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pany: though little thought of by oc annoyances which Johnson's untothers, this man was so highly esteemed ward habits had occasioned her, was for his abilities by Johnson, that he was evidently pleased by his hearty exheard to say, he should not be satis- pressions of regard, and flattered fied though attended by all the Col- by his conversation on subjects of lege of Physicians, unless he had literature, in which she was herself Levett with him. He must have well able to take a part. been a useful assistant in the che- In this year, his long-promised mical processes with which Johnson edition of Shakspeare made its apwas fond of amusing himself; and pearance, in eight volumes octavo. at one of which Murphy, on his first That by Steevens was published the visit, found him in a little room, following year; and a coalition becovered with soot like a chimney- tween the editors having been efsweeper, making æther. Beauclerk, fected, an edition was put forth with his lively exaggeration, used under their joint names, in ten voto describe Johnson at breakfast, lumes 8vo., 1773. For the first, throwing his crusts to Levett after Johnson received 375l. ; and for the he had eaten the crumb. The pa- second, 1001.* At the beginning of thetic verses written by Johnson on the Preface, he has marked out the his death, which happened suddenly character of our great dramatist three years before his own, show with such a power of criticism, as with what tenderness of affection there was perhaps no example of in he regarded Levett. Some time the English language. Towards the after (1778), to this couple, who did conclusion, he has, I think, successnot live in much harmony together, fully defended him from the neglect were added Mrs. Desmoulins, the of what are called the unities. The daughter of Dr. Swinfen his god-fa- observation, that a quibble was the ther, and widow of a writing-master; Cleopatra for which he lost the Miss Carmichael, and, as Boswell world, and was content to lose it, is thought, a daughter also of Mrs. more pointed than just. Shakspeare Desmoulins, all of whom were cannot be said to have lost the lodged in his house. To the widow world; for his fame has not only he allowed half-a-guinea a week, the embraced the circle of his own countwelfth part, as Boswell observes, try, but is continually spreading over of his pension. It was sometimes new portions of the globe; nor is more than he could do, to reconcile there any reason to conclude that he so many jarring interests. “ Wilc would have acquiesced in such a liams,” says he, in a letter to Mrs. loss. Like most other writers, he Thrale,“ hates every body: Levett indulged himself in a favourite prohates Desmoulins and does not love pensity, aware, probably, that if it Williams: Desmoulins hates them offended some, it would win him the both. Poll loves none of them.” applause of others. One avenue of Poll was Miss Carmichael, of whom knowledge, that was open to ShakI do not find that any thing else is speare in common with the rest of recorded. Boswell ventured to call mankind, none of his commentators this groupe the seraglio of Johnson, appear to have sufficiently consiand escaped without a rebuke. dered. We cannot conceive him to
From these domestic feuds he have associated frequently with men would sometimes withdraw himself of larger acquirements than himself, to the house of Mr. Thrale, at and not to have made much of their Streatham, an opulent brewer, with treasures his own. The conversation whom his acquaintance had begun in of such a man as Ben Jonson alone, 1765. With this open-hearted man supposing him to have made no he was always sure of a welcome more display of his learning than reception for as long a time as he chance or vanity would occasionally chose; and the mistress of the produce, must have supplied ample house, though after the death of her sources of information to a mind so first husband and her subsequent curious, watchful, and retentive, that marriage to an Italian she somewhat it did not suffer the slightest thing ungraciously remembered the petty to escape its grasp. Johnson is dis
* Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, vol. ii.
tinguished in his notes from the better than this.” In the winter of other commentators, chiefly by the 1766 he went to Oxford, where he acute remarks on many of the cha- . resided for a month, and formed an. racters, and on the conduct of some intimacy with Chambers, afterwards of the fables, which he has subjoined one of the judges in India. During to the different plays. In other res, this period, no publication appeared pects he is not superior to the rest ; under his own name; but he fu.. in some, particularly in illustrating nished Miss Williams with a Preface his author from antecedent or con- to her Poems, and Adams with temporary writers, he is inferior to another for his Treatise on the. them. A German critic of our own Globes; and wrote the Dedication to days, Schlegel, has surpassed him the King, prefixed to Gough’s Loneven in that which he has done best. don and Westminster Improved. He
From Boswell I have collected an seems to have been always ready to, account of the little journeys with supply a dedication for a friend, a: which he from time to time relieved task which he executed with more the uniformity of his life. They than ordinary courtliness. In this will be told in order as they occur, way, he told Boswell that he beand I hope will not weary the reader. lieved he “ had dedicated to all the The days of a scholar are free royal family round.” But in his own quently not distinguished by varieties case, either pride hindered him from even as unimportant as these. John-' prefixing to his works what he per-, son found his mind grow stagnant by haps considered as a token of sera, a constant residence in the neigh- vility, or his better judgment rex bourhood of Charing-cross itself, strained him from appropriating, by where he thought human happiness a particular inscription to one indivi.. at its flood: and once, when moving dual, that which was intended for rapidly along the road in a carriage the use of mankind. with Boswell, cried out to his fellow
(To be continued.) traveller, “Sir, life has few things
THE YORKSHIRE ALEHOUSE.
Among the rocks and winding scaurs,
And little lot of stars.-Wordsworth. “ A dusty road makes a drouthy the smacking of palm on palm, in, passenger.” Such was the motto friendly and clamorous salutation, which, written beneath an open was heard ; while before the door mouth and a foaming tankard, seem- stood, with interlaced bridles, many, ed to frame an excuse for the way- horses, neighing an acknowledgment farer whom it sought to entice into over their corn to the anxious steeds an alehouse in one of the woody of passing travellers, who, with eyes dales of merry old Yorkshire. To averted from the pressing seductions the enticement of this homely sign of the change-house, hastened on to and summer proverb, the house held more remote accommodation. The out the farther, but more dubious in- great northern waggon, heaped houseducement, of a mounted Saint high with the woollen treasures of George slaying the dragon, bearing the county, and drawn tediously as a notice, in the manner of a legend, long by ten fine horses, stood by the “ entertainment for man and horse.' way-side, watched by a vigilant More comprehensible symbols of bull-dog; while its cautious congood and various cheer abounded; ductors sat within sight, giving, at the burnished bottoms of pewter every mingled morsel of beef and ale drinking-vessels were seen, elevating they dispatched, a wary glance at and elevated, within the open wins their travelling depository of English dows, and amid the summer air wealth. Nor was this caution withia JULY, 1823.
out cause--for a roving horde of couches, and filled with luxurious gypsies had pitched their tent within feasting, and ringing with pleasant sight, under the shelter of a holly- sounds. But by the honest faith of tree-the thin blue smoke from their one who has travelled far, and proved little fire curled quietly upward into the matter by that rough instructor the twilight air, and half a dozen -experience, I have ever found the asses grazed at short tether-length, best accommodation and comfort in with the double burthen of old brass, places where aristocratical poesy, and tawny children, on their backs. and regal romance, had no colours A fair-haired girl waved the ringlets to bestow; and I care not who hears backwards on her shoulders, as she me declare that to the palace of a glided towards them, bearing a fla- Percy, or a Howard, or a Dacre, I gon of ale, and returned not without prefer the humble house of homely the assurance of a merry bridal, and comfort before me—and that, to the a potent bridegroom, from the pre- fellowship of lords, I prefer that of siding sybil of the horde. I saw her Gilbert Gauntree, the owner of the look at'her white palm, as she came George and Dragon, there where he smiling back; every step she took stands filling up the porch with his was lighter with increase of joy; most portly person—a visible type of while a head or two, with tawny vi- excellent ale and soft accommodasages and sun-burnt locks, looked tion—a personification of provincial after her with a suppressed laugh, jollity and good cheer. enjoying the double pleasure of I might as well have said sooner, having passed upon her credulous that I had been on the road from the heart, and unpractised eye, imaginary rising of the sun, and it was now happiness and a bad sixpence. setting—that the day had been close
The alehouse itself was not with- and sultry, and the motion of our out its external attractions. It stood horses (for you will find presently on the verge of an ancient forest, that I had a companion) had stirred where the cultivated and uncul- the dust around us in clouds, rendertivated land met; and it presented to ing a place of rest a desirable thing. the highway a peaked and carved As I turned my horse's head to the front of stone, of that mixed style house, the owner moved towards me common in the days of Queen Bess with what speed he might—the and King James. The architraves earth, accustomed to the load, forof door and windows had been co- bore to groan; but it certainly shook vered with rich carving; and the while my horse-purchased among a heads of deer, and chace-dogs, and spare race of people, and unachunting horns and bows, might still quainted with the miracles which be distinguished amid the profusion the fatted calf and the foaming tanof leaf and blossom with which the kard work among the jolly children skill of the carver had wreathed each of the south-stood stone-still, and window-lintel. An infant river was snorted, and seemed to examine, seen glimmering among the short with a suspicious eye, the approach massy shafts of a multitude of oak of this walking prodigy.
* Wel and elm-trees, which studded an ex- come, master, welcome,” said he of tensive pasture land in front; while the George and Dragon; a dusty behind, a pretty abrupt hill, clothed road makes a drouthy passenger, as to the summit with natural wood, the sign says-and, if ye were as interposed between the eastern blast dry as dust, I have the stuff that and this ancient hunting-lodge of a will sloken ye, as the cannie lads of branch of the house of Percy. I am the north say." My horse, at this not one insensible to the influence of address, slackened his knees, unancient names; and I love those of arched his neck, and, compressing our old English and Scottish worn his nostrils, broke out with a long thies before the names of all meaner quavering neigh, which had more of persons. I also know that a baron’s a laugh in it than I ever heard in hall in romance is a right hospitable any uttered sound short of a human place with an open door and a full laugh. Whether laughter or speech, table smoking with festal dinners; honest Gilbert began to interpret it and that a palace in poetry is a place to his own advantage : “ Aye, aye, flooded with nectar, and strewn with my bonnie grey, that was à neigh
demanding winnowed corn—and corn price of his twopenny ale, and what
the Irish and the English plate, and like a Christian. I remember some which the old ballad says was be- words of the song myself, sir. gotten by Belzebub, and could speak (Sings.)
And when that they came to the middle of the course,
I think she's about the space of half a mile.'
You'll never be beat by the gallant grey mare. * “ So you see, sir, 'the song bears sing the merry song of the Ram, sir. the story out. I gave long Saunders, I can touch a verse or two of it mythe ballad pedlar, a good supper, and self, sir, to oblige a north-country a night's quarters, for a copy of it to gentleman-you are all pipers and hang up by the picture. And there ballad-makers, I am told: it must be is a painting of the Ram of Derby~ a merry country—but cruel cold, it has been celebrated in song too, sir. Shall I give you a slice of the sir. I have a club of the best wits Ram, sir, as the president of the of the district, who meet here, and witty club says ? (Sings.)
As I went into Derby,
Upon a market day,
Was ever fed on hay.
This ram was fat before ;
And I'm sure it was no more.
Were fifty cubits high ;
I heard the young ones cry.
Was drowned in the blood;
Was swept away with the flood. “ The ram is choking you, as our ed to the left, and there I saw someworthy vice-president says when he thing much more to my fancy-a calls for another touch of my choice large hall with a ceiling white as October-so I will cease, sir. But snow, a floor of stone sifted over look in-look in-chop and choose with fine white sand--the walls chop and choose : parlour or hall- hung round with flitches of bacon as kitchen or chamber--all's one to Gib if with tapestry, and the mantleGauntree, of the Dragon; a dry road piece glittering with burnished copmakes a drouthy passenger-that's per and tin. A large fire, though it my motto--so look in-chop and was the middle of summer, glowed choose, chop and choose.”
in the chimney; and, over many Thus admonished, into the house simmering-pans and moving spits I went; and looking to the right, presided a squat middle-aged dame, there I beheld half the running sprinkled with the fatness of many horses, and fatted oxen, of the west feasts, and with a face broad and -flourishing in fullness of pedigree imperious, from which the fire itself -limned with all the skill of the might have obtained increase of heat. district sign-painter, and hung in She moved from side to side of the succession like the male and female immense fire-place, preparing consoportraitures of families whose ge- lation of various kinds for many denealogical trees take root about the siring mouths; and casting a look time of Hengist and Horsa. I look upon each of the groupes of longing