printer, the last of the learned printers,' whose apprentice he had been (ante, iv. 425). Horace Walpole (Letters, viii. 259) says:

'I scarce ever saw a book so correct as Mr. Nichols's Life of Mr. Bowyer. I wish it deserved the pains he has bestowed on it every way, and that he would not dub so many men great. I have known several of his heroes, who were very little men.'

The Life of Bowyer being recast and enlarged was republished under the title of Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century'. From 1778 till his death in 1826 the Gentleman's Magazine was in great measure in his hands. Southey, writing in 1804, says:

, I have begun to take in here at Keswick the Gentleman's Magasine, alias the Oldwomania, to enlighten a Portuguese student among the mountains; it does amuse me by its exquisite inanity, and the glorious and intense stupidity of its correspondents; it is, in truth, a disgrace to the age and the country. Southey's Life and Correspondence, ii. 281.

Mr. William Cooke, commonly called Conversation Cooke,' wrote Lives of Macklin and Foote. Forster's Essays, ii. 312, and Gent. Mag. 1824, p. 374. Mr. Richard Paul Joddrel, or Jodrell, was the author of The Persian Heroine, a Tragedy, which, in Baker's Biog. Dram. i. 400, is wrongly assigned to Sir R. P. Jodrell, M.D. Nichols's Lit. Anec. ix. 2.

For Mr. Paradise see ante, iv. 420, note 1.

Dr. Horsley was the controversialist, later on Bishop of St. David's and next of Rochester. Gibbon makes splendid mention of him (Misc. Works, i. 232) when he tells how Dr. Priestley's Socinian shield has repeatedly been pierced by the mighty spear of Horsley.' Windham, however, in his Diary in one place (p. 125) speaks of him as having his thoughts intent wholly on prospects of Church preferment;' and in another place (p. 275) says that he often lays down with great confidence what turns out afterwards to be wrong. In the House of Lords he once said that he did not

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know what the mass of the people in any country had to do with the laws but to obey them.' Parl. Hist. xxxii. 258. Thurlow rewarded him for his Letters to Priestley by a stall at Gloucester,

saying that “those who supported the Church should be supported by it."! Campbell's Chancellors, ed. 1846, v. 635.

For Mr. Windham, see ante, iv. 231.

Hawkins (Life of Johnson, p. 567) thus writes of the formation of the club:

• I was not made privy to this his intention, but all circumstances considered, it was no matter of surprise to me when I heard that the great Dr. Johnson had, in the month of December 1783, formed a sixpenny club at an ale-house in Essex-street, and that though some of the persons thereof were persons of note, strangers, under restrictions, for three pence each night might three nights in a week hear him talk and partake of his conversation.'

Miss Hawkins (Memoirs, i. 103) says:
Boswell was well justified in his resentment of my

father's designation of this club as a sixpenny club, meeting at an ale-house. .. Honestly speaking, I dare say my father did not like being passed over.' Sir Joshua Reynolds, writing of the club, says :-

: Any company was better than none; by which Johnson connected himself with many mean persons whose presence he could command. For this purpose he established a club at a little ale-house in Essexstreet, composed of a strange mixture of very learned and very ingenious odd people. Of the former were Dr. Heberden, Mr. Windham, Mr. Boswell, Mr. Steevens, Mr. Paradise. Those of the latter I do not think proper to enumerate.' Taylor's Life of Reynolds, ii. 455.

It is possible that Reynolds had never seen the Essex Head, and that the term "little ale-house' he had borrowed from Hawkins's account. Possibly too his disgust at Barry here found vent. Murphy (Life of Johnson, p. 124) says :

'The members of the club were respectable for their rank, their talents, and their literature.'

The little ale-house' club saw one of its members, Alderman Clarke (ante, iv. 298), Lord Mayor within a year; another, Horsley, a Bishop within five years; and a third, Windham, Secretary at War within ten years. Nichols (Literary Anccdotes, ii. 553) gives a list of the “constant members' at the time of Johnson's death.


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