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dinner, and the Queen was so impressed by Miss,' that she sent one of the Gentlemen to inquire who
I find all true that you have ever told me at Paris. Mr. Thrale is very liberal, and keeps us two coaches, and a very fine table; but I think our cookery very
bad. Mrs. Thrale got into a convent of English nuns, and I talked with her through the grate, and I am very kindly used by the English Benedictine friars. But upon the whole I cannot make much acquaintance here; and though the churches, palaces, and some private houses are very magnificent, there is no very great pleasure after having seen many, in seeing more ; at least the pleasure, whatever it be, must some time have an end, and we are beginning to think when we shall come home. Mr. Thrale calculates that as we left Streatham on the fifteenth of September, we shall see it again about the fifteenth of November.
" I think I had not been on this side of the sea five days before I found a sensible improvement in my health. I ran a race in the rain this day, and beat Baretti. Baretti is a fine fellow, and speaks French, I think, quite as well as English.
“ Make my compliments to Mrs. Williams; and give my love to Francis ; and tell my friends that I am not lost. I am, dear sir, “ Your affectionate humble, &c.
“ SAM. JOHNSON.”
TO DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON.
Edinburgh, Oct. 24, 1775. “ If I had not been informed that you were at Paris, you should have had a letter from me by the earliest opportunity, announcing the birth of my son, on the 9th instant; I have named him Alexander, after my father. I now write, as I suppose your fellow-traveller, Mr. Thrale, will return to London this week, to attend his duty in Parliament, and that you will not stay behind him.
MY DEAR SIR,
1 Miss Thrale.
“ I send another parcel of Lord Hailes's “ Annals.' I have undertaken to solicit you for a favour to him, which he thus requests in a letter to me: 'I intend soon to give you · The Life of Robert Bruce, which you will be pleased to transmit to Dr. Johnson. I wish that you could assist me in a fancy which I have taken, of getting Dr. Johnson to draw a character of Robert Bruce, from the account that I give of that prince. If he finds materials for it in my work, it will be a proof that I have been fortunate in selecting the most striking incidents.'
“I suppose by 'The Life of Robert Bruce,' his Lordship means that part of his · Annals' which relates the history of that prince, and not a separate work.
“ Shall we have · A Journey to Paris' from you in the winter? You will, I bope, at any rate be kind enough to give me some account of your French travels very soon, for I am very impatient. What a different scene have you viewed this autumn, from that which
viewed in autumn 1773! I ever am, my dear sir;
“ Your much obliged and
“ James Boswell.”
“I am glad that the young Laird is born, and an end, as I hope, put to the only difference that you
can ever have with Mrs. Boswell. I know that she does not love me; but I intend to persist in wishing her well till I get the better of her.
“ Paris is, indeed, a place very different from the Hebrides, but it is to a hasty traveller not so fertile of novelty, nor affords so many opportunities of remark. I cannot pretend to tell the publick any thing of a place better known to many of my readers than to myself. We can talk of it when we meet.
“ I shall go next week to Streatham, from whence I purpose to send a parcel of the History' every post. Concerning the character of Bruce, I can only say, that I do not see any great reason for writing it'; but I shall not easily deny what Lord Hailes and you concur in desiring.
“ I have been remarkably healthy all the journey, and hope you and your family have known only that trouble and danger which has so happily terminated. Among all the congratulations that you may receive, I hope you believe none more warm or sincere than those of, dear sir,
“ Your most affectionate, “ November 16, 1775.”.
“ SAM. Johnson."
TO MRS. LUCY PORTER, IN LICHFIELD.' 66
- This week I came home from Paris. I have brought you a little box, which I thought pretty;
1 This alludes to my old feudal principle of preferring male to female succession.
2 There can be no doubt that many years previous to 1775, he corresponded with this lady, who was his step-daughter, but none of his earlier letters to her have been preserved.
[Since the death of the authour, several of Johnson's letters to Mrs. Lucy Porter, written before 1775, were obligingly com. municated by the Rev. Dr. Vyse to Mr. Malone, and are printed in the present edition. M.]
but I know not whether it is properly a snuff-box, or a box for some other use. I will send it, when I can find an opportunity. I have been through the whole journey remarkably well. My fellow-travellers were the same whom you saw at Lichfield, only we took Baretti with us. Paris is not so fine a place as you would expect. The palaces and churches, however, are very splendid and magnificent; and what would please you, there are many very fine pictures; but I do not think their way of life commodious or pleasant.
“Let me know how your health has been all this while. I hope the fine summer has given you strength sufficient to encounter the winter.
“ Make my compliments to all my friends; and, if
your fingers will let you, write to me, or let your maid write, if it be troublesome to you. : I am, dear madam,
“ Your most affectionate humble servant, “ Nov. 16, 1775.”
“ SAM. JOHNSON."
TO THE SAME.
“ Some weeks ago I wrote to you, to tell you that I was just come home from a ramble, and hoped that I should have heard from you. I am afraid winter has laid hold on your fingers, and hinders you from writing. However, let somebody write, if you cannot, and tell me how you do, and a little of what has happened at Lichfield among our friends. I hope you are all well.
“When I was in France, I thought myself growing young, but am afraid that cold weather will take part of my new vigour from me. Let us, however, take care of ourselves, and lose no part of our health by negligence.
“I never knew whether you received the Com
mentary on the New Testament, and the Travels, and the glasses.
“ Do, my dear love, write to me; and do not let us forget each other. This is the season of good wishes, and I wish you all good. I have not lately seen Mr. Porter, nor heard of him. Is he with you?
“ Be pleased to make my compliments to Mrs. Adey, and Mrs. Cobb, and all my friends; and when I can do any good, let me know. I am, dear madam,
“ Yours most affectionately, “ December, 1773.".
« Sam. Johnson."
It is to be regretted, that he did not write an account of his travels in France ; for as he is reported to have once said, that “ he could write the Life of a Broomstick,” so, notwithstanding so many former travellers have exhausted almost every subject for remark in that great kingdom, his very accurate observation, and peculiar vigour of thought and illustration, would have produced a valuable work. During his visit to it, which lasted but about two months, he wrote notes or minutes of what he saw. He promised to shew me them, but I neglected to put him in mind of it; and the greatest part of them has been lost, or perhaps, destroyed in a precipitate burning of his papers a few days before his death, which must ever be lamented: one small paper-book, however, entitled “ FRANCE II.” has been preserved, and is in my possession. It is a diurnal register of his life and observations, from the 10th of October to the 4th of November, inclusive, being twenty-six days, and shews an extraordinary attention to various minute particulars. Being the only memorial of this
1 Son of Mrs. Johnson, by her first husband.