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Tower by the House of Commons, for having himself committed to prison a messenger of the House when attempting to arrest the printer of the London Evening Debates, who was accused of a breach of privilege in reporting the Debates (Parl. Hist. xvii. 155). Townshend in the same year refused to pay the land-tax, on the plea that his county (Middlesex) was no longer represented, as Wilkes's election had been annulled (Walpole's Letters, v. 348). Bull in the House of Commons violently attacked Lord North's ministry (Parl. Hist. xix. 980). Sawbridge, year after year, brought into Parliament a bill for shortening the duration of parliaments. During his Mayoralty he would not suffer the pressgangs to enter the city. (Walpole's Journal of the Reign of George III, ii. 84.)
Among the Aldermen the Court-party had a majority. In April 1769 Wilkes's eligibility for election as an Alderman was not allowed by a majority of ten to six (Walpole's Memoirs of the Reign of George III, iii. 360, and Ann. Reg. xii. 92). On his release from prison in April 1770 he was, however, admitted without a division (ib. xiii. 99). When, in March 1770, the City presented an outspoken remonstrance to the King, sixteen Aldermen protested against it (Walpole's Letters, v. 229). About this time there arose a great division in the popular party in the City. According to Lord Albemarle, in his Memoirs of Rockingham, ii. 209, from the period of this struggle 'the Whigs and what are now called Radicals became two distinct sections of the Liberal party.' Townshend, who in this followed the lead of Lord Shelburne, headed the more moderate men against Wilkes. The result was that in 1771 each section running a candidate for the Mayoralty, a third man, Nash, who was opposed to both, was returned (Walpole's Memoirs of the Reign of George III, iv. 345, and Ann. Reg. xiv. 146).
The Livery, for a time at least, was Wilkite. Wilkes's name was sent up as Lord Mayor at the top of the list in 1772 and 1773, but he was in each case passed over by the Court of Aldermen. It was not till 1774 that he was elected by a kind of 'Hobson's choice.' The Aldermen had to choose between him and the retiring Lord Mayor, Bull. Walpole, writing of Nov. 1776, says the new Lord Mayor 'invited the Ministers to his feast, to which they had not been asked for seven years' (Journal of the Reign of George III, ii. 84). See Boswell's Hebrides, post, v. 339.
THE INMATES OF JOHNSON'S HOUSE.
IN September of this year (1778) Miss Burney records the following conversation at Streatham :-' MRS. THRALE. "Pray, Sir, how does Mrs. Williams like all this tribe ?" DR. J. "Madam, she does not like them at all; but their fondness for her is not greater. She and Desmoulins quarrel incessantly; but as they can both be occasionally of service to each other, and as neither of them have any other place to go to, their animosity does not force them to separate." . . . MR. T. "And pray who is clerk of your kitchen, Sir?" DR. J. "Why, Sir, I am afraid there is none; a general anarchy prevails in my kitchen, as 'I am told by Mr. Levett, who says it is not now what it used to be." MRS. T. "Mr. Levett, I suppose, Sir, has the office of keeping the hospital in health, for he is an apothecary." DR. J. "Levett, Madam, is a brutal fellow, but I have a good regard for him; for his brutality is in his manners, not his mind." MR. T. "But how do you get your dinners drest ?" DR. J. "Why, Desmoulins has the chief management of the kitchen; but our roasting is not magnificent, for we have no jack." MR. T. "No jack! Why, how do they manage without?" DR. J. "Small joints, I believe, they manage with a string, and larger are done at the tavern. I have some thoughts (with a profound gravity) of buying a jack, because I think a jack is some credit to a house." MR. T. "Well, but you'll have a spit too." DR. J. "No, Sir, no; that would be superfluous; for we shall never use it; and if a jack is seen, a spit will be presumed." MRS. T. "But pray, Sir, who is the Poll you talk of? She that you used to abet in her quarrels with Mrs.. Williams, and call out, At her again, Poll! Never flinch, Poll!" DR. J. "Why, I took to Poll very well at first, but she won't do upon a nearer examination." MRS. T. "How came she among you, Sir?" DR. J. "Why, I don't rightly remember, but we could spare her very well from us. Poll is a stupid slut. I had some hopes of her at first; but when I talked to her tightly and closely, I could make nothing of her; she was wiggle waggle, and I could never persuade her to be categorical." Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, i. 114.
More than a year later Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale :-' Discord keeps her residence in this habitation, but she has for some time been silent. We have much malice, but no mischief. Levett is rather a friend to Williams, because he hates Desmoulins more. A thing that
he should hate more than Desmoulins is not to be found.' Piozzi Letters, ii. 80. Mrs. Piozzi (Anec. p. 213) says:-'He really was oftentimes afraid of going home, because he was so sure to be met at the door with numberless complaints; and he used to lament pathetically to me that they made his life miserable from the impossibility he found of making theirs happy,, when every favour he bestowed on one was wormwood to the rest. If, however, I ventured to blame their ingratitude, and condemn their conduct, he would instantly set about softening the one and justifying the other; and finished commonly by telling me, that I knew not how to make allowances for situations I never experienced.' Hawkins (Life, p. 404) says:—' Almost throughout Johnson's life poverty and distressed circumstances seemed to be the strongest of all recommendations to his favour. When asked by one of his most intimate friends, how he could bear to be surrounded by such necessitous and undeserving people as he had about him, his answer was, "If I did not assist them, no one else would, and they must be lost for want."' 'His humanity and generosity, in proportion to his slender income, were,' writes Murphy (Life, p. 146), 'unbounded. It has been truly said that the lame, the blind, and the sorrowful found in his house a sure retreat.' See also ante, iii. 222. At the same time it must be remembered that while Mrs. Desmoulins and Miss Carmichael only brought trouble into the house, in the society of Mrs. Williams and Levett he had real pleasure. See ante, i. 232, note 1, and 243, note 3.
BOSWELL'S Letters of AccEPTANCE OF THE OFFICE OF
(Page 370, note 1.)
'Agli Illustrissimi Signori Il Presidente e Consiglieri dell' Academia Reale delle arti in Londra.
'Avreste forse illustrissimi Signori potuto scegliere molte persone piu degne dell' ufficcio di Segretario per la corrispondenza straniera; ma non sarebbe, son certo, stato possibile di trovar alcuno dal quale questa distinzione sarebbe stata piu stimata. Sento con un animo molto riconoscente la parzialitá che l'Academia a ben voluto mostrar per me; e mi conto felicissimo che la mia elezione sia stata graziosamente confirmata dalla sua
Maestá lo stesso Sovrano che a fondato l'Academia, e che si é sempre mostrato il suo beneficente Protettore.
'Vi prego, Signori, di credere que porro ogni mio studio a contribuire tanto che potro alla prosperita della nostra instituzione ch' é gia arrivata ad un punto si rispettevole.
'Ho l'onore d'essere,
'31 d'Ottobre, 1791.'
'A Messieurs Le President et les autres Membres du Conseil de l'Academie Royale des Arts à Londres.
'e divotissimo servo,
'C'est avec la plus vive reconnoissance que J'accepte la charge de Secretaire pour la Correspondence etrangêre de votre Academie à laquelle J'ai eu l'honneur d'etre choisi par vos suffrages unanimes gracieusement confirmés par sa Majesté.
'Ce choix spontané Messieurs me flatte beaucoup; et m'inspire des desirs les plus ardens de m'en montrer digne, au moins par la promptitude avec laquelle Je saisirai toute occasion de faire ce que Je pourrai pour contribuer à l'avantage des Arts et la celebrité de l'Academie.
'J'ai l'honneur d'etre avec toute la consideration possible,
'Votre serviteur tres obligé tres humble et tres fidel,
'ce 31 d'Octobre, 1791 '.'
'To the President and Council of The Royal Academy of Arts in London.
'Your unsolicited and unanimous election of me to be Secretary for Foreign Correspondence to your Academy, and the gracious confirmation of my election by his Majesty, I acknowledge with the warmest sentiments of gratitude and respect.
'I have always loved the Arts, and during my travels on the Continent I did not neglect the opportunities which I had of cultivating a taste for them. That taste I trust will now be much improved, when I shall be so happy as
In this letter I have made no attempt to correct Boswell's errors.
2 Boswell, when in the year 1764 he was starting from Berlin for Geneva, wrote to Mr. Mitchell, the English Minister at
Berlin: 'I shall see Voltaire; I shall also see Switzerland and Rousseau. These two men are to me greater objects than most statues or pictures.' Nichols's Lit. Hist. ed. 1848, vii. 319.
to share in the advantages which the Royal Academy affords; and I fondly
'Be assured, Gentlemen, that as I am proud to be a member of an
'I have the honour to be,
'31 October, 1791.
"Your much obliged
'And faithful humble servant,
'I am much obliged to you for the very polite terms in which you have been pleased to communicate to me my election to be Secretary for Foreign Correspondence to the Royal Academy of Arts in London; and I request that you will lay before the President and Council the enclosed letters signifying my acceptance of that office.
'I am with great regard,
'Your most obedient humble servant,
31 October, 1791.
'To John Richards, Esq., R.A. &c.'
Bennet Langton's letter of acceptance of the Professorship of Ancient
I must express my acknowledgments to the President and Council of
See post, iv. 261, note 3 for Boswell's grievance against Pitt.